Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 47

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Privacy of dead crime victims

Are the dead victims of crimes entitled to privacy? Does the concept of BLA extend to the survivors of victims in some way? Are our articles enriched by including the names of crime victims? Thanks for any ideas. --Kevin Murray (talk) 04:56, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Are the dead victims of crimes entitled to privacy?
I don't see why they should, since the can no longer be harmed by an "invasion" of their privacy. However, family members still maintain their rights to privacy.
Does the concept of BLA extend to the survivors of victims in some way?
Only to information about the survivors themselves. However, the victim is not explicitly covered by WP:BLP since the victim is no longer alive.
Are our articles enriched by including the names of crime victims?
That depends very much on the circumstances. Was there anything significant about how the person was murdered or how the body was found? Was it the allege murderer's only victim or one of many? How much news coverage was there of the murder? In most respects, it is a judgment call on how much detail to include and the significants of those details. --Farix (Talk) 15:55, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Unless the victim was notable themselves, I don't see a reason to include their name in an article about the crime. As Farix mentioned, the victim's families are still affected by this, and I'd say the spirit of WP:BLP1E applies. If the only thing the victim is known for is being a victim, there's no real reason to include them. There are exceptions, such as if the victim's family makes it a point to bring them up in the media repeatedly, but the average crime victim isn't going to get that kind of treatment. – Kesh (talk) 18:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. While some sensitivity is warranted in very recent cases, if the crime is notable enough to include then there's no reason to exclude the names of victims. Wikipedia is not censored. We don't omit pictures of nudity for fear of offending people, and I don't see a reason to omit the names of murder victims if editors think there's a reason to include them. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:09, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I also disagree. If the information is already available in reliable sources, and if the crime is already notable enough to include, then there isn't any reason I can see not to include the details of the crime up to the maximum possible amount of information that we can cite with the sources that we have. This doesn't mean, of course, that the victim should be the subject of an article (unless they themselves become the subject of independent coverage, such some of the victims of Jack the Ripper). It just means that we shouldn't not include information when there is clear benefit from doing so unless there's a very good reason not to. Celarnor Talk to me 04:20, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, it should be noted that from a legal standpoint, the families aren't affected by libel and defamation of the subject. They can't even claim it. Libel and defamation are damage to the reputation of the individual, and common law has long held that the reputation dies with the person. As an aside, an alternative has been attempted before: the family would have to prove that there was extreme emotional duress being done to them, which has a much higher bar to achieve. This is rarely successful, since for that, you have to show that serious damage is being done, and I really don't think that saying "Person A raped person B, was later found guilty and sentenced to 29 years in prison" cuts it for that, just as it didn't for The Daily Herald. Celarnor Talk to me 04:25, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the opinions above by Celarnor and Will Beback. The biographies of living persons policy, as evident from the name, exists to protect the living. That is not to say, of course, that articles on a deceased subject are not required to be NPOV, as of course all of our articles are required to be NPOV. However, the extraordinary measures allowed by BLP are only counterbalanced by keeping them narrowly confined to the area in which they are strictly necessary—and this area is solely biographies of living subjects whose reputations and lives could be done harm. The life of a deceased subject cannot, by definition, be harmed. We do not censor reliably sourced information because it offends someone. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:03, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

This conversation tipped the scales here: Dennis Dechaine. Thank you for the reality-check. David in DC (talk) 23:42, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Given the coverage and the fact that WP:BLP does not apply to deceased victims, it is quite reasonable to mention the victim's name in the article. Put simply, this is no reasonable expectation of privacy for the victim. This is also a case where the alleged murder was charged with killing of only one victims, as opposed to a serial murder. In my opinion, the value in naming each victim diminishes when the number of victims increases. On top of that, naming all of those victims could be viewed as a form of memorial if not handled properly. --Farix (Talk) 02:47, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
After a more thorough look at the article I have to say that if there is a WP:BLP concern with the article, it would be on behalf of Dennis Dechaine. The article is poorly sourced, quotes are not cited to any specific sources, and the only source that is used is a trial transcript. On top of that, the article also does not assert the notability of the subject. --Farix (Talk) 03:04, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Anybody have an idea of what the appropriate response to this is:

"Sarah Cherry is a public person as is her family. Taxpayers are spending perhaps a million dollars or more to incarcerate her alleged victimizer (who was convicted in opposition to established medical science). The taxpaying public have a right to know who they helping. If some crime victims do not want their name known, they or their families do not have to report the crimes. Withholding a victim's name is dishonest. Criminals are supposed to wear masks, not the victims. --Danras (talk) 00:29, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

And then there's a reality check of a different sort. As I understand this last comment, if this 12-year-old didn't want to be a public figure she shouldn't have gone off and gotten kidnapped, raped, sexually tortured, and murdered. Hmmm. I'll have to try to wrap my head around that. On second thought, I don't think I'll bother. David in DC (talk) 01:40, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I think some writers here have an ego problem, not Sarah Cherry. For all I know Cherry's family and others who knew her have no problem with her name being reported. I don't think Megan Kanka's mom wants to rename Megan's Law. I fail to see why reporting one's name is so deeply embarrassing. Victims who are too embarrassed to make their names public and acknowledge "somebody wronged me," don't deserve help. They are such losers that everyone can screw them without fear that these losers will report being wronged. --Danras (talk) 00:31, 22 May 2008 (UTC)"

Retrieved from ""

I guess the appropriate response is no response at all, but it does make one wonder.David in DC (talk) 01:28, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Those comments are borderline uncivil. But as I said earlier, that article has some very serious sourcing problems that need to be addressed if it is to comply with WP:BLP. As it stands, the article would either be reduced to a stub or deleted. --Farix (Talk) 01:56, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
On that score, Kevin has done a fabulous job of bringing the article up to snuff. Take a look for yourself: Dennis Dechaine David in DC (talk) 01:21, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The status of the Wikipedia:Logos policy

The status of the Wikipedia:Logos policy has been changed to an "essay". While I cannot see that there was consensus for this change, I think it would be good to have some input from other users. I am myself getting more and more confused over this matter. At what extent can we use logos in Wikipedia articles? Whether the WP:LOGOS page stays as a policy or not, I think this it would be helpful to make policy clearer on this matter. See the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Logos. --Kildor (talk) 15:25, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


Am I allowed to upload scanned pictures from my own Bible or Qur'an? License/Copyright? Thanks for answers.--  LYKANTROP  15:58, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The short answer is probably no. Generally not unless the physical book in your hand was physically published over 95 years ago. You may own the books but you are not the publisher, the editor, the author, or in the case of illustrations the artist. If you are talking about scanned text then better you just post the text (if the text is not copyrighted. Note that most revised and/or translated works are often copyrighted). If you are talking about scanned images then again you have to determine if the image was copyrighted (even ancient images may be copyrighted because the photograph of those images is a new product involving the skill of the photographer and the skill of the printer to transfer that image to paper). (talk) 16:57, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Under U.S. law, the photograph of a 2-D work (such as a painting or another photograph) does not qualify as a new copyrighted work, because American copyright law does not protect applications of skill, only creative expression. See Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., Template:PD-art-life-70. A photo of a sculpture or other 3-D work may be copyrighted, however. Postdlf (talk) 17:08, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, that is why you are allowed to put up a photo of a bible published more than 95 years ago (i.e. a bible design now in the public domain) but not of a more recent version (i.e. a version that is still under copyright protection). Arnoutf (talk) 17:10, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Probably not. Unless you're talking about something that is now under public domain under US copyright law (such as Webster's revision of the King James bible, which was published in 1833 and has since lost its status as a copyrighted work). In that case, you would be free to scan the whole thing page by page and do pretty much whatever you wanted with it. Celarnor Talk to me 17:17, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

For example: My version of Qur'an was published in in 1974. The picture (not just a text) I want to upload one short Sura (chapter in Qur'an) that is "written in famous traditional turkish calligraphy". For an amateur it actually looks like a persian carpet. The picture is definitely hundreds years old. The author is unknown. Is it a public domain? --  LYKANTROP  17:45, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

That might qualify as a Fair-use image of the calligraphy in question, but I'm not terribly familiar with the image guidelines. – Kesh (talk) 18:16, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I would still say, if you can find a 100 year old version of the same calligraphy that is preferable as that has definitely no copyright (the specific style etc. of your 1974 version maybe copyrighted). Arnoutf (talk) 18:17, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If there isn't anything public domain or otherwise reasonably available to illustrate the calligraphic techniques, then you're probably safe claiming it as fair use. Preferably, if the image in question is of something that itself has entered public domain, you're better off finding some other standalone image of it that isn't hindered by being in a copyrighted work. Otherwise, this is a good fair use rationale. Celarnor Talk to me 18:21, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
If the image would consist of nothing but calligraphic text, then the only question is whether the content of the text itself is copyrighted. The calligraphy itself cannot be copyrighted and cannot make something copyrighted that otherwise wouldn't be. See Wikipedia:Public domain#Fonts. And even if the text is copyrighted (e.g., if it's a modern translation), individual words or short phrases cannot be copyrighted, so scanning a few words to illustrate the calligraphy would not even require a fair use rationale (see Template:PD-textlogo for an example of how we treat this issue). Postdlf (talk) 18:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure of that in this specific case where the calligraphy is made in such a way to resemble a persian carpet. IMHO putting large parts of that may go beyond the two mentioned fair use criteria. (or they might not; as I said I am not sure) Arnoutf (talk) 18:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I suppose there's a point at which calligraphy (or any font) departs significantly enough from rendering writing to become pictoral in some manner, but from what I gathered of the comment above, the resemblance to a persian carpet is accidental for those who can't read the writing. Postdlf (talk) 19:06, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
A typeface cannot be copyrighted, but calligraphy is art, not a typeface, and therefore can be copyrighted. --Carnildo (talk) 19:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The U.S. Copyright Office disagrees with you: "Like typography, calligraphy is not copyrightable as such, not-withstanding the effect achieved by calligraphic brush strokes across a striated surface."[1] This is why Wikipedia:Public domain#Fonts states that calligraphy is not copyrightable. Postdlf (talk) 22:16, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Isn't a public domain image public domain, regardless of whether it is published in a copyrighted work or not? Unless the copyright holder altered the image in some way, I don't see how putting in a copyrighted work somehow removes the public domain nature of the image. -Chunky Rice (talk) 19:11, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
You are correct, if an image is public domain, then its subsequent republishing in an otherwise copyrighted work does not change that. Postdlf (talk) 22:16, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Even if a book is so old that it's in the public domain a modern translation of the text is likely to be copyrighted. That wouldn't apply to the King James Bible, but it would apply to the New International Version for example. Likewise, many translations of the Koran are modern and likely copyrighted. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:02, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

A translation of such calligraphy would be copyrightable (insofar as it is original, though if the calligraphy itself were old enough to be PD, anyone else would be free to do his or her own translation as well). However, the calligraphy itself is not copyrightable to begin with (it is considered a font, according to the Copyright Office, even if a very fancy one), and even if it were, a photograph of a 2-dimensional work in the public domain is uncopyrightable, as it is not considered to have sufficient originality to attract copyright. That would be true even if the original work were creative enough to be copyrighted, such as a Civil War daguerreotype. The original daguerreotype would have been copyrighted when created, but that copyright is now expired, and photos of that 2D daguerreotype cannot themselves be copyrighted. Or in short—the photos of the calligraphy are in the public domain, because the calligraphy, A, was not copyrightable to begin with, B, is old enough to be out of copyright, and C, is two-dimensional, meaning that someone taking a photo of that does not change the copyright status, and such photo is not considered creative enough to attract copyright. (Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp). So it depends largely if the same page also includes a translation of such calligraphy. If it does, you would have to crop out or clone out the translation, because that is copyrightable, but the image itself is not. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:59, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks--  LYKANTROP  21:22, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

School threats proposed policy at Wikipedia:School_threats

Please comment on the proposed policy at Wikipedia:School_threats which is, in my opinion, the distilliation of the important component of WP:TOV. TOV failed, as it should have, but I think a school threats policy or guideline is significantly different - particularly in todays climate of violence in schools and publicity. Avruch T 01:36, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

The fundamental objections to TOV apply equally to any particular case, regardless of how high-profile it is. The only credible argument I can see here is that evidence of school violence is more likely to appear on Wikipedia as a first site of publication than other threats, due to the resources available to a typical student. But school threats are also quite likely to be hoaxes, and I think that efficient use of law enforcement and Wikipedia editor resources mandates that we use our best judgement in ignoring threats that aren't credible. Dcoetzee 20:30, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Picture move

There is a picture uploaded on Wikipedia with free licence (Template:GFDL-self-with-disclaimers) by some user. Is there some way how can I move (or copy) it to Commons? Am I allowed simply to dowload it and upload it to Commons? Thanks for the answers. --  LYKANTROP  21:27, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I believe there are other ways, but yes, you can simply download it and upload to Commons. Make sure you include all the source and copyright information avaliable here, and tag it with {{GFDL-user-en-with-disclaimers|name of copyright-holding user}}. Algebraist 22:11, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The easiest way is CommonsHelper. Very handy. EVula // talk // // 18:30, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale

I found "fair use policy" warnings for some game screenshots on Talk:4X. Then I looked for guidance and it appears one has to use Template:Game screenshot rationale. I know nothing about templates and I do not want to spend time learning them. I suggest that requiring editors to learn about the mechanics of Wikimedia or its implementation in Wikipedia is a good way to drive potential editors away. I understand the need for a fair use policy but it needs to be implemented in an editor-friendly way, e.g with simple fill-in-the-blanks sample wikimarkup. Philcha (talk) 00:35, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Copyright law is not a "fill in the blanks" kind of thing. Images are the hardest thing about Wikipedia precisely because they're such a legal mess. If anyone wants to upload images, they're going to have to dedicate a lot of time & effort to learning the template process to make sure everything is on the up & up. – Kesh (talk) 01:16, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, and copyright is, unfortunately, not a simple issue. Our mission is also free content, so the burden is on those who wish to use nonfree content to tell us why their nonfree content is so necessary for understanding of a subject that we must make an exception and accept a nonfree image in that particular case. That should not be simple, and should certainly not be "fill in the blanks", as we shouldn't be making exceptions if an image is not essential and critical to a subject, and irreplaceable by free content. Why that would be differs from case to case, so it can't be templatized. Seraphimblade Talk to me 08:04, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I understand the legal-related points you've made. I was talking about the mechanics - there should be no need to go looking for how to write a non-free use rationale, no wikimark-up, no hunting for templates (which are often hard to find and poorly explained) - just a button that pops up a form, with short guidance on the form and a link to fuller guidance. "Non-free use rationale missing" mesages on articles' Talk pages should link to the form and the article's title should be entered automatically in the form - it's just a matter of passing the right URL parameters. Philcha (talk) 10:18, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the mechanics need to be improved. There's also much dissent, currently, against the idea that you have to use specific templates or follow specific formatting conventions to have a fair use rationale – see WP:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#STBotI blocked. The idea that you need to use a specific template has actually been rejected before, and the policy doesn't require a specific format except "clear English" – which you could argue that a template isn't. But really, none of this would be an issue if someone could figure out how to make a form that walks you through the fair use rationale process, like the upload form currently walks you through choosing the right copyright tag. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 19:58, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing Adjudication Board

I wanted to bring to the community's attention the fact that as a part of a proposed decision (in voting stage) in a current ArbCom case Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Homeopathy/Proposed decision, ArbCom is considering the creation of a new structure called the "Sourcing Adjudication Board". The board will have broad authority in dealing with sourcing complaints on Wikipedia. Its mandate is described in the proposed decision as follows: "The Committee shall convene a Sourcing Adjudication Board, consisting of credentialed subject-matter experts insofar as is reasonable, which shall be tasked with examining complaints regarding the inappropriate use of sources on Wikipedia. The Board shall issue findings, directly to the Committee, regarding all questions of source usage, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Whether an editor has engaged in misrepresentation of sources or their content.
  2. Whether an editor has used unreliable or inappropriate sources.
  3. Whether an editor has otherwise substantially violated any portion of the sourcing policies and guidelines.

The Board's findings shall not be subject to appeal except to the Board itself. The precise manner in which the Board will be selected and conduct its operations will be determined, with appropriate community participation, no later than one month after the closure of this case." The current vote on this portion of the final decision is 6 for, 1 against and 1 abstention. Nsk92 (talk) 17:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

An idea that will never take off, is my prediction. Somewhat like the ideas found in the IRC decision and its clarification, which languished because the Committee did not find much community support for their initiative in forays outside their normal ambit. Avruch T 18:24, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
This board is a novel proposal. But if there is no board, and if admins will never take any action on sourcing, in what sense is Wikipedia:Reliable sources a guideline we should take seriously? Is it only lip service, or is it enforced? EdJohnston (talk) 18:54, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
It's routinely enforced all the time, in new page patrol. However the cases there are simple and obvious. It's easy to delete things for having no apparent coverage in sources, but solving harder problems takes more than 10 seconds at a time. We already have noticeboards for getting admin help. Maybe we just need to publicize this need more? There are plenty of admins who focus mainly on damage control. We just need to get them to deal with this type of damage also. Friday (talk) 18:59, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The reliable source noticeboard is already focused on sourcing issues. I don't follow that board, but the regulars there are the right place for a community driven practice to come from. GRBerry 19:14, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I have to say that I don't really like this, as it moves ArbCom into content decisions, which should be the realm of the editors. Like Avruch, I don't see much community support coming out for something like this. A very bad idea, in my opinion. Celarnor Talk to me 19:01, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I commented on the case's talk page that "An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until eventually they know everything about nothing." The committee should not be looking to staff with specific topic expertise (an expert on global warming would be of no use for a homeopathy issue, much less for a medieval philosophy issue); they should be looking to staff with people who have expertise in sourcing - which is academic librarians with the relevant MLS degree. Unfortunately, I only know of 1 editor that I suspect can be so described. (And we know we suffer from editors that falsely claim expertise, which is another related problem.) I suppose on further consideration that some folks with language expertise might be useful for cases where the issue is foreign language sources (like one recent ArbComm case), because they will be able to actually read the supposed source. If the committee wants sourcing advice to consider a user conduct case, that is within their remit, because user conduct issues are within their remit. But a content ruling board would be a terrible idea. GRBerry 19:14, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with GRBerry (believe it or not ;-)). We need people with broad experience in evaluating information, not subject matter experts. They would be people who recognize e.g., the relative merits of ISI-indexed publications versus self-styled "peer reviewed journals" rather than those who know the difference between barotropic and baroclinic instability. Raymond Arritt (talk) 19:19, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
GRB, if you by any chance mean one of my colleagues or myself, that;s not what librarians do. We don't rule on information. We help people find information for them to make their own decisions. That's the basis of our profession, and the only basis on which we can work over broad areas--we'll guide you to information, and, if asked, tell you our way of looking at it. and that's where we stop. In fact, that;s why we're comfortable in wikipedia--this fits the pattern of working by general consensus. DGG (talk) 03:54, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I myself have some institutional concerns about the Board idea. It seems to me that if something like that is established, it should be as a result of a formal new policy rather than an administrative ArbCom action. Institutions and bureaucracies, once created, tend to take on a life of their own. This one has a very broadly described mandate (all sourcing complaints on Wikipedia). The text does not even explicitly say that the Board can only act on a case at ArbCom's request. It is not hard to imagine that, once the Board is established, it can take on independent authority of its own, starts issuing binding opinions and setting binding precedents, etc, and influence general Wikipedia content policy to a substantial degree. All this with a fairly unclear source and scope of its mandate and ambiguous lines of accountability. If we are going to have a body with such broad influence on de facto content policies on Wikipedia, I think its establishment needs to be based on a community consensus (that is, a formal adoption of a new Wikipedia policy), not on ArbCom's administrative action. Nsk92 (talk) 20:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

What concerns me most is how it promotes credentialism, which is something that has always been against the ethos of Wikipedia. The idea is supposed to be that anyone can edit and improve the project regardless of their academic training. It rubs me in a very wrong way to see the project headed away from a consensus-based model to a model where there's a disconnected board that decides whether or not your edits are good. I really don't see the benefit that such a body creates over the exiting reliable sources noticeboard, which supports the consensus model rather than the disconnected corporate board model. If brought into policy with the inherent problems it brings, I think this should be an absolute last rung on a ladder that is seldom reached, much like ArbCom is the last part of the dispute resolution ladder. As few things as possible should ever get to a disconnected non-consensus-based system of resolution. Celarnor Talk to me 21:50, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

A Section Break

I consider this a remarkably poor idea. the understandable frustration with one particular group of articles should not produce a permanent bureaucracy which by fiat of ArbCom, completely changes the structure of Wikipedia. The remit of this board is exceptionally broad. Kiril, who wrote this proposal, has assured me on my talk pageof the intent is to use it very specifically, but that's not what the proposal says. Essentially all content disputes ultimately come down to whether sourcing is being used properly and fairly--and this is a proposal that the final decisions on sourcing will be, not the community of interested editors, but a small standing committee. The lines on which it can take decisions includes essentially everything. I don';t think any small group would even have the necessary competence. They will end up either deciding on vague impressions, or calling in outside experts to inform them. (I can see that as a rare exception we might need to actually need experts in a particular case, but if so we should go by them directly, under the principle of IAR, not as a permanent institution, and not in a way protected form the review by the community. And they will be totally protected--there's no appeal but to themselves. We don't need groups like this in Wikipedia. Not seriously, but I've speculated what I might hypothetically do if asked to join such a group, and I would refuse: I do not think that myself any more than anyone else here ought to have the authority in this way in our organisation's structure. I have no objection to following or taking authority in organisations that work that way, as I've done all my life in the RW. This is a different structure--a unique one, for no other single organization has even tried what we've been doing. We've been doing it with some success. Now, it is possible that some other structure might do better, and people are welcome to try them--and indeed are trying them. We should stick with the community, and do as much as we can on that basis. It may not be everything. I'm not intrinsically a conservative--I'd like to see some radically different organised free encyclopedias also & if I find one I like better & in which I can be more effective, I'll go there. But we already have our own values,and we should develop and refine them, not subvert them. And, at thevery least, such a change as this--so antipathetic to what most of us have joined in order to participate in--should be decided on after full discussion by the community.Arb Com should not impose this and then try to figure out the details with some participation from the ordinary wikipedians. Rather, if they think they need something of the sort, they should propose it for discussion. And then see what the consensus is, and follow it, like everyone else. DGG (talk) 03:49, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Nothing prevents the community from deliberately granting the power to Arbcom to handle something like this. It could be carefully defined as an experiment, and have a finite term. It could even be tried out first on the articles in one of the less controversial areas. EdJohnston (talk) 04:04, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
That is correct. But at the moment, ArbCom is not asking for the community's consent and consensus but rather moving on its own. Nsk92 (talk) 04:11, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
In fact, it might make sense to do it as an experiment for this particular situation in a much more non-bureaucratic way, as an extraordinary remedy. Appoint something in the way of an outside special master of a group of 3 or the like, to decide this particular issue in this particular case, with no structure and no precedent. I think something like that could be considered within the discretion of arbcom--they recently tried something similar, a special small board with respect to a particular enforcement problem. If by any chance it works--and I wouldn't necessarily count on it--then it could be tried again in some appropriate fashion if the need ever again arises. DGG (talk) 19:24, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
For those who think Arbcom has no right to rule on content, have another look at its charter. Arbcom replaces Jimbo in his capacity as God-King. So far, on English Wikipedia, it has chosen not to exercise its indubitable right to rule on content (or policy). A number of users (presumably including some current Arbcom members) believe that if it did rule on content now and again it could give closure to some issues that come back to Arbcom repeatedly. In general, I would much rather Arbcom acted rather than simply opening yet another policy debate which would only attract a self-selected bunch of wiki-policy wonks who by no means would represent the community, and who have demonstrated an inability to achieve consensus either for or against any significant new policy initiative in the last couple of years. On this specific case, I wish them does seem that the match of credentials to subject matter would have to be pretty loose, if the Board is going to be smaller than the faculty of a large university. PaddyLeahy (talk) 01:22, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I asked Kirill, who is the main sponsor of the Board idea, to comment on the ArbCom's power to delegate its authority to another body and to clariy what "final" in the describing the board's decisions as being final means ansd whether the Board's decisions in terms of findings of fact (e.g. whether or not some editor misrepresented sources) will be binding for ArbCom itself. Here is what he answered[2]: "It's worth noting that the Arbitration Policy says nothing at all regarding delegation of authority, and I don't see any reason or means by which a body with authority could be prohibited from delegating it. If it clarifies the pseudo-constitutional semantics any, you might think of the "final" issue as being equivalent to a statement of intent on our part that we will not overrule the board (without going into the question of whether we would retain a reserve power to do so)." Nsk92 (talk) 15:03, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Just want to say I don't think this new board is a good idea, although I can understand the motivation. WP:RSN seems like a better concept, assuming it can generate knowledgeable, uninvolved sourcing experts for sourcing disputes. I'd point out that expertise on the subject matter is likely useful, but shouldn't be necessary. Gnixon (talk) 13:54, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Consistency in usage of protection templates

The templates in question, generating message boxes or, in their small versions, variously coloured padlocks, are used in order to indicate that a page has suffered limitations to the editability thereof. More simply, they say "This page has been protected/semi-protected/move-protected" etc. Given that they are the most immediate way to show to editors the existence of such protection on a page, I find it regrettable that not all protected pages have them, often leading to surprises. And even though the Edit this page tab shows to an editor with no right to edit or move a page that this is the case, for editors who do have these rights there is no such difference.

Therefore, for the purpose of general informativeness and transparency, I propose the mandatory usage of these templates for all protected pages, and that a clause should be inserted to the appropriate policy page to this effect.

Although the easiest way to apply consistent usage of these templates is to require administrators to insert or adjust them after changes in pages' protection status, a robot could perhaps be tasked with this job (there already is, to my knoweledge, a 'bot removing them from unprotected pages). This, however, could lead to various problems which I am not in a place to predict. Waltham, The Duke of 01:59, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be easier to change the software to display appropriate system messages when a page has protection? Then it would be 100% reliable, and we wouldn't be imposing a manual step on admins. On another note, we could consider similar automatic messages for user/talk pages to indicate blocking, which would not replace a regular blocking notice, but would help you determine if it it current. Bovlb (talk) 19:25, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I did not mention automation because I believe there are choices to be made as far as the correct placement of the template is concerned. Perhaps the exact form of the displayed message could be chosen by the administrator while protecting the article, supplied to them as an option in the protection page. Waltham, The Duke of 03:24, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Any other comments? Waltham, The Duke of 03:17, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Nikola Zigic

There is a requested move that a a page called Nikola Zigic be moved to Nikola Žigić although all but one of the reliable sources presented in the debate spell the name "Nikola Zigic" the majority of the editors who have taken part in the debate support the move to Nikola Žigić, because it is the "correct" spelling. My position is that the correct name for the page's spelling depends on what the majority of verifiable reliable sources use, (and as it is a footballer/soccer player that "mainstream newspapers" are reliable sources). This is the position taken by the guidelines WP:MOS, WP:NC and WP:UE all based on the policy WP:V, but despite pointing this out not one person in favour of the move has changed their opinion. I would appreciate it if those who look at this page would contribute to the debate as it seems that either I am misunderstanding the guidelines or they are not worth the storage space they take up. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:50, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I've seen some debates about this sort of thing. Talk:Jennifer Lopez/archive1#Diacritic/accent mark on her last name comes to mind. I'd bet cash money there's been arguments over the Tokyo article. I've seen it go one way or the other, depending on circumstances; ultimately, as long as one redirects to the other, it may not be the healthiest thing to get high blood pressure over. :) – Luna Santin (talk) 18:54, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
WP:HOCKEY has had some epic battles over this as well. Basically, we've accepted that WP:UE is a dead guideline, since many of our player articles clearly are not English spellings of names. We came to an unsteady truce on the topic by agreeing that North American related articles would hide them, while international would show them, given North American sources never use them. Resolute 19:09, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Yup they have definately been epic. But yeah its probably a harder distinction for football/soccer. But yeah at the hockey project we have a truce giving player pages the diacritics and any international page shows them, but any North American page like an NHL team page they do not show them. -Djsasso (talk) 19:15, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The move will be a bad idea until Wikipedia's search engine can return Nikola Žigić when asked for "Nikola Zigic" and wkiliking Nikola Zigic does not return a red link. Philcha (talk) 21:52, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Until we invent redirects, you mean? Algebraist 11:32, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
There are limits. At present we wouldn't have the main entry for a Greek person have a title in Greek font. In general, there are problems when you use characters in titles that will not be found on the keyboard of the person searching. So Wikipedia:Use English has some logic when you are trying to meet the needs of people who read English and use computer keyboards designed for the English language. EdJohnston (talk) 15:09, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The proposal is justified, IMHO. It is the Latin alphabet, so there is no reason to mess up the spelling. If Judit Polgár can be written correctly, then so can Nikola Žigić. The birth certificate would be one of the few reliable sources. Guido den Broeder (talk) 18:41, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Arbcom powers and capabilities

I made a request for clarification on the Episodes and Characters case. I was taken aback to see that Kirill proposed a a topic ban on TTN and myself. Fortunately, the idea of a topic ban on me has been derided as ludicrous by all commentators that took a position. Unfortunately, that has not been so strongly the case with TTN, and there is still the risk that 2 more arbitrators will side with Kirill and FloNight on the motion to topic ban me from all articles relating to any form of "art", which seems to be breathtakingly broad, encompassing anything involving film, television, video games, or music. So, my questions:

  1. Can Arbcom create new sanctions as a result of a request for clarification? Or does "clarification" retain its normal meaning, with Arbcom being restricted to explaining earlier sanctions rather than crafting new ones?
  2. If they are allowed to create new sanctions, can they apply them to specific individuals that weren't a party to the arbitration being clarified? I commented heavily on E&C2, but was not a named participant.
Kww (talk) 18:14, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know they can, and I support that they have such power otherwise any bad-faith-editor could get another (bad-faith) opponent blocked thus basically deciding an edit war (where 2 are to blame) through arbcome. Abitration should therefore be able to balance behaviour of all involved parties, even if they are not named. Arnoutf (talk) 18:49, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
My answers to those would be yes and yes. For number one, occasionally cases get modified because of mistakes or because there is an obvious loophole and sometimes they come in forms of more sanctions or remedies. For the second one, I believe so; the list of parties is sometimes never complete or lists people that are not really part of the case. If you find any problems, then I would, however, stick to the Arbitration page. x42bn6 Talk Mess 19:02, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely, the ArbCom is free to expand or amend previously-closed cases where it makes sense to do so. The 'clarification' section of WP:RFArb is titled "Clarifications and other requests" (my emphasis). If a request for clarification highlights to the ArbCom (or another party) that an existing remedy or sanction is incomplete, it's reasonable for the Committee to suitably amend or expand their prior decision. Changes may be proposed if it is apparent that the original sanctions are either not working or are no longer necessary; parties may be added if they engage in problematic conduct in areas related to a case.
If a major shift in a previous decision is being contemplated, or if the ArbCom would likely benefit from additional evidence and extended time to deliberate, a request may instead be made to reopen a previous case. Doing so has the downsides of requiring a great deal of additional work and (usually) taking significantly more time to reach a conclusion.
In general, the ArbCom has a fairly free hand to address matters before them in whatever manner they see fit. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:26, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
where arb com has the power to ban someone altogether, they certainly have they power to ban someone only partially. DGG (talk) 20:30, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Judging from those responses, I guess I'll just have to take comfort in the fact that most people think Kirill is being silly, and that there isn't much chance the rest of Arbcom will come out in favor of a ban with so little justification or support. I was hoping I could more or less ignore it as being beyond their scope.Kww (talk) 20:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Pseudoscience in the NPOV/FAQ

Some editors have expressed that the second paragraph of WP:PSCI (A section of the NPOV FAQs dealing with pseudoscience) may be confusing or unclear, and may not express that topics having a pseudoscientific component may have other views to cover not related to science (eg. epistemological, historical, or cultural views). Part of the discussion centered around whether or not the current text implies that the scientific view is always the majority view and that the context of a pseudoscientific topic is always a science-related context (ie. SPOV). The current text reads:

The task before us is not to describe disputes as though, for example, pseudoscience were on a par with science. Pseudoscience is a social phenomenon and therefore significant, but it should not obfuscate the description of the main views, and any mention should be proportionate and represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, should explain how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly.

Following a discussion on the NPOV talk page, it was suggested that we clearly make a distinction that the topic as a whole may not always be about science, that we should clearly separate when it is and isn't, and that a better wording may reflect the current policies regarding pseudoscience in a clearer way. As such, we came up with this wording as a replacement for the second paragraph:

Pseudoscience is a social phenomenon and therefore may be notable, but Wikipedia editors must be careful to clearly separate science from pseudoscience in articles and to explain the criteria for distinction. Pseudoscience should not obfuscate the description of the main views when mentioned, and pseudoscience should always be accompanied by the corresponding scientific view. Not all views on pseudoscientific topics may be science related (eg. Astrology may have epistemological, historical, or cultural views to cover as well), but we shouldn't misrepresent science when mentioning pseudoscience. All the applicable views should be described in proportion to their prominence, which in science and medicine related discussions is weighted to the majority view among experts in the field of scientific study. In the interest of describing topics fully, pseudoscientific concepts may require a fair amount of detail in the article about the topic, but care should be taken to clearly attribute these views to their proponents. By weight, less detail (or none at all) may be required in mainstream science discussions if the concept is not prominent in the mainstream science field. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly.

It was suggested that we take it to the Village Pump for wider community feedback. Comments? --Nealparr (talk to me) 15:27, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

A bit wordy, but I agree with the basic point. The Parable of the Sower is not a treatise on agronomic practice. Raymond Arritt (talk) 15:30, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I was concerned about the worth-length as well (being a less is more kind of person), but there were several issues raised and we wanted to be as clear as possible. --Nealparr (talk to me) 15:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I can see a few huge problems with the wording. For a start, his version does not state that we should have "the majority (scientific) view as the majority view". It says instead "pseudoscience should always be accompanied by the corresponding scientific view" which leaves a wide gaping hole for editors to insert lots of pseudoscientific POV and marginate the scientific view as one more view. Another problem whis this wording: "the majority view among experts in the field of scientific study", it leaves another hole for inserting any study from anyone that can be labelled as a scientific, and to insert "scientific" studies from pseudoscience pushers. This is so wordy that it's leaving lots of holes for interpretation.
Also, I think that the ArbCom case on Pseudoscience wasn't cited on the NPOV discussion? I would look at Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience#Serious_encyclopedias and see that we are not supposed to treat pseudocientific views on the same way as cientific views. This is something that the new wording fails to express. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:08, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
It does state we should have the majority scientific view when talking about how it's pseudoscience, and it explains what the scientific view is, as "...the majority view among experts in the field of scientific study". A study couldn't be inserted as a majority view if it's not a majority view, ie. pseudoscience can't be inserted as a majority view of science. You left out the majority/prominence part in your analysis. Where's the hole? It's just reworded to reflect that the conversation isn't always about science/pseudoscience, case example astrology – the article's not all about it being pseudoscience.
Regarding the ArbCom case, this is only a change to the second paragraph. The information about the ArbCom case in WP:PSCI remains intact. Regarding treating pseudoscientific views in the same way as scientific views, that's exactly what the wording is about. It says in no way, shape, or form should we do that, ever, and explains why. It further directs us to not only separate the pseudoscience from the science, but never present a pseudoscientific view alone sans-science. --Nealparr (talk to me) 16:38, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The problem with the earlier wording of simply saying the majority (scientific) view as the majority view, by the way, is that the majority view about a topic isn't always the scientific view. As I pointed out on the NPOV talk page, according to polls in general culture over 50% of the US population supports creationism over evolution. A creationist can easily read the policy and think, "that's not correct, we have the majority, not science", and be correct from a cultural context... but not the science context. When the discussion turns to scientific origins of the human race, it is important for the credibility of Wikipedia that they do not come away thinking that their majority view in culture translates to an overall majority view in what should be a science discussion, where the prominent science view actually excludes creationism. That's what the new wording reflects. It first separates the context, and then clearly directs what editors need to do when the context is science... don't muck it up with pseudoscience. --Nealparr (talk to me) 16:52, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
This probably isn't the place for doing a rewrite, but taking out the second and third sentences would help. The gist of the third sentence already is covered in the first. Raymond Arritt (talk) 16:58, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The third sentence isn't about the notability of the topic as a whole. It's about pseudoscientific topics having aspects that have nothing to do with it being science or pseudoscience. Astrology, example given, isn't just pseudoscience. It's also a historical cultural practice of divination dating back thousands of years and predating even the concept of science and pseudoscience, with the historical aspect needing to be covered in the article. That's what the third sentence is about. It's about separating the contexts and not mixing pseudoscience with science, and not making the whole article about science vs. pseudoscience. If that's not clear in the wording, it's not addressing the issue it was meant to address. --Nealparr (talk to me) 19:53, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The discussion still leaves out the problem that something like astrology needs to be fully described in it's own terms for an article about it to have any meaning at all. We cannot assume as an encyclopedia for all topics that the scientific point of view is in fact the mainstream view. There may be topics where a decidedly nonscientific view is the mainstream. All views get represented, and ascribed to those who hold them. DGG (talk) 20:35, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I see a fundamental mismatch between (1) what the above proposal says and (2) the "frequently asked question" this text is supposed to answer. To recap, the FAQ asked at Wikipedia:NPOV/FAQ#Pseudoscience reads: How are we to write articles about pseudoscientific topics, about which majority scientific opinion is that the pseudoscientific opinion is not credible and doesn't even really deserve serious mention?
Now, the clause "Pseudoscience should not obfuscate the description of the main views when mentioned" does not make sense. Of course the pseudoscientific view will be have to be "mentioned" if the article is about this view. To take an example, an article about ancient astronaut theories cannot fail to mention the assertions of ancient astronaut theorists – they are, after all, the very topic of the article.
Now, how to write an article about something like ancient astronaut theories? I think we need a strong mention that editors should research and make use of such scholarly treatments of the pseudoscience as are available. If the claims of the pseudoscience are not discussed by mainstream "hard" science (ancient astronaut theories are not generally refuted or discussed in academic journals of archeology), they may still be discussed and researched by today's scientists of sociology, religion, history or psychology. For example, here is a scholarly article on Ancient astronaut theories: "Ancient Astronaut" Narrations: A Popular Discourse on Our Religious Past. Our articles on pseudoscientific topics should cite and summarise such scholarly source material. This way, we will get articles that do not just state that "these claims are incompatible with science", but also reflect the actual state of scientific research about why such pseudosciences exist, what their history is, which needs they fulfil for their proponents, etc. Jayen466 20:37, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, I can see that the proposal isn't going over well, but that editors seem to agree that the original wording is problematic as well. I tell you what, here is the original discussion [3] and we'll just consider this thread closed as "Opposed". Please feel free to offer rewording suggestions at the original thread and hammer out a new proposal. I'll sit back and let you guys come up with something and offer suggestions if I think of any. --Nealparr (talk to me) 20:55, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I've posted the following proposal at Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view#New_proposal:

How are we to write articles about pseudoscientific topics, about which majority scientific opinion is that the pseudoscientific opinion is not credible and doesn't even really deserve serious mention?

In the interest of describing topics fully, pseudoscientific concepts may require a fair amount of detail in the article about the topic, but care should be taken to clearly attribute these views to their proponents, to separate science from pseudoscience and to explain the criteria for distinction. For example, if a pseudoscientific theory makes claims related to a field of natural science and these claims are not seriously discussed by present-day scholars in that field, the presentation should clearly state so. The theory may, however, be the subject of scholarly analysis in fields such as history, sociology, religion or psychology. Where this is the case, scholarly source material from these fields should be used to present the ideas' history, as well as their standing within the scientific community and within society at large.

Please add comments at Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view#New_proposal. Jayen466 12:06, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Editing the correct unbiased version instead of being manipulated by gangs?

I like Jessica Alba. I like to read an overly positive piece of fluff. However, I recognize that WP is for an unbiased biography.

Recently, someone put some negative information. I did not remove it.

A possibility exists that gangs of fans will form a false consensus and remove it. So the Wikipedia idea of censensus is subject to bias. This is not just for Jessica Alba. Governor Bill Richardson, an article I also edit, is subject to the same pressure. I suppose that high profile people, such as George Bush, Richard Cheney, Hillary Clinton, and others also can be manipulated by gangs of fans claiming consensus.

How does one obtain objective editorial decisions? RFC doesn't always work.

My feeling is that when there is a dispute between positive and negative information, there should be some allowance of negative information if it is written in as neutral a fashion as possible. My feeling is that the gang of fans should not have the power to overrun the article. Can this be a guideline for wikipedia? As much as I like Jessica Alba, I think that some well written negative information is very wikipedian. Spevw (talk) 21:01, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:BLP. If it's negative and has no source, it's got to go. If it's negative but have adequate coverage in indpendent media, then it can stay. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 22:41, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
It is more appropriate to say that if it (a fact in a biography of a living person) is not sourced, then it has to go. "Positive" and "negative" are subjective terms and different peope will ascribe different interpretations of things. For instance, if someone posted "Such and such a celebrity was known for sucking twenty cocks at a party," a great number would find that "negative" information, but a not insignificant number (like me) would find it to be "positive." JeanLatore (talk) 00:39, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
No, that's negative. If that's unsourced, it must be immediately removed, as it's possible libel, which can possibly open the Foundation up to legal issues. Also note that all information must be presented via a neutral point of view per WP:NPOV, and reported in an objective fashion. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 00:55, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Simply follow the core policies of neutral point of view and verifiability for all articles, whether the subject is alive or not. I can't agree with your idea about favoring positive information over negative information. If it is unsourced and positive, it should be removed with just as much fervor as something unsourced and negative. However, NPOV and V mean that you don't have to worry about the distinction. If it can be reasonably sourced and you can write about it in a neutral point of view, then stick it in. Otherwise, don't; let someone else work out how to write it to be POV-neutral or where to find appropriate sources. Celarnor Talk to me 01:02, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

RFC on Bio Policy: 'Sir'/'Dame' usage inline

There has been a recurring debate on the use of honorific prefixes inline (e.g. "Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee" in Tim Berners-Lee). Current policy at MoS-bio says "The honorifics Sir and Dame should be included in the text inline for baronets, knights bachelor, and members of knightly orders whose rank grants them that dignity" Several editors including myself believe this policy violates NPOV. Others disagree. I opened a policy RFC but I would like as wide an audience as possible so am posting it here also. If interested, please read the existing discussion & add your thoughts to the MoS-bio talk pages rather than here. The most recent iteration of the debate is here. A debate from a few months prior is the section above that here. Ripe (talk) 23:11, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Merge discussions

What are the policies/guidelines/etc. that cover merge discussions, which occur on the Talk page of one of the affected articles? In particular, I am interested in the proper procedure for closing a merge discussion. I've read Help:Merging and moving pages#Closing/archive a proposed merger (vague), as well as Wikipedia:Consensus, Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines, and Template:Discussion top, but I have not found anything directly helpful.

For XfDs, the closing editor must be uninvolved and may be a non-admin when admin tools are not required to implement the decision. Some merges may require history merges, while others can be done with cut-and-paste. Should an uninvolved editor be requested at WP:EAR, WP:AN, or elsewhere, or should the merge tags and their associated categories be relied on to attract this uninvolved editor?

Is it ever acceptable for an involved editor to close a merge discussion as no consensus following an extended period (1-2 months) with no new discussion, or does this involved closing always constitute a conflict of interest, as it would in the WP:Deletion process? If it may be acceptable, what constitutes a reasonable "extended period"? Flatscan (talk) 17:44, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Mergers are generally done by someone who has an interest in the topic. Deletion requires distance, but mergers require knowledge of the subject in some manner to have an idea of what needs to be kept. -mattbuck (Talk) 17:55, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I guess I'll cross-post my question once this is archived. Flatscan (talk) 19:42, 25 May 2008 (UTC)?
I believe the question is not who actually carries out the merger but who determines whether or not there is a consensus when there is no unanimity? I believe that it's been the practice in the past to request on WP:AN that an uninvolved admin determine consensus when it is unclear. Reggie Perrin (talk) 04:07, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Cross-posted from Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2008 May 24 to Help talk:Merging and moving pages, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

Why does Wikipedia has a 3rr policy?

The rule can be strict and many users make mistakes reverting. I could revert a mistake and get blocked. Jet (talk) 04:04, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The reason for the three revert rule is that editors would often just revert each other instead of discussing what should be done. Captain panda 04:08, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Note the "3" in 3RR, you have to make more than 3 reverts and a warning is generally required as well. Note also it only applies to reverts to the same page in a 1 day period. After 3 reverts and a warning in 1 day to the same article, I wouldn't believe that its still a mistake. There's also exceptions for reverting vandalism, spam, or copyright violations or if you realize your mistake and revert yourself. Mr.Z-man 04:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Administrators treat WP:3RR violations with a touch of common sense. We would rather you discuss the issue than mull about it on your 24 hour block. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 05:15, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Picture a world where content is decided not by consensus or even discussion of any sort, but by the amount of time one determined person is willing to dedicate to sitting around hitting the revert button all day – that's the sort of nightmare 3RR is designed to prevent. Mistakes do happen, but three or four "mistakes" in a row? As mentioned, hefty doses of common sense and a carefully crafted list of exceptions to the rule can carry the day often enough. :) – Luna Santin (talk) 22:33, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
In addition to what others have noted above, I will also point out that before any block is considered, the 3RR noticeboard requires that an editor have first received a warning indicating that they are about to break the three-revert rule, and that the editor have reverted the page in question four times in 24 hours. If someone were to revert an article three times, receive a 3RR warning, and then ignore that warning in order to revert the page again, the editor can hardly pretend to be surprised by the consequences of their choice. --Kralizec! (talk) 23:48, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Likewise, 3RR is not required to be blocked. If it is determined that a user is still edit warring (i.e. carefully avoiding making more than 3 reverts in a day, or otherwise gaming the system) one can be blocked for disruption even if one has never techincally violated 3RR. 02:28, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Article series#Merge proposals

Could you take a look at Wikipedia talk:Article series#Merge proposals? Essentially, I think that "article series" is somewhat different entity than WP:Summary style article groups. --Kubanczyk (talk) 11:43, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:ATTACK and the First Amendment

Resolved: Wikipedia is not congress 1 != 2 20:36, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

So why is a policy like WP:ATTACK not challenged for violating our First Amendment rights? I know you might say "no governmental action," but someone could claim as the most important and biggest forum on the internet (which is the most important, indispensable medium), such restrictions on speech leave the party with no other reasonably similar outlet for his expression. I also am not talking about obscene speech either, but then again I hardly think that calling user XYZ a "nincompoop" would be construed as obscene. JeanLatore (talk) 17:59, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Probably in the first place because this is not a forum. This is a project. Guido den Broeder (talk) 18:01, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
But Wikipedia is a forum, or soon will be, due to its near omnipresence on the internet. JeanLatore (talk) 23:46, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Not relevant. The American First Amendment does not extend to non-governmental organizations, no matter how influential they might be. Simply put, you have no constitutional right to "free speech" on Wikipedia, or the internet. Resolute 23:53, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
And also, a lot of us aren't Americans! Fritzpoll (talk) 18:09, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
There is no right to free speech on Wikipedia. Darkspots (talk) 18:11, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
WP:NOT#DEMOCRACY. --Hu12 (talk) 18:12, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
The First amendment has to do with congress restricting your speech. Congress didn't write WP:ATTACK. --Kbdank71 18:13, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
That's a very narrow reading of the First Amendment, and not the way it is construed in American jurisprudence. But Guido is correct; this is a project, not a democracy, and the people that set the project up and make sure that it gets paid for get to make the rules. If you go to Network Solutions and register your own domain, then you have free speech. Not here. Darkspots (talk) 18:16, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, not there either, if they don't like what you've registered, or what you're doing with the domain enough. SQLQuery me! 01:00, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The First Amendment only covers the government restricting the free speech of private citizens. It is in absolutely no way, shape, or form applicable to WP:ATTACK, or indeed anything on Wikipedia. EVula // talk // // 18:20, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed it is not (try insulting your potential employer during a job interview referring to the first amendment ;-) Arnoutf (talk) 18:22, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Not applicable – there are many other forums for insulting your employer. The First Amendment in fact does give you the RIGHT to insult your employer, unless you use "fighting words." You just have the pay the consequences of said speech, but you are free to do it. The First Amendment thus gives us the right to make personal attacks on Wikipedia too. JeanLatore (talk) 23:44, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • But you probably won't be hired as a direct result, just as you won't be staying on Wikipedia very long. Mr.Z-man 23:57, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Anyway, there is free speech on Wikipedia, as you will not be prosecuted, locked up, tortured or killed, or denied any other civil rights (edting Wiki is not one of them) for anything you say on Wiki. You may be kicked off the project; but quaoting JeanLatore "You just have the pay the consequences of said speech, but you are free to do it." Arnoutf (talk) 17:27, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Or you could try spray painting graffiti on your neighbour's wall and threatening to sue him for violating your right to free speech if he scrubs it off. Hut 8.5 19:23, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Not applicable – involves committing a crime through your speech.JeanLatore (talk) 23:38, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
The point still stands. Suppose you did something legal - put a sign on his front lawn. It's his property and he has every right to determine what is and is not on it, just as Wikipedia has every right to determine what they do and do not host. --Hut 8.5 16:46, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Putting a sign on his front lawn w/o his permission is illegal – it's tresspass. I don't know what country you live in where they don't consider that wrong! JeanLatore (talk) 17:19, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
You are dodging the question. My point is that the owner of private property has the right to regulate what is or is not displayed on that property, regardless of how it got there. Therefore Wikipedia has every right to remove personal attacks as it is private property. Hut 8.5 19:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I am not dodging the question. If you have a point to make just make it without resorting to unclear and inapposite analogy. JeanLatore (talk) 19:18, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Say your neighbor gave his permission for signs to be put on his lawn. Now it's legal. If you put a sign he doesn't like and removes it, that's his right. It's still his property, and he can do what he wants with it. --Kbdank71 19:39, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
And in a more positive vain, it means you can kick your friend out of your house when he bad-mouths your favorite sports team. ;) EVula // talk // // 20:08, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Not applicable if your friend had no other place to live not even the streets.JeanLatore (talk) 23:38, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes it is; your house, your rules. There's no law saying you have to house someone against your will. Kicking your friend out when they have nowhere else to go may make you a total jackass, but it isn't illegal. EVula // talk // // 18:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't a democracy, and free speech is irrelevant to your argument anyway. Anyone can say whatever they want whenever they want. Sometimes it's just stupid to exercise that right because it'll bite you in the ass. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 23:47, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

JeanLatore, 'free speech' does not give you the right to insult people. What it does (one of the things that it does) is make you accountable to the other if you do, as opposed to non-free speech where you are accountable to the authorities. It is a right, but also a great responsibility. Guido den Broeder (talk) 23:50, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

It does not even do that. It guarantees American citizens the right to public speech without government interference. (At least, in the context I think this is used in, I'm not sure about the irish one... That's what happens when you link to things you haven't read, I spose.) SQLQuery me! 01:09, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
That's the amendment. I'm talking about freedom of speech itself now, which user apparently also doesn't understand. Guido den Broeder (talk) 07:58, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest you read the text of the First Amendment before continuing to comment. Until Wikipedia becomes a branch of the government with rules formed by Congress, it doesn't apply. Wikipedia is a private website governed by a board of trustees, though most power is delegated to the community. As a private website, the foundation and the community have just as much of a right to regulate speech as someone may do in their own home or in an office they manage. Mr.Z-man 23:57, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

No, No, they dont! The owner can regulate speech within the area under his control, that is true, but not when that area is so broad as to there not be any other feasible locations for the speech. There are 2 Supreme Court cases right on this point, something about how a "company town" could not regulate speech within the town it owned, and other about a shopping mall. Wikipedia is like the "company town." JeanLatore (talk) 00:55, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean to tell me there are no other feasible locations on the internet for you to make such statements? Resolute 01:01, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
No, it's not a "company town." Wikipedia is an internet establishment whose avenues for communication amount to little more than your run of the mill forum, BLP issues notwithstanding. It has the right to regulate speech as it sees fit. You might as well drop this, because you're never going to successfully argue that everyone should have the right to call the other side some terribly obscene name in place of actual discussion. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 01:03, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is nothing like the company town. The company town is when one entity owns so much of an area and regulates speech within it that in effect there is nowhere else to go to speak freely. This is nothing like that. You can go somewhere else just by moving your mouse up and clicking elsewhere. Celarnor Talk to me 01:05, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The text of the first amendment starts out with: "Congress shall make no law"... That seems pretty clear as to why it's not applicable here. SQLQuery me! 00:58, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Seems pretty clear to me that constitutional law and interpretation only done through United States Supreme Court cases involving the text. Not all it takes to understand constitutional law is to memorize the text of the constitution and its amendments. JeanLatore (talk) 01:06, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
So, you would interpert Congress some other way, to mean Wikipedia? SQLQuery me! 01:10, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Jeez, read the first string of posts, its explained up there. Look for the "company town" stuff... JeanLatore (talk) 01:14, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
And this is an article that also advances this argument: [4]
this is another one dealing with the First Amendment consequences of MMPORGs. [5]. And the company town supreme court case was Marsh v. Alabama. JeanLatore (talk) 01:23, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
What geographical area does Wikipedia own and govern? Have you or anyone else been imprisoned for making edits that are not in line with WP:ATTACK somehow? SQLQuery me! 01:16, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Where does the law say that one can only make a first amendment claim if he was imprisoned first? The mere fact that a user is threatened with some sanction, that is to say, banning from wikipedia, is all you need to make a claim.
And who said anything about geographic area? Wikipedia owns a LOT of information-area. That also is sufficient to make it subject to a Marsh-like claim of a first amendment violation. JeanLatore (talk) 01:25, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
(ec)What? Now I can't interpret it however I see fit? :) SQLQuery me! 01:30, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
You've yet to address the issue of how this applies to Wikipedia. You've thrown around "company town", which doesn't apply, and posted two papers which likewise don't apply. Wikipedia isn't a public forum and your assertions don't have merit until it is ruled to be as such. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 01:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
(ecx2)Since we're citing opinion papers, there's also Wikipedia:Free_speech, probably explains things a little better than I have. SQLQuery me! 01:26, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I am curious here. What percentage of the internet must Wikipedia "own" in order for a "Marsh-like" claim to exist in your opinion? What percentage of the internet do you think Wikipedia owns? Also, please get in contact with the ACLU. I would love to hear their take on your complaint. Resolute 01:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Jean, a couple of your recent article contributions: Anal Sex with Sluts and Small Sluts, Nice Butts make me question your understanding of our project, not to mention your mention above of WP as a "forum". You seem to confuse us with You Tube, MySpace, or a blog space. The point here is that we are writing an encyclopedia in cooperation, like a work environment. It is incumbent on the project to provide a reasonable and comfortable work environment free from sexual harassment and incivility. You are trying to pushing rope uphill with your debate here. Why are you here? Are you just trying to get attention by making noise? --Kevin Murray (talk) 01:24, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Focus on the content, not the contributor, man. Everything was going fine until you started to troll the thread... and why am i here, man? Just check out these gems: Lo-Ji Sales, Inc. v. New York, United States v. Williams, United States v. Dixon. Yeah man, that's it baby. JeanLatore (talk) 01:29, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Your contributions do have merit to this very pointless discussion. You seem to think that Wikipedia works in a way contrary to reality, and won't let that belief go despite the obvious. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 01:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm one of the biggest supporters of free speech around here, but I'd never be silly enough to claim that the First Amendment is directly applicable to the policies of a worldwide, privately operated site like this. (And I don't see how the cases you cited here are relevant.) *Dan T.* (talk) 01:33, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
What happened to free speech? Resolute 01:48, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, did you read them? I'm thinking about when wikipedia becomes all powerful, all encompassing. Read that case about AOL that's mentioned at the bottom of the marsh v. alabama article...the next time the court might rule against the internet on the same grounds, esp. as it grows stronger.JeanLatore (talk) 01:36, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

One item that has been dropped from this discussion is Freedom of association. Wikipedia has the right to restrict who it associates with when such associations do not conform with Wikipedia's stated goals. Another way to view this is that the right to a free press does not mean that you can force someone else to buy you a printing press. --Allen3 talk 01:38, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The first amendment right in question here is not free speech. It's freedom of the press. That belongs to the guy who owns the printing presses and the barrels of ink. The WP analogy is the servers and the software. The Foundation has this right, delegated in large measure to contributors within a set of rules prescribed, ultimately, by the Foundation. Jean, you have no right of free speech here. The Foundation has a right of unfettered freedom of the press. If you want to exercise that kind of freedom, buy yourself a bunch of servers and buy, develop or license the software (some you can find as "freeware"). Then you can exercise your freedom of speech and your freedom of the press (at least here in the U.S.) You have no such right here on WP. David in DC (talk) 01:39, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Careful, David - the Foundation will have section 230 issues if you keep likening it to a newspaper publisher (emoticon would go here if I used the things). Sarcasticidealist (talk) 01:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
All analogies are imperfect. :) <----(I use them)David in DC (talk) 01:45, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

All right, IANAL, but here's my basic understanding of free speech issues. First, the First Amendment only applies to Congress; private organizations are not required to provide anyone a forum for their speech. The closest any law comes to requiring that would be common carrier laws, which require all common carriers to carry any and all legal traffic that's willing to pay the service fee. Wikipedia is not a common carrier. A railroad is a common carrier, as is a phone company or internet service provider, but Wikipedia is not, and thus isn't legally required to provide anyone with a forum to express their opinions. Again, I'm no lawyer, but that's my understanding of it. And I just got this information from someone I know who IS a lawyer regarding it: "Succinctly: Wikipedia is not the government. The Bill of Rights involves actions by the government, or a subdivision thereof." Rdfox 76 (talk) 01:47, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The First Amendment is on Wikipedia's side. The group can have First Amendment rights against the individual (see Boy Scouts of America v. Dale). --SMP0328. (talk) 01:56, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, that was a First Amendment case because of a law, not private action. Quote: "...overturning the New Jersey Supreme Court's application of the New Jersey public accommodations law, which had forced the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to readmit assistant Scoutmaster James Dale." That was an application of law, not simply a group/organization making a decision about a user. – The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 02:23, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The point was that the law infringed upon the private organization's First Amendment right to make such decisions regarding members/personnel. But this whole discussion thread is silly. Postdlf (talk) 02:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I am not a lawyer, but these are my thoughts: WP:ATTACK is itself an exercise of free speech on the part of its author. The Marsh case, on the other hand, involved a governmental action. Somehow I think that "no governmental action" is dispositive. Marsh might, or might not, be applicable if somebody were to be prosecuted for unauthorized use of Wikipedia's services. (talk) 04:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The Marsh case did NOT involve governmental action..are you nuts? Did you even read the case? It was about a private company regulating speech on the property it owned... Come on, let's tighten up, here man!! JeanLatore (talk) 17:25, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
IANAL, but I'm pretty certain cyberspace is not tangible property; thus the Marsh case applies here about as much as house deeds apply to stock holdings. The key word here is "property", which I'm pretty certain means tangible items (i.e. land, buildings) legally. As Wikipedia is not (a) tangible, (b) land, or (c) a building, it it therefore immune to the Marsh decision.
And before you make your argument again, consider these articles: chilling effect and defamation. Telling us to abide by the First Amendment (even if it doesn't apply to us) gives us the right to call people names you would personally not want to hear - freedom of speech cuts both ways, and if you can call someone an idiot, then I can call you someone who loves chukawk. By the same token, however, freedom of speech also does not allow libel (which is the deliberate publishing of falsehoods to defame someone; see the Seigenthaler incident), and such speech would still be removed on here per WP:BLP due to legal ramifications for the Foundation. -Jéské (v^_^v E pluribus unum) 18:19, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Nobody has the right to do anything on Wikipedia. The servers are the property of the Wikimedia Foundation, who can do whatever the fuck they want with them. It's basically the same as having a notebook. It's not your legal right to write "Marvin sucks" in my notebook (or anything else for that matter), so why should you have the same right on Wikipedia? If anybody gets to say whatever they want on Wikipedia, then it should be illegal to block anyone, or have protected pages. IPs should be able to edit the Main Page. But of course, that's the most idiotic idea in the history of man. Ziggy Sawdust 07:13, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
It's not just Wikipedia. I've lost count of the number of times people have tried to claim free speech on privately-owned websites. I occasionally post on a few messageboards, and if someone is cautioned or suspended for making personal attacks, they unfailingly resort to "You're suppressing my right to free speech!" Even if the entire world subscribed to American law, that fails. You do not have the right to free speech on someone else's property/website. They make the rules. If you don't like it, there are many other websites which may not care what you say or how you say it. Enigma message 20:34, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. I lost track of how many times I was called a "nazi" back when I was a mod at Fanhome. People need to realize that private enterprise is not held to the same restrictions as the government is. And despite Jean Latore's repeated misguided complaints, Wikipedia is in no danger whatsoever of becoming so "gargantuan" that no alternative avenues for free speech exist. The internet is a hell of a lot bigger than one website. Resolute 18:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Enigmaman, I might not know you are or what you stand for, but you are right. You are right given that the website does not control so many of the avenues of internet speech as to be able to shut out a person's avenues to make that speech. However, Wikipedia, perhaps not now, but soon will reach that gargantuan and powerful mass. That is when the First Amendment a la the Marsh case would apply to Wikipedia, even though it is not a government entity. JeanLatore (talk) 23:27, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't a crystal ball, so please stop wasting our time with fruitless what-ifs about Wikipedia possibly infringing on free speech. It's not going to happen. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 00:11, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Do you realize how generous Wikipedia is?

I've started this new subsection so that I'm not quite keeping this silly discussion going. Only one person here is honestly arguing that WP:NPA violates the First Amendment, and I humbly suggest that he take this discussion to his own talk page if he doesn't know it might possibly be time to give it a rest. However, I think there's a valid point that needs to be made: Do you realize how amazingly generous Wikipedia is on "free speech" issues? In many Internet communities, they can block or ban you just for saying something negative about the website. Here, we won't ban you just for criticizing Wikipedia. Anyway, if you honestly believe WP:NPA violates U.S. law, feel free to take it up with the Wikimedia Foundation's legal counsel. If he feels your argument has merit, he'll be happy to strike down the policy... szyslak (t) 17:49, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

No, really, please don't bother the counselor. Surely he has real work to do. Mangoe (talk) 19:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Someone should bother the counsellor. There's a "reasonable accommodation" issue lurking in the background that a U.S. lawyer looking after the Foundation's interests ought to look at. David in DC (talk) 20:17, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Lol, the First Amendment limits what the US Congress can do, it does not stop a private publisher from deciding what is and what is not allowed in their publication. I am Canadian and even I know that. 1 != 2 20:20, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, don't encourage people to waste other people's time. I was gunna suggest someone write an essay for this, but there's already Wikipedia:Free speech. Friday (talk) 20:24, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Like I said above, Congress shall make no law. Wikipedia isn't Congress. Can we resolve this? --Kbdank71 20:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
According to my lawyer friend who I quoted above, the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment also extends to state governments, and private organizations operating with an authorization from the US Government. For example, WXYZ-TV has a certain level of First Amendment obligations due to the fact that it operates with the permission of the US Government, in the form of the station's operating license from the FCC. Of course, this means nothing to Wikipedia, which has no such government license. Rdfox 76 (talk) 21:15, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The government also allows me to live in the state of Michigan, and that still doesn't mean I have to let people into my house to write things in my books. Ziggy Sawdust 21:23, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Some clarifications: The First Amendment, notwithstanding its specific reference to Congress, has been applied to state governments and subdivisions thereof (counties, cities) under the Fourteenth Amendment, by what is called the Incorporation doctrine. A private organization acting pursuant to governmental authority (basically when governmental functions are outsourced to private commercial ventures, such as a private contractor running a prison) can be considered a state actor, under civil rights laws that allow individuals to bring suit for violations of their constitutional rights. Radio stations are given licenses by the FCC to broadcast on frequencies that are considered public property; the station's obligations to serve the public good are conditions of the license. All of which is interesting but of course completely irrelevant to Wikipedia. Postdlf (talk) 17:13, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

My earlier comment may have been too obscure. When I say I think a Foundation lawyer should look at this, because of a "reasonable accommodation" issue lurking in the background, I'm not talking about the 1st amendment. I'm talking about the ADA. David in DC (talk) 16:56, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

ADA???? Darkspots (talk) 17:50, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we're expected to make reasonable accommodations for people psychologically incapable of not making personal attacks? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:53, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we are, in the U.S., if the editor is a member of a protected class under the ADA. Please read the first line of Jean's User page. David in DC (talk) 20:43, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
You'd do better to read the actual text of the law. Wikipedia is not a public accommodation. It's simply outside the scope of the ADA. Postdlf (talk) 21:08, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm well-familiar with the ADA's text. It reaches waaaaaaaay beyond public accommodations. It requires an extraordinary array of institutions and individuals to make reasonable accommodations for people in protected classes. The meaning of the word "accommodation" in the phrase "reasonable accommodation" has nothing to do with the very different term "public accommodation." But as I said above, it's not the commenters here who need to take a close look at this, it's the Foundation's counsel. The very first line of Jean's User page puts us on notice that he's a member of protected class. David in DC (talk) 21:22, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
He would be treated the same as any other user, regardless of his disabilities, if he were to persist in his silly belief that he has some kind of immunity from WP:ATTACK. His contributions are judged the same as anyone else's. In other words, there is no discrimination going on, unless we use his claim of being autistic to change how we treat him. The ADA angle isn't nearly the red-herring as the First Ammendment claim was, but it is equally as frivolous. Resolute 21:27, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
"Public accommodations" are the primary private entities that are within the ADA's scope (Title III of the ADA). As that term is defined by the statute at 42 U.S.C. § 12181, it clearly refers to enumerated physical places such as restaurants, hotels, etc. If you didn't think Wikipedia was a "public accommodation," under what category of covered entities did you think Wikipedia was included, such that it would be subject to ADA requirements? Postdlf (talk) 21:31, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
If ADA does apply, then I can, should I have had a bad day, be immune to punishment for calling people names and being a general c*** because I'm an Aspie and have a temper problem? -Jéské (v^_^v E pluribus unum) 04:10, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
That's what's being implied here. But y'know, someone will be arrested for standing in a public place screaming obscenities regardless of whether or not they have Tourette's syndrome. What the law chooses to do afterwards is a different issue. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:48, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

(unindenting because of uncountable colons and arguably separate issue) I'm fairly sure the ban on "legal threats" would actually pose more of a constitutional issue in the U.S., but as szyslak points out, individual websites generally aren't required to let everyone day whatever they want to anyone they want. In fact, the English Wikipedia is far more tolerant of such things than most other foundation wikis (IME, at least). --SB_Johnny | talk 16:01, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Small fonts

Looking at one of today's articles in the news, Union of South American Nations, I find some of the text in small fonts to be hard to read. Not all of us have those new sharp digital monitors, and I'm sure many people have smaller monitors than mine. Yes I know there are ways to increase the size of text on the screen, but I'm not vision impaired, and have no problem with average font sizes. Look especially at the section with a map of South America halfway down the screen, or the bottom of the big table further down. I can make out the small text with a little difficulty, but the big problem is the superscripted reference numbers (1, 2, 3) - I'm having trouble seeing which is which. These numbers seem to be smaller, or at least harder to read, than the usual blue superscripted reference numbers in square brackets.

Why do we need small font text in Wikipedia articles, anyway? I think of small font as being appropriate for legal text, where a large block of text that most people don't care to read is crammed into a small space. Even then, I suspect legal text is printed small in a deliberate attempt to hide it, but that's getting off topic. The small text, as used in this article, is not overly wordy, nor is it something that is so trivial that it needs to be tucked away for the sake of appearance. I suspect the writers are just copying style they've seen used elsewhere, such as in printed books.

Do we have a policy discouraging small fonts? Do you think we should have one? --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 14:09, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Sir I think you are right! We should have some standardisation of fonts and sizes on here. I don't like the current default font myself – for a while I was signing my name in Edwardian script font, perhaps the site should use something like that a bit catchier. JeanLatore (talk) 22:56, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Plug for a wikiproject: Wikipedia:Accessibility. Which does not recommend small small fonts. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 01:45, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
A few notes... WP:ACCESS is the guideline, Wikipedia:WikiProject Accessibility is the wikiproject. WP:ACCESS discourages the use of small fonts, but since it's not a policy it's not technically required for fonts to be standardized, simply recommended although I doubt you would run into much objection if you started making fonts larger, Ni. In a related story, I've been toying around with the idea of using {{hidden}} around the references section on articles in order to justify increasing the size of ref fonts. I've hit a few snags (namely the problem that when the ref section is hidden you cannot jump to it from the markers in the article) but you can see my example here if you're interested. L'Aquatique[talk] 05:00, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, the inability to jump to the references section is a deal-breaker. If you can't easily access the references, what's the point of having them? --Carnildo (talk) 06:12, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I absolutely agree. Right now I'm trying to figure out if there's a way I can code it so that when one clicks on the inline markers it sets the hidden template to show. I need to take a look at the {{hidden}} syntax- just haven't gotten around to it yet. L'Aquatique[talk] 03:03, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes! I was thinking of the very same idea. It seems the reason why people put the references in multiple columns is to have them take up less space (vertically) and then the fontsize has been reduced so that they actually fit in narrow columns, making them even harder to read. So hiding them seems like a much better alternative, as you say getting the inline links to work should only be a minor scripting issue.
As for font sizes, good luck with that, I support larger fonts, but I think it will be hard to get support for any change of the base font size (and such). The graphical design of wikipedia is generally really, really awful. But whenever you suggest a improvement, someone is bound to come around and say "I don't care about your reasons, I like it better the way it is, go away you #@¤!" and most other people don't care enough to say anything. Since a change of the design is going to affect every user on the site, it requires serious consensus, and unless it is something that attract enough attention, that will never happen. So the result is this crappy design. It's sad, because the site could benefit tremendously (from a usability perspective at least) from some very small changes.
Apis (talk) 03:55, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Yes, the size and format of refs has been a recurring problem that we [the accessibility team] have been dealing with. The multiple columns present both an aesthetic and coding problem and even people with fairly good vision are reporting troubles reading the eensie-weensie font. The hidden template, if we could get it to work, would be an ideal solution. I took a look at the source code of {{hidden}}- it's not nearly as complex as I thought for the simple reason that it is almost completely composed of other templates. I have a fairly good grasp of wikimarkup, but looking at it I just don't see the parts that make it do what it does. According to the template history, it was originally written by User:Azatoth. I have left a message on his talk page to see if he can offer some insight.
One last thing: I assume in your second paragraph you are referring to the discussion over at template talk:reflist about multicolumn support? I just read that, and I got to say, strange stuff. I believe that if we really want to incite change, we have to get people interested in it. Show that this is a real problem that can't just be blamed on a minority of people with buggy browsers. L'Aquatique[talk] 06:55, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Sort of a different issue, but having larger fonts in the edit window would be a great help to older editors like me :). --SB_Johnny | talk 17:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
No that wasn't what I was referring to, it was more of a general observation. How long did it take to get an error in the logo fixed for example. And that was a glaring error that ought to be obvious to anyone. I think more people would care about the multicolumn stuff if more than a minority of browsers supported it, as it is now it's only visible to a minority anyway. There are some valid uses for it, but the way it's generally used is more or less evil imo ;). I agree with the last part, but personally I'm not very good at getting people interested in stuff :/ I've seen several people complaining about small fonts but everyone just shudder at the thought of trying to change it. Still I can't think of any particularly good reason why we should use the smallest font possible we can cram in here. Computer monitors have really crappy resolution compared to printed media so they can get away with much smaller fonts. Maybe working more on wp:access to get it upgraded to policy could be a way forward? Anyway, hopefully the collapsible reference list can be made to work because that should make everyone happy without sacrificing usability. =)
Apis (talk) 20:06, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, working at getting people interested in making wp:access a policy has been an ongoing process, with not a lot of support from the wider public. It seems that there is a (usually mistaken) belief that accessible pages are ugly and difficult to use for the rest of us, which is pure... well, you know. If we want to get WP:ACCESS to a policy we are going to have to show that accessibility helps everyone- not just people with screen readers, not just people with old computers, not just colorblind people: but everyone. L'Aquatique[talk] 20:35, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Fricking awesome news, everybody! Just like Archimedes in his bathtub (well, maybe not that great, but at the very least extremely good) I do believe I have figured it out! I was almost about to give up, because the hidden template was going nowhere, when, suddenly, it occured to me... why not put in a scrollbar, like this:

this is a test
this is a test
this is a test
this is a test
this is a test
this is a test
this is a test
this is a test
this is a test

Sure enough, it works swimmingly. Cuts down on space significantly, but easy to read. If you click an inline marker it takes you directly to the corresponding reference, no scrolling required! Check out my new and improved test model, now live at User:L'Aquatique/Template Box.
The only thing left is to test is accessibility. I'm particularly interested in how it works with screen readers, so I'm going to get in contact with our screen reader expert and beg him to be my guinea pig for this little experiment... mwahahaha... L'Aquatique[talk] 21:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
FYI, putting refs in scroll boxes was shot down last year. Of course, consensus may have changed since then. I would think the better solution here would be to package your desires in a userscript. - AWeenieMan (talk) 22:20, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Check out User_talk:L'Aquatique#Re: your idea for the references section for some comments on the accessibility of using a scrollbar. L'Aquatique[talk] 01:50, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Would a text-based recreation of a logo be illegal?

I know we can't do it as an image, but what what about as HTML or LaTeX? The logo in this case is the STL version of the St. Louis Cardinals logo. That has several overlapping letters. I don't care if the font or colors are correct as long as the letters end up in the correct position. I was thinking of use that for {{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/MLB-Cardinals}}. Currently, that has just "STL". Will (Talk - contribs) 06:44, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

You're fine. Such simple text can't be copyrighted. The specific style, bordering, font type, etc of the logo can be, but colored initials are fine. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 06:53, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Of course, if you're speaking of mimicking the exact style of this, it would be a different story. You can use the initials, but copying the logo exactly, regardless of how, who be considered a derivative work. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 06:56, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer but I doubt it would be possible to mimic the exact style, aside from doing some elaborate ASCII art. I doubt simply overlapping the letters could be considered copyright infringement. — CharlotteWebb 16:30, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Bohemia is the old name of the territory of today's Czech Republic. Look at this edit. Goethe is also called "german writer" and today's Germany was not called "Germany" when Goethe was living. And as we call Michelangelo as an "italian" artist and not "Holy Roman Empire" artist, we call Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer "czech" architect, don't we?--  LYKANTROP  20:31, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

GFDL question

What is this Wacklepedia thing? It seems to include stuff from here, say that its contents are licensed under GFDL, but I don't see where it gives credit where credit is due.... but maybe that might be a browser compatibility issue or an oversight on my part (e.g., the history link is there but I can't see it. Or does GFDL not require a history link on mirror sites?)

It does. You're supposed to somehow include the names of the five principal authors. Usually that's done with an edit history. Celarnor Talk to me
I've seen no Wikipedia mirror that links to page history., for example, seems reputable (it also includes content licensed from commercial encyclopædias, typically displayed above the corresponding Wikipedia entry – great for verification), and it has no page-history link. (talk) 08:50, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

On a slightly different question, what's the meaning of the term "title page" as mentioned in GFDL? Is that the Wikipedia main page, or is it something else?

For us, it's the title; i.e, what appears before the beginning of the text. It varies from project to project using the GFDL. Celarnor Talk to me 02:39, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Another GFDL question

What is the proper way to copy text from one Wikipedia article into another? For example, linker and static build contain duplicative text; supposing that the text was written by the same author in both articles, that is clearly not a problem, but suppose that they are by two different authors. What would be the proper way for the author of the newer article to comply with GFDL when copying text from the older? (talk) 03:05, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

In my edit summaries, I usually say something like "Incorporating text from this article". Provides a link to the history of the text. Resolute 03:07, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
That's the most common solution, indeed (the linked page effectively includes "attached" authorship history by virtue of being a MediaWiki page, and all pages on Wikipedia include a link to the GFDL). If it's practical or there's concern one page might be deleted, naming author(s) or copy-pasting history to an article's talk page may also work out okay. – Luna Santin (talk) 03:12, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

"Hidden" Wikipedia mirrors?

So I found an excellent article that I wished to nominate for WP:GA. In order to avoid opening a hornet's nest of liability, I googled a phrase from the article, and found that it duplicates exactly the text of several websites. Some of the websites were clearly irrelevant, as the matches went away when I added words to the query. And most of the remaining websites were clearly Wikipedia mirrors.

However, I found the specific creative content that I thought merited "good article" consideration on not one but two websites that have the same "look and feel" as Wikipedia, but do not license their work pursuant to GFDL, and do not credit Wikipedia. One of these sites I was able to determine to be a Wikipedia mirror by chopping off the end of the URL, but the other seems to be a technical site, so I sent a polite note to their webmaster asking them whether we infringe their copyright. (I worded it this way because I felt that asking it differently would seem hostile or at least, uncivil.)

Now, what shall I do if their webmaster does not respond? (Their "contact" page specifically tells people not  to "call" them about their "resource library," implying that such contacts may be ignored.) (talk) 00:24, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Check and see which one is older. Odds are, they're copying from Wikipedia. --Carnildo (talk) 00:39, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Articles on VDF

What kind of articles has the most fights during the discussions during Vdf? --DimaG (talk) 00:44, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, not sure if I follow; what's VDF? VDF and WP:VDF are both redlinks. My only guess is that you're referring to the old votes for deletion process, maybe? – Luna Santin (talk) 02:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean VfD? now WP:Articles for Deletion? Resolute 15:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
To answer your question, you might be interested in Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Flying Spaghetti Monster.--WaltCip (talk) 13:58, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Out of the news?

Are there any guidelines for when an event should be considered "no longer current"? Having some discussion about this on the Cyclone Nargis page. Also, are there any guidelines for using the "current event" article tag in a main article? (i.e. section vs. top of article). I've poked around, but can't find these policies (they may not exist, and that's fine).Somedumbyankee (talk) 05:27, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

where the template is placed is a matter of discretion. An article may not necessarily discuss an event exclusively, so it would be appropriate to limit it to a section. As for out of the news, that would be case by case. Cyclones, hurricanes, etc, tend to stay newsworthy for at least one month, so its appropriate. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 05:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Hard to make a firm rule, here, yeah. I guess I'd say while sudden changes in circumstances and coverage continue to be likely, there's a case to be made that whatever event is "current." It may be worthwhile to distinguish between an event itself (a storm is currently ravaging cities) and its aftermath (relief efforts are ongoing), when it comes to disasters in particular – {{current section}}, perhaps? – Luna Santin (talk) 09:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Stop me before I spam again

Hey there,

I am attempting to reach out and get some input before I inadvertantly break any rules. Please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong area or breaking with policy in some way. I am a complete rookie when it comes to Wikipedia. I have attempted to research the rules on impartiality and spamming but I am unclear on how it may effect my situation.

Issue #1: I wish to post a mostly factual and historic page about the company I work for. I know, immediately this brings up red flags. However, I truly feel it is worthwhile information and would be valuable to some users of Wikipedia and I hate to wait for someone to decide to post regarding the company. I have tried to model the page after other company pages such as IBM, Intel, and HP and support any non-evident claims with references.

Issue #2: The account I am currently logged into was inherited from the guy who preceded me in this job. Is it ok that I use this account or should I use my own? I thought that using my personal account would make it appear that I was trying to be deceptive.

Issue #3: The person that held this job before me was perhaps a bit overzealous and posted a page that was considered less than impartial. Is there a way that I can ask someone with less of a personal interest in the matter to look over my page before posting? I would hate to be branded a repeat offender.

If I post a page again and it is somehow considered too commercial is there a harsher penalty than simple removal of the page? Or do I continue a trial and error method of posting until one is considered nuetral enough to remain? The nuetrality issue can be very subjective.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


NBRII (talk · contribs) 16:19, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:CORP provides some guidelines on what companies merit coverage in Wikipedia, and our guidelines on conflicts of interest deal with self-interested editing. A good rule of thumb might be that if you/your company are truly notable enough to merit an article, it shouldn't be necessary for you to write it yourself. Postdlf (talk) 16:36, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Postdlf, I had not seen that particular page. I will check it out. I agree that I would rather have someone else post about the company but two things tend to hinder that, #1 our subject matter tends to be somewhat dry and boring (although very essential) and therefore people do not line up to write about it and #2 the nature of our business calls for a lot of confidentiality so not many people know the ins and outs of the company.

Thank you for the quick reply and advice.

NBRI 16:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Those hindrances may preclude your company from having an article, as Wikipedia doesn't include information that hasn't been elsewhere published first in reliable sources. We can't accept article content that derives only from inside information of those who work for the company; this would be considered original research. Postdlf (talk) 17:00, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I find it helpful to start an article in one's user space, then get it critiqued there before moving it to the main space (and thereby opening it up to accusations of COI and the like.) Try creating a page like User:NBRII/Your company's name. When you think you've got an article that passes muster, ask around for people to look it over before you move it into the main space. Acdixon (talk contribs count) 17:04, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Excellent advice, thanks ac.

18:06, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

As for your issue #2, you should absolutely make yourself your own account. "Role accounts" (ie, an account used by a group or entity rather than an individual) are disallowed; see meta:Role account. As for the first part... I think the advice above is good, but if your company is actually important enough to be covered, it might be worthwhile to try Wikipedia:Request an article. Mangojuicetalk 15:51, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
My advice would be as follows:
1) Definitely create your own account. I would keep your "work" account separate from your "personal" account, and take care not to edit the same pages with both accounts. On your "work" account, say that you are employed by your company.
2) Then start drafting the article in your user space. Please keep it as neutral as possible, and don't remove all details of any controversies that might already been in your article page. Wikipedia requires that all facts must already by in the public domain, and preferably in secondary sources (e.g. articles that third parties have written about your company). Fortunately, you're probably in a good position here: with your job at work, you no-doubt have comprehensive lists of articles about your company, along with other publically available information (stock-exchange filings, public government documents, etc). Cite all of the facts in the article from these documents, preferably using the <ref> tag. As a rule of thumb, you probably ought to link to at least 2 or 3 press articles about the company (and not just articles that merely repeat company press releases) – this will help to establish your company's notability.
3) Once you think that the article is ready, ask people to have a look over it. You probably ought to give a link to the draft in the talk page of the pre-existing company article. Also try the talk page of WP:CORP. Don't forget to mention that you are employed by the company – you want to avoid the impression that you are trying to hide your identity.
4) Once people have had the opportunity to comment (I'd allow at least a week), then double-check that you haven't missed anything that is in the current article, and copy your draft across. In the edit summary, I would once again point out that you are employed by the company.
I hope that this gives you some ideas. As long as you "play nice", most people will be understanding Bluap (talk) 23:04, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Company Articles

Please forgive any breaches of form; I'm posting this more as a user suggestion than a member of the editing community.

Many articles on specific corporations begin with a history, moving on to article-specific topics.

I believe it would an improvement if there was a prior section summarising who the company is and what it does.

A large part of the time I find myself at these articles because they have been referenced in an exterior news source. I am not looking for details, but merely enough to understand the reference within its context. Instead of reading through paragraphs of text, a simple summary of who Bloggs Ltd are would be preferable.

Cheers, RTH

Ride the Hurricane (talk) 15:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

You are absolutely correct, and Wikipedia's Manual of Style says just that (for all articles, not just the ones about corporations) in its section on first sentences. Unfortunately, not all editors have the skill to design a short and to-the-point opening paragraph, and there are also editors who prefer to add material to the top of the article where this is not appropriate. I can only suggest that if you see problems like this in an article, and have a good sense of how it can be made better, go ahead and fix it. This will be appreciated. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 16:13, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Define "English speakers" in WP:NC

The major criteria in naming, as laid out in WP:NC, is [...] greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize. Hence, the definition of English speakers is vital for the particular policy-- but it has never been defined in the article.

However, the meaning of English speaker can be open to dispute in several naming disputes.

The closest term to English speaker, Anglophone, refers to an English-speaking population especially in a country where two or more languages are spoken, and the related geographical term Anglosphere refers to places where English is the mainly spoken.

On the other hand, as mentioned in English language, at most 10% of all English speakers uses it as the first language. As a matter of fact, the current prominence of the English Wikipedia has seen it as the major data source for the Internet-literate with an acceptable command of English.

As a result, the definition of English speaker would greatly affect the sample in evaluating which is the name those of them would easily recognize.

I personally do not have a preference, just wanting to start a discussion here. --Samuel di Curtisi di Salvadori 17:23, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

The intent, I'm sure, was to say that names should be the ones most frequently used, as seen and heard in texts and speech in the English language. For example, Germany instead of Deutschland, even though most English speaking people probably know what Deutschland means. If the word Deutschland is used more often by English speaking people in that country than Germany is, then there could be a problem, but I don't believe it is, in this instance. I don't think there was any intention to say that if a person who speaks both English and German typically uses the word Deutschland when speaking in German, that should add weight to using Deutchland at WP, just because he is also an English speaking person. Is that what you were saying? --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 16:26, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
To SC: Do you have a concrete example of a discussion in which the meaning of English speaker has been disputed? Darkspots (talk) 16:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I would quote a dispute one year ago, that for a Case Closed's: RM request. The Japanese publishers has an official English name for this manga, Detective Conan, and was labelled prominently on all printed material with the exception of US, UK, and Canada. In the latter countries, trademark issues with Conan the Barbarian forced licensees to adopt the name Case Closed.
Although the meaning of "English speaker" was not discussed in this RM, but we have a case where most first-language English users use one name while all second-language English users use another. As a result, the definition of English speaker would have important effects on this debate, which is still raised occasionally (Talk:Case Closed#Why not Detective Conan?).--Samuel di Curtisi di Salvadori 23:07, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
A parallel to this discussion would actually be to yank the phrase "English Speakers" and replace it with "People writing in English." Spoken usage is almost impossible to document unless someone paid for a poll. As someone pointed out in the Burmyanmar discussion, where Burma is common in spoken language but uncommon in writing (the BBC being a major dissenter), Wikipedia is a written document. How people say it shouldn't be relevant, how people write it should be. Just my two kyat.Somedumbyankee (talk) 20:53, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Attacks in AFD

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cook Out (restaurant) contains obvious personal attacks against the nominator: "ten pound hammer is a [bleep]" I've never been quite clear: is it permissible to remove obvious personal attacks from such pages? Nyttend (talk) 02:15, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Removed. Ty 02:24, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think there is any hard-and-fast rule about when personal attacks should be removed or not. I think Tyrenius's removal of that particular attack was the right approach; it was an anon, an spa, and egregious to boot. Darkspots (talk) 02:40, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Notability (aircraft)

Hey all - some months back, I drafted a set of notability guidelines for aircraft based on common practice by WikiProject Aircraft and some relevant deletion outcomes. These have been discussed by WikiProject Aircraft, and following some changes, I've moved them into project space and am now looking for some feedback from the wider community.

I'll admit that I'm a complete newbie at the policy-making process, so any procedural guidance would also be greatly appreciated. I'm particularly mystified as to what is supposed to happen between the listing of a proposed guideline and its promotion into policy - if there's a page that describes this process, I'd be grateful for a pointer, since I wasn't able to find it. Cheers --Rlandmann (talk) 03:15, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Draft Guidelines for Lists of companies by country - Feedback Requested

Within WikiProject Companies I am trying to establish guidelines for all Lists of companies by country, the implementation of which would hopefully ensure a minimum quality standard and level of consistency across all of these related but currently disparate articles. The ultimate goal is the improvement of these articles to Featured List status. I would really appreciate your feedback from any interested editors! You can find the draft guidelines here, and place your feedback on the talk page. Thanks for your help as we look to build consensus and improve Wikipedia! - Richc80 (talk) 05:26, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

A new site idea

There are so many people complaining about the no original research rule or about no forum or other things. Why dont somebody makes a mirror of wikipedia where all those things will be allowed?

When deleting a post you could say: go on wikimirror and post it there.

You will make free publicity this way.

How about this business idea?

How about somebody do it? Or even wikipedia do it? Raffethefirst (talk) 10:43, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I guess the answer is, we are interested in building an encyclopedia, and don't have time to create a companion site that provides other services that many websites already provide. We could pick one other site with forums, etc., and direct everyone there, but that wouldn't be fair to all the other websites. I don't see how sending people to other sites gains us publicity. I presume you are aware that there are many mirror sites of Wikipedia, and also many sites that use the Wiki software (and therefore can look and work the same way) but have completely different content and rules. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 13:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
when I said you will make free publicity I mean you will do it for that site.
wikipedia should do it - it will have the advantage of the wikipedia brand and it should be done with commercials or something. It wont be an encyclopedia but an alternative for lot of people.
directing all unhappy users to a single place will be much nicer than saying you search the net there are lot of solutions for what you want to say.
Saying: go there. is a wikipedia where you can do that, will sound very good.
Users will be happy, wikipedia will be happy.Raffethefirst (talk) 15:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
You might want to read Wikipedia:Alternative outlets, where we often point people to. Regarding whether such an "alternative project" should be run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who runs Wikipedia and owns the "brand"), I think you'd have to ask them directly. --B. Wolterding (talk) 15:55, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

If I want to read Alternative outlets?
when a new user cames in, he usually wants to add personal research and such things. They dont know about Alternative outlets.
I am an casual wikipedia user for... few months and this is first time I hear this. And it is discouraging when your newly created page is deleted and you are (if) told that there are alternatives... if you will be provided a link or - better - your page will be just moved to this section, you will be very happy. First you wont know what has happen then in a week or two you will understand.
I dont spent much time here but I am sure wikipedia will be everything you want if such a place will exist.
Why not wikipedia be more than an encyclopedia? If people want more, why not to give them. This is an opportunity in the market.
You - the old one here - think about this and do what you have to do to ensure this if you find it a good thing. Raffethefirst (talk) 16:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Because we aren't here to give them more. We're here to provide people with an encyclopedia. If you're looking for someone to publish your research, you're in the wrong place, because that isn't what Wikipedia is about. Everything here has to be verifiable in secondary, reliable sources. One of the foundational ideas of the project is that anyone can edit it. Allowing original research woulr equire us to only expert users with credentials to edit; after all, for obvious reasons, we can't just some guy's essay, since it could be vastly incorrect, and only someone else familiar with the subject material is able to point that out. Everything has to be verifiable, and original research doesn't allow that. Otherwise we would just become a rumor mill with nothing useful. Celarnor Talk to me 20:01, 30 May 2008 (UTC)9
Indeed, there are thousands of scientific articles where you can publish original research, free of charge; if the quality of your aruments is of sufficient value. If you want to publish original research, try there. Arnoutf (talk) 20:24, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia should continue to be what it is. No changes here. Is good how it is now.
Is just that there is a demand for something else.
Wikipedia should make a brother site where to redirect all unhappy users - making them happy and also becoming more popular.
Yahoo is a mail provider but is also a search tool. Everybody is expanding and diversifying where there is a market. There is such a NONO in the atmosphere in wikipedia... I think I will leave now. is making me sick. Raffethefirst (talk) 20:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Making users happy is not necessarily Wikipedias aim. (btw Yahoo is a search engine which has diversified into the e-mail business). Not everybody is diversifying where there is a market regardless of principle... First of all there are nowadays things like corporate responsibily limiting companies to expand into e.g. weapons, or unethical trade; secondly most companies do a SWOT analysis and only diversify based on that. Original research is not a strength of Wikipedia, so no reason to go there. Innovations for OR have been forthcoming, e.g. as Plos. Arnoutf (talk) 20:28, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

This is a solution to transform the NONO atmosphere int a YESYES_WELCOME atmosphere and also increase wikipedias users and whatever advantages they might get. And sure there are advantages if the users are happy. I came here so rarely because the conversations here make me run and only came back after a long brake.
And is not only about original research. Think at all the reasons why you delete pages. Users are making pages for their business - this I imagine - and there are also lot of other reasons that makes users unhappy.
Wikipedia should allow all this under a separate site but put some small links in pages where those are connected like in philosophy page to have a link to the other site where are listed all original research in philosophy. Also users should be allowed to have more liberty in building their own userpages - in this new site. I think this will be used by lot of people because of the ease and complexity of self design that is possible.

In wikipedia is a war now: the guardians that will delete everything that dont respect the rules [you are so sad people... :)...] and the hordes of freestylers users that are keen for freedom... You will solve this war implementing this new site - area or whatever you want to call it.Raffethefirst (talk) 14:37, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

By now you understand that there are other appropriate sites on the internet, and yes, we do refer users to those sites sometimes. Your remaining argument is that Wikipedia should be running such an alternate site. But why? That's not what we're here for. Let it be done by people who are keen and dedicated to that idea. As for complaining "the guardians will delete everything that doesn't respect the rules", take a look at any message board that is not monitored (i.e. it has been abandoned by the people who set it up). It decays until it contains nothing but spam for porn sites! So of course any website with an aim, has to be maintained to keep it on track. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 16:06, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

> But why?
Because users will be happy and therefore wikipedia will be more happy.
3 times already said.
> That's not what we're here for.
Who are "we"? You mean you - the guardians? Wikipedia will still be the same so you will still have plenty of things to delete - dont worry.
I am talking about a different site. DIFFERENT
I dont know why I insist into this problem since I only get NONO_CANTDO. I think I wont argue you guys until got a positive response :). Raffethefirst (talk) 16:20, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

But you are right: I should have talked from the beginning with the ones that own the site - the foundation... I will address them. I hoped you will see the opportunity to solve much of your problems and do it yourself and spare me of doing it... but you - NONO_CANTDO... Raffethefirst (talk) 16:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
So, because the volunteers who maintain Wikipedia won't help you set up a site that has nothing to do with the goals of Wikipedia but nevertheless will enjoy the reputation and prestige of being associated with it, you are entitled to accuse those volunteers of being negative, sad little people that make you sick? Gee, thanks! Darkspots (talk) 16:43, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

> won't help you set up a site
me? help me to setup a site? It was an idea to improve the quality of life on wikipedia for all users new or volunteers.
> that has nothing to do with the goals of Wikipedia
what is so bad in extending an encyclopedia into something else? And it wont affect it at all as an encyclopedia. Different name, different look... It only has to be connected by a small link in all pages giving thus more options and informations. And all pages that fit that place should be send there or told to be moved there - not DELETED.
Yes I accuse you because you did not understand that this is not for me as I understand it from your tone. This is an improvement suggestion to witch you only could say: you must read chapter 17 rule 12. NOT ALLOWED. Please follow the rules.
Which of you did provided an argument that this is a bad idea? Lets see:
- we are interested in building an encyclopedia - translation : I did not understand that the encyclopedia wont change at all by doing this but we must follow the rules
- You might want to read Wikipedia:Alternative outlets, where we often point people to. - translation: I have no arguments but we have rules that you should read first.
- Because we aren't here to give them more - translation: why not letting them feel miserable when we delete their pages?
- If you're looking for someone to publish your research, you're in the wrong place, because that isn't what Wikipedia is about. - translation: If you want to put here some original research you will have to deal with me.
- and so on.
NOT 1 argument why not. The idea is how you dont have to worry about original research. But you did not even get that through you mind entirely. "What? somebody said original research? let me handle it." So I guess is my imagination that you are negative and sad people. And the part when you make me sick is just my stomach that cant take too much NONO for free. Please ignore that. Raffethefirst (talk) 17:10, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I like the original poster's idea. I will now leave and ponder the exact reasons why and come back later tonight and expound on it. Thanks all, JeanLatore (talk) 17:16, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Can somebody tell me how can I address the Founders or the Foundation to tell them about this idea? I should make a new thread in foundation page? Or an email or something else? Raffethefirst (talk) 17:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
[6] x42bn6 Talk Mess 17:46, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Raffethefirst (talk) 17:48, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
It is extremely difficult to pull a coherent point out of your prose. What you really fail to realize is that people volunteer their time here to create en encyclopedia because they want to see an encyclopedia get paid. As editors here, we don't get paid money for what we do. If you were to install MediaWiki on some other webserver and say "This is just like Wikipedia except we allow anything", you're perfectly free to. Nothing is going to stop you. But most of the people here aren't going to help you because that's not what most of us want to volunteer our time to. As a community, we've decided that we don't want OR here, and everything has to be verifiable in reliable sources. I certainly wouldn't want to contribute time to improving an encyclopedia where some random Joe's opinion about quantum mechanics gets the same level of attention as Schrodinger. As nice as it would be to not have to worry about OR, I just don't think its feasible to get people to go there from here. In fact, personally, I think we need more verfiability in general, not less, so it is very unlikely for me to go there and contribute. Basically, all you would have there are the OR and POV pushers, and you'll end up with a lot of needless drama and POV/edit wars. It's really doomed from the start, and I really don't think that the Foundation is going to be interested in providing hosting for your project, but the contact information you seek can be found here. Celarnor Talk to me 17:51, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Why I put this initiative here? I imagined (dont know why as I had some previous unpleasant experiences) that it will find supporters and they will take care of it like improving it and informing the responsible people...
I agree that my ideas were not very coherent as they came on the way.
Let me sumarise them.
- a different site. (this mean that what current volunteers do wont be changed at all)
- where users could do pages that will be allowed to include almost all that they want (no porn or horrible things.)
- They could have pages with their theories here.
- pages about themselfs where they could put pictures with their family or things that they like, songs, videos and be able to arrange those as they want.
- pages where they could advertise their little companies
- those pages should be somehow connected to the relevant wikipedia pages. by very small links maybe. Thus Joe wont wont get the same level of attention as Schrodinger. If somebody will like to see (amuse) the original research thories that exist in one domain they will click that little link. And I am sure there will also be some good stuff.

Maybe somebody else will dare to think at some other things here?

- all pages that usually are deleted will be moved or directed there. thus users will be happy and wont feel that they had a bad experience while trying to contribute to wikipedia.
- the administrators wont have so much work as users will agree more easily to have their page moved to another section of wikipedia in stead of being deleted or they will do it themselfs from the begining.
- the enciclopedia will remain the same and there will be more happy users that will join and contribute to it.
- the number of users will drastically increase and I am sure this is something the founders want.

Disadvantages: I cant figure one.

Please take this idea and analise it slow... slow... maybe you will find something usefull in it.Raffethefirst (talk) 18:23, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Do you want to host this yourself? If not, and you want the Foundation to pick up the bill, there's an obvious financial disadvantage. You'll also be competing with other, similar, more accepted and more widely used projects and initiatives that do similar things (Wikinfo, PLOS, etc) to what you describe. If you're going to do it as a wiki, you'll have to find people to contribute if you want it to do anything. That means publicity, advertising, etc. It also means establishing policy for the wiki and possible legal representation/advicey for when the articles with libel and defamation get moved to your site. Celarnor Talk to me 18:39, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
If you plan on copying content from Wikipedia, there are also licensing considerations. The GFDL requires that you retain the names of the top 5 contributors at the very least, so simply copying the text out of the current revision doesn't work; you'll have to get database dumps for the content if you want to move it to another wiki, and that's a performance disadvantage for us here. Some editors dual-license with a Creative Commons license, so you'll also have master what that means in terms of copying and re-use of their content. It also means that you have to check every principal contributor of the article you want to copy to find out whether or not this is something you need to pay attention to. Celarnor Talk to me 18:39, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Me and my friend had an idea like yours, actually, a mirror of wikipeodia but with more focus on sex and pornography, and greater coverage of U.S. Census-designated places that are more like a town than a neighbourhood. Our policies would be the same, except it would take two admins to block a user, IPs could edit freely, and the "no personal attacks" would be loosened, and the "no legal threats" policy done away with entirely. Let people bluster all they want, but the proof is in the summons and complaint. JeanLatore (talk) 00:12, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I personally dont agree having pornography on wikipedia or in any related sites (related by brand). My proposal is to extend somehow what is wikipedia but to keep it nice. I answered to you so my idea dont be confused.
Having sex, drugs and party might be great but I am talking about something constructive here - or at least this is how I see it. Raffethefirst (talk) 05:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

So - thanks but NOCANTDO :). This is just my personal answer - is not an answer citing the wikipedia rules. Raffethefirst (talk) 05:57, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I have mail them and who will guess what was the answer?
"all changes to the way Wikipedia works come from its community of editors."
How about this? So I was right to came and tell you about this idea. You are the one that must do it.
But I guess with your negativism the project has no chances - right?
The only serious counter argument was who will pay for it. Why do you care? They said that if you want something to be changed - they will do it.
So please thing again at advantages and disavantages - viewed from your place as editors. Raffethefirst (talk) 06:09, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

The reason people use Wikipedia as an information source is that it is (at least somewhat) reliable. Nobody would use this thing you describe. Ilkali (talk) 06:28, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree that it wont be a place where people will go to search informations.
But is not this the main goal. The main goal is not to have (so many) unhappy users on one side and stress and lot of work as a volunteer - the other side.
And I am sure we will discover many useful things inside.
Now lets establish first if what I consider is true:
are there lot of users that are unhappy and is the job as a volunteer hard and stressful because the users being unhappy try to revenge somehow? Raffethefirst (talk) 07:12, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I notice two issues emerging here.
  • You are advocating another version of wikipedia that allows editors to contribute more freely than Wikipedia. I think all contributors to this debate think there is no problem, but seriously doubt whether it should be Wikipedia foundation who hosts that site
  • You say more freedom would make editors less stressed and more happy with such a project. Nevertheless you do not advocate complete freedom (e.g. limiting pornography). In my opinion such limitation will always create unhappy editors, and limiting that will ask for a well balanced set of inclusion/exclusion criteria, and a body of editors who check against these limits. Setting that limit will always be somewhat arbitrary.
Wikipedia does this using several guidelines that try to achieve balance in the project. Not only the original research but also the notability (the major filter against spam and personal interest edits overwhelming the project), neutral point of view (an edit needs to address the issue from as neutral a point of view as possible) and censorship (this is actually a guideline protecting editors from the whims of other editors (as long as something is notable, no original research and does not violate a neutral point of view - I agree strong conditions) edits cannot be removed because of dislike of other editors). Arnoutf (talk) 09:53, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Hey, man, Arnoutf, I like your comment! I think I totally understand what those points are, finally... (oh and I'm high as hell right now), but anyway, I would just like to add that NPOV applies to Article Creation as well, and can be used as a basis to delete an entire article, not just a non-neutral edit in an existing article. That is because some topics are inherently NPOV and thus even constructive edits to them are tainted. (attack articles, et al.) Plus, i am having a hard time taking the OP seriously. JeanLatore (talk) 15:34, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
One more thing to mention is our guideline about biographies of living people. Careful enforcement of BLP issues is necessary to avoid a ton of legal liability--as well as embarassing and annoying a lot of people--and I seriously doubt a site more casual about BLP would be of any interest to the foundation. Darkspots (talk) 11:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
If people don't use it to find information, there'll be no incentive for people to post information there. Nobody would use the thing. Ilkali (talk) 11:09, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

> "but seriously doubt whether it should be Wikipedia foundation who hosts that site".
What is the reason for that?
Here is the reason why it should be:
There are lot of other alternatives but the users dont want them. they want to be part of wikipedia. And it will also be good for wikipedia to have as an encyclopedia links from its pages to the original research area. It will be very constructive I think. It will be a respectable encyclopedia but closer to the people. Having a link to this area wont decrease the respect that now exists.
> "You say more freedom would make editors less stressed and more happy with such a project"
Having this new site will make the existing wikipedia editors much happier.
I did not imagined what will be the situation of the editors of the other site...
You see - this idea is just getting shape for me also. I am especting help to build this idea.

Main idea is to allow pages with almost everything, pages with original research, pages with companies, pages with song formations and what ever else users do and you delete them.

But not on wikipedia - but somewhere else.
But not to far away from wikipedia so the users dont feel they are being fooled.
There must be connections between those two. You as editors here will direct all appropriate content there and will exist links in pages from here to there so an original research page to be in a very small degree connected to its main article in wikipedia.

This is how you solve much of this problem - unhappy users and busy wikipedia editors.
This will produce a growing number of active users also.

Now - how is this going to take shape - how this nea site should be organised, about editors and stuff I dont have many ideas. You should give it a try and think about it as you are more experimented into those.

> "If people don't use it to find information, there'll be no incentive for people to post information there"
You are wrong. This will give them hope and will be something more nice than having their ideas deleted. You say to them: we have this area where you can post original research and it will be connected to the main article. We respect your opinions and they wont be deleted.
They will be very happy with theat. Raffethefirst (talk) 11:16, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

> "I seriously doubt a site more casual about BLP would be of any interest to the foundation."
I agree on this.
How about users be allowed to make only pages about things they own?
Not allowed to make pages like : "My opinion on Bush".
But allowed to make pages like: "My theory", "My personal page", "My business", "MY...".
There will be dummies - empty pages or just title of pages - of all wikipedia pages and they will have the possibility to link their pages to those.
Internally all the pages from this new site will be displayed on a new page (X).
And in philosophy area of wikipedia should be this small link to this (X) page with all the links. Raffethefirst (talk) 11:33, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

A few comments
> "There are lot of other alternatives but the users dont want them. they want to be part of wikipedia." - Well there are a lot of alternatives for me engaging in sports. But I don't want them as I want to be part of my national Olympic team...... That is of course MY problem, not of my national Olympic team. You just can't always get what you want.
> "And it will also be good for wikipedia to have as an encyclopedia links from its pages to the original research area." Why would that be good for Wikipedia. Original research without any quality check would allow all kinds of fringe theories being posted. I truly do not see how Wikipedia can benefit from that.
> "It will be a respectable encyclopedia but closer to the people." Again, without strict quality control that respectibality cannot be taken for granted; neither can it be enforced. Putting strict quality control into place means removal of lots of stuff, ie this is what the current Wikipedia does. Anyway an encyclopedia closer to the people is not necessarily a good thing as such an encyclopedia would be filled with "everybody knows", "I learned this from a men in a bar", facts and other strongly sourced information.
>"You as editors here will direct all appropriate content there and will exist links in pages from here to there so an original research page to be in a very small degree connected to its main article in wikipedia." and then "and busy wikipedia editors". First of all, the use of "will" sound like an obligation to current editors to move the content. Moving content will always be more work compared to deletion, so setting up a guideline for content moving will only result in more busy editors; and will increase one of the problem you observe. As this side-project will not be the aim of most frequent editors; I think that idea is not realistic. Arnoutf (talk) 12:19, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

> "You just can't always get what you want"
Is not about making them a gift - is about solving a problem. they will be happy and thus wikipedia will be happy.
> "Original research without any quality check would allow all kinds of fringe theories being posted. I truly do not see how Wikipedia can benefit from that."
Well - look in my user page. I have some ai projects listed.
If in wikipedia main article of ai porjects will be this small link to original research there will be MUCH MORE of what I got in my list.
If you will take the time to look at the items in my list you will find very interesting projects taht are running and will help people (not all of course but some).
This small link will not affect the existing wikipedia. You will stil have your standards here. Or even better as you will have more time to do useful things.
When clicking this link you will be presented an disclaimer saying that the information that are posted here are "not notable" or "original research" and is the users choice to view them.
> "Moving content will always be more work compared to deletion"
I dont think so. It could be the same procedure. You apply a flag on the db to an page and a cron will move it to the other DB.
How you delete it the same will be to move it. Or you could continue with the deletion policy and present the user the choice to move himself to the other site.
> "I think that idea is not realistic"
What would have you said if somebody would have presented you the present wikipedia project? Raffethefirst (talk) 13:42, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Re solving problem - What is the problem exactly? Unhappy editors leave or conform to project standards. Either way, problem solved.
Re Original research. I am pretty sure your page does not list "random bits" of ideas from unqualified people. So some level of quality control needs to be enforced there as well. How will that be organised (WP Original research is an obvious, and objective way)
Re more work: I really do not see how moving could be not more work/simpler than the following: Opening edit view on a page. Selecting the text that does not qualify to Wiki standards. Push delete button on your keyboard. Type in a summary like "remove OR". Push "Save page" button. Perhaps you can elaborate on that.
Re "not realistic". You have interpreted that out of context. I do not say your project is not realistic. I only say that involving Wikipedia editors who do not care about the side project to engage in moving actions is not realistic. Arnoutf (talk) 14:06, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

> "What is the problem exactly?"
unhappy USERS that are not contributing to wikipedia because they feel miserably when their pages are deleted. They also do things to revenge (I imagine this) and keep the editors busy.
> "So some level of quality control needs to be enforced there as well."
Negative on that :). All what they want to say in their pages is allowed on the subject as long is not offensive.
If one will say that "I think I made a robot from 2 coins that is thinking", he should be allowed.
When clicking on the link from wikipedia ai page to this area you will be presented all the links to all the pages that users build as original research and they connected to wikipedia ai.
There will be categories in this list like... hm... the users will vote marks to those articles and so they will fit into one category or another. Or just listed in other order... or we will find a criteria to sort somehow the links.
This is important if you want to amuse yourself or to see something serious without having to guess.
Those questions will be answered by making annalise's... asking people... I am sure we will find a way to this.
> Re more work:
What you have described dont apply to this idea. This only works on full pages. You put a message on a page that if the content wont change, it will be moved to the other section.
For text inside articles just use delete as before.
> Re "not realistic".
I dont know the numbers of pages deleted. This mean unhappy users.
I dont know how much of the all unhappy users will be made happy by this project.
If this is an important percent it will be a good thing to do and the editors will have to "leave or conform to project standards" to quote you on that.
You can imagine the conflicts you have now will be diminished with that percent of unhappy users that transform themself into happy users. Raffethefirst (talk) 14:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I disagree:
  • We do not need edits from editors who are unhappy to conform to the rules, so only happy they are out. Vandals are dealt with on a daily basis by using rollback functions. Disappointed editors are likely only small part of all vandalism.
  • Assuming you operation would be a success. How would someone going to your site on a heavily debated issue like say "creationism" makes sense of the several thousands of opinions there? Data wihout management is not information; and this will be a major challenge for your project.
  • Ok for full pages something maybe possible (through automated bots). However, your claim is that you don't want unhappy editors. In my experience editors are very often very unhappy if sections are removed from existing articles. Actually most edit wars-page protection and editors being punished are the result of such "in article" deletion and not of the article for deletion procedure, which is transparent, clear and obvious in its effect. So in my opinion your proposal only covers one source of unhappiness, and in my opinion a minor source. I think limiting to full-pages goes against your main aim, allowing editors to place stuff not allowed on Wikipedia elsewhere. But that is an issue for the spin-off project to consider.
In brief, I do not think your project will fly. Of course you are welcome to try; but am not convinced this should through a formal combination with Wikipedia. Arnoutf (talk) 15:12, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I went into this quest assuming that most of the trouble or a big part are made by users that had pages deleted and they want to revenge. I thought there might be a reason for vandalism.
I think here should be done some researches and if what I think is true then this kind of project might be a solution.
> "and this will be a major challenge for your project" a challenge indeed - but nothing more.
"in article" wars could also have as a partial solution this site.
When you delete a part of an article that view disappear and only the enemy's one is visible. This sure is a reason for war. But if you will say: you might be right, but the majority has the other opinion. We will keep here the majority opinion bat you are free to add this section to the other site. Thus they will be presented with an option. An option is much better than no option. Raffethefirst (talk) 15:34, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

All those I have said are only valid in a combination with wikipedia because as I said before there are alternatives but they want to be here not there. This site must be somehow closer to wikipedia that the other ones. Raffethefirst (talk) 15:34, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I was impressed by the length of this thread until I realised that most of it is the OP's lengthy replies to various comments, not the comments themselves. In any case my stance has switched to mild oppose, and I have one next question for the OP: What are the technical and logistical requirements of this plan? JeanLatore (talk) 15:56, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

The only time anything is oversighted (i.e, other people can't see it) is when it is libel or otherwise could cause legal issues for the Foundation. Everything else is easy to get a hold of, especially if we're talking about revisions to an article rather than outright deletion. With regards to that, stuff that is deleted here isn't deleted because a minority viewpoint. Stuff is deleted here because it isn't notable or verifiable. That's really all it boils down to. It has nothing to do with majority / minority opinions. It has to do with "Can we be sure that this is true, or at least can be verified by looking at some source somewhere?" Celarnor Talk to me 23:30, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Interesting question. I would say... 10 million $, a team of 100 programmers at minimum, 10 - 20 trucks of beer and one or 2 of whiskey... In 5 years I think is doable.
now seriously: how should I know to answer that? Raffethefirst (talk) 18:50, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Because you're the only one who is seriously advocating doing this. Our rules exist for a reason. Everyone has decided collectively that they want these rules to exist. By extension, editors who aren't willing to abide by the rules aren't particularly welcome; ones that shun them repeatedly are liable to get blocked and/or banned. It doesn't make much sense for Wikipedia editors who support the current set of rules (which is what the majority of the editors believe produces the best encyclopedia) to support some other project that allows rampant OR ("I build a robot out of two coins that is thinking" being allowed is an excellent example of that particular failure). It just doesn't make sense. Wikipedia supports verfiability above everything else. What you propose is throwing that out the window, stepping on it, and allowing anyone and everyone without any kind of editorial control to put whatever crackpot unverifiable fringe theories that they want to on. Having this atrocity of an encyclopedia linked to Wikipedia in any way, shape or form, is an absolutely terrible idea and will only damage what reputation we have. Celarnor Talk to me 23:30, 1 June 2008 (UTC)`

Proposed Notability Guideline for Places and Transportation

There is a proposed guideline for assessing notability of places and transportation which hasn't yet (to my knowledge) been listed here to gather consensus. It has become clear that this guideline needs to be finalized soon, as it seems that User:FritzpollBot will not reach a consensus on whether to start adding stubs for all inhabited places in the world until that guideline is official. The discussion at WP:Village pump (proposals) is just going to go in circles until a community-wide consensus is reached on the guideline. I believe that this page is the correct forum for talking about the guideline. If I am wrong, please move my comments to the correct forum and let me know. Thank you.--Aervanath's signature is boring 20:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Had a quick look, and the proposed guideline is in its details (IMHO) too much US-specific for project wide application. So I would not support it as is. Arnoutf (talk) 20:33, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, any discussion here or at the proposed guideline page is likely to be superceded by the community discussion about FritzpollBot, anyway.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 12:20, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Post On Bugzilla

Wouldn't it be great if we could search within our own contributions (or whatever, (or changes)) for say, all things we replaced with "{{main|". Please post this on bugzilla since I don't have an account, thanks! (talk) 19:17, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

WP:FICT RFC for global consensus

I have created a RFC for gaining global consensus of the updated Notability (fiction) guideline. Input and comments are appreciated. --MASEM 22:51, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Ratification vote on {{C-Class}} started

Hi. The ratification vote to add {{C-Class}} to the assessment scale has started. The poll will run for two weeks, until 0300 UTC June 18, 2008, and you can find the poll here, where we ask for your comment.

On behalf of the Version 1.0 Editorial Team, Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 03:10, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Rollback for stewards

Hi, I am a steward and I am taking care about some articles on en.wp. As a steward, I am admin on every project. Besides privileges in which I am not interested at en.wp (blocking user, deleting and undeleting pages...), I've got "rollback" button. My question is: may I use it? It would help me in keeping consistent articles about I am taking care. --millosh (talk (meta:)) 08:03, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I see no reason why not. : - ) --MZMcBride (talk) 08:08, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Definitely read Wikipedia:Rollback feature if you haven't already--people here feel very strongly that rollback should only be used to revert vandalism or your own edits. Darkspots (talk) 13:33, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely, though I'd expect you to only be using it for vandalism cleanup. EVula // talk // // 13:36, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Of course, it is only about vandalism cleanup. For a long time my contribution to en.wp is related just to taking care about a small group of articles for which I suppose that no one else takes care. In my feed reader I usually see bot edits, nonsenses and vandalisms. At the contrast, I am taking care about Template:Grammatical cases, where I have to check every addition of the new case or "case"; and if it is not a grammatical case, I am always giving rationale on talk page. --millosh (talk (meta:)) 08:43, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for trust. --millosh (talk (meta:)) 08:43, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I have, actually, already made two rollback edits (I'm a steward as well) in response to vandalism-en emails on OTRS. I assumed there would be no problems if I used the tool only in clear vandalism cases. :) --Filip (§) 09:37, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Same for me. If there are no objections I would use it to revert vandalism that I come across. Thanks, --Thogo (Talk) 12:37, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Especially considering we're handing out the rollback right like candy to most users who have need/want of it, that sounds quite acceptable to me. If any of you stewards would prefer to avoid using it "as an admin," I suppose you could explicitly get your account flagged for rollback via Wikipedia:Rollback feature#How to apply for rollback. – Luna Santin (talk) 22:57, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Given the level of trust it takes to be a steward, I would have no issue handing out local rollback to them, with my nice notification message to only use it on vandalism. MBisanz talk 04:25, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Use of images in educational multimedia

Hi there, I create and deliver video conferences about palaeontology here at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada. I would like to use some illustrations fromm Wikipedia pages, but I am unclear as to whether I need to aknowledge the creator of the image as part of the multimedia I am making and using. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi; images on Wikipedia are supposed to conform to the image use policy, which – apart from the odd "fair use" image, which is a special case people are always talking about – should all be usable for such a purpose. If you look at the image's own page (e.g. Image:Bpi01.jpg or Image:Pohlsepia mazonensis.jpg, you can see commentary below on the copyright and licensing status of each one. Some are public-domain, some require attribution, and you might like to avoid the "fair use" ones altogether for safety's sake. :-) You might also like to browse through Wikimedia Commons for images. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 12:16, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

intent of editor

so if we all can edit, is it important to try to keep the orinigal intent of the previous editor esp. if he is the article creator? like tailor your eidts to capture the intent? JeanLatore (talk) 03:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

No, Wikipedia has an overarching set of editorial guidelines and policies that all articles should be tailored to conform towards, and on substantive issues this will generally take preferences over the intent of any one contributor. (Though there are some purely stylistic issues where the policy is simply to follow the original author, such as whether to use British or American spelling of words.) See Wikipedia:Key policies and guidelines and Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Since you talk about "intent", you might also look at WP:NPOV for a discussion of how topics should be presented. Dragons flight (talk) 03:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
But even a regional-variation-of English choice by the originator of the article can be overridden if the topic of the article suggests that it should be written in another regional variation. I point this out to highlight that no original intention by the article's creator overrides what is best for the article itself. Darkspots (talk) 12:42, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Nope. It's important to form communal consensus around the way in which an article should be presented and what facts it should include, but no author has priority over any other. Dcoetzee 03:23, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
"If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly by others, do not submit it". Mr.Z-man 03:25, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
The previous editor does not WP:OWN the article, so you can meddle with the intent as long as neutrality and the intent of the sources used are maintained. The only time you'd want to be sure to maintain original intent is if you're marking an edit as minor.Somedumbyankee (talk) 03:26, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
There are editors who start articles as they are very good in identifying blank spots in the encyclopedia. Often these blind spots relate to their own hobbies. This may easily lead to a biased point of view. That makes the original editor still a very valuable contributor, but his intent may need to be modified to provide high quality content. Arnoutf (talk) 06:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

New global userright

I have started a centralized discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Administrators#New_global_userright on how our local policy should reflect changes to the global user rights policies at Meta. Please feel free to stop by and comment. MBisanz talk 22:26, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Israeli News Agency

I wanted to add a link for a speech made by the Israeli prime minister, citing the Israeli News Agency, but the system said that particular source was "blacklisted." How can that be? How can a source be "blacklisted"? Questioningly, GeorgeLouis (talk) 07:22, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Assuming the url is israelnewsagency[dot]com, it's listed on the spam blacklist at meta (see m:Spam blacklist). The associated log entry mentions this request. – Luna Santin (talk) 10:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, that's a pretty damning indictment. Is there a page that gives the actual rules and regulations for putting a source on this list, or is each item handled more or less on a case by case basis? Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 20:29, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

A blacklisted link typically means that it's been inappropriately added to articles at an excessive rate (i.e. "spammed"), and someone's made a request to blacklist it to prevent further occurrences. You may want to request that just the link to the speech be added to MediaWiki:Spam-whitelist so you can use it in the article. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 06:57, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

make stub templates more useful with suggested content

Stub templates would be more useful if they suggested subject-related content. For example, if I create a page for Joe Blow that says "Joe Blow once played national football", someone else might tag it with football-bio-stub. If I click on the link, it might suggest that I add some details like date-of-birth, nationality, what countries he played for on what dates, and what, if anything, made him a notable player. Even better would be if there were an associated infobox and/or ProfessionalAthleteData, with a nice form to prompt for the data. --BobBagwill (talk) 23:47, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Might be workable by linking to a relevant wikiproject, perhaps? – Luna Santin (talk) 02:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree more generally that it would be great to be more specific. I think any criticism on an article via a template should be accompanied by a linked-to talk page section which details the complaints. I hate seeing tagged articles when it is totally unclear what the problem is.  — Xiutwel ♫☺♥♪ (speech has the power to bind the absolute) 05:04, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If there were some way to find "ex-stubs" in a given stub category, then you could look at what kind of expansions people have done to them. I don't see a way to easily do that though. Wikiprojects who have an interest in a given stub category might put some sort of "expansion tips" in the category's headnote, maybe? --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Luna Santin that the relevant WikiProjects will probably have informations on infoboxes/resources/style guides etc. available. So actually, flipping over to the talk page and clicking on the WikiProject banner will be the best alternative. Of course one could somehow add this to the stub template line, but would that really be necessary? --B. Wolterding (talk) 14:58, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Proxy votes/meatpuppetry

Would "proxy votes" be considered a form of meatpuppetry? Specifically, established User X is going to be away for a few days, and gives permission to established User Y to vote on his behalf in exactly the same way as User Y, since they know that they agree on everything. — Omegatron (talk) 03:17, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

That assumes that discussions are votes, which in most situations they're not. That said, if a given user's absence is particularly important to the discussion, it may be worth making a note of it. – Luna Santin (talk) 03:50, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Well yeah. I already mentioned "we don't make decisions with votes" a few million times, but it falls on deaf ears. — Omegatron (talk) 03:52, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Does X allow Y to sign in as X ? Or does Y mention that X has the same opinion? The first seems problematic to me, the second should be allowed but ignored...  — Xiutwel ♫☺♥♪ (speech has the power to bind the absolute) 05:02, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
No sharing of accounts; just saying "I'm going to be away for a few days, you have permission to double-vote with my username next to yours in each of the votes you propose." — Omegatron (talk) 23:06, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I can't really think of any situation where an admin or crat would take such a proxy vote seriously. Resolute 03:05, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, this is similar to Wikipedia:Delegable proxy, a failed proposal. The talk page there should give you some things to read on the subject. "Meatpuppetry" was mentioned a few times, right enough. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:46, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Interesting.  :) — Omegatron (talk) 23:06, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Banning solves false flag related NPOV disputes?

I've notived that a huge number of editors has been topic-banned in the wake of an ArbCom case, even though the ArbCom did not give a single verdict on any specific behaviour by anyone. I myself have been topic-banned, ironically, after issuing a warning myself: {{Uw-9/11}}

Now I am interested to know whether there is only a small kernel of wikipedia editors and admins who happen to be interested in September 11, and favor banning other editors, or whether this approach of solving POV conflicts by banning one side of it, is supported by the community at large?

In my perception, edit conflicts are arising between two point of views, whereas those that are doing the banning seem to think that their POV is the truth and therefore the NPOV form that articles should have, and they call the editors to be banned "POV-pushers", whereas in my opinion, most of them are only trying to restore NPOV: make sure that multiple POV's get fair treatment.

For instance: would citing the 9/11 Commission Report likely be POV-pushing? Would factual descriptions of actions of government officials be POV-pushing? Would mentioning the opinions of prominent international polititians be?

If wikipedia is locking out so many editors, it really amounts to locking oneself in.

It's not just the subject of 9/11 which is at stake for me. I can live with the English language Wikipedia being inadequate on such a sensitive subject (other languages seem to have less problems here). Everyone has the freedom to his or her own beliefs. When a vast majority of editors is unable to detect false flag operations, so be it.

What concerns me, is that the same mechanisms seem to be at work all over wikipedia. Wikipedia is valuable to me because of the NPOV policy: the reader is likely to be presented multiple viewpoints on a given subject, which the rest of the web often fails to do. If we loose our understanding of true NPOV, than Wikipedia sinks back in the background noise of the web. I'd hate that !

 — Xiutwel ♫☺♥♪ (speech has the power to bind the absolute) 05:00, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Anyone interested in the discussion about this user's Arbcom-related ban should read Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive20#Xiutwel. I see nothing wrong with this approach, when extreme amounts of disruption, as cited in the Arbcom case, require it. Mangojuicetalk 16:01, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Is it really within our behavioral guidelines to issue preemptive warnings like {{uw-9/11}}? "Hi. You haven't done anything yet, but I'm going to assume you're likely to be bad" seems rather bitey and not assuming good faith to me. Anomie 00:51, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing Adjudication Board

This is a follow-up to the recently archived discussion WP:Village pump (policy)/Archive_47#Sourcing_Adjudication_Board regarding the Sourcing Ajudication Board that ArbCom intends to set up as a part of its ruling in the ongoing case Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Homeopathy/Proposed decision.

To remind those who missed the original discussion, ArbCom plans to appoint the Sourcing Ajudication Board with broad jurisdiction over all sourcing disputes on Wikipedia.

The ArbCom now expaneded the language of the proposed decision (now in the voting stage) to include the following:

"Expedited sanctions

2) Upon receipt of a finding of inappropriate conduct from the Sourcing Adjudication Board, the Committee shall, without opening a case, issue appropriate sanctions (up to and including a ban from the project) against those editors named by the Board as having substantially violated sourcing policy."

There is an ongoing discussion of the SAB proposal at Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Homeopathy/Proposed decision. Nsk92 (talk) 07:43, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Attribution has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Attribution (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) 18:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)