Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 2

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Wikipedia:Banning policy

I've started a discussion Wikipedia talk:Banning policy#Request for comments: Community bans to help clarify our confused policy on banning disruptive editors. - Jehochman Talk 04:28, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


Hello. User:Caroig's {{Geobox}} template shows up technical categories in all articles which use it, see e.g. Warta Bolesławiecka and Category:Geobox City, Poland which shows up. Caroig said he didn't find any official policy saying that such categories in the article namespace are prohibited. I asked him to alter the Geobox code but he don't want to do that. I can't recall any Infobox which have such categories in article namespace. Caroig insists it is the same as categories regarding cleanup or wikification but I suppose it is not. Can you point me to proper policy or advise what to do, please? Thank you. - Darwinek 15:45, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

  1. Category:Geobox City, Poland doesn't exist (it is a redlink currently). You should be able to remove a non-existing category from a template that is intended to be used in the main namespace, per Wikipedia:Use common sense, which is covered by the policy WP:IAR.
  2. If User:Caroig behaves as if (s)he owns the {{Geobox}} template, or if this user made that template too complex for anyone else to understand how to edit it, there is a WP:OWN infringement (we're talking about main namespace content here). WP:OWN is policy.
Actually what is that led you to state I behave as if I own the template? Because I asked a user who suggested something to support his statement with more detailed arguments? – Caroig (talk) 21:34, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
  1. "Geobox" is a kind of self-reference: the word "Geobox" is relevant for those building the encyclopedia, but it has virtually no relevance in the general categorisation schemes for main namespace articles, e.g. it's not as if this category would belong in any subcategory of Category:Boxes (which doesn't even exist). Although this specific case isn't mentioned in WP:ASR, it falls under that guideline. It is also inappropriate to categorise cities as a kind of "box". "Geobox" is also singular, while Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories) specifies to put (main namespace) categories in plural. So if Category:Geobox City, Poland (or any similar) were created it would be up for WP:CfD in no time. After its removal we're back at the first step above for removing the category name from any template that is intended to be used in main namespace.
  2. Why don't you use {{Infobox Settlement}} in the Warta Bolesławiecka and similar articles? Compare the article on Sejny where that infobox is used. --Francis Schonken 17:01, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
  • There are many such categories created by User:Caroig, e.g. Category:Geobox Settlement, Slovakia and Category:Geobox Building, Slovakia. Do you think I should nominate all categories of this kind to WP:CFD? - Darwinek 17:07, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
    Category:Geobox2 appears to be the "root" category of this categorisation system. There is no supercategory defined for that category. In other words, this category scheme does not resolve to Category:Categories, which it should per Wikipedia:Categorization#Browsing categories ("Category:Categories - List of top-level categories. Requires this category be defined on the top of a tree." - my bolding). So it would be possible to CfD Category:Geobox2 and "all" subcategories (without needing to name them individually). For subcategories named (for example) Category:Geobox Settlement, Slovakia a renaming/merging to Category:Settlements in Slovakia would probably be preferred (as suggested below) - then, yes one would need to list each proposed merger/renaming for such categories as part of the WP:CfD process. For the "technical" categories (e.g. Category:Geobox2 documentation) and for the templates that generate names of "geobox" category names I don't know: either the Wikipedia community decides to ge rid of the system, either they should be renamed/re-organised/rewritten in a vein to separate main namespace content and other content per WP:ASR. Caroig could help with that reorganisation, or otherwise, most likely, the Wikipedia community could decide to dunk the geobox2 system. If Caroig's intention was to create a bot-like application, which he seems to suggest ("... machine-parseable ...") he should seek permission via the procedures explained at WP:BOTS before setting up the system. See also the main principle of page naming (also applicable to Category names) at the Wikipedia:Naming conventions policy page: "article naming should prefer what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" (my bolding) - machines are not part of the picture of those who should be able to easily recognise page names. So, yes, currently Caroig's approach is in conflict with a host of policies & guidelines: thus far I named the policies WP:OWN, WP:BOTS, WP:NC, and most notably also the guidelines WP:ASR, WP:CAT and WP:NCCAT. --Francis Schonken 19:24, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
    Omission of parent category fixed. There is no indication of an active bot so WP:BOTS is not relevant; machine-parseable has other meanings such as Google being able to recognize data. Are there issues other than the category structure or naming? (SEWilco 20:23, 25 October 2007 (UTC))
    Please could you first have a look at what the {{Geobox}} is, where and how it is used, read the debates on its talk page before suggesting it should be ditched and stating the intention is to create a bot-like application? I really don't know what might have led to this conclusion. If you feel there's something wrong with the categorization of the various subtemplates or the auto categories, why don't you post it on the {{Geobox}} talk page? – Caroig (talk) 21:27, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
    If issues weren't resolving on Template_talk:Geobox, and an editor brings it to the attention here at VPP, there's nothing wrong with discussing it here. I keep my part of the discussion here, while I think the issue broader than the categorisation included in the {{Geobox}} template (the topic discussed on the {{geobox}} talk page), and broader than that template over-all. Of course I also expressed my opinion on Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2007_October_25#Geobox_categories (which is currently: "rename" if the proponents of the system are willing to collaborate towards an appropriate renaming scheme, otherwise: "delete")
    The debate had only started at User talk:Caroig#Suggestion so it's odd claim the discussion wasn't leading anywhere. While some reasoning was given in the reply, those who object to this feature didn't state their reasons clearly at all, what should any one make of: I am sure there is something in WP:MOS/WP:CAT. The debate rightly belongs to the {{Geobox}} talk page so that the users after whose requests the disputed feature was added can have their say. Dealing with the topic here, behind everyone's back, is not a good practice either on Wikipedia or in discussions anywhere generally. So please put your further comment just there. – Caroig (talk) 15:46, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
    As for the WP:BOTS issue, I brought it up based on the content of the {{Geobox2 category}} template, used on "geobox" category pages [1], the content of which reads: "This is an auto-generated category of all (...) that make use of the {{Geobox}} template." - "auto-generated" seems to indicate a bot operation. --Francis Schonken 11:20, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
    The lack of understanding (in case of machine readable or auto-generated or how a bot can be set up) or that something just seems is not a good base to suggest ditching a template, which is just one more and versatile Infobox. If there's something that's not clear it's a good practice to ask and check the issue first before jumping to such far-fetched conclusions. – Caroig (talk) 15:51, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Perhaps the template should be generating Category:Settlements in Slovakia? Due to Special:Whatlinkshere is there a need for Geobox categories? (SEWilco 17:27, 25 October 2007 (UTC))
    • These settlements are already properly categorized. Per common sense and also some policies (see above) there is no need for such categories although user who created them argues they are needed, because "I don't think there's a problem having a category indicating the article contains geodata in a machine-parseable format." - Darwinek 17:46, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Nominated to WP:CFD --> here. Please vote and express your opinion. - Darwinek 20:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer the debate to be placed on just one place, the best one might be the {{Geobox}} talk page: Template talk:Geobox#Auto categories. – Caroig (talk) 21:27, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

General references that apply to multiple pages?

Is there a standard for handling a set of general references that apply to a large number of pages? The two approaches I've seen are:

  1. Add a link to a separate page showing the references.
  2. Create a template with the list of general references.

Both have received objections by some users. The former doesn't present the information on the same page, while the later can result in an unwieldy list that can appear on all of the associated pages. Either seems preferable to independently maintaining the same list on a multitude of pages. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 19:33, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

If the references are relevant to the articles, the "unwieldy list" belongs on those articles. (SEWilco 20:03, 25 October 2007 (UTC))
Less than 100% of the references are relevant to every article. — RJH (talk) 21:03, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of included irrelevant references on an article; those are not references to that article. Are these references likely to change? If not, then, I would just copy and paste the references into each article. Karanacs 15:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand why we are including references to articles that aren't actually used in those articles? Let me get this straight. You read a book. You put information from that book into an article. You cite that reference. How does a reference that you don't read and that does not contain any information get into a list of references for a particular article anyways? This is confusing to me. If the article uses or cites the reference, include it in the References section. If the article does not directly cite a reference, but the work in question contains information that could likely be cited, or which is closely related to the article, include it in the Further reading section. If the reference is entirely unrelated to the article in question, don't include it. What is the specific problem we are trying to fix with these random "other pages" or "templates" or whatever? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 18:13, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

The use of citation when I -am- the citation

I currently maintain the wikipedia article for the USS Springfield (SSN-761), and am a crewmember of that ship. I'll admit that I haven't added all too much to it, and there's much more that could be done with it. But I keep it up-to-date with all the current information of the command and a brief overview of its operations. Currently the page is rated poorly because of the lack of citations. But when I update the article to reflect that CDR Paul Savage is the commanding officer I don't use a citation. I don't need one. He's my boss, of course I know who the commanding officer is. I know what awards we receive, what operations we're on. I know this because I'm on the ship every day. How am I supposed to reflect this for Wikipedia citations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Divsky (talkcontribs) 23:44, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:No original research. You are a primary source, thus can't be used as a reference here. Surely there is documentation somewhere. I'm sure a base newspaper would have an article on a change of command for the boat. Certainly orders were posted under a document number. --Gadget850 (Ed) 00:05, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
The content could presumably go into the article's talk page until you find a cite.LeadSongDog 01:24, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for serving our country, that's a wonderful thing for you to do. However, being a member of the crew doesn't count as source. I found that out the hard way with a different article. Again, thank you for your service. . CelticGreen 01:28, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Please also see WP:NOT - the goal of Wikipedia isn't to collect all the information in the world, it's to be an encyclopedia. What's interesting to you, other crew members, families of crew members, and former members of the crew may never be published in a reliable source (using primary sources, such as published orders, is controversial); if not, then Wikipedia isn't the right place to post it - a blog, or a personal webpage, are better. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 11:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd say that the content of that article is entirely reasonable stuff to include in an article on the boat; it covers her basic history (construction and commissioning date, plankowner CO, homeport, her one major refit period, last deployment, and current operations); the current CO, XO, and COB are also encyclopedic information that's reasonable to include in such an article, I'd say, while the awards section is seen in a number of other articles about past and current US Navy vessels. While I agree that sources should be cited for the assertations of fact (perhaps the Navy's website or the Groton base newspaper would have such references?), I don't see anything wrong with the content of the article as it is now.
Divsky, thank you for serving our country; as someone who knows (not from personal experience, mind you, but from a lifelong fascination) what the two kinds of ships in the ocean are, I particularly want to thank you for going into the Silent Service; it's arguably the hardest life in the entire military. That said, as people pointed out, Wikipedia policy recommends that primary sources (such as personal knowledge from being a member of the crew) be avoided when possible. While you may use them to help identify notable things that can be added to the article to improve it, you need to find a way to back up the claims with independantly verifiable cited sources. Navy press releases would be an excellent choice, as I believe they're archived on the Navy's website.
Thanks again for helping defend the country--AND for being smart enough to ask for advice on this issue; it's much better to ask than to editwar! Rdfox 76 12:35, 26 October 2007 (UTC) (Edited to correct my mistaking who said what. Rdfox 76 12:37, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Top is where??

I was instructed to take this thought process here. Going from a visual POV, when talking to people I was told to put clean up tags under the infobox templates. It would still place the tag at the top of the article, per guidelines, but it wouldn't throw off the orientation of the pages. The guidelines say top of article but do not specify if that top should be visual or literal. Putting the tag below the infobox on the edit page visually puts the tag at the top of the article, per guidelines, and side by side with the info box. It's visually pleasing and does not throw off the page orientation. The issue is, is it MANDITORY that the tag throws off the page and makes the articles look bad, or is it acceptable for the tag to go below the info box in the edit mode aligning it at the top of the article with the top of the info box? John Black (fiction) being an example of how the Soap Project participants have been instructed. Thank you. CelticGreen 01:28, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I had never thought about the difference, but the after-the-infobox approach in John Black (fiction) is much more visually appealing than the before-the-infobox placement in Nikolas Cassadine. I believe the phrase "they should be placed at the top of the article" at Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup is purposely subjective, and it should be an editor's choice. The only reason I could see putting them before the infobox would be to make them more easily found for removal, any dummy can just scroll down to find the tags. I actually think the difference should be made clear in the guidelines as well. — TAnthonyTalk 01:44, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Nothing is mandatory. This question should not need to be asked, it simply doesn't matter whether the cleanup tags are above or below the infobox. To quote, "Don't edit war over the colour of templates," "some things in this world are more important than others."Atropos 02:28, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
For background, it may be useful to note that, when article message boxes were recently standardized, the early versions of the standard layout broke very badly in some browsers if they were placed beside any floating elements (such as infoboxes). The workaround, of course, being to place them before the infobox instead. I believe the problem that caused this has since been solved, but it may explain why some pages might still say that cleanup tags should always be put before infoboxes. In general, I fully agree that the proper answer is the one given by Atropos: whatever works. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:26, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I would say to put it before the infobox. For people using a high resolution monitor, it won't really matter, but for people using lower resolution (not very wide) monitors, putting the templates under the infobox will lead to pages looking something like this:
                                           |                   |  |
                                           |                   |  |
                                           |                   |  |
                                           |      Infobox      |  |
      Large blank space                    |                   |  |
                                           |                   |  |
                                           |___________________|  | <-- Side of the screen
_________________________________________________________         |
|               Cleanup templates                       |         |
|                                                       |         |
|_______________________________________________________|         |
Article text                                                      |
If the infobox is very large, the blank space on top of the article would be very large as well. Mr.Z-man 17:55, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
That's not true at all (but I'm impressed with your drawing). I also disagree with your concept of high and low as I have both at the house and it does not leave a large blank space on lower resolution, what it does is leave a large area where you only see the tag clean up or otherwise. Borrowing your template, or trying this is what I see on both screens.
                                           |                 | <-- Side of the screen
_________________________________________________________________ |
|               Cleanup templates                                ||
|                                                                ||
                                           |                   |  |
                                           |                   |  |
 Article text                              |      Infobox      |  |
                                           |                   |  |                                       
                                           |___________________|  |

To see what it actually looks like, again, I would direct you to the John Black (fiction) page. With a widescreen, you don't see any article when the tag is at the top. When it's put below the info box it lands side by side with the infobox but doesn't interfere with the article and there is no blank space. CelticGreen 18:11, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I hate to take the, um, sane perspective on this issue, but if the article is in need of clean-up ANYWAYS, then wouldn't the entire problem be solved by actually fixing the problems noted in the clean-up template? If the article is already "ugly" and in dire need of some form of clean-up, than does the addition of the template REALLY detract that much from the article, regardless of where it is placed? And if the template looks ugly, why not just fix the article so the template can be removed?--Jayron32|talk|contribs 18:08, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Clean up is just an example. There's also tense, citations, etc. Clean up was just the example I chose to use. CelticGreen 18:30, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I did a little more testing and the issue is browser dependent. On Firefox, the template is compressed to fit next to the infobox if you put it below and there is not a huge difference between above and below. On Internet Explorer (at least IE7) it is not compressed and if it cannot fit next to the infobox, it will put it below. Compare:

--Mr.Z-man 21:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that the placement of these temporary messages (whether for cleanup, tone, refs, current event etc) should take into account the structure of the article, rather than the visual appearance, as not everyone views pages in the same skin, or they have their own style or no style applied, or they may not even be viewing the page and they are using a screen reader or a tactile display. These output devices present the information in a linear fashion, starting at the top and working down, so by placing the tag below the infobox, information in the article is presented (that in the infobox), then you get the message, and then the lead section. This confuses the article message and the article content as the message is in the middle of the content, so the message should be placed before content. A good way to find out the linear layout of a page is to view it without any style applied. The Wikipedia:Accessibility guideline provides some layout examples on this. This layout also provides a visual separation between the message and content, showing that the message applies to the infobox content as well, and doesn't mix the two together. Any issues with the visual appearance should be addressed so that the non-visual appearance is still logical and understandable by non-visual users, and the best place to discuss the visual appearance is probably Wikipedia talk:Article message boxes or Template talk:Ambox. Or just fix the articles. mattbr 22:11, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Z-Man, thank you. Yes, I use Firefox (it helps with the spelling). So I was not seeing the big white space you described. Now that I see it, I agree and understand. I was going by Firefox so I didn't see that big white gap. Thanks for the research. CelticGreen 22:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Deletions without Debate

When a contribution is deleted without the deletor and/or wikipedia staff even having the courtesy to contact the contributor and debate the significance, where does the contributor go to debate the significance of the contribution? Especially if the contributor is above average sure the deleter is wrong and should be forced to debate the issue? —Preceding unsigned comment added by OlympedeCleves (talkcontribs) 17:20, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Are you referring to your edits being reverted? If an editor reverted your edits, then I would check in their edit summary for the reasoning behind their edit. Most of the time, the editor in question will leave a note on your talk page explaining the reason for their revert. If they did not, then feel free to leave a message on their talk page. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 17:25, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Discussions about contributions to an article usually take place on the Talk page of the article. There are exceptions, such as if the topic belongs in another article or just not here. Check the History of the article to see if an editor put comments there during the change. (SEWilco 17:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC))
If you refer to pages being deleted then see Wikipedia:Deletion policy, Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion, Wikipedia:Why was my page deleted?. PrimeHunter 20:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
If you want a debate, the correct forum is WP:DRV.--Bedivere 16:50, 28 October 2007 (UTC)



I was wondering if it would be possible for me to draw simple line illustrations as seen from a book and be able to use them as images for my article without breaking copyright laws. My article is seam types. I would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you,Snap pea 23:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Snap_peaSnap pea 23:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

You'll probably get an answer here, but there is a page that specializes in this type of question: Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:18, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Here comes the probable answer. If you're copying a line drawing, or creating one by tracing or reproducing an existing image, that is a copy for copyright purposes and would be subject to the same infringement / Wikipedia use analysis as any other copy. In other words, it doesn't buy you anything. On the other hand, if you create a drawing based on an impression without actually copying, that is a completely new work but you have to be careful not to step over the line between that and copying. Also, a line drawing like that is usually not a useful image. We often have a discussion about that for images of famous people, but the same reasoning would apply for pictures of animals, plants, products, scenes, etc. Better just to get a camera and take a picture, or find someone who has. The exception might be a map, chart, or diagram, where you need to create a new free work based on an existing copyrighted work. Wikidemo 22:24, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
If the illustrations in a book are unique to that book, then modifications of them are still problematical. On the other hand, if there are dozens of books that show illustrations of the same seam types, then synthesizing illustrations from a couple of them would not, in my opinion, be a problem. Still, taking pictures for illustrations would seem to avoid any possible doubts about copyright infringement. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:19, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Date wikilinking policy

There appears to be some inconsistency/ambiguity in this policy. WP:CONTEXT currently states the following re: date wikilinking:

  • Dates when they contain a day, month, and year — [[25 March]] [[2004]] — or day and month — [[February 10]] — should be linked for date preference formatting.
  • Stand alone months and days of the week should generally not be linked. Stand alone years do not need to be linked but some users prefer it, and some users prefer to link (with a piped link) to articles formatted as "year in subject" such as 1441 in art, 1982 in film, and 18th century in United States history.
  • Wikipedia has articles on days of the year, years, decades, centuries and millennia. As a general rule of thumb, link to one of these pages only if it is likely to deepen readers' understanding of a topic.

The guideline states that one should only link to days of the year "if it is likely to deepen readers' understanding of a topic" - but in what way could linking to individual days ever deepen readers' understanding of a particular topic? Day pages are by definition a hodge-podge of information about things that happened on that particular day in history, how could this information ever be relevant to a particular topic? I would submit, almost never, so such day-date pages should almost never be linked, but in practice people seem to be linking them all the time. So this policy appears to be inconsistent with current practice.

Also the first paragraph says "Dates when they contain a day, month, and year...should be linked for date preference formatting. It's a little ambiguous, because it appears to indicate that such dates "should be linked" at all times. Shouldn't it read "When dates containing a day, month, and year are linked, they...should be linked for date preference formatting."? That would remove the ambiguity. Is this ambiguity perhaps the reason so many people add day-date links to pages, because they think they are supposed to? Gatoclass 07:47, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

That bit isn't actually ambiguous, it does mean always linking them - date formatting preferences only kick in when the date is wikilinked. I type [[8 July]] [[2001]], you see 8 July 2001, I see "2001-07-08". Linking to an absolutely-specific-day is generally not done, except where that day is itself notable (I'm assuming there's a 2001-09-11 article). SamBC(talk) 11:58, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Oops, you're right, someone on another page just explained it to me. Oh well, at least now I understand why pages are so full of "irrelevant" date wikilinks. But I do think the reason could be made a little more clear on the guideline page. Perhaps I'll have a crack at clarifying it myself sometime in the next few days. Thanks for your help. Gatoclass 15:37, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Limit newpage creation to autoconfirmed users to reduce CSD articles?

About 2000 new articles are deleted every day, most of them via speedy deletion. Currently, a person can register at Wikipedia and immediately create an article. Such a new editor, however, cannot move pages or edit semi-protected pages until becoming "autoconfirmed", which currently requires a four-day waiting period. (See Wikipedia:User access levels for details.)

What do others think about applying the autoconfirm criteria to the function of creating new pages, so that the newly registered editors would have to wait four days before creating an article?

(Note that the createtalk function, for creating talk pages, is separate, and would remain as is, available immediately upon registering.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:00, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I take it you missed the announcement that anons will be given back the ability to create pages? See here. Dragons flight 11:01, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
No, I didn't, but I missed the point that it makes no sense to restrict registered users if anons have no such restriction. So I'll wait to see how the experiment turns out, and if anons are subsequently (again) prevented from creating new articles, I'll try to remember to bring this up again. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 11:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
If the experiment produces the result that I am anticipating, this proposal may receive a boost in popularity. Imminent changes notwithstanding, I would support this proposal. Adrian M. H. 12:06, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I proposed this once before - Wikipedia:New users but that was a few months ago. Also, there is a pending software change that may help make Newpage patrol more efficient. When Wikimedia next updates our version of MediaWiki it will probably be tested first, possibly on the German Wikipedia. After the 1 anon article month test is over and the data is collected it will probably be turned on here. Mr.Z-man 22:24, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

removal of admins comments on talk pages

I was a little confused, and wondered if someone could clarify what is and is not acceptable. If an admin makes comments on your talk page, ie. warnings, blocks, etc - is it acceptable to remove these comments, rather than archiving them?Sennen goroshi 03:38, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Archiving is preferred, but there's no rule preventing you from simply removing them. Warnings are meant as communication, not as a badge of shame. --Carnildo 07:44, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
However, please remember that by removing the warning, it is considered that you have read and understood it. Carnildo is correct though, you can remove any message you wish from your talk page, including notices of warnings, blocks, etc. It is preferable that you archive messages, but it is not mandatory. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:53, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Banning policy RfC

We are discussing the wording of the banning policy in light of recent disagreements between administrators over how to apply the policy and the conditions under which an administrator may unblock a user. - Jehochman Talk 15:12, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Do you have a link? Is it on Wikipedia talk:Banning policy? somewhere else? Thanks! I do see Wikipedia talk:Banning policy#Request for comments: Community bans... ++Lar: t/c 22:19, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Linking to harassment

There is a proposal to add this text to the policy page, Wikipedia:No personal attacks:

  • Linking to external attacks or harassment for the purpose of attacking another editor is regarded as a personal attack and faces the same restrictions as an on-wiki attack.

It is intended to reflect the current consensus on such issues. Comments are welcome at Wikipedia talk:No personal attacks#A growing agreement? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Deletion policy

I think the arguments at need to be considered.Herve661 03:14, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

New essay

I've written a new essay Wikipedia:Don't "call a spade a spade", partly in order to reply WP:SPADE, with which I heartily disagree, and partly to give form to the "How to win a content dispute" essay I've been thinking for months about writing. I welcome any feedback or improvements. Cheers. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Totally agree and well argued. There is never a need to use any sort of derogatory term. D3av 10:52, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I like your choice of images, but I was under the impression that fair use images cannot by used outside article space. Adrian M. H. 15:36, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Are those fair use? Darn it; you're right. I have removed them, and would welcome the addition of any appropriate free images. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:11, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I have added my own apostate thoughts to the talk page of your fine essay. I suppose I will be pilloried. Ah, well. --Ravpapa 06:32, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

bullied as a result of asking question here

If this is not the correct place to ask, please direct me to the correct page.

A couple of threads above, I asked a question about correct sources, as did PalaceGuard008 in the thread following. Blueboar offered to mediate and I put a great deal of work into formulating my "Issues". This occurred on the Caisson (Asian architecture) talk page. Since then I have been the object of continue incivility, snide remarks, sarcasm, and accusation of bad faith on the part of PalaceGuard008 to the point that I can no longer participate in the discussion. My pleas for civility and Assume Good Faith were ignored. This has been going on for five days now. I complained as frequently as I dared. I finally notified Blueboar that because of the incvility, sarcasm, assumptions of bad faith that were going unchecked I could no longer continue responding on the article talk page. At that point (yesterday) Blueboar issued on lukewarm suggestion to PalacaGuard008 that he lower the sarcasm level, and PalaceGuard008 apologized on my page but blamed his behavior on the frustration he says I caused.

Nothing I did was intentional on my part. I was doing my best.

Please, where can I go for help on this? I need some help with being bullied on that article. Thank you. Mattisse 14:13, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Issues like this probably should go over to adminstrator's noticeboard for incidents. --MASEM 14:23, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Creative Commons licensing and individuals' right to publicity

The above article addresses an issue that, it seems to me, may affect Wikipedia. In the case described, a Texas teenager is suing an Australian company that used a CC-licensed image of her, placed on Flickr by the photographer, in an advertisement. The teenager's rights to her own image were violated by using it for a commercial purpose without her permission or release (or so her lawyer is arguing).

As you know, Wikipedia's image policy requires that images be usable in commercial contexts. Many images in Wikipedia (and the Commons for that matter) are copied from Flickr under CC licensing. If any of these contain images of individuals, there could be legal problems if those images are used in a commercial context, per the above.

Is this an issue or is there something I'm missing here?

-- Powers T 14:30, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

What you're missing is that publicity rights are not a part of copyright, and they are not an inherent part of commercial use. There are many commercial uses for images (say, news reporting) that don't require a publicity rights release. --Carnildo 20:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
True, but is Wikipedia content restricted to being used in those ways? Powers T 21:14, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
It's almost important to note that part of her claim is that their use constituted defamation by casting her in a poor light. Rights the protect individuals from libel are also a seperate beast entirely from copyrights. Dragons flight 00:31, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

In the US (I limit myself to the US only because I know the law in the US the best) the only use class substantially limited by publicity rights is the right to use an identifiable image of a person to promote something. Like trademarks, you can think of this as a kind of anti-fraud law: You can't use someone's picture to make it look like they endorse your product when they really don't. It's a very limited class of use.

Asking if Wikipedia content is restricted to being used in those ways is missing the point, somewhat. Wikipedia is not. True, but nothing about Wikipedia's licensing terms forbids you from somehow using Wikipedia to commit murder, for example. Yet committing murder using Wikipedia content is still illegal and we do not consider Wikipedia to be non-free as a result.

This entire subject should be much more interesting to Commons than Wikipedia. Commons is, in part, a free content replacement for commercial stock archives. Many stock images come with rights releases, but by no means do all of them, and you will pretty much never find an image of a famous person with a rights release in a stock archive (although there will be many images of famous people...). For this reason it would be useful if commons would collect releases for some images to improve their parity with the commercial stock galleries. --Gmaxwell 22:59, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Conflict of Interest guideline change proposed

A discussion about changing the COI guideline to improve expert retention has begun at Wikipedia_talk:Conflict_of_interest#Scientists_and_Experts. Comments are welcome. - Jehochman Talk 15:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

country or government

Numerous articles in Wiki talk about countries having wishes, demands and such. I feel this hardly ever the case. It is usually a pars pro toto.

I have seen several opinion poles suggesting that the citizens of countries do not agree with their governments, on the issues reported.

Therefore ,would it not be better to speak of administrations or governements? Examples: The Bush administration rejects the Kyoto Protocol, while I know of poles which indicate that most american citizens are in favour on ratifying it. America boycots Cuba: I have seen reports on various forums stating that most american citizens are against the Cuban boycot.

Has this issues been adressed somewhere?

Aixroot 16:00, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

such information, if reported in reliable sources may be valid to add to articles. For example, if Bush Administrations official position on the Kyoto Protocol is published in reliable sources, CITE THOSE SOURCES, and then put the position in the article (it is QUITE noteworthy and hevaily covered). Likewise, if the New York Times or Newsweek has published the results of a poll, it MAY be appropriate to say "On October 31, 2007, Newsweek and The New York Times published the results of a poll that indicated that 71% of U.S. citizens disagree with the Bush Adminsitration on this issue". The key is to report FACTS and CITE SOURCES. Saying "XXXXX reports the results of poll YYYYYY is" is the best way to handle this. Even saying "polls indicate that the majority of American's think..." and then include an inline cite to the specific polls may be OK too, but I like the first form better. What is inappropriate is to say "Americans disagree with the adminsitration" without providing the context and source of this statement. Being transparent in your sources, and being clear that opinions and statistics COME FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE, and that what Wikipedia does is simply report WHOSE opinion or statistic it is, but that Wikipedia also needs to remain neutral on all issues AND avoid presenting original ideas. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 16:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Agree. And boldly edit when it is wrong. But note for your example the USA boycott may by a policy of one administration, but it is action of the country, so it is correct to say the country has whatever rules in place. One could add that citizens may not like this (if there are sources) etc.Obina 20:52, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Possible NNDB spamming

A user has now discovered that nndb uses referral codes in its links to Amazon which generate profit for the site i.e. here on the NNDB Spider Man 3 article. It may well be that some Wikipedia users are associated with this site and are behind mass adding of links to articles. I consider the site inappropriate to link to as it usually has a lot less information than can be expected in a featured article which is one of the requirements at WP:EL. I believe having a template for this site just encourages some people to link to it as they think somehow that Wikipedia is endorsing the link by having a template - I would appreciate people's comments on the deletion debate for the template, and the NNDB discussion page. Thanks Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 01:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Checking the transclusions, there doesn't seem to be an "mass adding of links" as you indicate. Quatloo 04:22, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
You seem to have a particular interest in NNDB, and Soylent Communications, the company that owns both of these websites. You have been defending the inclusion [2] of NNDB links since at least January, 2006 [3]. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 10:46, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't imagine a more clearcut example of mass link farming for commercial purposes as this. I wish more people would weigh in on this so that the members with a WP:COI of the site do not get to have their say by default because not enough other people feel like stating their opinion. DreamGuy 14:58, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree this appears to be inappropriate linkspamming. My suggestion is to post a notice at WikiProject Spam. There are some extremely talented researchers and bot operators over there who are experts at gathering data and sorting out issues exactly like this one. And, if necessary, they excel at cleaning up links and blacklisting sites as well. -- Satori Son 15:11, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Scroll boxes

I'm having problems with an IP that keeps adding a scroll box to List of turnpikes in Virginia and West Virginia and several other lists in Category:Pre-freeway turnpikes in the United States. --NE2 01:06, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

It seems to have been done by at least the following: User talk:, User talk:, User:Adam.J.W.C., User:Princeboy. --NE2 01:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Issues with original research

On Decommissioned highway, someone is trying to use dictionary definitions that don't mention highways and apply them to highways. For instance, see this old revision. Can somebody please help? Thank you. --NE2 21:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Wet noodle?

Incidentally, am I allowed to use a wet noodle? I was under the impression that you preferred to use a wet trout! ;-P ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 04:03, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Release by date rather than season

Frequently I see articles that say things like "will be released spring 2009". This may be useful for people in the northern hemisphere, but it's a bit more complicated for us here in the southern. Any chance we could put in a policy stating that release dates should be according to the quarter of the year (that is, quarter 1 for Jan-Mar)?

Zaij —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, that falls afoul of WP:OR. Most of the time these companies say "Fall 2007" or whatever because the definition of "Fall" is rather flexible. We don't know that it will be released before the end of the "official" season, so all we can verifiably say is what the company announced. It might be helpful to note that this is in reference to the Northern hemisphere season rather than the southern, but we really don't want to tread too far into OR for figuring out what the company intends to do with the release. -- Kesh 18:48, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It's not that hard to say the range of months then. Otherwise wikipedia is relaying false information (because for the southern hemisphere, that information IS false. If we're allowing the "release in fall 2009", we may as well let any misleading information on wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it is not false, because companies do not bother taking anything but their primary distribution point into consideration when making these claims. That it does not apply to you specifically is not their problem, nor Wikipedia's for that matter. To attempt to correct for their negligence is original research, plain and simple. As a loose example of what I'm taking about, I cite commercials on satellite TV. These people don't ever give me the right times for the shows I wish to see, because they assume I live on the East coast in the United states. It's up to me to straighten that discrepancy out, not complain to them to cater to me. (Having a guide helps, of course, but that's beside the point.) To summarize, just because your specific geographical location doesn't follow the same seasonal pattern as the region to which the claim applies does not make the claim wrong. It just means you need to remember where the claim is being made and how that correlates to you. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 08:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how its relying on false information or its misleading. Usually, something being "released in spring 2009" will note where its being released (such as movies or DVDs). For worldwide releases, common sense would dictate that spring 2009 would refer to the spring in the company's country. As Someguy0830 stated, its up to the reader to correlate that info to you. Its no more false than articles that notes a certain TV show airs Wednesdays at 9. I know that's Eastern time and I must subtract an hour to correlate it to myself. If we were to turn it around and try to decide which range of months spring equals, that could be adding false info because that isn't what the source says nor what the company says and would to the original research line. Collectonian 09:24, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

The difference between timezones and seasonal zones is that while seasons may vary, months do not. Hence having something say "released in spring 2009" when referring to the southern hemisphere, the months are clear cut - September October November, and so are not original research. Just as if there was a new storage device a fraction of the size of a cd. If the press release said its dimensions were 4 inches by 4 inches, a change to metric would be acceptable. Let me reiterate, there is no original research when you're changing a season to the months. There's just a simple conversion of measuring systems. When it comes to timezones, there is no alternative measurement for a worldwide time, there is only location specific. For anyone in the southern hemisphere the information IS false, as it is not coming out at the time stipulated in the article. It comes out 6 months before (or after).

-Zaij —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

On the contrary, the months are not clear cut. Who is to say that "Spring 2009" in the southern hemisphere means "September, October, November" and not "October November December" or even "Sept 21 - Dec. 21"? Powers T 15:30, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
You misunderstand me. January is January wherever you go in the world. Hence, a simple conversion from the location of the press release is not unreasonable.
-Zaij —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
It is, actually, because you're assuming you know what the company means, when in fact you do not. They give vague dates for the express reason that they themselves are not aware of when exactly they'll be releasing it. To convert their vagueness is original research, because you're attempting to narrow down what is deliberately left wide. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 16:54, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

No, because they left a narrow scope of when it is going to be released. I'm sure that the vast majority of people in the USA know that spring does not last 9 months. Seasons do not have a random element where summer starts in June in 2006 and in December in 2008. There is a reference point, where the season related to the three months that the season corresponds to from the location of the company, is that reference point. If it were not the case, no one would know what months the seasons would be in and the notion of regular fixed seasons would be meaningless.

It is not deliberately "left wide" as they list the release as in a certain quarter of the year. Just as if they'd said they were to release their product in October 2006, you'd know that the release would be between October 1st and October 31st, 2006. The difference between the example I just gave and what I'm trying to argue is that months do not change according to what part of the globe you're in.

-Zaij —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Still, they do not say quarters when giving these dates, and this fact is something you keep missing. They say Fall, we say Fall. We don't say quarters because they don't. Plain and simple. What you argue is original research. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 22:40, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

No, it's not original research. Look, that season corresponds to a certain set of dates depending on where the product is released. It's not ambiguous because there is a set time frame for the season to occur. Hence, it's merely converting between one measuring system and another. Plan and Simple. So saying "spring 2009" about a product being released in Melbourne, Australia would be converted to "September - November 2009", because those are the months that Spring in Melbourne fall. It's the same as converting from faranheit to celcius. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

No, it's not the same as converting a unit of measure to another. TV seasons are specific and do not change in different climates. Additionally, converting to months is original research, because you are guessing about what months the compan meant when they could just be ballparking for the sake of it. To pick months, no matter how they correspond to any season anywhere in the world, is original research, because the company did not say (get this fact straight) anything but the season. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 00:23, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I never said anything about TV seasons, you did. Look, I'm not going to argue with you because you're clearly not getting it. Plus, I think I asked this question in the wrong place, can anyone tell me where I should put this as a policy proposal and what I should do to get it there? I'm not very good with this editing of pages, give me some nice phpbb anyday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

The same would go for you, as both I and other users have said. Style for dates is guideline, not policy, so you should raise the issue at WP:DATE if a single word bothers you so much. Regardless, it still wouldn't trump needing reliable sources, which is policy. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 01:07, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

WP:SEASON already prefers the avoidance of using seasons to identify periods of time. 22:45, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

In terms of periods of time and usually in past-tense. Television goes by defined seasons: summer line-up, fall schedule, winter specials, etc. WP:SEASON doesn't apply. — Someguy0830 (T | C) —Preceding comment was added at 22:51, 4 November 2007 (UTC)