Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 55

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Date format requirement?

A poll is underway to require almost all articles to use the date format 13 September 2008. Please comment in this section.

The precise language would impose this on all articles not strongly linked to to the United States, except existing articles on Canada. (New ones would have to use 13 September 2008.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:14, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

  • No. The above by Septentrionalis is misleading and uses charged, hot-button language like “impose” and “have to use”. A poll is being conducted to see if editors would like to replace the current guideline on fixed-text date formats with revised wording. If the editing community likes it better, then so be it. If not, the current guideline stays. It’s just that simple. This is all being discussed on a talk page, where ideas are exchanged. Greg L (talk) 18:37, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
    The exact wording proposed is:
    • For articles on, or strongly associated with, the U.S. or its territories (or countries listed in this guideline that use U.S.-style dates: Micronesia and Palau), editors should use the U.S.-style date format (“February 2, 2008”), otherwise, editors should use the international date format (“2 February 2008”) in articles.
    • New articles on or strongly associated with Canada should use the international format but, for existing articles related to Canada, whichever format was used by the first major contributor shall be retained.
That sounds like requirement and imposition to me; those who disagree and wish to support on those grounds are welcome to do so. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:15, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
The longstanding wording included this line: Articles related to other countries that commonly use one of the two acceptable formats above should use that format. That use of "should" didn't mean that all articles on (say) France immediately dumped U.S. format. There was no "requirement and imposition", no jackbooted edit-warriors, no ArbCom thunder. Most editors didn't even notice, and kept on happily contributing material in whichever format they felt most comfortable with. Two polls now, and both times it's come out as resembling the same convention we use for units of measurement: In general, Wikipedia uses international date format (1 February 2003); however, US format (February 1, 2003) is used in US-related topics. You can't say fairer than that. --Pete (talk) 19:40, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Another poll on this issue? Is the goal here to have poll after poll after poll until all normal editors decide getting involved with this mess just isn't worth it anymore, making way for the die-hard MOS warriors to claim consensus for whatever they feel like? Anomie 19:05, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I don't believe there have been more than five or six, counting this one. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:16, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree, what is with all this hulabaloo over date formatting lately? Sheesh! Pierre DuPaix III (talk) 01:40, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

The problem is simply that we have no well-defined process for making this kind of decision. Relatively unimportant peripheral debates (like whether to delete an article on some obscure manga character) will proceed along (fairly) disciplined lines, and warrant the benevolent attention of a wise and neutral[citation needed] administrator to decide what's been decided. However important matters like this, concerning guidance affecting hundreds of thousands of articles, are left for the belligerents themselves to hack out, without any clear rules on how to proceed or how to decide what's been decided (or what the outcome should be if nothing's been decided). Hence the hullaballoo and the probably unsatisfactory eventual result. (But suggest remedying this problem in the obvious way - having an AfD-like process for such debates - and you'll be told to go away and stop questioning Wikipedia's sacred principles...)--Kotniski (talk) 08:55, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Question on "Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays" usage

Should Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays be used on articles in the articles namespace? It would seem to pull readers into WP: territory. There are 10 such links at the moment. Mcewan (talk) 08:48, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I would have thought not.--Kotniski (talk) 08:58, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Ten articles currently link to it. Seems to be the result of people confusing Template:Essay with Template:Essay-like. They should be removed or changed. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 09:02, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks - looks as if someone has done just that. Mcewan (talk) 09:54, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The bad editor

Ok so you come across a bad edit and do a revert which elicits a counter revert and then leads to the talk page. There, through discussion, you quicky come to understand that what you have on your hands is the proverbial, dreaded bad editor. (We all know him. He's not difficult to recognize.) Not a vandal (that would be too easy) but someone who doesn't have policy knowledge, doesn't care to learn it, yet is entirely sincere in their viewpoint. One might say a crusader even. He is passionate, has good writing skills, but... he simply, consistently makes bad edits. He removes good content, questions unquestionable material, assumes bad faith in discussion and, in general, seems to have dedicated himself to a program of steady deterioration of article quality.

Wikipedia policy says: Do not bite the newbies and assume good faith, good policies both in the majority of cases. But unless you are willing to spend a considerable amount of your time not, as you'd like, in article space, but in seemingly endless talk page discussion and arbitration, you (I) more often than not just give up and move on. Admirable? No. Practical? Very much so.

Inner Voice: "I just don't have the time man. I came here to write and edit articles."
Alter-ego: "This is a community project. Understand what that means?"
Inner Voice: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but why should we have to waste so much time in drumming out of the project someone we know from the git-go is simply a bad editor. I'm telling you I just don't have the energy. Let someone else do it. I've got more important things to do."
Alter-ego: "Selfish b@$!@rd. You really shouldn't be editing in a public encyclopedia. Go back to writing your damn book."

I think we've all probably had the harrowing experience of coming across a bad edit, doing a history check of the editor responsible, and to our horror see that this guy has been doing this, not just in this article but all over the damn encyclopedia! He is involving many, many editors in the process described above. Not maliciously, mind you, in good faith, but just laying a path of destruction wherever he goes.

Perhaps sometimes it would be better to just recognize these people up front and to expeditiously get rid of them. Not everybody is cut out to edit an encyclopedia. We are not all Diderots.

Sorry. Just a bad case of schpilkus and I needed to heave. (red face) And here I am standing with it all over my shoes. ~ Alcmaeonid (talk) 16:02, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Something like dispruptive or tendentious editing? Remember, AGF and BITE are only guidelines, not suicide pacts. Once someone has been here a while and has been informed of the way we do things, they shouldn't be treated as a newbie. And if someone repeatedly fails to assume good faith of others, that's a perfectly valid reason to stop assuming good faith of them, nor does AGF mean they can't be sanctioned for doing something wrong. In general I agree with you though, we put up with far too much crap from users who just straddle the line between decent editor and blatant disruption. Mr.Z-man 16:19, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
And far too often we find we've wasted hours of our precious time stretching our credulity assuming good faith on the part of users who are clearly never going to be able to contribute usefully and who, more often than not, turn out to be trolls anyway. Exploding Boy (talk) 16:33, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget the ones that just don't get it. Celarnor Talk to me 16:49, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
You needed something? More seriously, are these folks educate-able? Because if not, it's certainly better for our mission (encyclopedia) to get rid of them. Assuming good faith assumes that they can be pointed in the right direction by pointing them towards the relevant policy-pages, no? ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 04:44, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Well yes, but our hands are slightly tied. Even with obvious vandals we usually warn 4 times before blocking. But when we're dealing with people like User:Andy Bjornovich (as many of us had the misfortune to do) who seemed like he might be trying to contribute usefully it becomes even more difficult. His situation led to hours of wasted time and pages of discussion over what should be done with him, at least 7 different blocks of at least 3 accounts, input from who knows how many admins, attempts to engage him in discussion, and of course the additional work of reversing his problematic edits. And he's not even the worst example. Yet if an admin is at all stern with an apparently new user who seems to be problematic, s/he's sure to get a WP:BITE reminder. Exploding Boy (talk) 15:48, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
A lot depends on the tone in which any guidance is presented. Wikiproject Chess had an over-enthusiastic editor. A gentle request to add citations for each new point did the trick. He's now very useful, and got a Barnstar for his chess work a couple of months ago. Those who get WP:BITE reminders generally deserve them, and have probably bitten hundreds of newbies per WP:BITE reminder. -- Philcha (talk) 16:21, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point. We're not talking about well-meaning users who are ignorant of the rules/policies/guidelines and community standards. WP:BITE and WP:AGF sometimes restrain us from quickly dealing with people who are either simply casual vandals or determined and experienced trolls. AGF and BITE can constrain us in these situations, and lead to time wasting. Using Andy Bjornovich as an example again, look how many editors gave so much of their time trying to gently guide him and giving him the benefit of the doubt, and ultimately for nothing: he was deliberately trolling from the get-go. Exploding Boy (talk) 19:26, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm aware of the possibility of real pests. I'm also aware that some editors & admins are trigger-happy. -- Philcha (talk) 21:41, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I've seen both editors who are just too out there to get it and editors who just need a little help. The first get ignored once people realize they aren't part of the second group, and the second group usually gets helped out if they aren't shot down by an admin first, which I think is a bigger problem than the first group of editors. It's a lot easier to ignore somebody than it is to undo a block. Celarnor Talk to me 06:41, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
A solution just occured to me but I don't know how practical it would be. The formation of a Stealth Task Force (aka the troll patrol). It would consist of a band of bold editors (admins?) whose task (should they accept it) would be to take calls of help, identify bad editors and trolls, and then use the avenues of wikipedia law (which they would be expert in) to expeditiously get these people removed from the project. Of course it would be essential for these editors to be above reproach and in possession of an impeccable record of fair but firm editor relations. Real heroes, (I've seen several in my wiki-travels) these are editors who have a particular expertise in doing this kind of thing combined with a certain unmistakable stamp of integrity. Does this exist already? Am I dreaming? Or might this be a viable idea? ~ Alcmaeonid (talk) 17:19, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
That was tried, it ended really, really badly. Mr.Z-man 20:26, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we need another CIA or FBI, let alone something with a WP: in front of its name. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 20:32, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

New speedy deletion criterion (T4)

I'd just like to bring it to wider attention that there's a new criterion for speedy deletion: "T4: Documentation subpages of deleted templates". All the usual trappings, including a {{db-templatedoc}} tag, should be in place. There's some related discussion at WT:CSD. It's pretty much a no-brainer (as indeed speedy deletion criteria should be in general), and I'm sure admins have been doing that already anyway, but now we have it in writing.

So, if you were going to delete a template and were wondering what to do about the documentation page, well, now you know. If not, feel free to ignore all this. Thank you, and have a nice day. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 05:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Heh, I'd probably just apply G6 (uncontroversial/cleanup) for those and note the deletion of the parent template if this didn't exist, but I suppose this is more explicit and faster. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 15:24, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed policy on policy changes

It is proposed to add a section to Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines clarifying the procedure for proposing and making changes to policy and guideline pages. The proposed wording is at WP:Policy/Procedure; please comment on that page's talk page.--Kotniski (talk) 10:05, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Haha! This sounds like something from Wikipedia:Requests for processTim Vickers' Proposal proposal: "Process to assess the need for a process sub-committee for initial and informal screening of process requests before they are formally submitted to the main process committee." — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 10:46, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I am sympathetic, because a lot of good people like to keep up with changes to policies and guidelines and have a hard time doing it. On the other hand, it's hard to see how a proposal that says "you must do X before you can say Y" doesn't contradict current policy from WP:NOTBUREAUCRACY: "A perceived procedural error made in posting anything, such as an idea or nomination, is not grounds for invalidating that post." See WP:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive 44#Using a policy page as a scratchpad to develop a proposal for Kim Bruning's description of what WP:CONSENSUS and WP:BRD and their talk pages have had to say about this. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:41, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Per Kotniski's request, I'll copy this at that talk page, but this kind of discussion is common here at the Pump so I'm mentioning it here too.

Wikipedia:Reliable sources (medicine-related articles)

After a long gestation, WP:MEDRS was promoted to a guideline by Davidruben (talk · contribs) on the 1 September. This followed a poll Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources (medicine-related articles)#Should we make this a guideline?. It had been referred to by WP:MED editors as a de facto project guideline for quite some time, and the page was quite stable. However, those few editors who opposed the guidelines status continue to grumble and two are engaged in edit warring over the guideline tag. The aspects in dispute, as far as you may regard me as a reliable witness, appear to be:

  • The promotion of secondary sources over primary (for example, academic review papers rather than primary research papers).
  • Discouraging the use of the popular press (newspapers) for medical facts.
  • That the guideline was promoted without unanimous agreement.

Those disputing appear to be IMO in conflict with policy pages (see the talk page for details of which), and some have openly admitted to this. Further comment from the wise and experienced would be appreciated. Colin°Talk 21:53, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Adjustment to image tags

Based on this comment from Mike Godwin, the WMF's legal counsel, foundation-l, I'd like to open a discussion on our definition of free-images. Currently we define images with non-commercial {{Non-free with NC}} and non-derivative {{Non-free with ND}} as non-free images that should be deleted {{Db-i3}}. Given that Mike indicates that Wikiquote can consider non-commercial vs. commercial use in deciding what text it may use, that suggests to me that we may be able to accept a non-commercial image license as "free" and possibly even a non-derivative license, since what is expected of a charity is different than what is expected of a non-charitable enduser. MBisanz talk 01:56, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

It has always been the case that Wikipedia could freely use images with non-commercial and non-derivative licenses. The decision to count these as non-free was based on Wikipedia's goal of being free-content, which was taken to include freely copyable and modifiable for any purpose. The decision was not made to comply with copyright law. Algebraist 09:03, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, I think any content that we say is free should actually be free. Mr.Z-man 16:14, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
That we are legally allowed to use images does not make them free. We are "free" to use them, but the goal of this project is to build an encyclopaedia that is "free" in the fullest Stallman-GNU-Debian sense. We shouldn't consider Wikipedia to be the end product -- allowing non-free content makes our work harder to reuse. There's no point in licensing all our contributions with the GFDL if we then go on to make it impossible to use it.
For similar reasons, I wholly advocate a prohibition on using fair-use images except where the photograph is directly discussed in the article. I am also very uncertain about the existence of the Wikiquote project -- I don't believe a project that relies entirely on fair-use claims for anything less than 85 years old can be called "free". Sam Korn (smoddy) 20:28, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
uhh, isn't that what NFCC 8 is for? ViperSnake151 22:31, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Article series has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Article series (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) 18:52, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Reverted. There was no discussion on making the page a guideline, nothing on the talk page at all since May, and it gets the main point wrong, confusing a "main" page with a "summary" page. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 20:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Agree reversion, not at guideline level Arnoutf (talk) 20:19, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Image maps?

Check out the pic on the left at Haumea_(dwarf_planet)#Size and composition, of the various trans-Neptunian planetoids. It's an image map! Since when are image maps allowed? I hated it - I clicked the picture to get a big view, like in every other Wikipedia article's pictures, and instead I was shunted over to some article for a reason I didn't understand. Tempshill (talk) 22:33, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Image maps are a standard web page tool, and very useful. Their biggest drawback is that browsers can take up to 0.5 second to show the "tooltip" (usually black text on pale yellow bg) that tells you the destination for the link that your mouse is hovering over - I don't know why, but tooltips for image maps seem to take as long as they did 10 years ago.
You simply have to make sure you click in an "empty" part of the image. -- Philcha (talk) 22:51, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the web in general, I'm talking about Wikipedia specifically. The UI for Wikipedia images is that when you click the image, you get the image page. Imagemaps violate this expectation of the user, and I don't think they should be used for ordinary images. I could see it being useful if it were a page-width image of some kind. But that use on that page is pretty awful. Is there a policy for this anywhere? I'd like to clarify the position at that place so it's not an everlong battle against bad ones. Tempshill (talk) 23:56, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I admit I'm not impressed with the one you mentioned - the image needs to be about twice as large. But how about e.g. the one at Coelom? -- Philcha (talk) 01:44, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Personally I think it's a billion times better because it uses the wikilink text metaphor, and because it does 'the expected' when I click the coelom itself - though it does still break my expectations of what happens when you click anywhere in a picture box. Tempshill (talk) 02:41, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

The one at Supergiant and the like doesn't appear to cause problems.Geni 09:02, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Article series no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Article series (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:52, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Admin bot proposal

There is a proposal to modify the bot policy regarding whether or not administrators need approval to run bots under their account. All are invited to comment. Prodego talk 14:51, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Approval of adminbots

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Approval of FA Template Protection Bot

Following the recent RfC on adminbots and proposed addition to the bot policy to allow bots to be granted admin rights outside of RfA, I have raised the question on the Admin noticeboard as to whether the community would accept the approval of an adminbot through WP:RFBOT alone. Comments welcome there. WJBscribe (talk) 00:33, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia doesn't use Allwiki has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Wikipedia doesn't use Allwiki (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) 18:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Implementing Flagged/Sighted Revisions

Per Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Sarah_Palin_protection_wheel_war/Workshop#Community_discussion_strongly_urged, the community has been urged by Arbitration Commitee member User:Newyorkbrad to consider the use of flagged/sighted revisions (amongst other possible remedies), to assist in reducing the risk of articles that deal with living people, and the harm that can result.

Therefore, I am opening this discussion, to present a proposal for the use of Flagged/sighted revisions to reduce the risk of situations like the one discussed in the ArbCom case. That is: In certain, high profile articles, the crush of editors is not always conducive to taking due care to prevent violations of WP:BLP being inserted into articles. Such a situation (and the resulting wheel war of protection/unprotection that occured) on the article for Sarah Palin led to the above mentioned ArbCom case.

Flagged/Sighted Revisions, should, at a minimum be in place on WP:BLP articles, (and ideally, to my thoughts, be in place on all articles.) To prevent complaints that this gives administrators too much power to determine what content Wikipedia produces, my suggestion is that a new "right" be granted, comparable to the rollback right recently introduced. The new right would allow administrators, bureaucrats, or stewards to grant a user the ability to mark articles as flagged or sighted.

This right should be fairly easy to grant (say, 500 edits or so, it should be fairly automatic). However, any editor who has a block for violating Wikipedia's rule on edit-warring, or breaking the 3 revert rule, should not be granted this right automatically.

See Wikipedia:Flagged revisions/Sighted versions for more information. SirFozzie (talk) 02:02, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Been considered and they suck. We can't keep up with marking new pages as patrolled. Keeping flaging up to date would be imposible and would rapiadly result in unacceptable degrees of lag for new users.Geni 02:12, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
It's better then the alternative. At the worst time in Sarah Palin, there was more then one edit per minute. That provided no time to review sources, or even really add any information yourself to the article, because you would edit-conflict with anyone for any edit of substance. Of those edits that were completed during that time, 40% of them had what was considered BLP Violations (either untrue, or inadequently sourced information) I disagree that it "sucks", as well. It would keep articles from having to be semi-protected or even full-protected as much. SirFozzie (talk) 02:17, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
But Sarah Palin is a unfair example to be used as an example that all articles should be placed under Flagged/sighted revisions. This type of situation doesn't happen every day. --Patrick (talk) 02:21, 21 September 2008 (UTC).
But it's a good example of the harm that BLP Violations can do if left unchecked. SirFozzie (talk) 02:25, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Eh rate doesn't appear to be as high as the current pope's was back when he was elected and we survived that.Geni 02:30, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
This is a terrible idea. The entire extension should have been pitched long along. I agree with Geni, it would be an unnecessary burden with the amount of edits made and also the number of users. Also, it would make any new user feel like he is not a part of Wikipedia, since their edits would have to be approved. --Patrick (talk) 02:18, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
This seems to me to be too much focusing on the Wiki part of Wikipedia the part that says "Anyone can edit", and not enough focusing on what the core mission is for Wikipedia, the encyclopedia. We have a duty to present neutral, factual information. Any editors who will leave because we do not take their edit as good automagically is not much loss. Imagine the decrease in G***p style vandalism as well. SirFozzie (talk) 02:25, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
But we might lose the editor when he finds that his edit that he made to an article 8 days ago has not been approved, not because his edit is bad, but rather nobody has checked it and trust me, it will happen. --Patrick (talk) 02:28, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I fully support the proposal pretty much as currently written. This is desperately needed for some articles but I might suggest that if approved we have a test roll out on an uncontroversial set of articles to iron out any major implementation issues. I realise that there is a test wiki, but that is no substitute for true live usage. CIreland (talk) 02:42, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a legitimate question whether flagged revisions will do any good at all. I am very curious to see how they would work out, but I'd suggest a small trial, and only on articles that are highly likely to have defamation problems. How about rolling out flagged revisions only on articles that, due to their subject matter, enjoy a high risk of needing full protection for extended periods of time? The hard part will be the political uproar due to setting up two or more classes of editors, but we did survive rollback, and we tolerate that not all editors are admins. The uproar is likely to be less severe if only a small set of articles are flagged, so the non-flagging editors appear to be second-class citizens only on very few articles, just the most troublesome ones.EdJohnston (talk) 03:14, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Would you support it being placed on BLP articles, or articles that would qualify under WP:BLPSE? SirFozzie (talk) 03:34, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
It might also be very useful in providing an alternative to protection and thereby reducing the number of protected and semi-protected articles, so opening up more of the wiki to anonymous editing, but without degrading the quality of information we provide to our readers. Tim Vickers (talk) 05:03, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I picked option (c) at that page, and commented there. I think there's a risk that if we choose option (a), which is more or less "implement Sighted Revisions on all pages soon", there's a chance that it will fail, and then we'll be back where we started. I suggest running an experiment and examining the data, and the best articles to look at would be ones that either have been in or are currently in some review process, because you've already got the skilled reviewers and lots of eyeballs in place to collect data. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 17:02, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

How to deal with maps and contested land-areas

Following the recent Georgia-South Ossetia war there has been some debate about the presentation of contested land areas on the locator maps. Not only Georgia, but also Kosovo, Western Sahara, Tibet and Taiwan, Cyprus (and likely many others) contain contested areas. There is no consistent way to present this on Wikipedia locator maps, and this is leading to much discussions about POV.

I have opened a thread at WikiProject Countries but perhaps this is something of sufficient importance to build up to a guideline? What do you guys think? Arnoutf (talk) 17:03, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The most neutral way to deal with it is by representing the different possible scenarios and tell the reader why we do present different maps. It is unfortunate that most editors do not accept that. -- fayssal - Wiki me up® 20:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Macedonia-related articles) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Macedonia-related articles) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:52, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

It never was; this is a change of category, to match the long-established tag of {{proposed}}. It may be worth rejecting it, as the talk page suggests; there is no real prospect of consensus. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:03, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Articles in user talk pages

It has come to my attention that a user has been uploading articles from Wikipedia onto their own User talk subpages. These are the users only edits. It appears the account is being used either as a POV fork or their own web storage. What is wikipedia's policy in regard to the use of article duplication on talk pages for this? MegX (talk) 06:01, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

well, the is WP:NOTWEBHOST however, it could just be they are using their talk subpages as a sandbox. a link would help... --UltraMagnus (talk) 11:22, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Also Wikipedia:USER#Copies of other pages specifically addresses copies of Wikipedia articles in user space. Anomie 11:45, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Without looking, The person might not know about the possibility of using permalinks to articles or doing it so he can reference it. Peachey88 (Talk Page | Contribs) 04:03, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Important Conflict of Interest (COI) guideline update

I have added the following paragraph to WP:COI to reflect the actual state of matters.[1] Please familiarize yourself with this, and feel free to discuss if you think this does not reflect actual practice.

When investigating possible cases of COI editing, Wikipedians must be careful not to out other editors. Wikipedia's policy against harassment takes precedence over this guideline. COI situations are usually revealed when the editor themselves discloses a relationship to the subject that they are editing. In case the editor does not identity themselves or their affiliation, reference to the neutral point of view policy may help counteract biased editing.

Thank you for you help, and thank you to User:FayssalF for reviewing this edit.[2] Jehochman Talk 18:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree, good add. MBisanz talk 18:30, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

WRT ADHD Can one cite web based information from the Mayo Clinic?

A simple question. On the Mayo Clinic web page, that institution uses the term "chronic" to describe a mental condition. The web based page was used as a citation to specifically reference that word in the Wiki article, because an editor challenged it's inclusion based on the belief that the reference was of poor quality. Now there is an edit war with the term being put on and taken off repeatedly. Can anyone point to specific policy on this issue or give a thought out opinion?--scuro (talk) 15:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Let look at the ref he mentioned:
  • the page gives no references to the literature
  • it is self published on a web page hosted by the mayo clinic
  • no indication of weather or not it is peer reviewed
  • author is give as Mayo Clinic Staff, no one is brave enough to even attach there name to it
  • no indication is given that it is evidenced based
  • it is not a comprehensive review of the literature
  • this I presume is a page for the lay person
  • any finally IT IS NOT formatted to wikipedian standard even after I requested a dozen times that he format his references

--Doc James (talk) 20:04, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay there are two issues here. Three if you seriously want to get into formating issues. One if this specific web page is appropriate, and two if they are appropriate in general. - I disagree with the term self published. This comes from the Mayo Clinic and not from an individual. Nor can one at all assume that the author would not know the literature, that it would be peer reviewed, or that the material is evidence based. I don't know how DJ can at all assume that it comes from a lay person.--scuro (talk) 20:19, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflic hence same level of indent) It is not completely clear which article this is about (I guess ADHD), so I have to answer without seeing the in situ debate. My first question is why this debate is there at all, why can a mental condition not be chronical in the same way a physical condition is (ie why does it need a reference at all)?
Doc James mixes weak and reasonable counter arguments in my view. From bottom to top
* Not formatting to Wikipedia standard is not disqualification of the source (although annoying)
* Popular science (aimed at lay person) is perfectly acceptable
* That it is neiter evidence based nor a literature review is problematic
* Many sites and organisations do not attribute information to a single author (has often nothing to do with bravery but with institute policy), this is not necessarily a disqualification of the source.
* Peer review would make the souce better; self publication is not very strong; and references to literature would be preferable.
Altogether I would judge this source as marginally acceptable in the context where the claim is not exceptional (so no exceptional evidence required) and the soure being a fairly well-known serious institute. A better soure maybe desirable (I think Doc James should provide it), but not essential. Arnoutf (talk) 20:19, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I would consider Mayo Clinic pages to be reliable sources. Now, a reliable source may be mistaken, and in that regard primary literature and literature reviews do have higher authority than websites. Doc James, if you want to challenge this, I don't buy your arguments that that Mayo Clinic web pages should simply be ignored. However, I would buy an argument that literature sources describe ADHD as not chronic, or evidence that they refrain from using that word. So, in my opinion, simply believing that the Mayo Clinic pages may be wrong isn't adequate ("verifiability, not truth"), but if you can show via other sources that they are likely to be wrong, then that would justify removal. Dragons flight (talk) 20:23, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and hope my list showed a similar sentiment; as Dragons Flight response. Arnoutf (talk) 20:26, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
So I have provided a couple of other published sources. This is what is currently in the main paragraph: ADHD is generally a chronic disorder with 10 to 60% of individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to meet diagnostic criteria in adulthood. I have provided two references. One a systematic review from 2008 the other a NEJM publication. Elia J, Ambrosini PJ, Rapoport JL (March 1999). "Treatment of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder". N. Engl. J. Med. 340 (10): 780–8. PMID 10072414. 
The lead paragraph also says: characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention. This is from the DSM IV
All three of these are more reliable then the mayo clinic web site and they are all formatted properly. I do not feel that one need to state a third time in the lead that ADHD is always chronic when sometimes it isn't.
--Doc James (talk) 20:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't know the DSM IV, but your other sources appear to be fairly conclusive.
As I stated above, without the context I could not interpret the issue in detail.
In the light of the sources provided by DocJames I would say that the ball is now clearly with Scuro to provide equally authorative sources to show that at least the debate about chronicness (if that is a word) is still alive. (note that popular science often is slower in uptake compared to scientific literature, and that Mayo's website is probably slighlty outdated (not violating is reliableness per se) rahter than biased.) Thanks for providing the relevant references here DocJames Arnoutf (talk) 20:43, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
What exactly does his sources say and how does it relate to the issue at hand? Do the websites refute the term "chronic"? Or did he just post some websites up there that relate to medication and what not? I'm very confused by what he posted. How does treatment relate to chronic?
Does this: always present or encountered  ; especially : constantly vexing, weakening, or troubling <chronic petty warfare> b: being such habitually <a chronic grumbler> = this: continuing or inclined to persist in a course b: continuing to exist despite interference or treatment <a persistent cough> <has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years>? The Mayo clinic and many other institutions/experts use that term for a reason. The symptoms may be persistent but the condition is chronic. The proper order of things is for him to give proper sources to refute the term. --scuro (talk) 20:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Mainstream belief may not be grounded in cutting edge research, not even mainstream research by very good specialists (nobody doubt Mayo there, nor its good intentions). By listing peer reviewed papers for scientific journals, Doc James has provided cutting edge and recent research, which can only be counterargued by similar sources (ie peer reviewed scientific papers) and not by popular scientific pages by practitioners. Arnoutf (talk) 21:28, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
DSM refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is the book that is used to describe mental disorder. It does not refer to ADHD as chronic. Another reference doesn't use the word chronic either. Doc James (talk) 21:07, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
To what extent is DSM peer reviewed? (I would put more trust in the scientific papers - but then again I am writing those so maybe biased - compared to books summarising a selection). Arnoutf (talk) 21:28, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
The DSM is what the field of psychiatry is based upon. It is published by the American Psychiatric Association. Has a complicated story behind it. It is extensively peer reviewed. --Doc James (talk) 21:31, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the debate is about whether the word "chronic" adds anything to the article. Diseases can be acute or they can be chronic. I don't know how commonly the word "chronic" is used w.r.t. psychiatric conditions, because they are almost all chronic. You hear "acute" used for the exceptions, like "acute amnesia", etc. As far as the discussion about reliable sources, which belongs on WP:RSN, this is very WP:LAME. Yes, the Mayo Clinic is most definitely a reliable source for medical matters, and we have a template for citing web pages. And yes, the DSM is the standard reference manual for mental health professionals. That's a little bit like saying Webster's Dictionary isn't a reliable source. Squidfryerchef (talk) 21:43, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I feel the same about the chronic issue in relation to WP:LAME. Not being a psychiatrist myslef I didn't know DSM.
Re Mayo Clinic. Yes the Mayo Clinic is reliable; nobody doubts tat. However their public communication may not be presenting most recent findings (there is no way of checking this, as DocJames correctly states it uses neither references, nor is peer reviewed). The public webpages maybe simplified public directed articles, infrequently updated, and cared for by the communication staff of Mayo (with advice of the medical staff no doubt). In general this will be reliable, but if it contradicts published scientific articles (as those provided by DocJames) the peer reviewed articles are just better. Arnoutf (talk) 21:59, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, it is not just one citation from the article that has been stripped, but many citations, terms, and passages, have been stripped. All in short order. The article is a shell of what it used to be. This is important and not lame, Doc James has not really responded to requests seeking consensus, so rules become all the more important.
I think you all missed that the citations that Doc James gave here have NOTHING to do with the term "chronic". Here is another factoid- the DSM4 is a diagnostic tool and not a piece of academic literature. It's 14 years old, so much for "cutting edge" and "refuting" the source.
Reviews are not god like. They are static and several reviews on the same topic can have dramatically different viewpoints. There are also differing levels of quality. Simply posting a review does not trump everything on an issue. That is what talk is for, to vet this out in a civilized manner. It would be deeply appreciated if Doc James used that tool to seek consensus and make the article the best it can be, instead of responding with a terse quip like, "Uhh-no".--scuro (talk) 22:39, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, this debate is about a very general point about ADHD in the lead paragraph, so it would be appropriate to cite basic information written for a lay audience. Most scientific papers are going to be about some very specific aspect of ADHD, and a paper written for experts is not going to recap the sorts of things we need to explain in the lead. The doctors already know ADHD is a chronic condition.
  • However, this is a really weird edit war; it looks like there is no controversy over several cites using the word "chronic" further down in the article. The only debate is having "chronic" in the lead sentence. In that case, I could take it or leave it. I feel that because the lead sentence already says ADHD is a developmental disorder, that already implies chronic, so the extra "chronic" is redundant in the lead sentence.
  • I'd also like to clarify if there's any doubt as to what "acute" and "chronic" mean in medicine: "Acute" is something you get all of the sudden, like an injury or a fever, and hopefully recover from. "Chronic" is something that might wax and wane, and sometimes it can be worked on, but it tends to stay with you. High blood pressure, diabetes, and dyslexia are all "chronic" conditions. Also, "chronic" does not mean "cyclical", a chronic condition can be constant too. Squidfryerchef (talk) 22:54, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
The citation for the term "developmental" was also stripped, as was the citation for "disorder". I would deeply appreciate further insights about citing web based info from excellent sources. As a general rule can we say that they are acceptable and if there is disagreement discuss in talk?--scuro (talk) 22:58, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
As I have mentioned numerous times. What I do not like is the sloppy editing. Links that don't work. Few references properly formatted. And no improvement in these upon multiple requests. This is a medical article and the parts about medical things should refer to medical resources. The parts not about medical aspects of ADHD do not need to refer to medical resource.
By the way the DSM4R was written in 2000 making in 8 years old not 14.
And also love the WP:LAME. It so sums up this whole thing.

Doc James (talk) 03:37, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

So Doc James stripped the terms "neurobehavioural", "developmental", "disorder", and "chronic" from the first two lead sentences. Within those first two sentences he also strips the citations to the following: i)Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, ii)UCLA, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, iii)Russell Barkley (leading expert in the field) website, and iv) the Mayo Clinic. This is a lame issue? Who knows how many citations and passages were deleted beyond the intro. He has been busy.
Then we have no end of reasons and edit warring to keep the terms and citations off the page. If the editing is sloppy, fix it, or offer to show others how to fix it. Don't throw it our faces. If links don't work, let others know and ask for assistance instead of doing a scorched earth policy. Do you know what the term community really means?
Finally the revision to the DSM 4 was published in 2000. The original version was written in 1994. As our own wiki article states: "The diagnostic categories and the vast majority of the specific criteria for diagnosis were unchanged". So do you still want to claim the cutting edge status of this diagnostic tool? If we talk, we can share knowledge. If you want to call this lame and ignore your fellow contributors, well then really that says it all. I'm certainly open to starting fresh but I want to know that a good citation is a good citation, and that to determine the significance of a citation happens in talk by communicating. If others agree with me I can live with this and we can move on.--scuro (talk) 05:07, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I see one person trying to demand good sourcing and good work, and another person suggesting "If I do something wrong, then you can go fix it because that is what community means. As far as the DSM-IV goes, anyone who works professionally in this field is going to take the DSM-IV's wording over whatever stupid theory is purported in those sources you mentioned (of which, only Barkley and UCLA has any real heft, I laugh myself silly at some of the stuff that comes out of LNI), because it's what's been pinned down that most can agree to. I agree the wording between "chronic" and "acute" is tricky and you'll find sourcing on EITHER side to claim it's one way or the other. The Mayo Clinic isn't an unreliable source, nor is it's webpage a wiki, and Doc needs to be a little more careful boldly removing a damaged source On the other hand, Doc made an attempt to clean up the article and improve it. Some of what he removed was not anything close to a reliable source. When I look at series of diffs, I see someone trying to improve the article.-- Logical Premise Ergo? 18:01, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
The DSM is a diagnostic tool. It is not authoritative in any way like a review would be. It's like stating your owner's manual for your microwave is a document that is authoritative on electromagnetic energy. Worse yet, most of the information from that document was formulated a few years before 1994. We have information that is most likely more then 15 years old. The new DSM5, which should come out shortly, took many years to write. In the field of mental health, and especially with ADHD specifically, this is truly an eon. Think of it, compare what we know about ADHD...say in 1992 compared to what we know now. To hold this diagnostic tool up as a standard above everything we know currently simply speaks to ignorance. I'll make no further comment. Yes Doc James has done some good editing, but no, that does not excuse him from being civil and following proper wiki etiquette. We now also have the issue of POV tags being stripped and edit wars happening to make sure it stays that way. It's the wild west over on the ADHD article. I do look forward to collaborating with Doc James in good faith, and I do hope that he will assist in any way to collaboratively making the article better.--scuro (talk) 03:02, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Template creation and usage

FYI I'm the same editor who a few weeks ago proposed to get "recently" and other such words blacklisted. I noticed on Thabo Mbeki today that someone has created a Vague Time template in August, which is being used on this article and a handful of others. There is no discussion on the talk page. The Wikipedia:Template namespace guideline says that ANYONE can create a template (without discussion) and gives instructions on how to do so. Shouldn't there be some sort of enforced discussion first? After all, templates are not things that (should) get created every day. In theory I could now go around pasting this template everywhere I find my pet hate-word "recently". In fact I could just as well have written up this template myself and starting using it in articles without any prior discussion. Is this desirable? Should we not protect the Template namespace (if possible) against article creation?

On another note, can someone braver than me move the template from Vague Time to Vague time? The redirect can be deleted as only a handful of articles will need to be fixed. Zunaid 11:41, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Simply put, as long as there is no consensus that these words are to be blacklisted, the template should not be used, or if used can simply be removed. If such consensus to avoid vague time arises the template must refer to the relevant MOS sections for other editors to evaluate whether the issues is indeed a problem. Arnoutf (talk) 11:58, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Note these words are NOT blacklisted, this template is simply applying common sense. Your idea is correct in theory and I agree with you, but the fact is anyone can still create a template and go about their business without worrying too much about discussions, consensus or following due process. I would happily start applying this template where necessary; in fact had it not been for a spelling error in the original template I would not have bothered checking the template page and discovered that: 1. it has no discussion 2. it was created 1 month ago 3. it has had no edits since and 4. I would not have posted here asking for more eyes and input. The point I was trying to make is, should template creation not be more strictly controlled? Or at the very least could we not have a bot notify an appropriate WP page whenever a new template is created? Zunaid 15:23, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I like this template and may use it. I agree with Zunaid's sentiments about "recently" and "currently". In reply to the concern that you "go around pasting this template everywhere" - indeed you could. And if people approved of what you were doing, there would be no problem but if some folk didn't they may well ask you to stop and discuss. Then, carrying on regardless of their concerns, would likely get you blocked. CIreland (talk) 15:38, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion, this template maybe fine for talk pages but should not be used in mainspace. Arnoutf (talk) 18:01, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't see the problem, as long as a template highlights a existent problem in an article it should stay. The user that created this template obviously followed wp:be bold, which I don't see as a problem. not everything requires a month long debate! ;) --UltraMagnus (talk) 08:33, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Restricting template creation would making improving and expanding Wikipedia more difficult. I've just created Template:Phanerozoic biodiversity because I had an immediate use for it in Paleontology and can see uses for it in a whole host of articles including Extinction event and all the specific mass extinctions listed there, Evolutionary history of life, Paleozoic and later geological eras.
Templates provide a write-once, use-many-times tool for producing good content, and make it easy to translate such content into other languages - I recently "sold" the idea to a Dutch editor and the result is a Dutch version of the widely-used Template:Annotated_image/Extinction. All these templates are based on Template:Annotated image, which is a very powerful tool for producing informative diagrams - in paleontology articles I generally use it at least once per article. -- Philcha (talk) 08:58, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Awww hell no. Restricted to what, administrators? We need less barriers between usership and adminship, not more. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:31, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Good idea, bad execution. There is {{when}}, it looks like[when?] and it's good. Use inline tags to identify specific place in the text. Don't force the user to sieve through the text to find one "b-word". NVO (talk) 19:06, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Redundant guidelines

It seems our guidelines over linking in articles are starting to build up to unnecessary levels. We have:

Wikipedia:Build the web - Links to relevant articles are good.
Wikipedia:Only make links that are relevant to the context - But not too many links, only important ones
Wikipedia:Wikipedia doesn't use Allwiki - Definitely don't link everything (split from WP:BUILD, unmarked as guideline by myself)
Wikipedia:Red link - Covers links to non-existent articles.
Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links) - Summary of the other 3 above guidelines, as well as additional style info.

And this is just internal links; external links and interwiki links have their own guidelines (though the MOS links page covers ELs as well). Is internal linking really this complicated? Is there any reason why we need so many guidelines for such a simple thing as putting some square brackets around some words? Mr.Z-man 20:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Looks like instruction creep at its finest. If you wish to help cut back on these by, for instance, moving that the three guidelines be deprecated in favor of a Wikipedia:Linking (leaving us with a manual of style and one content guideline), I would definitely support you. As for the more general issue, you can help fight instruction creep by demanding that people who propose new additions to rules demonstrate specific and pervasive problems that they will solve. --erachima talk 10:20, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a formal proposal on this issue of guideline creation, which some will no doubt dismiss as instruction creep itself, but I believe would actually help keep a check on this multiplicity of guidelines. Check out WP:Policy/Procedure.--Kotniski (talk) 13:23, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I tried to merge #1 and #3 several months ago, and then someone else took over, and apparently they weren't successful. Those pages are still around because they used to be a very big deal, but few people care were watching or caring about those pages a few months ago. The ones that did care didn't want any change. Glad to see we're making progress. WP:Red links has little overlap with any of the other pages, so it's not important to me whether we merge it or not. The two style pages stayed as two pages, I think, because there's never been a consensus on how many links to have in an article. There's been a lot of work done on those two pages over the last several months, so it shouldn't be hard to find out what the current position is on merging. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:55, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

2.5 million articles to watch and too few editors

Case 1 - Joe Lewis (British businessman)

Outdated and incorrect information took 5 months to be removed. Here

Case 2 - Automobile industry in Germany

Vandalism took 4 months to be removed. Here

Those are articles are simply not being watched.

IMO we should somehow reduce the number of article to something that is manageable or at least reduce the rate of growth. ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 04:28, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

That's not feasible, as new encyclopedic subjects are being created constantly. We do, however, attempt to prioritize highly viewed pages and those on core topics, and made a major move against article creation already by requiring users to register before making pages. --erachima talk 10:13, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps something like a special:unwatched pages and/or perhaps a special:pages with less than # watchers would be very useful. I know I would be willing to help stand guard over unwatched articles. --UltraMagnus (talk) 11:18, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a Special:Unwatched pages, actually, though I don't recall the exact title. It's restricted to admins, however, due to the potential for abuse by vandals. --erachima talk 11:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Special:UnwatchedPages. According to Wikipedia talk:Special:Unwatchedpages, it is limited to the first 1000 and doesn't even make it to articles beginning with the letter A, which makes it somewhat less than useful. Anomie 11:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with UltraMagnus, a special:unwatched pages would help a lot, that would be a great anti-vandalism tool. ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 04:51, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Mark my words, I think it's inevitible in the future there will be a system where all 2.5 million articles are "distributed" to volunteer editors to watch over. I for one have my "personal collection" of articles I actively 'take care of' because of my special interest or expertise in them (ultimately I just watch them, undo vandalism, and occaisionally contribute where I can).
This is the village pump where things are proposed. I propose we start a system of 'assigning' or 'distributing' our article base to volunteer editors for general maintenence and housekeeping. However it is important to note that this is most important when Wikipedia "gains critical mass" (i.e. it reaches a stage where its article base reaches a stage of maturity and there is a relative slow down in new articles) which I think is happening round about now. So we need to start planning somethin' Rfwoolf (talk) 12:45, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Your plan is interesting I would support it no problem, the thing is that it calls for at least 10,000 committed editors watching 250 articles each!! Where are we going to get that many editors? ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 04:51, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
No, it requires 700 editors watching 3,500 articles each. Which is completely feasible. --erachima talk 05:10, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Not feasible at all. 700 editors can watch Eric Cartman or Sara Palin, all at the same time, but who will monitor René Voisin (article creator is inactive since July)? NVO (talk) 15:05, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The priority should be given to blp articles. -- fayssal - Wiki me up® 20:44, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

How about (in addition) a bot that goes around and puts a template that says "This article has not been updated for X time and may contain out-of-date information?" And Fayssal, is WP slowing down? It seems to me it has, but I'd like to know as you are a lot closer to the pulse. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 05:48, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Every single page got the "this page was last modified on.." notice at the bottom. But a bot sounds like a very good idea.
Slowing down in terms of new articles' creation? Is that what you mean? And Martin, you and all users are the pulse itself. -- fayssal - wiki up® 06:14, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I really meant to ask whether WP is slowing down in terms of editor activity: fewer edits, fewer logins etc. As far as flagging out-of-date articles, it looks like the software already has the feature, so it could just be put as a banner or something at the top of inactive pages. Wouldn't need a bot. Prioritizing BLPs is a good idea. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 06:24, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
In terms of editor activity: From User:Katalaveno/TBE, it appears that the situation is stable. There exist 10,896 active users including alternate accounts (see Special:Statistics).
Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth has also some interesting data. It seems that articles' creation per month is declining very slowly compared with earlier months.
And I agree with the unnecessary use of a bot. -- fayssal - wiki up® 07:01, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think a bot is an answer to this problem. A slight modification to "Recent Changes" that flags changes to unwatched articles would do it ... RC patrol can prioritize unwatched changes, on the assumption that watched pages will be taken care of by the watchers.Kww (talk) 13:56, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Here is a possible idea:

  • Each edit on WP is modified (in MediaWiki software) to carry an additional tag "checked" similar to "minor edit" or "bot".
  • Only established editors (1000 edits + quick review of any logs) may set this checked tag on an edit.
  • Setting the checked tag is not meant to be 100% assurance that the article is perfect, but that the editor placing is reasonably sure that the information in the article is not factually incorrect (it is clear of obvious vandalims, in the case of BLPs, no unsourced statements, etc.) This is a informal tag, so editors are not to be held responsible if it is found that the checked version does have vandalism or false info, however, abusing the checked tag (after review) can lead to losing the ability to use it. (Note that not every edit made by a user able to do this is automatically checked, it needs to be set by the user doing it, and should never be set by a bot).
  • Now with this in place, we can track articles by the number of edits and the amount of time since the last checked edit was made. Instead of "Special:Unwatched Pages", we could have "Special:Unchecked pages", ordered by the number of edits since the last checked one. Additional tools, such as a diff between the last checked version and current page, will help editors that patrol that page to quickly determine how bad the vandalism or cleanup is.

I am not saying that the checked version is the same as the idea for version control that is being tossed around, but it can help to quickly identify a point where the article is believed to have been good quality and then allow for an assessment of what needs to be fixed if it goes too long with too many unchecked edits. --MASEM 14:18, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

That is basically the same as a light version of flagged revisions. I belive all of these features are available with it. Mr.Z-man 16:18, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Journalists "washing" factoids via wikipedia?

It there any particular provision/rule about this, or does it just fall under vandalism? Caught a BBC journalist introducing an unreffed factiod to Kgalema Motlanthe, then citing Wikipedia has his/her source. T L Miles (talk) 14:24, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Where did they cite wikipedia as their source? I couldn't find it. Celarnor Talk to me 14:48, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
[3]], fifth paragraph under the heading, "Jazz". Took a screen shot if needed. Turns out the same IP added the same bogus factoid to Baleka Mbete three minutes earlier. Removed both, added warning to User talk:, but it would be nice if the BBC could be trusted not to introduce hoaxes into Wikipedia and then cite Wikipedia as the source of them... T L Miles (talk) 14:57, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Have you reported this to the BBC? I'm happy to if you don't want to; that really is completely unacceptable. TSP (talk) 15:02, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Sent them an email via their web based "Comments" interface, but It would be nice if someone from Wikipedia could get through to whoever is the South Africa editor. T L Miles (talk) 15:05, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The line citing wikipedia, as well as information about his family was removed from the BBC website overnight US time (early Wed. morning UK). T L Miles (talk) 13:47, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


People need to look at what has been happening to the civility policy. Hint: a lot. Before my recent revert, it was even downgraded into a guideline. This is part of the five pillars of Wikipedia, and no one is watching. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 04:23, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Umm. No it is not one of the five pillars. Risker (talk) 04:27, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say it was. I said part WP:FIVE. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 04:38, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
OMG! That policy was rewritten by a hand full of editors in just 5 days. Quite scary indeed!! Worse, not even your alert was noted.
Wikipedia is just too dam big, there isn't enough people to watch articles anymore. ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 05:10, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
One side effect of it being so big is that it's got a lot of inertia. Simply re-writing policy isn't enough to change how things are done. --Carnildo (talk) 07:32, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, if a couple of random editors are allowed to in a couple of days rewrite a "policy" that governs the whole of Wikipedia we will have chaos, because something that wasn't agreed on is unenforceable and illegitimate. What if I prefer the old version better? ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 15:31, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Have you been here long enough to discover Wikipedia:Ignore all rules? "Policy" around here is mostly descriptive, rather than prescriptive. --Carnildo (talk) 20:21, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it seems to me there are less editors around these days. But the alert does seem to have done the trick, at least in that the policy is still policy and not a guideline, and hasn't been watered down as of now. Thanks (: ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 07:44, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I wonder how many active editors there are, and also if that number is increasing or reducing. This information is vital for the health of Wikipedia but no one knows.
But it is telling the fact that your alert didn't even cause a ripple here. There is no alarm, no consternation...nothing. ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 15:31, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
There are currently 10623 active users. Algebraist 15:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks man! But where do you see that? 10,000 in a month or right now? That's a very significant number, we have a ratio of 250 articles per editor. Not a very good ratio IMO.
⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 17:07, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Special:Statistics. I can no longer recall the definition of 'active', but it's something like 'having edited in the last month'. Algebraist 17:19, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, this is really great! The thing is, you can really watch lots of articles. I watch 779 without strain. That's because most articles almost never get edited- look at those stats, see the average edits per page is 17.26. On CIV, I think there might have been more response if the situation hadn't straightened out so fast. But one Arbitrator got involved, and it was quickly put right. I think people coming here might have checked the links and thought something was being done, so didn't respond. On the other hand, in other situations I've also seen little response from the wider community. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 20:32, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Deprecate this so-called guideline or policy immediately - until there is a stable version. Current version [4] even redefines five principles. Policy must be stable; right now, it's mayhem not policy. NVO (talk) 19:01, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree, what is happening at the civility policy is ridiculous. There is no justification for the changes and the changes are being made without any oversight or discussion. Editor Martinphi alerted us about it but nothing was done. ⇨ EconomistBR ⇦ 15:41, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


After notifying the usual suspects (WT:MOSNUM, WT:YEARS, and more), we seem to have consensus at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(numbers_and_dates)#Decades to make at least one change: 1800s and similar pages will become a disambiguation page saying:

{{seealso|19th century}}

1800s may refer to:

Millennium: 2nd millennium

The current 1800s page refers to the period from 1800 to 1809, which means that all the people who link to 1800s and think that it means 1800-1899 are confusing people with the link. Wikipedians chose this usage because it's convenient in some infoboxes, for instance this one, and we don't want to change that infobox. But policy seems to require that we have pagenames that mean what English speakers expect them to mean: per WP:NOT#OR, some things that aren't allowed: "proposing theories and solutions, original ideas, defining terms, coining new words, et cetera". Also, here are the first two sentences in the first section of WP:NAME, also policy: "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. This is justified by the following principle: The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists." I've gone through 300 Google hits at this point, and all of them not coming from Wikipedia think that 1800s means 1800 to 1899. So feel free to complain here or on the page where we had the discussion; otherwise we'll take some kind of action after a few days; perhaps a trip to WP:RM. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 02:31, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I fully support the above suggested change. Common usage of X hundreds (1700s, 1800s, 1900s, etc.) is that the X is referring to an entire century, not merely the first decade of that century. SMP0328. (talk) 02:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Seems like a solution begging from a problem. I don't see what the deal is. Bilodeauzx (talk) 03:43, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
The deal is that a whole series of WP articles are seriously misnamed. It hasn't been put right for a long time because doing so would be quite complicated (involving changes to templates, categories and so on) and the articles aren't exactly high-visibility, but it undoubtedly is something that needs to be done.--Kotniski (talk) 10:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

How is the decade "1800-1809" normally called, as in "the turnpike was built in the mid-1810s"? --NE2 11:45, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

In my experience people get round it by saying "the first decade of the 19th century", though technically that's 1801-1810. --Kotniski (talk) 12:53, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


I'd like to see Wikipedia:Honesty upgraded to guideline. Assume good faith is a guideline. This is the flip side of the same coin. Thoughts? Jehochman Talk 14:34, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

AGF's a guideline. Also, I say no because making a universal principle like honesty into just a community rule cheapens the entire concept. It would also be unlikely to have any positive results: if a person hasn't learned to be honest in their real life, a Wikipedia rule isn't going to change that. --erachima talk 14:44, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
personally, I would support such a change --UltraMagnus (talk) 15:14, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
The essay isn't polished or flexible enough to be a guideline here. There are a number of points that lack nuanced understandings of the notability guidelines and undermines AGF. While I'll not argue for its deletion I certainly oppose the work becoming a guideline. We have enuogh wikilawyering out there as it is without giving people one more bat to club the newbies with. MrZaiustalk 03:06, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Towards New proposal policy

Many community members strongly disagree with the current policy. We are proposing a modification of languages criteria to star a wikimedia project, with a community draft]. feel free to contribute with your opinion:

thak you, very much. — Crazymadlover —Preceding undated comment was added at 20:53, 25 September 2008 (UTC).

Indefinite protection? AfD? Let's make it more clear

I understand and have, on multiple occasions (lolcode and Superhero Movie, among others), worked with admins and Deletion Review to restore previous versions of articles for topics that gained notability after deletion. I've got damned near 10k edits under my belt, though, and probably had 1-2k down before I knew the process. Can we get the "This page has been deleted. The deletion log for the page is provided below for reference." text on deleted articles expanded to include the bottom text, which reads "# If the page has been deleted, check the deletion log, and see Why was my page deleted?." 'Note the typo "?.", too - That needs a quick fix regardless - Just strike the period. The blue linked text in the link is equivalent to quotation marks, for all intents and purposes - Nothin' wrong with ending that sentence with a question mark, as a result.

I would argue that all text pertaining to recreating deleted content should be moved into the This-page-got-popped-off-before text, as it is irrelevant without it. It should also be expanded shortly to include some of the Why? text, such as "Do not despair: none of the information on a "deleted" page has actually been lost." Include some basic coverage as to how a user can get page protection lifted and articles restored if sources arise. Doesn't have to be long - You could pack a lot into two sentences. Please also expand the text to make it clear that an article is protected - That is the most important place to say it, but there's no mention whatsoever of protection on the deletion warning at SwiftIRC.

On a related note, indefinite protection of articles that may conceivably reach the level where the above is necessary is always unwarranted. SwiftIRC, for instance, would have been fine with 6-12 months. CsD exists, and is a cleaner solution than ignoring the fact that a topic may achieve notability after deletion. MrZaiustalk 13:01, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

If there is new notability that did not exist at the time, an article can be created in User space which contains evidence of current notability, and the article listed at WP:DRV for community discussion. Corvus cornixtalk 21:01, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Although I agree with Corvus cornix, maybe we should encourage admins to protect repeatedly recreated non-notable articles for six-month periods of time if it seems like notability could be established in the future. Judgment call. Darkspots (talk) 22:26, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
In the case of SwiftIRC, it was deleted 5 times over the course of more than a year and a half including 2 AFDs. I don't see why it would be expected to be notable any time soon. And given the spammy/COI nature of some of the recreations, a DRV before recreating would certainly be appropriate. Mr.Z-man 22:57, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
A year, as I suggested, is hardly "soon" - That said, the concept of having to go to DRV first is a pretty obvious example of WP:BITE. The level of arcana that a newb or occasional editor must learn to go through DRV is, IMHO, excessive. I have no objection to doing it myself, but I object to the notion that popping off a quick CsD and re-protecting an article once a year when notability may feasibly arise is somehow too much of a hassle. Weigh the five minutes it would take of an admin and new-pages patroller against the harm done to potential new editors.
That said, this isn't part of the Notability RfD - I'm much more interested in getting the language clarified and cleaned up in the default "I've been deleted before warning" - If the page is protected, it should be clearly stated right there, in that same box. It should also contain a link to the Why? article linked above and, to lessen the WP:BITE burden, a clear link to DRV. MrZaiustalk 05:31, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Straw poll for "view-deleted activation" now open

In June 2008 the Arbitration Committee announced a request that the English Wikipedia consider allowing some non-administrators the ability to view deleted material. The summary of the announcement was

The activation of the passive "can view deleted" right, and a policy allowing its grant for good cause, would allow non-administrator users to gain wider participation in the English Wikipedia community. For details and discussion, see Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/June 2008 announcements/Activation of view-deleted-pages

Note that this is a request that the idea be considered, nothing stronger. The announcement led to this proposal. As this conversation has gone on for several months, the proposal has shifted around quite a bit. This makes it very unclear where editors are currently giving their support or opposition. For the sake of clarity, I am attempting to pick out the main proposals, and create a straw poll around them. Please share your opinion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Persistent proposals/Straw poll for view-deleted. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 09:06, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Using less jargon, renaming Wikipedia lingo

On instruction by Lifebaka (but you probably should head over to WP:VPP for things like this. You'll get a much wider group of editors there. Cheers. lifebaka++ 03:59, 26 September 2008 (UTC)), I present the following, which was originally made during a discussion of oversighting a suicide threat on AN.

Why do we call it oversight? Oversight usually means some sort of independent review or process, often to try to keep people honest. Wikipedia usage of oversight really means "Removal", "Content deletion" or "Censor" (censorship doesn't need to be bad; some countries have a censorship board). Propose making Wikipedia more user friendly and less jargon by renaming the term "oversight" to "content removal" or "remove". So the first sentence of this section would read "I have been asked to do content removal of the revision concerned here" or "I have been asked to remove the revision concerned here". 903M (talk) 04:04, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

On second thought, the following terms seem best. "Special removal" or "Removal". Special in that only a few people can do it. Removing is the acting that is being done here. Oversight people are not auditors who determine if people are using their powers correctly. 903M (talk) 04:44, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

If you were going to focus on jargon to rename, why would you pick "oversight" and not our dozens of our jargon terms and acronyms, many of them used more frequently? I wouldn't complain about calling it something else; I believe the term was invented by developers. My best guess is that the concept was that someone responsible for seeking out and removing this type of information would be characterized as an "overseer." Dcoetzee 09:06, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Deletion policy/Proposal has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Deletion policy/Proposal (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:52, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Preparing images for upload no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Preparing images for upload (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:52, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

This was a result of vandalism to the article. Restored.Kww (talk) 19:05, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Nuvola flags

These nuvole flags are gaining increased usage on wiki, This is quite worring for me as they are more decorative than standard flags. At Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(flags)#Nuvola_flags,i am proposing to strongly limit the usage of these flags, please comment if your interested .

Sign for archiving. Garion96 (talk) 22:39, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Date linking

When I place a reference to a website, I always link the dates in a specific manner: for example, if I placed such a reference today, I'd write

Accessed [[2008-09-19]]

. Today, however, I saw someone removing such a link with a script. Are links of this sort also prohibited now? Nyttend (talk) 20:28, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

A group of people at WT:MOSDATE argued and fought over date linking until attrition left no objectors to changing date linking from "recommended" to "neither supported nor discouraged". Then they continued to argue and fight until no objectors were left to changing it to "deprecated". And they'll probably keep on it until their local consensus is to declare it "prohibited" so they can run scripts across Wikipedia en masse to unlink all dates. Personally I find quite a bit of it pointy but not worth fighting over. Anomie 21:02, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
They've also argued and fought to require dates to be in "international format" and to hell with Americans. Corvus cornixtalk 22:44, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
The above rants are perhaps not quite fair. The move to deprecation came about because the arguments and consensus were overwhelming; such links are obviously undesirable (see WP:OVERLINK) and should be removed; editors shouldn't treat it as personal criticism to see scripts or bots make minor changes to their edits. There is indeed a poll ongoing on making "international format" the preferred format for dates, but it seems unlikely that the idea will gain consensus (in any case it's not the same "they" in the two cases).--Kotniski (talk) 10:48, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
The arguments for deprecating date linking are pretty convincing. The whole thing has been the subject of discussion for months and years, and it boils down to the sole advantage of date autoformatting is that a few editors get to see dates in their preferred format. The disadvantages are that the other 99.9% of Wikipedia users gain no benefit from the date linking, and if they click on the date links, they get no benefit from doing so. Other links, you go to an article with more information, which makes clicking your way through Wikipedia such a pleasant exercise in serendipity. Click on a date (20 September), you get a page full of random stuff, mostly about birthdays. Date autoformatting was a programming kludge and good riddance to it.
The date format thing is quite different. The proposal is to use international format dates for international subjects and American dates for American subjects. We show Queen Margarethe's birthday as 16 April 1940 and George W Bush's birthday as July 6, 1946. Big deal. There's a poll here and far from "a group of people" imposing their will, I think the more editors who have their say, the better. --Pete (talk) 11:25, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
No, the proposal is that American formatting may be only for articles which can be classified as American subjects. It used to be, that if the article was neutral as to whether it was an American subject or a European subject, then it would be in the format of that subject, but if it was not a particular subject, then it would be whatever format that it was originally created, but now, if it isn't American, then it is required to be in non-American format. So, in other words, "Fuck you, Americans." Corvus cornixtalk 04:12, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
You are right, Corvus: this is punishment for Iraq. The ridiculous order of words in dates that is the preferred style in one (1) country out of the world's almost two hundred is completely irrelevant. Waltham, The Duke of 09:43, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
The proposal has been rejected now anyway, so we can all calm down.--Kotniski (talk) 17:40, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
It's a date, for heaven's sake. Judging by the reaction of some folk here, their weenie willies are being torn off and thrown to the ducks every time they see day-month-year. Perhaps I get far too much fun out of seeing these people squeal, but it's certainly going to be an interesting few months as the tide of date autoformatting recedes, exposing more and more editors to the horrible mess of date formats. --Pete (talk) 17:49, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
If date linking hadn't been deprecated, so that people's Preferences no longer matter, none of this would be an issue. Corvus cornixtalk 20:18, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
It's always been an issue; our readers (99.9% of them at conservative estimate) don't have preferences.--Kotniski (talk) 06:52, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Try reading Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers), and then tell me it's been rejected. Corvus cornixtalk 20:17, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
There was a poll and it lost. It's not in the guideline. It's been rejected. Calm down.--Kotniski (talk) 06:52, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's really bizarre that a web site based in the US should kowtow to this bizarre Euro date format. I say, take it all out and replace with "Sep 21 2008" and the like. I for one would love our Commonwealth editors to start up a "Wikipedia Brittanica" and leave us the hell alone. Squidfryerchef (talk) 17:50, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Well I will try to use all my British reserve to respond. I am not one of the editors so desparate to see the changes to dates as argued elsewhere, but I do think we need to agree on some kind of standard as best as can be agreed. What I am unsure about at the moment is the Bot going around de-linking every date in every instance. What I would prefer is a standard which reflects the context of the article. What I do not want is the kind of uncivil "leave us the Hell alone" attitude of certain editors! doktorb wordsdeeds 20:48, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
The one thing yet to emerge out of the discussion is consensus. Feel free to tinker with the wording. I get the feeling that something simple and practical will get a sigh of relief and support from the regular editors there. --Pete (talk) 14:17, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
To be honest, there has been a perpetual feature request to be able to auto-format dates without linking the dates (for example, by using <<Angle brackets>>). I don't know why, but the developers seem to be extremely reluctant to implement this feature. The change in policy at WP:MOS is simply due to having to work around this software limitation. Bluap (talk) 16:30, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
To use a very British metaphor, the whole thing is a storm in a teacup. Tim Vickers (talk) 16:49, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
The remedy: pour the teacup's contents onto the most annoying editor in the vicinity. (evil grin) Waltham, The Duke of 02:02, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
In that case, we need more teacups. Anomie 02:44, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Just to comment, but what about articles that are relevant to multiple regions? It still doesn't address the heavy edit warring (if I may use the word "war" without pissing off my international friends) that I see go on in many articles I come across regarding date format in those types of articles. I agree fully that dates should relate to the region's context, but it still leaves a lot left undone in regards to this heated "us vs. them" dispute. MuZemike (talk) 17:46, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Changes to the Arbitration Policy

The recent RFC on the Arbitration Committee ended with various proposals for changes to the Arbitration Committee's form and practice. It is now proposed that the upcoming elections for the Committee be expanded to encompass a vote to ratify/choose these changes.

There is currently a certain amount of disagreement on the talk page about the exact form that these proposals should take. It would be useful to have more eyes to consider, firstly, whether a ratification should take place and, secondly, exactly how these proposed changes should be phrased and presented.

Some more eyes would be greatly appreciated.

Sam Korn (smoddy) 22:01, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Some are good. Proposals 8 and 10 suck, as it means that ArbCom can never in the future take certain steps it thinks necessary, whatever they might be. Proposal 11 is nice for those who hate Latin- otherwise sucks. It's something that doesn't need to be voted on. Proposal 13 should be, that the community may, by a 3/4 vote at an RfC, cause an arbitrator to stand for re-election. Otherwise, it's just big drama. When has the community ever decided anything "categorically?" ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 22:33, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I apologise for any confusion that Sam Korn might have caused by this post. No, voting is not open yet. This is also not a call to start editing the proposals already up, since the ones up there right now are the ones that had significant consensus support on Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Arbitration_Committee, if you can find or generate similar consensus support for adding alternative proposals please do so, but do not edit or remove existing proposals without overwhelming consensus to override that generated in the RfC. It's probably not the time for advocacy or nitpicking over why you disagree or agree with one proposal over another, there will be plenty of time for that during the nomination process of the main election. Sam shot the gun a little early in announcing this, and the discussion pages and information pages are not there yet. --Barberio (talk) 23:13, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I have posted a more detailed comments on the talk page. With all due respect, I feel the approach proposed is not helpful. Martinp (talk) 00:21, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I see. Well, some of them might pass, and some are good. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 00:30, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

  • How to proceed: -I thik we have always asked for more than a simple majority for fundamental policy changes. I'd suggest either 6/10 or 2/3. The main thing, though, that actually does need decision right now is the terms., and , obviously, the length of term one is a little more complicated than just a majority given the multiple choices. If one is added saying "no changes", I suppose it would be rational eiher to select whichever is highest--alternatively, a run off between the highest one and no changes. DGG (talk) 00:41, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

CSD A7 and schools

in the notes for a7 it says... "If controversial, as with schools, list the article at Articles for deletion instead." is there an archived discussion or policy or something which details why schools are controversial? thanks Mission Fleg (talk) 07:18, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

the practical reason is that someone or other with good standing here always challenges them. Consensus on what to do with schools has flip-flopped so frequently that there's no point trying to decide it by fiat--it always ends up causing drama. At present I think the usual practice is to keep secondary schools, merge most lower) (FWIW, my own view on what it is best to do has flip-flopped once or twice myself)--I note they can be still speedied, if empty or vandalism or copyvio--and indeed they are. DGG (talk) 00:48, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
ok, thanks for the information. Mission Fleg (talk) 06:47, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
For future reference, the main discussion is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Schools/Criteria for Speedy Deletion A7 --Waldir talk 10:00, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

When is foreign material copyrighted?

I'm not really sure if this is the correct place to ask, but from anything that I found this came the most close to what I was looking for. My question is: Are sheer "technical specification"-tables that are copypasted from another website copyrighted material and therefore a reason to delete the article? I'm asking because in the article FNSS Pars this is exactly what happened. 90% of the article are a direct copypaste of the manufacturers website linked at the end of the article. Yet it is not any real text that was copypasted, but rather the tech specs, which in my eyes are not really any "creative work" but rather a collection of facts. So I don't know whether they are copyrighted and all and I'm not sure what to do now. A speedy deletion cause of copyvio? A deletion discussion? Reverting to earlier versions? --DavidDCM (talk) 16:37, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

(IANAL) Individual facts are not copyrighted. A collection of facts presented in a certain way sometimes can be. I'm really not sure about that page, it could be a borderline violation. There is also the issue of database rights which I know virtually nothing about so I have no idea if they apply (probably not, though). --Tango (talk) 01:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
regardless of whether this is a copyright violation, this probably falls under WP:INDISCRIMINATE. --Ludwigs2 06:59, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
That said, it is a common practice. What I would suggest is that a copy-and-paste job, regardless of whether it is a copyvio or not, is lazy and unprofessional. Just rewrite and paraphrase the most important portions of the list, carefully citing your sources along the way. Doing so allows for comparison between multiple versions of the product, if they exist. Go down that route, if you can't work the specs into the prose for some reason. MrZaiustalk 08:16, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

RfC now open on linking dates of birth and death

Is it desirable or is it undesirable for dates of birth and death at the top of a biography article to be linked? Recent bot-driven delinking and the decision to end date linking for autoformatting have brought this question to a head.

An RfC is now open at WT:MOSNUM#RfC: Linking of dates of birth and death -- Jheald (talk) 12:35, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Drawings based on (presumably copyrighted) photos

Are drawings based on copyrighted photos derivative works? If so, aren't these drawings made by User:Simonfieldhouse copyright infringement?

etc. bogdan (talk) 23:19, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

  • As for the first question, clearly yes, they are. I know it when I see it. NVO (talk) 01:22, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. He copied the figures from those images—the composition, pose, clothing, and expression. The drawings therefore indisputably make use of copyrighted elements from the original photographs, which is what makes them derivatives. At least some of these were previously uploaded to Commons by the same uploader; I raised the issue with him and tagged them for speedy deletion as derivatives, which are not permitted on Commons, and posted a notice on the admin notice board there. Ultimately all of them were deleted except for one that was based on a public domain photograph. Any derivative on Wikipedia would require a fair use rationale for the use of the underlying original work, and I can't think of one that would apply here. If we can't use the original photographs, we can't use drawings that are effectively just tracings of those photographs. Postdlf (talk) 01:46, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
    • This is my understanding as well. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:07, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Adding Professional Reviews For Albums

I have noticed that various websites have added their review ratings accompanied by links to the right hand column of many album article pages. I wanted to know the conditions of this. I have colleagues at Clash Magazine and Drowned In Sound, yet both have had their link and rating removed yet others (NME, Pitchfork, Absolute Punk, Observer) left up? Is there some sort of limit to how many rating reviews can be there?

If anybody can shed light on this grey matter I would be very grateful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dirty Volvic (talkcontribs) 10:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Nope. Unless they were spamming in a manner that clearly indicated a conflict of interest, there shouldn't be a problem. That said, though, the infobox isn't the article. They may have had their additions removed from excessively long infoboxes to avoid it dwarfing & drowning out the article's nigh-infinitely more important prose. Try introducing mention of the reviews as cited text, and I'd be shocked if it was removed. That said, we can't tell you much without specific examples. Click on the History link at the top of the pages impacted by the removals mentioned above and grab links to the last edit prior to the new text's removal. Post 'em here, and I'd happy to review the issue, as would plenty of others. MrZaiustalk 13:09, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Well I posted some ratings and relevant articles for a handful of artists. For instance in the Keane external links I added their most recent interview, for music artist Rodriguez I placed an external link to his album review. As the album has been re released after its original release 30 years ago.

Yet an oddball administrator has decided to erase all of my contributions in some sort of spamming accusation. He has also accused me of working for a magazine, simply because I know people who work at two magazines. I many cases the ratings from Clash Magazine have been removed from ratings boxes even though a variety of other magazines have theirs left alone. I am beginning to think this is actual victimization and considering a report to a policy dispute team. - Dirty Volvic (talk) 16:44, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Critical reception of motion pictures

I have noticed that in articles for movies, especially those made before the 1990's and whice are especially notable, there will be a section near the end of that article which notes how critics rated the film. More than once I have seen an immediate reference to the website Rotten Tomatoes which seems weird, because that website didn't even exist until at the latest 2002. Shouldn't these articles emphasize the critical reaction that occurred at the very same time period of the film's release? It doesn't take that much effort to dig up old issues of the New York Times for a classic Vincent Canby review, or TIME Magazine or Daily Variety; just go to most public and/or university libraries or even online in some cases. I noticed this tonight on the article for the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice.--Msr69er (talk) 12:53, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

No - It shouldn't be removed. Rotten Tomatoes aggregates reviews that are often older than 2002. That said, it certainly shouldn't be allowed to dominate these sections, as it can lend undue weight to later reviews for DVD releases and the like, as well as other trite crap that was published well after the cinematic release (as I understand it). You're correct that covering specific sources such as the NYTimes and TIME results in higher quality prose and, as you say, they certainly are more relevant for films that predate Rotten Tomatoes. That's a valid rationale for expansion and using better sources, but not necessarily a valid rationale for removing mention of review aggregators entirely. MrZaiustalk 13:16, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
The manual of style for films recently underwent a slight rewrite with regard to "Reception" sections (here). What we (at WP:FILM) advise is certainly to cite Rotten Tomatoes where appropriate, but during the discussions that led to the rewrite, it was noted that the site's coverage of older films tends to skew disproportionately towards the positive for films that are now considered classics, but which were met with disdain or apathy upon their original release. So, for example, Fight Club, which polarised critics in 1999, now has an entry at Rotten Tomatoes that looks as if it was acclaimed all this time. Where possible, the critical consensus from the time the film was released should be noted, as well as any reappraisal that has occurred in the intervening years. Steve TC 22:52, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Adminbot to undelete a bunch of image talk pages

Per the new adminbot approval policy, I'd like to announce that I'm seeking approval for a simple one-time adminbot run to undelete a bunch of image talk pages which were incorrectly deleted under CSD G8 despite not being eligible for it. Discussion on both the appropriateness of the task and on the proposed technical implementation are welcome at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Ilmari Karonen's adminbot. Feel free to copy this announcement to any other fora that you feel should be notified. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 01:58, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


Alert on WP:NOR. I just restored it, but don't have time for a lot of arguing. The policy was recently changed to allow OR in certain circumstances, which would destroy controversial articles, at least. Current change, includes my revert and an edit by Kenosis. Please watch the article. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 21:42, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Where are the administrators? Ask one to block the article. This is unacceptable. EconomistBR 00:42, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
It's also unacceptable for "hardliners" to try and sneak in changes that have definitively failed to gain consensus (and been shown to be seriously flawed) in recent talk page discussions. I.e. replacing "directly related" with "directly refer". (This doesn't necessarily include Martin, since he might not have been aware of the discussion, but there were people doing it while the discussion was ongoing.) For those who would take systemic action to prevent this kind of warring, I commend (for the umpteenth time, assuming it's still there) the proposal at WP:Policy/Procedure.--Kotniski (talk) 10:04, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of the discussion, but if people are trying to say that "directly related" means you can put in stuff that doesn't even refer to the subject of the article, then that is a good change. As far as sneaking, I just posted a new heading about it on the talk page. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 23:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I also made a change not aware of the ongoing discussion. I have to say that I wonder who the hardliners who are "sneaking". My edit summary was long and entailed, that's pretty transparent... and what does a hardliner mean exactly. Kotinski reverted my edit saying there was a consensus which I don't see in the discussion , and I feel that the wording he supported allows for OR and synthesis. The policy is changing quite quickly, and these seemingly simple phrases can really adjust the policy significantly. I can't support this kind of change to a policy without wider community input. Ideally, perhaps the original version should have stayed in place until consensus was reached for these changes.(olive (talk) 23:44, 1 October 2008 (UTC))
I didn't say there was consensus for any version, but while we are engaged in the process of reaching consensus, the established version should remain in place. We are trying (at least, most people seem to be) to reach a wording which does exclude OR and original synthesis, but does not have the side effect of prohibiting legitimate and desirable contextual information. Basically to draw more clearly the boundary between "original" and "unoriginal" synthesis (which is far from the trivial task a few people are making it out to be).--Kotniski (talk) 06:06, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

How do you get silly articles deleted?

Is Chappa'Hai an article that should be in Wikipedia? It looks like some character that somebody made up and dressed up as. Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 03:57, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Chappa'Hai - An editor mistakenly removed the warning leading editors to that discussion. That said, this could have been dealt with much more quickly by an editor flagging it with {{db-nonsense}}, for deletion under WP:CSD G1, our criterion for speedy deletion. MrZaiustalk 04:17, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 05:01, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
This is me being a little bit nitpicky, but the correct tag for an article that is obviously a hoax is not G1-nonsense, as it is technically not Wikipedia:Patent nonsense. It should be CSD G3, or {{db-vandalism}}. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 21:23, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


I'm doing the monthly updates again for CAT:GEN, which is a subset of the style guidelines. Reaction has been positive these past few months, and since successful projects in userspace tend to migrate to WP-space, I've created a page WP:Update for these monthly updates. (Tony1 has been doing a fine job in previous months combining my stuff with his stuff and making the results available in his userspace and through the Signpost, and I hope he'll continue to find my work useful.) I'm thinking that the page could be used by anyone for monthly updates of any set of guideline or policy pages, or for linking to other sets of updates, in or out of userspace; of course, now that it's in WP-space, it's not my call how the page gets used. On analogy to WP:ATT (a kind of summary of WP:V and WP:OR), which got labeled as an essay after a lot of discussion, I've labeled the page an essay for now. Any thoughts about how to use a page like this? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:30, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Eliminating Vandalism: An Economic Perspective

I just read a book by Richard Posner that got me thinking. We could apply an economic model with incentives to be a good wikipedia citizen and disincentives to vandalize. My proposal is this: Each user, upon registering for the first time, has to put a small sum of money (let's say $10) in an interest-bearing trust account managed by the Wikipedia foundation. After a small amount of time (let's say 90 days), this money is returned to the user in whole. However, for each edit the user makes that is legitimately identified as "vandalism," the user forfeits a small sum (let's say 50 cents or a dollar) to the Wikipedia foundation. If the user's amount in the trust account drops to a certain level (maybe $5), the user is kicked off wikipedia and the money (minus the amount forfeited) would be returned to the user. As for the interest earned on the money in trust, the Wikipedia foundation would keep that. (which would be a substantial sum).

This plan would create a strong disincentive to vandalize, as it would cost the user money. This plan also has very low barriers to entry for new users, for the only cost would be the loss of utility of a small sum of money (like $10) for a small amount of time (90 days), which, at the current market interest rate (compouned daily), would only be a little over five cents.

An obvious drawback to this plan is that it would require all users to register an account in order to identify the user's money in trust. Maybe however, we could get around this somehow, if there is a way to track the contributions of IPs to the money the IP inititally deposited in trust. The money wikipedia would make from the interest in trust, also, would help it expand and increase the ability to stave off the temptation to raise revenue in other ways, like selling advertising space, etc.

Low barriers and high disincentives...sounds like a good (and more importantly, rational) plan! Bilodeauzx (talk) 04:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Requiring a credit card or a checking account before you can create an account is not what I would consider a "low barrier" - requiring and confirming an email address would be a low barrier, requiring payment is not. This would create a disincentive to vandalize, but so would any other large barrier to entry, and it would also deter good faith users who can't provide the funds or aren't willing to do so. Also, if we manage to get a 5% interest rate, the WMF would net about 13 cents from each good user but the credit card transaction fee would likely be in the range of 25-50 cents. While we would profit off of whatever vandals are stupid enough to pay $5 to vandalize for a few minutes, we would lose money from the people coming to help (who would hopefully far overshadow the number of vandals). Mr.Z-man 04:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Hoping to solve Proposed bailout of United States financial system ? Seriously, the option has little practical use outside the continental US. International transaction fees will eat not the interest, but the principal. Tax matters aside (as an accountant I would be more than happy to charge thousands to represent those nailed for not reporting cents of interest earned). NVO (talk) 04:33, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with Mr.Z-man. If someone just wants to try making an edit or two they aren't going to be willing to pay $10 for the privilege, even assuming that have the money to spare and they have the credit card to pay it with. Most editors are of this casual sort, and most experienced editors started out that way, so demanding credit card payment will severely deplete the number of contributors. If I had to pay just to edit I wouldn't be here now. Vandalism is simply not enough of a problem to necessitate something like this (it makes up about 10% of all edits) and even if it was there are better ways of dealing with it. --Hut 8.5 06:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Without commenting on the monetary aspect of your proposal, you are suggesting a points system wherein editors begin with so many "points" and lose them as they commit "offenses". When they reach a set minimum they are blocked or banned. This is a major change from the existing paradigm of "warnings" wherein an arbitrary number of warnings may be given before action is taken, and those warnings are generally considered to be less relevant if they are older. Under your system, what prevents a vandal from slapping a dozen warnings on a random user and pushing them below that minimum number of points? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:44, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I have to add, I doubt that this proposal (or the 'points' equivalent) would make a dent in the problem. vandals, I think really break down into the following types
  • Anarchist types, who vandalize because they are philosophically disruptive: wikipedia is an easy target for them to prove that the world is not an orderly place. they wouldn't care about the ten bucks in the least.
  • taggers and jokesters - people who get a rise out of goofing things up in mild-mannered ways, maybe to show to their friends later or just because they think it's funny. they have no commitment to wikipedia in the least, and appeals to social constructs aren't going to go anywhere with them.
  • the buzzed-crowd, who don't know what else to do with themselves in an inebriated state. they can't think far enough ahead to appreciate rewards and punishments
  • people who are basically pissed off at someone or something, and want to use wikipedia as a way of telling the world what they are POed about. nothing is going to influence them except time.
--Ludwigs2 00:02, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
To user D.C., I said edits legitimately identified as vandalishm. And as for the interest earned, conservatively speaking (at around 3% per annum), I think Wikipedia could make about $300,000 a year in interest alone from the funds in trust. That's nothing to scoff at! Bilodeauzx (talk) 00:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Are you taking transaction fees into consideration when making that estimate? Presumably most people would pay for this using a credit card, there would be fairly substantial fees, especially for people outside the US. Mr.Z-man 04:02, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

"2.8 billion people, more than half the people in developing countries live on less than $700 a year"[5]. Money, politics, and religion (and a few more things) should never play a part in who can or can not edit or obtain information on Wikipedia. GtstrickyTalk or C 03:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Here's the specific case. At WP:MOSCAPS, our example of k. d. lang was changed to bell hooks this month, with an edit summary implying intent recorded in reliable sources by bell hooks (and by implication, not by k. d. lang) to have a lowercased name. That's not credible; there are about 3M ghits for k. d. lang and about 300K for bell hooks, and I think somewhere along the way, k. d. lang is likely to have noticed that her name was being lowercased in all her publicity and in reliable sources. A metaguideline (that we should probably write down) for style guidelines is (or should be): if there isn't a credible reason to change the example, don't change the example, because otherwise, you'll have an endless number of editors lining up to substitute their favorite example. I can't think of anywhere I've seen this metaguideline, but I'm sure it's been discussed; can anyone point me to a discussion? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 21:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Is that really necessary? I'd hate to discourage minor tweaks to a guideline's language that results in a stronger piece, for much the same reasons as in Main: space. If it results in inferior language or no real improvement, just revert and explain why. I've done my share of wikilawyering, but there's a point where it becomes unnecessary. Just one more rule to break, MrZaiustalk 11:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
You say I should revert if there's no real improvement; why? Is that a guideline? If not, has there been discussion? There was an Arbcom case (Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Jguk) that ruled that when either of two styles is acceptable, it's inappropriate for an editor to change an article from one to the other without substantial reason, but the decisions of that case aren't applicable here. I do get what you're saying, and I'm not after that; I'm not trying to insert an extra rule that gives me the ability to use my wikilawyering (which I'm not above) to suppress the chaos that is Wikipedia. I love the chaos that is Wikipedia. What I'm looking for is consensus on a fairly narrow point. There are specific phrases in the style guidelines that are easily recognizable as "examples"; we try to avoid giving examples, for just the reason I'm mentioning, but we can't do without them entirely. Often, one example is as good as another. People are quite tempted to promote their favorite X by swapping in their example for the given example. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
That's just it, though. It seems such a minor, trivial, and easily fixed problem (when it truly is a problem and not a superior example) that it doesn't warrant the twin sins that would arise therefrom:
  • Discouraging new editors from editing the style guidelines
  • Giving those who would use the rule as teeth to bite the newbs an excuse to go a'wikilawyering.
I certainly don't intend to imply that you or any other specific editor would misuse the guideline, but I certainly do believe that some would, and that the net impact of codifying that common sense and trivial to revisit arbitration result as a guideline would be negative. MrZaiustalk 16:42, 2 October 2008 (UTC) Note: I also haven't seen the problem crop up all that often, and I've got or have had plenty of minor policy guidelines and essays on my watchlist. AGF - If a person is swapping an example around, odds are that they believe that the new one is clearer, easier to understand, or easier to read. That we already can and should revert test edits and remedy or politely undo good-faith edits that undermine the piece seems obvious, and adequate MrZaiustalk 16:45, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Image deletion guidelines

I have several times with several editors over the past year or so discussed the need of a compendium of information on deleting images. I would like to propose a separate document to supplement the current section Wikipedia:Image_use_policy#Deleting_images (which would need to be revised accordingly, but needs to be revised anyway as for some six weeks images have not been addressed at WP:CP). I've modeled this compendium in part on the existing instructions at WP:CP and have done my best to make it inclusive. I have already comments and revisions at Wikipedia_talk:Image_use_policy#Proposal_for_a_new_document_on_deleting_images. I got a taker on the revisions, but so far no comments. :) I'll leave notice there that I'm opening discussion here and also make note at WT:CSD, since contributors there may also have valuable feedback on the form and usefulness of such a document. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 10:37, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

A fair chunk of the article, especially in the Copyright section, is redundant and largely unnecessary, as very little of it seems to be specific to the topic. This has especially troublesome ramifications in that particular case, as the last thing we want to be unclear about is legal matters. Rules and laws drift & change, and the increasing number of guidelines with redundant advice expand - As they do so, common sense dictates that the copyright rules scattered all over the place will become increasingly difficult to maintain. That said, it'd be fine if trimmed a touch. MrZaiustalk 11:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:External links has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:External links (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:51, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Coordinates for linear features

I have started a page, to give guidance on adding coordinates to articles about linear features such as roads and rivers. I intend to use it to document current practise, and develop polices for future use. Please feel free to add to it, or to discuss the matter on its talk page. Thank you. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:18, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

WP:Athlete: 1,712 soccer player articles created in 2 months

  • Average of 28 new low quality soccer player articles every day.
  • 32,094 low quality soccer player articles on Wikipedia.
Number of articles about soccer players per nationality
Date England Scotland Brazil Italy Argentina France Germany Spain Netherlands Serbia Others TOTAL
07/30/08 6,695 2,253 2,413 1,379 1,337 1,572 1,155 1,087 933 635 10,923 30,382
09/30/08 7,021 2,353 2,478 1,408 1,387 1,672 1,296 1,142 963 674 11,700 32,094


  • Over 100,000 retired and active professional athletes from various sports are entitled to a low quality Wikipedia article.
  • 33 countries monitored for only soccer. Other countries and other sports not included.

EconomistBR 00:45, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Not this crusade of yours again, Economist. Stop trying to make a WP:POINT. SirFozzie (talk) 01:23, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
It may be a crusade, but he's far from wrong. WP:ATHLETE perverts the concept of a sub-notability guideline by simply decreeing that every professional athlete in the world is notable enough for an independent article, even if there are no third-party sources about that athlete to allow anyone to build a decent article.Kww (talk) 01:32, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
That's the thing. If you used WP:N instead of WP:ATHLETE, there'd be MORE articles, not less. Are you forgetting that every time a player is sold/traded, there's a news article about it? I'm not just talking about Top leagues.. I'm talking about FIFTH DIVISION teams. It's been brought up to him before on his talk page before (it's there now, in fact), and he's exercising WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. SirFozzie (talk) 01:37, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I completely support Sir Fozzie here. It is WP:POINT-level disruption to reintroduce this thread. Throwing meat in front of the dogs. Darkspots (talk) 01:47, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
First, since when discussion is disruption?
Second, I just want to realease the results of the monitoring initiative and the results are worthy of notice. That can't possibly cause disruption or violate WP:point
Third, WP:N refers to notability and not to being mentioned repeatedly on News articles. Those players don't meet WP:N.
Also, I am not merely repeating old and tired arguments, I am presenting numbers from this study.
Lastly I don't expect proposals to emerge, all I want is to publish the numbers. All that said I am not violating WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT or WP:Point, you simply want me to shut up. EconomistBR 03:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
What he wants is for you to stop flogging the dead horse. WP:ATHLETE is not an attempt to force sports figures onto the project, it's a way to keep the workload involved in establishing notability in the field sane. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:43, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

The basic problem here is that there are many athletes whose "notability" covers their career and nothing else about them, so unless their career was itself exceptional, there's effectively nothing to put in their article except some raw stats and a couple sentences of "signed in year X, played there for 3 years, swapped a couple more times, and retired due to an injury after seven seasons". In those cases, it's rather hard to argue that the athlete is notable in their own right rather than just as part of the team. To make an analogy with coverage of fiction, professional athletes are the "characters" of sports: they're an important aspect of the teams they play in, but they really shouldn't have their own articles unless there's enough actual coverage to write a decent page on them. --erachima talk 02:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Mostly there is. Local news tends to cover the local teams week in week out. Throw in the various football magazines and there tends to be no shortage of coverage.Geni 17:32, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

While we are far from a full resolution at the RFC for WP:N, I've written User:Masem/Inclusion Guideline based on the current input that suggests that while we want to include, say, every professional player, we need to be practical and consider to listify those elements when there are no sources. This is exactly the case here: I see no problem having rosters of teams and providing redirs to all the names, but individual articles until further sourcing is found is unnecessary. --MASEM 03:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I think the point is that there are sources for all of these. Because of the nature of sport's coverage, each would have plenty of coverage. I'll bet the vast majority of these folks have given at least one (significant) published interview. WP:ATHLETE in this case is a limiter, unlike many SNGs. Hobit (talk) 17:58, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Excellent news (more footballers, keep on adding!) but have you tried raising the point at WP:FOOTBALL? Good luck. As for the thinness of most of these articles, filling them up is restricted by BLP and RS. Too much tabloid coverage, too few chances to fit this info into WP rules. NVO (talk) 04:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Comic in main space

What are user's opinions of comics such as the one on Godwin's_Law? I don't really think they are encyclopaedic Gnevin (talk) 21:46, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

It's just a link. I was initial opposed to them too, but they're actually part of a Wikimedia Foundation project, so the matter would probably have to be taken up at Meta or something, if a consensus arose here that WP doesn't like them. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:31, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Don't confuse form with content. A comic can be as profound and relevent a way of informing people as a texts based article. --Barberio (talk) 08:53, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
But comics are very inaccessible ,how does one change a pov comic?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Gnevin (talkcontribs)
I'd regard Godwin's_Law as an observation about human behaviour, similar to Gresham's Law. Except that Godwin put his in a semi-humorous form, and hence a comic is quite appropriate. WP needs to lighten up, or it will drive readers away. -- Philcha (talk)
Wiki is meant to be a serious encyclopaedia. Not a place for comics and jokes Gnevin (talk) 16:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Where's the comic or joke? All I see is a link to a short illustrated version of the article. Algebraist 17:34, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


go ahead, type it in. apparently, the word does not exist to wikipedia.

i would still like to know what it means. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:35, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

It isn't a word in English. And the best place for this sort of question is the Language Reference Desk. Algebraist 09:36, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Are you referring to Misogyny perhaps? --Clubjuggle T/C 12:50, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Masogny is, of course, the hatred of masseuses. :-P Dcoetzee 01:51, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey, that's massage therapist. :) Darkspots (talk) 01:59, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


While WP:OUTING addresses the serious issue of stalking, as currently written, it renders WP:COI and aspects of WP:NOR (specifically WP:COS) unenforceable. Any good-faith attempt to identify a user as having a COI usually necessitates some degree of real-life identification. Typically, the user name is a give-away, but otherwise only an intentional or inadvertent admission by a registered or anonymous user is usable evidence – and the problems are mostly with editors who do not want to have their COI edits exposed as such or are unfamiliar with WP:COI in the first place. I feel that the community needs to discuss whether WP:Outing trumps WP:COI and WP:COS or else needs to accommodate legitimate, good-faith enforcement of these policies and guidelines. While the issues have been raised before, there has been no resolution, and that lack of resolution is hampering the work of enforcing WP:COI. If you have an interest in helping resolve this problem, please comment at WP:OUTING vs. WP:COI & WP:NOR. Thank you, Askari Mark (Talk) 15:41, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Obfuscation: an offence to Wikipedia

Cross posting from Disruptive user talk page Karbinski (talk) 17:44, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (law enforcement agency categories) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (law enforcement agency categories) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 18:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Policy proposal on dealing with threats of violence and suicide

Moving from AN, where it seems to have much support.

We are getting more and more of these, and each one results in drama, disagreement, and long discussion on noticeboards. If they are people trolling (as at least most are), then we are simply feeding them. If some are in fact genuine, then we are not doing so good either.

I'm generally of the "ignore it, it is trolling" school, however, I can appreciate the other point of view too. So I'd like to propose the following, which is designed to please both sides.

  1. We create a closed mailing list, consisting of a couple of dozen clued people who think it is important to report such threats, and have the time and willingness to do it. This would just be a normal community controlled mailing list, unrelated to the Foundation and NOT OTRS.
  2. We create a policy that says "NO DISCUSSION ON WIKI, EVER." On wiki, we revert, block, ignore. No trolls are encouraged by getting to see the drama they cause. This should reduce instances of fake threats, and allow concentration on others.
  3. Users are encouraged to report ALL threats, however, by e-mailing There users who have a desire to see these things dealt with (and perhaps some experience) can handle them. What to do can be discussed there, without any troll being given satisfaction watching.
  4. The list would have known clued users, but doesn't need to be totally secret as it would only be looking at publicly available diffs, or edits viewable by any admin - not privacy policy stuff.
  5. Where the poster is "logged in", people on the list can contact a checkuser to do the necessary. (Checkusers really need to clarify with the Foundation about what they can and can't do - whilst the community has a concern here, it doesn't have a say).

This strikes me as a win/win. Those concerned with the trolling/drama aspect get this off wiki (win), and those who feel that we need to report these get an effective mechanism for dealing quietly with threats (win). The users on the mailing list can learn from each other, and share any feedback from authorities (was it good/bad to report it?).

To clarify: a) the mailing list's purpose will to discuss and report - NOT to counsel or contact the posters (wikipedia should probably actively discourage people from doing that). b) helping out on the mailing list would initially be open to anyone who's trusted as sane. Once it is up and running, the moderators can decide on new applicants (or those on the list).

I'd hope that such a policy would reduce drama, end the feeding of trolls, but allow swift reporting of threats as people feel necessary.

So 1) anyone think otherwise? 2) is anyone willing to get a list up and running (I'm not interested personally)

---Scott MacDonald (talk) 16:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Support but such a list should be semi-official, and you would have to vet the list membership... Sfan00 IMG (talk) 16:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The Foundation will not get involved, I understand. As to "vet", I see no great need. The current discussion on AN is seen by anyone who looks, anywhere in the world. This would simply be the same discussion in a more discrete place. It is not a big deal.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 16:21, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Support Sarcasticidealist (talk) 16:22, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Support Gwen Gale (talk) 17:09, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Weak support - My only concern is the detached nature of the list. It would sort of be a part of Wikipedia, but completely separate, as it wouldn't even be on Wikimedia servers. Its like the community is giving it a charter and then just letting it loose. While its pretty unlikely, we don't want another wpcyberstalking incident. I think as long as the actual on-wiki part is just an "encouragement" to report, it should fix the problems of potential liability that previous proposals had, though IANAL. Mr.Z-man 17:13, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Support - Nicely explained, too. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 17:21, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Support. How are the mailing list members going to get the word out that they have received the notice? Users are encouraged to report ALL threats has the possibility to swamp the list with same threat before it's reverted, especially if posted to a high-traffic area. --Kbdank71 17:31, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
No hope of success - Sorry, but no. Maybe they're trolls, maybe they aren't. There's an excellent chance that the first person to find such a threat and try to do something about it will have no idea of this "policy" and will wander around looking for help or report it to ANI or AN, where someone else who doesn't know this hypothetical policy will respond, then their thread will be blanked and then there will be not just the threat to deal with, but the good-faith editors who have tried to address the situation being angry because there's some rule about ignoring things. Given that even professionals have not much better than a 50/50 batting average at differentiating genuine threats from attention-seeking behaviour, we do ourselves no favour by playing the ostrich game. This is definitely in WMF territory, because of the potential for bad publicity should something actually come of a threat that this policy mandates be ignored. Mailing lists? Oh please. We had an arbcom case where everybody (administrators, Arbcom members, Foundation members and experienced editors) on what was supposed to be an important mailing list denied having read the messages on the list. They were all supposed to have Clue. Risker (talk) 17:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, as far as I'm aware, the WMF are not interested in involvement, so scratch that. Secondly, it is regularly admins who are bringing these things to AN, so I have more faith in people learding. There would be no need for drama. If someone reports something on AN etc, someone else just places a note saying - please see the policy at WP:whatever - it will tell you what to do. The person learns, and so do others who see the two line thread. End of story, no drama. Risker, if you've got a better proposal, I'm all ears. Because at the moment you've got people like me who simply remove threats and ignore them (to the annoyance of some), and others who want to call the FBI every time. We need another way forward.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 18:28, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
They most certainly are. Last night's situation demonstrated that, where WMF legal counsel specifically requested consultation in a suicide threat situation. The same thread (now reverted from the noticeboard) indicates that WMF legal counsel has provided advice directly to the checkuser list on dealing with this situation. We do not know what that advice was for certain. Scott, nobody is saying you personally have a responsibility here. A relatively undramatic method of handling such threats had already developed on its own - report it to ANI, someone finds a CU, someone local makes a call, over and done. Hardly even a scramble most of the time. Last night was ridiculously dramatic, and it was those who were seeking to reduce the drama who made most of it. Have we not yet learned that every time a bunch of admins decide to try to reduce drama, it only exacerbates things? Risker (talk) 18:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, as far as I am aware, the involvement of the WMF concerned checkuser information. Checkuser information is the concern of the WMF, not of the community. I believe that beyond that the matter of threats IS a matter for the community. The practice of reporting to ANI etc, is not acceptable. It simply encourages BEANS and trolling. Today, we had death threats from an IP, and folk rushed to phone the cops, until it was pointed out the same IP had made an unconnected suicide threat last week. The current pseudo-practice encourages trolling. And personally, for that reason, not only will I not report threats on ANI, I will remove the threat in the hope no-one sees it, and the troll (for I earnestly believe these are ALL trolling) is not fed. Now, the policy above tries to find a way through that. It discourages BEANS, whilst allowing those who genuinely (but in my opinion wrong-headedly) believe these should be reported to do so.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 19:13, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Scott, you take it upon your shoulders to do what is right for you; I won't bother trying to guilt-trip you because you believe you are right. Just keep in mind that some of these threats have been serious, or have been considered serious enough by independent professional third parties for police action on several occasions. Nothing quite like having a cop show up on the doorstep and having to explain to mom and dad that you really weren't going to blow up the school to change an attitude, in some cases. However, anyone who starts from the belief that these threats are almost always trolling does not have sufficient Clue to be in a position to figure out how best to handle these situations. A mailing list is totally useless since there is no guarantee the message will be seen in a timely way. Reading an email and making a call 24 hours after someone took the overdose serves no purpose. The guideline we currently have is just fine, it does not oblige anyone to do anything, and allows the people who feel a responsibility to act to do so. Risker (talk) 19:47, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Let me hazard a prediction that the trolling (which everyone agrees most of these are) will continue to increase if we leave the present situation. Besides, if there are so many people who feel as strongly about reporting these things as you suggest, then getting 50 people on a mailing list should not be hard.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 19:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Lovely how you are volunteering everyone else's effort, and laying the guilt on them: "If you think it's important, you babysit an email list." There is no evidence of increased frequency of such threats, simply more people bothering to try to address them by posting on ANI, based on the recommendations in WP:TOV. Anyone who has ever sent anything to a Wikipedia-related mailing list knows the black hole they tend to be; even those that should have relatively prompt action, such as oversight and checkuser, can often get backlogged for extended periods. This mailing list would be useless without the active participation of checkusers, as well, and they're already overloaded with emails. I think an opinion from Mike Godwin is definitely required before this is pursued any further. It's one thing to have a guideline, but to have an official policy that such posts will be immediately deleted and flushed down a black hole is not where the Foundation wants to be when something goes wrong. If an editor deletes such a threat right now, it is their editorial decision, and they must stand behind it. If it is the official policy of the project, then the project and the Foundation (which actually does have the right to effect policies or reject them) will be responsible. Oh, and will we you also be blocking people who report on ANI? Risker (talk) 20:15, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I've said before, there would be no blocking. Just undramaticaly pointing people to the policy page. A community policy has nothing to do with the Foundation. And, for precisely the reasons you've given, the Foundation's response to this, or any proposal (or indeed to the status-quo) will almost certainly be "no comment". If they touch this, then they will incur liability. So beyond the checkuser policy, for which they cannot escape liability, I'd be incredibly surprised if you'll get any guidance from Godwin. He'd not be doing his job of protecting the Foundation if he waded into this at all. We're on our own here.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 20:27, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Timid support - I support anything that would move the handling of these situations off wiki in hopes of reducing drama and not feeding the trolls, but I am need some clarification on a few things before I would feel comfortable giving my full support. First off, how would these "few clued users" be selected? I mean how do we determine who is knowledgeable enough to handle such situations, and a on-wiki RFX would not work. Second, this proposal states that we create a policy stating that no one is to ever comment/start a thread about TOV's on-wiki, I would really like to hear more about this (though I support the premis) I mean are we going to just revert such threads, or take it all the way to blocking for violation? How does on classify a threat, and if a user thinks it is just vandalism do they still need to report it to the mailing list? Lastly, CheckUser ultimately needs to be discussed between our current CheckUsers and the foundation as we (the community) have no say as to who's personal information gets released. Maybe it would just be better for CheckUsers (when it is needed) to contact the authorities themselves instead of releasing the info. As for the comments about legal issue, um, well, there are none. If I see some graffiti while walking to work that says "I will kill myself on 2.10.08 please help" or see a bomb threat in a school bathroom and decide to call the police, I am in no way legally liable for the actions the police choose to make. Simply calling the police does not do anything more than make it another persons problem. Now it would be different if we acted upon the threat and decided to try and talk to the person ourselves (ie: via talk page), which I highly recommend against, and the whole point of the mailing list would be to avoid just that. Tiptoety talk 18:33, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Indifference I don't see this as a bad thing really, if there are people who are prepared to contact relevant authorities and they can be contacted in this way. However currently all we need is a note on one of the admin boards, a response from an admin to say what action they've taken in the way of blocks and protections, and someone to say they have contacted the authorities (or we just wait until nobody has seen fit to do so). The drama need not exist in any case, and won't be prevented any more by an off-wiki list like this. "We create a policy that says 'NO DISCUSSION ON WIKI, EVER.' " ROFL. There is a risk that the off-wiki list consisting of a few individuals decides that no action is necessary (or worse they are all away for the week), when there would be someone who could be reading the admin board who knows that action is required and is prepared to take it. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:42, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Make it so. Either they are trolling (in which case WP:RBI is right) or they are genuinely disturbed (in which case drama is wrong). So the present solution is wrong in both of the possible scenarios, whereas this idea would be right in both. Guy (Help!) 19:10, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: This idea has come up a few times previously. Far better than public discussion. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: Admirable solution to persistent drama. — Lomn 19:20, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I endorse this to the full degree. It has become slightly out-of-hand how some people have conducted themselves in discussion(s) (whether they regret it, is a different matter) constantly revolving around these matters which have been on the increase as of late, as suggested in the proposal statement – also much better than public trawling discussion on wiki, which is, as we know, slow. I appreciate MBisanz creating such a proposal (which hasn't been adopted by any local wikis - ?) and to S McD for elaborating on it here, with an appropriate timing too. Taking part in such tasks would obviously require experienced administrators, but obviously those who are more acquianted with such tasks would discuss those most eligible for the role. Caulde 19:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Expanding from Risker, there has to be some publicly available reference or otherwise the same threat/plea is going to be reported for as long as it is visible - it needs to be visibly noted somewhere (and the Admin noticeboards are both highly trafficked and kept clean of vandalism). LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:24, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I will neither support nor endorse the proposal. Morally it is a great idea practically it is a nightmare. We are all responsible for our edits if one of us chooses of their own volition to announce to world that they will be the one responsible to report these types of cases then they can be held accountable for their decisions. Screw one up and let a person die who you could have saved and see if their family will ignore your decision.
  • —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:26, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm going to kill the next person to bring up this policy. These persistent efforts to ram an offical "threats of violence" policy down the throats of the community are tiresome. --Carnildo (talk) 21:14, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I see what you did there! that's either quite clever, and quite funny.. or, well, not. Privatemusings (talk) 21:23, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Why do you think WMF wants nothing to do with this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Because I don't think their legal counsel is stupid enough to take any position on this.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 20:33, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I see no problem with anyone interested in creating a mailing list to do so (or indeed a response team), but also have long advocated a 'minimise the fuss' approach. To my mind a concerned editor dropping a note onto AN/I should be met with 'reported per WP:TOV, and the thread marked resolved. Easy, no? :-) Privatemusings (talk) 21:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

However, I note TOV didn't gain consensus. I suspect any policy that says they must be reported will not.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 21:32, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
yeah you're right about the consensus, and I totally agree with your suspicions (and support the spirit!) - it might be worth a quick re-read of WP:TOV though, because in a nutshell, it just says "It's a good idea to report credible threats." - sounds sensible, no? :-) Privatemusings (talk) 21:36, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
What's credible? And then we get reminded that we are not qualified to judge what's credible. And then it really means "report ALL threats - no matter how incredible they seem to you". And you'll not get consensus for that. In a nutshell my proposal lets those who think all threats should be reported go off and do that, and does so without a policy or an argument.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 21:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
yeah, it's a toughy alright... I support the spirit of your suggestions, and appreciate your work, with the exception of no. 2) which I think faces pragmatic hurdles, and isn't a great idea. I think we need to 'allow' communication 'on wiki' :-) Actually, if you take no. 2) out, the effect is pretty similar to WP:TOV by my reading :-) Privatemusings (talk) 21:50, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
If you take number 2 out, I'd totally loose interest in the whole idea. My interest is to get the trollfood off the wiki, (whilst allowing those who want to report stuff to do that, if they like).--Scott MacDonald (talk) 22:09, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I called the police and dealt with them for several hours on the last threat (i.e. the last non-suicide threat), so I suppose I have the requisite experience. I also have plenty of experience with mailing lists so I'd willing to be involved. John Reaves 22:56, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Strong Support, but that shouldn't be much of a surprise. Bstone (talk)
  • Endorse proposal, endorse early archiving of this thread. Why in heck did it come Village Pump anyway? See WP:BEANS. DurovaCharge! 00:57, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Clarification needed — how would the members of this hypothetical mailing list distinguish between trolling and genuine threats, both of which we've had plenty of? When they judged a threat to be potentially real, would they contact local authorities? I know that we don't want to spill the BEANS, but I feel like I need more information about this proposal before I can support or oppose. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
    • They'll guess. The same way people do when responding on AN. My guess is that it is all trolling, but others think that's not a risk worth running. Bottom line is that it will be reported if any person on the list decides it is worth reporting. It is entirely up to each individual who has their attention drawn to it. List or no list there's no other way. Sorry that's all the clarification there is, or can even be, for this, or any other proposal.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 02:04, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
      • Then I'm afraid I'm going to have to oppose. If we're going to set up a group of Wikipedians who are dealing with threats of suicide or violence, they should be people with some training in counseling and crisis management, not just people determined to have "Clue". Some of these cases are real, and it would be irresponsible to say "that's not my problem". —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:10, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Strong Oppose. I support this in spirit, but there are too many problems that aren't addressed. As others have said, we aren't qualified to judge what is credible; making ourselves mandatory reporters for "credible" threats of violence opens us up to civil litigation, as does missing one if we change it to report ALL threats of violence. That's not a level of danger that I'm willing to accept for the benefit; although, it is an improvement over TOV in that the records of who reported the threat are not publicly available and would require a warrant to obtain (unless, of course, one of the list members caved, which is always a possibility; if approved, I would encourage a policy of keeping private information private unless no other choice is available or unless the editor expressly opts in to having their information released). Celarnor Talk to me 03:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

    • This is spurious. Who is the "ourselves" who are opened up to Civil litigation? The Foundation isn't involved, and has a counsel to worry about its liabilities, not us. I can't see how any wikipedian would be liable, since no one is obliged to report anything, and no one of the list is obliged to do anything. It works the same as now, someone may wish to report it, and so it gets reported. Or no-one may wish to do it, in which case it doesn't. NO, we are not qualified to decide what needs reported - that means the standard of what gets reported is "that which one person who is aware of it decides to report" - that's the same standard for the current practice, and would be the same with a list. There's no collective decision involved.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 16:29, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
      • The ourselves would be the foundation; individually, no, we would not be liable. We would only be so as a collective; my concern involving individual editors is one of that law enforcement now has an editor on file who reported it, if they can find someone to cooperate with them and hand over the emails. I suppose it could work if one were extremely conservative in wording; i.e, that it is made clear reporting is not mandated in any way, shape or form, and there is little to no way to link an individual editor to a given report to ensure a maximum level of anonymity (i.e, using a web form behind an authorization frontend running on a separate instance of apache with all forms of logging disabled to submit reports or something equivalent rather than a straight email), but given the discussions that I've seen at TOV and the like, seeing this kind of thing is extremely unlikely, since most people want to encourage reporting as much as possible, which puts us closer towards having a "we report all threats of violence" face, which is a very, very bad thing (see my comments at TOV on how and why we would be civilly (not criminally, at least not in the jurisdictions where the Foundation and its servers reside) liable in such cases.
      • I realize that it is difficult for some people to wrap their minds around the concept that "Having a guideline/policy encouraging reports of TOVs = bad", but I assure you, in an environment where we can't audit all contributions to sift out and report ALL of them, it is. Celarnor Talk to me 02:32, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - The potential "drama" involved in this staying "on-wiki" would seem to be problematic regardless of whether the post(s) in question are sincere or trolling. And I think that if User:John Reaves (with his experience) is willing to help, we should immediately chain him to that desk as list moderator : ) - jc37 08:59, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • A number of key problems - Having a prescriptive policy and designated agents to handle this exposes those agents and the Foundation to liability, and the WMF has to be consulted on such things first. No members have been put forwards for or volunteered for this supposed elite suicide squiad - If we cannot locate a sufficient critical mass of people for it, it just breaks, and having a "only report to these people" policy if "these people" aren't reliable responders is a rather grandly immoral approach to the problem. The number of people required to keep unblock-en-l responses typically only as little as one day is turning out to be many tens of members. These types of incident are likely to be higher urgency, but please keep in mind that all Wikipedia participation is voluntary and uncoordinated in a "scheduled and responsible" sense, and getting 24x7x365 coverage out of professionals requires 5 to 6 shifts worth of people. Worse with part time volunteers. Everyone has to have a life sometimes. Telling people not on the list to not respond, just report it, risks us being liable for having discouraged them to act themselves.
The level of drama on-wiki from these events is low. There is a huge can of worms here. Please don't cause a huge problem trying to fix a small one. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 02:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I oppose this proposal, but I would defiantly support the creation of a policy to deal with this. I started the first policy attempt. However, I very strongly believe that reverting or otherwise treating possibly suicidal individuals as trolls is not just inappropriate, it is it is downright irresponsible and potentially lethal. Instead any policy designed to deal with this problem should be more in line with the Reference Desk guidelines concerning requests for medical advice. Though some of these posts may be trolling many of them are unquestionably people desperately seeking help. We should respond gently and redirect them to a crisis hotline and to medical professionals, then we should contact authorities in the individual’s area. While I defiantly support the creation of a mailing list, and would be interested in being a responder on such a list, I cannot support this proposal as it stands. Thanks, --S.dedalus (talk) 05:22, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose - psychologically bereft. let's assume for the argument that the poster is in fact having a moment of acute suicidal ideation, and decides to post it for the world to see on wikipedia. in that case, there is absolutely nothing productive that wikipedians can do about it. the fact that they are announcing it either means (a) that suicide is imminent, and the process of passing around emails, tracing the IP and notifying local authorities will ensure that any help arrives too late, or (b) that they are venting some of the angst, and the moment will pass. involving authorities, and generally being big-brotherish, will only feed into their misery by forcing them to confront an unexpected and deeply embarrassing exposure to police, social workers and wikipedians. really, what we ought to do in these cases is remove the threat and replace it with a (very carefully) neutral template that tells them the content has been removed, that we are concerned for their welfare, and that we'd like them to seek counseling - maybe with a link to some internet suicide prevention site(s). it would also be nice to have an process so that the suicide threat can be expunged completely from the page history at a later date - we don't want them to be permanently marked by it in the page history. let's not make a policy that has us hunting down these poor people like they were terrorists. --Ludwigs2 06:45, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Support Ludwig's alternative. This makes much more sense for cases of suicide than the secret mailing list idea. Threats of violence against other people, however, would need to be treated differently — I'm a strong advocate of contacting local police departments when death threats and the like are made. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:06, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I'm hearing lots of interesting philosophical musings on the nature of humanity and the usual level of haggling over semantics, but Wikipedia is neither a bureaucracy nor an anarchic collective. We need a no-drama method of responding to these common threats that lies somewhere between invoking RBI and plastering it all over ANI and running around like headless chickens. At the very least, I think consensus has clearly established that we should definitely not simply RBI everything. I realize the Foundation has Mike Godwin to cover it's ass, but considering the continued cultural integration of Wikipedia, especially amongst kids, can you imagine the fallout if (I almost want to say "when") some kid decides to actually follow through on a TOV and the news media got ahold of it? "School shooter's threat went ignored on Wikipedia, say police". The mailing list solution needs to have some kinks ironed out, but I think it's a rather elegant way of splitting the difference, covering our ass (and our consciences) while denying recognition to trolls. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 23:46, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course we need to use comment sense when it comes to liability here, but we currently contact local authorities when suicide or violent threats are made out of concern for human life. We do not have the resources to deal effectively with these issues on Wikipedia, so we turn it over to professionals. --S.dedalus (talk) 21:21, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Quantify it however you like. Either way, we can't just RBI it. Considering the humanist aspect of it, I think this mailing list should help to ensure professionals end up finding out about it and hopefully helping the user who made the TOV, as opposed to us ignoring it and hoping for the best. If you make a TOV, hoax or real, it should be taken seriously. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 06:32, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

If we were to say there is consensus here to create such a list, how would we go about creating it? -- how do you turn this on 20:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I doubt that consensus here would be enough for such a drastic change of policy even if such existed. A formal proposal would first need to be created and approved per Wikipedia:How to create policy. --S.dedalus (talk) 22:18, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Autoblocks and legitimate users

(Any admins watching? This is still a current issue.)

I'm editing on a third world ISP that uses IP masquerading and transparent proxies. Unfortunately, an overly agressive block of User:Motheria resulted in my being autoblocked, receiving messages like: "This is because someone using this internet address or shared proxy server was blocked. Your ability to edit pages has been automatically suspended to prevent abuse from the other person. " If you're seeing this message, it's only because I've remotely logged in to another computer to post this via w3m - I'm sure you'll understand why I didn't bother logging in.

Unfortunately, as I am unable to edit User talk:Motheria and my own fricking talk page at User talk:Mrzaius, barring magically getting a new IP address, I am stuck having to email the offending admin or other admins that I may know. This is hardly a sufficient or timely fix for the problem at hand. Yes, I know that the proper fix is to just get these IP addresses flagged as shared to prevent this from happening here again, but that isn't enough when newbies are involved. They need to be able to comment directly here to deal with this sort of problem in any sort of accessible manner.

I propose that secondary users affected by an autoblock (or at least those that existed PRIOR to said block) should be able to edit two pages: 1: The initially blocked user's talk page 2: Their own talk page (for registered users) or their own IPs talk page (for anonymous users)

This shouldn't be controversial. Note that I am not proposing any changes to the blocking policies for the initially blocked user, just other users that presumably existed before the block. User:Mrzaius (talk) 03:41, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

This is actually just a software bug, not an intentional policy, autoblocks were set to disallow editing usertalkpage editing regardless of what the original block was set to. The fix is done, but it hasn't been applied to Wikimedia sites yet. Note that you can also email to request that the autoblock be removed. I've disabled the autoblocks from the block of User:Motheria (it triggered 7 o_O) and reset the block of the account to disable the autoblocker, so you should be able to edit from your account now. Mr.Z-man 03:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

First admin bot to go through BFRA

As you may or may not know, the Bots request for approval policy was recently changed to permit the members of the Bot Approval Group to grant sysop bits to bots without the necessity of going through a Request for adminship. No one has yet attempted to do this ... until now. I'm putting Cydebot through the process for a task which it has been performing for over a year now (on my personal sysop account), so hopefully this is as non-controversial as possible. However, so far everyone that has commented on the bot has been a BAG regular, so it will help to get some wider discussion. The last thing I want to have happen is for someone to say after-the-fact that this was sneaked through the back door, so let this serve as a public notice to the community regarding the issue. If you have any feelings on this subject, please join the discussion. --Cyde Weys 20:19, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Then it should be mentioned at WT:RfA too; I don't see it. (I also don't have any real complaints about CydeBot.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:30, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Is this the first step in the robots' takeover of mankind? --Eliyak T·C 12:02, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I hope this remark is tongue-in-cheek?  :) Fritzpoll (talk) 12:04, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
No, Cydebot is in fact a key component of Skynet, and will lead to Judgement Day. We're all doomed. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Rollback option

I would like an option in preferences added concerning the use of rollback.

Something like:

[] Prompt me for an edit summary when rolling back an edit

And the checkbox would be checked by default.

This would help for those of us concerned with "accidentally" clicking on rollback. (I've seen admins request for it to be removed for that reason.)

And by having this be the default, it might provide the opportunity for newbies to gradually learn how the tool works.

It would also allow those who regularly use rollback to be able to add an edit summary in situations which may merit it. (Think of how this might reduce the "bite" of merely seeing your edit reverted, yet not knowing or understanding why.)

My understanding is that this is already possible through personal scripting, but this is not necessarily a possibility for everyone (for technical reasons, for example).

And a single line added to preferences would seem to not be too intrusive. (Likely added to the "Editing" section.)

Note that this would in no way otherwise affect the way the tool itself works. By removing the checkmark from the check box (one time, and never having to do so again, unless the user chooses to reenable the checkbox), Rollback remains the same as it is now.

And if anyone would like to help with the eventual bugzilla request, that would also be appreciated : ) - jc37 00:59, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Respectfully, if one wants to add an edit summary when rolling back an edit, then rollback is just not the correct tool to use. It should be used only in situations where the reason for the reversion is absolutely and unambiguously clear. If one wishes to undo an edit and leave a specific edit summary, this functionality is already part of the user interface. See WP:UNDO for instructions on how to use the undo tool; it is available from both article history and diff screens.
Editors who occasionally mis-click the rollback link can undo their action easily by simply rolling back again, or by using the undo tool. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:20, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
UNDO is actually different than rollback. For one thing, it's possible to rollback more than a single edit in a single click.
That aside, why oppose a change which will in no way affect editors who already use rollback? To use rollback as it is currently used, all you would have to do is make certain that the checkbox is clear. No harm to existing use, and great help for those of us who wish it.) - jc37 01:31, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with jc37. Currently, when I want to add an edit summary for a rollback I use Twinkle (a form of "personal scripting"). Being able to do this through Rollback would certainly be less of a strain on Wikipedia's servers. SMP0328. (talk) 01:40, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Is there a way around this? Wikipedia:Rollback feature#Mass rollbacks implies that a custom script can add edit summaries to rollback. Darkspots (talk) 01:44, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Note: Undo actually can revert several edits in a single operation if you use it from the diff display of the edits you want to revert. —Ashanda (talk) 02:55, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
And this would still allow rollback to be done in a single operation. To clarify, the difference is that rollback is a "single click". And once done, it's immediately in the edit history. It takes several "clicks" to perform the UNDO of several edits (the operation you note). Accidents can and do occur. And as others have noted, there are times where having the option for an edit summary might be useful.
And I might add that one of the main reasons that that Rollback was offered to non-admins was to reduce twinkle usage due to technical/server reasons (as noted above). This proposal is another way to help with that (also as noted above). - jc37 03:34, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
When I make a mistake with Rollback I just rollback my own edit- very simple. When I want to leave an edit summary I either revert manually (i.e. edit a previous version) or use a script. This proposal seems like a solution in search of a problem to me. —Ashanda (talk) 03:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not, if even because even you state that such a "problem" may (and does) occur. This is both a reactive and a proactive proposal. Note again, that this would in no way affect your ability to rollback. - jc37 04:02, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
This entirely defeats the purpose. Rollback is intended for expeditious rollback of clear vandalism, without having to type anything or click multiple clicks. It should never be used in situations where the edit may have been in good faith, so biting is not an issue. As for tools, let's not speculate on what would be more performant - the truth is, Twinkle is probably even more efficient than the rollback button, because it goes through the XML interface. If people have been clicking on it accidentally, it might make sense to have an option to hide it or have a confirmation dialog. Dcoetzee 01:49, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Prompting for an edit summary is presumably a "confirmation dialog"? After all, we're only talking about a single line addition to preferences. And by doing so, we get the best of all worlds : ) - jc37 02:00, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
The road to hell is paved with the tickboxes of preferences. Twinkle can be customised so that it does nothing but provide rollback-with-rationale AKAICT, which seems appropriate for this use case. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:29, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Twinkle, unfortunately, is too slow sometimes. I've had several times where someone introduces a non-vandalizing, likely well-meaning but not an appropriate change to an article, then follows up with one or more fixes (most commonly when their change breaks tables). If I'm editing and come in the middle of that, Twinkle may or may not catch that due to timing due to the steps it needs to take, and despite I go through all the activity, and it seems to take, Twinkle won't recognize if, after it started its process, a new revision came in and thus neutralized anything Twinkle may attempt. --MASEM 15:44, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
If you need rollback that prompts for a summary, use a user script. I'm almost certain that one already exists that modifies the existing rollback links to prompt for a summary, if not, it would be easy enough to make. Or just use undo or a manual revert. In addition, making this checked by default is almost certain to break tons of scripts and programs that haven't switched to the API for rollback and make tons of people mad who don't want to be prompted for a summary. Mr.Z-man 17:10, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
First, not everyone has access to scripting (due to technical reasons, among others).
Second, I would presume that every one of those "mad people" could rather easily go into preferences and "uncheck" the check box. So no harm, no foul. - jc37 18:39, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
"not everyone has access to scripting" - we're not talking some massive-slow-down-your-PC-by-50% script here. It would probably be about a dozen lines and would be installed by adding one line to your monobook.js or could be added as a gadget (and enabled in preferences). The only people who really don't have access to it are people with javascript disabled, but they should be used to the internet sucking by now. Yes, people could turn it off, but they'd have to know that there's something to turn off first. Mr.Z-man 19:04, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
See also bug 3552, closed as WONTFIX. Mr.Z-man 19:07, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
That bug was presented differently, for one thing. They seemed (initialy) to want the edit summary regardless. This is merely about a checkbox option in preferences. Though I do find it interesting that there are obviously others who would be interested in this functionality. - jc37 21:14, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
What if it was unchecked by default? That way only people who are interested in having this ability would have that box checked. SMP0328. (talk) 19:24, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
If that's the only way that this would get consensus, I would not be opposed to that as a compromise. - jc37 21:14, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I've written a user script to make rollback prompt for a summary at User:Ilmari Karonen/rollbacksummary.js. To try it out, just add

importScript("User:Ilmari Karonen/rollbacksummary.js");

to your monobook.js (or equivalent page for other skins). If people like it, it should be straightforward to make it a gadget that can be enabled via Special:Preferences. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:42, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I vaguely remember writing that bit about "mass rollbacks". There is also Wikipedia:Rollback feature#Custom edit summaries. I've added User:Ilmari Karonen/rollbacksummary.js (though it is technically a "Prompted edit summary" feature, not a "Custom edit summary" feature) to the other two there: User:Gracenotes/rollback.js and User:Mr.Z-man/rollbackSummary.js. I think it would be a good idea to make User:Ilmari Karonen/rollbacksummary.js a gadget that can be enabled via Special:Preferences. Carcharoth (talk) 00:43, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

First, I think it's great that several people have made tools and gadgets to help others.

But as I mentioned above, that doesn't help those with no scripting.

(And incidentally: "The only people who really don't have access to it are people with javascript disabled, but they should be used to the internet sucking by now." - According to who? And by the way, I personally feel that that was a rather (to put it nicely) self-centered thing to say. And I was rather shocked to read it, especially considering who said it - That's just not been my typical experience of that editor.)

Anyway, the thing is, this doesn't even seem to be something that's difficult or intrusive. It's a single line in preferences, and I would presume should be rather simple to enact.

It's helpful, it's intuitive, it can potentially help prevent WP:BITE, amid several other positives, with no negatives that I see.

But let me ask: Are there any actual concerns besides "I don't want another checkbox in preferences, because it could lead to more and more checkboxes"? (paraphrased) - jc37 09:42, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Adding the line to preferences would not magically make it work. Rollback currently doesn't use a form at all, so one would have to be written for it to support this. As for "According to who?" - according to common sense? If you can edit Wikipedia, you don't have JavaScript disabled in your browser (even public computers generally have this enabled), and you are using a browser newer than Internet Explorer 5 (IE6 was released more than 7 years ago), you have access to JavaScript. How else would you not? As for "used to the internet sucking" - it does. Wikipedia is one of the few large websites I know of that doesn't look or act significantly different with JavaScript disabled, at least for anonymous users. Most sites are designed to be somewhat compatible for people with JS disabled, but others might be completely broken. Probably around 95+% of people browse with JS enabled ([6] stats for this site are probably similar to those for Wikipedia editors). People with JS enabled are a massive majority, so I don't see how it could be "self-centered" to say we shouldn't change the software for this. Note also, that since building it into the software (unless we also built the Javascript into the software) would actually be slower than using the script as it would require an extra pageload (albeit a small one). Mr.Z-man 17:31, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for listing your concerns. I'll try to go through each individually:
I realise that it wouldn't appear like "magic" and that someone would have to write the code, but since there are (presumably) similar pieces of code already written (and now even scripts which perform this), I would presume that this would not be difficult.
And actually, most websites work just fine without scripting, activex, and quite a few even without cookies (though most sites which are editing based, or email based - that is, those which wish you to "sign in" - now typically require cookies).
As for your comment, it appears selfish (or perhaps you prefer dis-inclusive?) in that you seem to be suggesting that anyone who doesn't edit the way you do can go screw themselves, since you don't feel that their concerns should be bothered with.
  • '"Note also, that since building it into the software (unless we also built the Javascript into the software) would actually be slower than using the script as it would require an extra pageload (albeit a small one)."
Only if the box is checked, else I presume that rollback will work like it always has, and thus there would be no "extra pageload". And for those who do have it checked, this (as others have noted) would presumably not be any more intensive to the system than is someone were to use UNDO. And this would be abother case in which Twinkle usage could be deprecated. Which was my understanding for allowing non-admins access to rollback in the first place.
So where's the bad in the proposal? It helps, rather than hinder, and even helps with the spirit of Wikipedia:Accessibility. - jc37 23:38, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
If its unchecked by default, its not as much of a big deal (it won't break tons of stuff and be really annoying). While I still think it would be much better as a JS gadget, I wouldn't completely oppose putting it in the software though. But Brion seems to be against this, and when it comes to the software, his opinion wins. Mr.Z-man 16:34, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
That was another thing I didn't understand, it's ok to add gadgets to preferences, but not this single line?
And as for him being "against this", I presume you're speaking of this?
I could be misinterpreting, but it seems that that's just a general disinclination for preferences-bloat (which I understand).
But I can't imagine that his comments should be taken to suggest precluding the possibility or that no discussion should occur?
I'm honestly not just "banging a drum", or even having a wish to "bang my head against the wall". But this honestly seems like something that several editors would find useful. (I seem to recall even seeing a bureaucrat request removal of rollback due to concerns of accidental clicking.)
So now, since there has been discussion, and several have commented in support (and opposition), I suppose the next step would be a poll... - jc37 14:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)