Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive P

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The (Hopefully Reversible) Decline of Wikipedia

I've used Wikipedia for years. I've had an account for years. I'm posting this anonymously because, in the past, when I've been candid, I've found some people become personally abusive as a result.

Tonight, I happened on a page where perfectly legitimate, double-sourced material was removed as "defamatory" in a POV edit by what appears to be both an ignorant and overzealous "administrator" cum "censor." I checked the administrator's record; he/she has been a Wiki user for less than a year. This "administrator" clearly doesn't understand defamation (I am an attorney -- I do).

To me, this sort of behavior articulates the growing problems with Wikipedia in a nutshell: Wiki used to be about building a big base of free knowledge. Now it's all about people trying to become administrators and their petty powers and suck-up circle. (When I see people asking to be administrators and organizing little suckup campaigns, my first reaction is, "that person does not deserve nor merit to be an administrator.") The levels of bureaucracy and rules and policies and templates here make the DMV look like a lemonade stand. Wikipedia is now an AV Society of Asocial Geeks who are obstructive and self-protective of their ridiculous little circles of power. To preserve that power, they're destroying Wikipedia in the process.

As a result, Wikipedia is narrowing its potential pool of contributors by becoming an entrenched bureaucracy as petty as the faculty of any also-ran community college. Just look how frickin' complex footnotes have become; how is a new contributor supposed to understand all that coding? Who wants to waste time learning? What was wrong with the old, simple footnote policy? How many tasks forces and little online committees and requests for proposals were necessary to come up with that byzantine silliness?

Most dangerously, Wikipedia is now self-destructing with this "living persons" policy which, absurdly, actually is exposing Wikipedia and all of its assets to legal peril. Wikipedia, simply put, is voiding its 47 USC 230 (c)(1) protection with all this heavy-handed screening and editing. You're inviting yourself to be sued by doing this and, in the process, voiding your own legal protections.

So what is my solution? I didn't just come here to bitch. My solution: simplify. Go back to the basics of what made Wikipedia great. Trim back all the bureaucracy and all the layers upon layers upon layers of policies and reviews and tasks forces and procedures and yada yada yada. Make CONTENT king; don't make the petty and monstrous bureaucracy king, as it is now. I can remember when Wiki's policies took ten minute to read. Now it would take ten days to read. That's just absurd.

I will continue to use and contribute to Wikipedia. I was here in the beginning, long before the vast majority of present administrators had even heard of the site and were still busy wasting their time on Friendster. I fear, however, that what made Wikipedia great is being lost. It's about information, people, not the bureaucracy. It's about content, not petty little turf wars and seeing how you can flex your little administrative powers. I'm constantly shocked by the rude and heavy-handed actions by administrators. Police yourself, people, before you try to make yourself look big by being small. 05:59, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Could you expand upon the 47 USC 230 part? -- Kjkolb 08:05, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I will do so on the Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons page as that seems the more appropriate place. 17:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
If this editor is actually a lawyer and a seasoned contributor then I'm surprised he or she would choose to express complaints in this way. The obvious method for a practicing attorney to share a concern about potential lawsuit exposure would be to contact the Wikimedia foundation or its counsel. There are several ways to express misgivings about a particular administrator's actions. Open a dialogue with the administrator. Post to WP:AN or open a user conduct WP:RFC.
You state, The obvious method for a practicing attorney to share a concern about potential lawsuit exposure would be to contact the Wikimedia foundation or its counsel. The exact opposite is true. Because I am an attorney, it would be inappropriate for me to do so, and, possibly, violate the ABA Code of Professional Responsibility. That notwithstanding, you clearly don't understand the purpose of my statement. I didn't post this here to bitch about a particular administrator; I deliberately did not do so. You immediately dismissed the content of my complaint and, instead, began an ad hominem attack on me. That only underscores the scope of my original statement -- it doesn't sound like you're interested in improving Wikipedia; instead, you're interested in protecting the petty fiefdom of administratorship. 17:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
The way this editor presents the dispute, by making anonymous bad faith accusations against administrators in general and providing no page diffs or links, makes me doubt its credibility. Durova 19:00, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I am shocked by the above comments of User:Durova; however, his/her reaction actually examplifies the anon's remarks. I fully agree with anon's comments, as I'm annoyed by the irrelevant clutter that is currently being increased about WP:NOR as more explanation about primary and secondary sources is being prepared while in fact no mention of such distinctions is required at all -- it's running out of control.
About footnotes however I have an intermediate opinion: for an effective application of WP:V it's very useful if not essential to have inline citations, and the basics of it are easy. Harald88 03:03, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Per above, you also have missed the point and are turning this into an ad hominem attack on me. This was not about a particular administrator. Don't make it into something it isn't. Don't insist on missing the forest for the trees. 17:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
In a 61 minute span the IP edited this page, Talk:Michele Bachmann, and Curt Weldon. It looks like this is about election politics. Durova 19:11, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I assume very good faith on the part of this anonymous IP. Perhaps, our check-users should be able to know of his/her real user identity, if he/she has one, so editing with a user name or an IP is immaterial. One has all the right to edit anonymously and to impute any motive to such anonymous edits is perhaps not a good idea. I also do believe that she/he is an attorney. Why he/she would assert so if he/she were not one? I also find that her/his general assertions are true. Wikipedia's style of functioning has become more rule-oriented and process-oriented, and this may not be killing wikipedia, it may be making the life of real editors and content builders difficult. --Bhadani 00:55, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
This user has chosen to raise several serious allegations in a manner that almost guarantees they will not be resolved. Wikimedia's legal counsel probably doesn't spend much time at Village pump investigating anonymous allegations. However, I am an administrator who would investigate a situation where other users may have acted improperly. Because this appears to involve current events I would prioritize the matter. However, this editor has given almost no leads. I checked the recent edit history to look for subjects of interest. The time frame is not a subjective comment on the quality of the anon's edits, rather an observation that this randomized IP address was probably assigned to the same user during a single login. Checkuser is not for fishing expeditions. If this editor would like to follow up either on this thread or via my e-mail I'd give the situation an impartial review. Durova 14:56, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to Bhadani and Durova for having an open mind. However, I didn't post this here to complain about a particular administrator; I actually began that process elsewhere. I posted it as a wakeup call to begin a dialog. Wikipedia is seriously off track. People are too close to the archania to notice the big picture. I'm trying to get people to look at the big picture once again. 17:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
BTW, if one has done his/her homework fine, and preapred the materials, he/she could do more pages in 61 minutes. If one works off line for say one month, one may upload 10 good articles in 5 to 10 minutes. There is nothing surprising in such fast edits. --Bhadani 01:00, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Not sure whether this anon thinks I have an open mind or am defending my petty fiefdom, but I'll accept the nomination: okay, I'm a Rouge admin. Durova 19:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

We already know about these problems. Do you have a solution? Saying "let's go back to the way things were" isn't a solution. Unless you also want to ban everyone who's joined since then, I guess, and delete all the articles they've created. Things that worked for a wiki that no one knew about with 100 contributors and 1000 articles will never work for a wiki with thousands of contributors that comes up as the first result for many Google searches, is treated as an authoritative source in discussion forum battles, and has biographies about resentful people who want to discredit it. — Omegatron 20:38, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

You ask, "Do you have a solution?" I already included a number of solutions in my original post. One: simplify. Everything. Simplify everything. Policies used to be a few pages. Now it would take days just to find all of them, let alone read them. The footnotes policy is a perfect example. Wiki for years had a simple footnote coding policy. Now it's been made infinitely complex so it only makes sense to people who spend hours on here every day.
I think the biggest problem is the complexity of the bureaucracy, which has created a need for way too many administrators, and many of those administrators are woefully unqualified. By simplifying the rules and procedures, Wiki will be more open to users at all levels. I think the whole policy of people begging to be administrators, then running campaigns, is a self-destructive way to run a system. Many of these new -- and very young -- administrators only have computer skills and nothing else. People who have been on here six or eight months shouldn't be administrators. They're more interested in playing with software and "administrative blocks" than improving content. I'm constantly amazed how destructive and rude many of these new administrators are.
I think the administrator/contributor function also needs to be split. You're either one or the other, but not both. If you're both, inherent conflicts-of-interest and turf wars arise. As well, administrators need to learn not to speak in jargon. Many newer users don't know what the hell they're talking about. So it makes Wikipedia seem an unfriendly place. Don't say, you're violating WP:3RR. Say, you're violating the three-revert rule; click here to learn more about it. Too many administrators like to show off their knowledge of jargon -- or how fast they can jump down someone's throat -- as opposed to actually helping out. (And, the three-revert rule notification process is another example of something that has become infinitely complex; the coding only makes sense to an advanced Wikipedia user -- the old system was far better.)
Another important solution would be to dial the hostility way back. Your response to me is immediately hostile and combative. I never said to go back to the way Wiki was when there were 100 contributors -- so please don't put words in my mouth. You're making this about me, not about Wikipedia. That's counter-productive. Let's make this about improving the system. Most of the discussion here has been to admit there are problems, and then immediately attack me without discussing the actual problems. 00:08, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I know this does not address the primary theme of the initial post. It does address some of the secondary themes.

The main reason that I have not contributed but have only edited has been the complexity of the site. I have spent many hours wandering around in the guidelines and have yet to find a format for footnotes. I know that Kate Turabian is out of favor and the latest edition that I have of her book is quite old. I am not certain of the current status of MLA but, again, the only version that I have of that is probably older than most Wikipedians.

The number of templates confuses me. The incessant and aggressive use of jargon is distracting and often unintelligible. (From the original post in this subject, “The levels of bureaucracy and rules and policies and templates here make the DMV look like a lemonade stand. Wikipedia is now an AV Society of Asocial Geeks who are obstructive and self-protective of their ridiculous little circles of power.” When I see “DMV” I think “Department of Motor Vehicles” whose rules and policies seem to me to be fairly straightforward. When I see “AV” I think “Audio-Visual” which is obviously not what was meant.)

The only problem that I have with the editing that I have seen is the prevalence of the assumption of bad faith. If something appears to be wrong, instead of attempting to correct the error or giving notice that the contributor of the apparent error will be contacted to make some sense of the matter, the perceived error is deleted, no questions or discussion.

JimCubb 01:55, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

The user who started this thread hasn't offered any evidence in support of these claims. As this chart demonstrates, the English language Wikipedia has only 1 administrator for every 2489 registered accounts. That's the third lowest ratio of all Wikipedia language projects. The ratio of admins to users has actually declined steadily since January 2004. We're barely adding sysops fast enough to keep up with the growth in articles.[1] If an administrator abuses trust, go ahead and open a review at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct or visit Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship. There are also dozens of administrators, myself among them, who have volunteered to stand for reconfirmation if six editors request it Category:Administrators open to recall. Before I became an administrator I amassed nearly 9000 edits, contributed 3 featured pages, and opened the Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Medieval warfare task force - so it's surprising that anyone would question my commitment to building an encyclopedia. Anyone who thinks administratorship is granted too lightly is welcome to join Wikipedia:Requests for administratorship and vote on open nominations. Also, anyone who wants to help organize and streamline Wikipedia's rules and guidelines is welcome to do so. Just go to an appropriate talk page and join the discussion or begin a new proposal. Wikipedia really is a flexible and open project. Durova 02:46, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I'd say the decline in number of administrators is the reason some of them are grouchy. We are each responsible for the well-being of 1377 articles, if distributed evenly among us, and everything is our fault when one of them goes bad. I have 2,180 on my watchlist (a lot of redirects, I hope) ;-) But it gets taxing. Jimbo's original idea of administrators was just people who had edited a while and proved they were trying to contribute to the encyclopedia; someone that could be trusted not to break things.

I just wanted to say that becoming a sysop is *not a big deal*.

I think perhaps I'll go through semi-willy-nilly and make a bunch of people who have been around for awhile sysops. I want to dispel the aura of "authority" around the position. It's merely a technical matter that the powers given to sysops are not given out to everyone.

I don't like that there's the apparent feeling here that being granted

sysop status is a really special thing.
— Jimbo

Omegatron 04:13, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I tend to agree with a lot of what the anon has said here, and I don't think people should disregard the message based on the method of presentation. It used to that we assumed good faith, it's a shame people attribute motive to communications to dismiss it rather than engage with the ideas presented. Wikipedia does need scaling back on the policy side and it does need better engagement from the board on legal issues, to be honest. Steve block Talk 10:01, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
If I had disregarded the message I would have disregarded it. Instead I extended enough good faith to list my concerns. This anon's replies were extremely cursory: they not only fail to provide any supporting evidence but the anon appears to have mistaken me for two different people (after accusing me of running a petty fiefdom, the same anon thanks me in a later section for having an open mind). I still haven't received any substantiation of these claims either here on this board or in my e-mail. I've provided evidence for why I don't think this anon identifies any systemic problem - if you disagree then go make Wikipedia better! This is not a closed shop. Durova 16:43, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I never thought it was a closed shop, and I have argued the point the anon raises or ones similar to it at different times in different venues, and am currently, but thanks for the advice. My words were not directed at you in nature but outwards, and aimed in general. Steve block Talk 18:29, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
If nothing else, I agree with the policy issue. We're suffering from a serious, serious case of bloat. It's just mind-boggling sometimes to try and find something, anything on the policy/WP side because there's a million-and-a-half links on every page. And for every policy, there are 10 pages to read, to boot. We need to hack-and-slash the entire WP namespace to the bare bones of what is necessary. Simplicity is wildly under-appreciated here. --Wolf530 (talk) 02:30, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Wrong - it's greatly appreciated, just impossible to accomplish. The problem is that my simplicity is your lack of value; what I think is necessary you think is superfluous; what I regard as intelligent pruning of pointless blather you regard as vindictive destruction of a great and noble institution ... and vice-versa, of course. All human institutions produce impenetrable rules, regulations, policies and procedures; the notable thing about wikipedia is that we've created so many of them so quickly. - DavidWBrooks 03:06, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Not impossible to accomplish at all. It's just time to start going through the WP namespace and editing. We need to be more like book editors -- every word and link has to be absolutely critical. If we can get along without it, we need to. That's simplicity. That's accomplishable. --Wolf530 (talk) 03:14, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree, despite the natural tendency of complicating matters, counterforces are at work.
For example Wikipedia:Attribution is a current attempt to merge and simplify the policies WP:V and WP:NOR with the essentials from the guidelineWP:RS which can then be dropped.
Only I doubt that enough people (and with fresh ideas) are involved in this. Harald88 16:08, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

To the original poster: I am currently working on an article about the "social aspects" of Wikipedia. I'd be very interested in talking to you about what you view as "suckup campaigns" and the need for people to become adminstrators. If you're interested, please email me at brianwrites@gmail.com68.39.158.205 02:41, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I think what the anon original poster of this thread is missing is that, in his yearning for the halcion days of wikipedia's youth, he has missed the problems associated with the exponential growth wikipedia has experienced. I understand his concerns, I do. I personally think the rediculous number of notability guidelines only serves to obfuscate the purpose of the concept of notability. The issue is that people have become creative and sneaky about being intentionally disruptive to the editorial process. The whole beaurocracy of wikipedia exists to protect it from disruptive, anti-productive editing. I understand the general problem that thousands of users with sysop access generates. The question is: Do we simplify, as suggested, even if that means allowing disruptive editors to degrade the quality of wikipedia, or do we keep the huge, unweildy beaurocracy to deal with the problem, even if it means that some people who are admins don't belong there? Thus is the conundrum. Do you come down on the side of freedom, or law-and-order? Sounds like the same debate happening in every community of any size at any point in the entire history of the world. --Jayron32 05:49, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Re: The (Hopefully Reversible) Decline of Wikipedia:
Wikipedia has existed in a vacuum for a long time, but by proving the collaborative model successful, it now has serious competition. Competition is good. It will force Wikipedians to implement improvements. However, the "business rule" is that innovations sparkle for a while, but eventually get replaced by improved versions produced by stronger competitors. I would hope that Wikipedia would be an exception to the rule, but based on "hundreds of unfulfilled feature requests" and the prevalent culture of defensiveness and resistance to change, excellent leadership will be required to reverse Wikipedia's otherwise eventual decline. 09:52, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Culture of defensiveness. Hadn't thought of that term... describes very well what goes on around here a lot. --Wolf530 (talk) 03:18, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Some recent warning templates I created

User:Iced Kola/T
User:Iced Kola/T2
User:Iced Kola/T3
User:Iced Kola/T4

I'm going to start using these as my warning templates (I love creating them =p), and I'm even going to inset them into my vandalproof. I'm just asking any and all users here on wikipedia if they can check them out and improve them/give me feedback on them. Thanks. I c e d K o l a (Contributions) 23:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

These look good. I'd say remove the class attribute in T, T2 and T3 because you're not really expecting people to customize how they appear through monobook.css. (It's OK in T4 because that's a standard class used in Wikipedia). You might also wish to consider inserting the code ~~<includeonly></includeonly>~~ immediately before the closing div tag, so that when it's substituted, your signature appears as part of the message between the lines. Tra (Talk) 00:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Page Deleted for Unknown Reason

For what it's worth I see no citation of a criterion for speedy deletion here. We can't just delete 
things that seem non-notable on sight. Please exercise discretion. Deco 11:41, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
It was moved to the user space at User:NEaB/Nowhere-Else and Beyond and then the redirect that was 
created by the page move was deleted. RJFJR 16:37, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I know why it was deleted, I talked with the admin that deleted it and found out why; but there was no citation of a criterion for speedy deletion given on the page which made it a bit frustrating to find. Also, it was not moved to the user space until I requested it for revision. Garth of NEaB 14:20, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The article was deleted for fairly obvious reasons. You might read WP:COI and WP:NOT. In general, articles are not ever moved into userspace without a direct request. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 15:58, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia for sale on Ebay

Check this out!! And for about 1 dollar or 2 pounds??? Either this is a joke or our Jimmy Wales has gone Wales over his top.Wikipedia at Ebay for sale. Thanks and God bless you!

Antonio the licka from Puerto Rica Martin

Umm, that's W1KIPEDIA.COM, not WIKIPEDIA.COM (notice the number, 1). --wj32 talk | contribs 07:21, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
And the actual Wikipedia is at WIKIPEDIA.ORG'; note the .org TLD indicating a noncommercial organization. *Dan T.* 18:28, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Who writes Wikipedia?

Recently re-read a great article trying to pin down an answer to the question: Who writes Wikipedia? It was so good, I thought I'd post it here so that more people can read it (if they haven't already). Who writes Wikipedia?. Carcharoth 23:33, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Excellent catch! Good job for letting us know, Carcharoth. The work described by the article is excellent and should be read by all big-time editors here, including some of the followup comments. I am impressed that there is a strong case for the common sense argument that the bulk of real information in Wikipedia comes from the many people who actually know something about which they write. I hope that Jimbo Wales has a chance to read it and digest it. Hu 07:29, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

This essay is very insightful. I was sure I knew the answer to the question above, and I was wrong. ike9898 20:28, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Nonsense vandalism fad

There is a fad right now of blanking pages with nonsense comments and (what makes it a fad) putting the comment into the edit summary. Any clues as to the source of this, such as might it be some campaign cooked up on a juvenile forum or chat room? Hu 20:10, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it's far more benign than you say; it appears to be a new software feature. If the page is completely replaced with something else, it says so in the edit summary, as a warning to vandal watchers. That's my guess, at least. --Golbez 20:38, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The edit summary should give some indication that it is an automatic notice. Further, a note in the Technical section would be nice, announcing new developments. If there was one, I didn't see it, but I admit I didn't look very hard. Hu 21:30, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Consistency between similar articles

I've noticed that there can sometimes be confusing inconsistency between similar articles (especially the technical ones). For example, when looking for information on the terms grain, crystallite and particle, I get slightly different (and incomplete) interpretations of the same idea. Individually the articles are OK, but when looked at overall, there's a loss of coherence. Do people when working on wikipedia keep in mind how other similar or related articles are written? It seems to me there needs to be more people who edit groups of articles as a whole, to maintain a consistent narrative.

I don't know if my above point has been discussed before, which brings me to my next point. The Village pump really needs some sort of search function so that I don't bring up subjects that have already been covered.

The WP:WikiProject area is generally for people working on related articles, and part of those activities are related to consistency. But you're always free to try and resolve the consistency issues yourself. — RJH (talk) 22:16, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

American vs. Canadian spelling in color articles

User:Nihiltres edited Blue and Black using a rule that you should always use Canadian spelling in color articles. Anyone aware of this?? Georgia guy 15:32, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I would like a pointer to such a rule, as I do not believe it exists. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Nope. We use the spelling of the first major contributor, which is wehy some articles, like Orange (colour) use British spelling, and some use American, like Color itself. Attempts have been made to harmonise, but arb-com decided that if there is no really good reason to harmonise, harmonising for the sake of it is bad. Steve block Talk 21:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
But User:Nihiltres seems to be changing all of the color articles to his preferred spelling. User:Zoe|(talk) 00:11, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Tell them not to. That's disruptive and wastes time. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English for our guidelines. — Omegatron 00:15, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Just looked at his/her contribs - looks like he's going through articles that include both spellings of "color" and changing all instances of "color" to "colour." The relevant guideline states:Each article should have uniform spelling and not a haphazard mix of different spellings, which can be jarring to the reader.
Now, I do have an issue with this user apparently choosing Canadian spellings because s/he considers those "more common," rather than following the guideline of going by the first contributor's usage. I'll post a note on his/her talk page explaining the matter. | Mr. Darcy talk 01:59, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm Canadian and i use a mix of Canadian and American spelling. I could care less if it's wrong or not. Actually i don't even pay attention if it's American. --Kar_the_Everburning 15:05, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

It seems as if there should be a template mechanism that could be used to resolve these dialect spelling issues based on the reader's preference settings. (Although that probably wouldn't work for general viewers.) Perhaps that could be a future wikipedia enhancement? — RJH (talk) 22:19, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Problem there is people who use a mixed set. I'm American, and quite adamantly use British spelling for colour, but not for center. Unless we actually had a preference setting for every single variably spelled word I would probably end up unhappy with the results. The easiest solution is for contributors to stay consistent within existing articles, and not go around messing with the spellings for no reason. --tjstrf talk 22:30, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

References with mandatory registration

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Village pump

Some articles (such as the recently featured spyware article) uses references (in this case The New York Times), which require mandatory registration to be able to see the content. I find this an annoyance, I dislike sites with mandatory registration to be able to access the content and I feel this is a little unfair. I was thinking, maybe there should be a policy or something, to avoid using sites that require registration as references? -- Frap 09:43, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
[End moved]

I share your pain, but as has several times been pointed out, the equivalent problem almost always exists with print sources. I would urge people, though, not to make "blind URL" citations of articles on sites that require registration. For example, with a New York Times article, if you give the author, date, title, and (ideally) page, then it is exactly as useful to a non-registered person as a reference to an article cited from the print version of the newspaper. If you do not do any of these things, then it is exactly as useful to a non-registered person as a stream of gibberish. - Jmabel | Talk 07:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
We accept citations from 12th century scholars and foreign language sources (sometimes with a user-provided translation, sometimes without). Allowing subscription web service citations is nothing compared to those as far as average user utility is concerned. --tjstrf talk 07:35, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
The only policy or guideline that could be created along these lines would be not to add the link if the layman cannot access the material unless registered. Lincher 02:01, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Mmm. Linking to a web-version of something you need a subscription to access, but which is available offline - say, an article in Nature - not perfect, but okay. Linking to a web-version of something you need a subscription to access and can't get at otherwise, not very fine... Shimgray | talk | 20:29, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd argue the inverse. Linking to something that is only available by subscription and online is the only sane way of referencing that document. For an available online and offline article, referencing the offline version makes far more sense. Though providing a link to the online version for reasons of courtesy would still be acceptable. --tjstrf talk 22:34, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Newspaper Article on Wikipedia

I'm writing an article on Wikipedia for my university newspaper.There seems to be a debate on campus regarding whether or not Wikipedia is a valid academic source. I have read many entries on Wikipedia itself regarding this, but I was hoping to get some feedback from regular users. Say for example, someone changes the text in an entry- how long does it typically take for the information to be corrected? I have heard a whole range of times, from four minutes to four days, but can anyone tell me- is there some kind of notifier that alerts authors when their text has been edited? How can one keep track of the pages they contribute to, aside from constantly refreshing the page? Being that there are a great deal of properly cited articles in the bibliography section of most pages, Wikipedia is seeming more and more like a viable source for academic work, but how trustworthy is it?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

  1. Like any tertiary source, Wikipedia should be used with caution.
  2. You should read Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia and various other pieces to which it links.
  3. When you say "Say for example, someone changes the text in an entry…" You seem to be presuming that this is a bad thing. But this is exactly how Wikipedia gets written! Now, if you mean they change it in a specifically vandalistic way?
  4. The half-life of vandalism is probably minutes, possibly hours.
  5. There are all sorts of ways that people track articles. There are watchlists; there are people watching changes in general rather than an article in particular; there are people using RSS feeds to alert them whenever a certain article is touched; there are quite a few other automated and semi-automated tools.
  6. When we encounter an egregiously bad edit from a particular account or IP address, we are likely to look into what else the same account or IP address has done; if it is a pattern, then we block them from editing. This means that to be "successful" on a continuing basis, a vandal either has to be atypically subtle or constantly change IP addresses.
  7. If you are looking to see a typical pattern of vandalism and reversion, try looking up any article prominently connected to the French Revolution. No real idea why, but it's a much-vandalized area (not quite up there with George W. Bush, but also not as many people watching the articles. Looking at the history of a few of those articles would probably be pretty representative.

- Jmabel | Talk 07:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Bush looks like a chimp.

--Kar_the_Everburning 15:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


Why exactly are there idiots in the world who pretend to be gangsterrrr rappers and have horribly made MySpace pages, when in reality, they live in the suburbs?

I believe you answered your own question. ;-) — RJH (talk)
The correct term for idiots who pretend to be gangsters would be wiggers xD. Well to me it would be.

--Kar_the_Everburning 14:21, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Because they have nothing better to do. Thay also may live with their Mom and also may be total failers in life so let them act Getto and tough thats all they got to live for...A7X 900 21:34, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Why exactly do people drop biased, personal attack statements into wikipedia, and then don't sign their comments? --Jayron32 05:37, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

i dunno.--Kar_the_Everburning 15:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The art of welcoming new users

Comparing the message I got as a new user here and in , I think there is a room for improvements here. Just compare Jmfayard 11:35, 13 November 2006 (UTC) : Welcome to Wikipedia!


Hello, Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive P, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. If you are stuck, and looking for help, please come to the Wikipedia Boot Camp, where experienced Wikipedians can answer any queries you have! Or, you can just type {{helpme}} on your user talk page, and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions.

Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Where to ask a question, ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome!  Mike1024 (t/c) 11:58, 5 February 2006 (UTC) : {{subst:Bienvenue | ~~~~ }}

Welcome! ようこそ ¡Bienvenido! Dobrodosli 환영합니다 Willkommen! Добро пожаловать Benvenuti Bem-vindo! 欢迎 Bonvenon Welkom

Bienvenue sur fr:Wikipédia, Village pump (miscellaneous) !

WikiLettreMini.png Wikipédia est un projet de rédaction collective d'une vaste encyclopédie réalisé actuellement dans 250 langues différentes de par le monde. Pour t'aider à tout moment, chaque page du site possède en haut à gauche un lien vers l'aide de Wikipédia.

N'hésite pas à consulter les premières indications pour modifier et rédiger des pages dans Wikipédia avec la syntaxe appropriée. Le bac à sable est tout spécialement destiné à accueillir tes essais.

Crystal Clear app ktip.png
Sur une page de discussion, n'oublie pas de signer tes messages, en tapant ~~~~ . Cependant, nous ne signons pas les articles encyclopédiques.

Je te conseille un petit tour par les principes fondateurs et les recommandations à suivre (règles de neutralité, règles de citation des sources, critères d'admissibilité des articles, conventions de style, etc.) et les pages projets, où il y a sans doute un sujet qui t'intéressera.

Crystal Clear app lphoto.png
Tu es le bienvenu si tu désires insérer une image ou enrichir les articles, mais il est impératif de respecter des règles très strictes sur l'utilisation des images et le respect des droits d'auteurs.
Crystal Clear app amor.png
Si tu le souhaites, tu peux te présenter sur le journal des nouveaux arrivants et indiquer, sur ta page utilisateur, quelles langues tu parles et d'où tu viens, quels sont tes centres d'intérêt...

Enfin, le plus important, je te souhaite de prendre du plaisir à contribuer au projet !
Si tu as d'autres questions, tu peux voir cette page ou bien me contacter.   Jmfayard


  • I agree that there is plenty of room for improvement, but we of the English wikipedia have no jurisdiction over frwiki; you should take it up on their village pump. -- Eugène van der Pijll 12:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
    To be more clear, I think that the template in english could be improved by borrowing some ideas from the template in french (that doesn't mean that you should do a carbon copy of course). I don't speak english well enough to do it. On the other hand, if I wanted to improve fr:Template:Bienvenue, I would of course not come here.
    Jmfayard 14:10, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I rather like {{en:Template:Welcome}}. I looked at the available templates and decided that I liked {{welcome}} best (as opposed to more informal templates, or templates like {{welcomeg}} which is more similar to the French one); I think the French one is a bit intimidating and the English one is more likely to be read by a non-user. It might be interesting to compare the templates; it:User talk:ais523 has the Italian welcome on at the moment (generated automatically by bot, which I also disapprove of), which shows a third style of template. --ais523 15:19, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Welcoming is done by volunteers. Nobody is required to welcome anybody. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:37, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Jmfayard, your message was lost on at least 90% of us. Could you provide a translation please? 04:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

My initial experience would have been a good deal less frustrating if I had encountered a note somewhere pointing out that if I don't put wikipedia: in front of a search term there's a whole world of helpful stuff I'll never find, or be able to find again. Cryptonymius 18:03, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Very, very, very rough translation of French welcome template

(Note: I think Jmfayard was talking more about the general look of the template then the actual words used; but a translation was asked for so here's my (not very good) attempt at translating the words)

Welcome to French Wikipedia (your name here)!

Wikipedia is a project for making a big encyclopedia in 250 different languages from all over the world. To help you right now each page on the site has at the top left a link to the help page.

Don't hesitate to consult the first links for how to edit a page and how to use wiki-syntax. The tutorial is designed especially for you to experiment with.

On a talk page, don't forget to sign your messages by typing ~~~~. However, do not sign encyclopedia articles.

I would advise you to take a look at the founding principals and the rules to follow (rules about NPOV, citing sources, criteria of admission for articles, style conventions, etc.) and the project pages, which you will doubtless find interesting.

You are welcome, if you like, to insert a picture that improves the articles, but it is imperative to respect the very strict rules about using images and respecting copyright.

If you like, you can present yourself at the newcomers page and indicate, on your user page, what languages you speak and where you are from, what your interests are...

And lastly, and most importantly, I invite you to please contribute to the project!

If you have any other questions, you can go to this page to ask them, or contact me.

(And now anyone who speaks French better than I do knows just how bad my French is. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 17:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC))


I've just discovered a brilliant new term that should enter every Wikipedian's vocabulary: encyclopidity [2]! A good article is one of "high encyclopidity". A questionable entry is one of "low encyclopidity" or "questionable encyclopidity". And if someone doubts something is appropriate for Wikipedia, why, they can say "I doubt this article's encyclopidity"! -- Ekjon Lok 02:05, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I've incorporated this new term into my vocabulary with gleeful relish. I also took the first opportunity to use it by following your link. Thanks for helping me become a better wikipedian. :) --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 02:15, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Don't we already have the word "encyclopedicness"? --tjstrf Now on editor review! 01:06, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I tend to think in terms of encyclopediosity, but maybe that's because I'm a big geek :-). --SB_Johnny|talk|books 01:19, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
The word sounds it bit to much like stupidity to me. Sounds more like an insult in a way  YDAM TALK 23:00, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I know I'm a bit late, but shouldn't the word be "encylopedicity?" We talk about an article or tone as "encyclopedic." | Mr. Darcy talk 01:48, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


Please join the discussion at Portal talk:China. --Ideogram 04:03, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is addictive

Do you find Wikipedia addictive? I sure do.

oh yeah. - Kar_the_Everburning(not logged in)

Please don't jest about addictions! To be sure -check yourself out at: Wikipedia:Are You a Wikipediholic Test (Oh, and remember to sign your posts next time).--Aspro 18:47, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


Would it be considered spamming to promote WikiProjects, articles in need of attention, and other internal concepts by advertising them in the sandbox, or would it be considered beneficial? --Gray Porpoise 21:59, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Since this isn't really what the Sandbox is for, it might be considered spamming. You would also need to bear in mind that the Sandbox is quite frequently cleared out, so the message would not be visible for very long. Try the Community Portal instead. Tra (Talk) 22:10, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

GFDL question

Can I copy text from Wikipedia into another wiki site that releases its content as public domain rather than GFDL? What if I put a notice at the bottom that said "This article incorporates material from Wikipedia, and some or all of it is subject to copyleft"? A.J.A. 04:26, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

No. If that wiki releases it's contents as public domain then they won't accept contributions which have more restrictive licenses, such as GFDL. In general a copyright notice should identify the copyright owner - e.g. Wikipedia, as you did, though would be better on another wiki. You should mention the actual license - GFDL rather than copyleft. All this so it is easy for others to find out how to reuse our content. Hope this helps Filceolaire 13:55, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Generally wikis cannot accept content only available under incompatible licenses, unless there's a clause that says something like "except where otherwise specified". Just imagine someone who wants to use an article from your public domain wiki and assumes it's public domain, and so doesn't follow the conditions of the GFDL for Wikipedia-based content. However, in the other direction, public domain content can certainly be added to Wikipedia. Of course, if you wrote the Wikipedia content in question, and no one has edited it since, you can place it under any license you like. Deco 17:20, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Promotion of theft in Wikipedia

I am not sure if this is the proper place for this (please move it to the right place if it is not):

The article Serial Box offers(offered) a link and two images that are directing to a site engaged in theft. In this case, theft of my property.

My company is engaged in producing a shareware product, which means that we sell the registration code for that product. The site referred to by this article is engaged in distributing such registration codes.

Please consider this a fair warning in advance that Wikipedia is actively engaged in promoting and directing to this site. Please also see this as a clarification meant to prevent a claim that you were not aware of this issue. I will not persue legal action if you will quickly move to remedy this but please not that you are now aware of the situation and will have to bear the full consequences of ignoring this. Ori Redler 16:46, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

This is an interesting situation, which after being posted in a public forum, will naturally solicit feedback from the general Wikipedia populous.
Google links to the site in question. In fact, a Google search on the site name produces over 150,000 hits. If the practice of promoting and directing to the site is illegal, why does Google, a for-profit company bearing greater legal exposure than not-for-profit Wikipedia, engage in this practice?
It will be interesting to see how this request for censorship will be weighed against Wikipedia's apparently marginal (if any) legal exposure and its quest to provide information to the public. To satisfy my own curosity I have bookmarked the page in question to follow how the situation develops. 23:40, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
This sort of thing raises interesting questions where I can see both sides of the issue; how far should we go in giving information about illegal activity? Certainly, there are plenty of unlawful things that deserve articles about them, from murder to cocaine, but one wouldn't expect to have a detailed manual on how to commit murder, or contact info for illegal drug dealers. However, it's normal for an article about a company, organization, product, or Web site to have a link to its site where it exists, and we're not generally regarded as liable for the activity there just because we link to it. But on yet another hand, we do generally take down links to infringing things such as copyrighted song lyrics. *Dan T.* 00:05, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
If you think you have some sort of legal claim against Wikipedia, you should contact the Wikimedia foundation. I don't think any editor should remove all or part of the article in question based on a vague legal threat; let's let the powers that be determine if there's a legal reason to alter or delete the article. | Mr. Darcy talk 01:12, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I strongly agree with Mr. Darcy. Ori Redler is an editor here and can add or remove material as he sees fit (with the understanding that other editors can do the same). Posting into a forum and demanding that other editors take steps to avoid *the "L" word* is not the proper way to handle this. Legal concerns need to be addressed to the Foundation, not to us as individual editors. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 01:28, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Ori Redler's "vague threat" was misdirected to the readers of this forum, but by doing so he/she opened a needed public debate. A review of the edit log of the page in question reveals an edit war, over the last several months, by those who continually insert the link and those who delete it. The discussion of the page shows that the deletionist editors are well-intentioned, but I can find no Wikipedia legal guidelines that support the need to delete the link. Is there no mechanism to resolve censorship edit wars based on unsubstantiated legal concerns? If not, why not? 02:17, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Requests for Comment is the mechanism you seek. | Mr. Darcy talk 02:50, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, but ideally the RfC mechanism should only be used to resolve a policy issue for which a consensus has not already been reached. I would think that this censorship issue has already been resolved. Yet, it seems as though many issues have to be debated again, again, and again. Would anyone, with at least a few years experience as a Wikipedia editor, tell me if this is a fair assessment? 11:33, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

I would like to make several comments here:

  1. I have addressed Mr. Patrick regarding this issue and await his response.
  2. There is no question of ligitimacy of a link to the site, because the link is irrelevant to the article's subject matter. The site is linked only because it carries the software, not because it created it.
  3. The issue the people adding the link wish to solve is how to get the software quickly. This is why they've added (in the past) a quick google search for it, and so on. This is not related to getting information about the software, otherwise, Wikipedia would also include a link to download a "cracked" version of Photoshop as an external link to Adobe Photoshop.
  4. The learned arguments here are based on the assumption that I am, so to say, a "small fry" and will not bother\be able to persue the matter, so we can all go on and bask in the sun while discussing whether it shines. This may be a sensible assumption. The assumption that this will always be the situation and that no one will persue the matter because Wikipedia is "not-for-profit" and we all want what is good is, well, daft. Ori Redler 22:43, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

You've created a legal issue where none exists. You removed the link; it stayed gone. I agree that it was not proper, and in general (and in total I think) we don't link to illegal material. So ... there's no foul here. If someone had put it BACK, you would have a complaint, but basically you yourself removed the only reason for any legal complaint. Thank you for that, but this continued legal discussion is thus no longer necessary. --Golbez 22:55, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Golbez, by your response, Ori does have reason to complain because 1) only one of the three links has been removed and 2) based on the prior history of this edit war, it seems to reason that it is only a matter of time before someone reinserts the primary link.
I think the three recent reinsertions of the link finally "broke the camel's back" and Ori vented here (s/he has been deleting the links for some time now). Ori has got to be wondering, 'When is enough enough?'
Ori, Here is a suggestion for you: Instead of threatening legal action, offer to create a bot designed to find and delete links to sites, which the consensus finds objectionable. There must be many other edit wars over objectionable links. If you offer to help the community to combat, what many see as vandalism, I am sure that Wikipedians would be much more receptive. (Such a bot probably already exists - you just need to get that site name on its "kill list.") 03:49, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I did not know there had been a war over it, I did not see one in the recent edits; now I look, and if it had been a snake, it'd've bit me. --Golbez 06:02, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I believe that Ori Redler should be blocked for making legal threats. BenBurch 22:35, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Please Block User:Murdoc666

Please block him! He was a friend that came over to my house (I will not say who he is for personal reason's) and he thought it would be funny to start messing up pages! I found him doing this and told him that people could track this stupid stuff to MY computer and made him get off. Then he told me he thought it would be funny, but I told him it was stupid and to stop. He left not to long ago and he told me he won't and never planned to be a Wikipedia editer. So please block him.A7X 900 17:02, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Blocked 1 month. DurovaCharge! 23:00, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

You have only blocked him for only '1' month! Dude, I'm A7X 900's brother and trust me, Murdoc666 is real bad news! Murdoc666 is a nice and funny guy, but he will come back to ruin some pages. Just erase his profile completely!ZeroThomas 17:05, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Murdoc666 is a petty little troll. He ponces about and changs things to suit his strange and morbid outlook. I suggest total annihilation before this disease spreads and corrupts Wikipedia.--R.A Huston 08:23, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Hey R.A Huston, I really like your User page.A7X 900 17:15, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

60S recording artist Judy Collins

Can someone tell me the words 2 the song, Albatross , released in late 60s. i believe some of it goes like, Lady comes to the gate dressed in lavendar (sp?) and leather looking north to the sea, she finds the weather fine. hears the steeple bells--ringing thru the orchird -- all the way from town ...... or something like that...... ...young men bringing violets are curious to know it you have cried and ask you why and tell you why and hear the way you answer...

anyway ,the above is all jumbled up so if you kno the acurate ( 1 c or 2? ) accurate lyrics, please send them along 2 me * ) , ;>) anyway, i dont kno how 2 make those little face things

so, thanks huh? and mahalo nuiloa

Block quote

dont kno who wrote the song, just kno judy collins recorded it in the late 60s

    * )
Google for yourself: +albatross +lyrics +"judy collins" gives this page as the third hit, which brings you immediately to that page with the complete lyrics. Lupo 12:09, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


This has been bugging me - in the speedy deletion templates, why does "db" stand for? Why is it not "sd"? —Swpb talk contribs 04:35, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

"db" is "delete because". -- Rick Block (talk) 04:49, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
ah, that makes sense! —Swpb talk contribs 04:54, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Vandal Spotted

Most of these contribs are juvenile. 00:12, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

University students seek Wikipedia contributors for usage survey

I'm part of a team in a management & organizational analysis at the Stern School of Business at New York University. We selected Wikipedia as the subject of our final analysis, and are specifically interested in what drives people to participate in Wikipedia. To this end we've compiled an anonymous, 5-minute survey that we hoped the Wikipedia community would take part in, everyone from casual readers to editors to members of the Board.

It's available online at

Please be as detailed as possible. Your participation is much appreciated!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamiew (talkcontribs)
One might perhaps be able to make inferences about the degree of cluefulness of the survey's designers from the fact that they link back to Wikipedia using the address, not the more correct (it's run by a noncommercial organization). *Dan T.* 00:41, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Not to mention the facts that a) the contribution here was not signed and b) the student(s) did not bother to create a userpage, which they could use to manage the communications around this matter to some degree. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 02:54, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

US Authorities on Wikipedia?

I posed the following question which began a thread on the help desk and someone suggested the village pump would be more appropriate venue for this discussion. So if there are any further thoughts or views on this, I'd appreciate hearing them. I've purposely avoided naming specific editors/administrators in this because it's more concern based on a pattern of practice. This sinking sense I got by starting with the linked article through to its talk page and then uncovering repeated administrative maneuvering and contemptuous and intimidating encounters with other editors and administrators it made me want to stay clear of this article. However, I was worried about the reputation of Wikipedia in general. -- 01:03, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi, you're a sockpuppet. This whole thread is a troll. I almost read the whole thing before I figured it out. Man, that's a hour I won't get back.... Say, when sockpuppets get so bad as to ultimately be blocked indefinitely, can their contributions be deleted, or something along those lines? Xaxafrad 04:24, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering whether the US government is granted special permission to as editors and administrators on Wikipedia? I ask that because many of the articles associated with the September 11th attacks read like press releases from the Whitehouse instead of encyclopedia articles. Also reading through endless discussion pages reveals they look more like usenet newsgroup discussions than discussions about writing wikipedia articles. A core group of administrators and editors pretends to be ignorant of Wikipedia polices and uses they're administrative powers to be disruptive, and intimidate other editors and administrators. They seem to be immune from any disciplinary policies.

I thought about jumping into these discussion, but I do not want to get in any trouble with the authorities. From looking at the history any dispute reolution measures look futile. If these articles are only intended for US authorities to edit, why doesn't wikipedia simply place a notification on those articles to indicate such special treatment. I think we're losing good editors and admins who just don't know these articles are off limits. -- 22:38, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that a better place to discuss this would be the Admin's Noticeboard, the village pump, or even the mailing list. -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk·Review Me!) 22:42, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
No, no special rights are given to the US authorities. The reason many articles tend to agree with the official line on things is that, well, the official line on things often tends to agree with reality... Shimgray | talk | 22:45, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
No, they are not given those. It would compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia, and its Neutral-Point-of-View Policy. If you think an article too strongly leans toward one direction, you can change the article (explain why in the edit summary), but better yet, bring it up on the talk page, and cite specific examples. -Patstuart(talk)(contribs) 22:52, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Shimgray, you raise a good point. However, I didn't realize Wikipedia had an official line that tends to match reality. These are the sme type of bizzarre arguments I see these privileged aditors and administrators make.
Royalguarfd11 I will try to take this to the village pump. Thanks for the suggestion. -- 23:05, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't have any kind of an "official line" on topics - what I mean by this is that when our articles tend to agree with what the White House says, or what Number 10 says, this is because what those people are saying happens to be vaguely right, not because we're letting them control the articles. Much to my astonishment, it does sometimes happen that government spokespeople make statements that describe the real world... Shimgray | talk | 23:23, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
That's true of every press release every issued. They always "make statements that describe the real world" Unfiltered press releases have no place on Wikipedia IMHO. -- 23:53, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
...I think you and I are completely talking at cross purposes here. Perhaps I ought to go back to the beginning -
Wikipedia does not give editorial control to government agencies.
Wikipedia does not give special rights to representatives of government agencies.
Wikipedia does not take its editorial line from government agencies.
Wikipedia does not place articles "off limits" on behalf of government agencies
Hope that clarifies things. Shimgray | talk | 00:04, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I'll butt in with a hypothetical question of my own here. What if a really high ranking official, say the President, demanded adminship on Wikipedia. Are you obligated to give it to him? DoomsDay349 00:39, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

...why on earth would we be obligated to give it to him? that's a bizzare concept. Shimgray | talk | 00:42, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Shimgray, I don't know how you or any editor could be so confident of what you're saying. I mean as a fairly new editor to Wikipedia I would say I would think Wikipedia doesn't grant special permission. However,

  • when you look at the articles I'm talking about;
  • when you follow through with the editors and administrators who maintain them; when you see the mockery they make of other editors other administrators and Wikipedia policies;
  • when you see the selected topics of the articles they preside over;
  • when you see the contempt they hold for every other editor they encounter (remember these are mostly administrators); and
  • when you see how it seems to be a coordinated effort on 24-hour watch,

it really makes you wonder. I know I said I'd take this to the village pump and I will do that now and stop posting here. -- 01:03, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

end of Held Desk Thread

Given the articles that you're discussing,September 11th attacks, I suspect the answer is relatively straightforward...completely unrelated to any government activity at all, those articles are heavily edited by U.S. citizens. Americans may be a bit schizophrenic on some topics, but we can largely agree that blowing up our skyscrapers is not something we take kindly to. Any bias in the articles almost certainly relates to this, rather than a semi-conspiratorial government intervention. Doc Tropics 01:13, 27 November 2006 (UTC) PS - the cabal made me say that!

I work closely with the Foundation. I answer their email, and correspond with all sorts of people on their behalf. I follow most parts of the project's overall operational activity. I know what's going on as well as I can without being actually paid to work here. This isn't my assumption, this isn't my belief, it's a factual statement - there are not any articles "only intended for US authorities to edit", nor do we grant those authorities "special permission" in any way. It's not done from the bottom-up by the community, and it isn't done from the top-down by the Foundation
In your specific case, these articles attract strong-willed editors - some of whom are admins, some of whom are not - and attract a vast amount of "drive-by" criticism; they represent a carefully developed and fragile consensus on what constitutes a neutral and balanced article. It is inevitable that these articles are watched heavily and that attempts to make major alterations are usually reverted on sight in favour of long meandering debates on the talk page - and that they will attract... how can I best phrase this? ...attract those of our editors who are least capable of playing well with others. Unfortunate, but there you go. It doesn't help that most attempts to alter these pages want heavy and sweeping changes, generally aiming for a completely different tone and conclusion, not something likely to get productive results.
These "selected topics" aren't selected for heavy watching because they're politically sensitive; being politically sensitive means they get high traffic and thus the heavy watching develops, rather than being externally imposed.
As to "making a mockery of policies", well, it's often claimed but rarely substantiated. If you have detailed and clear examples of a coterie of users forcing a particular point of view on an article against community consensus, we'd love to hear it so we can do something, but accusations of heavy-handed cabalism are ten a penny. Shimgray | talk | 01:30, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Also note that conspiracy theories aren't looked upon too highly in Wikipedia, which is the other situation that the IP may be speaking of other than simple pro-American systematic bias. --tjstrf talk 01:39, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
[[User:Shimgray|Shimgray], again I find your confidence on this matter quite disturbing. The example of the September 11 2001 attacks article is a glaring example. That article says precisely what a small group of admins want it to say. Reading through the discussion (including 17 pages of archives), no one has been able to add any balance to the article. It really does read like a press release for the Bush Whitehouse. The admins deciding what this article can say repeatedly take disciplinary measure against anyone they can, while playing fast an loose with any policies open to interpretation. Other unsuspecting administrators have found themselves disciplined just for trying to step in and provide balance.
I've been participating here long enough to know disputes are common on Wikipedia. But nowhere else on Wikipedia have I encountered such a vitriolic group of administrators attacking other administrators (and even newly registered editors) and with seeming immunity. And I am not speaking of conspiracy theories which I too disdain. I concerned about what's going on here that I worry could be like a cancer that's discouraging and chasing away good administrators and editors just to protect this one group (the Bush Whitehouse) This is about one particular entity in America. It's not particularly a pro-american bias. That's a bit like saying that anything pro General Motors is pro-American (or the opposite). -- 01:50, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah - so that's why Karl Rove was too distracted to pay attention to the mid-term elections!

Considering that the offices of Congress got collectively blocked for vandalism less than a year ago, I regard it as highly unlikely that any special privilege has been granted with regard to this article. If any credible evidence exists of this thread's alleged exception to site policy, and if an editor who has such evidence fears reprisal, e-mail me off site and I will look into the matter. As a matter of full disclosure I cannot call myself neutral on this issue: I never edit that family of articles because my nearest relative survived the World Trade Center disaster on 9/11 from a high floor and I joined the armed forces and went to war as a result. However, I am now a private citizen and am not beholden to anyone. As one of roughly 5% of administrators who list themselves at Category:Administrators open to recall I welcome scrutiny for fairness from other Wikipedians. My e-mail address is available through my user talk page. DurovaCharge! 02:09, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Just to clarify: wouldn't it be better an editor anonymously posted the evidence to your talk page to avoid reprisals? Emailing someone would remove the anonymity. Or are you suggesting those seeking reprisals would be able to get around the anonymous posting? I'm just trying to understand this stuff. -- 02:20, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I treat e-mail as confidential (unless of course someone were to admit to child pornography or something like that). Editors are welcome to set up an anonymous e-mail account to contact me or to post to my talk page through a proxy server - it's unclear to me what type of reprisal this editor fears but I'll accommodate anything reasonable. DurovaCharge! 02:29, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. You had brought up fear of repraisals, but I didn't want someone who might be afraid of repraislas to midunderstand the technical issues involved. Obvoiusly we're only talking about Wikipedia here, its not like they're going to face a grand jury or something like that. -- 02:42, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

If the NSA had that much control over Wikipedia, the first thing they'd do would be to stop people from harassing a certain admin who works for them. And Jimbo has too much of a beard to be working for the government. yandman 13:39, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
NSA!? Jimbo!? You're aiming way too high here. A friend of mine who works near the program says it's just a bunch of grunts like him with no career potential. They shunt these pawns off to this program just to give them something to do. They're only roll is to be as ddisruptive as they can be and make sure Wikipedia says what it's supposed to say. We're not talking Ethan Hunt types heree. These guys couldn't find entrigue in a brothel. 19:22, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm still waiting for the e-mail with the eye-popping evidence. Come on, brighten up my day here...otherwise it's back to WP:RFI where I get to play Sherlock Holmes over linkspam and Spanish street slang. I'd much rather blow an NSA operative's cover story. ;) DurovaCharge! 22:20, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't believe that Wikipedia gives any undo authority to government officials, but when I read stories that say the military is tightening rules on military bloggers and then I read the Pentagon creates a rapid response team, and then I look at the discussion pages mentioned here, I start to wonder if US authorities are on Wikipedia. In fact, I'm sure they are, and that isn't really bad. What would be bad is if people, in the government or not, are paid to guard or edit articles.—Slipgrid 22:24, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Here's even a better article. It says, "the Pentagon's latest recruits are not soldiers, spies or scientists but spin doctors, bloggers and YouTube DIY filmmakers as it prepares to launch a vigorous new media campaign in support of its ongoing military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan." Now, stopping the troops from blogging is one thing; recruiting people to covertly blog or create YouTube films is another thing. And, if they are doing this, it isn't a far stretch to think they are recruiting, and perhaps paying, people to edit Wikipedia. And, if this is happening, that's a problem. And, if it's happening, then it's would be on the mentioned articles that this would happen. Wacky? I hope! But, when I look at the archived talk pages on the mentioned articles, it seems that some admins are not acting in good faith. I've had some users, who may or may not be admins, tell me that homeland security is monitoring the pages, and I'd end up in Gitmo for suggesting some changes. And, I think if I've ever said anything outlandish, it's only after dealing with admins that are not acting in good faith.—Slipgrid 22:52, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Show me the diffs. Vague speculation and allegations mean nothing. Evidence counts. And it's very easy to tell who's a sysop: just compare the username to Wikipedia:List of administrators. DurovaCharge! 23:31, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
If there really are secret plants among us trained to write high-quality Wikipedia articles, get along with people, and conform to Wikipedia policy, I think we should be thanking the US Government and asking them to send more over. --tjstrf talk 23:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I guess you didn't look at the article's in question. They're history and talk pages do not show high-quality Wikipedia writters conforming to Wikipedia policies and getting along with others. Just a cursory glance of these articles would show quite the opposite. And it's not easily apparant how many of these disruptive editors are administrators, but if you follow through on that it turns out ther's a lot of them. Yet most of the time they act like: <prancing around like a sissy> "Wikipedia policies... Oh dear I didn't know Wikipedia had policies. </prancing around like a sissy > Basically these administrators act like they never read the policies before.. I've senn them knowingly and defiantly add liebe3lous material to biographies of living persons. They just don't give a shit because sites like Wikipedia are a threat to national security in their way of thinking.. --Cplot 02:03, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Wow! the article that Slipgrid points to is very disconcerting. I can just imagine the profile of someone they might recruit for that. Some patsy who thought the answer to these attacks was to join the military to fight for Haliburton in Afghanistan. Clearly such a person wouldn't have the skills to think through serious intelligence matters,, but they'd be perfect for an assignment like this. Wikipedia should really take steps to prevent this sort of attack. Its integrity cannot withstand an attack like this..--Cplot 00:20, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

22 hours after my call for evidence I still haven't received one darn thing. DurovaCharge! 01:22, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
All I can say is i'm devestarted. this is not supposed to happen :=( -- 01:22, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
The evidence is right above in the posts above. Are you just plugging your ears and saying "I'm not listening" -- 03:38, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Didn't Durova ask for diffs? No diffs have been offered up to this point in this discussion. Evidence may have been cited, but what you call evidence isn't a diff. Besides, I'd venture to say that diffs are Wikipedia's Evidence (law), as opposed to the previously cited history pages (see evidence). Xaxafrad 04:24, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I would add to this discussion that I had been wondering how such behavior could continue unchecked for so long. This would be a good explanation. I've been trying to think of others but so far I draw a blank. I know some may say that's just how a decentered, democratic site works, but that wouldn't explain how so many disruptive editors could also rise to administrator positions. Any other thoughts about explanations? --Cplot 02:09, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

After having read oodles of postings to innumerable web forums, over the years, I'm only surprised when people take a rational, moderate, open-minded approach to any discussion on any subject. And some years ago Forbes (I think) published an article about corporate America paying folks to create and maintain stoogeblogs to battle criticisms from indie blogs, and since the government lately seems to be mostly about spin, rather than action, in the real world, as opposed to the fake world of television, I'm hardly surprised to hear suspicions raised about government employees sneaking in and editing things...especially since perception is reality. Cryptonymius 04:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Here's an example, just posted to Craigslist. $5 a post. Good money.

Do you own a few Blogs?

If you do, we pay $5 per post for you to write about our clients if your blogs qualify. You must be reliable and must do your assignments on time. Please send us your blog urls along with a contact number and we'll call you if your blog qualifies.

Wonder how long after you take that job, before they ask you to start editing the wiki.—Slipgrid 04:06, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm just reading through this stuff starting from September_11,_2001_attacks and just following through from one link to the next. Read the talk pages of these editors. Read the administrative actions they've taken. There's so much questionable behavior it's stunning. Right now there's a group of them going after User:Seabhcan. These repeated frivilous administrative actions typically involve the same group of editors/admins and just seems to be playing the system without regard driving away decent editors or fueling animosity. No good will or assumptions of good faith whatsoever. Even if they aren't paid professionals they're certainly overtaxing the administrative processes of the wiki. When you see how they engage editors before taking administrative it's stern and not quite civil, but almost. But from the pattern, as anon mentioned, you can see how they just seemt to be trying to evoke a personal attacks or violations of the 3rr from those they disagree with. Once they have these personal attacks and 3rr violations in hand they begin more frivilous disciplinary pursuits. It definitely looks like a full-time gig for these folks considering hos much time they devote to the wiki. It's astonishing. At first I thought they just didn't no how to compromise on the talk pages, but when you keep following through and it looks really bad. This is not good. It's hard to tell how many articles have been tainted by this. And sorting through all this evidence would take a full-time staff. -- 04:25, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Why don't you create an account? It's hard to follow your points with difference anonymous IP's. --Tbeatty 04:38, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Yah...seriously...if there are paid webspammers, it would be the conspiracy theorists trying to misuse Wikipedia to promote pet theories about the events of 9/11. They have more incentive for profit by being able to get their word out here and surely Wiki isn't considered a threat by the U.S. Government as a whole...all higher level governement officials are far more worried about whistle blowers and the press and than the "offical government" facts related to 9/11 being severely tested by misrepresentations in a Wikipedia article. Besides, the little pet theories do have an article here...9/11 conspiracy theories...and their ripoff books and other spam advertising are listed at the bottom of that article. Buyer beware.--MONGO 05:17, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Um, looking at the archives, I think you, MONGO, are one of the people they are talking about. You are the first to post on this topic to point the finger the other way. Your post above reflects your post on the talk pages in question. You admit their is a large number of people with a different point of view, but you allow the pages to call people who question the official White House version of events anti-semitic, which isn't the case. You claim to know what "higher level governement officals (sic)" are thinking. You are so certain that people with evidence to the contrary, that is document in the main stream press, are "webspammers" working for profit, that you respond to their good faith request for simple and basic edits to move the articles to a NPOV with nothing more than a "No Thanks." You may be some of the problem.— 07:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Mongo, you make a good point. This would be a problem no matter who was doing it. However, the evidence points to people pushing a very pro Whitehouse position. And certainly high government officials have much more pressing matters to attend to. However, as someone said above,. these are not high government officials, but some sort of hardly tie their own shoes types of grunts involved. The US military budget is something like $1 trillion dollars (best spoiken with Dr. Evil's voice). Somewhere I read recently, this budget was greater than all other military budgets worldwide cobined. Surely that hires a lot of thugs at minimum wage. Take a look at the articles Slipgrid posted. They're quite telling.. --Cplot 05:55, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Simply not likely...there have been times that we are well aware of that staffers have edited articles about U.S. Representatives and Senators, but the "need" for a disinformation campaign regarding the events of 9/11 seems really just more of the type of thing a conspiracy theorist would be prone to believe. The feds don't give a hoot about Wikipedia as a whole, though individual persons may sometimes be very worried about misrepresentations in their biographies. In all seriousness, there is little profit margin for the feds to hire people to defend the improperly labelled "government story" on wikipedia, whereby, with books to sell and conferences to charges tickets to, the 9/11 Truth Movement and related entities do have a potential profit realization that may be enhanced by being seen as "mainstream" as far as the worlds largest web based encyclopedia is concerned.--MONGO 08:42, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Simply not likely, but support by evidence in the mainstream press, as well as evidence on the discussion pages, as well as your actions. Where's the evidence to support your conspiracy theory?← 10:54, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Cplot says, "the US military budget is something like $1 trillion dollars (best spoiken with Dr. Evil's voice)." But on September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld said that "according to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." I don't believe that should go in the article, but a section of foreknowledge should be part of the article. Users have asked for that for many months.— 07:42, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Mongo, you're really not helping make your case. This idea that the hundreds of billions of dollars Haliburton and other defense contracts have made off the war on terror is "nothing compared to what these conspiracy theroists make selling their books and DVDs" is a talking point used on Fox News. Fox News reporters have revealed off camera that these talking-points come from the Whitehouse. I've seen you use this same talking-point numerous times. It's thoroughly lauphable. Aren't you a little embarrased to make such claims? BTW, I think we should try to avoid rehashing discussion of the article here at the village pump. --Cplot 09:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Also Mongo, throughout the debates you have defined "conspiracy theory" as anything that disagrees with the Bush administration. That's quite telling in my view. --Cplot 18:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Please provide some specific edits that you think were made by US authorities...either article edits or talk page edits. If you can't do that then this is all a waste of time. The path of the righteous is followed by those that talk about edits and not editors. Raising suspicions of this kind and not providing any evidence is the taking bad faith to it's extreme. Rx StrangeLove 21:22, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
The evidence has been pointed to, again and agin in this post. Talk about bad faith. You don't even bother to looki n to it. It's just not worth your truble I guess. -- 01:08, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I now see, they're vageuly admiting to it and just saying "so what. as long as we follow the rules" which is specifically what's at issue. They're using the rules to bully other editors and admins with ridiculous and repeated disciplinary actions. I thought it was considered cowardly around here to turn to disciplinary action everytime someone says the slightes disagreeable statement. So it's not even conjecture at this point. There's a group of admins who blieve it would be OK if paid US authorities were disrupting articles, intimidating editors and other administrators and basically lower the standards of Wikipedia in general. Now they're welcome to their opinions, but I think maybe this is a discussion that should be made much more explicit. What policies should exist around government authorities (from any government), pushing a specific agenda onto Wikipedia in a very disruptive way? -- 01:08, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
No one's pointed to a single edit to any article/talk page in this section, until someone shows some some specific edits that are done by suspected US authorities there's nothing here. And just to repeat something, anyone is allowed to edit here as long as they stay within policy. In the meantime point out something specific or stop making these accusations. Rx StrangeLove 02:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Omegatron is right: ROBOTS ARE CLEARLY SUPERIOR!!! Cryptonymius 06:26, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

You want evidence take a look at the history of the village pump. You'll find these messages deleted across every category of the village pump. Check the log, of the IP reporting the Feds inappropriate inovlement and you find it is now blocked. This one will likely be blocked now too. And all that IP did was post to the village pump something that should concern every legitiimate member of the Wikipedia community. There's clear evidence that something is going on here. Sure this evidence either shows inapprorpriate involvement of Federal Authoritieis or it could just be a prank by some editors and administrators trying to fuel "conspiracy theories": so they make it look like that by deleting "controversial" claims. If so then I'm likely in on it too. However, I have knowledge that it's the former (inappropriate Federal involvement)), but even if it's only a prank, it's inappropriate behavior. Something should be done about it. -- 21:28, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Some targetted editors brought up User:Seabhcan as one of the targets of these admins. Tom Harrison also pointed me to User:Zen-master as another casualty of these friviolous disciplinary measures. Maybe Village Pump isn't the place for this, but perhaps we could set aside another page to compile the issues together. That way If anyone knew how to reach these lost editors, they could be encouraged to reeturn and appeal or simply return if they were just frustrated away. Obviously it takes a carfeul reexamination of each disciplinary case to see if it fits in this pattern. I don't pretend to know about these cases in extreme detail. But from a first look at them they seem to fit the pattern..

As somewhat of a novice here I had been reading blog rants against Wikipedia complaining it doesn't stand up to its mission and my first thought was: you just don't understand how it works. After reading through this stuff , though I'm thinking: maybe this seemingly crazed blog ratner was one of those editors targetted --Cplot 06:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC).

I guess CPlot should be added to this list of targeted editors. He now faces an indefinite block without any clear allegations. I should also note that he was one of the only ones who did not post to this thread anonymously: aside from Federal agents (Clowns) pathetically trying to redirect the discussion. They're tactics are so transparrent. Is this some kind of junior high recruitment? program? -- 21:09, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

This is why you can't win against conspiracy theorists: If you oppose them, you're part of the conspiracy. If you don't oppose them, you become part of the "silent majority" that they claim to represent. If you prove them wrong, they just make more junk up to explain away your objections and claim you're repressing The Truth(tm)! CPlot is being blocked for disruptive behaviour and paranoid accusations towards other editors. --tjstrf talk 21:22, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

"If you prove them wrong"

I'm still waiting for that part. That's a big if.—Slipgrid 04:30, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Politics userboxes

Could someone create a politics userboxes set, such as "This person is a {insert party here}" and like "This person supports/doesn't support our troops", etc? --WTRiker 02:40, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

No, please don't. Many of those already exist in userspace, but they are discouraged and we're trying to get rid of them gradually. Especially the anti-x ones. --tjstrf talk 02:42, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Historic debates#Wikipedia:Userboxes for a bit of background on why this is red flag. - BanyanTree 15:27, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

One downside to that type of userbox is how they tend to get exploited if an edit dispute occurs. I don't have any userboxes, but now and then some editor interpolates my username into some sort of pro-Russian bias. Considering that I speak no Russian, don't have a Russian family heritage, rarely edit Russian topics, and am a United States veteran who grew up during the Cold War my upbringing probably attempted to impress the opposite bias...but that doesn't stop intrepid editors from attempting the accusation. DurovaCharge! 04:07, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Making it easier to IM Wikipedians to ask questions

Hi all, I was bold and I added an "Instant messaging" section to Wikipedia:Contact us/Contact a user. This is a presumably high-traffic page: users can get to it just by clicking "Contact Wikipedia" on the left side of any Wikipedia page and then "Contact a Wikipedia user".

Do you think the change was OK? Cheers, --unforgettableid | how's my driving? 00:32, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Looks like a reasonable addition; I hadn't been aware that folks were sharing their IM addresses as an alternative contact. However, I think that not including an email address here and rather using the 'email this user' functionality followed by one-on-one sharing of IM contact information would be the path to minimizing the risk of exploiting the availability of the contact information. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 15:19, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

"Un-editable" vandalism

I have noted in a couple of articles recently that there is occasionally some obvious bit of vandalism - an added expletive usually - that does not show up when I try to remove it by editing the page. The most recent example is the word "BITCH" added to the end of the Early Life section of the entry for Oskar Schindler. Is there a trick to getting rid of such vandalism? 05:34, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Usually it just means someone beat you to it. In some cases, though, it can mean someone vandalized a template that's included on the page, and that can be tricky. --tjstrf talk 05:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

How is this?

How is this picture? I recently uploaded it and I would like some feedback on it. Thank you. Ilikefood 23:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Pudding With Raspberries and Whipped Cream.jpg

Look's GOOD! Who made it and what do you want to do with that good looking picture?A7X 900 23:25, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I made it and I already put it at Pudding. Ilikefood 23:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Can I eat it? Please? Or did you already eat it after taking the picture? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 17:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

No co-founder?

What do the editors here make of this? Is Sanger a co-founder or not? — 15:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

He says he is, Jimbo says he isn't, so we follow WP:NPOV and say we don't know until the box is opened. yandman 15:48, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
We're discussing this on Talk:Citizendium, if you're interested. --ElaragirlTalk|Count 15:50, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Jesus Seminar

I write on CARM.ORG - CHRISTIAN DISCUSSION FORUMS and I am one of the members at the forum, during one of the discussion I mentioned of and their article on: The empty tomb is a fiction -- Jesus did not raise bodily from the dead, and some other topics. Some of the members commented that "Wikipedia is a most unreliable source", and that any body could edit their entries. Jesus Seminar is not a scholarly Christian group. One member is ready to have focused discussion on the above article "The empty tomb is a fiction” and that if I wish I could quote excerpts from their article and they are ready to refute such articles. I require your permission to quote excerpts from the articles of Jesus Seminar. If possible and someone from Jesus Seminar could help uphold their stance on their behalf, I would be thankful to you. It is intended only as a religious discussion, and no commercial benefit is intended. Thanks

You can quote from any wikipedia article that you wish without request. In fact, you can even directly copy the entire text, as long as you attribute it to wikipedia. As for the seminar, they are most certainly a scholarly group, as I'm famililar with them. However, they are an extraordinarily liberal scholarly group, and are considered poster boys for bad liberal scholarship by modern Evangelicals (a characterization I happen to agree with in this situation). But, as for Wikipedia's reliability, studies have found it to be just as reliable, in many instances, as any print encyclopedias (like Brittanica); and for a subject like Jesus Seminar, I would be willing to bet it's pretty accurate. If you have doubts, however, you can check the given sources. -Patstuarttalk|edits 11:41, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
First, as User:Patstuart said, feel free to quote the Wikipedia article. Just give credit. Second, at the top of every page is a link to Wikipedia:General_disclaimer. Although much information in Wikipedia is accurate, it has no formal peer review. I personally only use Wikipedia as a first, very rough guide to a topic -- and if I'm interested, I look elsewhere for more information. Chip Unicorn 23:09, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Relatively new around here and offering a thought.. Hope this is an appropriate area to post it.

Just reverted some vandalism and followed the users other vandalisms. It seems that double vandalisms, especially section deletions, often results in a half correct revert that only goes back one edit, leaving the first vandalism uncorrected. I had to go back to October to retrieve entire sections for articles that were deleted and never recovered. For this kind of thing, should there not be a failsafe? I understand that individuals watching for vandalism are probably kept busy and not able to check articles thoroughly, but it stands to reason that if somebody edits something twice in a matter of seconds or minutes and one edit is a vandalism, that both edits are vandalisms.. and it should not be so easy to "sneak" such things through. It is rather discouraging to find other users hard work disappear unnoticed so effortlessly.

I guess there is no question to be answered, but something to be aware of.. WarBaCoN 08:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Many anti-vandalism robots (bots) are not perfect in their reversion activity. Manual vandalism reversion will often (usually) take into account complex vandalism patterns, but manual anti-vandalism activities are intrinsically much slower than robotic ones and things do 'sneak' through regardless. There are ongoing discussions around instituting a 'stable page' feature (see the section here on 'Stable versions: what's the current situation?' and Wikipedia:Why stable versions) that would provide, among other things, a common stable version that could be returned to to help avoid exactly what you are observing. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:33, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your attention and details.. it's good to know that some efforts are underway.. a stable version would be helpful.. My further input would be, is that it's unfortunate that there is no quick, standard way to identify if an edit (or group of edits) has been negated.. it would be nice while reviewing a large history to really identify what to focus attention on.. It could be a breeze to review histories for missed vandalism if, for instance, reverted edits (or blocks of reverted edits) were colour-coded in red, for instance, which seems plausible.. add in a bit of information about the size (+/-) of any content that was altered, along with the regular edit information (especially in the case of large deletions), and looking for old, and most importantly, missed injuries to articles would be painless. It would satisfy all the "bits in between" the stable versions, particularly older histories.. anything to make the tedious job of repairs easier.. as I look deeper, this seems to be fairly common on less watched, but perfectly valid, articles.. and is rather a pain to identify and repair! Thanks for reading. WarBaCoN 04:02, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

want to report vandalism

I was searching for info about Alphabet and sadly I found unappropriate pcs...please do something about it...I am not sure how I could do it myself...thank you

frequent user..SK

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

There is a section of Wikipedia:Vandalism that describes in basic terms what to do when you find vandalism; this page also has descriptions of what is considered vandalism on Wikipedia. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:26, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Stable versions: what's the current situation?


A while ago, I came across the discussions came up regarding stable versions. Though I never participated in the discussions, I was a supporter of the idea (specifically the idea that the stable versions should be the ones displayed by default, as proposed by User:TidyCat). Someone created a nice graph showing the variation in article quality over time, shown right, and I thought that stable versions would be a great way of ensuring that featured articles remain at least at the standard they were when first featured. But I never really kept up with the discussions, although I did notice a while ago that there were processes in place for proposing which versions of an article should be the reference one, but it all seemed somewhat disorganised.

I was surprised to discover when I recently visited Wikipedia:Stable versions that the whole thing seems to be inactive. So could someone bring me up to speed on what's going on with the idea? I heard that something similar has been implemented at the German Wikipedia; could someone decribe what system they use, and how it compares to those old proposals I've linked to above? --Nick RTalk 13:43, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and I've never posted at the Village Pump before, so apolgies if this is the wrong section. :) --Nick RTalk 13:51, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

There was a brief mention at this week's issue of the the Signpost. You'd probably have to search through the wikien-l mailing list archive to find more details. - BanyanTree 19:22, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Jimbo Wales made a post about stable versions on Dec 2 on wiki-en and he wrote that Brion (technical guy) is still working on it. It might take some time because I imagine Brion has many other things to do too. S Sepp 09:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I hope something good is implemented; I reckon it would go a long way towards responding to some of the criticisms about Wikipedia's reliability. --Nick RTalk 18:06, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Request for someone to check sources on James Allason

I'm hoping that an uninvolved someone can look into this issue. I've had a disagreement with User:Balliol over the biography of intelligence historian Rupert Allason (aka Nigel West). I noticed that he'd also edited the biography of Rupert Allason's father, James Allason, in October, and that he'd referred to a forthcoming publication (due this month) of the memoirs of Allason senior[3]. The publishers are said to be Blackthorn Press of London. Googling, I could only find reference to a Blackthorn Press of Pickering, who, when telephoned, told me that that they are not the publishers.

I think the references need to be checked for soundness (we can't cite unpublished work, for example) and would appreciate someone who could have a look into this. I don't want to dig in myself, as it would likely inflame bad feelings. — Matt Crypto 14:43, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a biography of a living person so I've deleted the disputed material. DurovaCharge! 20:51, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Just for the heck of it, try asking for mediation if this happens again. ~user:orngjce223how am I typing? 22:24, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

"The munchies

I wrote an article on "the munchies" on one of the effects of marijuana that I thought wasn't to bad. I haven't done much on the Wikipedia and I figured it was a relatively easy topic. I added several cultural references to the term and wonder what was wrong with it. I fully understand if I broke a set standard I was unaware of but The article wasn't changed or improved whatsoever, it was just redirected to Cannabis(drug) almost as soon as I wrote it. I understand getting rid of it if their was something wrong with it (which there very well might have been, it wasn't all that long though the movies I mentioned did reference the term). I would say that if it was a terrible article that needed deletion it should have redirected to Cannabis culture.--Colin 8 06:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Your article was probably moved because there's only so much to be written about "the munchies", and it really should be covered as a subsec within a larger article. However, a redirect to Cannabis culture sounds much more reasonable than Cannabis(drug). You could certainly request a change to the redirect. Doc Tropics 07:26, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
This is crap. It properly redirects to Cannabis(drug) because it refers to a specific pharmacological effect and not something that is culture based. WAS 4.250 07:39, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Crap, eh? How about a pharm-stub or something constructive? Besides, I would hesitate to call those two sentences scientific. I think Colin's efforts would be better aimed at expanding existing content rather than creating new articles. Xaxafrad 05:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Autogenerated edit summaries

Lately I've seen a lot of edit summaries by IPs and new users that say things like, "Replaced page with 'u r a turd'" or "Blanked page" or "Created page with 'blah blah blah'". This seems... odd. I know there had been some talk about autogenerating edit summaries and I'm wondering if that has now been implamented and if that's what I'm seeing. Especially since almost every thing on new pages now has an edit summary that reads like that... When did this happen? And if they are autogenerated, why don't all edits now have some sort of edit summary? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 17:15, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Got an example diff you can show us? | Mr. Darcy talk 18:43, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Sure. Here are some pulled from recent changes and new pages in the last few minutes:
~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 19:30, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-11-20/Technology report, second bullet item. -- Rick Block (talk) 19:39, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
So this is a new feature, but only for changes that affect 90% of the article or new articles of 500 words or more. That ought to make life easier for RC and NP patrollers, and anyone looking at their watchlist! Cool. :) ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 20:15, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Until the vandals figure it out and start circumventing it. :-) But anything that makes their work harder is good. Deco 17:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Update: they do seem to be figuring this out; I've already noticed a drop-off in the Edit Summaries. It sure was nice while it lasted : ) Doc Tropics 20:22, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I wonder how they did that... maybe by putting a space inside the edit summary thing? ~user:orngjce223how am I typing? 22:35, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Editor down

In case you hadn't heard, editor User:Mike Halterman (MikeH on IRC) was involved in a pretty serious car accident last night. However he's going to be alright. I won't repost the whole thing here but from his facebook " I had a mild concussion and kept lapsing out of consciousness. I also injured my knee and had to get a soft cast for it." He's currently on bed rest, so it might be nice to drop by his user talk page and wish him well. SWATJester On Belay! 11:04, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I know there are those out there like this...

This is going to sound odd.

I know some of the people who read this are like me. You have a huge thirst for knowledge. You spend your days learning new things on wiki sites etc., you spend your nights trying to remember the stuff you learned during the day. You want to be well read, well versed, scholarly. You can't stop taking in everything. So what is your method for organizing and attacking this desire? What is your method for figuring out where to take the quest next? Is there a place for people like me that I don't know about? Anybody understand what I am getting at? 21:47, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

The library?  :-) Steve Dufour 15:14, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

If you're a zealot looking for a cause, at least pick one that promotes humane values, compassion toward your fellow human beings, a spirit of open-mindedness, a willingness to accept differences, a repugnance towards all forms of violence, and a desire to encourage all people to avoid doing anything that might result, now, or eventually, in the destruction of the human race and its habitat, also known as the planet Earth. Cryptonymius 07:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Page that copied the info from here, say their content is copyrighted

This is self-explanatory: [5] A website shows content copied from here (how do I know? because I wrote most of it myself) and they have the nerve to say their page is copyrighted. Thosehere that are in the know aboutthese things perhaps should send anemail to those guys. Anagnorisis 04:40, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I'd say you have a strong case for complaining. On 7th Nov 2005 you changed the distinctive sentence:

 "She was trapped in the Antarctic ice in the Weddell Sea for 281 days,..." read...

 "Endurance drifted for months while remaining beset in the ice in the Weddell Sea and drifted with it."

...which is verbatim what it says here: [6]. According to the site (the wayback machine), the solarnavigator site didn't have an article about the HMS Endurance at that time (although the remainder of their site looked pretty much as it does today). Even as recently as TWBM's most recent archive, (April 2006) there was no article about the Endurance.

It's pretty clear then that (a) Violated the GFDL by not giving us credit for the article and (b) is illegally claiming copyright on text they don't own.

Naughty, naughty. There is a WP: page somewhere for reporting this kind of thing - I don't recall where it is. SteveBaker 05:23, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

These might help: Wikipedia:GFDL Compliance and Wikipedia:Standard GFDL violation letter and Wikipedia:DMCA takedown notice and Wikipedia:Copyrights and Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content and Wikipedia:Request for copyright assistance. From, these, you might be able to find what you are looking for. --Jayron32 05:46, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

In a convoluted sort of way (imo), they are now giving credit to Wikipedia. Thus, I guess the issue has been resolved. Anagnorisis 22:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

User complaint about History of erotic depictions on main page

I was thoroughly disappointed to see the Wikipedia main article today on 'History of Eroticism'. The links that the alleged 'scientific' article brazenly provided leads one to explicit pornographic pictures! What were the editors thinking??? Is this to improve your readership?

I always tell children to use Wikipedia for the wealth of knowledge it provided. But unfortunately one has to be on guard now. The sad thing is Even Net Nanny would not stop displaying such pages since they are coming from the trusted Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:30, 30 November 2006

Wikipedia is not censored. If you wish for your children to not encounter such things, they should probably not be allowed on the internet unsupervised at all. --tjstrf talk 21:24, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is definately not safe for children, nor did I ever think it was. I encourage my kids to use it for research all the time, but only with me supervising. Perhaps check the featured article of the day from now before letting your students use it on any given day? — Frecklefoot | Talk 21:33, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
It's important that we retain the right do this kind of thing if we have the need - but I think we should be more circumspect about how we use that privilage. So - yeah - Wikipedia needs to have the freedom to write about whatever we want and publish it without people hassling us about age-appropriateness or censorship. We have that freedom - and if we need to use that power for the good of the encyclopedia - we can certainly use it. However, we didn't need to put this kind of thing onto the front page - and we shouldn't have done so because it will definitely upset a good fraction of our readership - and that will harm us in the long run. It's not like we don't have plenty of other FA's to put there. SteveBaker 23:31, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
To me, the main page of any Website, not just Wikipedia, should remain appropriate for all ages. I saw the article, and the picture attached to the article was a tasteful depiction of naked people from antiquity. It was not at all offensive to me, but then I see nothing wrong with taking children to see classic works of art in museums, even if they contain nudity. It's a matter of opinion and taste. The problem is that by placing articles like that on the main page, parents are not given a choice about whether they feel it is in their children's best interest to see the articles or not. They are exposed to it regardless. While I oppose censorship, I do think that people should be given the option of viewing controversial issues or not. And Eroticism is not the only controversial topic that should probably be kept off the front page. The tricky thing is trying to strike a balance, because once you say one topic is inappropriate, all topics people ovject to come under scrutiny. There is no perfect solution, but the people selecting main page topics could probably have made a better choice for yesterday. --Willscrlt 01:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
The main page was appropriate for all ages. The featured article may not have been, but the main page was kept clean. Anyone who saw the objectionable content knew exactly what they were reading an article on, and chose to view it. --tjstrf talk 02:42, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the details of filtering software, but don't most "concerned" parents and public school libraries make use of such things and adjust the threshold to suit their comfort level? It seems a bit unbalanced to let concerns about children drive a debate about an encyclopedia. What the children view is the responsibilty of the parents, however they choose to handle it. Many reasonable parents don't regard this material as problematic at all, so it's clearly a personal and very subjective value. Doc Tropics 02:53, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
As pointed out, many filtering programs filter exclusively based on the domain name, not the content of individual pages. I'm sure you can understand how trying to keep track of all the pages at WP could be a nearly impossible task for any filtering product. More sophisticated filtering programs also check contextually, but the article might still have passed unnoticed. I did not mean to imply that I felt the main page was inappropriate for children, and I agree with tjstrf that people who visited the article should have known what they were about to see. My comment was more to point out that with the millions of articles available, why could the topic selectors not have picked a different topic. I am sure a kid-friendly welcome page like Yahoo's Yahooligans along with a filtered search engine has been discussed before. This would be a good example of how that type of page could be helpful. --Willscrlt 03:30, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm with tjstrf - there was one image on the main page, a graphic from a Roman fresco that's no different from what tourists giggle at in Pompeii. There are certainly more explicit images on that page, but that required a click-through. There is a line somewhere - would a porn-star bio really be an appropriate article to feature? - but I think this one was on the safe side of it. | Mr. Darcy talk 03:18, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Porn star bios of the featured level would almost certainly involve porn stars with substantial notability outside of porn, so it probably wouldn't be as big an issue as you suggest. A more interesting question would be if a porn star bio could be a DYK? feature. --tjstrf talk 03:36, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
It isn't a priori clear to me why Jenna Jameson couldn't eventually get featured. There's obviously enough material about her to make it feasible. I'll resist making any puns on the topic although they come readily to mind. JoshuaZ 04:12, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Dammit! That wasn't deliberate! JoshuaZ 04:12, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
LMAO! It's just going to happen, no matter how hard you try...Doc Tropics 04:19, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, but its so easy...JoshuaZ 05:07, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
You'll notice that there actually aren't any pictures in that article which could be inappropriate for minors. Like I said, it wouldn't be as big a problem as you might think. --tjstrf talk 05:10, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that depends upon your point-of-view. I agree with you, personally, but I'm thinking in terms of some of the parents I've known and their proclivities with respect to what they would want their children exposed to. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:28, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
It is pretty clear to me that this article being a featured article will make its way into the popular press as something like 'Wikipedia's encyclopedic treatment of porn' and will be misinterpreted by many as it was by the original poster in this thread. The statement "alleged scientific article" says it all, frankly; many many people in the general population believe that erotica and science are like oil and water - 'if it has to do with sex how could it possibly have any intellectual or scientific value'. I'm wondering if we (articulate wikipedians, that is) are prepared to defend the article, its ilk and the principles that abet its existence in op ed pieces in the newspapers where the inevitable news-for-shock-value will appear. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 04:52, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
The argument that parents should be careful about what their children see online is a valid one - unsupervised browsing is not something a responsible parent is going to allow small children to do - no more than you'd want them walking through the worst parts of a city at night. I consider myself a responsible parent - and I'm not prissy. (I don't supervise my son who is now 15 - and I know damned well from his browser logs that he visits "certain sites" that I might maybe would have stopped him from going to...but I'm broad-minded - so I pretend not to notice). But let's think about a 4 or 5 year old child. In this case even the closest parental supervision wouldn't have worked. Let's work through the most likely scenario:
So let us suppose that I don't want my 4 year old asking: "Why that lady is sitting on that man's lap and what happened to all of their clothes?"...that's NOT an unreasonable thing for me to wish to me - it's embarrasing to have to answer that question at that age. But I'm a good parent - and I'm going to supervise my little kid so he/she doesn't click on something I sit with my little kid in front of a blank browser window. Little child says "Daddy - can we read about Elephants?" - "Sure! Let's go to Wikipedia and type in 'Elephants' at the search window."..."Now let me just blindfold you because I don't know what'll be on the front page today"...
Surely we can all agree that this should NOT be necessary. I'm happy to sit with my kid and make sure they don't click on links to "Porn Star" or something - I'm happy to treat the Internet as a dangerous place where you don't want your kid to go unsupervised. But I really ought to be able to visit the Wikipedia front page without having to worry. I don't in the slightest bit mind that this article exists - it definitely SHOULD exist - it's a really well written and illustrated piece and it's worthy of FA status. But it doesn't have to be featured on the front page...really,'s not necessary. We *WANT* children to read Wikipedia - it's the best site on the entire Internet for them - they can ask any question - ask for a picture of anything - and we can provide it for them - with appropriate supervision, sure. But there shouldn't be surprises like this. If you are heading into dubious terratory - you need fair warning - and putting it right there on the very top of the front page is a nasty surprise that no parent, even one who is trying hard to be careful, could have avoided. You can't duck out of it by demanding that parents take more care. It was a stupid, unthinking decision...period. SteveBaker 05:45, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
No, we can't agree there. From a merit perspective it's a scholarly subject, far more traditionally encyclopedic than a front page article of Bulbasaur. I've seen literally dozens of articles on eroticism in scientific (archaelogical) journals, nary a one on Marilyn Manson. If the front page picture had been a high resolution shot of some porn stars bust, then I agree we might have a small problem, but the picture was sufficiently historic to meet any standard of encyclopedic propriety, and indeed quite small in its presentation on the front page. Anyone who decides to murder us in the press for that particular article will have their work cut out for them if they wish to assault its scholarly integrity or encyclopedic worthiness. Call me if autofellatio becomes the front page article. --tjstrf talk 06:04, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
The Main Page also contains a picture of a swastika at the moment, which I'm sure would offend some people. Wikipedia is not censored. Moreover, the featured article's Main Page image was quite tame and unobjectionable - if you click the featured article, which is called "history of erotic depictions", you can quite reasonably expect to see erotic depictions. The contributors went out of their way to hide some of them when it was totally blindingly obvious anyway that they'd be there - I think the images should have been displayed inline. Use some common sense here. Deco 05:53, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
It's quite simple: a fifteen-year-old son is the parents' responsibility; a four-year-old child is the parents' responsibility. Wikipedia is getting blocked in Tunisia - in China - and otherwise rational Wikipedians want to validate the principle of censorship? No no no. What part of that is unclear? DurovaCharge! 05:56, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Two responses to this "controversy". 1) The article is quite an academic, NPOV treatment of the subject. It is definately worthy of featured status. 2) I am speaking as a parent: Censorship is not the solution to the wish of some people to abdicate their responsibility as parents. Merely because you don't want to have to supervise your children while they do Activty XXX does not mean that they don't need supervision. Watch your children as they use the internet if you care about them viewing objectionable content. They are children. They need supervision. There is a word for people that don't need this kind of supervision. They are called "adults". --Jayron32 06:14, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

User:Jayron32: Please go back and actually read what I wrote...yeah actually read it. As a parent of a 4 yr old who does not wish to abdicate his responsibility and who most certainly does supervise Internet use with younger children - please tell me how I could use Wikipedia responsibly when there is material on the front page that is without doubt unsuitable for a 4 yr old. Even with supervision - I can't even go to the Wikipedia front page without risk of presenting my child with an image I'd prefer not to show. I'm not advocating censorship. Censorship would be preventing people from seeing something when they want to see it - I would never suggest that. This is not a matter of censorship. I'm not complaining that article exists - I'm not complaining that you'll find it linked from various places - I'm simply saying that it would have been better not to have chosen it for the front page. I'll agree that we must have the right to put it onto the front page - but with rights come responsibilities. As a free man, I have the right to do all sorts of horribly antisocial things - but as a rational person I realise that society will be a better place if I restrain my behavior in ways that help society rather than hindering it. The Wikipedia front page is uniquely sensitive - everyone goes there - everyone goes there first - it's the starting point for close to 100% of actual users - it's the starting point for people who are responsibly supervising small children who are looking for pictures of elephants. To all intents and purposes it's unavoidable - and consequently we should choose to be more sensitive to the needs of our readers - in that one single place and nowhere else. SteveBaker 16:10, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Steve, I think that "watching your children" includes not clicking on the link to the article in question. The part of it shown on the main page had little offensive content (unless you have really good eyesight). Just tell your kid it's a picture of two pigs or something...yandman 16:17, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Sure - there is no way I'm going to click on the link...duh! But the image is only small on a high res screen - little kids have really good eyesight - and telling them that it's two pigs or something is just going to get you into a whole world of hurt with a smart 4 yr old! Fortunately, my 4yr old is now a 15yr old...but I've been there. SteveBaker 16:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
You seem to equate supervision with isolation. My son is likely to see more objectionable things than the one that appeared on the Main Page in any number of venues. At question is not how do I isolate my child so that no objectionable images ever reach their eyes, it is how am I present to deal with the problems when they arise. If the public library lies in a bad neighborhood, I am likely to expose my child to things I don't want them to see. If the children's room is in the back of the library, there is a likely chance that they will observe things even walking through the adult sections of the library that could be objectionable given my son's age. Magazine covers that appear in the Periodicals Rack contain images that are more objectionable than the one that made the main page. That doesn't mean I never take him to the library. That means I am prepared to handle the situation should it arise that he see something I don't want him too. While I would never intentionally expose my child to images such as the one that appeared on the main page, I am also prepared to be there to handle the situation when it arises that he does see it. I do not have the expectation that the entire world is "nerfed" for the protection of my child. --Jayron32 17:22, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Look, there are offensive images all over the internet. It is the responsibility of parents to protect their kids, not random internet users. If you are afraid of objectionable content from uncensored sources (like Wikipedia.en), then Firefox offers a general image blocker that will hide images unless clicked on. Problem solved, for you. -sthomson 18:42, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I personally have no problem with this article on the main page. Wikipedia clearly states that it is uncensored and I agree with Sthomson, just put up the Firefox general image blocker and your kids will be fine.A7X 900 23:37, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Perhaps this is a silly "what if", and an editor above alludes to it jokingly, but what if autofellatio ended up getting featured status? Stranger things have happened. There isn't much choice there - yes, the erotic depiction article had a tasteful image on the main page, but what if you opened wikipedia innocently one day and the word "autofellatio" was slapped right on the top in bold letters with a the first paragraph right there? And what if the erotic depiction article had not had such a tasteful picture? Blindly citing policy and saying "parents should do a better job supervising their children" seems to me a rather arrogant and dismissive response to this question.--Dmz5 06:44, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
    • It is not dismissive. The concern is real. One SHOULD care if their children are viewing objectionable material. The solution, however, is not to create a policy that is unmanagable at wikipedia. The question must arise: Objectionable to who? As a parent, a person might not want to see an article on autofellatio. As a single adult, with no kids, a person might not care. Why does the parent have a greater right to set obscenity standards than does the single adult? Why does the most restrictive standard have to apply? The solution is not that wikipedia should be censored. The censoring needs to be done at the consumer level, not at the producer level. Any solution enacted institutionally at wikipedia to "protect the kids" is unsatisfactory as an unmanagable policy. --Jayron32 06:54, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
      • It is important to note that this is a concern for the front page - only the front page - which even a supervising adult will find to be hard to avoid (yeah, yeah - I know - "just browse with images turned off" - that works really well - just try it for one day and see how truly impractical that is!). But we already have policies that work like this: Take a look at WP:U - there is a list of censorship rules for usernames under Inflammatory usernames that say things like that you can't have Names that refer to or imply sexual acts, genitalia, or sexual preference including slang, innuendo, and double entendre. This is much more widespread censorship than I am proposing because it doesn't only affect just one very prominant page. If we are so very, very liberal minded, why can't I have User:penis? SteveBaker 16:49, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Because there's nothing encyclopedic about you calling yourself penis, while there is something encyclpedic about depicting penes. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Ever notice a common theme with this type of thread? The opening poster does not begin with I'm a concerned parent who wants to shield my children from certain content on Wikipedia. Please tell me some ways I can accomplish this without interfering with anyone else's experience. Instead it begins with Change Wikipedia to suit my convenience and the discussion's initiator usually remains locked on the same point. That's the censorship impulse, pure and simple. Here's someone who proposes a segregation system for Wikipedia articles in which certain pages could never get front page attention no matter how good they are. Who says what goes onto that list, does someone else add AIDS because they aren't ready to explain that reality to a small child? How about if a Chinese government official added Tiananmen Square protests of 1989? People might name Roe v. Wade because of what it represents or 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) because of its title. Every one of these articles got featured because some people cared enough about them to contribute a great deal of unpaid work. One of the few compensations for that labor is the satisfaction of seeing its result on the main page. I spent months improving Joan of Arc to FA, which wouldn't be likely to get sent to the back of the Wikipedia segregaton bus, but I'll fight like hell for the editors whose efforts would get singled out for second class treatment. Go write a featured article, then make your case. DurovaCharge! 21:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah, what she said. --Jayron32 04:53, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
If we were even to begin to censor Wikipedia, it would open a whole new can of worms. Some people are offended by almost anything, others nearly nothing. Some parents don't care if their five year-old sees a naked person, others consider it a sin for even an adult person to see such a depiction. This is a global encyclopedia, and cannot set up some kind of censorship or rating principle. Just look at how some movies that restricted to adults in some countries are acceptable for kids in others. -newkai t-c 17:15, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

If that's the case, then we could always have a "How much content do you want to see" slider in our prefs, much like IE's parental control thing. And by the way, I do not particularly like to see two people in ochre paint going at it. Even if the pic is about 5000 years old.~user:orngjce223how am I typing? 21:37, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, that would open two additional cans of worms - deciding how to classify images to different filter groups and deciding how to choose the appropriate axis for the slider if only one is provided ... there are many different taste axes that people vary on (sex, medical, violence, etc.) ... and how to subsequently prevent the proliferation of sliders that would likely follow. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 23:21, 10 December 2006 (UTC)



Can all the removed info in this edit, and the next two, really be found on subpages, or has it been lost?

What's wrong anyway with having some text about these subjects in the Manual of Style, so that people won't have to look through large subpages to find the basic info? So the MOS is a long page, but it does have a contents-box. Nordlending 14:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


Many[8] pages link to ARIA, meaning to link to the Australian Recording Industry Association page. Is there a way to automate converting links to ARIA into links to Australian Recording Industry Association?

wj32 talk | contribs 00:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

List of programs broadcast by Jetix - The most-problem article

In List of programs broadcast by Jetix, there's a mess section: Keys Of Number Which Means In Any Countries. Contributors of that article didn't show any efforts: They added programmes. However, they didn't confirmed "what country airs that programme on Jetix". Instead, they added this useless note: "This programme airs in OOO station in US or UK or elsewhere". I posted a "clean up" idea in Talk:List of programs broadcast by Jetix. Please Help! -- JSH-alivetalk to mesee my worksmail to me 14:15, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Please semi-protect that article--JSH-alivetalk to mesee my worksmail to me 05:08, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Description meta tags

Anyone else noticed that meta-descriptions for Wikipedia article pages are now showing up in Google searches? I did a search on Google for "Symbian OS", and the Wikipedia link that appears in the results has the description of "Article discussing the operating system, its history and devices that use it." How did this become possible, and how could I add meta-descriptions for some of my favourite articles? -- Denelson83 06:05, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I suspect this is from, which in turn seems to be from So, my guess is if you want to add these descriptions you should volunteer as a DMOZ editor. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:27, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Mass art and mass art

I was browsing wikipedia for mass art, and I was redirected to Massachussetts art. It seems there should be a disambiguation page, since mass art also refers to a new theoretical approach to global art forms (see Noël Carroll (A Philosophy of Mass Art, 1998). I wish I could do it myself, but I'm afraid I don't know how to. Help anyone ? Thanks --Anne97432 15:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I would replace the mass art redirect with the content of the article on mass art the form, and add a note about the alternative use to the top. To get to the mass art article, click the mass art link, then click the highlighted link directly below the title which reads "redirect from mass art". This will take you to a page that has a bent arrow and Massachusetts College of Art. Edit the page (use the tap at the top of the screen) and replace the #REDIRECT ... with your content about the philosophy. Add {{For|the college|Massachusetts College of Art}} to the top of the article (as first line) and save. This will add a note to the top of the page which reads for the college see Massachusetts College of Art. Feel free to write again if this doesn't make sense. --TeaDrinker 17:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Is future destruction of current Wikipedia content pre-programmed?!

See Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#practical_problem:_destruction_of_verifiability_by_third_parties.

In short, when sources get lost also the articles must be in part deleted accordingly. I can see one way to prevent that (but there may be more):

  • Add a verification appendix to Wikipedia for, when needed, the conservation of facts as required by policy, that happen to be essential for parts of articles.

Of course, this is just one idea as an incentive to brainstorming. It seems rather stupid to put a big effort in something that is preprogrammed to auto-delete for no good reason. Harald88 22:31, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

This is only a problem for internet-based sources, which should be used in moderation anyway (only for the little details: the main text of any article should always be from something published). yandman 08:19, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Not really only for web content, and this indeed was triggered by the slowly disappearing possibility to verify the claim of the cited source, and not the source itself.
I now came across a useful suggestion for dealing with web content on the talk page of WP:CITE: in addition to, wikipedians could use Harald88 10:31, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Karl Nagel & Company, LLC starts up business controlled Wiki

"Centiare is an online reference directory. It supports advocate points-of-view (APOV) within protected "user-owned" commercial, non-profit, government, personal, and property Directory listings, and features advanced semantic tagging capabilities to organize, search and report information."

See here. -- Zanimum 14:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

WP is NOT for advertising. --Wolf530 (talk) 15:28, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I'm fully aware of that. I was bring it to people attentions so they could know what sites were trying to compete with us, through wacked and naïve ideas. -- Zanimum 18:34, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Advocate-point-of-view? Is that like distorting the truth to promote your or your client's agenda by striving to deceive people and then rationalizing what you've done to cover your lapses in morality? Cryptonymius 16:49, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
So basically, it's an online advertising service. How new... yandman 16:52, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Just noticing, MyWikiBiz is working there now. -- Zanimum 20:27, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
It appears to have pasted in some pieces of text from Wikipedia, such as under city names, without giving credit as required by GFDL. *Dan T.* 18:53, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Come to think of it, that's true. That's quite illegal. -- Zanimum 20:25, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
A blatant rip off attempt. I wonder what ought to be done with it. Or just let the stupid lawyers deal with it. -Patstuarttalk|edits 20:41, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
It appears the only thing copied was the main page - the articles themselves are empty. Patstuarttalk|edits 20:45, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
This one seems to have content from WP. *Dan T.* 22:42, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
So does anyone want to write a nasty-gram? Patstuarttalk|edits 05:44, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Temple garment

Just a note to let the community know that a group of editors is attempting to have the photograph in this article removed. They claim it should be removed because is it offensive to members of their church and doesn't add anything to the article. It has been pointed out that the mere mention of Xenu is offensive to Scientologists and that other photos some people find offensive can be found at Penis also because Wikipedia is not censored for any religious or "moral" veiwpoint. While the photo is admittedly, not a thing of beauty, no editor involved has found or is willing to provide a replacement yet. (The fact that a better illustration could be used is about the only thing everyone agrees upon, but we don't have one.) The whole thing has become a nasty mix of people accusing others of being "pro-Mormon" and "anti-Mormon" and worse, while some editors on the page seem to think that if they get "consensus" to remove the only free image available, that that will override our anti-censorship policy. If anyone is a skilled hand at drawing or has access to a better illustration, please let this talk page know. Anyway, be aware. I suspect this issue will be seeping out into the larger community soon. Oh wait...i just did that...pschemp | talk 06:28, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

What? That thing is still going on? Stand by for multiple iterations of WP:NOT. Doc Tropics 06:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I think we have a bit of misinformation; possibly gross misinformation. It is true that there are several LDS that are offended; garments are considered sacred. However, what is the crux of the discussion is does a picture of two people wearing underwear improve an the article. pschemp obviously feels it is; I don't and for the life of me I don't see why a picture of two people in underwear imrpoves any article. I am not concerned about anybody's religous issues or lack thereof, but I am concerned about producing excellent articles; the picture does not fall into that achievement. Storm Rider (talk) 07:43, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
The above is a perfect example of switching the removal strategy from "its offensive to our religion" to "its not encyclopedic" in an attempt to skirt WP:NOT. I've no doubt the editor honestly has convinced himself that it is unencyclopedic, but I think the larger community would disagree. Even if the picture isn't perfect, it still is illustrative. Again, why not spend your time looking for or creating a replacement you like better? It is a simple solution to the problem. pschemp | talk 14:23, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
"The above is a perfect example of switching the removal strategy from "its offensive to our religion" to "its not encyclopedic" in an attempt to skirt WP:NOT". That is it in a nutshell. "To show pictures of two individuals wearing garments demonstrates a lack of respect by Wikipedia and I think that it is a distortion of policy". has gone to this: " ... the crux of the discussion is does a picture of two people wearing underwear improve an the article". The sands keep shifting. Duke53 | Talk 17:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Without looking too deeply into it, I think I'd support pschemp - it shows the subject of the article. Provided it's an accurate depiction, what could be more relevant than that? Deco 07:58, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
If the article is about underwear then it's appropriate to show the underwear. See G-string, Jockstrap, etc. There's nothing prurient or disrespectful about the photo itself. -Will Beback · · 08:27, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Sure - the photo is 100% relevent. It's a picture of the thing we're talking about - and it's much easier to understand the nature of the thing from a photograph. SteveBaker 14:19, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Storm Rider, don't accuse others of "gross misinformation". There is a photo of people wearing a garment in an article about the garment, just as there is a photo of people wearing G-Strings in the article about them. Where is the problem? yandman 14:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I think there are MANY other "offensive" truths about the LDS - should we not write about those, either? --BenBurch 14:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I would amend Storm Rider's comment to say "misunderstanding" rather than "misinformation", but I do think that the way the controversy is portrayed by pschemp above unduly casts the LDS editors in a negative light. I do not accuse pschemp of bad faith in this regard, that is probably just the perspective that pschemp has taken from the discussion. But please understand that the debate at Talk:Temple garment is a bit more nuanced than a band of LDS editors trying to censor any depiction whatsoever of Mormon garments. There are objections to the photo currently used as an illustration, sure. Its offensiveness to Mormons is not grounds for removing it from the article; most involved in the debate actually do agree on that. But there are a lot of questions about whether the photo is appropriate for other reasons NOT based on whether it offends Mormons. There are questions of provenance and verifiability, of educational value, of what might constitute a more acceptable replacement image and whether one can be found, of the photo's ties to anti-Mormon sites, and so forth. Now that people here at the Village Pump have been alerted to the debate, I respectfully suggest that opinions and commentary be continued at the talk page instead of here to minimize confusion and duplicated comments. alanyst /talk/ 18:44, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes analyst, there you go with the switch to the "its not encyclopedic" argument for removal. The "other reasons" have been manufactured because the "offensive to Mormons" argument tried at first has been shot down. There is no question about the copyright or subject of the photo. If it wasn't really temple garments, why are some many Mormons offended by it? People may comment wherever they wish btw. pschemp | talk 22:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
"There are questions of provenance and verifiability", "..the photo's ties to anti-Mormon sites". The owner of the copyright has released it for any use; feel free to E-Mail him and ask. That this image might be displayed elsewhere is inconsequential to its use here. You say "anti-Mormon sites" as if they are a bad thing and somehow are dishonest ... they aren't a bad thing for many, many people. Duke53 | Talk 19:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
p.s. Again, feel free to provide a different image, with clarity and resolution at least equal to what we have now. I would welcome seeing one.Duke53 | Talk 19:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Anti-religious sites are not bad things in MY book. And given what I know of the history of the LDS, well, I'd say they are particularly fair game. --BenBurch 20:21, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
That is not helpful or civil. I view it as an unprovoked insult and request that you remove it from this thread.
As a temple-going member of this church, I do find the precence of the photo very uncomfortable, but I also accept that there is no reason under Wikipedia policy why it should not be allowed. I therefore cannot support its being removed. However, I do support the finding of a better image. If the existence of such a photo must be included despite its distastefulness to church-members, some effort should be put into finding one that at least triggers fewer alarm bells. (And no, I won't supply one.) --Masamage 06:25, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Off topic Mormon bashing removed.- Discuss the image or don't make incivil and hateful comments. pschemp | talk 18:28, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorry - I just reviewed the page's history [9]. I'm missing where known, registered LDS editors have removed the image in question. Rather they are discussing the issue and many are undecided on how they feel from a wikipedia perspective, as the current image is not as descriptive as they'd like it to be. Rather what I see is LDS AND non-LDS editors reverting non-registered editors' removal of the image (and new user's removals), and in at least two cases, LDS editors supporting the image being in the aritlce. Clearly LDS editors are not unified as to the inclusion of an image in the article as it is. Even in previous discussion on the page, COGDEN and Visorstuff (me) said that they thought linking to an Anti-Mormon portrayal of Garment changes was a good addition to Wikipedia, although neither sought permission from the copyright owner to pull the image into wikipedia, as has the person who has apparrently obtained copyright permission for the current image from the rightful copyright owner (which I'm not sure Packham owns the copyright, but that's another issue, as that is where the usage approval is said to come from him, ie, I'm not sure how an Austrailian activist obtained the copyright for an image that elsewhere is said to come from a California couple taking a picture of themselves in garments, but I'm not questioning the permission granted). (long run on sentence). It is ludicrous to claim Mormon eidtors are trying to censor, when no long-term mormon editor seems to have removed the image. -Visorstuff 19:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I've been involved in this a bit. The picture isn't great, but it's the one we have. Some people have asserted that it's sufficiently bad as to be worse than no picture at all. That is the only relevant question, in my opinion. If anti-LDS sites use the picture, we cannot help this- it does not make it an "anti-LDS" photo. It's a photograph, pure and simple. Unless people are asserting that it's not a photo of Temple garments, the relevance to the article is obvious. Friday (talk) 22:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
And I'm the person who's probably made the most noise about it being such a poor picture that it's worse than no picture at all; I'd be happier if that picture wasn't being used -- and would be happier still if a picture that was more revealing of the special Mormon symbolism (as described in the article) was used. We don't have one, and the consensus is that we need a picture, so that's the picture we're stuck with until a better one comes along. We don't really need to worry much about this article; we've got several strongly neutral observers and participants there. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Has anyone noticed that Wikipedia doesn't work any more?

I'm increasingly noticing that Wikipedia is loosing the battle against vandalism. When I started editing here a couple of years ago, there was a FAQ somewhere saying something like

  • But if anyone can edit, isn't Wikipedia open to vandalism
to which the answer was
  • Sure, Wikipedia is vandalised all the time, but it always gets reverted by the many other editors who want the encyclopedia to improve

This isn't really true anymore.

Last night I went over to look for a photograph that I had added to the Guy Fawkes article and was only mildly surprised to find that it had disappeared. Whilst checking to see whether someone had had a valid reason to remove it (they hadn't) I trawled through a large number of diffs and found that the article had steadily degraded over the last month. During that time there were still plenty of reverts, but when there were several bad edits in a row it was often only the last bad edit hat got reverted.

In the same article I noticed that a whole section on 'language' had disappeared, and a sentence in the opening paragraph which used to read 'a group of Roman Catholic conspirators' had been vandalised to 'a group of Roman Catholic' which was then just corrected for grammar to read 'a group of Roman Catholics'.

I think the problem isn't just a rise in anonymous users making random bad edits, but rather an attrition of top flight editors. As a result articles are left with nobody taking a full time active interest in them - some vandalism gets corrected but plenty gets overlooked. It is not feasible (or desireable) for an editor to take ownership of an article and maintain it for the next 20 years, so the system only works if there are enough new good editors coming along who can keep up with the flow of detritus and outweigh the influence of the bad editors. Unfortunately I think the tide started to turn about six months ago.

This isn't an isolated case. I've got several thousand articles on my watchlist that I don't watch avidly, but if I compare an article with its version a week ago, many of them show signs of creeping deteriation. Of course it is much harder to repair an article once bad edits begin to build up, you can't just revert to an earlier version.

The good news is that the Guy Fawkes article is still significantly better than it was a year ago. -- Solipsist 09:18, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

It's strictly anecdotal evidence at this point but I've been having the same feeling. Haukur 09:39, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Yep. Things that worked when we were small won't work as well when we get big. — Omegatron 15:11, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
IMHO, the most interesting thing about being involved in wikipedia over the years has been watching the change in its highest-level problems (from 'not enough articles' to 'too much crap' to 'increasingly bad incompetence-vs.-editing ratio') and seeing how (or whether) the system adjusts. I think it's possible it will stop being useful in a couple of years, in which case its Google ubiquity will become a serious liability to the Net; but then again, I've thought that for a couple of years, so what do I know? - DavidWBrooks 15:51, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
This is definitely a real problem. A similar thing had happened with the Network topology article last spring, with half-reverted section blanking vandalism resulting in the article steadily shrinking to less than a third of its original size over the course of about three months. (Since I reverted it in May, there have been over 150 edits to the article. What has changed? Not much.) The only positive side to this is that, once you do notice something like this happening, it's not that hard to go through the history and restore the article to its original glory. But still, there must be hundreds if not thousands of articles like this around, slowly eroding away because no-one is watching carefully enough. Ironically, it's the controversial articles with constant edit warring that never suffer from this problem, since those always have editors who are quick to spot any changes they dislike. What I feel we really need is some kind of a technical solution. Stable versions and/or patrolling might help. So would some way of hiding reverted edits from the edit history. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 16:10, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
The term for this problem is edit creep. One way to deal with edit creep is to check the page history for the last known reliable version and delete harmful changes that occurred during the interim. The German language Wikipedia is experimenting with a stable versions option that would help address edit creep. DurovaCharge! 17:00, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I can only add my own feelings of frustration to the mix. While it is annoying to discover, for example, that a few weeks ago, a count of the then last sixty edits to Cape Verde showed that all but two were either vandalism or reverting of such, what's worse is the editors who believe that they can add a contradictory statement to the end of an article with no context (and usually no grammar and no capital or space after the previous fulll stop). If I had a dollar for every time I've seen an article that read something like "Smith died of lung cancer in 1958, survived by his wife and two 1933 he scored a century for England against austalia." (sic throughout)

Honestly, have people who add this type of edit ever read an encyclopaedia before? How difficult is it for them to add the piece of information in the right place in the article? If the answer is "too difficult", don't do it. The sooner wikipedia restricts the ability for anons to edit, the better. --Roisterer 23:57, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Isn't it all a part of the love/hate that is Wiki? I love that anyone can edit and contribute. I also absolutely hate that anyone can use that edit to misinform, pervert and vandalize. How can we have our cake and eat it too? Robovski 00:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the only thing able to restore Wikipedia's health in the long term is (1) better antivandal bots and (2) running these bots to analyze the entire history of a page, not just watch recent changes. Once a bot finds a historic vandalism that was never reverted, it is feasible to automatically revert it in the current version without affecting the useful edits that were made in the interim.

Surely no bots can catch all bad edits. But such bots are getting better all the time, and we can rerun them on page histories again and again to fix what was missed last time. It's reasonable to expect that bot intelligence will keep slowly approaching human intelligence - and once it gets close enough, Wikipedia may be considered officially out of danger. Perhaps the main reason for why AI hasn't (largely) happened yet is that so far, it's been something from the "would be nice" category. And Wikipedia is now pushing it into the "essential for survival" category. Trapolator 05:15, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Speaking as a fairly new editor (I guess it's fair to call myself that now), I can say that there is a pretty steep learning curve to getting the hang of editing--especially editing well. Maybe a series of beginner how-to articles should be linked to in strategic places. For example, when editing an article, when looking at a page history or diffs, etc. The articles should be a mix of how to edit well, and why editing is important and the goals behind good editing. Something like an ethics for Wikipedians or how to be a good citizen of Wikipedia. I am sure that not everyone will read the articles, but it might help those who have the "spark" have an easier time becoming good editors. Otherwise, only people with actual "fire" are likely to push through the frustration and become editors. --Willscrlt 06:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

This has the makings of a wikipedia:essay. Part of me wonders whether the apparent change happened because of the the "No anon IPs can make new articles" decision or if the sheer number of articles is outpacing the number of editors. I have heard that Jimmy Wales has asked that people work more on the quality of existing articles. I also wonder if there has been an increase in vandalism simply due to the increase in publicity for wikipedia in recent months. Maybe we have reached a tipping point of some sort. MPS 07:06, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Number of edits

How can I find out how many edits I've made to Wikipedia? I've been marking a lot of pages as {{db-bio}} and similar lately, and they don't show up on my contribs. It'd be nice to know the total number of edits including pages that have been deleted. Thanks! Jonemerson 07:23, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I like this one a lot. --Masamage 07:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Aww, that's pretty sweet, but I can tell it's still leaving out articles I've edited but have since been deleted. My edits should be around 750 including {{db-*}} but it's showing 686. Jonemerson 07:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Once a page is deleted the edits won't show up in your contributions anymore. See also Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits Rmhermen 14:42, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Good Evening from WikiCast!


I am involved with WikiCast , and would like to say hello

If anyone is intrigued as to what WikiCast is see #Wikicast on freenode. ShakespeareFan00 22:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Question about vandalism

i've found something lewd on a page , how do i contact someoen to fix it? and its only there every 5th refresh or so, it'll be there then i'll refresh and it'll say something else, but if i come back its there again, — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:37, 6 December 2006

What page? Sounds like garden-variety vandalism. | Mr. Darcy talk 20:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Aggresive User

At of this moment I am having problems with a rather agressive user in the Wrong Turn 2 article. is there anything I can do against his agressive behaviour? Jamesbuc

Which user, and what exactly does the aggressive behavior include? If you can show us diffs (that is, specific edits by the user in question), it will help us work out the problem. Thanks. | Mr. Darcy talk 20:46, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


The backlog on this is turning into a real shame. Often over half the articles are completely ignored, even articles that appear to be legit; User:Kuru appears to be the only one, until me yesterday, making any regular contributions. Could more people take a crack on this regularly? It's WP:GNOME work if it ever existed, but it really needs to get done. It's absolutely awful form to tell people to create an article, and then ignore it. -Patstuarttalk|edits 05:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I guess I'm really surprised that someone with the expertise to document the article that they want created wouldn't just create themselves a login and do it themselves. Weird. I'll take a crack at helping out though. SteveBaker 14:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I just found out about it too. But, weirdly enough, sometimes the articles actually are pretty well written, with categories, wikilinks and all (perhaps they're using another article as a copy-and-paste template). Patstuarttalk|edits 14:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

New users

Roughly what is the rate of new account creation here on the 'pedia? Chris cheese whine 09:44, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

About 5 a minute right now. yandman 10:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Rather randomly, in that list, I spotted a "DarthSquidward" near the top. Anyone up for a bit of blocking? Chris cheese whine 10:14, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Does it ever seem as if 400,000 of Wikipedia's accounts are owned by the same twelve people? DurovaCharge! 20:52, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you are couting Willy, Communism guy and Blu_Aardvark; probably yes. — Nearly Headless Nick {L} 13:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


This is a long shot, but it's been bugging me for a while. There was this really good movie on tv a while back. The problem is that a while back was when I was 6-8, and I didn't care much about things like movie names unless it was a cartoon movie that I wanted to own. I think it was around then that I got tainted. That movie dealed with a lot of heavy stuff, and now that I'm old enough, I really want to know what movie it was. I don't know who played in it, or what the name is. I thought the kid was the kid from The Sixth Sense, but I was wrong. And he's aged horribly! And I'm not saying he looks old... He just... He used to be so cute!...Maybe it's the hair... But that's not the point...

All I know that may be helpful is that it might have been a "tv" movie, but I doubt it, because it was a true story. Everyone likes a good dark true story, so it was probably in theatres and on video and stuff.

The only thing I really remember is the story. Sort of.

This lady killed this man. The man may have or may not have been close to her or her family, I can't remember. But she killed the man because he raped/molested her son. Now I was around 8, so the concept of a man raping a boy was more than just a little scary. Still is. But I think I repressed it because I can't remember if that's why she did it. But she killed him for her son, and that was the only scenario that came into my mind that made sense. So she kills this guy, and she goes on trial and argues that it was all for him and stuff. And the female officer who actually looks fimiliar but I can't put my finger on it said to the lady "You're my hero!" It was nice. But what wasn't nice was that her son decides that somewhere close to the end of the movie is a good time to put a revolver to his head. He was supposed to be around my age!! Well, my age at the time. He puts in one bullet, and decides to play a nifty game of Russian Roulette by himself and on himself. Someone stops him, and they cry. Then that scene is over and he's watching TV and sees his mom's trial on(or at least I think so) and he turns off the tv with a look of pure evil in his eyes and the screen goes black. Writing comes up saying that he grew up t be a killer of some sort. Or I'm pretty sure that's what it said...

It's just really bothering me that I can't remember much from the movie. And as you can see the things that I do remember are blurry and only may be true. So... If this sounds fimiliar to anyone, then please tell me what movie it is!

Thanks for your time. I really hope that my typos are readable, because it's 4:01 and this insomniac is more than a little tired.

Try moving the question to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous and including some facts to help pin this down, such as the year and country where this aired. DurovaCharge! 20:56, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Suggesting articles

2 Suggestions:

1. Please provide and publicize a way for users to propose new articles without having to log in and create them. Your volunteers can review this list and decide which are worthy, then either write them or create stubs.

2. Please add a new article for "Prima Nocta", the “right” of rulers to sleep with brides on their wedding night as referenced in “Braveheart”. If it is fictional then state that otherwise elaborate on it.

Thank you

Wikipedia:Articles for Creation already exists to perform this function. Also, I'm positive we already have an article on that, seeing as I've read it before. Check your spelling. --tjstrf talk 04:32, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Droit de seigneur is, I think, what you're looking for in point #2. --Stormie 06:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Also Braveheart#Historical_accuracy - the two articles are somewhat contradictory and both are under-referenced. It's well-established that the practice did not exist in Scotland in the early fourteenth century: Mel Gibson even admits on the DVD commentary that this was one of the film's artistic liberties. Whether it existed at all is harder to determine. DurovaCharge! 21:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

linkspam botfeed

wikipedia-spam is getting pretty overwhelmed and needs more volunteers to help with reverting linkspam and vandalism. linkspamming external links has recently gotten pretty crazy, and the botfeed simply reports anything with a http://, as well as some other nifty obvious vandal triggers. we could really use the help; this is the associated talk channel - pop in. JoeSmack Talk 02:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Vandal Spotted

Most of these contribs are juvenile. 00:12, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

meta:Ku.wikipedia inquiry

There is an ongoing debate on meta about problems in I hereby invite all experienced wikipedians to comment there. --Cat out 17:19, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Joke article?

Please check out Yukon Wild Ass. Thanks. Steve Dufour 23:35, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I found a source for it and removed a copyvio. Tra (Talk) 15:56, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. I see now that the animal was real. However I still wonder if it is the same species as the domestic donkey, as it says in the WP article but not in the original source article. Steve Dufour 23:42, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
The "problem" now seems to be solved.Steve Dufour 17:11, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

An idea

Hello everyone,

I was using my gmail and while trying the google-talk feature, I asked myself whether or not it would be a good idea to have the same type of pop-up shown in wikipedia when someone clicks in a word within an article. I mean while you are reading something and there is a word you don't know with a link to another article, wouldn't it be nice if you just clicked and had an pop-up just like in gmail-googleTalk with a brief piece of information about that word just so you can continue reading without moving to the new article? Inside the pop-up could be the link for the full article besides the brief description. What do you guys think?

See ya

PS: I have just signed in, so I am not sure how I will be albe to see reponses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ruminante (talkcontribs)

Popups will do this for you, where you can hover over a link and it will give you the first paragraph of the aticle it links to. Tra (Talk) 19:26, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Alt-V response

With Firefox, when I look at the history of a Wikipedia page and it doesn't do what I want it to do; it simply opens the view menu. Anyone know how to fix this so that I will have a keyboard shortcut for doing what I want when I am at a Wikipedia history page?? Georgia guy 17:23, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Shift+Alt+V seems to do it. Check this for more info:)—Slipgrid 04:46, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm assuming it's Firefox 2.0 you are asking about. It seems like access keys have always been a problem. But, I think that's how Firefox 2.0 is doing it.—Slipgrid 04:50, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Template locations

What happened to the Wikipedia:Template locations project page? I see this page has been changed for the last time in July 2006. Should it be marked as historical? BTW, someone should close the debates there. --Eleassar my talk 10:59, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Anyone up for an interview?

I need to write an "ethnographic reasearch essay" for my university english course. I thought wikipedia would make a great paper, but I need someone to interview...

If there are any takers, just email me and I'll send you a small list of questions.


ColinDC 03:01, 30 November 2006 (UTC)


Hey, I'm not sure where else to post this, so I came here. Could some of you guys add West_Cheshire_College to your watchlist? There's been unchecked slander sitting on the page since early July, and the author has continuously returned to add more. I'm fairly sure he's not done yet. Thanks. -Patstuart(talk)(contribs) 06:26, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for the heads-up. | Mr. Darcy talk 15:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

My Complaint Letter to Wikipedia

This is my complaint. Thank You --Martenal0001 11:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Ignoring for the nonce the supercilious verbage in the above discourse (diatribe?), I might suggest that you take a gander at Wikipedia talk:Expert retention, a more WP:CIVIL attempt at discussion; formulation of suggested recourse; and co-operative amongst concerned editors. In addition, if Wikipedia is not to your liking, perhaps you may wish to look elsewhere for ways in which to eke out your continued existence. In any case, I do wish you a plethora of brightly-hued sunrises : ) - jc37 11:54, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Does anyone mind if I move this to Martena'a userspace and replace it with a link? By the way, Martena, the most effective way of writing an essay is to structure the language around the ideas, not the other way around... yandman 12:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Considering that the account would seem to have been created for just this message, I think moving it to the user's userpage would be a good idea (and feel free to delete/not bother to move my comment). We may also wish to consider the user's latest two edits, for further action. - jc37 13:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
You do realize, of course, that once you remove all the highblown, badly over-idomized, and histronically grandeloquent phrasing that this message basically says "Waaah! You're bad!" I suggest the user spend several hours learning Simple English and learning to say what he means instead of demonstrating his ownership of a thesaurus. --ElaragirlTalk|Count 14:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
You do realize, of course, that his essay is a joke - probably created by a complaint letter generator? 23:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Done. yandman 14:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Erm, this looks like someone was playing with the Complaint Generator again. These seem to be popping up in a few places right now; the hallmark would be huge amounts of verbosity and absolutely no meaning, message or sense. Tony Fox (arf!) 17:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I stopped halfway through the first paragraph. Why bother, when they obviously are bloviating without any other purpose? User:Zoe|(talk) 21:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Disturbing pictures.

I was trying to read the section on gangreen, but was immediately turned off by the images. Although they do fit well into the article, is there any chance wikipedia could have a feature that lets disturbing/graphic images be uncovered by a mouse click? To be quite honest I'm happy to read article on surgery without having to see surgical gore :o/ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Swyp (talkcontribs)

But then who would say what is "disturbing"? Surgery? A penis? Muhammad? I'm afraid this would cause more problems than it would solve. What you can do is turn all images off on your browser. yandman 13:05, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Some sites allow ALL images to be turned off, through an option either in the users profile or with a cookie (I like the first better). Some people prefer plain text browsing. -sthomson 16:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Linkimage, which puts the image one click away from the article's main page, has been used very succesfully in articles containing graphic images of sex, sexual organs, and occassionly, human corpses. While linkimage is an excellent compromise for images that might be considered "disturbing", there hasn't been any consensus to apply it to images in medical articles. Doc Tropics 16:35, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, I didn't know about Template:Linkimage; interesting. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:04, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, many browsers provide the option of turning off automated image downloads, though this would be a generally undesirable personal shield to have to erect. This option was originally designed to facilitate rendering of graphics-heavy pages over slow internet connections. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:04, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

History of deleted articles

Why is it that the history of deleted articles is removed too? It seems like no matter what, history should be preserved. Goaty 07:10, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Deleted articles are often deleted because they're false, defamatory, offensive, or otherwise libelous, which is why the history is hidden (to non-admins). yandman 08:44, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

What's the proper way to request people to help an Editor Review?

I admit I have one up for review, but I just realized that this otherwise great idea (general input and/or RfA pre-screening) isn't getting a whole lot of help. Would it be proper to start placing some requests on a few talk pages, or should I do that to people who regularly vote on RfAs? --Bobak 06:24, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Possible vandalism

On, there's a jpeg, Human_Feces.jpg, exactly what it says. Not surprisingly, it doesn't fit its caption. Not sure how else to report it - and the possibility that this may have been done to other pages -, so I've done it here. 21:49, 27 November 2006 (UTC)Barbara Sutton

The vandalism has been reverted, and the perpatrator blocked. Thanks very much for bringing this to our attention. Also, note that you can revert vandalism yourself by selecting the previous, unvandalised, version in the article's Edit History, then Saving it. Thanks again : ) Doc Tropics 22:07, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I am also being Bullied by User:FisherQueen

He makes my articles feel rubbish. Taking the mick out of anything i do and i dont seem to be the only one complaing. I have no connection with Hammersmith123 but he's absoloutly right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stone not Wood house (talkcontribs)

Either you are a sockpuppet - or you've had your Wikipedia account for less than 24 hours. Either way, it's a bit premature to be complaining about FisherQueen. SteveBaker 22:55, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Mena, Arkansas

Somebody put a really long section into the Mena, Arkansas article regarding a local Yu-Gi-Oh tournament, including multiple external links to its website. Now, I'm not familiar enough with that local area or the Yu-Gi-Oh scene to know for sure if it's notable enough to deserve mention, but certainly this seems to be excessive prominence and detail for what seems to be a very minor event. I removed it but was reverted, and don't want to get into a revert war over it; perhaps somebody else should take a look. *Dan T.* 02:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

My opionion ... This is too much as included. A couple of sentences noting that a 'festival' like this exists is more than enough, but the remainder should be off-loaded to it's own article, thence to be judged for survival via standing notability guidelines. The extended passage reads not unlike an advertisement by one of the tourney's organizers. Out-right deletion will lead to a revert war, so work at reducing it to it's notable core and create an article for the rest ... which you might even put into the deletion stream if you feel that is warranted. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 02:33, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't look like the anonymous IP who has obviously written this is happy to see it reduced to a notable core, he is persisting in re-inflating the section with plainly unencyclopaedic detail. Any other ideas other than revert warring on how we can solve this? Lankiveil 12:09, 27 November 2006 (UTC).
Banning always works. --ElaragirlTalk|Count 21:35, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

A new wikipedia

just a suggestion...

why not create a site 'wikipedia people' dedicated to profiles of people? Firstly a great number of people would use it and secondly i think that it would stop a lot of vandalism on the general wikipedia site if people can write about themselves elsewhere...


A project like this has been considered before but the main problem is that if anyone could have a page about them put in, there would be problems with privacy breaches and a lack of acceptable sources for the information Tra (Talk) 17:56, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Why not just use user pages? -Elmer Clark 05:00, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah... that's kind of what your user page is for. Or a blog. Or your own personal website. If you want to tell the world about yourself, a userpage works fine. As does the thousands of other mediums for self-publication on the web. -Monk of the highest order(t) 14:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
It would ease the pressure of vanity pages. Maybe call it Wikiography? Who's Wiki Who? Any good project needs a good name. Robovski 00:17, 29 November 2006 (UTC)