Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 44

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Adminship poll

It's the time of the year again. I've started a survey on adminship and its procedures, to find out the general sentiment on our UserRight procedure or precedent. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated! And yes, this time round it has got less questions on the table (possibly a good sign?). - Cheers, Mailer Diablo 19:50, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I support mandatory de-admining and re-selection every 6 months. JeanLatore (talk) 20:15, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah bro but that was two years ago...It's time for a new look at the proposal. JeanLatore (talk) 22:33, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh, and also, Mr. Diablo, I thought you retired from all wikipedia internal processes. I, however, am just starting. I am trying to become an expert on policy both evolving and historical so I can be an admin. JeanLatore (talk) 01:13, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Understanding takes time. There is a vast archive to study upon which gives you plenty of context on today's workings. - Cheers, Mailer Diablo 11:00, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Photographer credits in captions

People may like to know that a "concensus" of three editors, with older comments opposing the suggestion, at Wikipedia_talk:Captions#Credits_of_photos. has been used to justify changing that part of the MoS so that it says that photographers whose licences require attribution should be credited in the picture caption. Johnbod (talk) 03:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC) Will an admin (or other users) please comment on putting photog credits in captions, a user keeps putting his name back in the caption on article [Rupert Jee], seems unwarranted and self-serving. I would like additional people to revert his changes, so that it doesn't seem as if just a war between us two... thank you! Bwave (talk) 05:14, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I remember a case previously similar to this one and the uploader was told they were only supposed to attribute on the image page itself, not the article. I'll go and see if I can find it. x42bn6 Talk Mess 13:29, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

WT:BLP, no consensus on a BLP = delete

A proposal has been made on Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons which would mean that a "no consensus" outcome on a biography on a living subject will result in default "delete" rather than default "keep". Sjakkalle (Check!) 13:43, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

content fork vote

What do I do when a page is considering a rename, starting to vote on it with out much support, but to not rename the page would be-- in my view-- in total conflict with clear Wikipedia policy and maintain a content fork. --Carlaude (talk) 21:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Changing consensus

Locke Cole made an interesting comment on WT:Bot policy. He said that, when a proposed change is to be made, it makes sense to not favour the status quo over any other proposed system. In other words, if neither the status quo nor a proposed system has consensus, we ought to allow neither to continue to operate, and figure out what the best option is.

The reason this interests me is that I'm aware that Wikipedia policy has an enormous problem of inertia. We have many better proposals for running, for instance, Requests for Adminship, than the status quo, but since none of them are able to gain a supermajority, we stay with a suboptimal outcome. Now, if we were to require the current process to have consensus for it to continue to operate, I think we'd find that it wouldn't have consensus (see the WP:Adminship poll). If we found that it didn't have consensus, we could start discussing alternatives, and, with a proposal system, we could use approval voting to find the best option (the status quo could be considered an option), without all of the inertia that the current system of "Each specific change requires consensus to occur" that seems to operate currently.

I'm not meaning this to be a formal proposal at the moment, but I am interested in what people think about what I and Locke Cole are saying. It's always puzzled me that the status quo bias inherent in requiring consensus for any change (it seems to be an arbitrary favouring of the status quo over other alternatives), and perhaps this method is a good way to combat the inertia inherent in Wikipedia policy.

Werdna talk 03:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I think part of it is the fact that such a process "exists", either for WP:BOLD reasons or previous consensus. So "hopefully" some thought went into it, and definitely some work went into it.
How do I nicely say this? People usually are only comfortable filling a void or vaccuum, but are reticent for change, even if the change is for the better. That combined with the fact that it might entail "work"...
(Or another way to put it, it's because humans are involved : ) - jc37 04:03, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The alternate method is a good way to combat stability. Not what we want, IMO. (talk) 04:00, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

To summarise the sort of process I'd envisiage:

  1. Determine that the current RfA process has no consensus to continue in its current form.
  2. Eiher allowing RfAs to continue, or suspending them, invite users to submit proposals for reform. (slight rewording, — Werdna talk 05:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC))
  3. Work on proposals, discuss them, collaborate, and generally flesh out how each proposal would work, the advantages of each, and the disadvantages of each. This might take weeks or even months.
  4. For a few weeks or so, conduct a straw poll on the proposals, including the status quo (see approval voting).
  5. If we find that the status quo is the best system of those proposed, continue on our way, knowing that we did our best to find a better process. If we find that another system is better (i.e. has more support), substitute that RfA process for the current system, and congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

Werdna talk 04:15, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Suspending an rfa doesn't sound like a good idea. How about letting those extant to run, while closing the page to any new ones for the duration of the "vote"? - jc37 04:22, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
This is precisely how I suspect it would be handled if used in practice (at least as it specifically applies to RFA). —Locke Coletc 05:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
This seems very reasonable Werdna, and if indeed RFA has no consensus for continuing on as it is, I'd strongly suggest suspending the process (allowing all current noms to continue, but disallowing new noms) and taking the steps you detailed above. FWIW, I believe suspending RFA was tried once already though and met with significant resistance, but maybe things will be different this time. —Locke Coletc 05:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Can I ask why you removed [1] someone else's comment? Anyway, It's one thing to discuss a new way to do things, maintaining the status quo, and then implement the new way. But if something needs to be done, to suspend all means of doing it would be a drastic step appropriate only when the status quo is completely unworkable. The food distribution system in most countries could be improved - so do we stop moving food around while we figure out a better way? Gimmetrow 05:04, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I removed his comment because it pertained to the issue that prompted this discussion, and I figured it belonged better over there. I mentioned it to him on IRC at the time.

In any case, my intention was for either suspending the process, or not suspending it. I've changed this comment to be a bit clearer. — Werdna talk 05:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia "Essays"

I am stunned on how much energy and time is spent by users creating "essays" on every concievable permutation of every topic relating to wikipedia and its policies. How many new essays are created every month and does anyone read them? I think all this time would be better spent writing articles and doing research rather than espousing political or policy views that don't really matter. I bet some people spend upwards of 90% of their time on here discussing policy and the percentage seems to be growing! JeanLatore (talk) 01:52, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Hey, Jean, making this kind of post on the policy board is pretty likely to give people the impression that you're trying to wind them up. Just as a heads up, because everyone is a volunteer on this website, people can get annoyed if you tell them that the way they are spending their time is useless. It isn't useless to them/us. Darkspots (talk) 03:38, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Weirdly, many essays tell people that they're wasting their time and the edits they make are useless and they should be doing 'this' instead. Dan Beale-Cocks 12:21, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
You could write an essay about it! :D – Luna Santin (talk) 10:16, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
These essays and policies are what give Wikipedia a uniform look and set of standards. Without them, this place would be random mess. There are still enough people working in the mainspace, and the people spending time outside of it serve a purpose. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 16:07, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
There is much effort going into research, too. My biggest problem with essays is their poor categorization.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:36, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
In J. Latore's defence, I should like to remind Arctic Gnome that no mention of policies was made. The only complaint was about the essays, and, frankly, some of them are useless. However, I agree with Prokonsul Piotrus: the categorisation is the basic problem. Some people are trying to take care of this at Wikipedia:WikiProject Essay Categorization and/or Classification, for whomever is interested (although it doesn't look very active right now). Waltham, The Duke of 05:37, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
A fair number of essays help to document how Wikipedia's conventions and social dynamics work. The trick is picking the good ones out from the rants.--Father Goose (talk) 05:55, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. I've been trying lately to "figure out how Wikipedia works" by reading and browsing through this immense amount of text that has been written as advice, guidance, policy etc... and the only conclusion I've reached is that this is a very big mess (I might be wrong - maybe it's the abundance of information). It just looks like a huge bureaucratic maze which only the creators appreciate or are able to traverse. Obviously some of it is of extreme importance but the quantity of the material as a whole makes it daunting. Almogo (talk) 02:28, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
A WP Essay is like a white paper or a position paper. They help to provide insight into the thinking behind the policies and the debates which lead to policies. They are incredibly valuable to posterity and even to the current community. -- Low Sea (talk) 17:09, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Image ripped from Google Books

I'd like to use a public-domain image from Google Books. (It's an illustration by John Tenniel for use in Self-parody.) The GB document starts with a statement that it's public domain but "We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes." Should that stop me? I hate to get GB mad, since I've used their service so much for WP and other things.

(I've also asked at Commons. Sorry if anyone sees this twice.) —JerryFriedman (Talk) 01:43, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

If you don't get a response (I'd hate to make you forum-shop) but the guys at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions seem good about it. Either way, I'd wait on others to respond. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The "we request" from Google is interesting as compared with the FBI warning on tapes and DVDs. Google must be pouring tons of money into defending themselves from copyright suits; however, none of us expected (as authors, pre-internet) that we were locking our work into paper. Take a look at what PubMed is doing to protect the journals after Congress mandated that government-funded work be made public prior to journal publication (for-profit). By omitting TOCs and figures, Google must have an interesting angle on copyright. Doug Youvan (talk) 00:42, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Image Galleries

Is it acceptable to have a Gallery section in an article that is a Town. I noticed someone has added one to Cairns,_Queensland, yet there is not one in most major cities e.g. Sydney. Should there just be a link at the bottom to a Cairns page on Wiki Commons.Erick880 (talk) 06:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if there is any rule against it, but it does have the effect of making the article more like a travel brochure. I would make the same statement for large cities. IMHO - and this is just my not-so-humble opinion - every picture in an article should be related to text in the article and if possible it should be in close proximity to the article. For articles about cities, I would say if you can see more than 3 or 4 photographs on a typical computer screen at once, pictures are probably being overused.
In this particular case, only a handful of the pictures, including the Skyrail and a single picture featuring the lagoon look potentially encyclopedic. Since they are both allegedly major attractions, both should have a section of their own or be discussed in the tourist section. 2 or 3 photos featuring the most prominent tourist attractions would be good additions to the tourist section.
Speaking of the Skyrail, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has a similar issue. I suggest talking with the editor who added these galleries and helping him find the right places in these articles for encyclopedic pictures, and show him why more is not always better.
davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Move it to Commons so any project can link to it. --Carnildo (talk) 20:51, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Hey guys, thanks for weighing in on this, I will try to sort it out in a way that both contributes to the encyclopaedic feel, and allows access to the information. Thanks, Erick880 (talk) 00:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
If you move the gallery to the commons, you can then add link them within the commons via a single category, then link from the article by adding the {{commonscat}} template to the external links section. That's the most common method I've seen of dealing with "travel brochure" type galleries which are not, in most cases, encyclopedic in content. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 00:27, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Governance reform

I've put together a (very inchoate) proposal for reforming the Wikipedia governance system; revisions, comments, flames, and so forth would be very welcome! Kirill 16:55, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Poll for non-controversially desysopping inactive admins

Please see: Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/desysop poll

It's a discussion poll for non-controversially desysopping inactive admins. - jc37 17:40, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed change in criterion 3a of Non-free content policy

A proposal has been made to change the wording of the criterion to improve its clarity and effectiveness. To examine the proposal, read a summary history of the discussion and rationale, and comment, please go to Wikipedia talk:Non-free content#Proposed change to wording of criterion 3a. To read the full discussion that led to the proposal, please go to Wikipedia:NFCC Criterion 8 debate#Entanglement of 8 with 3a.—DCGeist (talk) 19:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Wiki Project biography

Is it just me or does the "Wiki Project Biography" icon guy (with hair falling down,and tie) look like Adolf Hitler? I know not a true likeness since the face isn't delineated, but the image just reminds one of Hitler. Take a look and you'll see what I mean. Is there something we should or could do to address this? JeanLatore (talk) 03:33, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Crystal personal.svg
It's Image:Crystal personal.svg. You can post to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography if you want to change it. I don't think the village pump should decide which image a WikiProject uses unless there is a serious problem. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:44, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Without the moustache, that cannot possibly be Hitler. --Carnildo (talk) 05:38, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever seen Hitler in blue. Waltham, The Duke of 10:13, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, let's be sensible here. All of the known photographs of Adolf Hitler have been in black and white, so unless you were actually there at the Reichstag or at one of his rallies, no, he wouldn't be wearing blue.--WaltCip (talk) 18:59, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Ich bin mit I'm with the Biography project, and I personally don't see the connection to Hitler. I think the image was chosen as one of the few free-use "generic" images of a generic person available. While it would be possible to change the image, I think we'd need to see a very good reason to do so. Otherwise, changing the image on a project banner transcluded onto over half a million articles would probably lock up the servers even longer than my changing my user name did (10 minutes - something about which I am inordinately proud, by the way. ) John Carter (talk) 19:05, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yes, Mr Carter, I assure you that people have noticed. :-)
Note: This thread has managed to actually defy Godwin's Law; it started with a reference to Hitler, so length was entirely immaterial. Waltham, The Duke of 21:43, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Style guides

Is Wikipedia:WikiProject Films/Style guidelines part of the official Manual of Style? If so, shouldn't it be moved to a title such as Wikipedia:Manual of Style (films) and listed as an MOS guideline in [[Template:Style]]?

On a related note, Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide is listed as an MOS style guideline. If consensus supports its use as a style guideline, shouldn't it be moved to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (military history) (and stripped of its project-specific tags) instead of remaining as a WikiProject subpage? Vassyana (talk) 22:23, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

See the discussion that led to MILMOS getting the style guide tag. It didn't actually come up though I don't see how it makes a difference personally. Woody (talk) 19:54, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Is there really any controversy? I love it when people take time away from other things to develop project-specific style guidelines, for all sorts of reasons, and there are plenty of people who know the current style guidelines and don't mind wandering over to see if anything catches our eye, but it's a big jump from that to adding the a new style guide to the list of things we have to constantly keep track of. I'm going to assume that Wikipedia:WikiProject Films/Style guidelines is helpful and as official as it needs to be, unless and until someone suggests that it's not. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:12, 23 April 2008 (UTC)


I dont believe that WP:BALL is very clear and im a bit confused about it. It talks about specificly articles about anticipated events. What about information in an article about future events. The article im have issues with is Home and Away which has a section about characters which are either leaving the program or are coming or returning. This information is very speculative and is about the future, but does it meet the guideline WP:BALL even thought it is not a stand-alone section and is merrely a section?? These sections are common within soap opeara articles and in the past i have noted that this speculation has been proven to be incorrect and the speculated character never left ect). I need some oppinons about this. cheers Printer222 (talk) 09:04, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The crux of BALL is that we need our information to be as accurate as possible. Being "on top of things" is great, but we're not a rumor mill and shouldn't try to be -- we sacrifice speed for accuracy. Or that's the plan, anyhow. If we're talking about actors leaving or joining shows, WP:BLP may also become an important factor (not good to post unsourced details about a person's career). – Luna Santin (talk) 09:51, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Deletion Proposal: Race (fantasy)

I have come across the article Race (fantasy), an article which appears to be an essay which treats fantasy races, a concept that exists in fiction, as if they exist in the real-world. Fantasy races are a literary construct best described as a category of fictional characters, such as Category:Fantasy creatures. My view is that this article should be deleted, as the premise it is based on is based on original research. The article does not cite any reliable secondary sources to support its underlying premise that fantasy races are real. Does anyone else have a viewpoint?--Gavin Collins (talk) 13:35, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The concept of fantasy races is a concept that exists in the real world, even though it exists only to describe fictional characters. The article doesn't claim that the races are real at any point - it only says which fantasy settings they exist in. It does claim that it's a real concept, because it is. That's not to say that it shouldn't be merged into Fantasy tropes and conventions - I'll be bold and do that now. Percy Snoodle (talk) 14:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Good call. If no-one else does, I'll work on improving that section next week. SamBC(talk) 14:51, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Gavin: I don't think that view would have wide support. The article does not suggest that the races exist, but does suggest that the concept exits, which it does. However, Percy is right on about the merge. SamBC(talk) 14:52, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Why are we talking about this here instead of WP:AFD? This strikes me as some sort of weird forum shopping. -Chunky Rice (talk) 17:32, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe that Gavin wanted to try and figure out what others' views were, without (or before) proposing anything specific; I think the choice of wording in the section heading was, perhaps, poor, if that is the case. SamBC(talk) 18:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Blocking Policy Question

I noticed recently that some admins ask their friends to initiate blocks against people they are involved in disputes with, is this a method of circumventing the blocking policy? and is it accepted? The policy is clearly calling for an uninvolved person to make a judgment call in the situation, which is why the admin cannot initiate the block themselves. While the other admin, the friend, does not have to initiate the block, and there is no guarantee they will, are they really what policy has in mind as an uninvolved administrator? What course of action is there to take if it is against the policy? Where should an admin involved in a dispute ask for assistance? --I Write Stuff (talk) 14:54, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Basically, every admin has to justify their own action. If admins couldn't ask other admins for blocks when they are involved in the situation, it would basically be carte blanche to attack admins. Remember also that Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, we don't follow rules and fill out forms just for the sake of doing so. If someone is being disruptive, it is good for the project that they be blocked in a timely manner. Mr.Z-man 23:22, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
So its ok for me to have my friend block people I am in a dispute with, as long as I do not do it myself? --I Write Stuff (talk) 23:24, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
There should be a way for admins to block, while preventing abuse of the blocking power (like the example given by I Write Stuff). --SMP0328. (talk) 23:44, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Your friend will take full responsibility for the block, and that means that he must judge whether or not they should make the block. You seem to assume that they will just robotically obey when asked and that the responsibility is transferred somewhere else. Mr.Z-man 23:46, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Not sure where you got that understanding from since I stated: "does not have to initiate the block, and there is no guarantee they will" --I Write Stuff (talk) 00:25, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

New Users Creating New Pages

I have been patrolling new pages for a few days now, and it is hard not to notice that the vast majority of new pages that are being speedily deleted are created by new users. I'm not suggesting that you stop these users from creating new pages, but is it possible to make them go through a tutorial of sorts so that they learn what is appropriate and inappropriate for a new article? A tutorial lasting a few minutes would not be a significant deterrent, in my opinion, to users who are creating good pages. Oore (talk) 22:22, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes. Plenty of good documents about for newbies, but making them aware is not easy to get agreement on. Maybe it will change but I sense there will be for long time this ongoing problem with no desire to get it resolved. See above: WP:VPP#New article creation message SunCreator (talk) 00:39, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

What if Wikipedia were to only allow web sites to be used as sources?

I'm not sure that I endorse this proposal, but if it were to go into effect it could prevent users from adding false citations to articles without them being detected, as an internet source can be quickly verified, while a book or magazine source can be harder to actually locate. Again, I'm not sure that I endorse this, as it would mean that many citations would have to be removed from articles, and also I doubt that users purposely inserting false sources into articles is very common.--Urban Rose 20:55, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia already has a strong bias towards the sort of information that can be found on websites (i.e. more recent, "popular" information). This would make it much, much worse. Besides that, there are still relatively few reliable sources on the web relative to offline, since self-publication is far easier with websites. In summary: no. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 20:59, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with SarcIdeal...if it came down to choosing (with a gun to my head), I would rather the sourcing was limited to offline, hardcopy sourcing only. Book/mag/print publishers have to pay money to have things put in print. They have fact checkers. Cyberspace is dirt cheap or free, and Easy to Edit. I pick books every time. Good thing we don't hafta choose, as many online sources are fact checked/reliable as well. Keeper | 76 | Disclaimer 21:32, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Doing so would mean eliminated the still huge portion of human knowledge that is only available in print as reliable sources. I am concerned that in this stage of the evolution towards a purely digital world, that the end result would be to do more harm than good. - Gwguffey (talk) 21:37, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Completely agree. Web publication has virtually nothing to do with reliability, and there are still many fields where most of the history of scholarship is still off-line. There's no instant pudding here. --Shirahadasha (talk) 21:58, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The majority of the worlds reliable scholarly information is in print form. Textbooks, reference manuals, historical documents, and much more are only available in print. Online sources are convenient, but they are just a small portion of the world's knowledge. (1 == 2)Until 22:02, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Plus there's the fact that you can, in fact, read citations, brief excerpts, etc. of various books online even when the whole book is not available online. Yet, do we really want our citation to source to the online quotation, or to the offline source that it originally came from? I say the latter (although it wouldn't hurt to also give the former, perhaps commented out or put in an edit summary). Sarah Lynne Nashif (talk) 22:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I didn't really think it was a good idea. Just throwing it out there. :)--Urban Rose 23:29, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Published books and periodicals have been the solid basis of storing human knowledge since before the time of Johannes Gutenberg and that 500+ year history versus the 20- years of the Internet... for the time being books win. Let's wait a century or so before we seriously consider purging an encyclopedia of dead tree references. On the plus side, things like Google Books and Project Gutenberg mean that more and more of these sources are available for 'easy online verification, and it wouldn't hurt to have robots updating book citations with no links to point to reliable scanned or transcribed versions by respected projects. --Marcinjeske (talk) 19:17, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Another issue with web-references is that if the other site has a re-org the link gets messed up. I've already encountered a quite a few "links to nowhere" and those references have only been in there for a couple of years at the most. This problem is getting worse. I don't have a good solution, but it might help if there were some automatic thingamyjig that would display the name of the page that serves as a reference. Than if the link breaks one could at least go search for it. Lisa4edit —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:03, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

One point this anon overlooked is that many newspapers & magazines that maintain an online presence archives their electronic articles after 90 days or less. I don't know why: storage & retrieval costs for such material have to be minimal, the content has been paid for long ago, so the cost of providing these older pages has to be far less than the ad revenue they would provide. In any case, this is not link-rot, it's link-mold at the speed of a bruised banana or forgotten tomato! A simple link to the print version of the periodical would prove useful far longer. -- llywrch (talk) 21:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Llywrch, you miss their point in this--it's in order to make money by selling access to the material. But you are right is that all of our references to such sources must be upgraded to indicate the print version, which is the primary source, if it exists. --the online is just a convenient link. DGG (talk) 13:46, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with all those who have said this proposal is a very bad idea. Far too much of the world's knowledge is contained in print-only sources to eliminate them as viable sources. Wikipedia would lose much of its utility as an encyclopedia were we to limit ourselves to online references. We do already have a bias that way - to mandate it would be terrible. No, no, no! Aleta Sing 20:28, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

New article creation message

It was discussed once before in the Village pump but never actioned due to admin being on break. I'd like to raise this again and make some small amendments if consensus approves.

New article creation message currently in use:


Nuvola apps important.svg

Before making your Wikipedia article:

Reason that message needs to change and be clear and simple is due to the high number of documents created without either references or notability which later need to be speedy deleted or sent to Afd. Not small numbers apparently in 2007 over 1000 articles a day were deleted, two per minute. That's 39% of all articles created were subsequently deleted.

Rational for wording:

  • Read 'Wikipedia:Starting a new article'. because wording cleaner then 'Your first articles' which implies ownership.
  • Provide references with reliable sources to show notability. This sentence ticks all the boxes on references and notability without being complex.

I hope you support this, Please let me know your views. Anything to reduce the creation of two articles a minute which are later deleted has to be a step in the right direction. Regards SunCreator (talk) 18:57, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I oppose this new template -- it's condescending and authoritarian at the same time. JeanLatore (talk) 22:19, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Is it the stop image that makes it like that? Or is the reason a conflict of interest because you don't like to add notabilty to an article you create here and created today here? SunCreator (talk) 22:45, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Some comments about the current message: For technical reasons, an image does not work well in MediaWiki message boxes. The current message box is the result of discussions here, then at the MediaWiki Talk page. There was a delay because the admin who was involved early on went on break, but other admins did act later on so it's not quite accurate to say that it was "never actioned". Sbowers3 (talk) 22:54, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

What technical reasons please? I see only two comments by User:xaosflux in 'Newarticletext' and VPP' saying 'It is typically preferable not to use images in the interface messages.'
I see some changes where made to Newarticletext but not those from WP:VPP as given in the VP archives from December 2007. SunCreator (talk) 23:37, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I still think we would be better off giving lots of valuable, targeted information. Some people actually do read, and I think those who don't, wouldn't, regardless of size. Plus, it's much easier to say, after an article is deleted, "but didn't you read some of our requirements before posting the article? They were provided to you right on the create article page", when the page actually says something substantive. With or without the symbol (and I have never heard anyone detail exactly what is problematic about the symbol), below is my revision of the suggested language when last this was discussed and petered out (hidden to avoid clutter)--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:56, 15 April 2008 (UTC):

Nuvola apps important.svg
Before creating an article, please read the notes below.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which means all information added: 1) must be verifiable through existing, published, reliable sources; 2) must be written from a neutral point of view; and 3) must not add any original research, in the form unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories.

In addition to complying with these three core content policies:
The shorter a message is, the more people will read it. Would you rather have a message with ten lines of information that maybe 1% of the editors will read, or a message giving the three most important points that 10% of the editors will read? --Carnildo (talk) 00:09, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth Fuhghettaboutit, I agree(BTW a different background colour would help greatly as white shows nicely in this talk page but not on the create page). Problem is getting consensus, as there seems to be a history of inaction to made the template look outstanding and clear. SunCreator (talk) 01:01, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd oppose this big scary red warning. Give the newbies a try. We have admins and patrol to handle the bad stuff. Voice-of-All 03:20, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

It is precisely to give the newbies an opportunity that it is incumbent on the wiki community to convey clearly what is required. As I said above around 39% of articles created during 2007 where later deleted. It this something you feel is sensible? How many more newbies would you like to have bad experience because an article they started was deleted. Some get to show confusion Wikipedia:Help_desk#Soho_Housing_Association_speedy_deletion, while others will either attempt to cause drama on the site or walk away to be another person with a 'bad wiki experience' SunCreator (talk) 10:55, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I support this fully. To tell you the truth ive never even read all 10 lines of that text. Frankly its quite boring and most new editors would eaisly skip over just to get to article creation. The image is also quite a good idea for the reason is its flashy and it would draw your eyes to the new message banner(which being short people might read actualy). БοņёŠɓɤĭĠ₳₯є 21:49, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd also oppose, I agree with Voice-of-All. I'm not against making the message a bit clearer, the current one could be improved on, but I don't like the aggressive looking nature of this. (The big red warning sign isn't exactly encouraging). Couldn't it be made more friendly looking? I'm worried it will just scare of good editors, and it won't stop anyone from making articles without references or notability. If it were more friendly I'd be happy to support it :) Apis 23:02, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I support the change from "Wikipedia:Your first article" to "Wikipedia:Starting a new article". I think the Your first article page itself should be renamed and rewritten to eliminate language which implies ownership. Also, the message always appears, even when it is not the person's first article, right? That should be changed too. Phlegm Rooster (talk) 06:45, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I like the new simplicity, but one thing I would add... check if the article has been previously deleted. If so, include something along the lines of:
An article with the same name was previously deleted. Confirm that the reasons for deletion no longer apply.
I also noticed recently, when an IP editor complained to me that "their" article was deleted without explanation, that the page IP editors see when they hit a name for which no article exists ("go ask for it to be created") is different than what a signed in editor sees ("create it, but you should know it has been deleted before"). Fixing this difference could also help some with reducing the number of new article creations which are just going to get speedy deleted or otherwise. --Marcinjeske (talk) 18:18, 19 April 2008 (UTC) Oops, unintentionally forgot to sign that --Marcinjeske (talk) 04:23, 21 April 2008 (UTC) and managed to mess up the makeup sig! --Marcinjeske (talk) 04:29, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I have a better proposal:
Nuvola apps important.svg


  • See, it could always be worse.--WaltCip (talk) 19:03, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The proportion of new articles created by new users that are subsequently speedily deleted is alarming. I would support measures even stricter than this, such as making them go through a small tutorial to ensure they understand the sorts of articles that are acceptable here. Oore (talk) 00:54, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

The box first proposed above would be fine it it had a tinted bright color but lost the big red warning icon IMO. Voice-of-All 03:16, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Are affiliate links appropriate?

Hi everyone. In the article about the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Eve Online I'm currently experiencing the following. An editor has improved the section about the game's so-called Buddy Program. At the end of this section's first paragraph is a source. It proves the statement that actually everybody can register a trial account for the game free of charge. In and by itself this source is helpful. But while the original link is neutral the editor in question has repeatedly changed it to The link now contains his so-called Affiliate Identifier.

In effect a reader who follows this link and actually does register a trial account "credits (the editor's) account for $7", as the editor himself wrote on the Eve Online Talk page. I've spoken to the editor on both of our own Talk pages, too. We haven't reached a consensus yet. I don't consider an affiliate link more useful for the public than a neutral link. For me there's no reason it should be kept. On the other side an affiliate doesn't harm the reader in any way I can think of.

Neither of us found a guideline or policy that explicitly talks about affiliate links. When I spoke to TenPoundHammer on the IRC help channel on Tuesday he advised me to post a Request for comments. Before I do that and direct the whole community's attention to this question I'd like to ask here for advice first.

I've found for example WP:SPAM#LINK that talks about links that promote a website or service. However, it doesn't really apply as there's no promotion. At least the way I think about it. I've also found WP:COI that talks about a conflict of interest that may be the case here. However, I'm not sure what to make of this yet. What do you think about this? Should the link be neutral? Do we keep the affiliate link instead?
-- Aexus (talk) 11:29, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Are affiliate links appropriate?

No, they are not appropriate or allowed. Your instinct about a violation of conflict of interest is correct. The intent of WP:COI is to keep editors from contributing in a way that benefits them, or that does not place the interests of Wikipedia first, since that raises the issue of a conflict of interest, or the appearance of one. Typically that involves boosting a company they have a financial interest in, or editing an article on themselves, a friend, or a family member. Using an affiliate link is clearly a COI and is clearly against the intent of WP:COI. The link needs to be removed ASAP. If a link is really necessary, it should be a general link without any affiliate data. See also external links for further information. Here is a short discussion on that issue: Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 2#Affiliate marketing. It says the same, no affiliate links allowed. — Becksguy (talk) 12:35, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Very obviously unacceptable. Treat any further additions as vandalism, and block if the user persists.-gadfium 21:45, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for a fundamental change in the Featured List process

Consensus is being tested concerning the proposal to establish a directorate (possibly two of the regular reviewers) as part of a program to improve the FLC process. Input is welcome. Wikipedia talk:Featured list candidates#Should we have a FL director.3F TONY (talk) 12:13, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Elections underway there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:59, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


WP:Attribution is currently marked as a summary page (summarizing WP:V and WP:NOR). This is (once again) being questioned - some of the issues are whether it is an accurate summary of the two policy pages or not, and whether it should be marked as "Historical" or not. Please review the page and the two policies and opine at WT:ATT. Blueboar (talk) 14:36, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Uploader's Responsibility

I feel that there are far too many Wikipedians shirking responsibility. There is a kind of blind and robotic application of policy without concern for its intent. Specifically, we have too many "template pushers" who think they are being helpful by tagging articles and media with maintenance templates such as {{di-no fair use rationale}} (see this example). When challenged, they claim that it is the uploader's responsibility to keep media consistent with policy.

Policy is being misinterpreted. We don't want editors to simply mark media for deletion when it becomes outdated; we want them to update it when possible.

I agree that it is the uploader's responsibility to be consistent with policy at the time of the upload. Afterwards, the media becomes a community resource which should be maintained by the community. It is self-destructive to delete all media which is not being maintained by the original uploader!

This is simply a plea for reason. Clearly there are instances where tagging content for deletion is the logical course of action. Yet I think there are many more instances where media may simply need its description moved into some new template. Take responsibility for Wikipedia and make that transition yourself—don't expect someone else to do the dirty work for you! ~MDD4696 14:51, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

The problem with images is: how does anyone besides the uploader know where it came from? If the uploader does not provide that info, we have to err on the side of caution. -- Kesh (talk) 21:55, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
His example above has to do with fair use rationales and description, and from what I can tell neither necessarily requires knowledge of the source. I can't find anything in the fair use rationale guideline about needing to know where an image came from came from in order to create a fair use rationale. You'd need some basic knowledge of the copyright, but to my understanding fair use images have always required that information so if the image ever met the guidelines one should be able to bring it into compliance with current standards. Basic knowledge of the original form of the media should suffice for the rest; it doesn't take knowledge of which TV show a screen cap came from to be able to determine whether or not the resolution has been reduced.--Dycedarg ж 00:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
You're right - for non-free images the source is really not important so long as you identify the author/copyright holder. For example, it doesn't matter that you download the image of an album cover from so long as you acknowledge the copyright holder as Sony Records. Source and author are crucial, however, for public domain claims - along with date and place of publication. Just because an image looks "old" (like a painting, etc.) is not sufficient, the details must be provided. Kelly hi! 00:51, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
In the cases where there is not sufficient information on the source or license of an image I have no problems tagging it for deletion. It's the cases in which another editor simply marks the media for deletion despite the fact that there is enough description on the page to make sense of it and clean it up proper. ~MDD4696 05:07, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
That example is bad...the media actually has no fair use rationale. I've re-tagged it. Kelly hi! 22:14, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. There was in fact a rationale, but not in template form. My problem was the fact that rather than moving the relevant information into a template, an editor simply marked the media for deletion. ~MDD4696 05:07, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I see the point of this thread as well. I have fixed multiple images uploaded by unreliable, left or even banned users only to have them repeatedly tagged for deletion per "page created by blocked account". I had to explain to experienced editors that per GFDL the last person who edited the page is responsible for its content no matter who the first person was. IANAL or a professionale copyright expert but so are not the users who act like the wannabes and tag massively without discretion. The problem here is attitude, I believe. Being in charge pleases some people. There is nothing wrong with the free content patrol. But doing it sloppy (or abusively) is worse than not doing it all. This is not directed against any particular user, btw. --Irpen 22:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia signature with internal links

Suppose I wanted to put a link in my signature that would be directed to an internal page like AGFC. Would that be allowed? Discouraged?--Filll (talk) 17:00, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

As long as the link does not distract from the content of the page (by having a huge font, for instance), there should be no problem (more info at Wikipedia:Signatures#Internal links). Cheers, Black Falcon (Talk) 17:13, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Album Cover non-free media useage

I recently entered a debate with a few fellow editors about the use of album covers in pages not specifically about that particular album, such as in the discography sections of the respective artists... an administrator directed me here to suggest proposals for our thoughts on the subject as a whole.

My suggestions are simple and follow below:

allow album cover images (non-free media) to occur in pages not specifically devoted to that particular album.

i can't think of a single band that would sue because wikipedia used its album covers to display their discography. not even metallica would go that low. hell, if anything, it's publicity.

just the thoughts of a logical man.

AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 21:31, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm not a lawyer. That being said, I can't quite follow your logic. You (or we) don't own the copyright of those images. So we can't just decide at will where or where not to use them. We must adhere to Fair Use, or otherwise obtain permission by the copyright holder (regardless whether you think someone might sue Wikipedia or not). So as long as you don't say why displaying album covers in discographies constitutes Fair Use, I can't follow your argument. --B. Wolterding (talk) 13:29, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't see what's so unfair about using album cover images in discography sections... it displays the history of the band's releases and gives the reader an illustrated portrayal of the artwork the band employs for their work, which also has alot to do with the respective band's philosophy/themes and styles, which often change between albums; consider In Flames. their style has changed dramatically over the years, and consequently, so has the artwork they use on their album covers. allowing the editors to use the album cover images in the discography will help illustrate the evolution of the band's style. AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 23:57, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • We shouldn't have to rely on the goodwill of bands and other copyright holders to be able to do what we do. The aim is to produce a freely-distributable encyclopedia. The more we throw in non-free content for decorative purposes, the further we get from that goal. - Mark 14:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • It isn't up to the "band" to sue us, the album cover doesn't belong to them, it belongs to the record company. Corvus cornixtalk 20:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • ...and to think i had assumed this was strictly a rake and shovel conversation... either way, i don't think any record company is going to sue an information centre because they use their album covers; if nothing else, it's publicity. AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 23:57, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
  • If you're convinced that the record company would agree, why don't you ask them for permission? --B. Wolterding (talk) 10:12, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
  • i don't want you to take this the wrong way or anything... i'm not trying to be a dick, just trying to create some important dialogue... but if you're convinced that i'm wrong on this one, why not spend the time to create a constructive response to my point above (beginning, "I don't see what's..."). point that record companies wouldn't sue because we use their album cover images isn't nearly as important. AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 22:20, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I think this discussion is moot. We don't own the rights to the images, so we can't decide where to use them. The only way to use them without explicit permission is claiming Fair Use. That's not "fair use" as opposed to "unfair use"; Fair Use is a term from U.S. law, and we'd have to comply with those rules. That's a tricky business, but Wikipedia's interpretation (approved by the Wikimedia foundation, without much option to change it) is WP:NFCC. I think the key term here is 3a, "Minimal Usage". Multiple non-free images should not be used in an article when one will suffice. So, unless you write a detailed text about each album (or even about each album's cover), so that the actual cover image would be required for illustration, there's not much option to include multiple album images in a discography. --B. Wolterding (talk) 20:37, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

As B.Wolterding indicated Fair Use is a US legal term with a specific legal meaning. (Wikipedia is based in the US, so US law applies.) Most people don't know anything about copyright law, most people don't need to know anything about copyright law, but Wikipedia needs to. Using an album cover in the way you suggest would be a great idea but that does not make it legal. The fact that you or I think the copyright holder on the artwork is not likely to sue over it does not make it legal. This is a matter of law, Wikipedia has to to follow the law, there just isn't any possibility that Wikipedia debate or Wikipedia policy can go anywhere about this. Sorry, but that's the situation we are all stuck with. If Wikipedia permitted copied text or copied images where copyright holder was not likely to sue, well sooner or later someone will sue, and they would win. The images cannot be used unless you can legally back up Fair Use or you manage to get explicit permission from the copyright holder. Alsee (talk) 00:29, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there any way around this (backwards, ignorant, fascistic) policy? for example, supposing I were to scan the album covers myself at kinko's (the band for which i am trying to gain this privelege, i have all of their albums in one form or other, excluding their IMPOSSIBLE-to-find demo)... if I scanned them, would I not be the owner of those images, i.e., wouldn't i own the scans? ...and as such, couldn't i just release them in GPL, being the owner of the scans, and use the scans, as opposed to images originating from someone else, such as digital copies of the album covers owned by the record company?
AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 19:09, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Copyright law does not work that way. Depending on the intended accuracy of your reproduction, you would have either a derivative work or a direct copy of the original album cover, and the only way you could legally distribute your copies is if you do so in a way that complies with fair use law. --Carnildo (talk) 07:08, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, i was planning on scanning, then using the software at kinkos to shrink the images to about 3.5cm² (that is, on a 17" monitor of standard 1280x960 dpi resolution). but if that doesn't suit my case here, then what would constitute fair use of a derivative work, such as a scan of an album? AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 21:11, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Using a policy page as a scratchpad to develop a proposal

Please look at an edit to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). As I understand it, dramatic changes to policy should be discussed first. A couple of editors tried to remove the change on that basis but were immediately reverted. An editor did manage to get the word 'proposed' inserted. So that is an improvement but several editors are unhappy about this as a precedent.

Some editors involved in a war over binary prefixes (see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (binary prefixes)) are also involved in demanding that this change is made. I am not involved in that war. If the scope of the change was minor and confined to binary prefixes, I would possibly not even have looked at it. But it has unlimited scope. To use a medical analogy: the medicine needed to cure the binary prefix war is being given to everybody regardless of the existing treatments that they were all using before. I don't think that it is necessary to force this through by exceptional process.

Several editors are concerned about this exception and the precedent it sets for radical policy changes. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to convince the proposals developers to take it off the guideline page until it is stable and has consensus. I am aware of Wikipedia:Ignore all rules and Wikipedia:Be bold and sometimes use them myself but I do not think they are justified here.

Now that discussion has started on the talk page, the original unsubtle proposal is being amended frequently. Many editors that focus on issues that were stable till now are having to defend the previous position. Usually radical proposals are developed outside a guideline page and only added when stable. We are in the situation where the guideline page is being used as a development scratchpad. This is not only wrong, it is inconvenient for those of us who like guideline pages to be stable and easy to monitor. I have tried to stay out of it in the hope that gradually it will settle down. What do others think? Lightmouse (talk) 09:48, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Lightmouse, I respect your take on things, so I want to hear more about what you think is going wrong. Are you saying that the recent discussions are not an improvement on the way these issues were handled before? I had the impression that these things tended to get over-discussed and under-resolved; the current discussion seems to involve a lot of relevant data, good judgment calls, good collaboration, and more civility than before. The same could be said for all the style guidelines talk pages, I think.
On the general point that WP:BRD does not apply to guidelines and policy pages: Amen. It says that in the top infobox on all such pages: "Before editing this page, please make sure that your revision reflects consensus." I believe User:Kim Bruning and all the folks at WT:CONSENSUS are very interested in this issue and have lots to say on the subject.
On the application to style guidelines pages in particular: I'd like for us to put a notice somewhere on style guidelines talk pages reminding people that those pages are patrolled less frequently than some other guidelines pages, because the people who are familiar with all the style guidelines usually stay busy reviewing articles, so it means nothing if someone makes a change in a style guidelines page and it doesn't get reverted for a few days. This isn't a change, it's just an observation; but being transparent about this would be really helpful, for a number of reasons. Tony just started last month putting together monthly summaries of changes to some style guidelines pages for the benefit of anyone who reviews articles (any kind of review: FA, PR, GA, A, etc), and several of us have followed his lead. I'm hoping one consequence is that more reviewers will take some time away from their usual activities to visit the relevant style guidelines pages, either before May 1 to give us the benefit of their experience "in the trenches" before the summaries get published, or after they've been alerted by the summaries to things they're interested in. It's a given that they're not dropping by all the style guidelines pages frequently, and it would be really unfortunate if they felt they had to; experienced article reviewers are IMO the most precious resource on Wikipedia, and I have been really delighted at how skillfully most of them manage to follow the rules without pissing people off. Bottom line: the article reviewers are the ones who have the most first-hand experience of how people react when you tell them what the style guidelines say, so before they weigh in, I would not want to presume that some change made today has any presumption of consensus at all.
Another benefit of posting a notice that time-frames for style-guidelines discussions tend to be longer would be to reduce the artificially-created and unhelpful anxiety of people thinking that they have to make all their points on the talk pages right now or else risk "losing". Some of the discussions on WT:Layout from a couple of months ago come to mind; we were fairly clued-in people arguing over very simple things, and I think if the arguments had been conducted in the right atmosphere, they probably would have been short and helpful rather than long and contentious. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 15:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Contrary to Dank55, WP:BRD is for policies and guidelines. That's what it was discovered on. That's where it works best. It's not some random idea, the page documents a method that has been shown to work de facto (and what we think of that fact is irrelevant). At the top of each page it says "please make sure your changes reflect consensus" which is, as the saying goes, a page directly out of the BRD book. BRD is intended as a tool for finding consensus in difficult situations. Policy and guideline pages are more tricky than most.

More strongly, forcing people to discuss first turns out to be an impossible aim. I used to think it was merely inefficient, until some people started messing with flowcharts and logic, and showed that it is almost impossible to gain consensus in an enforced discuss-first situation. A common flaw is that there is no terminating condition, so people end up discussing forever. (In theory, that is, in practice they just make lots of wikidrama and then give up. Sound familiar?)

I'm not sure why every style-guide talk page should have a template that basically copies WP:SILENCE. Isn't that page clear enough?

All policies, guidelines and essays are subject to normal wiki-editing rules, and have the same strengths and weaknesses as any other wiki page, including occasional instability. Don't like it? Choose a different project.

Policies and guidelines document consensus on the wiki and in the community, they do not set it. Just like with any other page on the wiki, there is no guarantee that the pages are entirely correct at any point in time. It is your own responsibility to check and ensure that the pages are in fact in line with community consensus (and also to correct them when they are not).


Of course it's ok to discuss first, BUT DO NOT FORCE YOUR PREFERENCE ON OTHERS , it breaks the wiki-process! Allow people to use normal wiki-editing or BRD if they prefer.

--Kim Bruning (talk) 15:36, 23 April 2008 (UTC) Wow, I don't recall using all-caps very often before... :-P But this is a point worth hammering down, before people start taking the wiki out of wikipedia. Don't break the wiki-process please!

Now I'm confused. WP:BRD says: "BE BOLD, and make what you currently believe to be the optimal change." The first infobox on guidelines and policy pages says, "Before editing this page, please make sure that your revision reflects consensus." Kim, are you saying that those two statements are the same? - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 16:33, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The assumption is that you already believe that the optimal change ideally either already more accurately describes consensus than the current version, or that it is just plain common sense, (and therefore)/(or) that people will very shortly agree with it, in which case the same applies. :-)
In practice, of course, there might still be a number of people who haven't been heard yet, who are opposed to the change. BRD allows you to find those people if they exist.
--Kim Bruning (talk) 16:48, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't disagree with this viewpoint, Kim, but I disagree with the language (and I also disagree with some applications of this on style guidelines pages, but let's take one thing at a time). This seems like a distinction which is quite likely to go over the heads of ordinary Wikipedians ... it certainly went over my head, and it's still hovering, even after careful reading of WP:BRD. Do most Wikipedians equate "what you currently believe to be the optimal change" with what "reflects consensus"? If they do not, then shouldn't one or the other of those sentences be clarified? Not only does WP:BRD not clarify, it seems to head off in the opposite direction from the infobox statement, by saying "Boldly make the desired change", and by advising to invoke WP:BRD specifically when the page has a "stuck" consensus that you disagree with. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 17:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
This might not be the (globally) optimal situation
Hmmm, a stuck version that you disagree with would be more accurate, I guess. (We presume that consensus might be caught in a local optimum, and needs a bit of a push).
Before you hit submit on any edit (especially a BRD edit), you had better be sure of consensus. There's actually 4 questions you need to ask yourself before hitting submit. Here's a current discussion about that: Wikipedia_talk:Ignore_all_rules#Ignoring_the_rules_v._Ignoring_a_rule
More so than with other edits, it's important to have those 4 answers ready for BRD, because you're likely to have to answer those questions several times to several different people. :-)
--Kim Bruning (talk) 17:29, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • MOS is a whole herd of hobby-horses, ridden by disruptive editors who would like to make their prejudices the Rules for Wikipedia. Special rules are enforced by a handful of know-it-alls with ownership problems. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:54, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, Sept, I've been responding in most of the latest threads on WT:MoS, and to a lesser extent on the pages on the "Style" sidebar lately (due more to underemployment than exceptional knowledge), so most people reading that would assume you're including me. Are you? If so, let's go talk it out at someplace like WP:Third opinion. If not, please give 3 examples of the kind of rules you're talking about. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 18:12, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
No, of course I don't mean you; I am speaking of the text of WP:MOS (and its hydra-headed offspring), most of which you haven't affected any more than I have. In fact, the majority of it hasn't been edited (immediate reversions excluded) by anyone since some solitary editor put it in. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay thanks. I agree that being happy with the way things are going on style talk pages now doesn't immediately translate into guidelines that everyone is happy with, but it can't hurt. Significant work continues in making everything easier to locate, pointing out contradictions, and surveying a wide set of people for opinions. For instance, the WT:GAU survey has 35 responses so far, and at least 34 all 35 of them are positive. Clearly there's not a lot of anger at the Good Article review process, including the WP:MoS part. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 04:05, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Ah! You were caught in a conflict? T hat explains things a bit. So yeah, 30, or ask medcab to look in? :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 19:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Um, Kim, I was responding to Sept :) Now that you have explained your take on WP:BRD, I don't see any startling disagreement between Lightmouse, you and me, but I'll give it 24 hours to make sure everyone is happy, before I move on to the point I want to make about style guidelines. I will stop saying "BRD doesn't apply" on guidelines and policy pages and say instead that both the infobox at the top and general consensus indicate that someone better have a good reason ... and have it handy ... if they make an edit to a guideline or policy page. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 19:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Cool! :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 20:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The editor who made the changes, in this case Greg, has approached the subject without a jaded history on the subject "a fresh pair of eyes". His change is common sense and in that case can be said to have de facto consensus and it is clear the arguments were just going around in circles without a vocal minority ever realising their minority point of view is lacking a wider consensus. So yes being bold with common sense wider consensus is good.DavidPaulHamilton (talk) 23:52, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I do not understand which subject you mean. Are you referring to the binary prefix war? Lightmouse (talk) 08:14, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay this seems to have died down, so here was my other point, and pardon me for repeating: I'd like to put a notice somewhere on style guidelines talk pages reminding people that those pages are patrolled less frequently than some other guidelines pages, because the people who are familiar with all the style guidelines usually stay busy writing or reviewing articles, so it means nothing if someone makes a change in a style guidelines page and it doesn't get reverted for a few days, because discussion time-frames tend to be longer. This isn't a change in anything, it's just an observation. Does this seem reasonable? Is it also clear that this isn't going to be self-evident to everyone who visits the pages, and being clear would save people from misunderstandings and wasted time?
The difference in style guidelines pages is that people who write and/or review a lot of articles are the ones who are most likely to make helpful changes and keep harmful changes from taking root, because these are the people who know where and when to look things up, who have a good ear for language, and who are familiar not just with the style guidelines but with how they get applied to a variety of articles. These people don't generally watchlist and baby-sit all 70 style guidelines pages and respond on a daily basis, and if they all did, article production on Wikipedia would suffer, a lot. I'm not being elitist, because I'm talking about people who self-identify this way, I'm not excluding anyone. The bottom line is: it would be arrogant of us, and harmful to Wikipedia, to insist that these people meet our timetables rather than their own, because they have very important work to do; and this has not always been understood or appreciated, so we should be clearer about it. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 03:22, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Can I take it from lack of reaction that I can move this proposal back to the style pages, without having to argue that this violates any policy?

I've got no problem with the application of BRD to policy pages. According to WP:CONSENSUS

Consensus is typically reached as a natural product of the editing process; generally someone makes a change or addition to a page, and then everyone who reads the page has an opportunity to either leave the page as it is or change it. In essence, silence implies consent, if there is adequate exposure to the community.

Greg took that opportunity to make a change, in good faith I'm sure, believing that he had consensus. Had things just been left at that, all would be well. Another editor read the page and the change was reverted. It was subsequently reinstated. Then it was removed again. Again it was reinstated with the insistance that there was consensus. Meanwhile objections were being raised on the talk page. Not wanting things to turn into an edit war, I insterted proposed (as noted above).

If an edit is reverted, that's an indication of a lack of consensus. If the reversion happens twice, it's a strong indication. If objections are raised on the talk page, that's another indication. At this stage with the current level of consensus, this cannot be considered any more than a proposal. Therefore, should it be allowed to remain on the page, spelt out in full (though subject to frequent change)? JЇѦρ 04:10, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

DavidPaulHamilton says that the proposal addresses a 'subject'. I take it from his contributions that he is referring to the binary prefix war. The trouble is that the proposal scope goes beyond that subject and applies itself to areas that were not in need of a cure. The original aim of those involved was to resolve their binary prefix war. Confine the proposal scope to binary prefixes and the rest of us can relax. Lightmouse (talk) 10:31, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Maximum fair use logo size

Hi, is there a maximum recommended size for fair-use logos for them to qualify as 'low resolution', please? BlueValour (talk) 00:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Generally no more than 600 px on the longest side. MBisanz talk 07:38, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. BlueValour (talk) 22:06, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Project Magic - discussion underway.

Hi! I'm trying to get concensus on an issue on secrets in Project Magic - there is a discussion about it here. Please note that this is not about whether or not secrets can be posted on Wikipedia article space - there are accepted guidelines already in place. I would recommend that you do read those guidelines before commenting on the discussion. Thank you! StephenBuxton (talk) 11:22, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Permissions for photography inside private pemises

I should welcome advice on the copyright position of photographs taken inside private premises, please. What brought it to mind was Image:Tesco metro manchester.jpg. There is no indication that permission was sought or given for photography in a Tesco store. TerriersFan (talk) 19:46, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Similarly, I've seen no indication that permission is needed for photography in a Tesco store... a store is not "private premises" in the same way that, say, an art gallery or a private residence is. EVula // talk // // 19:50, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
There's an overview of UK photography rights at [2] Bluap (talk) 20:00, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Under US standards, being on private property has no impact on copyright. Taking the photos might subject the photographer to charges (such as trespassing), but in nearly all cases that has no impact on the ability of the photographer to subsequently use and redistribute the images. So by American standards, it would appear to be no problem. I am not familiar with UK law. Dragons flight (talk) 22:43, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Banners

I'm trying to help out User:Wubzy and can't seem to find anything on my question. Do any WikiProjects have more than one talk page banner? My thinking is no, and only one is needed; but they seem to want to make extras. Any help? Thanks. §hep¡Talk to me! 06:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what the requirement is, but it looks a bit strange to me. Could you post more details? In principle, each Wikiproject should have exactly one banner (for all I can see), because it's used for automatic identification of the project's articles. That doesn't mean that the template needs to look exactly the same on each page; it could be modified using parameters. See Template:WPBiography for a quite elaborate example. --B. Wolterding (talk) 14:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Addendum: I now found the original discussion at User talk:Wubzy#Project banners. I think what you're trying to do is a rather bad idea. If you would like a change on an edit-protected template, then first post to the talk page of that template, and get consensus for the change; once consensus is clear, an administrator will implement the change. (You can request the edit using the {{editprotected}} template.) But creating a "template fork" in order to implement a layout change seems inappropriate; it also breaks the functionality of the banner, as mentioned above. --B. Wolterding (talk) 14:59, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
That was my thinking as well. I thought it looked funny for there to be more than one banner. I'll let Wubzy know they shouldn't, I was going to as soon as I saw the template, but wasn't exactly sure of policy. Thanks! §hep¡Talk to me! 18:25, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Good article icon

A proposal to add a symbol identifying Good Articles in a similar manner to Featured ones is being discussed: see Wikipedia talk:Good articles#Proposal. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:49, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


Most of the PDF files uploaded to Wikipedia are either vamispamcruftitissements or however you spell that, unencyclopedic stuff, spam, or stuff that would be better suited for Wikisource. Think we should just disable the uploading of PDF's once and for all? ViperSnake151 19:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Some are uploaded by people who are ignorant of policy or image format requirement, but potentially useful. The template {{BadPDF}} was apparently designed for this, but I don't know how closely the associated maintenance category is monitored. (If it's like most image maintenance categories, the answer is "not very".) Free images should be converted and moved to Commons, free text should be moved to Wikisource - that is, presuming the content itself is useful. Kelly hi! 22:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I've been doing some work getting rid of inappropriate PDF files, but I think there's only one other person doing it. Virtually all the articles in Category:Images in the PDF format were tagged by me so I highly doubt there's anyone monitoring it. Hut 8.5 10:30, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Hello. I've just been looking at talk pages, and i think that wikipedia should be limited to people in high school or above. I mean, RyRy5 was posing as an experienced user, handing out misinformation to "students" in his bureaucratic system and saying he would harass Queer Bubbles if he became an administrator. And, this Shapiros10 person went for an RfA the day after he graduated from adoption. This is stupid that we let them edit! Chris is my name (talk) 20:06, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

People that behave badly get blocked from Wikipedia, regardless of age. If you are 8 and can behave like a civilized person, and have positive things to contribute to the encyclopedia, then welcome. If you are 40 and an asshole, then you will likely be blocked. Besides, you may have not noticed this, but there is no way to check ID at the door here. We have no means of verifying anything about the person sitting at the keyboard, and if people don't anyone to know how old they are, they don't have to tell anyone... Its that simple. 20:14, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with (the content, but not necessarily the tone of voice of) Jayron32. It is the quality of the contribution and behaviour of the editor not the age of the editor that should count Arnoutf (talk) 20:20, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
This is most likely trolling, considering both the tone and the three minutes between his registering[3] and his first edit.[4] EVula // talk // // 21:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
User blocked indef. Nakon 21:05, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I started my account when I was 10 or 11ish (and I'm only 13 now), surely restricting access by age would be discrimination and cause a lack of information on certain topics...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 12:11, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, RyRy5 has become a great user. User:CBrowne1023 is 15, User:Anonymous Dissident is 13, but became an admin at 12 and User:Animum is 13, but became an admin at 12. Those are three of the best users we've ever had, so this is a stupid idea.--Phoenix-wiki 11:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

RFC: Victim Lists

Wikipedia:Victim Lists is an attempt by me to create community consensus on the inappropriateness of lists of victims on Wikipedia. A number of lists of non-notable victims have popped up over time, both on various event pages and as articles of their own, and I feel they are unencylopedic and are in violation of Wikipedia guidelines, particularly Wikipedia guidelines on lists and notability. The deletion discussions are often acrimonious and recently a couple were deleted, and there was a dispute over their inappropriateness and existance as memorials. I felt it would be good to get a broader community consensus on interpretation of Wikipedia guidelines as it relates to lists of non-notable victims of various events. I have never done this before and if any of you think I should post this message anywhere else (other than a few list of victims pages which I know of in particular which have been involved in deletion discussions in the past, as well as the RFC place and the relevant policy pages), let me know. Thanks for your input on the subject. Titanium Dragon (talk) 22:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

  • That gives me an idea. How about a transwiki (and I'm not being sarcastic) to a Wikia website like "WikiMemorial"? This would solve the debates we have regarding posting victim lists on Wikipedia, e.g. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Titanic.--WaltCip (talk) 16:12, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
    • No, it wouldn't. People recognize Wikipedia as a major place people get information, so they keep trying to insert their favorite subject here, even if there's a more appropriate Wiki. It might reduce the numbers a bit, but it'll keep happening. -- Kesh (talk) 14:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Hello, I just added a new section to the Assume good faith guideline article, WP:DGF or "Demonstrate good faith". It is my belief that its content is completely in line with the spirit of the Wikipedia project which is why I added it without a preceding discussion, I was "being bold".

However, my motivation to add it is my involvement in a dispute with another user which is currently under discussion at WP:WQA, so my impartiality in this belief should definitely be examined and confirmed. I would like to invite everyone to take a look at WP:DGF, rewrite it, or even delete it if community consensus is against it. (And I do mean everyone; my opponent(s) in the dispute are in fact probably the most important individuals to voice an opinion on whether this is an appropriate addition to the guideline.)

Thank you,

❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 10:26, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

As with changes to any guideline, anything other than wording changes for clarity and similar non-controversial changes should be posted to the discussion page first, to build consensus.
See Wikipedia talk:Assume good faith for the discussion of this change to the guideline. (The guideline itself has been reverted to its previous state, since the change was premature.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:32, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

School Blocking & Group Accounts

I haven't had much experience in this area so I'm going to ask here before just changing anything. To quote WP:NOSHARE, "Sharing an account – or the password to an account – with others is not permitted, and doing so will result in the account being blocked." However, Template:Schoolblock implies that accounts can be created for class projects (which of course means the account being shared among the class). Do I need to add an exception to the no sharing rule that accounts for this, or is the template in the wrong? It's a fairly large issue here, that the template viewed on almost every block of educational IP addresses seems to completely contradict the username/account policy. Cheers αlεxmullεr 12:03, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I (maybe wrongly) thought that referred to an account per student...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 12:07, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that makes more sense – but, Template:Schoolblock isn't totally clear in that case. I'm not actively subscribed to the unblock-en-l list, so not sure if there are requests made for a whole class (15/20/30) of accounts to be created αlεxmullεr 12:13, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know schoolblock is a special form of IP block, where an IP is in the possession of a school. In other words it is equal to IP blocks for private users, but as schools may have good-faith need of Wiki more exaplanation, and ways how personal accounts (that can be used but not created from a blocked IP domain) can be created are given. Arnoutf (talk) 14:11, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, that's right; a schoolblock is a block where accounts can't be created from the IP address but registered users can still login and edit. The text in that template message has at least caused some confusion, so I'm going to post on its talk page later on to see if we can clarify it. I'd also like to clarify everything surrounding schools editing Wikipedia, as we've come across a few troubles/confusions at our school – but I'm afraid rewriting policy will have to wait until I'm free over summer :). Thanks αlεxmullεr 18:40, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia has no policies about schools editing but rather about individual editors (identified by IP or user name). Sadly schools (with a fixed IP) often have irresponsible students who abuse editing privileges; leaving no other option than blocking the IP. Arnoutf (talk) 17:55, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I've boldly changed the text to read, "If editing is required for class projects, please have your teacher or network administrator contact us..." I think that makes it clearer. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:05, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

(←) Yep, I think that's clearer now... that said, I still think there needs to be more clearly defined help/policy for schools, having seen the confusion it causes first hand. That's a project right there... Alex.Muller 12:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Using same spam guidelines for all media

In various place articles, to be listed, a paper (or other print media) must have its own article. This is to ensure that listing it is not merely spam. It suddenly dawns on me that all television and radio stations are listed automatically. Only the higher standard is required for print media. While I still don't want to list mere throwaways, neither should television nor radio stations with scant listeners or few hours be listed either. This needs discussion and some rationale. I would guess the same standard - no article, no listing. This will come as a great culture shock to people working on place articles, however. Student7 (talk) 12:33, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


Licensed radio and TV stations are notable if they broadcast over the air and originate at least a portion of their programming schedule in their own studios. Lower power radio stations limited to a small neighborhood, such as Part 15 operations in the United States or stations with a VF# callsign in Canada, are not inherently notable, although they may be kept if some real notability can be demonstrated. Stations that only rebroadcast the signal of another station should be redirected to their programming source (e.g. CICO-TV is a redirect to TVOntario.)

I don't pay attention to media much, but I'd guess most TV and many radio stations qualify under these criteria. I don't see any mention of media in notability policy pages, but following the outcomes would seem reasonable. I agree with the spirit of Student's proposal (not to list nonnotable media), but I think we should remember that broadcasters have a different standard than do newspapers. Nyttend (talk) 13:09, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
We may have the assumption that someone is listening to them. Maybe we should be more careful about low-power stations and stations who don't have figures published on listeners/watchers (Neilsen, that sort of thing).
We are currently handling repeater stations like regular stations, rightly or wrongly. The assumption is that the area in which the repeater is located is a target/host locality.Student7 (talk) 14:39, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
By the way, what are you asking about? External links to websites, or a full-of-red-links version of Honolulu's media section? Nyttend (talk) 15:24, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
In the UK newspapers can be "registered as a newspaper at the post office", you can normally find this information with the publisher details. I have no idea how to register or what can be registered or what the effects of registration are. But it'd be a minimum standard to keep out most "rubbish". Dan Beale-Cocks 14:14, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion (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, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

It already was a guideline; it was changed from an "editing guideline" to a just plain guideline. That decision (which I support) can be commented on at the talk page, for those interested. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:26, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

NPOV and criticism pages

I am writing to challenge critism pages as I believe they should be avoided to keep NPOV. I believe appraisal pages would be preferable or a more balanced approach as I believe wikipedia is becoming a a very negative place and like trivia I think "criticism" pages should be depreciated in return for a more neutral approach. I futhermore believe that Wikipedia: Neutral Point of View does not deal with these pages correctly. for example

I look forward to any "appraisal" you have of this proposal PheonixRMB (talk) 14:59, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

That's a bad example. The page is so long that it would overhelm the Space Shuttle program article with negative stuff, and the criticism seems substantiated (altought it lacks a lot more sources). As a quick assessment, I look at Talk:Criticism_of_the_Space_Shuttle_program#New_Article and it seems that the criticism was originally splitted out for lenght reason. Try to find an example where the criticism can be shortened enough to merge into the main article without lenght problems, or where the criticism is splitted out for POV reasons --Enric Naval (talk) 18:43, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
PheonixRMB, can you point out specific NPOV violations in Criticism of the Space Shuttle program? Splitting/merging based on article length is borderline according to WP:SPLIT (Space Shuttle program 24 KB, Criticism 23KB). I read through Talk:Criticism of the Space Shuttle program#Separate article for criticisms, and the reasoning presented there concerns me. However, the articles appear to conform to WP:Content forking and WP:Summary style. WP:Criticism may be a useful read. Flatscan (talk) 01:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
The concern was that 33% of the article was criticism and growing. If it was merged back, it would be 50%. You see, NASA and the space program do have a lot of flaws, like Feynman described, so the criticism percentage can only go up, and the poor article would look like a hatchet job against the NASA.
Also, there is probably a bias with with all articles that attract engineering-type editors: they prefer short and concise stuff, so they will tend to split with smaller sizes. As you indicate, the forked article is not POV. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:32, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I do see what you say about the space shuttle arcticle but I was only using it as an example. I just dont understand why NPOV allows "critism" pages. Of course iff something has very little possitive merit it can be difficult but I wonder if critism pages are an example of Weasel words implying something is true even though many people would not agree. Please understand I am just suggesting a third way to remove the stigma of "critism" for a more even handed approach. Thanks for the feedback so far. PheonixRMB (talk) 13:18, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
In my limited experience with disputed splits, splitting is generally supported by length or WP:Undue weight (too much weight, as measured by length versus full article) and merging supported by POV forking or undue weight (too little weight in a separate article). POV forking covers both when the minority POV is hidden away from the main article and when it is given its own article to be promoted unchecked. My opinion is that these situations are sufficiently covered by the existing policies and guidelines, but you're welcome to link other articles as possible counterexamples or for clarification. Flatscan (talk) 04:32, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
An article on criticism of something can be written neutrally just as much as an article on the subject itself. It presents the existence of criticism, states who raised it, and then covers responses or opposing views to it. Certainly, the point is not to pile on with every single negative thing ever said about it, but in many cases the criticism of the subject is just as notable as anything else - consider Criticism of Microsoft or Criticism of Wikipedia. About the only suggestion I could make would be to change the title to something like "Public and professional opinion of ..." which I think would just be at risk of inviting too much unverifiable content as people voiced their own opinion. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 05:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

"Wikify" tagging

I think that the prodigious rate that some editors go around slapping the "Wikify" tag on articles really detracts from the time the very same editors could be using to "wikify" the same articles that they decry are "unwikified." Instead of posting "wikify," I think a good guideline would be to edit the article in question, adding wiki linques when needed. That would be more productive to the project than just posting tags.

See from this recent exchange the unhelpful nature of the "wikify" tag:

An editor posted a wikify tag on one of my articles, then I politely asked him on his talk page if he would want to help me wikify the article here: [5].

The user replied that he was "too busy" [6].

Yet a review of his user contributions regarding the period of editing between my post and his response of being "too busy" reveals little productive article-editing. see [7].

This is just one example of the overall injury described above. I think my thesis should be promulgated in a guidleline. Respectfully, JeanLatore (talk) 23:53, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Support. as nominator. JeanLatore (talk) 23:53, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose The use of tagging is not just to draw the attention of editors to what needs fixing but also more to draw the attention of the reader to what assertions he/she should or shouldn't be trusting. If they were designed primarily to draw editors' attention to things that needed fixing, then the talk page would be a perfectly appropriate place for them. Since most of them are for the benefit of readers, they should stay in the article.
Fuhghettaboutit - "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Unreferenced, unverified content (which if written in any detail is always chock full of errors when actually examined to source) should not be foisted on anyone as proper content. It must not give the appearance of proper content. I think tags should be made bigger and louder: THIS ARTICLE CITES NO SOURCES AND IPSO FACTO SHOULDN'T BE RELIED ON AT ALL! I'm exxaggerating a little but it is crucial we keep these flags flying" Emphasise added.
More can be found this from last weeks discussion in (archive 43)
Lastly, look at the number of articles deleted daily, including the nominators, if they where appropriately tags some might be salvaged. SunCreator (talk) 00:49, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

To clarify, I was only talking about the "Wikify" tag (noting that the words in the article need to be wiki-linked with [ [ ] ])JeanLatore (talk) 01:03, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, thanks for that. Having followed your links posted above encountered this and this. So, I thought you where referring to tagging in general. So about wikify tagging, I don't use that tsg, but wikifying can be a bit of an art form, so can understand some people like to do that specific activity, so having the tag helps them finding appropriate articles. SunCreator (talk) 01:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The Wikify tag attracts certain editors who like to fix articles, as a form of relaxation/fun. If somebody doesn't like the way it looks, there are people who don't like the way articles that deviate from Wikipedia's format look. Phlegm Rooster (talk) 01:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The reason that this and other similar tags exist is because of the massive influx of articles to Wikipedia that require fixing. Some editors do high speed tagging via tools so that all the articles requiring attention end up in the appropriate maintenance categories. These editors wouldn't have enough time to fix all the articles they tag themselves in the same amount of time, and the tagging itself ensures that the articles do get fixed eventually.--Dycedarg ж 04:21, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I am the user that he is talking about that was "too busy". Please assume good faith. When I say I'm busy, surprisingly enough, that means that I'm actually busy. I have 2 jobs, 21 credit hours of classes, a tutoring position, and finals coming up in 2 weeks. There is a life outside of Wikipedia. I tagged your article to help protect it from getting prodded or AfD'd. It's in terrible shape and is in need of drastic reworking; I tagged it so someone watching the relevant category could help you. It's nothing against you or your article. That said, this proposal would effectively kill the improvement of Wikipedia. People would have to keep going to random pages to find ones in need of improvement rather than the system in place, and that's a terrible idea. Celarnor Talk to me 06:03, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above - the tag helps get editors who work on categorising article involved. Categorising work that needs to be done on articles has clear advantages in terms of focusing effort. Hut 8.5 10:25, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - without prejudice to the issue at hand, not everyone enjoys wikifying articles and nobody is under any obligation to do any sort of job here (unless you're employed by the Foundation) - we are all volunteers. Some people write Featured Articles, some people fight vandals, and some wikify articles - and so on. x42bn6 Talk Mess 13:57, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The OP has a reasonable point - rushing through articles slapping a wikify tag is harmful to the project. If some of the people involved in speedy tagging also went through the backlog and wikified a few articles, even if they only did one per day, it'd be much more useful than tagging. And this is just talking about appropriate use of the wikify tag, add in to that poor use of that tag, and all the other tags, and there are a bunch of articles that don't need to be tagged, or only need minor fixing, but which are going to be left in a poor condition because the backlog is overwhelming. (I'm not going to fucking vote in a straw poll) Dan Beale-Cocks 14:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
How is it harmful? There are some people who do nothing but monitor the "Articles needing wikification category" and wikify the articles as they show up. Not tagging articles that need help in that matter only exposes one person (i.e, the person reading the article) to the fact that it is in need of help. This way, lots and lots of people get exposed to the problems with the article, and help is more likely to come around. If anything, not tagging them would be harmful to the project. Celarnor Talk to me 22:17, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
But there are very many more people tagging articles than there are people fixing those articles. People think that speedy tagging is useful - it's gently useful, but it's much more useful to do a bit of work and wikify an article. Is adding [[wiki tags]] really that hard? The harm to the project comes from editors who want to become admins who are pushing up their edit count by tagging articles in the mistaken belief that it'll help at RfA, and from the attitude that tagging an article is as good as improving that article. It isn't. Dan Beale-Cocks 09:41, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
You're right, it's not as helpful as actually improving the article. However, the same can be said about the vast majority of tags. In general, copyediting an article isn't that difficult. However, the articles that are written by the user in question have a lot more problems than just adding inter-wiki links. They don't even come close to obeying the manual of style; they look like class notes and require extensive copyediting as well as sources. I first came in contact with this user when List of basic tort law topics was brought up at AfD and copyedited it to save it; it took me quite a while. But I think you're wrong in your assertion that there aren't a lot of copyeditors. There's an entire category full of them that watch the "Articles needing copyeditors" and "Articles needing cleanup". Not everyone on the wiki specializes in the manual of style; myself, I'm a sourcing person. I save things from deletion at AfD. Everyone has their niche, and tags let people whose niche isn't wikification bring the fact that it needs copyediting to be a better article to the people who do specialize in that. Celarnor Talk to me 15:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are many ways in which editors can improve the encyclopedia. One (fairly easy) way to to click on "Random article", and tag that article with the ways in which it could be improved. Another (more involved) way is to go to one of various clean-up projects, and improve an article from that project's backlog. Both ways listed above are valuable to Wikipedia: the first editor adds articles to a backlog; the second editor removes them from a backlog. The length of the backlogs can make the pace frustratingm but over a long period of time, there is a net gain to the encyclopedia. Please remember that Wikipedia is a work in progress: part of this progress is identifying where our weak spots are. Bluap (talk) 14:38, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Even a person who knows just the basics about Wikipedia could potentially recognise a badly formatted article while navigating the mainspace and tag it as such, without necessarily being a regular editor. Tagging is something almost everybody can do, as opposed to good formatting and copy-editing. Waltham, The Duke of 22:14, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: "Yet a review of his user contributions regarding the period of editing between my post and his response of being "too busy" reveals little productive article-editing." That doesn't mean that they are not busy, eg: i can be busy doing something but if i notice something small on a article i may still tag it, instead of wikifing it myself which because i'm doing something else like a school assigment. Peachey88 (Talk Page | Contribs) 08:22, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Other suggestion Since the wikify tag is mainly to aid editors, require it to be in the talk space. Taemyr (talk) 09:34, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have already wikified an article after seeing the wikify tag. It took more than an hour to put <nowikiwi>[[]]</nowiki> and inlining references that had the [n] part done by hand on html, they were also orphaned and required guesswork to see where they belonged to. Had the article not been tagged, I would have never taken the effort to do it. Tagging probably took less than one minute. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:31, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Let's sue vandals.

Prohibitions on "legal threats" aside, the Wikimedia Foundation should sue the worst persistent vandals. Given the prohibitions against vandalism, we could at least argue trespass to chattels, if not copyright infringement based on the creation of derivative works outside the scope of the license to edit. We could, at the very least, gain enforceable injunctive relief. bd2412 T 06:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Do it on one of those daytime TV court shows! --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 09:11, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Couldn't we theoretically sue for defamation of character? Here is an example of an edit made just a moment ago; wouldn't this be a decent basis for a lawsuit? If someone were to actually say this in real life in a reputable source (which WP is seen as, no matter what we say in our disclaimer), wouldn't they be sued? GlassCobra 09:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
IANAL However trespass to chattels requires actual damage. If our article on the subject is to be believed that means vandalism that makes our system unavailable. The edits are within GFDL so copyright infringement would be difficult to argue. Quite a lot of the vandalism edits falls under libel, but I don't think we can sue for libel, we could at best sponsor a suit made by the subject of the libel. Taemyr (talk) 09:43, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The Wikimedia foundation has no standing to sue for the libel of any third party (although such third parties definitely do have such standing). The fact that we are able to quickly repair the damage does not preclude a claim for the trespass which caused the damage and necessitated the repair. In any event, we could get injunctive relief, which would lead to monetary penalties for continued vandalism even where we bear no cost for repairing the damage. bd2412 T 17:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
On this general topic, why is WP:Terms of Service red? I thought that that at some point before editing I had agreed to my edits be bound by the laws of Florida and suchlike. Taemyr (talk) 09:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
How can there be terms of service agreements when you don't need to create an account to edit? I'm not sure if this whole topic was meant to be serious. People put anything they like on here because Wikipedia invites them to, but we also have other people reverting nonsense. That is the way the system was designed to work. We made this bed, now we lie in it. I'm not blaming anyone for being frustrated at vandalism, but we can't have a practice that freely enables vandalism and then sue when it happens. I'm sure the judge would say that if Wikipedia really wanted to protect itself, there are other remedies it could have tried first, such as putting in more restrictions, or just locking up the whole site, saying the encyclopedia is done, and turn it into a static website. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 11:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Click-wrap contracts are generally deemed valid now - you can hold someone to agreeing to the terms of service simply by their clicking of the "Save page" button. And I doubt a judge would require us to shutter the encyclopedia to gain protection from vandals anymore than a judge would require closure of a public park prior to awarding relief against graffiti artists. bd2412 T 17:44, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Wow, um, no? People donate money to this project. I don't want my money donated to the collection of human knowledge being used to fund lawsuits against people. Besides, you'd run into a lot of problems regarding verifying the person behind the IP address is the person in question. The RIAA, whose entire existence is dedicated to suing people out of existence, is starting to run into this problem. I don't think that the Wikimedia Foundation, with its single advisor, is going to fare better. Of course, that doesn't even begin to take into account the public image issues. Celarnor Talk to me 15:50, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I think, if this were somehow possible, it would be a great way to completely destroy the project. It doesn't matter who opens the door to making contributors legally liable for their edits, once the perception is there that you could actually end up in court for pressing that button at the top of the page, the vitality will go out of this endeavor. Darkspots (talk) 16:13, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I doubt that - we have vandals who make a habit of replacing entire articles with pictures of bodily functions. If we press suits only against those cases where a vandal has repeatedly returned over weeks or months to indulge the same destructive impulse, that should not give pause to the well-meaning editor who falls short of that type of nonsense. People do occasionally get sued for defamation over the internet, and that does not seem to have slowed the pace of postings to forums. bd2412 T 17:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I sincerely doubt that we would benefit from suing vandals. First off, we would have a tough time proving damages, second we would spend more proving it than we would gain, third most vandals are either teenagers or adults with the mentality of teenagers(ie they don't have any money). (1 == 2)Until 17:45, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Anyway... there is no way we can make this stick. Which juridical system do we use... the American.... please no I am editing from the Netherlands, so you should sue me under Dutch law (if I were a vandal). Good luck with that (and other countries).... Arnoutf (talk) 18:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Spanish law here. You have to prove that there was actual damage --Enric Naval (talk) 19:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Do we even know where our worst vandals come from? Surely we've tracked that, to some degree. The Wikimedia servers are, I believe, in California now, and the damage done is on those servers, so I suppose California law would apply (unless they are still in Florida). In any event, some U.S. legal regime should apply in all cases where the servers are in the U.S. and known to be in the U.S. As for proof of damages, I do not think that will be a problem, as the edit history showing the "damaged" article (and the repair required) will be well preserved. Some U.S. courts have held that sending spam emails can constitute a trespass to the server (even though the emails are easily deleted), and vandalism is a similarly unwelcome activity. bd2412 T 19:52, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Problem is that you would have to convince an American judge/jury that e.g. Chinese vandalism on Wikipedia can indeed be prosecuted within the US. And then you have to convince the Chinese government that this is indeed the case and the extradite the offender. For the Dutch case I am pretty sure we have an agreement on spamming with many countries but I seriously doubt our government would go for international treaties to limit Wikipedia vandalism (although with the current bunch you never know ;-). In brief I think this is just a waste of effort and resources of the project. Arnoutf (talk) 20:14, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Notice also that the repairs to vandalism are performed by un-paid volunteers, so they represent zero economical damage. As for damage to reputation, wikipedia ought to demonstrate that they made an effort to prevent vandalizing of the articles. Since this is wiki that needs no registration, they didn't. Wikipedia ought to semi-protect all articles and then go only after hackers that circumvened the semi-protection to edit as unregistered users. And wikipedia makes no checks of the changes made by registered users, and performs no checks on registration not even for majority of age aka legal responsability, so there would also be a problem there. --Enric Naval (talk) 21:01, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
How would that differ from vandals damaging a Habitat for Humanity project by prying boards off of a house which must be refastened, where the repairs are done by unpaid volunteers (presuming that no new materials had to be bought to undo the damage)? Neither the open nature of the project nor the ease of repair detracts from the fact that damage is cause, and it is a staple of the law that there is no wrong without a remedy. bd2412 T 21:15, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Because there is no real damage here. In a Habitat for Humanity project (where such an act would be criminal vandalism), if they did sue, they would sue for cost of materials and it would have taken hours to fix so you could try for punitive damages, but if there was minimal cost to the project I doubt you would get much. The most we could sue for is bandwidth costs (probably less than a cent) and server space (a few KB of text, maybe 50 cents if it was a big article). Legal fees alone would be many times that. Mr.Z-man 21:27, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a substantial community of lawyers, some of whom happen to be IP specialists - I'm sure some of us (myself included) would gladly handle such a suit pro bono - whereas the defendant vandal would likely not be so lucky as to get free counsel. bd2412 T 04:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Seeking an injunction is not the same as "suing" someone for damages. Furthermore, I think any judge would be loathe to enforce any hypothetical injunction, can you imagine the uproar that would ensue when someone got put into jail for contempt over "vandalising" wikipedia? JeanLatore (talk) 03:23, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Having personally filed lawsuits seeking both damages and injunctive relief for invasions of intellectual property rights, I can assure you that the mechanism for seeking injunctive relief entails the same kind of legal proceeding as a suit for damages. A judge is not likely to jail someone for vandalism, but they certainly may impose running fines for continued violations. Given the increasing number of judicial opinions that actually cite Wikipedia as a source of information, I think we could make a strong argument that Wikipedia has become a public resource, and that judicial enforcement to prevent vandalism would serve the public interest. bd2412 T 04:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

You shrugged me off before, but this project relies on all sorts of random people to hit that edit button and improve the encyclopedia. IP edits provide a huge percentage of the raw material for this project. Many ordinary people have a blind panic about the law and will never do anything to increase their perceived liability to getting sued. One lawsuit, one contributor sued by Wikipedia, and an enormous number of people will never contribute again.

And even if I'm only half right, the damage would be much greater than any intimidation of vandals that would result from this. Vandals are children. They don't scare that easily. Darkspots (talk) 07:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps, but conversely there is a large population that does not contribute because they do not take Wikipedia seriously, in part because of the level of vandalism. Maybe that will change organically, but a well-publicized lawsuit against a persistent vandal might convince academicians and professionals that the project is taking the necessary steps to deal with that problem, and is therefore worth their efforts. bd2412 T 08:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Bold statement about academics. I think academics have much more problems with lack of discipline in using references; and non-understanding how to use references by good faith editors than reverting vandalism. After all a vandal is reverted in seconds, training proper referencing discipline may take years.... Arnoutf (talk) 09:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

With or without the vandals, Wikipedia will never attract significant numbers of scholars and educated people (with the OP excepted, of course). Unless order can be imposed from the top down, freeing the learned classes from the carping and petty time-wasting of the petty-minded, Wikipedia will continue to muddle about in the mediocrity that is the fate of the human race without order. JeanLatore (talk) 13:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, fines will mean nothing, the large majority of americans are "judgment proof," and I'm sure an even larger percentage of "vandals" are. JeanLatore (talk) 13:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

A more basic problem is that the Foundation disclaims in the strongest possible terms any responsibility for the content on the site (for obvious reasons) It would be pretty difficult to turn around and argue that changing that content was somehow infringing on the Foundation's rights. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 16:47, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Harassment has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Harassment (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 April 2008 (UTC)

Hasn't this always been policy? I don't think that the prohibition against harassing other edits is merely for guidance, it is in fact enforced very strongly. (1 == 2)Until 18:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
No, it has never been policy - see Wikipedia:List of policies. We enforce guidelines too; that's not the distinction.
And this particular page has been reverted (by another editor); it is once again a guideline. (These things really, really should be discussed before a change is made; it's not trivial to change a guideline to be a policy.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:50, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Verifiable -vs- Notable

In 1902 William James published a series of lectures at the University of Edinburgh. In his opening remarks he stated the following:

In recent books on logic, distinction is made between two orders of inquiry concerning anything. First, what is the nature of it? how did it come about? what is its constitution, origin, and history? And second, What is its importance, meaning, or significance, now that it is once here? The answer to the one question is given in an existential judgment or proposition. The answer to the other is a proposition of value, what the Germans call a Werthurtheil, or what we may, if we like, denominate a spiritual judgment. Neither judgment can be deduced immediately from the other. They proceed from diverse intellectual preoccupations, and the mind combines them only by making them first separately, and then adding them together.

It occurs to me that here at Wikipedia we are also in desperate need of separating these two orders of questions. Verifiability would be the first order and notability is the second. This entire post may be seen as jibberish to those not versed in logic but I assure you that this concept defines lines that ought to be well considered. Current Wikipedia policies and guidelines have far more than blurred the line between these two matters and I believe we should make an effort to unblur them if that is even possible at this point. -- Low Sea (talk) 20:24, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

To be honest I think these two guidelines would benefit from cross-referencing. Also notability should extend beyond the article topic to any single reference/ fact in an article. This may seem harsh but I have seen many trivia, irrelevant and even fringe theories being inserted into articles that went to edit war after removal as they were "reliably referenced" (but irrelevant to the article). Not an easy issue as notability and relevance inside an article are very hard and subjective to judge. Arnoutf (talk) 20:36, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:NPOV already addresses that concern more than sufficiently. --erachima talk 07:53, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


See for example Michelangelo. Some sentences have a reference-link (with a number). Those are listed in the "Citations" section below. There is also a "References" section - just the list of sources. But the single sentences in the article do not have to have references-link to those sources? How do we know exactly which sentence in the article is sourced and which not if the sources are for the whole article. How can we recognize if one sentence is an original research?  LYKANTROP  21:14, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Basically, every new fact introduced in the text needs an inline citation. I am sure this is treated in detail in WP:Verifiability. If not to your satisfaction, it should be discussed there. Arnoutf (talk) 21:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Presumably you would have to do some research. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
So it would be better of all the references would be used for inline citations for every single sentence?--  LYKANTROP  07:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your question, but the answer is probably no. "His father, Lodovico di Leonardo di Buonarroti di Simoni, was the resident magistrate in Caprese and podestà of Chiusi. His mother was Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena.[Reference]" That's all referenced to one source, so it wouldn't make sense to duplicate the reference after each sentence. There are other parts where one reference per paragraph might do, if what's in the paragraph is covered by a single reference. In other cases - "X says A,[ref for where X says A] but Y says B.[ref for where Y says B] - clauses in a sentence might have different references, especially if references are reused. Unless the footnotes say or imply otherwise, everything in the text between reference N-1 and reference N should be covered by whatever reference N cites. Angus McLellan (Talk) 11:07, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Of course, a problem then arises if a later editor inserts a sentence or comment within that sourced paragraph, or otherwise rejigs the content. But there is no straight answer to your dilemma, Lykantrop, for wikipedians all have differing views of the level of citation required. Medieval cuisine, for example, is a Featured article yet contains relatively few inline cites. The Military history WikiProject, on the other hand, recommends that "articles be thoroughly – even exhaustively – cited." My practice is to err on the side of over-citing rather than under-citing; under-citing can be problematic; over-citing can be ignored by uninterested parties. Gwinva (talk) 11:47, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
To return to the original question - what you're looking at is a hybrid Harvard-citations approach for sources. The "References" section is NOT for sources that cover the entire article. It's there because the inline citations are briefer (they aren't full citations), and rely on the content of the References section to provide a full cite for each footnote. In such a case, a sentence that is not sourced, and is not in a paragraph that is sourced, needs an inline citation (or its paragraph does, as discussed above.)
A better example of general references covering everything in an article is George Washington in the French and Indian War. Here there are ten references cited (books), with none of the text in the article having in-line citations. The feeling (I'm guessing) is that it isn't worth doing the in-line stuff because (a) pretty much anything in the article can be found in any and all of the references; and (b) nothing in the article is controversial. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:42, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Inaccurate information from sources.

Sorry if the title isn't very useful, I cannot think of a concise way to describe the concept I am trying to put across (if of course you can think of a better phrasing, feel free to change the title).

Anyway, I was looking at Jim Davidson (comedian) earlier, and noted the paragraph in the article about his heckler at a live show. Whilst I'm fairly certain I remember the incident in question (but not the actual reference), the correct term for a Leader in the Scout Association in the UK (where the incident, the source and the subject are all based) is Scout Leader, and has been for around 40 years, long before the incident took place. Should the correct term be used or the one used in the original reference (which ironically is no longer at the link supplied, but that's not important in my opinion)? Thoughts welcome. (talk) 14:13, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Correct it to 'Scout leader' but say you've changed it in the relevant reference comment. SunCreator (talk) 14:26, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I have found the original reference, which does not mention a Scout leader at all, nor does it mention some of the other detail in the paragraph. I have amended the article accordingly, and noted such on the talk page. I would add that The Sun is not in my opinion, a reliable source for anything. The anon questioner is quite right about the correct term being "Scout leader". DuncanHill (talk) 15:01, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Valid points - thanks DuncanHill and SunCreator. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Talking hypothetically, I guess, if the original source was a reliable source in all other aspects, say for instance (I don't know if it's considered any more reliable than The Sun), if a BBC report on the same incident referred to a Scoutmaster, and that was the reference used to back up the statement (and for whatever reason a satisfactory article referring to Scout Leader could not be found), would using the reference and referring to Scout Leader in the main-text be original research, as it is not perhaps immediately obvious to Joe Public that Leader, rather than Master is the correct suffix. All assuming that the sentences "needed" to be in the article, of course. (talk) 16:49, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
To be honest that situation sounds fairly hypothetical as it entails a combination of 1) A mistake by a reliable source - which does not happen all that often 2) No verifiable evidence to show that the reliable source made indeed a mistake - This is even more unlikely; as there should be many materials to show just that. I would say that if there is indeed no evidence the reliable source is at fault, then we should stick with the source. But we can probably deal with that on a case-by-case basis as I think this is very very rare occurrence. Arnoutf (talk) 16:55, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
While it turns out that this specific instance is a moot point, in general, unless you are quoting a source, you can naturally rephrase and use synonyms based on what the source says, assuming you do not change the meaning. In this case, Scout leader and Scout master mean essentially the same thing (in the context of the claim), a person in charge of scouts. Where we might get into trouble would be having the source say "spouse" and the article say husband (when we do not know that the spouse is a husband). The goal is to accurately inform the reader... so if the difference is meaningful in the context of the article, we should follow the source. On the other hand, if the article already talks about Scout Masters, there is benefit to consistent use of that term. --Marcinjeske (talk) 04:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Another look at Threats of Violence

Due to some recent news articles about this project and threats of violence, I would like to solicit and invite opinions/discussion on the talk page. Bstone (talk) 17:04, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Portal space policies

Does content in Portals fall under the same policies as content in main (article) space? Also, how do policies affect whether or not a topic should be associated with a given portal theme? - Keith D. Tyler 00:30, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Reminder: Proposed change in criterion 3a of Non-free content policy

As noted here last week, a proposal has been made to change the wording of the criterion to improve its clarity and effectiveness. Response to date has been largely affirmative. To examine the proposal, read a summary history of the discussion and rationale, and comment, please go to Wikipedia talk:Non-free content#Proposed change to wording of criterion 3a. To read the full discussion that led to the proposal, please go to Wikipedia:NFCC Criterion 8 debate#Entanglement of 8 with 3a.—DCGeist (talk) 06:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Bad pages

There is this page, Soda Dots. I know there is a policy stating it must be vertifiable and not made up or something to that extent. Anyway, should that be deleted and, if it should, how? Bseos (talk) 23:31, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

WP:DPR. Stifle (talk) 10:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Interwiki allowable evidence of user behaviour

I've been asked by an editor to step in and defend them from attack here in English Wikipedia by another user who is making arguements based on their claimed editing pattern and blocks in Dutch Wikipedia. I've been unable to locate policies on this. The question is whether someone's repeatedly making Dutch ArbCom requests can be mentioned here in English Wikipedia as evidence for tenacious or disruptive editing - I suspect not, and clearly each wikipedia has its own policies/guidelines and administrative processes, thus greatly limiting what can be considered as precidence. But is there any formal guidence here in English Wikipedia that I can direct the 2 editors to ?

  • Off immediate issue, but what will happen once unified login is in place if a user is blocked from one Wikipedia language ? Will they be blocked from all logins or just for the language in question ?David Ruben Talk 17:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
    Blocks are local, and even with unified login, a block on one wiki won't result an automatic block on another. EVula // talk // // 18:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
So can one make any mention of a user's disruptive behaviour in another wiki, or is this failure to heed WP:AGF and maliceous and instead poor behaviour needs be purely established in the local English Wikipedia ? David Ruben Talk 18:37, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
It is all part of the same project. (1 == 2)Until 19:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
If its relevant "He did X there, he's now doing X here" or "This is similar to what got him banned from x-wiki" then yes, that is permissible, all WMF wiki's can be referenced on en-wiki. MBisanz talk 20:00, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:AGF is not a blank check (my rant about AGF). Behavior on another wiki (provided that you can, indeed, verify that it is the same human being) is relevant to a discussion only in as much as the reader decides it is relevant. If someone is submitting an AfD for an article and you randomly cite a French ArbCom case involving false copyright tags, that would be rather off-topic (not to mention dickish, whereas in a discussion about an editor improperly tagging articles for speedy deletion here, any case about them doing the same thing on (for instance) the Greek Wikipedia would be relevant.
It all depends on the situation, but AGF is almost certainly not a factor. EVula // talk // // 20:03, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I am a fan of AGF as that often helps defuses heated discussion based on honest mistakes. BUT.... If there is a clear and undeniably record of misbehaviour of an editor (who is the same human being) on another Wiki version, this misbehaviour is relevant in discussions elsewhere because that misbehaviour can be evidence of Bad Faith (i.e. empirical evidence is stronger than a piori assumptions). Thus, yes, I agree evidence of bad faith editing can be relevant, and makes AGF irrelevant (as proven unjustified) in other projects. Arnoutf (talk) 20:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for everyones thoughts and the points raised :-) David Ruben Talk 12:56, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Reporting Possible Needs For Oversight at WP:AN/I

I am wanting to get some feedback on here, but for the past week or so, I've been watching the WP:AN/I page just to see what's going on. And several times there have been threads such as "I think this needs to be oversighted" or "Should this be oversighted?" I feel that this causes more users to be able to look at the specified edit which contains personal information and increases the likelihood of information within that edit being used maliciously. So I am proposing a guideline/policy that any and all issues about Oversight should be sent directly to the email instead of posting a thread about it. I know it may seem like a minor thing, but it increases the amount of views that the edit recieves and thus increases the likelihood of stolen information. So that is my two cents. </first village pump edit ever> <3 Tinkleheimer TALK!! 03:50, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

(ec) I agree in principle. The trouble is that most users making these posts to ANI aren't aware of the existing means of requesting oversight (in many cases, I find they're not even aware of the oversight mechanism), so changing policy is unlikely the change their behaviour. Besides that, at least when things like that are reported to ANI the edits are likely to be deleted (though not oversighted) quickly, where e-mailing oversighters might leave the edits available to all users for longer. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 03:58, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I just now realized it does say do not post requests for Oversight on the An/i page. I want to request or get other opinons on making a warning tempate for users who go against that. And/or are we allowed to revert all Request for Oversight edits on AN/I? <3 Tinkleheimer TALK!! 03:57, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

The most sensible thing might well be to revert or blank the request from the page and send it to the oversighters by e-mail yourself. Note what you're doing in the edit summary, so that other well-meaning editors won't restore it. If you happen to catch the request early, it might even be possible to have the request itself also oversighted, but I'd suspect just blanking would be enough to eliminate most of the extra exposure. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 04:48, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
And that's what I most recently did when I came upon such an edit. Stifle (talk) 10:40, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Self-contradictory authority

Wikipedia quite properly relies on accepted authorities for its content. But what should be done when such an authority contradicts itself? I give the example of the Wiki article “Passive smoking”. ( There reference is made to a study conducted for the World Health Organisation by Boffetta et al 119^ Boffetta P, Agudo A, Ahrens W, et al (1998). "Multicenter case-control study of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer in Europe". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 90 (19): 1440-50. PMID 9776409 Boffetta et al say in the abstract of their paper “RESULTS: ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64-0.96).” and “CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate no association between childhood exposure to ETS and lung cancer risk.” These two statements are contradictory. The first says in numbers that exposure to passive smoking is associated with a statistically significant reduced risk of developing lung cancer, the second says in words that no such association was found. I attempted to correct the Wiki article by adding the relevant numerical part of the Boffetta abstract and was suspended. What should be done when an authority contradicts itself?RayJohnstone (talk) 07:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

You go with the words, since that is where they interpreted their data. If you can cite some other published source saying that their data suggests a different conclusion than that they themselves drew, then you may include that statement, but without the citation it's OR to claim that they're self-contradictory when they interpret their own numbers. --erachima talk 07:48, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

So if the abstract to a paper by an authority reads "RESULTS:

  x = y

CONCLUSIONS: We found that x does not equal y" we should ignore the contradiction. I don't think that is satisfactory. In those very rare cases where this happens, should Wikipedia really perpetuate a clear falsity?RayJohnstone (talk) 07:56, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Plus the way i read it: "ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64-0.96)." is that the control group was (slightly) more likely to have exposure in childhood than the smoker group. All the measures are close to a statistical draw anyway, which is why they reported no association. But in this particular case, it appears that those who suffered from lung cancer were less likely to have been exposed in childhood to ETS... albeit by a small factor.
But to agree with the main point... you need to assume that published research accurately reports their conclusions... but the conclusions from different scholarly work doesn't necessarily need to agree. --Marcinjeske (talk) 08:06, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Interesting. Yes, the numbers do seem to indicate that childhood exposure to passive smoking actually REDUCES the risk of developing cancer. And it is statistically significant. Out of curiosity, I glanced through your talk page discussion on the topic. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anyone dispute your interpretation of the numbers. The discussion seemed to be more about giving undue weight to one study when multiple other studies showed different results. And secondly, that you were doing original research by intrepreting the numbers rather than relying on the stated conclusion.
To answer your more general question (outside the context of this particular example) I would say that we probably should rely on stated conclusions even if the authors seem to contradict their own data. I've seen too many examples of WP editors spinning a source to support their own POV when they should use the words of the source itself. This would avoid problems of original research or synthesis and improve verifiability. Remember, that the standard for inclusion is "verifiability, not truth." Now if you had a reliable source that reported your (correct) interpretation of the numbers, you could include it, subject to undue weight. Sbowers3 (talk) 08:30, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Question about following WP:COI and WP: SOCK while creating secondary account to make suggestions about clients

Hi, I've been a fairly constant editor since July 2006, starting with small fixes and eventually creating new articles of my own. In August of last year I came to the Village pump to find an editor willing to help improve and eventually approve an article about my employer, New Media Strategies.

Now, NMS is not a PR firm per se, but it's close enough. We do represent clients online. Lately I've seen instances on Wikipedia where pages about clients of NMS, in particular forthcoming movies from Disney, include incorrect or incomplete information. I have studied WP:COI, swear by WP:NPOV, have read Jimmy Wales' advice for PR firms and am content to limit my involvement on these subjects to discussions in WikiProject and Talk page areas; I am fairly sure this is not controversial.

Here's the bigger question: In order to do so, I would like to create a second account to be used only for discussing such articles, and never for making direct edits to the mainspace, so I can continue to edit for fun using my primary account. I have read WP:SOCK and am fairly sure that section 2.2.1 allows this, so long as my main account and this secondary count do not cross paths or edit related pages. This secondary account would not be involved in discussions on the NMS page as I have been.

Do others agree that I am reading this correctly? I have read much about the cautionary tale of MyWikiBiz and would certainly like to avoid that mess. And I figured my questions have to do with interpretations of policies, so this is the best place to ask. Thoughts? WWB (talk) 14:52, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I think an editor should be allowed to be paid to write and edit as long as their content is up to standard and said "paid for" edits are not treated any differently than other edits. Anything can be edited and deleted so as long as the buyer/payor/client realises the risks inherent in paying someone to write on a wiki, everything should be fine. (talk) 15:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm sympathetic to that point of view,, but Wikipedia has existing policies and understandably wants to avoid having Wikipedia become another tool in a PR agent's arsenal. However, I believe there are also circumstances where nobody will speak up about an issue unless someone who has a conflict-of-interest points it out. Hence my request that someone with more experience on Wikipedia weigh in here. WWB (talk) 15:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
To be clear, you propose the use of two accounts:
  1. An account clearly identified as belonging to an NMS employee. This account would be used to propose and discuss articles on article talk pages and WikiProjects related to NMS' clients and business. It would not be used to edit article pages.
  2. Your existing, main account. This account does not (and would not) edit articles related to NMS' clients or business, or anywhere that a conflict of interest might be perceived.
To protect your privacy, there would be no on-wiki indication that these two accounts are related. Neither account would ever edit the same pages or participate in the same discussions as the other.
If those conditions are met, I see no problem with the use of a secondary 'work-related' account. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:43, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. A couple questions:
  1. As noted, I have used my primary account to propose a page for NMS. From here on, do you recommend I cease any/all comment on the NMS page using this primary account (WWB) and carry that out using the secondary, NMS business account? That would make sense to me.
  2. Is it important there be no connection at all? It was my intention that upon creating the secondary account, I would link back to the primary account and note that I am the same person but the accounts are used for different purposes. To me this seems like a prudent act of full disclosure, but if I am missing a guideline, please let me know.
Let me know. Much appreciated. WWB (talk) 15:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
If you see no problem with linking the two accounts, there certainly is no policy or guideline that says that you should not. My reading of WP:SOCK is that such linking is in fact encouraged; that's why there are templates in the Alternative account notification section of the policy. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 16:06, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
If the two accounts are going to link to each other on the respective user pages, I see no need for you to bother having a separate account. When I worked with User:WWB as he was developing the article on New Media Strategies he carefully observed our COI rules. However WWB is now clearly a business-related account, due to his edit history. I don't see why a separate business-related account would be needed, or even helpful, since you fully identify yourself on your current user page. If you wanted to simply use the WWB account to edit or comment on articles relating to your PR firm's clients that is fine provided you carefully observe the WP:COI guideline, which is what you've been doing anyway. It would also be easier for us to keep track of, since a fully-identified account poses fewer questions. When you participate on the Talk page of one of your client's articles, you should explain your affiliation so the local editors are aware. EdJohnston (talk) 16:15, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, John and Ed. As noted above, my preference is to set up two accounts -- keeping this one as a personal account for editing on subjects of my interest, and the second one for making suggestions on subjects of interest to my company. Have I passed a "point of no return" because of that article? Are there any guidelines that speak to this? Are there any more specific guidelines about any of this beyond what's in WP:COI? WWB (talk) 17:10, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, while we have a lot of rules here, they certainly don't cover every possible set of circumstances (thankfully). I don't think there is such a thing as a "point of no return"; the philosophy here is pretty much that if you're contributing constructively to Wikipedia, you're presumed to not need to ask permission to do things that aren't ordinary. I suggest that you simply note on your user page that up to (such and such date), the account was used for X and Y, and after that date, it is being only used for Y, with stuff X now being done via new account Z. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:41, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Here are some additional rules:
--Hu12 (talk) 18:52, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a good way to do it, per John Broughton's latest advice above. Later today I'll set up the secondary account and include a note on the user page of this account, and replace the X, Y and Z with the specifics. Thank you everyone for your advice. WWB (talk) 19:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I think, to emphasize, that the key is disclosure. The whole problem with sock puppets is that it is someone using multiple accounts to deceptively create the impression that multiple, independent people are editing when in fact there is but one. A clear defense for an accusation of sock puppetry (besides not editing in a manner that seems coordinated) is clear, prominent disclosures on the User pages of both. "This account and the other account are used by the same person. I use this account for my edits as a regular person, and the other account for providing information on the talk pages of articles about companies which pay me for public relations services. If you have concerns about WP:SOCK or the nature of the edits I perform, please let me know." You can of course phrase that much better... but also briefly explain why you decided to have another account and the scope of the edits that account will perform.
You may get a few editor who may scrutinize your edits on both accounts more closely because of this... but as long as you follow your self imposed limitations and have full disclosure... I can see no way for someone to fault you. --Marcinjeske (talk) 10:47, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with all the above. To close the loop, my new account is NMS Bill. Both accounts now link each other and explain the situation in similar terms to yours. And a little extra scrutiny is no problem at all. Thanks again. WWB (talk) 14:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Independent sources has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Independent sources (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) 18:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I've rolled it back to an essay, and provided a list of reasons why I think that it should stay that way. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Images proposal

I have made a new proposal regarding images here Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#New_proposal_on_images - I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, advice etc. Thanks Gustav von Humpelschmumpel (talk) 20:47, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Message box standardisation

Last summer the style for message boxes in articles were standardised and the meta-template {{ambox}} was implemented to allow easy creation of boxes in the standardised style.

Now we are going to standardise the style of message boxes in image space and category space. We have coded up some suggestions. See the new meta-templates {{imbox}} and {{cambox}} and discuss the style for them at their talk pages.

--David Göthberg (talk) 21:05, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Hockey articles

I've decided to make an attempt to end this nonsense, I am referring to usage of diacritics on articles related to Ice hockey, a while ago, the ice hockey project has come up with this: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ice Hockey/Archive13#Diacritics on non-team and non-player pages, now I find this ridiculous, we choose to misspell people's names and we do so only on some articles? Why, I wonder, do people oppose uh, swiggles? and what people have against correct spelling, example the player's name is Jaromír Jágr it isn't Jaromir Jagr, no matter how simpler that is to type or how better that looks to some North American editors. That's why I propose we create a serious guideline, or even policy that allows us to spell names correctly. The DominatorTalkEdits 04:28, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). That's the guideline page for this, so it'd be best taken up on that Talk page. -- Kesh (talk) 06:27, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I see you're aware of the guideline page, but linked it as an external link. Ah well. Anyway, the reason for opposing "squiggles" is that most folks can't easily find a way to enter them on an English keyboard. You either have to know an arcane Alt code or pull up some kind of character map for them. And, like other names, we use the most common name given in English media. If it's printed without the diacriticals in most English sources, then we name the article without them. -- Kesh (talk) 06:30, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Can't easily enter them is not a valid reason, it's difficult to enter IPA pronunciation, but that's not a reason for not using it. Also, diacritics are used every well else on Wikipedia, only a few selective individuals from the hockey WikiProject have decided to launch a campaign of adding misspellings, as 'a' is not the same thing as 'á', 'â' or 'ä' so simply omitting them is not in any way correct. Furthermore, reliability defeats the language the source is in, in this case, the person's birth certificate - with diacritics - is a far more reliable source than any English sources, most of which omit diacritics for the sake of convenience and none of them are reliable sources for spelling of names, while some sources might be reliable for information on Hockey statistics this does not make them reliable for spelling. Think about this example: if a reliable newspaper article is written about overcrowded prisons, then we can cite this in the Prison article, but let's say that supposedly, in this article a metaphor would be made "graceful as a pigeon" (bad example, sorry), would this be considered conclusive material that pigeons are graceful, therefore a reliable addition to the pigeon or bird articles? Probably not, because it is not an article about pigeons, in the same way, an article about hockey can't be considered a reliable source for a person's name, but on the other hand, their birth certificate is about the person's name therefore a reliable source for the name, with the diacritics. The DominatorTalkEdits 06:52, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
All the necessary characters with diacritics are located below the edit window in the section titled "Characters," and the user simply has to move the cursor to where they want to put the character, and then click on the character, and it will appear where the cursor was at previously. So any sort of difficulty of entering in these characters is unfounded and it is a completely illegitimate excuse. Wikipedia is about providing correct and useful information, and we shouldn't be taking shortcuts and providing misleading information, as it detracts from that goal. Thank You. --Sukh17 TCE 07:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
If you really want this, then see about getting consensus for the change on that guideline's Talk page. I'm indifferent on the matter. -- Kesh (talk) 09:16, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Well as you've seen, we have not been able to gain consensus that way, otherwise we wouldn't be here. The DominatorTalkEdits 14:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you should accept that consensus is against you in this case, then. This is not intended to be snarky; my apologies if it comes across as such. Horologium (talk) 15:51, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Consensus? Where? I don't see the slightest indication of consensus anywhere. The DominatorTalkEdits 16:31, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

People keep pointing to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English), but where does it say in there to misspell foreign names? It says to use English, and Jaromir Jagr is not English or a translation of the proper Jaromír Jágr in fact, if that was translated into English it would look more something like Yahroumeer Yagger obviously that's original research though, not to mention the fact that diacritics are far from being foreign characters. Also, there is no consensus anywhere, just because a few North American editors from a WikiProject who are baffled by correct spelling decide to use it sometimes, but misspell the words on other occasions, doesn't indicate consensus, and even if it did consensus can change.The DominatorTalkEdits 16:54, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

The very first paragraph has several examples, including three names in which the English version differs from the original language. The most relevant would be the first one (Franz Josef Strauss), not Franz Josef Strauß. (Yes, that character is also down in the table below the editing box, just like all the diacritics that are not used in English, except in loanwords from other languages). It's not misspelling to omit the diacritics, just English usage. Please throttle back your rhetoric about those with whom you have a disagreement, as it's rude and borders upon personal attacks. Horologium (talk) 17:15, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Personal attacks? The worst thing I have said is that the people are North American (that's an insult?) and that they are baffled by them which is 100% and I could provide diffs, see my first post "swiggles, swirls and dots" is that not being baffled? I'd like you to note that the example you've provided is quite different as it is a common translation not just omitting the diacritics. Is it not the person who decides his name? My name contains diacritical marks and personally I'd be highly insulted if somebody wrote an encyclopedia article about me with the diacritics missing, and yes I would consider it a misspelling. Also, what's the point really? Jaromir Jagr redirects to Jaromír Jágr anyway. I've seen editors (not going to name) say that the diacritics are "overkill" on the Ľubomír Višňovský, this I view as highly offensive both to that person and to the language, objecting to the way a person's name is spelled? Not going to make any insults, but it took me a while to calm myself after I saw that highly offensive comment. And I'm sorry if I sound like I'm making personal attacks, but the way I feel is that this offends me, that's the fact of it, and frankly your definition of a personal attack is strange, a personal attack is "You are an idiot" or "Person X is a jackass", but this is not a personal attack: "The person's opinion is bullshit" (though pretty rude) and I don't really see how my saying that "consensus" was created by a few members of a WikiProject is a personal attack, I was stating fact, it's as if I said that you made a personal attack on me when you said that my comments border on personal attacks, and I don't take this accusation lightly. The DominatorTalkEdits 17:31, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Your current method doesn't seem to be working. Really, just try doing this gently, and over the long term. See how far that gets you. My own opinion: I can't understand why people don't want to use diacritics. I have two questions: 1) does "Jaromír Jágr" redirect to "Jaromír Jagr"? 2)How do you answer people how say that Jaromír Jágr's hockey shirt will not have the diacritic? Dan Beale-Cocks 17:41, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
{After EC)Some languages treat letters with diacritics as separate letters (see Diacritic#Languages with letters containing diacritics) and some do not. Czech appears to be one of the few Slavic languages which does not differentiate between letters with diacritics and those without. For Polish and Croatian, it's simple transliteration, since you wish to classify the German ß and the Polish/Croatian č as separate letters rather than diacritic variants. In fact, looking through the article I linked, almost all of the non-Latin European languages (and some of those too, such as Spanish with ñ) consider diacritic letters as separate letters. As to the "overkill" comment left by another editor, that is insensitive and a very poor choice of words, but does not negate the fact that few (if any) English sources will include all (or any) of the many diacritics in that name. As to the "personal attacks", identifying a group of editors as being baffled by diacritics is an insult. Horologium (talk) 18:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

As someone who has argued for the usage of diacritics for a number of years now, you will not win in getting concensus to use them on all articles. The reason that guideline is there is that we had to find a way to stop the constant edit wars that were going on with people reverting each others edits. So in order to stop the waring a compromise was developed to try and make things simmer down. But there are enough strong opinions on both sides to never reach true concensus. What we currently have is not a consensus but a compromise to stop the constand reverting that was happening on hockey pages. As for your question on why North American pages don't have them and player pages do. It is because teams don't put diacritics on the jersey's of players. So it was an obvious place to make a compromise. If the league doesn't recognize them then pages refering to things about the league should not either. (Atleast thats what we compromised. As I stated I think they should be on all articles.) -Djsasso (talk) 18:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Djsasso, but what I'm trying to do, is take this to a whole new level, currently the status quo is to have them on player pages but not NHL pages, while this does make some sense (i.e. it isn't just a completely arbitrary way to have them sometimes, and sometimes not), but I still find it strange. I mean, we agree that obviously the person's name includes the diacritics, that's why we use them on player articles and world cup articles etc., but it's not like the person's name is different when they're playing in the NHL, so we just comply with what the jerseys say, and the jerseys are wrong, we can see that, or perhaps wrong isn't the correct word, they're not wrong in the sense that it's an error, just wrong in the sense that what appears on the jersey is not the player's name. So what I want to do is enhance consensus, moving away from a compromise to an actual solution and I want to hear more anti-diacritic arguments, so far I believe we've addressed them better than you've addressed our views. English sources don't use diacritics; counter argument to that is that the English sources aren't reliable for names. Jerseys use them, counter argument is that the jerseys are incorrect and simply omit the diacritics as a stylistic approach, same with some of the English sources. I'm sorry, but I believe that anti-diacritic arguments are just rather weak. The DominatorTalkEdits 18:15, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
The problem, is that people DON'T agree that their names include them when in English usage. Remember this is an English wikipedia so depending what side of the fence you are on, english sources are reliable for spellings of names. I say they aren't but a good majority say they do. This isn't just a hockey debate, its been going on through all of wikipedia for years. And yes every so often someone comes along and tries again for a solution. And tempers flair up huge wars go on. And then people get upset and leave wikipedia permanently. This compromise was created in an attempt to stop losing good editors. In fact I think we are closer to a solution than the rest of wikipedia when it comes to these things. -Djsasso (talk) 18:19, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
You're right, I've seen editors leave over more minor things, but sometimes a compromise is a good solution, and sometimes it compromises Wikipedia's quality. Also, think about this, 'ä' for example is completely different from 'a' and it isn't correct to add just the 'a'. That's like substituting 'B' for 'ß' because they look similar, it's just not correct, so the reason I'm trying to reopen this is because it introduces factual inaccuracies, no diacritics is not a translation and with diacritics seems "foreign" to some people, but policy says to use the native name if a direct English translation doesn't exist, which I believe is the case here. The DominatorTalkEdits 18:29, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Good luck. I hope you do succeed but I know there are enough editors out there who will never listen and always oppose this so you aren't likely to get far. I was just making sure you understood why the compromise was in place. Only reason I think we got as far as we did towards having diactritics at the hockey project was that we have alot of european editors. Otherwise the current concensus would most likely be no diacritics as almost all North Americans opposed them. -Djsasso (talk) 18:34, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


Here I'd like anybody to list arguments both for and against diacritics and anybody else to try and make direct counter arguments, focusing only on the exact argument made, no history, nos suggestions of compromises just simple arguments. The DominatorTalkEdits 19:06, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

You have stated that your issue with diacritucs is on articles relating to hockey. Please move discussion over to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ice Hockey, which is a more relevant forum for a focus on a single issue. Horologium (talk) 19:11, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't think this is a hockey issue (whatever the motivation may be for its being raised). In many areas of WP you get people arguing about whether foreign words should appear with diacritics, and we ought to have some uniform principles to refer to. I don't know where the best place to discuss it is, but it's certainly not the Ice Hockey project.--Kotniski (talk) 19:20, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
That's the whole reason I started this, because a few people deciding something at 1 of many WikiProjects which it could effect doesn't solve anything. I am at the correct place, I am asking people to review a guideline and I wish to establish a seperate guideine regarding diacritics and especially diacritics in people's names. Plus I kind of started this subsection just for arguments relating to diacritics. The DominatorTalkEdits 19:25, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
As others pointed out to you, this is a perennial proposal. Current consensus is that we go by the guidelines you've already seen. It's unlikely to change. If you really want to establish a separate guideline, write one. See if you can get it accepted. VP is good for feeling the waters, and I think you've seen that the waters on this subject are very rough indeed. The next step would be writing your proposed guideline, so we actually have something to give feedback on. -- Kesh (talk) 15:53, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Point taken, I'll write one when I have more time, should I try one that focuses on diacritics on Wikipedia in general or one that bases itself solely on hockey articles? The DominatorTalkEdits 22:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:HOCKEY has already reached a compromise, which Dominik92 disagrees with, thus the debate was brought to a more diverse forum. As far as arguments go, I'll simply echo what's been said many times in the past. This is the English Wikipedia, and diacritics are not part of the English language in most cases. As examples, the predominant spelling of players such as Dominik Hasek and Jaromir Jagr in English do not use diacritics. Frankly, I'd rather go the opposite direction of Djsasso, and remove all diacritics, except as a note in each individual's bio, but the compromise we've worked out at WP:HOCKEY is workable: North American articles don't use them, international articles do. Resolute 22:28, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, diacritics are much a part of the English language when it uses foreign words, the players' names are different, they're foreign and use diacritics therefore we should use the normal spelling with diacritics. The DominatorTalkEdits 02:07, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, no. One only has to pick up any newspaper, magazine or book written in the English language to see that foreign language names are spelled using English translations. Or, as an example, A google search for "Dominik Hasek", restricted to English language websites yields 59,600 results. A search for "Dominik Hašek" yields 993 results. "š" is not a letter in the English language. Resolute 05:43, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't matter, 'š' might not be a letter, but it's part of his name, and translating it into 's' is incorrect, 'š' is not the same thing as 's', in fact it would be more properly translated as 'sh' though that is of course original research. And the English sources used are not reliable for names, if a source is reliable for something that doesn't mean you can consider it reliable for everything else. The DominatorTalkEdits 14:13, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
So, the NHL, NHLPA, ESPN, New York Times,, Globe and Mail, Rogers Sportsnet, etc., etc., etc. are all unreliable sources then? "Hašek" is the spelling of his name in Czech, not English. Your argument is akin to demanding that all instances of Alexei Yashin in the English Wikipedia be changed to "Алексей Яшин" Resolute 15:52, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
What is the policy on diacritics?
A case came up recently when the article 'Mihai Şuba' was moved to Mihai Suba. That cases is not interesting to be honest as the person in question is now British but would like to know the policy as sometimes occurs with chess players with diacritics in the name. SunCreator (talk) 14:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

RE to Resolute: Yes, those are all unreliable sources for names. 2. there is no spelling of Hašek in English, that's my whole point! And the example you used is rather weak, I think you know why, there's a difference between the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, the simple diacritics I'm advocating are part of the same alphabet as English. RE to Suncreator: The policy on diacritics is what we're discussing, there's no real policy, there's a lot of dispute over it, I don't know anything about the person you linked, but I guess it depends on whether he actually changed his name after he became British, if there's no evidence that he did so, I think it's more appropriate to have the original diacritical version. The DominatorTalkEdits 22:21, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Would you mind explaining why the New York Times (eg) isn't a reliable source for names? shoy 20:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Why would you consider it a reliable source for names? Where does it say in those articles "Dominik Hašek changed his name to Dominik Hasek"? The article is related to hockey, not naming, see my example above (rather bad one) for a lengthier reasoning. The DominatorTalkEdits 21:55, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to the English language version of Wikipedia. The English alphabet contains 26 character, and includes no characters with diacritical marks, no pictograms, no ideograms. As much as you may wish it, English writers in general usage will transliterate words written in a foreign character set. Would you demand that writers of Arabic, Kanji, and other scripts use English characters for English names? How should articles on the Hindi Wikipedia refer to Dominik Hašek in the midst of their script?

We certainly have a convenience that the additional characters in a lot of European languages are easily depict-able and understandable to readers of the English WIkipedia. That means that on the pages for place and people names, we have the opportunity to legibly depict the name in its native language. But in general usage throughout the rest of the encyclopedia. it is perfectly appropriate that the common English spelling be used. (This is the same reasoning why there are entries for Tonys and entries for Anthonys even though they are the same name. The common usage prevails.) In English you saute, send your resume, and visit Zaire (even though the words are borrowed). Again, try to apply your reasoning to any non-Latin encyclopedia and see what kind of a mess we would have. Can we no longer refer to India, but must use भारत? --Marcinjeske (talk) 00:25, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

In English you saute, send your resume, and visit Zaire - you should have said "In US English. I sauté, I have a CV not a Résumé (didn't you notice where your wikilink actually goes to??). Dan Beale-Cocks 12:41, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The Dominator, Reliable Source does not mean a source you like, it does not mean a source you agree with, it does not even mean the source is right. One of the most common problems on Wikipedia is arguments over "truth" and "right". Wikipedia's general solution for preventing such arguments is to just dump the entire arguments over "truth" and "right", instead relying on Verifiable outside Reliable Sources. shoy's attempt at solution here is that, instead of engaging in a personal debate over the "right" or "true" way that names with diacritical marks should be treated in English, we look to third-party Reliable Sources. We instead look at how major mainstream reputable sources actually *do* use the English language and how they actually *do* handle such names. By absolutely any reasonable standard the New York Times is a top tier Reliable Source on the English Language, and in particular a top source on how foreign names are handled in English. The Google search was another prime example - a Google search on "Dominik Hasek" on English language websites yields 59,600 results, "Dominik Hašek" yields 993 results. It doesn't matter who is "right", it doesn't matter what we "should" do, it doesn't matter if we like it or not, the one thing we can agree on is the fact is that Verifiable Reliable Sources show that "Dominik Hasek" is the actual in-practice English rule, and that "Dominik Hašek" is at best a fringe occurence in English. Maybe that is wrong, maybe it is bad, maybe it is rude, but that is the Verifiable Reliable Source information out there. And as a rule Wikipedia bypasses "truth" and operates in a Verifiable Reliable Source universe, even if those Verifiable Reliable Sources are wrong. Sometimes that sucks, but it is a very effective way to resolve most HolyWars. Alsee (talk) 01:33, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I understand that it is what reliable sources use, but I still maintain that those are not reliable sources for names. I don't think that a reliable source for one thing is necessarily a reliable source for everything. Another thing is that I don't think making an argument that involves non-Latin characters is valid, diacritical marks are part of the same alphabet, an Arabic or Greek or whatever alphabet is not the same thing. I now truly believe that this dispute is unsolvable, I will continue writing diacritics where they are to be put and no offense but I'm ignoring some WikiProject's compromise (I won't revert anyone who eliminates diacritics from my edits on a hockey page, but I'll keep using them when/if I add new content). The DominatorTalkEdits 20:55, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

A quick survey:

I was unable to gain online access to either the New York Times Manual of Style or the Chicago Manual of Style (the 13th edition doesn't seem to address the issue). Bovlb (talk) 00:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

These I can see as being more scholarly sources, better than the NYT which is not reliable regarding the English language at all really. The DominatorTalkEdits 13:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we should dismiss the style guides of major news organisations out of hand. Bovlb (talk) 15:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Well if you ever come across the style guidelines let us know, thanks. The DominatorTalkEdits 21:54, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Just kludging the foreign character to something that looks the same is terrible - people should at least try to get a reasonable pronunciation. this article describes the problem of poor internationalization. This Korean WP editor gives good reasons why they don't like the various romanisations of their name.
While the article you link about character-related fatalities was certainly morbidly interesting, it doesn't really have much to do with the present discussion. That was a case of poor internationalization - the software the wife used handled certain characters poorly. (And really, the core problem there is essentially that a spelling error creates such a drastic difference in meaning and for some reason the people involved decided to debate semantics using knives instead of words). If you are interested in an internationalized version of Wikipedia, there is one for many written languages. Although I am unable to view your second link regarding Korean names... that is again a subtly different issue involving disjoint character sets.
What we are discussing here is the way one language's wikipedia references proper nouns like persons and places named in a language foreign to that wikipedia. So far there has been no suggestion that referencing a foreign person (named in a language using an extended Latin character set) using an "english" version of that name will cause confusion as to who is being referenced, so i do not see how the cell phone example would apply. Clearly, it is appropriate to mention the "native" spelling of a name in the native alphabet in the article devoted to that subject. But insisting on "native" spelling elsewhere in the encyclopedia would preclude readers/editors who do not speak/write the foreign language from being able to play their role. You are never going to get a reasonable pronunciation just by having the right characters (the sound differences between even languages that share the same character set are too vast). If you are concerned about correct pronunciation, then a phonetic spelling should be provided on the subject's page.
I hope I am not rambling too much in the above... I think what I want to say boils down to two points:
The Wikipedia for a given language should primarily use that language (and the associated character set) to describe the covered topics. Doing otherwise disadvantages the readers of that Wikipedia by presenting information in a form potentially illegible to them.
An article should refer to persons and places in the same way as the sources it is based on refer to them. Hence it is relevant to acknowledge that for the vast majority of foreign individuals, English-language sources will refer to them with an Anglicized name.
Having looked through a bunch of articles relating to French and Polish individuals (chosen because of my familiarity), I have to admit that current usage on Wikipedia is inconsistent and in some ways more supportive of your reasoning. For example Gérard Depardieu is referred to with the accent aigue over the first e in most pages, although a fair number do use the Gerard Depardieu redirect. Now when it comes to the press, the vast majority of English language press references are to Gerard Depardieu (no accent), with exceptions for some UK (The Guardian) and Canadian sources (and English-language publications in French-speaking countries).
So, perhaps a more nuanced guideline is in order: Persons should be called by the name most commonly used by sources in the context of the current article. It does follow typical Wikipedia practice of shunting difficult questions off onto our sources. --Marcinjeske (talk) 08:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Referring to an earlier comment:
In English you saute, send your resume, and visit Zaire - you should have said "In US English. I sauté, I have a CV not a Résumé (didn't you notice where your wikilink actually goes to??). Dan Beale-Cocks 12:41, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Your criticism is fair... I may be generalizing usage... however my admittedly quick checks of both UK and US media show the same general trend of using saute over sauté [8] and sometimes even both side by side. Yes, I did notice where resume led to... but since when is Wikipedia a reliable source for Wikipedia. resume with no accent is dominating English language usage. And if you must object with Curriculum Vitae (I hope you meant to spell that curriculum vitæ), I can find a dozen more borrowed words that have lost their foreign spellings, even in the UK. Space food a la carte - BBC News, Paris. Regardless I chose the examples poorly because those two were not proper nouns anyway.
As long as we are referencing Wikipedia: Czech alphabet says that Czech has two alphabet versions... a "standard" one that matched the English alphabet, and an "extended" set. The original issue here involved the names of Czech hockey players (like Jaromír Jágr) being written in the more limited 26 character alphabet. So it seems to me that even writing in Czech may drop the diacritics on some occasions.
So, are we ready to update all the references to Cæsar in the wikipeida's for English (Caesar), French (César), Italian (Cesare), and so on? What about the Wisła river in Poland, which is referenced as Visla by the Czechs, Vistula in English, Weichsel in German? What about the mess that would be made if we tried to tell 20-some language that currently use another form of [[9]] from the official name "Warszawa"? Napoléon? You think English is bad... tell that to these people or our proud Latin brothers. In short, any guideline will have to rely on what sources do, because there are no straightforward rules... sometimes names are translated (Ioannes Paulus == John Paul == Jan Pawel == Jan Pavel, etc), sometime diacritics are dropped, sometimes other letters get manipulated. I think the only reasonable answer is to parrot what our sources do. --Marcinjeske (talk) 09:43, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that sources don't always agree. Most press just drop the diacritics because they're difficult to print or just too much work or I dunno. But I don't think I've ever read a serious book that had diacritics dropped. The DominatorTalkEdits 13:54, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
The only way I believe that is if you define "serious book" to mean "a book that keeps the diacritics". The Man who Loved Only Numbers calls its subject Erdos, not Erdõs, as does Biographies of Scientists for Sci-Tech Libraries, and Topics in Analysis and Its Applications talks of Erdös, not Erdõs.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:43, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but I still stand by the fact that most books use diacritics, at least from my experience and frankly it doesn't matter. As long as there is ambiguity among reliable sources, we can't make conclusions. I'm starting to think that the compromise made sort of works. As I said, I refuse to omit diacritics anywhere in the encyclopedia, but I will only revert somebody removing them on a biographical article. The DominatorTalkEdits 06:01, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
It looks like the discussion has died down now, so with permission, I'm going to copy this subsection over to WT:Naming conventions (use English), it's got a lot of useful information. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 17:39, 2 May 2008 (UTC)