Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 104

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Rejected Post

We have a website based on movie reviews. We have professional reviewers hired for writing reviews. We wanted to post what our reviewer thinks about a movie on a Movie Page. However our post got rejected saying, "We are not reliable source". So, Could you please let us know whom do wikipedia consider as Reliable Source? According to this Policy, no new upcoming websites will ever get noticed. Then what is the difference of Wikipedia and other corrupted media, if only big companies are the ones who are able to post at Wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Viralpatel15 (talkcontribs) 06:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources for further details. Generally speaking, what people on Wikipedia are looking for in terms of reliable sources is some organization that is well established and has some sort of editorial review by somebody other than the original author. In other words, can even a professional writer make a review but get that review rejected by some publisher or editor-in-chief and get that review yanked from the site?
I'd also say that citations are a big thing too. Are other people (not Wikipedia... but other people "in the business") citing your publication or website in other publications? How often is that done... occasionally or commonly? Is it done at all?
I know this seems to be favoring "big companies" that are well established, but the point is that you need to earn the respect as being a reliable source which is something earned over time. It is possible to establish an organization and even a website to become a reliable source, but it takes time. Frankly I don't think the bar is set all that high on movie reviews. You might want to get in touch with the Wikipedia:WikiProject Film group and especially make some comments on the talk page of that Wikiproject group. It is there that you will find many of the editors who are explicitly involved with editing film related articles.
Regardless, don't take this personally. You admit you are a relatively new website. Work at improving the quality of what it is that you are doing and in time others will consider your site to be reliable if you maintain high standards and try to improve the quality of what it is that you are doing. Using Wikipedia to promote your website is the wrong way to act anyway, and you need to find another vehicle to advertise your product. If it is as good as you claim it is, your site will eventually be considered reliable and will be cited over time. --Robert Horning (talk) 07:17, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

3RR Rule Exception for Blanking

Since section blanking is a controversial edit, I don't think it would be a bad idea to create a 3RR Exception for it, similar to the ones for blatant vandalism and self reverting. ThePeriodicTable123 (talk) 21:50, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

WP:CREEP. Let's think of the times where blanking would be appropriate: User elects to blank their talk page when they want and it's not otherwise prohibited (i.e. Active sanctions), user blanks their userpage, user blanks a subpage of theirs. If the user really wants to get rid of all the content on their talk page, it's still available via the page history, and editors who are looking for a response will be able to determine when it ceaced to be a part of the page (and not in the user's talk archives). A user's userpage is whatever they want it to be (within certain limits) so no need to restrict the user from blanking on their own. Subpages fall under the userpage category, so no need to restrict there. Now if a user blanks a page that is not in their userspace then we have the reguar blatant vandalism exemption to cover the editor who is trying to restore the page. Obviously if you feel you're in danger of being judged as not on the right side of EW/3RR you can always involve 3rd parties (i.e. Third Opinion or Edit Warring Noticeboard) to see if your evaluation of the situation is correct. The entire encyclopedia won't spontaneously implode because a page has been blanked, so take it easy. Hasteur (talk) 22:33, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely not a good idea at all. (And, unlike Hasteur, I'm thinking of article edits here, as I believe did the original poster). There are multiple good reasons why somebody might decide in good faith to blank a section in an article: it consists entirely of undue weight POV material; or of unsalvagable wrong and unsourced content; or of excessive and inappropriate trivia; or it is simply off-topic. Such edits might be potentially "controversial", sure, but if any controversy arises over them, that's still a normal content dispute like any other, and there is no reason why Wikipedia policy should a priori favour one side of it procedurally, let alone by encouraging one side in the dispute to try "solving" it by edit-warring beyond 3R. Fut.Perf. 23:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
The very fact that the 3RR exists at all means that we favor one side procedurally - whichever side first uses up its reverts "loses". Admins ought to be able to recognize the difference between mindless edit-warring and repeated reverts of inappropriate edits, and act accordingly. There should be no rule that attempts to reduce this type of judgement to a matter of counting to three. (Or four - why is it not called the 4RR?) Victor Yus (talk) 07:57, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
There is no such rule. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:17, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there is. Victor Yus (talk) 08:30, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
You're misreading it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:32, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
In what way? Victor Yus (talk) 08:35, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
One can be blocked before that, or not be blocked even after 5 reverts. This isn't a mindless count-to-three; never has been. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:36, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
So why does the rule appear on a policy page? Victor Yus (talk) 08:38, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
To give people an idea of what could happen and what is expected of them. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:40, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't that what the rest of the policy does? If the number 3 (or 4) is not significant (or not particularly significant), then is the statement of the "rule" not highly misleading? Victor Yus (talk) 08:44, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Maybe, but so are jaywalking laws and whatnot. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:52, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
What part of "there is a bright-line rule" are you having trouble understanding? --Guy Macon (talk) 09:08, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Who are you asking? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:11, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
It seems the policy states that there is a bright-line rule, I'm saying there shouldn't be, and Seb is saying there actually isn't. I don't see any problem of understanding, though if Seb is right then the policy ought to be rewritten. Victor Yus (talk) 09:21, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Policy states that there's a bright-line rule which is actually not a bright-line rule. And that's the way it's been treated for years. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:23, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
And everyone is perfectly happy with the fact that policy tells this lie? (It wouldn't surprise me; much of policy as I've encountered it seems to have the purpose of misleading people rather than explaining.) Victor Yus (talk) 09:26, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
It looks like the "bright line" comment entered the policy in this edit in 2010. I would tend to agree that is not the most appropriate description of 3RR. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 11:51, 1 March 2013 (UTC)


WP:3RR is a bright line rule subset of WP:EW. 3RR is the very obvious (and difficult to explain away) test for violating WP:EW. Edit Warring of the garden variety that stays below 3RR is more difficult to prove (Long term edit-warring, Civil PoV pushing, etc). Think of it like the CSD criteria. A CSD can be used for a very specialized case that is a lower threshold for deletion, whereas if the page doesn't meet a CSD, a XfD is required to debate the deletion. Hasteur (talk) 13:37, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Exempting section blanking from 3rr is a very bad idea. Yes, there are situations where section blanking is appropriate ... but in all but the most obvious cases, if someone objects to the removal of material (ie they return the blanked section) you should not edit war by re-removing it over and over again... the correct course of action is to go to the talk page and discuss the issue - to explain why you feel the section should be blanked, and gain a consensus to remove it. The whole point of 3rr is to encourage such discussion.
The only cases where a section blank would be exempt from 3rr would be those where an exemption already exists (for example, if the entire section constitutes vandalism, removing it would be exempt from 3rr). And, since these are already covered by the policy, there is no need to change the policy as is proposed. Blueboar (talk) 14:09, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the proposer actually meant that reverts of section blanking (i.e. section restorations) should be exempt. Victor Yus (talk) 14:43, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

I suppose anything should be exempt if the administrator can see that it represents a reasonably clear improvement (i.e. reversal of what is reasonably clearly harmful). Also if there's a reasonably clear consensus on the specific point in question. Anyone else who seems to be edit-warring (regardless of the time scale, exact number of reverts, etc.) should be given a warning, like most vandals are, after which a block can be is considered if they continue (unless they're doing something very bad that warrants a block straight away). Just my thoughts. Victor Yus (talk) 14:55, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

  • There is already an exemption for blanking. See 3RR Exemptions point #4. -Thibbs (talk) 15:10, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
    • That says page blanking, but the proposal here concerns section blanking. Victor Yus (talk) 15:55, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
      • It covers vandalism. If the section blanking is vandalism then it can be reverted beyond 3RR. Not advisable, though. Better to seek page protection and let the vandal have his temporary "victory". -Thibbs (talk) 16:09, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
        • There is basically no bright line between removal of content, and blanking less then the full page. If I remove one paragraph, is that "blanking" and thus reverts are exempt? What if that paragraph is a whole section? What if there is a good reason to remove it? 3rr is as bright a line as you get on Wikipedia. If you violate 3rr, you are almost certainly engaged in an edit war. As mentioned above, you can be engaged in an edit war without violating 3rr, and just because you violate 3rr doesn't mean we block you automatically. (Though and admin who does block for 3rr is almost certainly on firm ground) It is there so that when someone argues they are not in fact edit warring, we can point to it and say yes, you unambiguously are. But that is why this is a bad idea, the exceptions to 3rr are narrowly tailored such that it is rare that exemptions apply to both sides of an edit war at the same time. Suppose I find an entire section that is a blatant BLP violation, and determine blanking the section is the reasonable response to the violation. The contributor who added the violation does not care and restores, pointing to the new blanking exemption. We could go back and forth both being exempt. To the extent the blanking isn't vandalism, reverting should not be exempt. Monty845 19:28, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
          • That's an important point and I agree. The only kind of blanking that is exempt from 3RR is that which is also vandalism. 3RR Exemptions point #4 is a vandalism exception, not a general blanking exception. If the blanking is not vandalism then it's a content-related edit and should be discussed, not revert-warred over. -Thibbs (talk) 20:54, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Discussion on quotes in Navboxes

Interested parties should comment on a discussion of including quotes in navboxes as this has the potential for far-reaching effects on this oft-used template. Mangoe (talk) 02:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

List of... writers/directors/etc.

We gotta do something about the list of these things, like List of Cheers writers and List of Frasier directors. They have no redeeming qualities, and they consist of mere information, violating WP:NOT. Any suggestions? --George Ho (talk) 03:13, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I would prefer if wikipedia didn't have any articles about movies and series. This is not the case however. I don't see aditional damage from a bit of elaboration. You could ignore it and go do something constructive? (talk) 11:02, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
If there is a list of Cheers or Frasier episodes, the two lists you mention might be merged into those instead. Bjelleklang - talk 11:22, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
I have always thought that an Encyclopedia should not have any stand-alone list articles... the format is simply wrong for an encyclopedia. Listings of things are what Almanacs are for.
However, it is also clear that many of our editors absolutely love to make lists of things. So here is my solution... The foundation should create a sister project (along the lines of Wiktionary and WikiNews) that would give those who want to work on lists a more appropriate venue in which to do so... a WikiAlmanac. Blueboar (talk) 14:56, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Read the Five Pillars again. There's more to Wikipedia than just an encyclopedia. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:14, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, there is currently more to Wikipedia than "just" a traditional encyclopedia... I am saying that I think this should be changed... by creating a sister project. Blueboar (talk) 15:35, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Well you're wrong, because much of the time the lists are quite encyclopedic. Trying to get rid of things such as List of compositions by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky or even List of LucasArts games is extremely laughable. This is core info, they just have their own articles because of size. In a 'traditional' encyclopedia this info would be there, just it wouldn't look like it was separate given the medium. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:57, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Hear hear, Melodia. There's a reason we have featured lists; these subjects, which may not lend themselves to full prose articles, can be entirely encyclopedic. List of films of the Dutch East Indies, for example, contains several entries for which an article is unlikely to ever be created, as much of the documentation has been lost. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:14, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
What is so laughable about suggesting that a list of Tchaikovsky compositions would be more appropriately presented in an almanac? I was not proposing that we "get rid of" anything... I am just suggesting that we house it in the appropriate venue. If the foundation created a WikiAlmanac project, I would expect the two projects would be intimately connected. Wikipedia articles would contain links any relevant almanac list pages, and vise-versa. Featured lists could remain featured lists. No information is lost. It's really just a case of where the information would be hosted. I simply think an almanac is a more appropriate venue for information that is best presented in listified format. No point in telling me: "your wrong" ... because nothing you can say will convince me that I am wrong. Lists are what almanacs are for.Blueboar (talk) 13:40, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
And if you want to enforce your opinion that Wikipedia should not be an almanac or gazetteer, open an RFC and prepare yourself for heavy opposition. Until policy is changed, you'll find yourself without a leg to stand on. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Whoa... what's with all this talk about "enforcement"? (I couldn't "enforce" creating a sister project even if I wanted to). I am merely suggesting that a WikiAlmanac sister project would be a more appropriate venue for lists. Obviously, an endeavor like that would be a major change in how we currently do things here in Wikipedia... and just as obviously any change of this magnitude would require a lot of discussion and consensus building before it could be implemented. It would also require getting the Wikimedia Foundation on board (and since setting up a new sister project is not that easy, they may not agree that doing so is worth it).
Now... IF such a sister project were to be created, then we might look at changing our policies and guidelines to reflect the existence of the new sister project (and then it might be appropriate to talk about "enforcement")... but right now, it's all at the initial idea stage. Blueboar (talk) 15:20, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
A proper list on these subjects is possible, by providing context specific to these directors. An episode list is for the episodes, not the directors, and shouldn't be counted as one. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:05, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
It should be a basic criteria for list articles that the entities listed should be notable as demonstrated through non-trivial coverage in reliable source.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:10, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
We have WP:NLIST, which also includes provisions for splits if the main article gets too long. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
There's also WP:SAL. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:15, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Take them to WP:AfD, if you get consensus to delete, then you can come back here with a suggested policy to prohibit their creation in the future. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 18:22, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd love to, but I need a logical rationale to have them deleted. I could nominate just one, right? Or more? --George Ho (talk) 01:58, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually that was sarcasm. But yes if you really feel they are inappropriate for Wikipedia, take the one that you feel most strongly about to AfD. Logic often has little or no bearing there, so just make your best argument. If there is a policy that supports your position mention it. If there are policies that are counter to position have a rebuttal planned to use if needed. Try not to get overly involved in the discussion. Make your argument and let it stand, not everyone is going to agree with you, that is fine. If someone votes keep with a rationale that you don't have a strong rebuttal for leave it alone. Most importantly keep this in mind, don't let yourself get dragged in to defending your suggestion or your ideas. put it out there, give brief, strong and infrequent rebuttals. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 11:35, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Right now, I guess proposing a merger is the best way to go. --George Ho (talk) 11:44, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Boy, look at List of EastEnders crew members. It has directors, writers, and staff. --George Ho (talk) 06:11, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
These lists are pointless -- especially that last one -- but again, that doesn't make ALL lists wrong for WP. For the writers lists, the info should be on the episode list, and if someone really wanted to be able to see who wrote what at a glace they could turn said list into a sortable table. For the crew members....that's just ridiculous, as WP isn't IMSLP. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:29, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Take them all (writers+directors) to AFD, but be aware of WP:TRAINWRECK. The most frequent directors/writers can be summarized in prose in the TV show's main article à la Stargate SG-1#Crew, so there is simply no need for a data dump -- IMDB deals with data dumps much better. The episode lists, which see-also-link to IMDB, do already list episode-specific information on writers+directors. – sgeureka tc 11:54, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

List of Frasier writers is proposed to be merged into List of Frasier episodes. --George Ho (talk) 18:59, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Lists are better than categories, because they allow to add more information, and help clean the category list of articles. --NaBUru38 (talk) 14:57, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

2nd order disambiguation by birth date - RFC

Please comment at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation#2nd order disambiguation by birth date - RFC.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 16:18, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

This discussion has been closed and replaced by Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(people)#RFC-birth_date_format_conformity_when_used_to_disambiguate.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 07:40, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikidata Phase II coming

I guess many of you noticed that Wikidata Phase I came here a month ago, with interwikis relocated to Wikidata. (If someone missed that, here are the details). Now, Phase II will be about infoboxes, ready to be implemented sometime in April. Many trivial or less trivial relationships between articles have been coded at Wikidata (and this activity continues), with the idea that eventually the info from infoboxes can be relocated over there. This has an obvious advantage that the info in this case will be centralized: For instance, if Lyon gets a new major, and a French Wikipedian changes the info on Wikidata, the info becomes automatically available on our project. There are also disadvantages. First, the infoboxes would need to be coded for this. Second, the data structure on Wikidata is determined by consensus on Wikidata and does not necessarily correspond to the infobox structure we use here, thus, it has to be optimize by the collaboration between the two communities: English Wikipedia and Wikidata. Unlike Phase I, this Phase II will not be implemented here unless we have consensus to implement it, and decide how it should be done.

Normally, I expect that an RFC is running, with roughly the following options:

  • We opt out and do not change anything;
  • We do nothing and wait until other projects get experience, then decide;
  • We opt in and start discussing what, how and in what sequence should be done, and what is the general mechanism for new infoboxes in the future.

Before starting such an RFC I believe it would be useful to hear opinions here. I will now advertize this thread on Wikidata as well. --Ymblanter (talk) 08:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Personally I think this "all or nothing" approach isn't a good idea; if subject areas want to recode their infoboxes, but others don't, I see no reason why Wikidata should be prohibited from the ones that want it. --Rschen7754 08:48, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
It is not "all of nothing", but I think it would be good to understand who is "responsible" for the infoboxes. Since every infobox is used in many articles, we need consensus for everyone of them, but how do we determine this consensus? Is this a Wikiproject business, or do we open a central discussion for each of them, or do we use the talk pages of the infoboxes? And what if we want to deprecate an infobox, or to install a new one?--Ymblanter (talk) 08:59, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Again, I think that a one-size-fits-all isn't the best approach here; sometimes the template talk page is more watched, sometimes it's the WikiProject. I don't see why this is such a big deal, it's not like someone will march through and reprogram all the infoboxes overnight. --Rschen7754 09:03, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why this needs any central discussion. If someone wants to use a parameter in a specific infobox then it will be decided on the template's talkpage as usual. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:05, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
What is needed is a lot more information about how this is going to work. For instance, does each attribute get fetched separately from WikiData through some reference like :d:entity_qxxxx-property_pyyyy-language_en ? (Which would seem to potentially put an enormous computational load on WD). Or would whole templates get served by WikiData ? (In which case, where is the design of these negotiated, and how easily can they be adapted to fit existing local styles and edge cases?)
I wonder if it wouldn't make sense to roll out something more specific, like {{coord}} and {{authority control}}, first. Jheald (talk) 10:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. Where's a description of how this would work? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:42, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
If a page has sitelinks from Wikidata then some parameter in a template can default to using a property from the item at Wikidata. The important thing here is the sitelinks that triggers this magic. This would look something like (this would be inside the template page)
A set local value will then override any value from Wikidata. There are several options that can be set for the property parser function to extract specific parts or format it in some way. The parser function is what we call "the simple inclusion syntax" and can be used in ordinary templates. Later there will also be bindings for the Lua scripting language and with that more fancy stuff is possible. Jeblad (talk) 12:10, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the option to allow users to toggle between the local data and that stored at Wikidata. For example the following wikitext (replacing n with a number) could be added to {{Infobox person}}.
|labeln = Sex:
|datan = <span class="wb-local_data">{{{gender|{{{sex}}}}}}</span><span class="wb-Wikidata_value"></span>
By default only the local data would be displayed. This would require edits to MediaWiki:common.css and MediaWiki:common.js to implement this. – Allen4names (IPv6 contributions) 07:43, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Clarification from the development team

Hey :)

I feel this needs a lot of clarification. So let me start this:

  • The plan is to enable the second phase on all Wikipedias
  • Existing infoboxes will continue to work
  • You will decide if and when to recode individual infobox templates
  • You will not have to agree with the other Wikipedias what properties you use for your infoboxes. So if oyu decide not to show the currency in a infobox for a country but another Wikipedia wants it that is no problem
  • Infobox templates will continue to stay on the Wikipedias - only the data in them can come from Wikidata
  • The syntax that will be available for getting values is at meta:Wikidata/Notes/Inclusion syntax

Please let me know if you have more questions. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 11:55, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi Lydia, could you confirm that if we want to enter the information manually in an infobox here rather than pull it from Wikidata this will still be possible? I and others have concerns that errors entered into the infoboxes in other Wikipedias (many of which do not use adequate sourcing), not to mention possible vandalism of the Wikidata itself, will be replicated automatically on English Wikipedia, and the only way to change that would be to try and edit Wikidata itself—yet another complication for editors to deal with—and a particularly worrying problem when applied to biographies. The amount of vandalism and ill-informed drive-by edits to infoboxes in individual articles here is not inconsiderable. Voceditenore (talk) 12:12, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Infoboxes can certainly be set up to allow manual entries as well as defaulting to Wikidata values - see Jeblad's example above. On the other hand, they could be written to forbid manual entries. But the infobox template code will remain here on Wikipedia, so Wikipedia editors can decide how they should be set up. --Avenue (talk) 12:57, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes. What Avenue said. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 13:02, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Building on the above, Wikidata essentially works like transcluding templates - you'll include a field in templates saying something like "|population={WIKIDATA}" rather than "|population=3,498,872". Choosing to switch to Wikidata is a per-template or per-page decision. It won't be like the interlanguage links, which are displayed "on top" of existing content - we won't have Wikidata-generated infoboxes being applied to articles regardless of what's on the page. Andrew Gray (talk) 13:11, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
You mention 'You will not have to agree with the other Wikipedias what properties you use for your infoboxes. So if you decide not to show the currency in a infobox for a country but another Wikipedia wants it that is no problem.' But let us suppose that an entry in a Wikidata infobox/template is filled in by another editor somewhere in the universe with information with which one might disagree; let us assume that the recommendations in Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers and elsewhere against the use of infoboxes in certain WP articles are ongoing - then imagine, for example, that someone includes in the WikiData information for Sergei Rachmaninoff that he is associated with Romanticism (an edit which is frequently performed by doubtless well-meaning editors in Template:Romanticism) - how does that become evident and how does it get resolved? Does this mean that editors would have to regularly scrutinize Wikidata infoboxes/templates to check them?--Smerus (talk) 13:42, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
There are several points to your question. First of all in this case Wikidata is able to hold all the information and you will for example be able to add Romanticism and mark it as deprecated there for example. (The last part is not possible right now but will be). So you can have several statements (with sources) saying different things and you can pick what you want to show in the infobox. So when they want to add this information on Wikidata people will see it there and stop hopefully. The other part is about how the editors on a Wikipedia will notice changes on Wikidata. It'll show up in recent changes and their watchlist. This already happens now for language link changes. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 13:49, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
And on top of this, Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers does not use infoboxes at all and thus will not be affected any Phase II changes on Wikidata at all.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:12, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Could you talk about the implications of projects (like Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers) that choose not to have an infobox? I understand the immediate implications. What about the future? -- kosboot (talk) 14:18, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
This is really something for those projects (or the whole community) to discuss and decide on; I don't think Wikidata itself is in a position to say anything specific. Andrew Gray (talk) 14:31, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Exactly, this is why I opened this thread.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:35, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I still don't understand why this is a "policy"-question. Is there currently a policy for inforboxes? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:55, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
No idea. I would obviously not object of moving the whole thing somewhere, but I guess the discussion shows it was somehow needed.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:47, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

A couple more questions:

  • Out of interest, has anybody run any back-of-an-envelope estimates on the load that a serious uptake of Phase 2 will mean for WikiData's servers? -- e.g. how many page hits per minute, how many associated data items to be served, how much latency this may add to page response times, how much hardware is needed to deliver this, etc. ? Jheald (talk) 21:40, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes we've looked into this and hope it will all be ok obviously. However we're rolling it out on a small number of Wikipedias first like we've done for phase 1 as well. If there are any huge issues we expect them to show up there already so we can take measures if needed before they cause even bigger problems here. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 11:39, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The other thing we need to recognise is that the switchover to data sourced from WikiData will primarily be driven by bots, and could ramp up very quickly once an unrestricted green light is given. Have any particular templates been selected as the initial test set for this procedure, to see e.g. whether the server load is indeed manageable and scales as predicted (and to expose and shake-out problems nearest the surface)? How far are we from WikiData having all the data loaded to fully serve those templates? (As I understand it at the moment, the bots are still going full tilt just to get to each WP page having the simplest most basic WD outline page, never mind whether those pages are fully loaded). So what's the timetable for testing in a controlled way a serious migration of some properties data to WD, and serving a serious amount of it back to live WP pages? Jheald (talk) 21:48, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
    • It'd be up to the local community to decide which templates they want to migrate and then to also do this. The development team does not interfere with that part. As you said bots are already running to fill Wikidata with data. If you come up with a specific infobox template that you'd want to migrate first I am sure some of the bot authors would be happy to help add the necessary data for them to Wikidata. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 11:39, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Image formatting

If someone is going to do any work with infoboxes, it would be nice to address a very frustrating inconsistency. Many infoboxes have an image parameter, but there are at ;east three different ways of making the entry:

  1. Full: e.g. [[File:foofoo.jpg]]
  2. No bracket: e.g. File:foofoo.jpg
  3. Bare: e.g. foofoo.jpg

Can we harmonize this as part of this initiative?--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:19, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

There is a specific Commons file type, so at least from the Wikidata end you won't need to worry about inconsistent syntax. --Rschen7754 21:07, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
This is nothing to do with Wikidata. Wikipedia:WikiProject Infoboxes is already addressing such inconsistencies. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:09, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I think I understand that it is not directly related to Wikidata, as it doesn't have anything to do with data stored at Wikidata. However, I think
  1. the infobox conventions should be harmonized
  2. addressing Wikidata issues means someone will be editing and changing infoboxes
  3. while one is making a change to an infobox is a good time to harmonize the convention for file names
Is my syllogism correct? --SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:16, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Citations on Wikidata?

Has any thought been given to putting citations and references on Wikidata? This would seem to be a great use of the resource. I'm sure this would be phase 3 or 4, but I'm wondering if this has been discussed yet. Thanks. (talk) 08:52, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes it's being worked on. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 11:41, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you (talk) 06:45, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Request for help with/clarification of BAN policy

2 quotes from WP:BAN policy:

"The Wikipedia community can decide, by consensus, to impose a ban. Community banning discussions generally take place at the administrators' noticeboard or a subpage thereof." and
"If an editor has proven to be repeatedly disruptive in one or more areas of Wikipedia, the community may engage in a discussion to site ban, topic ban, or place an interaction ban or editing restriction via a consensus of editors who are not involved in the underlying dispute.[2] When determining consensus, the closing administrator will assess the strength and quality of the arguments."

So, if this is right, I could use some input from uninvolved editors (you?) at W:AN#User:J._Johnson_-_hostile_environment to review some diffs and such and help achieve consensus on action against a disruptive editor. If not, this policy needs editing; I'm being told doing this is not allowed! Thanks.--Elvey (talk) 9:10 am, Today (UTC−8)

Elvey is forum-shopping. (Check Special:Contributions/Elvey to keep up.) But I concur that he could use some input, though I recommend checking on the AN to get the background before jumping in. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:48, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Dear reader, please review what forum shopping is. If you feel seeking more input at the original forum (AN) (that is, what I am doing with my post above) is forum shopping, or you don't, please come to AN and share your view. That kind of misrepresentation of policy is part of why I opened the case about JJ at AN in the first place.--Elvey (talk) 00:01, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling theater/theatre

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling - We could use more editor's eyes on this and input for direction, references, prose, tables etc.. Two editors with differring opinions can't really make a true consensus. Lets create a true community consensus on how to handle this guidline. (also think it might be worth its own subpage) Thanks.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)


Severe communication problems here. Maps are up for deletion. Interested parties can go there. (Wikipedia:Files_for_deletion/2013_March_8#Five_map_images) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:56, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

[1] , [2] , [3] . First of all, this is English Wikipedia. Please write your comments in English. I don't speak Russian. I would like to ask you to read the WP:NFCC|non-free content criteria and in particular WP:NFCC#1|criterion 1. Files like :File:Doc balt flot1.jpg are not permitted because someone else can draw a freely licensed map of the same area. There are already freely licensed maps of all parts of the world. For example,Openstreetmap can be used for this purpose. Photos like :File:SMX-25 - Diving frigate.JPG are not permitted because it seems that vehicles of the same model still exist. It is possible to take other photos of the same vehicle model and publish those photos under a free licence. For example, see WP:NFC#UUI §1 which says that you can't upload unfree photos of buildings which still exist. Stefan2 16:05, 5 March 2013 (UTC) File:Подземоход Требелева.jpg ? Podzemohod Trebeleva was tested in the Urals, Mount Grace, in 1946. Trebelev intended to use his podzemohod in various fields: digging tunnels for urban communication, exploration, mining, etc. However, the design proved to be unreliable, and the project was abandoned. - Now it does not exist. File:SMX-25 - Diving frigate.JPG - it does not exist at all. It is only on paper. SMX-25 a gunship project of the 21st century, a hybrid of surface ship and submarine. it seems that vehicles of the same model still exist. - there is no such ships. How can redraw what does not exist outside the project on paper? File:Doc balt flot1.jpg - It is not a geographical map, it is map of the military facilities. This is the result of several experts to repeat that an outsider can not. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 04:31, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

why is this here? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
but where? --Vyacheslav84 (talk) 05:27, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Vyacheslav84, you can't expect people to want to help you if you start conversations by called them "мудак", as you did on Stefan2's talk page. We have strict criteria for the use of non-free content, which Stefan has tried to explain to you despite the insults directed at him and at Wikipedia in general. I would suggest that you apologise on Stefan's talk page and then maybe he will explain things further. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:11, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
[4] Vyacheslav84 (talk) 09:01, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Vyacheslav84 (talk · contribs) claimed that some of the images show items which no longer exist or which do not yet exist. In that case, I agree that it would be hard to replace the images (at least for the moment), so I removed the "replaceable fair use" template from those images. When I tagged the files, I didn't see any immediate indication that there were no copies of the items of which you would be able to take a photo. I meant to reply to the discussion on my talk page when I removed the tags, but there was something in between, so I forgot to comment about it.

There is a map (File:Doc balt flot1.jpg) which Vyacheslav84 claims isn't replaceable. I do not agree here. There are plenty of free maps of Kaliningrad which can be used. For example, Openstreetmap has a useful map of Kaliningrad. The locations of military bases isn't copyrightable, so someone could take the map from Openstreetmap and indicate the locations of the places on that map. Finally, File:Doc balt flot1.jpg is in Russian, which is unsuitable for English Wikipedia. If there are further disputes about this file, I suggest that we take this file to WP:FFD where it is more visible for people who often discuss file issues.

Finally, I would appreciate if I am informed about any discussions concerning me. I see that this discussion started about 15 hours ago, but I didn't notice the discussion until Phil Bridger (talk · contribs) notified me about 13 hours later. I usually do not read the village pump discussions on this project. --Stefan2 (talk) 19:47, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

File:Doc balt flot1.jpg - new map is a complete copy of the old map in part actual material. WP:FFD- well can move the discussion there. It is not a geographical map (there is not no mountains or rivers or forests or other geographical elements), it is map of the military facilities. This is the result work of several experts, that an outsider can not to repeat. it Contour Kaliningrad region with scheme location military facilities. Besides military facilities represent special characters, so can no redraw. Replaceability No. Openstreetmap such maps does no. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 08:54, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The map is obviously replaceable, I think it is pretty much obvious.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:39, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Да? Ну тогда Вам ведь не проблема найти свободную замену данной карты? Если вы не заметили, то это не географическая карта, а схема расположения военных объектов (еще и выполненная с помощью специфических военных обозначений). Мне очень интересно, как вы найдете аналогичную карту на гугл-maps (на которой чисто географические карты). А вот географических элементов здесь нет вообще - есть только контур области (причем он нужен чисто для указания местонахождения военных объектов). Vyacheslav84 (talk) 04:46, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Doo Biʼééʼ Łichííʼí bizaad bee yáníłtiʼ da; doo nihił bééhózin da. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:26, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

File:Doc balt flot1.jpg - It is not a geographical map (there is not no mountains or rivers or forests or other geographical elements), it is map of the military facilities. This is the result work of several experts, that an outsider can not to repeat. it Contour Kaliningrad region with scheme location military facilities. Besides military facilities represent special characters, so can no redraw. Replaceability No. Openstreetmap such maps does no. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 04:40, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

All maps are replacable. That information contained at that map can be put onto a free-use map, it contains no information which could not be recreated. --Jayron32 05:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
WTF? This is impossible to re-do and takes 15 doctor-titles and 76 years of study? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:29, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
It will not make a free card, because the main author information (the rest is not important.) Vyacheslav84 (talk) 05:47, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
card, because what? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:49, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Redraw the maximum will be replaced color Contour (Contour itself can not be changed). The rest will remain unchanged - the location of military facilities. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 05:56, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Free maps of Kaliningrad exist. You can take those maps and put dots, colors, and explanatory text on it anywhere you want. There's simply no need to have a copyrighted map when anyone with the proper skill can create a free map to display the same information. --Jayron32 05:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
(ec) Your communication-skills in English are insufficient. I think I understood you don't want to re-do the map. That's not an excuse. Then you won't get to use any. This thing is clearly replaceable by anyone with some basic Inkscape or Gimp skills. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
For example, if a tank regiment located in Kaliningrad, the redraw, we can not move it to another location. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 08:45, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Why would you move it? You can't do that with the picture you have... It's a jpg. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 06:17, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
New map is a complete copy of the old map in part actual material. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 08:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
And your point is...? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
These signs are the author's work, their redrawing the image does not do free. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 12:08, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

There are some severe language issues happening here. Can we please find someone fluent in Russian to interpret for Vyacheslav84 in this conversation. — Hex (❝?!❞) 17:03, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I am fluent in Russian and I already explained him on my talk page why and how a free map can be perfectly made in half an hour, but he continues to insist. It might be important to notice that Vyacheslav84 was at some point was banned from Russian Wikipedia, was active on WO-like Russian resources explaining what a shithole Wikipedia is and why nobody ever would want to work there, and then got unblocked and placed under mentorship and severe restrictions. I am afraid if he fails to understand what is going on he would be banned from here as well.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:10, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Во-первых я был забанен не из-за качества статей (можете посмотреть например это ru:Опытный малый погружающийся ракетный корабль проекта 1231 - настолько плохая статья, что я даже на КХС ее выдвинул), а из-за никак не связанной с экзопедизмом метапедической репутацией. Во вторых процитирую слова Vladimir Solovjev из скайпа: [07.03.2013 21:35:04] Vladimir Solovjev: Тут сложный вопрос. Если знаки - это авторская работа, то простая их перерисовка не факт, что сделает изображение свободным. Но там в АП очень много нюансов. [07.03.2013 21:45:54] Vladimir Solovjev: Контур под охрану АП точно не попадает. А вот знаки вполне могут. Просьба перевести этот мой пост на английский язык здесь для коллег. Заранее благодарю. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 17:42, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
My lousy translation: First, I was not banned because of the quality of my articles, and one of them I even nominated for FA, but because of my bad reputation in the project which was not related with my articles. Concerning the map, I would like to cite Vladimir Solovjev (a ru.wp admin): If the signs are copyrighted, copying them will not make the map a free imahe. Whereas the contour is certainly free, the signs can very well be copyrighted.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
My response: Use blue and yellow squares instead of the signs, and you immediately get PD-trivial. I am not sure way I should repeat it for the third time.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Proposal instead of special symbols used triangles squares and circles equivalent ideas in mathematics instead of an infinity sign to use the - cross, instead of a plus - circle, instead of the integral - triangle. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 19:23, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • [07.03.2013 21:35:04] Vladimir Solovjev: If the signs - is the author's work, the simple fact of not copying them, making the image free. But there are many nuances AP. [07.03.2013 21:45:54] Vladimir Solovjev: Circuit protected AP just does not fit. But the signs are quite. If the circuit is free, but there is no sign, then that will give repainting? Vyacheslav84 (talk) 19:46, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Maps consist of two parts: the location of military installations signs and topographic contour. 1. From topographic contours of a solution Wikimedia - As a result of the court decisions, following parts of a map are in the public domain, and may be used freely: ... Geographic or topographic features. Those are facts, and facts aren't copyrightable 2. Location of military facilities we must to redraw the hair in exactly with the original maps, so this is pure kopivio. Vyacheslav84 (talk) 04:40, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Navigational box category names

Is the proper name for the category, Category:Wine navbox templates or Category:Wine navigational boxes? I thought we were using "XXXX navigational boxes", but an editor has been renaming all of them to "XXXX navbox templates". Which is correct? Or, where should I ask? Thank you. (talk) 04:04, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Templates should not appear in mainspace category

We need an explicit policy stating that templates don't belong in mainspace categories. When readers are searching through a category, they are looking for articles not templates. When templates are categorized, they should only be categorized into categories within Category:Navigational boxes if they're a navbox, or other categories that are template specific if they're not (or both of course). Ryan Vesey 15:16, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

I disagree. I find it profoundly inconvenient and user-unfriendly to unnecessarily hide content-related templates away in specialized categories. FWIW, this seems to be something of a perennial topic on categorization-related pages and to my knowledge there has never been strong consensus for barring categorization of templates in mainspace categories. olderwiser 15:51, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
These templates are not useful to readers and are meant to be used in articles not as articles. We provide list articles for non-template navigation and those articles can and do exist in mainspace categories. Ryan Vesey 16:19, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
How are they not useful to readers? Why presume that a reader might not want to find the template used in the articles by looking in the category? olderwiser 18:42, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Readers would have no idea what a template is (particularly since the word's meaning in wikijargon is rather different from its real meaning). If we want to show them a navbox or something, it might be better to display it on the category page itself. Victor Yus (talk) 11:04, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm a reader and an editor. On occasion, while looking at a category, I may notice an article that should be included in a navbox. It often takes an inordinate amount of hunting to try to find the template whereas if it were in the category it would be trivial. Similarly, I may come across a new article and know how to categorize the article, and if I know there is a navbox that would apply but not recall the name of the navbox. What exactly is the harm in providing access to these in the same category(s) as the articles they contain? olderwiser 11:46, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Most navboxes seem to include a link to edit them, so if they appeared on the category page as navboxes, you'd be able to go stright to them. The "harm" in having them listed, I suppose, is that readers vaguely looking for something don't want to be distracted by technical junk they won't understand or need. Victor Yus (talk) 12:23, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
The question that underlies this discussion is a basic one: What is the purpose of categorization? Answer that question and the decision on whether to limit categories purely to articles, or to include templates and navboxes becomes clearer. Given some of our recent discussions, I get the impression that there is some disagreement on what the purpose of categorization actually is. Blueboar (talk) 14:07, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Is there any data on usage of categories by ordinary readers vs. editors? We might tailor them towards the groups that turn out to actually use them. Victor Yus (talk) 14:50, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Categorization#Wikipedia administrative categories. Basically, there are categories for articles and categories for everything else, and both groups should be kept apart as much as possible. Note that we do not do this for other non-article pages (for example, we do not categorize Wikipedia:Verifiability in Category:Research methods). The way to organize all the article and non-article content (templates, portals, wikiprojects, task forces, disambiguations, etc.) that is related to a given core topic is with wikiproject categories, with their "quality" parameter (see Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment) Cambalachero (talk) 15:12, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Your argument breaks down because projectspace is not meant to be visible to people who aren't trying to find it. Templates, like categories and articles, are content that is meant to be displayed to non-editor readers. {{Hamilton County, Ohio}} is related to Hamilton County, Ohio, for example. Moreover, the original statement breaks down because it fails to distinguish between readers who are editors and readers who aren't; I'm very often a reader as well and look for templates in categories. Finally, nobody's going to be even one bit harmed by seeing a template appear in a category; if they wonder enough to go to it while looking for an article, they'll quickly see that it wasn't what they wanted and be able to go back. Nyttend (talk) 16:40, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Depending on the template, having it in the category could be incredibly useful. If I'm trying to find out information on say Category:World War II tanks of the United States, and it contained Template:WWIIAmericanAFVs, it could be more helpful then any other single item contained in the category. Monty845 19:33, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Do not confuse templates with lists. Lists are allowed in categories meant for articles. But unlike lists, a template is just a tool, used to build the product that the reader will read, but not a worthy standalone product for the reader (nobody would create a template that's not going to be used). Note that only a few templates have a "topic", most templates (for example, {{Main}}) do not have any. To organize and locate templates we have the secondary categorization, that runs independent from the one of articles; and failing that, you may locate such templates at the articles that would use them. They may be used and not properly categorized, but I doubt that a good and useful template is lost in the limbo, unused and uncategorized. Cambalachero (talk) 02:29, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this section should specify that it is about various Navbox templates rather than maintenance and admin templates. I don't find it a very helpful distinction to call these a tool and hide them away in relatively difficult to find categories. I'm speaking from experience. But, you know, whatever, go ahead and make Wikipedia even more difficult for ordinary people to edit or find their way around the components. olderwiser 12:27, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
That goal has already been achieved by calling them "templates" (and often giving them equally opaque names after the colon as well). For ordinary readers, the way to make these things accessible and available from the category page is simply to display them on that page. Or list them directly on the page, with an explanation of WTF they are. My sense of logical order would make me oppose their inclusion as members of the category, were it not for the fact that categories are such a logical mess anyway that it's hard to care much either way. Victor Yus (talk) 14:09, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Can someone give an example of this template-in-the-mainspace? I can't recall having ever seen one. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:48, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I chanced on this one: Template:Subdivisions of Finland is in the category Category:Subdivisions of Finland. Victor Yus (talk) 17:09, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Hidden infoboxes

Are collapsed/ hidden infoboxes acceptable? Please comment at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Infoboxes#Hidden infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:17, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

See Cathedral of Blessed Mother Teresa in Pristina for a current example. The image is removed from the infobox and the small infobox (coordinates, city, country, denomination for this church) is {{hidden}} so that you have to click the [Show] link to see them. MOS:COLLAPSE generally prohibits hidden text in articles for reasons of WP:ACCESSIBILITY, but collapsing infoboxes is not addressed explicitly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:05, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:BLP and contradictory age data

Hi, that is from the ongoing Arbitration Committee case in Russian Wikipedia. I am wondering about situations when reliable data sources indicate different year of birth (and age respectively) yet one of versions is sustained by the subject of the article and others are denied. What would be the best by Wikipedia:BLP: just to accept the current version of the given living person, accept it but to comment about other versions, follow the common procedure of identifying the most reliable source(s)? Could anyone quickly point to similar previous issues in English Wikipedia (if any) to get know the discussion logic and decisions? (and yes, it is about one of what is called celebrities in English) --NeoLexx (talk) 16:21, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

From my point of view, there are two possible solutions when reliable sources disagree: either cite them both and attribute them explicitly in the text ("Source A says that he was born in 1963, but source B says that he was born in 1959) or leave it out entirely. The former is better because it does what we're supposed to do, represent reliable viewpoints in proportion and allow the sources to speak for themselves. If the sources disagree, allow the sources to disagree in our text. It's not our business at Wikipedia to resolve such conflicts, merely to dispassionately report that the conflict itself exists. Insofar as truly reliable sources don't agree on the person's birthdate, we represent that disagreement itself in the Wikipedia article, clearly attributing to the sources themselves so readers can make their own decisions regarding whom to believe. --Jayron32 16:45, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it will surprise anyone to hear that this involves an actress/fashion model. What surprised me is that at least four different dates have been documented. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:00, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Five to be exact (time-line arranged: 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981), all once published at some RS. The latest one is now called by the person to be an unfriendly act of unspecified competitors. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd sequentially removed from the person's personal site and any other sites agreed to cooperate with the person. Any printed resources with 1971, 1976, 1977 called to be historical mistakes or a libel. The only acceptable options for the other side are either 1979 or the complete page removal. Telephone calls to some ru-wiki editors, screaming, crying, court call menacing. So far the article is blocked in a limbo state from anyone except admins and higher, effectively locked from admins as well by the ongoing Arbitration Committee call pending. A madhouse... At the AC talk page I proposed as an option to remove such celebrities to Wikia all together as persons whom existence in this world is not fully proven or questionable. Emotions, maybe, but did you guys have some stand up like that around a celebrity bio to look at for an inspiration? --NeoLexx (talk) 22:20, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
It seems to me that we have had various people throw temper tantrums about their biographies, although I can't think of any specific examples. An actress sued over her age in IMDb a while ago. Here in the USA, truth is an absolute defense against libel, so it'd be pretty hard to win anything other that laughter all around the courthouse.
If I were that actress and really concerned about it, I'd release other proofs to the media, like information about when she started and finished school and who her classmates and teachers were. University could be done at any age (and worldwide, most people don't go to university), but most people begin school at the age of five, six, or seven, and almost everyone at the same age in any given country, so that would be a fairly convincing proof. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:36, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposal:Create a capability and process to expunge a block from someone's record when all agree that it was an error

Proposal:Create a capability and process to expunge a block from someone's record when all agree that it was an error.

I always wondered about this in general and now know of a case. Such a block can have an immense impact on someone who cares and has a clean record. I learned that neither exists. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 04:39, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

There is a discussion about the technical and policy implications of this proposal at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy#Urgently required. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:49, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Support - If technically possible - we all make errors (even admins when blocking) and these errors should not have a negative impact on the end user. Moxy (talk) 04:45, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Note: The purely technical capability exists, in the form of WP:Revision deletion#Log redaction, however the current policy states that:

Log redaction (outside of the limited scope of RD#2 for the move and delete logs) is intended solely for grossly improper content, and is not permitted for ordinary matters; the community needs to be able to review users' block logs and other logs whether or not proper [emphasis original]

Would you be willing to share the details of the case? A block record alone, if clearly mistaken, should not have "an immense impact on someone" as blocks are not brands or scarlet letters; the context should be evident, and if not, a note can be added to the log stating that the block was in error. Intelligentsium 04:51, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Note Redaction using revision deletion will not expunge the log entry, it will gray out and strike through the log entry so that non-admins cannot see who did the action, how long it was for, or what reason was given. A line will still appear in the user's log, it just won't say what happened. MBisanz talk 05:01, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Block log entries can also be oversighted. Of course, this would mean changing the OS policy. --Rschen7754 06:22, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Answering Intelligentsium, I'd rather keep it general. Hopefully that the proposal is just to have a general result (that the capability exist, and that there be a process for deciding to apply it) and that my question included the premise that all parties (including the blocking admin) agree is reassurance that I'm not looking for an out-of-context answer to take into a particular situation.

Answering Rschen7754 & Intelligentsium, as step 1 at Village Pump technical I asked if the ability technically exists and someone answered "no". So now I'd like to know who is right. (????)North8000 (talk) 13:27, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Removing the log entry partially (revision deletion) and completely (oversight) are both possible, but their implementation would go very much against the grain of what those tools are for. Personally, I'd rather not start down the (possibly) slippery slope of adding exceptions to those policies. Instead, when you unblock, just add a note in the unblock saying that the block was unnecessary/improper/whatever. If its expired already, do a quick block-and-unblock with a note that the original block was unnecessary/improper/whatever. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 14:22, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Any editor genuinely disturbed enough by the presence of a block log entry agreed to have been invalid, and determined enough to make a case for a change in policy, is not likely to be satisfied by a solution that creates another "corrective" entry in their block log. Leaky Caldron 14:29, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "What the tools are for" is doing what's right. What's right is that someone who's done nothing wrong should have an empty block log. — Hex (❝?!❞) 14:30, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Strongly support the modification of oversight policy to allow the eradication of block log entries created in error. It's not fair that a bad decision made by an admin should irreversibly stain a user's record, even if the blocking admin is subsequently subject to censure. I would add that it should be possible for an admin to request such eradication of a log entry they caused themselves. — Hex (❝?!❞) 14:25, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: If it is discovered and agreed that a block was made per incurium then it seems only fair that the person should be entitled to have that wiped from their record. The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 14:40, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This capability is would be too easily misused. I would rather see people explain their block log as having an erroneous entry than have it wiped. Binksternet (talk) 15:17, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Support if only oversighter can perform this action. Binksternet (talk) 22:48, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that the past block may be used to justify another block without giving the editor a chance to explain that the previous block was in error. Monty845 15:21, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The current proposal is too generic. Even if it reached a consensus, we would then need to conduct a second RFC to actually implement a specific policy for dealing with it. There are two main questions, and both can be addressed in one initial RFC. Question 1: should 1a) RevDel policy allow for the redaction of block log entries; 1b) Oversight policy allow for the redaction of block log entries; 1c) no redaction. Question 2: If there is consensus in favor of 1a or 1b, what standard should be used for redaction/what process is necessary? Monty845 15:20, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - see the discussion on my talkpage before Christmas. If someone wants an example case, I accidentally blocked an innocent user who provided some information at an SPI using SPI helper script. It's also possible to do similar with the checkuser tools - you tick a box for all the accounts you want blocked, and it is possible to tick the wrong box). In case folks think it doesn't happen often, User:Courcelles has two blocks from admins with bad aim, and User:Dougweller has one, and that's just from a couple of conversations. It happens more than you think.

The proposal I would support has four elements -

  1. Full suppression is carried out by an Oversighter. Revdel is not used
  2. The block resulted from a factual error(admin has blocked the wrong user or did not intend to block any user) not from an error of judgement on the part of the admin (admin intended to block the user, but block is not supported by policy/consensus).
  3. The admin who made the block is the one requesting suppression

The user in such a case should be unblocked immediately upon the error being discovered and advised that suppression will be requested.

I think if the community also desires a process whereby it can declare a block to be invalid and request it to be removed from the record, it needs to be thought through and set out in more detail. I also think that there should never be a circumstance in which a blocked editor can request an Oversighter to suppress their block record. Elen of the Roads (talk) 16:26, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi Elen....why would you exclude cases where the blocking Admin says that it was an intended block, but later decided that it was an erroneous decision?
I was thinking that the mechanism in your last post should be included eventually, but didn't want to complicate my proposal with it at this time.North8000 (talk) 16:55, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This seems to be a solution looking for a problem. I have never observed that a user has been unfairly judged simply because of a mistaken block, though I recognize of course that they occur. A block log is not a mark that condemns a user to ostracism for his/her wikilife, and I am sure there are cases where a block may be overturned, but later the original reasons for the block are later substantiated; in this case having the original block record would be helpful.
Moreover, I am somewhat disturbed by the sentiment expressed above basically to the effect that a block is some sort of conviction or prison sentence, and the log thereof a yellow passport that will cause a user to be spurned from every mairie in the countryside. Intelligentsium 17:26, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with Intellegentsium's point. Also, we don't need to revisit such issues with more arguments and more "ivotes": ('it was mistaken -- no, it was not -- you're an idiot -- no you're a fool, etc.') . Moreover, a history of mistaken blocks by an adminsitrator should not be expunged. Perhaps annotations for incidental mistakes would be fine (I can't imagine a long or contentious discussion about whether to do that, but can't that already be done?)Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:35, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment/question I think that an erroneous block on ones block log does have an impact, even if it not the the extent of the over-the-top straw man descriptions of the impact (mentioned above.) For example, a "clean block log" is a widely-used term. Can an editor who has had only an admitted-eroneous block be said to simply have a "clean block log"? The answer is no. Some contortions would be needed like "technically not, but the one block was an error" which people are going to doubt, or if it is said that they do, people will look and say "well no" North8000 (talk) 17:48, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support both for blocks that were clearly errors (slips of the finger, wrong editor, wrong button, etc.) and also for blocks that a consensus of a hypothetical block-evaluating jury would consider to be bad blocks (violations of WP:INVOLVED; blocks from an admin desysopped for misuse of tools; blocks which normal, sane people would have thought were bad blocks if it had happened to them ... etc. etc.) Injustice damages people, and when it comes to block logs, injustice creates further injustices right down the line. Block #1 is a lousy block, block #2 was only done because there had already been a block allegedly for something similar, block #3 would have been kinda OK, possibly, but not really without warning and if blocks #1 and #2 had been properly recognised as wrongful; appearance at AN/I has a pile-on of drama-whores yelling "But see how many times he's been blocked already!" ... so EnthusiAdmin applies an indef on the basis of the "consensus" of the pile-on of people who haven't had the wit to analyse the previous blocks, and so on, and so son, and so on ... Pesky (talk) 17:57, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support As proposer. Comments elsewhere. North8000 (talk) 18:09, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - the capability for suppression of blocks from the blocklog already exists; what's needed is agreement on when and how to use it. This could be used for completely mistaken blocks (oops! wrong user! type thing) at least. In addition, it's possible to annotate blocklogs where a disputed block remains - see Wikipedia:Blocks#Recording_in_the_block_log. Rd232 talk 18:18, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. It is a relatively complicated work around to add a note that the block was unnecessary, and is much simpler handled by using an undo. As to the wording, all is undefined, imprecise, and superfluous. If we decide to allow it we can work out the details. There are basically two scenarios that I see someone tries to block Foobar, and accidentally blocks Footar. That can be reversed uncontroversially. The second is by editor error, this does not get reversed. For example, if someone loses count of their 3RRs (ignoring that 2 is prohibited, just not as strongly as 3 or 4), and gets blocked. That never gets expunged, even if they go on to become a Steward. What other types of mistakes are there? Apteva (talk) 20:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) But if an incorrect block is applied, it is actually less work to note that the block was unnecessary in the unblock log entry than to unblock, then suppress the block log; obviously the mistakenly-blocked user will not be expected to wait out the block! This also addresses your point that there be an undo - this is already handled by the unblock function.
As I see it there are two issues here: The first is, should a mistaken log entry be removable? If you edit the wrong page or perform an accidental revert, you can reverse it, but the edit remains in the history. Same goes for all other logs (move, delete, etc., with the exceptions set out in the suppression and oversight policy), whether the action was justified or not. The same arguments can be made about practically any mistaken action that happens to create a log entry, but I find it extremely unlikely that consensus will emerge to enable the editing of all logs. Logs are logs because they by definition record everything save egregious abuse.
The second and bigger issue is the perception that having a block on record, even if mistaken, in some way ipso facto "tarnishes" a user's reputation. This is why users are willing to have this discussion about block log but not delete/move/revert. My opposition stems not so much from the proposal itself as from this second issue. I firmly believe that this issue should be addressed, but this is completely the wrong way to address it, because it validates the claim that blocks are punitive and represent a stain upon a user's reputation which must be expunged to preserve his or her "good name". Blocks are not convictions.
The example cited by That Pesky Commoner above is unfortunate; not only does it not refer to any specific example of where such a thing has occurred or whether or not such a thing is a common occurrence among accidentally blocked users, but more concerning, it also assumes incompetence on the parts of the users involved. It assumes that users (and administrators) will not be circumspect or thoughtful enough to investigate the context behind the block. I am reminded of the old saying, Let people rise to your expectations (or something wittier, I forget); if you prepare for incompetence, then most likely you will encounter it. And even if that case occurs, where a user has a history of blocks, including one accidental or invalid block, that one fewer block is unlikely to change the circumstances.
The potential for abuse and the decrease in transparency in case an admin has a history of making bad blocks are also valid issues that other users have addressed better than I could. Intelligentsium 01:13, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Incorrect blocks in block logs are valuable - not because of what they say about the blocked user, but because they may in some cases help expose a pattern of carelessness or ineptitude by the blocking admin. I believe the correct solution is the ability to edit or append clarifications to block log summaries when they contain false information, not to pretend it never happened. Dcoetzee 00:59, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Create a sortable "List of expunged blocks". We need to preserve the record, but it doesn't have to be atomised across individual block logs. Such a list would be much more likely to expose a pattern of admin incompetence than the current situation. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:25, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support based on Dougweller's reasoning. By the way, I have no personal stake in the matter, given no blocks, but overall it certainly creates bad feelings for users. The process of agreeing on what is to be expunged needs to be based on WP:CON I think. History2007 (talk) 01:48, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose If people are being stupid and misinterpreting a log file, that is the people's fault, not the log's fault. If you hide the log file, the people will still be stupid and draw their unwarranted conclusions from other sources. Kilopi (talk) 03:18, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Per Elen. The "oopsy" block, where you didn't mean to block or accidentally blocked the wrong user, is uncontroversial. I think, if there is strong enough consensus here for Elen's formulation, we can go straight to the relevant policy pages and make the changes. As for blocks that were intended but later repudiated by the community or the blocking admin, we need to assess the extent of the problem and define precisely what kind of block can and can't be expunged, and what kind of record to keep. So, for now, I support immediately changing policy to allow suppression (oversight) of unambiguous oopsy blocks when that is requested by the blocking admin, and the creation of a sortable "List of expunged blocks." --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:25, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Dcoetzee. Expunging blocks might provide some relief to the blocked user, but it would also shield admins from scrutiny (this is regards to blocks rescinded by the community; oversight of unintentional blocks per Elen seems fair). Hot Stop (Talk) 05:38, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
If bad blocks are removed from the victim's block log but added to a publicly-viewable "List of expunged blocks" (either attached to the blocking admin's account or a sortable - by admin, date and victim - list of all expunged blocks) this will improve our scrutiny of admins. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:07, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
An alternative would be to establish a practice where any admin that makes a block which is subsequently overturned by consensus (or deemed a bad block by consensus after it has expired) is blocked for one second with a summary linking the discussion in question. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 15:47, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Excellent suggestion that addresses the problem! Kiefer.Wolfowitz 15:34, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I also like this one. There would be greater scrutiny before using the block button, which is good, and bad actors could be readily identified if the oopsie log becomes lengthy, which is good. Carrite (talk) 18:06, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support expunging blocks: An undo could reverse several forms of unneeded block. Even a genius can make a mistake (Albert Einstein once mistakenly wrote "x' " where ex-double-prime "x' ' " was needed, or I could be mistaken), and there is no intelligence requirement for admins, so the community needs all the undo-admin help it can get. Other nitpick shades of undo can be discussed in other venues, such as line-hiding of borderline blocks, but a simple undo, or "erased block" rewrite of a block entry should be allowed as soon as possible. As a long-term editor with several improperly placed blocks, I can confirm that they are shouted, by many people, as evidence that "your next block will be indef" or the ever-snarky, "it can only end badly for you". I support the unblock, and any similar functions, to reduce the shoot-from-the-hip, knee-jerk, short-sighted actions of [wp:SNOW]]bunny admins. Also see: wp:MELT about the need to wait and re-think some decisions. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:01, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We all make mistakes on Wikipedia. Most of the time, this is on an article or a project page. In such cases, either we fix our own mistakes, or someone else does so. Except for extremely serious cases (such as a major privacy violation or massive copyright infringement), we do not mess with the history. The same should apply for admin actions. We need to be very careful to try to avoid admin mistakes. But when it happens, we should just correct it, and move on. In the case of an incorrect block, it is definitely good form for the admin to state unambiguously (e.g. on the blocked users' talk page) that it was an error. But I don't support messing with the logs. If it comes up (XYZ was blocked before), simply explain what happened, and point them to the blocking admin or someone who knows about the error. Another serious problem with this is who has to agree to the expungement. If it's just the admin, then it is a way for them to (at least partly) cover their tracks. If it's more people, then consensus becomes a problem. Superm401 - Talk 21:16, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: WP:Perennial proposals#Prohibit removal of warnings is, I feel, relevant to this discussion. Toccata quarta (talk) 22:57, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I agree that the official block log should have mistaken blocks removed. Not blocks that are simply overturned because someone else think enough time has elapsed, or the blocked editor is valuable, only blocks where a consensus of admins would agree that the block should not have been issued. I agree with Dcoetzee that I do not want the complete history to disappear, as it could help identify problematic admins, but I believe this is easily resolved, with either a complete history available in another place, or perhaps the incorrect block would be noted on the admins record, which preserves Dcoetzee's goal. yes, I fully understand that one ought to review a block log with care, but in the heat of a contentious situation, it would be unfortunate if an admin glanced at a block log, saw six entries, and didn't read closely enough to see that it was three blocks followed by three unblocks, each noting that the block was a misunderstanding. Why not make the block log informative, rather than a mystery to be analyzed?--SPhilbrick(Talk) 15:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Very strong support. I think if a block was given in error then there should be a way (without extra permissions) to remove a block entry. Allow the user to hide the block if say, it is over 6 months old. Though hidden blocks would only be seen by sysop users and the user himself, the block would remain in effect. –BuickCenturyDriver 08:41, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I am afraid this will lead to more indiscriminate blocking; if the block was an error, the admin could just simply remove it from the log and nobody will ever get to know about it. Zaminamina (talk) 20:32, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - I support the idea of an "expunged blocks log." I see danger of legitimate blocks being gamed away by those seeking power buttons if some sort of capability to expunge blocks without a trace is created. I strongly support the capability to expunge bad blocks with traces, however. Carrite (talk) 18:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Define all

The Proposal states "when all agree that it was an error", who is All?

  • If All is everyone on Wikipedia, then the proposal fails with the first Oppose vote above.
  • If All is just the Admin who made the block, then the proposal needs a huge rework for clarity.
  • If All is everyone involved, then you need to define how to identify All and where to track their agreement.
JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 19:24, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
This is where I, personally, like the idea of a kinda jury of longish-term editors with a fair number of contributions (including at least 30% in article space) to review blocks. A consensus of a jury of "reasonable editors" (avoiding the possible sexism of "reasonable men" ;P) with perhaps 20 members should be sufficient. We do have to face the probability that the blocking admin themselves may never agree with that. Admins are human, and therefore like the rest of us not perfect. Pesky (talk) 20:29, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I feel like the jury idea is one doomed to fail, amidst various cries of cronyism, cabalism, policy creep, and needless additional bureaucracy... not to mention the people that don't get picked to be on the jury and subsequently get pissy about it. EVula // talk // // 20:42, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
A jury is exactly what we don't want - it opens Pandora's box of other problems, as stated by EVula above, in addition to reinforcing the "court" mentality that pervades this thread. Sinking twenty users' time into this would be a terrible idea (time which could be used to edit articles). I thought the point of this was to be non-contentious; if you invite twenty users to have a discussion then naturally the discussion will drag on ad infinitum.
And just consider the negative impact that even one contentious expurgation would have; I daresay it would far outweigh the questionable positive impact that every noncontentious expurgation could have. Intelligentsium 01:30, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
In my proposal I used "all" as a simplification. It really translates to "If the admin who made the block agrees". And I deliberately avoided discussing (kicked the can down the road on) the possibility of a process to do this when the initial blocking admin does not agree. North8000 (talk) 22:08, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Why not just use WP:CON anyway. History2007 (talk) 01:52, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Yep. Community consensus is sufficient, and I don't agree with the blocking admin being able to veto expunging. How does that make sense? Consensus rules. For Elen's minimalist proposal, in the case of truly uncontroversial oopsies, it makes sense, but for cases where the community agrees the blocking admin exercised poor judgment, we shouldn't have to wait on that admin's approval for expunging. Too many cowboy admins here never admit they were wrong. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:37, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
More full views over at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy#Summary, but the cabalism / picking thingie could be addressed in some way like this:

(copied across) to avoid the cabalism thingie, how about having "block-log-cleaning-juries" drawn from a pool of suitable editors? Editors could opt-in or opt-out of the pool, and a panel of 20 (or whatever number) could be drawn from a list of editors who have chosen to be available to look at whichever particular block log is under discussion. It could work something a bit like opting-in for RfC's, to get a long-list for each case, and picking the working party from the long-list could be randomised.

Sometimes the solutions to perceived (and / or actual) challenges aren't hard to think up. I think, on the whole, it's better to be solution-focussed than problem-focussed.

I think that this situation is one which a panel of fair-right-minded editors would be likely to agree is the kind of block (Rodhullandemu's block of Malleus) which should be removed from the block log.

We need to learn lessons from Real Life, and one of those most needed (particularly in today's increasingly litigious societies) is the very human tendency for some people to indulge themselves with barratry. We do need to be very aware of the injustices caused by pile-on responses from those who may have an axe to grind, when we're looking at consensus, for example. Pesky (talk) 11:33, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose - a block made in error is an important part of the blocking admin's record some of the time; we need to allow each user to make decisions about how much of a stain it is on the admin's record - for example, if we ever have a community desysop process, if the admin runs for ArbCom, etc. We should definitely make sure that the blocked user's log make it clear that the block was in error - but not hide it. Additionally, some times even a wrong block is important to show that the user should be aware of some thing - for example, there was a case where a new user did a fourth revert of a 3RR violation while logged out. While I (and several other users who commented there) had no doubt that the user logged out by accident, and the indef block for sockpuppetry was wrong, the user knows that if (s)he does this again, an indef block may be the result. And should it happen, admins need to be able to see the previous block to make the decision. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 20:48, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
  • This is where having a separate record for bad blocks would solve that problem. The full record of the block is still there for any purpose for which it is needed, but it doesn't get used by the inadequate in a "But he's been blocked X-number of times already! He must be really bad ... he should have learned his lesson by now!" argument. Again, being solution-focussed rather than problem-focussed is necessary, and fairly simple. Pesky (talk) 10:56, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Where would you put the record of people blocking lay preachers? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I would support some sort of "badf block" marker - provided that it doesn't prevent anyone from seeing the block details (blocking admin, blocked account, and block reason). Unfortunately, that's currently not possible. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 14:13, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I can't see any major technical issues with having something like that made possible. (and the comment about lay preachers ...(Theo-retically possible es.) ..d'uh? What was that about, and to whom was it addressed? And why is it relevant?) Pesky (talk) 19:23, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

My premature summary, overreaching interpretation and suggested next step / revised proposal

One person pointed out an ambiguity in my proposal (the undefined "all") which I then clarified, but that's now messy. I did a very fast count and it looks like a lot more support than oppose....not that means anything beyond maybe thinking about a refined proposal. More importantly, the reason cited by almost all of the "opposes" was that a record should be kept and visible, even of bad blocks. Finally, one or more editors pointed out the narrowness of my proposal as it only includes cases where the blocking admin admitted that it was an error. This "narrowness" was deliberate (to keep this from dying from complexity) but we should note that leaving it out does not weigh in against it. So I have a revised proposal which the above would indicate probable 90% or 100% support for. Lets let it sit a few hours without any "supports/opposes" in case anybody sees any error or ambiguities which we can fix. OK, it's been about about 9 hours. North8000 (talk) 00:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Proposal When the the administrator who made a block subsequently determines that the block was in error, let's create the ability and expectation that that administrator can and will mark the block as being in error in a way that makes it very clear. This can be via a mark on that block itself, or the ability to create an additional log entry (without creating an additional block) This ability to mark the log shall only be used by an admin to mark their own block as being in error. The "expectation" will be created by some new wording in Wikipedia:Blocking policy. The idea of a system for the community to do this without agreement by the blocker is acknowledged and can be discussed later but (for simplicity) is not included in this proposal.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 15:02, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Support As proposer. North8000 (talk) 00:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - When acting as admin on other projects (not Wikipedia) I've even made mistakes of blocking the wrong person simply by pressing the wrong user information and imposing the block. I've always undone such blocks immediately and usually even apologized on the user's talk page with usually a note of praise of what that user has accomplished as well to try and smooth things over. Still, having the ability to mark in the logs itself that the block was in error would be useful. I've also stepped into wheel warring disputes as well where it was later determined by the community at large that the blocks were done in error and bad faith. While the ability to note a small text explanation is already in the MediaWiki software, what seems to be missing is the ability to retroactively mark a specific block as being done in error. Perhaps simply allowing an admin to make an "administrative" entry on behalf of that user in the block log that could be a standard summary field of any kind for any reason but would otherwise not have any impact upon the user? I could see this being used in other log entries too as a more generic tool. --Robert Horning (talk) 06:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: this is obviously a good starting point for further work on less unambiguous areas. Pesky (talk) 12:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I like the idea of creating an "whoops!" entry in the block log without having to re-block. An elegant solution. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 13:01, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I can support the blocking admin marking a block as erroneous in the log. This is purely a case of adding information; I do not support removing information from any block logs. However, a block "being in error" should mean, "At the time of the block, there was not justification for blocking." It does not mean "Since block expiration, or since unblocking, the editor has edited productively." It is the goal that editors will return to productivity after the block is done. That does not mean it was mistaken. In other words, 'user forgiven' is not the same as 'mistaken block'. Superm401 - Talk 18:58, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Per Superm401. Intelligentsium 02:38, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support as reasonable in the case of a bad block. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 03:41, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support new version. Having worked in a medical-related field, I've grown to appreciate the need for clear documentation, especially when errors are made. Even if you document it elsewhere, the record itself should be amended to indicate the error and what steps were taken to correct it. That way, there is no impression you are "hiding" the error. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:43, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I'd like to go a little broader, but have nothing against starting with clean situations, and if it works well, consider expanding later, as noted by the proposal. I'd also rpefer that the block log look clean as opposed to being dirtied with an explanation, but that too can come later.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:59, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. I'd go further and support bad blocks being expunged from the log as proposed above, but this is a good first step in that direction, with no obvious problems. Robofish (talk) 23:36, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, good corrections, feasible solution, reasonable option. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 11:42, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - Fair is fair. Blocks can have lasting consequences, needless to say, and this would fix simple human error. Jusdafax 23:46, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support proposal from Elen of the Roads, otherwise oppose. Elen came up with a well-thought-out set of criteria which will avoid abuse and politics. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:45, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Very strong support. –BuickCenturyDriver 08:41, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I think such blocks should look something like revdeleted edits look for normal editor, with strikethrough and different color.--Staberinde (talk) 12:06, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - This is good, leaves a trace but makes clear that a bad block was a bad block. Carrite (talk) 18:13, 10 March 2013 (UTC)


Theoretical situation: Admin A makes a questionable block of User. Discussion, and then uproar on ANI, and eventually creation of a case at Arbcom where the Arbcom makes a finding that Admin A's block was wrong. Admin A refuses to make note in Users block record as described above indicating that the block was wrong . Is Admin then in violation of Arbcom's findings? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 23:13, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Well no one can be in "violation" of findings. They could only be in violation of sanctions. And that's a different issue, likely handled by ArbCom itself. It's not a requirement for the blocking admin to be the one who amends the block log, so it's not relevant to this. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:33, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
This proposal only covers cases where the blocking admin has determined that their block was in error. So, your question is not actually germane to this proposal. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:30, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Once again i believe there are procedural problems here:
  • If a radical change to the way supposedly erroneous blocks are handled is seriously being proposed there needs to be a much more public process, as in a formal RFC, a listing at WP:CENT, possibly watchlist notices, etc
  • Are we sure this is even possible with the current software? Big changes in the interface take months or even years to implement and can be quite expensive for the WMF to implement, has anyone even asked about this?
  • Will this "notational ability" be given to all admins, enabling any admin to add notes to any users block log at any time?
Until these questions are answered I don't see much point in proceeding with actually discussing the proposal. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:57, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Answering you points and question in order:
  • I don't believe that adding the ability and expectation that when an admin determines that their own block is in error that there is an ability and expectation to make a log entry to that effect is a "radical change". But review of this in a wider venue would be great, given that such a venue would be more likely to lead to implementation once decided. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:42, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • If adding the ability to add a notation were a huge process (which IMHO is doubtful), then something needs fixing with the system. On the second note, it would kill every new idea and proposal to have to assume the worst and confirm the opposite prior to discussing. North8000 (talk) 20:55, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Regarding your "ability" question, Per the proposal, "This ability to mark the log shall only be used by an admin to mark their own block as being in error.". If you are asking whether admins would have the technical ability to do things that are in violation of policy (e.g. use that ability ability to add a notation for a non-allowed purpose), the technical ability to do things in violation of policy already exists for all admins and all editors including IP's, but immensely so for admins. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:35, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Assumption of guilt

We cant fairly make the assumption the previous block was valid. We can make a guideline that specifically forbids using previous blocks as a motivation to block a person. One time I was blocked for a few hours. Reason given: "dubious IP edits". It took a bit to long to get unblocked for my taste but no real harm was done. Pointing at such entry as if it demonstrates previous problematic behavior should be frowned upon. It smells WAAAAAAAAAAY to much like "making it up as we go along". We should simply close the old case and open a new one. The new one shouldn't be mistaken for reopening the closed one.

I've even seen a group of users report the same guy over and over again, each time assuming the previous reports had already demonstrated his wrongdoings. The uninvolved editor reviewing a report should never be expected to go figure out if the previous report contains evidence.

How many times you've seen the inside of a court room wont tell us if you are guilty or not. (talk) 03:40, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Agree with you 100%, and your thought should be promulgated, but you'll have to rewire how the human brain works to fully make that happen. In the meantime my proposal is a partial step towards that end. North8000 (talk) 13:15, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


The proposal went through 2 variations. The first was a bit vaguely written and call for the ability to completely expunge the record. There were approx. 11 in favor and 6 against. Very importantly, the reason cited by all of the "opposes" essentially said that the record of the block should be retained. I then prepared a revised proposal which was more specific, and called for the ability and expectation to mark (rather than delete) the log. Of the 10 respondents, support was unanimous. Moreover, the change clearly resolved the issue cited by all of the "opposes" in the first round. North8000 (talk) 01:27, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

What is needed now is to simply present this to the developers, most likely as a Bugzilla request with a link to this discussion noting this is now a formal feature request from the Wikipedia community and that consensus has been formed on the concept with unanimous support. While anybody can make that request, I would suggest that the original proposer make the formal request if possible with support on Bugzilla by as many people who want to follow/support on the Bugzilla request as well. "Advertising" this request on some of the various mailing lists would be useful as well for further discussion or support of this concept. I agree, this proposal should be marked as closed, although further action is needed. --Robert Horning (talk) 21:26, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Cool. I'll have to learn how to use that Bugzilla channel; I know nothing about it. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 23:38, 28 January 2013 (UTC) North8000 North8000 (talk) 16:04, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Next steps

I learned and put in a request at Bugzilla. North8000 (talk) 18:51, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

They asked how it was different than the ability to create an additional block and immediately undo it. I provided various answers to this, most notably that this possibility was already acknowledged early in the RFC, and responses were made with that knowledge / take that into account. North8000 (talk) 13:59, 10 February 2013 (UTC) North8000 (talk) 12:47, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Link to bug please? Thanks. — Hex (❝?!❞) 12:20, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for asking. I just learned how to file a wp bugzilla and that's basically all that I know. I'll need to and will figure out how to look at it and get a link. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:41, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I think that this is a link. [5] North8000 (talk) 14:20, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Note that if you consider this "bug" to be important, you can "vote" for the bug if only to demonstrate your opinion that it is something that should be seriously considered by the MediaWiki developers. --Robert Horning (talk) 02:52, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Seems weird, after it gets decided here it needs to go thought another more mysterious decision-making process. Where it needs votes but is not an active discussion in Wikipedia. North8000 (talk) 03:10, 20 February 2013 (UTC)North8000 (talk) 22:34, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
While English Wikipedia is obviously the largest project for the Wikimedia Foundation, the guys you are talking to on Bugzilla are the developers for the MediaWiki software.... a whole other bunch of guys that have their own opinions and prejudices. They generally do listen closely to the Wikipedia community very closely (especially en.wikipedia), but they are not bound to straw poll decisions... especially when it requires them to write some code. In theory somebody who wants to get busy and write some some extension to the MediaWiki software could submit a patch right now and push that through and simply make the request that the server gurus at the WMF simply put this feature into en.wikipedia when they get a chance. It is how things operate around here. They do get the final say about changes to the software running this server though. --Robert Horning (talk) 00:30, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation. North8000 (talk) 02:05, 1 March 2013 (UTC) North8000 (talk) North8000 North8000 (talk) 13:51, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Speedy Rescue

At this discussion Peridon mentioned a process called "Speedy Rescue" so my proposal is adding a new section to the draft guideline involving Speedy Rescue ie. Speedy Rescue allows abandoned drafts with potential but not ready to be moved into the article space to be Rescued from MfD or the proposed abandoned drafts PROD/CSD. Cobalion. Setting Justice 11:53, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Acceptable use of double accounts?

I would like to create a second account for use when contributing in the subjects that are at the center of my professional work. Up until now I've done antivandalism work, modest contributions in my own field of work, fixing obvious errors in other areas, and contributed, sometimes frivolously, at the reference desk. I would not like to advertise on my user pages that there is any connection between the two accounts, for privacy reasons. If I did, even with a random username, many of those who know me professionally would make the connection, and be able to retrieve more information about me than I would like them to. Is this acceptable under current policy, or would I have to make a "fresh start"? --NorwegianBlue talk 11:57, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

See WP:SOCK#LEGIT. Seems the reasons you've given would be legitimate under that policy. I might add, that there is no need to explicitly identify the alternate account, although you need to be very careful to not edit using both accounts in a way that runs afoul of sockpuppetry. olderwiser 12:14, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Allow anons to create redirects

Anonymous users should be allowed to create redirects to existing articles. This can enable the silly vandalism of creating a redirect from currently non-existent derogatory article names such as poopfart to articles about persons. But this type of vandalism does not harm the quality of any Wikipedia articles and is strictly less harmful than the currently allowed vandalism of changing an existing article with a derogatory title such as idiot into a redirect. (talk) 13:18, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

It's hard to implement though. The only way I can see this implemented is making something like Redirects for Creation. And why not make a account? Cobalion. Setting Justice 14:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
And once they've created the redirect, they can then edit the redirect to form an article. Nope.—Kww(talk) 02:30, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Never gonna happen. Would provide a vector for vandalism and libel without providing any measurable benefit to the encyclopedia. In the rare case that an anon absolutely, positively, must must must make a redirect but for whatever reason can't make an account, they can always post on a noticeboard to leave a talk message for one of the active admins. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 02:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Articles for creation/Redirects for a current method available to IP editors. Monty845 03:45, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Sourcing issues relating to Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, and their governments

I've been looking into the politics of countries that are anti-US, such as Venezuela, and Iran, and how these countries are portrayed in the American media. I've noticed that many non-US publications are saying that the US government and media are portraying these countries very unfavourably at home. Some of the reports are also inconsistent with the point of views of mainstream US media.



As an English sector of Wikipedia, I would have imagined that we rely on major American media outlets such as CNN, ABC, Reuters, New York Times, and Huffington Post for a lot of our referencing work on articles about international relations because they are prominent and are easy to source. However, we need to be aware that, when authoring articles countries that are unfriendly to the US government, such as Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and to a lesser extent, Syria, we MUST make sure that other non-US media outlets like Al Jazeera, DW, the BBC, AFP, Xinhua News Agency, The Guardian, and France 24, be used more often than those of the US.

For example, if a claim is referenced from an American outlet, *at least* one non-US source must complement that reference; or the author could go ahead and replace the US source with a non-US one.

Again, we must include more non-US sources in our references. --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 08:51, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Your argument would already appear to be supported by WP:NPOV. The issue is with whether people are following existing policy rather than anything that needs changing within our policies. Phil Bridger (talk) 09:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes I'm aware of that. My point is, there may be some people, especially those from the US, who might not realise that the US government and media are demonizing the government of these countries. It is imperitive that this observation is known by editors who cover Middle Eastern and Latin American political affairs. I'd like such a message to be written down somewhere to warn other editors. --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 10:37, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
This could serve as a good starting point.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:55, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for not being clear -- there are people who don't realize that the US media is demonizing these countries in the first place. How can I let everyone know this? --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 23:15, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Country of origin of news coverage is entirely irrelevant. The question is whether NPOV is being maintained. There are a whole spectrum of views in the "American press," for the record, it is completely inaccurate to say that "the US media is demonizing these countries." SOME of the American media is doing this, just as is some of the British media, some of the French media, some of the German media, and so on... Carrite (talk) 04:43, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Why were the pages for all the Friends Episodes removed?


I'm a pretty old fan of Wikipedia and just wanted to get some help on a question that's been plaguing me for quite some time:

Why were all the individual pages for FREINDS episodes removed? I remember there wee pages for every single episode, whereas now there are only for a few. I notice that the Seinfeld Episodes still have pages and so do the South Park ones... Was there any particular policy decision or so made for the same? Could you please direct me to the same.

I'm a fan of all the above shows and am not trying to find out any particular user preference or so, just wanted to get a background about this.

Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by DesdemonaOfaMan (talkcontribs) 01:33, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Well, there are articles for some episodes as listed here. Each season article includes synopses for each episode, and some episodes were probably not sufficiently notable on their own. There is some discussion here as to why this was done (for season 1 in particular).

Outing and obvious COI

Although I'm generally a supporter of our policy on outing, there are times when I believe it may prevent us from tagging articles as COI even though the COI is blatantly obvious. Last month I ran into a BLP obviously being edited by the subject, as the editor's username was used by the subject on the subject's own webpages - it's their twitter tag, etc. There's actually no attempt to hide that other than the fact they don't mention it on Wikipedia (and so far haven't responded to my question as to whether the editor has a COI).

More recently it's become obvious that an editor has created articles with a clear coi, one a deleted biography and another about an organisation they run. Again, searching for the username on the web makes this explicit.

Does policy, and if it does should policy, prevent us from recognising this COI? Dougweller (talk) 09:12, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Why is it so important to draw attention to a conflict of interest? The relevant issue, insofar as Wikipedia is an encyclopedia rather than a social networking site, is whether article content conforms to our policies, such as WP:NPOV, rather than who is writing the content. My strong preference would be to stop using ad hominem tags such as {{coi}}, and use content-focussed tags such as {{npov}} instead. Phil Bridger (talk) 11:14, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
For better or worse, COI article editing is NOT forbidden, and is a regular occurrence because of that (and COI is 'just' a guideline.) I don't think we should be relaxing the rules policy on outing, which as I read it, may allow the outing you are considering on COIN, only ("... [unredacted] information can be used for discussions of conflict of interest in appropriate forums" (but, no 'oppo' or threats!). The cost-benefit ratio of strengthening COI beats that for weakening OUTING, IMO. But Phil's suggestion is probably better than either.--Elvey (talk) 16:17, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Said differently: Such outing results in more unhelpful drama, as it consists essentially of inflammatory accusations of activity for which there is no sanction. And that drama is Wikipedia's #1 problem, IMNSHO. I hope you consider and find what I've written helpful, rather than dismissing it because it's coming from 'boring' me, Doug. --Elvey (talk) 16:30, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm very aware that COI editing is not forbidden and have worked with editors with major COI issues in the past successfully (in that the editor and I have been able to agree on article and avoid promotionalism). I still think our readers deserve to know when there is such a conflict of interest, and this has been a major issue in the past which I don't think is going to go away. I don't think avoiding COI tags is a good idea. Among other things they can draw the attention of readers and editors to possible NPOV issues. Dougweller (talk) 17:02, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
But surely an NPOV tag is at least as good for drawing attention to NPOV issues? The problem with a COI tag is that there is no way to address the issue so as to remove the tag, because it is about who has edited the article in the past rather than the current state of the article. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:06, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
If the article is neutral, then why do our readers need to be warned about who wrote it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
If this is turning into an argument against COI tags I'll mention it as WP:COI. Dougweller (talk) 19:51, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I also don't think COI tags are useful. How exactly are you ever supposed to get rid of them, since the person having a COI will always be true? That's why our article tags should focus on being about the state of the article. And if a COI person is writing perfectly neutral and good articles (which I think WP:PAIDHELP has shown is done a lot), then them having a COI is completely irrelevant. I think POV-pushers are way worse than people with COIs anyways. SilverserenC 20:21, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

It's difficult on long or complex articles to know whether they're neutral unless you make yourself familiar with the source material, which could take days or weeks of work. If the article about multinational X has been written by that company's corporate communications officer, it might be important to alert the reader with the COI tag. Doug, you're right that this gets tricky when it's a BLP written by one editor; the COI tag basically outs them in cases like that. But with such articles, it would matter less to the reader; that is, there is unlikely to be a strong public-interest argument in favour of making clear that John Smith, butterfly collector, has written an article about himself. So in cases where it's more of an irritant than anything else, I wouldn't use the COI tag. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:21, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
The {{POV-check}} template covers such a situation where an article needs to be checked for neutrality without us having to out anyone or accuse anyone of having a conflict of interest. Surely templates in article space should be about articles, not editors? Phil Bridger (talk) 19:15, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Except, that it would be relevant information for any reader if Company Y's article is or maybe written by Company Y. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:14, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Another problem is when Wikipedians act as proxies by inserting word-for-word whatever the company PR person proposes. I think a COI tag might be appropriate where extensive material is being ported over, and where there is a strong public-interest element to the issue. Phil, yes, in an ideal world we'd have lots of knowledgeable Wikipedians on hand to check the material so we could focus on the edits, not the editors. But checking the source material for just one large company article – not only the sources the company has offered but the ones they haven't – is a lot of work, so it doesn't get done. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Index of child editors

More or less.

If we're going to allow minors to identify as such, it seems a bit unwise to provide a handy tool for locating them as well. Or maybe I just worry too much. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:29, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

It could be worse; at least someone didn't start a thread about it on a widely-read noticeboard. Oh, wait... --Floquenbeam (talk) 21:39, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I think any villains would probably discover these things themselves, not from a noticeboard. — Hex (❝?!❞) 23:53, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Hum!!! We should send these users a message like the one below since there so exposed.
Your safety and security
  1. Passwords: Don't tell anyone your password, even your best friend.
  2. Account sharing: Don't let your family or friends use your account. Ever. If they do something wrong, you'll get blamed for it.
  3. Log out every time you leave the computer, especially if it is a public computer.
  4. Multiple accounts: Don't use more than one account.
  5. When you have an account, always log in and use it when you edit.
  6. Be careful what you write. Never post your address or telephone/mobile telephone number, and don't use your real name for your username. Don't post photos of yourself, your friends, or family on your user page. People can put this info together to find out who you really are, especially if you have used the same information on other web sites.
  7. Don't write articles about yourself - if you are a really important person, someone else will probably write an article about you.
  8. If you posted private information by accident, ask an administrator (see below) to delete it for you. Or you can request it to be oversighted. Even if you don't ask, an administrator or other editor may remove it if we know that you are very young. Please don't be upset, as this will be done to protect you.
See Wikipedia:Guidance for younger editors for more information.
--Moxy (talk) 21:45, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
From just one brief glance at one user page, the template might not necessarily be construed as outing editors below the age of minority, even if that were a concern of ours. (I think you're just worrrying too much, Hex.) See for exmaple User:DeathHamster. There is nothing present on that user page to indicate that the user is a "minor". --Izno (talk) 21:58, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
The template has a setting for "this user is in primary school" (which was the state I first encountered the template displayed in). I have no idea how somebody thought that was a good idea. — Hex (❝?!❞) 23:51, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I've removed the offending parameters. I agree, such users should not be positively identifying themselves in this fashion. --Izno (talk) 01:38, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Actually, of the ones I spot checked, almost everyone appears to be a university student. I'm sure not all of them are, but most seem to be. --Floquenbeam (talk) 21:56, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, it's the minority that I worry about. — Hex (❝?!❞) 23:51, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
    • What a horrid idea; it would be wise to keep an eye out for such mechanisms in the future as they are of no relevance whatsoever to Wikipedia and are nothing but liabilities/dangers. dci | TALK 01:46, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  • As far as I know, we don't have any specific policy against minors editing Wikipedia, although they are prohibited from holding certain privileged positions. As such, I don't see something inherently evil here; if anything, it's arguably helpful that underage editors should identify themselves as such, since they are likely to have greater need of protection and assistance and their edits deserve greater scrutiny. Deleting templates like this one isn't going to make the children go away; we may as well at least know who they are (without compromising anyone's privacy). If you think children on Wikipedia is a serious problem (and it certainly does raise issues), bringing it up with Jimbo or the WMF is a better approach than simply deleting a template. Robofish (talk) 14:14, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Regarding Wikipediocracy

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived: As an attempt to come to a consensus on a policy change, this proposal has failed to do so. There are some strong feeling about some maters, but no further progress to a policy change is likely. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:34, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I did think the Village Pump was probably a better place for this discussion than the Administrators' Noticeboard, but I thought I would get more involvement in the discussion over there. But Wehwalt is right, that's not the right forum for the discussion, this is. So, here we are. Here, i'll copy my comment from the section over there.

"This is really the last straw. We've enabled Wikipedia Review and lately Wikipediocracy for years and all the chilling effects they've tried to have on Wikipedia and its editors, even though the site is largely made up of banned editors. But the recent incident involving Cla68 and Kevin (which i'm not discussing here, go to the Arbcom discussion page if you want to argue that one out) went too far. Actively, during the discussion, there was a long discussion thread going on at Wikipediocracy, wherein banned editor Vigilant began outing/doxing any editors whose comments he disliked from the discussion, including doing so to a minor. This was in an attempt to get those editors to stop participating in the Wikipedia discussion. Something really needs to be done or steps need to be taken, because this sort of thing can't just be allowed. Make all the jokes you want about the old WP:BADSITES policy, but the strong-arm tactics on Wikipediocracy's part remains."

Now, as for specific policy changes, i'm not quite sure. It really comes down to two options. Is Wikipediocracy to be considered a wholly separate outside site unrelated to Wikipedia, which would make it fall under the rules of Off-wiki Harassment, or is it more connected to Wikipedia because of the heavy involvement of Wikipedia editors, formerly banned or current as it may be, which means it would fall under the normal on-wiki rules for such things, including outing/doxing. SilverserenC 18:48, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Hypothetically, what would that even change? My read of the Off-wiki harassment section says that we can already punish editors on wiki who conduct off wiki outing. I hope your not proposing either a guilt by association policy, or trying to coerce those with authority there to exercise it to enforce wikipedia policy, under threat of on wiki punishment. Monty845 18:58, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Clarifying it as falling under Off-wiki Harassment would be good as well though, since that's been haphazardly enforced as it is. And, no, i'm not. The majority of times when doxing or other such things occur, it's by one of the banned editors and there's nothing we can do about that. However, sometimes, it has been conducted or heavily involved by someone who is still an editor here.
As for the authority thing, i'm not sure. I can definitely see though how being the moderator of a forum that is used to dox and otherwise negatively impact things on-wiki and then also being an administrator here is a problem. I think something does need to be brought up regarding that.
I might also add that considering the recent incidents regarding linking to the Wikipediocracy site and outing and such, we might want to get the site added to the blacklist, so that it's not possible to link to it here. That would fix that issue so it doesn't happen again. SilverserenC 19:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Again, I would read the current off-wiki harrasment policy to apply, and it looks like it has existed in substantially the same form for over a year. Certainly no objection if you think it needs to be clarified. I wouldn't go further and try to punish people who don't personally violate that policy, even if they are seen as facilitating or encouraging it by participating someplace off-wiki. I could also see it torpedoing an RFA, but for someone who is already an admin, given the lack of consensus for any sort of admin removal process short of really serious misconduct, I think we should leave it alone. Maybe, some day, if there is an admin recall process, or other community process for removal it could be reconsidered. Monty845 19:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Then I guess going ahead with the blacklisting of the website URL and perhaps reinforcing the Off-wiki Harassment section is the best way to go for now. SilverserenC 19:31, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

"Is Wikipediocracy to be considered a wholly separate outside site unrelated to Wikipedia"? Yes, I think it should be considered that, if only because it is a wholly separate site unrelated to Wikipedia. Of all the nonsense you've peddled here about WR and Wikipediocracy, Silver, this has to be the dumbest. I think you should have taken the hint when this discussion got closed down on WP:AN. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:43, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Except it has tied itself so closely to Wikipedia, I don't really think it falls under what the Off-wiki harassment section is meant to cover. SilverserenC 19:46, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikipediocracy is a completely separate entity from Wikipedia. Wikipedia rules have zero control over them and their rules have zero control here. Wikipedia's rules only control members of Wikipedia. Wikipedia's rules do cover actions that current Wikipedians take off-Wiki, but doxing/outing clearly falls within the "Off-wiki Harassment" policy. I can see some kind of an argument that a COI arises for Wikipedia admins who serve as mods on a site like Wikipediocracy, and there is no current policy really covering this kind of COI (which is really most comparable to COI within the realm of professional responsibility), but is that what you are talking about here? Because there's no need to declare foreign websites as part of Wikipedia for such a rule to be implemented. -Thibbs (talk) 20:35, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Whatever works. I just feel something needs to be done to deal with or at least somewhat mitigate the issue of them doxing/outing editors and then threatening those editors with the information in order to make them stop contributing to on-wiki discussions. Because that is direct on-wiki disruption. And really, being a moderator of such a forum, does seem like being a facilitator of it to me. Just being a normal member wouldn't be, but being in charge would be. SilverserenC 21:05, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Just out of abject curiosity, but why are you intersecting with them? I remember dealing with issues surrounding you, Selina Kyle, and Wikipedia Review years ago. It is possible to edit Wikipedia without intersecting with WR etc., even if you are a former member there. Accent on the former. I used to be a member on WR; I left and never looked back and unsurprisingly things have gone swimmingly. If they're such a problem then why interact with them? Why let them interact with you? And what is going on that causes them to care about you and you to care about them? Find that out, fix it, and be happy. --Golbez (talk) 21:14, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

You're saying I should just ignore all of the things they do, all of the attacks on other editors, all of the harassment? Even if it's not directed at me, ignoring it would be irresponsible. SilverserenC 21:17, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Seren, basically what you are agitating for here is for an external website, because of the overlap of membership with the Wikipedia, to be considered of the body. If that were to happen, then anything said or done "over there" would be subject to WP:CIVIL, WP:NPA, WP:AGF, and a myriad other wiki-acronyms. What you're proposing is no so dissimilar to public schools that try to regulate the behavior of students when they are off-campus and outside of school hours. This is a very swampy morass you're venturing into here. Tarc (talk) 21:28, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
  • That's true. Though I do think Off-wiki Harassment should be properly enforced then. Also, blacklisting of the URL seems to be in order considering recent events. Those are simple, easy steps to be taken. SilverserenC 21:41, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oh, Br'er Fox, please don't throw Br'er Wikipediocracy into the blacklist-patch. It would just be an awful, terrible, horrible thing to do to them. Their throats would get so powerful sore from screaming I'M-BEING-CENSORED. Lord almighty, the wikidrama would just shame them into next week. Land sakes, don't you know how they all feel about being the center of attention? You wouldn't want to see them suffer so. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Seren, this is like, what, third? Fourth? forum that you've tried raising this in? And... gee, not even people with impeccable Wiki credentials are agreeing with you. Though they're diplomatic about it (their skill at diplomacy is why they have these impeccable credentials) so rather than telling you off, they close your threads or tell you "maybe you should waste your time on something else" (more or less). I don't have impeccable Wiki credentials nor am I very diplomatic. So I'll tell you straight up - these attempts at WP:FORUMSHOPPING have already crossed well over into the territory of TROLLING. Yes, you're basically trolling all the Wikipedia editors who happen to comment on Wikipediocracy sometimes. Stop it. At the very least stop making stuff up while you do it.Volunteer Marek 22:52, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Second? I posted it to AN and Wehwalt closed it saying AN isn't the right forum for this (and he's right, as it's a policy issue), so I moved it here. Oh, and please do tell me what i'm making up. SilverserenC 22:58, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Note that there was a long discussion about blacklisting the websites on Commons last year. The discussion at Commons:Commons:Requests for comment/offsite discussions#Spam blacklist may contain something useful for Wikipedia. There were also a few comments at Commons:MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist. I am not convinced that blacklisting is the option. The problem, as I see it, is that the discussions are taking place somewhere in the first place, and I don't think that blacklisting certain websites would prevent people from harassing other people at external websites. The person who is attacked in the discussions is probably equally hurt regardless of whether it is possible to link to the discussions or not.

About off-wiki harassment, I would make it easy and say that anything which can't be deleted by any Wikipedia administrator is off-wiki activity. The discussions at Wikipedia Review can only be deleted by a selected few Wikipedia administrators who also happen to be administrators of Wikipedia Review. That said, if the activity is directly related to Wikipedia, and the only reason for having the activity off-wiki is that it would immediately be deleted as G10, then I don't think that it would be a big issue to restrict the person's access to Wikipedia. For example, I recall that a user was banned by the arbitration committee last year for posting three photos to an external web site.

That said, I would like to point out that I haven't followed the discussions about the websites on Wikipedia and I have not read the threads on the websites which started this discussion, so I don't know if I have missed something important. Generally speaking, I have only looked at the websites if there have been references to the websites in discussions on Commons. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:44, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

One would have thought and hoped that if there was harassment of Wikipedia editors going on anywhere, then anyone involved in or helping to facilitate such harassment would be treated as persona non grata (i.e. banned) from Wikipedia. Is this controversial? I don't understand what the disagreement is about. Victor Yus (talk) 07:13, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The people who are actively harassing other editors offsite were already banned. The disagreement is about whether the website that hosts the harassment (amongst another content) should be blacklisted. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:23, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Does "blacklisting" here mean a technical operation (preventing linking to the site), or does it mean that people involved with that site would not be allowed to be active on Wikipedia? Victor Yus (talk) 07:59, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
It means to prevent linking to the site, a la MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:09, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Do tell what helping to facilitate means, Victor. — Hex (❝?!❞)  FREE KEVIN  13:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess, for example, allowing it to take place on an outside website that the person has some kind of control over. (By harassment I don't mean mere criticism, I mean stuff like threats, publication of private information, etc.) Victor Yus (talk) 14:32, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
See also WP:Battle, which prohibits off-site/on-site--political/personal grudge pursuits. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:05, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Would that it did (inasmuch as these "policies" have any real significance), but it seems to be all about on-site activity. Victor Yus (talk) 15:27, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
(Wise parenthetical note) However, while mostly so, as one would expect, it's not entirely so re offsite grudges/politics (although some nexus is needed), generally because of effect re 5 pillars, particularly NPOV and CIV (see also off-site canvass). Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Victor Yus that there's no current policy barring a Wikipedian from presiding over abuses like this on a third party website. But I think it's questionable whether such a thing would be desirable. Advocates for such measures would probably proceed best under a "professional conflict of interest" argument (which would entail greatly expanding our current WP:COI) but I think this proposal is quite a controversial one. Many feel that belonging to Wikipedia shouldn't impose affirmative requirements on your life. It's one thing to impose a restriction by saying that if caught actively harming Wikipedia off-site then you face penalties, but it's considerably more of an imposition to say that if found to be sitting back while others (especially non-Wikipedians) violate Wikipedia's rules then you will be penalized. This would force editors who are simultaneous members of both communities and who have done no wrong to chose allegiance with one community or the other. In a way it's just as pathetic as their attempt to gag editors here by doxing/outing them. Unless there's actual evidence of professional misconduct (e.g. that a Wikipedia admin and mod there is secretly funneling them editors' private information, etc.), the situation may not demand those kinds of harsh measures. Some elements of these groups thrive on feeling like victims and blacklisting them and taking reactionary measures against them only affirms and validates them. -Thibbs (talk) 15:31, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking of a situation (I've no idea if it's extant or hypothetical, though it seems to have been alluded to here) where a Wikipedian has the power (as a moderator or administrator, say) to take action against harassment that's occurring on another site, but purposely declines to do so. It's not that I would want to impose "Wikipedia's rules" on another site, but I would have thought we would require ordinary standards of social decency. If editor A leaves Wikipedia due to inability to accept the community's tolerating the presence of editor B, who is facilitating harassment of editor A somewhere off-Wikipedia, then the wrong result has been achieved. There's little we can do to stop the harassment, but we can at least show some solidarity with the harassee. Victor Yus (talk) 17:16, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd say it depends on the degree of facilitation going on. If there is an admin who is actively giving information to third parties to materially facilitate outing then this is definitely sanctionable. But "purposefully declining to take action against those who are outing a WP editor" sounds more like just a rhetorical conversion of a passive non-action into an active one. A very hardline approach would be to say that admins at Wikipedia can't have anything to do with anti-Wikipedia sites because it would give the appearance of COI-related impropriety. Currently that's not policy here though, and I think it would be a hard sell since it's so draconian. But from your example with editor A and B, I don't really see how we get the wrong result. If "A" is unable to accept the community's tolerance of "B" then the conflict would seem to lie between "A" and the community. Wikipedia is a collaborative endeavor so if WP:DR has been attempted and the community determines "B" not to be a problem then "A" has to learn to work with "B" or avoid him. If that means leaving Wikipedia then that's "A"'s decision. -Thibbs (talk) 18:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Sure, but I'm suggesting (not having any particular case in mind, and now even knowing whether there are any particular cases that I might have had in mind) that in the case of editors such as my hypothetical B, the community ought to regard them as a problem. Not because they're "involved" with another site, or because that site is "anti-Wikipedia", but because they're specifically doing something that isn't decent towards another member of our community who (let's say) has done nothing to deserve it. (Some sorts of inaction can obviously be felt, in a social context, to be a form of action.) Victor Yus (talk) 11:24, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I see where you're coming from. Personally, though, I think it entirely depends on the degree to which B has facilitated the situation against A. For us to construct a rule requiring B to take affirmative off-wiki action including banning or redacting others on a third-party website that is intended to critique Wikipedia,... that goes too far. It's tantamount to censorship (though I realize it's intended here with a good cause) and would most likely lead to B being stripped of his mod duties at the third party site at which he's enforcing foreign rules. Imagine if an online hunting forum were moderated by someone enforcing the PETA forum rules. I think it's entirely fair for Wikipedia to punish those that take positive steps to harm Wikipedia off-site (such as outing "enemies" on another forum and thereby reducing collaboration and participation here). Personally, though, I wouldn't extend that to punishing those who have merely sat idle while others harmed Wikipedia. -Thibbs (talk) 14:26, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, Stefan raised the point I also wanted to raise. They were blacklisted on Commons for a couple of days, and that caused so much drama with Greg Kohs (oh, sorry, Gregory Kohs) appearing there in person, and the whole bunch of people suddenly popping up to explain how bad the censure is, so that I would rather not have it for the second time here.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Besides, I'm not sure if blacklisting would be effective. It would still be possible to link to the discussions, for example by archiving them using WebCite and linking to the archived copy. --Stefan2 (talk) 12:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
And if the WMF tookover WebCite (as has been seriously suggested) what would happen to such archives? Do you think someone like Silver seren would delete such a document under the banner of protecting the privacy of Wikipedians? Would they also delete archived pages that contain WP:BLP violations? Or WP:NPOV violations? And would the keepers of such an archive behave as ethically and consistently as the admins on WP? Just wondering out loud. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

The BADSITES concept never does go away, does it? I think blacklisting a critic site would be a "Scientology-ish" action that would be an abuse of the blacklist as an attempt to keep the Wiki-walled-garden free of criticism that hurts its residents' tender feelings. *Dan T.* (talk) 13:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I have only recently become familiar with the Wikipediocracy site and I whole heartedly agree that it has a lot of useless comments and banter from people who got thrown out of Wikipedia for various reasons. However, it should be noted that there are a lot of good points raised there about some of the extremely stupid things that occur hereor with the processes that WP has, doesn't have, doesn't enforce or only enforces when it suits them. If Wikipedia truly wants to be rid of Wikipediocracy and the majority of the comments there then they should take some time for self reflection and seriously look at the issues raised. Many are just sniped comments true, but there are some good points and those should be addressed.
If, however you want to add coal to the fires and generate more bantor for the Wikipediocracy folks then feel free to blacklist the site and I would recommend banning any Wikipedia editor who has participated in the comments there. This would include a number of administrators, some Arbcom members and some folks at the WMF. Yes this is Kumioko. (talk) 16:10, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Hey, Kumioko. Thanks for actually saying who you are, it's more of a backbone than any of the others have. I just wanted to state that if Wikipediocracy focused on actual, proper criticism of Wikipedia, individual incidents, and whatever, then it would be fine. But it doesn't. Most of the time, it devolves into insults and intimidation, and attacks via outing/doxing that leads to threatening editors. It's because of these sorts of things that i'm making the proposal. If Wikipediocracy actually held itself to being a proper critic site and kicked out those who go too far and make it personal, then I think Wikipediocracy would actually be more well-regarded. As was noted by Risker in the Signpost, Wikipedia Review back in the early days was like this and much better because of it. But it seems to me that you then started letting in elements that were all about making it personal, like Vigilant, and it lowered the level of the criticism to just being an attack and no longer a critique. SilverserenC 21:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
For the record, I did not say that in the Signpost, that was a link to a different discussion, and I also stated my opposition to blacklisting Wikipediocracy. I do see this as a BADSITES reaction. Risker (talk) 00:11, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Seren, that comment of Risker's was baloney. WR in the old days was absolutely lambasted by the Old Guard here, what Risker is doing now is a simple and common move seen in politics; demonize your current opponent by comparing him to one of your old opponents, to try to portray them as getting worse over time. You see it now in US politics, where Democrats say the current Tea Party-style conservatives "aren't nearly as bad as Ron Reagan, Reagan was a conservative we could work with." People who make these sort of BS comments bank on the listener having a non-existent memory, because those who were actually around in the 80's recall liberals slamming Reagan as the worst of the worst in conservatism, who was nothing like the old agreeable conservatives they used to work with, and so on. It is a parlor game. Tarc (talk) 21:31, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Obviously, I disagree with you, Tarc; I was not being revisionist at all. The percentage of useful criticism (i.e., pointing out things that were fixable, rather than continuing old battles) on Wikipedia Review during the 2008-2011 era was considerably higher than Wikipediocracy has managed to come up with. Risker (talk) 00:11, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
So you're saying the old WR had just as many incidents of outing/doxing, harassment, and threats? Maybe I just didn't notice it as much. SilverserenC 21:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Except this isn't being proposed because they are a critic site, that's irrelevant and not even what BADSITES was about. This is proposed because of the repeated doxing, threats, and attacks on editors here from that site. And the fact that linking to off-site harassment is not allowed, it seems helpful as well to blacklist linking to the site, so we don't get incidences of having to block people for linking there, like what happened recently with Cla and others. SilverserenC 20:55, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Analogy time; Wikipediocracy/WR is to the Wikipedia as the Daily Show is to the media. Sometimes crassness (Jon Stewart's "Go Fuck Yourself" gospel choir to Fox News is by far the funniest thing in the history of funny) is the only way to break through the walled garden and actually get one's message through to people who exist 24/7 with their fingers in their ears and thumbs up their asses. And if you're wondering how that could be anatomically possible, when speaking about a Wikipedia culture that sometimes appears to have its head up its own ass on matters from smut-on-Commons to Polandball to BLP abuse, they have no trouble reaching. Tarc (talk) 17:27, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • This discussion started with the key concern ... there was a long discussion thread going on at Wikipediocracy, wherein banned editor Vigilant began outing/doxing any editors whose comments he disliked from the [on-Wikipedia] discussion, including doing so to a minor. This was in an attempt to get those editors to stop participating in the Wikipedia discussion. Is that bad? Yes. Is there anything that can be done about it? I don't think so, and if there is, let's hear it, instead of handwaving. The insurmountable problem would appear to be that Bad Things done outside of Wikipedia cannot be subject to any form of on-wiki sanction if the actor in question isn't active on Wikipedia. So unless there's some form of off-wiki sanction (legal action? police?? DDOS???) that can be applied, it's best to remember the Streisand Effect and ignore. Rd232 talk 18:26, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The simplest method we can do right now is blacklist the URL, so no linking to such outing and doxing can be done. It'll save people from doing it without knowing the rules on such things and ending up blocked because of it. No reason to even let links to outing and doxing be accidentally done anyways when we can just simply stop the posting of such a link. SilverserenC 20:57, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Break 1

Here's my comments, because I don't care to read every comment and reply individually:

  • Wikipediocracy has been doing the things that I will mention next for more instances than this one.
  • Wikipediocracy has editors, both banned and even experienced, that use it to coordinate both off-wiki and on-wiki harassment and outing/doxing of editors who disagree with even one person on this issue.
  • A majority of the users on Wikipediocracy seem to have a view that is on one side of the Eastern Europe issue, and one side of the Arbitration decision there. This commonality allows them to effectively coordinate and perform harassment and outing.
  • The site moderators, some of which hold advanced permissions with access to private information here on Wikipedia, fail to do anything to stop this outing/doxing and harassment, when it is obviously in their power to remove the posts and reprimand the users posting the material.
  • Multiple editors have fallen prey to the site and its doxing/outing, and it is effectively censoring their opinions on Wikipedia for fear of publicizing of data.
  • Editors at Wikipediocracy have the idea that doxing is nothing bad at all, even though most users will not want their online and public identities connected. Users on wiki have expressed a similar opinion on that site.
  • This issue needs to be dealt with by the Wikipedia community, as the Arbitration Committee has expressed that they do not wish/want/feel they need to deal with this.

Wikipedia cannot exist with this group of both experienced and banned users effectively controlling the opinions of other editors, and editors participating still be able to edit and hold advanced privacy-related permissions on Wikipedia. gwickwiretalkediting 18:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

    • Everything stated by this "gwickwire" fellow above is quite frankly a load of horseshit, the only point of contention being whether this person actually believes what he claims (i.e. ignorance) or is practicing a deliberate deception (i.e. lying). The "Wikipediocracy" is a web forum and blog with a very wide variety of users with varying reasons why they are there. You cannot paint with one broad brush the entire userbase of that site, nor accuse them of broad, cabal-like conspiracies to out and harass. Some users there are rather crass, some are indifferent, some just go there to read what's being talked about, and so on. Just like the Wikipedia itself has its share good editors, bad editors, and downright vermin. Any grouping of people who do not self-select their membership but rather is open to all is going to see a wide spectrum of types of people. There have bene several people banned from the WIkipediocracy in the last year; to their credit, they do not cater to the true lunatic fringe, much as the Wikipedia does when it decides it is tired of tre troublemakers like Fae, Benjiboy, ChildofMidnight, and a host of other luminary troublemakers.
    • So in short, "gwickwire", take this piece of advice; zip it. Tarc (talk) 19:08, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
      • How about you listen to me? I will not be censored or forced to "zip it" by the opinions and actions of the users on Wikipediocracy, nor those who support their actions as you do. This is an issue that has spanned more than me, and needs to be dealt with promptly before Wikipedia editors get censored more by the threats and harassment on WO. The users on WO openly ask others for info when outing/doxing editors, and some users on WO that are asking for/condoning this information/praising it when it happens are experienced editors here. This needs to stop. Now. Maybe Wikipediocracy doesn't self select their membership, but their members select to participate, when they know that the site outs/doxes/harasses editors. That's inappropriate, and in the real world would be considered very unethical. gwickwiretalkediting 19:17, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
        • And that discussion was shutdown and the user in question likely admonished as they usually do when things get out of hand, same as what happens here. I have no love for several of the members there at all, and the feeling is mutual. I am a sort of Ron Paul-ish figure in that I detest certain parts of the Wikipedia and the Wikipediocracy equally. So your attempts to tar the site and the users as a whole with one broad brush is, again, bullshit. Perhaps in the future, you will be more cautious with what personal information you choose to share on a website publicly viewable by millions. Call it a "teachable moment", and move on. Tarc (talk) 19:30, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
          • The discussion was shut down only because of the possibility of a minor being involved. Not because of the other outing on the thread (which is incidentally still there). I'm not taring the whole site. I'm taring the actions of some on the site, and the fact that the others on that site still post there, even just a few posts after said outing, with happy cheerful messages praising the outing. Perhaps in the future you will actually think about why it'd be bad to allow editors to be censored and threatened by others in order to stop their opinions. gwickwiretalkediting 20:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
            • Really! Then it appears the scallywags take more care of kids over there then the saints do over here, where it can take weeks or months to get a photo of an adolescent's torso removed. Plus I believe that the denizens here are quite OK with kids being treated as adults, such as 13yo becoming part of the Pornography Project, so could you explain why the badsite should treat kids any differently then they are treated here. For example there have been some gross examples of piling on and bullying of kids over at ANI, RFA, and countless other places. John lilburne (talk) 21:22, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
              • However, this site coordinates on-wiki harassment and impersonation of editors. Also, this off-wiki site coordinates and posts doxing and outing of editors here. If anything on Wikipediocracy were to happen on Wikipedia, it would earn the users involved a very swift indefinite block. The issue here is people thinking that it's okay for very experienced users to participate on this just because it's off wiki. Onwiki/offwiki makes no difference, this site has users here who are not blocked participating in and condoning outing and harassment. That's against policy, and we can stop it, or at least prevent it from moving on wiki more. gwickwiretalkediting 21:27, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
                • The members on this site engage in coordinated harassment and bullying. They do it on IRC, mailing lists, twitter, facebook, and skype. Outing/doxing call it what you will is rife across the internet, people post streetview screencaps of people's houses. Sheesh if you don't want that to happen then don't post stuff on the web that can lead back to your real life, or get off the internet, because sure as night follows day if you engage in controversy on the intertubes someone will post your details. In 99.999% of cases that is all it is. A pretty lame sort of "I know who you are" thing. Its not as if they are going to travel from London to New York, or from LA to Ulan Bator to seek out the person they are posting details about. John lilburne (talk) 21:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
                  • Yeah, outing/doxing is rife. But it can be at least prevented from impacting Wikipedia by censoring editors. Hell, if you think it's okay for these users to censor me for two days until I can get them to stop, that's bad. Wikipedia works on consensus, not consensus with the caveat that users who disagree with someone on Wikipediocracy are threatened with outing, and since they don't want to be outed are forced to not comment. This push on Wikipediocracy to silence users on-wiki is the issue, not the fact the site exists. gwickwiretalkediting 01:19, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
                    • Except it doesn't impact wikipedia at all. Now if someone was phoning your home, or your school, or your workplace that would be different. But even though all your information is still available in caches, and on archive sites, they aren't are they. Y'all raise the spectre of outing/doxing to a level of abuse akin to someone posting dogshit through your letter box. It is a particular spectre that has been raised by people that generally behave like arseholes on the internet. For most people it doesn't matter a damn and has no importance. If you think it does well I've got news for you: If any of your friends have facebook, twitter, flickr, LinkedIn, or Google+ accounts then your dox are all over the internet, because YOU can be traced via THEIR social network, and the information that you and they have have posted on any of those sites. John lilburne (talk) 08:52, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I have some unfortunate news for you gwick, harassment happens all the time on Wikipedia and it is rarely dealt with appropriately even when reported. Some of us on here know this from experience and/or from observing others facing it. Harassment certainly comes from WO as well at times. People posting on WO, however, mostly engage in discussion of certain developments on Wikipedia in a way that is legitimately critical just as most here try to deal with individuals in a respectful manner. There are disagreements with certain approaches on WO, but it is fundamentally about criticism. A number do believe anonymity is part of the problem, I am personally not one of them, and act accordingly. Most of the criticism on WO concerns cultural or structural problems with Wikipedia, occasionally highlighting certain editors as being particularly striking examples of such problems. Editors who face the most severe criticism, such as outing, tend to be editors who engage in some of the worst abuses on Wikipedia.
Understandably you are frustrated because you got attacked by one poster there upset about this situation with Cla68, but also understand that Cla68 contributes to this project more than most, if not all, of the people doggedly supporting his removal and does so largely without any gratitude. He has also stood against some of the worst abuses of this project that have occurred and so he gets a lot of sympathy. People were and are rightly displeased at the flippant way he has been treated, especially when compared to how others are being and have been treated. That means, unfortunately, that some are very hot about defending him and one of those people was very vicious as a result. Still, you and the other editor you are talking about are mostly just seeing why one should be careful about sharing personal information because what was noted on WO was gleaned from info on your userpages. If you truly are concerned about your privacy than revealing personal details on one's userpage is not the way to protect it.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:10, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
First of all, I've seen maybe 10% of posts have legitimate criticism, the others on WO being only attack posts or harassment posts. It may have started as criticism, and still have some criticism, but it also hosts harassment and outing. I'm fine with criticism there, and we should encourage that. But we should not allow it if it continues to host and have users who out. You say that editors who face outing engage in worst abuse on Wikipedia. I can guarantee you that the three editors (including myself) who were doxed in this incident aren't abusers. We just made comments on an Arb decision/case. I don't care about Cla's contributions, they posted a link to outing. That is bad. Very bad. If Jimbo posted a link outing someone, I'd support his block too. Outing will ruin Wikipedia. And blocking to stop it and try to prevent users from wanting to do it is the way to go. Cla got blocked, with a simple instruction: e-mail BASC saying you'll not put the link up again. They failed to do that. Kevin stepped in and unblocked, against the OS team, and by effect of that against the functionaries. Regardless, this isn't about them, it's about the off-wiki site Wikipediocracy hosting outing and other content that leads to on-wiki harassment. I've had two harassment accounts created about me already in this incident. Because of Wikipediocracy. Just because I put on my userpage something does not mean I wish to be completely doxed, including address, phone numbers, etc. The fact that you think that makes it okay is appalling. If you see nothing wrong with Wikipediocracy and the harassment and outing that results from it, and the fact that experienced editors are participating in/condoning/asking for/praising this harassment and doxing, there's an issue. gwickwiretalkediting 21:24, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Gwickwire, you made the mistake earlier of saying "in the real world". I don't think you see quite how silly this discussion would seem to anyone who works collaboratively "in the real world". In the real world, you usually know who people are, what their credentials are, and have a good sense of whether or not you are working toward the same goal. They don't hide behind silly names. They don't try to have you removed from the room if you ask questions about their background in a subject. They don't switch nametags and pretend to be a different person. They don't pretend to have credentials, expertise, or skills that they haven't earned. Ok, I take that one back - they do that, but not nearly as often as they do online. And, in the real world, people sometimes say some very blunt things about the people with whom they collaborate (although not always to their face). Perhaps one day you will have a chance to see what "the real world" is like. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The reason why people like to keep their anonymity online is two-fold. Yes, part of the reason is that people like to be more of a jerk online or otherwise act differently than they would in the real world and don't want those two to be connected. However, the second half of the reason deals with the fact that there are number of groups and individuals online that take pleasure in harassing and otherwise harming people, whether that means literally or harming some aspect of their life. Some sub-groups of Anonymous are examples of this, as are others, so it is to the benefit of people to not have their personal information revealed, especially if its being used in a threatening manner. SilverserenC 23:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The internet is full of search portals which xref your details. Anonymity online is not possible unless you are very careful, and even then you are bound to make slips. John lilburne (talk) 00:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I understand why people remain anonymous online, but that wasn't my point. Gwickwire invoked "the real world" in a discussion about something that would only make sense within Wikipedia (and even here there are many people who find the extent of it a bit silly). I could put my real name, address, and phone number on my user page on Wikimedia Commons and you would be violating WP:OUTING by repeating that information here. Try explaining that to one of your friends who isn't a WP editor. Try explaining to them that WP editors are threatened by the idea that someone might know what their Twitter account is because they plugged the WP username into Google. Not that they posted this information, but just that they claimed to know it. Do you think they will find this situation reasonable? I'm not arguing that our policy on outing should be ignored, but I think it is used more often to protect a flase sense of security rather than to prevent anything approaching harassment. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:17, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I can agree with that, but how does it relate to the current situation and the subject of this thread? This isn't an incidence of mere referencing someone's name, but a full blown doxing that is meant to be malicious and was used as a threat. Furthermore, just by putting your name somewhere doesn't mean that it is appropriate for someone else to use your name and then look up everything they can about you (phone number and address, ect.) to use against you. And what was linked to in the recent situation was not meant as a mere referencing, but a link that was meant to further publicize and get more people to know about the personal information of someone's life in a negative sense. SilverserenC 00:29, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm no longer sure what incident you are talking about, but that's fine because I was just trying to inject some reality into an otherwise reality-free discussion. This thread isn't going to bring about any change in policy or blacklisting of any sites but I thought perhaps you or Gwickwire might be able to take a step back and look at how silly this would seem to someone not immersed in WP. I guess not. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:41, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict × with below)No, I'm going to say that violating a user's right to privacy based on some things they can't control (I can't control if the White Pages has my address, nor others my telephone number), regardless of what they may have chosen to place on Wiki, is wrong. It's not silly, I'm pretty sure anyone else would agree that it's wrong to take away the privacy over a stupid argument over a technical flag someone lost on a website (Kevin's desysopping). It's not just that. It's the massive coordination thereof between the users of Wikipediocracy in creating now two harassment accounts against me, and more against others. This site would be great, hell I'd support it as a criticism only site, however it's become the method for users to get outings/doxings/harassment of onwiki editors who they disagree with. If the moderators on that site would stop this shit before it happens, then there'd be no problem. But the moderators see no problem with it (some of the moderators are indef banned here for the same reason). If the site continues to host this type of material, and users on it condone, actively ask for, and praise it, it cannot be allowed to coincide with Wikipedia, meaning editors/users of one must not be allowed on the other. gwickwiretalkediting 01:19, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Hey, American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina is one of those dirty outers / doxxers! Today in her Twitter feed, she tweeted "That awkward moment when you're sitting beside a tennis team at the airport and you're nosey so you google them lol." This was followed by a Twitter handle presumably belonging to the team in question. Ban her! Burn her! *Dan T.* (talk) 01:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Break 2

Please note that Silver seren once participated on Wikipediocracy (see the January 2, 2013 blog post entitled "Jimmy Wales, Kazakhstan, Tony Blair and Wikipedia: A Timeline"), publishing a signed comment on the Wikipediocracy website, where he wrote, "I thought this was a really interesting timeline. I’m fully behind Andreas on this one." His statement of support shows that he is an integral believer in the Wikipediocracy initiative, and so perhaps it is time for Silver seren to sip some of his own medicine through that "last straw" of his? -- 2001:558:1400:10:F522:6371:95F9:AAC3 (talk) 17:35, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi, User:Thekohser! Yeah, I made a comment on that blog post, saying I was in support of Andreas' opinion on Kazakhstan, as I dislike the WMF's involvement with the country. That doesn't mean I at all support anything else or anyone else on Wikipediocracy and I only supported Andreas for that one thing, there's plenty of other things that Andreas has done or spoken about that I very much opposed. I don't think supporting one editor's opinion in one instance has anything to do with supporting Wikipediocracy. SilverserenC 18:21, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess your mind will be blown when you learn that User:Thekohser actually first implemented that timeline in wiki format and was one of the key contributors to the timeline along with Andreas. So, you are "fully behind" Thekohser, but you didn't even know it. You must want to cry, there's so much cognitive dissonance going on in your head right now, I'm sure. -- 2001:558:1400:10:F522:6371:95F9:AAC3 (talk) 21:33, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
...okaaaay. When I said fully behind Andreas, I meant the whole thing with Andreas confronting Jimbo about it and all that stuff. Seriously though, you have to be Thekohser, I can't see Eric or Peter fawning this much over him. Or it would be really sad if they were. SilverserenC 21:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia supports IPV6 addresses now? Neat! *Dan T.* (talk) 22:23, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. It's actually supported it for quite a while. Though I do think it makes it slightly harder to tell the difference between two IPs or more if you're in a discussion. SilverserenC 22:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • So say this proposal did gain some traction; would there be support for enforcement of Wikpedia policy in the opposite direction? That external forum editors, regardless of their on-wikipedia status, would be able to seek redress for Demiurge's allusions to knife-wielding violence, or Seren's "there's a Kohs behind every corner" fishing expeditions, and so on? Tarc (talk) 01:47, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
    • You're asking if we'd start enforcing Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia? WP:ANI and WP:RFC/U are <-- thataway if you're wondering. If you're asking if we'll start enforcing forum policy here, no, that's not what this proposal is about. This isn't saying that we're enforcing Wikipedia policy on the forum. We're saying we will enforce Wikipedia policy on the editors of Wikipedia, just now we'd be saying they can't do the worst policy violations (outing, harassment, etc.) offwiki, or they'll not be allowed to edit onwiki anymore. gwickwiretalkediting 01:50, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
      • I think your understanding of what we're actually discussing here is a bit...lacking. Seren's premise is that the Wikipediocracy/Wikipedia userbase is so intertwined that Wikipedia editors who go there to do/say things should be held accountable of the things they do/say run afoul of Wikipedia policy. I am positing that if that is to be considered, then the application of Wikipedia policy should go both ways. For a very, very long time, Wikipedia editors have been allowed to slur, denigrate, and harass Wikipediocracy members, many of whom are not even able to be here to present a defense. So, my suggestion is that that slurring, denigration, and harassment would also be subject to sanction . If Demiurge1000 went around the Wikipedia accusing other editors of being knife-wielding degenerates (as noted in link above), then he would be sanctioned according to this project's policies. If we went forward with this proposal of Seren's, IMO it'd be only fair to be able to sanction the likes of Demiurge1000 for aiming those statements at non-Wikipedia people, no? I hope this clears up your confusion. Tarc (talk) 03:16, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
        • First, a majority of editors involved here don't have the power to block people at WO for comments made here. However, I'm all in favor of WO enforcing it's (seemingly nonexistant) conduct rules on things people do here. If they wish to ban Demiurge from their site, go for it. However, you also have to realize that some of your buddies on WO, namely Kevin and Marek have engaged in some pretty uncivil comments onwiki as well. Basically, what we want, is that editors here can't go to WO and break our rules here when it comes to other editors. We aren't saying that all personal attacks on WO would warrant a block here, only when a editor on WP attacks another editor on WP and neither of them are blocked indefinitely, they would receive the same penalties as they would if it were on wiki. gwickwiretalkediting 03:28, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
          • Y'know, sometimes people deploy the "none of what you said is relevant to what we're talking about" rhetorical device in a debate as a simplistic means of deflection. But I am saying right now, with all literalness and seriousness, you really' have no idea what you're talking about. No one has, at any time, discussed on-Wikipediocracy bans or sanctions of Wikipedia users. Yes, you want for "editors here can't go to WO and break our rules here when it comes to other editors". I get that. What I said above is that if that were enforced, then Wikipedia editors here who are uncivil here towards Wikipediocracy people who are not here be subject to the rules as well. IMO, you are becoming a bit unglued at the seams over all this, and lashing out in this manner comes across as a bit...overly-emotional. Perhaps a proverbial cup of tea is in order. Tarc (talk) 04:01, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
            • Here's the thing. You asked something about blah blah policy enforcing the other way. This is about enforcing Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia editors, nothing new. Except, now we'd enforce that policy on editors regardless of where on the internets it is. It is not good that users can just go to Wikipediocracy or "randomblog" or somewhere else, out people, make completely unfounded claims and personal attacks against other editors and get away with it as if nothing happened. We do not live in a bubble here at Wikipedia, and those who come in and out of Wikipedia need to have the same code of conduct regarding their fellow editors as they do here everywhere. We aren't saying if User A on WP is user A on WO and they make a personal attack against user B on WO who doesn't edit here, they get blocked. Only if both of the people involved are editors on Wikipedia, then it's blockable. This makes sense, because people are going to Wikipediocracy in order to violate WP:NPA, WP:OUT, and WP:CIVIL against other editors, and that's wrong. gwickwiretalkediting 20:39, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
              • A fresh day and you still don't really get it. Pity. You don't get to erect civility restrictions and expect them to only be enforced in one direction. Your buddy Demiurge didn't get that either, as he currently sits out a 30-day timeout for repetitive "boxcutter" remarks, among other gems. Tarc (talk) 20:53, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
    • I never told you this Tarc but I have a couple of websites that are of interest to wikipedians like Seren and his mates. They have memorable IP addresses and from time to time they come to one or other of the sites on a Google search for some wikipedian's name. Yours is a favourite for them. How do I know? Well because after one has been there shortly afterwards another arrives, and Seren will post information on talk pages of one of the ARS members. All pretty silly, and funny as fuck. John lilburne (talk) 09:03, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Isn't dramah fun? Get back to work, you lazy fucks!!! Carrite (talk) 03:06, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Hey, Carrite. How many people is that now? 6? 7? Really come out in force when the site is "threatened", huh? Anyways, I was thinking about making an article on Hastatic order tomorrow, wanna help out? Not really my usual type of article, being a physics topic and i'm a biology major, but I was thinking on just putting the basic framework down with all the references being available and then getting someone from Wikiproject Physics to make any necessary corrections. Interested? SilverserenC 08:20, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • SS, do you honestly think there is traction for WP:BADSITES? That would be incorrect. What possible benefit is there from this thread, other than entertainment for pro and con factions squabbling over nothing? Outing is already banned, for better or worse (when you have an idea how to square the circle of taking action against COI editing without identifying real life identities, please do let us know!). Linking to outing is already banned. What more is there to be gained other than some sanctimonious squawking by one side and some insolent scoffing by the other? I guess that's fun, as this massive thread indicates, but how does that advance WP? As for your kind offer to work on Hastatic order, gotta give that a miss, I've gotta do some real life work selling shoes tomorrow. Which reminds me, I need to hit the shower to get ready now! Carrite (talk) 18:22, 10 March 2013 (UTC)


I think going forward with the most basic proposition in the discussion above is the best method for now. Considering recent events with Wikipediocracy and its repeated incidences of outing/doxing editors of Wikipedia and the fact that linking to off-site doxing and harassment is forbidden by policy, it seems straightforward to propose that links to the Wikipediocracy site be blacklisted as to prevent both purposeful and accidental links to outing material and the blocks and drama that result from this. If no one can link to it, then it reduces the possibility of incidents by a significant amount. In short, I propose that links to Wikipediocracy be added to the URL blacklist. SilverserenC 20:37, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

I would also request that Wikipediocracy members not vote in this section because I would like to get the opinion of editors unrelated to the site. Or, if you feel you must vote/comment/whatever in this section, please express up front the fact that you are a member of the site, as would be expected for anyone with a COI who is involved in such a discussion. Thank you. SilverserenC 20:37, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • In light of recent events, I would like everyone to know that I have never posted on Wikipediocracy, nor am involved in the site in any way. Do with this information what you will. I feel that we need to go further, that users who make personal attacks on WO are blocked here, as if they had made them onwiki. See below. gwickwiretalkediting 21:05, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Blacklisting URLs is a mechanism meant to curtail linking to inappropriate websites in article-space, not as a backdoor to the failed/rejected WP:BADSITES schlock. There is no actual reason given for this suggestion that doesn't rest, either covertly or overtly, in "I don't like it" grounds. Tarc (talk) 22:03, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Before you talk about failed, please see WP:CCC. Consensus can change, and that's all that we're trying to do, is determine the consensus as of now. If you're not going to cite policy for opposing, please don't oppose, or at least know that anyone who closes this should discount anyone who says "it's been failed before" responses without any current policy basis for opposition. gwickwiretalkediting 22:10, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
      • I'm well-aware of how consensus works around here, Mr. Joined-in-2011, thanks. There are certain policies, rules, and accepted practices and such from Wikipedia past that we are simply better off without, i.e. once upon a time "keep, this article is awesome!" was a perfectly valid argument to make at WP:AFD. Similarly, the Badsite junk stems from the dark days when the cabal saw boogeymen around every corner, and sought to shield themselves from criticism from the Wikipedia Review. This is a fear mentality that we do not need to revive. Tarc (talk) 22:26, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
        • Since you're well-aware of how consensus works, how about you start citing policy instead of saying "It failed before, and I still don't like it"? gwickwiretalkediting 22:37, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
          • Strawman, much? I do not oppose this farce of a proposal simply because it reflects an old, failed policy; I oppose it because I feel it is a bad idea proposed in extreme bad faith. Editors like Silver Seren, like Russavia...and increasingly, like you...don't like a spotlight shined on their misdeeds. It is only natural that you wish to silence the criticism. I get that. But you really don't have much of a prayer of success here I'm afraid. That's just reality. Tarc (talk) 00:29, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • First off, COI thing. Second off, I gave a pretty clear reason, that linking to off-site harassment and especially outing/doxing is prohibited by policy. And since that is primarily what Wikipediocracy is composed of and recent incidents have resulted in blocks because of the linking, blacklisting the URL is the best method to follow the policy and prevent purposeful and accidental linking to such material. SilverserenC 22:12, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I purposefully ignored your "COI" nonsense, but then I think you knew that already. Second, that is not what the site is primarily composed of. If a topic over there did truly contain harassing material, then the removal of a link to that specific topic is already allowed via Wikipedia:Linking to external harassment. There is no need to block the entire site; you're grasping about for a missile in order to swat a fly. Tarc (talk) 22:26, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • When the main purpose of the site is to create change via harassment, I think you can easily say that blocking the URL is the best option. SilverserenC 22:34, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Your opinion of the "main purpose" is quite divorced from reality, unfortunately. Tarc (talk) 00:29, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Not when several of the banned editors on Wikipediocracy have stated that the only way they think they can change Wikipedia is to harass people and force things to change. That's the point of the private wiki they have with all the private information they could possibly find on Wikipedians, right? I wonder if there will be a page added on me now, since i'm trying to "attack" the site and all. SilverserenC 00:42, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • That a few members allegedly (bit of an exaggeration IMO) feel that way does not impugn everyone else that may be a member, though. Any more than the acts of Beta M impugn the reputation of Commons as a whole. Right? As for private wikis, I have always thought that vaunted treasure trove is a bit overhyped. I doubt they have anything on you that isn't already known elsewhere. Tarc (talk) 01:32, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • True, you can blame ED for that one. But that's not the point. The collection of such info is meant to then be used in the future as an attack or threat, as a fair amount of it has already been used a such. And I don't think the excuse of "we're just normal members going along with it" is much of an excuse when the mods of the site are doing these sorts of things openly in the threads that the members are posting in. SilverserenC 01:44, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support after more info Moxy (talk) 22:34, 9 March 2013 (UTC) - Neutral need more info - Very interesting this Wikipediocracy site. Questions - How old is the site and do the 293 registered users really posse a threat to the project as a whole? How mant times do we link to the site and in what context. To be honest... I am actually glad to see that disgruntled ex contributors have a place to vent over doing it here. Moxy (talk) 22:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Well, they've outed many an editor through their time, and users here go there and make blatant personal attacks against other editors, without reprimand because they are "offwiki". They pose a threat in that they coordinate harassment in order to try to silence editors here who they disagree with.. There's a problem :) I'm fine with a venting/criticism site, but when it goes to the WP:NPA level on editors here, and outs and attempts to silence editors, that's an issue. gwickwiretalkediting 22:20, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Very interesting points - Wikipediocracy is not affiliated with Wikipedia right? So why is what they do any different then say a site like the Simply don't see how blacklisting it would help - unless the outing is being liked to by way of Wikipedia itself. I see this has happened a few times-but is it a big problem? or wold there be more backlash then there would be a benefit for doing this.Moxy (talk) 22:27, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
The only backlash would be from members of the site itself. But when that includes in addition to current editors also long standing banned sockpuppetteers who continue to sockpuppet, I don't think that opinion is all that important. And the site is only a year old, with a comparably high amount of incidents like this occurring. One could say, in Wikipedia terms, the heat-to-light ratio of the site is very skewed to the former, with only small amount of good criticism coming out in comparison to the harassment and othe rissues. SilverserenC 22:32, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I've been keeping a list of outings and threats and such. It is woefully uncomplete though, but still quite prolific. Most of the site is involved in harassing people that do positive things for Wikipedia or make statements that they dislike, whether this be Wikipedia editors or journalists. For Wikipedia editors, this also includes outing/doxing people and then threatening them with the information to get them to stop being involved in Wikipedia discussions. Also, you could say that there is a lot of group canvassing that occurs because of this. The recent incident that has gone all the way to Arbcom involved them outing a Wikipedia editor as a main part of their blog (including a huge amount of information on the person's personal life and their past) and then some of their members linked to it here on-wiki and it's caused a lot of controversy. Blacklisting their url would make it so linking to such outing isn't possible, so the policy regarding that won't be able to be violated. SilverserenC 22:25, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Did not see this before I posted above - ok that sounds like a problem. Better safe then sorry with our editors private lives. Protecting our editors should be a no brainier.Moxy (talk)
  • Oppose as more BADSITES nonsense (see my essay). It's a gross abuse of the spam filter to use it to squelch criticism and maintain a walled garden where people here have their tender feelings protected from outside people who might not like them. As for the "COI stuff", I'm not currently a registered user on Wikipediocracy, but that doesn't mean I won't register in the future as I did on Wikipedia Review back in the day; I like to keep up on all sides of all disputes. *Dan T.* (talk) 22:39, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Except this has nothing to do with criticism. If the site was only about criticism on Wikipedia's practices and actions, then there wouldn't be a problem. The issue is that practically all of the time, the "criticism" devolves into insults against a certain person or multiple people, then they start doxing people, then the threats come out. Or perhaps its just general canvassing between each other that leads to harassment of the person on-wiki. None of this has to do with criticism. SilverserenC 22:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Everybody thinks the current moral panic they're heated up about is an exception to general principles of free speech, individual liberty, etc., because This Time It's Different... This Is Really Evil, Unlike the Other Dozens of Times Things have Been Called Evil and Turned Out To Be Just Fine. It's interesting to see comments here about how WO doesn't have the kind of legitimate criticism WR had in its heyday, given that in that time WR was presented by BADSITES advocates as evil incarnate. *Dan T.* (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
WR still had just as many issues with outing/doxing and the like. I've got a lot of that all recorded as well in my list. That doesn't change the fact that there was still a lot more of a focus on legitimate criticism. If WR hadn't died, this proposal would likely apply just as much to it. Though, this has nothing to do with my comment and you're just trying to divert the topic to WR comparisons. SilverserenC 22:55, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
WR isn't technically "dead", though it's on life support and probably ought to be put to sleep at this point. And the whole panic about outing/doxing and how not being really draconian about stopping links to it will promote harassment of Wikipedians seems to rest on the dubious idea that whatever people out there might be inclined to harass people in real life once they find out their personal info online are active on Wikipedia but not on any of the external criticism sites, and don't know how to use Google either, so they'd only find out the dangerous info if somebody links to it here. *Dan T.* (talk) 23:18, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
So your argument is that we shouldn't block links to the harassment and doxing because other people on the internet can just find the information themselves? That's a horrible argument. SilverserenC 00:44, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose this silly, thinly veiled attempt at sneaking in WP:BADSITES back. Similar proposal was rejected even at Commons IIRC.Volunteer Marek 01:15, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Please mention COI, as I asked. And, as was noted above by gwickwire, WP:CCC certainly applies. Though I do have to ask, how many Wikipediocracy members were involved in the other proposals? SilverserenC 01:31, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • What COI? I have none. Why don't you mention your COI - you tried hanging out at WR/WO, got into some silly spat with someone there, most people there took the other person's side, you left in a huff and you've been on this anti-WO crusade ever since. That's pretty clear COI, as in "beating a dead horse and pursuing a petty grudge".Volunteer Marek 03:00, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry, you edit Wikipediocracy, and admitted below to making rude and uncivil comments there. That's a COI. gwickwiretalkediting 03:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Wait, so you're seriously saying that you have no COI, but I do? That's pretty hilarious. I assume you're talking about Selina? If you'd been paying attention, you would have noticed that I pretty much stopped being involved in WR long before that, because I realized there was no point in arguing with you guys, because it wasn't about trying to make Wikipedia better through criticism, it was just about denigrating it. SilverserenC 04:04, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Very few links from Wikipediocracy would actually contain outing or any other harassment. Consider this thread as an example of the kind of recent policy-compliant criticism that would be blocked from view by this proposal.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:17, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Please mention COI, like I asked. Sadly, picking and choosing links isn't much of an option. Furthermore, there isn't a relevant need to allow links to the policy-complient criticism. It can be discussed on-wiki without the need of a link. The benefit of blacklisting the URL to prevent linking to harassment and outing/doxing far outweighs any negatives that will result from any policy-compliant threads on Wikipediocracy. SilverserenC 01:31, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • There is no relevant need to block links to policy-compliant criticism either. It would be far more cumbersome to force editors to summarize some ongoing discussion elsewhere than to simply allow them to link to it.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:37, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • But, again, the benefit of blocking the ability to link to outing/doxing and other such material far outweighs that, considering that such material is even being posted on the general blog now. SilverserenC 01:40, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. <no-wiki>*chortle*</no-wiki> There are all the tinyurl, twiturl, and other redirects are you going to ban all of those? Even if you did, a wordpress blog page takes but a moment to setup and from there one can simply redirect to the BADSITE page, going to ban all wordpress pages? Twitter accounts are also moments away from creation, link goes in tweet, going to ban links to twitter. And the list goes on, and on. John lilburne (talk) 13:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
    This. If an editor here posts a link to something objectionable, we have mechanisms in place already to address it; remove or oversight the link, sanction the editor. This is like the gun rights debate; the gun-grabbers think that heaping new laws on top of existing ones will somehow make the situation better, when there are already laws on the books are that insufficiently enforced. Cla68 posted a link to the site, the link was suppressed and Cla blocked. Obviously there is quite a row over whether that was the correct call to make, but the point is is that the system works. Tarc (talk) 14:34, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

The Council of Constance declared Wycliffe (on 4 May 1415) a heretic and under the ban of the Church. It was decreed that his books be burned and his remains be exhumed. The exhumation was carried out in 1428 when, at the command of Pope Martin V, his remains were dug up, burned, and the ashes cast into the River Swift, which flows through Lutterworth.

ça change, plus c'est la même chose John lilburne (talk) 15:55, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - As someone who was personally harassed by some members of WO, I would strongly support adding the site to the spam blacklist. For those unaware of the situation, some members of WO discovered who my employer was at the time and threatened to contact them in an attempt to get me fired. Had the situation not resolved itself the way it did, I was fully prepared to quit editing Wikipedia indefinitely. This type of treatment is not what I signed up for, nor do I believe that I (or anyone else, regardless of their actions) deserved it. Since it seems that some (not all) of their members are interested in regularly outing/harassing WP editors, preventing links to that harassment is the least we can do, and is a no-brainer solution.
There is a policy basis for this action. WP:LINKLOVE is a guideline that prohibits linking to harassment on external sites. And, WP:BLACK describes how the spam blacklist is to be used, and it clearly shows it is not just for spam links (with "Violation of Privacy" being one category of reasons to block an external site). Adding WO to the blacklist is not censorship. It doesn't prevent them from continuing their discussions on their forum. It doesn't threaten them with on-wiki punishment for what they write on their forum. It simply prevents them from publicizing their forum on this site. While the majority of content on WO is probably not problematic, if it can be shown that some of their users regularly violate the privacy of WP editors, then blacklisting is an entirely appropriate action. The site was blacklisted on Commons for awhile. And frankly, I don't think the WP community would be losing much if we were somewhat less aware of their site. Wikipedia is not advertising, so there is no reason that we need to continue being a vehicle to promote and draw attention to their site. ‑Scottywong| chatter _ 16:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I would say "citation-needed" for claims like that they tried to get you fired, but you run into the problem that providing same would require violating the neo-BADSITES principle against linking there... a big catch-22. *Dan T.* (talk) 16:38, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
It's not difficult to find if you search through their forum, and I assure you it's real. One of them emailed me at my work address. Not cool. ‑Scottywong| yak _ 01:18, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I believe I still have screenshots of the threat. I'll have to go check. SilverserenC 19:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • So that means when China blocks Wikipedia it isn't really censorship. It's also nice to know that it is impossible for someone to advertise Wikipediocracy without being able to link to it.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 17:10, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I do like the surreptitious avoidance of discussing the issue of the threat and everything, but then focusing on the unimportant part of his comment. That was very subtle of you. SilverserenC 19:12, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Actually, I have no problem addressing his comment about a threat. The context, is that another poster presented evidence that Scotty created an article on his employer (an article Scotty apparently had deleted in response) and advertised services as a paid editor on another site, with others noting a then-ongoing situation where Scotty was trying to have another editor's userpage deleted for offering services as a paid editor. Vigilant did then make a comment suggesting that "someone" might contact Scotty's employer about him apparently editing during work hours. I doubt that would get him fired if Vigilant had been seriously suggesting it and it was true (presuming Scotty still does his work), but even then several people criticized Vigilant in that thread for making such a comment.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It also seems that Vigilant backed off of his oppositional stance because of some cordial conversation Scotty had with Gregory Kohs.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:12, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • You say it so casually. I'm sure that if it happened to you, you'd have a different perspective on it. No site should allow such harassment, and Wikipedia should not allow people to link to it (which Cla68 tried to do numerous times on my talk page, even after I told him to stop... I'm not surprised about his recent block for essentially the same behavior). ‑Scottywong| gossip _ 01:21, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I have dealt with my fair share of threats and have had to deal with people speculating about my identity when I prefer to keep it a secret. No one has figured it out without me telling them so I haven't dealt with something quite like what you experienced, but some people who have threatened me knew me and thus would have been able to act on their threats.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 03:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Weak-ish oppose. Oppose because I don't really think Wikipediocracy is the irredeemably evil thing that a lot of people claim. I mean, yes, there's a lot of garbage there, just like every other site on the Internet (naturally, Wikipedia itself is no exception). But some of the things that are talked about there are actually pretty legitimate, interesting things to consider, if you take the time to think about it. Yes, outing is A Bad Thing (though the extent to which the Russavia thing was outing is a debate I'll not enter), but I don't think it's worth banning any mention of the site forever. "Weak-ish" because, as proposed, this is not in fact banning any mention of the site forever. If it's just direct links to Wikipediocracy that we're talking about (which is what the spam blacklist would do), then I don't really see what difference it makes. As long as that isn't extended to "any mention of Wikipediocracy is not allowed", I guess I can live with that. Writ Keeper (t + c) 17:25, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • This is only about preventing links to the site, not about banning mentioning the site. The whole point is to follow the Linking to off-site harassment and outing policies. Especially since practically any link made on-wiki to the site is either to point at something like that or to point at something on the site that is meant to cause drama. SilverserenC 19:21, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Badsites is a dumb idea. Protections against outing already exist. Wikipedia is not censored. Carrite (talk) 18:23, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • C'mon, Carrite, COI thing. Is Dan really going to be the only one to announce his COI, when he has quite a bit less since he was only involved in WR in the past? SilverserenC 19:14, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Given the thread on WO that announces this proposal (a.k.a. off-wiki canvassing), it's not surprising to see numerous opposes from regular WO members. I won't link to thread for a number of reasons, one of which being that it includes one regular wikipedia editor referring to another editor as a "douche". ‑Scottywong| verbalize _ 01:16, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
all off-wiki canvassing should be done on irc, so that no record or log of the canvassing may be posted. and i wouldn't call Snotty a "douche". "hypocrite" is more accurate. (talk) 11:00, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
+1. It is natural that there is a thread about this petulant proposal at Wikipediocracy, since threads on stupid content and questionable actions at Wikipedia is what they do. One can't call the existence of a Wikipediocracy thread "canvassing" with a straight face, since more Wikipedians stalk that site than Wikipedia Critics post at it. That's a true fact, isn't it SS? Isn't it, Scotty? Carrite (talk) 15:52, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
It might be true, although I certainly don't waste very much of my time reading anything there, if that's what you're implying. Also, referring to this thread as "stupid content" is not terribly polite nor is it necessary. I don't think it's stupid or questionable. ‑Scottywong| squeal _ 01:05, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose unworkable and foolish idea (as anyone familiar with my involvement in overturning the blacklisting on Commons last year might guess; see commons:Commons:Requests_for_comment/offsite_discussions). It's a blunt technical measure which is easily circumvented, and it's also wrong in principle (see Commons discussion). NB I've posted on Wikipediocracy, though I don't consider it a COI in my case as it's merely reactive to others' comments, but YMMV. Rd232 talk 21:39, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • That's the point. Any circumvention of the link blacklist to WO can clearly be seen to be purposeful and malicious (rather than just someone making a link to WO in a normal discussion without meaning anything by it). So, it's the perfect method to stop links to the outing and harassment and also see who exactly is going to try and circumvent it (because then those people are purposefully trying to act malicious and should be blocked for it. SilverserenC 07:27, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Nothing has occurred to warrant such an action. Everyking (talk) 13:33, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Um...what? You do know about the multiple recent threats, outings, and more, right? SilverserenC 14:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Where? John lilburne (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:18, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Is this some ruse to get me to link to WO so you can then accuse me of violating the proposal i'm making? SilverserenC 15:10, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - abuse of the spam blacklist, would have negative consequences by preventing users from linking to legitimate criticism. Yes, some pages on Wikipediocracy contain outing, but linking to those is already forbidden by policy. Plenty of other pages contain useful and relevant commentary on Wikipedia, and are well worth linking to. Blacklisting the site as a whole is not a solution to anything (and would hardly prevent anyone who wants to find it doing so, anyway). Robofish (talk) 13:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
  • oppose This is no different from the original ATTACKSITE issue. We can expect outside critics to "out" editors (which in their terms would be telling the truth about editors), and editors will just have to live with that risk. Specific links to such revelations can be redacted out as needed. Mangoe (talk) 15:30, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 2

The blocking policy is modified to include the following points:

  • This policy applies both between two editors onwiki, and two editors offwiki, when the offwiki conduct is made available to ArbCom in an e-mail or case.
  • Users who perform a blockable offense offwiki will be blocked the same as if it was onwiki.
  • The time for blocks as a result of offwiki conduct which is deemed inappropriate will be the same as if the block was based on onwiki conduct.
  • These offwiki statements will be considered, in deciding a block, as if they were made with the same users onwiki.


  • Support as proposer, I'll make changes if you feel necessary. gwickwiretalkediting 21:05, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Is this meant to be an extension or I guess, a more complete explanation of the Off-wiki Harassment policy section? SilverserenC 21:11, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Nope, this is meant to go into WP:BLOCK. But we should probably, if this passes, find some way to revise that page as well, to include what would be the new blocking policy re: offwiki harassment, etc. gwickwiretalkediting 21:13, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia shouldn't be extending the "long arm" of its policies to cover things that are outside its jurisdiction. Also, the "banned user" exception is contrary to the principles of Wikipedia policy, where such things as "no personal attacks", etc., are supposed to apply to attacks against banned users as well as normal ones. You seem to want a special exception to have free rein to beat banned users while they're down, while being able to take action such as extending and reinstating bans if any of them fight back. *Dan T.* (talk) 22:45, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
    • No, the whole point of this is that we are enforcing wikipedia policy where both involved are editors, regardless of where it happens. I shouldn't be able to just go to Wikipediocracy and put "Dtobias is a mother fucking cuntbag idiot with bitch ass parents who edits from his basement on an old couch because he doesn't have a job" or anything like that (disclaimer, was only an example, I don't think any of those things about you), and it be okay because it was offwiki. The banned user exemption is for users like certain banned users who are on other sites who deserve some criticism. But I'll remove that, since you make a good point. gwickwiretalkediting 22:51, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
      • There's plenty of non-banned users who deserve criticism too, and given how strenuously you claim that your proposals aren't designed to muzzle criticism, it's interesting that you don't seem to believe this when it comes to criticisms you yourself wish to make against the disfavored. *Dan T.* (talk) 23:14, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
        • We aren't muzzling criticism, if you'd notice I edited the proposal accordingly. Here's the thing. Criticism is different in many ways than the personal attacks, harassment, and outing going on at Wikipediocracy. gwickwiretalkediting 00:35, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose simple overstepping of authority. Tarc (talk) 00:30, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
    • We have authority over Wikipedia editors being able to edit this site. Nuff said. gwickwiretalkediting 00:35, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Aside from the obvious concern about joe jobs where someone impersonates another editor off-wiki to get them in trouble, someone's conduct off of this site is only relevant when it is having an impact on-wiki. Policy and sanctions are about preventing disruption here and that is not what this proposal would achieve.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:10, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Sorry, but it's not disruptive when users are threatened enough offwiki by other editors they feel silenced? Wow, you seriously need to rethink your strategy (by the way, TDA and Tarc both have a presence on the site in question, so it's obvious they'd oppose this). gwickwiretalkediting 01:12, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Did I say that? Pretty sure I didn't say that. If someone is harassing or threatening an editor to try and have on effect on-wiki and that person is still editing here, they should be subject to sanctions so as to minimize disruption and just to generally be decent. Saying that Wikipedia should force people to obey all of Wikipedia's policies wherever they interact with other editors is another thing entirely. Down that path lies madness.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 01:33, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • You completely contradicted yourself. "they should be subject to sanctions", but "madness"? We're only asking the first thing! gwickwiretalkediting 02:56, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • That is not a contradiction. There is a world of difference between saying that blatant harassment or say death threats directed at editors from off-wiki should be cause for sanctions, it already is cause for them, and suggesting that any instance of incivility directed at another editor should be treated as though it were said here. If two people who edit here are arguing on WO about something and one of them gets all in a tizzy and posts, "Yeah! Well, fuuuck you!" they shouldn't get blocked here for that.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 03:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Plain silly.Volunteer Marek 01:16, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • No. There is enough of a risk in admins playing "Wikipedia cop". We don't need to crown ourselves "entire Internet cop", too. Gwickwire: you're concerned about outing. I get that. I understand it. Don't you see how this incentivizes outing? If we can sanction people onwiki for actions they do offwiki, then all of a sudden people have a(nother?) reason to make that connection. Another reason for people to go digging. Not to mention the ease with which a person can be joe jobbed, and the virtual impossibility of defending oneself against a reasonably-executed joe job. Not to mention the fact that it's just plain not our business. This is really just a bad idea. and hey, I'm an admin and a non-Wikipediocracy poster! Writ Keeper (t + c) 04:50, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I think blacklisting the URL will be good enough to fix the issues of outing for now. If more incidents occur, then we can see what other steps should be taken, but removing their ability to post links to the site will help stop the spread of such outing and also remove a lot of the attention that they crave and express by always posting links to the site on noticeboards here and on Jimbo's talk page to start up drama. SilverserenC 05:34, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I cannot see that blacklisting is helpful. In 2012 a site-banned user posted on wikipediocracy offering to provide private info to a specific wikipediocracy member to use on-wiki. That offer was taken up. The sourcing of that info was later indicated on-wiki through an external link. (It could equally well have been passed on in private.) Mathsci (talk) 05:54, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The sourcing of it doesn't need to be posted publicly on-wiki. It can just as easily be emailed to Arbcom or whomever is in charge of the case in question. In almost all situations related to outing on the site, it would be better not to post a link publicly on the wiki, since you don't want to actually link to the outing. So I don't see blacklisting the URL interfering with a situation as you've described. SilverserenC 06:07, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It did not involve outing. Mathsci (talk) 06:13, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Okay? That doesn't change the fact that there is no need to post it on-wiki. And, as i've said to TDA, the benefits of blacklisting the URL and the rampant outing/doxing and harassment far outweighs any negatives from isolated incidents of usefulness. Especially since linking is not required in those incidents. SilverserenC 06:27, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Ridiculous idea. Real life is not censored. Go ahead and badger some more, SS... Carrite (talk) 15:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - we could have long philosophical debates about the validity of the idea, but since it's pretty well unworkable (links between Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy accounts are neither required nor verifiable; and the minute this became policy, nobody would post Bad Things on Wikipediocracy under their WP-linked name), let's just put this in the bin and move on. Rd232 talk 21:43, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposal 3

Do nothing. There is nothing that can be done, and we should do it. Rd232 talk 21:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

  • But they should Do Something about it... and the other proposals are Something, so they have to Do Them!!!! Oh, well... if nothing is better than those other proposals, then they should do nothing. Support. *Dan T.* (talk) 00:17, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
    • (But if it's also true that those other proposals are better than nothing, then you've got an infinite loop and the whole system will self-destruct as if Captain Kirk gave it a logical paradox.) *Dan T.* (talk) 00:18, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


I've been told by a steward, as well as multiple other users that this is okay to post. Note the name of the blog and username are completely random. This doesn't include outing, and is only the tip of the iceberg. As I said in the post, it is all by Wikipedia editors, against Wikipedia editors, but just not "onwiki". Still think we need to do nothing? gwickwiretalkediting 02:54, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Heh, some of those are mine.Volunteer Marek 02:56, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for admitting it! gwickwiretalkediting 02:58, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Why wouldn't I? There's nothing wrong with it except in your own imagination. Most (not all) of that stuff could even be said on Wiki (like the opinion that currently we have the "dumbest ArbCom yet") and the parts that couldn't aren't bad either, just strongly worded. Volunteer Marek 03:06, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
The fact that you can't see the pattern of rudeness and incivility there is appalling. I put it here for others to judge however, and let's let them do so without fear of being harassed. gwickwiretalkediting 03:07, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
And oh yea, you realize that "Worm Turned" is a part of a user's username not an insult? Volunteer Marek 03:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't realize that he got his name changed to "Turned Worm", which sounds to me like a derogatory and insulting version of his current username, no. If you could link to his new username or CHU request, I'd appreciate it. gwickwiretalkediting 03:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
It's not important. The point is that most of the stuff you listed wouldn't be considered incivil even on Wiki. You're scare-mongering. There, is that "rude and impolite"? Volunteer Marek 03:18, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, so people are being rude and uncivil on some other site... Call in the cavalry! This must not be allowed to stand! Free speech is only for speech that doesn't hurt anybody's feelings! *Dan T.* (talk) 03:20, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Worm That Turned and Turned Worm have the same potential to be derogatory and both are names that I have no issue with. I did not find the phrase insulting in the lease. Indeed, I think harshest thing said on WO about me was "aptly named worm", but the fact is, I've chosen this username for myself and I believe it has served me well. I prefer to have a diminutive as a username, to allow me to catch people off guard when I need to show that this worm has teeth WormTT(talk) 11:44, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I have a t-shirt that sums this up "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted and then used against you." The comment "You could just call them abusers" is from me, but that's not the whole quote. My statement was "You could just call them abusers of the process." This was during a discussion over another poster using the Wikipedia term POV-pushers, and was specifically responding to a statement saying: "Until someone invents a new name for Wikipedia editors who abuse process in specific ways, we're stuck with terms like 'POV pusher'. Feel free to coin a phrase, please."--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 03:39, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't realize I didn't have that all copied. I'll strike through that one. Regardless, don't try to (unless I missed part of a quote because of Google's damn editing of blogger stuff) defend yourselves here, let the community decide. gwickwiretalkediting 03:42, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
You know, you're only proving the point that this whole thing is an attempt to muzzle criticism. *Dan T.* (talk) 04:04, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Not criticism, muzzling personal attacks and other crap being flung around at Wikipediocracy which users think is okay just because it's offwiki, even though both persons involved (attacker and attacked) are editors here. gwickwiretalkediting 04:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
You are taking people's comments out of context and then tell them they shouldn't be defending themselves from your accusations, that is an obvious attempt to stifle criticism. In your latest examples you present two quotes separately ("Beyond pathetic." and "performance during all this has been utter crap"), taken from a comment Hex made about ArbCom's slow response time with the whole quote being: "Beyond pathetic. How can it be possible to become an arbitrator without realizing that not responding to emails about live situations will only make things worse? ArbCom's performance during all this has been utter crap."--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 05:24, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but even with the context, calling the Arbitration Committee pathetic and utter crap is still rude, uncivil, and inappropriate. Just because they're in context doesn't change that. gwickwiretalkediting 06:24, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
You're trying to be the speech cop for the entire Internet, deciding what sorts of expression of opinion are valid and what should be suppressed. That's pathetic utter crap, up with which I will not put. *Dan T.* (talk) 06:28, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
It's also slow, clumsy, short-sighted, self-important and incompetent. Oops, have I gone off-message? — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:04, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Anyone that cares: more evidence, and I'm nowhere near done posting it all. gwickwiretalkediting 04:53, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

One can revel in the irony that you're the one in this thread who's putting up nasty stuff on an external site and linking to it here for the purpose of trying to get bad things done to people. *Dan T.* (talk) 05:17, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Seems one of the comments is from Ched, who, as far as I know, doesn't post on Wikipediocracy. He may read it, but a lot of editors read it.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 05:35, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I never said the most recent (third) post was WO editors only, just general incivility onwiki regarding this. The second post however, is completely one editor who I know for a fact edits WO. And I'm not putting up nasty stuff, I'm quoting it. There's a difference. gwickwiretalkediting 05:40, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Love it, most of that last post is me. Unfortunately, by taking copies of words I wrote and republishing them without attribution, you are violating the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License under which I submitted them to this site when clicking the "Save page" button. Therefore, I request that you either provide full attribution to all quotes of me by linking to the diffs of when I posted them (you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor), or remove them immediately. I look forward to your prompt compliance. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:11, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Does that even apply to things not in an article? You can't exactly copyright things said in a discussion, that seems really silly. SilverserenC 19:16, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, items in discussions are not any more exempt from copyright law than items in articles, though in both places there is a concept of fair use that would probably permit brief excerpts for the purpose of commentary, but can be very fuzzy about exactly how brief they must be. Complying with copyright-license terms mandating links to the source of a quote, of course, is hampered by any blacklisting or BADSITES-ing of the source site. *Dan T.* (talk) 20:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Gwickwire, I am going to assume that you are unable to see the irony of what you are doing with this blog. It is also possible that you do see the irony and you doing this as a joke, although that would seem out of character for you. Either way, it is pretty funny and I thank you for it. Let me quote something from the post that you linked: "I thought this (Redacted) guy was an adult". Since you were "told by a steward, as well as multiple other users" that it was ok to link to that, I am assuming that it is ok for me to post that here. By the way, would you mind identifying the steward and other users who told you this would be ok? I think if we applied the logic you and Silver seren are using, they might be facing some on-wiki sanctions for their participation in this. Yes, they didn't write that post -- you did -- but that's the logic you are applying to people who participate on Wikipediocracy, so fair is fair, right? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:41, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Delicious carbuncle, I've redacted the name from your comment and deleted it from this page's history. I haven't heard anything official to confirm that that information is now public, so you're putting yourself at risk of being blocked or worse for outing. I hadn't noticed it on the page you linked to, but I would seriously suggest to Gwickwire that he remove it from there also. Face-angel.svgHex (❝?!❞) 19:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Once again, the draconian policies about "outing" prove to be a tripwire that can catch anybody involving themselves in the murky waters of debating such policies and giving examples of their application. *Dan T.* (talk) 20:12, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Hex, I am sure that "a steward, as well as multiple other users" would not counsel Gwickwire to create and link to material which violates our WP:OUTING policy, so I saw no reason to be concerned. All of the statements there are removed from their context and not linked to their sources, so there was no connection between the Wikipedia user name and the surname I quoted, but I thank you for your cautious approach. I fear Gwickwire is about to be hoisted from his own petard. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:20, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
See, there you've hit upon what the problem is with this whole blacklist ridiculousness. Say a steward actually did wave his/her magic wand and bless Mr. Gwickwire's blog on the 9th; the basis of such a decision would have been made on what information was in the blog at the time. So if on today's 11/3/13 entry he decided to post something nasty, would said "blessing" still be valid? No. This is why it is beyond retarded to suggest that an entire URL be blacklisted because one link to one part of it was allegedly violating outing rules. Tarc (talk) 12:58, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

WO and WR, good bad and ugly

OK, I hadn't really taken too many looks at the WO site since it started a year or so ago, being relatively inactive in anything Wikipedia-related these days. But once this current bit of drama got going, I looked its forums over, and found them fairly familiar in terms of being similar in tone and content to WR in its heyday, though perhaps with not quite as many totally off-the-wall loonies as that latter site sometimes had (which means that WO actually has a slightly higher "respectability level" than that other site, though they remain very similar in overall tone). WR is now pretty much dead; it still exists, but has little activity other than auto-posted news articles. From time to time it dies entirely when the domain or hosting account isn't renewed (some of those problems would be partially mitigated if didn't just forward to, making it inoperable if the latter domain is dead; a well-implemented hosting system with neither domain redirecting but both pointing at the same hosting account would allow it to work on either even if the other was inactivated), but it always eventually comes back, but with so little activity one wonders why anybody even bothers.

Still, even without the worst loonies, WO (and WR in the day) often infuriates me because of a dominant tone highly antithetical to my own values and philosophies; while the individual participants there vary enormously on many sociopolitical spectra, there is a strong undercurrent of anti-geek, anti-"Free Culture", anti-libertarianism. Ironically, it is my own geek, free-culture, libertarian values that cause me to fervently defend the right to freely discuss and link to that site. *Dan T.* (talk) 15:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Oddly many there are Computeratii from the mid 1970s, many are also "Free Culture" but not as given expression by Freetardery, and many are also Libertarian though more from the Kropotkin school than Ron Paul. IOW Geek, Free Culturist, and Libertarian with a deep knowledge of how such can be manipulated by corporate interests. See if you are truly Libertarian in thought, you'll be on the side of the individual not that of the collective. Now look at how individuals are routinely shafted in BLPs and on the drama boards here, all in service of the 'collective' (community). Witness how a small elite manipulates community norms. John lilburne (talk) 15:48, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What you're detecting is just the strong opinions of some of the frequent posters; there really aren't very many people on WO. There's nothing to stop you or anyone else turning up and adding your own voice to the mix. I arrived there only very recently, and have had major differences of opinion with a number of people (John lilburne included! Hi John); but I enjoy the robust and vigorous discussion that frequently results. The board moderators are also good at keeping the place in order while maintaining the expectation that you can post pretty much whatever's on your mind, and I've seen them remove inappropriate posts in short order. It's also one of those places where you need to expect that someone may loudly disagree with you and you have to speak up for yourself. That's not a bad thing. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I see a lot of the dominant personalities on WO/WR to be kind of the "flip side of the coin" of the more fervent BADSITES warriors on this site, and it thus doesn't surprise me that there are cases of people flipping their positions from one of these extremes to the other. They're both opposed to the moderate, "live-and-let live" position, being instead prone to exaggeration and whipping up moral panics. On the WO/WR side, it's usually of the "Just Think Of The Children!" variety, going on about the evils of Wikipedia/Wikimedia porn and the presence of editors who are minors, as well as hysteria about how what Wikipedia does to BLPs ruins people's lives; on the WP BADSITES Warrior side, it's about how those evil WO/WR harrassers are ruining Wikipedians' lives. In both cases, it's trumped up to the nth degree, where it takes what had the germ of a reasonable idea and turns it into an attempt to foment an angry mob into taking foolish action. *Dan T.* (talk) 16:48, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
(John lilburne included! Hi John) I was probably in a grumpy mood, but Hi there back. Much of it was probably intended for observers to go chew on, and like a dog with a bone worry on, then bury and later dig back up (Hi Seren, Hi Wnt, Hi Demiurge). John lilburne (talk) 20:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to repeat what I said in the WP:BADSITES discussion, because nothing has changed. What's going to happen, if W-ocracy doesn't self-destruct, is that they will eventually catch someone else in a major COI or ESSJAY-style embarassment, and there will be a big fight over linking to them because the offenders will use the anonymity policy as a shield. I wrote Wikipedia:Wikipedia is in the real world in response to the BADSITES effort as an argument against the notion that we can wall ourselves off from external criticism, and it is well-regarded enough to be referred to in the lead of Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. Making a big deal of this site carries the message that this site is a big deal, and that therefore people should look at it to see what a site critical of Wikipedia is saying that is so inflammatory that we cannot speak of it. Mangoe (talk) 14:11, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Need more involvement

Ignoring Marek's (and others') rampant insults toward me on Wikipediocracy, it looks like we need to get more involvement in the proposal above, as there appears to only be a 2 support and 2 oppose consensus right now (ignoring all of the people with clear COI who are canvassing each other through multiple threads on Wikipediocracy at this very moment).

The funny thing is, when it was proposed that WO be added to the spam list because of the outing, what was their response? Add the outing page to as many outside links as possible (Tinyurl, ect.) and also blog the page from as many places as possible. I would say that it should be a blockable offense, but hey, practically all the people that did it are already perma-banned and have been for a long time (I wonder why?).

Is this really something any of you want to allow? Where they can just go after any editors they want and we all pretend they aren't, even as the threats mount up, as the personal information is spread far and wide by them? SilverserenC 07:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Let's get something perfectly clear here; you don't get to dismiss the input of ANY editor in this discussion. Period. We are not Arbcom, there are no recusals and no conflicts-of-interest. Everyone who has commented above who happens to be a member of that website is also a Wikipedia editor, and there's nothing you can or will do about that. It actually was on the blacklist for all of ~90 minutes yesterday, an extremely boneheaded move by AGK who thankfully had a moment of clarity. But, as it is here, the discussion over there isn't going your way either. Tarc (talk) 13:01, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, you know what, Tarc. That's fine. Being able to link directly makes it that much easier to show policy violations so people can be blocked. That much easier to show evidence of outing, more evidence of threats. SilverserenC 14:22, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
The website you describe bears little or no resemblance to the one that actually exists. There is no need for any action here. Stop trying to stir up more controversy. Everyking (talk) 13:41, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
What are you talking about? It's something that they're doing right now. There are threads on it in WO right at this very moment. SilverserenC 14:16, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
So you say. John lilburne (talk) 14:19, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Says the guy involved who uploaded it to TinyURL. You're just creating more evidence against yourself, really. SilverserenC 14:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
evidence against myself ... really. Please explain how anyone uploads anything to tinyurl? John lilburne (talk) 14:27, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Nothing is "uploaded" to tinyurl, someone needs a bit of Internet 101 in how URL shortening works. But anyways, I believe you kinda missed the point of that exercise, which was to demonstrate the absurdity of (mis)using the mediawiki blacklist. Blocking a single URL of a blog/forum would accomplish nothing. As I noted very early in this discussion it is quite analogous to gun laws, where people want more more more laws rather than simply enforcing the ones on the books now. This project has rules in place to deal with editors who link to bad material. Use them. Don't abuse a blacklist intended for spam reduction. Tarc (talk) 14:37, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Someone needs a 101 on "extract toot from mouth". John lilburne (talk) 14:52, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Obtaining a URL from a shortener, yes. The point was that who exactly are the ones that are going to abuse that to get around the blacklist? Oh, right.
And those rules WERE used. You guys got upset about them being used too. SilverserenC 15:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
what was their response? Add the outing page to as many outside links as possible (Tinyurl, ect.) and also blog the page from as many places as possible - Nope. Read it again. The point that was being made there is that if any given URL is blacklisted, there are a virtually infinite number of alternative ways that anyone can link to it. Blacklisting for that purpose is simply pointless. You're trying to force a solution to a social problem with a technical tool that isn't designed for it, which is not only a total waste of time, but the completely wrong way to address the issue. — Hex (❝?!❞) 15:07, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
P.S. canvassing each other through multiple threads on Wikipediocracy That's called "talking". It happens outside Wikipedia all the time. And everyone on Wikipediocracy knows that what they're saying is visible to the world - unlike, say, on IRC. If you're looking for hives of abuse to tear down, maybe you should start with there. — Hex (❝?!❞) 15:12, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
You're trying to force a solution to a social problem with a technical tool that isn't designed for it, which is not only a total waste of time, but the completely wrong way to address the issue. - precisely. Rd232 talk 18:29, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm all ears on how to address the issue of threats and outing. SilverserenC 15:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm all ears on how to address the issue of threats and outing. - there does not appear to be any workable solution to this problem. All that can be done is tinker at the edges and make it marginally (very marginally) harder. You're essentially trying to stop information being spread on the internet; but governments with massive budgets struggle to do that. Bottom line: you cannot control off-wiki behaviour, and it's hard to effectively control on-wiki behaviour given the current Wikipedia model. Rd232 talk 18:29, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm all ears as to how people who post things to the internet via their real name that essentially say "hi, I am <real name> and I edit Wikipedia via <Wikipedia name>" can come here and make a credible claim of "outing". Tarc (talk) 15:27, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
That is seriously the most minor part. I think everyone is far more concerned about the address and phone number part. SilverserenC 15:31, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Are they actually posting people's private addresses/phone numbers? I hadn't noticed any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. But of course you're not supposed to actually link to such things if they do exist, not even to show as evidence that they do exist (He said Jehovah! Stone him!), which results in the effect that anyone can make any claim whatsoever about That Other Site ("They have message threads coordinating the invasion of Wikipedians' houses in order to torture their puppies!") without anybody (pro or con) able to present actual evidence on the issue. *Dan T.* (talk) 12:46, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
No worries, I make sure to take screenshots of all of the threats and outings. And it's completely possible for me to black out the offending information, while leaving enough textual context to prove that it's there. SilverserenC 14:25, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I do not recall seeing phone numbers and such posted, so if such a thing actually was it was since removed, just as it would be oversighted here. So what's the problem again? Tarc (talk) 15:30, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Silver Seren, would you prefer that the WO staff not delete this sort of information so that you won't need to go through the trouble of passing around screenshots? --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 16:28, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
And, uh, if you're keeping and/or distribution screenshots of other people's personal information that has been removed from both Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy, doesn't that then make you the one who's outing others? Writ Keeper (t + c) 16:37, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
If not outing people, then at least retaining their personal information without their permission, and that's not good. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:49, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
  • SS, seriously, this whole thread is a really bad idea and always has been — an attempt to put out a grease fire with water is the most positive spin one could put on it... Just back away from the drama nice and slowly... It's like a Star Trek episode where one must be disciplined enough to act counterintuitively, attempting to blast the "enemy" with phasers only reverberates with unintended negative consequences likely to result. De-escalate... Carrite (talk) 06:47, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Article Feedback/Moderation guidelines has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Article Feedback/Moderation guidelines (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

A general manual of practice for Wikipedia guidelines

The Manual of Style provides editors with concise, uniform, easy to navigate guidance on punctuation, use of language, layout, formatting, and the like. However, there is no similar well organized, comprehensive guide for general contribution. That is scattered among several loosely organized pages (WP:NPOV, WP:OR, WP:V, WP:IRS, WP:N, WP:BRD, WP:CIVIL, WP:AFG, WP:NOT, etcetera).

I think they should be wrapped into a single manual. WP:FIVE, WP:PG, {{Guideline list}}, and {{Content policy list}} are good attempts at basic organization of Wikipedia's many guidelines, but several overlapping categories that can lead readers to alternate listings is not exactly the best navigation aid. I feel a single manual of practice would ease new users' introduction to what is acceptable on Wikipedia and aid existing users' in finding policies they did not already know.

Comments, suggestions, opinions?
Sowlos 11:19, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Have you seen Wikipedia:Help index#Community standards and advice, a descriptive directory of community norms and advice for editors?Moxy (talk) 19:36, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
My two cents: It would be nice to see some of it condensed, like a summary-style version of the guidelines. By merging some of the guidelines, overlap could be addressed. For example, WP:CIVIL, Don't bite the newbies and Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point, all really overlap. Maybe something like an editors' best practises guide would be helpful. Inflicting WP:INITIALISMALPHABETSOUP on newbies to correct misguided behaviour is not going to work for everyone, at least I don't find it clear at times. Maybe structure it like a manual of style, keeping it concise, and linking entries to the main guideline article for further reading? Although I'm not sure how that would be more helpful to existing editors. Maybe the original poster can give a bit more detail about what they think is needed? I think it's a suggestion with potential, anyway.OttawaAC (talk) 02:02, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea. Richard asr (talk) 12:25, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
OttawaAC, yes, condensing the guidelines where possible is one of the things I am hoping for, but doing so requires a goal, a form we want the final product to take. Asynchronously attacking the issue close-up, on a case by case basis is where the overlap comes from. This is why I propose working the guidelines into a manual style structure like the MoS. All the very valuable information of the guidelines should be presented in the most concise and accessible manner possible.
I'm not sure how that would be more helpful to existing editors
Sorry, allow me to clarify:
  1. Not all editors are of equal experience. Editors who've been here for years may still need to consult the guides.
  2. When things are organized in a hectic manner, it may be difficult for even the experienced to find what they need. Editors often have to cite and/or quote guidelines and policy to others.
  3. If new editors have difficulty navigating the guidelines, it becomes a burden on experienced editors. The most knowledgeable editors on Wikipedia may have little need to read guidelines and essays anymore, but watching over and correcting other editors who may be less enlightened still consumes time and energy.
Sowlos 12:59, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Just thinking of some of the challenges: One problem with condensing the guidelines would be excluding all the exhaustive examples the guidelines provide, trying to cover all the exceptions and exclusions to the guidelines. That accounts for a lot of the content of certain guidelines, like Notability, or No original research. So, what I would suggest would be a summary of the guidelines that excludes all the examples, but linking readers to the main guideline articles to read details. That would differ from a true Manual of Style where examples are typical—an MOS can include them since they usually only include a handful of words for each example.OttawaAC (talk) 21:43, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Good point. How about collapsible containers for more redundant examples in pages with 'exhaustive' listings?
  • While lists of examples may consume space not easily reduced, I am not convinced that the rest of their surrounding content can not be worded more concisely.
  • There are also cases of guides covering topics of multiple policies. WP:OR#Related policies and WP:NPOV#Other resources are good examples of that.
  • Some pages are overly verbose with content that could be split into sub-pages. For example, WP:NPOV#Common objections and clarifications and WP:NPOV#History of NPOV provide valuable information, but they are not essential to instructing people on current Wikipedia policies. They are more about Wikipedia politics.
  • I am not too concerned about reducing the guideline word-count. Some pages in the MoS are anything but short. The MoS's strength is less in its brevity than in its clear organization.
Sowlos 09:13, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
After writting the above, I realized WP:N is already broken into several pages, tied together with {{Notability guide}}. This is a good example of the ability to split up a large subject as long as it is tied together by a proper navigation aid.
Sowlos 09:19, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I could take a whack at it in my sandbox. It's something that will take a while to condense. (I'm normally an inclusionist!) I'll see about using navigation bars like the one used for Notability, as you indicated. The "guideline to guidelines" would just follow the same outline as the main guidelines do at the moment, just chopping out extensive examples and trying to summarize things in a couple of paragraphs. I think this'll be easier said than done, but I'll give it a try. OttawaAC (talk) 20:51, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Before I launch into this little project... the outline I'll start with is here: Wikipedia:List of guidelines. As it points out, there are some 200 plus guidelines. With luck, I'll manage to identify them all in the first draft. OttawaAC (talk) 21:07, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Great. I see you have already started. I will join in there.
the outline I'll start with is here: Wikipedia:List of guidelines.
My thinking as well.
Sowlos 09:46, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Remove "Fewer than 30 watchers" limit

Moved from Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive246#Remove "Fewer than 30 watchers" limit

I've created tools for unwatched pages. I would like to remove the 500+ edit minimum from these tools, including one that gives out lists of inactivitly-unwatched articles by WikiProjects sortable by link count. I've already setup a recent unwatched changes tool and would consider adding features to my WikiProject tools. The facts are: 492,381 of 4,182,163 articles (12%) have no watchers and more if remove inactive users (911,062, 21%). A vandal has a 1 in 5 shot of hitting an unwatched page and as users burden themselves with large watchlists small edits will be missed. — Dispenser 01:31, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea, except that us non-admins can't see the linked tools page mentioned. Is there a description available? Just curious. El duderino (abides) 02:51, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Fixed, meant to link to the talk page. — Dispenser 02:54, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
How would this help? Wikipedians with accounts can already use the tools. In this case, I think the potential for abuse by vandals outweighs the benefits of open access. wctaiwan (talk) 03:34, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
In response to the comment at AN: Anti-vandalism tools based on tracking recent changes are best at dealing with obvious vandalism. The more damaging subtle vandalism (e.g. adding seemingly coherent information--which may be incorrect or correct but simply without a source) is much harder to combat. I think removing the limit has the danger of giving vandals a list of pages where they're more likely to get away with engaging in subtle vandalism. wctaiwan (talk) 03:57, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
The watchlist becomes rubbish without a "Hide reverted vandalism" option or a link "Mark as non-vandalism". It becomes a mental waste filtering out which edits were reverted vandalism. Best to drag this issue out in the open and deal with it. Also, opening the data we could highlight "minimal watched" pages on watchlists. — Dispenser 05:39, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • To respond to comment you made at AN, regarding RC tools, RC tools, along with automated defenses are the core of our defenses against vandalism, but they are far from infallible. They are best at catching really obvious vandalism, and even then, vandalism does slip through the holes in the automated and semi-automated defenses. Once the vandalism does, the only hope for prompt removal is that someone notices the watchlist entry, and so articles on few or no watchlists are very likely to see vandalism that slips through the tools stick around, potentially for years. So it is a real issue. That said, I'm on the fence on the issue. Security through obscurity works, even if it isn't an ideal solution. But to object to a tool on the grounds it would undermine the obscurity may be taking it too far. Monty845 03:41, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
    20% of articles are unwatched, this obviously does not include those affected by watchlist bankruptcy, quirky preference settings, or just unwilling to deal with vandalism and vandals. I guesstimate 40% of articles where if the first lines of defense fails the vandalism will continue to exist for weeks or months. — Dispenser 05:39, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Will make a bad situation worse. Most people are totally unaware of the fact that the ratio of "regular users" to articles has been plummeting (5100/1560k vs 3560/3835k) and in 2012 there were three times fewer (3.4 in fact) regular users to watch pages per page than 2007. By and large the Wiki-doors are wide open to COI and vandal edits now. All that is needed is a flashlight to help the vandals find their way around? This just reinforces my feeling that people are unaware of how wide open the doors are now, and how soundly the community is sleeping... Can anything be done about it? I don't think so, for differing opinions now make major decisions impossible, as the pending changes quagmires have shown. History2007 (talk) 03:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • What number of the "20%" saw any non-bot/non-automated edits? Also, how many page views?Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:31, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

If it's any consolation, my observation (from watching about 600 pages /250 articles 2/3 of them obscure) is that I think that I've seen subtle vandalism to almost always be on the more prominent articles. Maybe it's a bigger "accomplishment" to sneak something in on a more prominent article. North8000 (talk) 11:49, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

  • I am opposed to removing the limit, as it seems obvious it will create more problems that it solves. We might debate the 500 edit threshold - perhaps it could be lowered a bit, but not much, perhaps to 250. I would think a new editor interested in anti-vandalism could get to 250 edits in a day or two. Why is that an unreasonable burden? Alternatively, create a right, so if for example, someone with a complete hundred edits is interested in anti-vandalism, they could be granted the right to see the tools. Then we could have someone watching the watcher, to make sure they weren't gaming the system.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:35, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I was cringing at the thought of creating a new user right for such a narrow need, but now that I've read Ryan Vesey's comment, I agree, it would make sense to include this with Rollback.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:43, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I think it's the wrong answer. There's no security hole in creating a list of recent changes to pages that no one was watching, and letting Recent Change patrollers look at it. The change has already been made (so it won't tip anyone off), and all the Recent Change patrollers will see it (so the change won't go unchecked). Give the tool that creates the list an admin bit, and the problem is solved.—Kww(talk) 17:03, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
    But someone could easily collect the names of articles from the unwatched RecentChanges feed, and thus construct a target list for future vandalism, spam, etc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
    Or they could right now create 30 accounts, watch a bunch of pages (Special:Watchlist/raw makes it easy for 100,000+ pages), count the number of watchers (the API allows 500 per request with generators), and subtract 30 to get the actual number. They could even use blocked accounts. Again, best to drag out in the open now and deal with it. — Dispenser 04:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Honestly, if someone was willing to go that far, there are far more disruptive ways they could vandalize. There is still value in not providing a easily accessible list for vandals to use, low hanging fruit and all. Monty845
If they kept the list to themselves it wouldn't justify the effort. However, posting (permanently) to pastebin increases the appeal. What should we do if that happened? What tools could counteract the effects? How often do watchers revert vandalism? (I'm semi-working on the last one) — Dispenser 05:53, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Replacement of non-free use rationale using FurMe when a rationale already exists

The non-free use rationale at File:College of Staten Island logo 2012.svg was replaced using FurMe (see this diff). Should existing rationales be replaced in this fashion? Was my original rational in any way inappropriate, and would it have been better if I used a template such as {{Logo fur}} rather than writing my own, as described here? — DragonLord (talk/contribs) 15:59, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Handling draft proposal prepared by COI editors

There is a discussion, if the drafts prepared by editor who has declared his COI and have been posted for reviewing/editing at the article's talk page, should be considered as as unpublished primary sources or not. All these draft are attributed with references using mainly secondary sources. Interpretation of WP:COI and WP:PSTS is needed. As the discussion involves implementation and interaction of different policies a general discussion on this issue not necessarily related to the BP's article is needed. Therefore it is notified here. Please feel free to comment at the BP's talk page. Beagel (talk) 20:49, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ice hockey) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ice hockey) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposed change to banning policy regarding sockpuppet operators

I've proposed that blocked editors who are caught repeatedly socking be considered formally banned without a need for discussion. Please offer your opinions in the "Indefinite sitebans for repeated sockers" section of Wikipedia talk:Banning policy. Nyttend (talk) 02:17, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

BP has been rewriting BP

It seems that BP has been rewriting the article about itself since last July, with the help of a small number of editors who agreed to insert the company's drafts. The result is that BP has written around 44 percent of the article. See here for a description of what happened.

Smallbones has started a discussion about it at WT:COI with a view to introducing a change in the guideline to make sure this can't happen again. We need as much common sense as possible on that page, if people are willing to help out. The section begins at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest#BP and large company editing in general, and there are proposals for change at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest#BP's rewrite of the article about itself. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 21:52, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Bare URLs

I had reverted an edit to Wikipedia:Bare URLs because it removed a long-standing example of a bare URL which to uninformed users may not look like a bare URL. My reversion was soon reverted. Everyone knows that is a bare URL. But it has been a well-established policy that a reference consisting of a link such as The Not A Bare URL company (<ref>[ The Not A Bare URL company]</ref>) is just as much a bare URL reference, subject to link rot. There is now no example stating how poor this practice is; there's only an example further down the page of the "solution" of a secondary problem with long URLs which can be displayed as readable text, but it's not made clear that such an example would still be an unacceptable citation. Urarary (talk) 00:18, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Reading the page, I see the following (emphasis mine): "The following bare URLs are examples of links that can rot:". Simply providing a title is not sufficient to prevent it. Also, it provides a convenient segue to the example further down of the fully cited Nikon ref. I support its inclusion as a bare URL. Chris857 (talk) 00:30, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Protection and management of scripts?

This is both policy and technical related, but for initial discussion I think here is the better of the two as the initial parts of it are policy issues.
Crosslinked at VP (technical), WT:Lua, WT:Scripts, WikiProject User scripts and WT:RFPP.

In the past, users had two main ways to perform calculations and dynamic content of the kind relevant to lua:

  • They could create a page in template space (or their own userspace) and if appropriate and needed, protect it from modification
  • They could create a .js script subpage (monobook.js etc) which was automatically protected in their own userspace or (if appropriate) could be manually protected elsewhere.

With the introduction of lua, I can see users and admins writing lua scripts to help their wikipedia-related activities. 4 thoughts around use and control:

  1. Policy/practice for script protection? I don't see a link to page protection policies for user lua scripts, which after all, if modified, would run under an admin's permissions, or the account of a user or admin-bot with elevated trust;
  2. Policy/conventions for usage and organizing of the Module: namespace? I don't see any agreed convention we will use for pages for users' personal lua sandboxes or modules vs "community" scripts, such as where we will store them or how the Module: namespace will be organized;
  3. Technical: Mediawiki recognition of user personal lua scripts and sandboxes. I'd be interested to discuss whether Mediawiki should handle personal lua pages such as User:Example/module/... or User:Example/page.lua as well as pages in the Module: namespace (a bit like how it handles User:Example/monobook.js). Do others see this as a good idea or not?
  4. Both: Thoughts on simplifying and making more secure, with a single Script: namespace and page modification handling. Stretching this, we have 3 kinds of scripting (js, css, lua). Their handling, protection, autoprotection etc are patchy and diverse (auto-protected in these places but not those, these scripts kept here but those scripts kept there, etc). Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to:
Summary Expansion
Have a general Script: namespace Pages would look like Userscript:USERNAME/sandbox.js and Userscript:USERNAME/myscript.lua and Userscript:USERNAME/myscript.css

(ie rename the Modules: space) with shortcut "S:"

All user/community js, lua and css (other than that defined in Mediawiki: namespace) held in that same space Move is easy - we can trivially add redirects as needed for transparent handling of any existing pages; and
Control Userscript: page editing similar to .js/.css in userspace Eg, only user:example and admins can modify Userscript:Example/... unless that user or an admin adds a tag to the page (which they can remove at any time), which keeps the existing auto protection on userspace .js/.css and extends it to all scripts unless manually disabled.
A suitable tag might be --FULLACCESS or --FULLACCESSCASCADE for lua, <!-- FULLACCESS --> or FULLACCESSCASCADE for js/css

User scripts also won't be executed unless in this namespace.

Have a single page Userscript:Example/autoinclude which is autoincluded in the user's page loads Supersedes (and acts exactly like) User:Example/monobook.js etc, but more flexible as it's loaded into all skins and can cover all scripts (lua, js, css etc). Could easily test for skins and load skin-specific scripts if needed.
(As a bonus, this is transparent to implement, also may slightly simplify future scripting developments, by ensuring a standard but flexible framework for all aspects of user/community script management.)

Posted for initial feedback (it's a mix of technical and policy points). FT2 (Talk | email) 02:06, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

FT2, some of your comments suggest that you may not have a good grasp of what Lua — as implemented on Mediawiki — can and can't do. Unlike javascript, which can run all the time, Lua scripts only run when an appropriate #invoke statement is saved or previewed from an edit window. This is much more analogous to template behavior than to javascript behavior. Furthermore, Lua outputs are limited to displaying HTML and Wikitext, and don't have any way to interact with the user interface, so their power isn't nearly as great as javascript. Lua provides tools to quickly generate complex HTML and Wikitext, but the actual output is no more powerful than if you took the same content and saved it directly to a wiki page. Malicious editing of a widely used Lua module could be bad, but the problems it creates are analogous to the problems created by malicious editing of widely used templates. Lua modules simply don't have the power to do complex actions, like utilize admin buttons. It would be good to have some community guidelines for how Module space should be organized and how protection will be applied, but some of your comments seem to be based on misconceptions about how Lua actually works. As implemented on Mediawiki, it is better to understand Lua as a simply fancy new way of writing templates. Dragons flight (talk) 02:35, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
There are several reeasons and not all are lua - simplicity or convenience, fixing potential loopholes in other scripting pages (js/css) where these are problems, and putting all scripting on a single basis if we're moving to a more 'scripted' wikipedia in future, etc.
You're right about lua being closer to templating than scripting. We haven't seen subtle malicious templates, but in principle one might modify a template an admin might place, to have some minor breaching action. A number of bots (including admin bots) look at page content for tags; indexing and various other admin matters are controlled by tags in the content. While Lua is narrow in scope for malice compared to js/css subpages, the core issue is the same for any scripting pages - good management, clear understanding where they go, user sandboxing and "personal" templates/lua scripts (which wasn't so common with templates and was often done via userspace subpages), etc. Like templates and included subpages, some lua may need protection too.
In other words while not all issues exist enough do, and they mostly affect all "script" pages to different degrees. We have 2 types of scripting page already; with lua coming in and a new scripting namespace (by any name), let's think whether we can beneficially take simple steps to put it all on a more robust and simple basis at this point. FT2 (Talk | email) 02:50, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I think the analogy to draw with Lua is actually to template space, e.g. Wikipedia:High-risk templates. Drawing an analogy to Javascript, CSS, and other forms of Wikipedia:Customization and Wikipedia:Gadgets is only superficial. Both Javascript and Lua involve scripting, but their domains of action and methods of interacting with Wikipedia are so different that I think trying to lump Lua and Javascript together is actually counterproductive. Dragons flight (talk) 03:04, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Dragons flight is correct, and I can't see anything much to discuss because a Lua script has to be in the Module namespace before it can be executed, and it can only be executed by a template which includes #invoke, or by #invoke in wikitext (no template)—the template is just a convenience to hide implementation details. Of course a script that is invoked on hundreds of pages needs to be protected, as is done for templates that are similarly used. There are some issues about protecting a script that will need ironing out because it won't be often (once things have settled down) that someone might have a suggestion to change only a couple of words in a protected script. I've been busy and only look at a few things on my watchlist that catch my eye every now and then, but I happened to notice the edit to Module:Citation/CS1 that introduced a gsub chain, and I've been hoping to find time to tweak a few minor things in that module since it was started on test2 (one trivial matter is that there are 20 variables that should be "local"), and I was getting ready to change the gsubs to use a table and fix the locals, but it was protected before I got started. That did not matter because Anomie described what should occur, and it was fixed. However, while I totally agree that widely used modules must be protected, it is unclear whether a programmer would really want the tricky job of explaining what should be done if they can't actually do it. Johnuniq (talk) 07:02, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
We have Module:Citation/CS1/sandbox if you want to demonstrate changes directly. This is directly analogous to the /sandbox pages we already have for many protected templates. Dragons flight (talk) 14:26, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

the policies about the external non-English linking

Can I use the external non-English linking which are really authoritative? Orangeeeeeee.L (talk) 18:39, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes; while English sources are preferred, other languages are of course allowed. --Golbez (talk) 18:56, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Categories on individual birth/death dates

Hoops gza (talk · contribs) has started creating categories by individual birth/death dates like Category:May 24 births. If valid, this may result in a new wiki-wide layer of categories, which I believe are not needed. Opinions? Perhaps this was discussed already somewhere. Materialscientist (talk) 00:53, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Vegaswikian pointed me to this discussion, which might resolve the matter. Materialscientist (talk) 06:34, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
While consensus can change... in this case, I hope it has not. I would agree with that 2005 consensus... being able to see who was born on the same day is interesting trivia ... but the information is already presented (and better presented) as a list (see: May_24#Births). Making it a category is duplicative. Blueboar (talk) 19:01, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Derivative works of data

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) provides access to their data under the Creative Commons attribution noncommercial share-alike (CC by nc sa) license.

  1. What uses of their data would require that the noncommercial (nc) restriction be maintained?
  2. Might there be a way to use "nc" material in a Wikimedia project with appropriate labeling?

I ask, because I'm developing the Category:Documenting crony capitalism initiative on Wikiversity, and I want to be able to use (and have others use) CRP data. However, the default footer on each page in Wikiversity says, "Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply."

  1. Would my summaries and analyses of their data (e.g., a table or a plot) constitute a "derivative work" under the meaning of the copyright law and therefore require carrying the "nc" restriction to the license?
  2. If I create summary numbers, tables or plots that require the "nc" restriction, it there an acceptable way to label it appropriately and still use it in Wikiversity? For example, could a plot be contributed to Wikimedia Commons under the "CC by nc sa" with an annotation saying that each use must include a phrase like "Copyright 2013 by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) under the Creative Commons attribution noncommercial share-alike license. For commercial use, contact ______________"? They have some of the best data available on this issue, and the success of this Documenting crony capitalism initiative could depend on being able to use their data.

Much of their data are obtained from public sources (e.g., legally mandated reports of campaign finance and lobbying) and therefore cannot be copyrighted. However, some of it involves categorizing the raw data. Their copyright claims, especially regarding "derivative works", would likely rest on these categories.

Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 18:56, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

to your first question, Commons only accepts a free license. But if you create summaries and graphs from their data, their data is not copyright, and you can donate it under a free license. As for their aggregation, you can report it, or even quote from it. Obviously, the best course of all is to ask them to relicense material you want to use here. DGG ( talk ) 22:40, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I may misunderstand your comment, but I don't think it's that easy.
I'm not a lawyer, but it's my impression that a summary or plot of their data could be considered a "derivative work" under US copyright law and could therefore be required to carry the "CC by nc sa" license of the extract from their database.
I've summarized my research on this copyright question in Documenting crony capitalism#Copyright?. The key is whether "the presentation provide[s] an added benefit to the public, which was not previously available and might remain unavailable without it": If yes, it may NOT be a derivative work and therefore may not require the noncommercial restriction.
On the other hand, 'Trivia books, based on TV shows ... are considered derivative works, for purposes of infringement liability [because] any transformative purpose possessed in the derivative work was "slight to non-existent."'
Thus, to escape the noncommercial restriction, the "added benefit to the public" must be clear, e.g., by suggesting a connection between specific government favors documented apart from CRP and data on campaign contributions by individuals in a CRP category.
I have contacted CRP with emails and a phone call. I'm asking them for general permission that their data can be posted at least to Wikiversity for v:Documenting crony capitalism under "CC by sa".
Thanks for your comments. DavidMCEddy (talk) 19:01, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
If we're playing armchair lawyer, look at Database right#United States. It may be that the data itself (as opposed to any particular expression of the data) is too unoriginal to be copyrighted in the US. Anomie 21:56, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Transcluding sections

As of February, we have had the ability to transclude sections of a page using the <section> tag. I have a simple demonstration at Help:Section/Transcluded sections. I am planning to document the technical aspects, but we probably need to work out guidelines. I will work my end as a draft and wait to publish it until the guidelines are developed. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:38, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't dead link be an in-line template, like citation needed?

I just learned that Template:Dead_link says "this tag should be placed just before the </ref> that contains the dead link". I was previously working under the assumption that dead link works like all other warning templates in that it warns users about questionable material. Isn't it dangerous and almost misleading to have no in-line warning that the material can no longer be verified? More casual users will not check references and they won't see the dead link template at all, so the source will look exactly as reliable as all other sources on Wikipedia. It's also a little harder for editors like me to find problems in articles during a casual read through. PraetorianFury (talk) 19:01, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

A dead link has nothing to do with the reliability of the source. See Wikipedia:Link rot. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:04, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
I disagree completely. On low traffic articles, the sources are often sketchy, and IPs and new/bad faith editors will often introduce content that is not at all supported by their references. Wikipedia already requires some skill to read without being mislead. If material can no longer be verified, we owe it to our users to warn them. PraetorianFury (talk) 17:26, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
+1 --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 23:25, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand... link rot is a growing problem on Wikipedia (I agree that it isn't a reliability problem... but it is a problem never the less).
If "dead link" notices were made more noticeable (by appearing in the actual article text, say next to the little blue citation number, rather than at the bottom of the page in the "references" section) then more dead links would get fixed/updated (editors hate having "ugly", noticeable, tags messing up their beautiful article text... and so a prominent tag would result in more editors taking the time to fix the problem... either by linking to an archive copy of the "dead" cited source, or by citing some other reliable source that supports the statement). Blueboar (talk) 18:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a shame that so many seem intent on defacing articles rather than improving them, but I suppose that's easier. Malleus Fatuorum 17:42, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
But tags actually are a way to improve articles... or at least a step towards improving the article. Tags alert others to a problem ... one that the tagger is unable to fix himself. The goal is not to "deface" the article... it's to have an improved article that no longer needs a tag. Blueboar (talk) 18:36, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. I kind of see it as escalating suspicion. If I see something completely off the wall, check the source, and it's dead, I will delete the content entirely. But if I see something plausible but suspect, I tag it as a warning to future readers to take the passage with a grain of salt, and as a request to other editors to either verify it or delete it entirely. PraetorianFury (talk) 18:45, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I disagree... the point of a tag is not to give readers a warning... the point of a tag is to alert article writers to a problem. Now, writers have always gotten upset when editors "deface" their work... but marking up a writer's work is a normal part of the editing process... if you were to submit something for print publication, your editor will send you a marked up (ie "defaced") copy, full of notations about things that you (the writer) need to correct or clarify. Here on Wikipedia, when someone tags an article, he is acting as an editor - noting things for the writers to correct. Blueboar (talk) 18:36, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
That's not how Wikipedia works. All of our editors are writers. All of our readers are editors. This analogy doesn't work at all, a newspaper or magazine does not have to worry about people changing their article years after it has been written. PraetorianFury (talk) 19:27, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Since when was anything but the tiniest fraction of Wikipedia's readers also editors? Malleus Fatuorum 20:44, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Why does the percent matter? That this freedom exists is enough to establish the inaccuracy of the analogy, which was the purpose of the comment. Please stop trying to WP:WIN this thread. It's not about winning, it's about what's best for the encyclopedia. PraetorianFury (talk) 21:58, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
It matters when it's as close to zero as makes no difference and you try to make a claim that that's patently untrue. Malleus Fatuorum 22:18, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
100,000 is close to zero. Ok kid, lol. You win, here's your internet argument victory award. PraetorianFury (talk) 22:56, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
No, they're not. They're an effort to try and force others to do what you're too lazy or incompetent to do yourself. Malleus Fatuorum 19:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
RE "too lazy or incompetent": Other reasons could be being manipulative or passive aggressive..., but such a list is only a beginning, I'm afraid.
I added the tag {{Bad linked references}} created by Andy and so far used only on DGM articles. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 08:53, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess I'm incompetent because I read Wikipedia articles about a subject on which I am not an expert? Wtf? PraetorianFury (talk) 19:29, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Who said that? You're incompetent certainly, but not because you read articles on subjects of which you have no knowledge. Your suggested approach is rather like scribbling on the pages of a textbook you can't understand, rather asking the author (or your teacher) to explain. Malleus Fatuorum 20:42, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Spoken like a true writer. :>) Blueboar (talk) 19:13, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I get pissed off with all this tagging. It's mostly laziness in my opinion, and what does it matter if an article's an "orphan" anyway for instance? As for this specific proposal, it appears that the proposer is unaware of the point raised by Trappist the monk below. It's defacement, pure and simple. Malleus Fatuorum 19:19, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@PraetorianFury: What you've described is answered by {{dubious}}, {{clarify}}, etc. For {{dead link}} to be properly used in-line, you will need to seek out all of the <ref name="whatever" /> tags and mark them as well.
Keep {{dead link}} wihin <ref></ref>.
Trappist the monk (talk) 19:09, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
These all have different purposes. That's why they're not the same templates. I don't think I should be tagging something with dubious when I'm just surprised and want to check the ref. PraetorianFury (talk) 20:03, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

This is really important to me, because I like to read controversy sections, and low traffic articles (like for games), and this sort of thing happens all the time. Users will insert their own opinion or do blatant WP:SYNTH, and include some marginally related reference. Then I come in and clean up everything by checking every remotely controversial statement's source. I end up getting like 10 edits in an hour as I verify each sentence one by one.

Wikipedia is often the first and only source people (including myself) use. Our voice is given that much authority then. If vandals or POV pushers include an unrelated ref which eventually dies, there are only a few scenarios that can happen. Hopefully an expert catches it and can either verify or contradict/delete it. More likely someone will tag it with a dead link template in the refs, and all our casual users read it and see the reference and take it 100% of Wikipedia's authority. Veteran editors might notice the dead link, and be suspicious, but do nothing. We've then mislead all of our casual readers by hiding the dead link.

Content doesn't necessarily have to be verifiable in more than one source. WP:NOTABILITY does not apply to content. So it is conceivable that good material could have existed online in exactly one source that died. So being sourced to a dead link that can't be verified anywhere else online is not enough reason to delete material. So editors like me who read articles on which they have no expertise really have no justification to delete suspicious material. That's why we (I) tag with dead links. It retains the potentially good content, but labels it correctly as something that can no longer be verified.

Sorry if this is confusing. I'm pulling together a lot of different policies in my head, and also imagining how users react to our articles. Mostly I'm trying to enhance the legitimacy of referenced material by more frequently and accurately identifying bad material or poorly referenced material, so that users can trust that when no templates are visible, the material has been vetted. PraetorianFury (talk) 19:23, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

But the material here is never "vetted" until it goes though GA/FA or similar processes, so why pretend otherwise? That a link has gone dead does not make the material it's sourcing suddenly dubious or incorrect. We provide accessdates so that those not too far up their own arses can check for themselves, instead of spraying graffiti all over stuff they don't understand. Malleus Fatuorum 19:27, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Casual users do not know of the GA/FA processes. They see references and they assume they're good, sometimes fallaciously. What I'm proposing would not be a perfect system. A lot of users will still be mislead by the occasional bad reference in low traffic articles. But at least this way when editors do catch these, we have a in-between option for when we are suspicious of material, but not enough that we feel it should be deleted outright. That's really all I'm asking for.
And a lot of references do not have accessdates, or some that do still do not accurately reflect the information in the source. Tools will do this, and even vandals know how to copy and paste, or copy other references. POV warriors can be veteran editors too.
Also, you keep mentioning more advanced techniques like I might see in an article authored by a single expert. But this is not all of Wikipedia. There are many articles that experts have long since left, and which are maintained by novices. The information decays and POV creeps in. I'm not looking to a driveby on your personal pet project. I want something to warn users on an article that is lucky to see 1 edit per month. Low traffic articles, like I keep saying. PraetorianFury (talk) 19:38, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Having a dead link notice in the article its self is , breakups the flow of reading and is not related to content in anyway. We are here to facilitate knowledge - not inform all that a link needs to be fixed.Moxy (talk) 19:45, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
And if that flow is nonsense or lies? Are you more concerned with its fluidity than its accuracy? PraetorianFury (talk) 19:50, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Who are you to judge whether it's "nonsense or lies" if you don't have access to the sources? Would you equally flag a book source not in your local library as being "nonsense or lies" because you couldn't easily get hold of it? Malleus Fatuorum 20:38, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Are you even editing the same encyclopedia? Do you not realize how much BS gets inserted into articles that aren't watched like a hawk? Even the best sources can be misconstrued, and we have all kinds of policies specifically for when this happens, such as WP:SYNTH, WP:CALC, etc. And IMO we should try, when possible, to have online sources so that they can be verified, on demand, by a third party specifically because editors do this, even experts. A well learned Islamic Scholar can't be trusted to make exceptional claims about Islam based on only his reading and interpretation of a book that no one else on Wikipedia has access to, for example. So yes, sometimes I would delete questionable material with only a link to an offline book, if the claim was unbelievable enough. How about quotes? What if we're on a WP:BLP and a person is quoted but that link is a dead link, and that quote can't be found anywhere else? Are we to just assume that the quote is correct? What if it's on a controversial issue? Why on earth do you think we should trust editors when so many demonstrate such shameless bad faith? I don't know what insulated bubble you've been living in, but Wikipedia is a battleground of opinion, and people are always looking for ways to game the system to give their POV an edge. It is the responsibility of good faith editors to clean up the mess. The worst of it should be deleted. The suspicious stuff should be visibly tagged. It's a simple concept, with a benevolent goal, so I don't understand your hostility. PraetorianFury (talk) 21:54, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Are you actually editing this encyclopedia at all, as opposed to proposing to spray tagging graffiti all over articles? Malleus Fatuorum 22:16, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Take a look at my history. I'm a pretty frequent editor. And I do try to fix bad articles or sections when I find them, if I can. Also, it really says something about you when you considering adding warnings and templates to be "spray tagging graffiti". PraetorianFury (talk) 22:56, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
What it says about me is that I prefer to fix things rather than complain that others don't. Malleus Fatuorum 00:00, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Welp it looks like consensus is against me. I guess next time I find questionable material sourced to a dead link, I will delete it entirely, per WP:ONUS. PraetorianFury (talk) 20:06, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

You could try that, but you'll very quickly find yourself reverted. You really do need to refresh yourself on the policy regarding dead links. Malleus Fatuorum 20:38, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't doubt I would be reverted. It's a POV warriors favorite weapon. But WP:ONUS lets me be very demanding. Ironic you should keep complaining about laziness when you need me to quote the policy for you: "Sometimes editors will disagree on whether material is verifiable. The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material" PraetorianFury (talk) 21:54, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't need an inexperienced editor such as yourself to tell me anything, much less quote a misunderstood policy. Malleus Fatuorum 22:21, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
And now I'm inexperienced after 3 years of editing? Well come then, teach me then how to be a civil and experienced editor like yourself with more WP:Personal attacks. PraetorianFury (talk) 22:56, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
It's hardly my fault that you've failed to learn very much after three years of not very much editing. Only 207 edits I believe? Or are you asking for the edits of your sockpuppets to be included in that count? Malleus Fatuorum 00:00, 26 March 2013 (UTC)


  • To try to get something productive out of this, could a bot be created to search various archive services for links where dead link is used? I don't think the bot should update automatically, instead it could put the article, the link, and the archive url into a table of some sort (a human should verify that it supports the material before updating). I'll leave a note at bot requests. Ryan Vesey 00:13, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It would be easier and possibly more useful to set up a bot to archive everything that uses a cite web template, that does not already have an archiveurl parameter.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:36, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
    But wouldn't that remove all the fun for the taggers? How could they "contribute" then? Malleus Fatuorum 00:40, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

The dead link tag should not be inline. It's important to remember that all that matters for verifiability is that the link is live when the reference is added, even if it goes dead later. There is no requirement that references have to be verifiable online, even if it is not convenient to check the hard copy in a library. So "dead link" is a minor issue, not something that needs to stand out in the article text (and certainly not a reason, on its own, to worry about verifiability.) — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:31, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

I think both PF and MF have reasonable points here. My thoughts:
  1. Link rot is, and will likely remain, an ongoing issue.
  2. Someone who comes across a dead link should certainly try to fix it if they reasonably can. However, this isn't always possible in practice, and not just because of laziness or incompetence. If someone does find a dead link and can't fix it right away, tagging the reference is IMO preferable to doing nothing.
  3. While some material — such as contentious statements in a BLP — probably should be deleted (not just tagged) if the only known sources have gone missing, in most cases it's better to keep the material, at least for a while, to allow someone to find a better source. This is why, for example, we have tags like {{citation needed}}.
  4. It is true that verifiability does not require a web link used in a source reference to remain live forever. However, we do have a problem with "sources" that never were really good to begin with, so (differing slightly here with CBM's comment above) it is appropriate for us to be concerned about dead links in at least some cases.
  5. I think the {{dead link}} tag belongs where it currently goes (in the reference). However, I also think it would be a good idea if a {{dead link}} tag could have some visible effect in the body of the article — possibly turning the bracketed footnote number red, or adding an asterisk after the bracketed footnote number. I don't know if this is technically feasible within our current reference mechanism.
  6. Having a bot scan articles for dead links (and mark them as such when they are found) would probably be a good idea. If the number of dead links on a given article exceeded a certain minimum, the bot could (and probably should) add a tag to the top of the article text, warning readers that many (not just one or two) of the source references in the article appear to have vanished from the web.
  7. Would it be useful, or even feasible, for a bot to distinguish between footnote links that are "dead on arrival" and links which have been around for some time but have recently gone dead? Perhaps the new Wikidata project can help with this, though I suspect it'll be some time before sources can be catalogued in a sufficiently comprehensive manner.
  8. Sadly, I agree that most articles have not been carefully examined for quality, and that most of our readers are probably unaware of our article quality control efforts (limited as they unfortunately are) and will take things they read on Wikipedia at face value without expending any time or effort analysing the quality of the writing or the cited sources.
— Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 20:01, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
About the ONUS claims above: WP:ONUS (aka WP:BURDEN) does not say that you get to remove material that is supported by an inline citation whose URL isn't currently working. It applies only to uncited material. If you encounter dead URLs, you need to follow the instructions at WP:DEADREF—which, by the way, tell you to add a dated {{dead link}} tag so that future editors will be able to determine approximately when the URL stopped working. It helps if you think about {{dead link}} as meaning "We're in the middle of a long link-rot-solving process" than "Hey, something bad happened!" WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:40, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Non-free SVG's

Probably been discussed before, but... why on earth do we limit the size of non-free images, have a category of images that exceed this limit yet allow 11,000 non-free SVG's, most of which are copyrighted non-free content that by design, can be as high a resolution as anyone wants [6], [7], [8], [9], etc, etc. So a 500x500 JPG image is bad and evil and we certainly won't tolerate such a high resolution image... but make it an SVG and it can be as big as anyone wants and we're all smiles? I won't say it's just plain stupid. I won't say it because I don't need to. We putter around here doing this and that, all the while the faint odor of stupidity hangs around like a fog. In the past, every so often I used to reduce some of those oversized non-free images thinking I was doing something useful. Ha! Useful not. Until we take a bath and wash some of the stench of stupid off, I'm pleased as punch to just let those bad ol' images just sit there over-sized. Or maybe.... I'll just start converting them into SVG's! </rant> – JBarta (talk) 00:41, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

The size can be determined in a number of different ways:
  • For pixel graphics, the size is the number of pixels.
  • For text, the size is the number of letters.
  • For sound recordings, the size is the number of seconds and the quality of the sound.
For SVG images, I would assume that WP:NFCC#3b tells that we have to limit the number of geometric shapes in the image. Unfortunately, a lot of SVG files seem to contain way too many geometric shapes so that they still look good at, say, 2000×2000 pixels.
Also: According to Commons:Category:Mozilla Firefox logos, only old Firefox logos are unfree whereas new logos are free. I'm not sure if the logo you found is old or new. It might be mistagged as unfree. --Stefan2 (talk) 00:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
An SVG that embeds a raster image should be limited in its resolution. (Of course, if it embeds a raster image, it's missing the point anyway.) But this discussion is missing the whole point of the rule. The reason we have a rule limiting the resolution of images used under a claim of fair use is that we are trying not to compete with the copyright holder's use of their image. If you are in the business of selling prints of your painting or photo, then our use of a print-quality image of it competes with your ability to sell it. If you're a TV network and you want people to visit your website and download wallpapers and the like depicting your TV shows and characters, our use of a giant blow-up of a TV character competes with that use. That's why we require that images be of limited resolution. With SVG logos, though, this just isn't applicable. Nobody is selling prints of their company logo. Our hosting a vector version of the logo does not compete with the copyright holder in the same way that it does for a raster image. --B (talk) 01:03, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
So by that logic (which is reasonably unstupid actually), logos such as these... 1,2,3,4 shouldn't really be in Category:Wikipedia non-free file size reduction requests because they're just logos, right? If we can host large PNG versions of logos then we can host large PNG versions of logos. (yes I know what I wrote there and it is correct) Or even large JPG logos. Right? – JBarta (talk) 01:21, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
According to Category:Rescaled fairuse files more than 7 days old#Instructions, "The resolution should approximately fit the intended use in the article." I assume that this has to do with Wikipedia's free commitment: we don't want to host more non-free information than actually needed. If a file has 1,000,000 pixels but the article only needs 1,000 pixels, then those extra 999,000 pixels violate WP:5P#3. --Stefan2 (talk) 01:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Every SVG can render over 1,000,000 pixels. If it only needs 1,000 pixels (actually the guideline is 100,000 pixels) then why doesn't the software convert the SVG into a 100,000 pixel image and just offer that? One way or another there is stupidity hovering around this issue and it's not going to just rinse away. Even if we say logos are allowed at higher resolutions, in order to be non-stupid, something has to give. – JBarta (talk) 01:41, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I see no reason whatsoever not to host a large PNG of a non-free logo. Again, ask yourself the purpose of not permitting large fair use images. The only purpose of it is that we're trying not to compete with the copyright holder. --B (talk) 02:15, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, let's suppose I were to remove some of those large non-free (JPG & PNG) logos from Category:Wikipedia non-free file size reduction requests and someone were to object, what policy or guideline would justify my actions? – JBarta (talk) 02:36, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't see any point in the busy work of seeking out raster logos in that category for the sake of removing them, though if you were processing requests in that category and removed a logo in the course of your work, I wouldn't object. As for a policy basis, that's covered here. The fair use policy should be edited to clarify that resolution is irrelevant for logos. The point of the fair use policy isn't to create silly hoops to jump through - it's to (1) comply with the law and (2) further our goal of promoting free content. If a particular rule doesn't promote free content and has nothing to do with the law, that rule should be changed. The purpose of the rule is to prohibit print-quality raster images - I seriously doubt that whoever came up with it was even considering logos when they wrote it. And regardless of whether they were, vector images don't have a resolution so it's rather irrelevant. It would be like arguing over the miles per gallon of a fully electric car. --B (talk) 04:03, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thanks for your input. – JBarta (talk) 20:57, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The standard view in the past, if you look at the SVG talkpage or the archives of WT:NFC, is that non-free SVGs should be okay provided that they contain no more detail than is needed at low resolution. So even though geometrical shapes and curves can be blown up very sharply with SVG, so long as there is no more information in the file than is needed to render it at low resolution, it should be okay.
Per B and others above, there may also be a case where eg an SVG of a logo has been obtained from the organisation itself. In that case (for all sorts of trademark and representation issues), it may well be better to use the logo as provided by org itself, rather than any derivative or cut-down version of our own, in order to give as true as possible an indication of how the org wishes itself to be represented. Jheald (talk) 03:04, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Policies about Categories


I looked all around but couldn't find any. Is is ok to add to a category page "information links"? I'm wondering about Category:Process philosophy. It has a little box with a selection of links in it, some of them external links, chosen by one editor. I don't think they should be there, as categories should be NPOV. Just the main explanatory article for the category should be sufficient. I removed them but immediately they were put back. What's the deal on that?

Thanks, Star767 (talk) 02:39, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Are you looking for Wikipedia:Categorization? Categories are for navigation in the article space. So they should not, in my opinion, contain reference sources. But wait and see what others say. Vegaswikian (talk) 05:27, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't think they should contain reference sources either, especially external links, and Wikipedia:Categorization sort of hints at that but doesn't seem to out right say it. Star767 (talk) 13:16, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Have you contacted the editor who added/returned the link box to the category page, and asked him why he thinks it should be included? In general, I would agree that sources belong in article space and not on navigation pages... but there might be a reason why an exception should be made in this particular case. Blueboar (talk) 18:53, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
[redacted pointless explanation] I've taken your suggestion and asked the editor if there's a reason for adding the annotations reference sources to Category:Process philosophy and Category:Process theory. Thanks! Star767 (talk) 20:49, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Those aren't "annotations" they are reference resources. They are there to help people get information about the subject matter from reliable/credible sources. This is one of Wikipedia's most valuable functions, so I would find it be be a very disturbing development if there was a movement to remove them. Should we likewise remove all the links in boxes to other wikimedia categories as well? Because those aren't considered to be reliable sources for wikipedia, and therefore not nearly as valuable. Correct? I am also trying to figure out exactly how those links are POV. I think the confusion is that refernces from different subject areas (e.g. mathematical logic, and philosophical logic) isn't a POV issue. It is a matter of interdisciplary coverage. Wikipedia articles are supposed to be comprehensive, so chauvinism/atomization/segregation by academic subject area is not helpful. Greg Bard (talk) 23:29, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

So that's the answer, Blueboar. He wrote on my talk page that he was "shocked" and that I needed a "compelling reason" to remove them. I find them distracting and not helpful at all. They go to external links that seem to be the information that Gregbard wants us to see. Can everyone add their own external link list to category pages? Star767 (talk) 00:28, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Also, what about portals that list selected articles in a subcategory in a big orange banner, like this one that lists Philosophical articles in extra large letters in Category:Metaphysical theories? Isn't that POV? Why are the Philosophical articles given extra importance in that category?
I find this really awful. Very distracting and not helpful. Is this really ok? It seems to control the innate flexibility of a category and be against the whole idea of categorization. Portals shouldn't own categories, in my view, by dictating specific articles and sources. Suppose others disagree with the list of articles and sources provided by Gregbard? How do they alter the lists he places in categories? Is there consensus before this list is decided upon? Star767 (talk) 00:48, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Your aesthetic opinion is not a serious nor a compelling reason to remove reference resources. Cease. Greg Bard (talk) 02:00, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

It's not my aesthetic opinion. Adding {{Philosophy reference resources}} to categories is, by your own admission on your talk page[10], your design to make Wikipedia conform to outside sources you have picked, without consensus, such as PhilPapers Categories. You say: "My effort has been to make links between ours and theirs. ... Much of my effort in organizing categories has been toward making them consistent with PhilPapers, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Indiana Ontology Project, as provided in those links."
I don't think Wikipedia's categories should be "consistent" with selected outside sources, chosen by one editor. This defeats Wikipedia category processes in which no one editor controls categorical organization of a specific subject matter. Star767 (talk) 14:02, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Having looked at this edit I don't see where they are references. There are spamy external links and wiki links to articles that are not in the category. So what is the rational for including these links in the category? I am seeing items that should be used as references or further reading in Process philosophy, but not seeing reference supporting article (or in this case Category) content. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:59, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I think these links should not be included. In rare cases, it's appropriate to use links to define or clarify the category's scope (eg Category:Invasive_fish_species and Category:Ergodic theory), but "reference resources" belong only in the article, not the category. Kilopi (talk) 11:43, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • See thread below about the same issue as I noted above, the big orange banners added to categories such as Category:Metaphysical theories by Gregbard that undermines the concept of categories on Wikipedia. I believe Gregbard should remove his unorthodox additions to categories (whether big banners or by adding template lists of selected external links to reference sources) and allow them to function as they are designed to. One person should not have such a big impact on categories, impacting their navigational function, without consensus. Star767 (talk) 14:02, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Is there any Support? I am only seeing one person, in favor of adding this type of content to categories, I am not seeing this person offering any rationale or policy supporting this addition. So other the ordering users to "cease" and obvious edit-waring on Category:Process philosophy does anyone, have a reason that categories should host any type of external links in the header? Jeepday (talk)
Additionally I have removed the template [11] on the category being discussed. Jeepday (talk) 10:50, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Those links are not spam in the least. This isn't some promotion of websites, nor is there any sense in which it is POV pushing AT ALL. They are reliable sources for content, which is one of the most valuable services Wikipedia provides. The reason they are on category pages is that they link to the categories of those resources (please compare to PhilPapers) Since the issue has been pushed to this point, a dicussion has been started at WikiProject Philosophy to formally support this template. I had asked the American Philosophical Association if they had adopted an organized system of categories for subject matter, and they had not. In the absence of that, we use the Indiana Ontology Project, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and PhilPapers. With all due respect to everyone who works hard at Wikipedia in the broad and general sense, you need to respect the decisions of those who actually use these resources from within whatever academic areas are responsible for the subject matter. Please respect that. Greg Bard (talk) 15:51, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think there is anything wrong with having some content (navboxes, links, etc.) on category pages. They are used both by readers (to browse articles) and by editors (for maintenance), and unlike the main namespace categories can contain some Wikipedia-related links in addition to leading readers to related areas. The reason many categories are so bare is not because they're "supposed" to be that way; it's because nobody has taken the time to work on them. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:57, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! CBM is a voice of reason as usual. Greg Bard (talk) 16:10, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  1. the Process philosophy from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. the Philosophy reference sources from the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project
  3. the Philosophy reference resources at PhilPapers.
Gregbard said on his talk page to another editor who disagreed with using the resource links in the categories: Please take a look at PhilPapers Categories My effort has been to make links between ours and theirs. I really have to question the wisdom of your opinion, and I request that you reconsider. Much of my effort in organizing categories has been toward making them consistent with PhilPapers, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Indiana Ontology Project, as provided in those links.[12]
This is POV on the category pages. Why should these three sources and their method of organization be promoted in the Philosophy (and other) categories? This explains some of the (what I considered) irrational categorization of articles in Psychology and Science in the Philosophy. The so-called "main" article in the category almost never supports the categories he chooses to add.
Shouldn't the spamming of these exclusive choices by one editor be subject to some kind of consensus? Especially, since categories policy/guidelines exclude reference sources, promotional material etc. in them. They are for navigation only. Star767 (talk) 23:56, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
The simple question is still, does that template help article or category navigation? I think the answer from this discussion is no. It seems like the template in question may belong on the project page and maybe in some articles, but not on category pages. The issue of the template contents being POV is not an issue that affects its inclusion on the category pages. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:12, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Categorization states that category pages "can also contain links to other pages, in particular to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories, and to "sister categories" on other projects, such as Commons." This has been part of that guideline since February 29, 2009. GregBard's external links are not much different from "sister categories" on other projects (indeed that's exactly what InPho and PhilPapers offer). The SEP does categorize as well (in the links and bibliographies), but also includes substantive article content. If the complaint is that just having these three sources is non-neutral (although, I'm not sure why), then other reliable sources can be included. Certainly I think the Philosopher's Index would be worthy of inclusion, and so a fortiori were it more readily accessible. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 03:24, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • But Wikipedia:Categorization states: "Categorizations appear on article pages without annotations or referencing to justify or explain their addition; editors should be conscious of the need to maintain a neutral point of view when creating categories or adding them to articles."
The links in {{Philosophy reference resources}} are external links off wiki, to sites not run or controled by WMF. These external links are not, as quoted above, "links to other pages, in particular to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories, and to "sister categories" on other projects, such as Commons."
Also, has anyone noticed that two of the three external links in {{Philosophy reference resources}} are dead? This external link Philosophy reference sources goes to a 404 page, and this one Philosophy reference resources goes to a File not found page. So over sixty categories have a template in their top right corner with 2/3 of the external links dead. Star767 (talk) 19:32, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Your falsehoods and distortions have grown tiresome. When you don't fill in parameters, the template doesn't work. So to say that it leads to dead links is a bald falsehood. You keep harping on this idea that these reference resources are somehow POV, and I have explained to you what POV means, and you have ignored my explanation. These reference resources provide information about ALL points of view on the subject matter without any filter of any kind (save peer review). So again, this is a bald falsehood on your part. Furthermore, the template isn't there supporting any claims whatsoever in any case, so therefore it does not consist in any "annotation." It does not violate the policy you cite AT ALL. At this point I have to ask the experienced editors here to let cooler heads prevail, and to simply ignore this person with a wildly strong opinion, without any justification. At WikiProject Philosophy, we have initiated a discussion about formalizing the Manual of Style, and so far the consensus forming looks like we will support the use of this template. If this editor continues to plow forward with his or her agenda without considering the points I have made validly, I will take it to ANI, as has been recommended by other editors in the philosophy project. Greg Bard (talk) 20:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I think you're going overboard, Gregbard. I haven't been removing the template after you and Snowded reverted me. WhatamIdoing reverted you on Process Philosophy and removed your template. Star767 (talk) 22:39, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
If you take a look at the PhilPapers categories, which are in the hundreds, you can reasonably expect to see a template for every Wikipedia category which corresponds to one in the future. Get over it. Greg Bard (talk) 04:57, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
And thanks for fixing the dead links in the template. Star767 (talk) 03:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I believe you pointed out one, which I fixed, so thanks for that. However, it is disingenuous, to portray the template as leading to 2 out of three dead links as you did. I think you need to actually do some research towards contributing to content before telling others what tools they can use. Greg Bard (talk) 04:57, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I tend to agree that the POV point is beyond the scope of this question. As has been pointed out, by several users the policy question is about the appropriateness of type of content in the template which is internal wikilinks and external links. As I review the comments, I am not seeing a strong consensus either to permit or exclude these types of templates and their content. There are good arguments to allow and good arguments to exclude. Jeepday (talk) 20:51, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
A voice of reason. Thank you. Greg Bard (talk) 04:57, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
As Vegaswikian says above: "The simple question is still, does that template help article or category navigation? I think the answer from this discussion is no." I agree. And I don't think resolution of this issue lies solely within the purview of the editors in the philosophy project, as all of us end up unwittingly in categories with these transcluded preferred external reference sources lists due to so many articles ending up one way or another in a philosophy category. Star767 (talk) 03:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It helps people navigate to academic sources. Limiting the category pages to navigating within wikimedia has no rational purpose at all. Furthermore, it is not prohibited. Greg Bard (talk) 04:57, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
The statement that "Categorizations appear on article pages without annotations or referencing to justify or explain their addition; editors should be conscious of the need to maintain a neutral point of view when creating categories or adding them to articles" is explicitly describing how categories appear on article pages. It is saying nothing about the use of annotations or referencing on category pages themselves. Besides, the links are not annotations or references, but are links to categorizations and bibliographies. As I said, maintaining NPOV is a genuine concern. If you think that linking to SEP, InPho or PhilPapers is POV, explain why. I don't think anyone else thinks this: They are all sources maintained by professional scholars of philosophy with tenure at accredited institutions of higher learning. The statement allowing external links says nothing about limiting external links to WikiMedia projects. It gives the example of Commons, which is part of WikiMedia, but that doesn't mean all of the projects must be WikiMedia. Saying that P(a) and Q(a) doesn't mean that for all x, P(x) only if Q(x). --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 04:15, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
WP:External links, whether to "resources" or anything else, simply do not belong on category pages. Content cat pages should include stuff that helps the reader find Wikipedia articles (e.g., description of the articles that belong here or pointers to other relevant cats for the subjects that don't belong here), and nothing else. I've removed it, and will propose a clarification to WP:Categorization at Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Reference resources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:49, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
This is all just your opinion, and nothing in the policy prohibits this template. Your need to propose an amendment to the policy confirms this. I don't support it, and no reasonable person should. Please observe that the template links Wikipedia categories to PhilPapers categories, so that wouldn't be appropriate to articles. That is why the template is specifically for categories. It provides a very valuable service in leading people to academic sources, and I find the priorities here (navigation only) to be very unwise. Greg Bard (talk) 04:57, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
And nothing permits them either, so having them is just your opinion. You might be better off to create a something that outlines what is allowed and get it confirmed. Right now there is a balance of opinion, but it does not take much abuse to sway opinion. As there is no policy permitting additional links in categories, the easiest change in policy would be prohibit any link in a category that is not there due to main space article tagging. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 16:11, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Excuse me? This is where you are clearly wrong. Nothing prohibits them, and therefore they are permitted. That's how it works, and I am (again) a little shocked by this point you are trying to make. It isn't "just my opinion" and trying to portary me as a lone gunman is very tiresome! WikiProject Philosophy has had a consensus on these particular resources for a long time now.Greg Bard (talk) 16:29, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

There is currently a proposal to prohibit WP:External links to other websites on cat pages. The proposal is to add this sentence to WP:Categorization:

Like WP:Disambiguation pages, category pages should not contain either citations to WP:Reliable sources or WP:External links.

Perhaps people could join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Reference resources and share their opinions there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:54, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Category banner

OK this is close to edit warring. It is edit warring. The standard practice on content categories is to have very limited apparatus, generally a single sentence description or a link to a "main page". Occasionally a link to Commons or a navigation aid to related categories is provided, sometimes also portal links. That's probably pretty much it. I'm sure you could find WikiProject links (which don't belong) and a few general purpose navboxes (which might be arguable). I doubt that there would be community consensus for external links. As to the header template, I don't think it belongs on categories but consensus may disagree with me. For clarity here it is:

Rich Farmbrough, 06:06, 25 March 2013 (UTC).

Rich, you have made clear that you do not like these navigational banners, and have had limited success is getting consensus to remove them. Now this Star person has raised a different issue, and you are mish-mashing them. I would certainly be willing to discuss both. Greg Bard (talk) 06:49, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Excuse you for being so vague, but, is this about mainspace or talk pages? (talk) 13:36, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

This is about adding such templates as {{Category-Philosophical theories/header}} above, which is transcluded on seven category pages, e.g. Category:Metaphysical theories. It relates to the thread above "Policies about Categories" about individual editors adding preferred peripheral material (whether banners as above, or lists of selected source references to external links e.g. {{Philosophy reference resources}} to Category:Process philosophy and Category:Process theory. A look a "what links here" shows this one template list of external reference sources is transcluded on sixty some categories, not counting redirects.[13]. Star767 (talk) 15:04, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think there is anything wrong with having some content on category pages. They are used both by readers (to browse articles) and by editors (for maintenance), and unlike the main namespace categories can contain some Wikipedia-related links in addition to leading readers to related areas. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:56, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

This doesn't bother me. It's all internal links (to other cat pages). It's not materially different from a navbox. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Have you looked at Category:Metaphysical theories? It's pretty much an organizational disaster right now. The top section is a jumble of five templates, all competing for attention. I don't see how this arrangement could help users find relevant articles. - Eureka Lott 00:12, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

External links leading to pages that have referral links (i. e. referral links one step beyond WP)

I don't know if it this is the right to place to ask, but here's the problem: A user is adding external links to a website ( that contains both useful information about various tourist destinations in Cumbria (England) and pages where you can book accommodation (hotel, bed & breakfast etc) through Visitcumbria, with Visitcumbria apparently getting a kickback (judging by the source code of those pages, which contain what appears to be referral links; sample page). Most of the links that have been added have pointed to pages with general information but I have also found links that point directly to pages where you can book accommodation. The links are added by anonymous IPs, even though messages left on my talk page seem to indicate that the persons behind those IPs are the owners of Visitcumbria (resulting in a COI, but a COI that would be difficult to prove since the links are added by anonymous IPs). According to the rules all external links containing affiliate or referral code should be treated as spam, and deleted, but what about external links leading to pages with referral links, that is where the referral codes aren't in the links here on WP but in the links leading from the pages that the links here lead to, that is one step beyond WP? (And does anyone here even understand what I'm going on about?) Thomas.W (talk) 19:21, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

If I understand that you saying that a user is adding page A that will redirect to page B, where page B has useful information, while the owners of page A are getting the kickbacks, then definitely yes we should remove page A links, but retain links to page B if they otherwise meet EL standards. --MASEM (t) 20:44, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
No, that's not what I'm trying to say. A user is adding external links to a site that contains both pages with useful information, including many images, and pages that provide kickbacks to the site owners (who are apparently the ones who add the links here on WP). With some links going to the information pages and other links going straight to the kickback pages (which list hotels etc in a certain area, and include code that let's people make reservations there). In addition to some direct links to the kickback pages they can also be reached from the "information pages", since there are navigation links to them on all pages. And my question is whether what they're doing is allowed here or not? Thomas.W (talk) 20:52, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The kickback pages are certainly improper - not only for the kickback aspect, but even just considering pages that list tourist-y information (like hotels, etc.), and the claim of a COI is not unwarranted. If the IPs are close enough there may be a way to block them if the COI claim is validated (as outlined at WP:COI). However, this should not mean that the links to useful pages should be removed, as long as you've reviewed them and assured that the addition is appropriate. Basically, let's say if it was some gov't worker from Cumbria adding informational (non kickback pages) pages, that wouldn't be a flag-raising issue. But in this case, the user seems to have a vested interest in the kickback links, and regardless of the good faith of information links additions, the kickback links are clearly a COI. --MASEM (t) 21:03, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:External links#cite_note-6. If the page (note the singular) that is being linked is acceptable, then the existence or non-existence of other pages elsewhere on the site is irrelevant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:05, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Which I interpret as meaning that external links that lead directly to kickback-pages should be removed while external links that lead to information pages on the same site can stay. Is that correct? (There are well over 400 pages here on en-wiki that link to corresponding pages on, most of them apparently with useful information...). Thomas.W (talk) 22:13, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes—assuming that there are no other good reasons to remove the links. WP:EL offers a lengthy list of reasons for removing external links from articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, that's me restoring two links that are allowed by the rules. Which means they're not spam, so please selfrevert. Thomas.W (talk) 19:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • To claim they're "not spam because you were reverting them" is a funny interpretation of WP:EL. This site is a commercial link aggregator. How is it adding content that belongs with a WP article, that can't simply be added to a WP article instead? – as this is the crux of WP:EL. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:54, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Did you even look at the links before removing them? One of them was a link to the official * site of the Lake District National Park, that is an official link, while the other contains valuable information, including copyrighted images that can not be added to WP. Thomas.W (talk) 21:31, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Constructive edits with nonsense edit summaries

There's something I've dealt with a couple times in recent weeks, and I wonder if anyone has any input on it. There is an IP editor who has been persistently making constructive edits to articles, but leaving edit summaries along the lines of "kjdfngjfdkn" or "dgshfvdsdfas." This, of course, is irritating, because such edit summaries are traditionally used by vandals and other miscreants; at least once I have seen the edits reverted by editors who didn't bother checking the actual content of the changes (which, to be honest, I can't blame them for), and it's wasting everyone's time and energy to verify that the edits in question aren't vandalism. Is there a policy pertaining to this? I've left two warnings at the talk page, but they don't seem to have heeded either of them. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 08:35, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

There's no applicable policy, and not even a guideline, just some recommendations. (The topic has come up several times recently, and I would support at least upgrading those recommendations to guideline status.) On the other hand, mishmash edit summaries are clearly a form of disruptive editing and perhaps that editor is trying to make some kind of point. So you have those avenues for dealing with it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 09:54, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
The editor in question may well be trying to be pointy or disruptive... but I think the best way to deal with that is to ignore it. Remember that editors are not required to leave any edit summary at all... and having someone actually leave a helpful edit summary is something of a bonus. I would treat an edit with an unclear (or even a nonsensical) edit summary as if it were a blank edit summary. I would examine the actual edit to see what it entailed... and respond to the edit and not the edit summary. Blueboar (talk) 18:29, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
No. The way to stop people being pointy and/or disruptive is to warn them until they stop doing it. If they don't stop, then preventative blocks should start happening. Ignoring low‑level misbehavior sends the sign that it's okay. It isn't. — Hex (❝?!❞) 10:45, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
This is really suspicious to me. Perhaps it is target saturation to discourage editors from verifying all their edits, so that a few malicious edits can get through? Some vandals are satisfied if they can insert even subtle lies/misinformation, such as changing the number of episodes for a TV series, or changing the date of a historical event. Stronger language perhaps, might help. And if it continues, it's time to consider administrative action. All edits should have summaries IMO, even trivial edits. PraetorianFury (talk) 18:55, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's target saturation; these mash-the-keyboard edit summaries produce more scrutiny and more suspicion, not less. Perhaps what the unregistered editor is trying to communicate is that s/he wants you to look at the diff rather than relying on a potentially misleading or incomplete edit summary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I would have to disagree with Hex's assumption that in general such edit summaries are "pointy and/or disruptive" (i have no opinion on the specific IP in question). I can easily see that someone who doesn't edit often, or is new to the place, might well feel obligated to put something in the Summary box but not have any idea of what should go there, especially if they've looked at one or two others and seen various acronyms or shortened phrases (+1, ce, thx) they have no idea of the meaning of. Under such circumstances putting something to fill the box, even if random letters, is an easy call. I say AFG and look at the edit itself. Cheers, LindsayHello 12:19, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Deleted Edits

Moved to Wikipedia:Help desk#Deleted Edits: Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 09:05, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Notice board

I would like to see a fast passed notice board where we can ask if a reply sufficiently relates to the topic it is replying to. Other editors would review these talk page entries and delete them if they don't fit the context. The editor would get a notification. (talk) 01:36, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Template:Uw-vandalism2 and WP:AIV after three warnings. I doubt they would whine if they are intentionally being disruptive.--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:21, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

RfC notice: Photo credits

Hello, everybody. Editors interested in copyright, images or both may want to participate in a RfC about whether the authors of copyrighted images should be credited in a footnote in the article where the image is used.  Sandstein  10:37, 30 March 2013 (UTC)


Hi, did I miss where we as English Wikipedia editors approved the removal of data to Wikidata? Was there a policy that was approved that I just missed? If you look at Wikipedia:Wikidata, the tone there ("As of February 2013, the Wikidata project is migrating interlanguage wiki links from individual articles ... In the future, Wikidata will include other kinds of relation data, such as information used in infoboxes" [15]) seems awful confident. Did en:wiki ever approve this? Red Slash 04:09, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think the removal of interwiki links to Wikidata was approved; but it was fairly uncontroversial, aside from some initial confusion as some people who lived under rocks gradually realised what was going on. Since we can still override Wikidata's interwiki links if we want, there is no problem.
As for the incorporation of infobox data into Wikidata, we will be able to use that data, or not, as we choose. Or we could use some of the data and not other aspects. Whatever we do, Wikidata is going to include the data regardless. — This, that and the other (talk) 06:13, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Since there are major changes coming up in the editing interface this summer, this would be a good time for some people to read WP:You don't own Wikipedia. This website is the property of a non-profit organization that does what it believes is best, which occasionally includes major changes to software. This website is not the property of the people who write the content. We don't get to decide how they manage the backend stuff, like making links between different languages. We only get to control (99.9% of) the content, not the mechanism. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:11, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

New paragraph of Wikipedia:Copyrights

Crossposted here and at WP:VPR.

Input is requested in a stale discussion at Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. It's about the inclusion of a section regarding content reuse within Wikipedia (instead of outside Wikipedia). It's a somewhat trivial thing, but I think it's important enough to be settled. Comments are much appreciated. Cheers, theFace 10:53, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think its that trivial... my impression is that the proposal would affect a lot of articles. It may be something we have to do, but we should think carefully about what will happen when editors don't do what is proposed (which I think is very likely). Blueboar (talk) 17:30, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about: Template:Request quotation at WT:V

I draw your attention to a discussion at WT:V, regarding the use of, and response to this template... see WT:V#Re: Template:Request quotation. Please drop by and share your thoughts. Blueboar (talk) 16:50, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

xkcd is playing an April Fools joke on Wikipedia by encouraging users to vandalize a random article

See xkcd is playing an April Fools joke on Wikipedia, encouraging users to vandalize a different random page every hour. While this is fun, it is seriously disruptive on the encyclopedia. Can we get in touch with xkcd about this? —DragonLord(talk/contribs) 17:42, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

You don't really have much ground to complain, given the amount of in-house idiocy that has gone on today. How is random vandalism any worse than deletion discussions for Jimbo's user page, WP:Copyright Infringement and so on, along with the 3rd grade potty humor that is today's DYK section on the main page? Tarc (talk) 17:48, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Did you just fool us? I couldn't find anything. Good one. Ryan Vesey 18:02, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Ryan: sigh Just hover over the company, and it has instructions for which article. They want you to add a new company ahead of a certain one to change the comic (not sure if that works, but..) gwickwiretalkediting 18:50, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • So long as they really have raised 26k (and counting)... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:38, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Put definitions after links

I stumbled across a rage comic the other day. Not a reliable source but is shows one of the key problems of Wikipedia.

Computer user: I wonder why Deja Vu happens. I'll search Wikipedia

20 minutes later...

Why am I looking at a page about Elvis Presley?

You see, people have to click on links to see what something is. Here's a made up example:

Many people believe the Moon is made of cheese.

Should become: Many people believe the Moon is made of cheese, a solid dairy product.

You see, putting a simple definition (just the first sentence of the article) means people on dial up connections, bandwidth limits, or just need to look up something quickly don't have to download another page. I would therefore like to make it an official part of the Manual Of Style.

P.S. Dial-up isn't obsolete, many people in rural areas or underdeveloped countries need to use it. I see many articles like this, but most don't. (talk) 20:09, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

We assume that the average reader of Wikipedia is reasonable literate English readers, so there are common words, like cheese, that should not have to be explained. When the word context may be unclear from context, there may be appropriate to describe a bit around the link to make it clear what the context is. For more complex topics, then yes, the reader will need to clickthru to understand the term. WP does have a way to bring up popups to preview the top few lines of an internal link too. The problem you're describing is just that WP can be a sinkhole of time like TV TRopes, just following links and finding the time disappearing. --MASEM (t) 20:17, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
If you can create an account, I can create a system where hovering over a link will give you the ability to read the first paragraph so you don't need to click on everything. (Popups like Masem mentioned, but a watered down version without all of the editing tools in the normal one...unless you want those) I've been pushing the WMF to open this for all readers, but it doesn't look like it will happen any time soon, if at all. Ryan Vesey 20:38, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
If you browse with Firefox, the link will be displayed in the lower left hand corner of the browser, when you hover over it. 23:24, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Ambassadors: are they notable?

Are ambassadors (and other unelected officials) regarded as notable (as officials) on WP? I've had a look in the archives but I can't find anything. An example is Mark Bailey (diplomat) who apparently, based on the article, is not notable for anything except his job. Obviously if every ambassador is notable we could have thousands of these stubs on WP. (There are already 159 Canadian diplomat stubs.)--Kleinzach 01:23, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Here's how to find out: First, do some research and try to find source texts written about the ambassador: Books or parts of books about their lives, magazine or newspaper articles about them, things like that. Now, if you take all of that text, what does it amount to? Are there a good number of in-depth pieces about them? Is it written by people who aren't connected to the ambassador personally, or is all of that information written by themselves, their employers, or people they hired? Is there enough text, and does it cover enough of that ambassador's life to allow you to write a decent-length article about them? If that source text as described above exists and is substantial, they are notable enough for Wikipedia. If it isn't, then they aren't. --Jayron32 03:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
OK. So your answer is no. The extent of this problem can be seen at Category:Diplomat stubs, the vast majority of which must be non-notable. What do other people think about this issue? Kleinzach 03:55, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
That wasn't my answer actually. Had that been my answer, I would have written that. My answer was much more nuanced than one word, and all the words I wrote had meaning. Read them again if all you got out of it was "no", because I never said that. If an article on such a person exists but a) it's a stub and b) a good faith search turns up no reliable, substantial sources that you can find, the options on how to handle that are as follows:
  • Nominate the article for deletion, using PROD or AFD or
  • Redirect the stub articles to a "list of ..." article. This is probably the best option. If, for example, there's an article that lists Canadian diplomats, just redirect the stubs to the list. If the stubs don't have any more information about them than the fact that they were a diplomat, a list article would probably be a more efficient way to handle this information.
Does that work for you? Oh, and as a postscript, this suggestion is not an endorsement which carries weight in settling any dispute. If someone objects to what you do, stop and discuss it with them and reach a consensus. My opinion does not carry any more weight than anyone elses. This is just a suggestion for how I would handle it (redirecting the bunch to list articles). --Jayron32 04:04, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
We have a very large number of articles in this category. Redirecting a lot of them to lists might work, except that if they are non-notable, the lists themselves would be trivia. --Kleinzach 04:13, 27 March 2013 (UTC) P.S. There is a List of Canadian diplomats. I think what has been happening is that someone has been turning the red links into stubs. Kleinzach 04:20, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Never said that it wasn't a large number of articles. If you're interested in cleaning up the problem, the redirect method is probably the best. Look, there's an article titled List of Canadian diplomats. For every stub article, you should:
  1. Turn the stub into a redirect to that article
  2. De-bluelink the article from the list
  3. Expand the entry on the list for each redirected entry to include the posts held by the diplomat (so, for example, if it just says "John Smith", you expand it to say "John Smith: Ambassador to Panama (1979-1981) and Minister Plenipotentiary to Central African Republic(1982-1984), in the interest of WP:PRESERVE (i.e. its the existence of seperate articles which is the problem, the information itself is better handled in the list form, we don't need to expunge the facts from Wikipedia entirely, just clean up all these little microstubs and collect the information in one place)
This way, you aren't deleting information, you're merely reorganizing it into a more useful form. And the lists are definitely NOT trivia. Having such a list could be quite useful, even if the individual people on it don't have enough text to support an article, I could see such a list being useful enough. It's definitely not "trivia" in the sense that it isn't important knowledge. It's just not well organized as a bunch of micro-mini stubs. As I said, we don't need to expunge the information from Wikipedia, just put it in a more useful form. (urgh, keep edit conflicting with you adding to your answer so I keep having to respond to your new additions. Not your fault. Just frustrated that's all). I agree, it looks like that is what someone is doing. If you delink the entries as you redirect them, AND move the relevant information into the list, then people shouldn't object that you're throwing away their work; you're just reorganizing it into a better form. So yeah, delinking them after you redirect and merge the information back into the list would help prevent them from being recreated as stubs again. There's likely to be a rare few diplomats who do have enough source text to support a full article; those can be left as blue links (but I would still put a short blurb about their posts just to keep the list consistent." --Jayron32 04:25, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Right. I think our ideas are converging at the same time as the edit conflicts. Delinking may be the way to go, except that Canada is only one of the countries involved. I have put 'notability' tags on some Canadian dips but that's laborious. (As you've noted some of the people are notable, especially if they went into politics after diplomatic service or became writers.) Kleinzach 05:36, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. I'm not debating the scale of the problem, merely noting that if you're going to go through the effort to fix it, the best method to fix it is one that preserves the important information but gets rid of all of the microstubs. It doesn't take much more effort to convert to a redirect than it does to tag for deletion or put notability and expand tags on each article, and the advantage of the redirect method (which again, requires very little extra effort compared to other ways of dealing with this) is that it preserves the information and the edit history. --Jayron32 13:23, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, the reason I posted here, was to understand the 'policy' on this. Discussing the problem first is always the best way to proceed, in order to work out an appropriate solution. I was also interested to find out whether some people here actually think that diplomats are automatically notable (as the authors of these pages obviously assume). Any more opinions out there? --Kleinzach 00:31, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Let me ask you this: why wouldn't we want articles about ambassadors? postdlf (talk) 00:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Only the following things are automatically notable: Subjects which contain enough reliable source text to support a decently complete article about them. That's it. If you have articles which contain information about subjects which don't contain enough information to stand alone, but it isn't necessarily desirable to lose the information, then collecting all of the information in a list article, and redirecting the individual articles to the list, is the preferred method of solving that problem. --Jayron32 00:46, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I've now found WP:DIPLOMAT which says "Diplomats who have participated in a significant way in events of particular diplomatic importance that have been written about in reliable secondary sources. Sufficient reliable documentation of their particular role is required." I think that answers the question I originally posed here. Thank you. Kleinzach 13:41, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Just keep in mind that, under that guideline, satisfying that standard means they are likely to be notable or merit an article; not satisfying it does not necessarily mean they are not notable or otherwise merit an article. postdlf (talk) 18:45, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I think a better redirect target would be to the individual position pages say United States Ambassador to Lebanon as an example. The position itself is likely notable, and therefore, a redirect to a list would be appropriate. If the individual head of mission is notable per WP:ANYBIO a standalone article can be created for that individual diplomat.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:58, 2 April 2013 (UTC)