Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 85

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New deletion process needed

The party is over
This is an April Fool's proposal

We need to set up a new process to handle the infrastructural needs here at Wikipedia. I'm proposing that we start WP:User for Deletion as a counterpart to all of the other XfD processes. Building on the success that is WP:AFD, a user nominated for deletion would have his or her account removed from the servers after a seven-day discussion. If we can clean up the servers of articles on non-notable subject, surely we can remove non-notable editors too? Imzadi 1979  17:56, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Comment When new users register, don't they assign their copyrights to Jimbo? As long as he isn't deleted, this should work out fine.--Hjal (talk) 19:06, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I believe that's the copyleft, the article must only appear in a place that is bracketed by the rights expressed in the copyleft and the copyright.--Lirpa Loof (talk) 19:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support That probably is something that seems like it would work well for us, and today seems like a great day to start it. Let's go!--Yaksar (let's chat) 18:31, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support we could avoid being nasty by giving such users a virtual Wikipedia so when they log in they can still edit but only they see their own edits. They needn't even be aware they have been deleted. Dmcq (talk) 19:02, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. This has got to be a belated "April Fool" joke! --Bermicourt (talk) 20:21, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - This project is too cluttered with deletions as it is. I'd like to see a WP:Deletions for deletion, so we can delete the deletions once the deletions have been deleted. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 20:25, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Conditional support if the deleted users constructive edits are attributed to me and I can't be nominated for deletion. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 21:27, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support so I can delete Yaksar for stealing my joke. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 22:01, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, hidden secret messages in bolding, always an original way to go!--Yaksar (let's chat) 22:38, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support on second thought, he should allow this... and start by erasing Imzadi1979, the user who came with this evil proposal. But then, if he was erased, how could this discussion take place? And if it never took place, how could there be consensus for the proposal? And if there was no consensus for the proposal, how did we erase Imzadi1979? And for which reason did we do that? Oh, what a nice paradox... Or even better, we should erase Jimbo Wales and Larry Sanger, and then Wikipedia was never created MBelgrano (talk) 22:31, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Questions: What would this do to article histories? Would the deleted user names be converted to IP addresses? Would one still be able to access the deleted user's contributions list? --Robert.Allen (talk) 22:49, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

time to fix wp:NOTCENSORED

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

{{rfctag|policy}} Proposed: Revise wp:NOTCENSORED to include the following opening lines:

Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive, even exceedingly so. This is necessary in some cases in order to give clear, accurate, and comprehensive coverage of topics, where removal of the content would impinge upon Wikipedia's core purpose as an encyclopedia. However, content which is known to be objectionable or offensive for whatever reason should be avoided except where it is needed to give clear, accurate, and comprehensive coverage. Wikipedia aims not to offend its readers except where there is an overriding justification based in the advancement of the encyclopedia.

This change limits the application of NOTCENSORED to cases where editors can make a direct, reasoned argument which explains why the content in question is a useful or necessary addition to an article (as would be the case with the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons or the various body part images on sexuality articles), but excludes the policy from being used to 'lock in' offensive images on articles where they serve no real purpose and offend readers for no project-relevant reason. --Ludwigs2 21:38, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Support: as nom. It's time Wikipedia started erring on the side of common courtesy when there's no overridding reason to offend people. --Ludwigs2 21:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Is there a specific article or issue in particular that prompted this proposal? I'm just curious as to what kind of circumstances you feel this change would help. Thanks!--Yaksar (let's chat) 21:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Muhammad: a discussion is taking place at talk:muhammad/images. Jarkeld (talk) 21:50, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
      • The direct link to the conversation is here, but I've had this same problem at several other pages, most notably, where I had an true mess trying to get rid of a deeply offensive and largely useless screenshot of the original site. It's my general impression that NOTCENSORED is mostly used by people who have put in offensive content for no good reason and are using policy to keep it from being removed; on most articles where there is a good reason for offensive content, people seem to understand, and NOTCENSORED is used more as a reminder than a monkey-wrench. --Ludwigs2 21:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • So then, what are the criteria for replacing an image with a substantially different one? What are the criteria for removing an image without replacing it? -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:58, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose This sort of stuff is the thin end of the wedge. What starts out as a well intentioned effort to protect sensibilities in the service of "common courtesy" will lead inexorably to censorship. Whether or not particular individuals or groups may find something in article space offensive is shouldn't be a consideration at all. WP:NOTCENSORED is fine just as it is. Lovetinkle (talk) 22:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • As the person who began the thread at Talk:Muhammad/images, I just want to say that I was not questioning WP:NOTCENSORED per se. My point was that there are some very poor and inadequate images in the Muhammad article, but that no one has been prepared to properly discuss the issue of quality/relevance because eeveryone is so busy defending WP:NOTCENSORED against Muslim complaints. It's warped a normal editing process and left a poor image selection in its placed. But as aeveryone is so bogged down in notcensored v giving offence, I don't expect my voice to be heard. DeCausa (talk) 22:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. The particular issue that Ludwigs2 is trying to address is the use of images in Mohammed. If the intent behind selecting or creating an image is to cause shock or offense, that's a problem. If the discomfort is a side-effect of a normal editorial decision, it isn't worth much consideration. It isn't a matter of "justifying an offense", it's a matter of whether causing that offense was the intent. If there's a valid purpose to an image, and a valid intent to an image, it should be subject to our normal standards for inclusion: neither heightened because of a religious objection, nor lowered because someone enjoys shocking or belittling a group that holds those beliefs. What Ludwigs2 is attempting to do is censor articles, in direct contradiction to the fundamental precepts of secular encyclopedia writing. File:Muhammad destroying icons L Histoire Merveilleuse en Vers de Mahomet BNF.jpg, the image that Ludwigs2 is edit-warring over, may or may not be a well-justified image. The reasoning for including it can't include whether some Muslims are offended. It's not an image that was intended to shock when created. It's not the equivalent of putting Piss Christ in the lead of Jesus Christ, or a Penthouse Pet modeling Mormon underwear. There's no intent by the artist to shock, and no demonstrated intent that the editors seeking to include it are doing it for any reason besides including a historical depiction of Mohammed. The line we need to follow is simple: if the intent is to shock or offend, that's not an encyclopedic reason to include an image. If a side-effect of the inclusion is that a religious group takes offense, that isn't an issue to concern ourselves with.—Kww(talk) 22:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Again, Kww, in my view we do not offend anyone without a good reason. you may not care about offending people for no cause, but that is your problem; You should not expect the project as a whole to reflect such a patent disregard for the feelings of others. Enough said. --Ludwigs2 22:20, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • As the other main editor, along with DeCausa, in support of changing some of the images on Muhammad, I actually strongly oppose Ludwigs2's proposal here. This proposal would require us to, for example, remove all pictures of women with naked arms, neck, legs, etc., whenever we could provide a male picture that was equally demonstrative. For example, the picture at Neck could be considered offensive by some, since it's a partially "naked" woman; since there's no fundamental difference between male and female necks, a male neck should be put in its place because the female neck may offend some people. This would, I think pretty obviously, be a terrible idea, purging many women from many parts of the encyclopedia. Qwyrxian (talk) 22:17, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    • That's actually not true. An image of a neck is needed on the neck article in some form or another, that's easy enough to argue. If someone wants to change the image of a female neck with a male neck (or a donkey neck, for that matter), that is a normal content discussion they can make in talk, and no one ever needs to reference NOTCENSORED. this proposal only limits NOTCENSORED from being used to maintain otherwise useless and offensive imagery. --Ludwigs2 22:25, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Sorry, there is a problem with the current version, or rather with its implementation, but I think your version is going too far. I have been involved in several disputes in which some (not necessarily all) editors used NOTCENSORED as basically the only reason for using a certain photograph:
    • at Muhammad paintings depicting Muhammad;
    • at the famous shock photo;
    • at Autofellatio a photo rather than a drawing of the practice;
    • at Defecation a photo from below of a woman who produces a turd.
Interestingly, the person pushing the defecation photo was blocked after only a few hours, while the autofellatio photo is still in the article. I believe there are two reasons for this: There seems to be a vocal group of editors interested in pushing near-pornographic photos into Wikipedia, but they were not interested in supporting the defecation photo, the taboo around defecation being still in effect even among most habitual taboo breakers. And there is a somewhat convincing technical reason for keeping the photo. (Supposedly it "proves" that the practice is possible.) In the case of the goatse photo it took months if not years, an intervention by Jimbo and a huge RfC to get the photo finally removed, and it was a close call. At the Muhammad article the number of images is very slowly going down.
I think the real problem is that the normal balance between supporters and opponents of picturecruft (mostly decorative pictures that do not contribute to understanding the topic of the article) is upset. Normally there is rational discussion, and in the end a reasonable compromise is found. But as soon as a picture under discussion is potentially offensive, the picturecruft supporters assume that they win by default because the only imaginable reason for opposing the picture is to censor it.
I think NOTCENSORED needs clarification on the following two points:
  • An image should never be in an article because someone might want to censor it. Other, valid reasons are needed for an image, whether it is offensive or not, and there may be valid reasons against it. NOTCENSORED is not a way to get around that discussion.
  • That some readers may be shocked or offended by a picture is a valid argument in discussions about its use. The fact that we are not censored means that this is not an argument that knocks out all others, but it is not totally invalidated, either. As a made-up example, think of a freely licensed and notable violent parody of a pre-school children's character such as Peppa Pig. Hans Adler 22:24, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This is being filed to support an image-removal edit war at Muhammad. Yes, extremist Muslims outside the project have a problem with the images in the article. To which I say, tough shit. Tarc (talk) 22:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Can I just point out that 2 of the 3 editors (myself and Quyrxian) that propose changes to the images do not support this proposal. DeCausa (talk) 22:47, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As noted, this RFC is just an attempt to open another battleground over the inclusion of depictions of Muhammad in the relevant article. One opened shortly after an attempt at setting an obnoxiously fast "achievement" of "consensus" on said article. Basically, nominator simply wants to move the goal posts to suit their preferences. Resolute 22:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - while I find that WP:NOTCENSORED is too often misinterpreted as WP:NOSTANDARDS, this proposal pushes the pendulum too far into the other direct. Enabling anyone with an agenda to use the phrase "I'm offended" as a means to force Wikipedia to conform with their view of the world will not help build a better encyclopedia. --Allen3 talk 23:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I am not aware of any mainstream interpretation of NOTCENSORED that allows including irrelevant/insignificant images purely for shock value, which seems to be the stated rationale for this proposal, thus making it unnecessary. And we don't aim to not offend our readers; we merely don't aim to offend them. Everyone's offended by something; aiming to not offend everyone leads to mediocrity; I recommend reading the book Fahrenheit 451. --Cybercobra (talk) 23:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I disagree with Ludwigs2's proposal: when an image is clearly a positive addition to an article it should not matter whether or not it is considered "offensive" to a particular group. This proposal looks to be a distraction from discussing the actual validity of the images in question. Jarkeld (talk) 23:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per Lovetinkle. Slippery slope, Camel's nose. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:21, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I totally disagree with having to argue with people that it is overridingly necessary that a picture be included. What's there is fine 'Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article' and that Wikipedia is not a gallery, the images should complement the text. I have no desire to have to contend with the worlds' hangups. Dmcq (talk) 23:34, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose. I deeply respect the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon his name) and the great concern held by many of his followers that images of him not be produced or shown, but at the same time I am vehemently opposed to any censoring on the internet (other than the censoring of a private individual's personal data released without their consent). There are many images I find to be incredibly offensive, but I would never dream of denying people the option to see them. Partly because it is my view they are offensive, but also because I don't think I should judge for other people what they should not see. Besides even if the images were deleted here, it would not get rid of them as there are copies on presumably many computers. Sometimes you just have to put up with people (the Danish cartoonist in this case) showing complete disregard for your beliefs and accept that as part of living in free society. As for how we know that someone is putting an offensive image in for the lulz, well we should just rely on WP:COMMONSENSE and WP:DUCK. Salaam vShalom! =) Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 00:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose. "Not giving offense" should not be an aim of this encyclopedia, period.—Chowbok 00:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Ludwigs2's proposal above is a more verbose version of his desire to see WP:NOTCENSORED restricted to including only necessary information rather than relevant information as currently specified in the guideline. Such a change would violate the purpose of an encyclopedia, which is to be encyclopedic. ~Amatulić (talk) 00:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't think this proposal is necessary because most of the relevant issues are already covered under WP:Image use policy. It has phrases like "Shocking or explicit pictures should not be used simply to bring attention to an article" (I'm aware the Mohammed pictures aren't explicit, but I'm thinking big-picture here), "Wikipedia is not an image repository", and "Images are typically interspersed individually throughout an article near the relevant text". Most of the cases that one could think of where this proposed change might be invoked could be dealt with by looking at existing guidelines or policy, and adding to the policy not only adds additional vagueness and problems, but WP:CREEP. Kansan (talk) 03:01, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I pretty much agree with CyberCobra's comments above. Just about anything can offend "someone", but we are here to provide information. I think this is a well-intentioned but misguided proposal. LadyofShalott 03:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I'm content with the current policy. GoodDay (talk) 03:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Err against censorship - I'm not even entirely certain what the question is. My assertion: censorship is always wrong. My case for that statement: its aspiration is always to suppress information, not to stop allegedly pernicious activity. Having said that, I confess I would vote for the wrong thing to do under the right circumstances.

Let me illustrate the dilemmas we face: there was a work of photography called 'Piss Christ' by Andres Serrano, purportedly of a Jesus-on-crucifix statuette submerged in or being sprayed with urine; this caused considerable offence to many Christians, but was supported as art and free expression by others. Our role at Wikipedia is not to reach an ethical conclusion, but to present the published debate impartially, which would include any image for which appropriate copyright permission existed because the images themselves were not illegal. This is the same argument when applied to the Mohammed cartoons, fatwa threats or not. Once information can be censored just because of threats or outrage, we are in the propaganda business, not the encyclopaedic endeavour.

Take another, perhaps extreme example: in an article on paedophilia, or child pornography, the discussion must be able to cite references to put the major published arguments, but even public domain pictorial examples should be censored if only because they are illegal under all the relevant laws (Florida, US, international). But even if such images were legal, I would vote for censorship (the wrong thing) because children in such images, or depicted in such illustrations, would be shown in circumstances about which they aren't able to exercise the judgement that underpins the concept of free will and consent, and which nevertheless portray them as sexual subjects, a situation where (my unashamed point of view) ethical principle requires informed consent.

Let me propose a final example to illustrate the grey area between the first two examples: the famous Eddie Adams photograph of a South Vietnamese police chief executing a suspected Viet Cong guerrilla by shooting him in the head is an illustration of murder, an act illegal at that location (Cholon, Saigon) and that time (1968), and in the US, and many other countries where the photo was subsequently published. An act that abrogated any notions of informed consent, justice or due process. And yet the photo was widely published anyway as symbolic of the tragedy of civil war. If that precedent didn't exist, would Wikipedia publish such a photo now to illustrate a valid discussion, say about recent Arab pro-self determination demonstrations? I submit to you that there would be huge and controversial debate about it, the outcome of which I couldn't predict, but the debate would need to be conducted: we create the ethical standards of our eras around us in our actions and responses, just as people did in 1968, but we don't set it in stone for all time each time we make a judgement. Ergo, my appeal is that we vote collectively on each controversial issue and don't try too mechanistically to hide behind policies that cannot ever anticipate every context or intention. In any such vote I would favour free information over censorship without compelling argument to the contrary. Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 07:16, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose the proposal. Many arguments have been stated eloquently opposing any form of censorship. If the text or picte or other media file is relevant then it stays. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 17:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose' WP:NOTCENSORED doesn't need to be "fixed". But this proposal will open the door for those who will claim offense to any content they don't like if they complain loud enough for long enough with enough people behind them. The images of Muhammad are a prefect example of why this proposal is so bad. Under the proposal, images of Muhammad all across Wikipedia will be remove because a vocal group of Muslims claim to be offended by them. Another example of an image that a small group of vocal editors claim to be offended by is the lead image in lolicon. And then there is the Pokémon video clip at Dennō Senshi Porygon which reportedly induced seizures in many children even though the original reporting proved to be more hype than fact. But that hasn't stopped several editors from remove it because of "public health" reasons. But as I had said before, Wikipedia should not be censored for the benefit of any one group. —Farix (t | c) 11:23, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Although most of us have no intention to think well of the fuckards who made the cartoons or other racist stuff, it is not our right to censor them, and the only thing worse than those who offend are those who censor. If they offend your religion or race, go ahead and tell the world what ignorant jerks they are, and everyone will understand, but try to censor them, and everyone'll think you're the problem and forget 100.00% about those who offend you. I personally believe if anything, Wikipedia could only use LESS censorship. We obey copyrights more so than gods, literally. But then again, there's nothing we can do about that, because corporations, unlike religious radicals, are more violent towards those who break their copyrights, so it's safer to continue censoring copyright violations, because I can imagine that if we repeatedly refuse to censor them, heavily armed terrorists will rush into WP headquarters, and we don't want that. (talk) 08:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, for what it's worth. Consensus is clearly against this proposal, but it would be an improvement in that it would accurately reflect what we actually do. Like it or not, images and other content are removed for being offensive; that may not be the stated reason (which is usually 'unencyclopaedic' or something similar) but in cases like the Goatse image, it's clearly what's really going on. That should be represented in our policies, rather than pretending to be free to all content when we aren't. Robofish (talk) 15:00, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I haven't formed an opinion one way or the other. However, I've seen NOTCENSORED trotted out in some fairly absurd situations. For example, it was the main argument of several editors who believe that the article Pregnancy desperately needs to have an amateur "art shot" of a naked pregnant woman in the lead, rather than a very professional, obviously non-offensive picture of a clothed pregnant woman in the lead and the same image of the naked pregnant woman moved down to the page, to a section talking about some of the relevant physical changes. So there's certainly some odd (ab)use of this standard, but I'm not sure that these changes would actually solve the problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:59, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
    • If this image of a naked pregnant woman is offensive, then "offensive" really has no meaning. It's such an innocuous, even clinical photo, and obviously more informative than one in which the anatomy is hidden by clothing. postdlf (talk) 04:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
      • As a point of fact, we do have many readers who are offended by the sight of a woman's breasts. But "clinical" is an unusual reaction to it, since one of the reasons for placing it in the lead was the uncontradicted belief among editors that the image is intended to convey the mother's emotions while contemplating her pregnancy. A "clinical" image does not communicate emotions. A typical anatomical image would be a good illustration for Blunted affect, because these "clinical" images are deliberately designed to convey no emotions. It was specifically the unprofessional, very personal, emotional content of this image that appealed to some editors.
        But you miss my point: It's silly to trot out NOTCENSORED over the placement of the image. Placing an image in a highly relevant section of an article cannot be construed as an act of censorship. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
        • There is an issue here that needs to be sorted out one day - but you'll never get a proper discussion going in a forum like this (or probably any other WP forum at the moment). There is a sort of "adolescent" glee in how WP:NOTCENSORED is used sometimes, I think. It's used to justify quite a lot of dubious image selections which are more about being provocative than anything else. DeCausa (talk) 17:53, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Cybercobra's well-phrased statement above. postdlf (talk) 04:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Might as well pile on just so the message is very clear on the matter....surprised this gets brought up so much. But I probably shouldn't be. -DJSasso (talk) 18:58, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose and the any attempt to incorporate an inherently subjective element like "offense" is unworkable in a collaborative environment like the Wikipedia. The proposal offers no guidance for the label "offensive" and, assuming that the content could be defined, what process would determine its "justification". The proposal is opposed for both its anti-Wikipedia intent and its vague form. patsw (talk) 00:37, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Respectfully oppose - There are simply too many people (me included) that can claim offense against too much content. Images of Mohammed may in fact offend Muslims. The entire article on natural selection likely offends a great many conservative evangelical Christians. I cannot discount that there may be a small number of editors who like to push the limits of good taste because of some unresolved adolescent issues, though I think a great many of the images and information, offensive as they may be to some people, are there for good reason. If there is something that appears over the top, it can be discussed civilly and a decision can be made. While I respect Ludwig's attempts here, I must disagree with it, because I think this is, IMO, too much over the precipice and onto a slippery slope. LonelyBeacon (talk) 02:12, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

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

Wikipedia:Fait accompli has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Fait accompli (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

And then some1 changed it back to an essay (presumably because it lacks the de facto 2 paragraph minimum requirement) (talk) 08:51, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually I did it because it is redundant to the editing policy. Yoenit (talk) 09:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I would be grateful if someone could explain the effective difference between an essay and a guideline. Also, Yoenit, could you elaborate on your point about redundancy? I didn't quite catch your nuance. Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 00:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
See WP:Policy#Role. An essay has no level of proven consensus and thus there is no obligation for anyone to comply with it; it may represent a (sometimes extreme) minority opinion. A guideline represents a fair level of consensus; there are typically occasional derogations, but justifications are required. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:27, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
The text was directly copied from the longevity arbitration case, where it was one of the principles. It is in fact an interpretation of the wp:Editing policy, which says "Be cautious with major changes: consider discussing them first". All wp:fait accompli does is provide an example where not doing this is considered disruptive. Yoenit (talk) 07:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
OK. I'm with you now. Thanks for the pointer.
Geez. Time's 'a comin' when you'll need to be a Wikilawyer, certified at the Wikibar, just to know where to look for rules, what to take seriously, and what to ignore before you can even think of creating or editing an article. Shucks, back in my day ... (loud snoring as you all drift off to sleep). Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 09:56, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
It might help if the essay were fleshed out a bit, preferably with reasoning from that ArbCom discussion. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
See also WP:PGE. The nominal status of any page has relatively little to do with its actual status. For example, I'm sure you've all seen someone pound on the table about following WP:BRD, which is "just" an essay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:52, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • This obviously is not ready to be marked as a guideline. It would be better if we did elevate BRD to a guideline since people have actually heard of that, it describes the issue much more clearly, and it is a widely followed de facto guideline already. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:09, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Style policy for Hebrew calendar dates

Hello - I am now trying to rework some Hasidic Judaism-related biographies and I am repeatedly faced with a problem when it comes to vital dates. I have two main classes of problems:

  1. Julian/Gregorian problems
    For example:
    The Baal Shem Tov's date of death is given in Hebrew sources as "6 Sivan 5520". If I convert this to the Gregorian calendar, I get 21 May 1760 (which, indeed appears in the article). However, WP policy says:

    Dates of events in countries using the Gregorian calendar are given in the Gregorian calendar. This includes some of the Continent of Europe from 1582, the British Empire from 14 September 1752, and Russia from 14 February 1918 (see the Gregorian calendar article).

    Now, the Baal Shem Tov died in Medzhybizh. According to the relevant article, Medzhybizh was then in Polish hands. According to Gregorian calendar#Timeline, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth switched to Gregorian in 1582. I suppose that means I should use the Gregorian calendar, and said date of May 21. However, if I were to refer to a date some forty years later, the Gregorian calendar would be wrong by the same reasoning, since by then the Polish city of Międzybóż had become the Russian city of Меджибож, which used the Julian calendar. If I follow this policy throughout, things could become very confusing for the reader. Is the reader obligated to research the history of every Polish/Ukrainian/Russian or even Ottoman town in Eastern European Jewish history? Can the reader trust that the editor researched the history of the region and the appropriate calendar before converting the date from the Hebrew Calendar?
    Perhaps I should mark every date with some sort of "tag": "Gregorian" (or does some template already exist?) and be done with it? I think that, in any case, it would still be necessary, for clarity, to give the original Hebrew dates.
  2. Inherent Hebrew conversion problems
    Hebrew years do not correspond neatly to Western years, Hebrew months do not correspond at all to Western months, and even Hebrew calendar days do not correspond perfectly to Western days (sunset/midnight). Take again the example of the Baal Shem Tov. It happens that tradition (not mentioned in the article, I think) has that he died in the afternoon. But suppose that was not known - what would be the correct conversion: 21 May? c. 21 May (ridiculous)? 20/21 May? Should there be an indication that the date was derived by conversion? Again, should the Hebrew original be given?
    How about years? I recently corrected a series of errors I made myself a while ago: I interpreted 5540 as 1780. However, when I checked the exact date, I found it to be 7 Tevet 5540 = Gregorian 16 Dec 1779. Perhaps a "roughly-equivalent" Western year (such as when only the year is known), such as used by the Library of Congress "[1780]"?

Please inform me of policy, or the lack thereof.
Ratzd'mishukribo (talk) 19:01, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

The appropriate calendar is Julian (therefore May 10, 1760; there was eleven days difference in the eighteenth century). If you think the reader will worry, say Julian calendar; if you doubt your conversions, consult a source in English - which policy supports anyway, unless no source in English is reliable. For approximate days, May 9/10 is appropriate; often you can ignore the iseue and just say the 10th, unless you know he died in the evening. If there is doubt, do give the Hebrew date, with the Julian in parentheses, if only that is sourced. For approximate years, the most widely-understood usage is c., which can be linked like here. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:27, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. One thing I don't understand, though - why Julian? I understand that the choice of calendar follows the location of an event? Ratzd'mishukribo (talk) 21:00, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I see your problem. I may have jumped to a conclusion myself. If I don't get back to this, write me. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:10, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Reception of policies and guidelines at article talkpages: a case study

This new subsection at Talk:Mexican-American War presents ten summary points that aim at settling a protracted naming dispute. Recommended reading for editors interested in the ways style guidelines at WP:MOS and policy at WP:TITLE are received.

There may also be implications in the case for how policy for requested moves, at WP:RM, is implemented. There seems to be little guidance for admins to dismiss RMs as ill-formed by being too narrow. In the case I link to, an original RM was accepted rashly. (I was involved: I called for the matter to be dealt with broadly, instead of for one article among many that were similarly named with an en dash.) The resulting widespread chaos is a matter of concern; it shows that current arrangements need review.

¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 00:21, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

To be slightly more restrained:
There was a move request at Talk:Mexican-American War; it was supported 9-2. Noetica and Tony were the two; they presented no evidence against the request, and claimed (with no basis in policy) that we couldn't possibly move a page without consulting their favorite guideline. It was closed in accordance with the majority, under the governing policy, WP:TITLE.
Noetica then canvassed until there was a move request back, within days; Tony attacked the closing admin for bias because he expressed an opinion in the new move request. Noetica has now posted a ten point plan saying that all will be well if we can go back to the beginning and start over. The "widespread" part consists of Talk:Battles of the Mexican–American War; another editor made the mistake of suggesting that possibly we might spell both articles the same way, and Tony and Noetica both attacked him for that proposal.
I'm not sure that word "chaos" means what Noetica thinks it means. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:30, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
What a ridiculous dispute and just the sort of thing to bring Wikipedia into disrepute! --Bermicourt (talk) 16:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, it's already on WP:LAME, as it deserves to be. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:59, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Style guide/Naming (British military aircraft) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Style guide/Naming (British military aircraft) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Odd copyright type of issue

17-Mile Drive‎ is the article in question here; I feel I am beginning to engage in a back and forth edit war with this person (who I assume may work for the company, but never the less will assume good faith), who insists that the company has the right to copyright a tree that is (and was long before they existed) on their property. The logo of the company is certainly copyrighted, but the fact is A) You can't copyright something that you do not own the rights to, B) You can't copyright a tree, C) There is no "intellectual property" to copyright/trademark. Is this editor right in saying that this douchey company can actually get away with this, or is that company just spouting total garbage with regards to copyright?

Figured this was something to acquire a VP opinion on, since it involves copyright accusations. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 11:27, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

The company certainly has the right to seek a copyright on an image of the tree. The question is whether such a copyright is enforceable. That's to be doubted, but its only testable in a court. The article talks about the image being used as a trade-mark. That's another matter entirely, and is IMO potentially enforceable. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:35, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
The lawyer is saying the copyright or trademark applies retroactively as well, which is absolutely absurd. To me it sounds like a person who slapped a sticker on themselves saying "I'm a lawyer", rather than somebody trained in law. That means someone could come along and use the grans canyon is their cartoon logo and trademark the canyon; you can't trademark nature. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 11:45, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Despite what the article claims, freedom of panorama is not relevant here as it only applies to buildings in the united states (commons:Freedom_of_panorama#United_States). However, unless the company can somehow be seen as the "author or creator" of that tree their copyright claim seems baseless to me. Did they plant it? Did they shape it? Yoenit (talk) 11:48, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Trademark would apply retroactively, in the sense that it would apply to any use of the trademarked item. But we don't generally worry about trademark here. We even use non-free images that are trademarked, such as the Coca-Cola logo. See e.g. Category:Vector_images_of_trademarks. The Pebble Beach thing just seems like sword-rattling and we should ignore it unless there is some more detailed reason to worry about it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
The person in question in Floydian's first sentence would be me. I can assure you, I don't work for "the company" (neither Pebble Beach nor the CIA). What I was trying to say is this: on private property, the owner of that property may require you to obtain a permit for taking photographs. Such a permit may be accompanied by restrictions for the use of the photographs. A total Freedom of Panorama might not apply in those cases. Since the Lone Cypress is actually on private property...
Furthermore, although I think the policy of Pebble Beach is strange at best, I wouldn't describe my opinion as ... these guys sound like wankers. I'll just stick in here that freedom of panorama means they're blowing hot air out their ass.
Richard 14:01, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
In the US, as long as the photographer is on public property, they can take photographs of anything they can see including what they can see on private property. (I don't know the exact law, but here's an RS that basically sums it up: "if you can see it, you can shoot it". [1] Now, if its just a tree and not any art involved, there's no copyrightable elements, and that's the end of that, so the license is whatever the photographer allows it to be. If the tree is shaped as art, it can be considered a 2D derivative non-free work, which can be used here per WP's non-free content allowances. --MASEM (t) 14:15, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
(ec)And to be clear, they can trademark their graphic, the iconic image of the tree (eg File:2010USOpenLogo.svg) but they can't copyright or trademark the physical object or have that apply to photos of it. --MASEM (t) 14:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
That's just it - as far as I know the tree in question cannot be photographed from public property. You would have to be on private property to take a photograph. Richard 14:17, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
That same article suggests that as long as the private location is open to the public, then you have the same rights to shoot anything on it. As PB appears to be a open-to-the-public course (albeit with high greens fees), I'm reading this that the photographer controls the copyright on any photo he or she takes of non-artwork structures. --MASEM (t) 14:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
IANAL, but as far as I can see, if the photographer broke some regulation when taking the photograph, the company needs to sue the photographer. But eventhen, that won't affect the copyright, which remains with the creator of the photograph and nobody else. Since the photographer has (presumably) validly placed the image under a cc license, we as Wikipedia are on the safe side. Fut.Perf. 14:32, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Right, the copyright holder is the photographer, no matter what no-photogrpahy agreements may be made between them and the property owner (barring some explicit contract transferring copyright). Now besides the copyright issue, if the public was not allowed on the property at all and if the photograph was of a person, then privacy rights would be an issue. We don't have to worry about that here, however, since (as far as I'm aware) privacy rights never apply to anything but living people. VernoWhitney (talk) 15:05, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

In any case, based on this article, I think suing Wikimedia is the last thing the company would do. They might have a chance to win, but more likely than not they will lose. The WMF has the funds to carry this through. And once the company has lost in court, they can no longer intimidate others. Hans Adler 20:04, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Richardw: The tree most certainly can be photographed from public property, exactly like Barbra Streisand's backyard was. See this image (NB website appears to be very slow, but I believe the link will work). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:08, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
See commons:Commons:Non-copyright restrictions. No contract between the photographer and another party can restrict use of the images by others; and we also accept images which a crime (like trespassing) was committed to take. Dcoetzee 21:47, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Unfree images

I had a look at those nice images of trees in the previous talk. They do look like works of art and I guess Wikipedia will just have to delete them. What I wonder is, do we keep deleted images like that so that when the image passes out of copyright or whatever they can be used again? I'd like to think that something like that could be sealed with a time for opening again rather than totally lost. Dmcq (talk) 10:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Technically, deleted images are kept in the database and can be undeleted like any other content, but there's no guarantee they will be kept there forever. As for using that feature for images that drop out of copyright: in most cases we'd be dealing with time frames of several decades until that will happen, and it's hardly safe to assume Wikipedia will still be around with technically the same software and database structure at that date, so there's not much sense in speculating about such a feature. Fut.Perf. 10:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
In some few cases, an image may not be in PD now, but it will be in one or two years (or a time frame you suspect that you would still be here). It must be deleted anyway, but you may add a reminder at your user page, so you upload once it's acceptable MBelgrano (talk) 11:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I think I'll raise this at the proposals page. One needs to explicitly try to conserve things or they disappear, even with trying one may have trouble, at BBC Domesday Project they deposited the original materials with the National archive who promptly went and lost them so researchers had to scrabble around elsewhere to try and recreate it. Dmcq (talk) 12:24, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Are you aware that practically no US copyrights will expire until 2019? I wouldn't be at all suprised if Disney trows a fit again and it gets expanded to 2119. Yoenit (talk) 12:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
What about it? Hopefully lots of people here will live longer than that. Anyway I see this like the duty to plant a tree if you cut down a tree and we have received the benefit of many works that are now out of copyright. Dmcq (talk) 13:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
It won't pass the Foundation's resolution on non-free media that applies to all projects they run. We have been tasked to minimize non-free and only use it in conjunction with free content so an archive of soon-to-be-free works would be completely inappropriate. Even if the image is going to become PD "tomorrow", if it can't otherwise be used in any article today, it should be deleted, per the Foundation. --MASEM (t) 13:46, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Does that mean we are currently breaching the foundations resolution by not completely deleting images? Dmcq (talk) 23:05, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
No, as they are not available to the public, only to admins, and wouldn't be redistributed with mirrors of the site. --MASEM (t) 23:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Well that's what I'm talking about practically, locking them from access until a particular time in fact we probably should have bounds even on admin access. Dmcq (talk) 09:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thing is, we would not be allowed to mirror/backup those "deleted images" elsewhere due to copyright. Wikipedia will not last forever and when it ends all those images not yet in the public domain are lost for all purposes. Given the long term involved with this idea this is a very serious risk (if not a certainty) and makes it a massive waste of time ihmo. Yoenit (talk) 09:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't see there is a problem if there is a strong protection against any expression of the copyright works as that is what is supposed to be protected. I suppose it is a question for the lawyers. As to how long Wikipedia will last - I wouldn't make any predictions about that. Dmcq (talk)
Even ignoring the NFC issues and legal problems, I see much more of a practical problem. If we were to begin systematically archiving hidden non-free content for later use, who would decide what to archive? Would we encourage users to upload (and then immediately delete) anything they think might be potentially valuable in a hundred years? The whole of Flickr? The whole of Reuters, AP and Getty? And, most crucially, if these are then hidden from sight, how would anyone in ten or forty or a hundred years still remember what's there? How would these hidden treasures be indexed and catalogued so that they would actually become accessible? Fut.Perf. 10:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I had been thinking of admins when they deleted photos just putting on a tag if the image was actually used or seemed good saying when the media would be free of copyright before they did a delete. Then perhaps the backend would make another copy encrypted with a key for the year as well as the original data just being marked as deleted. The unlock keys could be deposited with banks and I'm sure people would retrieve them if the encrypted files were available even in 90 years time, I don't think there is any particular problem with that.
There is though as you say the problem of people just using Wikipedia as a depository and the amount of junk. People already stick a load of junk in and it is stored away but there's always the law of unintended consequences with people possibly vastly expanding the amount of stuff they stick in because of this facility. If that happened I think one could always take it as an indicator there was a large need somewhere for a facility like this and perhaps all the things we consider junk should be saved. You keep on hearing things like how researchers look through stacks of old comics or old pictures of everyday life. Dmcq (talk) 11:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

The solution for this is simple: just make a list of the works that will become PD in the near future, without actually uploading anything. For example: "X year: works by X artist become public domain", "X year: X photo archives about X event become public domain", and so on. Once the year comes, the image is retrieved from somewhere else it was available, and uploaded. I don't see any potencial legal risk in doing this, and it would be open to be used by any user, admin or not. MBelgrano (talk) 11:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

What makes you think an image is still available elsewhere in X years? That is the whole reason why Dmcq is proposing this. Also, almost everything from before 1978 will going into the public domain based on publication date, so for the forseable future lists based on death dates or event dates are useless. Yoenit (talk) 12:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
There are multiple institutions that work storing images, audio and/or video, regardless of their copyright status, to preserve them for the future. The Wikimedia foundation does not have such a project, but may organize associations with them. As for the list, who says it must be limited to death ages? All and each work in protected under some specific copyright law and section of it, and (unless it's death + x years, and the author is still alive) we can always predict at what year and for what legal reason it will become public domain. Of course, the law may change in the way, such as with Mickey, but those are rare and limited cases, easy to acknowledge and fix as needed MBelgrano (talk) 12:29, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
it is easy to say all works by artist X will enter public domain on date Y, but finding and providing publication dates for every single work is quite a hassle. Not saying it can't be done, just that is a lot of work. If you want to start and maintain a list you are free to do so. Yoenit (talk) 13:04, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I've just been looking at the Internet Archive and I suppose it or something like it probably are the right place for something like this. The thing I've found with the Internet Archive is that it won't go anywhere near any copyright issues. For instance if a site sticks on a robots.txt file the archive throws away the whole past even if the web site was recently taken over by some spam purveyors even if the original site was full of public domain material. This means that many of the best materials as well as much rubbish will simply disappear with time never having been preserved in a book or picture somewhere like stuff in the past has been and people are using less CDs and throwing disks away. So who or where are these institutions that store media rergardless of copyright issues and what are their policies to ensure the copyright holders rights are maintained yet preserve the media thanks? Dmcq (talk) 13:57, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
No one can, at least based on the various lawsuits on the caching sites like and Google. Caching with respect to robots.txt or other standard "do not cache" metrics are considered ok because they do this indiscriminately with the opt-out allowances for websites, but that implies that if you are caching data from sites without adhering to no-cache requests, you're likely in copyright violation. So no one is going to pick up that mantle to create a service like that because they would be sued out of existence immediately. --MASEM (t) 14:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
The institutions that do the work I mentioned are usually called "Museums", "National Libraries", or other variants MBelgrano (talk) 14:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
And those institutions either 1) get permission to archive or 2) have lawyers specifically to address copyright concerns. Plus, public libraries & museums are generally accepted by law to be places for archival & display of national treasures and historical facts. They're not collecting things willy-nilly from everywhere. Regardless, Wikipedia is none of those. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I did not say that Wikipedia should be, but that Wikipedia (or, moe exactly, the foundation) could associate with them, such as a museum or archive allowing us high-quality digital versions of some of their material that is in the public domain. And yes, it was "national treasures and historical facts" the kind of things I was talking about, they are precisely the type of media that would suit best our goals. What would be better for us, a giant-sized digital version of the "George Washington" portrait by Gilbert Stuart, or a scanned version of some pages of the Action Comics 1 comic book by the time they become PD? MBelgrano (talk) 18:40, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
To a scholar the scan of a page from Action Comics 1 might say far more, however I think its future is pretty well assured unlike a lot of other stuff. I've been reading around an it looks like there have been various working parties on preserving digital media for the last twenty years and the situation hasn't advanced much, deposit libraries are complaining about the very spotty and increasingly bad coverage of material given that copyright is assured without deposit, others talk about having 'dark archives' that they keep quiet about in case of being sued and legislation that asks for punitively difficult conditions before being able to do anything with 'orphan articles' where the copyright can't be established. It is something even Google is finding very difficult to deal with so I don't suppose we could do much. I would go for the 'dark archive' approach for the moment until the law manages finally to catch up perhaps in another twenty years. Dmcq (talk) 20:42, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Commons categorizes deleted images which enter the public domain in the next 30 years or so by the date at which they should be undeleted, see commons:Category:Undeletion requests. There is nothing we can do to prevent anyone from uploading a non-free image, so we may as well categorize them properly for undeletion after we delete them. I have on a few occasions uploaded images and then deleted them immediately, so that they can be undeleted later. I wouldn't say this is common practice, but it enjoys some support on Commons. Dcoetzee 21:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Frequency of move requests

Some naming disputes take a vast amount of time and energy and there are often repeated attempts to rename articles. A decision is made; then a few weeks later, another move request is made and the debate starts again. This is wasteful, does nothing to enhance Wikipedia's reputation and diverts editors from adding to the sum of human knowledge into petty disputes. Often there are 2 or more strong candidates for the title - so the issue drags on. Is there a guideline that limits the frequency of move requests? It seems sensible to set a minimum time e.g. 6 or even 12 months after a move request has been decided before another one is permitted. That allows people to get on with improving the article and to gather better evidence e.g. of authoritative sources (often sadly lacking in the discussions) before re-opening the debate. Views? --Bermicourt (talk) 16:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Practice, supported by adverse reception by closing admins, usually expects about three months between requests; there have been somewhat shorter periods when the decision is no consensus and somebody has come up with a new argument. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Even 3 months is too short IMHO. In these heated cases the title is usually acceptable and understandable Mexican-American War, H0 gauge - the reason there is a heated debate is that there is at least one other pretty good candidate and both have lots of supporters.
Often these debates re-ignite with the same old arguments. I think there should be more emphasis placed on reliable sources. Often the arguments are based on WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT or "I wouldn't say it that way" rather than "this is what Encyclopedia Britannica (or some other recognised authority) says". --Bermicourt (talk) 06:19, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that often the worst articles in this respect are the topical/in the news ones with a large number of contributors. Personally, I'd like to see such articles move-protected by default, and to have an established policy where move requests are subject to stringent conditions, where unless there is a strong consensus based on a sourced argument, an existing title is assumed to be 'good enough for now', and redirects from plausible alternatives are used - basically 'I don't like it' will be unacceptable as an argument. Clearly, there needs to be a means to settle the issue eventually, but in the context of rapidly-evolving events (The Giffords shooting articles come to mind, and the recent Japanese Earthquake one is another prime example), far too much time is spent on trivial debates, distracting contributors from the more important issue of article content. This idea need further thought, obviously, but this may be the long-term solution. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:49, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

New criterion for speedy deletion

Should there be a criterion for speedy deletion that deals with unremarkable events (those with little or no media coverage) because there seem to be an increase in these in the last few months. Heavy TO is an example of such an article, no reliable sources, the only reference is the event's homepage. —Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 2:47pm • 03:47, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Probably not, because unlike the other CSD which is do deal with patent nonsense, such events may gain significance later. Of course, PROD and AFD still apply. --MASEM (t) 03:52, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I suppose, but what about events that have been around for years such as Heavy TO without significant media coverage? Also would a speedy criterion for movies that also don't have much coverage be feasible? —Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 3:07pm • 04:07, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Again, if there's a chance it could be an encyclopedic topic, speedy is not the right solution; these can always be PRODed if they've been around for a while with sources though. --MASEM (t) 04:42, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
A7 (articles about unremarkable people, animals, groups and web content) is necessary because of many people writing articles about themselves, their pets, their companies and their web pages; I don't think we have similar worries about events. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:06, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Any festival that has groups like Megadeth and Anthrax playing at it makes a claim to notability, so even if such a criteria was drawn up that certainly wouldn't meet it. A lot of times these fall under db-org anyways, because event articles are frequently coatracks for promoting the company that sponsors them. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:58, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

You know speedy deletion is not the only way to delete an article... (talk) 08:44, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Proposed Deletion is likely to be the method that works best in cases like this. patsw (talk) 00:48, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Agreed; PROD is the way to go forward here as far as I am concerned. Speedy is really best used for those things where there is a probability approaching 0 that reliable sources exist to support the article. Length of time without the emergence of reliable sources does not rule out their existence, but perhaps just their difficulty in being found (most reliable sources are not on the internet, afterall). --ceyockey 07:46, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Need images for MoMK

04-April-2011: Not sure which board to post this: we want to upload some fair-use images for "Murder of Meredith Kercher" (MoMK) of American student Amanda Knox, her Italian 2-week boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and convicted inmate Rudy (Hermann) Guede. They all had Myspace photos in 2007 & Guede has mugshots online. I created a fair-use rationale for an iconic image (reported in Perugia police station) of Amanda Knox, but that was quickly deleted as sourced to Italian agency ANSA. What to do? Where to ask? -Wikid77 08:48, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Fair use of non-free book pages on Wikipedia

I think that per § 107 of US copyright law the use of low-resolution images of book pages or parts thereof for identification and critical commentary on the book or its contents on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. The current community consensus seems to be that images of book covers may be used for identification of a specific book. I don't think there is a consensus on the use of scanned pages from inside a book. Therefore I hereby propose to change Wikipedias fair use policy to clearly include this case and allow the use of a limited number of scanned pages or parts of scanned pages from copyrighted books in much the same way as for example policy allows the use of a limited number of low resolution still-frame screenshots from copyrighted films or TV shows for commentary on the film or TV show or its subject. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 14:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Why on earth would you want to make a picture of a page of text? Just quote the text itself. if you want to provide critical commentary of it. Those "limited resolution screenshots" are being massively abused btw, just open any random article about Lord of the Rings. Yoenit (talk) 14:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
(See related TfD conversation). The reason it is customary on Wikipdia to use book covers for identification of specific books is that (a) this is conventional in media outlet reviews and (b) the cover is what people actually use to identify a book. :) One must find the book first to review its interior pages. I do not believe that we could ever sustain a blanket allowance of book interiors for the purpose of "identification of a specific book".
In terms of discussion of content, as I stated at that TfD dicussion, there may be occasions when you are critically discussing the actual presentation of the book (if there is some unusual element to it) that might require scanning the pages, but these are going to be rare. Generally, those who wish to scan something in a book will not be doing so for critical commentary of the book, but for other uses, including appropriating historical images reproduced in the book. This is already already addressed at WP:NFC. Any specific mention of interior book scans that might be introduced to NFC would need strong justification, I believe, and, if such justification can be presented, it would need careful development to avoid over-utilization. Just because a book has a picture of something that we might want to discuss, or has text about a topic of interest, doesn't mean that we can copy it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:30, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
There may be very limited exceptional cases, so I don't see any need to specifically make the allowance moreso for pages. What purpose would scans of book pages serve in articles about the books? If its just printed text, there's virtual zero need to include such. I can see illustrations if they are of significant critical influence or of aid in understanding for the reader (while it would not apply due to being PD, a page with an illustration from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland would be the type of case I can see meriting inclusion because of the critical response and renown of the illustrations). But even this is a limited case. --MASEM (t) 14:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
And it's covered under WP:NFCI point 7: "Paintings and other works of visual art: For critical commentary, including images illustrative of a particular technique or school." --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:41, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I can think of few instances where an image of part of a page might be warranted - Joyce's Ulysses and that French one without any "e"s. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
The idea is to use non-free images when there's no free alternative, and words alone are not enough to describe the work. Unless there's a visual factor involved with the book, a page of mere words can be described using mere words, so fair use can be hardly justified MBelgrano (talk) 18:39, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I don’t understand: WP:NFCI already allows “Paintings and other works of visual art” and “Images with iconic status or historical importance.” And WP:NFC#Allowed use already allows “Brief quotations of copyrighted text.” So what other blanket areas of book content do you want to allow? —teb728 t c 19:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC) You're not talking about images of text, are you. —teb728 t c 19:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
A whole page is not "brief", and narrative works are not visual arts even when we can represent them through an image MBelgrano (talk) 20:12, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I hope that Toshio Yamaguchi will clarify his intention here. I believe he is proposing to allow graphic images from books—not images of text (as most responders here (incorrectly?) assume). In his original post he quotes from {{non-free book scan}}, which he created for an image from a book.teb728 t c 21:02, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
My intention was in fact to use it for a single image from within a copyrighted book, since I thought at that time that none of the other fair use template would fit the image. I have now added another fair use template that fits this image. Template:Non-free book scan is therefore no longer used on any page and therefore is likely to be deleted, if consensus goes into this direction. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 21:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
So that is your intention in the template, but what is your intention in this forum? Are you proposing to allow images of text, as most responders here assume? Are you proposing to add something to WP:NFCI? If so, what beside what is already in items 7 & 8? —teb728 t c 21:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I think there could be some possible applications of images of copyrighted text in Wikipedia, for example, if the image is used for depicting different passages of text from copyrighted books to show how the text appears in the book (for example if the way in which the text in question was originally written is to be shown or, for example, if there is some kind of notable feature appearing in the texts representation in the book). Another possible use would be, for example, to present scans of comics to show the artists original drawing style. However I currently have no specific case where this is needed. It likely could have applications for some articles in the future. Some exceptional cases where the template could be appropriate have already been presented on this page, and one should keep in mind that if the template appears only in few articles, where the appearance is appropriate, this would justify the template's existence. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 22:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Scans of comics are already covered under point 7, and there's already a template: Template:Non-free comic. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 22:31, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I can think of some limited exceptional cases - for example, we may want to reproduce an image of a title page, an illuminated manuscript, a piece of concrete poetry, examples of calligraphy, or perhaps even a notable printing error. These are all exceptional cases in which the need for use is clear, and I think a generic fair use rationale could adequately cover them. Dcoetzee 20:37, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Just to clarify, as I'm not sure it's understood by everyone here: as far as copyright is concerned, it doesn't matter whether you upload a scanned page from a book or manually retype that whole page into the edit window. The usage is exactly the same, and text as a scanned page doesn't have more copyright protection or less copyright protection than unformatted text in the abstract. postdlf (talk) 22:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe the template would eliminate the need for multiple different copyright templates for the same book, I don't know exactly. Lets say you have a book page with illustrations and want to preserve the appearance of the illustrations inside the text, because for example this special appearance has some specific effect on the readers perception of the book. Then the you wouldn't need seperate templates for the text and the images, but instead you could just upload an image of the whole page with only a single license template. I don't know if such a case might ever happen or not though. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 23:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
There is some difference - if the uploaded image of the page were so low-resolution that the text were illegible, that would be a very different "portion" of the work from one detailed enough to read. Such a low-resolution image may still be useful for showing the shape of the text in concrete poetry, for example. Dcoetzee 23:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, yes, but then your scan isn't really a copy of the text if you can't actually read the text. postdlf (talk) 23:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
It was exactly the kinds of situations Dcoetzee discusses that I had in mind when I mentioned occasions when we might critically discuss the actual presentation of the book, but presenting partial scans for the purpose of accessing the text would be, to say the least, unusual for an encyclopedia. Quotes are kind of industry standard. :) Not to mention that it's much harder to limit the text to the amount required for transformative use. (Again, a different issue from discussing presentation of the material.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 23:39, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

The italics issue (article titles)

Up until now, all article titling has been in roman (upright) type. Last year there was an Rfc here in which some people successfully argued for italicising certain page titles (both English and foreign language), including novels, films, music etc. (see Option 3). (The closure of the Rfc was controversially closed in favour of the option, see the followup to the Rfc.)

Very few encyclopedias use italic titling. (AFAIK the only ones identified so far have been the Grove Opera and The New Penguin Opera Guide — which obviously don't have title disambiguators in parentheses.) I've checked the archives and this question doesn't seem to have been raised here. I wonder how many people were even aware of the new policy? Is the change beneficial or is it, in the words of one music editor, "a classic case of a solution in search of a problem"? (This has just been discussed by the Music Project here, but it affects hundreds of thousands of non-musical pages). --Kleinzach 03:40, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

For once I agree with Kleinzach. As I've said before, it's ugly -- and it's in actuality incorrect. As these are the TITLES of the articles, they shouldn't be italicized, but obviously consensus or the vocal minority is for it so there's nothing that can be done... ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:26, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Here are examples of article titles using italic mixed with nonitalic text: USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN-705) and German battleship Bismarck. Are these unreasonable? --Robert.Allen (talk) 04:42, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Unreasonable? Yes, if you accept that these are the titles of articles not ships. Ugly? Grotesque? Yes, if you think typography is for conveying information with maximum clarity. --Kleinzach 05:16, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I've found that book titles which include the title of an opera sometimes italicize the opera name. Just as an example: "The Libretto as Literature: Doktor Faust by Ferruccio Busoni" by Nancy Chamness. Notice that I have no idea how to handle this in running text (where one is supposed to italicize the entire title), but it works well on the book title page and avoids confusion between the opera title and the character name, so that could be viewed as an aid to understanding. The title "German battleship Bismarck" also seems to make a similar distinction. Some more examples, article titles from a collection of essays: "Lucia Goes to Paris: A Tale of Three Theaters", "La sylphide and Les sylphides", "Spanish Local Color in Bizet's Carmen", "Wagner's Tannhäuser and Its French Critics". --Robert.Allen (talk) 05:32, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, but aren't these all different usages? Normally we don't have complex article titles in which works need to be distinguished from people. --Kleinzach 06:25, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
This is the presentation of the article title to match the opening sentence. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:27, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

I think this is more about what you're used to than what's actually "ugly". When I first started seeing these italic titles they jarred with me, since I'd got so used to seeing all titles upright, but now I've become accustomed to the new style, they look quite OK. They're particularly beneficial on pages like "German battleship Bismarck" - this of course is an absurd article title, but there are a few hardies at the Ships project who won't let go of the convention which tells us to name some ship articles like this (with the nationality + ship type preceding the actual name), so in these cases the italics do a useful job of distinguishing the name from the descriptors. I think in general the italicization of titles is informative as it would be in the body of an article - it lets people know they're dealing with one of the types of thing (taxonomic genus/species name, musical work, film, whatever) that would normally be italicized, while not really doing any harm.--Kotniski (talk) 14:33, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Italic titles are entirely logical if they conform to the normal rules on italics for proper names and foreign words. WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT is not a reason for changing that. BTW I agree with Kotniski about "German battleship Bismarck" - what a ridiculous title! Even worse than all the flower articles like Ranunculus repens for Creeping Buttercup which have Latin titles in flagrant contradiction to WP:COMMONNAME! But that's a separate debate! --Bermicourt (talk) 17:49, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
{{Italic title}} seems to be more than two years old, which suggests that last summer's RFC was not the beginning of the use. In fact, if memory serves, that RFC was called because a few people were unhappy that {{Infobox book}} and such had been italicizing page titles for years. So it's simply not true that "up until now, all article titling has been in roman": rightly or wrongly, article titling has actually been italicized for years (perhaps not on articles that came to Kleinzach's attention, of course, but it's a big encyclopedia). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:03, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
All I know is that seeing a binomial name not in italics makes my teeth itch. I don't care much one way or the other about the titles of media or ships, but unitalicized species names are just plain incorrect. And no, not all species have "common names". Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most widely referenced species in science, but it's rarely called anything else. --Danger (talk) 18:59, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I call it a fruit fly....Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:38, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
All right, so it wasn't the best example. Danger (talk) 15:36, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
But Fruit fly is a disambiguation page, so it probably is a very good example. --Robert.Allen (talk) 19:06, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
When disambiguation is necessary, as with article titles, we can call it "common fruit fly". When it isn't, call it "fruit fly"; we are intended for a lay audience, and that's what books so intended do. (They also mention the scientific name, and use it when enumerating the species of Drosophilia; so should we; all advice has special cases.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:13, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Of course, this is the wrong place for this particular discussion, but this is debatable: a Google search for "drosophila melanogaster" turns up about 2,500,000 hits, while a search for "fruit fly" gives about 1,760,000 results, for "common fruit fly" gives about 170,000 results. So which is used more commonly? Besides, according to Brittanica the so-called common name for D. melanogaster is "vinegar fly "which gives about "74,600" hits. Anyway, it remains a good example of why we need italics in titles. --Robert.Allen (talk) 19:35, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually I don't see what that has to do with italic article titles. It's an argument for using scientific names as titles in these paticular cases, sure, but not an argument as to why those titles need italicization (other than that it "makes your teeth itch" to see binomial names rendered in regular typeface). In any case, taxonomic names were one of the "special cases" under which italic titles were allowed before the policy was changed anyway. --IllaZilla (talk) 22:45, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Binomial names are rarely rendered out of italics, even as titles. [2], [3], [4], and so on. --Danger (talk) 23:35, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Please read the RfC at least; those claiming "incorrect" and "no known encyclopedias do this except for A and B" have not consulted the evidence there behind the previous decision. For example, when the question came up there, I thought instantly of the most scholarly online encyclopedia I know, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I then thought of specialist print encyclopedias related to book-topics, and I thought of the Spenser Encyclopedia and the Dante Encyclopedia. Then I checked on the practice of these three scholarly encyclopedias, and in this unscientific sample, all three used italics. Specificaly (to quote myself in the prev. discussion): the best online, peer-reviewed, scholarly encyclopedia I know, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, gives e.g. A Priori Justification and Knowledge for its lemma (note that this also mixes italics and upright, something regarded skeptically by some above). Another top-quality print scholarly encyclopedia, the Spenser Encyclopedia gives an article on Awe followed by an article on Axiochus (the pseudo-Platonic dialogue). The article in the Dante Encyclopedia on the Vita Nuova is entitled Vita Nuova. If Wikipedia wants to follow the standards of well-edited and correct English usage, this is the overwhelmingly attractive choice. Yes, some good encyclopedias format their lemmas in any number of ways (e.g. all caps), but that's a red herring. Wareh (talk) 22:45, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Note: the Rfc was in two parts (at the Manual of Style and at Article styles). Up to now the links have been broken so few people would have been able to find them. I've now been able to reconnect them. This should help people see how the little-noticed Rfc was actually conducted. --Kleinzach 07:06, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Question: Does the Spenser Encyclopedia italicize these titles because they are the titles of works, or because they are foreign-language? I skimmed through their table of contents but didn't notice any articles about works, though I did note that they seem to uniformly itlicize Latin and other foreign-language phrases/titles. --IllaZilla (talk) 23:24, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
The Axiochus article in the Spenser Encyclopedia is italicized as a book-title. This is the title in English (and of the English translation attributed to Spenser), which is why we use it as the article title in English Wikipedia too. The only foreign-phrase example I brought was the a priori and a posteriori one from the SEP. The same goes for the Dante Encyclopedia: I noted that Vita Nuova and other book titles were italicized but made no observation regarding foreign words. Wareh (talk) 23:35, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Either way, we have to be consistent. If italics are used to refer to names in the article, then the article title should not be spared. However, I note we haven't even got a consistent style over how to refer to movement names (e.g. Allegro, Adagio). Centyreplycontribs – 14:37, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

For the record, the following books (which happen to be on my desk!) do not use italics in article/entry titles: The New Grove Dictionary of Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, (also the important Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan), though the New Grove Dictionary of Opera does use italics for the names of operas, albeit without any awkward mixture of italics and roman in the same title.

IMO there's no reason why binomial scientific names can't stay in italics since (as IllaZilla has pointed out above) they were regarded as an exception anyway — clearly the scientific usage of Latin is special! On the other hand, most of the music editors — who are using Italian, French, German, Russian etc etc. in a variety of complex, different ways — want to avoid a needless, but major, change to their articles. --Kleinzach 06:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I have not read the previous RfC, as Wareh has very correctly stated should be done. I will nonetheless provide my personal opinion on this matter. I see this as something along the lines of the controversy around Copernican heliocentrism: should article titles abide by Wikipedia titling standards or should they abide by common or systematized usage? I am a biologist by training and fully sympathize with Danger's itching teeth when seeing titles which, if seen in normal scientific print, would be italicized. We should be less concerned with "italics are not pretty" and more concerned with "italics are the preferred syntactic sugar used by field professionals". --Ceyockey (talk) 08:04, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Fine. What about non-scientific articles? --Kleinzach 12:34, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
That's my issue too: Scientific articles were always regarded as an exception, and there seems to be a prevailing desire for them to remain as such. No problem. But we're not dealing with just scientific articles here: we're now in a state where every single thing that would be italicized in running text is also italicized in our article titles. Things like album, film, and book titles, even the titles of media franchises. We somehow went from "special cases only" to "pretty much every damn thing". I sympathize with the desire of science editors to keep binonmial scientific titles in italics, but what are their opinions about italicized article titles in other areas of Wikipedia? It may be that we're all (understandably) chiefly concerned about our own areas of interest, but the relevant policy has effects far beyond any single topic area (we're talking about a half million articles just between things like albums, books, video games, and films). --IllaZilla (talk) 08:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
There was some consideration given to domain-by-domain ad-hoc determinations of what the proper standard should be. Any such attempt could quickly get very thorny, which is why I consider the sweeping (but clear) nature of the current policy a feature, not a bug. Where we are now, even a bot can decide it: if the lead of an article names [some part of] the article title in itailcs, then presumably it's italicized according to the normal principles of well-edited English, and should be italicized in the title too. If not, not. The evidence from good print & online encyclopedias is mixed and can be used to support either view (no italics, or italics by same rules as article bodies). But there is no encyclopedia quite like this one, where for any common English noun/phrase, we typically have the article on the book, and the album, and the band, and the movie, and the psychological concept, etc. etc. My two cents are that the italics in titles ruffled feathers simply because they came as a surprise, but that they add some welcome clarity at the top of the page as to what the article is actually about. --Wareh (talk) 17:48, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
The Rfc last year was an informal one which didn't follow any real process — this contributed greatly to the surprise. It would be better if the various viewpoints were put forward in the proper 'View from User:Joe Bloggs' form, asking for endorsements. If that process was followed we would know who supported what. We don't know that at the moment. --Kleinzach 09:00, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
This discussion might be more effective if the text of the proposed new version of WP:ITALICTITLE was written up and a notice with a link to the proposed change posted on the talk pages of all affected projects. Right now it is not clear to me what the new text would be or that all potentially interested editors are aware of it. --Robert.Allen (talk) 21:03, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I find italicization often clarifies an article. Many book titles, for example, could conceivably be descriptive names for articles. The italics alert the reader that no, this is not about the topic, but about a book by that name. Quite handy. — kwami (talk) 08:38, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Are there Wikipedia "lawyers"?

I have sometimes difficulties in figuring out the various policies on Wikipedia. This isn't helped by the fact that may articles under the Wikipedia:... prefix aren't official policy and some are outright humorous (in a analogy to joke RFCs, such as the RFC about transmitting IP packets using pigeons). So are there users (you might call them "lawyers") who have a good understanding of the policies who you can contact if you doubt that something which you want to do may or may not go against Wikipedia policies. After in real life we are also assumed to know all the laws but because there are so many laws and they are so complex most of us do not and thus we hire these people called lawyers to figure them out for us. SpeakFree (talk) 18:27, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Oh, there are Wikipedia lawyers, though I don't think they hire out their services... And rather as in real life, the "laws" are kept deliberately opaque - by and for the benefit of the lawyers.--Kotniski (talk) 18:33, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I have found following WP:5P good enough for most purposes. The problem is that a number of people are here to grind their axes rather than to contribute in the spirit of those principles. If you have a problem with a policy the first place to ask is on its talk page or maybe a noticeboard associated with it if there is one. See also the various help desks at WP:Questions for more general questions or problems contributing. If a policy or guideline just seems wrong then it very possibly is but it is much better to try and figure out what the problem is than try invoking WP:IAR at the first hint of a problem. Dmcq (talk) 20:29, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
OK so I should basically just say "F*CK the laws" and just do my own thing. At least with Wikipedia men with guns won't come after me to ensure that I follow the rules. SpeakFree (talk) 21:28, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
The principle of the rules is this: Your actions should make the encyclopedia better. If they do, you are OK. The rules exist only because people noted those types of actions that usually always make the encyclopedia better (and sometimes, always make it worse), so the rules were written in that spirit; they are descriptive of best practices, not proscriptive or prescriptive. Please note that this does not mean that if you believe you are doing the right thing, you are OK. You must actually be doing it. Many people who believe themselves to be helping the encyclopedia actually do not, and that is the source of most problems. So, it's OK to ignore the rules, but it is NOT ok if what you do makes Wikipedia worse for your actions (regardless of whether or not you believe you are in the right). Feel free to do what you need to do, but be prepared to a) defend yourself if someone calls you on it and b) relent and agree you are wrong when evidence shows that you were. --Jayron32 21:34, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Well right and wrong is often left to interpretation. Most people agree that killing someone is wrong, unless it is done in a war, holy cause or whatever as well as the rest of the Ten Commandments (with caveats). But apart from that there are often wide differences. But I get what you are meaning. SpeakFree (talk) 21:44, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Generally if you're not sure whether something is against policy and you don't want to take the risk, either Wikipedia:Help Desk or Wikipedia:IRC/wikipedia-en-help should be your first stop. Politely describe your issue and a volunteer will give you their opinion. They will not "champion" you, since Wikipedia policy is not an adversarial system, but they will explain your options and help guide you. Note that any policies intended to be humorous are clearly marked as such as the topic to avoid confusion. (The response by Kotniski above is a rather cynical take on the situation and should be disregarded.) Dcoetzee 21:37, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, thanks. (Cynical, certainly, and perhaps to be disregarded in the sense that it doesn't answer the original question - but my experience most definitely shows it to be the case - attempts to make policy clearer, simpler and more accessible are routinely and trenchantly opposed by those who have grown accustomed to playing lawyers with them.)--Kotniski (talk) 07:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. I was reprimanded that a question I asked at the Village Pump technical page was placed at the wrong place. This is why I asked in the first place. SpeakFree (talk) 21:44, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
A typical Wikipedian ploy is to say you've posted in the wrong forum. You should just take their reprimands with a grain of salt; what they say might be right, but the way they go about saying it usually leaves something to be desired. Killiondude (talk) 06:26, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Well I just had a look at the contributions page and it looks like the question was at the wrong place. I can see a person might misunderstand thinking templates are a technical problem but they were directed to the right place and a good answer was given there. I can't see what the fuss is about. There was no lawyering or anything like that. The question could also have asked at the help desk about contributing or the template project or a couple of other places but village pump (technical) is for things in the underlying support software. Dmcq (talk) 07:38, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
"A typical Wikipedian ploy is to say you've posted in the wrong forum." And of course if you then post somewhere else you're accused of forum shopping. Peter jackson (talk) 10:38, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Don't know why you go on about that. I can agree though about 'but the way they go about saying it usually leaves something to be desired'. I wouldn't say 'usually' but I said to someone a while back that their opinions didn't matter but what was written down in a reliable source and they went apeshit and 3rr'd themselves and got banned doing stupid things. Dmcq (talk) 10:59, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Do I go on about it? I can't remember mentioning it before. Peter jackson (talk) 10:28, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
You put in your contribution as a response to what I said reiterating what the person I was responding to said and emphasising it even more and completely ignoring where I said I saw no evidence of anything like that in this case. I saw no reason for your response and I said I don't know whyy you went on about it. Does that clear it up for you? Dmcq (talk) 11:06, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, yes. I wasn't referring to the particular case, about which I know and care nothing. Peter jackson (talk) 11:21, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Pop Culture Trivia Policies

Are there any explicit policies which state that merely being referenced by a character on Family Guy, South Park, or in that Judd Apatow movie you saw last week you thought was totally hilarious while you were hammered on bong-rips, is not sufficient to warrant a mention on Wikipedia? I have grown mortally weary of the war with Wikipedia's legion of neckbearded manchildren, and their utter insistence that a reference to the South Park episode "Chef Goes Nanners" is a perfectly valid and useful addition to the article on Thích Quảng Đức. SmashTheState (talk) 19:32, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

In short, no. The closest thing is Wikipedia:Manual of Style (trivia sections), but that's not actually about omitting popular culture references but just formatting them differently. In the end, content inclusion criteria for an article are decided by those articles' authors based on their own editorial discretion. A guideline may be helpful for this particular issue, but it's so contentious that nobody has succeeded in passing one yet. Dcoetzee 20:15, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Sadly, no, but if you were to hammer out a proposal I would support it tirelessly. I, too, am getting tired of people insisting on writing day and night about their particular fandom and mobbing AfDs with spurious arguments (like "if you don't keep the list we'll have to make individual articles" when in fact neither the list nor the articles are notable in the wikipedia sense) to prevent removal of the material. It's getting to the point it's hurting our credibility. HominidMachinae (talk) 20:53, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I think requiring third-party sources for any pop-culture reference would be the way to go. This can probably be coupled with a more strict reading of WP:NOR that something is being referenced. But the main point is that the reference should contribute to the reader's understanding of the overall topic instead of being random trivia. —Farix (t | c) 22:45, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I wonder if we could just make it a style quideline that all pop culture trivia references had to be placed in a hideable section, with hide the default. That way, the pop culture fans would be free to add their favorite bits of trivia, and the rest of us wouldn't have to look at it. -- Donald Albury 21:20, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I have to disagree strongly here, it's the same as the list problem. The appropriate solution is to remove unencyclopedic material not sequester it away into little fandom gardens that intermix freely with legitimate content. HominidMachinae (talk) 02:45, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I knew I should have put a smiley on that. :) I agree in principal with you, I just think that removing trivia in general will cause more drama than I want to be exposed to be. I try to pick my battles carefully these days. -- Donald Albury 21:26, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

@SmashTheState: what kind of critter is a neckbearded manchild? Or is that one of the said cultural references? @ everyone else: Americans might consider that US TV shows aren't always well known outside North America. References to them are hardly the sort of universalist information you'd expect in an encyclopaedia, unless of course a referenced explanation could be given so we can all enjoy the wisdom of those who attain enlightened insight after being 'hammered on bong-rips'. Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 03:19, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

I would support anything which would root out the trivia sections from articles. I too have grown utterly bored (and somewhat Wiki-fatigued) of seeing 'in popular media' sections which tell me nothing about the subject but a lot about how cartoon script-writers are able to shoe-horn references every which way. Doesn't this touch on RECENTISM type policy? If Family Guy references something (which, frankly, is not notable, FG references EVERYTHING) shouldn't Wiki only refer to this in decades to come as proof of 21st century pop culture, not evidence today of a fan's good memory? doktorb wordsdeeds 04:35, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
It is really quite simple; the only guideline I need for article content is WP:WIAFA. While not every article can be a featured article, any edit that brings an article closer to the standards at WP:WIAFA is a good edit and any edit that brings an article farther away from those standards is a bad edit. Insofar as "trivia" or "in pop culture" lists would keep an article from becoming featured, they should go. Its that simple. If something does not make an article something Wikipedia should be proud of, it shouldn't be in the article. --Jayron32 04:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I've been deleting these for quite some time, I feel that these add nothing to the articles and are frankly embarrassing references, mostly to Saturday Night Live, Family Guy and other pop culture shows which have spanned decades and reference thousands of topics. Think of how many topics The Simpsons may have referenced which are articles on Wikipedia. I'm glad someone has pointed out that while these references might be well-known to a certain segment of society, white, pudgy American neckbeards, they are probably quite foreign to most people in the world. My proposal, change the guidelines for trivia entries and in popular culture entries. If something is a one off reference in a television show, which has not contributed or changed that topic in any way then it shouldn't be in the article. I just deleted a trivia/pop culture in the article on lawn bowling. Apparently lawn bowling is mentioned in a skit in the Borat movie. This adds nothing to the topic. It's absolutely trivial. The same goes for references in movies, video games, comic books, graphic novels, plays, musicals or carnival rides (yes, I've seen 'in popular culture' sections with references from rides). Does someone want to rewrite the guidelines? I'd be very willing to help do it. As it is Wikipedia is looking pretty sad with every article seeming like an annoying college-aged dude who remembers every episode of Family Guy. 04:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by TurtleMelody (talkcontribs)
I support the removal of trivia sections from articles. I also support reducing groups of people to sterotypes and making fun of them. The first sentence, I ardently support. The second, not so much. LonelyBeacon (talk) 20:34, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I think we should begin by establishing that unless the song, TV episode, or whatever does not merely mention the subject, but is specifically about that subject, it has no place in an article. Thus (and this is the standard that I've been maintaining on the article Jeffrey Dahmer, for example): if a notable band does a song or an entire concept album about Dahmer, that is notable enough for a brief mention in the Dahmer article; but some comedian saying "Hey, that dude Dahmer, he ate people; what's up with that?" is irrelevant to anyone's understanding of Dahmer or society's reaction to him. Like many other editors here, I am totally confused as to what constitutes a "collegiate neckbeard"; but I have a neck, and a beard, and a college ID. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:54, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll second that. For me personally, this edit has long represented the epitome of completely worthless pop culture mentions. postdlf (talk) 21:31, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I figure that WP:UNDUE handles trivia pretty well - if there are third-party sources about the article topic which actually discuss the particular pop-culture reference, then it could be included (in proportion to all of the other reliable sources about the article topic, of course), but not just because a reference was made. VernoWhitney (talk) 20:55, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
This sounds about right to me - it's clear that the impact of a topic in popular culture can be a significant element of a description of that topic, one too often ignored by traditional references, but it should not be given undue weight, and should be presented in the right way (as an analysis that summarizes, giving examples to illustrate broad points rather than to exhaustively enumerate references). Exhaustive enumeration has its place, e.g. on other wikis like TV Tropes or Wikia entertainment wikis. I think we can have a guideline about this, and we should, but it's going to be difficult to reach a clear consensus. Dcoetzee 21:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Prior disclosure of information vs outing

If an individual who has engaged in long term sockpuppetry and harassment of other editors previously disclosed their name under one of their early accounts, would it be safe as far as WP:OUTING goes to discuss and link to this information for the purposes of a WP:LTA entry? WP:OUTING states: "Posting another person's personal information is harassment, unless that person voluntarily had posted his or her own information, or links to such information, on Wikipedia." so it would seem to be ok, but I'd like to make certain. In the specific case I'm working through, it was also possible to verify their name against several static IPs that they edited with which were owned by this individual's former employer. This individual would often switch between editing with an account and editing with these IPs and then back to an account while edit warring. --Tothwolf (talk) 11:22, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I think that would be okay; we do similar things for WP:LOBU. You might think about whether WP:Don't be evil applies for posting real names.
Also, I wonder if WP:ABUSE might consider contacting the employer, rather than the ISP—not to get the person in trouble, but to report the fact of long-term abuse emanating from the corporate network, and suggest that it might be time to consider for a security audit, and possibly to turn off their users' ability to edit Wikipedia (e.g., causing the proxy server to drop any URLs that contain both and ?action=submit; this would let people read Wikipedia, but not edit pages). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:47, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
He has long since vacated those particular IPs and that company no longer exists (however it all fits the same geolocation pattern). The past account with which he disclosed his name he last used in Aug 2008 with one more edit in Jan 2009. His next account he created in June 2008 which was used along with tons of throw-away socks and IPs until that account was indef'd. I've linked this guy to tons of IPs and accounts. He tends to drop an account after getting sanctioned, but always returns to his previous patterns after awhile. --Tothwolf (talk) 18:10, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Null edit to make disparaging comments

I feel this is completely inappropriate, especially since the editor does not seem interested in having any kind of normal communication. However the editor appears brand new, so maybe I am over reacting. Would anyone like to let them know that that is not nice? Or at least point me to a more appropriate board? Thanks. Beach drifter (talk) 17:03, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I see that this is not at all the right board, but it seemed to trivial for AIV or ANI or any of that. Beach drifter (talk) 17:05, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I think that Wikiquette alerts would be the usual place for this sort of thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:50, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
In the meantime, I was suppressed the disruptive edit summaries from the George R. R. Martin article. –MuZemike 21:33, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
<pedant>That's a dummy edit. Null edits don't leave an edit summary.</pedant>--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 13:28, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Fuhg, I had always thought they were called null edits but then finally found WP:Dummy. Beach drifter (talk) 05:30, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Coloring of navigation boxes

I would appreciate any comments at Template talk:Omaha#Orange. Thank you. Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 19:13, 10 April 2011 (UTC)


I would like to propose an amendment to the signatures guideline that relaxes the rules on transclusion of signatures. There are three reasons given against this in the guideline (slightly summarised).

  1. Signature templates are vandalism targets
  2. Bots archiving talk pages don't recognise them as signatures
  3. When the signature is amended every page it appears on must be re-cached

I propose that reasons 1 and 3 be addressed by forbidding any amendment to the template after it is first used and requiring that the template page must be permanently protected by an administrator before its first use. The user is, of course, free to create a new template at a later date but all existing signatures up to that time remain locked. I am not sure what the issue with bots is. If it is that they require a time/date stamp then a requirement to include five (non-transcluded) tildes in the sig should solve that.

The advantage of transclusion is that complicated signatures with lots of mark-up do not clutter talk pages. Mine for instance, makes a complete mess of the page in edit view when I have made multiple posts to a thread but it is only 13 characters of visible text. Even so, I can't manage to work in a link to my talk page. SpinningSpark 16:14, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

I think an additional problem is that 120 templates of any description on a long talk page is going to cause server kitty issues... - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 16:54, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Is that likely to happen? I'm not imaging large numbers of editors to take this up. SpinningSpark 20:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Of couse, this specific page, at the moment I write this, has 187 signatures (188 with my own) Cambalachero (talk) 20:52, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I can easily imagine WP:AN or WP:ANI coming to a crawl.
Personally, I don't like this, in small part because I see no reason to allow it. EVula // talk // // 21:58, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Bad Idea TM ΔT The only constant 21:46, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  • There is no impending need for this. If you care to create a cute signature which is short on code and long on personality, fine (as most of us here have). But there's absolutely no good reason I can see to change the current rules, except "I want to do it". I would oppose any such change. This would open the backdoor to rediculously and convoluted signature codes, and serves no greater purpose towards building the encyclopedia. --Jayron32 21:50, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The solution to the problem with your signature is pretty obvious, and requires no action by anyone but you. Phil Bridger (talk) 22:55, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Blogs, Wikis and such as Reliable References

I wish to know, if citing blogs, wikis and other websites constitutes as reliable sources (regardless of ownership/affiliation).

--DJackD (talk) 07:24, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I would say that for wikis, the answer will almost always be that they are unreliable. However, blogs and websites really depends on what website you're talking about and what information is trying to be added. It's usually a case by case basis. If the blog is affiliated with a news organization, per WP:NEWSBLOG, then it is generally considered reliable. Websites, like I said, usually depends. If you want to ask questions about specific sources, then it would be best to start a section over at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard, not here. SilverserenC 07:30, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
The authorship matters significantly. A very few blogs written by experts are reliable. Other blogs and wikis are generally only usable as primary sources (i.e. when they are written by the person/organization being discussed, taking into account the caveats in WP:SELFPUB). --Cybercobra (talk) 19:53, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Agreed — authorship is a major issue here. The real question is how to delineate between experts recognized by their field and self-proclaimed experts. Is the boundary "notability" as reflected by the "expert" having an article here which passes basic notability standards? I don't see a better base-level for the demarcation required which is not personally subjective. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:07, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Another issue is intent of the blog. Just as one would not hold the Op/Ed section of a newspaper as being a reliable source of factual information in the same way that the journalism parts of the paper are, the scope and purpose of a blog go a LONG way towards determining its appropriateness as a source for a Wikipedia article, and not just the service that hosts the blog. --Jayron32 05:27, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Blogs that have a track record of taking themselves seriously, hold themselves to standards similar to journalists when it comes to independence, sourcing, and accountability should be evaluated on a case by case basis, regardless of whether they are associated with a media outlet. I think it is critical to consider what you are using the blog to source as well. If the source is being used for an assertion that is even mildly controversial, you shouldn't use a blog. Similarly a blog should be weighed much less then a major newspaper when it comes to notability, but coverage in enough topical blogs with journalistic standards may be enough for notability. Obviously blogs that are by a single person, and where they post whatever comes to mind with few limitations are not reliable sources, but I could also imagine a single writer blog counting as a source in some circumstances. I realize I may be a lot more willing then most to give the possibility that a blog is a reliable source serious consideration, but with the state of the blogging world, some really are. Monty845 05:49, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Outing issue

Hi guys, just a quick query, not related to any issue I'm involved in or anything, just something I've been pondering really - I've had a read of WP:OUTING and WP:COI, and am still unsure, so here goes. Imagine I stumble across an article on an obscure Polish sculptor called Gucktar Wfrankovic, and in the edit history find GWfrank27 (talk · contribs) has been editing. COI alarm bells are obviously ringing - but would it be considered outing to say to the editor in question "I know you're Wfrankovic"? Would it be considered outing to ask the editor in question "Are you Wfrankovic?" Or would I have to wait for Wfrankovic to identify himself before raising COI concerns? Thanks and regards, GiantSnowman 01:15, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

It's not outing to ask whether he is Wfrankovic and its not outing to point out the similarity between his username and the article's subject. It's also not outing if you can find someplace where an article's subject publicly associates himself with a particular Wikipedia username and then point out the COI. Whether you should go ahead and raise questions of COI in this case can only be answered by you, since each case is different. Some users just choose usernames based off of their interests (which they are likely to then edit), but for biographies it is usually pretty likely that some sort of COI is involved. Even if the editor isn't the articles subject, the editor may still be closely related (a publicist, for example). Besides the COI connection you should also look at the article's quality. Articles written from a promotional angle need cleaned up or deleted regardless of who writes them. ThemFromSpace 01:43, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, many thanks, you've cleared it up for me. Regards, GiantSnowman 13:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Keep in mind that having a conflict of interest is not a problem for Wikipedia. We care about people who abuse a conflict of interest—that is, people who hurt Wikipedia to promote themselves. If it is the person, and he writes exactly the same article that someone else might have written, then Wikipedia is satisfied with the outcome. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:55, 14 April 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I recently asked an editor not to revert an infobox and map I had added to an article on a palace, I had made a city map of St. Petersburg especially and thought a city locator would be helpful. I said to him "there is consensus generally that infoboxes are accepted and seen as a way forward on wikipedia". However, I was rather surprised to see at least three editors turn up on his talk page and claim I was wrong about there being a consensus. i am aware that the the opera project is strongly against infoboxes in biogrpahies and I agree with them, I generally don't like infoboxes in people articles. But for settlements and buildings which are likely to contain a lot of data and show a pin map of where it is in a city or country I think are very useful for editors wanting a quick summary of facts without having to read a long article to find them and I was convinced that other people thought the same way given the fact that they exist all over the site. But surely the fact that virtually most topics have infboxes on wikipedia it would seem to me that a greater number of people approve of them rather than detest them, otherwise the majority would have simply removed them. If it is not clear shouldn't there be a discussion which forms a consensus of for or against infoboxes so that individuals editors who've written articles don't have a right to remove infoboxes based on their own personal preferences but which are based on an accurate overall community view? If I had genuinely believed that infoboxes are not generally seen positiviely on here and useful for summarising facts and location then a] would not have added an infobox b] I wouldn't have created a map and c] I wouldn't have asked the reverter not to remove the infobox.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:58, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

It's very much a matter of taste. A lot of people love the new style of city guides which has a very lively layout with lots of little boxes everywhere and the text sometimes grouped in odd places around a big picture. Others just hate it and prefer old-fashioned books organised into chapters and sections, with an occasional small illustration and sometimes a full-page one. (I happen to see advantages and disadvantages in both.) The former category of people is larger, but the latter tends to dominate in some fields such as arts or mathematics. You will rarely run into trouble when adding an infobox to an article on a television tower, but a palace touches art. When a high-quality article on such a topic doesn't have an infobox, it's very likely the result of a conscious decision and is regularly being enforced against editors who are not aware of this.
It's completely clear to me how you got the incorrect impression that infoboxes are universally desired: There are more articles that have one than articles that don't, and it's natural to assume that if an article doesn't have one it's just because nobody has come around to finding and adding an appropriate one yet. Thus when you see a high-quality article without an infobox you don't think "Interesting, I wasn't aware that there is no general consensus for infoboxes", but you will think instead: "This article is already quite good, but they haven't come around to adding an infobox yet." That's a natural reaction and is not really anybody's fault. Hans Adler 10:32, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Yeah I'll agree with you I've seen beautiful articles without infoboxes and actually thought how nice it looked without them. I was just very surprised to be told I was wrong about there being a general support of infoboxes! Also surprised that a Russian topic on here is so well cared for, given Moscow Kremlin number of sources!! My motivation to add them is usually to feature pin map locators.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:47, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

I've no idea why an experienced editor like you was surprised, as they are very regularly removed from art and architecture articles, or used to be until people learned not to add them (and the general loss of editors kicked in), and there are often little spats over it. The Wikipedia:WikiProject Visual arts is pretty solidly against them, even for biographies, as are many architecture editors. The main objection is that they mean the crucially important lead image is too small, and that in humanities subjects the information in them is very very often wrong in terms of "influences", "movement", "important works" and stuff like that. If you remember the great Prime Minister's Question Time and Titian on wikipedia scandal with Gordon Brown, that was caused by incoreect information in the infobox, which is now removed. If you want to add a map there are better ways. I support them for athletes, films, taxa etc. The VERY VERY WORST infobox is Template:Infobox_World_Heritage_Site]. It is used in the lead on most of the third world's most important cultural sites like Taj Mahal and is full of useless bureaucratic UNESCO nonsense like:
  • Type: Cultural
  • Criteria: i
  • Designated: 1983 (7th session)
  • Reference #: 252
and has no space for the subject to be described. See here for my abortive attempt to get this disgrace to WP sorted. All help welcome. Johnbod (talk) 11:28, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Indeed John. I share your views on the World Heritage Site infobox. It should at least be improved and it does not look good in articles. I agree actually I think the Taj Mahal article would look better with a high quality single image at the top in a larger resolution.. The reason I'm surprised is that I've written hundreds of articles about palaces, monasteries and monuments and nobody has ever removed infoboxes from them or even mentioned them. In GAs I have on palaces, no reviewer questioned the fact they contained infoboxes...♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:56, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

I too have written hundreds of articles and may have the most WP:GAs in the history of WP and have never had anyone argue for the removal of an infobox. I don't know what the issue is here.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 13:47, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Same as with tattoos. Some people like them and want to put them everywhere, and some don't like them. Hans Adler 14:08, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting analogy, although of course a lot more painful and irreversible except for expensive laser treatment...♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:19, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Infoboxes are also hard to remove once they have been in an article for a while. But of course the analogy isn't perfect. Hans Adler 14:34, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I personally never look at them unless they get in the way (which they tend to do). I think they are worthless and border on irritating, especially when it messes up the text of the article. I go to an article to read it, not to find worthless facts about the article's subject. Tex (talk) 14:24, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Unlike, say, the rest of the article? :-D - Denimadept (talk) 20:40, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The worst I think are those which have two or even three set at different widths, like a UNESCO box underneath an already big template which makes the article completely out of shape and downright ugly. NO, actually the worst are those articles which have at least 5 navigation templates at the bottom. Like the wiki equivalent to those chavs driving around in souped up Vauxhall Novas with customised spoilers and alloys. US sports and uni articles I find tend to be the biggest culprits for nav box excess..♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:33, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

That's a really different perspective; given my own preferences, I'd require that all of those navigation templates be at the bottom of the article, with none allowed as sidebars. My recent experience editing/reading on a netbook reinforced to me that all the clutter on the right side of the page (including infoboxes and those darn templates) can wind up making an article largely unreadable. Even "larger than standard" images seemed to have less impact. Risker (talk) 20:07, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Risker about the nav templates used as sidebars. Some articles I've come across are littered with them. They are distracting and unsightly. As for infoboxes, if the lead is well-written there really is no need for one, particularly in articles to do with the humanities. That said, I don't think a policy is required here. The policy is that infoboxes aren't required which is sufficient. Editors can decide if they want one or not. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The Winter Palace article is awful both ways frankly. The version with infobox was useless - barely visible image, unusable map, and crucially, little or no actual text info in it (and many people do make use of that when provided, whatever anyone says, or would prefer they didn't). The version without infobox, on my small notebook screen at least, makes the opening paragraph way too narrow, and the image is still pretty useless if the goal is to gain any context other than 'it's white, it's pretty wide, and it has many windows' (which you could judge at half the size tbh). What's worse, if I hadn't already punched my screen in frustration at the pointlessness/inflexibility respectively of both of those versions and did actually read on, it beggars belief that the only image of the full facade is in the lede, instead of being used in a full width frame in the main body. And we're supposedly debating here over how best to present visual info to readers? Really? It's a depressing thought that this false choice is apparently standard on architecture articles. MickMacNee (talk) 00:24, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Maybe this is because some editors instinctively realise that most readers don't read beyond the lead section of an article? We have stats on the hits article receive, but no real data on what parts of articles are read. The assumption is that an interested reader will read the whole article, but drive-by readers and those looking for information will usually only read the lead section (or even just the first few sentences), glance at the image, and then move on. Think about how you read Wikipedia. Carcharoth (talk) 04:01, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Getting rid of useless boxes used on many pages is very hard to do. I once tried it with the Template:Infobox Cardinalstyles, which is used on hundreds of cardinal biographies, and adds literally nothing useful to them. Fram (talk) 07:31, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Well, to give an opposite opinion, one of the areas where infoboxes are quite useful and contain valuable information is in articles about music, such as albums and songs. The infoboxes usually contain a wealth of information that someone might want to know that you wouldn't really want to put into the article text itself, such as a link to the prior and next single in the artist's chronology. SilverserenC 07:56, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Just a plug here for folks to read Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide#Advice_pages, since the endless edit warring to remove {{Infobox classical composer}} is on my mind. WikiProjects do not get to impose their preferences on articles within their scope; a group of editors that calls themselves a WikiProject gets no special rights over editors that have not self-identified themselves as a WikiProject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:08, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Uploading self photos

What is the current practice in Wikipedia regarding user's uploading their own portraits to be used in their user pages? hujiTALK 23:30, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

It's fine as long as it's reasonable (ie. As long as it's clear that you're not using Wikipedia as a storage facility, or for self-promotion) and the images stay in user space. --Danger (talk) 05:12, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
If there's a good reason to use a photo of a person, is there any reason not to take the one they've uploaded and use it in article space? Dicklyon (talk) 17:52, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

How we deal with rule breakers

The reason Wikipedia bans disruptive editors is to prevent them from doing any farther damage. But we gone too far. Banned users are also prevented from discussion, votes, and even public appeal. Why ban them from discussion? If they are over spamming we can limit the of characters the can type in, instead of outright censorship, and few editors would actually use spam as a tool anyways, as I have seen not one before. Our readers will not look at the talk pages unless they want to, so it wont degrade no qualities. And why prevent them from voting? Votes represent both sides number (and in Wikipedia, both reasons), so the best for the consensus could be achieved. Bans' only purpose is to eliminate the target's ability for disruption against consensus, not to ignore the victims' interests and ability to take part in the consensus. And why are ban victims unable to appeal to the public, and only admins? Only people who choose to see their appeals will see them, and they only appeal if they choose to, so who is harmed? Why are they prevented from all of this?

  Pretty obvious. We don't want people to change their minds about them. We don't want to risk knowing they're maybe correct. We argued with them, we fully exchanged insults. We don't want to turn back now that we already banned them. Despite my tone, I fully understand (that's why I use the word "we"), and I have to admit I join in on this too.

  I mean, think of this. We disagree with someone. He tells us to go to hell, he says we're all wrong, stupid, nerdy, etc. We feel indignation, and tells him "sorry, you are banned for incivility, we understand not everyone is right to edit Wikipedia, and the is no shame in it... ... ...etc." It feels that we're so correct and all and the kind of ha-ha u deserve it feeling. Now imagine that we all the sudden change our minds. We go and tell him SORRY WE WERE WRONG. He will probably imply "hahahaha i new i wuz rite al along" and we'll all have to face it. It'll feel so bad. It'll be so damn frustrating because we'll all know if we only agree before we argued none of this would have happened. We'll fear that we might think ourselves as the failed aggressor and him as the victim who defends. And that's just terrible, for anyone. Other banned people who are banned for more correct reasons will also come back knowing we're not confident, and we'll have to go through all the trouble to deal with them. Our hard earned pride will collapse ridiculously all just for... someone else? With much dread for the choice of changing our minds about someone we banned, we'll really really try to avoid giving people we banned any chance to express their side of the story. I understand. Absolutely nothing genuinely sinister about this. Every best person would do this too.

  But that doesn't mean it's correct. We should change our methods of dealing with bans to make Wikipedia appear more OPEN. Why not give it a shot if it could potentially make Wikipedia so much better. Just for a shot, lets try letting banned editors discuss, vote and appeal to a public appeals, everyone can see. Ordinary people can comment there, just to talk about the bans and hear the ban-ees' opinions on it. If consensus can be achieve for a extended period of time, the ban could be lifted. The better we share our sides of the story the more we know about how to improve. Lets try this. Just to see.

Just for fun, actually, we're not robots and I'm curious so why not. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 03:49, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a specific banned person in mind? If so, you can bring up for public discussion at WP:ANI a request for review of his/her ban. Despite the name ANI is an open forum, and it is common and expected that all editors freely comment on threads there. --Jayron32 04:02, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Those are too official and mixed with other discussions, thus archived periodically. I'm talking about banned users making permanent remarks. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 04:07, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
To what end would we need an outlet for banned users to make remarks? They have their user talk page to request a review of their ban, they have WP:BASC to ask for a formal review, how would allowing banned users to do what you propose lead to better encyclopedia articles? --Jayron32 04:14, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
You have a lot of good points, but requested reviews generally don't happen as much as they're requested, and don't last very long (though I don't know how long they do last, most I've seen are closed). Allowing banned editors to talk casually and openly about their bans allows everyone to learn more about those banned so that changes in opinions to lift the ban are, well, possible, and not just for a few seconds. Truth is, often I'd see a closed discussion with a key point missing and I wouldn't be able to say anything (unless I spend 10 hours finding everyone). You can't assume the importance of editors' time to be fully neglectable regardless of what the case is. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 04:34, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
If a banned editor has truly changed his ways, there are processes for trying to get reinstated. And his best course of action, to demonstrate good faith, would be to follow those processes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:38, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Getting a full-on site ban is not something that just happens. Out of the millions of registered accounts and thousands of active users the full list of banned users is still small enough to fit on a single page. I'm not aware of anyone ever having been banned without being repeatedly blocked first. Users are normally given a chance to speak in their own defense even if only by email while the ban is being considered, and they may appeal the ban to WP:BASC at any time. The reason we thoroughly block them and revert their edits is that a decision has been made that they are not welcome here in any way under any identity. You have to be the type of person who simply will not listen to reason or respect the normal standards of a community in order to be fully banned. Giving those persons a voice on-wiki so that they can continue their disruptive behavior indefinitely defeats the entire purpose of banning them in the first place. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:46, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and they do have a website where they are free to vent as much as they want about how horrible we all are. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:50, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
But I assume that if someone repeatedly makes random edits after even short term blocks, he/she will be banned, but someone who makes random edits may not necessarily have no useful opinions for votes and discussion. Bad faith is not the only source of random edits. A user can simply be frustrated of something else or drunk one day, perhaps being rude. Ordinary editors do provoke potentially disruptive users if they are not nice. All humans, yes, anyone, has this strange tendency to provoke people who're rude to him/her when he/she knows the provocation will cause the rude to complicate with authorities. Being provoked repeatedly, ironically, can cause any human to become even more rude, and out of frustration, antagonize authorities, subconsciously believing that deliberately breaking rules will somehow harm the authorities. This could happen to anyone. Not yet me, but I do find those banned act strikingly similar to ordinary users under those conditions. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 05:07, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Oh wait, just what I feared, this discussion is turning into an argument. And not a nice one, judging from that last comment of yours. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 05:20, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm afraid I am still not seeing the problem. Wikipedia doesn't exist to coddle or make people feel good. It exists to be a knowledge resource. People are banned when they a) interfere with that mission directly or b) interfere with others who are trying to complete that mission. To what end would it serve us to have a place where banned users can idly chit chat about how much they hate us? --Jayron32 05:39, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Preventing them from talking will only make them hate you more. No one will really gain anything from trying to avoid it. Wikipedia shouldn't be censored for no reason. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 06:14, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Why should we care if they hate us? Let them. Wikipedia isn't censoring them. We have a job to do, and it isn't entertaining malcontents and trolls and people who have axes to grind. There's a place for those people called the rest of the Internet. In the meanwhile, we have real work at Wikipedia to accomplish, and I fail utterly to see how your proposal furthers that purpose. Perhaps you could explain how it would improve encyclopedia articles to give Willy on Wheels and Grawp and all the 4-chan /b/tards their own bulletin board at Wikipedia to chat on... I want to know how that makes encyclopedia articles better. --Jayron32 06:21, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Please calm down. I'm not proposing anything that will affect you or anyone who does not want to be affected. If you do not want to see what those banned says, you don't have to. It's supposed to be on a page that will only be ever seen by those who want to see it. No one will force you to. As for the discussion and voting, you can still ignore them and they'll never know. It's like they aren't there, if you don't look. And as I said, the purpose is so that it is possible for those banned to share opinions. Sometimes we make mistakes. The police and FBI and court makes mistakes. Inevitable. Better allow mistakes to be corrected than not. I understand it is frustrating to acknowledge a mistake in these situations, as I explained in the first comment, and if I weren't the proposer, maybe I would also oppose this proposal, who knows? But if I really think about it I may change and then support it. Actually, I probably wont really think about it when I start opposing something, that's just me, but will you? Maybe this proposal is actually worth trying, maybe the problems out weight the gains, I don't know, see if we can jump to same conclusions. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 07:09, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm a little confused. Banned users already had a chance to "appeal to the community" when the banning itself happened. Furthermore, they continue to retain the ability to appeal their ban via directly emailing ArbCom (in this case, ArbCom is the "stand-in" for the community). Why do they need an additional page to make an appeal on? Also, would such a page be subject to our normal behavioral rules? I mean, what if a banned user makes personal attacks on the page--do they lose access to the page, thus leading to two classes (Banned and Really-Super-Banned)? I guess I'm not seeing what the benefit of this would be, to either the community or to the banned users... Qwyrxian (talk) 07:16, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

@DontClickMeName: You still have not answered the fundemental question: In what way does your proposal further the mission of the encyclopedia? You haven't even once touched upon this in any of your responses, nor in the initial proposal... --Jayron32 14:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I thought I explained pretty clearly a few times, that the less people unable to contribute, the weaker Wikipedia is. Allowing those banned the chance to come back would increase the number of editors. This doesn't sound like much of a reason, but there's nothing to lose from it, as bans only function to remove users' abilities to disrupt, and such a page will not cause any disruption. I see how this seems absurd at first sight somehow, but if you would please look closely, there actually isn't anything wrong with it. And @ Qwyrxian, well, my thought is that the page would be a little different, in the sense that instead of achieving, long discussions can be put in other pages with links so discussions can still take place. And for personal attacks, you have to remember that this is the internet. You can get rid of anyone forever. The kind of person in a state who would make personal attacks will probably be willing to do other things as well. Better just let them talk where no one who doesn't want to see will see, pretty much like mumbling to themselves in their home, wont do nothing until they start talking nicely. People can always be troublesome if they want to, so not letting them could instead make them more problematic. Everyone assumes being bad towards what is bad will make it better, but in this case it just isn't true. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 15:17, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Setting aside personal attacks, what about the more serious issues. For example what's to stop this page from being used for WP:OUTING. If a banned user wants to call someone a poo-poo head, that's one thing, but personal info is a totally different world.--Cube lurker (talk) 15:22, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I don't think that "more contributers = better encyclopedia" is as simple of an equation as you make it out to be. I see no evidence, nor do I see any way to draw the conclusion from simple logic, that simply increasing the raw number of people who edit Wikipedia somehow Wikipedia gets better. Many people don't have the same interests that Wikipedia has for a mission. And they're not particularly interested in being "educated" in being better editors. For many people, they see Wikipedia as something different than what it is; as a place to screw around and get some laughs, as a place to advertise a business, as a place to advance a political position, as a place to increase acceptance of a fringe view. Those sorts of actions are not part of Wikipedia's mission, and people whose only desire is to commit those actions have no reason to be here. I agree that we need more quality editors who have the interest and skills necessary to improve encyclopedia articles. But that is a narrow subset of the population; we DO need to attract and train up those people with that interest and aptitude. But that does not necessarily extend from being completely indiscriminate, and it CERTAINLY doesn't extend to granting access to people who have demonstrated an overt desire to damage the encyclopedia. I agree that Wikipedia needs to remain an open environment that anyone who wishes to contribute to our mission may participate. However, that doesn't mean that we need to also allow in all those people who wish to take us down and ruin Wikipedia. As long as a person has never edited Wikipedia, I see no reason not to invite them into the party. Once they have let their intentions be known, I see no reason to keep them around if their clear intentions aren't to make better encyclopedia articles. --Jayron32 15:55, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Jayron32, you have made a very very good point, however, I never actually proposed to allow anyone banned back. I know I did somehow sound like it, am I want to be sorry for the misunderstanding, as I'm not good at explaining things. My proposal, is actually to only give them a chance, in case they're not actually the pure disruption focus we thought them to be, as all systems makes mistakes, including even the police, FBI, and court. I know I am confusing, but please try to stick with me. @Cube lurker, I see. You are correct. There is definately something to prevent that. I guess I really should chance the proposal so that repeating leakers of private or copyrighted information can still be denied access, lest Wikipedia come under attack from lawyers, known to react more aggressively against copyright violations than religious radicals react to discrimination. We definitely do not want that to happen, so thank you very much for noticing; you may have just let me dodge a bullet. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 02:24, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I will admit that this response is not based on a full and thorough review of the discussion above. That being said, two things come to mind. First, the conflation of 'rule breaker' with 'banned user' is like treating shop lifters and bank robbers in the same way. Second, I can certainly understand how a person who has a contrarian point of view combined with a vigorous respect for being bold might be mistaken for a disruptive influence; however, the distinction between a potential contributor and a "bad apple" is in comport, and evaluation of comport is a major factor in ban-related discussions. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:01, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
That's true. I don't know what I thinking when I put "rule breaker" for the title. I have the feeling that this sure made things confusing, but then there's nothing I can do about it now, as changing titles will make it even more confusing as your comment wouldn't make sense if I changed the title. Oh, about the second part of your comment, I'm not sure if I understood, but I think it is a good point, yes, although I still can't just quite figure out exactly how it relates to the proposal, as my English isn't too good. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 05:23, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Lets change the focus of the discussion just for a minute. I'm going to let you in on something. Banned individuals are editing Wikipedia right now under new usernames. Many of these get caught, but the reason they get caught is that the revert to the exact same disruptive behavior that caused them to get banned in the first place. Or they make the mistake of editing the exact same articles, often with the same points of view, that the did before the ban. However, if a banned user starts a new user name, stays under the radar by editing non-controverial topics in a non-controversial manner, avoids their own problem areas, and generally behaves themselves by avoiding conflicts, they never get caught. The only time they get caught is when the allow themselves to be identifiable via their behavior. This isn't like the real world. No one knows what you look like, you are judged on Wikipedia solely by your actions. If the actions of an account do nothing to raise any suspicions, no one thinks it is a banned user returning. It probably happens much more than you think it does. I would almost guarantee that theres some user out there right now, that has done exemplary work (possibly FA quality stuff) and who was banned under a prior username and where no body is the wiser. I don't have any specific examples (if I did, I would be obliged to report them), but be sure that it does happen. The moral of the story is that people who wish to contribute to Wikipedia, even if they are banned, can find ways to return incognito and simply contribute. So long as they aren't attached to their persona, and keep a clean nose, how will they get caught? --Jayron32 06:10, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree, that's probably all true, so why not make it easier for this to happen? It could be better if those banned could get a sense of who Wikipedia editors are, and acknowledge through eventually discussion that the average Wikipedia editor has no problems against them, so that they'll know those who banned them do not represent Wikipedia as a whole, and that turning back to contribute doesn't conflate with crawling back towards the users who approved of the ban and implying "zomg u were rite all alon i wuz everythn bad u said i wuz wahhh" DontClickMeName talkcontributations 06:30, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
It cannot be made any easier. Let me go through the steps for you:
1) Get indef blocked
2) Wait a few days for the autoblock on your IP address to clear
3) Start a new account and stop being a dick
The problem only arises when people mess up the second half of step 3. But coming back after being indefinitely blocked literally could not be made any easier, unless we just stopped blocking anybody ever. I'm not sure THAT would work too well. --Jayron32 21:11, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I think what may have been overlooked in the above discussion is the distinction between an indef block and a ban such as a community ban. Even though the blocking policy states "Only in extreme cases would there be no administrator who is willing to lift the block, which would effectively make the uncooperative editor banned by the community.", more often that not, indef blocks do seem to be treated as defacto bans. Perhaps in many cases this is not an issue, but DontClickMeName may have a point in that indef blocking someone for something more "minor" and subsequently refusing any appeals they make may lead to them giving up trying to make any sort of positive contributions and later becoming a larger problem for the community.

At the same time, if someone is genuinely not here to be productive, then the distinction between an indef block and a ban probably doesn't matter too much. If an editor is blatant in their actions in that they are mainly be here as a vandal, to be disruptive, or to bully, harass, and/or troll others, the distinction between an indef block and a ban is really moot. On the other hand, there are individuals who have been much more inconspicuous while bullying and harassing other editors, which would really be more of a concern when making a distinction between an indef block and a ban. It seems to be relatively easy for such individuals to slip under the radar and on the surface look productive, while still being a net drain on the project and harming the morale of a large number of editors.

A high edit count is also never indicative of how productive an editor someone is because of how easy it is to make massive numbers of edits using automated or semi-automated tools, Take for example the User:Mhiji sockpuppet that racked up 28,077 edits in 4 months (October 16, 2010 - January, 16 2011) using a modified AWB (note) and scripts. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:52, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. There are two types of disruptive users as you say. There are the people who see their opponents they lose arguments to, synonymously with Wikipedia as a whole, and there are people with genuinely unwanted intentions (ie. paid editors and Herostratus-vandals), and it is impossible to tell with any solid degree of certainty between them. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 03:55, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree that there is a big problem here. Beeblebrox is wrong that in all cases you have to be really disruptive before you are banned. Where it goes wrong is when someone is first topic banned from too broad a range of topics. On Wikipedia we've had a case where a former climate scientist is banned from all articles relating to climate science, even though his problematic behaviour was restricted to dealing woith really disruptive sceptics on pages that are about the political aspects of climate science.

He came very close to being site banned, because it was very hard for him not to point notifications about vandalized climate science articles (that vandalization had taken place was not controversial). Beeblebrox, however, saw that as a violation of his restriction and he was blocked for two weeks. In this case, one has to consider that the editor in question has been isntrumental in writing many of the core articles on climate science since 2003.

In another case, we had an editor who was too dominant with wrong ideas on a particular physics article. That editor had done enormous amounts of good work on other physics articles (e.g classical mechanics). Yet, he was topic banned from all physics articles, because he was judged to be some physics crank. In reality he is an engineering professor. Then, what happened was that the dispute about his topic ban escalated for trivial reasons. You essentially got into a dispute about the letter of the restrictions, nothing at all about the core issue that led to the real problem. Eventually he was banned, because he was never free to edit without being hevily scrutinized by a army of Wiki-Pedants.

In yet another case, a physics expert spoke out on behalf of the editor in the above case. He was then attacked for speaking out, and ArbCom passed a motion (without having any case, so he could not defend himself there), in which he was put under a gag order. He could not accept that. He simply violated his gag order and was indefinitely banned from Wikipedia. This editor had done a lot of good work on theoretical physics subjects, but the meaningless conflict about sticking to stupid rules that have nothing whatsoever to do with editing Wikipedia led to his departure. Count Iblis (talk) 03:23, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

As this discussion is becoming long, let me sum up my reasons:

  • Allowing banned users in discussion and votes doesn't do any damage, as the purpose of bans is to prevent certain users from farther disruption against the consensus's wishes, and not to restrain them from taking part in a consensus.
  • Allowing banned users to have a public appeal page doesn't do any damage because the page will be like invisible to people who don't want to see them, and anything they say there is just as harmless as what they may mumble to themselves at home.
  • People who get banned from Wikipedia maybe disruptive due to a series of events, such as having a bad day, losing arguments, eventually frustratedly receding to edit warring, and getting a egoistic warning "please avoid making more than three reverts as the execution of such discord is abruptively disruptive to our professionalist environemt and ruining the atmosphere for the more contributative editors. Continued failure to adhere to [WP:3RR] will result with increasingly severe consequences, therefore you shall better off take this as your last warning. PS: haha look @ meh im apear soo much moar civileyezd then u bwahahaha" (Well the last part of such a warning would not be written, but anybody in a such frustrated position will tend to see it implied.) This would result in argument with the administrator, and other administrators join with the first, as most, (actually all) people/admins wont be able to understand, or would forget to understand in time, such a user's frustration. As the user sees the confused administrators with a worse and worse light for no apparent reason to the admins, rampant arguments and disruption will inevitably repeat, obviously leading to a ban...
  • ...having a public appeal page will allow ordinary Wikipedia users to chat with the banned individual, allowing him/her to eventually see that normal Wikipedia editors have no problems against him/her, and that turning back to contribute to Wikipedia doesn't conflate with crawling back towards the users who approved of the ban and implying "zomg u were rite all alon i wuz everythn bad u said i wuz wahhh". Over time this could make a banned editor to change his/her mind and come back to contribute.
  • Public appeals are different than formal appeals as the user can come anytime with no deadline, pages arn't achieved (but may instead be linked to separate open pages when too long), and the page is easily findable by ordinary editors who want to find it (disclaimers may be necessary).
  • Allowing banned users to change their minds doesn't not mean unbanning all of them. Formal appeals may still be required after public appeals ultimately succeed.
  • Banned users may be denied this access if they violate privacy and copyright repeatedly, not because I say so but to prevent Wikipedia from getting sued.
  • This might not work, but considering the benefits, it is really not worth just trying for say, a few weeks? There isn't anything obvious to lose.
  • Even if you disagree with allowing them to join discussion and votes which may affect you, there's still nothing wrong with a public appeal page.

DontClickMeName talkcontributations 04:01, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Repeatedly asserting that "there is nothing wrong with a public appeal page" doesn't actually make it true. Several people above have provided several counterarguements to show where operating such a page would run against the core mission of Wikipedia, and yet your response is "Yeah, but what harm can it do." There's lots of things we could allow at Wikipedia which could be argued do no harm (why not set up an area where members can play online games at Wikipedia? It does no harm. Why not allow Wikipedia to become a free picture hosting service? It does no harm.) The harm is does is distract from the mission of the Encyclopedia. That you assert that it will not does not mean that it will not. Your concern seems to be that people who have been banned cannot continue to contribute; and when faced with options by which they can (ArbCom, user talk pages, ANI, starting a new account and behaving onesself) you ignore all of these, and it seems that your sole rationale for your "public banned users bulletin board" is "c'mon guys, lets just try it, what harm can it cause?" The harm it causes is that it distracts from the mission of Wikipedia. --Jayron32 05:39, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I know most people won't be willing to use themselves or their experiences as examples for stuff like this, but I have a well-documented real world example which helps show the flaws in the system. I was blocked for 18 days [5] after I made the mistake of venting my frustrations by ranting at Sandstein via email [6] over on-wiki and off-wiki harassment [7] and attempts by Theserialcomma to track down my personal information. My appeal attempts were denied and ignored, [8] until I finally got frustrated with the normal process and contacted an administrator with WP:MEDCAB/WP:MEDCOM and asked him to review the mess. This isn't how the process is supposed to work and most editors would not have been able to use an alternative means to get such a mess reviewed. Having been in this position, I can certainly understand how other editors who might find themselves in this position could "turn to the dark side".

In the case of Theserialcomma, he continued to make personal attacks on-wiki, eventually leading to him being indef blocked [9] (more information, see also: AN/I discussion) and has since continued to sockpuppet and harass other editors. [10] [11] Back in November-December 2010 I sent a rather large amount of material directly to the functionaries list regarding this person's long term sockpuppetry and harassment behaviours, which I could document going back to at least 2006. Based strictly on the contribution histories of his many accounts, he seems to have been a net drain on the project with little in the way of positive contributions. His main focus seems to have been to pick editors which he thought he could bully or harass and do so until they would finally stop editing Wikipedia entirely. I've not yet had the time to finish drafting a proper WP:LTA entry for this individual and take it to WP:AN for a community ban, but here are two of his many accounts: [12] [13] Comparison: [14] Comparison with more of his IPs: [15] A few more: [16] [17] [18] If anyone would like more information or would like to help draft the WP:LTA entry, I can be reached via email. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:08, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for such a rare honest comment. I know it is for beyond ordinary people's comfortable zone just to say they've been banned, mainly because being banned implies making mistakes most people don't make, despite how the right conditions can, yes, lead normal people into the "dark side." You certainly know much more about the people in Wikipedia than I could ever learn about (and remember lol). @ User:Jayron32, ArbCom isn't editing any articles and making any contributions either, why should it be in Wikipedia? Because it makes Wikipedia better. Resolves issues. Same thing goes with such a page. It allows banned editors back, and reduces the number of people with grudges against Wikipedia. People with grudges against Wikipedia will always be ale to do damage regardless of how we try to prevent it. Mankind had always dreamed of developing a system, inventing a procedure, or building a contraption which would make any hate against the builder futile. But it never happens. People who hate will always have their ways, and no such contraption will ever work. We have to instead spend at least some effort on reducing the number of people who opposes us. No one wants to consider the interests of other people. But we need to. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 18:26, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, for most people discussing blocks and harassment would be very much out of their comfort zone. After the stuff I put up with (and the fallout from doing so, including a lot of off-wiki non-Wikipedia things which happened due to the actions of this individual) I find it helpful to discuss what I went through. By pointing out what happened and where things broke down, others are able to gain more insight and learn from my experience, which will hopefully lead to improving policy to be able to better deal with such things in the future. No one should ever have to go through what I went through. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:09, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Somehow everyone assumes either the admin bans random people for no reason or that random people try to get banned for no reason. Both possibilities are, well frankly, absurd. No one really need to do anything outside of social morals and norms to result in a ban. We'll all assume someone has do do something really bad (ie. the stuff you believe you'd never do) in order for such a strong hostile complication to emerge. But things don't work that conveniently, and any two normal people can accumulate horrible grudges against each other under various conditions. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 09:38, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm still not sure you understand the difference between a block and a ban. A single admin cannot ban anyone, with the exception of Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs). Bans are placed either as the result of a community discussion at WP:ANI or elsewhere, or by WP:ARBCOM. Blocks are the technical means of enforcing a ban and are by definition done by a particular admin, but a block is not the same thing as a ban. I'm sure any admin who has experience with vandal fighting can tell you about encountering users who do in fact deliberately get blocked, again and again again. Why? That's more of a grey area. Usually they seem to be trying to make a point about how they can evade the block, which is a stupid point to try and make because it just leads to them getting blocked again, but there are also people out there who just seem to get off on getting their accounts blocked. One day a research psychologist will finally investigate the world of Wikipedia trolls and WP:LTA cases and explain it to us. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:32, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I admit I wasn't born in Wikipedia, but ArbCom isn't radically different from admins concerning this case, and ArbCom generally doesn't systematically go to great lengths trying to understand people's frustration either. Do people get banned on purpose? Well of course we'll assume so, if we know that we are not irrational, and believe that if people don't get banned on purpose we must be the ones being irrational. Unfortunately, the latter is incorrect. Conflict does not imply irrationality. DontClickMeName talkcontributations 03:11, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Nobody watching Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (trademarks)?

I posted a question there; the policy needs clarification. Over two weeks, no reply. I want to advertise the issue wider before I go and change the policy page myself. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:13, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

"Wrestling" as reality

Can anyone point me to any formal policies on Wikipedia regarding the use of "professional wrestling" storylines as reality? An example of what I'm talking about is in John_and_Lorena_Bobbitt#Life_after_the_incident where it mentions a wrestler by the name of Val Venis nearly having his penis cut off. It wasn't, to my knowledge, actor Sean Morley (who portrays the character Val Venis, among others) who nearly suffered amputation, it was a plotline involing the character he portrays. I've seen this in several articles, where "professional wrestling" (note quotation marks) is referenced as if it was a sport, and as if it was real. It makes as much sense as referencing soap opera characters as historical figures, since "professional wrestling" is essentially homoerotic soap opera for people with poor education and brief attention spans. SmashTheState (talk) 10:39, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

It should fall under WP:INUNIVERSE, no? ScottSteiner 10:40, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe a "See also:[[Kayfabe]]" might be useful? Corvus cornixtalk 18:26, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
That pro wrestling is fictional should be made apparent in the article; any such storyline references belong with other references in fiction. That said, the entire first post is insulting, uncivil, and inaccurate, and I'd advise SmashTheState to cut it out. oknazevad (talk) 18:34, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Potential conflict between WP:ERA and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Judaism/Manual_Of_Style#Gregorian-Calendar_Dates

Hy there, I'm unsure if this is the proper place to place this issue but here it goes:

I'm honestly confused. Does the Wikiproject claim all "Jewish subjects/articles" as falling under its "jurisdiction"? Who defines exactly what is a "Jewish subject"? What's stronger, WP:ERA or Wikipedia:WikiProject_Judaism/Manual_Of_Style#Gregorian-Calendar_Dates? And last but not least: what the hell are we supposed to do if a subject is listed under various Wikiprojects? Flamarande (talk) 07:48, 17 April 2011 (UTC) PS: If this is not the proper place to ask these questions I would be much obliged if someone indicted me to the proper place. Thanks.
The argument you saw was that WP:CON, being a policy, was stronger than WP:ERA, which is a guideline. It's not a matter of one MOS being stronger than another. WP:WikiProject_Judaism/Manual_Of_Style#Gregorian-Calendar_Dates was given as the substantial reason that WP:ERA mentions, so that there is both a substantial reason & a consensus for change.--JimWae (talk) 09:08, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
How can a policy of a ethnic/religous Wikiproject be stronger than an unversal Wiki guideline? IF the Cristian Wikiproject had a similar BC/AD policy concering "Christian subjects" and an article falls under the juridction of two rival religious Wikiprojects which one wins? I also resent your stalking and I challenge your impartiality in this matter. Will you please leave me the freedom to ask impartial advice? Thanks. Flamarande (talk) 09:18, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
This page has been on my watch-list for a long time. I am free to comment here. As you presented the issue, it did not involve any policy & would be somewhat off-topic here. You aren't "getting it" -- but I'll let others try to explain. --JimWae (talk) 09:37, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't see a conflict. wp:ERA does not express a preference for either system, it just tells you to be consistent within the article and don't change it on a whim. If several editors had a discussion about it and decided to use a single style for Jewish articles there is absolutely no problem with that. If guidelines between different projects conflict those projects should resolve it among them, with the established style being preserved until consensus is reached to change it. Yoenit (talk) 09:50, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I see. I have updated WP:ERA accordingly. This will hopefully avoid potential misunderstandings which would lead to revert-wars, unneeded debates, and unecessary conflicts. Flamarande (talk) 12:55, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Just another plug for Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide#Advice_pages. This is not an uncommon problem with {{Wikiproject style advice}} pages. They should not directly conflict with the site-wide advice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:19, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

A discussion about child protection

(cross-post from my RfA)

At a recent ANI thread, I redacted multiple comments about an editor's age; this action was met with criticism from an editor who repeatedly demanded to see the policy justification for this (the standard practice is currently not written in policy AFAIK). I was one of multiple editors who tried to explain to them that it was standard practice to censor the ages of underage editors; I did so using essays which explained the current practice (and that common sense should win the day), but this did not satisfy them. I soon backed off from this particular incident, feeling comfortable that they would eventually understand; Department of Redundancy Department (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) made it clear that even though it is an essay, Wikipedia:Protecting children's privacy accurately describes the standard practice in such situations; while Aiken drum (talk · contribs) pointed them to an actual policy. I should note, though, that Wikipedia needs a far better child protection policy. Children on the Internet need protection from more than pedophiles; if we have a standard practice to censor the ages of self-disclosed minors, then that should be included in the policy as well.

(end cross-post)

So basically, Wikipedia:Protecting children's privacy would make a child protection policy just as good as Wikipedia:Child protection, if not better; yes, protecting children from pedophilia is highly important, but they need to be kept safe from other things as well. The former page describes protecting children from more than pedophilia; like I said, if we have a standard practice to protect children's privacy, than that should be policy; as I understand it, it's effectively policy already, since it came from an arbitration ruling. Does anyone support making Wikipedia:Protecting children's privacy official policy, or perhaps merging its contents into Wikipedia:Child protection? --Dylan620 (I'm all ears) 16:01, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

I think the application of the essay to redact an editor's age, when it had been self disclosed, and where there is not additional personal information revealed, is not appropriate. Absent the additional personal information or a way to contact the underage editor off wiki, I think there is little risk from just the editor's age being known. While it is important to protect children, we need to weigh that against importance of not censoring. I fear that adoption of this essay will result in excessive censorship without compelling reason. I would ask that before it be adopted as a policy, it is made clear that, without a request from the underage editor, age related information should not be censored proactively. Warning them of the inadvisability, while I think overblown, is still fine. Obviously if there is a reason to believe a particular instance of revealing age is especially risky it would be acceptable to remove it, but that means more then just someone under age revealing their age. Furthermore, while age should not generally be a factor in any policy discussion related to an underage editor, there are certainly times where the specific age will inform the response and should be appropriately considered. Monty845 16:57, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the people fussing about it "only" being an essay should be sent to Wikipedia:The difference between policies, guidelines and essays. If this is what we normally do or recommend, then this is what we normally do or recommend, no matter what the label at the top of the advice page is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure we do have "a standard practice to censor the ages of self-disclosed minors". A 17 year old is a minor. If someone writes on their user page that they are 17 years old, and nothing else, I very much doubt that anyone is going to storm in there to suppress that information. On the other hand, if they write that they are 17 years old, give their full name and the school they attend, then someone might well suppress some or all of that - but others might not bother. There isn't really a hard and fast rule, but a lot of common sense comes into play. It is commonplace to remove, and sometimes suppress, information posted by minors or about minors that might not be in their interests. Challenges to such removal are counterproductive. (There's another essay somewhere about frivolous challenges to removal of material, but I still can't find it.) I'm personally not convinced that removal of personal information from a userpage really qualifies as "excessive censorship" - we can apparently require people to remove aspects of their political views from their userpages, and that's far closer to censorship. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:43, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I concur with Demiurge, As I am aware there is no standard practice - we treat every situation on it's individual merits. I would strongly oppose elevating that essay to policy status as there is no consensus that it documents anything accurately. There have been many attempts to write a policy in this area (check the talkpages of the essay and policy pages for links to some of it, including an arbitration case) going back at least as long as I've been active on the project (since December 2004). Most of them have run into the same problems trying to define what is meant by terms such as "child", "minor", "inappropriate" and "identifying information". Thryduulf (talk) 21:12, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what American or other national laws Wikipedia follows or volunteers to abide by. To me it's simple. Anything regarding the personal information of someone 13 or younger needs to be oversighted, including their age (as well as name, address, school, and so on.) What I'd prefer to do personally is increase that threshold to 15, as that would cover most all of the middle school age students. Once you start getting into high school, it becomes more of a gray area in my opinion. Not that high schoolers are known for it, but that becomes the time when rational choices about privacy and identity become more of an expectation. Should there be a policy? Yes, but it should be a bar that is set high enough as to be useful but that does not tie the hands of admins when dealing with people that are slightly older than that policy covers. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:30, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Go ahead and propose that if you want, but I wouldn't bet on you gaining consensus. The problem is that there are too many exceptions, for example it is not unusual for students to want to edit the article about the school they attend and, should the situation warrant, it might be prudent for them to declare their connection with the school (just as we would ask other editors to declare potential conflicts of interest). If we had your proposed policy we would be required to oversight this information. Also you would need to define to what level of address you think it inappropriate to go beyond - I presume you would be OK with a 13 year old saying they are from - London? Newham? East Ham? maybe that's OK as East Ham is still a big area, but what about North Woolwich or Birkby? They're all the same hierarchical level but vastly different sizes. Now try and apply that world wide. Then try objectively explaining why 13 is such a bright line that applies to every child in every culture in the world. Good luck. Thryduulf (talk) 23:07, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Someone's age is not nearly relevant or personal enough to start editing their posts. Wikipedia is not a child protection service, and amateurs shouldn't be trying to engage in child protection attempts with Wikipedia policies. If you believe it is a serious issue then contact the foundation and have them get some experts to give them some reliable guidelines for what is safe and not safe for a Wikipedia editor to post about themselves.AerobicFox (talk) 23:56, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Would that be considered sandbox vandalism?

Would it be considered vandalism to add something like #REDIRECT [[Bla]] to WP:SANDBOX? Not that I want to do it, because that would be really pointless. Could that get a user blocked? Is there a policy that covers such an edit? Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 12:58, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

A redirect does appear to be a bit disruptive, but its best to assume Good faith and remove the redirect. The sandbox is for experimenting and the user may not have known what would happen.--JOJ Hutton 13:09, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
When I see a user redirect the sandbox, I usually revert their edit but also leave them a note to let them know that they'd formatted the redirect correctly, but were reverted so that the target article wouldn't become the accidental target of test edits by those thinking they were still at the sandbox. If they repeatedly redirect and ignore messages to their talk page, I'd eventually give escalating warnings and expect a block for being deliberately disruptive though. --OnoremDil 13:20, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok thanks. An edit notice could be added to the sandbox discouraging users from redirecting the Sandbox. Just an idea. Not sure if this is really woth any effort. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 13:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
That sounds rather beansy. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:36, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah right. It might do more harm than good, and the people like us who know how it works most likely know how to undo it. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 13:44, 19 April 2011 (UTC)


Historical topics are, in their own way, somewhat similar to our Verifiability policy. When historians say something, they say so (or should say so) based on primary sources, such as documents, government or institution records, press of the time, personal mails or memoirs, laws or decrees, quotes, etc. Of course, the interpretation of primary sources is not lineal, and historians may sometimes disagree in some things (primary sources may be incomplete, inaccurate, contradictory with other sources, taken out of context, extrapolated beyond what they can actually verify, biased, or even forged); but in the end, all of them must cite their sources.

But sometimes, a history book may say something and do not cite any source for that. It may be a divulgative work rather than the result of an actual historical research, the historian may have focused his work at some other details, or may use an argument from authority ("this is so, because I say so"), an appeal to tradition ("this is so, because it has always been assumed to be so"), or may also use Ad hominem ("X was said by Y, Y is of questionable reputation, therefore X must be false"), an appeal to novelty ("this has always been assumed to be so, therefore it must be incorrect") or other logical fallacies.

My question is, if we have a reliable source that says X and cites sources to justify X, and another reliable source that says Y and doesn't cite anything to justify Y, should we describe a dispute between X and Y, or just mention X? Cambalachero (talk) 23:07, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

It likely depends on the perception of being an expert in the field between X and Y. If X is an expert, and Y is a nobody, then yes, that point is trivial. If X and Y are both regarded as equals, then both viewpoints should be discussed neutrally. -MASEM (t) 23:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Is there a specific situation you have in mind, or is this just general? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:53, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
What to do when one editor says his source is an expert, and the other guy's expert is "fringe"? This, by the way, appears to be the rule and not the exception in some areas. Collect (talk) 23:55, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
In my experience, the answer to your question is "yes." That is, sometimes the text of the article should describe the discrepancy (not "dispute") between X and Y, sometimes the text should mention X but a footnote should describe what the other source says, and sometimes the article should just mention X. It depends on the nature of the topic that the sources disagree on, as well as the credibility of the two sources. --Orlady (talk) 00:17, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
This isn't a question on any specific topic. The problem is that the historiography of Argentina is a bit particular: when it was first written in the late XIX century, it worked upon a number of postulations, taken as truth "as is", and in the XX century it gets divided into those who repeat the original postulations, by tradition, and historians that find many primary sources that contest those initial postulations. For example, one of those postulations was that the people involved in the historical period that made Argentina independent from Spain were separatist from the very begining. New evidence points that they initially wanted to replace the absolute monarchy with a constitutional monarchy, but remaining Spanish, and that the idea of independence grew with time and influenced by the ongoing developments. So, we have: a mainstream idea, based in tradition, and a "revisionist" idea, based on specific primary sources cited by the authors, which also have academic recognitions (not an easy case of expert vs. perfect stranger, and yes, I have read many authors from both sides). If I chose by the evidence each one gives to justify their claims, as I was reviewing the verifiability of a wikipedia article, I would go for the modern view, but the other is still traditional and mainstream, so I can't simply put it aside either Cambalachero (talk) 03:57, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Certainly you can't be the first to note the discrepency between the two schools of thought in Argentinian history. Likely, some reliable scholar has stated the discrepency between the two schools, and has explained the source of the discrepency, exactly like you have above. What is wrong with citing that scholar in attempting to show the situation as it exists? --Jayron32 04:28, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
On the general question: There is no requirement that our sources name their sources. It might occasionally (rarely?) be discussed as one factor among many in determining the relative merits between a variety of sources, but the fact is that we don't treat our sources like children in a mathematics class: they don't need to "show their work" for us to accept them as reliable. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:51, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Although not "showing their work" may make the source less reliable for a particular point, depending on the context. Reliability of a source is not absolute or uniform. The phrasing of statements can accommodate such issues via WP:INTEXT attribution, e.g. "An unnamed official cited by CNN ..." Tijfo098 (talk) 11:04, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  • You need a historiography section in your article which is sourced from the historiographical chapters (usually the introductions of monographs or edited collections) or from historiographic journal articles, often called "Historiographical debates in Argentina" or "Review Article: Argentinan Independence." This will allow you to correctly weight which interpretive tradition is current scholarly consensus, although, you ought to mention the previous historiographical consensuses as well. See Documentary hypothesis which related to biblical text analysis and discusses a number of competing interpretive traditions. (talk) 03:21, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

AFD consensus keeps of non-notable articles

Rough consensus establishes that a "keep" consensus at AFD cannot not prevent the deletion of an article which clearly violates one of the core policies of verifiability, neutral point of view, no original research, copyright, and biographies of living persons. Wikipedia:Deletion_process#Consensus reflects this and appears to expand on it, saying:

"Outcomes should reflect the rough consensus reached in the deletion discussion and community consensus on a wider scale. (While consensus can change, consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale.)"

The notability guideline was adopted by community consensus on a wide scale. Does this mean that articles which are clearly non-notable under the notability guideline cannot be retained by community consensus at AFD? Regards, TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 16:11, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

There's a difference between consensus to keep something not notable, and the community interpreting the notability guidelines in a way that someone may disagree with. In a well participated in AFD I have trouble coming up with an example that is enough of the former (and not the latter) that it would justify overriding consensus.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:25, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't think there's an easy answer to that question. In theory, yes, an article which clearly violates our core policies should be deleted, regardless of consensus at AFD. However that's more problematic when it comes to notability - it seems hard to say that an article has 'clearly violated' the notability guideline when the AFD ended in 'no consensus'. Bear in mind also that notability is technically just a guideline, not a policy, which means it doesn't need to be followed as strictly. So, I'd advise admins against trying to 'enforce the notability rules' on an article over a lack of community consensus. Robofish (talk) 16:26, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
The question on whenever there should be a notability guideline, and the question on whenever a specific article violates it or not, are different ones. Someone who proposes to keep an article marked as non-notable is not opposing the existence of the notability guideline, but just the specific use made with it. Have in mind as well that the question on whenever something violates a policy or not is rarely a question of a boolean "true / false" answer, nor policies or guidelines set such rigid instructions. Most answers depend on our interpretation of how to apply the rules to a given case, so, consensus is the answer.
Here's the deal with notability that everyone seems to forget. All that matters in keeping an article is that it contains enough information which is verifiable to neutral and reliable sources. That's it. Notability is a shorthand for verifiable + neutral + reliable, in the sense that self-published sources aren't neutral. The core problem is that people want to write articles about subjects, and there's no way to fill up an encyclopedia article of any reasonable length based on the amount of reliable writing that exists out in the world about that subject. As a result, sometimes articles about a subject which meet some sort of checklist end up being deleted. For example, sometimes a notability guidelines states that participation in such-and-such an event may be a sign that someone may be notable, then people take that to mean that every single person who has that on their resume gets an article. But if there is nothing at all to write about, why even have an article? Conversely, sometimes there are subjects don't seem to meet any of the individualized notability guidelines, and yet there is copious, reliable source material in existance about that subject. It gets an article. The notability guidelines, even WP:GNG, are mainly about giving us cues on things that might be good subjects for stand alone articles. They do not guarantee that, however, and sometimes investigation of sources and open discussion is required to decide if it is "enough". That's why consensus is key, blindly adhering to the checklists at the notability guidelines would cause us to delete articles for which there is enough good source material to write a really good article, AND cause us to keep articles about subjects for which there isn't enough source material to fill a paragraph of text, never mind write a decent article about. --Jayron32 20:32, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Not everyone forgets this, many people disagree with your interpretation. E.g. census information is verifiable, neutral and reliable, but it doesn't count towards notability one bit. The information has to be non-routine (so not census information, or other large databases of rather indiscriminate information), published by independent sources (which is more strict than just not being self-published), and with significant attention for the subject of the article (so a passing mention in an otherwise non-routine report doesn't count either). If person X is mentioned in 10 articles over a period of three years as "spokesperson of company Y", then you can write an article on person X with census information, perhaps school information, and the fact that he was the spokesperson for company Y for at least that period. If nothing more is available for person X, then such an article should be deleted (borderline A7 speedy, actually). Fram (talk) 11:07, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
See where I previously bolded the word "enough"? That bolding implied an emphasis on that word. Reread my explanation with the bolded word again. See if I didn't pre-agree with your statements; that is your response to my statements, which I presume means you disagree with what I said, has no statement which is contradictory to what I said. In fact, I agree with you 100%, and I thank you for providing additional support for my already stated position. --Jayron32 12:28, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion, if there is a strong consensus at the AFD to keep a non notable article, and there are no special considerations (like BLP), then IAR says it gets kept. If there is a question about canvasing, or we are talking about a BLP where there is a countervailing consideration opposite community consensus, then I think we can trust the closing admin to delete the article even if the !votes say keep. Monty845 05:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Best regards, TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 13:46, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  • "community consensus at AFD" is a misnomer. In all but the most widely advertised Afds (i.e. not ones that pop up at ANI, the troll site, or Jimbo's talk page), you'll find that the 'consensus' is of, at best, the people who were looking for the article to actually read it (and so obviously inherently biased), or those who have been brought to it by 'neutral' notices to Wikiprojects (whose members are as a body, whatever anyone claims, always going to have an inherent inclusiveness for their chosen topic of interest) and at worst, people actively mobilised to participate (who are just obviously biased). It rather depends on the cluefullness of the closing admin in all those cases to judge how representative of the community, and its community wide accepted concepts like GNG, EVENT, NOT, that the specific Afd consensus actually is. And sadly, there are plenty of them that truly suck at that, and more often than not are not backward in coming forward as to their complete infallability (and once the inevitable response comes, you can forget about DRV on that score too, it's a total waste of time frankly). In essence, Afd is very much a lottery, and is influenced as much by who closes it, as to the actual debate. It's one of the urgent things that really needs fixing here. MickMacNee (talk) 14:45, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
It's ironic that the biggest possible decision regarding an article (whether to delete or keep the entire article) is the only decision that is made by just one person, and that is anyone from the admin list. And one of the more complex decisions at that, invoking (for starters) wp:gng and all of the sng's. This is not a comment on the individuals, it's a comment on the situation that they are put into. North8000 (talk) 16:35, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Since notability is so subjective (Medal of Honor recipients may be important to me and not others while I couldn't care less if we deleted all the Soccer player articles) I prefer to look at it from the standpoint of available references in addition to establishing notability. We have established certain criteria (more of a guideline than a hard rule) through community consensus that established whether an article is notable or not but in some cases there is a gray area. When the article falls into the gray zone, as long as there are ample references I would usually say keep it. I personally think that too many people are too wrapped up in the whole is an article notable or not. Just my opinion though. --Kumioko (talk) 18:45, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The bracketed text in the policy on wider scale consensus makes no sense. AFD is the vehicle by which wikipedia policies on deletion are applied to a specific case. By policies, I mean all policies which result from a community consensus, of which written policies ('policies', guidelines, etc) are a small part (unwritten policies include for example that as a result of a RFC, self-electing groups are effectively banned unless consensus exists for permitting one), consensus developed in the consideration of specific cases can also participate in the formation of a policy. The AFD closer should determine if there is consensus that according to wikipedia policies, weighted accordingly in their application to the current case, the article should be deleted (or some alternative). It could be that consensus is wrong in its application of policy but it makes absolutely no sense to say that "consensus violated policy", since consensus determines how policy applies, it may be that "consensus misapplied policy", but certainly not "violated policy" or "override policy". It's like saying that a court whose ruling has been overturned by a higher court "violated the law", it makes no sense. As for the notability guideline, it is one of the many policies that are relevant in their application to deletion of an article, it cannot alone control the outcome of an AFD. In response to your question, it would be interesting to find an AFD where consensus was reached that the article didn't meet the notability guidelines but consensus was not reached for deletion; I doubt that many, if any, exist. Cenarium (talk) 23:59, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it's helpful to look at the other side of the coin here. When WP:N and other guidelines are clearly met, can/should we IAR delete an article? I think "Michelle Obama's hair" or somesuch was a case where WP:N was clearly met but clear (and reasonable IMO) consensus was that we shouldn't have an article. The point I'm shooting for is that consensous can, and should, override guidelines from time-to-time. We shouldn't be mob rule (we are not a democracy) nor should we be a slave to the rules (we are not a bureaucracy). Rather we should hem to the the rules unless we get a clear consensus we should not, in which case we should ignore the rules. I see too many articles that do meet our inclusion guidelines get deleted because people somehow forget that WP:N is a two-way street. We should generally keep articles that meet our inclusion guidelines and we should generally delete those that don't. But there are, and should be, fairly rare exceptions to both. Hobit (talk) 21:48, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Michelle Obama's arms is the discussion you have in mind. LadyofShalott 22:12, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! :-) Hobit (talk) 00:57, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Let me offer a concrete example: WP:NALBUMS says that articles about music albums must be reliably sourced just like any other article. Let's say an completely unsourced article about an album is nominated in WP:AFD and just to make the party merrier, let's also say that no reliable sources exist. Nonetheless, the AFD discussion closes with 9 "keeps" from established, non-sock editors and no "deletes" other than the original nominator's. Is it the reviewing sysop's obligation to keep the article or delete it? Regards, TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 14:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

It's not a concrete example without understanding what reasoning these non-sock editors used, and for that matter, why no one came in to agree with the nominator if it was so clear cut.--Cube lurker (talk) 15:20, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it really depends. That's more a question of verifiability (a policy) than notability (a mere guideline); if there are actually no reliable sources in existence, then you can't write an article, period, because you can't actually verify any information. The problem is confirming that no reliable sources exist (and keep in mind that primary sources are sometimes reliable, for certain purposes at least). If there is a consensus to that effect, then it's an easy delete close, or if it's pretty clear that the keep !voters are just asserting or guessing, without foundation, that reliable sources exist but can't convincingly explain why. But if the keep !voters give a good, unrebuttted argument that reliable sources exist, even if they haven't presently been located and added to an article, then I would feel compelled to close it as keep, or at most, no consensus depending on how good their arguments were (and obviously the answer and analysis would be different if this were a BLP article). The standard is verifiable, not verfied. But you could then expect that if time goes by and no one finds anything where it was expected, that another AFD would be listed and more people are going to seriously doubt whether the subject is actually verifiable (but see WP:NOEFFORT). Bottom line, there's no reason to get overly worried about such a scenario because no decision we make here is permanent, and most editors are reasonable people. postdlf (talk) 15:56, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Found a URL that is not really the URL

Referring back to this question, there may be better sources for the information, but I encountered a problem on this web site. If you "click here for details" about Charlie Brown being inducted into the Beach Deejay Hall of Fame, you get sent to a new page with the same URL. For now, this may be the best I can do. How would the URL be identified? The issue is not whether the information is notable enough or the source reliable enough, but this is a sample of where one would not be able to use the URL as a link to the information.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:17, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

For the actual information, I found a source, so that's no longer a problem. But the page remains a sample of the larger problem.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
That example is actually solved quite easily. Right click the "read here for more details link" and select open in a new tab (or open in a new window). The adress should now show, which is a direct link to that page. Alternatively you could copy the link itself There are other websites were it is really not possible to deeplink, so in that case you should make a note how to find the subpage on the website in your reference. Yoenit (talk) 21:16, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Where do you select "open in a new tab"?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:11, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Wait, I remember. You have to right click to get that list.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:33, 20 April 2011 (UTC)


This MOS guideline says that As a rule of thumb, flag icons should not be used infoboxes, even when there is a "country", "nationality" or equivalent field: they are unnecessarily distracting and give undue prominence to one field among many.

Like all guidelines, there are exceptions, but the arguments usually begin when those exceptions try and get defined. My question is, what are the logical exceptions to this guideline? And how can the guideline be amended to either define these exceptions or at least remove the ambiguity of the phrase as a rule of thumb, to cut down on the exceptions being abused.--JOJ Hutton 23:11, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

I would argue that the policy should be stripped right back down and started again. There are times - say, in sports, or music, but particularly after natural disasters - when having both [[[country name]]] and [[[national flag]]] would help give the article an extra depth and helpful content. Readers who may be scanning the article or just want a quick jist of information (or, more importantly of course, those who may not speak or read particularly good English), would fine national flags more helpful. doktorb wordsdeeds 17:03, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Readers who scan was part of the MOS and removed as being baseless Gnevin (talk) 22:18, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Another part of MOSFLAG has been a slow-burning issue on lists of supercentenarians and other longevity claims as well, on whether or not to stick flags next to peoples names. MOSFLAG advises against it, but has the same defect as this section; a couple of us were thinking about starting an RfC, and it may be a good idea to do that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
If we start with the fact that some country/organization flags are copyrighted (obviously not all) and thus are non-free uses, then already widespread suggests to use flag icons as much as possible conflicts with the free mission policy. Also consider that the average reader is not going to be intimately familiar with the bulk of the national flags out there (if anything, most will likely recognize their country's flag and its neighbors, but likely little else), it is simply extraneous decoration when plaintext is much more understandable. --MASEM (t) 17:11, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
And it tends to lead to totally unnecessary nationalist disputes: For someone from Wales, use the Union Jack (British flag) or the Welsh flag? Or both? (Similarly for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.) This is a contentious matter for a number of British editors who are prepared to go through the entire encyclopedia changing lots of flags one way or the other, depending on whether they are happy with living in the United Kingdom or would rather have it fall apart. There are plenty of other corner cases such as Tibet.
An editor once added the modern Serbian flag (Republic of Serbia) to the biography of a guy who was born in the Principality of Serbia, which became the Kingdom of Serbia, became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which in turn became the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which then fell apart into several states including the Republic of Serbia. Should we add all those flags? Only the first? Only the last? The first and the last? What's the point of this silly exercise anyway?
Similarly: Do we really want 4-6 flags (Württemberg, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, United States) in the infobox of Albert Einstein? At some point he was stateless. What's the flag for that? Hans Adler 19:55, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Good points, though it would depend on context, I think. As noted above, in a sporting environment, the flag is most often used to denote the country a player represents. So, for the Welsh athlete above, in soccer/football, they would be considered a Welsh International, with that flag, while an Olympic athlete would be considered to be representing the United Kingdom, with the appropriate flag. In a normal, every day context, I certainly see how your Einstein example argues against such usage. Resolute 20:00, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I am not a fan of the addition of flags into any infobox, I don't think they add anything to the articles and despite MOSFLAG they are purely decorative and they are wide open to abuse as pointed out above by Adler Mo ainm~Talk 20:32, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I also am not a fan of them, finding them distracting or just plain pointless. The names of countries are normally far more recognisable than tiny versions of their flags anyway. OrangeDog (τε) 20:46, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes they are distracting, which leads to my question as to what are the exceptions to the guideline. As it is worded now, it leads to a tremendous amount of ambiguity, and as the flags are virtually striking to look at, they tend to get overused and abused quite often. A simple definition of what the exceptions are, should clear this up.--JOJ Hutton 00:09, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The English language publisher, magazine, network, and licensor fields of {{Infobox animanga}} are one common exception, in part because editors have not agree to a new standard on how to present the information without the flags or if the fields should be removed altogether in place of sourced prose. —Farix (t | c) 01:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Wording proposal Flag icons should only be inserted in the rare cases where they convey information that cannot be conveyed in text. They are disfavored and should, in most cases, be removed. Flag icons are visually distracting and lead to unnecessary disputes over issues tangential to the articles and lists to which the icons are affixed. David in DC (talk) 13:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like a great way to word the guideline, and I would be in favor of that.JOJ Hutton 14:21, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a great start but must be given wider coverage. I would like to ensure that sports events and (most) list articles are (largely) protected from any changes doktorb wordsdeeds 14:39, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Er, this is exactly the type of place where this rewrite and consensus above says we should remove them. They add nothing but noise to busy tables in the first place. --MASEM (t) 14:51, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. See no reason that sports events or anything to do with sports should be exempt. What does  United States say that United States does not? I can understand certain lists in an infobox, but only where the flags make the subject more clear,such as in military battle articles. As per this example:Normandy landings under Leaders and Commanders.--JOJ Hutton 15:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Are you telling me that a group of....three people will, in this section, completely rewrite the MOS on flag icons just like that? No sign-posting, no consensus, no wider comment across the project, nothing, just this one bit? I would like you to go to the FIFA World Cup articles and try removing the national flags, or the lists of Academy Award winners and try it there. doktorb wordsdeeds 17:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
This is the Village Pump. This is where policy and guideline issues are suppose to be discussed. This discussion is open and public. Anyone can participate. Most policies and guidelines decisions are usually determined by a small consensus of editors. A lot of people watch this page, so its fair to say that if anyone wanted to participate they are welcome to, but if they do not wish to, you can't make them.--JOJ Hutton 17:15, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the proposed text. I can really do without long, tedious discussions with nationalists who insist that Wales is a "sovereign" "nation" in the sense of MOSICON and that town twinning of course falls under the exception for sports in WP:MOSICON, as happened at WT:Manual of Style (icons)/Archive 8#Town-twinning and flags. (Anyway, these flags are currently drawing a lot of attention to the very, very minor aspect of town twinning in many city articles, and they are discouraging editors from reformatting the bullet lists as proper text -- something that the MOS otherwise recommends.) Hans Adler 17:28, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Please provide the diff/diffs to show where the nationalists insist that Wales is a "sovereign" "nation" at WT:Manual of Style (icons)/Archive 8#Town-twinning and flags. I couldn't find it. Thanks, Daicaregos (talk) 18:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Ouch, you are right! I misremembered and overstated this part. Several editors claimed that the UK is no longer fully sovereign and therefore the clear-cut rule to use only flags of sovereign states isn't so clear-cut anymore, so that we might arguably have to used the European flag instead of the Union Jack, and since we are not doing this we might just as well use the four subnational flags of the UK. I have struck "sovereign" and added "in the sense of MOSICON" in my above post. Thanks for alerting me to my mistake. Hans Adler 18:39, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Hans. I appreciate your honesty and that you took the time and trouble to check. Daicaregos (talk) 18:56, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I have signposted this discussion on the talk page of the MOS:FLAG, to at least get some coverage, and I would hope that everyone involved here would know of some specific editors who should be made aware of any significant changes being made without their knowledge. It cannot be just - it may be "the way things are done", but that's the excuse MPs made over the expenses scandal - that one person can change an entire MOS on a whim. This whole thing needs a FULL process - draft wording, amendments, discussion, vote, the lot. doktorb wordsdeeds 17:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

A case where flags are useful is in topics where we have many countries, and many people that represent one of all the countries. For example, {{Infobox military conflict}} (with combatants and commanders) or {{Infobox international football competition}} (with national teams and specific players) MBelgrano (talk) 18:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Military conflict makes sense, but not the international competition. There is nothing that  Canada says that Canada does not. Yet in a military conflict infobox, there are usually lists of commanders and the flags are used to differentiate which country the commanders come from, usually in lieu of the country name.--JOJ Hutton 18:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
You mean other than lists of competitors representing different nations. Which is exactly the same situation but without bloodshed. -DJSasso (talk) 18:34, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I think one flag in an infobox indicating the country involved is helpful in quick identification and not obtrusive. MOS:FLAG is too extreme IMHO and should be toned down. --Bermicourt (talk) 18:43, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I would agree with that, the whole point of the infobox is to get a summery of the most important information quickly. And in a number of areas, the most important information involves a country. Flags help with that goal, and are not nearly as obtrusive as some would have you believe. -DJSasso (talk) 18:45, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I am still not convinced what a flag adds to an infobox. As stated above what does  United States say that United States does not? Also just to be pedantic Hans the UK doesn't have 4 sub national flags it has 3 as Northern Ireland do not have a flag. Mo ainm~Talk 18:51, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
You mean other than the fact that symbols are understood by people generally far faster than words are and are often more universal? Of course not everyone knows every countries flag but I would suggest they know a great many, more than just theirs and their neighbours as is suggested above. -DJSasso (talk) 18:53, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I'm not saying that they aren't/haven't been overused, but they can be a very useful shorthand. Daicaregos (talk) 18:58, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
They do exactly what the guideline says they do. They draw undue attention to that part of the infobox. Without the flags, the reader gets the same information.--JOJ Hutton 19:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
And sometimes, often even, that attention isn't undue. Sometimes the reader should be drawn to that part of the infobox. -DJSasso (talk) 19:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Doktorb amendment to Wording Proposal Wording proposal "Flag icons should only be inserted in those rare cases where they convey additional or complimentary information in addition to the that cannot be conveyed in text. They are disfavored in navigation boxes and should, in most cases, be subject to discussion on their use on an case-by-case basis rather than simply removed. Flag icons can be accepted as alternatives to bullet points, and draw readers attention to specific content, acting too as a shorthand tool. Flag icons are visually distracting and lead to unnecessary disputes when over-used or used counter to WP:POINT over issues tangential to the articles and lists to which the icons are affixed. doktorb wordsdeeds 18:58, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

That is much better wording in my opinion. I agree over using them is bad, but there are a number of cases where they are quite useful. -DJSasso (talk) 19:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I know they look nice, and there are a few exceptions, which is why that part of the guideline was worded in that way. Hard to justify using them when the country name is listed right next to the flag. The reader gets the information without the flag just as well without the flag. In the case of using them in military battle info boxes, the flag seems to be used in lieu of the country name, and is an example of where using only the country name would overwhelm the info box. In most international sports events, their is usually a list of countries within the text of the article, that use the flags. That is where they are appropriate, but not in the infobox. Even when the flag appears to be indicating the host country or the winner of the event. Just stating the country name does the trick.--JOJ Hutton 19:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Same as with the commanders, the infobox list people as well as countries, and it is important to know which country do they represent. In this case, "[flag] Name" is shorter and clearer than "Name (country name)" MBelgrano (talk) 19:52, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Could you provide an example of an article in which are referring to? Because I'm not quite sure what you are trying to convey.--JOJ Hutton 19:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I think this is a perfect way of wording it. It lines out the reasons to make exceptions, rather than simply listing a few cases. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Not a fan of this version as it doesn't define anything. It still leaves open the ambiguity of their use and misuse, and basically allowing people to coninue to use any reason for having them in the info box, akin to I think their pretty, so they should stay.--JOJ Hutton 20:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Whereas you would prescribe "They don't look pretty at all, they should go". I concede that my amendment leaves the door far wider open than the original, but it does so for two good reasons. Firstly, we as a community of Wikipedians should not be making the place less appealing for casual editors to join in (so looking like we ban everything is not very attractive), and secondly there are better ways to make each segment of Wikipedia "work" than drawing up one-size-fits-all-rules. I will be happy to allow a "ban" on flag icons where they do not transmit anything else other than colour and shape from the screen. However, let's say the specific use of them on national disaster articles; it is now fairly common consensus that there is an "international reaction" section, which included national flags. They do so, I think, so people can guage which countries have expressed help or an opinion and which have not, acting as a summary and as an alternative visual design. They can be used constructively if used well, and that means one-size-fits-all policies might not be suitable here. doktorb wordsdeeds 20:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually they look very stunning and very pretty. All that I was looking for was some sort of clarification on when they should be used and not used and whether or not some specific examples could be placed in the guideline. Obviously there appears to be unanimous support for military battle info boxes. There is some support for international competitions, which if not abused, I may be able to support. But many articles don't need to say  United Kingdom or  United States, when Great Britain or United States does the job in the info box, without giving undue prominence to one part of the info box than another.--JOJ Hutton 20:47, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Annika Sörenstam is an example of why they should not be used in infobox, two flags that just cause confusion. Is she Swedish or American? Is it being used for her birthplace against MOSFLAG is it her sporting nationality? Mo ainm~Talk 21:29, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
    Its an example of a bad use but not a reason why they shouldn't be used. It's very simple to fix this issue as was done on hockey articles. You change the field in the infobox to be "National Team" or something along those lines instead of nationality. That way its very clear cut what it means. -DJSasso (talk) 21:39, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I tried but some people like their pretty flags. Mo ainm~Talk 21:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Can someone tell me what useful information is conveyed by the many flag icons here? It's this sort of list I had in mind when I made my proposal. I think there's way too much wiggle room in the amended proposal. But I'm persuadable. Maybe I'm just too close to the matter. Just about everything in the longevity suite of articles on the wiki is bathed in vitriol and the assumption of bad faith. Fresh eyes would help. David in DC (talk) 22:12, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Agree with David what use is served with the flagicons on that page? And their are many more like that. Mo ainm~Talk 22:46, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Also going to stress that flag icons are a biased aspect for first-world countries. I would suspect most readers can id the flags of US, Canada, most Western Europe countries, Russia, China, Japan, and Australia with little problem, but as soon as you get to South or Central America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the rest of Oceania, most people will scratch their heads. Flag icons do not help identify the bulk of the world's countries over plain text, and simply weigh down most tables where they are used (excluding, of course, country articles). If flag recognition was more universal, I'd be all for these, but it is certainly not. --MASEM (t) 23:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that flag icons in infoboxes should be more or less out unless there is a rare instance when the flag may convey information where the text may become obtrusive (the examples being given of listing battlefield commanders in battles might be one example). If there is any issue as to their meaning (does the flag represent citizenship?, country of birth?, country where they were employed?), then I find them obfuscating, and should not be used. Just my two bits. As for the bits about the World Cup, there may be some international tournaments were text in a bracket might be less preferred to a flag (especially when individual names are being given, as in Olympic events), but otherwise they are confusing. My two bits. LonelyBeacon (talk) 23:38, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

There has been some recent discussion at WT:MOSFLAG about a re-write of that guideline, and I'm glad to see a discussion here on the Village Pump instead of the repetitive bickering by the same crowd on that talk page. As someone who does a lot of maintenance work for WP:WikiProject Flag Template, I have seen many, many, applications of flag icons, covering a wide range on the spectrum from useful to stupid. My opinion can be stated as simple as:

Flag icons can be a useful navigation aid for browsing large lists or tables of items that each have a strong association with their respective nations, and especially when multiple items are associated with each nation. However, when used to identify singular items, such as individual infobox fields, they draw undue weight to that item and should therefore be removed. Flag icons are never appropriate inline with prose text, and should be used only with vertically-aligned tables or lists, if at all.

I think that statement actually describes current consensus reasonably well. Some examples:

Effective usage
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup — makes it easier to find the results of a specific team out of the complete set of results
  • Cycling at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's road race — makes it easier to find the times of multiple riders from the same country
  • World War I — provides an effective way to associate the names in the "Commanders and Leaders" section of the infobox, and the numbers in the "Strength" section with the nations identified in the "Belligerents" section. Other techniques would not accomplish the same function within the space constraints of the infobox.
Semi-effective usage
  • International reactions to the 2011 military intervention in Libya — each country is listed once, and in alphabetical order, so flag icons don't improve the browsing experience significantly. Also, there is often a tendency to attach something to every item in those types of lists, so you see editors frequently putting logos etc. into non-national list entries that don't have flags.
  • London#Twin cities — this is a fairly large list of twin cities (as far as these sections usually go), but the icons don't help identify the country easily. In fact, this list is awkward because the country name is omitted completely.
Ineffective usage
  • Boston Herald — why is an icon necessary to highlight the "Headquarters" field in the infobox?
  • National Hockey League — do the pair of flags say anything that "Canada" and "United States" don't already say? And to make matters worse, a screen reader would say "Canada Canada" because of the use of {{flagicon|Canada}} Canada}} instead of {{flag|Canada}} or just Canada
  • Template:Central banks of the European Union — unnecessary decoration in the title bar of a navbox. Put an image inside the navbox (with the image= parameter) if it is directly relevant, or leave it out altogether.
Downright silly

I don't think we should ban flag icons outright; they serve a purpose similar to the increase/decease icons used in company articles like Ford Motor Company, or like the route diagram icons used in articles such as {{Eurostar}}. It's the over use of flag icons we're trying to contain, and I'd prefer to see a succinct guideline that addresses that problem, not an exhaustive list of do's and don'ts. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:41, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I disagree on the cases above (even if they have consensus on the articles themselves), save for WWI, as the WWI shows the one place where flag icons make sense - they abbreviate names of countries to a visual image (and can be graceful alt-test degrades to abbreviations) where space is limited and including the full country name would bulk that up too much. Every other case, the flag icon is immediately duplicative of the country name it is next to, and/or there are no space limitations where the country name could not be spelled out. --MASEM (t) 23:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I do see your point, but I find the icons help in sections such as 2010 FIFA World Cup#Round of 16 and below, where the team names appear in two columns with several lines of text between each match entry. It's easier to find Brazil's results, for example, with a visual scan for the flag instead of the text only. For lists where the entries are vertically adjacent, methods such as sortable tables could be used to assist the reader in finding all entries for a given country. (This would be my suggestion on List of living supercentenarians, to address User:David in DC's comments above.) But I am certainly convinced of the non-value (indeed, negative value) of singular flags icons for the nationality field in a biographical infobox, the location_country field of {{Infobox company}}, or the origin field of {{Infobox musical artist}}, to cite several existing areas of flag icon "abuse". — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 01:12, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Most modern browsers have a search feature, so if you're browsing for your specific team, that makes it easy. While I can understand the flags making it easy for some people to find info, text is universal. --MASEM (t) 01:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I use a "modern browser", but many times I casually read Wikipedia articles using only a mouse that has a scroll wheel. In that mode, I don't want to type anything, just click and scroll. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 01:32, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Reply to mo ainm: Yes, a few - List of the oldest verified people, List of the verified oldest men, List of the verified oldest women, List of oldest people in the world, List of oldest people by year of birth, List of oldest people by nation, List of oldest living people by nation, List of people with the longest marriages, List of oldest twins (PRODAfDpending closed as "Keep"), List of oldest dogs, List of verified supercentenarians who died before 1980, List of verified supercentenarians who died in the 1980s, List of verified supercentenarians who died in the 1990s, List of Japanese supercentenarians (flags by Japanese prefecture), List of Swiss supercentenarians (flags by Swiss canton). My listing is representative, but by no means comprehensive. David in DC (talk) 01:46, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
And we have a few people fighting tooth and nail about those, among other equally silly MoS non-issues (primarily involving WP:MOSBOLD). A clearer proposal, like MOSBOLD, would make it far easier to simply be done with it. I like some of the wording above, and I also think that Masem pretty well summed it up; within certain military articles, the flags can be a useful shorthand, but elsewhere they're redundant. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:19, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

The only test people need to apply when tweaking MOSFlag wording is to think of a situation where it's not clear in text alone if 'Ireland' refers to Ireland or Ireland. If it stands up in that case, it's fine for all. If it doesn't, prepare for a lot of butthurt and unresolved ANI reports. MickMacNee (talk) 14:34, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

MOS FLAG Wording Revised

I think that after reading some of the most recent comments, the meaning of my question may have gotten lost. My question was what were the exceptions to MOS:FLAG in the info boxes and how can we reword the guideline to make the exceptions more clear. There were two good proposals introduced above. The second, brought forward by Doktorb, was a reworded proposal of the earlier proposal. Given that there seems to be 100% support for Template:Infobox military conflict as an exception and there appears to be near 100% support for Template:Infobox international football competition and other like minded international competions such as the Olympic Games, those should be given as examples to the guideline. So I took the original wording of the guideline and merged it with a reworded version of Doktorb's wording and then added a few example exceptions, to come up with this:

Generally, flag icons should not be used infoboxes, even when there is a "country", "nationality" or equivalent field: they are unnecessarily distracting and give undue prominence to one field among many.
Flag icons should only be inserted in infoboxes in those cases where they convey additional or complimentary information in addition to the text. They are disfavored in navigation boxes and should, in most cases, be subject to discussion on their use on an case-by-case basis rather than simply inserted. Flag icons can be accepted as alternatives to bullet points within the text of the article, in order to draw readers attention to specific content, acting too as a shorthand tool. Flag icons are visually distracting in infoboxes and lead to unnecessary disputes when over-used or used counter to WP:POINT issues tangential to the articles and lists to which the icons are affixed.
Acceptable exceptions would be military battle infoboxes templates and infoboxes that include international competitions, such as FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games.

Does anyone have a problem with these exceptions? Hopefully this will make it more clear as to what articles are acceptable exceptions to the guideline and should cut down on some edit warring. They should not ever be used in biography infoboxes such as Annika Sörenstam, and the guideline already says that are forbidden in those situations.--JOJ Hutton 15:39, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I would go further and say that flag icons should not be used except in certain circumstances which are listed above. IMO generally is to open.Mo ainm~Talk 16:24, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed; remove the "generally". That's the kind of vagueness that will lead to endless wikilawyering; as both David in DC and I will tell you, in the area where we've been dealing with this (longevity), there's plenty of that already. The whole purpose here is to remove any ambiguity, not reword it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I change it from As a rule of thumb to generally hoping to at least give some sort of definition but to appease those who don't like the one size fist all type of guidelines, but I agree that generally will still bring about some arguments as to the meaning. I think that there still is a good definition without theword generally, so it can be removed altogether.--JOJ Hutton 16:53, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I would agree with "generally". And may I first of all apologise for what now looks like a bit of a dummy-spit earlier on, for we are now having the kind of discussion I thought would not occur initially. doktorb wordsdeeds 16:58, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Having read through this debate, I agree: strike the "generally" from your proposal, and I'd Support it. Much clearer & more concise. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:52, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Cool with that.--JOJ Hutton 18:11, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have less issue with the "generally" (it doesn't hurt to restate that guidelines aren't hard-and-fast rules) and am a little wary of over-legislating exceptions (that's what leads to wikilawyering more than anything else). For the navbox passage, the bit about a case-by-case basis should say added or removed, not just added, lest an editor who use this as justification to remove them when a discussion to include them has already occurred. In short, the decision should be local to the navbox talk page. oknazevad (talk) 18:14, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Personally I think over-legislating exceptions is a big problem because that leads to wikilawyering. It does bear repeating that a guideline is just that, a guideline, so no matter what is said on the page, it can (and will) likely be ignored in cases where people consider the use to help the wiki. So I believe repeating the word generally or rule of thumb is very important to get that across to people that think that when it says you shouldn't do something on a guideline that it doesn't mean its a hard and fast rule. Personally I think doktorb's wording above is the best of the three so far. Gets across the spirit of the guideline without over legislating. Guidelines need to be flexible. -DJSasso (talk) 18:27, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Please do not limit this to infoboxes. It's a huge problem on longevity lists and tables, and I promise, if the rewording seems to be only about infoboxes, it will not help in the area BNL and I are working on. I understand that the original proposal was about infoboxes, but I hope my non-exhaustive list of lists above provides impetus to make MOSFLAG about more than infoboxes. I agree with the war-related and sports-related exceptions, btw. One whole problem with the longevity suite of articles is the treatment of longevity qua contest, complete with title-holders, record-breakers, incumbents and all of the language associated with competition, as if old folks are pitted against one another in a tournament whose crowning "achievement" is staving off death longer than one another.
Also, please look at the lists and tell me if you think I'm off my rocker to be concerned about this. Maybe I'm too close to it. If so, please pick up the nearest trout and use it for the purpose trout were invented. David in DC (talk) 19:51, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm a bit intrigued by the idea that flagicons are distracting - are we catering for readers with sight issues? If so, fair enough, but otherwise, it seems ridiculous. I don't really like flagicons and I think they're generally overused, but they're not by any stretch distracting to the eye. Bretonbanquet (talk) 20:42, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Distraction, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some may be able to look beyond the fact that this color is glaring up at them and just daring them not to look at that part of the info box, but most people, I imagine, can not. Even so, distraction in itself would not be a reasom for simply keeping them out of info boxes. There is the fact that they give undue prominence to a single portion of the info box and the information that they convey could be easily done with words, not pictures.--JOJ Hutton 00:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I can point to a few different places off the top of my head where these are problems in longevity lists; I'd be more than happy to. Also, though I'm well aware that we shouldn't worry about performance, having giant amounts of flag icons severely slows the loading time; it's not just my computer, it's all the ones I've been using. There's nothing it communicates more effectively than having the text, except it takes up a lot more space and presents periodic nationalist problems. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

←I disagree with that wording. The problem isn't "icons in infoboxes"; the problem is singular flag icons that draw undue weight to individual fields in infoboxes. (And by "singular", I'd also include a pair used for dual-nationality, for example.) As a counter-argument, I'd point out the example of {{Infobox language}}, where lists of nations are commonly listed with icons (e.g. Portuguese language, French language, etc. — you may have to toggle the hide/show link). And the {{Infobox military conflict}} usage (except in silly cases) seems to be acceptable. I repeat my suggestion from the previous section:

Flag icons can be a useful navigation aid for browsing large lists or tables of items that each have a strong association with their respective nations, and especially when multiple items are associated with each nation. However, when used to identify singular items, such as individual infobox fields, they draw undue weight to that item and should therefore be removed. Flag icons are never appropriate inline with prose text, and should be used only with vertically-aligned tables or lists, if at all.

Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 01:42, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

While I agree with those who question the use of the word "generally", since it is a guideline, it is not so big a deal (can guidelines exist without exception?) That being said, I approve. I think a short list of the more common exceptions are good (even if it needs to be expended on from here). The examples might lead to a little wikilawyering, but I think more than that, the examples serve as a guideline that helps to guide consensus among the more logical editors. LonelyBeacon (talk) 02:30, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the wording in most cases, but there should be important exceptions e.g. battle infoboxes to indicate the country of origin of the commanders and also infoboxes about major geographical features or other fixed objects where the flag indicates the country in which the object is located, when it is IMHO useful to be able to quickly identify that a mountain or river or dam is in Germany and not Austria etc. Location is a major field, if not the major field for fixed objects and hence often included in the first sentence: "XXX is a mountain in Switzerland". --Bermicourt (talk) 06:20, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
"When used to identify singular items... they draw undue weight to that item..." - even if one accepts the idea that a small flag draws the bewildered reader's wandering eye like a magnet, why is the weight drawn to that item undue? Many people (not I, particularly) would argue that a sportsperson's nationality is one of the most important elements in an infobox. And so what if they look at that first? Does it mean that they won't look at the other fields? Does it mean that reading the article becomes troublesome because of that glaring flag? If so, then it follows that they shouldn't be allowed anywhere. A lot of this stuff seems a bit arbitrary on the account of a few editors, and is verging on a big fuss over nothing. Endless flags in lists (like the longevity lists) and multiple repeated flags in tables and infoboxes should be removed. Flags in prose are an abomination. But a single flag in an infobox is a long way from being a serious problem. Also, it's a mystery to me how the battle infobox flags are deemed OK, when, just like any other infobox, they could be easily replaced by the name of the country. The arguments for removing flags from infoboxes are instantly defeated when one allows them in certain cases, quite against the arguments made for removing them in other cases. Suddenly 8-10 or more flags in a battle infobox aren't distracting and don't draw undue weight to those fields?
Furthermore, how on earth does this "visual distraction" square with the phrase: Flag icons can be accepted as alternatives to bullet points within the text of the article, in order to draw readers attention to specific content, acting too as a shorthand tool.? Why are these "bullet points" permitted to "draw undue weight" and be a big distraction, glaring up at them, daring them not to look at the rest of the article? Why is nationality in an infobox not "specific content"? These arguments are full of holes. I think guidelines should be aimed at discouraging or banning multiple flagicon use without stressing over single flagicon use, which in most cases, only amounts to one per article, and over which almost nobody outside this debate makes any fuss. Bretonbanquet (talk) 21:42, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

A number of editors have made the reader who scan, quicker to recognised argument. Can anyone actually prove this? Gnevin (talk) 22:24, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I can't. But I do know that, for me, it distracts. And it imparts no additional information. David in DC (talk) 13:33, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Although this began as just a question of use in the info boxes, a few others have voiced concerns over other uses, (ie: Navboxes, lists, prose.) All of which are legitimate concerns and should be discussed and addressed. For the time being, however, there has been enough time for anyone who may have wanted to comment here, to do so. The changes that seem to already have support should be made, and if those wishing to to add or subtract from that, or begin discussing other uses of MOS:FLAG, are free to do so, if they so desire.--JOJ Hutton 13:40, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that enough people here agree with you, so this piece of rubbish can pass, and that you don't need to answer any of the objections I made. Bretonbanquet (talk) 18:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually it appeared that you made what looked less like objections, than suggestions that no one else appeared to jump on with you, although no one seemed to disagree with any of them either. If there are additions or subtractions to what you would like to discuss, then please state them civilly and clearly please.--JOJ Hutton 18:34, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure you're not suggesting I'd be uncivil. I think the last paragraph of my large post contains several objections, not least to the glaring contradiction regarding the visual distraction element of the flagicon, vis-a-vis the "drawing readers attention to specific content" element. Anyone wishing to object to the guideline could drive a bus through that argument, regardless of the flag's position in the article. I'd also point out that the visual distraction argument is baseless outside this discussion. Where is the wider objection to infobox flags? The "readers who scan" argument was dismissed as baseless in a very similar way, I imagine because it suits the majority of participants in this discussion.
With regard to the actual wording of the proposed guideline, does it actually matter since a guideline can be ignored if a local consensus dictates? Or am I wrong in that? To allow exceptions such as the battle infobox clearly allows for argument in the future when someone (or a group of editors) decides that their case should also be an exception. Either the flags are distracting or they aren't - yet this proposed guideline dictates that they're 'sometimes distracting'. If you want this thing to have any teeth at all, it needs to be tightened up. Bretonbanquet (talk) 19:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't support the wording either. The sensible and restrained use of flags in infoboxes and elsewhere should be permitted. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:15, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Why? --John (talk) 06:34, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
It's better than stupid and unrestrained use! --Bermicourt (talk) 18:40, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Re: scanning—International reactions to the 2011 military intervention in Libya shows the effectiveness of flags for scanning and finding particular countries, at least for me personally. I suspect that we could go into "a strong association with their respective nations" a bit more clearly. Rather than just cases where one nation has multiple instances, flags are also useful when states are the relevant actors or when individuals, teams, or organizations are acting on behalf of their nation (such as in the Olympics). We could counterbalance text on this usefulness with text saying highlighting national origins in other cases (such as List_of_Nobel_Laureates_in_Physics) may be inappropriate.--Carwil (talk) 22:16, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
That article doesn't even have an infobox. How is that relevant to this proposal?--JOJ Hutton 03:45, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with the Libya example, but I do like Carwil's suggested wording "individuals, teams, or organizations are acting on behalf of their nation" as a supplement to "Examples of acceptable exceptions..."--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 07:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you explain the difference between additional information and complimentary information as used in the new wording?--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 22:53, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Since there doesn't seem to be a difference, I'll revise the wording to make it more concise.--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 18:02, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Why is the sentence that begins "Flag icons can be accepted as alternatives to bullet points within the text of the article..." in the Avoid flag icons in infoboxes section?--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 19:46, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Since it doesn't seem to be relevant to the infobox section I'll remove it. Perhaps it could be added back in another section where it is more relevant.--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 18:11, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:POINT doesn't seem to be relevant either.--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 19:32, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I removed it.--SaskatchewanSenator (talk) 17:50, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Use of flags in longevity lists

It's hard to argue against sensibility or restraint. I seek advice about whether the use of flag icons is sensible or restrained in these (and many other similar) longevity-related lists: List of the oldest verified people, List of the verified oldest men, List of the verified oldest women, List of oldest people in the world, List of oldest people by year of birth, List of oldest people by nation, List of oldest living people by nation, List of people with the longest marriages, List of oldest twins, List of oldest dogs, List of verified supercentenarians who died before 1980, List of verified supercentenarians who died in the 1980s, List of verified supercentenarians who died in the 1990s, List of Japanese supercentenarians (flags by Japanese prefecture), List of Swiss supercentenarians (flags by Swiss canton).

In case it's not apparant, I explicitly disclose that I don't think so. David in DC (talk) 21:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I thoroughly agree with that - there's nothing sensible or restrained about this flag usage. This is the kind of thing that should be concentrated on. I've argued for removal of flags in similar cases, and found that the majority of people agree. A single flag in a sportsperson's infobox is not in the same league. Let's deal with the gross overusage. Bretonbanquet (talk) 21:20, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
There's been a recent ArbCom case about the longevity suite of articles. The World's Oldest People WikiProject has been advised to seek guidance from uninvolved, seasoned editors. These flag icons have been a very contentious issue. Fresh eyes, whether they belong to editors who agree or disagree with me are sorely needed. If BNL or I start deleting these flag icons, it would be nice to have some previously uninvolved eyes watching, to provide reality-checks when sparks start to fly. They will. David in DC (talk) 21:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Let me know where and when and I'd be happy to argue for the flagicons' removal, as I have no previous involvement with those articles. Those other editors here that are against flagicon proliferation would do well to join in too - that way something concrete can hopefully be achieved at article level or WikiProject level, rather than the kind of guideline talking shop that we see here. Bretonbanquet (talk) 22:09, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm gettin' typer's cramp working on just one page. I agree with BB that we should take a break from arguing theory and work together where we have consensus to make a concrete improvement. Do we have consensus? If so, please find a page and dig in. David in DC (talk) 01:47, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
It sounds like you are saying let's abandon debate and all those on one side (i.e. who don't like flags) should now attack pages they don't approve. Is that really how Wikipedia is meant to work? --Bermicourt (talk) 06:16, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Yikes, Bermicourt has made a very valid point since policy has not been changed YET through a formal consensus process, not through discussions. First, I'm a recent longevity editor so I'm quite interested in any discussions about longevity. So that's how I just came across here and see this discussion going on for days. Personally, I actually have no problems removing flags from lists that David in DC have listed above; after all, as many have stated, since the country name is mentioned next to the flag icon, it becomes redundant.
I just think that we should be assuming good faith by some previous longevity editors that they probably just wanted to indicate country of birth or country of death for an entry on the list, so some young editors just wanted to put a flag icon there. They probably would have liked to limit country to the icon only, rather than text as well, but they may have been restricted to following this guideline: accompanying flags with country names. As mentioned by someone else, flag icons are unfortunately not universal and not many of us would recognize flags from 3rd-nation countries. So I do support the removal of flag icons from most lists on Wikipedia. I only ask that the guideline be changed via consensus so I can defend the removal of flag icons to the other editors -- just linking them to this ongoing discussion does no good. Regards, CalvinTy 12:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
@Bermi: No, I'm saying that, as to many of the longevity lists and bios, especially those restricted to living people, WP:FLAGBIO needs no updating to justify the removal of the indiscriminate use of flag icons. And that, further, working together on a project that already has the current guideline and consensus on its side would be a good way to build, rather than just assume, good faith. (I note that CT agrees that the icons should go, he just thinks policy needs updating first, so he's on more solid ground when advocating their removal.) Please see also my comments on the recent edit history of the List of living supercentenarians, here. David in DC (talk) 18:40, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I think we need to be careful about what we are actually defining here - a policy we can agree on, or a policy to suit or prejudices. The removal of flag icons from the majority of articles, which seems to be the mood music here, would render many completely text-based, less visually appealing and importantly less likely to involve readers and editors into exploring other parts of the project. List articles are problematic /anyway/ regardless of whether they include icons. It is common practice in media to attach national flags to country names, which is the basis for including them here in most cases I would imagine. doktorb wordsdeeds 04:32, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Longevity list proposal

I've made a proposal here. Please join the discussion. David in DC (talk) 18:43, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Use of flags in 'International reaction' sections

Apologies if this has already been discussed above - I'm not that familiar with MOS:FLAG and the discussions surrounding it. I was just wondering what the policy is with regards to the use of flags in places like 2011 Minsk Metro bombing#International reaction. Do the flags add anything to that article? I don't think so; in fact, they clutter up the text considerably. But it seems to be standard to use flags in that context. Is this correct? (I should note I don't have any problem with the use of flags in the table of victims higher up the article.) Robofish (talk) 16:18, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

No, generally they add nothing pertinent to the article. They are usually placed in articles because someone thinks that they are visually stimulating, but if they were removed, nothing about the articles encyclopedic content would be harmed. They tend to get over used and abused and discussions usually lead nowhere on whether to keep them or get rid of them altogether.JOJ Hutton 19:57, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
No, I also agree with JOJ that the flags in the section "International reaction" are not necessary. Robofish, I also agree with you that I don't have a problem with the use of flags in the "Victims" table, either. Cheers, CalvinTy 20:42, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
One more "aye". I'm going to propose this at MOS:FLAG. Jpatokal (talk) 00:14, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Updated Arbitration policy (final draft)

The final draft of a proposed update to the existing Arbitration policy is available. It has received extensive community review already but all editors are cordially invited to review the final draft and comment. The draft is here.  Roger Davies talk 10:49, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Discuss this

How do you deal with IPs that are simply ignoring you? (talk · contribs) keeps adding entries to List of Pokémon (1–51) with horrible grammar. The main problem is that it is adding information to sections which are about split characters, thus don't need any prose. I have contacted them on their talkpage, but it appears they are ignoring the big flashing "You have new messages" banner. What do I do? Can I get them blocked, or should I keep reverting until they stop? Blake (Talk·Edits) 18:00, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, they stopped adding them, and haven't edited for 10 minutes. They might be gone. Blake (Talk·Edits) 18:05, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
One thing I can tell you is that edit warring with them over the topic is not the thing to do. The edits that the IP was making do not appear to be vandalism and you weren't treating them as vandalism, so your 5 reverts are a technical violation of the three revert rule. I do not believe you should be blocked for the violation but if the IP comes back I would advise you to not revert any more edits there for a while. Sometimes it is better to let the IP make all their edits and leave satisified and then revert the whole group at once. GB fan (talk) 19:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, you could say that they were not reverting me back, so we were not engaged in a war. They kept adding different content, and I was removing the new content. I was just upholding the quality of the article because their entries were horrible and could not be fixed, but only completely rewritten. The problem was that the IP either did not know I was messaging them, or did not care to listen. Blake (Talk·Edits) 21:41, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
It's still a 3RR violation. However looking at the IPs edits, I don't see them as having horrible grammar that could not be fixed. In fact, the grammar was very passable. However, there may be a copyright issue as these exact summaries show up on a number of other websites. —Farix (t | c) 22:02, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't see that said that. I will try not to do that in the future I guess. Blake (Talk·Edits) 22:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:I feel --MZMcBride (talk) 19:09, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Um...if the IP was adding DIFFERENT content, how is it 3RR? It looks to me, though I didn't study it in detail, that the IP would have added it all and it could have been rolled back or undone in one edit were Blake no so quick on the ball. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Melodia, you might want to read WP:3RR, it doesn't make any difference that it was different content that was being reverted. You are right though about letting the IP add all the content and revert it all at one time, that is what I recommended above in my initial response to Blake. GB fan (talk) 01:10, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
You should definitely not try climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man WP:Oh I say, what are you doing? Come down from there at once! Really, you're making a frightful exhibition of yourself. Theo10011 (talk) 19:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
First of all, why is this list not complying with WP:SPLIT and WP:SS? A summary should be left on the list for any content that was split off onto a sub-article. As is, the article has sections without any content except for a link and an "infobox". These sections should either be expanded with content or removed entirely if they will never contain any content. The IP was attempting to correct this problem. If the summaries where poorly written, then rewrite them. —Farix (t | c) 21:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, that is how characters are dealt with all across Wikipedia. It is not a problem with simply this list. If a character is split, they don't need to have content on the list, but a link to where they have been move to is appropriate. Blake (Talk·Edits) 21:41, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, in accordance with both WP:SPLIT and WP:SS, the character lists do require summaries for any characters that are split from the list. See featured lists like List of Naruto characters, for examples on this should be done. In fact, the Naruto character list would not have achieved its FL status if it didn't contain a summary of the split content. —Farix (t | c) 21:49, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I guess when we want the lists to be of that quality, we will add them. For now, they are removed like plenty of other character lists. Blake (Talk·Edits) 22:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
It's not an all or nothing situation, but the fact remains that the article is far from complete without the summaries. So if an editor adds summaries for those characters, it should not be removed out of hand "just because", which seems to be your rational. The cases where a summary should be removed is due to a copyright violation, patten nonsense, or false information. In fact, I may start off the summaries myself by adding in a tweaked version of the sub-articles' leads. —Farix (t | c) 01:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, have fun with that. I will post a message on WT:POKE stating that you are doing this, and see if anybody agrees and will help. Blake (Talk·Edits) 02:50, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Super-injunctions and unnecessary censorship on Wikpedia

There is a discussion on this topic, already nearly resolved, at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard. Let's keep this topic in one place please.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

There has been a much-bemoaned trend in the courts of England and Wales recently to grant super-injunctions, which limit freedom of expression for those under their jurisdiction. Sometimes these block reporting of trivia like the identities of celebrities with embarrassing personal lives, but often they are much more sinister. As per "Wikipedia is not censored", Wikipedia's main servers are based in Florida and are under the jurisdiction of the Floridian and US federal courts (with their admirable First Amendment). I am not a lawyer, but I do not believe that the super-injunctions currently attracting attention in the UK bind Wikipedia. There is therefore no valid reason to keep information covered by them, which for the most part is obviously in the public domain judging by a cursory inspection of the web, out of the relevant articles. I have brought this up on the talk pages of ETK (the redirect, not its target) and Imogen Thomas. I am mentioning it here because Wikipedia's non-censorship policy is not being adhered to (oversight is being used), but there is not a great deal those of us under the jurisdiction of the injunction-granting courts can do about it. The help of freedom-loving Wikipedians around the world is therefore required! Thanks and apologies for cross-posting at the administrators' noticeboard: I wasn't sure where was best. Terminal emulator (talk) 18:51, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Modification of Wikipedia:NSPORTS#Organizations_and_games_notability

Proposal withdrawn, now trying to sort out another solution. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:31, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

This is an issue that came out of my AfD for 2010–11 U.S. Lecce season. While Lecce is a Serie A team, the top division, the article has not been updated since August. Therefore I propose the following amendment to NSPORTS:

"Coverage of a season must be as up to date as possible, within reason. If a season is still running and the article on that season has not been updated in several months, it is considered obsolete, and can be nominated for deletion."

Thoughts? Sven Manguard Wha? 02:39, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think this fits under notability. In fact, I can't think of a comparable notability criterion. In effect, your proposed criterion is a description of an article quality standard, below which articles should be deleted. I don't think it's a good fit with notability. If something is deemed notable, it is deemed notable in perpetuity.
Furthermore, as we know, the rubric to WP:AFD reads "If the article can be fixed through normal editing, then it is not a good candidate for AfD." In other words, I don't think there needs to be a rule for this. Articles can still be looked at on a case-by-case basis. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 11:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
This is not a good solution AFD is WP:NOTCLEANUP, and WP:NOEFFORT is not an excuse for deleting articles on subjects that Wikipedia should cover (=notable subjects). WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:11, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, per WP:NTEMP, notability is not temporary. It states "Notability is not temporary: once a topic has been the subject of "significant coverage" in accordance with the general notability guideline, it does not need to have ongoing coverage." SilverserenC 04:20, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I didn't mean ongoing as in 'coverage in 2011 about the 1990-91 season', I meant 'the article on the 1990-91 season gets updated so that by the end of the season, it's current. If it never gets touched again, it will still be complete. An article that covers the first month and only the first month of a season isn't complete. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:03, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Alright then. Just a note though: If I work on them, which I probably will, I'm going to remove the incomplete fancy stat tables and make it into, essentially, a text only article. The articles will be good enough, and will be in compliance with the prose first component of NSPORTS, but if someone else wants stats sheets in there, they're going to have to do it themselves. I can't do all those tables on my own. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:01, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Why don't you write whatever you want, but leave the table alone, on the chance that someone else might want to complete it at a later date? Articles do not have to look complete at all times. In fact, back in the day, "always leave something undone" was a standard, deliberate practice, because they recognized that obviously incomplete articles attract more new editors than practically perfect articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:42, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
If you are going to work on the articles, wouldn't it make more sense to complete the tables rather than remove them? If I'm looking up a sports team, stat tables are exactly what I am expecting to see. Resolute 19:23, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • On the OP's proposal: Absolutely, positively, not. Wikipedia will never be complete. It is never a good idea to delete an article simply because it was started and not finished. There is no impending need to remove articles which could be completed, but have not yet. Also, removing the "stats table" is also a fundementally bad idea. The stats are verifiable and good information; often what people are looking for. Under WP:PRESERVE, there's no need to tear down the work of others. Yes, we do delete work which fundementally violates wikipedia's core policies WP:V, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. However, insofar as a verifiable table of team statistics is relevent to the article (it is) neutral and not original research, there is absolutely no reason to delete it. --Jayron32 20:20, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    In his defence, the stat table on the example article is basically empty. Nothing would be lost by its removal, but a lot would be gained simply by filling it out. Resolute 20:42, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    Articles in a very close class are expected to have a standard format. As such, an empty stats table encourages later users to adhere to the standard format used in other articles of the same type. In otherwords, we'd want the stats table at 2009-2010 Anytown Eagles season to be formatted just like the table at 2008-2009 Anytown Eagles season and indeed just like the table at 2009-2010 Nowheresville Tigers season. If you remove empty stats tables, then sure, someone else may come along and create one from scratch, but then you get the problem of having a hodgepodge of stats tables in every article; they may cover the same information but will do so in such varied ways as to generally detract from the overall coherance of the subject. It makes Wikipedia look worse to have a bunch of different formats for all of the stats tables than it does to have an empty one, waiting for someone to fill it out correctly. So, it is better to leave the empty one in the article, as it encourages a desirable uniformity of style, while removing it encourages an undesirable mess. --Jayron32 20:46, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    That is very true. Resolute 20:53, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    • I probably should have made it clearer what I meant. Two factors come into play here. The longer it's been since the season I'm writing about ended, the less available the information becomes. This year's tables include who scored what in what minute, who got cards when, game attendance, and the ref. I doubt I'll be able to track most of that down on my own. I could see finding some of that but not all of it. Rather than leave the table half filled, I feel it better to convert what I can into prose. The second factor is that some articles use older tables that just give win/loss, team, and score, without even giving dates. I might be able to salvage those, but I doubt it. When I said "I can't do all those tables on my own." It had more to do with there not being readily available information. I can fill in tables, but I need the information first. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:03, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
      • If you are writing about a season where its hard to find the information after the season is done, then you are probably writing about a sport that shouldn't have an individual season page. Any major sports league is going to have information available in papers and on websites etc well after the season is over. No one said doing these pages were easy or that you had to do them on your own. So its a bit of a cop out to think a page should be deleted if its not up to date. I happen to know people creating season pages for seasons that were 100 years ago. So I don't really agree with what you are saying. -DJSasso (talk) 22:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
        • To tag on to what Djsasso saod, I don't know about association football, because I am not a fan, but for many sports there is oodles of information out there, just waiting to be used. is the standard research tool for many sports, including American football (college and pro), hockey, baseball, and Olympics. Its quite comprehensive for the sports it covers. There is quite literally more stats availible on that one website than I could ever use at Wikipedia. In other words, for any stat I could think of needing for any sports article at Wikipedia (in the sports covered by sports-reference) I can find it, including team states, individual player stats, season tables, and its broken down multiple ways, so I can find results from one player in a given year, or year-by-year stats for a given team, or any of a number of other ways. I have no idea if association football has a similar website, but given its popularity, I would be astounded if it didn't. --Jayron32 22:17, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
          • Regarding the inability to find stats for association football teams, I found which seems to have match-by-match results for every team and every year in every major and minor league in every major soccer playing country around the world. So, I call "bullshit" on not being able to find stats necessary to fill out the tables, even for older seasons. Sure, some of the data, for say the Armenian National League from 1987, may be a bit incomplete, but for major leagues, like Serie A or EPL, its got literally every stat you could need. So, I don't want to hear about deleting the stat tables just because one couldn't find the stats. Its all there, and it took me, who knows literally nothing about soccer, five minutes to find the refs. --Jayron32 22:36, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
            • Yes, for this year the information is there, however that amount of information only goes so far back. Look at the 2003-04 season, you see those blue links where the scores are? Those are where I click to get the game information. Those links disappear if you go back one year to the 2002-03 season. That's the issue here, I'm having a real hard time finding the who 'scored/carded when' information for any time before the turn of the millennium. It has to be somewhere, but I can't find that somewhere. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:30, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
              • Well, then perhaps this is the sort of thing that needs to be worked out in the relevent WikiProject. This is exactly what the WikiProjects exist for; standardizing articles that fall under their remit. Have you checked with Wikipedia:WikiProject Football to see if there are resources others have found that may be helpful, or article formatting standards, or anything like that? It looks like an active project. Maybe collaborating with them will help you. --Jayron32 01:01, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
              • Surely there are sporting almanacs and encyclopedias available. For example, thanks to the team's media guide, I have complete statistics for the Calgary Flames, and consequently have four season articles at GA status, the oldest of which covers the 1985–86 season. For the Serie A, I would be certain the information is there, but you might have to dig a bit for it. Resolute 04:09, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

WikiGuide RfCs

Would an admin (or admins) close the following RfCs: CSD criteria for new articles, being templated, and socialising on WP? Crossposted to WP:VPP. Thanks, Cunard (talk) 03:31, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm not convinced that the latter two of these should be "closed", reasons given at WP:ANI#WikiGuide RfCs. Herostratus (talk) 17:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
By "closed", I mean using archive templates and summarizing the RfCs. See my reply here. Cunard (talk) 22:56, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Bot procedure that changes sourcing methods relates to policy

Duplicate references in articles are routinely merged by automated and semi-automated procedures (such as AWB). Some editors feel their editing efforts have been adversely impacted, when the citation method has been changed before an article reaches some stage of completion. There is a question whether the current automated and semi-automated practices of merging references in articles Wikipedia-wide are supported by, or violate existing policy.

I have started a sub-discussion about the practice of routinely merging duplicate references here (Village Pump Proposals).

This is a part of a larger discussion on the same page, about a bot proposal, which is here (Village Pump Proposals).

There is also a side discussion, here (Bot Owners' Noticeboard). I invite discussion at the Village Pump Proposals article (rather than here). Richard Myers (talk) 09:02, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

MF-bomb on Main Page?

At the moment, on the "Did you know" section on the Main Page, there is a link to Chris Rock's "The [MF] With the Hat," with the full word spelled out. I know that Wikipedia has to include words like that due to its encyclopedic nature, but shouldn't there be a policy against having that sort of language on the Main Page? That will naturally be the very first page most people, including children, see on Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Seeing as how every child I know, before the Internet was made, immediately looked up "fuck" the first time they got their hands on an dictionary and had heard of the word, and then giggled, I'm not sure we're damaging anyone here. The few that have never seen the word won't understand that it's bad. I'm not necessarily saying this as a defense of "omg we can never censor", I'm saying that... I'm not really seeing the harm here. Anyway, there are only two viable options: Keep it, or remove it. Bowdlerizing it to "The [MF]er With the Hat" would be a horrible idea. --Golbez (talk) 14:44, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Option 3 would be to use The Mother With the Hat which is what the producers are using to advertise it on television; unlike the MF version, it is a legit alternate title. oknazevad (talk) 15:23, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
That would need to be added to the article first. As the article stands right now it only discusses two options, the full uncensored name and The Motherf**ker With the Hat. GB fan (talk) 15:43, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Given that Gropecunt Lane was the featured article on the main page in 2009 (I wish I'd seen that), I'm not sure what we're worried about; this isn't too bad. Fucking is even the name of a town; it's just a word. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:56, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is not censored. End of discussion. Your--the general 'you'--delicate sensibilities are not our concern. → ROUX  17:05, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    • I guess I didn't get the memo that User:Roux was empowered to end discussions. There's no need to be either peremptory or insulting; it's a perfectly valid point to raise, for political and PR reasons if nothing else. I'd suggest a deal: you don't refer to our "delicate sensibilities", and we won't refer to your "jejune drivel". Herostratus (talk) 04:03, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
      • That's not how I read Roux's statement. I think he was just pointing out that policy is pretty clear on this point. Whatever the case, no need to make it personal. Wickedjacob (talk) 08:28, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
        • I don't think the IP user was suggesting any censorship - he specifically says these words should exist on Wikipedia (which is all Wikipedia is not censored concerns it's self with.) However he asks for Prudence in what content is selected for the front page (or how it is displayed on the front page) this seems a reasonable editorial decision that in no way affects our being considered censored. I would be likely to display word on the Front page that has an educational purpose such as Vulva, Grope Cunt, or even Fucking but would consider whether a word like Mofo which exists only to offend should be on the front page? Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 08:51, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
          • It's not intended to offend. It is the name of a play. Are we really going to exclude certain articles from the front page because they use certain language? I am distraught by the notion of wikipedia deciding front page content based on social norms rather than content excellence or relevancy. It might not technically be censorship of the entire encyclopedia, but it certainly censorship of the main page. Wickedjacob (talk) 09:14, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
            • The word is intended to offend and that fact is recognised in numerous sources about the play that go on to discuss the fact that the plot does not mirror the offence of the title or that discuss the difficulties in promoting the play because that word causes offense. Equally it is commonly titled with asterisks in reliable sources so we're not censoring to use the same title that the majority of sources do . Not all articles are suitable for the main page and editorial judgement is already used to decide which ones are suitable - just because something isn't suitable for the front page doesn't mean it's censored. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 09:52, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
                • I think pointing to wp:NOTCENSORED is a perfectly acceptable response. eskimo, indian, 666 (number) or Mohammed without the S.A.W. title are considered offensive as well, should we ban those from the main page? If not, how would you draw a line between what is and what isn't offensive, keeping in mind we get visitors from all over the world? Yoenit (talk) 10:54, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
                  • Two replies up, I justified the use of Fucking, Cunt, and Vulva and you're questioning whether I would censor eskimo, indian, 666 or Mohammed? That sounds like the beginnings of a Straw man - There is a difference between a term whose use (or misuse) can offend some people and a term whose use is purely pejorative and that is a bright line not a fine one. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 11:41, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
                    • If motherfucker is purely pejorative somebody should change our article on the word (and probably inform Samuel L. Jackson as well). Or you could accept that what is offensive to you might not be to somebody else and there no such thing as a "bright line". Yoenit (talk) 12:55, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
                      • What? None of what you just said makes sense; you link to the variants section which lists variants which are used exactly because the original is generally considered pejorative and you somehow think that Samuel L. Jackson (and Chris Rock) don't know the word is Pejorative? People who are fans may not be offended by their use of it, but that doesn't mean the word has any non-offensive meaning - the meaning is still exactly the same; it hasn't gone through amelioration unlike some other pejoratives . Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:27, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
    • ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Would you be offended if I called you "one badass motherfucker"? I do not consider that pejorative, so it seems to me it has undergone amelioration in some contexts (been a while since I had to look up a word, thanks for that beautiful term). Yoenit (talk) 13:55, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
      • It depends on the context if you were my peer and called me it, I'd be fine because friends talk junk about each other and let each other away. If you walked up to me in the street as a stranger and shouted "Hey you; the badass motherfucker!" yes I'd be offended. So I don't think it has genuinely undergone amelioration, I think we just choose to ignore the offensiveness in some specific circumstances. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:59, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
        • To each their own; every time someone yells "hey you; the badass motherfucker", I'm not offended. It's just a statement of fact. ;) EVula // talk // // 16:05, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The German Wikipedia had Vulva (with photo) as main page FA on March 23, 2010. See here for the excerpt. Some people were not happy, but nothing bad happened. Certainly nothing as bad as self-censorship, which we have to avoid. If people want censored encyclopedias, they shouldn't use a free one. —Кузьма討論 17:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Thing is, DYK refreshes a few times a day, so it's not as huge of a deal as TFA, for example. --Rschen7754 09:17, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  • It's no longer April 25, but the IP's concept deserves an honest discussion: the phrase in the title is one that intends to offend. There are any number of playwrights who have happened to use such a phrase in the dialog of a play, but to suggest that a play doesn't intend to offend is naïve and to suggest that a play with a word like this in its title doesn't intend to offend is a bit beyond that. One may as well say that a song or a film or a joke doesn't intend to offend. I would not argue that the intention to offend should justify exclusion from the encyclopedia. But I would argue that there is a difference in presenting an article about something that intends to offend and promoting that article on the front page. And I would argue that a discussion like this about that difference is not served when everybody on the pro-promotion side cannot even admit that intentional offense. There are inherently offensive things in the world, and other things that are not inherently offensive but are given a skewed presentation as such. Vulva is not inherently offensive, it is a body part. Cunt is inherently offensive, because it isn't the body part to which it refers, it is a vulgar term of extreme misogynistic contempt. (Frankly, I wonder about the preponderance of images at vulva, and think perhaps that is where the article courts offensiveness. We present seven photographs, one ultrasound, five diagrams, and five artworks. Two particularly striking, large images appear as primary photo, one with and one sans hair, while technical diagrams are relegated to further down. Uvula, for example, leads with a diagram and presents two photos; Arm leads with its only photo; Human leg leads with a drawing, has a dozen diagrams, and ends with two small photographs of legs, none of which have hair; Chest has no photo, and Pectoral leads to a disambig page where one finds Pectoralis major muscle which also has no photo. Why Arm goes straight to an article about a human arm, but leg does not, and the first image one sees at Penis are several animal members disembodied together in jars, is another editorial question bordering on offense that we might discuss.)
    I must interject . . . the above is an excellent passage describing the use of illustrations in articles. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:53, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
MF is inherently offensive on both counts, the literal meaning and the usage. (That cannot be said about any of the terms/articles mentioned by Yoenit.) I remember the day that Gropecunt Lane appeared on the front page; I read it and found it mildly interesting, but I didn't kid myself that it was not intended to offend when it was promoted for front-page status. Of course it was. I'd like to point out that if people are going to stand on the grounds of "not censored" and "but it's verifiable" or notable or what-have-you, then people who do intend to be offensive or provocative (or are just snickering children, literally or figuratively) will always get to have their way. Beyond Gropecunt Lane, I have no idea how many Tickle Cock Bridges and Fucking, Austrias have been promoted for the front page and denied on the basis of that it was not really that notable but for the fact that it had a profane name. But I certainly hope that that could happen, and would happen, despite the weak arguments presented by most respondents here.
I will accept that the Broadway debut of other notable celebrities with high Q ratings would rate an appearance on DYK even when they do not have a gimmicky profane name, and I will accept that this Broadway debut of this celebrity in this gimmicky profanely named show rates an appearance, but I will not accept that people would argue gimmicky profane names are not intended to be offensive. Embrace that we're promoting offensively titled articles if that's something you like, embrace that the snapshots of several anonymous females of various ages decorate Vulva but only one anonymous person decorates Arm, but don't act like people who want to discuss the question of promoting offensively titled articles have no basis to characterize them as such. Censorship is so far from the editorial decision being discussed here as to be its polar opposite, so we have room to concede a point and get somewhere with discussing the editorial decision (particularly in the context of the editorial decisions regarding the other titles noted) while still erring far on the opposite side of censorship. Anyone who only sees two options isn't actually taking their editorial responsibility seriously, and "Wikipedia is not censored" is not the end of a discussion, it's the beginning. Have it or don't, but as long as we're taking a default position on prudish sensibilities, we might as well be cognizant of where that puts us relative to prurient sensibilities and then let those who are both capable and interested in doing so discuss all these territories and others sensibly and objectively. Abrazame (talk) 11:25, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Symbol move vote.svg Wikipedia currently has no method to control content other than manually blocking individual images for logged-in users. There is an ongoing discussion on adding content control features; see meta:2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content: Part Two, especially the section User-Controlled Viewing Options. See also WP:NOTCENSORED, WP:CHILDPROTECT and Wikipedia:Guidance for younger editors. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:29, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
And it wouldn't matter. So what if, somehow, we could block every dirty image on Wikipedia from being displayed to kids? These kids have Google. No one is remotely "protected" by such censorship, as anyone who has been "protected" can then do a simple web search and promptly unprotect themselves. I can't imagine anyone saying, "Darn, no pictures of boobs on breast? Oh well, that ends my efforts!" --Golbez (talk) 16:00, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
The fact that other sources are available is unimportant. Any person who does not want to see such images should not be forced to view them. "Not censored" does not mean "I have an absolute, unfettered right to fill your computer screen with images that you find offensive" (however you define offensive, whether that means seizure-inducing flashing images, naked bodies, or pictures of religious figures, not however I define offensive). WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:04, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
If you intentionally choose to read the article titled penis, I think you might expect to see a penis. It's not like there's pictures of a penis in the article Mickey Mouse... --Jayron32 04:01, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, Jayron32, if I intentionally choose to read the article titled penis, I should expect to see a human penis, yet there is not a single depiction of a human penis at that article, and in fact there is not a single image of a penis attached to a body at that article, as I already stated, the primary image features several animal penises in jars (as if something sliced off and put in a jar is what anybody expects to be the first thing they see when they visit a page ostensibly about the human body, or even about the bodies of other creatures) and a meal made of a goat penis (ditto). That is not what one should reasonably expect to see at penis. Or is it what you expected? Or did you just link that without visiting the page because you presume both that you're dealing with some prude and that some prude couldn't possibly have a valid point?
How about I flip it on its head since Golbez and yourself aren't actually able to grasp the issue: shall I plunge into Vulva and make the primary image several sliced off and put in a jar? How about leading with a bucket of KFC at Breast? This was a (large) parenthetical in a post otherwise about a broader issue, but if this is the tangent people want to pick up on, then give it a real shot, don't just jump to conclusions and dispense stock responses. You're proving my point about the MF, which is that the attitude that "Wikipedia is not censored" as a defensive posture does a disservice to the editorial responsibility of an encyclopedia, when the response is to strike a stance, make a joke, and remain oblivious to what is actually being discussed. Because why should I expect to see more breasts or vulvas or what-have-you than arms or legs, unless the point is to present "uncensored" material, as in nudie shots, and not to present encyclopedic material. I'm not arguing for fewer penises, I'm arguing for human penises (and the other sort at a secondary article). I'm not arguing against vulvas, I'm pointing out that people are more inclined to post so-and-so's twat than they are to take a photo of their arm or their leg, and we might, just might, actually be cognizant that we're seeking to present a work of some consistency and not merely the bleakest and least profitable amateur porn site on the net.
But I support WhatamIdoing's point, that even if anybody made any attempt to bring balance to these articles, some people might want to access some information without seeing images they find offensive. I think (yes, think) that the article Death of Khaled Mohamed Saeed is something that people should read, whether or not they are likely to be upset at the graphic image of his battered corpse, because the story about it is the relevant thing, and the image of it is secondary. But that image is enough to turn people off to learning more about the topic because they can't reasonably be expected to read the article without it and they can't reasonably be expected to make the image go away. I don't think that the MediaWiki:Bad image list was conceived with battered corpses in mind. I also read the rather involved technical steps someone has to take to disable the images for their own viewing, which seems untenable: Junior or Granny or just Average Joe- or Jane-who-doesn't-want-corpses-and-porn-in-their-encyclopedia has already seen the thing, now they've got to click on it to get the file name in order not to see it? I think there should be some way for people to click on a file name to opt-in to view a photograph like that. It's not censorship, it's akin to turning the page to read or view more, and indicating what sort of more that is. In addition to the fact that some people enjoy seeing photos of nude people (or some sort of person in particular), there are some people who enjoy seeing photos of dead people (or some sort of person...). And just as there are various motivations for wanting to show a particular person or sort of person nude, there may be various motivations for wanting to show a particular person or sort of person dead. I want to make sure that we are not indulging these sorts of people, and offending the other sort, under the guise of "not censored" when, as I said, that is supposed to be the start of the conversation and not the end of it. For example, post mortem photos of Michael Jackson are about to be shown in some sort of trial. Someone has claimed these photos prove some allegation or other, so then what, one or two go in an article here? Is that really what we're about? And if it is, is it that important that we present it unhidden in article space, rather than, again, in some sort of pop-up window or gallery page or something.
I've had the same blind, knee-jerk policy arguments disallow the image of a defunct band's logo, or a musician's album art, when obviously that was an intentional public presentation of the subject as they were and wished to be seen, and are what one would expect to see when visiting those articles. I know fair use, I also know these images appeared in magazine and newspaper ads and are available elsewhere on the web. The argument, therefore, isn't, "we may as well present all the vulvas that fit on the page, because Junior will only surf elsewhere without them," because Junior can surf to the logos and album art at AllMusic or Rolling Stone or a fansite. And that was actually cited to me as a good reason for why we needn't present them here. The image policies are flawed, and what's more, the policies aren't even applied consistently within a class of articles. We've all got two arms. Only half of us have a vulva. So why are there a dozen shots of vulvas and only one of an arm? The answer to that is the problem with the way "Not censored" is being enforced at the expense of encyclopedic relevancy. I thank Gadget850, I clicked on the link and see there is a huge amount to read both in the three pages of the text and the longer discussions, which I will try and get to in the coming days, but as my points were being mischaracterized here by some, and picked up on by others, I wanted to expound. Abrazame (talk) 08:03, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
tl;dr. None of this has to do with the fact that "Motherfucker" will harm no one, and we can't predict who will be offended by what words, and if we are going to omit words because they might offend someone, we'll have to omit a lot of things other than the words sancitified by George Carlin. --Golbez (talk) 19:19, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not censored. And we don't do parents or children a service by pretending otherwise. Children who come here can go a long, long way down the rabbit hole just reading. And whatever bogus policies we have against pedophiles, they're purely make-believe - this is an encyclopedia anyone can edit. A few choice words like that serve the beneficial purpose of putting parents and children on guard, which is what they should be. Children can come here, they just need to be ready to face the world. Wnt (talk) 08:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Requested move formatting - indents or bullets?

Lately I have been participating in quite a few requested moves, and I have always wondered about the formatting. On the one hand, they occur on article talk pages, which generally use indents (per Help:Using talk pages#Indentation and WP:INDENT), and on the other hand, the Support/Oppose discussion format is similar to Articles for deletion which uses bullets (per WP:AFDFORMAT). The tension between these two often leads to discussions like this one, where indents and bullets are used interchangeably and it all looks very messy. I have tried to find advice at the requested moves page, but it seems there is none to be offered. I think it would be a good idea to decide which formatting to use and add this to the requested moves page as policy. What do others think? Mr. Stradivarius 19:31, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Sounds a bit WP:CREEPy. And AfDs do not rigorously adhere to the recommended format in practice either. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:21, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
That's true, indeed. In that case, how about a guideline just to stick to the same formatting in each discussion? That way we are not restricting editors more than is already the case. Mr. Stradivarius 06:22, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what problem you are trying to fix. Personnaly I don't have any problem understanding the flow of the conversation on the move request you linked. Are you trying to make things easier to follow? If the problem is that it looks messy, I don't think that is a reason to add policy or guidelines. GB fan (talk) 15:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the problem is that it looks messy, not that it's necessarily hard to understand. The only reason I bring it up is that it's an incentive to edit war over formatting. Some editors prefer indents and some prefer bullets, and if one editor is convinced another is using the "wrong" formatting then they will want to change it. I'm not proposing a radical change - it could just be something as simple as adding the following text to WP:RM: "Generally requested moves use indents, but try and use the formatting other editors have used; don't re-format the discussion just for the sake of it". I think a guideline that looks something like this would be better than no guideline at all. Mr. Stradivarius 02:21, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
If it looks messy... just fix it. :) Seriously, I've made edits before that did nothing but fix indentations (either by removing or adding bullets, or by removing line breaks so bullet levels were honored). I don't recall ever starting an edit war over it. (nor do I recall ever seeing an edit war over it) EVula // talk // // 16:02, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I suppose I've never seen any outright wars either, only skirmishes... Mr. Stradivarius 21:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Why is the Village Pump (idea lab) NOT primarily for Consensus Polling as well?

It seems to me it would be great to be able to both get positive, constructive feedback and to do some sample polling to see if there is any substantial population that is in favor or not in favor of any one idea.

The concept for me is as simple as the Facebook "like," the Slashdot news story, Digg, or Reddit. Maybe even Youtube is the best example. If I can say "thumbs up" it can be a big motivator to really follow through on an idea and get more feedback.

This seems to make more sense to me than going out of our way to say "WAIT, don't do the natural, helpful thing you want to and give some simple feedback! Only the TRULY COMMITTED commentors are welcome." That is exactly what the following graphic and first sentence say to me:

Cancelled process mini.svg
This Village Pump is for developing ideas, not for consensus polling. Rather than merely stating support or opposition to an idea, try to be creative and positive. If possible, suggest a better variation of the idea, or a better solution to the problem identified.

Feedback, +1's, -1's, "likes," or thumbs-up/down are welcome!

Mattsenate (talk) 01:04, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Because otherwise it would be exactly the same as Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals). Mr.Z-man 01:31, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
No, because that's for definite ideas, while Matt's suggesting encouraging straw polls to see whether people are vaguely in favour of or opposed to vague suggestions. If most people are vaguely opposed it probably isn't worth anyone's while working out the details for a definite proposal. Peter jackson (talk) 10:33, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Peter jackson, I think you get what I am suggesting. Is there a space for this type of participation? It is especially appealing to me because it permits new users to give feedback on new ideas, even if they aren't versed and skilled in the vocabulary and processes of Wikipedia or Mediawiki. Mattsenate (talk) 08:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
A vague proposal is worse than no proposal at all. Leaving it open to polling/voting is just asking for arguments, it's not going to help provide solutions. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:07, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I see what you have cited here HandThatFeeds is the general logic behind the policy. However, is this a solid assumption that "polling/voting" is asking for arguments? Specifically, my suggestion of the youtube-esque thumbs up and thumbs down could be quite benign if executed well. Further, you could use the non-zero-sum solution of the Facebook "like," where only positive encouragement is stored, and "thumbs down" is simply non-existent. Mattsenate (talk) 08:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Proposal with policy implications: Major edit user right

A proposal for a new user right is detailed here. It would be automatically triggered when the account had been in existence at least 24 hours and at least 5 edits had been made in mainspace. This Major edit user right is an anti-vandalism measure, intended to block edits algorithm-determined to be likely disruptive in nature. RedactionalOne (talk) 18:26, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose Per the responses at proposals. Existing review of IP and new editor seems to be effective enough that the harm of loosing potentially constructive major edit contribution of new users outweighs any potential upside in reduced vandalism from the proposed restriction. Monty845 02:29, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Replied to at the proposal. RedactionalOne (talk) 15:48, 28 April 2011 (UTC), ETA RedactionalOne (talk) 15:51, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The idea of IP editing is to allow users to get right in and do things. This proposal saddles them with a new set of rules, like no use of images. The ban on extensive rewording sounds harmless... except half the time when I look at a diff it shows whole sections of the article deleted and remade, when really I only messed a few words around. Will new users interpret that as Wikipedia being super careful about vandalism, or just being broken/hard to figure out? Plus as someone pointed out at the target discussion, making vandals do smaller edits is not really doing anyone a favor. Page blanking you can fix - the wrong boiling point for tungsten carbide, not so much. Wnt (talk) 08:13, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Replied to at the proposal. RedactionalOne (talk) 16:26, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Scientific citation guidelines too liberal?

I was recently shown the Scientific citation guidelines page by another editor. I believe this policy may be offering too liberal a precedent for attribution and verifiability, as well as the possibility of original research. In particular, the idea that a statement need not be referenced with an inline citation because it is well-known among string theorists, or even undergraduate physics majors, does not ring true to me. Am I totally off base here, or is this article not strict enough with regard to verifiability of scientific and technical content? Andrevan@ 04:25, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

The guidelines are an attempt to halt rediculous referencing requirements for what should be non-controversial facts. Water is a liquid at room temperature.[citation needed] is a completely silly thing to do. The question is whether or not the material is contentious, rather than whether it is well known. This is actually the standard in most Wikipedia articles, but it becomes a bit problematic in scientific articles where something which is universally accepted, with no real challenge to its truthfulness, is also completely impenetrable to a lay person. For example, just to take a random non-scientific article, Emmanuel Servais makes a claim that he was the fifth Prime Minister of Luxembourg. This claim is uncited, but it isn't unverifiable; there's any of a dozen highly reliable and easy to find sources where I could look this up, and it isn't a highly contentious fact. I suppose there's nothing stopping me from providing a reference for it, but there's nothing about it that makes a reader say "That's total bullshit!", even one who has never heard of the that politician before. It is an uncontentious fact. In scientific articles, the same standard applies, however the text is often only understandable to people in the relevent field. Take Wittig_reaction#Preparation_of_simple_ylides as a random example, there is the sentence, uncited "The Wittig reagent is usually prepared from a phosphonium salt, which is in turn made by the reaction of triphenylphosphine with an alkyl halide. To form the Wittig reagent (ylide), the phosphonium salt is suspended in a solvent such as diethyl ether or THF and treated with a strong base such as phenyllithium or n-butyllithium:" Now, unless you've taken an introductory organic chemistry class, most people couldn't understand even every third word from that sentence. However, that doesn't mean it needs to be specifically sourced. The sentence can be verified quite easily since the Wittig reaction is part of literally every single organic chemistry textbook written in the past 20 years, the description of how to produce an Ylide is an unsurprising and unremarkable thing in the field of organic chemistry, and requires no special citation. That is the core of the SCG. It does not override the citation requirements of Wikipedia, it merely clarifies them for scientific articles, and makes special emphasis on the fact that just because something is only understood by a smaller subset of the general population, doesn't mean that it is contentious or likely to be challenged. --Jayron32 04:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I've taken organic chemistry and that still made no sense to me. Andrevan@ 04:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
That's the whole point. Making sense to a specific reader is not the standard we use, anywhere at Wikipedia. I just checked the three organic chemistry texts I have at the house, and they all dicuss the Wittig reaction. I also tutor students at several local universities; in the second semester organic class (Organic II usually, or some similar name), the reaction is taught as part of the normal curriculum. I learned it 15 years ago in much the same manner. If nearly every student who makes it through to second semester Organic chemistry is taught the Wittig reaction, and has been for decades, then it is pretty much in the realm of "common knowledge", even if that actually represents a tiny fraction of the total English speaking population of the world. So there is no need to cite a fact that is so common in its field. THAT is the core behind the SCG. --Jayron32 05:04, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree that "Making sense to a specific reader" is not the standard we use. But, isn't that the standard you are using to claim that we don't need to cite the Wittig reaction? If it's so common in textbooks, why not just cite one? The argument that something is common as a reason not to cite seems backward to me; all the more reason to. Andrevan@ 05:13, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Because then, in scientific articles, every sentence or every other sentence will have to have a reference, even when most of it is obvious information that is not contentious. While the layperson may not understand it, that doesn't change the fact that they won't dispute it (or if they do, they don't have a basis for doing so, since they don't know what it means). Not having to reference common facts is generally done on Wikipedia so as not to make a dense forest of reference numbers in the text that make reading articles more difficult. SilverserenC 05:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The verifiability policy is very clear that any unsourced statement may be removed if challenged. I agree we don't literally reference every sentence as it would be impractical. But I feel like the scientific citation guideline as written is creating a looser standard, where a challenge to a statement could be refuted with reasoning like, "This is common knowledge to organic chemists." Andrevan@ 05:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
(ec) I am of the opinion that there is a distinction between "the sky is blue" and "the sky is blue because...". The latter is 'common knowledge', but the reason why it is in text books is that it needs to be taught as opposed to being a property which is known and shared by casual observers. One solution to the "source but don't be crazy" is to use the General Reference method . . . but this invites the potential for edit warring over which textbook to use (the one I wrote or the one you wrote, for instance). Just because there are many sources for a fact (set of facts) does not mean that the fact (or set of facts) should remain unsourced; it is a matter of whether to source in-line or as a general reference. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:28, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The point is that, if someone is challenging a sentence for a specific reason beyond the fact that they don't understand it, then that means that it is contentious. Obviously, there are limits if they are trying to push a fringe version of what should be common knowledge, but that is unlikely to happen very often. The standard is written not to be used as an argument, it is just used in general to not oversaturate with references. If someone ends up challenging anything with a valid reason, then that means that the sentence is contentious and requires a source. This guideline is not meant to be used as a defense against that. If you feel there should be a clarification in the guideline that states that it shouldn't be used in that way, then I agree with that, but that doesn't change the fact that it documents common practice across Wikipedia in terms of common knowledge. SilverserenC 05:39, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I look forward to taking organic chem next year then so i'll be able to understand such articles. :3 SilverserenC 05:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC
I may not have much (read: any) experience in scientific articles, but it sounds questionable to me that certain editors needn't follow the same verifiability guidelines. The cited examples like "Water is a liquid at room temperature.[citation needed]" can be solved just through the use of common sense applied on a case-by-case basis. What is contended is the stuff that a lot of people may not know. No one is knocking any editor's ability to scout out misinformation or original research, but if something ever went under the radar, an uninformed reader could read it and become misinformed on the subject (or at least misinformed from a verifiable theory to original research). Everyone agrees that stuff like "Water is a liquid at room temperature." is something that needn't be referenced. However, no verifiability period seems wrong. - The New Age Retro Hippie used Ruler! Now, he can figure out the length of things easily. 05:36, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The point is that laypeople who do not understand the topic and what is or is not common knowledge would have no reason to challenge any of the information. And this guideline is not saying to put no references in an article, it's saying that you should have a few general references on the topic for a section and that's it, since there is no need to overspam every sentence. SilverserenC 05:42, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no actual problem concerning citations within scientific articles because any reasonable request for a citation can be satisfied. The verification policy requires that all assertions are verifiable, so if someone wanted to put {{cn}} after the Wittig reagent text mentioned in Jayron32's excellent post above, it would be fine for an editor to remove the cn and post on the talk page with a brief outline of what Jayron32 said, while mentioning one textbook with the info. If someone wanted to take it further, the matter would have to be argued out, however the Wittig reagent text is verifiable and so satisfies the V policy. While an editor might have a reason to challenge a particular assertion, if they cannot explain a basis for their challenge on the talk page other than "I didn't know that", their case is unlikely to be supported by other editors. Obviously it would be unhelpful to cite every uncontentious assertion, and an editor needs to articulate a reason before claiming that standard textbook information is contentious. Johnuniq (talk) 06:47, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing that says you are forbidden from citing; its just that it isn't a requirement to do so. That is, no one should be slapping "insufficient citation" tags at the top of such articles, no one should be littering them with "cn" tags, and no one should be raising objections to them at WP:FAN because of "insufficent referencing". No one is demanding that we remove sources for statements like the Wittig reaction, or a persons status as the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, nor is anyone forbidding you from adding one. But common knowledge simply doesn't need to be cited; it never has. I could also provide a citation for "Water is a liquid at room temperature". There are hundreds of books I could cite that to; but such a fact is common knowledge and so it doesn't need a citation. Lets make this clear; this isn't about forbidding people from providing citations, its about not requiring them to provide citations. --Jayron32 13:54, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It might be worth reading WP:MINREF and WP:LIKELY.
We do encounter editors who erroneously believe that the policies require every single sentence or every single paragraph to contain an inline citation, or that anything outside their personal (usually highly limited) experience must have been pre-supplied with an inline citation. Editors (vandals?) have tagged some of the most non-contentious sentences as requiring inline citations. (Real example: Someone once tagged a sentence that said "The human hand normally has four fingers and one thumb" as requiring an inline citation.) And I've run across another editor recently who thinks that he builds the encyclopedia by deleting vast swaths of material simply because the editor who added it (possibly years ago, before <ref> tags were in use on the English Wikipedia) didn't happen to supply an WP:Inline citation before he encountered it.
The actual standard is "VerifiABLE", as in "people are ABLE to verify that the information is not made up, using the resources at their disposal, including their own favorite web search engine, local library, WP:General references, and other sources named in the article". The policy is not "somebody else must have magically known this paragraph would confuse me and have pre-supplied an inline citation before I happened to read the page". WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying that literally every sentence need be cited or that I previously understood that to be the case. I'm questioning the idea that scientific articles should be held to a lower standard than other types of articles. Andrevan@ 15:28, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
They are not held to a lower standard. The same standard applies to all areas. WP:SCG simply clarifies what the standard means in the context of scientific articles. As SCG says, "This page applies the advice in the policies, and in the citing sources guideline, to referencing science and mathematics articles." — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
But they are not held to a lower standard. The requirements set out at WP:MINREF applies to all articles, regardless of subject.
SCG does not tell you that you may not provide inline citations. It does not tell you that scientific articles are exempt form the normal rules.
SCG tells you to stop assuming that trivially verifiable statements are WP:LIKELY to be challenged—unless and until they are actually challenged. (It also says that WP:General references are frequently a desirable alternative to WP:Citation overkill and refspamming in these articles.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:44, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Please see for example Cycle notation[19]. This seems like a misuse of the policy to me. Andrevan@ 07:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that is even a proper example of what we're discussing here, since the information in that article is referenced. There's no need to spam that single reference to every line in the article. It is listed as a reference and it is a reference for all of the material (since information on such a notation will cover all of it in a textbook). The tag that asks for further references is appropriate, but there is no current need for inline citations at all. SilverserenC 08:23, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] In what way is that example a problem? This seems to be a simply definition of a notation, plus a couple of simple consequences. As such, it doesn't involve much (if any) synthesis between multiple sources (other than adding an example). I would strongly suspect that it comes from a single page or two of the cited book. The only problem I see with this example is that it doesn't give the relevant page from the book in the reference. Bluap (talk) 08:30, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Three pages of a cited book. It was three feet away from me, so... there ya go. Danger (talk) 13:20, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I couldn't see grounds for putting in that tag. I think it was wrong as it was perfectly obvious where to look up the term. Though I'll edit the article to say 'circular permutation' too as well. Dmcq (talk) 12:18, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
This is very basic material. You would be able to find the same stuff in virtually any abstract algebra text in at least as much detail as in the article. There are three textbooks listed as references. (To compare perhaps more accessible examples, this is like requesting specific citations to statements like "Animals are composed of cells", "Eukaryotic cells have nuclei" and "George Washington was the first President of the United States".) --Danger (talk) 13:20, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Could part of the problem be that our deep science articles are generally written at a higher level than the layperson, or at least "skip" that necessary introduction and jump immediately into the deeper material where anyone that understands it is unlikely going to worry about references for it? Take for instance the Cycle notation article. Why is it important? (I know some modern algebra but this is a rhetorical question) If it is just defining a type of notation used in modern algebra, then why do we have an article about it? We don't have articles that are purely dictionary definitions, and in the same manner we shouldn't have articles that just define a set of symbols or term of art. Why couldn't this just be under permutation since it seems only to apply to that concept?
The reason I ask these questions is that the types of references that usually inline are the ones that answer these questions for the layperson that is not familiar with the topic and giving them more places to go look up details. Cycle notation does not have anything short of one lead sentence that does this. And thus, I certainly can understand the need to say "these details are all obvious from the references at the bottom and no need to cite", but that's tied to assuming that the article is written in the fashion we want for WP. --MASEM (t) 13:54, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Usually "dictionary definition" refers to an article that is nothing more than a definition, and has no reasonable chance of being expanded. Otherwise, "Cat" and "Hydrogen" would also be a dictionary definition articles, since all they do is define a certain animal and a certain element. In this case, the article is a reasonable start-length article, including a couple examples. It may stay relatively short, but that's OK. We haven't traditionally tried to merge these all into a small number of long articles. That sort of long-but-shallow article is what Britannica does, and this is one reason their coverage of math and science is so much worse than ours. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:11, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I grant that the article is not likely fully fleshed out, but it still has problems. "Examples" have no place in an encyclopedia - that's for textbooks - unless assured understanding of that concept is necessary to understand a larger one. So I can understand why one would have to tell the reader what cycle notation is before proceeding into permutation theory, and likely giving the lay reader an example, but this should not be done in standalone. WP has redirects and the like, so it is still possible to make long comprehensive articles but with necessarily short sections on key topics for the reader. Not to get too far off the point above, but the fact that there's little here for the layperson to learn in context even though it is a fundamental basic idea for those in the know means that the main editors are likely rejecting any requests to make changes because they don't feel it necessary, but the article begs for more or otherwise to be put into the scheme of a larger topic. --MASEM (t) 14:27, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps it should be merged with Cycle (mathematics)‎. Andrevan@ 16:54, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Examples do have a place in an encyclopedia. They serve fundamentally the same goal as images: they help readers figure out what we're talking about.
To give a relevant example ;-) imagine the average parent faced with the sort of awful education-ese that is used in a curriculum writing. A Kindergarten student should "develop geometric vocabulary and skills to describe spatial relationships". The parent may have visions of trying to prove whether triangles are congruent, until you explain that this simply means the teacher is going to have a "math lesson" about the words near and far, and another about above and below, and possibly a lesson how to use a simple ruler. The examples make the meaning behind the jargon clear—which is important, if you're trying to reach everyone, rather than the people who are already experts in the subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:25, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:MTAA recommends examples as well, and featured articles like group (mathematics) include them. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:26, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I see no reason for any specific exemptions to WP:V. "Water is a liquid at room temperature" is an unsourced statement. We should have an inline reference, because that way, there's a link to whatever kind of text is authoritative for that - it might be an elementary chemistry textbook or a sophisticated scientific study exploring the range of liquid water from deep space to Jupiter's core. The crucial point for all to understand is that if we don't have a source, the statement should not be arbitrarily challenged --- it should only be challenged and removed as an unsourced statement if the editor proposing the removal actually has some iota of suspicion that it isn't true. Nobody should be removing unsourced material purely because it is unsourced, if they don't actually think it might be wrong. Wnt (talk) 08:21, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
No, it shouldn't. WP:V does not require inline citations, except in very specific cases, and this isn't one of them. Tijfo098 (talk) 00:01, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I didn't mean that an inline citation should be required. But I think inline citations are good, and the more the better. Wnt (talk) 02:10, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
The whole point of this is to make sure that articles aren't over-referenced, at least in terms of the little numbers appearing in the text. In most scientific articles, if you had to also add references for the general knowledge, you would be impeding reader's abilities to follow the text, because they would be stopped by a little blue number every other two words. A better alternative may be to have such general textbooks for such general information in a Further reading section, without a direct link to it. That was, the reference is in the article, but it wouldn't be cluttering the article text. SilverserenC 03:34, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
And, as stated above, WP:MINREF applies here, showing that WP:V doesn't apply to general knowledge, but only to quotations and contentious/challenged information. SilverserenC 03:38, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, maybe this is a bridge too far. My main point was that people shouldn't be challenging things as unsourced without some actual suspicion, and it is kind of a silly example. Wnt (talk) 06:34, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Nah, far sillier examples have been observed in the wild. The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 02:45, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

ArbCom Ban -> IRC Ban

I have been privately asked to shelve this for at least 24 hours while the immediate issue that prompted this is being dealt with. Once the immediate issue is dealt with, then I will reopen this, as it's still an issue very much worth dealing with. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:53, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

This is something that isn't going to be popular, but I'm giving it a go.

If a user is indefinitely blocked or banned by ArbCom, and either

a) the case involved IRC behavior, and/or
b) the incident was the result of private deliberations,

then I propose that the blocked user is also indefinitely blocked on WMF IRC channels.

This will be a small minority of banned users, even a minority of ArbCom banned users, but it's important that we do something like this.

This situation came about because an ArbCom banned user (who meets both of the above criteria) was spotted in a WMF channel earlier today. The user was banned, as far as I have been told, for pedophilic behavior, or at the very least for pretending to be someone much younger than xe actually was and for using Wikipedia and the WMF IRC channels to talk to younger users. Even if that type of person isn't posting in the threads, their very presence there, and their ability to read everything that is said by other users (who are unaware of the allegations against the banned user,) is a serious problem and a possible danger.

The IRC operators frequently say 'the IRC isn't Wikipedia' and that bans don't carry over. However we as a community can demand that in these cases, where ArbCom has made the judgment that a user is using Wikipedia in ways that are dangerous or illegal, that bans do carry over. This isn't a matter of turf wars or ideology, it's a matter of safety and integrity.

  • Support as nom. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:34, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Question: Is it technically possible to ban certain users from the public WMF IRC channels (there are several dozen of them), without banning them from Freenode entirely? I am not certain that, barring serious disruption within the channels, Freenode would be willing to do this. It's my understanding this is one of the reasons why bans of any type are almost impossible to port over to IRC. Risker (talk) 02:38, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
    • ArbCom hands a list to the WMF channel ops, and the WMF channel ops manually block the offenders on sight. This would not be a freenode thing. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:44, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

The underlying issue is being looked at. Please stop making more work for Arbitrators by using multiple venues. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:47, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Using colorized images

Is there anything in either policies or guidelines concerning the use of colorized images? Is there a preference? I don't see anything in MOS:IMAGES or WP:IUP that addresses it. This question arises out of a discussion on Talk:Jefferson Davis#Jefferson Davis Photograph and community input is welcome.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 01:38, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

A strong case could be made that colorizing (or more generally digital restoration or editing) is original research. In most cases, I think we should prefer an uncolorized version. This walks dangerously close to the unsolvable question of, "When does digitally editing a photo constitute original research?" That's a can of worms probably best left unopened. Jason Quinn (talk) 23:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Userfied versions of deleted articles

See previous discussion here and here.

For how long may userfied versions of deleted articles remain in userspace? I ask as a number of these pages are showing up at WP:MFD and there is no policy which gives an explicit description as to how long they may stay. WP:FAKEARTICLE, WP:NOTWEBHOST, and WP:USERPAGE do not provide an explicit length.Smallman12q (talk) 12:19, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

In general, I believe six months is taken a a rough (unwritten?) guideline. Of course, for problematic pages (copyright violations, BLP violations, pure promotional stuff...) immediate deletion is needed (and accepted under the WP:CSD criteria). I also think that this 6 months limit isn't restricted to userfied deleted pages, but that the same standards apply to all pages in userspace that are article-like. Even when they are no-indexed and identified as a userspace draft, they may still appear in e.g. "what links here" from the mainspace, and in general they violate WP:NOTWEBHOST. Fram (talk) 13:11, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
(basically copy-pasted from my earlier comments) Pages deleted by consensus should not be allowed to be archived indefinitely in userspace. The point of userfication is to give an editor the opportunity to improve the article so that it meets the community's requirements. In the case of BLPs deleted on grounds of notability, I think this is even more important. Non-notable people should be left alone and not only in the article space. Thinly sourced BLPs should be deleted and not just from the article space. Note also that to most readers, there's little difference between a mainspace article and a userspace page that looks just like an article. So while we should of course tolerate userfication for purposes of editing, userfication for purposes of archival should be discouraged. As for specific time limits, 6 months sounds reasonable but I'd prefer a shorter delay for deleted BLPs. It's trivial to undelete the draft when someone wants to start working on it. Pichpich (talk) 15:05, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I would add another criteria, if there have been no (substantial) edits to the content in few days to month, it should be deleted. If someone wants it in user space to work on they should be working on it, if they want to work on it off line, they can copy it to text program and work on it there. If it is deleted for copyright or BLP it should not be in user space at all. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 15:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, deletions for copyright or BLP violations shouldn't be getting userfied anyway. EVula // talk // // 15:56, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I think we're all in agreement about copyright or BLP violations. But a more typical case is that of a BLP that doesn't contain negative coverage but is still about a non-notable individual. Pichpich (talk) 16:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────-There are a number of nominations at WP:MFD of non-BLP articles in userspace with nominations rationales such as "Long abandoned userspace draft. It's hard to imagine that a local chapter of this type would ever survive in mainspace." These nominations which don't cite any policy making only snark remarks as to how the page wouldn't survive in mainspace. The policy regarding user page deletions should be explicit.Smallman12q (talk) 23:42, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Snarky? Absolutely not: the point being made is that it fails WP:NOT even as a draft. Pichpich (talk) 01:40, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it all depends on whether the article in the draft is being worked on. If there has been no activity on it in a year, then I would say that an MfD should be started (or it should be moved to mainspace automatically if it appears to be good enough to stay there). But if a userspace draft is being worked on, then it doesn't matter how old the draft itself it, the user is still working on it. The only issue with a user taking too long in finishing a draft is that the chances increase that someone else will create the article in mainspace themselves. I've had that happen to me before and I had to scrap the draft. But, either way, it all depends on if it is being worked on or not. If it isn't, then I would say inactivity of editing it for a year is long enough to put it up for MfD. SilverserenC 07:27, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
    • There is no deadline. While we should not have problematic BLP articles (userfied or otherwise) which contain uncited text, if the userfied article does not violate WP:BLP, is not a BLP article, or otherwise is not spam, etc, then there is no reason to nominate it for deletion. We already have enough problems with WP:BITE and the editor retention problems Sue Gardner mentioned in the March 2011 update which was also covered in the Signpost. I can think of at least a dozen editors who have left Wikipedia after getting fed up with others MFDing article drafts in their userspace, etc. --Tothwolf (talk) 08:36, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree. From the a voice of experience. North8000 (talk) 08:52, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Okay, let me put it another way, at the very least, the user should be reminded about the existence of the userspace draft if they haven't edited it in over a year. They have may forgotten it entirely. If they feel that they are never going to complete it, then it should probably be removed or perhaps someone else can move it over to their own userspace to work on it.
One question I have though is what about retired users? Users that have left the project? Clearly, their userspace drafts are never going to be finished unless someone else takes them over, which is unlikely to happen if they are buried away in the retired user's userspace. Maybe we should have a different process, something called Abandoned Drafts, where we list userspace drafts that have been abandoned and let other users decide if they want to take over for the page. If no one does, then it could be put up for MfD. Does that sound like a better process for it? (Of course, if we're talking about existing users, then we can first ask them if they plan on working on it anymore and, if not, then it could be moved to this Abandoned Drafts project.) SilverserenC 09:31, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Why would a userfied article material be subjected to a higher standard/ongoing review than all of the other stuff that users are free to keep in their sub pages? (sandboxes etc.) Conversely, I would think that housecleaning of all subpages of a clearly retired-and-gone user might be in order. North8000 (talk) 12:38, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Among other reasons: because when we reject junk articles (spammy, non-notable, original research) but userfy them as a courtesy, the authors then sometimes link to the fake article on websites, in forum discussions, etc. as if it were a real Wikipedia entry. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:41, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I would suggest that *any* userfied pages be automatically no-indexed. As Orange Mike correctly points out, these can sometimes turn into a top-5 google hit for the subject, and it is often difficult for the casual reader to realise that what they're looking at isn't a "real" article. In fact, I would recommend that we move toward no-indexing user space entirely. I can say honestly that many BLP-violating pages, attack pages, pages that provide inappropriate personal information, hoaxes and other problematic pages are present in user space, but are almost completely unpatrolled or identified by our routine review and patrol processes. We have a hard enough time trying to keep this stuff out of the encyclopedia proper, and it is poor use of our editorial resources to also have to patrol and monitor user space as well. Risker (talk) 14:03, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the "no index" is a good idea. Also a guideline that says that anything that looks like an article has a "this is not an article" notice or template at the top. North8000 (talk) 14:10, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
"no-index" only works on search engines; it doesn't help with the editors who post the fake article's URL (with or without a redirect) themselves. Thus, the aforementioned mandatory header would be helpful, if we are able to enforce the mandate that such a header be present. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:15, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Only a tiny proportion of our readers come to Wikipedia through direct links; most come through search engines. In particular, spammers have to ensure their non-mainspace stuff shows up in search engines or they've not filled their mission. If we address the larger part of the problem, it is easier to fix the smaller part. Let us not fall into the trap of seeking a perfect solution, and start off with a 'good' solution. Risker (talk) 14:42, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I think that the same goes for both ideas. A guideline would do much, even even if it not enforced 100% by searches etc. North8000 (talk) 14:58, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
There is absolutely no reason to delete a userified article merely because it is old. All the userification states is that it is not suitable, or the author does not wish it to be in, article space. There is no saving of disk space by deleting the page. There are some reasons which may be valid, but which would require investigation and evidence, there are clearly content issues (BLP, copyvio, illegal content etc) which would be near-unanimously supported by the community as reasons for deletion or partial redaction. That should be it, lacking any serious evidence of problems in this area. Rich Farmbrough, 17:56, 29 April 2011 (UTC).
What do you think of my Abandoned Drafts project idea? I mean, the main point of userspace drafts is for them to be finished and put into mainspace, not to sit in userspace forever. Thus, the project would take Abandoned Drafts and ask other users to adopt them in order to finish them. Userspace drafts of retired users would automatically be added to the project. For userspace drafts of active users that have not been edited in over a year, they would just be asked if they were planning on finishing the article or if they would like to submit it to the project for someone else to finish. If they say they are going to finish it, then that's fine. The point would be to remind them of the draft's existence, because they could have forgotten about it if it's been a year since they've edited it.
Don't you think this is a better idea than deletion through MfD or having userspace drafts sit indefinitely in userspace? SilverserenC 18:26, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
There may be reasons for drafts sitting for a long time in userspace. For example, a user may be waiting for more information or better references or some holiday time to get round to sorting it out. I fully agree that the exceptions mentioned by Rich - BLP, copyvio, illegal content, potentially offensive material - should be subject to scrutiny and weeding out. But uncontentious stuff... why bother? --Bermicourt (talk) 19:30, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
If the user has a reason to keep it, then they keep it. But some users may decide that they're just not going to have the time to finish it or aren't interested anymore, so they can donate what they have to the project. And what about retired users? I don't think their drafts should just be deleted. Most of their stuff is probably worthwhile to work on. SilverserenC 19:34, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I think WP:NODEADLINE and the fact that Wikipedia does not have space requirements, and we shouldn't be deleting things just because "it is taking up unnecessary space" allows userspace articles to be open as long as they want. As long as it isn't a violation of a policy like BLP or copyright, it should be fine and left alone. Deleting these test articles just further pushes new users away from editing when they can't even edit in their own userspace without getting yelled at. Even if the articles never make it into mainspace, it still allows the user to practice writing an article. Blake (Talk·Edits) 19:52, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • What do you think about my Abandoned Drafts project idea outlined above? It wouldn't involve deleting drafts and they would only be transferred to the project in terms of active editors if the editors themselves agreed that they wouldn't be finishing the draft. SilverserenC 20:03, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I am not sure how well that would work. It would essentially be WP:Articles for Creation, which I thought was already backloged as it was. I think if a user wants to be bold and move it into their own userspace, that is fine. I don't know how you would know what userspace articles to look at. Some userspace pages aren't even suggested articles, and are things like task management, sandboxes, and games. Unless they were tagged with {{Userspace draft}} it would be hard to find. The whole process sounds messy. Blake (Talk·Edits) 20:10, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • What if it just focused on drafts by retired users? It's not the same as Articles for Creation, since these drafts already have some form, they aren't needing to be made from scratch. Obviously things that aren't meant to be articles wouldn't belong with the project, but it's purpose is to utilize drafts that have been abandoned by retired users, but that could still be made into a good article. Finding them is the tricky part, but it could be more of a system where it works on things that are brought to its attention. SilverserenC 20:16, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • And instead of asking users whether they're going to be finishing a draft, what if it just has an open submission system, where it allows users to submit links to their drafts in their userspace, since they don't feel like working on it anymore or aren't going to finish it. That part of the project would be completely optional. SilverserenC 20:16, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I think that that would be better. I'm thinking that those are such a mixed bag of situations that it would still be a challenge. For example, where they got AFD'd for not having yet established notability. And those could include subjects truly capable of meeting it and others not. And some articles in really good shape and others in such bad shape that it would be easier to start over. North8000 (talk) 20:19, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I think those situations could be dealt with in the long run. I just feel that we need some sort of method of dealing with userspace drafts that have no way of being finished and will end up being forgotten in some corner of the userspace by users who have left. It would also be a helpful alternative to these constant MfDs of drafts. SilverserenC 20:35, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
As someone who's had a userspace draft I haven't touched since July, I can say that setting a hard deadline could have undesired effects. It's not for lack of desire that I haven't done anything with mine; it's a matter of getting what I would need to write about it. I have every intention of finishing it, but it's awfully hard to write about a book when one doesn't have the book in question, and it's not a particularly easy book to come by. I think that the solution of poking users a year after the last edit to their draft would be a good idea, but setting a hard deadline could lead to someone returning from a month-long wikibreak to find an MfD that wound up deleting their userspace draft they finally got the things necessary to work on. Knocking out the attack pages and vandalism is important, too; as for copyvios, can't we run one of the bots over userspace pages too? I know CorenSearchBot and VWBot run through articles pace and EarwigBot (whatever the correct number is) runs through AfC space, couldn't one of those be programmed to run through userpages? That wouldn't take out everything, but it would nip some of it at the bud. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:57, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
My idea for an Abandoned Drafts project wouldn't have any drafts be deleted (unless they broke the rules in general) and it wouldn't remove drafts that belong to users unless they don't want them anymore. So your example draft that you plan on finishing doesn't apply. It would only be if you weren't sure if you were going to finish it, that you could then donate it to the Abandoned Drafts project in order for someone else for adopt it. I'm actually thinking about making this a real idea.
As for your search bot and copyvios question, the issue is that, in running through article space for these subpages, it will also run through main userpages. And a lot of userpages, mine included, have things like quotes and other stuff in them that could set off the bot. I think too many false alarms would result from this idea unless we could somehow exclude main userpages, but I don't know how to set them just on subpages, since they are categorically set directly from userpages. SilverserenC 04:05, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm liking the sound of that. Seems like a really good solution. As to the bot issue, I'll let those who know how they work comment. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:07, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
The inverse of this discussion, which I have seen, and is relevant; What about a good draft, with promising potential, found in what appears to be an abandoned state? I would be far more interested in a process which located these abandoned efforts not primarily for deletion, but for the good ones too; Mostly! This {{helpme}} request is why I know the inverse to also be true. My76Strat (talk) 04:54, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
My Abandoned Drafts project idea would cover that. Though it depends on whether it is an active editor. If it is a retired editor, then all of the drafts would be linked to from the project for users to adopt and move to their own userspace. If action, then it is optional, though users would be free to donate their drafts that they don't have time to finish or aren't interested anymore to the project to find someone else to take care of them. Though if it's a user that is active and wants to keep it, then that is their right to do so, though reminding them of its existence would probably prompt them to finish it up. SilverserenC 05:36, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Your Abandoned Drafts project idea is a good idea and I hope it is developed into an operational project. My76Strat (talk) 19:50, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Userfied articles should be moved to the Incubator

The project should really move towards putting potential articles in the Article Incubator instead of userspace. Particularly deleted material should not be kept in userspace, but in a project with defined goals and timelines where the community encourages everyone to participate. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)

Why are all of the recent responders not reading the discussion? In the discussion above, I came up with an idea for a Abandoned Drafts project, a counterpart to AfC (since partially made drafts don't really fall under the purview of AfC and they're already going to be overloaded with the non-confirmed no article creation proposal going through). This project would automatically make links to drafts that have been made by retired users, in order to have other users adopt these drafts. And then, active editors can submit drafts that they don't have time to finish or don't have an interest in anymore to the project for others to adopt as well. That way, there won't be any deletions of userspace drafts unless they violate actual policy rules for articles. What do you think of the idea? SilverserenC 06:33, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
And that's the fourth time i've explained this. *sighs* SilverserenC 06:33, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I did read what you wrote, and it seems like most of that (functionality, if not the actual mechanics) is covered by the Incubation process. Why remake it? SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
Because no one really uses the Incubator. It's essentially defunct at this point. See the discussion here. And I feel that it would be better to start a whole new initiative that works differently rather than trying to revive a process that has been shown to not have all that much participation. We need to do something new that will get some more life into things like drafts and other stuff. SilverserenC 07:19, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Viewed independently, there is nothing wrong with your proposal and I would endorse it. The problem is attracting participation, which is the Incubators problem, the 3O problem, the article RfC problem, etc. Any process (incubator, your proposal, anything) that forced abandoned userspace drafts along with the deleted and userfied articles into a deadlined process you'd have many desperate editors working on these things instead of both the drafts and the processes going stale. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
I think you've misunderstood. The project would only be involved in abandoned drafts from retired users and donations from active users (making them essentially self-abandoned). It won't deal with deleted articles or even ones that have been userfied, just so long as they're not attached to a retired user. And it won't have any deadlines, because the purpose is to get other users to adopt the drafts. There will probably have to be some sort of process as well to determine whether submitted articles to the project, if they've been sitting there for an excessive amount of time, are actually going to be able to be turned into valid articles (which would be the assumed reason or why they hadn't been adopted.) But that's something that can be determined at a later point in time. The whole purpose is getting it set up first and then getting some abandoned drafts into it and then we'll see about how to get people to adopt them. SilverserenC 08:01, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
In a word: no. The Article Incubator is merely a delayed deletion mechanism, and doesn't really accomplish what I'd previously proposed (and SilverSeren reinvents in part above): a central place where not-currently-encyclopedic, yet non-problematic (no BLP/attack, copyvio, promotion) articles can exist indefinitely, searchable via explicit user selection only, awaiting the day some user will come and spiff them up and make them presentable for mainspace. Jclemens (talk) 04:27, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
That was the original purpose of the Article Incubator until it was hijacked by deletionists. Fences&Windows 22:41, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Abandoned Drafts proposal

I have created the proposal for such a Wikiproject here, feel free to voice your support for the idea or add a comment to the discussion section if there's some part of it that you feel needs clarification. If you wish to be a part of it, please say so along with your support vote. Thank you. SilverserenC 05:23, 1 May 2011 (UTC)