Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 42

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Newbie Question

I hope this is the right place to ask this question...I'm a novice. I discovered today that there is a section in Wikipedia about "Medical Writers" and that individual writers are listed there. I've read that people are not supposed to post articles about themselves--which seems like a perfectly sensible rule.

In this case, however, I AM a medical writer...with 7 published books and more than 20 years of experience. My background and oeuvre are comparable to, or more extensive than, some of the other folks listed. So what is a guy or gal to do in this case? I would like, obviously, to write up a relatively brief, neutral, and factual "article" about myself as a medical writer. And I don't think that having a friend post it for me would be honest.

I'd be quite happy to vet my submission by an editor if you want--or by the community at large.

By the way, I'm also a medical editor and I would very much like to lend a hand in the ongoing effort to raise the quality standards of articles.

Thanks for any guidance anybody can offer. Hmmm...should I leave my email address here? Don't know. Guess I won't. I just became a member a few minutes ago, so I'm not at all sure how communications work. Thanks for your patience!

--Steve Braun --Srbraun (talk) 01:24, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia! Thanks for being willing to help edit! I hope you find it rewarding. Thank you for your conscientiousness about writing about yourself. You might find answers to your questions on the guideline page WP:COI.
Re email: If you click "preferences" at the top of the page you can enter your email address and enable email. Then, when you go to someone's user page or user talk page (for example, my user page is User:Coppertwig and my user talk page is User talk:Coppertwig) in the links at the lower left it will say "email this user". Your email address won't be publicly posted, but if you email someone they will see your email address, so that they can reply directly. Similarly, people will be able to email you from your user page. However, most of the communication around here is done on the user talk pages and other talk pages, not by email. --Coppertwig (talk) 01:48, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Hello Mr. Braun! Welcome. Please also see Wikipedia:Autobiography#Creating an article about yourself. As you can see from reading that section, while you are strongly discouraged, we don't prohibit this. I do have a suggestion: if you are going to go ahead, write the article in a subpage of your user or user talk page and when you feel you are ready to "go live", drop a note at the help desk and ask for editors to review the article, disclosing that you are the subject of the article written by you and you want some outside eyes to look for problems. Please be sure to cite sources using inline citations. Note that there should not be one single sentence in the article that comes out of your own personal knowledge that isn't also verifiable through the citations you actually cite in the article. Cheers.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:When to cite has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:When to cite (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:50, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

It's back to an essay - see Wikipedia:When to cite#essay or guideline? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:21, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Locking Featured Articles

Is there any material / prior discussions available concerning potentially locking articles after they've been approved for FA? If not, I'd like to propose it.

I've found (in my limited experience) that articles tend to go downhill after reaching FA. The process to get them to that point tends to weed out NPOV, bloat, cruft and unsourced claims; after that though, further additions are not as vigorously scrutinized.

My proposal would be basically as such:

  • FAs should get an additional tab, "Featured", which is permanently protected.
    • The "Featured" tab, in addition to having the star on the top-right corner, would also have the last date at which it became featured / re-featured.
  • The "Article" tab would be replaced with a "Draft" tab, which would behave exactly the same as the existing "Article" tab, with the exception of a small notification that the page contains changes since the article became featured.
  • Users who are not logged-in are by default taken to the "Featured" page when viewing the article in question.
  • Logged-in users are by default taken to the "Draft" tab, though they can change this in their preferences.
  • Administrators are advised not to make changes to FAs without consensous on the talk page / associated WikiProject
  • In the case of a large re-rewrite, the "Draft" article would have to go through the FA process again in order to replace the existing FA.
  • The "Featured" tab would have its own history, much the same as our articles and discussions do today.

Any thoughts? Oberiko (talk) 19:21, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

This sounds a little bit like what stable versions is supposed to be, but with a new process added for Featured Articles. The Placebo Effect (talk) 19:49, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I would be absolutely and strongly opposed; FA doesn't necessarily equal perfect or completely finished (consider Barack Obama), and consensus changes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:15, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I realize that situations change, and that nothing's perfect; that's the reason why I'd include a "Draft" tab for continuing development. My line of thinking is that right now, being featured doesn't mean much; the first edit taken after an article has been made so is one that wasn't reviewed by the same standard.
To me, featured means "This page, as it stands at the moment, meets the criteria we've set out to determine excellence." Is it still applicable a month later? A year later?
But, you do bring up a valid point. There are featured articles which are in fluctuation. In that case, I'd think we'd need "Featured-stable" (FS) and "Featured-unstable" (FN). FN articles would be the exact same as our current FAs. FS articles would have to meet all the criteria of FA articles and have to be about a topic which is relatively unlikely to change in the immediate future: i.e. a historical place / event, mathmatical formula etc.. Oberiko (talk) 20:39, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
This page, as it stands at the moment, meets the criteria we've set out to determine excellence is far stronger than most FAs deserve; it's closer to This page now has no glaring embarassments which are obvious to a handful of editors who know little or nothing about the subject. Please do not assume that they warrant any special treatment. (And do remember that it is always possible to revert back to the passed version if, as is possible, that is the best thing to do.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:52, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't like protecting FAs at their point of promotion - take, for example, this, which has undergone some prose tightening, structural changes, category addition all since its promotion. Will (talk) 21:10, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Bad idea. This ought to be in Wikipedia:Perennial proposals 'cause versions of it come up quite often. Both the GA and FA process record - for all to see - the version of the article when it became GA or FA. But Wikipedia is a work in progress. There is no perfect article. Wikipedia editors can always work to improve the article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 21:13, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I oppose. Consensus of what an FA is can change and Wikipedia is meant to be dynamic, not showing something depending on an admin's whim. An FA on a living person will have to drastically change when they pass away. Alientraveller (talk) 21:36, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Alright, if the locking-idea is to inhibiting, how about a tab on the top called "promoted" that links to the promoted-version of the article in the articles history? I think that'd still accomplish the main goals without interfering at all with our regular process and make it easy for editors to quickly see what the article was like at the time of promotion. Oberiko (talk) 22:15, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

On the talk page of the article, in the article history banner, there is a link to the promoted version. Something like an obvious 'promoted version' tab has been suggested before. It is a good idea. Another good idea is to make the permanent link button to the left far more obvious: see Help:Page history#Linking to a specific version of a page. This would help greatly in allowing people to cite Wikipedia properly. Both ideas requite a developer / programmer and consensus. For whatever reason, it isn't happening; just like the user friendly editing environment that has been vaporware for a year now. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:31, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Because even the promoted version, which is already available as a link in the articlehistory template, isn't necessarily the best version of the article. Also, if we were to implement this proposal (which will never happen, but for the sake of discussion), then what are you going to do, go back to FAC each time you want to update the protected version? Completely impractical proposal. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:38, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I never knew about the link, so I'm willing to bet many others don't either.
  • As pointed out, we already have the link, all we'd be doing is making it faster and easier to access
  • Should there be multiple promotions, then we can have a history on the promoted tab to show them.
What's so impractical about any of that? Oberiko (talk) 23:50, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I plan to be doing a writeup explaining {{Articlehistory}} in the WP:SIGNPOST soon. Multiple promotions? FAC reviewers are bustin' their buns already; they don't need more work. If an article deteriorates, it goes to WP:FAR, and yes, that is also a tab in articlehistory. Yes, this is a very old, recycled discussion, and most FAC reviewers and FA writers know it's just not workable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:06, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Multiple promotions as in FA, FAR then FA again. I'm still not sure why a link to the promoted version is "unworkable". It's just saving me the effort of going to the talk page, expanding the history template, and then clicking the link. Cutting from several clicks to one and making it readily available to editors. Oberiko (talk) 01:25, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
There's no reason for the featured link to be available from the main article to our general readership; it's not necessarily the best version. Wiki editors can find it on the talk page; our general readership doesn't need it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:54, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
So, you're saying that the article we promoted is basically irrelevant? Oberiko (talk) 02:14, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
No, that it may have improved after promotion, so the promoted version is not the best. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:23, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • This old proposal is being recycled? Surely not. It's unworkable and will lead to the atrophy of FAs. The whole idea of WP is that all articles be constantly upgradable and improvable. Tony (talk) 00:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Can you expand on how a quick link to the historically promoted FA atrophies articles? Oberiko (talk) 01:02, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

About "featured article rot": I don't deny there's such a thing, but it's not as much of a problem as some people make it out to be. Out of the 2462 articles that have ever had featured status, 1953 still do. 538 pages have been de-featured, and if we subtract the 29 re-featured pages that makes 509. In other words, just 21% of historically featured articles are no longer featured. While it would be wonderful if those 509 articles were still featured, 509 fewer FAs don't pose a grave danger to the encyclopedia.

Regardless, locking featured articles wouldn't prevent "featured article rot". What we call "rot" is often caused by rising standards, not by a decline in quality. For example, many articles lose featured status because they lack inline citations, which were rare in Wikipedia's early days. Standards could change even more in the future, and locking the articles would prevent needed improvements in such cases. szyslak (t) 05:24, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I've got that having articles locked is considering stagnating. What I'm proposing now is a quick, readily available link to the historical article. Something we already have access to, just more prominent. Oberiko (talk) 10:53, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
You say the link on the talk page isn't prominent enough. Is seeing the "original featured version" so important to our general readership that an extra tab on the article page is necessary? As SandyGeorgia pointed out above, the "original featured version" isn't always the best. We have featured articles about people, such as Gerald Ford, who died after the article's promotion. The "original featured version" was written when he was still alive. And as I pointed out above, most featured articles don't deteriorate in quality as time goes on. In fact, many of them improve, especially when they're featured on the Main Page. szyslak (t) 11:10, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
"Feature Article rot" is a problem, but is even less of a problem than Szyslak's statistics imply. Many of the de-featured articles lost FA status because the criteria were raised, not because they deteriorated. For example, if an article was featured before in-line citations became the norm, then it may lack them. Unless someone is willing to go back and insert citations, the article will eventually loose FA status, without having deteriorated in quality. Dsmdgold (talk) 00:38, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Since 99.9% of anonymous IP users are vandals, why not just protect all FAs from being edited by anonymous, or new users? This would keep the vandalism down, and hopefully keep the damage down by the POV pushers to a minimum.

Of course, a better idea would be to just block anonymous IPs from editing in the first place, but unfortunately, that idea is unlikely to get past the cabal,... Dr. Cash (talk) 14:56, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

You grossly overestimate the figure - it's actually 21%,[1] which is why this is such a bad idea. Hut 8.5 16:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Locking down FAs is a really bad idea. Articles are improved after promotion; in fact, there are several users who go around and improve articles after promotion (MisfitToys comes immediately to mind), so locking articles would prevent them from improving the pages. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 16:45, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
True, articles are improved after becoming FA, so I agree that locking them down completely isn't the best solution. But I still think that something needs to be done about the Anon Vandal problem; I see such pussies that try to hide behind their so-called IP address as never legitimately adding anything constructive to the article, and they should not have any rights whatsoever in this encyclopedia. Dr. Cash (talk) 17:03, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Featured Articles are amongst Wikipedia's most watched ones, especially by the WikiProjects that have done the most work to get them to FA status in the first place. Vandalism is more likely to be reverted immediately or almost immediately there than in most other articles. True, it takes up some resources that could be better used elsewhere, but that's the situation all around the encyclopaedia anyway. Bottom line, vandalism is not a major issue as far as the quality of FAs is concerned. Waltham, The Duke of 17:56, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

In light of recent events, what about indefinite move-protection the default for featured articles? Gimmetrow 06:59, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

This is proposed so often as to be a perennial proposal (someone ought to add it to that page). Usual arguments against: featured articles are improved and expanded during and after their time being featured (there's no such thing as a "finished" article), they need to be updated in response to changes to the topic itself, and semiprotection is easily circumvented by people seeking high-profile vandalism. I'd also argue that deterioration is, in general, not a big deal, because when constructing a static version for publication we can go back in time to the peak of quality and grab that version. Dcoetzee 17:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


At the risk of keeping this silly discussion going, how about if we add something like this to WP:PEREN? This would also cover the related proposal to protect the Main Page featured article while it's live.

  • Proposal: To maintain their high quality and/or prevent vandalism, featured articles should be protected or semi-protected, either permanently or when featured on the Main Page.
  • Reason for previous rejection: Featured articles often improve in quality rather than deteriorating, especially when displayed on the Main Page. On a related note, a featured article is not a "finished" article. Not only do they need further editing in response to changes in the topic itself, our standards for featured articles change over time. For example, in Wikipedia's early days most featured articles did not use in-text citations; today, such an article would have no chance at gaining featured (or good article) status. While some featured articles deteriorate in quality, this is not a widespread problem; only about one-fifth of historically featured articles have been de-featured. In regards to vandalism, our featured articles are among the most-watched pages on Wikipedia. Semi-protection and blocks are more than adequate to deal with featured article vandalism.
  • See also: Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection

szyslak (t) 04:10, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Featured articles often improve in quality rather than deteriorating, especially when displayed on the Main Page. - That is, as best as I can tell, both misleading and possibly untrue. First, there is a huge difference between semi-protection and full protection of Main Page articles - while there is some support for the former, there is virtually none for the latter. So combining the two types of protection into one, and making a generalization about the pair, is essentially a straw man argument. In addition, I know of no study that shows any substantial increase in quality of Main Page articles during their 24 hours, but several editors (myself included) did a study of IP edits (in December 2006, for a week) that clearly showed that the vast majority of IP edits to MPAs were vandalism; only a small percentage were in good faith, and most of those were either reverting vandalism or were themselves reverted as not being all that helpful. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:29, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Image name

Why can't images be moved? If this were allowed, it would save a lot of deltetions i think, although it might have the unfotunate side-effect of image redirects. Simply south (talk) 02:42, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

See bugzilla:709. This is more of a long-standing technical issue. :) – Luna Santin (talk) 22:19, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Discussion at WP:NLT regarding "on Wikipedia"

There is an ongoing discussion at Wikipedia talk:No legal threats#"On wikipedia" about whether legal threats must be made physically "on Wikipedia", as part of the policy has stated, in order to be actionable. I'm brining it up here for broader participation. --ZimZalaBim talk 02:55, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment: I suggest the rule is not changed, because Wikipedia a) does not have authority beyond the scope of Wikipedia, b) evidence of said "legal threat" is not the same as if it was published on Wikipedia, and c) the ruling is placed to keep Wikipedia from being a center of attacks, or, in dealing with copyright matters, from having things changed while the issue is yet to be resolved. For these reasons the usage of "on Wikipedia" and only such must be stated and used. Anything else goes beyond the scope and intent of the original. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:01, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Legal action is legal action, and threats are the first step. The chilling effect that legal threats have on free and open editing is just as damaging no matter where they are. The summary title "no legal threats" of course has no enforceability outside of Wikipedia but this has been noted for a long time -- we cannot prevent anyone from taking legal action, but we can require that such things be dealt with exclusively through official channels, and any threats of legal action be totally withdrawn before the complaining person is allowed to edit Wikipedia again. This as I understand it is the policy: this is not a policy change, just a clarification. Mangojuicetalk 03:33, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
" Legal action is legal action, and threats are the first step. " Actually, thats untrue. Legal action is only action that pertains to Wikipedia when it deals with the content on Wikipedia. Furthermore, there is a difference between legal action and legal threats, and you seem to have blurred that distinction in your zeal. Please go back, refresh yourself on the difference. Furthermore, your tone is completely incorrect. Instead of arguing for what should be, you have dramatically reinterpreted what is and claimed it as what is, thus suggesting that there is no change. However, the basics of English grammar say that there is a huge difference from the blatant "on Wikipedia" to "Wikipedian". Ottava Rima (talk) 04:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Legal threats and legal action are different but WP:NLT does not distinguish the two, and clearly lays out that the point at which you stop editing is when threats are issued. What I was trying to say is that the wording was changed to "on Wikipedia" probably because the policy is written like "don't do X" which is the kind of thing you can't really say about behavior off the website. However, "no legal threats" is an inaccurate description of the rule, from both its common usage and reading it. The policy is better described as "Editing Wikipedia is not allowed when you have made legal threats or initiated legal action against Wikipedia or one of its users over a Wikipedia-related matter." That is enforceable, because it's about editing here, and it can be enforced by blocking, banning, and so on. Obviously for off-wiki threats the quality of the evidence can change but it can be very solid and actionable. And the change of those phrases to "on Wikipedia" was as far as I can tell, never really discussed. You'll note that the change doesn't specifically say that off-Wiki threats are prohibited, it just restores the wording so as not to imply that they aren't. Mangojuicetalk 11:47, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I must respectfully disagree. The fact that they are linked on the same page and described there does not make them the same. The editing does not stop when threats are issued. The editing is stopped when legal proceedings are put in place. One does not necessitate the other. Furthermore, a legal threat is different than a polite legal notice or a polite copyright notice, which may or may not have a legal proceeding to follow it, and if it lacks a legal proceeding, there cannot be a block in such situations. Now, by your own admission, you state that the change doesn't specifically state one thing, but is loose enough to allow it, which means that the ruling has become more vague. I see such as problematic. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:03, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
That's just plain wrong, there is no difference as far as the policy is concerned between a threat and actual legal action. That would just be stupid. A copyright notice is not a legal threat, as there is only a notice, no threat of action unless it were to say "remove it or we'll sue." Mr.Z-man 15:53, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Except that one is a breach of WP:CIVIL and the other is for completely different reasons, which is enough to prove that the two are not one and the same and that there is a clear difference. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:42, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this is not a policy change, just a clarification since Ottava has pointed out how people might misunderstand the current wording. Shell babelfish 03:39, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm pulling this out of the above archive box; at least this much clearly is relevant to the discussion. Mangojuicetalk 11:32, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the recent change which clarifies the existing policy as it always has been. (1 == 2)Until 15:08, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Rather than maintaining two parallel conversations, I would recommend that all new comments on this topic now be made at Wikipedia talk:No legal threats#"On wikipedia" TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 15:50, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

What to do with GameBrix?

Came across this peculiar specimen on new pages patrol. Is this speedyable? "GameBrix" seems to be some kind of toolkit for creating Flash games, of perhaps borderline notability. Not quite sure what the relevant policy is, so taking it here for a second look. Lankiveil (speak to me) 13:40, 25 March 2008 (UTC).

I guess that answers that, speedied as an A3. Lankiveil (speak to me) 14:14, 25 March 2008 (UTC).

Translations in non-standard English?

I have seen numerous Wikipedia articles where quotes from foreign languages are translated into an archaic form of English, as opposed to modern English — despite there being numerous modern translations available.

The instances I refer to are Bible quotes (although my question does not refer exclusively to religious material). I know that a lot of people use Bibles that were written in archaic English, and may find it convenient to quote directly from them; and that may be considered acceptable communication in certain religious contexts. But shouldn't the English version of Wikipedia be in English? And surely archaic forms of English do not constitute standard English?

I ask that a policy is introduced that all translations in English Wikipedia are translated into standard English (unless the specific translation itself is of some relevance to the article).

I should add that I am not trying to suggest here that any particular translation of the Bible is better than any other, since even old translations can be (and often are) re-written in modern Englsh. Also I should say that I have no anti-religious agenda; I am a Christian myself, which makes me even more keen to see the words of the Bible written here in plain English so that people can clearly understand them. I don't recognise certain Bible passages that are included here in archaic English, and I find them very difficult to read.

Finally, if it is decided that non-standard English IS allowed in Wikipedia: is there some LIMIT to the extent of its usage, or to the age of the English that can be used here? For example, could "English" Wikipedia articles be written entirely in latin?

Also, are other non-standard forms of English allowed in Wikipedia articles. For example, could I include an English Bible quote translated into ebonics, or cockney? And if not, what makes archaic English more acceptable than these other non-standard types of English, when far fewer people understand it?

Grand Dizzy (talk) 16:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Instead of quoting the Bible, a link can be provided to the scripture using the Bible reference template: {{bibleref}}. If a translation is not specified, the user will receive a wide variety of choices in choosing a translation. For example: A "plain" link -- {{bibleref|John|1:1-5}} appears as John 1:1-5. A link to the NASB translation -- {{bibleref|John|1:1-5|NASB}} appears as John 1:1-5. Just another option. Cheers! Vassyana (talk) 17:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Days of the year guideline

Public comment is requested for the ongoing consensus discussion for the proposed guideline at WP:DOY. The proposed guideline lays out what are considered suitable entries for the 366 days of the year articles. Discussion is taking place here. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 18:47, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Universities/Article guidelines has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Universities/Article guidelines (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:50, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

SUL and renames

Wikipedia:SUL/Consultation on renames

The implementation of Unified Login may mean that bureaucrats should agree to perform renames in circumstances where our practice is currently to decline them. I have created the above page in an attempt to get a feel for community consensus on SUL and how far bureaucrats should go to accommodate SUL-based rename requests. Input from all welcome and appreciated. WjBscribe 01:25, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Consensus sought for spinout articles

Contributions are sought at WT:FICT#Guidelines and consensus, to try to determine whether the inclusion of spinout articles without real-world coverage has consensus support. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:33, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Copyright status of public-interest newspaper articles etc. hosted without license – to link or not to link?

Please see discussion here. Jayen466 00:56, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


Sorry if this has ended up the wrong slot. I couldn't find one specific to the subject and thought this was close.

A recent news story mentioned that the Wikipedia community was debating the issue of raising funding through advertising. I think this could be done in an innocuous and user-helpful way.

You could have a "Related Advertising" link in the left frame that opens a page with links to ads that pertain to the subject.

I'd like to be able to see ads that relate to articles. For instance, when reading up on Romania, I may want to see tourism information and what tour packages are available. If researching solar heating systems, I'd likely want to see ads pertaining to those products.

Advertising could be a useful adjunct to Wikipedia.

--Jm1248 (talk) 13:03, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Never going to happen. Dsmdgold (talk) 15:41, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
'Nuff said. Waltham, The Duke of 21:39, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
No opinion on the issue but there's a page on advertisements on Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Advertisements. x42bn6 Talk Mess 03:43, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
For more information, see Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Advertising. If you want to see ads about Romanian tour packages, you can go to Google and type "romanian tourism" or something of that nature. szyslak (t) 12:34, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Why don't you do a mirror site with all the advertising bells and whistles and let supports of Wiki subject themselves to unbridled capitalism at their own discretion. Many will do this willingly if they know it will help pay Wiki's bills and the uncapitalized version still exists. Simple, lucrative, and easy to impliment. Am I missing something? Moreover, Clicking Google supports Google. I want to support Wiki. Sincerely, Jon Simmons 14:50, 25 April 2008

Apparently, Facebook users have been polled by someone if Wikipedia should carry advertising see Page at Meta. DuncanHill (talk) 02:38, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Inherent Notability

OK, this is my first posting to the Village Pump so I hope I am doing this right. As requested before posting here I've been reading (lots of) WP policies and guidelines, searching WP essays and FAQs, and asking questions on various talk pages. I still need the community's help. I think the following is correct and would really appreciate constructive feedback to confirm or correct my understanding.

As I understand things...

  • Main (stand alone) articles must be both verifiable and notable (WP:V & WP:N), but individual sections inside main articles do not need to have self-notability of their specific subject matter:

    "Verifiable facts and content not supported by multiple independent sources may be appropriate for inclusion within another article." [2]

  • According to WP:Article size (WP:SIZE) and the WP:BETTER and WP:SPLIT guidelines an article that becomes too long should be broken into smaller pieces (called "subarticles" or "spinouts") for inmproved readability and navigation.
  • A problem then arises when one of these subarticles was fine as a section using only primary sources for citation but now does not meet the criteria of notability as a stand alone article.
  • WP:V policy section 2.4 (aka WP:SELFPUB) states:

    Material from self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources in articles about themselves, so long as:

    1. it is relevant to their notability;
    2. it is not contentious;
    3. it is not unduly self-serving;
    4. it does not involve claims about third parties;
    5. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject;
    6. there is no reasonable doubt as to who authored it;
    7. the article is not based primarily on such sources.

The way I read all of this stuff is that:

  • A specific section within a main article which uses only reliable primary sources is OK.
  • A section may become a spinout or subarticle (and should include the {{SubArticle}} tag).
  • If the spinout is about itself only then WP:SELFPUB applies and WP:V and WP:N can both be established using only reliable primary sources.
  • Due to WP:SELFPUB item 7 however the article is now improperly sourced. This is a problem.

So sections which are under a valid main article have "inherent notability" because the main article has notability. When these sections become subarticles under WP:SPLIT they should be recognized as still having inherent notability and WP:SELFPUB item 7 needs to be rewritten when such subarticles are entirely self-describing to allow for use of only primary sources for WP:V. Low Sea (talk) 17:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

WP:N has indeed been at odds with WP:SPLIT for a long time. People working on Wikipedia:Notability (fiction) have attempted to address that oversight, and the sense they've displayed needs to be imparted to the entire Notability family as soon as possible.--Father Goose (talk) 18:37, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Right, the way is to regard the subarticles as merely convenient divisions, because with the large number of users with low speed connections we cannot have very long articles. (And, I would argue, that for a ready reference of a non-authoritative nature, that long complicated articles are the wrong tone altogether. They work very well for for such places as Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.) DGG (talk) 18:54, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
The main issue is that sometimes an article may be split off inappropriately... For example, a character which has no real outside notability has an overbloated section in an article on the main work of fiction... By rights, the character section in THAT article should have been pared down, but instead is split off per WP:SUMMARY, and then the independnet article becomes MORE bloated... If a subject does not have enough independent notability for a stand-alone article, it should not take up enough of the original article to need to be split in the first place! 23:35, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
There are plenty of cases where appropriate subarticles run into WP:N with destructive results. The clearest case of that is "List of (TV show) episodes" articles. Such lists are considered quite fundamental to our coverage of TV show topics, yet information specific to individual TV episodes is often only available from primary, not secondary sources. Such lists are also far too long to include in the main article about the TV show. (It should also be noted that we have a few dozen featured lists of this type, not all of which include as many secondary sources as WP:N would normally require.)
For cases like those (and there are plenty of them -- not just episode lists), we need to amend WP:N so that it doesn't have a huge blind spot that conflicts with providing information that the encyclopedia, by all rights, should have.--Father Goose (talk) 05:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
This issue came up recently at WP:FICT, and a suggestion I made to be considered is that the general notability guideline is part of WP's "inclusion policy", and though applies to 99+% of the pages, it is not a complete description of what we include at WP. However, we lack a true "inclusion policy"; we have its inverse at WP:NOT, and through WP:IINFO, we describe more that is not included, but I've been thinking, just to make the issue of spinout articles clear, is that all articles need to meet the yet-to-be-written inclusion policy, which includes the notability guideline, the use of spinouts, disambig pages, and the like.
Alternatively, again, it needs to be emphasized that notability is a topic-level concept, not an article level. As long as the main article for a topic establishes notability, spinouts are "free" to do their job; mind you, what is a spinout with lack of notability should be doing is very limited, so there's careful ways that spinouts should be defined. Again, this is not inherited notability (the notability of one topic gaining the notability from another topic), and the case for spinouts is already listed out here, but maybe it does need to be more explicit. --MASEM 05:15, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
FatherGoose, it is (to be exceedingly mild) a horrid misconception that secondary sources do not exist for such topics. The "theory" that secondary sources don't exist for such articles is utterly false. There are a ridiculous number of periodicals that cover television episodes and events that provide episode summaries, production information, critical reviews, and so on. That does not even cover all available references, but rather just the common easily available bulk of references. Even short-lived programs that fail to catch on receive this coverage. Any series that manages to survive for even a couple of seasons tends to receive further in-depth coverage and materials of its own. Any popular series has a mountain of additional references getting into fine details and exacting analysis. The misconception you present is one of the most noxiously dogged falsehoods in the whole notability discussion. Do plentiful secondary sources exist? Absolutely. The main bulk of pop-culture editors may not be willing to go digging through periodical stacks to appropriately reference the information, but that's a whole issue separate from the simple availability of sources. Vassyana (talk) 17:50, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

To clarify - "inherent" versus "inherit": This is not about inheritance, subarticles never take possession of their "parent's" notability. The term I proposed was inherent meaning "belonging by nature or habit"[3]. Sections have inherent notability only as long as the main article they are under is notable. Discussion is to determine how to rewrite guidelines and policy in order to find a way to maintain inherent notability even when an article is split out. I think part of the solution might be to create a required {SUBNOTABILITY | main article name} tag that takes the main article name as a parameter. Sub-sub-articles would also need to reference the original main article as the ultimate source of their notability. This would allow bots to identify any dependent subarticles relying on a main article should that main article become deleted or in doubt. Such a tag should only be removed if the subarticle eventually evolves to establish its own credible notability. I also would like to suggest that this (yet to be written) guideline or policy be known as WP:INHERENT. Low Sea (talk) 06:14, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

You should be aware that in wiki-culture the concept you are referring to is "inherited" notability (a subtopic is notable because of the main topic). "Inherent" notability is usually used to refer to places that are said to be inherently notable, such as geographical features or elected federal politicians. Both are perennial suggestions that have been not been adopted by the community. Consensus may change, but you should be aware that there is significant resistance to both concepts. An properly crafted "inherent" notability guideline would likely work, based on common practice and deletion precedent. However, "inherited" notability (such as you propose) is very controversial and would have to navigate with exceptional skill between the inclusionist and deletionist extremes to create a workable consensus. Cheers and good luck! Vassyana (talk) 17:59, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Vassyana for the education -- good to know. If that is how the wiki-culture has evolved its understanding of the term I will not try to change it but I do feel that "inherited notability" suggest that the "child" articles have notability in their "blood" and will retain it even if a "parent" article dies. What if we were to re-designate this concept as "umbilical notability" indicating a permanent connection to the parent is required to keep the child article notable? Occasionally a child might actually gain its own notability and then "cut the cord". Low Sea (talk) 16:13, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
No problem. Like any community, certain concepts and ideas are defined and named in an idiosyncratic fashion here. Please be sure to give the concept a thorough think-through, look over past notability and deletion discussions, and pose questions to editors who seem familiar with the overall debate. Inherited or umbilical notability, under any name, will need to navigate a minefield of strong opinions to gain consensus as a working model. Vassyana (talk) 04:39, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
This is an intriguing thought about how to formalize the solution to this problem and the term "umbilical" seems like a good way to avoid the perceptions attached to words "inherent" and "inherited". It is unfortunate when content that would be allowed to exist within its parent page in the encyclopedia is punished for being spun out into a child article. Gwguffey (talk) 17:25, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a matter of "punishment", so much as a matter of a different sort of attention. For articles, people expect to see independent reliable sources. For sections, a single solid reference is usually sufficient. Generally, if a section is so large as to reach a point where splitting is considered, it should have multiple independent reputable sources supporting it. Take an instance where the only supporting reference for such a large section is the subject itself, a reference from the subject itself or a single source. It is by far most likely that the section should be mercilessly trimmed and/or rounded out with additional sources. In almost all cases (lists are a whole other animal and we're permitted to use common sense), if a section has grown large enough to justify an article split, there should be enough independent sources to support it's existance as separate article (if basic content policy like verifiability and appropriate presentation is being followed). Vassyana (talk) 04:38, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Umbilical notability is a Bad Idea. Editors will claim descent for any article from a notable one, and as such all articles will be notable. I realise it's offered in good faith to fix a percieved problem - that notability concerns seem to be limiting content when it reaches a certain size - but in fact there is no problem. Content is required by WP:IINFO to show real-world coverage, just as articles are required to by WP:N and WP:DEL; so articles should be required to show real-world coverage, even if they are considered to be part of another, notable article. In other words, while notability guidelines don't limit content, content guidelines do limit non-notability. Applying WP:N to spinout articles is just a simple way to enforce WP:IINFO without having to change existing guidelines. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the real problem is that people need advice as to the proper way to create spinoff articles. Say you have an article on the famous (and nonexistent) politician John Charles Spencer Smith. It has 12K of info about his party affiliations (he likes to change them frequently), a 16K description of his political positions/voting record, a 6K timeline, and an 8K section on his pet cat. That's 42K, so the article needs to be split. It seems most people want to move the info on his cat to a separate article, and leave the other material in place; the result, of course, is that the cat's article gets deleted for lack of independent notability, and the information is either lost or restored to Smith's own page.

Instead, the proper course of action here is to split off the material about his party affiliations, his voting record, and the timeline into separate articles (Party affiliations of John Charles Spencer Smith, Timeline of John Charles Spencer Smith, etc) and leave the details about his cat in the main article, which is where people would most likely expect to find such information. So I think what we need is some advice on how to properly split articles into subarticles, rather than a guideline saying that we shouldn't delete articles on notable peoples' pets.Ben Standeven (talk) 04:47, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

International USA/GBR/IN/BD "Copyright of image" question

When is a photograph considered "published"? I'm asking because a user has raised the argument that, taking the photograph and providing copies to the subject by a photographic studio is not considered publishing, hence photograph of a person taken before 1884 may still be under copyright if the photo studio taking the photo has not printed it in sufficiently large quantities. The photo in question was taken in India where all photos published 60 years ago are in the public domain (which means all pre-1948 published photos are in PD).

The argument by the user in Talk:Brahmo Samaj is that, the image may have been taken at a photo studio, and only the subject may have received a few copies of the photo, and hence that does not constitute publishing. And therefore the image is unpublished.

Can anyone knowledeable about copyright of photographs clarify this? Thanks. --Ragib (talk) 23:54, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add the following facts here:
  • The subject of the photo in question died in 1884 (i.e. 124 years ago)
  • The photo was definitely taken in 1884, and possibly much earlier
  • The photographer is anonymous
Thanks. --Ragib (talk) 23:56, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
US law allows publishers to assume that images created at least 120 years ago (i.e. created before 1888) are in the public domain provided that either a) the author is unknown and never registered with the US copyright office, or b) the author is known and the US copyright office is unable to identify any record suggesting he died less than 70 years ago (the longest copyright term normally being life + 70 years). This applies to both published and unpublished images. Dragons flight (talk) 00:28, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
The "author" is very likely (considering the time period, geographic location -India-Bangladesh- and technology status etc.) to be a commercial corporate photographic studio still in existence and business, who will commercially develop and run off additional prints (for a stiff charge) if the original photographic plate (always retained by them as policy) is traced in their vast and often miscatalogued libraries. If the reverse of the original photographic work is produced (we suspect it is deliberately suppressed) it will bear the author's details. There is also reasonable doubt arising from comparison of the impugned image with a recent (1980) Government of India document as to whether the impugned image uploaded to Wiki Commons is a faithful reproduction of the visage of the bio-subject concerned, With independent additional studio photographic evidence cited confirming the discrepancies. I and another have stated that there is reasonable evidence prima facie showing that the impugned image uploaded is a "new non-photographic creation" of unknown provenance,which evidence oughtto be sufficient to stay circulation of the image. We have suggested using the alternate images of better provenance instead, one of which is freely licenceable for publication with some restrictions (on size and monochrome). It is noteworthy that the image tag recently altered to by uploader User:Ragib (Friendly) used for the image "PD-India" REQUIRES "The creator and year of publication are essential information and must be provided." which also has not been complied with by the uploader. Bikash. (talk) 05:14, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I can't speak to Indian copyright law, and I going to avoid delving into the apparently complex questions of authenticity. However I will address a couple of your points. In the US, a company is entitled to copyright for the shorter of 120 years from creation or 95 years from publishing that work to the public. If the image was originally created in or before 1884, then it is in the public domain in the US, except possibly if it was created by an identifiable private individual who died less than 70 years ago. In the US, it is legally acceptable to assume a work is in the public domain on the basis of age alone provided it was created prior to 1888, even though the creator may be unknown. So, in the US, the question turns entirely on addressing the question of age. Whether different rules apply in India, Bangladesh, etc., I don't know. Dragons flight (talk) 06:18, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear All.If the image is photographic, the likeliest place of creation is Calcutta India now falling within India - the bio-subject would now be considered an Indian citizen - I dont deny (but am happy) that it was Bengal. If photographic the image is likely to be created between 1870-1882. The uploader admits (?) to "faithfully" copying (scanning/DP) the image from a Bangladeshi print encyclopedia recently in 2005 (?) (which was further routinely processed (?) on Adobe Photoshop 7.0] prior to uploading-probably for filesizing or cropping or .JPG creation etc). The original photo studio is likely to have been then owned by Britishers, and the alleged photograph image in question "composed" and "authored" by a British citizen and part owner of a corporate photo studio established in India but which is now under Indian ownership. The bio-subject had access to his own printing press in Calcutta from 1866 and was a pioneer in mass publication - pioneering the equivalent of "1 cent newspaper". The first time we hear of any US CPR being triggered is when Uploader publishes to Wiki Commons. For US CPR, the Uploader or anyone else must demonstrate that the photographic work was "publicly" in the US prior to 1888. As per present ICA the first owner of the work is the person at whose instance the photograph was commissioned, but with provisions protecting the "author" too. But this law was in not force then, and via the ICA "repeals and savings" any pre-existing agreements ("boiler-plate) are valid and enforceable. IMO US CPR is not attracted at all. It seems to be a fit case for prevailing law of British Empire accommodated within ICA (IN-CPR). Yvantanguy (talk) 08:35, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
A note: the previous tags on the image were: PD-India, PD-Bangladesh (because these countries share the Bengal province of British India, where the subject lived, and presumably, where the image was taken), and also, mistakenly, PD-Art. On noticing that PD-Art does not apply to photos, I changed the tag to PD-old, as the image is pre-1884 (subject died at that year), and presumably much older. It is my understanding that for such old images with unknown author but definite upper bound on date, it is not required to provide author name or publishing date (if unpublished). --Ragib (talk) 05:46, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear Rageeb, Can you cite the appropriate policy, because my understanding is that the burden of proof under WP lies on the Uploader who is to carefully consider all aspects and satisfy himself before uploading? Wiki Image Copyright Policy also states that dubious images will be deleted by WP - kind of : shoot first ask questions later- which we dont want either. Also are we in a position to satisfy PD-India disclosure requirements which Bikash has spotted? Are there any other experts we can approach since the last thing on our minds is vandalism? Yvantanguy (talk) 08:35, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

User:Dragons flight's anlysis is correct and we don't even have to worry about Indian/ Bangladesh copyright status since as per US copyright law, "Unpublished anonymous and pseudonymous works, and works made for hire (corporate authorship)" more than 120 years old (i.e., created before 1888) are public domain. See Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States. If there is no apropriate copyright template on wikipedia that covers this, we can create a new one. Abecedare (talk) 18:14, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

The source cited from - - is not a scholarly / reliable work. The footnote 9 in that work carries the disclaimer for this asssertion "The following section on foreign publications draws extensively on Stephen Fishman, The Public Domain: How to Find Copyright-free Writings, Music, Art & More. (Berkeley:, 2004). It applies to works first published abroad and not subsequently published in the US within 30 days of the original foreign publication. Works that were simultaneously published abroad and in the US are treated as if they are American publications.". Which book is not available to us to analyse. If there is a specific clause(s) in the US law we can examine it - as you know many such foreign laws justifying piracy (such as neem and basmati rice) are under challenge in various fora such as the WTO. We also need clarification of the date of publication aspect which is also central to the US CPR argument. PD-IN has to be complied with for this work irrespective of US CPR. Also WHY is US CP jurisdiction applicable - surely not the "WP servers are based in US of A" argument like the Pirate Bay is based in Sweden? Indian Cyber Law jurisdiction is applicable to USA also and vice-versa. Yvantanguy (talk) 12:36, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
The manner in which the US applies international copyright law may surprise you. The US grants foreign nationals from Berne Convention and associated countries only those rights that a US citizen publishing the same work internally would have (with a few caveats, that don't appear relevant to this case). In other words, from the point of view of US courts, the current copyright status in India is irrelevant. The work will be public domain in the US if and only if an equivalent work published in the US would be public domain. The relevance is that all works published by Wikimedia have to comply with US copyright and other applicable US laws. If we can assert that the image is legal in the US, the question arising is whether one also cares about the Indian copyright considerations. Legally, an American publishing on a US website would be within their rights to ignore Indian Cyber Law because those laws are unenforcable here. However, because Wikimedia wants to create truly free content (and not just the whatever content we can get away with), we usually desire our works to also be consistent with the laws in the country of origin. For that reason, it would be nice to see a clearer discussion of copyright in India. Dragons flight (talk) 15:26, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I am reasonably aware of what US CPR is generally. (At the outset, our disc. is going round in circles). I am not concerned with what US CPR is within the USA. The document cited is titled "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". This to my mind means that if USA law permits "expired" (by it's definition) IP to be used "in" the US it's OK. The problems starts when Wikimedia "exports" IP which is (say) still protected within (say) India to India and which IP infringes Indian CPR and does not THEN comply with Indian CPR perhaps triggering Indian Cyber Law jurisdiction. (BTW: This is emphatically NOT a legal threat). The issues which I find being "evaded" / "bypassed" in discussion here are 1) If the image is of probable Indian origin (first claim because the image is assumed to be created at the instance of the bio-subject who is tbe first owner of CPR - as per the Indian CPR law) and WP has a "PD-IN" tag which was cited by the Uploader but it's "requirements" were NOT complied with - is the PD-IN obligatory or mandatory for Wikimedia? 2) Even the US CPR it seems needs a "publication" date for the 1923 rule - I presume that the USA dfn. of "publication" shall correspond to the "Berne Convention" principles as Indian CPR Law does. In that case also the Uploader (or any US citizen) has still to establish the factum of original image publication such as by its date of publication, author of the image, mode of original publication as in book, newspaper, calendar etc. etc. A mere statement by the uploader that it is a photograph of a bio-subject who died in 1884 ad hence MUST have been published before 1884 is not sufficient to establish publication and is a "circular argument" -like "I did not steal it because I am not a thief". For example it fails to consider some possibilities - (Say) that even assuming (without admitting) that the photographic image was taken in 1884, is it not necessary to establish that at least one print was taken off prior to 1923? In other words I am requiring that evidence must be produced for "publication" of this image somewhere / anywhere prior to 1923. From that we can move on to how many prints must be distributed to satisfy "publication" , especially when there is a specific requirement in Indian CPR Law that "publication" means "significant publication" ie. making known to the "public" - aka. the "body public" or "public at large" etc. and not to 1 or 2 private interests. Finally India Cyber Laws may be unenforceable in US but they are enforceable in India - within 60 days tops without going to court. (NOT a legal threat). It might be useful to remember that the USA joined the Berne Convention late - only in 1988(?) and does not accept / respect many parts of the Convention which is quite wishy washy on new technolgies like internet etc. being addressed somewhat by WIPO CT. BTW the DMCA is not recognised by India, thus not only is the export of the image illegal - the import of the image INTO the USA may be illegal in the first instance - being in violation of a specific WM policy which was flouted. In India (I'm sure there is a US equivalent) whenever someone complains to the "service provider" in such matters they take it off soon. WP/WM uses http and TCPIP, it is not P2P or BT which is "unblockable" by Governments. Yvantanguy (talk) 18:58, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
BTW - This thread seems to run on a "Shroud of Turin"-like argument on the lines of - 1) This photo/cloth is of Jesus. 2) Jesus died in 34 AD 3) Hence this photograph must have been taken not later than 34 AD. BTW if Ragib is still watching this page, what is the publication year of the BP print edn. you scanned the image from? Yvantanguy (talk) 19:36, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
As DF has repeatedly pointed out, the image is in the public domain in the US. For that purpose its copyright status in India or anywhere is irrelevant. How the image was published in the US is irrelevant as well. Yes, we prefer media that are free everywhere, but we require free (or fair) use in the US only - this is because the Wikimedia servers are in the US. If someone downloads it to a location where it is under copyright, that's the downloaders problem This is no different than me making 500 copies of De la Terre à la Lune in Germany in 2003 (legal) vs. you taking my legal copies to Mexico, where the book still might have been under copyright (illegal). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:16, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Stephan. DF is unable to cite a reliable source for his assertion. It is my counter-assertion that even for US CPR (sec 302-304) and "public domain" requirements proof of publication is essential. Most countries have a 60/70 yr expiry after date of first publication. This is not inconsistent with the US position either. All we are asking for is a reliable citation demonstrating that the image in question was "published" at least 70 yars back - which the Uploader (Friendly) is unable to provide since he merely scanned it from a print encyclopedia. Concerning the Wikimedia servers are located in US argument, this has been discussed previously (inconclusively) on Talk:Brahmo Samaj which I copy here for ready reference - "Actually on scrutiny of your remarks we find "Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of GNU/Linux servers, 300 in Florida, 26 in Amsterdam and 23 in Yahoo!'s Korean hosting facility in Seoul." Our Reliable Source Citation is "". Does anyone read Dutch or Korean? Rono (I'm back from Goa beach) Ronosen (talk) 16:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)". Concerning the "Terre de Lune" argument, in that case you have a well established date of first publication which is prior to Berne Convention and when nations were not obliged to respect each other's copyright. In India (as in most civilised countries which observe the UN mandated model Cyber Laws) the onus is not on "downloaders" but on the Network service providers to ensure that CPR violating works are not transmitted over their computer resources - and they respond reasonably fast too - since all bandwidth in India is the (Licenced property of the State - as per "Cricket Association of Bengal v. Union of India)[1] and non-compliance of conditions is punishable. Yvantanguy (talk) 23:57, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Just a citation for the above post. The Indian Govt has on previous ocassions and recently banned sites like "", "" etc. The struggle against this "mindless blocking" is summarised "Indian ISPs don't have the technology to block individual name servers -- say a particular blog hosted on Blogspot. So they had no choice but to block the root servers of major blogging networks -- blogspot, geocities and typepad," said a senior official in the IT Ministry. A senior official from an ISP confirmed this. Sarbajit Roy, a cyber-law expert, said: "This block is a mindless exercise and shows that our bureaucrats don't understand technology at all."[2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yvantanguy (talkcontribs) 00:13, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Absent an actual challenge by an actual copyright holder, I am perfectly happy to accept the presumption that a photographic image of a person who died 124 years ago is in the public domain. All of your thinly veiled suggestions of government actions against Wikipedia are also moot in the absense of an actual copyright holder complaint. While you are free to argue your cause, I don't think appeal to the sort of threatening rhetoric shown above is going to win anyone over. Dragons flight (talk) 00:22, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear Everyone. This is not only a copyright issue. There are at least 50 images of the man in this controversy available for anyone to see. His artworks are hanging in museums all over India and perhaps Bangladesh too. The Government of India has issued document (a postage stamp in his memory along with a booklet on his life and work) which rebut this photograph absolutely. For unknown reasons this particular image (which hardly resembles the man - who is a notable individual worthy of being included in encyclopedia) is the one which repeatedly shows up in internet search - a classic case of Gresham's Law where a bad image drives out all the good ones. We (Brahmos) are deeply concerned with not only the true representation of the man but also Wikipedia's encyclopedic reputation. We have oft stated that we are not vandals, and what we post here is NOT a legal threat or a thinly veiled or disguised "threat" - you misunderstand us. Accordingly the Uploader of the image (who started this thread) is as concerned as us. We do not attribute any motives to him for uploading this image, at the time he did his best in good faith. He has properly cited *all* the appropriate tags to be complied with for Uploading an image to W/M - namely i) The general Berne Convention Public domain tag - PD-OLD, ii) The specific Public Domain Tag for India PD-IN iii) The specific Public domain tag for Bangladesh PD-BD. These tags were cited by him prior to this controversy. He is unable to fulfill / comply the requirements of PD-IN. As to your other point about "in absence of copyright holder" the family / descendant of the man is also in this debate and as concerned about getting to the bottom of the matter. I summarise the issues (for us) below:-
  • A) Is the impugned image a faithful mechanical reproduction of the original fixation?
  • B) The first publication of this image cited is in the Banglapedia a print encyclopedia of Bangladesh which encyclopedia was first published in 2003 by the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (as per Wikipedia). Incidentally the Banglapedia project started as a "History of Bangladesh" after BD's Liberation in 1971. It is in it's first edition and there are already calls for corrections / bias and a second edn. is promised soon [3].

So we need to see where they obtained this image from (The Asiatic Society after all is an old Institution - the first ever Indians admitted in 1829 to it were also Brahmos - Dwarkanath Tagore and Prassano Coomar Tagore). With so many images of Keshub Sen available to the Asiatic Society why was this particular one (which differs from all others) selected by BP for publication? Is it coincidence or something else (like Internet mechanics) whereby only this image is being circulated and Gresham's law is being proved. Thanks everyone for participating here, can we trouble you to guide us again? (talk) 03:24, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Non-free content: proposed change in Criterion 8

Please go to Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content#Criterion_8 to see a proposal to remove the second clause, which many people regard as unworkably restrictive. Tony (talk) 00:23, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Statistics / historical data: How far do we go?


I have a question regarding the use of statistics or other detail data (typically is tabular or list form). To what extent is it in the scope of Wikipedia to include such data?

Let me first give an example, which may seem arbitrary. I recently found List of number-one hits (Germany) on the New Pages list. Here a user created about 30 articles (with another ~30 to come) with historical listings of number-1 hits in Germany. I understand that this information is easily added, and that it "does no harm" in a technical sense (storage space etc.). But is it really in the scope of an encyclopedia? How does that relate to WP:NOT#IINFO? Policy-wise, Top100 Singles is certainly a legit article, and WP:SUMMARY would cover the sub-articles; but 60 articles just seems a bit like over-stressing the principle.

I'm aware that a number of similar listings exists. My question is actually a bit more general. There are many articles where detail information, usually in tabular style, can easily be added in vast amounts. Given such data in electronic form, and barring any copyright issues, even a bot could add it to Wikipedia. But in terms of scope, where's the "reasonable limit" for Wikipedia, and where does WP:NOT#STATS apply? Is there a general rule?

Just to pick another example: Say for a soccer team, would we list every game they ever played? Every goal they ever scored? Every movement they ever made in a game? Sources do certainly exist, since games of professional teams are all broadcast on TV. But where does our scope end?

I'm not sure whether this question is sufficiently covered in current policy; perhaps someone can provide me with a link. --B. Wolterding (talk) 14:43, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Basically, these questions are answered on a case-by-case basis by consensus. You identify the relevant policies above, and everything else is just somewhat subjective interpretation of those questions. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 19:04, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for drama has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Requests for drama (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:50, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

And unmarked. I've left the redirect in place because it amuses me, but I certainly won't fuss if somebody else deletes it. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 18:57, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Looking at Special:Contributions/RFDR, I'm quite tempted to delete all those redirects. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:16, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I've requested the account be blocked; this clearly is a troll. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:17, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

WP:No legal threats

Community input is requested regarding a discussion at Wikipedia talk:No legal threats regarding modifying the opening sentence to read "Do not make legal threats against Wikipedia or members of the Wikipedia community over Wikipedia disputes." Input is requested both on the substance of the above formulation and on whether or not a consensus in favor of this formulation already exists. Thanks, Nsk92 (talk) 01:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

online gangs

I've noticed that on many forums and here in the Wikipedia article, talk and reference desk pages there are users and administrators alike who form what I can only describe as gangs, no different than gangs that form on the streets in neighborhoods and at schools in the real world.

Gang mentality can be one sided, ruthless and even vicious and exist only for the fulfillment and benefit of its own agenda. Who polices such gangs that form on the Wikipedia and who keeps them from taking charge and running the Wikipedia like the gangs that run the streets in the real world? Adaptron (talk) 09:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Odd. Reminds me a bit of the unencyclopedia. At least now I have a label by which to refer to the online variety by. Adaptron (talk) 12:17, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
  • They're already in charge and do whatever they want without following their public rules. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Climate change dispute 2 -- SEWilco (talk) 13:54, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Just to be clear - you're pointing to an ArbComm case that's over two years old, decided by only four committee members (of whom none are still on ArbComm), involving a debate over footnote formatting, as evidence that a cabal runs Wikipedia? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:59, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
      • A gang of four who were supported by others as they failed to disclose the reason for their votes, refused to inform others who were involved, ignored evidence, and made decisions on issues for which there was no evidence. Adaptron didn't say there was a single monolithic gang. -- SEWilco (talk) 15:14, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
        • Interesting case, though. Has lots of present applications, actually, but one problem is that normally to bring an ArbComm case takes a huge effort. Where I see possible present applications is where a user is sanctioned by ArbComm, and then other users examine every aspect of this sanctioned user's actions, complaining wherever some construction can be made that the behavior is problematic. One recent situation I've seen, a user is put on civility parole. The user makes some edits that might be considered edit warring, through really it is one or two reverts, not maintained with insistence, the "offense" being that they were not discussed. Explicitly, it was asserted that failure to discuss a change was "not nice," and therefore was "incivility." Turning simple edit disputes, without uncivil language, into an incivility violation, with, then, blocks being sought. In the case mentioned above by SEWilco, the sanctioned user was SEWilco himself, for having "pursued" another user previously sanctioned. The issue is not "footnote formatting," but rather social behavior. And the case does address the issue of "public rules." Was this "gang" behavior? No. This was ArbComm, the least gang-vulnerable function on Wikipedia. Not perfect, but probably the best. What could be called gang behavior happens at lower levels, in "hot" forums where there is no patient gathering and examination of evidence; rather there are snap judgments made by "police." The problem is a serious one, and it isn't going to be solved through AN/I, nor the Village Pump (which is also fairly "hot"), nor RfC, probably, though I have less experience with RfC. And try to do anything on the policy pages and you may well see some gang behavior. (And policy is already quite good, the problem is that policy, including fundamental policy such as WP:NPA and WP:AGF -- most notably the latter -- isn't followed, or, more accurately, is selectively enforced, and there is no structure to make enforcement both efficient and fair. When a "mob" is stoning a scapegoat, violations of these policies by mob members -- and even anonymous IP editors who instigate the riot or who chime in -- somehow escape notice, usually, if the target is unpopular enough (which is a state sometimes not difficult to attain). I've seen admins warn some, but it is a relatively rare exception. --Abd (talk) 17:09, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

  • There are local gangs in different areas of wikipedia, perhaps in every local area. These are not entirely under the radar, but operate out of the control of any central cabal, as long as they do not overtly go too far against the central wikipedia laws and practices. In gray areas, in their own area, they rule. In their open gathering places, and perhaps also by hidden channels, they quickly share information about any threat to their local operations. They all may be alerted simultaneously by the same early warning system that detects an intrusion to one of their articles. Sometimes they go to support one of their members in another area where that member has strayed. They respond together, as if in unison, but it is usually not controlled by any one local leader. They can operate like a wolf pack, with some directly confronting a temporary enemy, arguing directly about some point of importance. Others, according to their abilities, will nip around the edges, digging up material from elsewhere to use selectively in discrediting the intruder, fairly or unfairly. Distraction, threats, bluffs, any indirect tactic can be employed, but it can easily be done in ways that don't quite rise to the level of felony offenses that would attract the interest of central authorities. Also, their use of unfair tactics would be hard for the intruder to prove in a court case elsewhere, for the usual reasons. Local witnesses would not likely testify for the intruder who is wronged. The gang members are bound together by shared beliefs, shared interests, and personal loyalty that may grow with time, and that are strengthened by successful hunts and successful defenses of their local area. If one member's actions seem overtly inappropriate as to be actionable offenses under general wikipedia laws, they can jump in to mitigate those actions. They can quickly form a local majority in any dispute over an article of turf, so the perceived outsider's view becomes an apparent minority view. Their shared beliefs may seem odd or counter to general wikipedia principles to an outsider, perhaps because their beliefs are more specialized, customized to local sources of information, influenced by practices in the external communities they may be describing. There is a process of sorting, of self-selection, so that individuals who are somewhat dissenting from local beliefs may stay involved, but less so. Others whose views dissent from the majority more severely are minimized, and may choose to go elsewhere instead. P.S. Disclaimer: I am not talking from personal experience of being on either the inside or outside of any gangs. Gangs do not exist in wikipedia. No animals have been harmed. doncram (talk) 16:45, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with this assessment. I have seen it occur in regional ethic situations when one specific POV of a country attains many admins and makes organized efforts to to push a certain POV on topices of regional interest at the expense of a less sophisticated, unorganized but equally valid alternative view. They do this by voting en masse at FAR and GA for their POV and against articles including some views of the alternative side, controlling DYK's, using Admin's to block editors with the unwanted views (who are usually in the minority on Wikipedia, if not in real life) etc. These differences go unnoticed by most editors. It is rather like the factitious example that if American articles were uniformly controlled by German immigrants, say, editors from Bangladesh might not be aware of the POV slant in evaluating an article on the evolution American musical styles. Mattisse (Talk) 17:10, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this is one of the better analyses of the situation that I've seen. Wikipedia does have a structure, an operating culture with rules both written and unwritten. That structure is vulnerable to certain kinds of abuse; there is nothing new about this. The structure works, it has brought the encyclopedia to its present state, for better and for worse. Ultimately, if this social organism does not develop better collective intelligence, it will fail. It's actually reasonably well-known, by some, how to do this; but it would involve, through no coercion at all, a shift of power from the "virtual cabal" to a broader community that is better organized. Bureaucracy is not necessary, nor is it appropriate. But communication, and, in particular, organized communication between editors, on or off-wiki, is essential. Try to set this up on-wiki, and you will quickly encounter the cabal. It is not a specific set of editors, but it might as well be. Esperanza and AMA are salient examples, shut down for reasons other than the stated ones. They were indeed suffering from organizational problems, but those problems would have been solved with time. Or, perhaps I should say, are being solved with time. --Abd (talk) 17:19, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Toys, games, and video game notability

After dealing with several AfD's concerning children's board games and unlicensed video games, I've come to realize that there are no notability guidelines whatsoever that concern these items (beyond the broad general criteria covered in WP:N). A lot of arguments in the AfD discussions were for keeping simply on the basis of an advertising campaign, or based on sources that were simply passing mentions in articles and books, and I think something official would really help in those situations. I've brainstormed a few ideas at Wikipedia:Notability (Toys, games, and video games) and would love to get some input, ideas, or insight on what past consensus (if any) has been in situations concerning toys and games. Mister Senseless (Speak - Contributions) 22:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Rescue tag RFC

I have opened up an RFC at Wikipedia talk:Article Rescue Squadron#Rescue tag placement, and would invite everyone to contribute -- RoninBK T C 06:38, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Lambasting editors on WP:BLP pages for their improper editing

I'm a bit concerned about cases where the biographical articles about people who are also Wikipedia editors have statements made in those articles about improper edits they have made. This seems to run afoul of a variety of policies and guidelines, such as WP:BITE, WP:BOLD, WP:AGF. In many of these cases, the edits were attempts by a new editor to remove information about themselves that they didn't want on the page (edits which are often reverted in due course because the removed information is factual and verifiable), but were unaware of our policies such as WP:V and WP:COI.

However, marking these articles with factual, even cited, information unfairly punishes those editors in a way entirely beyond that of the customary user talk page warning. It places capability for this sanction in the hands of a single user, rather than ArbCom, Jimbo, etc. Also, in a sense, such a citation becomes indelible, because (at the very least) the editor who put the statement there is likely to have put the page on watch to ensure that the statement is kept in place.

My concern, therefore, is that having such statements on biographical articles is contrary to both the goals and the policies of Wikipedia, by discouraging that user from editing Wikipedia at all in the future, even if the editor decides to investigate proper editing practices and subsequently go along with how Wikipedia works. They could become a prolific and helpful editor for years to come, but their editing record would always be marred by a negative mention in their biographical article.

Anyway, my suggestion is that our policy should prohibit lambasting people for their Wikipedia edits in biographical articles about them, except when the subject's notability is substantially or entirely due to their Wikipedia edits, or when they have become the subject of an ArbCom or similar ruling against them. Thanks. --DachannienTalkContrib 00:26, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

An ArbCom ruling would seem to support this position, by the way. --DachannienTalkContrib 20:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:User categories has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:User categories (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Exceptions to policy allowing removal of user page notices

There is a new discussion at Wikipedia talk:User page#Exception to WP:BLANKING about whether we should allow certain exemptions to WP:BLANKING (version prior to recent edits). Specifically the proposal calls for prohibiting users from removing sockpuppet notices (suspected and/or confirmed) or unblock notices (while blocked). As the blanking policy is an old and often contentious issue, additional input would be useful. Dragons flight (talk) 19:26, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Confirmed sock notices are the one area where I would support a no blanking rule... otherwise... not so sure. Blueboar (talk) 00:33, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

New policy proposal

I've formed a proposal that should help alleviate backlogs, reduce admin-burnout, and curb our increasing reliance on process, I would appreciate any comments on the talk page. Mr.Z-man 00:00, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Notability is not inherited

WP:NOTINHERITED is often cited in AFDs,[4] and seems to have good consensus support. I've proposed that we add a section to WP:N, and would welcome contributions from other editors on the proposal. Percy Snoodle (talk) 10:33, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

OPPOSE - This is far from a settled issue and incorporation at this time into policy is premature. As you say, WP:NOTINHERITED is often cited but it does not consistently succeed as an argument for AFD. Further, the section you point to is listed under Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions which strongly suggests that this argument is anything but consensus if it should be avoided. Additionally, the very wording of the section you reference is full of ambiguous terminology such as "may or may not apply", "does not always imply notability", "That is not to say that this is always the case", and "notabilty guidelines ... do allow for inherited notability in exceptional circumstances". Finally, as I have argued elsewhere[5][6] the term "inherited notability" is flawed as it suggests that an article can possess notability without its parent. I prefer the term "umbilical notability" to remind editors that such notability is permanently dependent on the parent article unless the child can "cut the cord". Low Sea 18:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Low Sea (talkcontribs)
Calling it "umbilical notability" is fine - but I don't think we should have it, except in very specific cases, spelt out explicitly in the specific notability guidelines. Allowing subtopics to inherit notability is a bad idea from a maintainability and content point-of-view. Percy Snoodle (talk) 19:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Amazingly, I agree with you that sub-topics should not inherit notability. On the other hand, sub-sections of a main article -- even if they are too large to fit into the main article per WP:SIZE -- should be allowed to "feed off of" the main article's notability blood supply. If the main article eventually dies of lack of notability then all of the sub-sections should die for the same reason. This of course does not apply if a sub-section is able to mature to the point of being a fully WP:N + WP:V qualified article in its own right (what I call "cutting the cord"). Low Sea 23:24, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Umbilical notability, as you describe it, is the same thing as inherited notability. If the main article is eventually declared non-notable, then the inheritors would also be non-notable. Percy Snoodle (talk) 11:23, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely correct. I would be very interested to see examples of AfDs where NOTINHERITED could be convincingly and policy-based refuted. Black Kite 18:34, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
"Inheriting" or "propagating" notability from one topic to the next is flawed. Anything could be declared a sub-topic of a larger context, why would this mean notability? As far as I understand it, our current concept is: One topic - one article. That's not too bad, since it encourages trimming an article when it becomes too long. (Encyclopedias are supposed to provide brief information...) While I personally think there could be something between a section of an article and a "fully notable" topic (private essay), this has to be taken with care. --B. Wolterding (talk) 20:00, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Department of Fun has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Department of Fun (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:49, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

  • vaguely wonders what it would be like if bots were programmed with a sense of humor...* Hersfold (t/a/c) 19:54, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I imagine the scenario would go something like this. "We're sorry, but your image has been nominated for speedy deletion due to lack of a valid fair use rationale. This image is no more; it has ceased to be. It has gone to meet its maker. It is a late image. Bereft of life, it rests in peace, if you hadn't nailed it to the userpage it would be pushing up the bandwidth. It is an EX-IMAGE."--WaltCip (talk) 02:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The mass bot publicization of joke AfD's was pretty funny in its own right. (Human, for instance.) Maybe they do have a sense of humor and it's just really dry? --erachima formerly tjstrf 03:03, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

How wikipedia should be

Hello! New user here! I am just voicing my thoughts on how wikipedia should be run.

1. There should be a mandatory account creation to edit. 2. Also, once you have created an account, you should be submitted to an interview process similar to RFA. 3. One-strike tolerance policy on vandalism. 4. Ignore all rules-out the window. 5. Goal-delete an article every day. 6. Only Jimbo Wales should be an admin. 7. Limit of 1000 edits for an account. Please tell me when these changes will be in effect! Vengaboys Rock! (talk) 22:53, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

There's really nothing else to say. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 22:57, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Hehe. Interesting thoughts. But you've lost.
Tradition dictates that no jokes should be made after noon, and I can't imagine that it's noon on 1 April anywhere in the world right now (or that it was so when you posted this, with the exception of a relatively narrow strip in the middle of the Pacific). Therefore, the joke's on you. :-D Waltham, The Duke of 00:49, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
What? No! It wasn't a joke! This is how WP should be! Not April fool! Vengaboys Rock! (talk) 01:19, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
These are wonderful suggestions. I suggest we immediately implement them and change our mission statement to: Wikipedia, the free, no tolerance encyclopedia that only some can edit for a short period of time at Jimbo's sufferance.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:35, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
The limit of 1000 edits per account is the most interesting suggestion. Make those edits count, boys and girls.--Father Goose (talk) 05:13, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
That would certainly make WP:RFA VERY interesting. "Oppose - User has not reached mandatory 1,000 edit mark to begin conscientious adminship."--WaltCip (talk) 23:18, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Heads up at WP:CIVILITY

A couple of editors have made sweeping changes at WP:CIVILITY in the past few days. Given that this is probably our most often-cited policy, I would argue that such changes should only be made with broad community consensus. Raymond Arritt (talk) 07:35, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Recently, a RfC was filed on a very prominent admin's actions here Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/JzG2, which listed dozens of acts of incivility (amongst other issues). The RfC has received a huge response, with many of the comments about civility. Some claiming that Civility is taken too seriously, others proclaiming that civility would not be taken seriously at all if we don't agree that the admin crossed the line, others claiming that certain incivility is perfectly common in their country (like calling eachother cunts) and therefore should be acceptable on Wikipedia. I beileve the RfC may be relevant, and you might find the people that commented on the RfC made changes to the WP:CIVILITY article :) Rfwoolf (talk) 09:24, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I need your advice

Hi, i am just a few months in wikipedia. I have a question for you all. A friend of mine, during a cancellation process, have sent a few messages to people specialized in the field concerning the article under cancellation, asking their opinion about it. Could this be considered a violation of some wikipedia norms and laws? Please let me know, Adrian Comollo (talk) 21:33, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

By "cancellation", do you mean "deletion"? WP:CANVASS is likely to be the guidelines you're looking for, in any event. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 21:35, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Semi-protect all BLP articles

I'd like to call attention to this discussion: Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#Semi-protecting_all_BLPs. The possibility of semi-protecting all BLP articles is being seriously considered, and I think more than just the usual people involved in BLP policy should probably be in on that decision. Equazcion /C 06:22, 3 Apr 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:User page and IP's

This comes up every now and then, and probably needs to be clarified. IP's don't fall under Wikipedia:User page. While there is a person editing behind the IP and he/she deserves all the consideration and respect as any other user, however IP's are not currently given the same latitude under WP:USER as "registered users". Blanking comments or warninngs of a shared/dynamic/proxy/TOR/ect IP talk page should not be allowed. A users page is devoted to exactly one person. An IP page refers to anyone using that IP, which may well be many people. Wikipedia offers wide latitude to "registered users" to manage their user space as they see fit such as delete warnings. However, even these pages still belong to the community. Thoughts on this?--Hu12 (talk) 17:39, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Warnings are meant for the person responsible for the edit that required the warning. If the IP is static, we can assume it's been removed by the person it was intended for. If the IP is dynamic, we can assume it's either been removed by the person it was intended for, or that the person it was intended for has been assigned a new IP and would be unlikely to see it anyway. The page history is there for an IP talk page just like it is for a registered user. --OnoremDil 17:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  1. Treat IPs with the same courtesy as other editors and let them remove warnings.
  2. Review the page history before giving a vandalism warning.
  3. When giving a vandalism warning leave a discriptive edit summary for the next person to see.
  4. Stop bringing up the removal of IPs removing warnings.

Saves a whole lot of time and effort. CambridgeBayWeather Have a gorilla 17:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I do not think an IP should be allowed to remove warnings unless they are static and at the same time not shared (I.E. Company, School etc). This is because when a user warns an IP it is seen by all users on the network. When a user warns the IP, everyone on the network or who gets the IP sees the warning. The potential for another person other than the vandal to remove the warning is high so in the end the vandal could not get the chance to read the warning and think it a fluke. So the next time they receive a "You Have a Message" bar they will think it a fluke and ignore it. Those warnings are designed to stop the vandal in his/her tracks. So if they are not receiving the warnings because some one else removed it the warnings fail in their purpose. It really does not matter if they are remove after a block has been placed or the vandalism stops after a long period. Because you can check the history. But how long a period really depends. I think 3 days.Rgoodermote  18:09, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
IP talk pages do belong to the community... but then so do all pages in user and user talk space (see WP:USER#Ownership and editing of pages in the user space), so I don't quite see how that's relevant. As for shared talk pages: if harassing one person at a time is bad, I don't quite see how harassing 10 or 100 is any better. Didn't we settle this ages ago? Warnings are intended to bridge the gap between WP:AGF and our need to stop disruptive behavior; if a user removes a warning, we can more or less assume they've gotten it; we really don't need silly templates to endure forever in some bizarre record-keeping scheme, and edit warring over them does nothing to stop disruption -- indeed, it causes and encourages disruption. Are we really so eager to create second-class citizens to lord over? – Luna Santin (talk) 22:23, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I know about that rule. my thought is stopping vandalism and if there is a chance that a vandal does not see a warning based off a page blank or some one else clicking the yellow bar then the warnings are failing and you should just block. IP should be allowed to delete old warnings and the recent ones after a set amount of time. This ensures that the vandal gets the message and it stops them and if the user continues to blank the talk page it should be made clear that it will result in a block for a certain amount of time and that the page will be fully(semi)-protected. People who vandalize typically do not think they are going to get caught. But when they see that yellow bar most of them stop because they now know that they can be caught and punished. So ensuring that a warning gets through is important. If it is a school or some other government building though the warnings should stay and as we currently do mark the talk page appropriately. As for users who are should not even template them. A more formal approach should be taken. Especially when dealing with new users. This is because we know that one person (we hope at least) is using the account so a formal message is better than a template. The same applies for experienced users (and static IPs). You only template when you feel discussion will get no where. I do not think that an IP should not be allowed to remove warnings and I do not think that registered users should be able to delete them on the spot. All warnings should be given a time a limit of sorts for everyone. I know this is something that will be hard to enforce. But it really only applies for a vandal who is active at the moment meaning it should be caught right off the plate. By the way, with a normal user removing a template is a sign that the warning has been acknowledged. For an IP it could mean some one else removed it other than the vandal himself. So chances are that the vandal does not receive the warning. This is why I think for the sake of ending it. Let us even the playing field and give everyone a time limit on when they can remove a warning. How long that is I really could care less and it doesn't have to be a time limit. That is only an example. Rgoodermote  00:43, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

If the conclusion is that anonymous IP editors are allowed to remove warnings, then that needs to get solidified somehow. The edit war that prompted this discussion is an example of how widespread the countering belief is. I reverted the anonymous IP's removal of warnings twice. When challenged to quote policy, I could not, so I took the question to ANI. While I was looking, six more editors piled in, and the anon eventually got blocked for edit warring. Not a good situation.Kww (talk) 01:34, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

AFAIK, there is no policy or guideline that disallows editors (IP or registered) to remove warnings. If you're edit warring to keep a warning in place that is the wrong thing to do. People may wish that it were OK, but I've never seen a consensus for this (and it has been brought up many times). If you're an admin and you're blocking, you should be looking over the edit history. If you are leaving a warning, be sure to make it clear what it is you are doing in the edit summary. Anything else (such as edit warring over a warning) only exacerbates the original problem and antagonizes the editor. R. Baley (talk) 08:00, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Add to my above numbered list that things like this should stay on the talk page. CambridgeBayWeather Have a gorilla 16:54, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

This user was completely blanking the page, including whois information and a declined unblock request, which says right on it not to remove it while blocked. Maybe I should have went through and selected which information to restore, rather than reverting everything, but as stated above, the consensus on IP talk page blankings isn't solid, and I would definitely obey any consensus that is formed on the matter. Just remember I was restoring a declined unblock request template, with everything else. - Rjd0060 (talk) 19:41, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

To continue on Rjd's comments, in certain cases, IP talk blanking is unacceptable. Can they remove warnings? Yes. It should be clear from contributions what level warning they should be issued at any given time, and people can check history if they really care that much. Can they remove block notices? Yes. The block log shows all blocks made, and there's no way anybody can change that outside of developer interference. Can they remove discussions? Yes - it makes little sense to archive an IP's talk page since most of them aren't stable anyway. Can they remove pretty much anything else (namely thinking of unblock templates and Shared/School/OMGIt'sAGovernmentIP headers)? No. Those are important for us and them - shared IPs get shorter blocks, schools are treated differently in the same way, and Government IP's generally get shorter blocks as well as an "oh f***" report to the WMF. This is already specified in the policy, and I don't see any need to be changing it. Hersfold (t/a/c) 19:52, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
But should IPs be given the right to remove block notices? My former employer used one proxy server for all 4000+ employees. Since our company intentionally did not have a reverse DNS entry, our IP talk page would have never received a shared IP header, which means that after just a dozen edits, a persistent vandal on our work force could have gotten all the other casual, unregistered Wikipedia editors in the company blocked for months on end. If that persistent vandal were to also blank the IP talk page, then no one at the company would even know why they suddenly could not edit, let alone how to appeal with an {{unblock}}. --Kralizec! (talk) 04:16, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
That has nothing to do with IP's. Blocked users are just that, blocked. They are only allowed to even edit their talk pages to facilitate review of the block. No user, whether registered or not, should remove a block notice. Unit56 (talk) 06:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure? WP:USER states that except for declined unblock requests and sock notes, registered editors may remove anything they want from their talk page at any time. If the rights granted by WP:USER are extended to anonymous editors, then I have zero doubt that what SheffieldSteel describes below will come to pass, that is a potential new editor walks away from Wikipedia because they never get the info needed for them to become a productive contributor because another anonymous editor on their shared IP has -unknowingly to them- blanked the talk page they share. --Kralizec! (talk) 00:57, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Except that the scenario described below applies only to massively shared IP addresses, of which there are very few, is rather contrived and improbable, is demonstrably false given the many editors who've joined from such IPs, and makes no logical sense to begin with: the supposedly victimized user is not helped by your proposed harassment, because if they're not there to see the orange bar they'll never even know to check their talk page. – Luna Santin (talk) 12:19, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The orange bar is not the only thing that tells anonymous editors to go read their talk page. If a blocked IP attempts to edit an article, they get a message that states: "Even if blocked, you will usually still be able to edit your user talk page and contact other editors and administrators by email." If a potential valid contributor follows that link to their talk page but it has already been blanked by a vandal on their shared network, then as SheffieldSteel noted, they get no help at all because the instructions for requesting an unblock were deleted. --Kralizec! (talk) 23:48, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
They get lots of instructions and other helpful information on the block page (see [7]). Anyone who is blocked and tries to edit will see all these instructions. -- zzuuzz (talk) 00:13, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
The phrase "registered users" doesn't appear on wp:user page, and the parent post generally is written in a style which may conflate personal opinion with policy, especially coming from an admin. It makes it impossible for me to believe statements like "IPs don't fall under Wikipedia:User page" or in fact anything said therein. Is this based on a technicality: IPs don't have user pages? Since we have talk pages, isn't that a complete red herring when wp:user page discusses users and talk pages, and that is precisely the subject here? Could someone take a moment to explain this to me, since wp:user page doesn't seem to mean to exclude IP contributors? (talk) 01:24, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

CambridgeBayWeather is spot on. All users, whether registered or unregistered, should be treated with the same respect. That respect is not only decent, but also self-interested, as it tends to cool tensions instead of inflame them. No useful purpose is served by drawing a distinction between IP and registered uset talk pages, with the few exceptions (informational templates) that Hersfold points out. Unit56 (talk) 01:34, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
In reply to Luna Santin above, IP addresses already are de facto second class citizens as WP:REG lists a dozen benefits gained by becoming a "first class" citizen (aka registered editor). Our keeping the benefits of WP:USER as the province of registered editors neither adds to nor subtracts from this fact. --Kralizec! (talk) 03:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand. How does actively treating unregistered users disrespectfully, and for no apparent benefit, fail to "add to" second-class status? Unit56 (talk) 06:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Apparently Kralizec thinks it's okay to harass IP users, because they're not real people? Perhaps we need to add "Busy-bodies with nothing better to do will stop harassing you over things that don't matter," to the list at WP:REG? – Luna Santin (talk) 12:15, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
An IP's Talk page doesn't belong to them, it belongs to every person who will be using that IP address. Removing all of the warnings and notifications on an IP's Talk page is disrespectful to all other users who will be coming in and seeing that page. Corvus cornixtalk 17:29, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure future users of the IP address will be just delighted that somebody put in the time and effort to protect all those template warnings, or else they'd never get to see that some random person they don't know vandalized Tina Turner two years ago. – Luna Santin (talk) 09:55, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me illustrate the problem as I see it:
  • Editor A makes a series of inappropriate edits using IP
  • A disconnects
  • Admin X issues a warning to User Talk:
  • Editor B connects and is allocated
  • B reads and deletes the warnings
  • B makes various contribs and disconnects
  • A connects to and makes more of the same edits
  • Admin X (or Y) reviews the Contribs and Talk page history, and blocks A.
I contend that none of these steps is all that improbable or unreasonable and no one is behaving badly. But A has no idea why they were blocked. That's potentially a good editor lost, because they didn't get the information they needed to become a productive contributor. We must certainly treat IP editors with courtesy and extend good faith to them - and that's why I think users should not be able to delete warning messages from IP talk pages. Perhaps exceptions could be made for editors who acknowledge, and are certain, that the warning is directed at them. But that's the general principle, as I see it. Sheffield Steeltalkstalk 19:31, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
In that scenario user A won't see any warnings until after they are blocked, after which they will receive a message from the blocking admin explaining that the IP has been blocked due to its contributions. Meanwhile user C who happens to make a test edit from the same IP will also be blocked without seeing any warning. And user D will get blocked for removing irrelevant warnings without even editing the encyclopaedia. I don't see any advantage to any of that. People should remember that warnings are intended to affect behaviour and that can only happen when the intended target of the warning actually sees it through the orange message bar. Warnings which are already sat on a talk page are absolutely useless to everyone. They are routinely cleared by admins[8] [9] When admins talk about treating IP editors with respect they are referring to actions like this. A policy which prevents IP editors from removing warnings will end up with edit warring on the talk page and the IP being blocked for not vandalising the encyclopaedia. Now that is bitey. I propose that the 3RR rule in such situations is enforced to stop the biting, so that anyone who harasses an IP editor in the same way is blocked. -- zzuuzz (talk) 20:00, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I would bet dollars to donuts that 99% of the time this would lead to the IP being blocked for 3RR violations. In the case of your example [10] three different editors reverted the IP's page blanking, no doubt because virtually all of us have spent enough time vandal fighting that when we see "(←Blanked the page)" as an IP's edit summary, we revert as second nature. --Kralizec! (talk) 22:32, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately you are probably right about the IP being blocked for 3RR on their own talk page. We sometimes get the ridiculous situation where editors are blocked for only removing irrelevant warnings from their talk page, and there are several examples every week at AIV and RFPP of editors being reported for 'vandalism only' in such cases. It's an astonishing breach of AGF. Just as RC patrollers need to get used to the idea that reverting a new user who is removing a section of a BLP can be a "horribly stupid thing to do", they also need to think a bit more before edit warring over some irrelevant talk page warning. -- zzuuzz (talk) 12:21, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Sadly many RC patrollers care little for thought and prefer shiny buttons. – Luna Santin (talk) 12:34, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Aside from the contrived nature of SheffieldSteel's example (can you demonstrate this has ever happened?), it seems irrelevant: the returning user won't be seeing an orange message bar anyway, so won't know to check their talk page in the first place. – Luna Santin (talk) 09:55, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Further debunked this, above, since it's still being toted as a legitimate example. I don't see how it is. – Luna Santin (talk) 12:34, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

IP users are users with a funny username. They have all the privileges and duties as such. There are some slightly odd situations where some IP addresses are shared between multiple users, however, that's the exception, not the rule. Want to edit war with a user in their own userspace? You get what's coming to you. :-P --Kim Bruning (talk) 12:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

  • In the particular case that started this discussion, the user was not only deleting warnings, he was deleting the ISP header that others know who to contact in case of abuse.Kww (talk) 13:02, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
    • I assume you mean blanking? He probably didn't have admin tools, did he? :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 13:05, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
    • He was deleting text, not the history of the text. I don't mind when people talk about "blanking a page", but "blanking the ISP header" is terrible English.Kww (talk) 13:22, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
English snobism getting in the way of clarity?
No matter. At any rate the ISP header was still in page history. Remember to always check page history and you're golden. :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 13:35, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
So your solution to the problem is that instead of saying that a dynamic-IP user has no right to destroy information that he has no business touching is that everyone else should spend their time digging through page histories? How far back should I search? If someone "blanks" an ISP header, and the a few dozen other users "blank" warnings, it can take time that is better spent doing other things. What possible valid reason can a dynamic-IP user have to remove the ISP block from the talk page?Kww (talk) 13:46, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
No information is created or destroyed here. From a database point of view it hasn't even been reorganized that much. The trick is to have clear edit summaries when you issue warnings or notes (preferably the edit summary mirrors the data exactly, which isn't too hard when templating. One trick is to just copy-and-paste your text into the edit summary). The entire record of warnings and other templates is then just one click away under the history tab, nicely sorted by time for your convenience.  :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 17:30, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
At the risk of commenting too often and dominating the thread, I think Kww's point is distinct from those regarding warnings. Currently we encourage users to use their judgement in restoring more important templates, offering declined unblock requests or confirmed sockpuppet tags as examples; I'd be fine with adding templates like {{sharedipedu}} to that list, provided it remains a judgement call and not an absolute rule. – Luna Santin (talk) 02:29, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

At this point I see no compelling consensus or reason to treat anonymous editors as "non-users" for the purposes of behavioral guidelines and policies. Any counterpoint? – Luna Santin (talk) 23:13, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

As WP:USER is currently written, I have tended to agree with Hu12 when he started this debate by saying "IP's don't fall under Wikipedia:User page" and "IP's are not currently given the same latitude under WP:USER as "registered users"." Up until this discussion, I have generally felt that WP:USER only applied to registered editors (after all, half of the guideline talks about what you can put on your user page ... something anonymous editors cannot even create!). While this interpretation appears to follow the letter of what is written, now I am not so sure it follows the spirit behind it. If you are proposing that WP:USER be changed to explicitly include both registered and anonymous editors, I believe I would support such a modification. While I am sure that some persistent vandals will exploit this change and avoid getting properly escalated warnings, it meshes nicely with WP:DENY and I have no doubt that Kim Bruning is spot on about the futility of revert-warring with a user in their own userspace. --Kralizec! (talk) 01:26, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Policy on interlanguage links

Has anything ever been agreed - I mean as policy - on the question of interlanguage links? There are bots going around removing links which they consider to be inappropriate - often just because there is not a precise 1-1 correspondence between articles in different-language wikipedias. Bot owners seem convinced that this is the right thing to do (see Help talk:Interlanguage links#Bots should not remove links for a discussion). However the arguments presented seem to me not very convincing. My view is that an inexact link (i.e. a link to a relevant other-language article not necessarily covering exactly the same subject matter) is better than no link at all. But bots continue to enforce their own rules as if they were policy.--Kotniski (talk) 14:37, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Plagiarism question

There is a user telling me, that according to WP:Copyright problems it is PROHIBITED on Wikipedia to copy ANY exact text parts from ANY reliable source with a reference to the source. So for example if I want to write something to the article about Beatles, I am not allowed to copy any text from any website on the whole internet and not from any reliable source. He says that it is a plagiarism if I copy some text for example from a professional website such as this one and write there a reference with the source of the text. What should I tell him?--  LYKANTROP  17:50, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it's not plagiarism to reproduce a section of text verbatim—as long as the copied text is clearly set off with quotation marks or indents, and as long as the source is clearly noted.
It may, however, represent a copyright problem if the quotation represents a large fraction of either the quoted work or of our resulting article. Stylistically speaking, it may also not be in our best interests to add large numbers of quotations. In the example that you mention here – a Beatles biographical sketch on a music web site – there's no obvious reason to reproduce substantial portions of their text. We can incorporate any appropriate factual content (with suitable footnoting of sources) without copying anything word-for-word. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:10, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Generally that's correct /unless/ you're specifically referring to the source and wish to quote small amounts to put across their opinion (i.e. the "AMG says The Beatles are '[blah blah blah]' and '[blah blah blah]'"). Copying text verbatim is a bad idea as it breaks copyright law. -Halo (talk) 03:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Speedy keep and banned users in AfD

This probably isn't the best place to discuss this, as it isn't a proposal, but I'm not really sure where else to put this. A user, earlier this week, NAC'd an AfD under the premise that it wasn't valid as the nominator was a sock. However, there were delete votes other than the sock, so I took it to deletion review with the argument that the guidelines are clear about delete votes being present make it not a candidate for speedy keep. It got overturned after a brief discussion, but he then went back into the AfD in question and stated those guidelines don't apply and went against consensus and didn't apply there. I am admittedly new at the process, having only done this for a month or so, but I think the guidelines are clear. Assuming good faith, I'd like to see if I can find where this consensus is found that said user claims exists, or any other information on the topic that isn't linked to from the speedy keep guidelines. Celarnor Talk to me 17:37, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

FDA and approval of drugs

I noticed at Template:HIVpharm, the mark "†Undergoing clinical trials, not FDA approved", and also that different drugs have note about FDA. Wouldn't this constitute an violation of WP:UNDUE, or even, does the work of FDA inherit their notability? AzaToth 00:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure how this falls afoul of WP:UNDUE. It does allow those who see the template to tell, at a glance, that the drugs are not available to the general public yet as they're still in clinical trial. -- Kesh (talk) 02:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Nope, no undue weight here. Possibly a bit of systemic bias if there are other comparably important drug vetting systems we're neglecting, but it's certainly not undue weight to mention the FDA. --erachima formerly tjstrf 02:58, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it was the more systemic bias bit I was reacting to, and to Kesh, FDA is theoretically an USA only organization, so it's systemic bias yes. What you think of avoiding mention FDA unless the bias can be handled in a good way? AzaToth 17:27, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
For better or for worse, the U.S. is currently the world's largest market for prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies will want access to that market for their new and expensive drugs, and they want that access as soon as possible. The FDA will almost certainly be the first (or at least among the first) regulatory agency that a pharmaceutical firm will approach with their novel drugs; FDA approval is an important milestone, and can be taken as a sign that a drug has demonstrated efficacy and will be in use in the developed world.
To avoid potential problems of systemic bias in the few cases where drugs have received (for example) European approval but not FDA approval, I would support adding to the template appropriate footnotes for these cases. I think it's worthwhile for us to indicate whether or not a drug has received regulatory approval from a responsible agency in a developed nation. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:41, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree precisely with TenOfAllTrades here. --erachima talk 05:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. --Ernstk (talk) 03:30, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Whether to include "The" in wikilinks?

I've been editing the Mark Yudof page. It contains several phrases like this:

The [[University of Texas at Austin]]

Is that the preferred style, or would it be better to write:

[[The University of Texas at Austin]]


[[University of Texas at Austin|The University of Texas at Austin]]

Thanks. Espertus (talk) 06:18, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

  • See WP:LINK. Use what looks best to you. In this particular case, it does not matter, since one redirects to the other (so it's easy to use whatever looks best on the page, because both links work). In the cases where there is no redirect, but you know that use of the definite article ("The") is commonly mis-used as part of the proper name (such as here for UT, and for, say Grand Canyon, you might want to consider creating the re-direct if there isn't one (as you see, somebody has already done that for The Grand Canyon, and that will be so in most cases). A piped link to include a commonly misused "The" will hardly ever be necessary. If you need a "the" in the text, and you know it won't be used commonly as part of the proper name, such as when referring to the Hoover Dam builders, you just leave it outside the link. SBHarris 06:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Surprise! The 'The' here is not mis-used, at least, not outside the link. I had a friend tell me, and then tell me again when I said "no way", that The University of Texas at Austin strongly requests the use of the 'The'. I don't understand that, but they care for some reason. Looking I can't find the explicit explicitness, but note mentions like "Name of the Institution: The University of Texas at Austin" and consistent use of 'The' in official policy documents. Ah, found something at [11]
The recommended designations for the university are:
  • Formal - The University of Texas at Austin (preferred)
  • Second reference - the university
Who knew? Shenme (talk) 05:48, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
UT Austin isn't alone; many US schools are like that. Ohio state and Penn State are another two.
But anyway, it doesn't make so much difference if their internal style guide prefers a particular use, since we can decide on our own. I'm sure that Pepsico would prefer Nacho cheese flavor Doritos brand tortilla chips but we don't humor them. For universities, we should follow ordinary English usage, use the the when it sounds natural, and omit it otherwise. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:58, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Fascinating. But there are two questions: one is how to link (which I think has been answered-- use redirects for things that sound good either way, but piped links only for things that are clearly good only with a "The" in the article, but you need to leave that "The" out for text purposes). As for UT, I think that we should strongly respect the institution's preference for the Wiki title (it's perverse not to), and redirect the page with the other to that. Which means we should probably pagemove University of Texas to The University of Texas and change the redirect to go the other way. SBHarris 23:47, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
There's specific language in our naming conventions about this issue, here. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:57, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


I have recently come across this page which is tagged as a guideline. I can't see any point for its existence, and feel that its status as a guideline is damaging to the project, as it mistakenly gives the impression that logos should be treated differently from other non-free images. I have raised my concerns on the talk page, and feel that the page should be downgraded from a guideline. Please see the discussion on the talk page if you are interested in contributing. J Milburn (talk) 11:26, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

"British Isles" terminology proposal

Please see WP:BI if you are interested. Tb (talk) 18:32, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


Resolved: I figured out an answer MBisanz talk 08:41, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

If I'm on a non-wikimedia wiki, and I connect an anon. IP with a username there through edit history, etc, and then come back to en-wiki and discover the same connection between that IP and the same user, is it outing to report it if the IP was being used as a bad-hand account on en-wiki? If I can report it, where or to whom should I do so? MBisanz talk 06:32, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

This isn't necessarily a policy question, it is more an ethics question. To start with, under what circumstances would you have access to the username and IP address? Would it be similar to a checkuser or administrative/moderator function at the other wiki, or is it something that any editor there would have access to? Are there confidentiality expectations imposed on you by the other wiki? If so, then it would be unethical for you to reveal here what you learned there. Having said that, if the IP is being used as a bad hand, then it's pretty likely that it is misbehaving in some other way. Find what else it is doing wrong on Wikipedia, and *that* can be reported through normal channels. Alternately, speak with someone you feel is observant of good hand/bad hand behaviour but who would not have read this section, and suggest to them that they might want to keep an eye on that IP, you have a feeling it is up to something, and let them take it from there. Does this give you some ideas on how to handle things without crossing any bright lines? Risker (talk) 06:56, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. On the other wiki, I don't even have an account, it was through matching publically available histories. That wiki was linked from ours in a debate here (its not a BADSITE) and its on a public wiki-hosting service. The whole reason I followed the named account to the other wiki was cause it was acting "strange" here and happened upon the IP connection. Others know its a "strange" account, but eh, I finally have a wiki dilemma worthy of keeping me up at night. MBisanz talk 07:20, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed new WP:RS guideline section - suggestions for improvement ?

I have been developing a new section for the WP:RS guideline and I would like some feedback. To date it has been discussed in the RS talk page and seems to have generally positive support but needs work. The text has been revised and now I am asking for feedback to (A) avoid potential pitfalls and (B) refine wording for clarity of appropriate use. I could just be bold but since this new guideline could potentially have very wide impact on many articles I would appreciate all the help I can get before going live. The talk page section is here[12].

Looking forward to your suggestions. -- Low Sea (talk) 13:04, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up one day no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up one day (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:51, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Discussion about semi-protecting all BLP articles.

See the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Biographies_of_living_persons#Semi-protecting_all_BLPs. Corvus cornixtalk 23:50, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Policy Proposal

Hi. This is a cross-posted courtesy notice to ask for opinions regarding User:Master of Puppets/Cabal policy. This is in response to WP:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents/Great Cabal Debate and the discussion at WP:Requests for comment/Cabals. Your input would be appreciated to come to a consensus in a reasonably efficient manner. Thank you. Keilana|Parlez ici 06:05, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Monthly update of substantive styleguide and policy changes

A page has been established for users to notify substantive changes to styleguides and policy pages here. Monthly update summaries will be stored on a dedicated page here in chronological sequence, as a service to the community. The summaries will not rely on the notifications alone, but will involve a survey of the whole-month diffs for each of the major pages.

Here is the first summary.

3 March – 3 April 2008

Manual of style, main page

  • Multiplication symbols. Added: Do not use an asterisk to represent multiplication between numbers in non-technical articles. The multiplication sign in exponential notation (2.1 × 108) may now be unspaced, depending on circumstances (2.1×108); previously, spacing was always required in exponential notation.
  • Images. There were minor changes to the advice concerning the direction of the face or eyes in images, and concerning the size of images.
  • Punctuation in quotations. "Punctuation" was added to the requirement that "Wherever reasonable, preserve the original style, spelling and punctuation".
  • Em dashes. "Em dashes are normally unspaced" was strengthened to "should not be spaced".
  • Instructional and presumptuous language. "Clearly" and "actually" were added to the list of words that are usually avoided in an encyclopedic register.
  • '"Pull" and block quotes. Removed: Pull quotes are generally not appropriate in Wikipedia articles. Added: Block quotes can be enclosed using {{quotation}} or {{quote}} (as well as the existing specification, i.e., between a pair of <blockquote>...</blockquote> HTML tags).

Layout styleguide

  • "See also" sections. Clarification that links should be presented in a bulleted list, and that rather than grouping them by subject area, it is helpful to alphabetize them.

Non-free content policy

  • Criterion 8. The second clause was removed: "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding."

Licensing policy

TONY (talk) 06:26, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

What resolution is this? It's not listed on the Resolutions page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:43, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Policy on POV tagging

I would like to raise an issue about policy and POV tags prompted by a discussion on the Bahrain page regarding a POV-check-section tag placed on the history section.

The POV tag states:

As I understand it according to the policy the user who places the tag is then required to give an explanation in the talk section of the article, and then the tag remains until a third party POV check. The impetus for placing the tag only needs to be the subjective judgement of user, and once they’ve placed it there seems to be no onus on them to take further action.

Therefore, its possible to make a series of frivolous or in the case of the Bahrain page what seems in my opinion unfalsifiable objections (eg statements such as "there seems to be a lot of 'half-truths' and fringe theories presented as absolute facts") and this seems sufficient for the tag to remain. There seems to be no onus on the user to involve third parties to actually carry out the POV check, and the tag’s there indefinitely, undermining the credibility of the article.

Is my understanding correct and if so, can the rules be tightened up to stop such frivolous use of the above tag? For instance, should there be some responsibility on the user who places the tag to get the article POV checked? Or could there be some kind of timer on the tag, so that if no action is taken the tag can be removed within a certain time period? Otherwise what's to stop a user adding tags to pages in a way that is tantamount to vandalism?

Dilmun (talk) 11:08, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I went WP:BOLD and removed the tag because no valid reasons or no reasons at all were provided on talk page. Wikipedia:POV check says to explain the reasons on talk page, the tagger needs to be more specific instead of just telling reviewers to check all the article for POV. He delivered a rational, like this edit summary says [13] but it's too vague for reviewers to have a starting point. He doesn't either give sources for reviewers to check the POV. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:51, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I did the right interpretation of the policy, right? --Enric Naval (talk) 16:59, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with my rational, the issue of independence in 1700's is disputed, yet presented as a fact, and large portions of pre-Islamic history have been neglected or suppressed, while minor events in post-Islamic history (ie Saudi tribal incursions) have been given undo weight. Please do not remove the tag, I am merely asking third-party users who are not associated with the topic, yet familiar with the topic, to review it for neutrality, as most of the editors who have constructed and revised the history section in its current form such as User:Arabbi, User:Slackerlawstudent and User:Dilmun‎ , appear to be from an Arab background (either from Saudi Arabia or Bahrain) and very much associated with the topic. I am not implying that they're automatically biased by association, but the history section seems heavily skewed towards the Arab periods of Bahrain's history, and a third-party review would restore some balance, and thereby improve the article. --07fan (talk) 17:35, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Enric, thanks v. much for your intervention and taking the time to review the POV tags on the Bahrain and History of Bahrain pages. I think the interpretation is the right one, given that the justification on the Talk:Bahrain page used for placing the tags provides nothing specific that can be refuted and there's no justification at all on the Talk:History of Bahrain page.

On the Talk:Bahrain page, User:07fan has been invited to amend the page to include the information he wants as per wikipedia's POV policies, but hasn't done so. With 07fan's reverts of the deletion of the tags we're back to the same situation, whereby User:07fan's providing nothing specific with sources that can be responded to yet insists on leaving the tag there.

If this is acceptable under wikipedia policy, then this again raises my original point at the start of this subsection: does the policy need to be tightened up on POV tagging?


Dilmun (talk) 18:09, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

As I explained to Erik, his interpretation is not the right one, I have given sufficient rational on Talk:Bahrain, and I am not "POV tagging", if I was actually disputing the page or wanted to "amend the page" in the fashion you're describing, then I would be using "POV" or "accuracy" or "totally disputed" tags, not "POV-cehck". There is a difference between these tags for a reason, and the whole point of POV-check is to raise questions and ask uninvolved editors who are not associated with the topic, to review it for neutrality. A simple "POV-check" on a section of an article does not "undermine the credibility of the article", it actually serves to improve the article by inviting uninvolved editors to review and improve the section in question.--07fan (talk) 18:46, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

From the {{POV}} page: "Do not use this template unless there is an ongoing dispute. For suspected POV issues which are not disputed, consider the {{POV-check}} template instead."

Now, if we look at what constitutes a NPOV dispute by reading Wikipedia:NPOVD#What_is_an_NPOV_dispute.3F, and we notice that we have here two editors saying that the article is neutral, and one saying that it is not, so we can see that there is an actual dispute going on and that the POV tag needs to be used instead of POV-check.

Aditionally, we see that the introduction is not disputed, so {{POV-body}} only one section is disputed, so {{POV-section}} should be used instead of {{POV}}. (I'll change it myself after I post this, since its need seems clear from policy).

Finally, I will not enter on wheter the article is actually neutral or not, since it is the editors of the article that need to reach a consensus about that. Tag should not be removed until consensus between the editors is reached.

I will also compel 07fan to provide more concrete details of how the article is POV. Current detail is not sufficiently concrete. The tag has already been up for 3 days, and more information has been requested, and the extra information provided by 07fan is still insufficient for a reviewer to home in the POV problems.

For this need of more information, I will quote from the introduction of WP:NPOV:

"Drive-by tagging is strongly discouraged. The editor who adds the tag must address the issues on the talk page, pointing to specific issues that are actionable within the content policies, namely Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Simply being of the opinion that a page is not neutral is not sufficient to justify the addition of the tag. Tags should be added as a last resort."

07fan is clearly not abiding by this policy on Bahrain page, since he has engaged on drive-by tagging of other tags [14] has not made any other edits to the article except for tagging (which means that he didn't try to mend the article before or after tagging) he engaged on drive-by tagging by using the POV-check but his usage of the "fact" tag was adequate, he didn't make content changes to the section however, and he has provided no verifiable sources for his claims of POV on the date of Bahrein's independence or for the lack of coverage of pre-arabian history, which makes his claims unverifiable.

However, I have noticed that on History of Bahrain he has engaged on actual improving of the article [15] and, while he didn't provide a rational on the talk page, he hasn't either restored the POV-check tag, so I suggest giving him 3 days more to provide evidence of POV claims before deleting the tag.

If after 3 days he hasn't still provided more concrete information, the tag should be removed since no other editor has expressed concerns about POV with this article. If 07fan decides uni-laterally to restore the tag and still does not provide more information to back his restoration, I suggest reporting him to WP:ANI for misuse of POV tagging so that an admin can take further measures. If some sources are provided but not enough, another 3 days can be given for him to have an opportunity to find more information. I advice the other editors to have patience, since we are all volunteers and we may not have enough time on RL to dedicate to Wikipedia.

The editors against having the article on the tag should be aware that having the tag on the section does not make it automatically suspicious for people who read it, and does not automatically make the history of Bahrain look bad, and that usage of those tags happens everyday all accross the wikipedia without the world falling over. There have been discussions about that sort of tags being visible for casual readers of the wikipedia, but, for now, the consensus is to use them in this manner, so saying that they make the article look bad is not a reason for removal.

Finally, notice that I entered this dispute voluntarily after reading of Slacker's solicitation of help here, and not because I was asked to directly by any of the parties involved. And about complains of 07fan that I can't do the review because I am a "random user who may or may not be familiar with the topic or neutral" I have to say that I am not doing the review of the article himself, but a review of the tag, which means that I don't need to be familiar with the article's topic, and that my quoting of policies above makes clear that I am suficiently familiar with POV policies to review his addition of this tag. --Enric Naval (talk) 22:01, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems that the editors have agreed to start a RfC while I was writing the long comment above :P . Well, at least, they decided to resolve it peacefully. In this case, the tag should probably stay until the end of the RfC. --Enric Naval (talk) 22:19, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Enric, thank you very much your extensive efforts to find a solution to this dispute. I believe that this is an excellent proposal, and the best way forward. I'd rather opt for your proposal, but as the other parties have agreed to go for RfC, I'll go along with that.

Dilmun (talk) 22:33, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

External Link Policy

I think there should be a policy on having to much external links, because it may be spam, and this many external links is unacceptable. Nothing444Go Irish! 14:26, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:External links, and how is 3 external links unacceptable? They all link to the subject of the article.--Phoenix-wiki 16:53, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
In fairness, at the time of the note, the article was in this state. Woody (talk) 15:05, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Heads up of large discussions

Just a heads up, I seem to have sparked very large discussions on both WT:V and WT:NOR. The former has already led to some language changes, while the latter is slightly more stalled at the moment, but in both cases my concerns are essentially the same - the pages are currently advocating research practices that do not meet basic muster in current pedagogy about research. People interested in either page should probably swing by the (now multi-section) discussions. :) Phil Sandifer (talk) 03:29, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposal - An Entirely New Concept of Notability

So far we have been trying to define WP:Notability as can be measured by press releases and scholarly research. We say notability is not (among many other things) popularity. Our intent is to prevent trivia and cruft. OK, so why not define notability as follows:

Notability can be established for an article via WP:RS by demonstrating the direct impact the subject has had on people beyond mere awareness.

Each article would include one or more Notability Category ({{NoteCat}}) tags which will include a number representing the minimum number of people impacted (up to 1,000,000). Different NoteCats would have different thresholds. Any article that failed to rise above the relevant NoteCat threshold would become eligible for AfD:Notability nomination. Articles deleted in this way would be archived offline in the event that the threshold numbers were revised or new documenatry support for more impact could be produced.

Now naturally I am not suggesting we just scrap the existing system and go off on a wild experiment. What I am suggesting is that WP create some basic broad templates for NoteCats and editors begin voluntarily adding this new notability dimension to their work.

Below are some made-up examples of how this might look:

As you can see from the last example Aunt Myrtle's food isn't noteworthy as merchandise but the 200 people who died painful deaths (seems the tuna was radioactive) from eating them would allow the article to qualify as a disaster.

We need:

  1. a tag created and some kind of database that identifies the threshold for each type of NoteCat.
  2. a consensus process for creating new NoteCats and determining/adjusting the best threshhold.
  3. a bot to do a daily scan and flag articles that fall below the threshhold for all NoteCats on that page.

Comments? Could we try a system like this in parallel while the debate on the existing WP:N system continues? -- Low Sea (talk) 23:28, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Err... can I just cite WP:BIGNUMBER here and be done with it? Nobody would ever agree on what counted as big enough, and even if they somehow magically did, the demand that all claims be sourced would mean it would have the exact same requirements as the current system, just with a lot of added bias. --erachima talk 23:37, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Sadly this simply falls down because it's often difficult to measure how many people are effected by something. For example, Land's End is a highly notable place, but no-one lives there. Principia Mathematica is a highly influential book, but never made it to the stop of the best-seller list and few people have ever read it. Very few people ever used Multics but it was highly influential in its time and inspired the much more popular Unix. It's not easy to put a single numerical figure on notability. -Halo (talk) 03:17, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
There are two different possible purposes for notability criteria which can be easy to confuse. One involves whether information about the subject is verifiable; information is verifiable if we have multiple reliable sources. Another involves whether the subject is important or significant. There are many important and significant topics that sources considered "reliable" have not taken up. The problem with a criterion that focuses exclusively on perceived importance is that we may end up violating WP:V and selecting a subject which, while important, lacks verifiable information. Currently, verifiablility is considered hard policy, while concepts of importance are much softer and fuzzier, addressed largely by guideline and tradition. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 22:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I fucking hate the whole nonsense about "notability". If $thing has at least one (but preferably more than one) real world reliable source (preferably more for living people) it's notable, and can get an article. Let the people who hate $TrivialThing ignore $TrivialThing and concentrate on $WorthyContent. At a stroke you've got rid of a bunch of noodling about whether $Episode / $Band / $Album is notable or not, you've got rid of a bunch of AfDs, you've freed up a bunch of editors to build an encyclopedia, and some of the $Trivial people might start working on $Worthy. An example for this thread: Some people say that OLYMPIC athletes are not notable, so the answer to vandalism of college athletes is to delete the articles as non-notable. Cured that vandalism problem. Dan Beale-Cocks 20:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Do you think that The Terminator is notable?

I have just come across the article Terminator (character concept), which prompts be to ask the question, is The Terminator notable? In my view, The Teminator is just one of many intersting characters in the notable film The Terminator and its sequels, rather than being a notable character per se. The spinoff article Terminator (character concept) implicitly asserts that this fictional character is notable, but it does not cite real-world content from reliable secondary sources to demonstrate the notability in accordance with WP:FICT. I am not so sure the Terminator is notable on his own, as without the success of the film, it is arguable that he is just a stock character based on Gort or some other bad-ass cyborg. Do you think The Terminator is notable? One way or the other your comments would be welcome at Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction)/RFC1 where non-notable spinouts of fictional elements are being discussed. --Gavin Collins (talk) 14:57, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, that article isn't about the character, that would be Terminator (character). In the case of that, there's plenty of scholarly material I found in 2 minutes on Google Scholar, and I'm fairly sure some of them are about concept rather than the specific character. Add to that, I think the concept article is a little misnamed, presumably it grew away from what it was meant to be when it was titled. And finally, it should be better sourced. However, I'm satisfied that notability exists for what the article title implies it's about. SamBC(talk) 18:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Wait a minute, character? Who are they trying to kid? LeadSongDog (talk) 19:11, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
  • So who is the real Terminator? Is is The Terminator, the Terminator (character concept), or Terminator (character)? And which one of these articles demonstrates notability of The Terminator? --Gavin Collins (talk) 21:22, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
    • The Terminator is about a notable film. I didn't check for demonstration of notability, because anyone seriously challenging the notability of that film needs to take a walk. The Terminator (character) is about a character, or rather (in a sense) three of them; there are several aspects that I would see as asserting notability, although they don't all fit a guideline because no guideline addresses the issue of characters. For instance, the fact that the Terminator appears in two major media lists (top movie bad guys and top movie good guys, IIRC) would indicate notability to me, and is in line with similar criteria for books and academics. The character concept article is rather more difficult, and doesn't demonstrate notability, but a cursory look of google scholar indicates that there are certainly academic studies of the character as a concept. I'd be tempted, however, to merge the character concept article into the character article; I don't care enough to actually try to get it done, though. At least not at the moment. SamBC(talk) 12:39, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

another use of POV tags and other

moving from Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Asking_for_advice--Enric Naval (talk) 20:40, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

In the article The Motorcycle Diaries which came across sorting a categorizing books this morning and the article was unlike any of the other book articles I had been looking at. I tagged the article with {{tense}} and {{POV}} and {{plot}} tags as this is an article on a book and almost the whole article is a description of the plot. Also it is worshipful in tone and there is no analysis of the book nor contrary point of view on controversial subject matter. The editor fixed the tense proplems but removed all tag. I added bad the {{POV}}, {{plot}} and {{OR}} tags as this seems to be an essay on the editors view of the subject matter. The editor immediately reverted them with an edit summary saying I was acting in bad faith. He feels that I am not acting in good faith. However, going by Wikipedia:Notability (books) and other guidelines, this is a hagiographic article on a controversial figure. I don't want to get into a revert war, but how should I approach this, since I feel the violations are egregious. Thanks! –Mattisse (Talk) 19:09, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Here we go again. What he conveniently left out was (the reality) of how we have been edit warring for weeks on another article, and that he has been warned about using a barrage of tags on articles I am working on to annoy. He also forgets to tell you how he has a long history of acting in bad faith, refusing my olive branches, making false accusations against me, false templating me, following me around and tagging what I work on, etc etc. He DID not stumble upon this article ... he decided to reignite a dormant conflict that had been settled for several days as we stayed apart. There is a long history of this sort of behavior by him, and it continues sadly. He also used the edit summary to attack me Redthoreau (talk TR 19:19, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Please allow me to ask a legitimate question here. You say I have been editing Hawaiian articles for the last few day, implying that I have no right to edit any other. If you doubt I was sorting through autobiographies today and categorizing them, which is how I came across the article, then just look through my edit history. However, in any case, I ask everyone to assume good faith and allow me to ask this question. I normally do not have the problem of people immediately removing tags that I place on articles as would happen before wikipedia became tougher on the issue so I would like an answer, in case this crops up again. –Mattisse (Talk) 20:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Please let's center the debate on wheter you placed the tags correctly. Below I comment that the summary tag plot tag looks justified, and made some suggestions to address the problems on the article. About the "OR" tag, I see that you didn't justify exactly what the original research was on the talk page of the article. The {{OR}} page says:
Note: This template should not be applied without explanation on the talk page, and should be removed if the original research is not readily apparent when no explanation is given.
you should try to go to the talk page and provide an explanation. Please try to cite exact places where this OR happens. It's posible that the other editor gets convinced by your arguments and changes the text himself to remove the OR.
About the NPOV tag on the section above. The NPOV pages says clearly that the tagger must provide an explanation on the talk page "pointing to specific issues that are actionable within the content policies,". Just point to those issues on the talk page before re-adding the tag.
Finally, Matisse, since the book is different from other books (it's famous because it describes the youth experiences of a person that later became famous and not because of its intrinsec value), then of course the article is different. Just compare with articles of books that are famous because of "strange" reasons like Quotations_From_Chairman_Mao_Tse-Tung or Mein_kampf. This sort of books needs a different format for them, with way more attention to the actual contents, in order to understand how it relates to the notable character behind them. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:58, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I looked at the "summary" tag "plot" tag (I didn't evaluate the other tags). I have skimmed the article a bit, and the summary of the plot is almost the whole article. However, it's a book about the life of Che Guevara, so the extension is very justified because of him being a very notable person, and this book is helping us to understand how he got those ideas of freedom. The article should be edited to explicitely explain this (and mention it on the lead), and then remove the "summary" tag "plot" tag, since the lenght is justified. If the sources at the bottom explain how the experiences on the book shaped the ideas of Che Guevara, then they should be cited and attributed (p.ex.:"The New York Times thinks that xxxx experience on the book made Che think xxxxx which was later important on the revolution."), maybe a section explaining the importance of the book to understand the Che damn, move the "transformation" section to the top of the article, and put the plot below, dudes, what is the most important part of the article doing at the end, I almost skipped it because it didn't look important :P . Also the paragraph starting with "Witnessing the widespread endemic" should be in the transformation section and right at the top. On that place it looks like a part of the plot that only people that read the whole plot will see. The more important parts are hidden at the end of the plot, so the summary tag plot tag appears to be justified. Just edit it to bring the important part at the start, and then the long plot at the end for people who want to read the whole thing. As the summary tag plot tag says, "focus on discussing the work". --Enric Naval (talk) 20:33, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Those are good suggesting you have given regarding the article. Improved organization would help and give it less of a POV cast at the beginning. I have looked at Mein_kampf. It has footnotes and references and presents contrasting points of view. It is not so clear how the writers feel. The Quotations_From_Chairman_Mao_Tse-Tung article is certainly far from perfect, but it has at least on {{citations needed}} I have placed an example of a fair book article on the article talk page and also suggested the consultation of Wikipedia:Notability (books). Are you saying that I am allowed to edit the article, as I have not been so far? Thanks, –Mattisse (Talk) 21:37, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, I guess you are saying that the justifications for the OR tag are placed on the talk page first. Perhaps that would prevent the revert seconds later. If I am allowed to edit the article, I would fee less helpless about it. Thanks, –Mattisse (Talk) 21:41, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
You can always edit the article, of course, it's part of the spirit of wikipedia that anyone can edit the articles, see the third section on WP:PILLARS. It's just that other editors felt that your edits were not correct and they reverted them. Just make those suggestions first on the talk page, and don't get too obsessed on getting your changes into the article. This will help you to reach a consensus with the other editor about the article. Even if the tag gets removed anyways, at least your objections will be on the talk page, and other editors can later read them and edit the changes into the article in ways you didn't think about. This is a collaborative work, so you can't always edit the articles the way you would like to, it's better to accept that other people will always make it different than you. I don't know why you mention the notability policy, since it's obvious that book is notable, so I don't see how that policy can help to improve the article --Enric Naval (talk) 21:52, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
So notability can be assumed because we are not from Algeria or India and know the subject? I though wikipedia was above that sort of parochialism. If the Motorcycle Diaries are notabile (and I am not saying they are not) should not the proper references still be in place? (By the way, I did not place a notability tag on the article.) My understanding of OR is improper synthesis: because A and B are proven to be true, then I can say C. Or is that now o.k. do do? –Mattisse (Talk) 22:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, when you say "actionable within the content policies" what does that mean? Which particular content policies are you referring to? As far as WP:V the article is quite clearly not following the policies. Is that what you mean? I should quote from that? –Mattisse (Talk) 22:29, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Uh, wait a minute, how does the article *not* follow WP:V? --Enric Naval (talk) 22:38, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Hummmm, sounds like you have not read WP:V, WP:RS Wikipedia:Notability (books) I fear. Fortunately, doncram took the time to be constructive and listed some of the problems relating to the above stated policies and guidelines on the talk page. Also, that first paragraph was almost a word for word quote from the NYT article so all but a few words should have quotes around it. Otherwise, it is called plagiarizm. Also, I wish you would assume good faith and require others to do the same –Mattisse (Talk)23:30, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I have been puzzling over what you meant by saying you read over the "summary tag". –Mattisse (Talk) 23:35, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh, I meant the {{plot}} tag. My bad, I confused it because the tag talks about the plot summary.
OK, now that the issues have been listed, I can see the problem too. You see, the actionable policies depend on what you find, if you find copy/pasted paragraphs, then the actionable policy is WP:V. I'll quote (again) from WP:NPOV_
"Drive-by tagging is strongly discouraged. The editor who adds the tag must address the issues on the talk page, pointing to specific issues that are actionable within the content policies, namely Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Simply being of the opinion that a page is not neutral is not sufficient to justify the addition of the tag. Tags should be added as a last resort."
So it's not enough to say that the article does not comply with a policy, you need to pinpoint the exact . The burden of proof is on the tagger to specify what content justifies putting up the tag, and what policy is the content violating. It's not about good faith, it's about the tagger listing the issues on the talk page instead of expecting others to find them by themselves, specially if no other efforts appear to have been done by the editor on the article before, which goes against policy. --Enric Naval (talk) 09:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
To second what Enric is saying - we're not mindreaders here. If an editor doesn't explain, preferably on the article talk/discussion page (because an edit summary is reallly too short), why neutrality and other similarly broad policies are being violated, the tag/template should be removed by other editors. It is, of course, preferable to actually fix NPOV and similar problems, assuming no edit war has been occurring, rather than posting a template, but it's an acceptable alternative to give specific examples of the problem, and (if it's not obvious) explain exactly what part of WP:NPOV or other policies are being violated, on the talk/discussion page. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:56, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I M new to Wikipedia: EXTERNAL links question need help


I love Wiki a lot but i have less time i today registered an account in Wiki and have placed a link in External link sections for the "Cayman Islands" keyword. As the Category was relevant so i placed a link in External links section.

Do tell me is it proper if not do tell me other ways.

Well my link is to the subject and matter.

Thanx Cayman —Preceding unsigned comment added by Caymang (talkcontribs) 10:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I reverted your edit. I've posted an explanation on your talk page. --Coppertwig (talk) 12:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Bot policy change proposals

In light of the concerns expressed by the community regarding the current handling of bots and the membership of the Bots Approval Group, members of the BAG are proposing a revised bot policy (with the help of a number of other concerned editors). This proposed wording addresses (a) community selection of BAG members, (b) a process by which the community can arrange for revisiting previous approvals in case of problems and (c) some of the weaker points of current bot policy that have been expressed in the past weeks.

Please read the proposed policy over and feel free to comment on the talk page. — Coren (talk) 12:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Original Research, Verifiability and Reliable Sources policy: the fuzzy edges

This is my first post here, and admittedly it's more to vent a bit of frustration than with any hope to change anything, lol. The source of frustration lies in the whole Original Research, Verifiability and Reliable Sources policy, and how it sometimes comes in conflict with one of the possible directions WP could(/should?) take ("to encompass every aspect of human knowledge, no matter how trivial"). Even if this accomplishes nothing (and yes, I understand very well why these policies exist), it will at least be comforting to read people's thoughts on it.

The situation is this:

Article about a computergame. Person who did the bulk of the work on the article (guess who? :) ) was heavily involved in an international Internet community around this game (thousands of people from all over the world playing it against each other), in the mid-90's.

Issue: in case of a strict interpretation of said policies, the article is basically limited to little more than excerpts from the manual: summing up the features, maybe a couple of quotes from the games press and at best some sales figures. Basically extremely dull and largely obvious information(especially in this case). I would compare it to an "official press release" about some event by a government or company. Not exactly the best way to get to know what was REALLY going on. On the other hand, we have this phenomenon that there was a very active international community around the game (forums, competitions, newsgroups, hackers developing freeware extensions...). This phenomenon might be considered notable in itself (or at least an integral part of the notability of the game itself), and also what you get is that games are completely turned inside-out by such a community. After a couple of years the collective knowledge is orders of magnitude greater than anything provided by "Verifiable Sources". Often reality even turns out to be different from what's claimed (simple example: a feature claimed in the manual is just not there, or an 'intelligent' behaviour is scripted etc.).

As part of this community, it is downright frustrating to notice an article about this game that is limited to the "press release" approach. There is so much more to tell, and stuff that would probably really be appreciated by the people who would want to read the WP article. But: inevitably it falls under the OR, Verifiability and/or RS axes. (which is soon going to happen now. Bye bye hard work  :( )

I can't help feeling sad about this, because this is clearly an example of where WP would be the only possible way to reasonably reliably keep this knowledge alive.

I have no problem understanding, and supporting, that for Real World and/or controversial topics said policies are absolutely necessary, no question! But for topics like computergames, which are unmistakably a growing part of human culture, yet nobody's life depends on the content of the article and the bulk of the knowledge is available in online communities, the policies cut on the wrong side IMO.

Now, to not close this little rant without making some sort of proposal: wouldn't there be a possibility to create an information box (similar to "This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.") that states something along the lines of "NOTICE: a lot of information in the following section is based on collective knowledge acquired in online communities and can therefore not be verified as strictly as usual" (I'm sure somebody can formulate this better, but you get the gist). As mentioned, this could be used to "group" that kind of knowledge in a separate section of the article, to find a middle ground between strict verifiability and reliability on the one hand, and "completeness" of archival of available knowledge on the other hand.

Discuss? (talk) 12:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

There are other wikis, e.g. Wikinfo, with different mandates. You can always write your own web page. Wikipedia isn't aiming to include all human knowledge. Selection and strict verifiability is what makes it high-quality. There's still the whole web out there; Wikipedia isn't trying to include all the information that's on the web. Sorry for your frustration. I know, you want it included on the website that everybody looks at; but the reason people look at Wikipedia is because of that careful selection and verifiability. --Coppertwig (talk) 12:43, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
You'll find a host of other options listed at WP:TRY. You're much better off finding a site that is compatible with what you want than trying to change fundamental policies here (which won't happen). Per WP:NOT, for example, Wikipedia is not a lot of things, including the complete repository of all human knowledge. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
If the game really was that widely played, there ought to be plenty of surviving information about it on websites, forums, etc. The type of information you want to include quite likely can be verifiably sourced, if you put your mind to it. --Kotniski (talk) 15:51, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not about truth, but about what some other person has said is true, so long as that other person says that in a reliable source. Weirdly, WP seems to think that UK newspapers are reliable sources. (A cultural note: UK papers do NOT have "fact checkers", and there are many examples of UK papers printing complete made up nonsense.) So you'll have lots of true stuff missing, and lots of false stuff included. Frustrating. Dan Beale-Cocks 15:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
As a counterpoint, the alternative is to take people's word on it that what they write is The Truth. Seriously, is "believe me, I know" enough of an assurance to hang a supposedly reliable encyclopedia on? 21:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
no, "believe me, I know" isn't enough for a reliable encyclopedia, but it's what we do with UK news papers as reliable sources. Honestly, they do just print stuff, knowing that going to law is expensive, brings a bunch of stuff into the public domain, and of create more sales. What's of concern to me is for example. $Newspaper libels $Fred. An editor sees the reliable publication, isn't aware of the UK system, maybe thinks UK papers have "fact checkers" or such, and adds a small, carefully worded, sentence to an article. $Fred sues the £Newspaper, wins thousands, they print a retraction So, now, is that retraction picked up anywhere, is it edited into the article? Imagine $Fred doesn't sue, just threatens, so $Paper print a tiny retraction. I dunno, for BLP there's a lot of trouble. :-/ Dan Beale-Cocks 22:44, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but there are reliable newspapers, even in the UK. The Times is certainly far more reliable than the average celebrity rag, or obvious bullshit tabloid. Look, in the U.S., Weekly World News is widely read, and yet no one would consider it on par with a real newspaper... 01:46, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps an interesting question here is whether The Times, for example, can be considered a reliable source when discussing or reviewing anything to do with Sky, Fox, the Murdoch family, etc. given the proprietor? Is there any provision for avoiding such systematic bias in a source given our current policies? Fritzpoll (talk) 12:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I think part of the issue here is that strict interpretation of NOR and V is, at the moment, a very bad idea as the policies are, well, very bad in their current phrasings. I would suggest talking to the other editors involved in the article on the talk page and trying to come to a consensus on the wording - it may well be that there is a common ground or a midpoint that can be found if the policies are taken as principles instead of as rigid laws. Phil Sandifer (talk) 15:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikia. It runs (close to) the same code base as Wikipedia, but allows you to create a "wiki" for anything you want, hosted on their service. That would let you create the community wiki just as you want, without the conflict of Wikipedia's moderately strict guidelines. -- Kesh (talk) 02:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Image placeholders

The debate on whether to use image placeholders has sprung up again at Image talk:Replace this image female.svg. Right now the sample of people participating is not exactly representative, and so I figured I'd spread the word. Phil Sandifer (talk) 15:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Disputes noticeboard

I was reading this earlier, and just now stumbled onto the above notice board. Wikipedia:Community sanction noticeboard had issues in mission and in naming. RFC/U apparently does as well. Perhaps by uniting these as a single "disputes" (dispute resolution?) noticeboard some of said issues may be lessened.

I've also noted commons:Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems, which seems at least "somewhat" duplicative of the above. The difference being, I presume, that one is an "admin noticeboard". I think that it is more like what WP:AN/I is.

Anyway, I'd like to propose the creation of Wikipedia:Disputes noticeboard. - jc37 20:17, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

The main problem with CSN was that it became "Votes for Banning". We already have a series of options available, called Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. They all have hurdles to them, but that's because most so-called "disputes" aren't disputes - they're mindless bickering or one person seeking the "banning" of another for something or other very minor. People don't want to use them because they want an administrator to swoop down and play god, administering punishments and kicking ass. But we don't do that, something that is the source of unending annoyance for those who wish we did (who are the same people who, if an admin does swoop in, goes running to a noticeboard to shout about abuse and demanding immediate desysopping). The Commons is a much smaller community, with much less for people to do (it is mainly pushing images from one category to another in an endless parade of filing). Wikipedia "disputes" are of a different order and Wikipedia is of a far larger size, so Commons systems don't scale to our needs. Indeed, we used to do this type of thing, but moved to the current systems because of scaling problems. All in all, I can't see a purpose of this new board other than for the variety of having a new board to spread the drama on to. ➨ REDVEЯS is always ready to dynamically make tea 21:14, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Redvers beat me to it. I just can't see how centralizing drama would work out well here. Basically what would rapidly happen is that any signal would get lost in the noise. --Bfigura (talk) 21:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Better leave the WP:DRAMA at WP:AN/I, otherwise we will have drama scattered in four different locations about the same topics. — Κaiba 21:32, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
There are a whole bunch of noticeboards already in existence. Do you have them on your watchlist? I'm sure some of them would welcome extra editor assistance. As others have said, some editors want to just point and ask for a block, some editors are good-faithilly asking for help but can't get diffs together, and some editors are being battered by someone else who's pointing and asking for a block. There's plety of stuff you could do to help editors in distress. Dan Beale-Cocks 23:30, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:CSN was just WP:QKP in a new guise and really wasn't a good idea, given the number of over the top indefblocks that came out of it. I think WP:ANI is sufficient for problems requiring immediate attention, and we have plenty of dispute resolution options for those which don't. Stifle (talk) 09:33, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I was looking for a solution to the query that AN/I is too "long/active", and that RFC/U is not just "useless", but often worsens the problems. Often the postings at AN/I don't require admin tools. And the "Disputes noticeboard" at commons appeared more like a "community mediation"/discussion than a "quickpoll ban board". So like I said, this would give a venue, without the "tone". More than RfC, less than mediation. Gives a central venue for the disputants and others to attempt to talk it out. Just seems like a good idea to me. (And as it's something that appears to already work at a sister site...) - jc37 15:36, 10 April 2008 (UTC)