Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 11

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Disputed fair use rationale for Image:Rc-cola-bottle.JPG

The following is a quote copied from a user's talk page as placed by User:BetacommandBot:

Thanks for uploading Image:Rc-cola-bottle.JPG. However, there is a concern that the rationale you have provided for using this image under "fair use" may be invalid. Please read the instructions at Wikipedia:Non-free content carefully, then go to the image description page and clarify why you think the image qualifies for fair use. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If it is determined that the image does not qualify under fair use, it will be deleted within a couple of days according to our criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot (talk) 17:41, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

This threat to routinely speedy delete obviously valid fair use material is egregious. It is a picture of a soda bottle taken by one of our editors for the purpose of illustrating an article about the product. Some one is out of control here with the bot, and this should stop! --Kevin Murray (talk) 18:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The image description page didn't say what article the rationale was for (and the image was used on a page it should not have been used on, Caramel color.) —Random832 19:20, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
This is not a reason for deletion. It is a reason to fix the problem. --Kevin Murray (talk) 21:52, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
and for good measure I'm going to go edit {{no fair}} to make it more clear what the problem usually is. —Random832 19:22, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Deletion template

The template {{AFDWarning}} is but automatically on people's talk pages to inform them that a page they were involved in has been dropped on AFD. I believe it is overly verbose for the task; for instance, since it will often be sent to long-term editors, there really is no need for it to explain how signatures work. I'd like to prune it to the essentials, but would like some outside opinion on that. >Radiant< 23:07, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

We have {{AFDWarningNew}} for telling new users about stuff like signing. We don't need the template for established editors to explain things for the newbies. FunPika 23:37, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair-use images on the userpage of the uploading user?

If a user uploads an image with a valid fair-use rationale for some article, but then includes it in a gallery of "pictures I have uploaded" on their userpage, is this OK? It seems to me to be a violation of the fair-use policy; clearly there can be no fair-use rationale for using the image on the userpage. Should I just go in and remove the image from the userpage and leave a note, or should I leave a note for the user asking them to remove it themselves? - htonl (talk) 01:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

You have it right; it is not okay. Fair use pictures cannot be used in places the fair use is not the subject of, which includes userpages. See Wikipedia:User page#What may I not have on my user page? and Wikipedia:Removal of fair use images#Fair use images on lists of contributions. I would go ahead and remove it, and leave a note on talk, but also replace the image with a link to the image (just place a colon before the name and remove the image markup extras). That way you are telling them through action, "you can still be proud and list your work, just not in that manner..."--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

No original research

well there are a number of changes recently made to wiki, well number 1 is that i have over 4billion dollars

English spellings

Someone should write some code for the next revision of MediaWiki that adjusts your how certain words appear based on your IP, sort of like autocorrect in OpenOffice. Canada-kawaii 01:54, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I propose we table this suggestion. --Carnildo 04:31, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I second the motion, and raise you a shelf. -Jéské (Blah v^_^v) 07:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Policy for discussion of policy policy

As part of the Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Privatemusings arbitration case it has been noted that the sockpuppetry policy had "diverged from established norms at some points". It is not alone. Other policies have been rewritten by parties in dispute in order to enable their behaviour.

I would like to suggest that all policies marked as such (with {{policy}}) be protected indefinitely, and any edits made solely on the basis of consensus on the discussion page and an {{editprotected}} request handled by an independent admin not part of the discussion.

This is not proposed in order to create bureaucracy, but in order to maintain a stable policy base so that people have a realistic chance of keeping wihtin policy, and to avoid the absurdity of arbitrators and administrators fishing through past versions of policy to find out whether a given act violated the policy as written on that day. Guy (Help!) 23:48, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I came here prepared to mock a policy proposal about policies as being needless bureaucracy and plain silly. But this is a sensible and workable proposal. The only potential downfall seems to be the transition from a proposed to an accepted policy. That doesn't seem to be a very fixed-in-stone or formal process but immediately protecting a new policy would seem to give more weight to those who accept the proposed policy as non-admins would then be in a poor position to challenge the policy's status as easily as they can right now. But that's not a show-stopper, IMHO, just an issue to keep in mind and try to avoid. --ElKevbo (talk) 00:06, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
With a 10% error margin, all proposed policies fail. There's no such thing that actually works. --Kim Bruning (talk) 04:20, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
(ec)It's a good concept. I've been hoping for the introduction of 'stable versions' to allow a similar system wherein only revisions marked with the highest approval level (not available to most users) would be accepted policy... again requiring consensus before any updates are 'official'. Obstacles to be overcome would be how to handle policies which are currently subject to dispute and the long term possibility of ossification if people find the process to get updates made too difficult. I'd suggest holding off on declaring any version of the disputed pages 'official' until the dispute is settled and having some sort of standard where if a change suggested on the talk page isn't disputed for a set period (e.g. 7 days) it goes in automatically. --CBD 00:11, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Guy, there aren't a lot of times I agree with you completely, but this is one of them. This proposal addresses a long-time concern of mine; anyone can edit policy right now and half the edits to policy aren't even noticed, or people are chased away when making queries. Certainly if this practice had been in place we would not have seen six months of edit-warring, serial protection and "disputed" tags on WP:NPA. I concur with CBD that there are some fine points to be worked out (in addition to his examples, also looking at the links within policies to ensure they are going to "approved" rather than "proposed" pages), but I think this is quite workable. Risker (talk) 00:20, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I suggest that, in my opinion, if the above framework of article and policy hierarchy could be adopted as a standard for the entire project, you have the makings of a brilliant transition into the "new and much improved WP." Very... Nice (talk) 01:15, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I fully support this. Mackensen (talk) 02:12, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Guy, could you give us some specific examples of cases where parties to a dispute have rewritten policies to their advantage, and not been reverted or sanctioned for it? (In the Privatemusings case you mention, did PM make changes to the sockpuppet policy? Was the document changed in a way that violated consensus, or is the divergence of the policy from practice simply the result of a lack of timely updating?) At first blush, I like your suggestion, but I also get the but that's un-wiki vibe.
I'm concerned that protection of policy pages will exacerbate the problem by making maintenance of policy documents more difficult. Finally – and I may well regret opening this can of WP:BEANS – will this change just move edit wars and wikilawyering off the policy (and policy talk) pages and on to ancillary guideline pages? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:37, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Guidelines being more general, is that necessarily a problem? (Not to say it's not an important side-effect to consider.) One other problem here might be the introduction of new policy -- at what point do we protect the page? We could let "new" policies lay unprotected for a bit, to gather some momentum and build consistency/stability, before protecting them. Some policies are still developing, even if they do have wide support; others, WP:3RR comes to mind, are far more stable. – Luna Santin (talk) 03:24, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I've one minor quibble. This tends to make policy pages into something more akin to legislation, which gets changed only when an amendment is 'passed'. I've always understood policy pages to describe rather than proscribe. Policy changes not when the page changes, but when we start doing something a little different (which is normally gradual). Thus policy pages will often not reflect current policy anyway - they are designed to be dynamic.--Docg 02:26, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Possibly not a bad idea... policy pages, if not watched very carefully, can become a hodgepodge of random editors pet peeves and personal quirks writ large... everyone wants to add their own little thing, and most of these people mean well... but the end result is often a few core ideas with 50 minor things tacked on here and there, it's not very coherent. One problem with this plan is that it could make it hard to change the current state of policies... which evidently isn't very good in some places. --W.marsh 02:30, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Certainly worth trying for awhile. If we find the policies are getting too stagnant, then we can put them on a schedule for review maybe. FloNight♥♥♥ —Preceding comment was added at 02:38, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Let's be real - the people accused (no comment on the validity of the accusations; haven't looked at the case) of editing policy to enable their administrative actions are (of course) admins. If they were A) already knowingly going against current policy [if they didn't know, why change it] and B) changing policy against consensus; why would they not just edit the page anyway? What on earth does this accomplish?—Random832 03:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

This has been proposed before for the exact same reason. For what it's worth, I agree with the idea. It should be difficult for people to change policies to support their own agenda. Graham87 06:45, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Guy, I came here to laugh at you but instead find myself praising your brilliance. I'm astounded that a solution so elegant and simple has not been proposed before. east.718 at 11:39, November 25, 2007

I don't like it, but it does seem necessary unfortunately, so I also support this. Garion96 (talk) 11:48, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

"The absurdity of arbitrators and administrators fishing through past versions of policy to find out whether a given act violated the policy as written on that day." As far as I am aware, Wikipedia:Disruptive editing hasn't change. Just because an editor who specializes in throwing out red herrings for admins to follow doesn't mean they should be followed. And yes, I agree that policies susceptible to being rewritten by parties to enable questionable behavior may be protected as you suggest. -- Jreferee t/c 16:14, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Won't this encourage wikilawyering? If the ArbCom is actually fishing through policy page history to determine if an editors' actions are in line with nominal policies on particular days in the past, then frankly they're doing it wrong. Full protection of policy pages isn't the answer in that case; the ArbCom – and all Wikipedians who are trying to enforce policy – ought to be aware that the absolute letter of any policy or guideline is not the be-all and end-all. We are much more interested in maintaining the spirit of our rules—and even then, we enforce the rules only as a means to maintaining and improving the encyclopedia.

If an editor is doing something that is harmful to the encyclopedia, we ask them to stop. If an editor persists in deliberately doing things a reasonable person would think disruptive, we sanction. If there is disagreement about whether or not an action is harmful, we have a discussion. We don't hew to the bright line of the nitpicky wording of policies—that leads to the refrain that all of us (including Guy) have seen on AN/I in defense of one obnoxious act or another: "Show me the exact policy that says what I'm doing isn't allowed!". Permanent protection of policy pages will exacerbate those cries: "If there's no consensus to disallow my behaviour in policy, you can't block me for it and ArbCom can't sanction me for it!" While such arguments will get short shrift from individuals exercising common sense, there will nevertheless be cries of 'admin abuse!' and endless wikidrama from individuals who need letter-perfect adherence to these etched-in-stone policies.

Under the present system, such wikilawyering occasionally leads us to update the policy to close the loophole. More often, we acknowledge that there will be edge and pathological cases that our policy doesn't contemplate, and opt to use our best, collective judgement in the future. We realize that modifying policy to fit every odd case or specific situation is an exercise in futility (not to mention a risk of WP:BEANS) and that rewriting policy over single, rare occurrences can have unintended consequences.

Wikipedia policies evolve because it is sometimes useful to codify the practices and standards we refer to on a regular basis rather than having to reinvent the wheel each time we face a situation; they're specific expressions of commonly-used interpretations of the five pillars and the policy trifecta. (Indeed, I could see the value of permanently protecting short, sweet versions of those policies and those policies alone, and pushing everything that's interpretation of them off into regular, editable policy pages.) Wikipedia is not a legal system or an experiment in government; we don't attempt to control behaviour through a complex set of preestablished laws. Making the change to full protection of all policy pages will, I'm afraid, encourage the misconception that Wikipedia is a nomic and that policy pages are to be interpreted in a most lawyerly fashion. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:28, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

We can speculate all we want to about the various misfortunes that would fall on Wikipedia should policy pages be locked down; that way lies (in my opinion) simply inertia, since there isn't any way to get a 100% guarantee that any change will be positive. We're talking, what, forty-some pages? Why not just do a trial (say, three months) and see if problems arise? And the way to measure success would be simple: have reasonable proposals for changes (for example, copyediting) on the policy talk pages been ignored or implemented?
There certainly is no reason why, for locked-down policy pages, we can't put a big banner at the top telling editors how, and where, to suggest changes. Policy pages aren't articles; any editor coming to the page to get information isn't going to be put off by a clear notice about how to change the policy. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I oppose this on principle, per my earlier comments and TenOfAllTrades. Gives a wrong impression of how wikipedia works - and that is more dangerous than anything.--Docg 01:59, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Disagree per DocG and TenOfAllTrades. The people I've seen editing policy pages during a dispute to make them look better have the technical ability to edit protected pages. Better to leave them unprotected so that such edits during dispute can be reverted by anyone. Without a much stronger method of gathering input and testing consensus the suggestion is not viable. GRBerry 14:36, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm ambivalent about this suggestion -- although willing to live with the outcome, at least for a while. On one hand, it does appear to be a good idea -- at least for some of the policies; this will silence the argument "but how do I know the rules won't change?" And it will be one area where we need not worry about edit wars. On the other hand, this weakens one of the reasons for ignore all rules: by locking these pages down, instead of encouraging people to follow the spirit of the policies, it encourages them to follow the letter. -- llywrch (talk) 19:59, 27 November 2007 (UTC) On second thought, after seeing this thread below, which is about the related discussion on Wikipedia talk:No original research, I am against this proposal. Right now, there is no worry that some crank might successfully weasel something into one policy or another that prevents us from writing useful content, so Wikipedians like me can leave these discussions to the policy wonks, cranks & so forth & concentrate on writing & improving articles. The possibility that one of these policies might actually be locked in a bad version (which is not the wrong version) would mean that the rest of us would have to regularly police these timesinks, & not have the time to write. I'll admit it: when I post here, or at WP:AN, or at WP:AN/I, & at similar places I'm slacking. However, if spending time in these fora were a requirement to write the articles I have been doing -- I'll leave. -- llywrch (talk) 20:37, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

This isn't a bad idea, as long as the {{editprotected}} is not used - that's not what it's for. The protection would, IMO, be to prevent changes without consensus to be made, and general shifting of policy on a day-to-day basis. It would be to make changes to policy pages a "special occasion". Thus, a discussion should simply be initiated, with no need for a template... but obviously we could continue using the template for simple spelling corrections and so on. The protection would also reduce vandalism to high-profile policy pages such as WP:3RR, WP:CIV and... it's got to be said, WP:VAND. All in all, it's a good idea... and I'm not an admin, so I'm signing away my birthright, here! --Porcupine (prickle me! · contribs · status) 18:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing the other day, but if we want to do that, we first need to cut down on the number of policy pages, especially in the "behaviour" section. A new, much pruned core set of stable policies needs to be devised, and it needs to concentrate on the creation and maintenance of content, not on micromanaging of user behaviour in backspace. Zocky | picture popups 11:31, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I said exactly the same thing months ago and got pooh-poohed for my trouble. But I guess I don't have the cachet of a User:JzG :/ Gatoclass (talk) 17:17, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Agree, but with the caveat that admins may not edit policy pages for any reason whatsoever without first discussing it on the talk page. Period. (Or full stop, according to your preference.) All edits should be discussed on the talk page, and in the case of large changes, planned on a draft page. They should be implemented either unanimously or with discussion that results in a consensus. A link to all major changes should be added to WP:VPT, {{cent}}, WP:RFC, and/or WP:AN, as appropriate. Otherwise, I oppose this measure per GRBerry. GracenotesT § 18:19, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Additionally, I'm not sure this needs to apply to all policies (for example, WP:BOT, which non-admin members of the BAG might need to edit) – merely ones on which contentious edit warring has previously occurred, especially behavioral policies. GracenotesT § 18:22, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Great idea, Guy. I also agree with the comment that admins should also not make changes (other than truly minor ones) without discussion on the talk page. i find the whole policy stability thing offputting. --A. B. (talk) 05:17, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a philosophy shift from longstanding practice. One of Jimbo's fundamental principles (not necessarily policy) is that "'You can edit this page right now' is a core guiding check on everything that we do. We must respect this principle as sacred." I agree with Jimbo. Policy pages are Wikipedia pages too, and have benefitted greatly from the Wikipedia philosophy of WP:BOLD. If we lock them down, there will be three effects:

  1. Policy will tend towards Creep, since even though consensus may not be established in favor of Creepy language in policy articles, you can also never get consensus to remove Creepy language, once it infects a policy article. There's always a cabal of Creeps who oppose it, so you don't have consensus, even though there is no consensus for it to be there in the first place.
  2. For similar reasons, policy statements that do not reflect consensus, such as when consensus changes, can never in practice be removed, because even though there is no consensus as to a particular policy, there's also no consensus to remove that policy. Thus, we get stuck with 2005's consensus forever.
  3. Policy page innovation will die, because nobody can be bold.

I don't think we want any of these consequences. COGDEN 04:35, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

May you consider just for a moment, that what as served the project well for 3 years, may also serve the project for another ten? Change for the sake of change, is not good practice. The community will find consensus when it needs it to change policy. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:41, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Oppose per my comments at the Admins Noticeboard, where this discussion has recently started. Anything which further divides admins from ordinary users is bad for everyone - it adds to feelings of "us and them", it reduces transparency, it gives admins a policy-making rôle which they were never intended to have, and it increases the risk of admin abuse. Being an admin, we are often told, is "no big deal - admins are ordinary editors". This proposal drives a coach and horses through that principle. We should be improving the way wikipedia gains consensus for policy and involving a broader, more representative section of the community in making policy. Preventing most editors from editing policy pages will reduce participation, increase bad-feeling and harm the Wikipedia. DuncanHill (talk) 10:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

This (policy protection) is a profoundly bad idea that fails totally to connect with how consensus editing and development works. Insisting that you must have an admin's permission to update policies either by way of correction or bold proposal is wrong and creates a police-guard around the policies in question. Anyone can edit this encyclopedia, and its policies exist and mutate only because of that fact. If the motiviation to this is vandalism, then you know where to get off, and if it's bad changes to those policies well, just revert then discuss. There is no effect to either vandalism or a non-consensus change since neither carry any actual weight at all. Splash - tk 13:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Alternative idea: Post on talk page first, then implement

Random832 said it well above: Administors are people, too. (I can attest to that, I'm one myself). I don't think the distinction should be between admins and ordinary editors, but between discussed changes and undiscussed changes. Moreover, there are plenty of changes by non-admins or even IP accounts, such as interwiki links, for which we should not create an unnecessary hurdle. Therefore, I propose the following:

  • Changes that affect the meaning of a policy need to be posted on the talk page first. If no objection is raised after 3*24 hours, they can be implemented on the page. Any meaning changes that are implemented in violation of this rule should be reverted by any editor. If that reversion is again reverted, it will be treated as revert warring.

A similar system is currently working very well on WT:SLR. — Sebastian 23:31, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

It might be worth a try I guess. It would certainly be better than the system in place now. Gatoclass 05:19, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

No, I think this proposal runs contrary to the idea of a wiki. It would probably have a chilling effect on constructive edits to these policy pages. Also, I think that sometimes users who are accused of violating policy (e.g. sockpuppetry) begin taking an interest in that policy at that point, and decide to make edits with the intent of bettering the policy. It's not necessarily just people wanting to legalize their own behavior. Sarsaparilla 04:12, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. One of Jimbo's fundamental principles (not necessarily policy) is that "'You can edit this page right now' is a core guiding check on everything that we do. We must respect this principle as sacred." I agree with Jimbo. COGDEN 04:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Sure, but official policies pages impose a further burden on editors wanting to edit it. Just read the disclaimers at the top of each official policy if you need a reminder. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:33, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Green check.png This page documents an official policy on the English Wikipedia. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. Please do not edit this page without first ensuring that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

Am I strange to suggest that you should "merely" check to ensure your edit reflects consensus? --Kim Bruning (talk) 04:02, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Laboratory of democracy

Edit wars on protected pages are wheel wars

I'm uncomfortable with the general idea of protecting the policy pages, for many of the reasons discussed above, but mostly because of a gut feeling it's un-Wikipedia-like. Edit wars on protected pages are wheel wars, and it seems it might even escalate things on hotly-contested debates (raising the stakes of each edit). However, since there's so much interest in doing something, might I suggest a laboratory of democracy, and try it a couple of different ways on a couple of different pages, and see what happens? Use Guy's proposal on 2-3 policy pages, use Sebastian's sort of overlooked proposal on 2-3 pages, and, noting jossi's comment above, enforce more strictly the current statement in the policy box on 2-3 pages. Don't change anything in the other policies. See what happens it 1-2 months. --barneca (talk) 01:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

What a great idea! Here's a table where we can propose which policies could be good candidates for each way (or "policy policy"). — Sebastian 02:19, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Policy Policy policy Comments
Wikipedia:Ignore all rules (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) First talk, then implement

Please add your proposals in the table. — Sebastian 02:19, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

LOL! You are proposing we violate IAR on IAR? :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 04:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

a novel of concept

i hate you

NoMoreLinks Notice

I found the following notice in the external links section of a couple of articles:

| LINKS. If you think that your link might be useful, do not add it here, |
| but put it on this article's discussion page first or submit your link |
| to the appropriate category at the Open Directory Project (|
| and link back to that category using the {{dmoz}} template. |
| |
| Links that have not been verified WILL BE DELETED. |
| See [[Wikipedia:External links]] and [[Wikipedia:Spam]] for details |

The sections I found them in were empty except for a single link. See external links section of Life extension and the Genetics article.

The notice is disturbing for three reasons:

  1. The command "DO NOT ADD MORE LINKS TO THIS ARTICLE" runs contrary to the very nature of wikis. It's a variation of "you cannot edit". Not good.
  2. Edits are not subject to preapproval. Anybody can contribute to articles without getting their contributions approved first. This notice is setting a bad precedent.
  3. The articles the notice is placed in can't be tracked. They don't show up for "What links here", because the notice is just a comment and doesn't contain any links. I have also been unable to find articles with the notice by using the search box.

I believe use of this notice should be discontinued, and that the notice should be removed from articles.

The notice itself is not a page, and therefore, a TfD is insufficient. The template:NoMoreLinks should be nominated for deletion if the notice is determined by the community to be inappropriate.

The Transhumanist 03:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

perhaps instead it should be modified. I will give it a try , and we can continue at its talk page. If you still do not like it, then TfD would seem the way to go. But let's see first if it can be worded less imperatively.DGG (talk) 07:14, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I've only seen this in use on Naruto, so I can only offer my opinion in that context, but this notice does help in cases of excessive linkspam. I would agree that, in the case of one link, its use seems inappropriate. Overall, I would probably vote delete if there were a TfD, as people can cobble together such messages (albeit not so brilliantly ASCII'ed) on their own. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 07:13, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I BOLDly changed it to:

I replaced it on the two page mentioned. I note that the EL section of Life Extension has a number of links, not just one-- some quite dubious, which I will remove later. I consider it a very appropriate place for such a template. Genetics had only one link at present, abut I want to trace the history of earlier links there before deciding it is unnecessary. I know many other pages where the template has been very useful indeed. If we are agree on the wording, we can try to hunt them down & fix DGG (talk) 07:38, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

incidentally, the template survived a previous TfD: on Jan 19, 2007 as a very strong keep. Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2007_January_19#Template:NoMoreLinks -- almost unanimous -- let's continue on the template discussion page, not here. DGG (talk) 07:43, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
(editconf)The notice is useful in places. I've seen many variants, in many of our large or heavily-edited articles, and even a few in featured articles (eg Microsoft, Absinthe, 300 (film)).
Can I recommend that you inquire at a template's talkpage first, in the future? There is often relevant discussion, or a previous/recent TfD notice (as there is in this case, which ended with a unanimous keep). Also, it leaves a trail of discussion in the most permanent and relevant place, for the benefit of the editors that turn up in the future. It is also good wikiquette to at least alert the people watching a page, that it is being discussed somewhere else. Thanks :-) -- Quiddity (talk) 07:46, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Spam#Tagging articles prone to spam and Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam#Regular clean-out of undiscussed links who instruct its use, and might know more. -- Quiddity (talk) 08:04, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
the template can just be removed from any articles where it is rather obtusely added. It's always been one of the most pretentious, and possibly the single easiest template to abuse, but there is no reason to ever leave it in place when either 1) it makes no sense when their is just one link to a non-official site, and 2) when it's addition has not been discussed on a talk page. One editor can't just pompously say 'no more links' and everybody else has to obey. The thing should only be given any creedance when it is the result of a talk consensus. 2005 (talk) 07:54, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
If you're seeing this notice in an article with few links, that probably means that there once was a problem with too many links so someone placed the tag. Then later, the links got cleaned up but the tag was still there. There's a good essay on link buildup over time: Spam Event Horizon (a.k.a., "The Spamhole Essay"). If you see this tag in the links section of an article and that article is no longer a spamhole, by all means feel free to remove it. --A. B. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 04:21, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Ads sometimes appropriate source??

This has been on my mind lately: Can there ever be a reason/scenario when an ad would be an acceptable source for something added here? I contribute a'lot to magic here and some very old publications have ads for various manufacturers and magicians who started out very "small", but now are "big" names in the world of entertainment and sometimes I think it might add to the encyclopedic value here to note some of these old ads. 02:24, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see why not. But please be careful to record exactly where such ads were originally published.--Pharos 05:16, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I think ads would count as self-published sources. That means the information in the them couldn't be used for establishing notability, but once that was established it could be used to fill in details. Karanacs (talk) 17:51, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


Should there be some policy as to what profanities you can and can't use? I personally do not appreciate reading the f-word while doing my research, and would like to at least see it as f***. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LinuxMercedes (talkcontribs) 00:15, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Profanities are not civil. And no, we're not going to make an exhaustive list. >Radiant< 00:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Profanity directed at other editors is uncivil. --- tqbf 01:14, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Nevertheless, swearing profusely for no discernable reason is strongly discouraged, regardless of whether it is directed at other people. >Radiant< 17:09, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Doing anything profusely for no discernable reason should be discouraged, regardless of whether it is directed at other people. I leave the discussion to its merciful rapid end with this. --- tqbf 17:13, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is not censored. --Golbez 01:21, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Is Linux referring to the words used on talk pages or in articles? I don't like to see profanity at the talk pages, though sometimes it fits the mood, but rarely the F-word. However, the only time where I can see an approproate use of profanity in an article is in a direct quote. In that case I don't think we should censor or substitute symbols for letters. --Kevin Murray 17:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I've actually written some javascript (with an eye towards letting the naysayers see Yoghurt how they want to see it) that could, in theory, be repurposed to allow an individual user to be shielded from particular words. —Random832 18:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oh come on. Who cares about profanity? Maybe in some world that I've never seen, but "Fuck" is now used in common language amongst very successful, very intelligent, and very proper people. You're right, we shouldn't write in an article with "Intelligent design is a load of horseshit" (and it is, but that's not the point). But if an editor (and I know I don't care) says, "Intelligent design is a load of horseshit" in the talk space, who cares? Let's spend our time writing great articles, not on what words one may or may not use in their normal course of conversation. And by the way, who is to decide what is or isn't civil? I'm a Californian, and I rarely blow my horn encouraging someone to move at a green light. It's considered rude here. In New York, it's considered normal. So civility is defined by culture, by upbringing, by lots of things. And some admin is going to tell anyone what is civil? I don't think so. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 02:54, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Completely fucking agree with every word you said. Oh hell, now I killed another kitten or some such, sorry for that. I dorftrotteltalk I 03:33, December 5, 2007
      • Similar feelings here, but I would also like to point out that anyone offended is welcome to ask any other user to "tone-down" their words. Asking for something like this usually works a lot better than completely banning it or getting really angry about it. Within articles, it is used where it should be used and not censored. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Is this really a problem? Can you give an example of a specific instance where you believe it there is an inappropriate use? On talk pages the use of profanity is generally unhelpful, for example, but banning profanity would just cause more problems in my opinion (the biggest of which is censorship). The best idea is to address each instance rather than to try make a big guideline or something... Epthorn (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 14:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Readability

Hellhi fuck

Threats of violence posted on wikipedia

OK. I've searched for policies/guidelines/contacts for this and found none: What should we do when someone makes real-world violent threats on Wikipedia? In the case I have in mind, the threats weren't against a Wikipedia editor (as far as I know), just against someone identified by first and last name. They stated they would "shoot" that person.

The edits in question are here. I'll point out that aside from the threat, the edit looks like the old, commonplace act of juvenile libel. So chances are it's not serious. But it's a threat to shoot someone.

Now, as for the obvious, easy stuff: I've done that. Reverted the edits and warned the editor against vandalism. But I don't know what else to do, or how.

It's possible that the threat is serious. If I think there's a likelihood someone might get shot over this, perhaps I should inform law enforcement. Two problems:

# I'm not sure it's reasonable to do this for every threat of violence. There're probably a great many completely incredible threats for every credible one, simply because it's so easy to put anything (including threats) on the internet.
# If I were to report it, I don't know how, since I have no way of identifying the person who made the edit (or even getting an idea what jurisdiction they're in). And it's overall good that I have no way -- privacy being a very real concern. But then for something to be done, I have to bring it to the attention of someone who does have that power. I don't know who that is (admins?) much less what the appropriate way is to let them know (a mailing list? a noticeboard?).

What I'm looking for is, something like "there's already a policy on this, here it is" or "you should notify the such-and-such list about this" or "there's nothing you/we can do; just forget it" or "we haven't dealt with this before, let's have a discussion and maybe come up with a policy."

-- Why Not A Duck 21:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

The general consensus is to block and inform the police in the area where the IP localizes to and/or the locale the poster appears to be threatening. If not an admin, bring it up at WP:AN/I. -Jéské (Blah v^_^v) 22:09, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I've posted a request there. -- Why Not A Duck 22:19, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't this fall under WP:HARRASS? In any case, I've called local police departments a number of times in response to crap posted on wikipedia. Fortunately nothing ever happened... but if myspace is a guide to all things intertube, then it's better safe-then-sorry. (talk) 19:43, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Harassment only applies with respect to harassment, not death threats or suicide threats. -Jéské (Blah v^_^v) 16:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Speedy deletion of hoaxes

Currently, there is no good way to speedily delete hoaxes. There have been suggestions to delete them as pure vandalism (G3) and nonsense (G1). They both need stretching to accomodate this. I for one am very much opposed to stretching speedy criteria. It either conforms to the CSD, or it doesn't. What triggered me to suggest adding this criterion, is this AfD. The correspondings articles talk page indicates good faith, which rules out vandalism. Nonsense shold only be applied to completely incoherent things. The WP:CSD explicity declare that hoaxes are not speedily deletable as nonsense. A new speedy category for unreferenced hoaxes would fill this gap. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 00:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Bad idea. Sometimes what seems to be an obvious hoax is true. Note that the article linked was originally created under its English title and deleted twice as an obvious hoax. The only problen is that it was true and created by one of our most esteemed editors. Dsmdgold (talk) 00:58, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
So who was so ignorant as to delete an article on a famous piece by a famous composer? I think we should be told! DuncanHill (talk) 01:01, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Look in the deletion log under the English title (literal translation).Dsmdgold (talk)
{After some confusion caused by American donkey-related spelling differences) - good lord, 2 admins both of whom are normally a lot better than that! I think people will have noticed I do have a bit of a beef with the way some speedies are handled, and this is an excellent example of admins acting in good faith but invincible ignorance. DuncanHill (talk) 11:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Dsmdgold; take a second and search AfD for "hoax"; once you get past the AfDs for articles with "hoax" in the name, there are plenty of hoaxes with "keep" votes. Keep votes in AfD seems like prima facie evidence that speedy is inapplicable, even if virtually all of these articles lose. --- tqbf 01:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
(E/Cx2) I have personally come across a number of articles tagged as hoaxes (and listed under G1 or G3) that were indeed not at all; just seemingly outlandish to the tagger. One that comes to mind (I can't remember the title and a Google search wasn't helpful) was about the practice in China of making tiny cages for crickets or cricket fighting or something like that. I found a New York Times article about the subject in about 2 seconds and if memory serves (it was a really long time ago), placed a reference and removed the speedy. I'm not against such a criteria per se. I see a lot of hoaxes and have deleted them invoking WP:IAR (I no longer attempt to stretch existing criteria and, like you, dislike the practice; I link to IAR in my deletion summary on those occasions instead of invoking a criterion that does not apply) but only after doing some due diligence—even when the subject strikes me as something "that-just-has-to-be-a-hoax". The question, then, is how to make the criteria specific enough so that it is objective, and uncontestable such that almost all articles that can be deleted using the rule, should be deleted. I would propose, if this has any traction, that we would need at least the following elements: 1) No sources listed in the article whatever, including putative sources such as external links; 2) the subject must clearly be intended to describe something real but false, and could not reasonably be an out of context plot summary, device or description based on a fictional work; and 4) something else which I haven't thought of--there has to be some due diligence requirement or something else which more stringently rules out the obscure but real. This is really the sticking point. We need that x-criteria for this to be viable. Otherwise, we will see obscure subjects speedily deleted too often.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:10, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I understand your sentiments, but the same goes for A7. It is up to the deleting admin to check if the tag is actualy correct. Your 'obvious hoax' should be checked, and found not to be such an obvious hoax. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 01:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
As an admin, I judiciously apply WP:IAR and speedy them anyway. (For the record, I do Google first.) I suspect that it would be difficult to construct a new speedy criterion circumscribed enough to be acceptable, yet broad enough to be both useful and worth having. Admins should be prepared to use common sense, albeit at their own risk. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
To directly reply to that, it would be far preferable to be able to speedily delete an article per CSD-HOAX, than IAR. Especialy since hoaxes are so common. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 01:26, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

(ECx2)Because of an edit conflict I wasn't yet replying to fuhgettaboutit. I looked at some AfD's. The ones that were obvious hoaxes didn't have keep votes, apart from creators, and first edits. The ones that did have keep votes were being discussed as notable hoaxes, the subject being the hoax, and how it's notable, or hoaxes that weren't so obvious. I'd like to stress again, that I propose a criterion for obvious hoaxes, not hoaxes in general. It would be a helpfull addition to the criteria, and like you say, it is possible to put some restraints on it. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 01:24, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
You don't think this is going to be routinely abused by good-faith editors? Lots of "obvious hoaxes" are notable; I understand that when you say "obvious hoax", you mean, "obvious hoax wikipedia articles", but that's because I'm taking the time to think about it. --- tqbf 01:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't actually, not on the hoax as the subject of the article front. The criterion itself can expressly state something to the effect that it only applies to hoaxes attempting to be perpetrated on Wikipedia. Real life hoaxes as the subject of articles are quite rare so the potential for misapplication as to them would be rare in any event, and I don't think many admins could fail to see that commonsense distinction, which is much easier to comprehend than say, the numerous users who can't seem to get the distinction between an assertion of importance and evidence of notability.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:00, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Given that there are admins (or at least one) who was willing to delete a referenced article on a real piece of music, merely because it had a vulgar title, at a time when hoaxes were explicitly not a speedy criterion, having a hoaxes as speedy criterion will lead to many valid, but unlikely sounding articles being tagged and deleted. Expecting the admin to do a google search is no cure. I once had an article on an illuminated manuscript sent to VfD (now AfD) in the days before CSD because another editor did not know how to use the British Library catalogs. He looked (in the wrong catalog) didn't find it, and sent it to AfD, despite the fact that the article had a reference (to a book). If hoaxes were a speedy criterion back then, he would have slapped a template on it, an admin would have looked at google and the BL catalogs, not found it and zapped it. Dsmdgold (talk) 05:00, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes, a clearly outlandish hoax can be nailed as either pure vandalism or nonsense (an article about a Martian landing on Jupiter, a fifty-foot-tall dust mite, or Mozart using a fusion-powered amplifier), but generally if it's at least plausible it should go to AfD for further investigation. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:41, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Having read your comments, and having slept on it, I have come up with the following: Unsourced material that is challenged should be removed from articles without question, or as Jimbo put it (from WP:V) "I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons." What I call a hoax, is an article that completely complies to this criterion: the entire article is unsourced, and the truthfullness of the claims in the article as a whole are challenged. This could build up to the following criterion for speedy deletion:
CSD A4, clearly false information:
  1. The article has no sources at all, and
  2. the thruthfullness of the subject of the article is strongly disputed.
The second criterion could also be put as 'the article is clearly false'.
The second part of the proposed criterion is open for interpetation, I know, but not much more so than G3, 10, 11, and 12, and especialy A7, which I often see misused at the moment, but in the meantime is the most powerfull, and probably most used criterion at the moment. If it is at all more open to interpetation.
I still quite dislike the idea of speedily deleting an article for vandalism, if there is even a sliver of the possibility that the edit is made in good faith. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 12:07, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't solve the problem of subjectivity or obscurity at all. It's basically a restatement of "I really (really) think it's a hoax."--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes and no. yes, Which is basicly no different from "I really (really) think this is advertising/vandlism/this copyright infringement is unsalvigable/the article doesn't sufficiently indicate its subjects notability". And no, there is also the requirement of being unsourced, which is a hard test. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 12:29, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Lack of sourcing in an article is an argument for cleanup, not deletion, as is drilled into me every time I write "unsourced" in an AfD. I get what you mean in context here, but if you can't even word the CSD directly, it's probably not workable. --- tqbf 13:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Lack of sourcing of credible statements is an argument for cleanup. Lack of sources for claims that are believed to be false, so no sources can be found is an argument for removal. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 13:45, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I misspoke. I'm talking about lack of sources in the article, and you're talking about people coming to the consensus that sources cannot be found to corroborate an article's claims, something that the AfD process does better than individual editors and overworked admins slogging through a backlog. --- tqbf 13:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Please could someone let other admins know that lack of sourcing of credible statements is an argument for cleanup, not deletion? DuncanHill (talk) 13:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course, some of us would like to see sourcing enforced more tightly (as in, "Cite the source or remove the material"). Currently, it's really our only core policy with no teeth, other than a wink-wink "Hey, cite a source, sometime, really, we mean it. But don't you dare actually do anything if someone fails to." It's really unfortunate, an unenforced policy may as well not be one. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:52, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, especially concerning biographies. We have tons and tons of completely unsourced biographical articles, which comprise a disaster waiting to happen. Yes, there's WP:BLP. But not all incorrect statements are obvious, much less so obviously "contentious" as to fall under the deletion guidelines of WP:BLP Raymond Arritt (talk) 17:01, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I would strongly oppose adding this to the list of speedy deletion criteria. Ideally, speedy deletion should be an objective evaluation. This one is just way too subjective to have one person making that determination. -Chunky Rice (talk) 17:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Chunky. Also note that comunity consensus for hoaxes can come out as keep, eg. Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2007 May 2#2007 Martian invasion of Earth .E2.86.92 Irregular_Webcomic!. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Taemyr (talkcontribs) 17:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)