Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 28

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Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)

The guidance at Wikipedia:Notability (fiction) has been rewritten after extensive discussion on the talk page. Editors not involved or aware are invited to review the rewrite, edit it and (of course) comment on the talk page. The version at [1] represented the broad consensus of participants so far. Hiding T 11:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Policy Proposal regarding admins

Before I create a subpage regarding this propsal, I would like to get a consensus from admins before proposing this to the wider Wikipedia community. Also posted at WP:AN.

I was just thinking this morning, and I think we need to have an actual systems for admins, should they make several mistakes while they are admins (some admins I know inthe past in have made mistakes). I am therefore proposing a proposal, named Three Strikes and You're Out (Subpage will be created if admins support the proposal. Should an admin do a wrong action once, they would be given a first strike. Should they commit an offence again, they will receive a second strike. Should they yet again do a wrong action (or it even could be simply edit warring - to something such as using the tools to harrass others); they will recieve a third and final warning. Because of this they will be notified via their third warning that an RFA will open on them. Should they fail the RFA, their admin tools will be taken off them. However only strikes should be given by un-involved administrators or good-faith editors. If any strikes are found to be in bad-faith the strike should be discussed and removed in due course if found to be in bad-faith.

Opinions on the above? D.M.N. (talk) 13:09, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Who decides that the admin has committed a wrong action? Any user? Another admin? An RfC process? Everyone makes mistakes. What constitutes a mistake serious enough to be considered a "strike"? Darkspots (talk) 14:10, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I think we should hire a bunch of Hungarian villagers with torches and pitchforks to do it. Whenever an admin does anything bad, they can chase them around, hurling fruit and other things at them. Admins which are particularly nasty can be tied to a pole and set on fire.   Zenwhat (talk) 14:22, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment I've slightly changed the above as a result of comments here and at WP:AN. D.M.N. (talk) 17:01, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

My concern is that - even under the best of circumstances - mistakes happen. Doctors make mistakes, lawyers make mistakes, construction workers make mistakes, and admins make mistakes. Many admins deal with - literally - THOUSANDS of administrative actions a month. Mistakes are going to happen, particularly with that high volume. Under your proposed system, how would you deal with legitimate mistakes versus actions taken with malice? How do you prove malice? Who judges them? I'm open to admin accountability, but I am not open to a system that runs off some of our very best contributors because they happen to make more edits than others and thus have a higher propensity for a RAW number of mistakes (which may actually be a much lower ratio of mistakes to administrative actions). - Philippe | Talk 17:06, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I wonder if the two discussions 9this one and the WP:AN discussion, shouldn't be merged. What happens if this discussion finds consensus and the other doesn't? It's a bit confusing to read valid arguments in two places about the same topic. Can they be merged and not just linked? Keeper | 76 17:15, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
If being an admin is "no big deal" (as admins are fond of telling us mere mortals), then stopping being an admin should also be no big deal. But as long as we have "admins=trusted editors", which implies "non-admins=untrusted editors" combined with the current byzantine system for getting rid of crappy admins (and there are plenty of those) nothing will change. If someone makes lots of mistakes with their admin tools - then they shouldn't have them. To tell the truth, I am sick and tired of all the special pleading which crops up every time an admin acts like a bully or foul-mouthed buffoon. Many admins seem to me to be incapable of shewing respect to non-admins, and to regard any complaints about admins as wicked name-calling by untrustworthy plebs. I had an email this week from someone very upset by the behaviour of one admin in particular who is pretty notorious for his inability to remain civil, yet who seems to be a "special case", immune from criticism (even when he uses admin tools to edit protected articles in which he is involved in the content dispute). Attempts to get other admins to speak to him (it being pointless for anyone else to try, as he simply blanks comments from his talk page, often with abusive edit summaries) are largely fruitless - it's always shrugged off as "it's just his manner" or "he's stressed". I've seen non-admins indef-blocked for much less serious misbehaviour. I bet that if all admins were to be forced to restand for their tools, at least 50% wouldn't get them back. DuncanHill (talk) 17:22, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

This comment:

If being an admin is "no big deal" (as admins are fond of telling us mere mortals), then stopping being an admin should also be no big deal

That's a red herring aka irrelevant conclusion. The claim that increasing oversight of administrators would be a good thing has absolutely nothing to do with the claim that they don't have a lot of authority ("no big deal"). In fact, your premise implies the exact opposite conclusion: It's precisely because being an admin is "no big deal," that it doesn't come with that much greater amount of authority, that increased oversight seems necessary.

Furthermore, I have to ask: Who is going to oversee the overseers?   Zenwhat (talk) 18:38, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Sure, all we need is gunshy admins. ("Geez, I've got two strikes already; I'm not touching anything even remotely controversial from now on.") </sarcasm>
Actually, what we need is active admins - admins who (without pay) spend their valuable time doing admin stuff rather than editing articles, which many of them probably prefer. Admins who act when things seem to require action without requiring 100% proof that action is need. Let's keep in mind that an admin who is 99.9% right is (by definition) going to make a mistake one time out of a thousand. A quick revert and an apology should really suffice for such exceptions. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:38, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
So, D.M.N. has created a policy discussion page, User:D.M.N./Three Strikes and You're Out, and moved over the discussion from WP:AN to the talk page there. He did not move this discussion. A quick read-through of the AN discussion seemed to show that more-or-less similar arguments were made opposing the proposal, mostly by different people. No mention of fruit or pitchforks, so I think we were ahead on local color over here. It does seem like further discussion should take place on D.M.N.'s discussion page. Darkspots (talk) 12:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually John we do imho. An admin who has two strikes, that is, the community has said, "It's not that you screwed up a bit here, but you screwed up enough for severe chastisement". I'm not suggesting that I necessarily agree with Three-Strikes-and-You're-Out, personally it seems a bit bureaucratic. However admins with strikes should be probated and made to review policy, and perhaps even be subjected to a monthly policy-exam to ensure they are actually understanding the wikiway. I've been lately writing an article on our form of governance and the more I write the more I see things which need to be clarified. For example, there seems to be a great disconnect between the common view of majoritarian rule, and our form of discursive democracy or consensus decision making. Often I see comments like "most people agree with me", while the commentator deliberately ignores any attempt to ameliorate the minority viewpoint. That is anti-project however proponents of that view don't gork that. Wjhonson (talk) 16:59, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
We have a great way to handle admins that make even one strike and that is arbcom. It works just fine. The proposed decision sounds prone to abuse. (1 == 2)Until 17:02, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Deadminship is a perennial proposal. Note that in theory everyone should be able to get admin rights, and all users should be able to balance each other out that way. IMHO RFA is just simply slightly backlogged :-P --Kim Bruning (talk) 07:30, 31 January 2008 (UTC) that's one approach, I reserve the right to flipflop to the other approach as required. :-)

Deletion Policy

Am I the only one who thinks the speedy deletion policy is dominated by a small group of people trying to become admins? It seems the more they try to 'clean up' articles by nominating them, the more they get kudos points from others, helping their eventual run for election to adminship. Iloveamerica2much (talk) 13:57, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

It's less about trying to become admins and more about improving the encyclopedia. Please assume good faith on the part of others, and presume that their actions are intended for the best of the project. GlassCobra 13:59, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
How can I assume good faith when all they do is run about and delete others work? How about they assume good faith about others for once? Iloveamerica2much (talk) 14:01, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
There are strict guidelines and criteria for speedy deletion, and notability must be met for articles to be kept. Malinaccier (talk) 14:17, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Lack of notability is not grounds for speedy deletion. I've seen plenty of evidence for Iloveamerica2much's contentions; additionally, the time lapse between tagging an article for speedy deletion and its deletion is often not enough for an article creator to respond or protest. Argyriou (talk) 20:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Is it not? I see a lot of this: This has been done under section A7 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because the article appears to be about a person or group of people, but it does not indicate how or why the subject is notable.
And regarding you second point, AGREED! I've seen where the time from tagging to deletion is mere minutes! An author would have to be online and tapping refresh to catch it in time to add a {holdon} before the article is gone. - Operknockity (talk) 07:46, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
And then you get articles with {{holdon}} being deleted anyway.... DuncanHill (talk) 07:51, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
True, but on the other hand, you see people putting {{holdon}} on pages that are never, ever going to be anything but speedy candidates, such as bio articles about high school students or their garage band that they started with two friends last night. I agree that the speedy tag is misused though, there are a number of people who confuse something that doesn't have notability from something that doesn't claim notability. BLACKKITE 07:58, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Above, it is asserted: "There are strict guidelines and criteria for speedy deletion, and notability must be met for articles to be kept."
I'll agree, there are guidelines, which are routinely ignored. In my experience almost every article I started that was nominated for speedy deletion was nominated within minutes of creation -- flagrantly ignoring the policy recommendations that nominators allow a grace period for articles whose author were creating them in stages.
Case in point, Allegations that Tablighi Jamaat has ties to terrorism. The article was going to have a list, with almost three dozen entries. I had references for all of those entries. But I expected it to take me about ten minutes to populate each entry -- call it six hours work. So I was going to create it in stages. My first version had several paragraphs of background, and the bare list, without the references. An overly hasty wikipedian had applied a {{db-group}} -- a notability deletion tag -- within one minute of creation. Twelve minutes later, when I had populated an entry, and saved the article, I notice the speedy. I put a {{hangon}} notice on the article, and was still working on it, when an overly hasty admin came along and deleted the article, even though I had placed a {{hangon}} notice.
It took days to get this article undeleted through DRV.
I then had the very unpleasant experience of having the admin who undeleted the article immediately nominate it for regular deletion. Several more days of delay, and several more hours of my time wasted, because nominator and closing admin did not conform to the "strict guidelines".
As for the second part of the assertion, "that notability must be met" -- whatever that means, I beg to differ. No. It is a guideline -- if there is a good reason to ignore the guideline it should be ignored.
As for the original question in this thread. I too am concerned that an overly small fraction of the wikipedia makes a disproportionately large fraction of the deletions. I am concerned that that a subculture has been spawned within this small group. The wikipedia aims for a culture of collegial discussion and good faith. And, while some regular patrollers of the deletion fora continue to show good faith, and assume good faith, a subculture has grown up where violations of WP:CIV, WP:NPA, WP:AGF and WP:BITE are so routine they pass without notice.
I do not dispute that it is important that the wikipedia clear out cruft. But the mechanism through which we do so is in desperate need of radical reform, or outright replacement.
For any of you who are regular participants in the deletion fora, I urge you to look for those violations of the civility policies I claimed are so routine they pass without notice. I urge you to slow down, and challenge those who violate the civility policies. It is long past the time when we should have taken steps to restore civility to all deletion discussions.
Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 17:54, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Notability is often there in articles they nominate for deletion. I'm saying many nominate for alternative reasons, and don't actually care about the policies in question. Iloveamerica2much (talk) 14:20, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, please assume that your fellow editors are working for the best of the project. GlassCobra 14:21, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
If I had evidence to support that they are, I would. As it stands, no evidence supports that they are 'working in good faith for the project'. Iloveamerica2much (talk) 14:24, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I wish I got kudo points for deleting articles -- one of the thousands of articles on Wikipedia created every day that need to be zapped out of existence. Where do I go to get these kudo points and who is handing them out?

Also, WP:Assume good faith means exactly what it says. You shouldn't require "evidence that they are working in good faith," because you're supposed to assume that until there's evidence that demonstrates the contrary.   Zenwhat (talk) 14:28, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Please WP:Assume good faith as everyone is asking you to. And i think you should concentrate more on developing that article which was proposed to be deleted speedily. --SMS Talk 14:38, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I see nothing wrong with editors practising deletion in order to become admins. It's excellent training for when they are admins. (Note: I'm not being satirical, I actually do think it's good training)Anakin (contribscomplaints) 15:19, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

  • This is a meaningless discussion unless someone actually provides concrete examples we can discuss. If you disagree with a deletion there is deletion review which tends to focus quite closely on whether process has been followed correctly. Inappropriate speedies are overturned regularly. Spartaz Humbug! 00:16, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes, specifics help a great deal. Let's keep in mind that more than a thousand articles per day are speedy deleted. I'm not sure exactly how one would show that (a) that a "small group" of editors is doing most of that nominating (since edits of deleted pages are no longer visible to regular editors once the page has been deleted); you'd really need to take frequent snapshots of all articles currently nominated, and record who had done so; and (b) that there is any significant extent of error in doing such CSDs - even if there are ten CSDs overturned every day at deletion review (doubt it), that would be less than one percent. And I'd guess that most overturned CSDs simply result in successful prods or AfDs, rather than keeps, so the real impact of erroneous CSDs is even less than the overturned number. (And yes, some mistaken CSDs are overlooked, though if an article is at all important, it will be created again by someone, hopefully better written.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:32, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
At least in the nominations, I think we do have a problem. I have been declining almost one-third of speedy requests. They are being made just in ignorance of the standards, not malice. And its not that I'm showing my inclusionist bias--other admins seem to be removing speedy tags at an equal rate before i can get to them. A few months ago it was only one tenth, which seems reasonable. But then looking at the unpatrolled New Pages, it seems we are missing quite a lot of new stuff that really should have been deleted quickly. I think we need some sort of campaign to explain the practices, so the stuff that needs to be nominated gets nominated, but not the disputable ones.
As for what gets deleted, an emphasis on taking the problems to deletion review is the only way to solve it. by the time an admin has some considerable experience at it, it's hard to change their ways by gentle persuasion, but nobody likes being reversed there. DGG (talk) 09:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  • DGG is certainly right that admins don't like getting reversed at DRV but speaking as the recipient of the odd slap or two, I certainly tuned up my deletion decisions as a result. As an aside, DRV is a great place to learn how to do deletion properly and prospective admins would all benefit from looking at deletions from the other side. Spartaz Humbug! 16:37, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Although I only review CSD requests periodically, I've also found myself turning down a similar proportion of CSD requests. One commonality I've noticed in the CSD requests I've turned down is that A7, "no assertion of notability" can sometimes be interpreted somewhat bureacratically. An article's subject may well be perfectly notable, but an unsuspecting newbie editor doesn't understand that one has to assert this in clear language when the article is first created upon pain of its immediate deletion. This results in CSD requests on what seem to me to be pure technicalities on subjects that may well be notable. I have found myself thinking that that A7 should be tightened a bit and require patent non-notability, not just a procedural failure to assert notability, to ensure that CSD is only done for failures of substance, not process. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 16:29, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll second that motion. It's the subject of the article, not the current substance, that drives Notability. Dhaluza (talk) 11:53, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree 100%. Alarmingly, I have encountered administrators who don't seem to understand this. Geo Swan (talk) 18:01, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Except that we cannot determine notability of a subject without proper sources in the article itself. If the problem is that your article is being deleted before you can finish writing it, then create it in your User space first, then move it to the main article space. -- Kesh (talk) 18:28, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
A7 is not a difficult criterion to meet. You don't even have to attempt to prove notability, just assert it. If someone can look at an article and say "Yes, that person/group/company" is probably more notable than average" it passes A7. "John Doe is an notable/important/well-known/infamous/etc X, who invented/worked on/founded/brutally murdered/owns/etc Y." - as long as X and Y are sufficiently important, that's enough to pass A1 and A7 ("brutally murdered" would need a source though). Mr.Z-man 18:43, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Anti-Wikipedian sentiment.

I saw the article Anti-Wiki on Meta and it occurred to me that Anti-Wikipedian sentiment is rampant on Wikipedia.

So, I wrote an essay. See WP:Anti-Wikipedianism.   Zenwhat (talk) 10:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

And how do we know that you are not part of the Alien conspiracy?Wjhonson (talk) 00:43, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
There is no Alien conspiracy. That's why it's red linked.LeadSongDog (talk) 20:50, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
That's what they want you to think. Hiding T 14:40, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

WP:METOO

I'm guessing I'm not the first to raise this, but could not find anything related with a search so decided to bug this page.. sorry..

I keep on seeing paragraphs in articles where there has been a steady drip of people adding their favourite widget to the end of the list.. For instance, if there was an article on the 'X key' I bet it would only take a short time before a succession of people add 'The X key is also present on BlackBerries, OSX, Devorak, my forehead' etc...

The general policies should be sufficient for people to realise this is not really the most productive way to contribute to Wikipedia, but I understand the temptation, indeed I have probably been guilty of it myself in the past.

What I was wondering about was if there should be a policy statement about this, and a tag that can be easily used to both mark any sections where this is excessive, and to make it easier for anybody reworking such a 'list' to explain why they have not included every possible example. As an example it was seeing the 'list' in the initial section of OpenEXR that got me thinking about this again. EasyTarget (talk) 14:19, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

For OpenEXR, I've moved the list out of the lead section to the "History" section. But since the list is in sentence format, is only a paragraph or so, and consists mostly of wikilinks to other articles, I think it's fine to keep as is.
More generally, the policies WP:NOT (Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collector of information) and WP:NPOV (don't give undue space and weight to minor/trivial things) cover this well enough, I think.
As for preventing people from adding more information, two thoughts - first, any limit should be based on something more than just keeping initial postings and preventing later examples; so, for example, "Was first present on the BlackBerry" or "became common when it was added to X, Y, and Z"; second, once a criteria has been set, put an invisible comment in the text telling editors what the criteria is and asking them not to add items not meeting the criteria. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:22, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Fiction-related noticeboard

As part of the rewrite of WP:FICT, we have created a Fiction-related noticeboard to assist with helping with content issues regarding fiction topics. (Even if the WP:FICT proposal doesn't stick, I think this noticeboard will remain since it's still a good idea and hopefully will help reduce the stress on AfDs.) --MASEM 16:16, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be nice has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Be nice (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change. -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:52, 31 January 2008 (UTC)\

It's been changed back to an essay (by another editor), something I personally agree with. This is a page that has all of nine edits as of now. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:16, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Notability guidelines regarding cell phones

Looking around, I can not find any evidence of such but I was wondering if there has ever been a policy proposal regarding notability guidelines for cell phones. Almost daily, at least one AfD late to close is a listing for some model of a cell phone, often a Nokia or a Sony Ericsson. They are late to close because finding consensus about cell phone AfDs is often difficult, it is rare that agreement is found on these AfDs. Keep seems to be the most common result of these, but no consensus is common as well, and even on those which are kept it is often unclear if the references cited are actually reliable sources as defined by WP:RS. So I was wondering if the community feels as though a notability guideline in regards to cell phones is worth drafting or if WP:RS and WP:N suffice. In general, I feel a guideline would be useful, but am not really sure what such would look like. Warm regards, SorryGuy  Talk  00:40, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

WP:N (multiple non-trivial sources, a few magazine or newspaper articles) should be enough, but some people seem to think we literally need to have a book published about a cell phone before it's notable enough for Wikipedia. I imagine people look for basic encyclopedic information on their phones (its history, features, controversies, sales, etc.) on Wikipedia... to delete those articles even when we have enough sources to write them does a disservice to our readers. --W.marsh 02:15, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
What we really need is a MOS clarification that, where independent sources are lacking, lists are prefered. Most phone entries have little content that can be justified, and so should really be stubs. The existence of stubs, however, then encourages people to add inappropriate depth of information to the article... Is there a wikipedia project group for phones that can be tasked to examine this matter? LinaMishima (talk) 02:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I would imagine that most particular cell phone models have relatively little to be said about them and would be best off as list items within the manufacturer's article, with the exception of a handful of types that have significant cultural impact on their own, like the iPhone. Unless you're planning on giving detailed tech specs for each model? Even cars don't have such heavy detail that every different model has a separate page; the Lexus ES article covers the many variations over the years such as the ES300 and the ES350. *Dan T.* (talk) 03:09, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Grouping by model families is fine, but we shouldn't just cram every cell phone a company makes onto the top level manufacturer page. Also, AFD is not needed to do merges. --W.marsh 03:17, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Mobile phones are covered by Wikipedia:WikiProject Telecommunications. Puchiko (Talk-email) 08:50, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Why aren't closing admins reading the debate to find out where the consensus is? Have I missed something? Hiding T 14:17, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Spam-Blacklist

We have a page for requesting additions or removals from the spam blacklist. The page has a brief heading regarding itself. But is there a policy page that address, in more full detail, how this process is supposed to work? Thanks. Wjhonson (talk) 21:30, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

If you're proposing we create an article entitled, "Why was my spam-link blacklisted? ASDFASRASEFASDF" I'd have to oppose that proposal, Wjhonson, for promoting wikilawyering. The brief summary of criteria works well enough. If we create an article more in detail, the community would probably churn out an article which, like many other policy pages, negates itself through ambiguity of language, which spammers could then use to say, "You can't do this, because the detailed explanation on WP:Spamlist policy says, 'X'!"

Could you cite anything, in particular, which isn't covered by the summary or any examples of confused users?   Zenwhat (talk) 01:27, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Policy page? I don't think so, it's a process just like complaining on WP:AN/I is. Basically, you add a new heading on the talk page for addition or removal, cite why, and then one of the Administrators who monitor that page will reason and then accept or decline the request. It's about as complicated as filing a 3RR report, I think. x42bn6 Talk Mess 01:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Sure, the situation is, an admin with what I see as a possible conflict-of-interest as the creator of a BLP-article, blacklisted a site which was critical of the subject of the BLP. The admin has consistently attacked the site-he-blacklisted with all manners of derogatory remarks, without so-far showing any evidence to back up his assertions. I have requested such evidence several times, without result. I have pointed out that even if a site was once blacklisted, consensus can change, and we are a discursive democracy. However the admin in question appears to believe that the blacklist site is immune from discussion and once-done-always-done in violation imho of the blacklist page itself which states that sites may be removed. I want to open the issue to wider community input, so the community can discuss the removal process. So, I could create an article at RfC/U or suggest mediation, but I was just wondering if there might be another avenue. I have already followed the prior steps in dispute resolution, but the dispute remains.Wjhonson (talk) 04:24, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The site in question, and the reason for Wjhonson's inquirey is based on this blacklisting of a attack site. Criticism, as claimed by Wjhonson, of the subject of the BLP's was not the reason for the blacklisting. This site contained an entire page devoted to outing various editors ("Wikipedia.htm" located at unrealroyal.com/page_1199151805093.html) in an attempt to identify and harass several Wikipedia users. Wikipedia:No Personal Attacks and Wikipedia:Harassment apply to any kind of attack or harassment in any context. see also WP:NPA#Off-wiki_personal_attacks and Wikipedia:Harassment#Off-wiki_harassment. Linking to off-site harassment, attacks, or privacy violations against Wikipedians for the purpose of attacking another or multiple Wikipedians has never been acceptable on wikipedia. Websites outside Wikipedia that are used to facilitate, promote, or encourage the harassment of individual Wikipedia editors and those who choose to edit the encyclopedia is a serious matter, as evidenced by ArbCom rulings[2].
Consensus was achieved by multiple admins in the first request for removal, yet in pursuit of a certain point, despite that concensus, Wjhonson re-requested within 3 days of the other request being declined. This type of tendentious re-request is normamaly unusual, however it was uncovered there was a larger purpose at play. It was uncovered that Wjhonson was acting in a Meatpuppet[3] capacity for the purpose of influencing the blacklisting, shows of support and for performing reverts and edits related to the interests of the site owner of unrealroyal.com. See here.
"You solicited to the owner of unrealroyal,(MAR), on groups.google.com, in a thead entiltled Wikipedia is exceeding its own record of stupidity "By the way MAR, if there is something in particular about that article to which you object, let me know. I'm not adverse to battling it out on Wikipedia."[4][5], which clearly demonstrates your intent to misuse wikipedia. Of course MAR replies to your offer by linking direcly to the article, my userpage and the blacklist[6]."
This ongoing "forum shopping" is continued evidence he is infact following through with his off wiki threat to "battle it out" by using wikipedia as a battleground and foregoing aims of Wikipedia in order to advance outside interests. Reinforcing that Wjhonson states himself that "I don't think the argument of citing your article however will win"[7] ....the site owner himself states..."I actually *agree* that under the policy, my site should not be used as a citation or reference" [8], conclusively there is no valid reason for its removal, or reason for Wjhonson pursuing this matter except to WP:DISRUPT Wikipedia to illustrate a point.--Hu12 (talk) 06:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The entire statement by HU12 above is incorrect. And this board is not the place to have it as you know. Hu12 you have made it quite clear that you will, never consider removing any site from the blacklist that you personally don't approve. That approach is anti-project, it flies in the face of the entire consensus system that we here have. Hu12 continues to repeat this same old story that is without merit or evidence. The blacklist is not the place for sites with which you have a content issue. It is for sites which are spamming the encyclopedia. I have already requested Hu12 is use the dispute resolution procedures and so far have received so satisfactory response. Contary to the above argument it is rather Hu12 who is attempting to disrupt the project to prove a point, the point evidently is that Hu12 controls the blacklist for better or worse and consensus is ignored. Consensus can and has changed, the original blacklist was based on false information, no evidence, and word-of-mouth without verification. Hu12 I asked you again here to proceed with dispute resolution instead of continuing to wage this disruptive war against consensus. Wjhonson (talk) 09:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Hu12 created the article on David Howe the King of Man and so Hu12 has either a real or perceived ownership and perhaps conflict-of-interest in being the admin who refuses to allow the criticism site to be unblacklisted. Repeated requests to Hu12 to show any evidence whatsoever that the site in question falls under any blacklist category we have, have met with the same above stonewalling, and redirection using wikilawyering attacks on me. Although Hu12 continues to thrust out this argument that the site was doing x y and z, he refuses to provide any evidence that an independent editor can review. Hu12 has no evidence, he is blacklisting the site simply because it criticizes an article he wrote. When I've attempted to follow the dispute resolution procedure we have, Hu12 ignores my requests, attacks my ethics and maligns my character. This is disruption and anti-project. In addition, contrary to Mongo, this ArbCom ruling takes precendence. A careful reading shows that websites criticizing articles are not covered. When that article is a BLP, a website critizing the person is the same as one criticizing the article.Wjhonson (talk) 09:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

You see the problem above. Hu12 and I are diametrically-opposed and cannot seem to form any consensus. So... where do we go from here?Wjhonson (talk) 09:39, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Call a truce. Leave it alone. Wait a while and see if the situation has changed. Or go to arbitration. Hiding T 10:51, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the link and defered it to User:SquelchBot for monitoring (even with the attack page removed, there is no assurence against its return and is still unsuitable as a link for BLP and reliable source reasons). This, however, does not excuse Wjhonson's behavior in manipulating Wikipedia in order to advance outside interests by acting in a capacity for the purpose of influencing, shows of support and for performing reverts and edits for the site owner of unrealroyal.com. Although his behaviour is clear misuse of wikipedia and disruptive, I'll leave it to some other admin to propose sanctions. thanks.--Hu12 (talk) 11:22, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
No one has ever said that it is suitable as a reliable source, I completely dispute that it fails BLP. Criticism of public figures is perfectly acceptable and if those people happen to also be Wikipedians they are not exempted from the standard of being able to be criticized in their public presentation. As far as manipulating for ulterior reasons, I think we'll invoke pot-calling-the-kettle-black here. I see no high horse in this area. I have never, contrary to your unsupported assertion, made any edits or reverts "for the site owner of unrealroyal.com". I have, in fact, made edits from my own knowledge and position and experience. The fact that I agree with someone else, does not make me a meatpuppet. As anyone can see, I have thousands of edits, your misbehaviour in this constant harrassment of my ethics, doesn't present you in any favourable light my friend. From the beginning of this sorry episode you have been ignoring the assumption of good faith. That is an anti-project attitude, we are a discursive democracy, and we solve problems by consensus, not force. As far as disruptive, any editor can see your clear conflict-of-interest as the original creator of the article that was criticized, then using your admin bit to silence dissenters. There have been many previous ArbCom's on this very issue. As you well know. Wjhonson (talk) 20:18, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Does that draw a line under it now? Hiding T 14:08, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Blacklist of digitpress

Being a senior editor, I feel stupid for asking this, but what's the deal with blacklisted URLs? I have a site as a reference for an article that been blacklisted, apparently for being spam. The link is to an interview and doesn't have any ads or other spam material (and the interview doesn't exist anywhere else but the one site). What can I do about it? Looking in the blacklist archives was inconclusive. I couldn't find a justification for banning the site. Thanks! — Frecklefσσt | Talk 15:57, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

If you feel a link should not be blacklisted, list it at MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist#Proposed removals. Puchiko (Talk-email) 16:09, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Might have been blacklisted on the meta level. Whats the site?, I'll track it down.--Hu12 (talk) 16:11, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The site is digitpress.com. I don't know much about the site, but I was linking to an interview there as a reference (I tried inserting it here, but the blacklist prevented it!). Thanks! — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:19, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know much about the site - you apparently haven't verified it before complaining about it being blacklisted?   Zenwhat (talk) 21:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I visited the site, and saw that its a video game review site (the interview in question was with Bob Whitehead, an early video game programmer). I didn't see any ads or pop-ups, so am curious as to why it was blacklisted (but I run Firefox with AdBlock, it might've had ads that were hidden from me). When I said I didn't know much about it, I meant I don't know who runs it, its history, its reputation or why its blacklisted. Golly, I'll be more specific next time! — Frecklefσσt | Talk 21:36, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
See MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist/archives/February 2008#www.digitpress.com_repeated_spam_on_Wikipedia Bluap (talk) 21:41, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm also concerned that, after visiting the list of links, it would appear these links to Video Game reviews, are being added to articles about... Video Games. I don't see why that would be so inappropriate as to require a blacklisting. Perhaps someone can enlighten me there. If links on Video Games, were being added to articles about Guam or French fries I could see how it would be spam. If spam is now to be considered not appropriate for Wiki, then what is the purpose of the reliable soruces noticeboard?Wjhonson (talk) 22:40, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course the links are relevant to the topics, it would be pretty crappy spamming if they weren't related at all. We restrict links to those that are "are most meritable, accessible and relevant to the article." There's no need to list every video game site on every video game article. The links were also being added by multiple single purpose sockpuppet accounts over an extended period of time. The site was not being used as a source, it was just being added to the external links section of multiple articles. Spam is links added repeatedly and/or to multiple articles, not explicitly used as a source, and for promotion. Mr.Z-man 23:34, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Reading over various pages, on Spam and the blacklist, there appears to be a great deal of confusion regarding the situation. I've started an article here to discuss it. When you go to the blacklist Talk and it really has no information which can serve to determine the appropriateness of an addition, then the situation is being left open to individual interpretation instead of community consensus. Hopefully an in-depth discussion of the issues will elicit the community's consensual view. Wjhonson (talk) 23:38, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
But per your above, I'm not quite sure that using the blacklist as a way of preventing article-specific-links is an appropriate use. Whether or not those links are meritable or useful is a decision involving the community of editors, and should be left open to the editors who watch those pages. This is the standard way we deal with links to unreliable sources. Blacklisting these links apparently is serving to create antagonistic editors.Wjhonson (talk) 23:42, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes a website gets on the blacklist due to past spamming behavior by aggressive editors. This may result in us losing the benefit of a site that might have value under some conditions. Regarding digitpress.com, there is quite a docket of past misbehavior:
The above SSP page documents a discussion on the digitpress.com forum in which the editor known here as Tube bar seemed to be planning a campaign on Wikipedia. Please take a look at the above records of spam activity to see if you would still argue that Digital Press deserves future consideration as a target for good-faith links. EdJohnston (talk)
Conversely, when a specific link is needed as a citation from a blacklisted site, the MediaWiki_talk:Spam-whitelist can be used in cases where the url is demonstrated as a source (in an appropriate context) when there are no reasonable alternatives available.--Hu12 (talk) 04:00, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I'll look at the whitelist link. Something must've happened between the time users above posted the link to MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist#www.digitpress.com_repeated_spam_on_Wikipedia and now. It isn't working anymore. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 15:40, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
It has been archived. The new location is MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist/archives/February 2008#www.digitpress.com repeated spam on Wikipedia. EdJohnston (talk) 16:41, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Update Hu12 whitelisted it for me. Thanks for all the help! — Frecklefσσt | Talk 16:40, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

When bots go wild....

On my watchlist this morning I see that some helpful soul set BetaCommandBot to add disputed image tags to a whole bunch of images. Here is the one added to Image:Red Tory.jpeg

{{di-disputed fair use rationale|concern=invalid rationale per [[WP:NFCC#10c]] The name of each article in which fair use is claimed for the item, and a separate fair-use rationale for each use of the item, as explained at [[Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline]]. The rationale is presented in clear, plain language, and is relevant to each use.|date=January 21 2008}}

In this particular case it probably never occurred to any of the human beings involved that the {{Non-free book cover}} justification for the image Red Tory had to explicitly name the article Red Tory.

I know there is a template for explicitly offering a fair use justification, to be used once per article the image is included in. My problem with this use of this bot is that it gives no hints to anyone who reads the dispute tag how to FIND that explicitly-named-fair-use tag.

If this instance of the bot is still running, it should be immediately halted. Every article it modified should have the message it left modified to give the name of the tag those who wanted to address the problem should use.

I'd like to suggest bot users consider this an example of how bots can be mis-used.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 16:34, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

That would require Betacommand to have consideration for his fellow editors, which everyone knows is not the case. Argyriou (talk) 16:41, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Betacommand is just following policy. The bot, though much maligned, is only tagging images and related article in accordance with policy. The explanation regarding fair use rationales is found, as indicated by the tag, at Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline. That project page clearly states (additional emphasis added):
The tags, Betacommand and his bot are telling you nothing more than what policy requires. Tags are not rationales. The fact non-free images are allowed at all is a specific exemption to Foundation policy. These repeated insults on Betacommand and his bot are unwarranted and should really result in blocks. Vassyana (talk) 16:53, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Betacommand has been de-adminned for his lack of consideration for other editors - his bots keep running rampant doing things which are over the line of their remit, he runs bots and scripts from his main account, and he's incredibly hostile to anyone who challenges him, especially when he's in the wrong. Letting people know that expecting cooperative behavior from him is not reasonable is not a personal attack. Argyriou (talk) 19:00, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Betacommand's bots do not overstep the mark. They nominate images that do not meet our guidelines- just as I would if I came across them. Granted, they are bots, so don't fix minor errors, which I would, but the deleting admin, if they have an ounce of sense, will fix that when they come to delete the image anyway. It's win-win. J Milburn (talk) 19:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not objecting to the idea of bots trying to relieve that part of the burden of maintaining the wikipedia that can be automated. I think that is a good idea. I applaud that idea. However, we have a right to expect a few minutes thought, on the part of the team automating the task, so the messages intended to be read by ordinary human beings, are actually useful to ordinary human being. If betacommand, or any other bot creator, needs help drafting a message that can be read and understood by the uninitiated, he or she should take on a partner, or ask for help.
I wrote below about cognitive burden. J Milburn immediately above writes: "Granted, they are bots, so don't fix minor errors, which I would, but the deleting admin, if they have an ounce of sense, will fix that when they come to delete the image anyway."
  • You seem to be saying you don't object if a poorly written bot imposes a cognitive burden on you.
  • I wish I could count on every admin whose decisions I come across, showing a ounce of sense, in every decision. Heck, there are some admins who pleasantly surprise me if they even once show an ounce of sense.
It would be better if bots didn't impose cognitive burdens on uninitiated users or on hard-working admins, because those writing them aren't willing to consider the end-users. Geo Swan (talk) 06:23, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Argyriou, Im hostile against people who have no clue what they are talking about and attempt to force the fact that they are correct on others. the message BCBot points to is WP:NFCC#10c which clearly states the issues with the image and how to fix them (WP:FURG). Im sure your an expert with our non-free image policy and the foundation resolution with 17 image namespace edits. you cant seem to even follow our 3RR. You obviously dont understand the ArbCom case because your reasoning is way off base. I ask that you not slander my name by making false statements. And Geo Swan please read the templates that you are referring to. It clearly states the need for a Non-free use rationale. something that was not done. βcommand 19:35, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh shut up, you paper-pushing bully. You were desysopped for your incivility and wikilawyering; your opinion of what people should do here is of negative value. Argyriou (talk) 20:51, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Argyriou, this comment is wildly out of line and inappropriate. You owe Betacommand an apology. Regardless of what you think of his bot, his work, or his attitude, you may not address other contributors this way. - Philippe | Talk 21:04, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I think what is being asked for here is that the warnings should include a reference to {{Non-free fair use rationale}} directly, so the user knows the most convenient way to add the needed rationale. I'd add one for the image in question here, but I'm not sure it actually qualifies here (it is low-resolution, but it appears on an article discussing the general phenomenon of Red Toryism that doesn't mention the book in particular). *** Crotalus *** 14:23, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The template is pretty easy to find in the link provided: Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline#Template. Vassyana (talk) 15:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Only if you know what "rationale" means on Wikipedia and how to use a template. Most users don't. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 00:57, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
"Rationale" has no special meaning on Wikipedia. It's used consistent with common English and the more particular copyright-related meaning in the real world. Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline explains plainly what is required in a rationale. The template is not required, but to be honest if someone cannot figure out how to use copy/paste and plug in the correct information in the obviously labeled fields, that's pretty sad. Vassyana (talk) 01:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
People are missing the main point of the complaint here. The message that BetaCommandBot leaves is, to anyone but a thoroughly experienced Wikipedian, incomprehensible. It's a major flaw in usability.
The message needs to be reworded to tell users a few clear, simple steps they need to follow, without resorting to Wikipedia jargon like "FURG", "rationale", or "image description page". If you insist that they use a template, then you need a preload link or something like it to create the template for them, because ordinary users don't understand templates. If there is no way to do this in simple steps, then the policy is broken.
If we must create so much red tape (which I disagree with in general, especially rule 10c), at least give ordinary users a way to do what you're asking them to do. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 00:53, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
The sometimes complicated situation of fair-use is a consequence of the project allowing commercial and other non-free content, in combination with the rather permissive provisions of US law. Fair use is a rather uniquely American concept. The fair dealing allowed in Commonwealth countries is the closest international comparison and it is significantly less flexible than fair use. (It is unlikely that Wikipedia usage would qualify under fair dealing.) The requirement for rationales and very limited usage is rooted in the Foundation policy than allows the English Wikipedia to permit fair-use images. The need for exacting rationales is a consequence of American copyright case law. Even then, the explicit and detailed rationales only provide a limited measure of insulation against infringement suits. Much clearer fair use cases (such as parodies) have been subject to expensive and lengthy lawsuits. The project could reject using non-free images and entirely avoid this mess. Barring that, ensuring that the usage is as compliant with US copyright law as possible is necessary. Vassyana (talk) 01:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Rspeer and User talk:Crotalus horridus. You understood my point exactly. I see no reason why finding the tag designed to regularize the status of an image should not be offered by the robot that has flagged it as a problem -- without regard to whether finding it is easy, or hard. -- Geo Swan (talk) 06:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Amen Hobit (talk) 03:24, 3 February 2008 (UTC)