Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 81

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We could use a CSD for stale incubated articles: Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#CSD_G13:_Stale_incubated_article Gigs (talk) 01:52, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Need some discussion on foreign language redirects

A recent AFD showed some difference of opinion on WP:ENGLISH. Please see Wikipedia talk:Naming_conventions (use English)#Redirects from non-Latin article names for discussion of possible changes in the guideline. Mangoe (talk) 19:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Expectations and norms

There is no page that clearly summarizes (as a newcomer would expect it) the community norms for editorial involvement, the spirit of community norms, or the key expectations the community has for editors.

We routinely tell people to follow the "spirit of policies" and that policies and guidelines merely "document" communal norms, so a suitably helpful overview and explanation of the community's expectations should be one of the easiest pieces of information for users to find but doesn't seem to exist.

Anyone looking for "the norms of the community" (on behavior as opposed to content) will either get very general statements like WP:5P, summaries of content policies such as WP:BRIEF, or large numbers of complex policy pages.

I've tried to draft a summary of the most widely accepted norms and expectations of the community and their rationale on one page. I'm looking for input, views, and help improving it, and appropriate tagging as guideline/policy if consensus endorses it as a good statement of community principles on behavior.

FT2 (Talk | email) 03:43, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Propose leniency for disruptive editors who admit they've been wrong

A very frustrating part of the AN/I process is the number of editors who assume bad faith that admitting any kind of wrongdoing will be used against them. This almost always makes the situation worse.

  • Other editors become enraged that the wrongdoer don't even understand what they're doing wrong.
  • The discussion wastes much more time trying to figure out if there was any actual wrongdoing, in cases where it should be clear cut.
  • If the wrongdoer gets away with it, they feel like they can get away with even more next time.

The problem is that there's no incentive to admit you've screwed up, other than a good faith assumption that people won't use that as a cry for blood. I think that if we had it in policy that "any editor who admits their mistakes will get the benefit of the doubt. Any wrongdoer who offers to clean up their mess should receive an editing restriction to allow them to redeem themselves, rather than a full out block or ban."

Right now there is no incentive, so people play WP:OSTRICH until things get much worse. Shooterwalker (talk) 20:24, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

This is already part of the blocking policy. Blocks are preventative, not punitive. Can you think of an occasion where a user has owned up to their errors and not recieved lenience?--Cube lurker (talk) 20:37, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I can't. I'm bringing it up because I've seen far too many editors say "there's no way I'm admitting I did anything wrong just so you can use it as an excuse to block me". Can you point to a policy or guideline that already says this? It would be helpful in future discussions. Shooterwalker (talk) 20:55, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:Block. "Blocks are intended to reduce the likelihood of future problems, by either removing, or encouraging change in, a source of disruption. They are not intended for use in retaliation, as punishment, or where there is no current conduct issue which is of concern." Taemyr (talk) 21:54, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Personally I don't think any account should be taken of whether an editor is sorry or not. We're talking about car parking fines, not crimes. And even for crimes I've always hated the way that innocent people are stuck in longer and people who can't care less what they say come out sooner because of this idea. Whether a person admits a or does not admit to anything should be irrelevant and taking any notice is just complicating things unnecessarily. If people have a thing about denying even to themselves what they do that's fine by me and I see no reason to penalise them for it any more than the straightforward penalty. Dmcq (talk) 21:48, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
...except, of course, that the person who says, "Oh, I see, when you said 'do not ever copy material off of some copyrighted website', you meant exactly what you said. I did that, and I won't do that again", then you have some good reason to believe that the person will never do that again.
By contrast, if the person says, "Well, you told me 'do not ever copy material off of some copyrighted website', but I deny that I 'copied' 'material' from any 'website', so I don't see what you're so upset about", then you have basically zero confidence that the problem is solved.
We're not looking for some face-losing shame game. We're looking for "Oh, you meant THAT. Well, then, I'll stop doing that, now that I know what you were talking about." WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:34, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
We're not talking about parking fines or crimss. We're trying to build a community. So it really isn't about punishment. It's about encouraging people to collaborate and cooperate. If people are afraid to admit mistakes for fear of being punished, we only encourage people to double down on their mistakes until they get worse. I think everyone here agrees the goal isn't to punish but to fix mistakes... I'm not sure everyone else understands that. I'd like to document that. Maybe after the part that was brought to my attention by Taemyr. Shooterwalker (talk) 22:53, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
In response to the question above, I've heard users say "there's no way I'm admitting I did anything wrong just so you can use it as an excuse to block me". However from what I've seen it has no basis in reality. Maybe it's paranoia, maybe it's stubbornness, but it's not a policy flaw IMHO.--Cube lurker (talk) 23:05, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
It's a failure in understanding. I think it could be communicated better with the proper wording. Shooterwalker (talk) 23:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Oppose. If the problem is one of communication or understanding admitting what you didn't think was a problem would create more communication/understanding problems and if the situation was you don't admit it because either you didn't do it or didn't believe you did it, then admitting it is really crazy logic. This is same logic in prisons in some backward western countries where criminals are released early for admitting there crimes, when others, who later are found not guilty, serve out the full term of there prison sentence because they don't admit a crime they never did. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:10, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Not to get all legalistic... but there's a good reason they encourage criminals to admit their guilt, and to encourage civil parties to admit their liability. A court case takes years to litigate, and sometimes hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. And the system is so overloaded that there's huge delays. That's why most practical legal systems try to encourage parties to cop a plea or settle things without all the drama. In criminal law they do this by offering lighter penalties if you plead guilty. In civil cases they do this by making frivolous litigants pay the other side's legal fees if they turned down legitimate offers to settle it ahead of time. This is an important lesson for Wikipedia, where administrator numbers are dwindling, but activity at WP:AN/I is only increasing. There's a crisis happening and it needs some attention. Shooterwalker (talk) 23:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Not to get sidetracked into real world, as WP:NOTFORUM. If your proposal was about Admin resource then I believe there are better ways to tackle that issue. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:40, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Anything with a chance of gaining consensus? Shooterwalker (talk) 23:41, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Properly, yes. I don't see Admin resource as an issue yet, and lots of possibilities for improvements. For example, I don't think the idea of reducing admin workload has ever seriously been looked at. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:59, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

We already in practice do this, especially for "first offenders". If someone says "Alright, yes, I edit warred, I screwed up, and I'll be more careful in the future", I'll generally cut some slack the first time around. On the other hand, the second time someone's having that conversation with them, they won't be believed as easily—they were supposed to be more careful after the first incident. In practice, this is already done on a case by case basis. But come a certain number of times of saying "Oh, I won't do that again", we can come to the conclusion that it's obviously not true, and the person is either gaming the system, is unable to understand what the problematic behavior is, or just does not remain willing to stop despite their pledge to do so. At that point, a preventative block is more than warranted. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:09, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone have a way to summarize this practice at WP:BLOCK? I'm very open minded on the wording. Just wanted to add a sentence or two for clarification. Shooterwalker (talk) 00:17, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
How about "Blocks are intended to reduce the likelihood of future problems, by either removing, or encouraging change in, a source of disruption. They are not intended for use in retaliation, as punishment, or where there is no current conduct issue which is of concern."--Cube lurker (talk) 03:44, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
This is already wide practice, and is already how blocks are usually done. When a user admits wrongdoing, they are always given leniency. This is explicit in the blocking policy, and matches existing practices. If users believe otherwise, even when told the correct practice, there's not much else we can do to convince them. I know of no situation where someone was blocked because of a mea culpa. In fact, users are usually blocked for refusing to acknowledge their own problems. Indeed, in all cases I have seen in the many years at Wikipedia, admitting wrongdoing and making a coherant plan to change behavior is the best way to avoid being blocked, except in cases of extreme recidivism, i.e. user pledges to fix problems and goes back to same issues. --Jayron32 03:55, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, adding this explicitly to the the block page would just be instruction creep. We're not trying to force people to beg or recant, just to make sure they understand the reason for the block and ensure it won't happen again. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:50, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Plagiarism vs. WP:SYN and WP:NOR

Noted editor Rlevse has quit over a problem with accusations of plargarizing an article. In his parting statement he points out that WP's official policies seem rather difficult to follow and this is worth amplifying without discussing Rlevse himself any more. This discussion is taken from his TALK page, and I would hope that further discussion of WP's politics would not mention Rlevse's particular merits or faults. We're after bigger fish, here, and that is the system and polities themselves. SBHarris 19:55, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

(edit) I just discovered that much of this thread has comments continuing at the WT:plagiarism page here

Rlevse’s parting statement

Wiki is horrible at educating editors. It has always expected people to know all the rules and to keep up with all the changes. This is impossible, even for dedicated long-tenured users. Given this and the way it's headed with the rules and all, many have and will stop producing content.

As I've said, if you don't source well, you get OR and cite needed tags, but if you source too closely, you get what happened to me. I never intended to do anything wrong. I had everything reffed; to the point that I had so many sources people told me remove some. To me that's attribution, but I guess to some it isn't. This isn't an excuse, I accept what I did, I goofed.

My goof was in not knowing where the swinging pendulum of "ref everything well but don't copy" pendulum was at. I've seen some other editors also mention this and how hard it is.

I grew up on wiki with "everything is okay as long as you have a valid RS for it" training--because if you don't you get cite needed tags. I never knew the pendulum was swinging back further away from that, more to the "don't closely paraphrase" school.

So I goofed here but my heart is with the project. However, wiki is its own worst enemy, it allows anyone to edit and has poor ineffective mechanisms for dealing with problem editors--this particular problem is essentially unsolvable. Shoot, I asked many people for help because I know I’m not good at writing, so why didn't Grace Sherwood get more closely checked until after it was on the Main Page? This points up the systemic problems so many have discussed.

I'm deeply sorry I've brought these problems to wiki and ArbCom. As stupid as it may sound, I thought I was in full compliance with policies. I know many will never believe that, but it's true, so you can call me stupid, but not legitimately claim I had ill intent of any sort.

I'm glad to have known many fine editors and upstanding people that I’ve encountered during my wiki career. Too bad my 5 years have now been overshadowed by this.


(posted by request by SirFozzie (talk) 20:12, 4 November 2010 (UTC))

Parting Statement


  • This is a truly amazing statement - did you write it entirely yourself? I hope not because it's full of stomach churning cliche and sentimentality designed to elicit sympathy. "I know I’m not good at writing, so why didn't Grace Sherwood get more closely checked until after it was on the Main Page?" it's a little late in the day to discover that, after one has been writing an encyclopedia for years and been elected to its highest committee. Why should other people have to check up on you, an Arb? You're supposed to know what you are doing. Ill intent or not is not a consideration the consequences of your actions are all that are to be considered. That the other Arbs seem strangely silent on your conduct is in it's way as worrying as your writing. Some are saying one should not persecute you, now that you are gone - and I would agree with that, but at the moment there seems to be indecision on whether your actions were right or wrong - that confusion is dangerous. For the sake of the project and setting an example, it needs to be firmly condemned by the highest authority - the current attitude of ignoring or at worst: Rlevse made a silly little boo boo is not good enough.  Giacomo  22:23, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


  • Giano, I think you are very wrong about this. We need Arbs who have the independence of mind to notice when the community is wrong about something, but there are simply not enough qualified candidates of that type. What we get instead is Arbs with relatively high social intelligence and a desire to be popular and go with the crowd.
    Our policies become more and more radical over time. Verifiability is often interpreted in a fundamentalist way nowadays. Even editors who wikilawyer for libelling a living person through a "reliable source" that is generally known to be incorrect are not usually sanctioned, and the definition of "original research" is often expanded beyond all reasonable bounds. I can understand how an editor who lacks the common sense to see that this is just a temporary aberration and transient fashion can be misled by this. Rlevse may not have told the whole story (as there were two earlier Arbcom-related incidents this year which he must have heard about and which should really have made him recalibrate his compass), but I am sure that what he has told us was a key part of the story. Hans Adler 22:45, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
It's correct that serving on the ArbCom involves a different skill-set than writing encyclopedia articles. But one of the important skills that is necessary on the ArbCom is a deep familiarity with Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Anyone on the committee who makes mistakes and then claims ignorance of those policies and guidelines should step down.
One thing some of us have learned is that when a problem comes to light, it is often just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The plagiarism and original research issues with Rlevse's work didn't start with Grace Sherwood.   Will Beback  talk  23:00, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Try not to kick a chap when he's down. DuncanHill (talk) 23:04, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

... and it's not just Rlevse. We need a lot more awareness of the problem in the community. Hans Adler 23:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
What problems are those? Wikipedia has long been known to me to be one of those games you can't win if you actually play by the rules, since the rules are contradictory. An article actually written with no original thought showing at the writing level, would be such a patchwork of cites, quotes, and lack of segues, as to be unreadable. And even then, original throught and synthesis would still be hidden down at the level of what choices had been made of parts of other works to paste together. Good articles on WP get written by at least partly ignoring the NOR and SYN rules, just as in any encyclopedia. Many writers here know that, but few admit it, because it's official revelation from on high that THIS encyclopedia is different. Well, it's not. SBHarris 23:35, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
That was my point. NOR and SYN were not originally meant to be enforced everywhere and at all times. They were meant as a an objective criterion for resolving genuine disputes. But then the editors who lost in such disputes got the message: Some of them decided to apply the same principles to totally uncontroversial questions to make a point by proving their absurdity. Others really began to believe that this is how Wikipedia works throughout and spread the word. Nowadays we have a number of editors going through the encyclopedia and enforcing principles such as "Wikipedia is not a dictionary", "words to avoid" or "verifiability" in situations where they have very little if any value. We have detailed wikilawyering discussions about whether a source is "reliable" or not, or whether it is primary, secondary or tertiary, while the most obvious signs that a claim in a source was never meant literally are being ignored. We have a significant proportion of editors who believe in the enforcement of abstract principles that started as approximations to common practice and somehow morphed into holy words without ever being adapted to their new role. Gavin.collins' radicalism w.r.t. OR (everything but a copyvio is automatically OR, and even patching together copyvios is OR unless you copy most of the source) is only an outlier, but he was made possible by the infatuation of the masses. I was surprised to see that an Arb was also caught by this misconception that the policies are more important than their purpose, but I should not have been. It was only a matter of time when this would happen. Hans Adler 10:33, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
You two have hit the nail right on the head. As Wikipedia is aging / maturing, the rules multiply while still being written in a disjointed and conflicting manner, it is chasing away the best and encouraging the worst. This is caused by the fact that the rules as written, and if followed 100% say that 90% of Wikipedia is in violation with one or another of them. That tends to drive away the good people and enable the bad ones. Plus breed eternal turmoil and instability on all contentious articles. Courses set 5 years ago based on the conditions of the time now need to be tweaked. It CAN be fixed. The solution is simpler than one would think and harder to put in place than one would think. North8000 (talk) 12:46, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that Wikipedia:No original research is not properly understood - and occasinally used as a stick to beat other editors with. Original research is fine, so long as it's backed up by an original published source. It's OK to write the first ever biography of someone/something so long as the information therein in verifiable and the analysis and conclusions drawn are fair and balance. In my view, it's this misunderstanding of "No Original Research" has hampered the project more than anything else, it has encouraged plagiarism and certainly driven off many with a true understanding of a subject, who feel that vomitting out other people's facts is all that's permitted.  Giacomo  13:00, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I suggest that general discussion of Wikipedia-wide issues should best be taken to another page. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:06, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

  • No, I don't think so, Arbs wrote the above statement and another one posted it. Rlevse is gone (we are told) what's the problem - why did Arbs write the statement and post here if they did not want a debate?  Giacomo  13:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Plus there really is no place in WP to hold a longer term broader discussion such as that. That is a part of the problem. "Gap" fillers can be in / come from unlikely places. North8000 (talk) 13:32, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
However, wiki is its own worst enemy, it allows anyone to edit and has poor ineffective mechanisms for dealing with problem editors. Yup. It even elects some of the problem editors, ones who don't understand the bedrock research skills that go into writing an encyclopedia article, to be arbitrators. I mean really: A grown man who needs to be told what plagiarism is?Bali ultimate (talk) 13:29, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Most undergraduate students have no idea what constitutes plagiarism, even though it's quite relevant to many of them. [1] I am not surprised that the situation at Wikipedia doesn't seem to be better. We must stop pretending it's not true and start addressing the problem. Hans Adler 14:57, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Yourself and SBHarris expertly pointed out some issues that are broader than this particular one. North8000 (talk) 15:04, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
But how to deal with the problem Hans? You know as well as i do that the mild suggestions at reform at DYK have already gotten bogged down (read: no meaningful change will take place) with the old expand/divert/attenuate tactic. Elsewhere there are people writing that plagiarism didn't occur, in the face of evidence proving, well, plagiarism, and a general tendency to stick their fingers in their ears. I agree that there is a broad problem. Arbcom can't fix it (doesn't appear to have people who understand the problem and probably couldn't even if it did). The community is driven by social networkers and apple polishers, not by people who understand research, so it seems an unlikely source of reform. So what then?Bali ultimate (talk) 15:27, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Isn't it obvious? We must import even more hairdressers and telephone sanitisers from Golgafrincham. They are our only hope, because they know how to set up an atmosphere that is conducive to encyclopedia writing. I have listed some more serious ideas at WP:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents/Plagiarism and copyright concerns on the main page#Is plagiarism a problem?, and there is a somewhat related discussion under User talk:Hans Adler#Original research. Hans Adler 16:50, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Somebody probably needs to write an instructive essay on the subject, not so much on plagiarism and copyvio as a legal matter, but how to use sources and write without the charge being levelled. The talk page of which becomes a debate - that way people could be educated in a simple way, but some form of accepted policy could be thrashed out at the same time and cear up some of the confusion. Part of the problem here is that RLevse was allowed to climb so high in Wikipdia and still claim to be unaware of the basic; that so many are vociferously defending him, tells me that this ignorance is very widespread. I'm not sure if that is ignorance of plagiarism rules of ignorance of the gravity of the situation, but either wauy it needs ot be adressed - and the only way to do that is through education.  Giacomo  17:40, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not seeing people defending him, I'm seeing people being compassionate towards their fellow editor. btw there was a great article in the Signpost about plagiarism that could form the basis of "an instructive essay on the subject". -- œ 18:25, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

The Internet enhances the worst facet of human nature where admitting fault is giving the anonymous multitudes the sword with which to skewer you. We all seem to forget, however, that we have control over handing that sword over and how much we choose to be wounded. Rlevse's parting post is filled at best with confusion. I don't care to characterize what it's filled with at worst.

Me, kookie, I'd like Arbs not to make dramatic exits when they get their feelings hurt or make mistakes. We elected you to a position. Life gets hard, yes, and families and jobs take precedent, but for God's sake--quit retiring when the community reacts negatively. Grow some balls, people. A shell. I know it hurts. I have only 23,000 edits and I get angry and hurt. I don't care to imagine what it's like to have to tell your employer that you're an Arb and you may be in the newspaper or discussed on the Colbert Report. Disgruntled banned users may contact you or post your image and place of employment on the Internet. That's a level of bullshit I'm conveniently comfortable not dealing with.

But we all behave as if we are faultless beings with moral superiority over others. We can tell them what to do. That leaves us no room to grow, no room to admit that we screwed up (because we do all the time) and there are learning opportunities available for everyone involved. So clearly we need to improve our message about plagiarism and copyright violation. But more, and I actually had an email conversation with Rlevse about this a couple months ago, Arbs can set tone and example. If Wikipedia is to change for the better (I'm often doubtful this can happen), it will start because Arbs are compassionate, flexible, can admit their own fault and the faults within the system but then recognize the opportunities for improvement. A fault does not make an editor useless; only to the simple-minded. What you're left with then is disapproval from the simple-minded. I'm sad to say our email conversation did not progress very far.

I'm often consumed by a hopelessness for this project, and I surprise myself by posting here. All of you reading this will no doubt find it flawed and no improvements or attitude changes may occur because of it. But I don't see it posted and I thought someone should say it. --Moni3 (talk) 18:27, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Didn't find it flawed at all. Well said. -- œ 18:56, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I see where you are coming from, but alas! A judge who does not understand the law is no judge.  Giacomo  19:32, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your statement, Giano. Can you rephrase please? --Moni3 (talk) 19:44, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree Moni. Thank you and so well said. Perhaps the mistake is in thinking there are judges here rather than arbitrators. Arbitration is just another form of dispute resolution not a court of law, although yes, arbs are landed with the unpleasant job of asking editors to leave for periods of time until they can work in the community with out disruption of some kind. We all make mistakes, and none of us knows everything about Wikipedia, its a big place. Knowledge on Wikipedia is a relative thing probably. One probably knows more after five years than after three, but at no point is one required to know it all, or can know it all. Wikipedia is not pejorative and what that implies to me is that the solution to problems is knowledge so editors can go on to work collaboratively. When mistakes are made and apologies given something can be learned and the editor and the community advances and grows. Losing an experienced editor doesn't help anybody. This position is idealistic, but then Wikipedia was set up on the most idealistic of platforms. (olive (talk) 20:12, 5 November 2010 (UTC))
There is nothing idealistic here. It's quite simple: By allowing one's name to go forward as a candiate for the Arbitration Comittee one enters into an unwritten contract with the voting editors to support and uphold the principles of the project. These are the same principles which arbs have to employ when passing judgement and sentence on those upon whom they arbitrate. When it is found that an elected arbitrator has failed to understand the most basic principle of the project - people understandably find that hard to beleive and understand. What is your problem with that?  Giacomo  20:53, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with that. It is quite a grave concern how an editor with ten FAs and an Arb can make that mistake, indeed--anyone who has graduated from high school can. Rlevse and anyone else who had plagiarized like this, however, could have turned the chicken shit into chicken salad. "Holy shit. I really fucked up and I'm so sorry. These are the changes that should be made to the WP:Copyvio/WP:Plagiarism pages. Here's what can be done to make sure this doesn't happen in the future." is a far cry from "You got what you wanted. I quit." Rlevse did not seem to have the confidence or strength to admit his mistakes and work to improve processes. It's a compounded problem, though. On every forum discussing this issue and the previous ones where Arbs quit suddenly the community likewise gleefully rejoices in finding faults and equating them with complete failure. My point wasn't to absolve Rlevse or anyone else of blame, but to introduce what seems a novel idea that faults are inherent. We're intelligent and should be able to deal with them and move on, improve ourselves as individuals and Wikipedia as a project. Even as I type it I have to admit not going to happen. It can, though. Maybe for a while. Cue Richard Burton singing "Camelot"...--Moni3 (talk) 21:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I tried to close this once, but Giacomo reversed. Seriously, is there any reason for having this discussion here other than tap-dancing on Rlevse's grave? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:00, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict) It remains my view that the continuing discussion of an editor who departed from the project several days ago is not helpful here. I appreciate the good faith and the spirit of many of the comments that have been made. Nonetheles, most of them would, in my view, be far better offered in another forum and in a form less directed toward a particular contributor who is no longer participating. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:01, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I think that there is a mix here of re-discussing the particular problem (which I think that most would like to see end), plus nice notes to Rlevse, plus mentioning some bigger issues where there is no venue for such in Wikipedia. Is it all 3 or nothing?  :-) North8000 (talk) 21:14, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Brad, I have no problem with this thread closing, if and I mean IF the arbcom are going to address this elsewhere. All I see to date is a lamentable silence. Which of you had the bright idea to post that statement? Which of you wrote it? Wikipedia's editors are not stupid and realise that many Arbs have a personal conflict of interest and friendship with RLevse, but now, more than at most times we need to see some professionalism, leadership and willingness to face up to a situation from the Arbcom. So yes, close this thread by all means, but what are you going to do about it?  Giacomo  21:38, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree. If the tone can be modeled to facilitate productive conversation, discussing this should be allowed. --Moni3 (talk) 21:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Here [2] is an article attempting to explain why in some nations, like South Korea and Japan there is much scientific fraud happening (anyone remember Hwang Woo-Suk?), whereas in places like Singapore and Taiwan it is much less pervasive. The authors point to an absence of frank discussion and the fact that the culture gives far more clout than is healthy to the successful. Make no mistake, this is a cultural problem. The Facebooking needs to stop, and there must be more discussion, no matter how uncomfortable it will be. (talk) 22:36, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

There are a variety of interesting ideas above. One observation that agrees with what I've been thinking for a long time is presented by Hans Adler shortly above: Most undergraduate students have no idea what constitutes plagiarism, even though it's quite relevant to many of them. My own, er, original research backs this up. I have a pile of, um, material for such original research on my table, and it's depressing. If undergrads can't summarize and attribute even when doing so has obvious benefits (higher grades, and thereby increased chance of qualifying for scholarships, etc), it's really rather a mystery why this encyclopedia thing we have here isn't even more of a mess.

And yes, we have blockheaded editors who declare that anything not explicitly stated in a source is original whatever. (Even ineluctable entailment isn't enough for them.)

So how about a new guideline page to explain all of this to those who either haven't reached university or for whom university is or was not really educational? I think not, because I don't think those who should read it would read it. I prefer another idea (from here) of Hans Adler's:

. . . some kind of exam taking system. Then after a certain number of edits new users will be nudged to take the text theft test to see if they understand the definition and know how to avoid doing it. The test can of course be repeated. The result will by default be public, but users can choose to hide it. . . .

What say? -- Hoary (talk) 05:41, 7 November 2010 (UTC)


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Wikipedia:Naming conventions (British Isles) (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) 02:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK counties) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK counties) (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) 02:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Paid editing I see that we have two drafts for a guideline and a policy but no actual specific policy with respect to paid editing, relying on the existing policies. Is there any movement anywhere with respect to this that I am not seeing or has this completely stalled? And what if anything do we (or the foundation) do about organizations that are actively promoting services for Wikipedia article creation? --Tikiwont (talk) 15:20, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

As you note, there is currently no consensus against paid editing per se. But you may certainly watch the activity of these paid editors to make sure they are only creating articles that meet notability standards and that their edits are NPOV, verifiable in reliable sources, and not copyright violations (intentional or unintentional). And you may of course bring any issues you see to the appropriate noticeboards.
Or you could try bringing it to Jimbo and seeing if he does what he once said. Anomie 16:35, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Not that bringing something to Jimbo is going to achieve consensus or even be greeted very well by Wikipedians. He no longer is "god-king" and other than sheer prestige his opinions are little more than that of an ordinary contributor to this project. I'd certainly listen to what he has to say about a topic, but IMHO even invoking Jimbo is a sign of bad faith and showing considerable weakness to an argument. Also, in nearly every case where Jimbo has invoked any sort of executive privilege to decide an issue beyond permitting consensus to form, it usually results in negative or nearly disastrous impacts upon the community as a whole.
Particularly on this issue, a decision reached in a unilateral way is going to significantly backfire in terms of the support of the community as a whole, regardless of whatever decision he would make.
In general, the status quo is such that paid editing seems to be permitted but as pointed out carefully watched and some strong attention to potential conflicts of interest and POV pushing. Some people hate paid editing, but the argument also goes in terms of how you spot it other than a voluntary self-declaration, which isn't a way to make policy. --Robert Horning (talk) 17:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for confirming my impression of the status quo. I also agree that spotting it is a crucial issue once we go beyond the blatant stuff. Examples like the one I came across today[3] indicate to me that there are writing agencies with regular wikipedia editors among their staff, which are either contacted directly or via marketing agencies [4]. --Tikiwont (talk) 20:09, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm personally still strongly in favour of allowing paid editing, and would argue against an attempt to promote a new policy against it. I believe it's POV editing which is the problem, paid or not. Dcoetzee 20:39, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree. I can think of plenty of circumstances where somebody might be paid to make good, useful edits. For example, a charity whose mission is to further public understanding and awareness of a certain medical condition might pay an editor to ensure that the Wikipedia articles related to that condition are accurate. Of course that means that improving the encyclopedia is not this particular editor's main motivation - but then we don't really know anyone's motivation for editing, do we? Barnabypage (talk) 20:59, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Dcoetzee. If paid editors can't be distinguished from the regular unpaid variety until they declare themselves as such, is that really problematic? If they're paid by some nonprofit to go make genuine, NPOV improvements on, say, Russian literature articles, is that something we need to put a stop to? Indeed, such an editor might be more inclined to carefully follow the rules, since getting themselves blocked or banned probably won't contribute to getting paid. On the other hand, if someone is POV pushing, they need to first have NPOV explained to them, and if they still refuse to abide by it, be asked or if need be helped to stop editing altogether. I don't care whether their motivations for POV pushing are that they're a fan of something, that they're a nationalist, that they're a fringe/conspiracy theorist, that they're deliberately trying to cause disruption, that they're being paid to, that they're simply incapable of understanding the meaning of neutrality and how to adhere to it, or any other reason—it's unacceptable no matter why you're doing it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:05, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Is an unsourced categorisation of a person as belonging to a particular ethnic group violation of WP:BLP policy?

I'm not entirely sure I'm asking this in the correct place, but if it is, can anyone throw any light on this? Though this is of immediate interest only in relation to a particular topic, I'd be interested to learn whether this has been discussed, and how it was resolved. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:31, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't know the history of prior discussion, but I would opine that it's a BLP issue if the ethnic group identification is disputed, or reasonably could be. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:44, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
There must have been plenty of earlier discussions on this specific question, and of course it violates WP:BLP. It makes a specific claim about the person. Some people argue that a category is not a claim but just a "navigation aid", but the edit-warring about Category:Pseudoscience and similar categories (even an arbitration case was to a large part about that) proves that this is wrong. The right place for such questions is WP:BLP/N, by the way. Hans Adler 00:04, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I consider myself a "BLP hawk," but I don't know if I'd go as far as that, in cases where the ethnic identification is entirely undisputed. It may be that we are semantically unclear as to what is meant here by "ethnic group." If someone places David Cameron in the category "British politicians," do we need a source for the fact that Cameron is British? If someone places Clarence Thomas in the category "African-American judges," do we need a source that Thomas is black? And so forth. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:10, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The question was "ethnicity", not "nationality". In my experience this almost universally refers to categories such as "Jewish", "Armenian", "Hutu", "Tutsi", etc. The US has a very relaxed approach to ethnicity which is not shared by most European countries, where people are much more likely to think of ethnicity-based persecution rather than searching for one's roots. I consider classifying someone ethnically in any way offensive unless they explicitly self-identify that way.
Two earlier discussions: WP:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard/Archive61#Winona Ryder - "Russian-American" category?, WP:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard/Archive95#Consistent addition of unsourced material. Hans Adler 00:21, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
This reminds me of the various disputes we've had over WikiProject-tagging of BLPs' pages as something that may not be verifiable, such as {{WikiProject LGBT studies}}. –MuZemike 00:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

An unsourced statement of any kind, concerning any subject, is against every policy Wikipedia has:

  • has blue eyes? against policy
  • like pineapples? against policy
  • belongs to a category for which there is no justification in the article? against policy.

There's a simple rule of thumb: any statement, implication or hint in an article about a living person, that is not actively supported by highly reliable sources for active factual veracity, must be removed from the article. --TS 00:12, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

That formulation overlooks the distinction between an author's knowing that sources exist, and actually citing them. If you are referring to the former, fine. If you are referring to the latter, and making the claim that every statement in a BLP requires a cited source, no matter how uncontroversial the statement, it's an absurd claim. If you wish to sustain it, please begin by finding me one BLP article in the entire encyclopedia, of more than nominal length, in which each and every "statement, implication or hint" is supported by a cited source. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:20, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The real problem is that some people like to add specific claims to an article that are important to themselves but not, apparently, to anybody else. If there was an article about myself I would be really annoyed if it contained the names of the schools to which I went, my eye colour, my hair colour, my height, my shoe size, my "race", my ethnicity, my nationality, or any of the other irrelevant things that some stamp collectors love to push into articles to make them more "complete". In the end you can't find the actual encyclopedic information any more. We have actually had editors who systematically added chest measurements to actress BLPs.
I think strict sourcing requirements for BLP claims are an important tool for situations in which there is a reasonable dispute. But like most of our policies, WP:V and WP:BLP are optimised for the contentious cases, because these are the cases when they are intended to be applied. When fundamentalists are trying to apply them to everything they are really abusing them. Hans Adler 00:38, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
We still actually do have editors who systematically add the blood type to any article on a Japanese starlet. "Enjoy." (No, nothing about splatter movies or vampirism; it's this silliness.) So it is that the, er, greatest work of reference the universe has ever known may help to reinforce mass stupidity. I suppose I should be grateful that (sourced! verified!) astrological stuff isn't provided too. (And then again, what is there to say about Japanese starlets?) -- Hoary (talk) 15:33, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

And honestly, Brad, if you've ever considered yourself a "hawk" on this issue, you don't know what you're talking about. I've had it with you Muslim Azerbaijani Hawaian French Venezuelan arbitrators, you're all alike. --TS 00:15, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Ermmm, thanks guys? As I suspected, the answer is probably a definite maybe. I think my best course for now is to sneak off back to the corner where over-enthusiastic newbies hide after being chased with a banhammer, rather than taking this further myself. I'll point the person whose edits led me to ask this question in the direction of this reply, and let him/her/it decided the best course. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:39, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The real answer here is probably "you need to ask a little bit more specific question." But thanks to both you and the other editor for raising an important point. Hopefully whatever the original concern is here can be raised without blocks or bans or threats thereof. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:47, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Well Tony Sidaway's opinion is his own, but his personal opinion is extreme and well beyond what WP:BLP actually does say. That said, I tend to remove unsourced categorization based on ethnicity, because ethnicity is very often a contentious issue. Resolute 00:49, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Often an article doesn't even mention a subject's ethnicity, let alone source a statement regarding it. Any category that isn't even connected to an unsourced statement in an article, let alone a sourced one, should just be summarily removed. I remember a discussion on this issue where someone was claiming that we could use a photo of someone as "verification" of their ethnicity (i.e., see how white they look?). I seem to remember that claim being roundly rejected. postdlf (talk) 04:10, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

  • "It should be clear from verifiable information in the article why it was placed in each of its categories"
  • "Not all categories are comprehensive: For some "sensitive" categories, it is better to think of the category as a set of representative and unquestioned examples"
  • "Inclusion must be justifiable by external references"
  • "Inclusion must be specifically relevant to at least one of the subject's notable activities and an essential part of that activity, but is not required to be an exclusive interest. Moreover, inclusion is not transitive to any other activity. (For example: a notable LGBT activist is not automatically included in a corresponding LGBT musician category, unless also notable for one or more LGBT-related music compositions or performances.)"
  • "Categories should not be (gendered/based on race/religion/sexuality) unless the (gender/race/religion/sexuality) has a specific relation to the topic"
  • "the intersection of subcategories of Category:Race are never applied to subcategories of Category:People."
Overall categories of ethnicity would seem to require a conservative (small "c") and sourced approach, and a fairly high degree of actual relevance to the topic and to their notability, not mere "interesting" or "interesting to some people". FT2 (Talk | email) 12:16, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I think nationality can be inappropriate sometimes as where one country is ruled by another. I think there if 'nationality;' is to be mentioned the more specific name should be put in rather than the larger country if the person is obviously identified with it more. There's also occasional problems where a person takes up a new nationality - there I think one should give both if anything. But yes in general I think it is much better to steer clear of having an 'ethnicity' field unless the person strongly identifies with one. Dmcq (talk) 14:22, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I've always thought we shouldn't use categories for ethnicity (or religion, or sexual orientation...) at all, though consensus unfortunately rejected/ignored that stance long ago. If we're going to do it, then we should do it sparingly, as FT2 said. Unfortunately, there are some who think that every bio subject must have their ethnicity categorized, even if we're throwing them in "Hungarian-American actors" on the basis of one great grandmother (look at the current state and edit history of Vince Vaughn before you judge how much this is a straw man example). I just wish at a minimum that there would be some meaningful threshold for inclusion; "some" ancestry should not be enough. And it certainly shouldn't be viewed as necessary that a subject have some ethnicity categorized just for the sake of doing it. postdlf (talk) 15:14, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think ethnicity is particularly relevant to these articles unless you have someone who mentions it in an interview or bio along with how much that particular culture/ethnicity contributed to their identity. Most Americans have ancestors from multiple countries of origin and don't identify with any one in particular unless a parent or grandparent came directly from the old country. Vaughn's Hungarian great-grandma is a good example. I doubt he thinks he's Hungarian. --Bookworm857158367 (talk) 16:27, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Having looked at the article, I see Vaughn is also identified as having Lebanese, Italian and Irish ancestry, among others. Good grief. I have ancestry from every country in northern and western Europe, to the point where I can say I'm an eighth French or a quarter Finnish, but it would be a little ridiculous to identify as such in day to day life. I think we could safely remove those categories. --Bookworm857158367 (talk) 16:32, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

The idea that I'm merely stating my personal opinion is a misconception. Verifiability isn't just my "extreme" opinion, it's policy. Unsourced crap must die. Don't just tag it, remove it. The statement that film star X has blue eyes is no earthly use to anybody unless the most reliable sources are used in compiling the article and those sources, which are cited of course because they were to hand when the article was developed, state without equivocation that the film star has blue eyes. Nobody who thinks this is a matter of option or even interpretation of policy has any place purporting to be writing an encyclopedia. We don't stick any old nonsense into Wikipedia because we vaguely think we read it somewhere, because that's not an encyclopedia but a gossip column. We don't write something into Wikipedia because "everybody knows it's true" because otherwise Verifiability as a policy would not be necessary. Do not ever write anything into Wikipedia unless you have checked it against the cited sources. Tasty monster (=TS ) 19:17, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Second that. Saying someone has blue eyes because there is a picture of them accompanying the article and they have blue eyes in the picture is original research as far as I'm concerned. Dmcq (talk) 22:25, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
That's not even close to policy, unless perhaps you are talking specifically about BLP policy, for which it isn't clear if a picture of somebody with blue eyes is good enough as a source that they have blue eyes. For other articles, anything that is likely to go unchallenged because everybody knows it has a source if they want to look, does not need a citation. "Paris is the capital of France" does not need a citation--- that is explicit policy (go to WP:NOR and read it). Nor do many of the things deriviable as a a result of WP:CALC, so long as they are not controversial. "There are six feet in a two yards" does not need a citation. SBHarris 22:37, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
If somebody has not pointed out that they have blue eyes we should not look at a picture and discover that for ourselves. Doing so is original research. Same with public records, we shouldn't go around getting government records on our own bat even if they are supposedly in the public domain. They could be used as primary corroborative sources of evidence for a secondary source that said something but it is not our job to research we think are interesting without having a secondary source saying they are interesting. Dmcq (talk) 23:29, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Anecdotally, my wife and I argue over whether my eyes are green or blue. The color can change quite a bit depending on the lighting and environment. Just saying. postdlf (talk) 23:40, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not original research. It's using a primary source, which is completely acceptable. Are you confusing "original research" with "including information that is not really relevant to the topic"? Or are you misapplying WP:N to article content and then misnaming it "original research"? Anomie 05:29, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Let's bring it back to the OP's question, rather than this unrelated bullshit about eye color, which isn't helping anyone. Ethnicity is frequently contentions, so in cases where it is relevent, it should always be cited. Relevency is an unrelated issue, but assuming that it is editorially sound to include information about a person's ethnic background in their article, such information needs to be scrupulously cited. This is true whether the person is dead or alive. --Jayron32 05:41, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
It is relevant unfortunately. People have been assigning an ethnicity to people based on their own original research. One can see that they have parents that came from Ireland and they were born in America - Irish-American they say. Yes they are Irish-American by that just the same as somebody with blue eyes has blue eyes. And then they look at court orders and find they have been up for smoking hash. Hash smoker they stick into the article. We should not be doing this. It is original research. Primary sources are allowable, but only where somebody has marked it out as interesting. This can even sometimes be the primary source where the subject is particularly singled out - in this case the primary source is a secondary source. However when a photo is taken it does not comment on the eyes. When a judge fines a person and says 'next case', he is not showing any interest in the person. The person who shows the interest first is the one doing the original research. Yeah Irish-American, but has anyone been interested outside of Wikipedia? If not it is original research. Dmcq (talk) 10:15, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Thinking about it WP:WEIGHT might also be the relevant policy. If no one has shown interest we shouldn't either. I think I'll raise this on the OR talk page. Dmcq (talk) 10:57, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that WEIGHT is the primary issue.
For your other examples, being an American born to parents of Irish extraction is pretty much a dictionary definition of "Irish-American", and I'd allow it under the principles of CALC and WP:BLUE. Additionally, cats exist for navigation, not for the definition of subjects, so on occasion I might allow such a cat even if the person probably didn't belong in the category. Someone might well go looking in one of the Category:British monarchs for King Arthur, even though experts wonder whether any such person existed.
The "hash smoker" is a NOR violation: such a source can usually support only a claim that the person was convicted of/plead guilty to possessing hash. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:33, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Would you consider WP:WEIGHT would stop one putting in something about someone having plead guilty of possessing hash when no-one outside Wikipedia has pointed it out as something interesting? Is being listed in a database alongside some millions of other people interesting? Dmcq (talk) 20:38, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
In short, yes, it is. I have been working and fighting other editors on this for over a year. I have removed hundreds or perhaps thousands of unsourced categories and had other editors argue with me that it is "known" and thus does not need sourcing.--TM 18:18, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with those who see this boiliing down to a debate on what the purpose of categories is. If reliable sources are required for inclusion in a category no matter how apparently obvious an assertion is, then there should not be ethnic origin, ancestory, or ethnicity categories. Nationality categories too would need to be largely depopulated because again the only sources that state one's nationality tend to be gossip type publications that would very much tend not to research the matter and just accept what is said by the person or commonly said about the person being profiled or featured. The same would go for birth years in many cases, and any number of other categories for people's bios. I, personally, prefer the seeing the purpose of cats as being navigational aids were the onus is more on providing sources for dispproving particular claims - Michael Jordan is presumed to be African American until such a claim is "disproven" by weight of sources that argue otherwise. Basic common sense should generally prevail - and sources tend to exist more in cases that are controversial Mayumashu (talk) 20:02, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Mayumashu has regularly categorized BLPs by the perceived ethnic origin of their last name or what he perceives as their skin color. This is a particularly terrible violation of BLP. Race, ethnicity, religion and other conceivably disputed categories must be, in the words of the policy itself, "attributable". I agree with one thing, however: we should depopulate most categories and only leave those articles which can be reliably attributed.--TM 20:16, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with TM. I have had this debate with Mayumashu in the past. I personally remove any ethnicity category that cannot be attributed to a source. -DJSasso (talk) 21:12, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Just to be devil's advocate, what source do you accept as authoritative? If a person identifies themselves as "Hispanic," or "Caucasian" (just for example) who are you to accept some newspaper's word otherwise? The Federal Government, which long ago realized that set-asides for minorities would result in the Feds making the judgement that somebody is "octaroon" or something, have simply left such self-identification things up to the subject, much as we do the subject's religious beliefs. If Smith self-identifies as a Christian, are we really going to argue with Smith over whether or not they are a "real" Christian, and so on?

All of this is where we go if we allow BLP on Wikipedia. Not only does it turn WP into a defamation amplification and privacy disruption machine, but it also pits a subject's knowledge about themselves against what has been written about them, often by people who don't know them, or have made mistakes. Wikipedia is particularly vulnerable to this kind of problem, because it doesn't recognize the special role of unpublished experts, and yet in BLP, it is quite common that the most expertise on the subject of the BLP lies with the subject, who hasn't published it in a "reliable source." So every one of those 450,000 BLPs is just a set of WP:LAME arguments waiting to happen. SBHarris 21:49, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Simple, if the subject self identifies as something in a published work or interview or the like, then we take their word for it. They would be a reliable sources for that imho. -DJSasso (talk) 22:21, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
If a subject self identifies as something and we have a reliable source to document it, then obviously that is the end of discussion. If a subject does not publicly identify with a group and we have reliable source which documents something (such as a source saying John Smith is the son of Joe Smith, who was an English settler in 1650) then we should go with that. If we don't have a reliable source to attribute, then we plainly should not include it. I don't see this as particularly difficult to understand. If we allow information in articles which is unattributable, we lose all credibility.--TM 21:55, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. Case in point - Christian Bale, born in Wales but self-identifies as English. – ukexpat (talk) 22:46, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Many things in Wikipedia are unsourced. That is not always an issue. We have to be more carefull about living people, off course. Nevertheless, from a realistic point of view, it is sometimes not a problem to leave some unsourced information. Especially when it is not likely to be contested, because its thruth is close to evident. For the same reason editors often choose to add a {{Citation needed}} tag to such an unsourced statement, rather than remove it outright. Likewise we have a Category:Articles with unsourced categories, with two templates sortng into it. Adding one of those templates usually prompts other editors to seriously start looking for sources. Debresser (talk) 11:10, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Categories can't be tagged. They appear "in Wikipedia's voice" without qualifiers. FT2 (Talk | email) 11:40, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Should user talk pages be deleted under the right to vanish?

This is an issue that's raised time and again, with inconsistent application by admins, so it would be good to get it sorted out so that admins know how to proceed. Please comment at Wikipedia talk:Right to vanish#RfC on deleting user talk pages. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:05, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Explicit encouragement of vandalism

I've recently noticed an editor placing notices on their user- and user-talk-pages which explicitly invite editors to vandalise another (specified) page [5] [6] While it appears to be done with all due irony, and the consent of the editor whose page is nominated for these touring vandals, I'm concerned that it's simply courting trouble: there is always a significant possibility that someone could think that it is a serious and legitimate suggestion to mess about on that page (cf. the sandbox), and I just generally don't see it as being a constructive idea. Does anybody have any thoughts on the issue? ╟─TreasuryTagcabinet─╢ 19:38, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

There was a recent discussion on this topic, and as I recall there was a consensus that "vandal spaces" are not a good idea. Let me see if I can find it. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:07, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Here it is Wikipedia talk:User pages/Archive 8#Userspace Vandalism Sandboxes. Unfortunately it was just closed without any kind of closing statement, but based on my read of it I think a case could be made for a consensus that these pages are a bad idea and should be deleted. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:11, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
(talk page stalker)I notice that he is doing it so that he won't have to semi-protect his talk page because vandals are really bent on vandalizing his user page, but honestly I don't see why he would do that; he could just semi-protect his talk page and make an alternate talk page for non-autoconfirmed users and IPs that really want to have a chat with him, because what he is doing right now is going to cause some serious bean-stuffing. Usb10 Connected? 21:42, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
(talk page stalker)I think Jeff should do that, too? Do you guys have alternate talk pages. Why do have to back and forth on both on your talk pages if you could have one talk page? Jeff, Tide rolls, The Thing, Alan, don't have alternate talk pages, and they use Huggle, too. HJ Mitchell has a talk page called User talk:HJ Mitchell/Alternate. WAYNEOLAJUWON 21:52, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I didn't understand a word of that, Wayne. ╟─TreasuryTagcondominium─╢ 22:28, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
I"m saying is that why would people having alternate talk pages? Why would you have to go back and forth on both talk pages if you can just have one talk page? Jeff never had an alternate talk page. Please explain why you have to have an alternate if you know you have to back and forth to each talk page. WAYNEOLAJUWON 23:01, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
This is nothing to do with alternate talkpages. I'm saying that he shouldn't encourage vandalism of other pages. ╟─TreasuryTagwithout portfolio─╢ 12:32, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
My understanding from at least one user who has a semiprotected talk page and an unprotected alternate page is that it avoids lighting up the orange bar whenever an unconfirmed vandal feels like vandalizing their talk page. They seem not to mind the inconvenience of checking their alternate page periodically.   — Jeff G.  ツ 02:57, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Would you have an alternate talk page? WAYNEOLAJUWON 16:11, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I did have for quite some time, actually; but anyway, this is nothing to do with alternate talkpages. I'm saying that he shouldn't encourage vandalism of other pages. ╟─TreasuryTagwithout portfolio─╢ 21:48, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Vandalspaces and invitations to vandalize were discussed in two separate discussions and the same consensus agreed on both of these. With the exception of one "weak oppose" due to WP:BEANS rather than any stated objection to the principle [7]) both gained full support. After a few deletions a third discussion was started by a user and this too seemed to reach the same consensus. See the above discussions for more. FT2 (Talk | email) 22:53, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
    Of course, the page which Jeff directs his would-be-assailants to is not a "vandalspace" or sandbox, but another editor's talkpage. And I think that makes all the difference. ╟─TreasuryTagUK EYES ONLY─╢ 23:02, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
    It's still implying "Go ahead and vandalize some pages on wiki" and that the users concerned are okay with it. The consensus is fairly firm (and I'd endorse) that we don't say or imply that vandalism is okay anywhere on wiki, even on other user's talk pages or with user consent. So I agree - it's courting trouble and is inappropriate. FT2 (Talk | email) 23:23, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
    Yeah, that's my point, I agree! My mistake, I thought that your initial comment was disputing. ╟─TreasuryTaginspectorate─╢ 23:25, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Ah, but I hadn't noticed how Wikipedia:UP#Statements_of_violence specifically prohibits passages such as the one on Jeff's page anyway... ╟─TreasuryTagsundries─╢ 23:27, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
    I told Jeff that he would remove the message from both his user page and talk page, a week after he posted it on both user and talk page just to prevent too much vandalism. WAYNEOLAJUWON 00:37, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
    Wayne, I cannot understand one word that you say. ╟─TreasuryTagSpeaker─╢ 09:41, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
    I believe what Wayne meant was that at the time, I had agreed to remove the invitations after having them up for a week (as a form of limited damage control). I cut the week short per my post of 03:44, 8 November 2010 (UTC) below.   — Jeff G.  ツ 17:53, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
    I'm sorry, I hadn't noticed how Wikipedia:UP#Statements_of_violence specifically prohibits passages such as the ones on my pages either (until now). Both invitations are now gone. Sorry for the inconvenience.   — Jeff G.  ツ 03:44, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
    Guys, if you look at this, do you think this was a lot of vandalism, since Jeff added that message on his user page and talk page?WAYNEOLAJUWON 21:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Naming conventions: US neighborhoods

There's a fresh discussion about the unresolved issue of a naming convention for neighborhoods of US cities. More input would be helpful. Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names)/Archives/2010/November#Neighborhoods of US cities.   Will Beback  talk  08:03, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Article tag proposal

policy issue stemming from the discussion here: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Inappropriate_cleanup_tag_removal

This is an issue that's been bugging me for a good long time, and I'd like to see some kind of consensus about it. Maybe we need to develop a new policy or guideline page over it? (which I'm happy to write up if there's a pull towards that). The issue involves tendentiousness around maintenance and dispute tags on contentious articles. Basically, I see it as follows:

  • Article tags (particularly dispute and cleanup tags) are important for the development of the project - they point both regular and potential editors to problematic areas that need attention
  • Article tags are not content, but are pointers to content problems. They should not be placed without good reasons, and once placed should not be removed without good reason.
  • If there's a dispute over a tag itself, the tag dispute should be handled separately from the underlying content dispute. The tag should remain on the article unless and until the underlying problem is resolved. If an edit war (or some other disruptive behavior) breaks out over placement of a tag, the sysop who intervenes should always replace the tag, and should place the burden of justification on the editors trying to remove it.

Basically, this would make it easier for editors to tag an article or passage on contentious pages, and would force other editors to discuss the issue in question if they want the tag removed. It would give editors an out from edit-warring and obviate a standard method of gaming 3rr to get editors blocked (e.g., an editor in a dispute could keep re-adding a tag - so long as it's justified - without having to fear a 3rr block the way s/he would if s/he were making multiple content reverts). In general it would force people away from edit-warring towards productive discussion. I can even see it as an extension of wp:BRD here - bold, revert, tag, discuss. see what I'm getting at? we might have to agree on something about disruptive tag-adding as well, to keep things balanced, but I think that it's high time we gave cleanup and dispute tag a somewhat privileged place with respect to regular content. --Ludwigs2 07:25, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure we can legislate for this, but if we are going to, then I would do it in quite the opposite direction - there's far too much drive-by tagging that serves very little purpose (people place tags on articles presumably because it makes them feel they're improving something, without having to go to the effort of actually improving something), so I would like to make it easier to remove tags, not the other way round.--Kotniski (talk) 09:06, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I'm on Ludwigs' side here. Peter jackson (talk) 11:53, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I would personally like to see a policy of some such to not place them on the article and instead place them on the talk page. They often serve little use and make the article worse rather than better and as Kotniski has said, they are often added in drive by tagging so people can feel they have helped without actually doing anything. Definitely would like to see it easier to remove tags or as I said that they be mandated to live on the talk page instead of the article itself. -DJSasso (talk) 12:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Both views are valid, and strong cases can be made for either. I would personally like to see tags such as {{orphan}} that relate to editing-specific issues on the talk page and tags that are directly related to article quality on the article itself. Bold, revert, tag, discuss sounds like a decent idea too, although it may be tricky to implement as we don't have tags for everything. Alzarian16 (talk) 13:02, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree in principle that we can/should aim to improve things here - at present anyone can tag an article as disputed, POV, etc. It's important to notify users, and therefore such tags to belong where readers are aware of them. Unfortunately they have also long been a favorite tool of POV warriors too. An unreasonably placed tag can be tricky to address in the face of a tendentious user who insists it's appropriate. In a way that's good - articles and editors should be forced to prove they are neutral and factually accurate. We probably do need a way to address disputes over tags quickly, and a consensus what happens with disputed tags. We also probably do need to privilege tags somewhat or make appropriate tags some kind of 3RR exemption. But a guideline or policy that allows discrimination of "good v. bad" tags may be hard to reach.

    (For example, an article has a long-standing consensus after much work, and a user comes along a month later who says it's POV and tags it. There are scenarios where "keep" during discussion would be desirable and scenarios where "remove" would be.)

    It is worth trying, and this area does need more discussion. No specific thoughts yet though. Perhaps as part of any solution, "disputed tags" as an RFC category, to try and get extra eyeballs on them? Also reword the tags as "An editor has disputed..." rather than passive tense, to make clear it may be just one person's view? FT2 (Talk | email) 13:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

The reword sounds like a good idea, but only in some cases. Tags such as {{unreferenced}}, {{BLP unsourced}} and possibly {{one source}} are either correct or incorrect, so there's no need to reword those. Alzarian16 (talk) 13:29, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly Disagree Drive-by tagging is not in need of any kind of special protection. If an editor places a tag without explanation or without engaging with other editors in a cooperative manner, then the tag should be able to be removed using the same explanation that was used to place it - none. BRD already covers this in the same way as any other change. If, however, the editor does what they are supposed to do (place the tag and write something on the talk page explaining their reasoning for adding it), then the tag should not be removed without discussion. If an editor slaps a POV tag on a section or an entire article without explaining which POV they feel is being given preference, how is anyone else supposed to fix the problem? Most tags are not self-explanatory, and edit summaries don't allow for meaningful discussion. There are enough editors who are happy to slap tags around and ignore WP:SOFIXIT without giving them license to ignore BRD. We are still a collaborative effort, and discussion is the key. And both editors should be equally responsible for the D in BRD. If there is to be a change, it should be that the editor placing any tag has an obligation to explain their action on the talk page, or reverting the placement is just fine prior to any discussion started under BRD. My opinion here is not related to the ANI discussion noted above that started this discussion. I certainly am not condoning the removal of unreferenced or orphan tags (two that actually are self-explanatory) without fixing the underlying problem. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 19:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Ludwigs is assuming that the tags are always (1) thoughtfully placed, and (2) serve a useful purpose. Neither of these are universally true. Someone actually fact-tagged a sentence that said how many fingers were typically on the human hand a while ago: If the anon had decided to edit war over its removal, then this proposed rule to always-always-always keep the tag would have only served to make Wikipedia look stupid. Editors and admins must use their judgment in these situations. Similarly, I've seen people spam {{globalize}} into articles dealing exclusively with a single government agency. (Just what is the "global perspective" on, say, your local sewer system?) We also have problems with tags being used as badges of shame: The purpose of {{POV}} is not to "warn the reader" that someone disagrees with the article; it's to encourage discussion, and the tag should be removed whenever the discussion has ended. There's no excuse for Category:NPOV disputes from December 2007 having 1300+ articles in it, unless you believe that there have been 1300+ three-year-long discussions about neutrality. Talk:Abushiri Revolt, for example, contains one comment, which hardly qualifies as the "ongoing dispute" or active discussion required by the tag's documentation.

IMO, {{unref}} on a two-sentence stub is a waste of time and energy. Yes, it might well be True™, but it's not telling us anything we didn't already know, is it? (And if you think that people are actually going through the tens of thousands of articles at Category:Articles lacking sources in search of opportunities to add sources, then you've not been paying attention.) So while I personally leave such tags (if true), I wouldn't actually object if someone removed them. (And you ought to be removing them the minute any source is linked or mentioned, anywhere on the page, in any fashion.)

In the end, I don't think that mindlessly implemented pro-tag rules are either appropriate or helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Let's not confuse issues, please. there are two separate cases here:
  • stupid/lazy tag behavior, where an editor adds a tag and walks away. I don't really see that these need much in the way of protection. They can be removed, and if the original editor objects he'll come back.
  • tendentious tag behavior, where editors in a dispute extend the dispute from content all the way to dispute and cleanup tags. In a dispute, a tag should be an escape valve, where an editor can tag a disputed section and go to talk, in preference to continuing to edit war over the text. If tags can be blithely removed in these cases then the edit war will just be perpetuated (as I'm sure we've all seen happen on one page or another). I say that as long as an editor is willing to discuss the matter reasonably in talk, dispute tags should remain. that's the only way to ensure that other side will make an effort to discuss the matter as well, otherwise it's too easy to silence the dispute entirely by blocking changes to the page, blocking dispute tags, and refusing to talk in talk. --Ludwigs2 22:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Expectations and norms of the Wikipedia community

The aim is to provide a one page guideline/policy, mainly for newcomers, covering the main areas we have social expectations and norms, and what the main norms are in those areas.

We don't seem to have such a page at the moment – and for reasons described it would help many newcomers to create it.

A newcomer needs access to a simple but comprehensive guide, "what do I need to know". Not a facile or dense paragraph with dozens of policy links at WP:5P, not 50 intricate policy pages, and not "we say you can just edit but then you get bitten when it isn't what we expected". Something easy, digestible, that they can get what's important and pick up the rest at leisure. Where does a newcomer learn in summary how we work? Nowhere. That goes for about 80% of stuff thats fundamental to being an editor.

This proposal lists the major areas we have social (as opposed to content) norms, and the major norms and principles in those areas. A user who follows this will largely understand what we look for, behaviors to avoid (which might be ok elsewhere), and how to be a reputable editor.

Thanks for your help! FT2 (Talk | email) 13:30, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Are all places notable?

I am having a discussion at talk:List of islands of Maine about whether to redlink a massive list of islands off the coast of Maine. I think we should redlink them as they are almost all entirely notable because they are real geographic features, much like a city, town or river. We have the list due to their inclusion by the Maine Department of Conservation and their inclusion on the Geographic Names database by the US federal government. Another editor believes we should only redlink ones with more in-depth information available online other than existence. I have looked for and have yet to find a definitive guideline on the topic, only a couple of essays. What are your thoughts?--TM 16:21, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm the other editor. I feel a redlink signifies a placeholder for a Wikipage yet to be created. In this case we've posted a list of every named Maine Island. If an island is known and named it deserves to be listed, but not every island deserves its own Wikipedia article. They are not all notable. For instance, Bar Island off Bar Harbor is famous enough to have its own Wikipage, but nobody is going to create Wiki articles for each of the 20 other lesser known "Bar Islands". So in my view they ought not to be redlinked, which is an invitation to create a page.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 17:34, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
All named (and recognized) places should be included but not necessarily as an article within WP. One part of WP's purpose is being a gazetteer, so as long as the place name is recognized and verified, we should be including it, but notability of places is not always the case; just because it can be named does not mean anything of note happened at that place. So listing the names in a table is appropriate, but redlinked to a potential article is not. But I do think that each place name that is otherwise not notable should be a redirected article (or if in conflict, part of a disambig page), so that the name is searchable. I wouldn't link in a table/list of names to the redirect, but this allows the redirect to be expanded if, say, someone comes a wealth of information about a place that wasn't known about before. -MASEM (t) 17:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

All places are notable, but that doesn't mean they necessarily deserve an article. In the interim, they should generally redirect to the most applicable topic covering that subject. At the very least if we can't provide information on a specific place, we should redirect the reader to a topic that is geographically relevant to it. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:49, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

"All places" are not notable. "Intersection of Main and Fourth Streets" is a place, but not a notable one.
I wouldn't redlink these. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:45, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Well for starters, as Whatamidoing points out, "place" is a word with a lot of definitions. The place where I work is a place. There's even a 360˚ view of it available on Google. And yet it is not even remotely notable unto itself. As far as geographic features that are on mass-market maps, those are generally going to warrant some type of coverage, but as has been said often there is little to say and a redirect to a mention in a larger article is a better way to deal with this. For example, the Tangle Lakes are four separate lakes connected by streams, but the names of the individual lakes all redirect to the main article because there is little to say about them as individual lakes that can't be said by describing the area as a whole. When it comes to populated places it gets a little murkier. Near where I live is an area that the census refers to as Miller Landing, Alaska. Nobody else acknowledges Miller Landing as a separate entity from Homer, Alaska. Not the locals, not the City of Homer, not the State of Alaska, not any other branch or department of the Federal Government other than the census. It is actually mostly within the Homer city limits, and yet it has its own article because the census defines it as a separate place. I'm not sure we should be doing that, but there it is. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:16, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Is Russian Wikipedia Coorupeted?

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

This matter cannot be resolved on this Wikipedia, referred elsewhere. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:17, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

ru:Википедия:Заявки на арбитраж/Скайпочат (need to translate somehow)
Brief descripition:
In Russian wikipedia was revealed the Secret Society that includes part of Administrators, Arbiters, Bureaucrats, Checkusers and so on
by decsion of arbiters two persons were punished:
the one who revealed this secret society lost his rights for participation in discussions
the one of memebers lost his flag of Bureaucrat
no one else was punished
(cf. a half a year ago when was revealed another secret society that didn't have so many Administrators as memebers they had a lot of punishment) --Idot (talk) 16:31, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

PS Now I am a candidate for Arbitres (please see ru:Википедия:Выборы арбитров/Осень 2010/Выдвижение), but for questions about this Secret Society [8] I was voluntarily blocked [9] (Idot (talk) 16:31, 10 November 2010 (UTC))
This page is for discussion of policy on the English Wikipedia, we have nothing to do with (and no power over) the Russian Wikipedia. If you want people who might be able to actually do something, take it to the appropriate forum on Meta. Anomie 16:57, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

"Her own wikipedia page"

at the top of this page it says :"The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss existing and proposed policies and guidelines."

In the article Betty Diamond there is a list of publications. The first one looks questionable for several reasons. She isn't supposed to write her own article. Or if it's not that, no one's Wikipedia page is their own.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:59, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks like WP:RESUME to me. Would AfD solve this? — Timneu22 · talk 20:01, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
AfD would not, since she almost certainly passes a notability test. WP:RESUME does not, at a quick glance, provide deletion as a sanction. Meanwhile the addition of "my own webpage" to the list of key publications was added by a mischievous IP. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I didn't consider vandalism.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
There definitely appears to be some issues around Diamond, the Feinstein Institute, and various other entries in that garden. I'm not sure what the source is, but it appears to be a bit more directed than random vandalism. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:29, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
My main interest is that one of her co-authors may be notable enough for an article, so I put him/her on a disambiguation page. Then again, he/she may not.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Once again, Vchimp, you have brought an issue here that is not a policy discussion. You have not edited this article or commented on it's talk page before bringing the issue here, this seems to always be your first stop for anything you see as a problem. This is a forum for discussing Wikipedia policy, not specific articles and users. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Content moved to Talk:Betty Diamond . Beeblebrox (talk) 21:09, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Editing on articles where one posts a strong "anti" banner

Why post a strong anti banner on one's own User Page and then claim no POV on the subject? Bridgetttttttebabblepoop 02:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Uh, could you be more specific? It's not at all clear what you are talking about. If you are speaking of a specific user, asking them directly is a place to start. Also, this is a page for discussing Wikipedia policies, not specific pages or users. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:53, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

RfC on the relationship between the sourcing policies and guidelines

Input would be appreciated at an RfC to ask whether the sourcing guidelines (such as CITE, IRS, MEDRS) should make clear that the core content polices take priority by saying something like: "In the event of inconsistencies between this page and the policies, the policies take priority, and this guideline should be amended accordingly." Please see the RfC here at IRS. Many thanks, SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:42, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Asking in the right place

I recently came across a series of articles, with a number of issues. There are 17 articles of which perhaps 3 seem to have enough notability to be worth keeping, the others look like Adverts or have been put in by an acting agency to promote their clients. There is a core of 11 editors (some IP, Some User Name) working on these articles - at least 2 have clear COI on some of the articles and are clearly closely connected with others. About 7 of these users are IP's and some of these IP's look quite similar in posting style to the users with COI raising questions of Sockpuppeting.

So 3 issues Notability, COI, sock puppeting - where should I be raising questions about these articles?

So far I've asked a neutral editor who did some tidying on one of the articles to take a look with no response. I've also asked the notability noticeboard to take a look with no response. I want to leave either AFD or ANI as last resorts once I have opinions from other editors that this needs to be escalated to those levels.

I'm raising it here because there doesn't seem to be any central policy about where something like this should be discussed or handled and I'm wondering if there is somewhere I've missed or if there isn't should we have somewhere like this? Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:46, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that this needs to be dealt with through different procedures. The three problems are not inherently related to each other (i.e. you can easily have one without the others), so no location for the combination of them exists. For the notability, the easiest way is to start with one or two AfDs, to check if they are truly not notable (if they are speedy delete candidates, A7, so much the better). Once it has been established that they are creating articles on non notable subjects, they can be warned to be more careful: if they really persist, we have a behavioural problem and further action can be needed.
For the COI, you can contact the WP:COIN noticeboard. This is in the end probably the least of the three problems, although it means thta the articles need extra checking for WP:NPOV problems.
Finally, if you have strong indications that there are socks active, a WP:SPI is the best way of getting this resolved. But this is also the place where youwill need the most evidence for your case.
Once it becomes clear that some of these three problems are truly problematic (recurring, confirmed by other users, ...), further action can be taken, and then generally all those problems are tackled together. But then we are moving into RfC, AN, and finally perhaps arbcom territory, which is of course all way premature now. Fram (talk) 13:58, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I am aware that, The problem I have is that those processes are significantly bureaucratic and require a considerable investment of time and work. I'm not sure if I have that time to spare, so I feel there should be somewhere I can reasonably raise my concerns either to draw feedback from other editors to encourage me that that investment of time and work would be worthwhile - or to pass the concern onto another editor (or group of editors) who are skilled bureaucrats or simply have more time and effort to invest in dealing with the issue. I believed that the notability noticeboard was the most likely place to achieve this but as the concern ended up being archived without any editor response clearly it was not. Something like Rfc feels appropriate, but these processes (Rfc, AN, ArbCom) are set up to deal with disagreements between editors rather than to discuss the concerns an editor may have with an article or articles.
As for leaving them a note, some of these articles were created 3-4 years ago and not all of the accounts are still active (with other accounts and IP's taking over hence the concern of sockpuppetry.)
BTW since posting above I've just discovered two new articles, two new accounts editing solely within these articles and several new IP's - this is a growing concern. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 23:05, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, no replies, does that mean that there is nowhere to discuss these concerns, and that there should be nowhere? Not all editors are in a position or willing to carry out an AFD just to get feedback on the status of an article. To me an AFD is a statement of intent "I intend to delete this article" but I don't intend to delete it - I want to get feedback on whether it should be considered for deletion or not and no-one seems to be willing to do that. Taking aside the COI and Sockpuppet problems, the foremost problem is that as they stand almost all of these articles lack notability yet even the notability noticeboard couldn't give me feedback on whether any of these articles did or did not have a grain of notability. At the moment I have to feel that taking this to AN would be a more rewarding process than AfD. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Which articles?   — Jeff G.  ツ 15:45, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Can't post the list from my phone, but check the notability noticeboard archive Wikipedia:Notability/Noticeboard/Archive0#Widespread_Notability_issue most of them are there but I have found others since. The subject matter is british comedy/acting though there are crossovers such as an American film. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 16:24, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
To the above list, you can add Dan Antopolski - possibly some notability but the article is purely a list of achievements many (perhaps most?) of which have little notability. Neil Edmond, and Tim_Plester - some notability but the article is again full of non notable achievements; and there are probably still others waiting to be unearthed by cross referencing editors who have worked on these articles with other articles. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 17:45, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Old people

There's quite a debate at this AfD about the notability of people for simply being 100 years old. This is quite a conversation, and it could have implications beyond this one article. Personally, it is my belief that these people are not notable, no redirect should be created, and that their name on some list (List of centenarians in France) should suffice, if that list article should exist at all. The most recent comment, Being the oldest person in a country does not guarantee notability. This is one of many trivial entries here that relate to human longevity that ought to get the axe. It is pure trivia and the obsession of a group of hobbyists, but there is nothing encyclopedic about it, makes me realize that this really may be a list of trivia, and maybe there's no justification for this information at all.

Anyway, I'm here simply to point out that AfD; I think it's worth getting more eyes on it, since it may have ramifications to general policy about this type of article. — Timneu22 · talk 22:44, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

The claim being made in the AfD is actually of notability for being 110 years old, which is still very rare, not 100, which is now pretty commonplace. Phil Bridger (talk) 11:41, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Being rare is no guarantee of being noticed and the subject of significant coverage. Seems a classic case of "topics that if no significant coverage exists we shouldn't either." FT2 (Talk | email) 12:01, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the claim made in the AfD is that he is the oldest living European, which obviously is even rarer ;) It would be good to get lots of informed opinion on whether or not that makes him notable, because this AfD will potentially affect quite a lot of other open policy issues. Thparkth (talk) 12:16, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
In my humble opinion, holding the title of oldest person in a given country is notable enough to get one's name into a list (maybe with a few sentences in a comments column), but not notable enough to get one's own article. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 02:25, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Could these same arguments be applied to members of royal families? How does being born into a 'Royal Family' make a person notable when they have done nothing what so ever in regards to benefiting mankind? Leveni12 Nov 2010 —Preceding undated comment added 23:31, 11 November 2010 (UTC).

Being born into a royal family usually identifies you as one of the legitimate successors (of a relatively small group) to the title of "head of state", something that is most certainly notable. If/when Prince William has a child, that child being 4th in line to the British Monarchy is certainly notability at its most obvious, as certainly there will be numerous media articles about that topic which will be considered reliable sources of information and even secondary sources of information.
I don't see any sort of special notability category here or anything beyond the BLP guidelines being applied even for somebody over 100 or 110 years of age. If there are numerous stories about somebody being the only surviving veteran of World War I (all of the people in this list have articles BTW), that is certainly notable. It is a non-issue. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:51, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Since there is enought place in wikipedia I think the lists should stay as long as they are well sourced. They might seem, or even be, trivial, but it is nevertheless information that might be usefull to someone at some time. If it is imaginable that someone would need information for a serious investigation, it should be possible for that person to start the investigation in Wikipedia and to continue it through the sources found on the site. --DRHastings 12:12, 15 November (GMT)

Interwiki consistency policy in the age of the global village pump

I would like to see some type of policy that would:

  • Require a minimal level of checking or coordination between different languages in Wikipedia.
  • Enforce checks across these Wikipedias.

Two examples are provided by Supercomputing in China and Diocesan Museum (Cortona). The first issue, as illustrated by Supercomputing in China is that there was a puppet user:Watthehell33 who did a few things on that page, I noticed it and he was blocked. But there was no policy or any bot to check what he had done on the article in Chinese Wikipedia. I think there should be an "inter-administrator communication protocol" that facilitates the sending of messages from administrators in Wikipedia to those in Chinese Wikipedia so puppets can be blocked in the global village. As is, the Chinese article created by user:Watthehell33 is still sitting there. There should be an "inter-wiki notice board" that would have alerted admins in Chinese Wikipedia and guidelines for using that. And multi-lingual administrators can facilitate that.

As a second issue, it would also be good to have some type of encouragement policy to keep these types of articles in harmony. As is, one language can have a lot of content and few references, the other can have less content and more references, as in the museum articles. I tried to keep the English version of the museum article in line with the Italian version, but some type of "general request board" for maintaining harmony between the different languages will be useful, so someone else will manage that too, once I got bored with it. In short: let me propose the WP:Global village pump if there is none. History2007 (talk) 19:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

The huge problem here is that each Wikipedia has it's own policies. Something that might be perfectly within the limits of policy on the Japanese Wikipedia might not be permitted here, and vice versa. Also, given the sheer volume of articles this is practically impossible. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but unfortunately it is an unworkable idea. However, you could always create the "global coordination wiki" and give it a shot. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, each country used to have their own phone system, etc. But the global village eventually arrived. An easy way to start will be an "interwiki admin message system" just for 5 Wikipedias. The admins manage the policies on the separate Wikipedias. But the formal message "Please check this page" gets translated by itself, using a simple template. I guess it can start with just 7 to 10 messages. That way the admin who blocked user:Watthehell33 could select to leave a message on the English/Chinese board by just clicking a button, without speaking Chinese. Then that Chinese page would be checked using Chinese policies if a Chinese admin feels like doing that. Remember that the internet started just between 3 islands. My guess, 7 years from now it will be there. Let the games start, we will eventually get it after the idea simmers for 3 years. History2007 (talk) 01:25, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
This was supposedly the purpose of the embassy concept, where inter-wiki issues could be resolved. There was even some sort of fanciful notion of a "congress of Wikis" that was to have some sort of official representation within the scope of the Wikimedia Foundation. That proposal pretty much died in committee and never was seriously pursued by anybody in terms of actually putting anything together, particularly because representation on that "congress" was heavily in dispute with sister projects (Wikibooks, Wikisource, etc.) demanding equal representation and trying to decide if larger wikis (de, en, ru, etc.) would get any kind of proportional representation over smaller wikis, even smaller Wikipedias like the Tongan or Zulu Wikipedias. In theory, this congress was to set "global" policies and resolve issues like the content relicensing issue from GFDL to CC-by-SA. You can dig up some details about this proposal on Meta, but like I said, it went nowhere fast in part because of infighting on the basic concepts and a feeling that the WMF board of trustees pretty much does most of what this congress would have been doing anyway. I disagree and obviously there are some issue needing resolving between projects where we shouldn't have to "run to Jimbo" for resolution.
This isn't a new notion and it has been something with plenty of ideas for resolution in the past. The problem here is leadership and getting somebody with enough clout or internal stamina to get something to happen. My guess, in 7 years time it will be still more of the same unless somebody steps forward to make a change. The idea has been simmering for at least 4 years already. I gave it a shot back elsewhen, so it is up to somebody else to take the ball and run with it. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:09, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Interesting, they wanted a United Nations of Wikipedias. But I want a messageboard, with no common policy etc. Just a way of sending messages that get translated. But it maybe that you are right and it will die in committee, unless it just gets implemented as a set of scripts that get used on existing ANI-type boards, so one can set up 10 messages in Enlish, 10 in Chinese that Amins can just use/copy/paste on the existing ANIs.Then we see if it gets used. The real question, of course, is whether any admins on any Wikipedia even want to bother to do this. My main goal for this, of course, was to eventually see coordination that would lead to content from one Wikipedia work its way into another, and that will require some coordination. History2007 (talk) 20:50, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
You could look at meta:Wikimedia Embassy for some assistance. For myself, I think this is a hugely underutilized resource, but something that has been around since nearly the foundation of multi-lingual Wikipedias in the first place and ought to be a way even to coordinate between sister projects. It didn't always work out, and unfortunately not even all of the English Wikimedia projects are involved. This is a message board setup to work between languages. There are some other similar projects for inter-wiki communication as well on Meta, but it will take some digging around there to find them. --Robert Horning (talk) 04:09, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

You seem to be looking for Wikipedia:translation, or possibly m:global blocks and locks. Or perhaps simply the English Wikipedia user talk page of an administrator in the Chinese Wikipedia. Uncle G (talk) 02:05, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Spanish Wikipedia,, Richard Stallman, and so forth

Personally, I have not got any reason to want Spanish-language Wikipedia goes on.

Unluckly, I registered with the Spanish-language Wikipedia in 2008, just before the were blacklisted; a real act of censorship, as reported by the software freedom activist Richard Stallman. Me and many people were banned and offended by the administrators. No point of all my posts were scrupulously polite. No point of requesting for ban revision, more offense were suffered from.

It is incredible ... by now, my requests to remove personal data (the banned nick, with name and surname) have been ignored, despite of a the clear Spanish legislation.

Well ... three years later is still blacklisted, me and many people are still banned and any post asking for revising this issue is deleted.

Donate for the Spanish-language Wikipedia? I wish a resounding failure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Juanpablosoto (talkcontribs) 23:19, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Please, I need support this post is being repeatly deleted in the Spanish-language Wikipedia. Could anybody stop such a behaviour?, What could I do? Juanpablosoto (talk) 23:38, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

It is incredible ... now, the English page for has been just edited to remove any reference of the blacklist and the Stallman's report. Indeed, as Richard Stallman reported: “There’s a problem here, a real problem”

Juanpablosoto (talk) 00:20, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

There's not anything we can do about the Spanish Wikipedia here. You should consider posting on Meta. Also, donations support all projects, which help many people - don't wish for their failure. Dcoetzee 00:22, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I may point that Ecemaml, the user that just edited the article here, is the user who requested the block of Rebelion in wikipedia in Spanish in the first place, so editing articles about the real-world controversy generated about it can be understood as a conflict of interest MBelgrano (talk) 00:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
MBelgrano, I have to point out for clarity and a general audience - I'm sure you're already aware, having looked at the article history - that Ecemaml made an edit to soften the wording of a section, and that I subsequently removed that section completely. I don't know Ecemaml from Adam, I have never had anything of substance to do with the Spanish Wikipedia, and I would have removed that section with either version of the altered language in it, since it was (to put it very nicely) useless navel-gazing self-reference of no substantial import beyond Wikipedian politics. We should never use the encyclopedia as a tool to advocate unimportant political factions of unimportant Wikipedia disputes, no matter how strongly we feel about the matter, and I will always remove such nonsense when I see it, with no regard to who "the good guys" are supposed to be. For all I know Ecemaml is the author of all the ills that afflict the world today, but it would be silly to talk about sanctioning him for an edit that would never have made any difference.
Meanwhile, I'm looking into the question of whether is even objectively notable at all apart from the internecine drama. Merely being noticed by Richard Stallman does not make it so. Gavia immer (talk) 00:59, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
My mistake, the one I was talking about was Kordas, not Ecemaml, I remove my comment MBelgrano (talk) 01:33, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Trick 'r treat. Ask for money, give no toleration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Spin-off MediaWiki fork

The English page for has been edited to remove any reference of its blacklist and the Stallman's report. This is the removed paragraph, tagged as "navel-gazzing":

In 2008, Rebelió was included in the Spanish-language Wikipedia spam blacklist. accused the Spanish-language wikipedia of banning them, allegedly charging some administrators of right-wing bias, since other Spanish sites, with similar content but from right-wing perspectives, were not banned. The software freedom activist Richard Stallman complained about this decision. Presently, is still blacklisted.

Navel-gazzing? ... seemingly some Wikipedia's administrators use offense too easily. Against this one-click aggression I have to use the tricky Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution procedure, ... meanwhile info remains missing. Balanced, isn't it?

However, ... objective of this post is another one. Objective is to trigger a reflection regarding of the Richard Stallman's report: "There's a problem here, a real problem". Imho, this Wikipedia's problem is content administration; no point in how much elaborated are policies, some senior administrators will find the way.

What could be the solution? Indeed, could Wikipedia work with no content administration? Likely the free software movement could help us.

A modified wiki software (likely a MediaWiki fork) could render contents according to user's preferences. Users could create and/or sign in groups to tune what content bias is displayed for them. Anonymous readers would get contents backed by a majority of groups. With this approach there is not a sole content, there could be many contents with different weigth or support from the users' groups. Less administrators, more users. Less elite, more people.

Experienced-software people know such an approach is feasible (GPL has got no frontiers, see Bitcoin). Such a MediaWiki fork (or new feature) could help Wikipedia.

Hopefully, community feel this post as a severe but constructive criticism. I hope so.

Juanpablosoto (talk) 11:07, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Me, I prefer my information to be from the reality-based community. A fair percentage of this community have one or other ideology that I loathe. But if they're reality-based, I can get along with them. So your suggestion for Mediawiki sounds all wrong to me.
Is the article on censored? No, or anyway, not as you suggest. See my comments on its talk page.
Is Spanish Wikipedia censored, does it have a right-wing bias, or, more simply, does it suck? I have an open mind on this, but I agree with the comment above that English Wikipedia isn't the place to discuss it. -- Hoary (talk) 11:34, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I can't say as I understand your post entirely, but a few things. Wikipedia does not have any "content administrators" but only administrators. Neither the user who first changed your addition as inaccurate, nor the second user who removed this material as "naval-gazing" are, in fact, administrators. It sounds like what you want to create is a Wikipedia where users could click on different bias version filters to view different versions of the article from different spins. I shudder at the thought.-- (talk) 11:44, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Wikinfo works on the principle of having parallel articles with different perspectives, with "See also" at the top. Peter jackson (talk) 11:54, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
@Peter ... thanks for your point about I do not know it, I wish them the best and will try to collaborate. Existence of shows the reality of problem pointed by Stallman, i.e. the subject of this post.
I have selected the Bitcoin example because it shows two concepts. On the one hand, how elitism can be avoided at the roots. On the other hand, how people are able to manage dynamically (quite) complex environments. In our context, the second one means allowing users/readers to dynamically select and see their content bias, similarly as people select its newspapers or TV channels to catch the *reality*.
Indeed, Bitcoin is an amazing web3 GPL application. This approach would mean, first at all, to boost social perform of Wikipedia. But also, to reduce risk against predators: i.e. governments, corporations and something with enough resources to watch and lead selected items. Paranoic ... not that much.
@ ... If the user who removed info as "navel-gazing" is not, in fact, administrator ... what means?, could I undo its action?, could it redo it? ... well, I don't do it, I don't want to risk getting me banned. Then, ... will go on blacklisted in the Spanish Wikipedia and polished in the English one.
Would be somebody so kind as to restore the English article of
Juanpablosoto (talk) 17:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Administrators are not the same thing at the Spanish wikipedia and here. There, administrators are allowed to do basically anything, citing the "use common sense" policy as a justification, and by getting the trust of the community they are trusted that they won't misuse the buttons. And the blocking system does not allow any non-admin user to opine about someone else's block or discuss them, discussions at the administrators noticeboards are off-limits for them (if, for example, an admin blocks someone for some arbitrary reason and a dozens of non-admin users say it was wrong, their comments are simply dismissed citing WP:NOT#FORUM).
Fortunately, none of those weird things apply here. If you have a strong reason to believe that someone is pushing a point of view at some article, feel free to fix it, discuss it, or even report the user or the article if problems continue. Perhaps you will be found to be rigth, perhaps the other user will, but as long as you can provide plausible reasons for the things you say or do, and manage the dispute in calmed ways, you don't have to fear any block. MBelgrano (talk) 20:42, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

FPC "voting period"

Surely it is not right that the standard FPC template refers to a "voting period" ? ╟─TreasuryTagcabinet─╢ 17:19, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Cleanstart, RFA and Arb elections

As a result of some discussions at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2010#Disclosure_of_former_and_alternate_accounts I've formulated a possible amendment to CleanStart at Wikipedia_talk:Clean_start#Replace_Strongly_recommended_with_must?. ϢereSpielChequers 21:50, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Afd and 'Original Research'

The article Greek love has been nominated for Afd. The debate indicates some confusion about Original Research as grounds for deletion. Hopefully some people here can clarify the issues for us there. The debate is an important one and more voices are welcome. Thanks. McZeus (talk) 22:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Original research is grounds for deletion. What else do you need to know? --TS 23:05, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't know how to explain that without seeming to promote my own arguement and I think that might be improper canvassing. People need to look at the arguments being made in the debate. There is certainly a difference of opinion and some guidance would be appreciated. Feel free to vote but even just a comment might help. McZeus (talk) 23:36, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

the question, as usual, is not the principle but the application; in this case, to what extent the article is OR, and that should be discussed at the AfD, of course. DGG ( talk ) 19:00, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Seasons episode lists

Mhiji (talk · contribs) has moved a large number of season episode lists. Since there has been no consensus building discussions about the naming of these episode lists, I have started a discussion at WT:NC-TV. Thank you. —Farix (t | c) 03:55, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Maintenance tags


We have now a steady stream of distressed article subjects emailing OTRS about maintenance tags on biographies. There is a note at WP:PEREN about moving the tags to talk pages, and that has been consistently rejected. I would like to make an alternative proposal.

It would be relatively straightforward to add a parameter to maintenance tags that showed them by default in a collapsed state with generic and hopefully innocuous text along the lines of "Wikipedia needs to improve this article" and perhaps also a comment in the body of the expanded tag (especially in notability-related ones that this is a reflection of the quality of the article not necessarily the subject.

My markup-fu is weak today so I can't readily make a demo or mockup but I hope the proposal is clear from my description. The aim would be to leave policy and practice essentially unchanged, but allow individual editors and especially those watching BLPs to reduce the impact of "this article is crap and it's about someone of no significance and we may well nuke it" type boxes. Guy (Help!) 13:24, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

If you go back to the early days, I always preferred Angela's style to the massive bombast of the boxed templates. You can see the discussion that went into the templates. I suspect we'd get far fewer complaints if the current article templates weren't so horribly ugly and prominent. --TS 13:36, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think this is a good idea in general. Many tags have nothing to do with the subject of the article (things like "BLPsources" and the like), and removing the actual template text from the page does nothing for the subject of the article, while obscuring the issues for the readers. If you cold rephrase the proposal to b targeted at a specific list of tags, I may be persuaded, but a replacement of all maintenance tags with some generic text seems like a serious step backwards. Fram (talk) 13:39, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
If there's a solution I'm not sure this is it. If sourcing is missing or the tone is poor, then part of our ability to fix it comes from passing readers and occasional IP editors who may make edits, and our readers need to know we consider the article is at risk of being significantly substandard. Having a large notice may not be the most elegant way in all cases but it's unambiguous and unmissable, and ensures readers are aware that we're aware which is critical (ie "looks like our quality control has noticed the issue").
By contrast, some issues such as XFD are much more internal facing and not displaying those to non-editing readers may not lose so much. Even so IP users make valid contributions to XFD and other debates too, and may track/notice/respond to tags on pages.
I think improvement would comes from shortening and rationalizing maintenance templates, but not from hiding them or making them vague in the process. This is how I'd do it:
Proposal -
I would group templateable issues like this -- "matters that affect reader reliance" (broadly speaking) (sources, COI, limited scope or topic coverage, NPOV, V, etc), "matters affecting readability and style" (tone, style, perspective, markup, cleanup, etc), "matters affecting inclusion/deletion of topic" (notability, NOT, etc), and so on. Then at most one template for each of a brief generic nature, with all specific concerns of that type in a "details" box like we already do for {{multiple issues}}, and also links for information on fixing them:
reliance -

An editor feels that this article may have issues affecting how much reliance should be placed on it as written. You can help fix these issues or contribute insights.

view details of the concerns | relevant policies | add useful evidence | join the discussion.
tone/style -

An editor feels that this article may have an inappropriate tone or style for an encyclopedia and needs rewriting or fixing. You can help improve the article or contribute insights.

view details of the concerns | relevant policies | join the discussion.
inclusion/deletion -

An editor feels that this page may not meet Wikipedia's criteria for articles, and may need to be removed. A discussion is in progress which anyone can view or join.

view details of the concerns | relevant policies | add useful evidence | join the discussion.
That would be one approach I'd suggest instead. "Best of both worlds" and more helpful to readers than either of full detail tl;dr templates and brief "something's up" notices. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
FYI, the relevant guideline to change for the above proposal is WP:AMBOX. I suggest you start a discussion there. Tijfo098 (talk) 18:40, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

What are the natures of the distress? We cannot really take reasonable action based upon our random guesses as to what the problem is. For all we know, it could be that people don't like being called "U.S. politician stubs", and FT2 et al. are on completely the wrong track. This discussion isn't really meaningful without specifics. How many people are complaining that they are being labelled as unclean and in need of cleaning, for example? Uncle G (talk) 17:06, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

I was about to ask the same question - what exactly is it that is upsetting BLP subjects emailing OTRS? Rd232 talk 18:11, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what they are saying there, but a notice above one's bio at a site with this wide exposure saying that "The notability of this article's subject is in question" would upset most people. A person's colleagues are likely to tease the person about it for years. The very placement of the tag violates WP:BLP, actually, and should be forbidden on BLPa on that basis. Concealing it as FT2 suggests would be a good first step--at least the violation of "do no harm" will not be quite as obvious. DGG ( talk ) 00:18, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, I haven't checked how much this is an issue. Sometimes a concern by a user prompts a general rethink of the best way to handle something, and that's the case here. I think even if we didn't get complaints, reworking how tags are handled as above would be an improvement. Note the aim is not to "conceal", it's to summarize "at a glance" the kind of issue a reader needs to be aware of and what the reader needs to know, so it's seen and noticed, rather than providing a stack of larger templates like we do now. FT2 (Talk | email) 03:59, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
We may make a different tag for notability of BLP, avoiding the use of the word "notable". We may say that it is questioned whenever the encyclopedia shold include an entry about this specific subject, or something like that. But I guess the most likely answer is that this would complicate maintenance for little gain MBelgrano (talk) 02:19, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I think we need to do it--but, , looking at your suggestion, we could do better yet and avoid the complications: we might change the wording on all the tags--after all, what we mean here by notability is pretty much a local term of art and nobody outside seems to understand it. We could still call the names of the tags the same--it would just affect the tag wording. The change would take about 5 minutes if we did it that way, and didn't have to sort them out as BLP or whatever. DGG ( talk ) 03:03, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I strongly agree about the jargon-nature of "notability" of Wikipedia. "May not meet the Wikipedia guidelines for a separate article." seems less insulting. Tijfo098 (talk) 18:29, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Or "An editor is unsure whether Wikipedia should have an article about this person." Getting away from wikijargon like "Notable" might help. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:31, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I like where this is going; a carefully worded tag for BLP notability will help. I've had people privately begging me to take down their bio because they were going to be speaking at a conference and their bio had a nasty tag on it. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

  • What were the tags, though? Cleanup? Copyediting? Lack of references? Inline citations? Wikification? Sections? Missing introduction?

    This does raise an interesting question: If subjects aren't getting that these tags are about the article and are the faults of the article writers, then perhaps readers in general are not. Part of the point is to encourage readers to join in and fix the article. It's worth studying, if anyone can come up with a methodoogy, whether in general people aren't realizing that tags are requests to edit and fix, not an article rating system that is intended to apply indefinitely.

    It's interesting to note that the earliest revisions of {{cleanup}} used to instruct one to remove the notice when the work had been done. Now that relates to something that occurs visibly, on-wiki: The people who say "I've cleaned the article up. When does someone come along and remove the tag?". It's not a farfetched assumption for them to think that they have to wait for someone else's approval. FT2's suggestions above are, I submit, a step yet further away from that, if anything. They look entirely perpetual.

    For {{subst:afd1}} we have an answer to that question: "A volunteer will come along at the end of seven days.". Similarly for {{subst:prod}} and our other deletion notices. But for cleanup, rather than deletion, the situation is a lot woollier, both in what we currently have and in the direction that FT2 is suggesting.

    It's worth observing how little Wikipedia:Cleanup has evolved from its original roots as compared to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. Uncle G (talk) 02:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

"It's not a farfetched assumption for them to think that they have to wait for someone else's approval." I've seen a fair number of articles where the issue had been fixed, sometimes for years, but the tag was still on the article. Tijfo098 (talk) 09:15, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
However, it's not outlandish to assume the opposite as well: a not-so-flattering biography with a dispute tag sometimes appears more acceptable to the subject than one without a tag. I'm not OTRS, so I only have circumstantial evidence for this hypothesis, like the edit history of this biography. Tijfo098 (talk) 09:21, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
AFD is a fixed term situation - it's being discussed for deletion and will be decided in a given time. That's different to a cleanup concern which can last indefinitely. (There isn't yet a consensus that perceived issues must be fixed in a given time to the satisfaction of all). So the question is, how do we notify users of a possible open-ended concern that may or may not be valid or under discussion or deadlocked for months or (in some cases) years, in such a way they don't misunderstand the extent of the issues. It's in that context I see the original question. If current cleanup tags may be over complicated or over detailed as seen by some, then proposals to simplify them and give just the basics may be useful. FT2 (Talk | email) 11:26, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Templates such as {{Weasel}} are also concerning as they can be misinterpreted. See Victim of "IBM advocates" criticizes Wikipedia in the April 12, 2010 Signpost. Having this many tags on a BLP article [10] is never a good idea and it is also never a good sign when OTRS has to get involved. [11] [12] Seeing these types of issues raised causes me to wonder just how many more go unreported and unresolved? At the very least, single word templates such as {{Weasel}} should probably be renamed (and Twinkle updated) to "Weasel words" or perhaps even better, "Vague phrasing", etc. --Tothwolf (talk) 19:32, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
To be fair, though, there seems to be a fair consensus out there that the subject in that case is essentially a crank with an agenda. That is a rather specific case and I would not want us to overdo deference to people trying to use Wikipedia to downplay controversy about their eccentric viewpoints. Guy (Help!) 20:25, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
As far as consensus for that goes, that in and of itself is a can of worms and something which I'd not want to debate from either pov. The subject of that article did seem to be genuinely confused as to the meaning of the {{Weasel}} maintenance template. In following the link from the Signpost coverage, he really seems grateful towards User:Stifle for removing the Weasel tag from his bio. Black states: "On that page a link was made to a cartoon of a weasel, this apparently as an official Wikipedia policy, with a special “weasel” label." What he was apparently referring to, is the image shown at Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words, which itself is directly linked from {{Weasel}}. Should we really even be including images such as File:Weasel words.svg in any pages directly linked from maintenance templates such as {{Weasel}}? (From the looks of it, this has also been copied from the English Wikipedia to many of the other language Wikipedias.) The {{Weasel}} template itself had a history of problems with inappropriate images prior to it being fully protected in 2008 [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] (a sample from the last 5 years). While I don't think it would be possible (nor desirable) protect and/or monitor each and every single page directly linked from these templates to prevent the insertion of such images, this still really is a potential problem area that we should be looking at. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:27, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
It is also quite debatable whether he was truly confused or merely pretended to be confused so he could write in his Cutting Edge News article that Wikipedia labeled him a "weasel American Jew" [19]. Tijfo098 (talk) 11:08, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
And this is why it's generally a bad idea to use in-universe terms (wiki-jargon) in material being presented to non-users. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:16, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Weasel word unlike "notability" is not jargon invented by Wikipedia. Tijfo098 (talk) 13:40, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • The answer to how much of a problem it is. I am seeing several examples per week, just one of several tens of OTRS volunteers, of biography subjects specifically raising the issue of distress caused by these tags. I suspect that many, possibly most people never really work out how to contact OTRS. It is as big a deal as any other WP:BLP problem; the scale may or may not be huge, but it gives us a challenge to show some class rather than giving internal administrative concerns precedence over the feelings of individuals who very often did not ask for an article in the first place. Guy (Help!) 20:23, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
    • "weasel" is easily fixed. I propose "imprecise" , which is what they actually are. The change will take 1 minute for the template, and 30 min. for the replacement of the word elsewhere. The cartoon should simply be removed. DGG ( talk ) 19:05, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
    • What were the tags, though? Cleanup? Copyediting? Lack of references? Inline citations? Wikification? Sections? Missing introduction? Prosification of lists? Uncle G (talk) 12:06, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • A different measure of how much of a problem we have: I've been cleaning through WPMED's allegedly "unreferenced" articles recently, and, so far, about 20% of the articles actually contain some type of citation. About 8% of all WPMED articles are tagged as "unref", so that means that about 2% of all WPMED articles are mislabeled. I have no reason to think that WPMED is different in this respect, and if that's the case, then we've got some ~60,000 articles incorrectly tagged as completely unreferenced. Like other editors, I have seen several new people ask for "review" so that the tag can be removed. Honestly, given the scope of the problem, I think we need a bot to pull the tags from any article that contains <ref> tags and/or a URL. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:21, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
    • Indeed. Articles with no references are often low-profile and sources usually added by new users who don't know how to remove the tag (e.g. Bubble memory, Northern Blue). WP:Mistagged BLP cleanup went some way towards adressing this, removing well over a thousand inaccurate {{unreferenced BLP}} tags, prompted by the serious possibility of all unreferenced BLPs being deleted. Dare I suggest that something similar might be needed to sort out non-BLP articles with the same issue? Alzarian16 (talk) 19:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Lots of good points above and I very much support Guy's suggestion. A good example of an inconspicuous cleanup template is {{coord missing}}. That just seems to put the article into a hidden category. That method is perhaps too subtle for some issues but would be fine for style and other gnome-like issues. Colonel Warden (talk) 19:20, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I think the templates are fine as is. They are motivational. If you don't like the big banner on an article you're working on, then you'll do something to fix the problem it is pointing out. Similarly, they are informative. If you are looking for information on something and you come to a WP article that has a banner that says "this article is not sourced" or "this article has content whose accuracy is disputed", then you'll have a better idea of how reliable the information in the article is. Creating smaller and less intrusive (or even invisible) cleanup templates is basically an attempt to sweep the problems under the carpet, creating the illusion that all WP articles are perfect. This may seem desirable from a PR perspective, since WP is often derided for inaccuracy. However, I think that honest, up-front, and full disclosure about an article's problems is a far better way to go. SnottyWong confess 00:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I hope your standard reply includes a suggestion that if they know accessible RSs that can be used to ref an article they let you have them, or add them to the talk page, if not the article. Johnbod (talk) 00:36, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • First, a note, WP:Mistagged BLP cleanup is still very much active and can use your help. We are almost done with our initial list. Regarding using a bot to remove the tags, I don't think that's feasible. I'm a programmer myself, and as I've worked through the mistagged BLP list, I've seen so many different cases, it would be basically impossible to cover them all. I strongly support making the article issues tags more streamlined and low profile such as FT2's suggestions or the "plain italics hatnote" that was also suggested. The argument that they are "motivating" in their ugliness is terrible. Holding people at gunpoint to get them to do volunteer work is absolutely unethical. It's bad enough that these maint tags "assign" work for someone else to do, making the tagger into a "boss" and everyone else his peon. What ever happened to a culture of {{sofixit}}? Gigs (talk) 16:45, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Streamlining the look of cleanup tags

User:MuZemike/Cleanup proposal → I actually started this last year, but now since we have been having some recent discussion on cleanup tags (including the above thread on "Maintenance tags"), I thought I would bring forward my proposal to at least "streamline" the tags somewhat. This would make the tags simpler to follow, easier to read, and possibly not look as menacing as many contend. Any thoughts/comments on this are welcome. –MuZemike 02:08, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Shouldn't they say "article"s rather than "page"s? --Cybercobra (talk) 04:17, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
My reasoning is that "page" is easier to say than "article", even though "article" may be more descriptive. –MuZemike 04:49, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
"Page" is more generic; we are trying to keep people conscious at all times that these are encyclopedia articles they are editing, not just MySpace pages or something. --Orange Mike | Talk 05:31, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, that's fair. My goal is trying to strive for simplicity, but I realize we need to balance that with concise descriptiveness. –MuZemike 08:42, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Very simple and clean. Can you mock up how you would handle it when multiple of these apply, as well? FT2 (Talk | email) 13:13, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I've suggested a further simplification on User talk:MuZemike/Cleanup proposal, which also avoids the "article" vs "page" proble,. The principle is the famous "no needless words" DGG ( talk ) 18:59, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I'll take a further look at it sometime today when I get the time. –MuZemike 15:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
A splendid proposal. I've been suggesting that we need to reduce the icon size for years, and the text simplifications will help immensely with the above problem of overwhelming size, and with just getting more readers to actually read the messages. Full support. I've mentioned this proposal at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (article message boxes). HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:47, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Am I missing something, or is the vertical size of the templates unchanged? I'm not sure what is the great improvement here. Slightly smaller icons? The text of various templates is not going to be directly affected by these sample templates. Tijfo098 (talk) 21:03, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I am totally in favour of something along the lines of FT2's examples above. The banner depth could even be a tad thinner. Our current templates are really ugly - and there are far too many. It's my guess that except for the ones on the Twinkle menus, most of them rarely get used.Kudpung (talk) 13:06, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think muzemike's work is a step in the right direction, but I have to say I agree with Kudpung et al that I would prefer a more radically streamlined approach like FT2's. Lets think outside of the ambox. :) 16:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of Referenced Material

I accidentally posted this to an archived discussion about deletions of referenced material. I'm not sure where to post this, but I think it has something to do with "original research".

I think we need a policy on this (removal of referenced material). Aggressive editors sometimes remove relevant, well-referenced, neutral material, sometimes giving wikilawyer reasons for doing it, and sometimes giving no defensible reason at all. Editors end up "voting" on whether the material can be admitted, regardless of how well referenced it is. I think removing material like this is a form of "reverse original research".

A couple of examples:

Deleted from "9/11 conspiracy theories":
The group Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professional architects, engineers, and related professions, is petitioning Congress to hold a “truly independent investigation” into the collapses of the World Trade Center towers and Building 7 on September 11, 2001. The petition demands that the possible use of explosives be fully looked into. The group claims to have collected the signatures of more than 1,000 architects and engineers.

deletion comment: (Undid revision 367703856 by Ghostofnemo (talk) there also seems to be no reason for inclusion)

Deleted from "Tokyo Two":
Former whalers have reportedly confirmed that large amounts of whale meat collected during scientific research are embezzled by whalers and sold.

Some of the whale meat collected during Japan's research activities is legally sold in shops and restaurants, and a large amount of unsold meat is kept in cold storage.

deletion comment: (no consensus. using information from source out of context to imply something (cold storage bit). did not successfully integrate reasoning. Rework it. Consensus is again against you)

If a contribution is relevant to an article, well-referenced with reliable sources, and NPOV, there should be some protection against dubious deletions like these, which are practically vandalism. And no, the article editors are not always able to work this out among themselves. The majority of interested editors prevail, and it seems in cases like these that groups of editors with a shared agenda are working together to keep certain kinds of material out of articles (material that challenges their POV). Ghostofnemo (talk) 03:59, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Wow, again?Cptnono (talk) 04:10, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
It's a serious problem and I can't find a policy that deals with this specifically. I thought I found an open discussion on this, via a search on "deletion of referenced material", but it was old - I didn't notice the dates. Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I did find this though: Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Not good to hardcode a policy on this. Deciding what referenced material belongs in the article, and how to work it in, requires judgment. That's why we have editors rather than stenographers. Any rigid policy will be wikilawyered. --Trovatore (talk) 05:25, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
We have a policy on adding unreferenced material - no original research. How is removing referenced material for dubious reasons different from adding dubious unreferenced material? Shouldn't there be some kind of standard that protects relevant, well-referenced, NPOV material from summary deletion? Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Removing referenced material is completely different from adding referenced material. On any subject, there's a potentially unlimited amount of possible referenced material. Weaving it into a coherent narrative is a difficult task. If we were to insist that a citation be a veto power against removal, the task would be basically impossible.
Now certainly, if editors at a given article (I'm speaking generally here; I have no interest in figuring out what your particular dispute is) were to refuse to allow any discussion of certain well-represented points of view, in reasonable proportion to the extent in which they are held by experts, that would be a violation of NPOV, and if the earlier dispute resolution steps fail, you can bring it to arbitration. No new policy needed for that. --Trovatore (talk) 09:37, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
The hell is the tagteam link for? You have continuously brought up your concerns at various places and they have always been rejected. You are a disruptive editor. Go blog about it.Cptnono (talk) 05:44, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I wrote above that a possible motive for these deletions is that groups of editors have banded together to defend a shared POV that is threatened by the material they are removing. There isn't a policy addressing deletion of referenced material per se, but there is a page on tagteams. Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, numerous editors in a variety of talk pages is banding together in something we like to call consensus. You were wrong. Get over it.Cptnono (talk) 06:05, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Another possible motive for deleting apparently relevant, well-referenced and NPOV material could be that editors are being paid to protect the image of a client:
As it stands now, I can spend a lot of time tracking down sources, carefully wording my edit, and coding all my references, and my contribution can be deleted for any or no reason at all, just as if I was adding random obscenities. There should be some restriction on deletions of this kind. Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:18, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Fuck you for your edit summary.Cptnono (talk) 06:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
The suspicious thing about these deletions is that the editors involved never rework the material in question, it's a total deletion of the edit and all the supporting references. Odd. Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:20, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
It is only odd to you. The rest of the community has already made that clear.Cptnono (talk) 06:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like a rehash of the stuff that went on for ages in the original research noticeboard. I believe I opposed practically everything you said there as being synthesis of one sort or another. If you believe I am part of some tagteam banding up to defend whaling in Japan or whatever then please go ahead and report me to the administrators notice board. I do not believe this is an appropriate forum for your concerns though. Dmcq (talk) 14:50, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh I see I also voted at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Ghostofnemo that you be able to keep your user page full of complaints but just delete references to particular editors, but you were unable to accept that and the whole business got deleted. Another reason for you I might be part of a tagteam. Dmcq (talk) 14:57, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am beside myself on the level of discourse being done here. "Fuck you"?!? I mean, is that really necessary for this kind of discussion? For myself, this sounds like at least a legitimate airing of grievances and a request for comments after a fashion from the greater Wikipedia community. I also think the basic issue itself is something worthy debating or suggesting potential remedies in terms of how to deal with editors who engage in these practices, even if it has been discussed ad nauseum on other forums. When I see this kind of vitriolic discussion happening, I tend to think that maybe there is something happening that is wrong.

What is being described sounds like the root cause of an edit war, and in fact many edit wars. As a general response to Ghostofnemo, I would strongly suggest that such deleted material ought to be displayed on the talk page of the article in question rather than raising the issue elsewhere, and if there is a policy or custom on Wikipedia, it is to debate content about an article on the associated talk page where other contributors to that article can find the discussoin. I don't know if any other sort of policy needs to happen here, although I know of several policies about civility between editors that would apply to what I see happening here. I've seen too much forum shopping on what ought to be issues resolved on the article talk page in far too many cases.

Tone this discussion down a couple of notches and it sounds like there are several of the involved parties that need to take a wikibreak for at least a short while, at least from these issues. In fact, don't let this discussion get to arbitration if you can help it. --Robert Horning (talk) 15:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree the 'fuck you' was uncivil. I saw it coming after the edit comment implying the editor was being paid for their editing and that's why they opposed GhostofNemo but two wrongs don't make a right. Dmcq (talk) 15:49, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a problem. Wikimedia says

Consensus should not trump NPOV (or any other official policy). However, a group of editors may be able to shut out certain facts and points of view through persistence, numbers, and organization. This group of editors should not agree to an article version that violates NPOV, but on occasion will do so anyway. This is generally agreed to be a bad thing and to be avoided.

Whether this case is one of those I've no idea, and have no interest in trying to determine. The point is that WP has no effective system for dealing with that sort of thing. Peter jackson (talk) 17:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a couple of sections in WP:CONSENSUS on various things to do if you disagree with a consensus ranging from getting a third opinion up to getting admins involved. The option of asking here is mentioned but just saying they are ganging up on me is something for admin action not a policy dispute. Dmcq (talk) 17:23, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
p.s. I agree there should be a more effective way of dealing with some consensus disputed. In particular I believe WP:Civil POV pushing can waste and enormous amount of time and burn out good editors and should have effective remedies to at least mitigate its effects even if the ones doing it aren't banned. Dmcq (talk) 17:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you feel the examples I have given above are "synthesis" or "original research", and warranted being completely deleted? You seemed to be implying that above. I was not accusing any particular editor of being on a tag team or of paid editing - I was hypothesizing why this may be occurring, in general.Ghostofnemo (talk) 01:39, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Here's an example of a public relations firm/person who has been hired by the whaling industry, and who offers "media management solutions" according to this business directory (second link):
I'm not saying this is happening, but there is the POSSIBILITY of someone like this editing articles on behalf of his or her clients, for example. Ghostofnemo (talk) 01:54, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I am so afraid of getting into a tar pit by going into specifics here, but there does seem to be a bit of a problem here. If I can give advise here, be civil, maintain NPOV on what you do, and try to avoid WP:OWN. I've had problems with editors on other articles including groups of editors coming in and pushing a POV or causing other sorts of problems that end up with a protracted edit war. As a general issue what you are talking about can be an issue and I'd agree that Wikipedia isn't very effective at dealing with low threshold reverting of good-faith edits. I've seen edit wars go on for years, and at best it is eternal vigilance that has to happen in those cases. WP:CIVIL is above all important, and in fact one of the primary pillars of Wikipedia. What I see here has not been civility at all. A strong recommendation here too... back off for a little bit and work on some other project with Wikipedia and come back when everything has calmed down. I've found that I can usually outlast the trolls to the point that they go away and then I can clean up the damage at a later time. Patience is a virtue here, especially when working on Wikipedia articles. Think long term, not just what happens tomorrow. --Robert Horning (talk) 02:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Ghostofnemo chooses to come back after time away just to beat the same dead horse. And if he is going to accuse me of something then I am going to be a jerk right back. He has been a problem and it was easy enough to "outlast" him but his shennanigans are too much.Cptnono (talk) 05:54, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Good grief, GoN - you've only brought this up to nearly every noticeboard on the site. And now here. And like everytime before, you somehow manage to forget to note that you've brought this up in various venues and had various people try to explain the concept of WP:SYNTH to you. There is a problem here - it's called WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT, and it's GoN. Ravensfire (talk) 13:05, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Sheesh - what's with the editing of an WP:ANI archive from 2007?!?! Trying again to poison the well? Ravensfire (talk) 13:08, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
What part of WP:CIVIL do you guys not get? Why are you sticking to this guy like some sort of strange kind of groupie? As a broad and general principle without going into the specifics, I agree that the issues which Ghostofnemo is brining up are legitimate so far as it becomes an editorial dispute and that Wikipedia doesn't really have effective methods to resolve those disputes. This is why it is all that more important to not lose your cool and be patient, to be civil and not engage in personal attacks. That is precisely what I see happening here, as the issues involved here have become personal where objectivity over the content is getting thrown completely out the window. What are you suggesting as a remedy here, a complete ban on GhostofNemo from Wikipedia? You are certainly making a good start toward that end. It should be apparent who is being civil here and who isn't too. The suggestion for a wikibreak wasn't just for GhostofNemo. Calm down and start thinking objectively before you shoot yourself in the foot again. Also, don't feed the trolls. My experience is that a starving troll will disappear, but you are giving a buffet for each other. --Robert Horning (talk) 14:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
And who exactly are you calling a troll? As I said above there are two sections of WP:CONSENSUS giving the path to follow for resolving content disputes. Where has anybody suggested banning GhostofNemo? I'd certainly like better action against people who keep disagreeing with a clear consenus after bringing a question to a wider forum, something like a ban from raising it again for a month would be nice. Dmcq (talk) 14:38, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
The lack of civility here and very pointed personal attacks certainly appears to be trollish behavior. There is also the problem of mob mentality where often consensus isn't always the best action either. When I see that this particular user's main user page is being subject to a deletion debate and continued personal attacks are happening, it sounds like there are several who are acting on an emotional basis rather than being cool and objective. There aren't too many actions that can happen here anyway, and if you are talking about reining in somebody, banning is about the only really effective action that can happen. "Better action against people who keep disagreeing" sound like code words to kick somebody out of the community as they aren't wanted. Your words, not mine. He doesn't appear to be an admin or have access to any other tools not available to ordinary contributors, so what other controls can be applied? This sounds like an editorial dispute, and there are plenty of flame wars over editorial control of an article. This situation certainly isn't unique other than perhaps the topic range.
BTW, consensus means that you have taken into account all viewpoints, not merely the viewpoints of the majority. If you are suggesting that somebody keeps disagreeing with consensus, you are really saying that somebody disagrees with the opinion of the majority of the participants involved. There is a tyranny of the majority here too that needs to be avoided in the development of content on Wikipedia and really doesn't represent consensus. I've seen false consensus happen in a number of ways over the years I've been involved with Wikimedia projects in general, including what amounts to be a coup on some issue from a group of dedicated users who all think alike. Make sure you aren't confusing consensus with majority opinion making. It isn't the same thing. Forming consensus isn't an easy thing to do, and takes considerable patience. That is patience I am not seeing here either. Something is most definitely wrong here and is being counter productive to the development of Wikipedia. When I see a group of people ganging up on another user, I can only presume that it is bullying that is going on here too. I'm just saying what I see, and this doesn't look pretty. This is also why I said I want to avoid getting dragged into this tar pit and am reluctant to participate, and why perhaps other outside of this little group embroiled in this dispute don't want to get involved either. Too often simply getting involved is going to get those trying to defend "the accused" to be potentially presumed to be cut out of the same cloth and be labeled as exhibiting similar trollish behavior. But then again I like tilting at windmills myself. --Robert Horning (talk) 15:41, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
So now people here are a little group of bullies and trolls ganging up on a user. I think I'll just ignore any further contributions from you to this thread thank you. Dmcq (talk) 16:20, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Good, you are getting the message across on how you deal with people like this. BTW, yes I do think this is a group of bullies here that are pounding on another user trying to drive them out of Wikipedia. That is not a good thing. So why do you keep responding to a troll? (hint, I'm not expecting an answer). --Robert Horning (talk) 19:40, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:SYNTH is not a policy that applies to the sources, it applies to how they are used. There is a basic misconception which has been explained before I believe but is shown again above by listing out a number of sources and complaining about them removed on the basis of synthesis or original research. The place that shows up a problem is the edit - a diff should be provided to do that. The basic problem people have with your edits is that you stick things together that secondary sources do not stick together and then put them into articles to push your point of view. The causes you stand up for may have some merit but it is not part of Wikipedia's remit to go around providing a platform for good causes by doing original research to argue their cases. It is an encyclopaedia and neutral point of view is of paramount importance. Dmcq (talk) 14:12, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You both got sucked into it, too. LOL. Cptnono (talk) 05:08, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, editors involved in the whaling article disputes HAVE suggested that I be banned from contributing to whaling related articles, for making edits like the one above, which is clearly not POV or OR no matter how many times they claim it is. The Tokyo Two (two defendants arrested for intercepting stolen whale meat and delivering it to the police) claimed that whalers were embezzling whale meat, and the quoted source backs that allegation up (some whalers admit that this is going on). It may not be clear to the readers that whales ostensibly killed for scientific research end up in supermarkets and restaurants, and the second line points that out, clearly relevant in an article about whaling. My edits were not misrepresenting the news media that were being quoted, I was drawing no original conclusions, and this material seems very relevant to the article, which is about two activists who attempted to prove that whalers were embezzling whale meat, and who got arrested, harshly interrogated, and sentenced by the Japanese authorities for their efforts (including gag orders not to speak to the media about it). Ghostofnemo (talk) 17:01, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The fact is, if most or all of the other contributors to an article disagree with you, then the edits stay out. The only recourse is to try and expand the relevant community, to get more eyes on the article. It sounds like you tried this, and they also disagreed with you, so then the edits stay out. I haven't looked at the underlying content issues to determine who is "right" (as if there is an objective answer). Just as you are convinced that your edits do not violate WP:OR, others obviously believe that they do, and as policies can't enforce or interpret themselves, it's up to WP:CONSENSUS to interpret and apply them. So there is no recourse to keeping edits in when most or everyone else believes that the edits should stay out, because edits should stay out when a consensus believes they should (and I will disagree with Robert Horning above, to the extent he suggests that consensus must always accommodate a single holdout or "heckler's veto"). There are a number of content issues that I am on the distinct minority side of. I stopped trying to insist on my correctness because my best arguments haven't changed any minds, I can't think of another way to express why I'm right, and I haven't seen any indication that community consensus is changing my way. So I lose for now. You might lose for now too. That's the way WP:CONSENSUS works, and that's the way Wikipedia works. Sorry. postdlf (talk) 18:04, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I am not saying that you must always accommodate a single hold out, but you must at least make an attempt to do so. Consensus is not majority rule, which was the point I was trying to make. It means coming to a common conclusion and making a good faith effort to include all viewpoints. If you have to cast votes and push people into factions, consensus has been defeated where instead you have mob rule. I have seen some editors claim that consensus was formed when in fact it is only majority rule that is the case and somebody forcing an opinion on whatever is happening. Sometimes that is necessary in part to break a deadlock, but I often find when trying to form consensus that when somebody is screaming loudly there is usually a problem which needs to be addressed as well, and usually that problem comes back to haunt the decision making process if it isn't dealt with in some other way. Simply banning a person isn't going to resolve the issue either, and that furthermore creates a false sense of consensus. In those few situation where there is an exclusive either-or situation perhaps a majority rule is a good idea, but even then the decision ought to subject to review and not permanent. Small reversible changes is the way Wikipedia works. WP:AGF is also a policy that governs Wikipedia, where it should be assumed that somebody adding content and references should be assumed to be added in good faith. What I see being described here is an assumption of bad faith. Good faith cuts in many directions too, where you shouldn't override the edits of another contributor unless it seems to improve the article or Wikipedia in general. --Robert Horning (talk) 20:19, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

uncertain future for Wikipedia because of a pigged headed approach to funding

I find the continuing personal appeal by Jimmy Wales, taking up heaps of real estate on every Wikipedia page, pretty close to offensive. Here is an organisation that is so successful that it could raise millions of dollars by advertising, and probably make donations to all sorts of deserving causes. Instead it constantly begs for money, in competition with those other deserving causes. All in the name of independence and lack of bias. Yet the site is happy to tie itself to Google search. And making itself reliant on a limited number of "Benefactors" instead of being much more independent, relying only on non-selective advertising feeds from many. many advertisers.But more importantly, it is tied to people who strongly object to advertising. so strongly that they would stop contributing if it took advertising. That is a huge built in bias against the commercial world. A couple of years back there was some attempt to put Wikipedia on a real road to independence and authority. Including the set up of several working groups. Including a working group to investigate ways and means of funding Wikipedia to ensure it's long lived independence. One strong proposition was to introduce user Opt in/Opt out advertising for a period of time to build up a real Foundation to ensure long term funding. But basically the working group was sham. It's set up was a sham. It turned out Jimbo had already made his own decision. No advertising, not even if a user wanted informative advertising, just never ending appeals, and an uncertain future for Wikipedia. No discussion. The working group just vanished, unheeded.--Richardb43 (talk) 11:34, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

The future is always uncertain. I fail to see how allowing advertising on Wikipedia would make it any less so. AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:02, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
One campaign of a few weeks per year is close to being the opposite of constantly asking for money, and the strategy of asking lots of people for small donations is very different to one of soliciting a few big donations. As for the reasons for rejecting commercial advertising, this was heavily discussed in the strategy project, and describing the opposition to it as "bias against the commercial world" is almost as incorrect as describing the strategy of relying on donations as an "uncertain future". Where I come from there are plenty of charities that have lasted for generations on donations. ϢereSpielChequers 12:10, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Not quite sure I agree either:
  • WMF is reducing reliance on large donations in favor of mass smaller donations. The fundraiser statistics bear this out - fundraiser statistics show a mass increase in small donations this year, perhaps 5 - 7 times as much so far, averaging around $50. So we don't seem to be tied to large "Benefactors" as you think.
  • The "people objecting to advertizing" are actually the editing community itself, and end users. For example, no "request to allow advertizing" has ever gained community agreement.

    Also the American Customer Satisfaction Index added social media (Wikipedia, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube) this year (report). Their conclusion was that Wikipedia had the highest satisfaction rating among users, and that a major factor was precisely that it does not take advertizing:

    ("At the top is Wikipedia [...] With an ACSI score of 77, Wikipedia is more satisfying than most of the ACSI-measured news and information websites. Like Google, Wikipedia’s user interface has remained very consistent over the years, and its nonprofit standing means that it has not been impacted by commercialization and marketing unlike many other social media sites.")

    (And again, their press release on it: "our research shows that privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialization and advertising adversely affect the consumer experience")

FT2 (Talk | email) 14:36, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Although I fundamentally agree with the practice we have of no advertising I think that there are probably some things that could be done to generate additional revenue and keep the foundation alive with less or limited benefactor support (ie self sufficient). Since WP is a nonprofit a revenue stream may affect the nonprofit status of the company but as long as the proceeds go back to the foundation for maintenance and upkeep type things there shouldn't be a problem. A couple possibilities include:
  1. Improving and enhancing the bounty board to more actively solicite donations for improvements to certain articles. For example if a company wanted their article or a product they have to get to another status (I was thinking GA or higher) they could list it on the bounty board and off we go. Of course all the usual rules of balance and NPOV in the article still apply but it could still be of immense benefit to most companies or products.
  2. A modest advertisement (that could be ignored or minimized if preferred by the user) in certain locations. Maybe the main page or the article relating to it. Again these should be limited, modest and ignorable.
  3. There is a movement to create/allow a professional writer class of users who would receive compensation in return for monitored editing of certain articles. I expect this to be shot down but, if it is allowed, these companies should be charged a fee. WP is a nonprofit so if a company is using it for a direct profit (through editing or such rather than just using the information) then they should be charged.
  4. A couple more examples could be image restoration (similar to the bounty board) or in professional bounded/printed copies of Wikibooks.
  5. Also, if we look at where the money goes we should be able to change our internal processes a bit to be a bit more efficient and make better use of what we have.
    1. One big one I often mention is unnecessary spaces. We put spaces in templates, headings (before and after ='s), etc. Every time an empty space is added or left it rolls to the history when the article is saved so if an article has 20 spaces (many have a lot more than that) each in 20 historical copies then that adds up. Now times that by 3. 5 million articles (this is in the English WP alone) and you end up with several gigabytes or blank wasted space.
    2. Add better archiving to the historical copies so they take up less space.
    3. In the cases of vandalism we should have a method to not keep the history. If someone blanks the page with F&%&, states somewhere the X is gay, or some other gibberish there is very little value (unless you want to see how many times vandalism occurs in which case the software could be modified slightly to add a placeholder for vandalism "rollback or revert" or something) rather than keeping keeping that in history...but we do. --Kumioko (talk) 15:03, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
In the United States there is really only one source of well done, complex unfiltered and as-close-to-unbiased as possible news and other programs and its NPR. There is little doubt that this is only possible because they are not beholden to corporate advertising. Every year NPR has a few fund drives. It drives its listeners a bit nuts but we understand the necessity. Wikipedia is not quite an online equivalent—we don't operate in exactly the same sphere or have the same media model—but the analogy fits well. If we take your suggested approach, we will become tainted by corporate influence over time and will be ultimately co-opted. If you don't like the particular form the donation drive took this year, then you are not alone but you had an opportunity to shape it as there was a long appeal for people to do just that in site banner notices. A Wikipedia that is run through advertising will be a very different place, maybe not immediately but eventually. I would not donate my time to that Wikipedia.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:05, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
What is NPR? In regards to the banner thing I am somewhat artistically challenged so helping to devise a banner would not have been in my swim lane. --Kumioko (talk) 15:10, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, let me slap some brackets around that for you: NPR.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:25, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
A response to Kumikio:
Any suggestion that the way an article is treated should depend on contributions is entirely against the spirit of Wikipedia, at least as I see it. This applies just as much to article classification as content.
As for 'professional writers' monitoring articles for a fee, I fail to see how this would work without violating either (a) the requirement of Wikipedia to maintain NPOV, or (b) a contractual obligation on such writers to look after the interests of those who pay them.
I for one don't see why I could reasonably be expected to give my time freely in such a context, particularly if my work is then being used to generate revenue for commercial concerns. I suspect that I'm not alone in this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:24, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification of NPR. Of course I am skeptical of how paid writers would work myself and doubtful it will even happen I just wanted to mention it. Your right that good editors would be lost there's no doubt and that's one of the concerns I mentioned in the conversation on the subject. I have voiced several positives and negatives to allowing it on that conversation. Again Im not saying we should turn it into facebook or myspace and it should be strictly limited but its a possibility. The question that remains is would you rather allow some modest advertising or turn off the servers and the lights and have WP be no more? Funding isn't currently a looming issue and we are doing well but that may not always be the case. It may never come to that but if it does we should prepare and know what we would be willing to allow. --Kumioko (talk) 15:51, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
If donations declined sharply there would be several other options to explore before we had to choose between taking advertising and switching off the servers. Contingency planning is a worthwhile exercise, but one should concentrate one's efforts on the likely scenarios. ϢereSpielChequers 10:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
If it ain't broke then don't fix it is my motto. I think involvement of contributors could possibly be helped by some kudos points system like slashdot but even that would need to be checked carefully . I don't think there is any need for the foundation to get involved in payments itself and that could easily be very bad for Wikipedia. Dmcq (talk) 17:20, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Slashdot used to have numeric karma, until people made it a game to whore karma and get a high score. Then Malda capped it at 50 and turned it into a descriptive name instead of a number because it encouraged synthetic behavior. It's bad enough that editcountitis runs rampant here, we don't need any more numbers to game. Gigs (talk) 19:59, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for user ability to selectively hide from view reverted/undone edits in article histories

(Note: This would require a software change, but I wanted to gauge interest first and then discuss how to request it.)

Vandalism typically does not leave a lasting impact on article text because it gets spotted and reverted quickly. What it does leave behind is a flood of useless edits in the histories of many articles, making it extremely time-consuming to filter out the noise to focus on edits that actually made substantive changes.

So I propose that we add a feature to article revision histories enabling any user to click "hide reverted/undone edits", in the exact same way that you can hide bot edits or minor edits from showing up in your watchlist view. So this would not involve any actual change to an article or to how anyone else sees the history (unlike deleted revisions), but just be a viewing option that has to be clicked every time every user views a particular article history to be enacted for that user for that article, no more intrusive or permanent than the decision to view 100 or 500 edits on a page or the selective watchlist views. Ideally, it would hide both the reverted/undone edits and the edits that reverted/undid them. It obviously couldn't capture vandalism that was manually reverted, but I think being able to hide from one's sight the automatic edits alone would go a long way: take a look at the edit history of Dred Scott v. Sandford, for example; the reverted/undone edits far outnumber all others (all but maybe two or three of the 50 most recent edits).

Thoughts? Other than the developer effort required to enable this, I can see no drawbacks. postdlf (talk) 22:29, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

An interesting idea. If you want to file an enhancement request at Bugzilla you will need an account there. – Allen4names 22:49, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Question - Could this be achieved with the existing tagged edit filter? Also when edits are repeatedly reverted would you expect to only see the final version before a non-revert edit, or a list of reversions with missing intervening edits? Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 00:31, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
1) I haven't used the tag filter much, but I don't think tags could be used in the way that I want because there are too many different kinds of tags applicable to vandal edits, it doesn't look like multiple tags can be applied to the same edits (such as "blanking" and "reverted") and that an edit is later reverted or undone is not going to retroactively apply a tag to that edit. Most important, it doesn't look like you can use the tag filter to show everything but a certain kind of tag, so ironically, it looks like the tag filter shows you only certain kinds of vandal edits.[20] Useful for patrolling recent changes, not so useful for evaluating the history of an article.

2) I'm not sure I understand your second question, unless you're asking what displays if an edit reverting or undoing another is the most recent edit? I suppose that's a kink to figure out, but likely the best result would be to display the most recent edit in the history no matter what. I don't think the watchlist show/hide feature deals with this issue well; hide all bot edits, and an article simply won't show up in your watchlist if the last edit was by a bot even if there was a non-bot edit a minute before it. postdlf (talk) 13:52, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

The way to do this would be to mark the identical revisions in the database, with a (doubly?) linked list, allowing collapse and recursive expansion of diffs in the list without the overhead of loading all the diffs to create the list. Drawback: If I replace the article with "Josh is ghey", you revert and at the same time fix a typo, and then I replace with "Josh is ghey" again and a second person reverts and adds a ref, your revision will be the one that is hidden. Working on edit summaries instead of actual contents would cause so many WP:BEANS problems it would fail, I think. Another idea would be using rolback/undo flags - the function would need to be invoked to make an edit hide-able. Again there is some scope for abuse. Rich Farmbrough, 14:27, 22 November 2010 (UTC).
I'm primarily talking about automatic reversions/rollbacks, not manual reversions; in such edits, there is no opportunity for other edits. Undo edits can make other changes manually, but usually don't, so maybe those could be excluded from the show/hide feature or only included if the only change is to undo another.

Because this would just be a show/hide feature to remove some probable clutter from views of the article history (not views of the article text itself) at the reader's choice, to focus on edits that are more likely to be substantive, I don't see how you're imagining any abuse. Hiding these edits from one's own view wouldn't remove them from the article's history or otherwise affect how anyone else views them, nor would it permanently hide them from the person who clicked "hide". All that a reader/editor could hide would be edits with no net change to the article: edit 1 and edit 2 reverting/undoing edit 1 and doing nothing more. Certainly our software is capable of recognizing such edits, right? So there would certainly be no more "abuse" possible than there is with the watchlist show/hide features, as I've noted above; people abuse minor edit marking all the time, yet it's still useful to decide that you don't want to see these on your watchlist. postdlf (talk) 14:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

When can a bot ignore 1RR?

The current thinking is, a bot, in this case an anti vandal bot, can only revert a given user on a given page, once per time unit (usually a day). The 1RR bot rule is in place to stop a legitimate user from being reverted more than once. I have been watching bot feeds, and have noticed that as much as a quarter of vandalism edits (just eye-balling a number here) are dropped, simply because the user revandalises. I put this forward today to get a community consensus, when can a bot ignore 1RR?

Let us take the case of a karma bot - this bot scores an edit from 0-100 and reverts if it scored higher than 80.

  • One option is to keep it abiding by 1RR, in which case lots of vandalism will slip through, however it won't hurt a legitimate user, who can simply undo the bot action, albeit so can vandals.
  • Another option is to let bots abide by 3RR or don't throttle, in which case lots more vandalism will be reverted, however legitimate users would be reverted multiple times and wouldn't be able to do the given edit.
  • Another way, and the reason I use the example of the karma bot, is to use the scoring to decide whether to re-revert by using some algorithm, such as reducing scoring by 10 per previous revert. This will mean that an edit that is more likely to be vandalism will be reverted more times, whereas a borderline case won't be re-reverted.
  • The final way I put forth, is for a bot to have a false positive reporting system, whereby legitimate users who get their edit reverted, report it by some means, and the bot will then either ignore further edits by that user on that page or what I suggest being, removing the warning from the user's talk page and undoing it's own revert. Now in this case, abuse of the reporting, especially in the latter case can cause substantial disruption and hence I think that abuse of reporting should result in a 4im and then a ban, by means of a new template.

I now put this question forth to the community; when can a bot ignore 1RR? 930913 (Congratulate/Complaints) 04:04, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I think that countervandalism bots should be exempt from any rules so long as they function correctly. They are responsible for reverting lots of vandalism, some of which is missed by users, and I don't see any good reason to impede that level of not-vandalised-ness in our articles. Ajraddatz (Talk) 04:09, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Concur, I have also seen users who know just enough about the inner workings of wiki rules that they will make several edits one after the other. Or they just do it out of random boredom to irritate us. Either way, I personally would be quite happy if a bot could revert multiple edits, even breaking 3RR. Call it WP:IAR or whatever but if its vandalism lets not get wrapped up. The point of he rules is to minimize vandalism, edit-wars and the like not to hold up correcting problems or vandalism. --Kumioko (talk) 04:13, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Concur with you guys, 3RR is for edit-wars, not vandalism (it says so [[WP:3RR|here]). Leave the bots to do their bot-work. If a bot starts edit-warring, call me and ask an admin to disable all bots before they take over the universe. Face-wink.svg WikiCopter (radiosortiesimageslostdefenseattack) 04:45, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

The bot in question is Cluebot NG. This bot, and all other antivandalism bots, have some degree of false positives. Details on exactly how many false positives there are may change, and current statistics are on the user page and BRFA. But while there are any false positives at all, the bot definitely cannot revert the same edit multiple times in a row. The bot adheres to 1RR to prevent negative impact on false positives. Although the false positives are rare, this would greatly confuse any legitimate users that did happen to be subject to a false positive. Even two reverts in a row would usually be enough to stop a legitimate user from trying - vandals tend to be more persistent. While the bot does generate a score, and most false positives are on the lower end of the score, the scoring algorithm is not linear, and some false positives do have relatively high scores, so 1RR exemptions based primarily on score are unacceptable. Of the options presented, the last option would likely be best, but also as mentioned, there would likely be a fair amount of abuse of the system. As far as I'm concerned, these are the acceptable options:

  1. Continue with the current 1RR rule.
  2. Modify the last option above in some way (suggestions?) to make it easy for legitimate users to use, but difficult for vandals to abuse.
  3. Have a false positive reporting system that, instead of immediately exempting the user from further reverts, places the edit on a list for manual review. Established users would then be able to redo the edit, remove the warning, and prevent future reverts. This really only has a chance of working if reported edits would all be reviewed within a few minutes, regardless of time of day.
  4. Exempt a user from the 1RR rule if and only if it's clear that the user does not have good faith - perhaps this could be based on the number of previous warnings compared to edit count.

Of these, 1 and 4 would probably generate the least controversy. 2 would be best, if someone comes up with a good idea to make it effective. 3 would likely be pretty acceptable, but would require a large number of people to constantly review the page. Crispy1989 (talk) 05:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

ClueBot always asks for false positives to be reported. I disagree that reverted challenged edits need to be reviewed within a few minutes, unless there were many of them. Rich Farmbrough, 14:09, 22 November 2010 (UTC).
Because ClueBot NG has a certain rate of false positives by design, I think it would be a very bad idea to suspend 1RR for it in anything other than exceptional cases. Gigs (talk) 16:28, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Its true that there should be limts to when the bots can break 3RR, but I think that there are scenarios that can be programmed in. I dont actively patrol vandalism so I cant put my finger on one at the moment but I am certain they exist and we should be able to program some logic into the bot to at least capture and deal with some of them, even if not all. Perhaps it would also be possible for the bot to identify the questionable edit and rather than revert it, adds that article and the dif link to a page somewhere to be reviewed by non automated eyes. --Kumioko (talk) 16:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
The bot should be able to easily produce a report of article where it was reverted and prevented from editing by the 1RR. It would be a pretty large report though, and it would quickly go stale as normal vandalism patrol cleans up the edits outside the bot process. Gigs (talk) 18:33, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
What about my #4 option above? Crispy1989 (talk) 19:40, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

If you think you can code it in a way that makes sense. A possible implementation:

  • User is already mentioned in an active report at WP:AIV, revert identified vandalism no matter what and ignore all revert rules
  • User has a uw warning in the last 24 hour that is level 4 or "final and only warning" (im series), then assume bad faith and ignore all revert rules (since level 3-4-im warnings already imply the assumption of bad faith), and report to AIV under the bot reported section. "Potential vandalism after level 4 warning"
  • User has a uw warning in the last week that is level 2 or above, revert up to 2 times. 2 times is so that good faith editors won't be entrapped into breaking the 3rr. Some percentage of vandals will give up after the second time.

I don't think you necessarily need to look at edit count, but you should probably exempt sysop, rollback, and articlecreator groups and limit those to 1RR (or whatever you do now if you never revert sysops) Gigs (talk) 23:49, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

So long as ClueBot NG is making edits like [21] and [22], both of which are completely avoidable since the reversions introduce obvious, bot-identifiable vandalism to articles, and one of which reverts against an editor with over 60,000 edits and multiple user rights, it is vitally important that the bot not exceed 1RR for any reason. It should never be necessary to report a malfunctioning bot at WP:AIV to stop the repeated blanking of articles and replacement with vandalism. Peter Karlsen (talk) 20:45, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
CluebotNG is not like other vandalism bots. Some mistakes it makes will seem very "dumb" because of the way that the neural net works, especially in these early stages when it doesn't have as much training data. It should make less and less dumb mistakes as the training dataset grows. It will still make some mistakes that seem "dumb" which is why I'm not arguing for lifting 1RR on it in general, only in special cases when the person it's reverting already has vandalism warnings (from humans) on their talk page. Gigs (talk) 01:15, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Image for FFD

I'd like to put this image to a ffd. Any suggestions as how to do this ,bearing in mind this discussion Gnevin (talk) 21:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

First step is to gain consensus to remove it from each of the articles in which it appears, on each's talk page, I'd think. --Bsherr (talk) 21:59, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
In other words nearly impossible to remove with out great effect Gnevin (talk) 21:01, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Either way, it literally can't be deleted locally. It can be unlinked, but as it is hosted on Commons any deletion request should be made there. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:57, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Commons doesn't care about NPOV, OR and numerous other things. All commons cares about is COPYVIO and for explicit photos, tastefulness. I see this is a area people so consider problematic Gnevin (talk) 00:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)


Isn't this sort of thing in conflict with MOS: List of Christian media organizations? I tried to fix it a bit, but realized that the whole div col thing doesn't work in IE. However, it would seem as though if we need to collapse the entire page, isn't it better to just have a category or subpages? Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 06:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Or a List of lists?--Hjal (talk) 07:19, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
At the least, it contravenes the template documentation, which I've always considered to be consensus-based guidelines for the use of the template. Collapse is not to be used in the main space. --Bsherr (talk) 07:23, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Wow, that page is crazy. Someone should seriously clean it up! I mean, why have a single page if everything has to be collapsed? (talk) 20:35, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Notice: deletion summary conversation

I've opened a discussion about policy regarding deletion summaries at the deletion policy talk page. All interested people are invited to weigh in there. Thanks. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Determination of usage needed for the BLP unsourced template

I have recently run across several articles with {{BLP unsourced}} that have scenarios not currently covered under the instructions and needs clarification.

  1. If an article contains {{BLP unsourced}} and also contains {{Prod blp/dated}} then I recommend we delete {{BLP unsourced}}. The {{Prod blp/dated}} is much more explicit and having both adds unnecessarily duplication and confusion to those that are trying to clear the backlog of Unrefernced BLP's. Both temnplates should link to the same category though.
  2. Some articles have a message stating the article has been blanked due to a copyright violation (sorry I cant remember the actual article or template at the moment but as soon as I find it I will post it here) and also contains {{BLP unsourced}}. In my opinon if the content has been deleted (except for references and categories) then there is no need for ther BLP unsourced message because its not a BLP. Unless your an admin you have to look at the article history to even see the info. If the information is later restored and the article contains BLP info and is unsourced a bot will tag it again.
  3. In recent conversations about BLP information it was determined that the BLP banner should have top billing on the article talk pages. Since traffic is much much heavier to the article than too the talk page I infer this to mean that {{BLP unsourced}} should also have top billing above other maintenance/cleanup templates on the article. Another editor contested that there was no clear concensus so I would like clarification if the rules governing giving BLP messages top billing on talk pages should also apply to the article itslef.

We still have thousands of articles that contain BLP unreferenced tag and if we can eliminate some of the ones that dont need it we can get down to dealing with the ones that are left that do. --Kumioko (talk)

I concur with your first two items. Regarding the third, I think the existing best practice is to order templates in order of their type. The types are listed in order at Wikipedia:AMBOX#Categories and colours. Because Template:BLP unsourced is a content type template, it would be placed above all other types of templates except speedy deletion and deletion templates. Regarding order within types of templates, there's nothing specified, but I think it's sensible to order them according to gravity, and from most general to most specific. Applying that criteria, BLP unsourced will usually be at the top of the list. --Bsherr (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I am the other editor referenced in the third point. I have no objection against someone who adds the BLPunsourced template at the top of an article ((below deletion notices, and according to some MOS below "for" and "redirect" hatnote templates as well). My objection was to the mass moving of said template from somewhere else in the article (e.g. below an "orphan" template, or in the empty "references" section) to the top of the article, using AWB, and without making other, more significant changes. These kind of changes go, in my opinion, against the AWB rules of use, since they don't change anything to the contents of the page, the categorization, or other actual significant changes, but only to the order and spelling of templates. The discussion we have here is interesting, but will not answer that specific objection I had. Fram (talk) 21:41, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
As further clarification I disagreed on the point that this is an insignificant change. Moving this template to top billing to me isnt minor as would be the normal rules for stubs or templates since this deals with templates of a BLP nature. Normally I would be inclined to agree with Fram that moving a template without making some other more significant edit but not in this case. --Kumioko (talk) 21:48, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Fram. I'm sensitive to limiting waste edits, but, if a template is employed in contravention of its documentation, it must be fixed. Placing Template:BLP unsourced anywhere but the top of the page is not consistent with the documented use of the template, and should be fixed, by any chosen means. (If consensus is indifference to where the template is placed, the documentation should be amended.) --Bsherr (talk) 22:26, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Just a small comment: Any cleanup tag must go under prod/xfd and certainly under dablinks. For the rest I have no strong opinion. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:21, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Just because something is a copyvio doesn't mean it and the article history isn't about a living person, and we shouldn't lose such templates any more than we should lose the categories etc. Not least because having that template will bring the article extra attention from the BLP cleanup squad as well as the copyvio cleaners. As for the first scenario, logically I agree that articles don't really need both a BLPprod and BLPunsourced. But not all BLPprods are correct, so you need to be careful which one if either that you remove, and whether the prod is correct or not the article won't stay prodded for long. So I would be inclined not to worry if they have both tags for a few days. ϢereSpielChequers 13:43, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it's more for the convenience of being able to distinguish "BLP unsourced"-tagged articles that are not prodded. --Bsherr (talk) 17:48, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should automatically remove BLP unsourced from BLP Prodded articles. BLP PROD can currently be removed even when the article contains zero reliable sources; when it is still effectively unsourced. I think we should leave it up to the person who removes the BLP PROD tag to remove the BLP unsourced tag if it's appropriate to do so, or downgrade it to BLP refimprove, based on their judgement. Keeping them on there an extra 0-7 days isn't going to hurt anything. As well, the relatively small number of articles currently tagged for BLP PROD doesn't skew the numbers much. As for the position, I really don't care, and I don't think anyone should care enough to make edits solely to "fix' that. It's not that important. Gigs (talk) 19:53, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The BLP unsourced tag says that the article does not contain any citations or references. If the BLP PROD tag is being removed, so should the BLP unsourced tag. There are only three possible outcomes if BLP PROD is placed and BLP unsourced is removed: (1) BLP PROD wrongly placed because article contains sources, in which case BLP PROD should be removed, and BLP unsourced would have ultimately been removed anyway; (2) article is eventually deleted, in which case there's no need to replace BLP unsourced anyway; (3) article is improved and BLP PROD is removed, in which case BLP unsourced would have been removed too. --Bsherr (talk) 14:34, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Removed or replaced. Funnily enough I just created a couple of redirects to {{BLP sources}} from {{referenced BLP}} and {{referencedBLP}} to make conversion to the improve version from {{Unreferenced BLP}} quicker and easier. Rich Farmbrough, 14:39, 22 November 2010 (UTC).
There's not many prodded articles at a time, maybe 100+ right now so dual tagging isn't really an issue. In fact I support dual-tagging, as the removal of the prod should not de-facto leave the article untagged. As to promoting BLP tags being a substantive edit, I would just about agree. Basically if the issue isn't addressed some or all of the article will end up in the bit bucket, meanwhile there may be subtle BLP violations that need resolving. Rich Farmbrough, 14:37, 22 November 2010 (UTC).
In response to a couple of the comments
  • If an article has the copy vio tag there is no content, hence no information for which to be unsourced and therefor the extra BLP unslourced tag, IMO, is not needed.
  • It seems like the suggestion I had about removing the BLP unreferenced template from articles that also have Prod BLP is a no go so thats ok. We can take that one off the list
  • As Magio suggested I also agree that there is a certain order things must appear.
  • Regarding the position of the BLP Living banner. There have been several debates recently about where it should go and it was decided for the talk pages the BLP banner should be on the top when the person is living. The reason for this is pretty obvious. To make sure that whomever sees the article/talk page of the article knows that its a BLP. They dont have to dig through the banners on the talk page and they shouldnt haev to scroll around the article page either. It shoudl be right at the top not buried at the bottom of the article in the references section. I know that sometimes the rules for talk pages are different that article space and there is good reason for it but in this case there is no reason not to follow the standard placement of BLP banners from the talk page by putting it at the top (below dabs and at the top of any other cleanup tags).
  • Normally I would agree that we shouldnt change the order of cleanup tags but this is the exception to me because it deals with BLP's. It usually doesnt matter if {{cleanup}} comes before or after {{wikify}} or some other template combination. BLP's are highly sensitive and contentious and therefore the tag that identifies that an article is an unsourced BLP should be on the top. --Kumioko (talk) 15:14, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I lined out one of the ideas above but it seems that generally the other too are receiving support. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I need to do next. I can hardly determine concsensus off 5 editors and would like to establish some form of agreement on whether items 2 and 3 above should be implemented? --Kumioko (talk) 02:58, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
  • There is at least one scenario where a BLPprod should be declined even if the article is an unsourced BLP, BLPprods only apply to articles created since the 18th March this year, so when people BLPprod earlier articles it is legit to decline the prod and leave them tagged as unsourcedBLP. ϢereSpielChequers 00:01, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Closing afd/drv

Resolved: Smallman12q (talk) 16:57, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Is it appropriate for an admin who participated in several previous afd/drv nominations to close the afd/drv?Smallman12q (talk) 13:04, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Usually not, but everything depends on the specific case, so I don't think you'll get a better answer unless you say what you are really asking about. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:47, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
This has to do with the last drv for Debrahlee Lorenzana. Sparatz participated in the first 3 DRVs: June 14, July 15, August 26. It doesn't seem appropriate that Spartaz should close the November 16 DRV having partaken in the last 3 DRVs. Smallman12q (talk) 13:26, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm curious why you didn't ask me directly about this. Spartaz Humbug! 13:32, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd be very surprised if any of the DRV regulars could be considered any less involved then I might be so I have asked at ANI for independent review of the close. Pathetic you come whining here when I could have done this straight away had you bothered to make a neutral comment/request on my talkpage. Please can someone archive this now. Spartaz Humbug! 13:43, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
This was a procedural inquiry...I'm not questioning the validity of your closure. I don't appreciate the Ad hominem attack.Smallman12q (talk) 16:57, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't appreciate being cited at a noticeboard about something you couldn't be bothered to discuss with me directly so your complaining really doesn't wash with me. Spartaz Humbug! 18:27, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I noticed the closure, read the rationale, and decided that it matched the discussion sufficiently well that regardless of Spartaz' personal opinions on the matter as elaborated before (which disagree with my own, FWIW), his close was an accurate reading of consensus and not worth quibbling over. Jclemens (talk) 04:04, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
My question was procedural...I'm not questioning how Spartaz closed it. I was merely asking whether sysops who had participated in previous nominations were allowed to close.Smallman12q (talk) 13:55, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Experts

Another WP:PEREN we're not going to solve here. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:21, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The below conversation was started on the administrators notice board. Rather than moving it to the proper location they just closed it so rather than waiting any longer on someone else to do the right thing I am pasting it here. It is rather long but rather that start a whole new conversation and rehash all the same concerns and questions this was the easiest way. Whichever way the community votes this way the conversation can go to completion one way or another. I left the top section collapsed for easier reading. --Kumioko (talk) 21:33, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Previous string collapsed for readability
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Heads up. Probably time to buy popcorn futures. – iridescent 16:06, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Market cornered. And where did I put my old CV? Seriously, though, I can't imagine how they expect to retain a low profile. Stings should drive them into the open fairly quickly, if that is the community's desire.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:11, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually, we do not intent to keep a low profile; why would you assume so? On the contrary, to successfully supply a growing network of participating wikipedians with paid assignments, we have to make our offer well-known to prospective clients. This is why we announced our service via nationally-distributed press-release. I believe that our services will benefit not only participating writers, but also Wikipedia. Alex Konanykhin / founder of WikipediaExperts. [Disclaimer: I’m personally not an expert of Wikipedia; just an Internet entrepreneur whose company handles plenty of Online Visibility work.] AKonanykhin (talk) 19:05, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Yea it's probably easy to spot their accounts, this is WP:COI fest. Secret account 16:15, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Then look to see what editors have articles in common in the last couple of months. Popcorn anyone?--Wehwalt (talk) 16:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I have a strong suspicion I know who's behind it. As per my previous comments in the days of MWB, I personally don't have a problem with it—if the articles they contribute meet WP standards then it doesn't matter who's behind it, and if they don't they'll be deleted in the usual manner. I don't see that the COI here is any stronger than a fan editing the article on their favorite band. However, others disagree. – iridescent 16:19, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
They don't insert any desinformation, so no need to worry. –xenotalk 16:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Probably with an eye to sailing under their true colors here. After all, they must know that putting that page out there is like throwing the proverbial red flag before a bull.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:22, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
"Just like financial auditors, we charge for our time, but with explicit requirement of UNCOMPROMISED INTEGRITY". Has he ever actually met an auditor? – iridescent 16:23, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Sure; I ran a few banks and that involved meeting auditors. AKonanykhin (talk) 19:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
"the pro bono work of the participating editors"... it's a simple scam. Physchim62 (talk) 16:25, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I wonder what makes you assume the worst? I've done plenty of philantropy (sponsoring museums, theathers, medical research, etc.) - it's fun to promote what you like; even though my primary business is business, like seeing market niches where supply lags behind demand and capitalizing on the opportunity. AKonanykhin (talk) 19:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
It took around a minute to do some relevant digging. Of note, is that the domain(s) are part of the KMGi (advertising agency) group. You can all find the phone number for owner Alex K - indeed even get a photo of the chap off our article on him - with minimal effort if you want to chat to him. Pedro :  Chat  16:33, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
To make the digging easier, KMGi's and my URLs were included in our press-release. I'll try to answer here all substantive points, though it may take some time due to my travel plans during this Thanksgiving week. AKonanykhin (talk) 19:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I personally dont have a problem with this as long as the article still meets WP's standards. In point of fact of the article goes higher than B clas it will still have to be reviewed by another editor anyway. I do however think that we should require something be put on the affected articles talk page (maybe something to the effect of this article was developed in part by a paid contributer) and or identify said users as paid editors. In my opinion its ok if someone is getting paid by someone to make and article or a group of articles on WP better but we should mark both to make sure that they arent running amuck. IF someone wants to pay someone else to edit an article that can be edited for free then let them spend the money (its sorta like a donation). --Kumioko (talk) 17:46, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I also don't see a problem with this as long as it is transparent. Services like this wont go away, in fact they will just increase as the years go by. Doing our best to reign them in will save countless of hours of BS. I say allow paid editing as long as it is transparent under WP:COI. This particular group appears to wish to work in compliance with Wikipedia policies. It is much better for Wikipedia to welcome paid editors in a transparent manner than to endlessly deal with the hassle of anonymous COI editing.Griswaldo (talk) 17:55, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I suggested to Jimbo establishing reasonalbe oversight procedures over consultancies like ours. We want to make sure that we establish ourselves as the factor which facilitates Wikipedia's development, and not be suspected of being fly-by-night hackers who pollute it with advertorials. AKonanykhin (talk) 19:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Having browsed their site, I am concerned by the following statements and the underneath implication: "represent your company in a positive, but objective manner." and "When damaging content is spotted, the changes will be undone by our staff." While I believe their editors would produce material that seemingly conforms to all policies, I am concerned that they would intentionally leave out and/or remove material negative to the client's public image. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 17:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a given they themselves will intentionally miss out negative information, but they do state that they cannot remove true negative information - to be fair they've done their research for this site - just more fool anyone who pays them 99 dollars a month for something they could do themselves. Pedro :  Chat  17:58, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec)And that is different from your average editor editing in areas they feel strongly about how? Most of the content creation and content haggling here is POV already, at least with transparent paid editing the POV is out in the open for everyone to see. It is much easier to review such work and to correct it for POV issues.Griswaldo (talk) 18:01, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I also agree. Im sorta on the fence I admit and the system works pretty well as we have it however I do believe this activity is currently going on in the shadows and if we build in some acceptance and a way to keep track of it then we can not only bring it out of the shadows but also potentially gain from it. I do think we need to proceed cautiously, maybe do it as a test to see how it goes, maybe even creating a different class of user similar to the Articles for creation process where it must be reviewed prior to being allowed. I think if we go about this the right way WP can gain from this and at the same time retain credibility. But if we just give a blanket allowance then we will take a big credibility hit. IMO anyone who wants to do something like this as a professional will meet the requirements we establish and those that do not wil get banned. And they will be found out, they always do. I believe that in order for the customer to gain anything from the article it would need to be at least a GA, probably A class or FA so as I mentioned before they will be heavily reviewed before they get done. With that said I do foresee edit wars, heated arguments, etc coming out of some of them as well as the potential for some POV editing and pruning out damaging details. --Kumioko (talk) 18:06, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to expect that editors for such a business make their conflict of interest transparent and otherwise comply with the conflict of interest guidelines. If they do, they're as welcome to help us improve Wikipedia as any other COI editor.  Sandstein  18:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that the probability will be that they will not disclose their COI, in order to maximize the degree to which they can post positive information and downplay or delete negative information. Any article in which they declare who they are an what they are doing will be watched by many editors eager to keep them on the straight and narrow, whereas if they attempt to fly under the radar and are successful at it, there would be much less attention given to their edits. The lack of any significant downside to trying this makes it probable that they will do so. Therein lies the potential danger to the project. (I'm quite willing to extend AGF to individual editors, but once they act collectively, and with a financial motivation, it's less imperative to do so.) Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:32, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I do agree Sandstein, and also agree to a lot of the comments of Kumioko (not sure about user classses, but I get your thrust). The simple truth is that this is a commercial organisation. A simple Google check shows they have already generated some commentary regarding their venture. If they (i.e. "their" editors - and that is a seperate conversation!) start editing with overt POV they get blocked. When enough get blocked, then their credibility is ruined. Their credibility is ruined = end of business venture. That's my take on it, from a purely commercial view. Pedro :  Chat  19:11, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

(undent) My own personal opinion is that I am fine with the concept of professional writers contributing provided that their conflict of interest is clearly and explicitely disclosed (that what they are doing is, in the end, work for hire). They claim explicitly that they will follow our policies; if they do, they'd already be a darn sight better than many volunteers. If they don't, of if they try to behave covertly, then they will be found out and I expect the entire community would fall on them like a ton of sharp bricks, destroying any credibility in the process. — Coren (talk) 19:53, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Also in the case of a "business" view it should be fairly easy to track the IP range of computers within an organization that does these types of edits. If we create a report or list or something similar to the one we have for Congressional staff then that will be another way to monitor their activity. It is also possible to establish a bot to monitor for certain things and revert them or post a message of the activity somewhere like the administrative incidents notice board. In the End I should reiterate that Jimbo has been adamently opposed to commercial ventures of this type and although he generally lets the community decide rules of use and the developement of guidelines he has the final say. Since this affects WP as a business and could affect its credibility its probable that even if concensus is that it be allowed its unlikely that he will allow it. But things change and if we develop a process and rules that sufficientl govern, monitor and control it, he may allow this to at least test the feasability. Remeber too that WP is a not for profit entity and allowing these types of edits could (im not a lawyer just branstorming here) affect that status or may affect some of the corporate donations that provide WP its funding. If for example a company hires someone to write articles on topics related to them and they are a competitor of a company that supports WP it could impact the site negatively or be made into a media spectacle by the news. --Kumioko (talk) 20:23, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You can actually apply for a job through them, so it's not one organisation. Anyone can do it as a 'contractor', and they'd presumably edit from home. I for one will be blocking most undeclared paid editors on sight, because they "appear, based on their edit history, to exist for the sole or primary purpose of promoting a person, company, product, service, or organization". I don't mind paid editors editing Wikipedia, as long as they a.) declare it and b.) recuse themselves from any discussions regarding their customers. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 22:33, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
If they're undeclared, how are you going to block them on sight? Spidey-sense? – iridescent 22:41, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Let's change that to 'block them as soon as I realise and have proof". A paid editor would fight to the death to keep one of these articles going, like Danieldis47 (talk · contribs) did, at which point it becomes pretty obvious. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 22:43, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Um, "recuse themselves from any discussions" is the opposite of what we want. We want people with a COI to talk to us. We even get very upset (to the point of blocking them) if they don't talk to us. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:30, 18 November 2010 (UTC)


  • At which point I would come into the discussion and say this: We are extraordinarily ineffective at providing neutral, well-written, relatively complete and well-referenced articles about businesses and individuals - even as of this writing we have tens of thousands of unreferenced and poorly referenced BLPs - and equally bad at maintaining and updating them. Given this remarkable inefficiency, and the fact that a Wikipedia article is usually a top-5 google hit for most businesses and people, there's plenty of good reason for our subjects to say "enough is enough" and insist on having a decent article. We've all seen the badly written BLPs and the articles about companies where the "controversies" section contains every complaint made in the last 10 years. We aren't doing the job ourselves, and it's unrealistic to think that we can: the article-to-active editor ratio is 1:960 right now[23], and getting higher all the time. I'm hard pressed to tell someone that they can't bring in a skilled Wikipedia editor, following our own policies and guidelines, to bring an article they're interested in up to our own stated standards. As to COI, one wonders why financial benefit seems to raise all these red flags, when undisclosed membership in various organizations, personal beliefs, and life experiences may well lead to an even greater COI. "Put it on the talk page" only works if (a) someone is watching the article, (b) that someone doesn't have their own perspective that they feel is more valid, (c) and someone is willing to actually edit the article. Those three conditions aren't being met nearly enough (see editor-to-article ratio above). We've created the very situation where organizations and people are no longer willing to accept that they have to put up with a bad article about themselves. And precisely why should they be prevented from improving our project? Risker (talk) 23:12, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with her to a point, and when I say 'recuse themselves' I mean 'stay neutral but declared' rather tha, for example, voting KEEP in every AfD and launching ad hominem attacks on those they see as 'against' them. I work at OTRS, as you all know, so I'm more aware than most of the problems that our articles cause to people. However, our current system - through OTRS or talk pages - provides an avenue of reply to those who disagree with their article's content. I've seen two sides of paid editing: One side which is insidious, immoral and tarnishes the reputation of the project - the other side is full of people who do follow our rules and happily own up to it when they're first questioned. I don't mind the second sort of paid editor. However, the damage done to our reputation by the first sort is simply too great to ignore. Risker is right, but I think the real solution here is fewer articles, or more good editors. Can we stop all editors with a COI from editing a related article? Of course not, but that doesn't mean we should encourage it. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:07, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • They are infringing on the use of "Wikipedia®", a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. Not clever. Who wants to sick the lawyers on 'em? Fences&Windows 23:24, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Chase me ladies, are you going to block user:Amorrise and User:Rhettroberts who appear to be shilling for something call AutoPal? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:32, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to block those accounts because they're from April 2010, and the problem with them is clearly over. A block would really be wasted effort. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:00, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't want you to put yourself out, but you may wish to look more closely. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:14, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
My apologies, I still don't think it's quite enough for a block - judging by the talk page edit to BuyNowPayNow, he may just be a new user. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:37, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
If you look at the user's first serious edit and later edits, the intervening motive should be abundantly clear. Without contravening WP:OUTING, I am unable to provide more evidence, but I am sure that you would find yet another reason not to block them. Can you perhaps outline the circumstances under which you would block someone for paid editing, or would you like to walk back your "I for one will be blocking most undeclared paid editors on sight etc" claim now? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:46, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Q: Do you guarantee the articles you write will be accepted by Wikipedia?
    • A: We guarantee that we will submit professional content, consistent with Wikipedia rules and standards; however, Wikipedia does not have a central acceptance authority that makes a final conclusion about the admissibility of articles. An article may be flagged, edited and removed at any time by any user or administrator. In such cases, we will make the necessary changes and resubmit it until it is accepted.
  • The $295 introduction package covers up to five hours of work. This is enough to complete most articles. If extra work is required, we apply our standard billing rate of $95/hour, with the detailed verifiable time reporting via our Transparent Billing application.
  • The $99 monthly fee includes:
    • Monitoring of your article by our proprietary software
    • Immediate intervention by our staff in case brand -damaging content is posted
    • Content updates whenever your company’s situation changes
    • The $99 fee covers up to two hours of work per month. This is enough for most articles. If extra work is required, we apply our standard billing rate of $95/hour, with the detailed verifiable time reporting via our Transparent Billing application.[24]

We've had cases where folks charge to write an article. This is the first I've seen that includes a maintenance contract. It appears that the writers from this site intend to do whatever is necessary to prevent articles from being deleted. If they are not transparent in revealing their COI, and participate in AFDs, etc, then that's a problem.   Will Beback  talk  00:07, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

This underlines the point I made above. "Immediate intervention by our staff in case brand-damaging content is posted" - do we really want to commercialise Wikipedia if this is the result? What happens when the AfD goes through and the company requires all its staff to formulate keep arguments and post them? What happens if one of those paid editors is the closing administrator? Slippery slope! Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:11, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that statement is inimicable to NPOV, which requires the inclusion of all significant points of view, even the "brand-damaging" ones.   Will Beback  talk  00:29, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Sort of an incentive to keep your maintenance contract. If you cancel it your article will be thrown to the wolves or worse yet, your former contractors will lead the brigade of pitchforks and torches.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:38, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I was kinda thinking that too. I wonder how long until one of these companies decides to act like a protection racket? As an aside, what constitutes a "state of the art" article? I would hate to think I am writing obsolete articles... Resolute 00:46, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Are we going to take this seriously or not? - Paid for editing by corporate teams is happening all the time. Are we going to actually address this, and create a framework for this to happen, or continue to place our heads in the sand forever? In 2006, User:MyWikiBiz set up a paid for editing account, and all Wikipedia decided to do, was to ban it outright, block him, and delete his contributions. This is not going to make the problem go away, it is only going to drive it underground. This isn't MyWikiBiz, it isn't some kook, it's a professional marketing company, they're not idiots.

For newer editors who want to see how the previous discussion was handled, take a look at Arch Coal and its history. A very good starting point is its DRV, I made similar arguments then.

Wikipedia is too important, too visible for corporations and political entities to ignore. Paid for editing is happening right under our noses because our current policies at WP:COI keep them in the dark. The whole point of Wikipedia's open source model, is to allow for peer review, we should be embracing the strengths of open source to shine a light on their activities.

Ideas for a framework for paid-editing

  • All paid-for editors must declare their position in particular, who they're working for and their clients, at a centralised page
  • Paid editors must declare their positions on their user and talk pages
  • It may be possible to create some user flag, to allow for all paid edits to be tracked centrally
  • Repeal Wikipedia:USERNAME#Company.2Fgroup_names policy, and actually encourage users to be up front about their affiliations
  • Allow the creation of role accounts. Entities may wish to use a single voice on Wikipedia, but they may have multiple personnel responsible. Instead of having pile-ons from meatpuppets, they would have a single consistent voice. This isn't useful just for COI, but I think would improve our WP:GLAM collaborations.

I think, just as I did in 2006, that there is a role for paid-for editing on Wikipedia. Our coverage of corporations is lacking, because unless they make video games, they don't have fans, and its fans generally, who start those articles regardless on any POV issues. The average consumer does not see what a B2B does - have you heard of Informatica? Well, they're worth over $3Bil, and we probably wouldn't have an article on them unless they wrote it themselves, which they did. Before we deleted it and decided to work against them, rather than with them. There are still holes in major market indices, let alone private corporations. Its clear that corporations are taking us seriously, we need to start taking them seriously, the status quo is not good enough. - hahnchen 00:57, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

You say we cannot maintain the status quo, but I ask, "why not?". If the paid editors become POV pushers, we block them, just as we do any other POV pusher. If they add quality content within our guidelines, we let it stand. If paid editors are willing to advertise their position, by all means let them. If they don't, there isn't really anything we can do about it. You speak of requiring paid editors to note that they are such; how do we enforce this? You have been asking "how should we deal with paid editors", but a question we must answer first is "what can we do about paid editors?". As I see it, we have three general options.
  1. We can block them as soon as we have proof that they're being paid. The obvious ones get caught, the less obvious continue with their work. I don't favor this approach, but it's what we've done in the past.
  2. We can just ignore it, and treat their contributions like we would any other editor, whether they reveal that they're being paid or not. I prefer this approach.
  3. Or, we can make up some "rules" that paid editors must follow. Maybe some will follow these rules, many certainly won't. I think this approach sets up an antagonistic relationship that isn't necessary.
These are really the only choices we have. We can't ban paid editing outright, and we can't require that all paid editors "register" or take on their own user class (these attempts fall under options 1 and 3, respectively). Buddy431 (talk) 01:52, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The status quo keeps COI editors in the dark. Wikipedia:Best practices for editors with conflicts of interest says that you shouldn't create or edit articles. Please get real. Proposals Wikipedia:Paid editing (guideline) and Wikipedia:Paid editing (policy) want to outright ban it. This cannot be done.
Our framework should dictate all paid editors declare themselves, or face bans if caught - it's not going to be easy for a corporation to move IP addresses. There should be a way to monitor all COI edits. We should allow disclosures in their usernames and allow role accounts to make it even clearer.
Right now, we have no framework, and an antagonistic attitude towards any COI editors that we find. Because of this, disclosure is rare and responses scattered. - hahnchen 13:32, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

There has always been and likely always will be paid editors whether we allow them to be open about it is the only issue. Meanwhile the COI crusaders can carpet bomb hundreds of articles with COI tags so the tag is rendered meaningless. It would be more constructive to get COI and paid editors to simply follow the editing rules and continue to show the disruptors the door.Wroted (talk) 02:15, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Or of course, we can let the paid editing crusaders carpet bomb hundreds of articles with POV so the article is rendered useless. Works both ways. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:21, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
So to be clear, POV problems only come from paid editors or do you mean all paid editors are POV crusaders? Either way you're mistaken. We deal with POV issues and any others the exact same way. Wroted (talk) 02:43, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Is there any way the Foundation can contact this website and explain to them what exactly they are doing? I tried, they don't seem to be taking regular people seriously. I, for one, am blocking any users who are writing spam articles and being paid to do so. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:18, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
OTRS could potentially do it - potentially, and only with approval from the appropriate office folks - but what would we say? 'What you're doing is sort of not OK with us?' Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:26, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the website knows exactly what they're doing. They're professionals - KMGi (advertising agency), an article written by User:Camper-mann. - hahnchen 13:37, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Idea, we could have a policy where all paid editors are required to request the "paideditor" flag/group. We could than more easily track these contributions, we could also maybe do something with flagged revisions on these edits,,,? I agree with others above. This isn't going away, might as well manage it. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 02:25, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

This presumes that paid editors will be treated with good faith - which they obviously are not - and that they all will identify themselves which is absurd because there is little to gain and no way for us to know. Wroted (talk) 02:43, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

The paid editors tend to create whitewashed articles.

I reported a user here: [25] who is editing on behalf of Neovia (Neteller) and has performed an outrageous whitewash job on the article as I noted previously, but also since then [26]. (Nothing was done) The article is a corporate fantasy (cf. [27]) and the interests of wikipedia are certainly not served by having it edited by the corporation. Sumbuddi (talk) 04:33, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

that in and of itself doesn't mean all paid editors (that we know of because they have self-identified or have been outed by a certain group invested in such things) does not mean all paid editors are bad just as we know better than to assume all non-paid editors are good. Instead we know those pushing a POV, whether it be against Wikipedia in general or pro-corporate are likely not worth keeping around. An easy content kept vs disruption ratio would feret ot those whose goals are against Wikipedia.Wroted (talk) 10:52, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I just wanted to add that I also attempted to contact them and although I have for the most part been willing to go along with allowing this was given the distinct impression they would only deal with Wikicorporate concerns and not those of the individual editors. In the end that won't matter when and if they start actually editing but it does give me pause to reflect on how best to approach the matter and makes it clear to me that there will be some growing pains if this is allowed. One major concern that I do have is that if they have enough editors under their employ they could theoretically force consensus in their favor so we should devise a plan to rule that out as well.--Kumioko (talk) 18:40, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is "The encyclopedia anyone can edit." WP:COI allows users to make contributions to articles where a conflict of interest exists, so long as those edits are neutral. We all have conflicts of interest. If someone wants to offer their Wikipedia editing services for hire, they are doing this externally to Wikipedia. There is nothing we can and should do. Paid editing happens here all the time. Treat paid articles the same way you would any article. If it's an article written within our guidelines, fine. If it isn't, we have WP:CSD and WP:AFD. If someone wants to be disruptive about it, we have WP:BLOCKING. We already have the tools in place, and we already use them. Paid editing just happens under the radar. If someone wants to do it publicly, more power to them. If their editing skills aren't up to par and they can't get articles past our editing standards, this is not our problem. Prohibiting paid editors, however, is simply not an option. N419BH 06:41, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Offer to WikipediaExperts

Hi, hope you're reading this. I think anyone planning to pay your fees may be deterred by this beauty currently sitting on your front page, above the "Free Consultation" box:

We will gladly provide a free consultation for you, including a proposal on developing your visibly on Wikipedia and in other social media

That should read "visibility".

WikipediaExperts, if you're reading this, I offer that correction to you for free, but can I recommend you add an 'edit' button, so we can help you out properly? This collaborative editing thing we have going here really is quite powerful.

I'm offering to copyedit your site for you, (something I have some 'expertise' in) in exchange for a $1,000 donation to the Wikimedia foundation... oh, and a thank you on my user talk would be nice. Thanks. --Dweller (talk) 11:03, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

You missed "desinformation" SmartSE (talk) 17:50, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Also on the same page, missed 'free of chaNge', that should be 'free of chaRge'. I will consult with the parties involved and reply to your offer soon. Thanks.     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     21:38, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Cutting to the chase

I am inviting User:Eclipsed to contribute to this discussion. As I pointed out upthread (forgetting that subtlety is wasted here), Eclipsed has declared a COI on their user page and just today proposed that "...both the Article Incubator and Articles for Creation be denoted as Safe Harbors for COI contributions". Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:44, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the invitation. I will read through all the discussions, and reply as soon as I can.     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     14:15, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • re: Trademark - I will make sure this is brought to the attention of the appropriate people.
  • re: Discussion with WMF - There has been some communication, but I do not know the status.
  • re: Risk of forced consensus - Important issue. This has to be mitigated as best as possible.
  • re: My declaring COI - Wow. That was not an easy thing to do. I knew that once I clicked Save Page that my life as a wikipedian would be changed forever. There would be no going back. I thought there was a really big chance I'd get ANI'd and eternally banned, plus have all my clients pissed off at me for the trouble I caused. That didn't happen, and I am much appreciative of the WP:AGF approach taken by everyone involved.

Thanks!     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     23:08, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand Eclipsed's statement that he or she has an "Inherent Conflict Of Interest". In respect to what? A conflict of interest must be in relation to something else: a person, a company, a subject or some sort. There is no such thing as an "inherent" general COI. What is Eclipsed COI about, or is this some kind of goof? Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:40, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
There's a discussion about that on my talk page. I was concerned about WP:NOTADVERTISING.     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     03:49, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
You should declare the company you work for in your disclosure statement, just saying you have an "inherent conflict of interest" is fairly meaningless. That you're worried about NOTADVERTISING pretty much shows the lack of framework we have for paid editing. - hahnchen 13:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, will work on improving the statement. I'm guessing that it is pretty obvious[28] by[29] now[30] who I work for, and that I'm part of the C-suite of the newly formed company that is being discussed in this thread. Having a clearer framework for commercial editing would be most helpful.     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     14:09, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that a clear framework for commercial editing would be a good idea. Generally, the choices are to ignore it, to ban it or to regulate it. I believe the first is irresponsible and the second is impractical, so I would suggest that paid editors be required to register at a central location and to specify their COI (specifically as paid editors) on article talk pages, that there be a clear benefit to doing so (ability to edit freely, within the bounds of COI policy, or a new paid-COI policy) and a negative incentive for not registering, such as that all their edits are deleted en-masse (as far as is practical) if unregistered paid editing is discovered. Paid editors should also be disqualified from serving as admins or functionaries. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:44, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Re-hashing old discussions

If this is going to turn into a re-hash of Project talk:Paid editing (guideline) (and related pages), except with a different (new) set of paid editors being held up as examples, then could you please hold it either there or on the Village Pump, where the discussion will be seen as involving all of the editorship? Uncle G (talk) 20:11, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I think that editors hired by companies to whitewash their articles go beyond COI and beyond paid editing. A person named in a Wikipedia article has a personal stake, yes, but he also has his own knowledge, decision-making power, and reputation. A hired whitewasher is just an hourly employee with no special ability to improve an article, but every motivation to make it worse. Based on occasional editing forays it is my opinion that a substantial fraction of corporate articles, but certainly not all, are currently guarded by such employees (e.g. Apple iProducts); I assume they work for some more discreet operation.
The key factor to consider here is that for me to remain unsure that a given editor is really a company shill (I haven't named anyone here because I am unsure), he has to edit many topics about many different companies. This implies that either a lot of time is wasted on camouflage edits, or else a lot of companies do business with the same Wiki fix-it firm. While I can't tell just by looking at edits one by one, a mechanized tool might be built which looks at the web of associations between company articles and tries to find statistically significant overlap in the editors who rapidly revert edits made to their pages. Wnt (talk) 22:55, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Conflict of interest doesn't mean someone can't edit. We have editors with conflicts of interest editing all the time. Some cause problems by it, others do not. The key thing to keep in mind is whether or not the editor with a conflict of interest is not following our policies and guidelines. There is a big difference between someone being hired to white wash an article and someone simply being hired to pay attention to subjects that might be notable but might not otherwise garner editor attention. If they stay within our policies and guidelines, blocking on sight is nothing more than sour grapes and WP:POINTY edits. I'd seriously question the competency of any admin that did so without evidence that the account in question was violating the 5 pillars.--Crossmr (talk) 04:43, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

No honour among thieves?

I am curious about the interactions between User:Eclipsed and user:Sigma0 1, who, like Eclipsed, is a paid editor. Eclipsed appears to have nominated a number of their articles for deletion, but the remark that I think needs explanation is this one where Eclipse suggests that Sigma0 1 read the WP:COI guideline. If Wikipedia allows paid editors, are we likely to see more of this type of activity where competing companies fight amongst themselves or carry on proxy battles with good-hand/bad-hand sockpuppets? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:51, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I nominated a few of Sigma0 1's articles for deletion, because I felt they did not meet the inclusion standards of Wikipedia. I felt Sigma0 was operating in a negative manner, based on a disregard for the policies and guidelines agreed to by the community. Sigma0 was putting his clients first, instead of wikipedia first. Any paid or commercial editor operating inside wikipedia should "wear their wikipedia hat" first, and be able to tell their clients "No, you can't do that". Thanks.     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     02:27, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
(Question: Should Sigma0_1 be officially notified of this discussion? If so, DeliciousC: I think you should do it, as you were the first to mention.)     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     03:42, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

A bit more clarity

Greetings! My name is David, and on Wikipedia my username is Eclipsed. I recently signed up as COO of the company named in this thread. My boss is Alex Konanykhin. I receive financial compensation for the work I do for this company. I would like to say more, but I feel to do so may be a violation of the spirit of WP:NOTADVERTISING.

A bit about how I came to be here: I was part of the underground economy. I came back from a long wikibreak because I got a freelance job to make a BLP, and it seemed like something fun to do. But after I started working on the article, I also started reading up on the guidelines and policies. It took a while to go through them all, and I got more freelance jobs in the meantime. I also had some of my team members help out, and tried my best to train them on the wiki-basics, NPOV, RS, etc. But eventually I came to realize that what I was doing was not acceptable to the community, and on the business side, it was not sustainable.

So I started puting feelers out. I put the articles I worked on up for peer review and put myself up for editor review. But no response, my requests just sat in the backlog. I even had a crazy notion of going up for RfA. I contacted a few people about admin tutoring and did a little self-review of my history. But in the end, I thought I'd get snowed, the whole RfA environment turned me off, and I knew there would be unmitigatable COI issues.

Then I met Alex. He showed me the website, and I was a bit shocked. The first thing I did was a WHOIS lookup, and saw his name, company address, contact info, everything! Right out in the open. Ouch. I thought there was no way I should join, the biz would surely get shut down within a few days of going public. But then we chatted some more, and I came to realize that he wanted to actually work within wikipedia, according to all the alphabet soup of guidelines and policies. After some more discussion about the Code of Ethics and the Pro bono plans, I was convinced and signed on.

More later, Thanks!     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     10:10, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Eclipsed, I believe one of the issues many people have with paid editing on Wikipedia is the feeling that there is often an inherent dishonesty in their dealings with other editors, which springs from their motivation which, unlike other editors, is not to accurately portray a person or product but simply to get that article up on Wikipedia, frame it as positively as possible and keep it there. While you are certainly well-spoken and much more clever than many of the paid editors I have encountered here, you also seem to suffer from the same inability to tell the whole truth.
Your use of "team members" to edit articles with you is a very good tactic. Editors who are not aware that you are all paid editors working together -- and how could they know that? -- would have the impression that a subject is more well-known than they are or that there is some consensus among unrelated editors. Talk:Guy Bavli is a good example of this. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:49, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
These are all very good points. My 'journey' from the underground into the light was not an easy one. I've made mistakes. More then a few times. I'm hoping that I can stick around and try to help build some framework that everyone can accept, so we all know what mistakes to avoid. Thanks.     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     18:11, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Why are we helping to promote this service by advertising here? Just apply WP:DENY for best results. We find lots of people writing their own poor quality PR puff pieces on Wikipedia. If a professional gets involved, the results will either be the same or perhaps better. If a paid editor happens to write an acceptable quality article, we will ignore them. If they write bad articles which get deleted, we can warn and eventually block them. Existing processes are capable of dealing with this. Posting here is not helpful, and may actually be harmful. Jehochman Talk 20:21, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

I am confused as to why the discussion above was collapsed with the rationale being WP:DENY, which is an essay about denying recognition to vandals. Although Jehochman suggested this discussion was promoting a particular company, I had just pointed out several inconsistencies in the story offered to us by User:Eclipsed. I note also that good-faith contributions to the discussion by the company's owner were reverted. We often skirt around the issue of COI and paid editing with suspected paid editors and admins. Rather than debating this issue in an echo chamber, wouldn't it be productive to engage known paid editor in a dialogue? Can we please re-open this discussion (or at least come up with a plausible reason for shutting it down)? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:43, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I agree that WP:DENY is not particularly applicable. Surely the salient point is that this really isn't an admin question, and the discussion you want should take place elsewhere, I would think WP:VPP, since any consensus reached will probably require a change in the WP:COI policy, either to tighten it up, or re-framing it in regard to paid editing. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm sure that some people here would like to have a more general discussion about paid editing (and some would very much like to avoid having that discussion), but I am interested in discussing the specifics of this particular company and its editors. WP:AN seems to be an appropriate venue for that discussion and Eclipsed has very kindly agreed to participate here. I see no good coming from shutting down a productive dialogue on some flimsy excuse. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:34, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
      • First off, I'm someone who normally doesn't read this board, but only is here because the paid editing issue is always an...interesting...debate. I have to absolutely agree with DC here, as I don't understand how WP:DENY could apply (and in fact seeing it used in general almost always bothers me, though that's a discussion for another time). Both parties associated with the company seem to be acting in good faith, and deleting someone's comments because "the discussion is closed" seems more vandalistic than anything, or at the very least extremely bitey. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 05:12, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
        • See here for the reason. It would probably be good if an admin would conclude the discussion with an appropriate summary. N419BH 05:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
          • Although I don't mind the collapsible box due to the length of the string I also think Deny was a bit short sighted. Whether we want to admit it or not we are going to have to deal with this eventually. As I see it we can either stick our heads in the sand and play see no evil or just work it out. Unless Jimbo comes and crushes this debate (a message has been left on his talk page) I think there are a lot of good points being argued on both sides. In my opinion though if we establish criteria and rules to deal paid editing, and they are editing in good faith and abiding the rules then why should they be turned away. --Kumioko (talk) 06:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

You have Project talk:Paid editing (guideline) and Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). Use them! Stop complaining that a mis-placed discussion, that should be had amongst the entire editorship and that is inappropriate for the administrators' noticeboard, didn't get very far here (mislabelling in the collapsenote aside). You know where the places for such discussions are. One has 10 pages of archives on this very subject. Use them! This is a noticeboard. Uncle G (talk) 07:24, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Quite. And FWIW, I know of course WP:DENY is about vandals, but the related principle of denying unnecessary recognition to paid editors seems similarly sound. If there are actual issues, they should be dealt with where appropriate, which is not here. Rd232 talk 09:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
There are actual issues, and since this started here I see no point in starting fresh discussion at AN/I where the background will need to be explained. Set aside the paid editing and look at the conduct of the editors involved. Look at Talk:Guy Bavli and tell me you don't consider what is happening there to be deceptive. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 11:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I hate to say it, but he might be right. That page almost makes me wish I had a batch-blocking button. I'm trying my best not to block them all right now for being SPA advertising accounts. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 12:39, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
The background would be better briefly summarised in a new thread, and you can point here if anyone wants the whole WP:TLDR discussion. There are possible WP:MEAT issues (cf User:Eclipsed/Adoptees). Rd232 talk 13:07, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there's something very fishy about the KMGi related edits.   Will Beback  talk  00:23, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I guess it would violate DENY to point to this rant from a paid editor who was unhappy about being blocked (as a sock of a blocked editor).[31][32] People like that make it clear why paid editing causes problems.   Will Beback  talk  00:29, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I have to say I see no reason surpassing other conflict of interest groups to deplore paid editors. Indeed I would rather deal with a paid editor than a nationalist, obsessive, crank, conspiracy theorist, fundamentalist or extremist, since they are likely to realise that bad behaviour will reflect badly on their clients. Rich Farmbrough, 11:54, 23 November 2010 (UTC).
If only that were so! Yes, it's hard to say which is worse among the paid editors, nationalists, Chauvinists, etc. But there are special problems with paid editors, and some of them vary depending on the contracts. For example, one company says it will post an article and keep it for a week or so, but it expects full payment once the article has been up for a few days. In other words, when it comes to AfDs the client is on their own. OTOH, another company offers a complete service, apparently including billable hours at AfD. And these activities are sometimes (always?) pursued by puppet accounts, with little or not transparency. Meanwhile the nationalists are likely to post flags and make themselves known. So there are important differences.   Will Beback  talk  12:18, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
How is what you fear going to increase from the current situation? The whole point here is to get greater transparency, and allowing paid editing will do that if anything. If a company declares COI editing of an entry, when it goes to AfD much greater scrutiny will come of it, and socks are much more likely to be caught than if a company is editing with an undeclared and hidden COI. Companies that violate our policies will be banned from editing just like other users. In fact if we write specific policies to deal with this we could more easily ban an entire company instead of it's individual employees. If we don't do this we will just see an ever increasing amount of secret COI editing by marketing companies.Griswaldo (talk) 16:06, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

The major problem we have with paid editors is that they are usually paid to have a bias. It's hard to criticize the person who writes your paychecks. Signed by Barts1a Suggestions/complements? Complaints? 23:15, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes and errrr, this also includes every source used in every article. Unless you want to argue they are all biased (in which case I would agree) it cant be a valid argument in lesser context? Can it? I'm no expert on the topic. (talk) 04:31, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
More or less all published sources are biased, skewed and/or flawed one way or another. Those flaws are carried through to en.WP content. This is the core thinking behind the long standing WP:V: All one has is verifiability as to published source, truth is another topic altogether. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:29, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention that most top editors to a given article are at best enthusiasts of the topic they write about, and far from unbiased. Those lengthy articles about entertainers don't get written by detached non-fans, you know. Skomorokh 11:55, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
You can be a fan of someone or something and still write a fair article. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:03, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Exactly! You can be paid for something and still write a fair article. Skomorokh 12:13, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I would guess that some of the most skillful among paid en.WP editors are those who write content which doesn't stir up any fuss, is thoroughly sourced and keenly written, all within the policies. This is the same thing done by many unpaid (but skilled) editors who are eager about their topics and it's how much of the content here has been built. A harmful editor/writer can be disruptive, PoV flogging and heedless to policy whether paid or unpaid. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I kind of thought it was agreed that this was not the place for this discussion. But since it continues anyway: a fundamental difference between a paid editor and someone advocating for a topic out of conviction is that we believe (WP:AGF) that (a) the latter is acting in the best interests of the encyclopedia as they see it (b) that they are open to persuasion, discussion, and argument. The paid editor has the interests of the subject (usually) at heart, and are not open to changing their mind in anything like the same way ("oh, right, this guy is non-notable, I'll give back my fee..."). Paid editors may be better at appearing to follow the rules, but because of the way Wikipedia's rules are mutable and inconsistently enforced, combined with the risk of socking or meatpuppetry, they are extremely dangerous if they exceed a very low proportion of editors. If POV nationalism is Wikipedia's cholesterol, paid editing is its cancer. The former you can manage (though it might cause heart attacks), the latter you just want to get rid of in case it one day causes death. Rd232 talk 12:37, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

So it sounds to me that what where advocating is a WP version of "Dont ask, dont tell". We know thats its happening but as long as the paid editor keeps their mouth shut about it and maintains a low profile we pretend we dont know...but we know. Oh but if we "catch you" well block your account so go and create another one, maybe more than one using a different IP and or EMAIL address so that when we catch you, you wont be slowed down. I agree that POV editing is bad and I agree that there are serious risks to allowing paid editing, thats why we need to drag it out of the dark alleys and cast light on the shadows. If we draft some policies that must be followed in order for paid editors to operate (such as COI banners, preceding their comments with paid editor, forcing them to use an articles for creation/article incubator type system, or any number of other things) here then we are just kidding ourselves. Are we going to have to tweak things along the way, of course, absolutely, but if these editors are "professionals" and they want to continue to make money editing without having to hide, then they will abide. As an individual editor you can probably make a few bucks and stay hidden but for the big firms that have several editors and want to publicly and actively write, they are going to do it and if that means they have to generate dozens or hundreds of accounts, using different EMAIL domains and multiple source IP's then they will do that and generate a whole lot of work on us trying to figure them out. --Kumioko (talk) 18:58, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
If an article is written in such a way that it adheres to policy, what's the problem? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:10, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree and I have made my preferences known but in the end I fully believe that this whole conversation is just burning time and effort because there is almost zero chance that Jimbo would ever allow it. In that light I have left a message on his talk page to please come and make a comment, although he has done so before, so that we can put this baby to bed. If he is willing to allow the discussing of how WP can allow for paid editors without compromising the integrity and status of the community then great. Otherwise we may as well do as the jedi say and "Move on, there is nothing to see here." --Kumioko (talk) 19:19, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
What does it have to do with Jimbo? Malleus Fatuorum 19:28, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
He has vocally stated several times in the past that he is opposed to it and although he usually lets community concensus drive policy but allowing paid editors could have ramifications beyond simple editing including:
  1. affecting the nonprofit status of WP and the WMF
  2. loss of paid contributions by soe benefactors if paid editing is allowed
  3. loss of editors who would no longer donate their time to a project that allowed paid editors
  4. negative Press due to assumptions and arguments by the media.
So based on that and the potential affects it may have on WP, the WMF and on his business in general he would have the final say before something like this occurs. Wether he chooses to exercise it he does have the power to quash decisions that could affect the health of the project. IMO the items I mentioned above can be overcome if we plan and set policy accordingly. --Kumioko (talk) 19:40, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
He can state whatever he likes, as can any other editor, but I repeat what does it have to do with Mr Wales? Malleus Fatuorum 19:49, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the only problem is a philosphical one; "if I'm not being paid then nobody else should be paid either". But who knows, perhaps I am being paid for some of the stuff I write, who can tell? As you say BB, it's the quality of the product that ought to matter, not the motivations for its production. Malleus Fatuorum 19:19, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Rd232, thanks to your attempts to squelch a productive discussion about a particular company and the actions of that company's employees here, you have inadvertently managed to turn this into a discussion about the general issue, which has even attracted opinions from some of the less thoughtful ANI regulars. Something to think about next time, perhaps. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:35, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
It wasn't productive, and it didn't belong here; and the reason it's continued is because of your refusal to accept the fact that it didn't. Start a discussion somewhere else, and drop a note here. End of. Rd232 talk 19:51, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Why would I want to do that and face still more heavy-handed interference from people such as yourself? Keep your head in the sand, it's all the same to me. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:11, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
If you choose not to break up the issues into appropriate parts and discuss them at a relevant location, that's your call. Maybe someone else will. Though since nobody really has any solutions worth a damn, maybe it doesn't matter anyway. Rd232 talk 20:55, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Its hard to come up with a worable solution when people keep closing out the conversation. Personally I think there where some very good ideas but admittadly I doubt they will go very far. --Kumioko (talk) 21:41, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
There was an RFC a while ago, which there could be a followup to. There's Project talk:Paid editing (guideline). The above unfocussed discussion originally at AN is not a constructive way to pursue the issue, and insisting on extending it even at a more appropriate venue is just liable to turn people off dealing with the subject at all (for a while). Rd232 talk 17:03, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Point 1: we are never going to stop people ding this. Point 2: For the most part they are so obvious that they get found out. Point 3: If they don't get found out, then ho harm no foul, but we do not, cannot, for reasons eloquently expressed by Jimbo, officially endorse paid editing. So: Nothing has changed, nothing needs to change. I did get a few nods for my recent blog Don't Spam Wikipedia, let's all make sure that we keep sending that message. If companies engage their customers then we all win. Guy (Help!) 19:47, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Further reading essay and proposed guideline

At WP:Further reading. This is still only a couple of days old, so constructive comments are more useful than !votes at this point. Tijfo098 (talk) 04:24, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Speedy userfication

I've been thinking about designing a process for speedy userfication as an alternative to speedy deletion. I do a lot of New Page Patrolling, and I've spoken to another New Page Patroller about this idea. Many articles that get speedily deleted are obviously never going to become articles; however, I've come across some instances where a subject has the potential to become a decent article, but also does not belong in mainspace yet because there are serious flaws. I'm thinking about something like a new article about an album/single that will eventually be released, but without enough reliable sources at the time of creation, an article about something that appears non-notable, but doesn't fit A7 (something like SS Richmond P. Hobson when I first came across it last night), or an article that is on the cusp of A7, but might stand a chance if it was built up a little more. See User:Riotbr/WeMusic as an example I came across; the article was initially deleted from mainspace (I tagged it), but before it was deleted the user said there was a newspaper article that, when he found it, might get it past A7. I suggested the user contact an admin to get it userfied so he could add the ref in without feeling under the gun. He ended up getting it userfied; however, most of the time I never get a response when I suggest userfication.

With a speedy userfication process, it would have saved the article from getting deleted in the first place so it didn't have to be restored in userspace, it would have given the user time to find the newspaper article without worrying about his article disappearing, and it would certainly have seemed less adversarial. With this speedy userfication process, we can kill several birds with one stone. First and foremost, it's a less ham-fisted way to treat new users who've just made their first article (often their first edit) in good faith, especially when that article might eventually become something useful. It should give the impression that we're trying to work with them, instead of summarily deleting the content they worked on, which may make it seem like we're working against them. It allows users to work on the content without worrying about getting tags slapped all over it, and without the difficulty of building and maintaining a new article in mainspace. In addition to CSD, if it's written up right, it should lessen the number of PRODs because subjects that don't fit A7 can be candidates for userfication until they can be worked into something that asserts notability. I'd also suggest that there be a note saying that the person who tags and/or does userfy it is strongly encouraged to help out with said article. If people like this idea, I'll start working on more definitive text, but I wanted to put some feelers out to see what people would think of it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:52, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Point of clarification— when referring to subjects on the cusp of A7, speedy userfication would not apply to unsourced BLPs, which should still be BLPPRODded and deleted as usual. If, however, a BLP is tagged as an A7, and a source is found before the article is deleted, then it could become a candidate for speedy userfication under this criteria. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:44, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Love it all. Might I suggest that a nice TWINKLE implementation of this is:
  • Moves the article
  • Tags the main namespace article (now a redirect) with R2 and a reason (speedily userfied).
  • Tags the userspace article as a userspace draft.
  • Informs the article's creator
I think that's all. Something like this is really needed, especially to avoid WP:BITE and to give users a chance on articles that currently have problems but where the topic may be notable. SemEval recently fell into this category; I went with AfD, where many people said "it's notable!" even though the article didn't say so, and it was so poorly unwikified that it was hard to read. That article would have been speedily userfied if such a mechanism existed. — Timneu22 · talk 17:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support but no need for a new policy, just note it as an alternative at CSD: "If the claim's credibility is unclear, you can improve the article yourself, propose deletion, list the article at articles for deletion or speedy userfy the page with a {{userspace draft}} tag." One amendment to Timneu22's summary - it should also tag as a userspace draft. FT2 (Talk | email) 19:28, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Tentative support: I am in favor of the concept but I am saying "tentative" simply because of similar discussions (see CSD G13:Stale incubated article for example) and currently there is no real definition or agreement on how to define "indefinitely", "long-term archival" or "Short term hosting" in various guidelines and polices in regards to material of this type. Currently Wikipedia:Userfication says content inappropriate for the mainspace should not be kept indefinitely in user space. I will fully support this as long as when something is "speedied" to userspace there is a clearly defined time limit. (Wikipedia:Article Incubator, for example, says Incubation is temporary (usually about 3 months)...). Soundvisions1 (talk) 19:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
    Yeah, that would be something we'd work out; I just wanted to get a sense of what people thought of the idea before getting into the gory details. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:34, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
    Note here that the 3 months limit is something very recently added and doesn't have a whole bunch of consensus, other than that there is a limit. I understand why it was put in, but I don't necessarily agree with that time limit as being a hard limit. --Robert Horning (talk) 22:17, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Generally Oppose... but with qualifications. An article that is likely to go through AfD hell but would otherwise qualify for the incubator, I would generally support moving to the incubator instead of doing the AfD. It is a judgment call but I see this being heavily abused by those who get annoyed by new user contributions. Remember, the quality of the article nor the current lack of sources actually in the article at the moment of its creation ought to be the criteria, but rather the ability to potentially get sources ought to be the criteria. I am upset that there are some people on Wikipedia who seemingly insist upon an article coming into creation in featured article quality status, which should not be the criteria for article development. I also think that most article problems are best solved in the main namespace, not in the user namespace. Perhaps the one additional criteria to look at in terms of if something ought to go to the incubator as opposed to pure userfication is to look at how many participants are involved: If multiple contributors are adding content or participating on the talk page, it really ought to be in the incubator instead of selecting one of the users. If an article is a borderline situation, you really shouldn't be doing a speedy delete nomination anyway, and it should be going to an AfD. Suggesting to the user and those involved in developing the article (and sometimes there is a pretty large group involved too) that it ought to go to the incubator as a way to bypass the AfD process, with the agreement of those involved may be a better way to go. This takes time, and I realize that. If you are being lazy and don't want to work with those involved, I would suggest making it an AfD with the recommendation to consider the incubator as an option instead. That can be done even when proposing an AfD. --Robert Horning (talk) 22:02, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • On the fence I'm not sure I understand how this is supposed to work. Would it be something the user would have to ask for or would it be done by default? Most admins are willing to userfy if the user asks for it, and I am completely in favor of making this option more high-profile, but I do not like the idea of just doing it even if the user does not ask for it. The reason is that I suspect that in many cases they will not do the follow up and we will have just created another page to run through MFD six months later. If they ask, and the article was not created in bad faith, we should already be doing this. How can we make this option more obvious to the article's creator? Perhaps an addition to the CSD notification templates (of course exempting the ones for attack, nonsense , and copyvios) seems a good start. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:25, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    I'd think that you would want the user to ask for userfication, but new users don't know about it. Adding it onto the current templates would be a good way to test this, and maybe we can see where it goes from there; raising the profile of userfication will definitely help, and I've met several users who said they would have asked for me to userfy their article if they had known about it. As to preventing MfD from becoming overloaded with this sort of thing, I can think of a couple ways. First off, as I said above, the user doing the userfication should be strongly encouraged to follow up on it themselves and/or notify someone who knows the subject, either by contacting an individual user or dropping a note at the relevant Wikiproject, which I don't think is too much to ask. Secondly, I know there's the G13 debate going on over at WT:CSD, and we might do something like that; we can give an article several months (I'd say 6-9) after a user's last edit. Of course, if another user wanted to take it over, that could be arranged too. If someone has an alternative, I'm all for it. And even if this doesn't go through, I also think Timneu22's idea of tacking userfication onto Twinkle is good, because that'll make it a lot easier if someone asks us to userfy instead of delete something. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:30, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    Or another idea I just thought of; we could have something like WikiProject Deletition sorting for notes on what articles have been userfied. The person doing the userfication can add a note to the relevant topic; that way, people watching it can see what's being userfied, and possibly work with the user to get it ready for mainspace. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:18, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    Some sort of tracking system (manual list, categories, bot) is a good idea. I would even suggest that one be developed and used on existing userspace drafts independent of this speedy userfication proposal. Flatscan (talk) 05:30, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose -- Timneu22 gives SemEval as an example above, when that was a fairly clear case of notability-in-its-obscure-field. There was no reason to userfy that, and lots of reason to leave it visible where people will have incentive to fix its problems. That's not likely to happen in someone's userspace -- especially when the original editor didn't have the wikiknowledge to create it cleanly in the first place. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 02:33, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    However, it would have prevented the ensuing fiasco. If it had been done the way I'm thinking, it would have been userfied, and someone (in this case, Timneu22) would have left a note at WikiProject Linguistics (which he did) so someone over there could have worked with the user. That would have taken the drama out of the whole process, and would have made it feel a lot more welcoming to the new user. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:30, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    Thinking this over, I believe this to be a particularly strong argument for userfication or moving to the incubator as opposed to doing an AfD. Telling a new user that the article isn't quite ready for prime time yet is a much more gentle way to avoid WP:BITE. Slapping on a bunch of tags saying that the article sucks wind and needs some serious work before it is of feature article quality is pretty much a no-brainer in terms of a brand new article. Telling a new user that there is a "protected sandbox" where they can work on an article that may need some special attention isn't nearly as threatening. In fact, I can see a group getting organized that does nothing but help new users in terms of trying to improve the quality of relatively new articles. A page move is certainly much easier to do than delete/undelete, and it is something that new users at least perceive they can have some significant input on in terms of what is happening. It also keeps the whole process out in the open rather than something done by a "secret cabal". --Robert Horning (talk) 16:39, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose for BLPs. Having unsourced BLPs is userspace is an absolutely horrible idea, because then it becomes nearly impossible to track (while still being listed on Google). People post all sorts of libel and assorted unsourced controversial statements in userspace drafts, and it is difficult to root it all out. For that reason alone, this is a terrible idea. I actually have a standing policy of refusing to userfy BLPs (upon request, I do email them a copy of the article to work on offline, though). The WordsmithCommunicate 03:21, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    In case I didn't make this clear enough, this process would not apply to things like G1, G3, G5, G10, G11, or G12 candidates, nor would it apply to unsourced BLPs or articles that will clearly never make it to mainspace. I'm talking more about the borderline cases; see the example I gave at User:Riotbr/WeMusic. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:30, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    You specifically mentioned A7 in your post above. A large percentage of A7 speedies are unsourced biographies of living people, so I assumed it would apply to that. If it doesn't, perhaps that should be clarified. 04:20, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    Point of clarification added above. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:44, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
This may of may not fully relate but take a look at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2008 December 31. The whole thing became somewhat of a huge CF because a user kept creating their own BLP in mainspace over the course of a year and at one point there had been at least 7 versions of it at in mainspace (Not all at once I don't think). At some point versions were userfied in a few different places (September 18, 2008 to User:Spartaz/Musician and again at a DRV to User:Bill Blake990/Matt Lee(guitar player) on December 31, 2008) and that, in itself became an issue. Along the way there was Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Guitaro99. I think a huge part of this was the fact the users articles kept being deleted and different people kept doing it until about December 30, 2008 when Matt Lee (musician) (deleted at least 5 times) got to Matt Lee(guitar player), which was userfied, and Matt Lee (Deleted at least 9 times) all seemed to click, at least in my mind, and I did a lot more research. One of the question at a DRV was "Do any of the deleted versions contain substantial support for notability that is not found in the 2 userfied versions?" That may be an extreme example but just for the sake of "what if..." - What if, the very first time the article was "deleted" (I think as Matt Lee on August 29, 2007?) it had been userfied via a high(er) profile criteria to be worked on. First I think over the course of a year it would have been a lot easier to track changes and compare. As for if the drama and sockpuppetry would have still happened, I don't know - but from what I remember a huge part of it was the user felt severely bitten by the repeated deletions and that caused them to create all sorts of accounts and make various versions and than accusations about Wikipedia admins "having something to hide". I also think by that time it really didn't matter to most if the article was valid or not because of everything else. Soundvisions1 (talk) 05:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I had forgotten about that. The final "stop" at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/userfication shows fairly clear support for the Compromise section. What happened after that? Soundvisions1 (talk) 05:24, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure. My guess is that no one filed the Twinkle request. Flatscan (talk) 05:30, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support and Oppose As long as stale drafts in userspace have to go through a full MfD process, I don't feel comfortable expanding the number of userfied articles too much. We will be creating deletion discussions on what otherwise would have been deleted through PROD or CSD, but by virtue of being moved to userspace suddenly becomes immune to prod and most CSD reasons. I support in the sense that you can already do this. There's no rule against pre-emptive userfication, and you don't need to be an admin to do it, since the cross namespace redirect can be speedied. Gigs (talk) 21:49, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
    If a time limit were imposed (i.e. 6-9 months after a user's last edit, a userfied article would become a speedy candidate), would that change your view? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:08, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, but I and others have barked up that tree before, and while there has been some support for the idea, it's always failed to get consensus. Gigs (talk) 00:38, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Why would we do this if the user doesn't actually want it? That's basically just asking for articles to pile up in userspace. The majority of userfied articles are never improved, they just sit around in userspace forever. Mr.Z-man 03:53, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
    It'd be something the user would ask for; I think that more users would ask for it if they knew about it, but our system as it is now only mentions userfication in passing. This would greatly streamline the process. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:08, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
    Your initial comment about rarely getting a response when you suggest userfication suggested otherwise. Any article can be userfied, I don't see why we need a new process unless it would be applying it in cases when it wouldn't normally be considered. Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that most userfied articles are never improved and end up creating more work later. Mr.Z-man 06:40, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
    I was referring to the fact that a lot of users never return after their article is tagged; if we userfy something instead of wholesale deleting it, I suspect new users are less likely to feel bitten and have a higher chance of staying. I get what you're saying about userfied articles not generally improving, but if we can set a time limit like I've said above (probably 6-9 months after an editor's last edit), we should be able to avoid overloading MfD. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:50, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose mainly on the basis that the existing variety of processes is already excessively complicated. There might be virtues in alternative procedures, but I suggest we try to concentrate on devising those that would replace present ones, not add to them. DGG ( talk ) 03:14, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Vague support as I think that somewhere up-front in the deletion process should be a clear and simple option for new editors (which is almost certainly the case for shaky new artcles) to userfy their work when appropriate, so not just an invitation to keep garbage in their userspace. I once tried to figure out how to do a magic button that would let a newbie click it and pull back from the confusing morass of mainspace deletion. If in the judgement of a NPP'er an article is salvageable but clearly not ready for prime time, we should be making clear that userfication is an option, and providing a painless method for them to do that. Franamax (talk) 23:13, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mr.Z-man. PeterSymonds (talk) 10:19, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Wikiproject Article Incubator has long been part of the Notability (events) guideline and policies such as Deletion policy and Wikipedia:Proposed deletion of biographies of living people policy, and is so important that the Wikiproject is part of Wikipedia:List of policies and has its own self-reference in article space. In addition, Wikiproject Article Incubator is part of the Version 1.0 Editorial Team efforts to publish sets of Wikipedia articles in print, CD, and DVD. Collectively, this reflects a strong consensus move away from the rejected Soft deletion proposal and overcomes the perennial, unsuccessful efforts to make deleted pages visible. Consistent with this strong consensus about policy, I support speedy userfication. Suggestion: Articles speedy userfied should include a label to identify the move, such as in User:Invmog/Article Incubator XG 500, an article consensus deleted by Crit on 2 February 2010 that was rescued before the deletion by userifcation and essentially untouched since then. Also, we should have a category, such as Category:Article Incubator candidate for deletion, for articles that are speedy userfied where the admin knows in fact that the article should be deleted but just can't bring him/herself to doing it and, perhaps, a category such as Category:FA-Class Article Incubator articles for those userfied articles that have yet to reach the perfection needed to move into project space. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 14:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Too much fudging (and too much haste). A decision should be made if the article meets speedy deletion criteria or not. If there's some doubt, then it shouldn't be speedied (either for hard or soft deletion) and should be put up for deletion discussion where the option of WP:INCUBATION or standard userfication is available. SilkTork *YES! 10:21, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mr.Z-man. --Bsherr (talk) 20:37, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose though occasionally I userfy something that clearly was meant to be someone's test to a sandbox, or an autobiography to their userpage. But Wikis are for collaborative editing and I don't like the idea of getting things to a finished standard before they are mainspaced - mainspace is the right place for writing new articles. ϢereSpielChequers 14:27, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
    I'm not looking for perfection here; just to get these sufficiently ready that they won't be zapped on sight by people on NPP. Articles don't even have to start out particularly good, but a lot of times (like SemEval and my example), new users need to work on something for a while before it's ready to be viewed as an article; that way, they can figure out the formatting and make sure they've sufficiently satisfied notability requirements before putting it out for everyone to see. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:54, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the deleted article template contains instructions for userifying the article anyway. We also don't just want to move all the Category A7 articles into userspace, where they are still obvious to the outside world (via Google/Yahoo/Bing). Reaper Eternal (talk) 20:59, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
    I never said "all of them"; The Sound of Perseverance and others would still be A7s. My example above, and SemEval, are the sorts of things I'm talking about, not the patently obvious cases like the one I just gave. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:32, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Tweaking WP:PRIMARYTOPIC to reduce encouragement of WP:BIAS and WP:RECENTISM

So I'm presently participating in a proposed move discussion, Talk:Sephiroth (Final Fantasy)#Requested move, where WP:PRIMARYTOPIC appears to call for the move discussed — a move of Sephiroth (Final Fantasy) over dab to Sephiroth, establishing the Final Fantasy video game character as the primary topic for that term, rather than it being comparably weighted in a dab page with the Kabbalistic concept of the Sephirot (which is what the video game character is named after — the word has been mainly translated from Hebrew into English as Sephiroth for most of the time English has existed, with that transliteration, the Ashkenazic, only relatively recently being displaced by the Israeli-preferred Sephardic transliteration, Sephirot). Despite the extreme level of systemic bias and recentism that opponents and proponents have both agreed would be represented by this move, proponents essentially dismiss these concerns because nothing in policy or guidelines establishes them as valid, while WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is quite unambiguously worded. While the existence of things like WP:WikiProject Countering systemic bias makes it pretty obvious to me that consensus across Wikipedia exists that systemic bias is bad, my bringing this up has no apparent force. So I'm presently thinking that WP:PRIMARYTOPIC has something more than a little wrong with it, and could use tweaking to be slightly less encouraging of topics with millennia of history behind them being displaced in favor of pop culture fads just because the latter get more search traffic. Am I crazy? Anybody have any thoughts? —chaos5023 (talk) 07:00, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree that long established meanings which are primary topics in e.g. dictionaries or encyclopaedias are sometimes voted down on Wikipedia in favour of 'fashionable' usages - names of pop bands, modern company names or random surnames - often based on [unreliable] google hits. A recent example was Cooper (profession) from which pretty well all other usages are derived; arguments used against making this the primary topic were "the accounting company that bought Price-Waterhouse is more famous" and "What about people looking for Coopers e.g. Gary Cooper", contenders which do not have even the same title! So the move was not agreed. Look at Cooper (disambiguation) and you will see that there are no significant contenders for the actual name "Cooper". But I think the real problem here is simply ignorance - people join the voting who know little about the subjects involved and e.g. have never heard of a "cooper". Als there is a very common tendency to base views on "I would never say that" or "I've never heard of that", "Google hits reveal..." or "I don't like it" rather than "here are my findings from reliable sources". In other words there is a lot of firing from the hip by folk who don't really know much about the topic(s) under debate and can't be bothered to do proper research. --Bermicourt (talk) 07:23, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
What is Final Fantasy? Another Chinese plastic toy? You make me sad. <sarcasm ends here> Only in Wikipedia could a forgotten (1997!) run-of-the-mill game cd (not just cd, a single character!) become a primary topic. Oh well. But the real Sephirot is also unknown to the majority of people, and (I think) equally incomprehensible, although for different reasons. It's a popularity contest between two very old, two very obscure abstractions that mean next to nothing to the un-initiated... I'd say keep status quote: Sephirot as redirect. East of Borschov 10:29, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm quite sympathetic to the proposal - I think in practice there quite often is (though not currently supported by any written policy) a preference for primary topics that represent the original usage of the term, more "serious" usage, and especially usage that likely to stand the test of time. There are also various other arguments that sometimes prove decisive (like we have New York for the state, even though the state certainly isn't the primary topic, because the New York City disambiguation is felt to be prettier than anything we might think of for the state). The question also seems to have been arising quite often lately as to whether we count usages where the term is not really the "full" or "true" name of the topic (do people with the surname Stroud fully count as usages of the term "Stroud"? do people with the nickname Fergie count as usages of "Fergie"?) All in all I think the question of primary topichood is something we could address in the guidelines with more sophistication than we currently do. (On the other hand, I don't think these are actually matters of vital importance - it's often really only a matter of fairly minor convenience to readers.)--Kotniski (talk) 11:14, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
ultimately primary topic is about reader convenience. What is the most convenient for our readers? That translates to, which meaning can we assume that our reader is looking after? This does imply a degree of recentism, and I don't see the problem with that in this specific context.
Systematic bias is the problem that our writers have consider certain topics more important. This should be seen as seperate from the fact that our readers consider certain topics more important. The latter I fail to see as a problem. Note that there is a flaw in my argument here, because we as writers decide what we believe our readers consider most important, and that decision is unavoidably based in what we consider important. But in the case of sepiroth I strongly doubt that this is a problem, most of our readers will be looking for the final fantasy character. Taemyr (talk) 11:42, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, as I said on another page, I don't see systemic bias in here. As for something "having more history", then Boston should link to the British town, should it not? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:06, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I would be delighted if you replied to me on that other page. :) And yes, if it were all about length of history, then Boston would link to Boston, Lincolnshire. I agree that that's an undesirable outcome, so I would be looking for some criterion that cuts the right way in both cases (and in more cases than the current "it is solely about numeric predominance of intended destination" does). I'm here in hopes I can get help with that. :) —chaos5023 (talk) 17:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

WP:PRIMARYTOPIC doesn't need to be tweaked for this case. Some of the recommended searches for (Sephiroth) and for (Sephiroth "Final Fantasy") -- Google Scholar has it 1910 vs 49, Google Book has it 48000 vs 341 -- already indicate that the Final Fantasy Sephiroth is not the primary topic. Some of the arguments on the discussion have used these tools as well. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Reader convenience is a factor, but making it the only criterion is what has led to the anarchic way many articles are named (not least because people can't agree what the most 'convenient' titles are). If libraries based their layout on reader's preferences for where each book should go we would have utter chaos and lots of dissatisfaction. So they have a classification system that users need to understand to get the most out of the library. Of course it's designed to be user friendly, but it also has to be logical and follow certain conventions. Likewise to get the best out of an encyclopaedia, readers may have to 'learn' or 'get used to' certain conventions which, once understood, enable far greater searchability and clarity.
One major source of argument occurs when a proper noun clashes with a common noun e.g. baker and Baker. Normal encyclopaedias disambiguate them with the leading letter. Wikipedia uses capitals for both, introducing an entirely unnecessary and avoidable problem. Why don't we follow conventional encyclopaedic practice and save ourselves at least some trouble?? --Bermicourt (talk) 17:28, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
While the last thing I would personally want would be to argue with your close of the relevant discussion, I'm not at all sure WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is, as written, as amenable as you say. The language it uses is strictly about what visitors to Wikipedia are looking for, not what's more prevalent in sources. It doesn't seem implausible to me at all that an intelligent, well-intentioned person could have interpreted the Wikipedia page view statistics as more relevant and made the opposite close. Which remains distressing to me, and I really think there should be something that would prevent WP:PRIMARYTOPIC from calling for a move of Emperor Palpatine to Emperor if page views called for it. —chaos5023 (talk) 17:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I've often thought that one topic being the namesake of the other should be considered as a factor in favor of the former being the primary topic. --Cybercobra (talk) 18:37, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Then Seattle would need to be moved to Seattle, Washington so Chief Seattle could be moved to "Seattle"? Namesake-ness factors into the other criteria (if it's used as a namesake, it's probably well known enough to get lots of use), but once namesake-ness fades and the latter topic eclipses the former, there's no reason to put that in the way of the readers. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:45, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Hence merely "a factor" rather than "an overwhelmingly decisive factor". --Cybercobra (talk) 05:11, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
That echoes what I keep coming back to in thinking about this, that it seems to me what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC needs is a set of considerations that should be weighed, rather than the single criterion it has now. Something like, weigh 1) directing users to the most commonly desired destination, 2) avoiding recentism and systemic bias, 3) relative prevalence in sources, 4) a moderate preference for an original usage to which others are namesakes, if any. I don't think something like that would be out of line with the actual operating consensus on Wikipedia, as opposed to the formalized version currently in the guideline, and introducing some ambiguity there gives room for situational consensus and common sense to save us from negative outcomes, instead of having a One True Way that inevitably produces horrific unintended consequences in edge cases. —chaos5023 (talk) 07:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Some problems with that: expanding the considerations will simply escalate the disputes on contentious titles, resulting in fewer primary topics (more disambiguation pages at the base names) as editors fail to come to consensus on a primary topic, resulting in less utility for more of the readership. The goal of navigation pages (not articles) is to assist the readership, which is why we have to two criteria (not one) that we have now (usage and vital-ness). We avoid recentism and systemic bias by providing navigational tools to allow all readers to find their intended topics, whether it's the primary topic or not. Prevalence in sources is already one of the tools we use to try and figure out usage. Original usage is also already a factor -- original usage tends to have more usage anyway, but when it doesn't, it becomes an exceptional case and is decided by the other criteria. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:52, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, creating a guideline that calls for weighing multiple factors opens Pandora's Box for endless interpretations and disagreements. I'm beginning to think that one of the problems with WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is its name, because the word "primary" seems to convey a meaning of importance that is unintended (though I can't think of a better name).

Taemyr is absolutely correct about primary topic being ultimately about reader convenience. For those cases where a term is used to search for one particular topic significantly more often than any other, then that term should either be the title for, or a redirect to, that topic. That is the essence of "primary topic", period. That definition relies entirely on popularity, and not at all on factors such as anyone's perception of "importance", historical significance, which is the namesake, or whether the term matches the full name of a topic for which it might be used to seek, or just part of its name (and title). This reasoning indicates that a regular google search (with &pws=0 in the url to turn off individualized/regional bias) is a much better indicator of primary topic than Scholar or Books searches because regular web search is specifically geared to reflect in search results what people are usually looking for when searching with a given search term, which is exactly what we're supposed to consider when determining "primary topic". --Born2cycle (talk) 16:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Google is a tool, not the authority. And there are still problems with your interpretation of "anything a term can be used to search for" vs. "ambiguous topics that could be expected to have the ambiguous title". -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:05, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, google is a tool, but it's probably the best tool for determining primary topic because of Google's intelligent search algorithms that reflect search results according to the very criteria that we're supposed to use to determine primary topic: what people are most likely looking for when searching with a given search term.

What is the source of phrases you're quoting above, and how are they relevant to this discussion? --Born2cycle (talk) 18:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

They aren't direct quotations. They are headlines for the views presented in the various discussions we've been in these past few days. You probably already know this. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
No, I didn't know that, and I doubt anyone else would either. I'm still not sure what exactly you mean, though. "Anything a term can be used to search for" is, for example, not very relevant. How often a given term is actually used to search for a particular term is, on the other hand, quite relevant.

Your completely unsubstantiated and unsupported personal opinion that somehow whether a term could be expected to be the title of an article about a topic is a factor in determining whether that topic is the primary use of that term, which flies in the face of everything the relevant guideline actually clearly states (e.g., "the fact that an article has a different title is not a factor in determining whether a topic is primary", is also irrelevant. This is not a matter of me "interpreting" vague wording differently from you. "Not a factor" is plain unambiguous English. It's a matter of you completing ignoring these words. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:19, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that everyone managed to find the person they wanted to, as Van Cliburn was created in March 2004 1, while Cliburn was created in December 2009 2, also I have created the page Cliburn (disambiguation), so that Cliburn doesn't need to be moved, and so that the surname searchers can find the person they want to Crouch, Swale talk to me My contribs 13:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Hello, (I'm from a wiki sister project.) I've removed a "clear" (not obviously) advertisement, but I get reverted (by honored users) with the argumentation of "as per source" (Microsoft hidden Advertisement) it "is a fact", yes for that company! It is an promotion for an other completely unrelated product (of this company). In this case the original source (policy?) breaks with WP:NOTADVERTISING (which is higher?). Sorry if I could not write clearly, but English is not my native language. So I make an extended comparison. It is recommended you use the Microsoft special DVD Player (yes with special Microsoft features) and answer with an Microsoft mousepad and of course with IE (which is best, search with Bing, contact me with MS Messenger, which is so good, its fact!). Regards --Perhelion (talk) 22:52, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't think this is a policy problem. After all, there are some standards that contain company names, just consider the "IBM PC compatible" standard. As such, Microsoft mice might be a similar standard in this case. I suggest you go to Talk:Windows XP and discuss the question there, which is how we usually solve such disputes. Unless you there is some evidence for a larger problem with policy, this is not the correct forum to discuss it. On a side note, the policies that are in conflict here are WP:V and WP:PRIMARY, since the section is sourced to a source that's not independent of the manufacturer. WP:NOTADVERTISING is not a problem here, since the text does in no way endorse the product, it just repeats what the source says. Regards SoWhy 23:06, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok yes its a small point, but I see now is clear against WP:NPOV. Microsoft mice has no relevance (and certainly no article ) IBM was a monopolist. I'm not sure to get get a objective response on the article diss. thanks --Perhelion (talk) 23:35, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
You may not get a good discussion on the talk page, but you should at least try the talk page before you bring it up at other forums (in which case WP:RSN would probably be best). Mr.Z-man 23:54, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Please read the article Microsoft Mouse whilst Microsoft does sell mice, a Microsoft Mouse is one which meets the intellipoint standard these are sold by third parties as well as by Microsoft. Any time someone sets a standard it is common to find naming like this. SoWhy is correct with IBM - PS/2 was a specific IBM model but many mice and keyboards not made by IBM were sold as PS/2. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 23:59, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok thanks all for your advice, I'll do so. As referencing link ok, yes (SoWhy) Wikipedia can't (should) reproduce product information that only dependent from the manufacturer? PS: There is nothing of IntelliPoint or IntelleMice? --Perhelion (talk) 01:58, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

WP:V and WP:PRIMARY don't really apply IMHO when a Microsoft source is given to backup a Microsoft issued document. Nobody but Microsoft issues system requirements for Microsoft software, just as Apple, Oracle, IBM etc are the ones who issue their own system requirements. In such a case the original source is the definitive source and any third parties reporting the minimum system requirements are simply re-publishing the original produced by the vendor. --Simple Bob (talk) 08:48, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

My simple example (of M$) is 100% advertising. So the simple answer is "yes" the English Wikipedia allows advertising in articles. The M$ people in the article diss do completely disagree too. In German Wiki it got (after my mentioned insert) deleted[33], with the reason of advertising. (Call a mouse that does not work with XP?) --Perhelion (talk) 22:27, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
You using "M$" instead of "Microsoft" clearly indicates that you have some sort of axe to grind w.r.t. Microsoft. Wikipedia is not a place for soapboxing. Get over it and move on to something more constructive. --Simple Bob (talk) 22:38, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it was clear to me that no substantive arguments to come more. (M$ is a normal shortcut and not from me) --Perhelion (talk) 18:10, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Policy templates

I have proposed merging {{Guideline list}} into {{Wikipedia policies and guidelines}}. Please see discussion at Template_talk:Guideline_list#Merge. Rd232 talk 13:08, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Attempt to develop consensus on notability of models

I don't know if this is the right place to post this or not. After participating in AfDs of a model at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kim Cloutier, I've begun an attempt to develop an additional set of notability criteria for models to go along with the GNG. There appears to be no real consensus in this area, and as someone else has noted, similar problems existed in bios of athletes until WP:ATHLETE was developed to provide guidance. My work-in-progress is here [34]. I invite everyone here to drop in, provide feedback, discuss and make revisions as you see fit. I'm not an expert in this area so all of your input is most appreciated. Discussion can take place at the very bottom of the page. - Burpelson AFB 16:09, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Valued pictures (3d nomination)

Seeing as this has been a rather controversial area in the past, some wider input could be useful to hopefully give a clear consensus. J Milburn (talk) 01:16, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Forbes Magazine's "Most Powerful" Ranking

There is an increasing number of Forbes Magazine references appearing in the leading paragraphs of biographical wiki pages. The opening paragraphs of a wiki page should contain important details, not subjective trivia. Forbes 'most powerful' ranking is merely one American magazine editor's perceived and unsupported opinion as to each well-known person's 'power'. By rights it should not appear on any wiki page other than the Forbes magazine page or on the Forbes Magazine "Most Powerful" ranking page.

Examples of overuse include:

Examples of truly powerful people who do NOT have Forbes Magazine rankings in their wiki bio page include:

So why do Forbes unsubstantiated rankings keep appearing all over wiki? Is there a wiki rule to stop the magazine from obtaining free advertising at wiki's expense?
The rankings are obviously fabricated. Many are rubbish. For example, Forbes rank Michelle Obama as the most powerful woman in the world. Yet it is Barack who is the president, not Michelle. As 'First Lady' Michelle has no power whatsoever.
How about the number 2 'ranked' woman? It is an American food salesperson (Irene Rosenfeld). What complete baloney. Number 3 is an American television host (Oprah Winfrey), and finally at number 4 is a woman with real power - the Chancellor of Germany (Angela Merkel). Forbes incredibly has ranked an American grocer and an American television host above a head of government.
My question is, why does a supposedly factual encyclopaedia (wiki) rate worthy of mention the suppositions and meanderings of a magazine that specialises in listening to gossip rather than in researching facts? B. Fairbairn (talk) 09:26, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Going back to your original post and leaving aside for a moment the issue of whether the Forbes rankings are authoritative in any way...their value to individual Wikipedia articles is going to depend on the subject of the article. It really isn't going to come as a surprise to anyone that Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin are highly powerful people, so there is not much informational value added for the reader if we mention their Forbes rankings. But it might well be a useful illustration of the global influence of a big corporation to refer to the high ranking of Indra Nooyi, precisely because many readers wouldn't expect it. Barnabypage (talk) 17:22, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
We do not interpret sources, we report what they say. If a well-respected magazine like Forbes says that someone is one of the most powerful people in the world, that is probably something relevant to include in their biography. Whether or not its relevant is an editorial decision to be made for each article. Just because there's no objective criteria behind the ranking doesn't mean we shouldn't include it. The Academy Awards are based on a secret vote by an unknown number of unknown people, shall we remove all mention of them as well? Disagreeing with a source is not a reason to remove verifiable content, that's original research. Mr.Z-man 17:12, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The Academy Awards are a very poor example to use for comparison purposes. The Academy Awards do not rank people, they decide winners, and people know the results are based on opinion.
The references to Forbes in wiki biography pages almost always give a specific ranking e.g. Dawood Ibrahim is ranked number 50 on the 2009 World's Most Powerful people list, not just saying he is regarded by Forbes as being 'one of the most powerful'. Also - why on earth are terrorists and criminals on Forbes list? How stupid can they get. B. Fairbairn (talk) 18:00, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Sure there's a rank with the Academy Awards; there's the winner, the runners-up, and everything else. But how does the fact that there's a "ranking" make it so significantly different than just a winner? They're choosing 68 people instead of 5? So? Its just a bigger list. Why can't terrorists and criminals be on the list? You don't have to be good to be powerful. Your opposition to this seems to be based entirely on your personal feelings about it, which, again, is just original research. Mr.Z-man 19:47, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with the spirit of the original poster, although perhaps not some of the details. The Forbes list simply doesn't meet WP:DUE in the majority if not all of the people that they list. We only list opinions (and this list is, by definition, nothing but opinion) in relevance to how important that opinion is to that person's story. I am fairly certain it shouldn't be in the lead of any articles, and probably not in the body of most of them, unless someone being on that list was itself relevant information. I don't think you could successfully argue that the Forbes list "matters" in any regular sense of the word in most cases. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:13, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

The Academy Awards do not try to claim Jane Doe is the 67th most powerful and influential celebrity in the world, or that John Doe is the 399th richest actor in the universe.
Major terrorists and criminals only deserve to be on Most Wanted lists, and on no other!
It is not original research; anyone with intelligence can see how silly it is to attempt to rank people according to 'power'. B. Fairbairn (talk) 02:26, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't say citing this was anything other than repeating the subjective opinion of a self-serving source, and as such, trivia. Hard to see how its inclusion in an article could be justified. Delete on sight? Or at least check that it isn't being inserted with intent to push a POV. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:42, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
No, the Academy Awards just say that A, B, C, D, and E are the 5 best movies/actors/sound editors in the US; they don't publish the numerical list other than the #1 (though since its a vote, there technically is one), which makes it completely different and perfectly acceptable, even if its still a purely subjective decision. If you're only going to argue based on your own opinion, why waste everyone's time by even starting this thread? You're right, its not original research. That implies that you've actually done some research. You're just saying "I disagree with their rankings, because they include people like terrorists and the CEO of the world's second largest food company, which means they're wrong." Its your opinion versus a reliable source.
@Qwyrxian: You're saying that in the 21 paragraph article we have on Lady Gaga, a sentence and a half about her listing in Forbes is undue weight? Or, to use Indra Nooyi as an example, almost the entire article is about her business career; how is a listing in one of the most widely circulated US business magazines not relevant to her article? Or, for that matter, since WP:DUE is about viewpoints, how is the argument that she is a powerful businesswoman a minority viewpoint? If that's the case, then that article is horribly biased, since there's absolutely nothing that suggests that at all. Mr.Z-man 02:48, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It is an editor's opinion versus the opinion of people who like facts, as opposed to speculation. It is the opinion of an editor of a magazine that is respected only by the people listed in it, and by the people who wish they were listed in it!
Here is an idea. Call it original research if you wish. If the Forbes magazine name was to change to "The Magazine for Extremely Greedy People & Ultra Ambitious Tyrants", at least the title would be accurate! B. Fairbairn (talk) 11:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence (your opinions aren't evidence) to suggest that Forbes is an unreliable or insignificant source? Mr.Z-man 18:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Good question. The point I am making is that power is so incredibly difficult to measure. With the boys at the top of most powerful list you could possibly rank them based on the number of nuclear missiles they can fire, the size and level of technology of their armed forces, the wealth of the country they control, the amount of power they have as a leader, the controls that can be applied to trammel their power, the friends they have, the influence they have, the number of people they represent, and so on. It is a different story for people further down the list. How can the CEO of Apple be ranked above the Prime Minister of India? The founders of a search engine (google) and the mayor of a city (New York) be ranked above the Prime Minister of Israel? The CEO of a chain of department stores (wal-mart) be ranked above the leader of Iran? B. Fairbairn (talk) 13:54, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Forbes explains its methodology in some detail here. I don't want to get into detailed arguments about specific examples here (it's not the place and it will probably get us nowhere), but it is worth noting that, for example, Wal-Mart has revenues and employee numbers (let alone customer numbers) comparable with GDP and population of a smallish nation state. True, it is not "as big as" Iran by those measures, but it's not an utterly ludicrous comparison - unless you believe that power in the world is determined by military and legislative might alone. Barnabypage (talk) 14:12, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Um, wouldn't this problem be fixed by simply identifying the source of this opinion in the text? Using one of the examples above, is it that objectionable for the lead paragraph of the relevant article to say "Forbes magazine described Dawood Ibrahim as one of the most powerful men in the world"?

The issue here is one I've seen in many articles: accurately reporting & sourcing a given assertion. Just because a reliable source says something, an editor should not conclude that it is an indisputable fact; often the statement is an expression of a subjective opinion. Think of the matter this way: if The Times of London declared in an 1887 editorial that [insert here the name of someone now long forgotten] was "the most evil person to ever have -- or will -- live", is the moral character of that person proven to be a fact? (Said forgotten person would have to be truly evil to outdo some likely nominees of the 20th century.) If we are inflexible over our use of reliable sources in these matters, then we end up with absurd comments like this. (Or, to provide a more concrete example, Columbia Journalism Review, a periodical commonly accepted as a reliable source, once published a list of the ten dumbest congressmen, some of them are still alive; do we really want to open that can of worms by insisting that these people are the dumbest congressmen?

This is a problem I find in many articles: someone finds a reliable source that confirms something they agree with, & the assertion is put into the article. Sometimes lots of sources are found, & each given its own footnote. I believe it would diffuse some of the conflict over the content of some articles if opinions were identified as such in the text, & the person(s) who hold them identified, rather than treated as indisputable facts supported by (sometimes numerous) reliable sources. -- llywrch (talk) 21:46, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, too true. It is very common for editors to a) Make assumptions; b) Fail to perform research; and c) Change words around in a manner that deliberately makes the message easy to misinterpret. Even with qualifiers such as "Forbes magazine described..." the Forbes reference is definitely not important enough to be recorded in a lead paragraph for a bio page. Unfortunately some people act as if the Forbes listing is the most authoritative work ever, and attempt to spread the word across wiki. B. Fairbairn (talk) 17:15, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

When a "personal appeal" is and is not advertising

I think that existing policy is clear that prohibits the use of advertising on Wikipedia. I think this is one of the most essential elements of that makes Wikipedia a community and not a commercial enterprise. I was very pleased to see "Wikipedia author Kartika" replace Jimmy Wales in the banner appeal. I believe it to be a violation of the contract with contributors, large or small, to post a picture and name of anyone with the least "commercial" interest in this space. Yes, Jimmy Wales is the founder of Wikipedia. But Jimmy Wales is also a commercial enterprise in the sense that he and numerous others depend on his reputation as core aspects of their business interests.

Suppose I were a Wikipedia author who was developing a commercial website linked to my name. Would it be acceptable to put my picture and name broadly across the banner of Wikipedia? Does Jimmy Wales status as founder make him the only exception to this foundational principle?

If it is not a clearly defined policy, then it should be. I strongly urge everyone to consider strengthening existing policy and not permitting exceptions. If a person was a commercial interest in being the banner, that person shouldn't be on the banner, end of story. This is some of the most valued space on the internet, we should be very thoughtful about how it's used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrJonMack (talkcontribs) 00:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC) MacRutchik 14:13, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Except that he doesn't have a commercial interest in Wikipedia--it's a not for profit organization. Heck, he doesn't even draw a salary from Wikipedia, if I recall correctly. If he was asking us to buy something from one of his other businesses, then that would be advertising. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

A person does not need to have a commercial interest in Wikipedia to be using Wikipedia for commercial benefit. By placing a known public figure in the banner, Wikipedia is advertising that public figure. I doubt if anyone would be quiescent if a political figure of either party were placed in the banner. Jimmy Wales may well be a terrific, unselfish human being, but he has long leveraged his status as founder of Wikipedia to further his commercial ventures. There's no objection to this if it's done outside the pages of Wikipedia. When it hits every reader in the face when they open Wikipedia, it's definitively crossing the boundary and using Wikipedia to promote personal gain. If there has been a thorough-going discussion of this issue within the Wikipedia community, I would appreciate being directed to it. If not, it's high time that the policy of allowing any individual whose name is associated with commercial interests to appear in the banner violates the implicit contract with Wikipedia contributors. I do not contribute to Wikipedia because a certain person is identified as "founder," I contribute as a member of an open community.--MacRutchik 14:13, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

There have been discussions about what sorts of ads bring in the most cash. I cannot direct you to any right now as I do not have time. What I recall is that those featuring Wales brought in more cash than any others. I don't think you'll find much buy-in from the comunity for what are, to me, your rather extreme and necessarily convoluted views on what constitutes advertising. --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, here you go. The place for all your fundraising ad related complaints: ...Information on banner testing at --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:36, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

There's nothing convoluted about it. Advertising is not permitted on Wikipedia. Public figures, whether in the world of sports, politics, business, or the internet, profit from name recognition. Corrupting basic principles is not justifiable on the grounds that "it brings in the most cash." I don't object to your speaking for yourself, but do object to, prior to a reasoned discussion, that the community is unlikely to agree with this point. Labeling my expression "extreme" does not constitute reasoned discussion. My input is not a complaint. It is a statement that this crucial aspect of Wikipedia policy requires review. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrJonMack (talkcontribs) 15:53, 1 December 2010 (UTC) MacRutchik 15:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

It is convoluted in that we would have to buy into the assertion that public figures depend on name recognition, and that the endorsement of wikiepedia's fund-raising efforts by a name is unavoidably a form of advertising for the name, and that as such it breaches wikipedia's no advertising policy. You might as easily construct an argument that an article on a person or company or place (all of which rely in part on name recognition) is unavoidably an advert for the name, company or place, and that as such Wikipedia should not support articles on such things. The logic is exactly the same. You're welcome, of course, to object to whatever you like. I merely venture my opinion that your view is extreme, your logic convoluted, and your argument unlikely to find much or any support from the community. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It also works the other way round - non-profits like Wikipedia themselves benefit from association with well-known public figures insofar as that raises their public profile and thus (they hope) the level of donations they receive. Barnabypage (talk) 16:37, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

There is a crucial difference between Wikipedia articles and the banner requesting donations. Since articles are found by search criteria they are a "pull" media, readers specifically seek out the content they are looking for. The banner, by contrast, pushes content to a reader seeking something else. This is an essential characteristic of advertising. No one -- not Jimmy Wales or anyone else - should have their image and full name broadcast to the world when a reader are looking up something else. Advertising is advertising. Individuals "market" themselves all the time and certainly Mr. Wales is not an exception. Banner space must be kept free of promotion. Period. There's nothing convoluted or extreme about that and, not incidentally, the talk page tied to the banner contains numerous objections similar to my own. Rather than dismissing my suggestion that promoting ANY individual or ANY organization (other than Wikipedia itself) in the banner as "unlikely to find much or any support from the community," I would like to see more reasoned comments on the topic.MacRutchik (talk) 18:02, 1 December 2010 (UTC) MacRutchik (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Advertising isn't forbidden on Wikipedia because we don't want people to make money off the site. If it was, we would be using a license that forbids commercial use of our text and images. Advertising in articles is forbidden because its a violation of the neutral point of view core policy. Paid advertising, like banner ads, are opposed by the community because they would result in companies paying money to influence articles (resulting in an NPOV violation), or they would at least give the impression of it. However, when the ad is the co-founder and public face of Wikipedia advertising Wikipedia, that's obviously not the case. Mr.Z-man 23:47, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Jimmy Wales (not the community) created the no advertising policy.[35] I don't imagine he would have approved the banners if he didn't believe they were in line with it. Kaldari (talk) 01:42, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The fact that Mr. Wales proposed the no advertising policy is not relevant to the discussion of whether his current banner requesting donations violates that policy. Whatever the origin, the policy is now the property of the community, not the person who initially proposed it. There are all too many instances in history where leaders violate the very rules they themselves proposed. There's also a big difference between allowing Wikipedia content to be used (with acknowledgement) by commercial enterprises and providing banner space to individuals with closely allied business interests. Influencing articles is only one form of action that undermines the sense that members of the community are contributing for the purpose of disseminating information, not for personal, financial, or political promotion. "Vanity page" exclusions are another example of the Wikipedia community working to maintain a high standard of being a source of information that rises above personal aggrandizement or profit. I am frankly surprised by the ardent defense of the use of one of the most viewed spaces of the internet in a way that specifically promotes an individual. "Jimmy," as he is frequently referred to in the discussion page of the banner ad, seems to have a special place in the heart of many (though certainly not all) Wikipedia readers/contributors. I am forced to admit that, as an earlier commenter suggested would happen, I see little support for reviewing what seems to me to be a significant violation of policy. I would request only that those who "archive" policy issues leave this open for a bit longer so that others can consider its implications.MacRutchik 18:37, 2 December 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrJonMack (talkcontribs)

As you say, the policy belongs to the community. Therefore, if the community doesn't think something is a policy violation, then it isn't one. Mr.Z-man 20:34, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Hmmm. we could get into a longer discussion of what constitutes "a community," but I acknowledge that, in this instance, my perceptions were not quickly echoed by others, and so: OK —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrJonMack (talkcontribs) 02:09, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm trying to figure out just what your problem with this banner is, without assuming you just don't like Jimmy Wales. If you simply think he doesn't deserve as much credit for creating Wikipedia as he gets, you're not alone. If it hadn't been for a lot of hard-working volunteers, many of whom are no longer contributing & most of whom never saw a penny for their donated labor, Wikipedia would have been just another good idea that never amounted to much. (And am I the only one who wonders if he occasionally stands in front of his mirror in his underwear, points to his reflection, & says "You are so cool for inventing Wikipedia", then does a silly dance?) If you don't like seeing his face at the top of every Wikipedia page you go to, there's a setting under preferences you can select so you don't have to see it. Otherwise, the Foundation is going to use his image & name in soliciting donations due to his association with Wikipedia, irregardless of what we think; money is always going to be a major influence in these decisions. And if you don't like these facts, then let the Foundation know by donating some money (say $25.00 or more) to support your local library, public school, or college; that will teach the Foundation a lesson they'll never forget! -- llywrch (talk) 00:40, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability citeria for Lists

Wikipedia:Notability was recently changed by User:Shooterwalker based the discussion Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Inclusion criteria for Lists, whose closing statement has yet to be made. There seems to be some errors. For example, per this change, how can every significantly covered topic be presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone list? That doesn't make any sense. A main reason I am posting here is that before Wikipedia:Notability is changed with regard to Lists, that should be vetted in Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). In particular, User:Beeblebrox's closing statement should be added and discussed in Village pump (policy) before Wikipedia:Notability is changed so that the regulars get a crack at it. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 16:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Although this is a forum for policy discussion, I'm not aware of there being a practise of requiring changes to policy to be "vetted" here. Those intersted in notability policy should have the relevant pages on their watchlists if they "want a crack at it". It is, of course, entirely reasonable to direct people from here to the place where policy is being discussed. It is entirely unreasonable to forum shop, should you be unhappy with the way in which developments are taking place in another place. Meanwhile the policy change you mention - as far as I understand it - does make sense to me. You have not said why it does not make sense to you, and in the absence of any reasoned argument from you, I'm not sure where this is going. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:35, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
As long as we're on the subject, I have not been able to find the time to close this in over a month. I tend to edit while I am "on call" at my job, and every time I have started reviewing this very long, complicated RFC I end up getting called away. If anybody has about two hours to spare to read and summarize this please do go ahead and finish closing it. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:01, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm honestly uncertain that it's worth the time and hassle of closing it. That RFC was really about desperately trying to stop Gavin.collins's endless disruption on these points. I don't think it necessarily reflects the center of the community's views; it's more like halfway between the community and Gavin's extreme views. Gavin was banned a few weeks ago, which IMO obviates any need for further work on the RFC. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:25, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
To answer Uzma Gamal's question, the notability guideline for stand-alone lists is no different from that of any other article. Every topic that is significantly coverd by reliable, secondary sources is qualified for inclusion. Whether it is an article or a list really makes no difference. As for including the discussion here at VPP, that was already done when the RfC was opened back in August (see WP:Village pump (policy)/Archive 78). Jim Miller See me | Touch me 22:51, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Require signoff on new biographies

I propose that biographies of living persons require submission by a registered editor and approval by another registered editor. There are just too many junky bios out there with little notability, mostly musicians, but some athletes, and probably other categories I am not familiar with, but all pertaining to things young people can do easily and cheaply (cut a CD, for example).

This might slow down new biographies. Note that this also pertains to Huge backlog of tagged unsourced biographies of living persons. Many (but not all) junky ones are being caught but reviewers can't ever get to them to vote delete within a week. Reviewers are exhausted. We need to slow down automatic inclusion of all submitted bios. We have about 300% of "notable" musicians and filmmakers now. We certainly don't need more. Student7 (talk) 01:33, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I assume you mean Huge backlog of tagged unsourced biographies of living persons? ChiZeroOne (talk) 01:39, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with tightening up on the creation of new bio articles. Biographies - along with companies, bands, books, albums and songs - are all popular topics for new editors. Making the notability guidelines more prescriptive will help to keep the junk at bay. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 07:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

What must be provided to Permissions when uploading an external video

I have found it difficult to locate information on Wikipedia that clearly states what is needed for an external video to be used in compliance with Wikipedia guidelines on a Wikipedia page. Could you possibly provide advice relative to my understanding of what I must provide to Permissions in order to successfully use an external video template as is used on the John Mayer page in the Touring section of the article?

Please verify that I must provide Permissions with the below information in order to be able to link to an external video with that template on a Wikipedia page:

1. A statement that the link is to material that has been uploaded in compliance with and not in violation of copyright restrictions

2. A statement that the video is in fact an official video

3. A statement that the link is available generally throughout the area of coverage for that particular language version of Wikipedia all of the time, and that the link does not require payment or membership in an organization (such as facebook) to view

Also, please advise as to who may attest to the above, the holder of the copyright? Anyone else?

Is any additional information required? Thank you in advance for your advice. Doc2234 (talk) 02:20, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Media copyright questions should be able to help, you will need to post specific questions, e.g.exactly what files you are talking about and for article they are to be used in. Jezhotwells (talk) 09:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Doc2234 (talk) 13:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Do WP:IOWN and WP:CONSENT help? – ukexpat (talk) 16:34, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you.Doc2234 (talk) 13:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Reliable sources vs. synthesis

Wikipedia policy prohibits [WP:OR|original research], including synthesis, stating, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." Further, the policy gives a clear preference to secondary sources over primary sources. What is Wikipedia policy where a normally reliable secondary source makes a demonstrably false statement? Should it be quoted blindly, tagged as not reliable (leading to endless debate on the overall reliability of the source), contradicted, deleted?? What if the statement can be shown to be false only by reading two other clear primary sources (i.e., synthesis)? Does making a simple arithmetic calculation constitute OR or synthesis? Here's an example, that is close to what I've encountered in tax articles: Fredville passes a city budget of $10 million for 2010. The Fredville Times, normally a very reliable source, covers the budget accurately but then states, "The total budget is $8,000 for every man, woman and child in Fredville." No other reliable source covered the Fredville 2010 budget. The article is quoted in Wikipedia. The U.S. Census bureau a month later shows the population of Fredville in 2010 is 2,000. Doing the math, that is $5,000 per person, not $8,000. What should Wikipedia editors do about the quotation? Retaining it unmodified perpetuates a statement that is demonstrably false. Disproving it requires synthesis of two primary sources. Please consider this very carefully. The conclusions for this simplistic example may have far reaching consequences for Wikipedia policy, especially if the facts do not so clearly contradict the source and the article is of widespread interest and controversy. What should the limits be? Prior Village Pump discussions were in October 2010, March 2010 and April 2008, but none of the prior discussions dealt with clear cut factual errors as in this example. My thought is simple fact checking where facts are clear, should be within policy. "Synthesis" that requires no more than arithmetic should be within policy. Note that clear factual errors appear often in portions of articles on tax policy. Please share your thoughts. Oldtaxguy (talk) 03:07, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

"Does making a simple arithmetic calculation constitute OR or synthesis?" Generally, no; see WP:CALC. --Cybercobra (talk) 04:09, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
It should be noted (based on an extension of the original discussion at WP:AN) that the oft-quoted and misused verifiability not truth is not a liscence to repeat anything printed in a book or magazine. Wikipedia articles should be both verifiable and true as much as possible. Wikipedia articles should not report a bit of information which is patently and demonstratably false merely because it is written down somewhere. reliable sources are reliable in large part because we believe what is written in them can be trusted to be true; when it can be easily demonstrated that the information in a source is false, the source stops being reliable, period. The whole rationale behind WP:VNT is that Wikipedia articles cannot assert truth in the absense of verifiability; that is the threshold for inclusion is not "I know it to be true" but rather "I can verify that it is true" through reliable sources. In this case, where simply logic or arithmatic can disprove what is written in a source, the best way to proceed is to remove the contentious statements entirely. Start a discussion on the talk page on how to resolve the problem. It is far better to remove a statement you can demonstrate is wrong rather than to leave it in just because it was written somewhere else. --Jayron32 05:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
This is generally easy enough to resolve with these sorts of cases; where it can get tricky is 1. when a reliable source makes an obvious mistake, but no other sources correct it or 2. when reliable sources use sloppy language. The 1986 Hvalur sinkings is more or less the latter; it was a bunch of newspapers implicitly calling it "terrorism" even though the events don't fit the criteria as such. In that case, it became a nasty debate on the talkpage, which I saw the very end of. I do think more needs to be done to clarify that the word truth is not spelled truð, despite the fact it's thrown around as a four-letter word. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:15, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The solution is to not let articles speak in Wikipedia's voice where it is inappropriate to do so. State "Such and such a newspaper called the acts terrorism" not "The acts were terrorism". This is the best advice for any contentious statement. Make it clear where there is a distinction between a widely-agreed upon fact and a contentious statement. Report the fact as nearly to the truth as possible; where there is a question about the veracity of a reported statement, phrase the statement to be actually true rather than contentious. "The New York Times said that the acts were terrorism" is demonstratably true; however "These acts of terrorism..." is not necessarily so. If the statement cannot be shown to be both verifiable and true, phrase it so that it is. --Jayron32 06:37, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
That's what should happen; my point is that sometimes, people seem to either forget or ignore that, and simply hide behind "verifiability, not truth". That's fundamentalistic, and fundamentalism is never good. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 07:32, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I would hope that the solution in cases like this one is to find the official figure published by the town (say, on the official town of Fredville webpage), & quote that source. That assumes Fredville has a website (many still don't, for various reasons), & that the town of Fredville sees the value of sharing such things with their citizens (again, many still don't, for various reasons). And that also assumes no one throws a fit because (gasp!) the article quotes a primary source instead of a reliable secondary source -- even if the secondary source either misunderstands or misrepresents the primary source.

This is an issue which I'm surprised isn't raised more often, that secondary sources, even those usually considered reliable, either misquote or misrepresent primary sources. Authorities or experts do make mistakes, sometimes for reasons which can be easily explained. However, because we have Wikipedians who take such policies as no original research or verifiable information literally, instead of following their intent (which is, to keep out kookery & other useless noise), we find ourselves constantly defending the use of common sense in writing articles. -- llywrch (talk) 20:58, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

On the one hand, this appears to fall under WP:IAR, and thus you could determine that it is actually $5000/person. However, it would probably be valuable to note this on the talk page and possibly create a footnote for the article describing how this is known to be false. On the other hand, how do you know that the secondary source did not misprint the number of people living in Fredville? Reaper Eternal (talk) 03:25, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I should think that a town generally knows how many people live in it (I know of a few exceptions, but none applicable here), so their numbers would be more reliable anyways. It's possible that the secondary source just misprinted the number, but either way it made some sort of mistake, and we shouldn't really be citing sources that we know are inaccurate for what they represent (what we can do, if it's notable, is say that such-and-such reliable source made this claim, but it turned out to be erroneous because (dot dot dot)). I was involved in a discussion on this some months ago, and another user, Hans Adler, basically said that we shouldn't force something a reliable source says into an article even if it's obviously wrong; here, I don't see why the town's own numbers (if they can be found) should be discarded in favor of a secondary source that's less likely to be accurate. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:11, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the excellent discussion. It is very helpful. Best practices sounds like mention the secondary source as saying xxx and in an adjacent sentence mention the primary source as saying yyy, then discuss on the talk page. I will now try to rigorously IAR. :) Oldtaxguy (talk) 20:34, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

When we see cyberbullying...

Cyberbullying, (and other bullying) has hit the press of late, especially in the USA, though other nations are not immune. I am proposing we discuss what we might do when we find evidence of cyberbullying here. An example is this diff where a named person who may or may not be a pupil of that school has been publicly degraded.

The action I took in this instance was to revert the addition of the degrading text, warn the editor, IP only, who created it for vandalism, checked the WHOIS record for the IP concerned, and then reported all this to the school concerned, who will be taking it seriously.

That set of actions is all well and good, and it requires some inside knowledge to perform - contacting the school, for example. It isn't arduous, but it could, possibly, be automated. It also leaves the degrading message in the edit history, thus the cyberbullying is present, albeit concealed from ordinary view.

With a school based article, somewhere I think (but have no evidence to substantiate) much of the cyber-publishing of degrading and bullying remarks happens, certainly where there is a strong probability that the named person is a pupil, this could be an automatable process that:

  1. reverts the edit as alleged cyberbullying
  2. performs a whois lookup, primarily to identify whether it is the school IP being used
  3. alerts the school by email with the details of the event, including IP address, user name here if any, date and time
  4. removes (or requests the process for removal) the offending element from the history
  5. warns the user who created the degrading edit as to future conduct (initiates request for block if that is deemed appropriate)
  6. such further action as editors here deem necessary

I recognise that a relevant contact email address would be required for the school, and that this might make it a challenge, but no challenge is insurmountable

I believe that Wikipedia should seen as responsible with regard to cyberbullying. This topic may have been discussed before. If I have raised it in the wrong forum, I apologise and ask the first editor to notice this to act on "my" behalf and place it in the correct forum, since I believe we should discuss this correctly, reach a conclusion about the precise process (if any) to be used, and then implement the resultant consensus well and speedily. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 14:50, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

This is certainly an issue we have to take seriously, but I'm not sure an automated approach is the right one. School-based articles are by no means the only target (this, on a ten-year-old pop song, was probably the worst example I've seen), and I doubt an automated tool could cover everything. The action you took sounds like a very good idea, and perhaps should be written into policy somewhere, but I have some concerns about the ability of a bot to do it properly. To use the example I linked to above, there are several schools with that name, and the bot might not be able to tell which one to send the email to. The problem text was added by two different users and an IP, so more than one would need warning. ClueBot, the vandal reverting bot that was involved in that case, managed only to spot and revert only one of several offending edits. Oversighting the offending edits would definitely be helpful. Alzarian16 (talk) 15:01, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The sole reason I am looking towards automation is to seek to ensure that all agreed actions are taken. I am wholly amenable to all thoughts on the topic. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:07, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Touching on some of what you've said, if you do come across an edit you believe is a problem to the extent it may need removal, perhaps due to including a full name, being of potentially libelous nature or what have you, you can request that by way of methods listed at Requests for oversight. –Whitehorse1 15:17, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed one can. But so few ordinary editors know if this. and, usually, oversight is 'reserved' for what might be termed serious cases rather than what might appear to be trivial adolescent name calling. The problem is that the name calling can lead to depression, self harm and even suicide. I am not denigrating your comment, I am just pointing out why I believe we need a process easily accessible to most folk. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 16:09, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Just a quick statement that I really appreciate and support Timtrent (Fiddle Faddle)'s discussion here. Our processes and policies are good, and working to improve them is also good. In particular, while I do think that an automated process might not be the right approach, I absolutely think that making a process more easily accessible to more people is a good thing, and I think that we should be pretty liberal about oversighting/revision hiding anything that constitutes apparent bullying.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:29, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Fiddle Faddle, you might want to construct an Essay on this in your userspace, with the aim of getting it promoted to a Guideline once there is something resembling concensus here. That would have the effect of making available a simple guide that can be widely referenced for incidents like this, and thus perhaps achieve some of what you were aiming at by suggesting automation. Some of the content of such an essay, you have already provided in your comment above. So for example you would want to cover the nature of the problem, why it should be taken more seriously than initial thoughts of "just childish name-calling", the recommended steps to take, and how these steps can be taken (that last part also covering revdel, the best place or places to request it, and what details to provide when requesting it.) For a similar sort of essay that already exists on a different topic, look at WP:SUICIDE. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 13:42, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I am content to do this in some way, but think we need a greater discussion first. Or, since I do not in any way own the idea, I could create a sub-page and throw it open to folk to edit. What I do not want to do, or be thought by others to be doing, is in any manner controlling the discussion. We have things to make easier and more accessible first, I think, such as the oversight reporting process. To me it is immaterial who starts the 'document', it is just a case of starting it with a body of consensus building behind it. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 13:57, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Well if you insist on having discussion then I shall give you some :)
  • Is there a concensus that contacting a school is (1) appropriate and (2) helpful to the apparent victims, in all cases where an editor believes they have encountered an edit which might constitute cyber-bullying? (For example, there are probably cases where the victim does not have confidence in the ability of the school system to deal with the bullying, and therefore would prefer they are not informed. There might be cases where the material posted on Wikipedia would be used against the apparent victim by the school; for example some schools would routinely "out" a pupil's sexuality to the pupil's parents, against the pupil's wishes, under certain circumstances. There might be cases where the individual engaging in cyber-bullying attempts to put the blame onto a different school pupil, and the school would accept that this innocent pupil is guilty of the cyber-bullying edits purely on the basis of an "official sounding" email "from Wikipedia".)
  • Taking a parallel circumstance, would we ordinarily attempt to contact an editor's employer if we believed that editor had engaged in cyber-bullying on Wikipedia? If not, what is the specific grounds for taking this further action? Is it that the victim is a minor, or is presumed to be a minor? Would we still take the further action of contacting the educational institution if it were a university, where we might presume the student is not a minor? In any case, does the possibility that trivial name-calling might be part of more serious bullying with potentially serious consequences, justify taking the significant additional steps of contacting the institution in every case, even apparently trivial ones? And if so, why would we not do the same for apparent cases of cyber-bullying from a workplace or domestic setting where we might presume the apparent victims could be adults? (Adults can be victims too, after all.)
  • Is there a concensus that contacting schools about incidents like this is beneficial, or at least does no harm, to the encyclopedia? It has been pointed out elsewhere that the normal reaction of a school to receiving a "complaint from Wikipedia" would be to block access to Wikipedia entirely for the school; or indeed to request their internet services provider to block Wikipedia entirely for the whole school district. When faced with questions from pupils, parents, or other teachers, about why Wikipedia is blocked, the average teacher is likely to fall back on whatever they most recently saw in a newspaper, usually being "well Wikipedia isn't reliable because anyone can edit it, so most of the information there is wrong". This is a major public relations problem.
  • Where an apparently trivial name-calling edit has been made by an apparent school pupil using an account rather than an IP, is there then concensus for a CheckUser to have to retrieve the IP address of the account so that the school can be provided with that information?
--Demiurge1000 (talk) 14:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I take your point. I am not at all competent to answer those questions, though I agree that they should be asked. So I have created a very rough draft at User:Timtrent/Cyberbullying as a simple and convenient holding place. I express no ownership of this draft and expect it, with its history, to be moved into relevant namespace at its due time, with edit history intact. I anticipate the initial draft to be edited with the normal ruthlessness we have here. I am not here regularly enough to be much more than an initiator in this process. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 14:53, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I fear we may have stalled here? Fiddle Faddle (talk) 17:32, 5 December 2010 (UTC)