Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 87

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Redlinks in lists and dab pages

I would like to start a debate on redlinks in lists. The disapproval of redlinks in lists and dab pages was inserted with this edit into WP:REDLINK apparently without discussion and a rather misleading edit summary. The requirements for featured lists include both completeness and minimal redlinks. That is, some redlinks in a featured list are acceptable; kind of implying that a lesser list might have more redlinks. The redlink issue has been debated numerous times regarding FA and FL and still it remains in the requirements. The most extensive debate concerning FL I could find was Wikipedia talk:Featured list criteria/Archive 2#RfC: Removal of minimal red link criteria in 5a. My reading here is that although controversial, redlinks in lists have consensus.

A list to my mind should be comprehensive, even if that means including redlinks. WP:N and WP:V apply to lists just as much as articles and they are sufficient reasons to remove entries which do not belong. Removing entries solely because they are redlinks is entirely wrong. Dab pages are different, but I think the guidelines at MOS:DAB have got it about right and WP:REDLINK should merely refer to the MoS rather than promulgating contradictory rules. So in short, my proposal for WP:REDLINK is to remove the special exception for lists and refer to MOS:DAB for dab pages. SpinningSpark 18:49, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

As with any case, only links you assume would actually be good articles to write should be linked. If it is obviously not notable, then there is no point linking to it. If you think the article should be written, then link it. So if you are adding redlinks to a featured article/list/dab, then I suppose you should give some hint of notability. There are also two different types of lists. Some lists have all content available, which may have some redlinks, or non-articles. Some lists have limited content because a full list would be gigantic, and they only list the most notable examples. Blake (Talk·Edits) 18:59, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing with any of that, and my proposal does not change the notability requirement for inclusion as documented at WP:SAL. To be clear, what I am trying to remove is the link to the essay WP:Write the article first which wants list items left out until an article is written, which I do not believe has consensus. SpinningSpark 20:28, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I think this edit is fine. It is suggested to write the article first. It is not policy that you MUST write the article first. It is just encouraged. Blake (Talk·Edits) 03:16, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree. I certainly -- although sparingly -- add redlinks when I think that there would be 1) a reasonable case that the article should exist and 2) a reasonable expectation that an article might exist in the future. I've created a couple-few articles based on seeing redlinks, and they do offer a bit of nudge to editors, although they should be used sparingly. I don't know why this wouldn't apply to lists and dab pages as much as any other article. I would say that the editor would be justified in going ahead and WP:BOLDly remove the material if she wants, and it would be a good idea for her post a note on the talk page to the effect of what she has done and why, and see what develops. Herostratus (talk) 03:24, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
"Encouraged" not to add redlinks is pretty much telling editors not to do it, even if pedantically there is no hard rule. Redlinks to notable subjects should be encouraged in lists, not discouraged. SpinningSpark 09:29, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
It is not discouraging redlinks. That is not at all what it is saying. It is just saying that before adding them, you should think about writing it. Blake (Talk·Edits) 10:53, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Umm...if you write the article first then it won't be a redlink, it will be blue. The corollary of encouraging writing the article first is to discourage redlinks - that is merely logic. The linked essay most definitely comes down on the side of having no entry rather than a redlink. You seem to be saying you are not for discouraging redlinks, if so I take it you would not object to a rewrite making that clear. Editors should be encouraged to write articles from list redlinks in the same sense that editors are encouraged to write articles, that should not be turned round to discouraging redlinks. SpinningSpark 20:46, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
There is a distinction to be made between disambiguation pages and list articles. Dab pages are supposed to be navigational aids, and aren't really "articles" per se, so they have their own rules, and most places STRONGLY discourage (as strong as can be done without violating WP:IAR) redlinks in dab pages. Lists are another topic entirely. List articles each need to be adjudged of their own accord. Some lists, in the interest of completeness, may have a mix of blue links (for existing articles), red links (for yet-to-be-created but obviously needed articles) and unlinked terms (for items which belong on the list, but do not deserve seperate articles of their own. Take a look at List of cheeses, which I think needs a lot of work, but has the right general idea. Somes cheese are notable enough for their own articles, given the copious sources on their history and production and usages. Some cheeses may be so notable, but just haven't had anyone interested enough to write an article yet. And some cheeses may lack any significant reliable sources to support stand-alone articles, but do clearly exist and should perhaps be listed in the interest of keeping the list relatively complete. --Jayron32 03:44, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • IMO there should normally be zero red links on a disambiguation page.
  • IMO whether red links in a non-dab stand-alone list are okay is something determined by the editors of the list, when they define the list selection criteria. You could easily imagine cases where red links are appropriate (e.g., "List of United States Senators": we really ought to have an article about each of them), and cases where red links are not (e.g., "List of television shows", where not just notability but the existence of an article might be used to focus the list).
  • IMO red links in (regular, prose-oriented) articles are desirable and should always be accepted whenever Wikipedia ought to have an article on that subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:26, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Disambiguation pages provide differentiation between wikipedia-notable TOPICS not necessarily all being articles yet. If you know a topic is notable and will get an article eventually, we want it to show in the dab page, where it serves readers and editors who might be looking for it, and provides important structure. There is a standard for keeping redlinks on DAB pages, at MOS:DABRL, which basically requires a supporting bluelink to document that the topic is wikipedia-notable, e.g. by linking to a list-article that shows the same redlink in context. --doncram 15:55, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Full disclosure: I made the edit User:Spinningspark identifies as problematic, but additional full disclosure, the edit has been in place for over three years apparently without any problems. In my experience, redlinks in lists (such as those in List of cheeses almost always violate the verifiability policy. And how are we supposed to tell whether redlinked list entries are notable or not? Do we really want List of social networking websites or List of companies of the United States to be "comprehensive" (whatever that means), as User:Spinningspark suggests? In my experience the guideline's current wording (and the link to the essay) has led to a much higher quality of encyclopedia articles since it has been in place. UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:02, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • MOS:DABRL covers the inclusion of red links on disambiguation pages, with the appropriate limitations. If the difference in language at WP:REDLINK is causing confusion or contention over the use of those kinds of red links on disambiguation pages, we should update the language at WP:REDLINK to be clearer/in agreement with MOS:DABRL. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:04, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, I believe the current language of WP:REDLINK reflects current WP practice better than the current language of MOS:DABRL; can you point to any examples of DAB pages containing redlinks? UnitedStatesian (talk) 14:54, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Bell River. Many of the NRHP dab pages. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:09, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Garland House is one example NRHP dab page, i.e. a disambiguation page that includes one or more places listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. General consensus from many past AFDs and other discussions is that NRHP-listed places are Wikipedia-notable, because there exist reliable sources on the places and the NRHP-listing reflects approvals by multiple local and state authorities applying a set of objective standards of notability. The Garland House dab, which I created, includes 2 redlink entries for places named exactly "Garland House" and several of format "Firstname Garland House" that a reader could be looking for. Having the dab page with its redlink entries immediately serves readers who learn elsewhere of an NRHP-listed place and want to find their way to an article or to find out that there is not yet an article for it. It also serves the general development of wikipedia by assisting in the removal of article name conflicts from NRHP list-articles like National Register of Historic Places listings in Dubuque County, Iowa and National Register of Historic Places listings in Union Parish, Louisiana, which previously each had a redlink entry for "Garland House" and are now pipelinked to "Garland House (Dubuque, Iowa)" and "Garland House (Bernice, Louisiana)" instead. Having different list-articles link to "Garland House" when meaning a different place is an article name conflict. Consider when an editor would start the Louisiana article at the "Garland House" name, say, rendering the Iowa list-article inaccurate, leading to need for Requested Move debates and dispute over which one is possibly primaryusage, because the first creators tend to think their one is primary. Putting the redlink entries into the dab page clarifies upfront that there are several places of the same name and allows for orderly fixing of all the list-articles that link to the dab page. There is a dabsolver tool which works well in fixing such article name conflicts, if and only if the redlinks on dab pages are there.
Another consideration is that there are NRHP editors are very adamantly against starting stub articles for the NRHP-listed places, and prefer for their entries to stay as redlinks until an article of a certain quality can be created (with varying views of what the minimum quality suffices).
My evolving view is that the NRHP articles could/should be created as stubs sooner rather than later, but there are many thousands of these. The redlinks on dab pages and in list-articles are essential and cannot simply be removed. --doncram 15:45, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I mostly agree with WP:MOSDABRL, in that we have to have some criteria for why we deem a subject notable enough for a redlink. Mention and links in the English Wikipedia are a logical place to look for such justification. The one extension of this I've long wanted to see is to allow redlinks when foreign-language Wikipedias have encyclopedic treatment of subjects we still lack here. This comes up a lot in foreign literature, geography, etc. For one thing, templates like {{ill}} and {{ill2}} would allow us to point multi-lingual readers to articles on the subjects they want. (It's not that our average reader reads language X; it's that so many readers perusing "List of rivers in Brazil" or "Some Russian Name (disambiguation)" do!) Wareh (talk) 15:58, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I also agree that we have to have some criteria for redlinks inclusion, and find MOSDABRL too limited. I'm not sure whether a foreign-language encyclopedia link would be a useful addition, though—after all, the notability criteria in those Wikipedias aren't always compatible with ours (but it's also likely that I'm over-thinking this part). What I think would be useful, however, is an ability to add an external link, which would simultaneously show the notability of the redlink, verify it, and serve as a starting point for article creation.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 24, 2011; 16:52 (UTC)
Wikipedia disambiguation pages disambiguate topics that are ambiguous on Wikipedia. If the topic isn't on Wikipedia, it doesn't need to be disambiguated on Wikipedia. A red link in the article space (with citation, as needed) would show the notability of the red link, verify it, and serve as a starting point for article creation, no problem. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:56, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
That's providing there is an article to add such redlink to. All too often (especially with geographic entities) there is a high-level article where the red link in question would be out of place but there is not yet a lower-level article, where the red link would be right at home. MOSDABRL in its present form is totally in the way of doing anything about such cases—it's bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 24, 2011; 17:07 (UTC)
If the not even the homey lower-level article has been created, perhaps the even-lower-level entity is not actually notable enough for an English-language encyclopedia? And please assume good faith: MOS:DABRL in its present form is a guard against explosions of non-notable red links. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:14, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't doubt that for some cases the answer would be "yes", but for the hundreds and hundreds of such cases I myself have encountered over the years it would be a sound "no". As your own comment confirms, MOSDABRL dictates a very specific workflow ("always work from top to bottom") which in my line work is the most time-consuming, maintenance-creating, and generally inefficient (which, when multiplied by the sheer scale of the project, results in literally months of time wasted on nothing more than satisfying rigid bureaucratic requirements of MOSDABRL). Surely I'm not alone to feel that way—there must be other process where "bottom-to-top" approach works better but can't be efficiently employed because something like MOSDABRL stands in the way. When a guideline actually impedes useful work, that's a good sign there is a problem with the guideline, not with the work being done. As for your good faith remark, I don't quite understand what it is in reference to—could you clarify what it is you mean? I'm not at all saying that MOSDABRL is completely useless and should be scrapped—it is in fact a good starting point—but it sure enough could use more flexibility. What does "good faith" have to do with me pointing it out?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 24, 2011; 17:59 (UTC)
The problem here is that you're assuming the fix for that inefficiency must lie in a change in the guidelines. The guidelines do not work on a top-to-bottom assumption -- the red link in the article space can be in a "lower" article, or a "sibling" article, or an article that's not in the hierarchy at all. But if Wikipedia doesn't cover the topic somewhere, that topic isn't ambiguous with the title on Wikipedia. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:08, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I more or less agree, but for my purposes, and those of many other readers, "on Wikipedia" is usefully defined as "on all Wikipedias." Yes we have different administrations enforcing rules, but that is not a reason why I should have to search a dozen Wikipedias to know if there's a Wikipedia article that could be useful to me. Maybe down the line more sophisticated technology will allow readers to welcome more information of this kind. The idea that such a measure would lead to lots of links to foreign articles that don't meet our notability criteria seems very far-fetched to me. In sum, I don't see this as an issue put to rest by the "link explosion" or "on Wikipedia" tests. Wareh (talk) 18:32, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • My opinion In my opinion red links should be in lists but not in Disambiguous pages. A dab page is supposed to disambiguate between existing pages not pages that might someday exist if we get around to creating them. For lists, it is very helpful and needed for red links to be in lists because it helps to identify the articles for that list that still need to be created. Additionally, if we just start removing the items from the list (names for example) then the list is automatically incomplete. --Kumioko (talk) 18:16, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
    A dab page disambiguate between existing topics that are covered on Wikipedia, whether in their own articles or as mentions on other articles. In the second case, mentions, the mention might red link to the topic. In those instances, the dab page can (and should) use the same red link that exists in the article space. That's the summary of MOS:DABRL and MOS:DABMENTION. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:28, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I think I need to clarify a couple of points of my proposal. Firstly, we seem to have got sidetracked on dab pages. The proposal was never about dab pages, I think MOS:DAB is fine as it is on redlinks, perhaps we need a separate thread on that. Secondly, my comment on "comprehensiveness" was not meant to mean that all non-notable additions to, say, list of operating systems should be allowed and redlinked. Spam can be kept out by challenging it under WP:V and requiring references before reinsertion - exactly the same rules that apply to any article. SpinningSpark 19:12, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I would agree with what you suggest: a change to instead discourage unreferenced redlinks from list articles and templates. UnitedStatesian (talk) 12:55, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Opinion - Redlinks should not exist in dab pages as the dab exists solely to direct to articles. As for lists, we have a few different cases.
  • Closed lists: "Mayors of Anywhere, USA" should include all current/former mayors of that town, with a cite showing it is true. Redlinks for articles that probably should be written, no link for unlikely articles. Lists that imply they are complete should be.
  • Open lists: "Notable left-handed people", "List of Irish Americans" and such should obviously include all notable items. (We certainly wouldn't want a list of every left-handed person.) The question revolves around "notable".
Template:Uw-badlistentry says there must be a bluelink. WP:LISTPEOPLE doesn't quite agree, saying the person must be notable, pointing to BIO notability criteria. My reading of this is that bluelinks are certainly in and redlinks require cites sufficient to start at least a stub (demonstrating that there should be an article). This avoids the inclusion of someone's left-handed (or Irish American) gym teacher who was once interviewed in your hometown newspaper. - SummerPhD (talk) 14:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I've added links here from Template talk:Uw-badlistentry and Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(stand-alone_lists)#Inclusion_criteria_-_Requiring_blue_links. - SummerPhD (talk) 14:35, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Most of the time redlinks do not belong in DAB pages, exception would be an article that should be written, but is significant mention in a other article, then the redlink appears along with a blue link to the pertinent article. Redlinks in lists should be left up to the editors on the specific list. Some lists are long already with just the entries that have articles, it is better to not add redlinks and require the articles to be written first. Other lists are missing so many articles that they wouldn't be much without the redlinks and they should be included. GB fan (talk) 14:49, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Comment - I agree on dabs being separate from lists. On lists, there is a problem of leaving the list completely up to the individual article. A list of right-handed people vs. left-handed (or Irish Americans vs. Hmong Americans) would, as a result of availability, have more stringent requirements. By quickly glancing at the two, it would seem there are relatively equal numbers of both. However, the first might only allow bluelinks (the two Irish American mayors of New York City (I'm making this up)) while the other includes just about anyone (the first Hmong American Eagle Scout). Additionally, this leaves less watched articles as free-for-alls. After struggling to hash out a workable policy for "List of people named James", you end up with a one-on-one argument at "Podunk, Kentucky#Notable residents" with no guideline to fall back on. - SummerPhD (talk) 16:16, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Announcing our new community liaison

I’m delighted to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation has engaged Maggie Dennis (User:Moonriddengirl on the English Wikipedia and elsewhere) to serve as our first Community Liaison. The Community Liaison role is envisioned to be a rotating assignment, filled by a new Wikimedian each year, half year or quarter. One of Maggie’s responsibilities is to begin to lay out a process for how this rotating posting would work.

Maggie has been a contributor to the projects since 2007 and is an administrator on the English Wikipedia and an OTRS volunteer. She has over 100,000 edits, including edits to 40 of the language versions of our projects. Her broad experience and knowledge made her a natural fit for this role.

This role is a response to requests from community members who have sometimes felt they didn’t know who to ask about something or weren’t sure the right person to go through to bring up a suggestion or issue. Her initial thrust will be to create systems so that every contributor to the projects has a way to reach the Foundation if they wish and to make sure that the Foundation effectively connects the right resources with people who contact us. If you aren’t sure who to call, Maggie will help you. Obviously, most community members will never need this communications channel - they’re happy editing, doing the things that make the projects great - but we want to make it as easy as possible for people to communicate with the Foundation.

The job of the liaison will have two major parts. First are standard duties that every liaison will perform which may include maintaining a FAQ about what each department does, making sure that inquiries from email or mailing lists are brought to the attention of appropriate staff members, etc. However, we also want liaisons to be free to pursue unique projects suited to their particular skill sets. Maggie will develop such projects in the coming weeks.

Maggie will be on the projects as User:Mdennis (WMF) and can be reached at Her initial appointment runs for six months. I look forward to working with Maggie in this new role!

Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 21:51, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

You couldn't have picked a better user!--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:01, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Seconded. Excellent choice, and best of luck with you new job, Maggie :) . - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 16:26, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
👍 1 user likes this. – ukexpat (talk) 17:56, 27 May 2011 (UTC)


Asking for community input on the use of news leaks in Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources#Leaks patsw (talk) 23:59, 27 May 2011 (UTC)


Is the message If you are undoing an edit that is not vandalism, explain the reason in the edit summary. Do not use the default message only a suggestion or policy ? Gnevin (talk) 12:41, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Consider it policy. It is an extension of Wikipedia:Editing policy, which says you need to explain your edits. Yoenit (talk) 13:00, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Gnevin (talk) 14:12, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Which would be what the undo message is doing when you click undo. That being said if it is, it should be put on a policy page somewhere because it is an extremely common use to use undo without an edit summary. And policy is supposed to reflect action not prescribe action after all. -DJSasso (talk) 14:14, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I Am really not planning to use edit summaries for edits like [1]. If people don't realise why I made this undo, they can always ask for an explanation, and if the editor would persist and make the same change again, I would also provide an explanation, but in general for such obvious errors / tests, no edit summary on undo is needed. Fram (talk) 14:28, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, Fram: in the example you use, an edit summary like "fixing formatting" explains what you've done and why. In many cases, something you're undoing may have been done in total good faith by somebody who needs to be told why you're reverting them if they are to learn better. It's part of making this whole project transparent rather than opaque. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:16, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Of course, because IPs stay around for an hour to check edit summaries... If they can't be bothered to check the result of their edit (and use the non-informative edit summary "alex kille" themselves-, what is the chance of them staying around for an hour or more to check the edit summary of the next edit to that article? And what is the chance that they would not understand what happened now, but would suddenly understand with "fixing formatting"? I am assuming good faith, or I would have used rollback instead of undo. But I don't believe in fairy tales, and am not wasting my time on them. Fram (talk) 19:39, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
The editors at those IPs often return to the same article, even via different IPs or subsequently registered accounts. An edit comment can prevent revertwarring. It's that simple. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:44, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Assuming that the unregistered editor checks the history, which is not something I'd necessarily want to rely on.
Fram, if you think it too much trouble to provide edit informative summaries in general, you might at least consider doing so on subsequent reversions, especially if the other person 'undid' your reversion rather than making new mistakes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:56, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Call to Action: We need more participation, more questions, and many more voter guides for the current Board Election

I'm in the process of compiling my own Voter Guide and could use more input.

  • The candidates have not been asked that many questions this time around. Ask them! They're going to control millions of dollars and help run the show for at least two years!
  • Like nearly all users, I need more feedback on the people I don't already know well-- who should we absolutely be supporting and why??
  • Or even better, make a voter guide of your own and share it. The Arbcom elections had 24 voter guides, right now there aren't any for the Board Election, and it's way more important than the Arbcom election.
  • We need to designate a central place for English speakers of all projects to discuss the election-- right now discussions are happening all over, or worse, not happening at all. We need to advertise that place extensively (in the central notices of the english-speaking projects )
  • In general, we need to spark a more robust discussion. Otherwise the elections will come down to name recognition + throwing darts at a wall.

--Alecmconroy (talk) 10:58, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

How do you think we should improve this matter? — Preceding unsigned comment added by SuperX9 (talkcontribs) 04:55, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

"Live" football score updates

(association football, that is)

There is a discussion in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football#Live scores issue again regarding whether it is appropriate to add football scores during a match. It would be helpful if others could contribute to the discussion. Thanks,  Chzz  ►  22:49, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


I was surprised to see that a redirect, cellar spider, had been locked. Is there a policy on this? (I didn't find one.) The basis given in this case, "no reason to move or edit redirect without discussion," seems understandable but subjectively applicable to an endless number of redirects and, I would say, counter to Wikipedia's spirit and best interest. Certainly WP:BOLD and WP:IGNORE. What's the story? Is this case a relic/anomoly? ENeville (talk) 03:15, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

That particular title was subject to page-move vandalism from a banned user on the day it was protected, and it's reasonable to assume it would be targeted again. Any reasonable admin would lower the edit protection level if asked, though such requests should normally go to the protecting admin in the first instance. -- zzuuzz (talk) 13:38, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Removed the edit protection, but left the move protection on for reasons stated by zzuzz. Let me know if someone wants to move the redirect. NawlinWiki (talk) 16:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Non-free content

Must images of historical importance be "subjects of commentary" before we can use them under a claim of fair use? See RfC here. Input from uninvolved editors would be particularly appreciated. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 05:01, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles being sold by book companies

Is there a page/discussion on Wikipedia that deals with the issue of companies selling books based on Wikipedia articles e.g. [2] Thanks. Eldumpo (talk) 20:34, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

See User:PrimeHunter/Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:37, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
The licence of wikipedia clearly allows it, as long as the licence is respected. Cambalachero (talk) 20:42, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for responses. I read through a number of the articles from PrimeHunter's link. Regarding Wikipedia:Buying Wikipedia articles in print or another form, why does the Wikipedia license allow people to redistribute Wikipedia commercially. Why does it not state that it can be republished in free sources, and then only allow paid use via accredited Wikipedia partners e.g. Pedia Press? Also, going beyond that, if 3rd party publishers do charge for Wikipedia articles in a book, why are they not obliged to make it clear the articles come from Wikipedia? Is there a better place I should be asking this/perhaps similar questions have been asked before? Regards. Eldumpo (talk) 08:39, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
As to the second point, the license under which wikipedia text can be used does place a requirement on the user to specify its origin. As to the first, and if I remember correctly, the original license used when submitting text to wikipedi was the GFDL, which does not bar commercial use of the text. Let me turn your question around: why should wikipedia seek to limit the use of its text? Sure, we could have started out down the line you suggest, much like we could have set off down the advertising line for funding. We chose not to. Advantages and disadvantages attach to any of the options that could have been selected. What makes your suggestion better than the current situation? --Tagishsimon (talk) 09:01, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
These "book" sites appear to be internet only, so if people can access them they can access Wikipedia. It can hardly be an encouragement to editors to improve Wikipedia when they see some rip-off company making profits from text they've worked on. I don't see any benefit to Wikipedia in these "books" being offered for sale. Anyone know many of these books are produced/sold? Eldumpo (talk) 11:06, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
It shouldn't be a discouragement to editors: it's what they signed up for, the spread of knowledge. The benefit is not to Wikipedia, the benefit is to the world, and, as such, entirely inkeeping with the Wikimedia project. Okay, so we can think of better ways to spread knowledge, but as Voltaire said, it's a case of the better being the enemy of the good. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 13:04, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Except that these books can hardly be called "good", they are a dump of Wikipedia articles without any redaction, ordering, ... You get book titles like "Dylan Dog: Insert SHorror Fiction, Comics, Eponym, Tiziano Sclavi, Publishing, Sergio Bonelli Editore, Dark Horse Comics, English Language, Cemetery Man"[3] or "Folklore of the Low Countries: Epic Poetry, Legend, Fairy Tale, Luxembourg, Dutch Language, Medieval Dutch Literature, Belgium". Most of theirt book titles omit the second part, but they are still created in the same way: you take an article, and add all articles linked from the first one. You don't get a book on one topic, but a book containing one article and a long series of loosely related other articles about terms used in the first one. Fram (talk) 14:40, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Agree with the above. Why does Wikipedia want to enable profits for these shoddy companies. Couldn't it all be avoided by stating that you can freely use/distribute it, but not for commerical purposes. Eldumpo (talk) 16:10, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

This would violate one of the core principles of the Wikimedia Foundation ("Free licensing of content; in practice defined by each project as public domain, GFDL, CC-BY-SA or CC-BY"). It is not going to change; that "If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here" box you're always saying "accept" to means what it says. – iridescent 16:25, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content, which begins "There are many reusers of Wikipedia's content, and more are welcome. If you want to use Wikipedia's text materials in your own books/articles/web sites or other publications, you can do so..." WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:27, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Because you can't say "no shoddy companies" in a license. We either forbid all commercial companies or none of them. There are plenty of legitimate commercial purposes. Mr.Z-man 21:40, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Also should be kept in mind that the decision is (in my amateur, non-lawyer opinion) irrevocable at this point. All the existing (text) contributions (outside of fair-use quotes or unremoved copyvio) have been licensed under terms that permit commercial use, and require the makers of derivative works (that's us) to license them under the same terms. So we simply are not allowed to go to a more restrictive license, unless we dump all current content and start over, or get all contributors to agree to the change. --Trovatore (talk) 21:47, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

While it is permitted, one thing that bothers me is that these books are listed at online book retailers without any indication of the nature of the book. For example, check out this "book" selling on Amazon for $116.98 (and up) that I wrote probably about 80% of: [4]. There's nothing on the page to indicate that it's all Wikipedia content. Just about no one would buy this if they understood what it was. By the same token, I'm sure just about everyone who buys it feels very ripped off once they crack the cover, and some may blame Wikipedia despite the unfairness of that. Maybe we can somehow influence the big sellers into instituting a policy of disclosure on their sites when acting as the intermediary for such manuscripts?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:34, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

That would be about all we could do. And I don't see where we would have much leverage. It would take an effort by the Foundation to have any chance (slim) of having any effect, I would think. And I don't see the Foundation as having any strong desire to bother with this, probably. I agree that it's a regrettable situation (not the commercial distribution, but the scammy high price/low quality nature of it), but some things you just have to let go, I guess. Herostratus (talk) 04:43, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, if it's true (and i have no intention, at this point, of paying $117 to verify), then no beef with them offering it for sale, but without mentioned the content and license it seems to be violate the spirit, if not the letter of the GFDL. That's part Caveat Emptor, but i see no indication any sucker has actually paid >$100 for the book, part Amazon for allowing/tolerating product listings promoting a misleading product, and then a potential license violation - "you must make clear to others the license terms of this work" - sure implies to me that you make it clear before accepting anyone's cash.Cander0000 (talk) 05:37, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
One thing we could do is swamp the internet with shit reviews of Alphascript publishing books. Both Google and Amazon have a facility for users to add reviews. If people want to pay to have Wikipedia articles nicely bound into a book I don't see the problem with that; the problem is not declaring that's what you are getting. Trading standards authorities might also be interested in hearing about this - misleading advertisments are not allowed in most countries. SpinningSpark 06:08, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

I can't imagine that if the project knew that this was being done in the manner it is being done, there wouldn't be a move to amend the license. I would suggest that we stipulate that any commercial work comprised in part or in whole of Wikipedia article(s) as content (as opposed to, they're presenting a selection of articles in totem and they then analyze or review the benefits and drawbacks of the phenomenon of user-generated content, or they're quoting Wikipedia coverage of a subject among other sources), must indicate this fact in the subtitle of the work and at point of sale. How can a buyer beware if sales happen sight-unseen over the internet and we are abetting such highway robbery by allowing our content to be repackaged wholesale (as in its entirety, not as in discount from retail) for profit?

Upon the death of Farrah Fawcett, I was casting about for material commemorating her life and career. I did a good deal of work at Farrah Fawcett before and after her death, and when I discovered that a new book with the working title The Accomplishments of Farrah Fawcett was available for pre-order at, I thought, "what an odd title," but I put it in my watchlist. When the cover art was finally published, my suspicions were confirmed. Two-bit graphics and the only attribution on the cover was "The Editors". Sample pages showed cut-and-pasted refs (replete with blue type where the links were) from the Wikipedia bio I'd been working on. That title is now out of print, replaced by "Farrah Fawcett and Charlie's Angels", which is the same bio appended with the Wiki bios of some of the notables she portrayed in TV films and, I suppose, the series article and bios on the other Angels. As bad as it was that such an incomplete and skewed bio was up there representing her life and career for free on Wikipedia, I was repulsed to learn that someone would sell such a half-baked product and without any indication of the source of the material. No place on the depicted covers, on their Amazon pages, or in the sample pages available for view, does it attribute the authorship or origin of this material. This is a scam, it reflects poorly on Wikipedia, and it's apparently not isolated to one publisher—the "Emporium Books" the OP notes is nowhere to be found on these pages, the covers or the sample pages. These are attributed in the Amazon Product Details section to "CreateSpace". Yet CreateSpace isn't searchable, only the author is searchable. The author for the "Accomplishments" was "The Editors", which is ambiguous enough to bring up hundreds of thousands of hits including credible sources, which is misleading. The author for the second version is listed as "Old School Cinema", but this is the only title linked to that author name. (Adding insult to injury, someone is selling this thing used for $19.99.)

Again, this isn't like, "hey, I want my cut of the $19.99." It's, "hey, I feel partly responsible for everyone who paid $19.99." Or worse, over $110! I'm not saying they should be prevented from offering this work for sale, and I'm not saying that free mirror sites should be forced to attribute the work, I'm saying that someone republishing this for commercial sale should be required to indicate on the cover and at point of sale (the description they provide to Amazon, for example) that the material was previously published, and by Wikipedia. Abrazame (talk) 07:57, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

We cannot amend the licence. Historical content could always be used without the stipulation, and adding in the stipulation would make our licence not an already established one. Why is that bad? Because existing licences are big names, well understood, well maintained, and, in most cases have legal precedent. They are easy to enforce and their terms are well-defined: unfortunately unlike your proposed terms.
However, I would agree that $118 is extortionate and misleading. That line is a much better line of attack IMHO. Does host any of these? They may be liable under the new UK advertising standards rules. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 08:43, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Besides not being able to amend the license, that's also a ridiculous restriction. So if a book wants to include a paragraph of content from Wikipedia, they have to mention that on the cover? Restrictions that made it difficult for people to reuse Wikipedia content offline were one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) why we made the effort to dual license with CC-BY-SA instead of only the GFDL. Note that even if we did amend the license, or these publishers are in violation of the current one, it's still up to individual users to enforce it. Mr.Z-man.sock (talk) 16:16, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I suspect including a paragraph (as a clear quote, not inline) would probably fall under fair use, at least in the US, and therefore would not require accepting the license at all. The license can't put restrictions on reusers who don't accept it. --Trovatore (talk) 23:24, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Assuming they only want to sell the book in the US and countries with similar copyright laws, they probably could. But making the license more difficult to adhere to and more often bypassed is still a step backward in terms of Wikipedia being free content. Mr.Z-man 01:17, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Wait, I thought attribution was required (not on the cover, but somewhere). No? --JaGatalk 07:20, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Not only can we not amend the license of existing content, we can't amend the license of new content either, because the combination of old and new content would form a derivative work that must be licensed under the same license, per the Share Alike clause. Everybody hates Alphascript, because they're a shoddy print-on-demand press with zero editorial investment. But let me make an analogy.
Penguin Books sells a variety of books of public domain works, such as this version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. The same book is available for free online at Project Gutenberg, and indeed at Wikisource. Penguin does not tell us this on their cover, and you could not guess from the title and author alone whether one of their books is a public domain work or a licensed work. Yet Penguin is considered a reputable publisher, although they do almost the same thing as Alphascript, except for tacking on a short, original preface, presumably to make the volume copyrightable.
So what makes Penguin and Alphascript different? Well for one thing Penguin's books are pretty damn cheap ($10 is typical). For another they provide added value. If Alphascript did these two things, would they become reputable as well? Dcoetzee 10:25, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
  • These books are making it more and more difficult to do research on Google. They show up even when you use "-wikipedia". I believe it is one thing to use wikipedia text on a commercial product, but another thing entirely to be making a profit entirely off the written work of others. These books do not meet the attribution requirements, as they often hardly even mention "From wikipedia" on them, let alone the article URLs and a list of contributors. Wikimedia musy have some sway with Google and Amazon to get these piles of trash from multiplying like horny rabbits. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 10:46, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
  • The Attribution problem is one that is of Creative Common's making and is an issue they haven't (and refuse to) solve. Essentially they leave terms such as "Commercial Use" (for NC licences) undefined and allow the content creator to define the method of Attribution. Whilst this may seem minor, the legal repercussions could be huge - The foundation's legal department has been shrewd in the interpretation by clarifying this for Wikimedia content with the legal disclaimer 'By clicking the "Save Page" button... ...You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.' So if this is considered legally binding, these books simply need to provide a URL back to the original article to comply with the attribution requirement of the CC license. However I wonder about the implications of an editor signing their contribution in Article Text and legally challenging either the foundation or one of these publishers if that signature attribution is removed but their content is retained - Similarly although perhaps more pertinently is the removal of watermark attribution from images that may have been imported from another site such as flickr. It may even be the case that some other site may be legally challenged and precedent set that content creators cannot be made to agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution for CC license only in terms of service; meaning that the user's content and individual attribution may need to be removed from article text in order to comply with the CC. Unfortunately I've already debated heavily with CC, that they need to clarify the meaning of "Commercial Use" in their license without response, so I don't think they will do anything about attribution. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:27, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
    Creative commons can say whatever it wants to, but they aren't lawyers. Attribution has a legal meaning, and it is not "a hyperlink back to the original content", it is (in US law, the law which applies to WikiMedia) "...the act of regarding a quality or feature as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something. The act of attributing, especially the act of establishing a particular person as the creator of a work of art." Linking back to the original copy does not attribute the original work to its authors, it attributes plagarism to the original. This is plagarism, pure and simple! - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:32, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
    Providing a URL is exactly how Wikimedia says to attribute our content. From the Terms of Use, "To re-distribute a text page in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using". Mr.Z-man 01:17, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
    Parking garages have signs in them stating that they are not responsible for damage to your car. These notices do not supercede U.S. Law, regardless of what they say. Attribution has a legal meaning, and that meaning is what the law looks at, not the disclaimer on our site. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:45, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
    Firstly the Creative Commons board is composed of a majority of Lawyers, so dismissing them as not being lawyers isn't helpful. Secondly Attribution has a legal meaning but there is no legal standard by which attribution has to be established (and this will differ from work to work) and the creative commons licenses allow the creator to specify the method by which they wish the attribution of their work to be established. Thirdly The Wikimedia terms of service specify that for contributions to wikimedia the method is to be accepted as a Url back to the article where the actual attributions remain stored in the page history. Fourthly US copyright law applies to material recieved by Wikimedia, but if content is being republished abroad then it is in that legal juristiction that infringement of wikimedia content would have to be challenged. Finally, Plagarism is an ethical infringement not a legal one - which is the real problem here with the crediting of authors who have never been involved in the writing. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 06:19, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I had a look around on after first reading this. While examples given do not indicate any attribution I did find some that did state the orgin of the material in this one of 1965-66 English footbal
More amusing is the number of resellers with their wide range of pricing and that some claim to have it "in stock". I'm almost tempted to pick one of the UK sellers and ask them. Do you really have a copy on your shelf? GraemeLeggett (talk) 17:10, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I find this practice disturbing. The publishers often invent one or more names as the authors, and that seems to me to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the licence. In addition, the books are absurdly expensive, and in some subjects overwhelm Amazon with rubbish. So it seems unintelligent and misleading. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 20:54, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree. I'm surprised Amazon UK sells them as I would think they would not be fit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act, this just looks like rubbish. Can we ask for mediawiki legal advice as to whether use of fake authors violates the attribution clause of the licence? Rjwilmsi 23:01, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Books, LLC also reprints Wikipedia content. They at least seem to respect the attribution requirements. --Tothwolf (talk) 23:16, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Responding to republishers

Collectively, Wikipedians buy a lot of books. My guess is that making it clear to e-retaillers (, Barnes & Noble, Alibris, and such) that we find it offensive would be helpful. Most of these retaillers have websites that accept reviews, we could simply (even automagically) submit reviews that disclose the publisher's practice when one of these is found. Of course, they'd get zero star ratings too. Note too that we should have {{Backwardscopy}} on the article talkpages.LeadSongDog come howl! 16:38, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Amazon, at least, has a system of tags such as "stolen wikipedia content", "plagiarized", and "commercial copyright infringement" as seen on this version of our Opposite-colored bishop's endgame. I also note that here listed are 332 of these "books" that libraries (sometimes several) have forked out scarce money for. It would seem appropriate to let these libraries know what's been happening so they can respond too, though judging by the "notes" section here the OCLC is already on to their game in some cases. LeadSongDog come howl! 17:12, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
For starters, I'd like to see a bot go through all of the books found by querying gbooks or worldcat for ("VDM Publishing" or "Alphascript Publishing" or "Betascript Publishing" or "Frederic P Miller" or "Frederick P Miller" or "Agnes F Vandome" or "John McBrewster" or "Lambert M Surhone" or "Miriam T Timpledon" or "Susan F Marseken") and ("WIKIPEDIA" or "Wikipedia") and add the appropriate backwardscopy template to the same-title WP article's talkpage header.LeadSongDog come howl! 18:17, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
You get the list, and I'll handle the rest. :) - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 19:25, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I offer to help. Rjwilmsi 23:05, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
This search of OCLC is also interesting. LadyofShalott 23:27, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Registered users at WorldCat can create lists from search results, and these can be exported as CSV files. Unfortunately it's a bit handraulic: you can only add ten query hits at a time to the lists. It's possible there's another way that uses their APIs.LeadSongDog come howl! 14:40, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
I've built a list on Worldcat entitled "Wikipedia articles copied by VDM Publishing" with 260 entries attributed to Miller. It should be a good start.LeadSongDog come howl! 17:31, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Now extended to include most of the others, for 352 total.LeadSongDog come howl! 17:52, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Here is the link to the list LeadSongDog compiled. --Tothwolf (talk) 01:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
From the looks of these reviews, [5] [6] [7] people have indeed been tricked into purchasing some of these books. Since many people won't even bother to write a review, likely far more people than that have fallen for this scam. I also found the follow up comments for some of these reviews interesting and also noted that Amazon had removed one of the comments. [8] [9] --Tothwolf (talk) 01:24, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps these are simply a symptom of another issue. If WP content was catalogued in a way the librarians and booksellers understood, e.g. one ISBN or OCLCn per article, they'd be better represented in indices out there. Why don't we get proactive about this? Register an ISBN prefix for the Wikimedia Foundation. Add the article ID as a suffix. Register WP as a library. Feed our article metadata to the OCLC so it appears as an online resource in nearly every library in the world. Isn't that in keeping with the project's mission? LeadSongDog come howl! 20:17, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
If we become a publisher, with our articles as our publications, we'll get involved in a nightmare. Exactly when do we generate a new ISBN for a version of an article? Are they each checkpointed? Or do we do it for each and every edit, vandalism or not? Yikes. - Denimadept (talk) 20:29, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Simple. You use the version that is selected for publishing by the editorial team. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:01, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Simple. You use the version that is selected for publishing by the editorial team. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:01, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a new ISBN each time an article gets promoted? Even simpler, a single OCLC number can apply to all revisions of a live internet resource or, for that matter, to all issues of a serial. Of course a DOI could identify each specific revision, even though as Denimadept points out, that would include some we would not much want kept. This would have the advantage that someone citing a WP article by doi gets a specific revision (equivalent to citing its oldid but more stable) and still gets the pink notice linking to the current version e.g. LeadSongDog come howl! 13:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Examples of these books and original copyright

Thanks for all the posts on this topic. It seems it is a concern for others as well. Has anyone got a copy of one of these books so they could scan a page so we can get a fuller understanding of what is included from the Wikipedia article. In particular I'm wondering how they deal with referencing. Presumably they just cut out the references and external links sections, and the in-line citations? Does that mean that if any of the Wiki articles they use were themselves effectively direct copies from another source, then they are liable for copyright breach from the original source? Eldumpo (talk) 10:40, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Maybe, maybe not. You're asking whether they could be liable if they inadvertently included a Wikipedia article that was itself a copyvio (and which we hopefully have since removed)? They could always argue that they relied upon Wikipedia's representation that all of our text was freely licensed. Whether a court would expect them to have made their own investigation, I don't know. I'd expect that these "publishers" are all kind of fly-by-night working-out-of-the-back-of-a-Singapore-sweatshop kind of "companies", so there probably isn't much to sue anyway. But if someone does want to take the time to look through some of these, see if they included any copyvio articles, then notify the infringed publisher that this was a copyvio, we fixed it, they didn't, good luck to you. postdlf (talk) 15:00, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is protected from copyright claims by the safe harbor provision of the DMCA, precisely because it is a website to which people are permitted to post freely. Once a publisher reduces content to print and offers to sell it in a tangible format, the DMCA no longer applies to them, and they can be sued for copyright infringement just like anyone else publishing any written work. In the United States, copyright infringement is a strict liability cause of action, and reliance on a third party is not a defense to infringement itself. That would only mitigate damages. bd2412 T 00:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

so what happens if one of these "publishers" grabs a copy of an article at a time when the article contains inappropriate cut and paste copyrighted content? Active Banana (bananaphone 05:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Has Wikipedia policy changed to allow censorship?

I ask because an ongoing dispute on the talk page for an article about an Australian politician seems to indicate that some editors believe that Australian censorship law should take precedence over the inclusion of reliably sourced from several national newspapers describing how that politician has been charged with child pornography offenses and suspended from his party. Edit-warring to exclude this information from the article has been ongoing for more than a month, with absurd claims that even linking to said reliable sources is unacceptable. Nevard (talk) 08:55, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Well I am no expert and I don't know the history of this debate myself, but off the bat, it looks like it might be a case of WP:IDL on the part of some Aussie editors. Australian censorship laws are irrelevant here. The laws of the State of Florida are the only ones that apply to Wikipedia afaik, because that is where they have their servers. A country's laws don't extend to the articles of their citizens. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 11:52, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Australian law does, of course, apply to editors in Australia. I am no legal expert either, and offer no opinion on whether or not this is actually against Australian law. However, Australian editors cannot legally upload something from Australia that is against Australian law, so caution is needed here in advice to editors. But as Flinders Petrie says, Australia has no jurisdiction over servers in Florida, so there is no cause to remove material from Wikipedia unless it against the law in Florida or there is some Wikipedia policy reason. It would be quite silly if we tried to comply with the legal code of every country in the world. German copyright laws would make a big hole in Commons images for instance, to say nothing of what the Saudi blasphemy laws would do to our religous articles. SpinningSpark 13:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah well yes, that is true for Aussie editors, no argument there. However, if the content is properly sourced, notable and relevant then someone from elsewhere in the Commonwealth or the Colonies, not constrained by censorship laws (or an Icelander if one is available =p), could put the info in. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 13:28, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
This keeps coming up. Do we have a guideline on this that we could refer editors to? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:49, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we need a guideline to say, essentially, "You are responsible for following the laws of your jurisdiction when Wikipedia. WMF/WIkipedia is not responsible for any legal problems you face if you decide to break the law where you live." Common sense seems to be the overriding principle here. → ROUX  20:12, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Arbitration policy update and ratification

The current written arbitration policy dates from 2004 and much has evolved since then. It has been extensively reviewed over the last two years, with a series of wide-ranging community consultations. A proposed update has now been posted and is awaiting community ratification. All editors are cordially invited to participate in the ratification process, which is now open.  Roger Davies talk 23:35, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Discuss this

WP reputation damaged by lack of naming convention on derogatory slang in article titles

There has been a lot of confusion over what IMHO should be a relatively uncontroversial exertion of wise editorial policy such that proscribed "hate speech" type language, ie., certain highly derogatory slang words, be subjected to a simple naming convention. Surprisingly, some editors fail to distinguish a naming convention from outright censorship and as a result the culpable articles remain, alienating faculty and students around the world.

Specifically, article titles about words such as ch*nk, in the derogatory slang sense of "Chinese-descended person" would be better put as "Ch*mk (Slang, prejudicial) or something like that.

What should be a no-brainer has become a twisted pretzel argument. Please think this through - there is no censorship impliced. And articles about mere words don't really belong here in the first place, they are dictionary words to begin with.

Discussion is here Bard गीता 02:18, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Follow up of WP:Village pump (proposals)/Proposal to require autoconfirmed status in order to create articles

A draft of how to run the trial is now located here. Crossposting from WP:VPR. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:49, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Pending changes proposal

I've written a proposed policy to use pending changes level two protection on certain articles with a history of BLP problems for which semi-protection is inadequate. Comments are welcome. Chester Markel (talk) 18:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)


I would like to request some eyes on WP:VIDEOLINK. The initial reasoning for starting the essay was because I saw a gap in how YouTube links are handled. Both guidelines and policies still fail to address how YouTube is used as a source. The essay has been sitting at mid-impact for several months. I have even seen others pointing to it in discussions. I would love some copyediting. I also want to ensure that it is completely inline with precedent.Cptnono (talk) 05:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Sporadic fundraising testing starting today.

Hi everyone -

WMF's fundraiser team will be testing our banner, landing page and analytics systems this week (starting today). This is the first time we're turning on our systems since last year's fundraiser -- so we want to work out any bugs that crawled in first before getting others involved. Banners will appear for about 30-60 minutes per country in 15 to 20 countries (a couple a day). A few will be the Jimmy banners with pictures but most will be more subtle.

We test before the fundraiser starts so that staff are well trained and systems function well during the fundraiser. This year, we're training more people to code banners and landing pages than last year so that we can help chapters and other country and language communities do better testing.

I'm going to update this thread each day with the countries we'll be testing on so that people have a heads up but if you have any questions please let us know. All banners will be anonymous only and short term.

Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising Team

This morning we plan on doing short tests in: Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Ireland and South Korea and Tanzania Jalexander--WMF 17:47, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks; I have updated User:WhatamIdoing/Fundraising in the expectation of complaints.
Will Philippe still be the main contact for this year's fundraiser? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:01, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Philippe agreed to help out for a year with the fundraiser and has since returned to Reader Relations (though will of course be around). The fundraiser this year is going to be headed up by Megan Hernandez (User:Meganhernandez on the projects)who headed up the testing and production side last year. We'll also have a team of staff helping out both on and off wiki like we did last year. As a side note since you mentioned contact: if anyone has issues during a test etc we will always be available on IRC in the irc:Wikimedia-fundraising channel (I'll also be hanging in the general Wikipedia-en and en-admins channels) as well as keeping an eye both on wiki and OTRS (through the address).
As a heads up our current rough plan is to have a short test in SG (Singapore), SK (Slovakia), SO (somalia), NZ, GR (greece), GT (Guatemala) and MA (Mauritious) tomorrow (Thursday). That test is likely to happen early afternoon US Pacific Time (evening UTC). We are also thinking of a short test in the United States and Canada on Friday (obviously having more visual impact then some of the smaller countries Thursday). I'll let you know as plans firm up and as always things are subject to change or cancellation as things come up. Jalexander--WMF 07:05, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Just an update. Over the next 30 minutes we'll be starting a short test (no more then an hour) in a couple smaller countries (not what I put above): Belize, Liberia, Suriname, Camaroon, Ghana and Botswana Jalexander--WMF 22:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

As an update for Friday. Our plan is to test banners in a bunch of countries including larger ones. Currently planned for about 1 hour in the Morning US Pacific time: Unites States, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Greece and Singapore. Jalexander--WMF 08:24, 3 June 2011 (UTC)


Straw poll closing in three hours.

The straw poll regarding disambiguation links in maintenance lists of mathematics articles is scheduled to close in about three hours. Speak now or - well, you know the rest. Cheers! bd2412 T 03:41, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Note: This straw poll was closed with a consensus to move the lists of mathematics articles to project space, based on their use as maintenance lists. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:43, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Rfc on use of maps

I've set up an RfC WT:No original research#RfC: Are_maps in general secondary sources?. Sounds like we should soon have hundreds of thousands of new things to write about :) Dmcq (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:20, 4 June 2011 (UTC).

Policy on non-free images of actors for fictional characters

What are policies on images describing a fictional character played by an actor requiring no special costume or prosthetics? For example, Jack Bauer has the exact same face as Kiefer Sutherland. Surely that would count as replacable? Or is the fact that Kiefer Sutherland not playing Jack Bauer in File:Kiefer Sutherland 2008.jpg make this an unacceptable image for the article? I can somewhat understand a case like Spock, because he has stylized ears/eyebrows/uniform, and so looks very distinct from Leonard Nimoy. Regular human actors playing regular human characters should fall under the same umbrella as photos of living celebrities. If you want to know what Jack Bauer looks like, I'm pretty sure a picture of Kiefer will do the trick (just imagine a gun and a lack of sleep). I'm wondering because I came across File:Rhys Williams (Torchwood).jpg being used for Rhys Williams, and I tagged it invalid non-free, before realizing it was also used in the character article. But surely it is still invalid, as there is no visible distinction between character and actor? ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 06:01, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

While I agree with the NFCC assessment on free replacement, those that support these have argued that photographs of the actors "in character" even if there's no makeup or unique clothing that the actor's demeanor and the like say much more explicit detail about the character than words (saying that this actor plays this character) does. This came up in an WT:NFC discussion earlier this year [10] which closed without consensus. I think it also came up at FAC but their solution there was that if the character's appearance was discussed in depth by sources, then the image meets NFCC#8 and thus is more than just decorative.
So arguably, there is no exacting policy for an image of a character in a standalone article about that character, though the more the character's appearance is critically discussed by sources, the more likely it will be accepted. --MASEM (t) 12:01, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
This does not apply to character images in list articles or in any other article that isn't exclusively about that character, while conversely group shots are usually ok since getting ensemble casts together is not something easily done. --MASEM (t) 12:04, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Demeanor (a picture tells 1000 words, and a good, directed in-character shot can look significantly different from a free photo at an event), clothing (even if not unusual, Sutherland doesn't usually walk around in a vest with a gun), and surroundings (I don't know what Rhys Williams is standing in front of, but it suggests a modern science fiction series like Torchwood, and that promo image was made for the show). A free photo at a convention or on the red carpet, even if the actor is wearing clothing and/or props customary for the character, is likely to be smiling or have a nondescript expression, and have surroundings unlike those with the character. Revelian (talk) 15:00, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:File mover has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:File mover (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

I have turned the page into a how-to page, because that's what it is. The page merely describes the user right and how to perform the actions. The standards are located at the guideline Wikipedia:Image file names Cambalachero (talk) 14:54, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:File mover no longer marked as a policy

Wikipedia:File mover (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a policy. It was previously marked as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

RfC on proposed new 3RR exemption

Interested people may wish to see Wikipedia talk:Edit warring#RfC on proposed new 3RR exemption. Well, interested people obviously will wish to see it, but you know what I mean... :) ╟─TreasuryTagActing Returning Officer─╢ 10:23, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Any endorsements for Wikimedia Board Elections?

There are only a few days left in the election-- could anyone provide advice or endorsements for voters who are short on time?? Please share the people you like, and add a link to it on Meta:Template:Board elections 2011 infobox. --Alecmconroy (talk) 02:47, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Final reminder: Arbitration policy update and ratification

The current written arbitration policy dates from 2004 and much has evolved since then. The policy has been extensively reviewed over the last two years, with a series of wide-ranging community consultations, to bring the written document up to date. The proposed update is posted and is undergoing community ratification, which is due to close on 13 June 2011. All editors are cordially invited to participate in the ratification process.  Roger Davies talk 06:02, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Discuss this


I have started this RfC to determine whether or not the Romanization of Russian guideline actually reflects consensus. Comments there would be greatly appreciated; thanks. Mlm42 (talk) 17:35, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to change first sentence of wp:ver

There is a proposal to change the first sentence of wp:ver at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#Proposal for a change in the first sentence. Your input is requested. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 22:33, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

using a collection of sources with opposing points of view that by themselves are borderline reliable, in conjunction as a single source

For particular cases in Singapore (and I imagine elsewhere where press freedom or journalist access is an issue, such as war-torn zones or countries affected by the Arab Spring), opposition viewpoints, whose American equivalents would be well-sourced in the press, are forced to turn to self-published sources. For this reason they make weak sources individually. Suppose however, you aggregate them -- and critically, you corroborate them to sources with opposing points of view -- perhaps in the most clear-cut case, a reliable one, or an "official statement" from a reliable source known to have a bias Straits Times, People's Daily, etc. If you find that the official statement corroborates certain facts with the opposition media's own statements. Some of these sources also publish cases of investigative journalism that are remarked on passingly in the international press but are furiously reported by domestic opposition sources (and by writers with a reputation, but are forced to stay anonymous).

I believe in these cases, on a case by case basis, arrangements should be made to permit them as reliable sources, based on the low likelihood of fabrication, widespread corroboration and so forth. There are often details that are likely to be true, but they are not reported in government media and are not mentioned in the international press (for reasons of brevity and audience, not significance). In these cases (repressed countries all over the world), it's as though opposition media (examples include The Online Citizen and Temasek Review) have to wait helplessly on the international press (The Economist et al) to pick one of the many issues, sourced from them, to report on. We note that the Washington Post can use undisclosed sources that we can't verify for ourselves, but based on reputation as a professional organisation their report is classified as reliable. Yet, opposition press which chances upon a key piece of government material or policy (and publishes it -- or it was public to begin with) -- because they are not professional (i.e. sold for money) they are not classed as reliable. But if an alternative or opposition news commentary organisation a) receives donations from the public b) is in fact acknowledged and actively rebutted by the mainstream press c) is by common sense rules, written professionally, critically, and well-sourced (even if it uses primary sources and primary analysis), their insertion still faces opposition and reversion by people who claim, OMG IT'S A BLOG.

My main concern is that many government sources (esp. that of governments with poor press freedom) around the world, known to have a certain bias, enjoy an unfair reputation over opposition media, even when a) the citizenry sometimes trusts the opposition media more b) certain portions of the opposition media are by common sense definition respectable sources, they are just not sold on the street or sold online (though they receive donations) for fear of persecution or because activist dissemination is their model. Shouldn't on a case by case basis, these sources be permitted, if a persuasive argument can be made? Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (be free) 05:21, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I think I was one of those who raised the issue of whether a blog is suitable for inclusion, in this case the Temasek Review. As I pointed out, the website had always identified itself as a blog on its main page title "TEMASEK REVIEW EMERITUS - Singapore Leading Social-Political Blog" (check the HTML tag which also shows the same), and thats how it is being spidered and shown on search engines as well. There are reasons why blogs are not generally accepted by wiki, not the least is accountability and accuracy as in the case of TR, where wiki editors have noticed TR writers adding stuff to the TR writeup on top of the original article [11].Zhanzhao (talk) 22:00, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


This template is up for deletion at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2011 June 11 used in 250,000 articles. Completely contradicts MOS:FLAG which individuals use as a policy. Either we accept flags in articles and infoboxes or we don't. Personally I do not care either way, but this is a double standard wherever I look.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:08, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Locking, more?

I recently asked about a page (a redirect) locking out changes by registered editors.

I now see that Wikipedia:Article titles is locking out changes by registered editors, and without apparent notification even as by an icon (that I'm seeing), only by an absence of an "Edit this page" link. My original concern returns that such inaccessibility is counter to the foundations and future of Wikipedia. When, how, and by whom was this pro tem version approved? What notification of this impending settling was given? Why does no lock icon display on this page as for Wikipedia:Manual of Style, which has also been locked but at least shows a tag that such is not an endorsement of current text?

Please understand my alarm, as the apparent extent of this matter is new to me, and strikes me as a major issue. ENeville (talk) 19:05, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

The lock icon is not a required item (last time I checked). It's just a convenience. I use Monobook and have modified my tabs so I'm not positive what you're seeing when you visit a protected page, but you should still be able to click "view source" when the page is protected (on the Vector skin). When you do that, it brings up the page as it would look under the "edit" view, but it is not editable and shows a protection reason (the one in the log). For the page mentioned above, it was protected due to an edit war. If anything, just append ?action=edit to the page's URL and it should take you to said view. See also our policy on protection. Killiondude (talk) 19:14, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah, that was the cause in the previous case, too. Sorry to see things going that way. Thanks for link on Protection policy. I had tried to search based on the word "lock". ENeville (talk) 20:58, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Changes to page protection are announced in the article history, and you can generally figure out what's going on by looking at the talk page. In the case of WP:AT, we had a typical little edit war going on a couple of weeks ago; the page has been protected to stop the edit war and encourage resolution. It has been effective at the first, but in this case, I have little hope of the two "sides" agreeing on anything. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:47, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Essay elevation to Guideline proposal

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Notability guide#Essay to Guideline. RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:33, 12 June 2011 (UTC) (Using {{pls}})

Location links straw poll

When linking a location, which method do you prefer?

Example location text: Princeton, New Jersey

Option 1: Link both Princeton and New Jersey separately, so that the wikitext looks like [[Princeton, New Jersey|Princeton]], [[New Jersey]]

Option 2: Link only Princeton, New Jersey directly, so that the wikitext looks like [[Princeton, New Jersey]]

I realize that there can be other issues (including United States, for example), but if we could limit support/oppose and discussion to just this one area for now, I think that would be informative. Thank you in advance,
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Option 1. - Although the article naming convention "Town Name, State" is common for United States locations, it is not common for other parts of the world. As a result most places will have seperate WikiLinks for Town Name and State for instance "Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate" - and there should be consistency across all articles. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 06:22, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
    After the comments below I'll expand my rationale. I understood the context of the question to be one where NJ was relevant and its inclusion not regarded Overlinking. That said if that was not the case, my option would be the same with NJ unlinked. Per the comment that we should not have two links so close together that they are mistaken for one link. Surely the opposite is also true - we should not be giving the impression that NJ is a link to NJ when it is really part of a single link to Princeton. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:05, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    I wanted to make this as generic of a question as possible, which is where the "I realize that there can be other issues" closing came from. I see this sort of thing as falling in to the "other issues" category; however, I'm willing to give some details. This particular example is very typical in my experience, being drawn from the Albert Einstein article. I selected it semi-randomly (note that I've never actually edited that particular article). The instance that it's used is in the infobox, in this particular case. It's fairly easy to see this pattern used in the first two or three sentences of most bio articles though. I'm not sure if or how that changes anything, but there's the explanation at least. I have to be honest though, that I'm not exactly clear on what you're saying above. Are you changing your "vote"?
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 01:26, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
    No, I'm not changing my vote - I'm suggesting that Option 1 with NJ delinked [[Princeton, New Jersey|Princeton]], New Jersey would still be preferable to me over Option 2 - as it's more consistent with the way articles on towns are titled outside of the U.S. and if you apply Option 2 and anyone clicks on NJ they would expect to go to the article on NJ, but nstead they end up at one on Princeton which is possibly confusing for non U.S readers.Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 05:36, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Option 2. Who wants to go to the article on New Jersey? Virtually no-one. If you're interested, 99% says you want Princeton. Oh, for the 1% of people that actually want New Jersey, it's one extra click. Option 1 represents overlinking IMHO. In my view, "Linked, non-linked" is also acceptable in the case of places where a single link isn't available.- Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 21:54, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Generally Option 2. If the state is truly significant to the context (Wikipedia:Only make links relevant to the context), it will be linked in a subsequent sentence. Neutralitytalk 04:48, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Option 2 is both my personal preference and the option that best complies with the relevant page of the Manual of Style, which says *When possible, avoid placing links next to each other so that they look like a single link..." WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:42, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Option 2 – common sense usage links that best serve the context of the article. –MuZemike 07:14, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Voting is about to close

It is currently 10:30, 12 June 2011 (UTC) , voting closes at 23:59 UTC, so just hours after this post. If you want to vote, please do so. Additionally, there's been an on-going discussion about a recommendation for voting to be extended to give people more time, opinions welcome. --Alecmconroy (talk) 10:30, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Voting has now officially finished. Ajraddatz (Talk) 02:43, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (stations in Poland) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (stations in Poland) (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, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Off-hand criticism of living people in non-article space

Should the policy on living people, WP:BLP, be clarified to allow off-hand criticism of living people on Talk pages?

Currently, there is some dissent about an editor saying something like "Kim Jong-il is corrupt." or "Bill O'Reilly is a pathetic excuse for journalist." on a Talk page. Some people, perhaps a majority, think it is a blockable offense. Others think it is not. Some think WP:BLP clearly prohibits even casual criticism of living people in random conversation, others do not.

The relevant policy excerpt re non-article space is "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced and not related to making content choices, should be removed..." [12].

A few points...

  • Should Wikipedia be a forum for criticism of living people? Of course not. An entire page created in "userspace" in order to criticise someone would be different. The topic here is any off-hand criticism. Wikipedia is not a forum for jokes, idle banter, pictures of one's self and pets on one's own user page, etc. Yet, their occurence doesn't violate WP:FORUM.
  • Some background here [13], however....
  • This discussion is for this topic, purely. Please avoid dragging article/personality disputes from one place to another.

Feel like voting? Support = allow minor or off-hand criticism of living people in non-article space, as long as it is not defamation. Oppose = editors should never be alllowed to criticize a living person, unless directly related to work on an article.Mindbunny (talk) 17:30, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. Common sense. The purpose of the policy is to prevent defamation (and attacks on people in article space), hence the empahsis on sourcing. Opinions that lack factual implications are not defmatory. Logically, the policy's syntax prohibits comments that are unsourced AND unrelated to content choices, and editors' opinions are clearly sourced to themselves.Mindbunny (talk) 17:32, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support – IIRC, Google doesn't index pages from the Talk namespace. People are entitled to opinions, and victims of libel are free to communicate their concerns to Oversighters. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:18, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Addendum – I would like everyone to remind everyone about the differences between an article and a talk page. Articles are presented as fact, and they receive a very high ranking on Google. That is why BLP exists. Talk pages, on the other hand, don't claim that the information presented on them is fact, and they aren't indexed by Google. Talk pages are for discussions. The difference between editing an article and adding a comment to a talk page is the different between publishing a newspaper or book and writing a letter or complaint. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:23, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Actually, this has been discussed before, and people agreed that talk pages are a place for discussion with the freedom to express his/her thoughts as long as they are not clearly contentious, in which case other regulatory means become effective, e.g., handling of vandalism. Nageh (talk) 18:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Re "this has been discussed before..." Can you prvide a link to the previous discussion?Mindbunny (talk) 21:04, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'm ambivalent about this. I'm reluctant to increase the risk of edit wars and AfDs, but I don't think nasty comments about living (or recently living) people belong on discussion pages, even if less-than-libelous. Some of the comments on Talk:Christo and Jeanne-Claude seemed unhelpful. I'm not interested in the artistic tastes of some random, sarcastic, editor, especially when they explicitly ridicule both the artist and any reader that might find the works being attacked artistic; and I think that insulting comments about the physical appearance of an old woman (or anybody else), even if she is a public figure, are unsuitable. I would like them to be clearly contrary to guidelines, so that any editor could freely delete them. I think that comments regarding politicians and convicted criminals could be exceptions.--Hjal (talk) 18:51, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Depends what you mean by "criticism". We allow limited expressions of personal opinions in talk space, but within limits and subject to it being relevant to the improvement of articles. Anything that could reasonably be considered libellous is not permitted, regardless of namespace; if that's the policy change you're angling for, you're not going to get it, since even should it pass the WMF will overrule you. – iridescent 19:04, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Individual editor's opinions of the subject of an article are not useful to the improvement of those articles. We should be using the talk pages to try to work together to improve articles. When editors start giving there personal opinion of the subject of the article it creates friction between them and editors with differing opinions. This friction will hinder the cooperative nature of the project. GB fan (talk) 19:11, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

What is the problem this is trying to solve? Seems to me that we haven't had a spate of people being blocked for posting "I don't particularly like George Bush" or "My own opinion is that Obama is the worst president ever". There is a danger that any loosening of the policy will move us towards being a forum, and we do have an issue with that. So, what's the real, practical, gain? As long as admins use common sense and don't go jumping on harmless (but off-topic) asides in userspace, I'm not seeing it. Any user who is deliberately wanting to create a policy space to allow an increase in people posting opinions on living people, is heading in the wrong direction. Don't jump on people for slightly off-topic opining but, on the other hand, don't encourage it either.--Scott Mac 20:31, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Of course, the question isn't whether we are allowed to libel anyone. That's non-negotiable. Libel/defamation/slander refer to factual claims, or opinions with factual implications. "Bill O'Reilly is a crappy journalist" does not claim or imply a fact. This topic is about statements of opinion. Such opinions may not be useful to improving Wikipedia, that doesn't mean anything should be banned (see point about WP:FORUM above). All sorts of off-hand comments are allowed, even though they aren't particularly useful. In my view, this is mostly about recognizing the nature of any social enterprise: people share ideas, opinions, pictures of their pet cats, and so on. As long as the place doesn't become a forum for such things, they should be allowed. You can have a picture of your cat on your desk at work, even though work is not a forum for pictures of your cat. You can discuss your cat at the water cooler. And so on. The question is merely whether opinions about living people (such as mine that Bill O'Reilly is a jerk) fall into the same category. (Also, this isn't just about Article/Talk, it concerns any non-article space including your own Talk page, RFCs, and so on.) Mindbunny (talk) 20:37, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm still not seeing the problem. Has anyone been blocked for posting the odd opinion in userspace. Oh and "x is a jerk" isn't an opinion, it is simply invective.--Scott Mac 20:48, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
The only case I can think of that comes close—and as you know, I've spent a lot of time in the murkier corners of the BLP policy—is Herostratus's admin recall, triggered by his making potentially defamatory comments about the subject in an AFD regarding a living person. There have certainly been people blocked for using userspace to post hate speech and libel, but I don't think that's what this discussion is concerned with. (I suspect this all has something to do with this discussion, currently being spammed by Mindbunny at a talkpage near you.) – iridescent 21:07, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Isn't there an arbitration case (along with an archived AN/I thread), or at least a request for one, involving User:Mindbunny and this issue?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:12, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
This was linked above but here it is again, Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive695#Mindbunny making attacks GB fan (talk) 21:19, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I should have said, "aside from the recent Mindbunny case". That was slightly different, as it was unambiguously defamatory and not the "I don't like the guy" type of thing being discussed here. If this is what Mindbunny had in mind when posting here, then I'd strongly suggest he take my comments (and the others') on that case seriously; BLP is a non-negotiable policy and MB is very much on their last life. – iridescent 21:53, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
That is what Mindbunny linked as background in the original post. GB fan (talk) 21:58, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The problem is that 1) there is no agreement on what the policy says, regarding off-hand criticism in non-article space, 2) there is no agreement on what it should say. The most recent trigger was Sandstein's block of an editor (not me) for saying Lara Logan has "degenerate and corrupting journalistic standards." [14] The comment was made on Sandstein's Talk page, in response to his criticism about editing of the article Lara Logan.[15].
  • Please discuss the policy, not editors. I avoided going into detail about recent conflicts precisely to avoid the discussion degenerating into an argument about editors. However, iridescent's comment that I made "unambiguously defamatory" comments is wrong, so perhaps my comment in that case should be used as an example: "Robert Mugabe is degenerate and corrupt." That is unambiguously not defamation (nor is it a comment restricted to me). Mindbunny (talk) 23:15, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
So Mindbunny your comments are not personal attacks and is just your opinion about the person and is OK, but this is a personal attack? GB fan (talk) 23:24, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Neither is a BLP violation. If Robert Mugabe wants to file a Wikiettiquete complaint about me, I suppose I couldn't object. He could not, however, sue me. (Please keep the discussion on the topic of the policy. Let's hear what others have to say, rather than demanding that I defend everything I've said in the last two weeks.) Mindbunny (talk) 23:32, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
This is on topic, you are the one proposing that negative things can be said about living people. I am not demanding you defend anything I am trying to understand what you think is right and what you think is wrong. You have no problem saying negative things about living people but when someone gives their opinion about you it is a personal attack. I am trying to figure out where you draw the line because it is not clear. GB fan (talk) 23:40, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's right (or wrong) to give negative opinions about living people. I think it isn't, and shouldn't be, a BLP-violation. Mindbunny (talk) 23:50, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. GB fan (talk) 23:51, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - It's something you see all the time anyway. I think that there should be some leniency for slightly defamatory remarks against people widely agreed to be jerks and who are unlikely to complain (like I was doing on Libya Civil War). Then again, you have the problem there of who falls into that category and who thinks they're a jerk exactly (one man's jerk is another man's tough guy)? Could let in a lot of people saying rude stuff about Obama and all. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 23:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Be aware Mindbunny is over at BLPNB arguing exactly the opposite (Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#User:SlimVirgin/Poetgate). There he is arguing that remarks about other users in userspace ARE serious BLP violations . You are being played. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scott MacDonald (talkcontribs) 23:58, 1 June 2011

This is getting ridiculous. Scott Mac has become incredibly hostile and personal about this. The topic here is not about personal attacks on users--that is a violation of a rule other than WP:BLP. Bill O'Reilly is not an editor, so saying he's a crappy journalist would not be a violation of "no personal attacks" anyway. Nor is it, in my opinion, a violation of BLP. That's the topic. I apologize if I complained about SlimVirgin's page in the wrong place; I was advised to nominate it for dleetion, but couldn't because it is protected. That is all. Please discuss the topic, not editors. Mindbunny (talk) 00:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • - This is not even a possible discussion point. Talk pages here are not forums to slag off living people you don't like and anyone that supports that is in the wrong place as the en wikipedia project is maturing away from any of that, in fact it already has. I will say now, even if one hundred users support this here it is not happening ever, loosening of the WP:BLP guidelines and WP:NOTAFORUM and WP:Talk page guidelines that protect our living subjects is not an option at all. Off2riorob (talk) 01:00, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
The rabbit aside, I think the idea is not just a comment, but an off-hand remark in a posting that is mostly related to improving the article. like -stuff related to finding RSs- -reply to other editor in that regard- -comment on corruption like in the OP-. Not just completely talking about the guy's corruption. That's the idea behind offhand. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 01:43, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • - It is not even possible to dismiss this as a possible discussion point. Talk pages here are not just dry recitations of facts with a subtle undercurrent of plausibly-deniable invective, and anyone who supports that is in the wrong place as the en wikipedia project already has decided to leave that to the article namespace. I will say now, that even if one MILLION users oppose this here it is still going to happen forever. Extending WP:BLP to content that is non-defamatory is not an option at all. (talk) 06:58, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • This is a good example of overestimating our importance and significance, especially when it comes to extremely high-profile people. For instance, Eliot Spitzer's reputation won't be affected by one offhand comment on a Wikipedia talkpage about the callgirl scandal, and the utter absurdity of Herostratus' recall showed that something has to give; the person in that case met the definition of what Herostratus called him (a homophobic bigot; read the talkpage history of his recall RfA for context). I don't want talkpages to turn into discussion fora, but people shouldn't be so concerned about one or two asides during a content dispute. What The Artist said is different; however, I see no reason to get overly concerned about the types of comments I mentioned above. We are only a website, consisting of a group of people who all have different opinions, and we shouldn't lose sight of that. Trying to sterilize our talkpages will only make it a more repressive and less fun environment to contribute in; and really, we're here because we enjoy it. We can't and shouldn't suck all the pleasure out of contributing here. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:10, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose This proposal is another misunderstanding in a series of failures arising from a talk page comment by another user which claimed that a named person had "degenerate and corrupting journalistic standards" (and that comment was part of a campaign relating to material in the person's BLP). The issue led to the other editor being blocked, and the subsequent user discussion included support for the user by Mindbunny. Of course isolated comments like "Obama is crazy" will not lead to sanctions, but this proposal was based on something that really was a BLP issue (and the block was not due to that single talk page comment). Johnuniq (talk) 02:19, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
An isolated comment like "Obama is crazy." is a good example of what this is about. It is a contentious, negative opinion about a living person, and not likely to be part of improving an article. It is, according to many editors, such as off2riorob (above), something that is a BLP violation, and blockable. I'm not sure what your interpretation of the block of "The Artist" for his Lara Logan remark is based on. The block was for that single comment--the blocking admin gave no other reason, nor did anyone else mention another reason. Again, this proposal is for off-hand comments about living people; they really are considered blockable by some BLP purists and admins, and the block of "That Artist" was such an example. Mindbunny (talk) 04:35, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - This proposal is vague, but a good first step. Most of the examples being bandied about are opinions statements, which are never BLP violations. In article-space, they're POV issues; in talkland, maybe WP:FORUM violations. BLP has become a weapon for bullies, and it's time to narrow the scope. (talk) 06:19, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Support. Nowadays there are too many BLP fascists present who run around whining about even the most trivial technical BLP violation on completely irrelevant talk pages. Something should be written into policy to discourage this kind of behavior. NickCT (talk) 19:55, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Summary, concrete wording

Among explicit votes, I see 5 supports and 1 oppose. Inferring what seems like the obvious, I see 6 supports (add Blade of Northern Lights) and 2 opposes (add Off2riorob), So, let's work on specific wording to add to WP:BLP. For starters, I propose something like:

  • "This policy is not meant to apply to off-hand comments, that are clearly an editor's opinion without factual implication, made in Talk." Any thoughts or imrpovements? Mindbunny (talk) 14:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
That might help address the main concern. It seems to me "off-hand" makes that clear, but it helps to repeat key points. Mindbunny (talk) 15:00, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
What is the interpretation of "off hand comments" ? This is a meaningless discussion and WP:not a forum overrides it anyway. What is this meant to mean - " an editor's opinion without factual implication" ?- please show some examples of what you think this policy alteration would allow. Off2riorob (talk) 17:51, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
An example of a comment without factual implication is "Glenn Beck is a bad man." An example of an comment with a factual implication is "Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990." --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:22, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Dude, Off2riorob is playing you. That was bait to try to shut this conversation down. I redacted your example; there are plenty of them already given in discussion. (talk) 19:48, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm unredacted it. Haven't you heard of It's an Internet joke. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:55, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I believe it should at least direct users to WP:UP#POLEMIC, which states (among other things), "Users should generally not maintain in public view negative information related to others without very good reason." This is under the "Excessive unrelated content" section, so I think it's important to make a distinction between a user who spouts off once in a blue moon and one who just can't stop, and that those whose lapses are occasional are encouraged to migrate the "offending" opinions off of the page in question relatively quickly (or immediately, if it's another user's talkpage and that user has requested its removal). I think anything that isn't covered explicitly under WP:BLP should be run through this filter at the very least.  Cjmclark (Contact) 01:47, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
That seems like the same basic idea as WP:FORUM. Mindbunny (talk) 04:13, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I think some background is missing here. This entire discussion is a virtually pointless waste of time, arising following a recent request for arbitration in which Mindbunny came very close to being topic-banned from commenting about any living person across the whole project—a proposal I may renew if he wastes much more of the community's time in this vein. There is no real dispute or controversy that exists concerning "offhand comments about living persons on talkpages"; this is an entirely made-up pseudo-controversy, which is distracting attention from serious BLP issues of an entirely greater nature. I object to any modification of the policy as a result of this inanely-motivated discussion. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:02, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm not bothering objecting to this, because it ain't going to happen. Brad is quite right - this is a non-starter.--Scott Mac 20:10, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Those who can't attack ideas, attack people. It's sort of silly to dismiss the opinions of everyone who has participated in this discussion because of me. It's rude to the other editors. The only motive in asking "What does the community think of this?" is to find out what the community thinks. Now, apparently, Newyorkbrad is making threats to ban me for asking that question. Discuss the substance, and if you can't, refrain from threats. Mindbunny (talk) 20:43, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I've addressed the ideas behind this proposal, back when I was assuming good faith about your motivations, rather comprehensively (to the point of being teased about overlength by the other arbitrators) when I responded to your request for arbitration. (For those interested, see [16] for the complete discussion.) You don't want to listen to me, or apparently to anyone else; your propagation of this non-issue all across project space has become seriously disruptive. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:51, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Brad, please address the issue and not the person. As can been seen from the discussion above, others see an issue here. If you want to address the person, please stick with a reasonable forum for doing so. RfC/U being the obvious one. Hobit (talk) 02:53, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

The idea is a non-starter, goes against the ideals of our core policies and whoever came up with or supported such a thing should receive the mother of all troutings :) If someone is expressly making statements about their views on living person on talk pages they should be encouraged to find something constructive to do. And individuals personal view is, fairly obviously, fringe - and self-published. If that view is negative it is a BLP issue, if it is glowing then it is a BLP/NPOV/SOAPBOX issue. And should be dealt with accordingly. If an editor fails to understand why they should focus on content and quit telling everyone how great/bad X is - and continues to say these things - they should be blocked for WP:POINT violations. This is just forum shopping of a new form of that POINT violation which you were blocked for Mindbunny. --Errant (chat!) 20:57, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

No, anything negative is simply not a BLP issue. Stuff about "fringe" and "self-published" has nothing to do with Talk pages. All the opinions on this page are self-published. Most of the rest of your concern is addressed by the point that we are talking about the offhand comments that people sometimes make. There is this repeated objection to using Wikipedia as a forum, an objection to repeated criticism of living people. The wording-tweak is doesn't allow use of W. as a forum or for any agenda regarding a BLP. It is simply a matter of common sense and custom--we do not and should not punish offhand, isolated comments. And policy should reflect that. Mindbunny (talk) 21:08, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Getting back to the substance of the question. The main concern has been to maintain the prohibition against using W. as a forum for criticizing people. The term "offhand" indicates that, but there's a disre for more empahsis. So, proposed wording:
  • "This policy is not meant to apply to off-hand comments, that are clearly an editor's opinion without factual implication; isolated opinions that don't rise to level of WP:FORUM are slight enough to be allowed some leeway."
Please comment on the strengths and weaknesses of this policy for BLP in non-article space. Please do not negatively comment on editors (that violates AGF and, to some extent, it violates some of the policies being discussed here). Mindbunny (talk) 20:56, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Such things are usually overlooked, and in some cases the editor reminded not to do stuff like that. I fail to see why it should be enshrined in policy (per WP:CREEP) or why a get-out clause should be in place for those who want to express their views. --Errant (chat!) 20:58, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Part of what makes this frustrating is that we are told contradictions: 1) "Such things are usually overlooked" and nobody is going to block for "Obama is crazy", yet 2) Allowing "such things" is impossible, and this is an ironclad, non-negotiable, non-starter with no exceptions. An admin was de-adminned over it. The Artist AKA Mr. Anonymous was blocked over it, even when it was part of work on an article. I don't think WP:CREEP applies. It says "It is usually better for a policy or guideline to be too lax than too strict....Gratuitous requirements should therefore be removed. " Its main concern is excessive requirements, not allowances. The proposed text is one or two sentences allowing more laxness. If anything, CREEP suggests we should lighten up [17]. The rule as it stands doesn't reflect a consensus and is going to blindside editors with its inconsistent enforcement. Mindbunny (talk) 14:54, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Thinking more about ErrantX's concern about WP:CREEP.... it occurs to me that no new wording needs to be added. The existing wording, in the section on non-article space, can just be fine tuned. Currently it reads "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced and not related to making content choices, should be removed..." Really, the hub of the issue is "contentious." Anytime the basis for removing something is that it is controversial, there are going to be problems of censorship. The mere expression of a contentious opinion shouldn't be a basis for blocking anything. So, maybe this is a simpler solution:

  • "Material that is likely to be harmful and that is unsourced or poorly sourced should be removed...".

This is already in the non-article space section, on the BLP page, so I don't think those specifics need to be in the wording. This is a rough draft. Please contribute constructively, such as by suggesting improvements....Mindbunny (talk) 15:43, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

The above post would seem to indicate a misconception that clear, consistent, effective policy is a worthwhile goal. Really, it is ephemeral. See Gödel's completeness theorem. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:29, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to point out that it's not 2006 any more. Continuing to actively try to maintain our policies and guidelines in a state of incompleteness seems to do more damage then good now ("damage" being time and effort spent arguing over things like this). My feeling is that Wikipedia has turned a corner so that we're working more at quality issues now. That change requires us to work more closely together, more often, which is a situation where having clear, consistent, effective policy is a worthwhile goal. User:Mindbunny may have created more problems then were necessary to get there, but the cogent analysis of the issue presented above shows me that there's actually an issue here, to some extent.
Besides that, the victory lap being taken aver Mindbunny being blocked again is... unseemly, to say the least.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 17:40, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
It is totally relevant to this discussion that the proposer of this policy change is/has been indefinitely blocked. My message was meant only as informative and relevant to the proposal and to users involved in the thread. Off2riorob (talk) 19:07, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not out to get anyone here, or anything like that. It's just... how is the proposal affected at all by the proposer being blocked? Is the proposal itself disruptive, in your view? It seems to have at least some support to varying degrees above, so I'm not sure how you can argue that the proposal itself is somehow disruptive. Besides that, I know that yourself and a few others have been... erm, "involved" with User:Mindbunny for some time. Granted, that's largely his own fault for egging you guys on, but that's where the appearance of the above post seeming like a victory lap is coming from.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:41, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, in my view - disruptive user and his valueless pointy proposal. I added the details of the users indefinite edit restriction to close the thread down. Off2riorob (talk) 21:54, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, at least you can admit it.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
With all due respect, people above have supported it, so it can't be completely valueless. I'm no Buddhist (indeed, I tend more towards Carvaka and Mohism), but the concept of taking the Middle Way has its appeals here. Instead of turning talkpages into fora (as one extreme would have it) or barring any and all offhand comments everywhere (as the other would), there's a balance to be struck. An attempt to do so isn't inherently disruptive. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:33, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
There are some users that support complete free speech at on wikipedia and some users that oppose BLP but that doesn't mean we are going to get rid of it or weaken it in any way. BLP is one of the main protectors of our living subjects and protector of the project itself, for legal problems and a protector or our reputation as a responsible project. The issue is already covered in WP:not forum and the whole issue is a non event. Feel free to take over the reins if you feel his proposal has value. Off2riorob (talk) 07:57, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Even though I know the support/oppose votings already over, I would just like to say that I think this is a misuse of talk pages. Talk pages should be used for idea's of improvement or suggestions for the article, not to express one's opinion on the person or subject. Sorry, I just had to get that out, continue on.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 01:36, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I would just like to make an example that shows the sort of statement where I believe users should not be punished for mentioning off-hand. A while back, while voting in an AfD (I voted Keep), I included in my comment the statement that, "I think this persona and their views are horrid and disgusting". It was an off-hand comment made within a larger, on topic, and constructive comment in the AfD itself. I don't believe that off-hand comments such as that made while otherwise being constructive in a conversation should be held against a person unless they are being extremely defamatory and accusing a BLP of negative factual things. Otherwise, small comments like the example above shouldn't be held against users. While the above vote seems to be closed, do note that I would have been a support. SilverserenC 11:01, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
But the point is that it should not be used for off hand critism, it should be used for improvement.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 13:02, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
If you make an off-hand comment about a BLP within a bigger comment that is constructive and on-topic, then it is still improvement. The off-hand comment shouldn't be held against a user. SilverserenC 20:07, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Then why use off-hand critism at all? Why not just the constructive and on-topic comment?--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 01:11, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Some users post remarks without thinking, while other users mistakenly believe that their point of view is objective and indisputable. Off-hand comments can be unintentional. Users needs safeguards in order to ensure that they aren't blocked for carelessness. I don't believe WP:CREEP is sufficient enough to avoid being blocked or to create a case for unblocking. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 01:41, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but won't people purposely add off-hand critism if they find out it's allowed?--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 02:22, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
We have ways of identifying and dealing with gaming the system and Wikilawyering. Asking for these proposals to be foolproof is asking too much. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 02:29, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Which is exacly why I oppose to it, also to which I said before, talk pages should be used for wiki improvement and not wiki critism. I'm not asking you to actully foolproof it or oppose the proposal as whole. Just stating how people could take advantage of it.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 03:02, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Editors make lots of little mistakes that shouldn't (and largely don't) come back to bite them every day; we don't have to codify every one - especially as it gives a very few the platform to misuse discussion pages. Of course; if it turns out a lot of people are being blocked or banned for making a comment such as the one Sandstein mentioned, then yes it needs to be considered and codified. Absent that I think normal, sensible approaches work fine :) If it was clearly not intended to "break" the policy, it is let slide. Persistent problems are raised politely with the editor in question. And those deliberately making comments about living persons to prove a point will be blocked (a la Mindbunny). --Errant (chat!) 09:45, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
But BLP critism(IMO) should never be allowed, let alone necessary, but looking at how a IP or a new user could mistaken this, I guess I could agree on how this proposal could be helpfull to not only them, but wikipedia. But nevertheless, my decision is still oppose, and will most likely always be oppose.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 13:16, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

ADHOM + NOREASON voting at AfD

Hi, can someone advise me what is the best way to prevent an AfD discussion from being pulled off-track by several experienced editors tag-teaming to inundate it with ADHOM/NOREASON votes? Thanks. ╟─TreasuryTagwithout portfolio─╢ 20:37, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Make it something to do with Kosovo. No experienced editor will go near it.©Geni 20:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I found the AfD that you're probably asking in question about. Needless to say I'm disappointed at some of the Keep voter's reasoning and whom has decided to wade into this debate. Hasteur (talk) 20:52, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, and I agree. But basically my question is, is there a way of actually dealing with that sort of thing beyond the "grin and bear it" technique? ╟─TreasuryTagstannator─╢ 21:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
"Per NYB" has generally been considered the best argument on WP. Did that recently change? -Atmoz (talk) 20:58, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Once he started ignoring policy and guidelines, yes.--Cube lurker (talk) 22:55, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
It's quite possible for several experienced editors to have the same opinion of their own accord, and say so. But more specifically with respect to the AfD in question, when an experienced and trusted user is unfairly set upon, it's usual for others to support him. As the matter has nothing at all to do with VP (Policy), bringing it here is likely to be seen as another attempt to intimidate through blatant canvassing. DGG ( talk ) 21:10, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I must confess to being unclear as to how asking advice on approaches to dealing with policy violations falls outside the remit of the Village Pump (policy) page? ╟─TreasuryTagpresiding officer─╢ 09:13, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
To quote the box at the top of this page (emphasis added):

The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try the one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards.

I hope that helps. Regards SoWhy 09:27, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Flag icons in infoboxes

If you have a view on flags in infoboxes you may be interested in the discussion Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (icons)#Infobox flags here. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:26, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Recommendation to consolidate citation template documentation

Recommendation: - I would like to suggest rewriting the citation template documentation (such as {{Cite Web}}) into a central consolidated document.

Problem description: - Currently each template has its own documentation page which means that whenever a change is made to one of the core templates we need to modify each and every one of the others. What this has led to is the documentation for each of the templates to be out of sync with the actual code and with the other associated templates. This means essentially that there are parameters missing from the documentation of each template, the verbiage differs between templates, some have documentation for parameters that were eliminated but the verbiage remains, etc.

Solution: - Because the functionality of the tempaltes is virtually the same (Most look like Cite X, X being the template extension) it should be fairly easy to write the document in a general way that covers most or all of these templates. This will allow 1 change to be made to the documentation rather than changing them all, or, rather, not changing them all.

I also believe this will simplify the instructions for users of the templates, will clarify the meaning and language of what each parameter does and generally make it easier to update and use these templates.

I would also create a sortable wikitable of all the parameters and which is used in what template.

I believe I can start the writing process but as its been pointed out to me in the past my grammer and punctuation are not as good as others no doubt due in part to the lacking American educational system (just joking don't take offense) so I would need others to proof read and help out. Does anyone have any comments on this proposal. --Kumioko (talk) 14:21, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

They're already (mostly) consolidated in {{Citation/core}}. The documentation issue is something else though. We probably should do something about standardizing the documentation.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 17:38, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn't clearer. The documentation is what I was referring too. --Kumioko (talk) 18:25, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Re-reading what you posted, I see that now. Sorry.
I'm certainly supportive of the idea, although I'd like to see the implementation details.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 18:32, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I like the concept, but I don't think it's going to work for two reasons:
  1. When I'm looking at the documentation, I really don't want to be faced with a large table filled with parameters I can't use, because those options aren't in this template. IMO the most valuable part of the docs is the list of parameters that don't silently fail in that template.
  2. What you need to know about some of the same-name fields isn't the same in every context. For example, "publisher" is valuable and easy to supply for {{Cite book}}, commonly used to identify the immediate owner or corporate author in {{Cite web}}, and discouraged for {{Cite news}} (because almost nobody gets it right. They put "" [name of website] or The New York Times [name of newspaper] in the slot, when the technically correct answer is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. [name of publisher], and what we want is The New York Times Company [name of the newspaper's owner]). Putting up identical documentation on those three templates means that we're going to give people the wrong answer two times out of three. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:06, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
That was kinda what I was thinking too. These templates each implement parameters differently, so unifying the documentation would be very difficult. On the other hand, we could work to make the various documentation pages more uniform in how they present information such as parameters. I tried to do this with the documentation page for {{Cite IETF}}. In some ways it shared a lot with both {{Cite book}} and {{Cite web}}, but in other ways it differs significantly. --Tothwolf (talk) 08:39, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I see your points, maybe the way to go is how Tothwolf suggests and just standardize the format in which the information is displayed. We might also be able to make one standard template/doc to display the general description of the parameters in one place? Rather than duplicate this in multiple places that all need to be updated. --Kumioko (talk) 14:11, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
A common talk page might be something to think about... ?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 16:44, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Similarly formatted docs sound good to me. I have no objection to a common talk page, although they seem to confuse people on occasion. Perhaps a note at the top would be appropriate (presumably there's a template... There's a template for almost everything.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:02, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
I would say the talk page is a good idea especially for the lesser known and used templates. Do we know which one we want to target them too? --Kumioko (talk) 21:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Lists in living people category

Category:Living people currently contains 526,970 pages. Three of these are not biographies, but lists:

While these lists do concern living people, this category is something of a special case with respect to categorization rules. The category description page states:

This category is intended for use in articles structured as biographical entries for living individuals.

Should these articles be in this category? If so, what should determine whether list articles are so categorized? (There are, of course, many more lists of living people than these three). Gurch (talk) 16:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

This may be a result of the BLP template. I put one at List of California public officials charged with crimes for the reasons stated on its talk page, and that adds it to the category. Lists like these should be monitored for BLP violations, since simply adding a name or a link to a person who does not belong on such lists could be a BLP violation, while text in an annotated list could be a problem, even for individuals properly included. It may be that a different template for lists with potential BLP issues would be a better solution.--Hjal (talk) 17:06, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Lists should not be included in the Living people category as the category description clearly states it is for biographical articles of "living individuals". Besides, it could become problematic and misleading when one or more of the people listed is no longer among the living. Agree with Hjal that a BLP template specially designed for lists would be a better solution for dealing with lists that potentially run afoul of BLP policy.--JayJasper (talk) 19:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

{{BLP}} is a talk page template, and adds the talk page to Category:Biography articles of living people. This is separate from Category:Living people, which goes on the article. Category:Biography articles of living people is more broad in its scope – its description states it is for "the talk pages of articles which relate to living persons", rather than specifically for individual biographies.
I completely agree that some form of monitoring is necessary, and agree with the use of Category:Biography articles of living people on the talk pages of such articles. The question I am posing is whether list articles are appropriate for inclusion in Category:Living people.
Also, "should be monitored for BLP violations" isn't a good criterion for categorization, since all articles (and all other pages) have to be monitored for BLP violations, even those not directly concerned with living people   libellous statements are problematic regardless of where they appear. {{BLP}} itself is inherently somewhat arbitrary in its application; "This article and talk page must adhere to the policy on biographies of living persons" is a statement that is true wherever the template is placed; we merely choose to reiterate that fact on biographical talk pages. Gurch (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

MOS for an alphabetized list of people

I'm looking at List of Guatemalans, which lists people with [[First name Last name|Last name, First name]] syntax. I want to remove the pipes, but can't find policy that states this is proper procedure. Anyone know where it is? Thanks, --JaGatalk 17:24, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

It may not be codified anywhere, but looking at other similar lists, I can't find any that are piped like this, nor can I think of a good reason to. Be bold. If someone complains or reverts, discuss it with them and see why they think it should stay that way. postdlf (talk) 20:43, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Probably most relevant, I can't find any lists of people piped that way at Wikipedia:Featured lists, which is good evidence of prevailing standards. postdlf (talk) 20:55, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

”Years Active"

There is a term which frequently pops up in biographical info boxes that does not seem to have a consistent meaning; 'years active'. For some individuals the term seems to refer to the years during which they worked; Betty White's "years active" are 1939-present, because she got her first job in 1939. In other articles, the term refers to the years during which they worked at whatever made them famous; Bob Barker's years active are 1956-2007 because that is the period during which he hosted game shows, even though he had worked at radio stations during the 1940s and has continued to appear frequently since 2007 as guest hosts at different events. There are more examples that are even more ridiculous, but I simply cant recall any at the moment. I'm sure you've seen them, though. I'm wondering if there is any 'official’ interpretation of the term, and if there's not, I suggest that one be formulated.theBOBbobato (talk) 19:22, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Have you checked the documentation for the relevant infoboxes? That's the usual place to record a consensus, assuming that one exists. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:06, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion for a new CSD

I've seen enough cases where this has happened to warrant my suggesting it... should we have a speedy deletion criterion for unreferenced articles created in a foreign language that have no equivalent in another language Wikipedia? There's no real reason why an unreferenced stub in a foreign language should be sitting around with a PROD tag on for 7 days or go to an AfD debate. If the subject is notable enough, someone will eventually start an article about it in English. XXX antiuser eh? 07:27, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The point of requiring there to be an equivalent article already on another language Wikipedia is that if there isn't, it could potentially be usefully moved to that project. Theoretically, adding {{not English}} to the article brings this to the attention to people who might do that sort of thing; in practise, pages needing translation into English isn't that active. They should at least be given a chance to, though, so I don't think speedy deletion is a good idea. Gurch (talk) 10:08, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I understand the purpose of A2, and my suggestion is completely unrelated to it. CSD are intentionally very narrow, and that's exactly why I'm suggestion a new criterion for unreferenced articles only. Having a page in a foreign language sitting around waiting for a PROD to expire or AfD to conclude is more harmful than helpful, as it might confuse users. Jinjeru is an example of that. As far as giving them a chance to be translated, most articles that are tagged with CSD can be "rescued" from speedy deletion. This would be no different. XXX antiuser eh? 10:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
People at WP:PNT are usually reasonably quick in determining whether a foreign-language article should be translated or deleted. If a page is listed there it doesn't take the 7 days of PROD or AFD to come to a decision. As foreign language pages need somebody who reads that language to check them, they are not a good candidate for something that should be speedily deleted (as not everybody can check what they are deleting). Also, this discussion belongs at WT:CSD. —Kusma (t·c) 10:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
That's not quite the point. If an article is created with no claims to notability, no references and a biased POV, even if the subject is notable, it would still qualify for A7, and another editor could just as well rewrite it or recreate it with content that conforms to WP standards. A foreign language article in the English WP doesn't really do anyone any good - and if the subject does warrant an article in English, someone can just as easily come up and create it, in English. What I wanted to suggest was a criterion that is purposefully narrow, just to keep unreferenced foreign language stubs from slipping through the cracks and "messing up" the project. It's just something I not infrequently come up against whilst recent changes patrolling and figured I'd suggest it here. I wasn't aware of WT:CSD, thanks for letting me know. XXX antiuser eh? 10:33, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Repeating what Kusma said, in smaller words: If the article is written in a language that I do not understand, how the heck am I supposed to know that it contains no claim to notability? Magic?
For that matter, how will I know that it doesn't contain any WP:INTEXT citations? If you typed "According to the June issue of Famous Magazine..." in the text, rather than between ref tags, I'd have no clue that it was there, but that text definitely qualifies as a (badly formatted and incomplete) WP:CITE to a WP:Reliable source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
OTOH, how the heck are we supposed to know if the article is a personal attack, or full of libel and BLP issues? I suggest that it would be better to immediately move any foreign language article to some sequestered space where the appropriate people can decide what to do with it. Whether that prevision belongs in CSD or not, I'm not sure.--Hjal (talk) 17:03, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Russia) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Russia) (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, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Speedy deletion tag prompt bot

Given that any newbie can slop a speedy delete tag on any wikipedia article there is something very wrong if experienced editors like myself here can't be trusted to remove clearly invalid speedy deletion tags to articles, especially after they have made improvements to it. It is extremely irritating to remove invalid tags [placed by inexperienced or disinterested individuals and then be instantly reverted by a bot and drilled a warning. Can we PLEASE change this speedy deletion tag to exclude the experienced editors here with privelages, much like rollbacking and auto new page patrol. We should be trusted to know when articles meet speedy criteria or not, even our own articles. This is potentially damaging as any admin could accept speedy delete tags and delete content which could be easily improved and the speedy tag removed. Vandals can do this to any article and the experienced editors here cannot revert their speedy tagging if it is their own article which is wrong.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:44, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Can you provide examples of articles being deleted under the above scenario? Singularity42 (talk) 11:01, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I can't as I've worked with so many articles, but I do know admins have been warned in the past for deleting articles which were sloppily speedy tagged and they didn't even look into them before deleting them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:05, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

  • (edit conflict) As an experienced editor, is there any problem with simply being patient and waiting for an admin to remove a blatantly inappropriate speedy tag, if inappropriate it be? ╟─TreasuryTagsheriff─╢ 11:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    Well I've know of articles which have been speedy tagged for several hours before anybody actually bothered to assess them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:31, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    You'll notice that I used the word 'patiently' in the comment to which you are replying? ╟─TreasuryTagcabinet─╢ 12:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    "Speedy" does not mean "within an hour". If the decision is made within a week (that is, faster than PROD or AFD), then it's still "speedy". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I just don't think this is a big problem. CSD tags are reviewed by admins relatively quickly (insert your own definition of "relatively"), so the tag doesn't stay up for long. I don't think CSD tags are used too often as disruptive editing (although there are some incidents). There is a lot of work in setting up a whole new privilege, and we would also have to develop some type of policy of who is or isn't qualified for such a privilege. That's a lot of work when TT is right - it is just as easy to be patient and wait for another editor or administrator to remove the tag. I also think there is a bit of illogic here: 1) a few admins don't use their privileges correctly; 2) therefore create a new privilege for editors which has the potential of not being used correctly... Singularity42 (talk) 11:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Many administrators have a poor track record of accuracy when assessing speedy deletion taggings, so I have some sympathy for Dr. Blofeld's point (for example, the tortuous logic often employed to delete things as "test pages" when they very obviously aren't). All the same, the scenario he describes only affects people who remove speedy deletion tags from articles they created. If you believe an article you created was inappropriately tagged, all you have to do is ask any other editor to remove the tag. If you can't find anyone willing to do so, perhaps the tagging wasn't so inaccurate after all. Bearing in mind that any user may already, in good faith, remove a speedy deletion tag from any article that they didn't create, I don't see the need for a new privilege here. Thparkth (talk) 11:50, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm with Thpharkth: Don't remove the tags yourself; go get a third opinion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • You can always add hangon tag with a reason, or add to the talk page. Of course some admins won't bother reading the talk page before deleting. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:12, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Boilerplate review for repackaged WP content books.

There was a recent discussion on whether/how to deal with publishers that sell repackaged Wikipedia content as what appears to be original work. A similar discussion has begun at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics#LivingBot where it was pointed out that Amazon is starting to acknowledge the problem and that the number of such titles is in the hundreds of thousands. In the previous discussion, User:Spinningspark suggesting adding reviews for these books on Google and Amazon so people will have fair warning before they buy. I'd like to suggest a boilerplate review, possibly to be attached to Wikipedia:Buying Wikipedia articles in print or another form. This would allow people to copy and paste rather than write they're own, which should be a big time saver if this is to be done many times. It would also save on possible blow-back if the language is reviewed for legal implications. As a first pass, I'm proposing:

This book seems to consist of repackaged free content from Wikipedia ( Wikipedia content can be purchased in hard copy form from Pedia Press (, some of proceeds of which will support the Wikimedia Foundation.

--RDBury (talk) 16:23, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

You know, if someone started an off-wiki campaign to make systematic, boilerplate comments on Wikipedia, I'd be unhappy. I expect that an on-wiki campaign to do the same to off-wiki websites would be exactly as unwelcome by the targets. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:31, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
It's to the benefit of Amazon and Google to protect people from getting scammed on their sites, so I would think they'd be happy to have the input.--RDBury (talk) 00:54, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
No it isn't. Amazon makes just as much money from selling crap as they do from selling legitimate books; they are famous for not caring when authors, their agents and friends fill their "reviews" sections with shameless plugs for garbage. --Orange Mike 19:24, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

A discussion and vote are on going about Pending Changes level 2 for certain BLPs.

While there is an RfC and it's on WP:CENT I was a bit surprised a vote was on-going here and I thought it might be of interest to those who follow this noticeboard. Hobit (talk) 08:11, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


I've started a disucssion on linking to OpenCorporates, following an approach they've made to Wikipedia. Please feel free to comment there. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 11:02, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Should deletion nominations be limited to a certain amount of tries?

I noticed that some articles have been getting nominated more than ten to even twenty times, such as the Gay Nigger Association of America, and the article of now-defunct Encyclopedia Dramatica. I thought a question should be asked to the community of Wikipedia on how many times an article should be allowed to go through deletion, and if possible, should it be limited to a set amount? Rainbow Dash 14:39, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I would say there should not be a specific limit, just as there should not be a limit of deletion review requests. What matters is that each new request is not merely a request to re-run a previous conclusive result with the hopes that a different outcome occurs, but that there is a good faith belief on the part of the nominator that either some policy requires that the article be deleted which was not addressed (or in existence) in the previous deletion discussions, or that general consensus on similar articles has moved since the last discussion. I would just mention that GNAA went through a large number of DRVs before getting restored, and any hard limit would have stopped that, so it works both ways. Monty845 14:48, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The gay NA was trolled by nominating vandals and many of the 20 are not AFD discussion at all but vandal edits and deletions. That article has not been nominated since 2006, over four and a half years ago. Off2riorob (talk) 16:25, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Rule creep. We can deal with this on a case-by-case basis, along the lines that Monty advocates. Do we have an actual problem with AFD being gamed like this? - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:54, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • This isnt just a case at AfD, it's everywhere in Wikipedia, if a policy says something someone doesnt like or doesnt go "far enough" according to a few people they just keep bringing up the same wording change over and over and hope eventually they get a day where those opposing it are too busy and they get a slight majority and once they have their way they shut down anybody from the other side who wants to bring up the discussion again saying "we just had consensus on this". For this reason ALL DISCUSSIONS need to have time limits between when you can bring up the same discussion, whether its a new policy wording or an AfD or anything else. Once a consensus (or no consensus) has been reached, then THAT is the decision. You shouldnt get 1,000 tries before you get your way. Just as you have to for the next election (in 2 or 4 years depending on the office) if you lose; you cant say "well, I just lost the election, now I want a new election right NOW two months after it. I think I might win now because my opponents wont show up at the polls."Camelbinky (talk) 18:34, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Are you advocating an actual rule, Camelbinky? If so, could you provide examples of (alleged) gaming of the present system? Regards, - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:40, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm not advocating an actual rule because Wikipedia has no rules whatsoever at all. I'm advocating the addition to policy that we have a time limit between bringing up the same discussion after it fails (or passes based on what side you are on), and as with any policy there are and will be exceptions based on consensus of the Community on what is best for Wikipedia; we may ignore the time limit on certain occasions and we dont need to spell out in policy the exceptions because we dont need "rules". As for examples... Well, let's see- every four months we go through at WP:V or the RS/N the discussion regarding whether non-English sources should be allowed and each time we have to state YES. Constant discussion at WP:5P regarding their status, each time results in "no tag" or no consensus regarding putting it as an essay and definite consensus against policy tag; but yet we have to drag out another discussion every couple months because someone wants to change the wording of the 5P or the FAQ page or asks "what is the 5P?". Latham Circle was nominated for AfD based on non-notability, passed by a large margin, and then was renominated based on non-notability (and I guess stub-status, but stub-status is not a legitimate reason for deletion). If something is found to be notable then it's notable. You lose, then you lose; you had your chance to make your point.Camelbinky (talk) 18:53, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
But Latham Circle was kept the second time...? I don't understand the problem. Notability guidelines could evolve over a period of time, for example. What's the point in having a policy which says "don't renom within n months" and then let people nominate within that period? Everyone's going to think their case is an exception to the rule. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 19:39, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest, instead, that an unsuccessful XfD should preclude another XfD for a reasonable period, say a minimum of six months between bites of the apple. Right now, sometimes the very week an XfD has been closed, another nomination for deletion is made, or a discussion arguning for such is made on the article talk page. This verges on gameplaying at that point. Collect (talk) 18:45, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

  • If an AfD is premised on the question of whether the subject is notable based on the existing content of the article or existing sources are reliable, a determination to that effect should be difficult to upset. However, if an AfD closes on the premise that existing problems can be resolved, the article should remain subject to deletion if the problems identified are not addressed. bd2412 T 19:51, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
      • the whole AfD close under "keep and fix" premise is such a farce - the "fixing" is never doneActive Banana (bananaphone 20:14, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Both a maximum number of AFD/DRVs and fixed time limits between AFDs are bad ideas. Keep the current system, it seems to work reasonably well. Yoenit (talk) 20:00, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
It does? Really? Where is the proof that it works? That's like saying the US education and health care systems dont need to be fixed because "they work reasonably well". These frequent AfD's waste our time that can be used on editing and creating other articles. Creating and adding information to articles is the very (and only) reason Wikipedia exists and it is crap that there are those who waste time on anything else thereby causing the rest of us to waste time. If an article needs to be "kept and fixed" then how about those that think it needs to be fixed (or deleted) take THEIR time to fix it! Ridiculous that people go around slapping templates and AfD's on articles but never seem to have the time to do what needs to be done to FIX the problems they are so willing to point out.Camelbinky (talk) 20:58, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Where is the proof that it does not work? Is the sky falling down? The encyclopedia collapsing? With regards to wasting time, look at the hyphen-dash debate. Now that is example of wasting of time, a few unnecessary AFD's are absolutely nothing compared to that. I also don't understand the attitude that you create a crappy article and then expect me to clean it up? That is like having your dog shit on the street and then telling to people who complain about it that they should clean it up. Yoenit (talk) 06:52, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I will keep that in mind the next time I delete an article about a teacher/junkie/activist who is known for pedophilia and smoking crack. Or some 9-year-old kid who has a high gamerscore and plays Halo a lot. –MuZemike 06:57, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
If the article is kept on a very marginal basis, I watch the article and after a reasonable amount of time ~3 weeks I re-nominate the article explaining the previous AfD's marginal keep reasoning and how the article has not improved, despite assurances that it's issues could be resolved. Some articles (Like a certain neologisim) have been nominated for AfD multiple times despite the significant community consensus that it is notable, well sourced and cited, and provides a decent understanding of the word. If you want to fight something, fight the editors who are bringing these spurious AfDs that are taking away time from articles in general. Hasteur (talk) 01:18, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Collect: I'll give a prime example that is in the AfD process currently. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rahul Bhandari (2nd nomination). The article was created before the creation of WP:BLPPROD, was nominated for deletion on the 27th of May, was speedy nominated on the 27th of May (and speedied thereby closing the original AfD discussion), was restored via a user request on the first of June for userfication, and moved back into the Article space less than 3 hours after userfication. At this point I was trolling the AfD closing date page and noticed that the article had been nominated, speedied, and was a blue-link again. I went through and edited the article to remove links that masqueraded as RS citation and rightly nominated it for AfD. Now this meant that less than a week after the previous AfD was closed a new one was opened for the same article. If there is a truly good reason for the article to be up for deletion it should, otherwise I'm open to a 3~5 week stay on deletion discussions while those who were in the majority consensus work on the article to improve it. Hasteur (talk) 01:29, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  • No, if someone has something new and useful to add to the discussion or the consensus, then they should be free to add it. Users have the right to challenge consensus, and if the new AfD ends with "keep", then the discussion serves to reaffirm and augment the original consensus. It wouldn't be fair for to bar users who missed the chance to partake in the previous discussion from starting new ones, where they could potentially bring up new ideas, issues, or alternatives that weren't brought up before. Several users and I worked hard in the discussions involving the GNAA article's restoration, and it would be a shame if all our collective efforts were doomed from the start due to some silly discussion cap. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 02:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - there is a related discussion at Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#Require a seconder?. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 04:31, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The last time this was bought up I offered a suggestion that I expected to be rejected as CREEPy and I expect it to be rejected now but I offer it anyway. If any first AFD closes with a "clean keep" (not "no consensus", not a "delete" overturned at DRV, not "speedy" or "procedural" anything), then anybody who nominates the article again shall be required to "impeach" the previous decision. That is he must explain why the previous consensus was wrong. Can he show that the sources used to demonstrate notability in the previous AFD were not reliable? Has a guideline or policy changed since the first AFD? Did a significant number of the "keep" !voters turn out to be somebody's socks? If he just says something like "not notable" while pretending that the previous discussion never happened then the AFD can be speedy closed. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 05:10, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    • That is basically covered by wp:BEFORE point 3. Than again, wp:BEFORE could do with a big cleanup and trim so people actually start reading it. Yoenit (talk) 08:51, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Concur. If any AfD determines that a given version of an article can be kept, then unless it was concluded improperly, there is no justification for deletion. At maximum the article can simply be reverted back to the version as of the last AfD. I'll also say that the obvious thing to do with provisional keeps where the article is supposed to be upgraded to a version worth keeping is to specify a time frame for the fix, so that the delay between AfDs is established. Wnt (talk) 03:25, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Of course there shouldn't be a limit. Such a limit is so trivially gamed as to be laughable, and to virtually guarantee no article ever gets deleted again. → ROUX  07:18, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Agreed. An ad hoc solution, with the potential for exploitation. Mephtalk 09:56, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Apparently, somepony isn't getting the idea. This isn't some deletionist scheme as a guy said in the other discussion linked, nor is it a way to guarantee a said article should never get deleted. But when you take into account articles on a subject that are obviously hated and/or cause editors to have such an extreme bias, that said person will try at least 100 nominations until said community gets fed up and lets the moaning child get his wish. Rainbow Dash 12:19, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Lulz, unintended sentence fragment anyone? But to continue my argument above, because this moaning child who will not stop at nominating the article so many times, the article will never get any benefit or effort to fix, and the community will only start thinking of new ways to get their agenda to work. Rainbow Dash 12:23, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Do you have any example of this or are you just making it up as you go along? Yoenit (talk) 12:27, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, let's go back to the GNAA subject again. Talk:Gay_Nigger_Association_of_America has this curious template that shows 21 deletion discussions directed at this one article. And the Gay Nigger isn't alone, because his buddy Al Gore III went through 8 AfDs, and 1 DRVs, and his distant cousin List of male performers in gay porn films went through 7 AfDs and 2 DRVs. All of these discussions have one thing in common, and that is an extreme biased hatred from the community. Rainbow Dash 12:37, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikinfo (6 nominations) should also be mentioned. I don't think it can be argued that the community "hates" this article. It was kept for a long time for "historical" or "legacy" reasons or something but was eventually deleted. There's also Steak and Blowjob Day (3 nominations) A subject that "technically" fails our notability guidelines but otherwise seems to be a popular meme. I don't see this as a matter of "hatred" so much as a strong belief by some that WP:N needs to be enforced consistently and a subject shouldn't get a free pass simply because it has a lot of "groupies" to defend it. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:46, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
So, which of dozens of editors who nominated these articles for AFD/DRV is the "moaning child"? I will not dispute that these articles have seen a unseemly amount of deletion discussions, but almost all of those are several years old. The male preformers article was last nominated in November 2009 and while Al Gore III was put to DRV half a year ago, the last AFD before that is from February 2008. A similar gap can be found between the last discussions for List of films that most frequently use the word "fuck" (Feb 2011 - April 2009). (why did you remove this one from your comment btw?) I don't see how a nomination once every 2 years is a problem, regardless of the article's prior history. With regards to the GNAA, its last AFD is 5 years old, so I couldn't care less that it has 21 of them. It is definitely record holder for most DRV's though (although those are seriously inflated by trolls). But even this extreme example has been stable for 3 months now and is in fact being actively improved (note it is nominated for GA). Yoenit (talk) 13:36, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Isn't this already covered by Wikipedia:Disruptive_editing#Refusal_to_.22get_the_point.22? The GNAA didn't satisfy Wikipedia's notability guidelines until the At&T Email leak, so it was the 18th AfD that finally fulfilled what the AfD was meant for, and it was the 12th DRV that finally fulfilled what DRV was meant for. As I'm said in the last GNAA DRV, some of discussion were started by trolls wishing to heighten GNAA's AfD high score rather than "haters", and the haters in opposition were correct about the GNAA's lack of notability until about a year ago. It also took many discussions for the community to realize that Daniel Brandt wasn't notable. Somethings, the community is too stubborn to admit that it's wrong, so repeating discussions in order reaffirm or overturn the previous consensus isn't such a good thing. Wikipedia needs to be open to new discussions. There's a chance that a group of users may try to continuously create new AfD in hopes that the community will eventually lose the willpower to combat them, but that's why we have closing admins who could see through these attempts. Disruptive users may also be warned or blocked. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:02, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

If this was ever to be implemented, it would have to be limited to good faith nominations. Without that caveat it would be quite possible for someone to nominate an article for deletion several times, withdraw the nomination quickly each time, and reach the limit so it couldn't be nominated again, thereby removing any possibility of it being deleted even if it deserves to be. Alzarian16 (talk) 15:12, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

That's the problem with the proposal. Bad-faith nominations should be the ones limited, not the good-faith ones. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:42, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Why is everyone talking like an article should be renominated for DELETION if it isnt "cleaned up"? Being a stub or having crappy formatting or grammar or what have you is NEVER a reason to delete! We are specifically a "work in progress" and it is in fact policy not to delete based on such BS like "it has bad grammar", delete because of notability, not whether it is a crappy article. Maybe people thinking anything that is "crappy" should be nominated is the problem and their ability to nominate should in fact be limited. And secondarily- Why is it any of your concern if someone makes a crappy article and you dont want to fix it, then why do you care if it exists? If it bothers you so much then FIX IT. Or ignore it. But deletion to make it go away is not an option.Camelbinky (talk) 19:11, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I also agree that we need to do somethig to quell this problem. I get rather frustrated when I am involved in a 6 week conversation about something only to have it get resubmitted a week after it closes and start the process all over again. --Kumioko (talk) 19:17, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
It's frustrating, but I don't think we want a firm rule. If we have new information, we should act on that. Also, WP:Nobody reads the directions anyway, so adding a "no re-nominations allowed for 30 days" rule wouldn't really have much impact. It'd just be one more bureaucratic (rather than substantive) complaint. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I have at various times proposed rules, but in practice, it does depend on the details, and I would not like to try to solve any general problem using GNAA as an example. I think we are in general getting more reasonable about this--there is much less repeated abusive nomination going on than there used to be 3 years ago when I first discovered AfD process. I've also seen objections to renominations after repeated non-consensus, and this is a very different matter than if after repeated keeps. If there's no consensus we need to admit it, and see if we can get it a little later. My suggestion was 3 to 6 months after a keep,doubling after each successive keep, with anything need to be done quicker being approved by deletion review. There is sometimes a need to quickly revisit a keep that was anomalous. What I think we really need, is some way to equally easily review a deletion. DGG ( talk ) 00:03, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

I understand concerns about rules creep but conversely does anyone have a valid example of where more than 5 nominations was ANYTHING BUT an attempt to do by brute force what could not be done by consensus? I am entirely in favor of both a hard cap on the number of tries (remember notability is not temporary, but a page's defenders may move on as time goes by) and a hard limit on renomination after a valid consensus close. HominidMachinae (talk) 06:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment - Instead of a hard cap on the number of tries, a better policy might be giving a topic closed a Keep immunity from another deletion challenge for one year. Consensus does change over time; the point is to limit the gaming of the system implicit in multiple repeated deletion attempts. Carrite (talk) 18:59, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I think a year may be too long.-- (talk) 06:55, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree a year is a bit too long because sometimes things change rapidly. Conversely, I have never seen a nomination tagged "sixth nomination" that was anything other than an attempt to forum shop until the nominator found a group of editors willing to delete, the most ardent defender of the page was away for some reason, ect. I understand that there are concerns about changing consensus, and I'd change my vote if anyone could provide me a good counterexample. As it stands there is a point at which nominations should be presumed to be WP:POINTy, and I think 5 is about that number. HominidMachinae (talk) 08:02, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Hopefully the closing admin would understand that, review the "Keep" arguments made in previous discussions, and, if strong enough, close as "keep" despite the fact that the present !votes were all/mostly deletes. They should be no need for a hard and fast line. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 16:56, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Who is Wikipedia written for?

Is it written for the worlds population at large? Or just the part of it that regularly visits Wikipedia? I can't find a policy for this. It should have an impact on every other policy. You can't really talk about neural points of view or global styles unless you know which part of the worlds population you're talking about when you say global. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

I thought it was obvious the aim is to write for everybody who speaks english at a reasonable level. For the people who are poor at english we have Simple English Wikipedia and foreign language versions. That we are only read and edited by a subgroup can mean this is not what actually happens, but it should not change our aim. Yoenit (talk) 10:54, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Humm... you know, even the most "obvious" issues (especially the most obvious issues?) should be spelled out somewhere. Doing so prevents confusion, at the very least. It can also inform and guide our other decisions. Wikipedia:Editing policy seems like the most obvious place to talk about this.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 16:58, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
The audience depends on the article. We do not expect any typical 12-year-old native English speaker to understand anything in an article about graduate-level abstract algebra. We do expect that child to understand a significant fraction of an article about, say, George Washington or Queen Victoria. The audience for Introduction to genetics is not the same as the audience for Genetics.
In general, I would say that most articles I deal with (e.g., not pop culture) appear to aim for a level that is appropriate to first-year university students, with some articles and some sections being either more or less complex, depending on the needs o f the material. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:53, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, the audience of a given paragraph varies even with articles. I would expect a lead to have a broader audience in mind than body text. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 19:06, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
What would be the problem with saying that on the Wikipedia:Editing policy page, though? Something along the lines of: Wikipedia is generally written for the first year undergraduate students, although the audience can vary significantly from article to article. Seems like a pretty straightforward statement to me.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:16, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
IMO the "varies significantly" is far more important than the "first-year undergrads" part. Also, that's really a style issue instead of an editing policy one, so EP is probably not the right place for it.
WP:Make technical articles accessible has good advice: Write one level down. If it's a "graduate level" topic, then write for undergrads. If it's a "college level" topic, then write for high school students. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:33, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'm with you guys, it's just... I mean, one of the first things taught in any writing class, tutorial, or reference, is that you should "know your audience" and "write to your audience", so it doesn't exactly seem like an outrageous idea to me that we spell out who are intended audience is.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, the problem is that there isn't any single intended audience for the encyclopedia as a whole. It's too big a thing for that. There's an excellent essay on this, WP:MANYTHINGS.
On another note, though, I would kind of like to see a more general understanding that is allowed to be aimed at speakers of English. So if we cover Shakespeare better than, say, Pushkin, or American politics in more detail than Brazilian, that's not unreasonable. Not to say we shouldn't cover Pushkin and Brazilian politics — naturally, we should. But the fact that detailed coverage tilts to the Anglosphere is not an indication of some evil conspiracy. --Trovatore (talk) 20:51, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
That's true, but WikiProject Countering systemic bias is also not an evil conspiracy. The English Wikipedia is not just an encyclopedia for the Anglosphere. It also serves as the place where an Italian speaker from Switzerland can quickly look up some facts about the culture of Tamil speakers in Sri Lanka. Also, translations between the various Wikipedias tend to go via the English Wikipedia. And of course English is the language of science, which is why I am at home here rather than on the German Wikipedia. Hans Adler 22:13, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • comment: All articles, even the most technically sophisticated (ie advanced Quantum physics and calculus articles) should be written in a way that an uninformed (but basically educated) adult could come to understand the topic. In advanced articles, the topic should introduce itself with wikilinks to articles that provide a simpler introduction to the concepts dealt with. If I, as a first year engineer, cannot understand what an article on complicated manifolds is explaining, it is using far too much technical jargon and must be simplified. All of our core and vital topics should be written so as to be understood by a grade 3 student researching their solar system project, or something along those lines. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:47, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
No. While I agree that most technical articles are not as accessible as they should be, it is simply impossible to present every notable topic in this way. You can see this with the articles that Scientific American produces on mathematics and physics. I once cancelled my subscription because I could no longer suffer the nonsense that they were writing in that area. As a mathematician I should have had no trouble understanding these articles, yet I understood nothing at all because they dumbed them down to the point where they were not actually saying anything. That's a natural result of taking the ideology that you have expressed too seriously. Hans Adler 22:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Floydian with the exception that perhaps Grade 3 is dumbing it down a bit too much to Simple English's standards. And in the same instance I agree with Hans Adler, though I do have a subscription to Scientific American (and Discover, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, National Geographic, and Astronomy; all of which could have the same complaint put against them) As for who is Wikipedia written for? Simple answer- Those who are searching for information and type it into Google and get Wikipedia as their first hit. Realistically that's how the majority of people find the majority of our articles. They dont specifically come to Wikipedia, a search engine draws them to us. In a way we are very much similar to IMDB. Someone sees an actor on a tv show, cant remember where they've seen them from or the first name and they type it into Google, bam! you pick Wikipedia and you read all about him/her. We should therefore assume that the person reading the article knows SOMETHING about the topic, enough that they knew to Google the term, location, person, event. We should never dumb down to the lowest common denominator however. Secondly- we are not and should not portray ourselves as a research tool! Encyclopedia's are NOT acceptable research material for grad students, and neither should Wikipedia at any grade level. Using Wikipedia to take the sources that we have already used and read them oneself however is much better. We shouldnt write as if we are helping 3rd grade students write a paper on oak scrub ecology.Camelbinky (talk) 22:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
The project as a whole has no overarching level of writing, nor should it. It is to everyone's benefit if at least some part of every article is understandable to the layman, but we should not be shy of tackling more technical information in articles where it is relevant. Some subjects simply require deep study to understand, such as light cones. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:47, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. The language doesn't entirely have to be dumbed down throughout the article, but for core articles, the basic premise should be understood by an intelligent eight year old. Looking through them, there is not a single topic on the list that I did not already know about or wasn't capable of learning at that age. Not all there is to know about the topic, but the basic idea of the concept. Understandably, Curvature of Riemannian manifolds cannot be entirely written for someone who graduated high school. However, the basic premise could still be explained in both a technical and non-technical way. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 23:02, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Floydian, it is entirely possible that you were not the median eight year old. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss has a third-grade reading level (3.8, actually[18]). WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:41, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
While I think for instance the article cohomology could and should be simplified a bit I think most adults even will have some difficulty, and there are lots of much more advanced topics. I think the advice to do it at one grade down is about best. Dmcq (talk) 17:33, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

RFC: implementing Manual of Style restructure

Editors may be interested in revisiting this RFC, now that there is discussion of its implementation:

Should all subsidiary pages of the Manual of Style be made subpages of WP:MOS?

It's big; and it promises huge improvements. Great if everyone can be involved. NoeticaTea? 00:56, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Random article functionality

Should the random article function be redefined to link to stubs or disambiguation pages?

What is the purpose of the "Random article" function? Is there an intention that it cause users to expand stubs, or just to read interesting articles? If the latter, then most stubs aren't enough to be interesting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:08, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

The purpose is to enable people to look at a random article, so all articles have to be included with an equal chance of being selected otherwise it wouldn't be random (I've just checked and soon hit an article tagged as a stub). I suspect there would be use for an option that enable editors to change their user options to give them a button for Random featured article, Random Featured or Good article etc. But as a matter of basic honesty we shouldn't call that a random article. ϢereSpielChequers 10:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
The mathematician in me just started crying. It probably has to do with me using the word random in the same way (each with equal chance) in class and having all the EEs in the room scream bloody murder. :-) Hobit (talk) 13:54, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

IMO it should be what it says it is. And there is no one pre-defined purpose. Different users can each have their own purpose for using it. North8000 (talk) 13:17, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Did you know that the random function can also be applied to other namespaces? See here. Trouble is, for some of the namespaces, you mostly hit archived discussions or other subpages (I'd love it if there was the option to ignore subpages). I think I once worked out how to generate random hits on AfDs (see here), which was pretty pointless as well, but fun for about 30 seconds... The most disconcerting thing about the random function is that Wikipedia is so large that it is likely that any page you visit and think ("Ooh, that looks interesting, I'll read that later"), you will likely never visit or see again (unless you preserve your browser history or make a note of the article). Carcharoth (talk) 14:29, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (U.S. state and territory highways) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (U.S. state and territory highways) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

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

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Russia) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Policy on example code


I was wondering whether there was a policy on example code in articles. Specifically, does uncited example code (such as that in cycle detection) constitute original research? As well, if it is cited, what license must the code be released under to be acceptable for use on Wikipedia?

Thank you. InverseHypercube 20:58, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

My opinion is that an example is an illustration if it illustrates the article and does not introduce any new ideas and should be handled using exactly the same policy as for such images. They may be made up by editors and need no attribution but they must be relevant and not imply anything extra. Dmcq (talk) 21:44, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm with Dmcq: Editors are allowed to make up examples, so long as it is obvious to all (reasonably informed) editors that the example does comply with the WP:Published (NB: not merely the "WP:Cited") reliable sources. Describing, illustrating, and contextualizing are the proper activities of an editor. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:51, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see. That makes sense. Perhaps there should be an official policy on this? I can see questions about licensing, verifiability, etc. that are different than images. For example, outlining acceptable licenses, standards about what language versions to use (should Python 1.5 code be used?), and coding standards. InverseHypercube 22:37, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
There is draft WP:WikiProject Computer science/Manual of style (computer science)#Style guidelines --Cybercobra (talk) 07:31, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I will try to contribute to it. InverseHypercube 04:19, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

BLP links to their Facebook page

I'm sure this has been asked before, somewhere. But I don't notice links to a person's (or entity's) Facebook page in the same way that I know a link to a person's website is permitted, and indeed encouraged. Is there a usage policy on this? Is it encouraged or discouraged or not permitted? JohnClarknew (talk) 15:41, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

WP:ELOFFICIAL; in particular, the "Minimize the number of links" subsection. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:47, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I see at "Links normally to be avoided" there, it's listed under no. 10: Links to social networking sites (such as Myspace and Facebook). I think that this should be reconsidered in light of the fact that social networking sites are now so huge, and growing. Researchers use them all the time to get a rounded view of their subjects, so why not make it quicker and easier by providing them in a standard WP format and a suitable template? It should suggest that the links may contain inaccurate and unreliable content, and are not endorsed by WP. Comment anybody? JohnClarknew (talk) 02:35, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Most of the time you can get to the social site from the main official page easily enough, so there's no need for the redundancy. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Yup. Plus there can be problems of validation, and what would it add to the articles, really? --John (talk) 04:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Of course, virtually everything on such sites would be self published and primary source. We avoid these for sound reasons.LeadSongDog come howl! 04:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
What makes a website qualify for listing as WP:ELOFFICIAL—the subject's own official website—is the very fact that it is self-published. WP:EL is very different from WP:RS; external links do not have to be reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I bring up Oprah Winfrey's page, as an example. I see a link to her at Twitter and YouTube. I don't see a way to find her instantly on Facebook. And Facebook pages are not necessarily self-published. And (permitted) Websites obviously are! What would it add, really? Information. Information. Information. That's what an Encyclopedia is supposed to do, isn't it? JohnClarknew (talk) 05:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

We don't post infinite information, we make editorial decisions where we decide which information is appropriate and which isn't. The justification of "its information, isn't, why not include all information" is bullshit because we never include all information about anything, even if it's true, and even if it's verifiable. Certainly, it must be verifiable if it is included, but merely being verifiable doesn't mean we always include it; there's lots of stuff which is verifiable but irrelevent, for example. Same with external links. We need some standards, so we make choices, we decide some links are better than others, and over time the community has decided that one link, to the subject's official website, is enough. Of course, this doesn't have to be the case forever, but you're going to have to come up with something better than "It's information!" to justify a change in longstanding practice here. --Jayron32 05:25, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Are you reporting Policy, or just your Opinion? At the moment, you sound like a Republican running for office. JohnClarknew (talk) 06:21, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
wp:ELOFFICIAL is the relevant guideline here. I quote: "More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites." This is already linked above though, so I am not sure why it needs repeating.Yoenit (talk) 08:32, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
@User:JohnClarknew: There are numerous pages at Wikipedia that clearly support what I said. I would also note that your disgusting, outrageous, and clearly uncalled for personal attack against my character is quite upsetting, and I will thank you to never do that again to another human being so long as you are alive. If you want policy and guideline pages which support that sometimes, information is not included in Wikipedia articles, even if verifiable, see the following:
There's more about this if it is confusing to you, JohnClarknew, but I think you can read the relevent policy and guideline pages yourself. If you need additional explanation as to Wikipedia policies, I can provide them for you. --Jayron32 17:46, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Jayron32, that is a wonderful bullet list. I'm cribbing that onto my user page for ease of copying later. Thanks for assembling it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
A link to the subject's FB page is clearly permitted by the policy if it is the "official" site of the subject, and if it is the only such site. If the subject maintains his own site at and the FB site, then the FB site should usually not be listed since there will be a link to it from the main site and the FB site is almost certainly not going to have encyclopedic information not found on the main site. It will probably be used primarily for fan interaction, event posting, and other marketing activities that are more ephemeral. If the opposite is true, then I would link to the FB page instead.--Hjal (talk) 17:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Jayron, I said you sound like a Republican running for office, and you said I would also note that your disgusting, outrageous, and clearly uncalled for personal attack against my character is quite upsetting, and I will thank you to never do that again to another human being so long as you are alive. Well, I am glad you have a great sense of humor! I thought I was flattering you, Jayron, but I see where you're coming from. LOL, you made my day! And thanks for your calm comment, Hjal. A Facebook (FB) page then can be used as a substitute for an official website page, if I understand you correctly, an either/or? JohnClarknew (talk) 18:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that is correct. We generally include one single official external link to one single official website, regardless of where it is hosted. Sometimes, we need to make a decision on which external link is the "officialest", and there's nothing to say that it can never be Facebook; however in general where a normal, just straight-up, non-social networking plain-old official website exists, this is usually the one we link to. There could be cases where a Facebook page is linked instead of such a website (for example, if the facebook page appears to be actively updated, and said normal website is grossly outdated), but such matters are considered on a case-by-case basis. So it itsn't that we never link to Facebook, its that we generally don't link to every single external link in existance about a person or company or band, we link to one official website about them, and the best official website. --Jayron32 18:21, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
The guideline seems to be fairly clear. There is nothing 'wrong' with a facebook or twitter or similar link, but if the official page clearly links them, we don't generally do so also. They are acceptable links, but they aren't needed. Is there a specific page you have in mind for your concern about not having these links included? (Side note...You sound like a 'politician' running for office is unlikely to ever be taken as a compliment. Your suggestion that it was intended as flattery in this context is absurd.) --OnoremDil 18:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree completely with Hjal's comment. Even if an official site does not link to a Facebook page or other social media, I see no need for us to do so here as long as we have the link to the official site (unless, as Hjal states, the FB page is more substantive than the official site, in which case we'd link to FB rather than the official site). This is an encyclopedia, not a web index. Persons wanting to survey websites dedicated to the subject should check with Google. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:37, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually, ever tried to link your FB page to your website? It's a real puzzler, not simple at all. I very much doubt that it's common. JohnClarknew (talk) 23:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Boxes with social media links are incredibly common. Or did you mean the other way around? But that's pretty common too. Skeezix1000 (talk) 10:37, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
It was said somewhere that a person's website will often have a link to their FB page, so why bother. But I find little evidence of this, perhaps because it is difficult to put it there. I know on my website, I can't even upload the link, says it's "not authorized" JohnClarknew (talk) 12:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC).
It appears that the directions for doing so with your provider are "shoot us an email". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:04, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Why is it Wikipedia's problem if the official website does or does not link to a facebook page? It really isn't Wikipedia's role to promote the subjects of the articles in it... --Jayron32 16:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
There is little argument that the category Biographies of Living People (BLP) has and is causing more problems than any other, and is the one most likely to undergo Darwinian change. Controversy surrounds the subject, mainly to do with the fact that subjects are discouraged from editing their entries, even as to correcting errors of fact (i.e. a cited newspaper reporting a wrong date, etc.) INMHO, the next areas will be to do with the linking of certain social networking sites, Myspace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin being the most representative. As I said before, a template could be written that would contain just those links, and display the label that the contents were not necessarily endorsed by Wikipedia editors. I also believe that our founding fathers see the need for these concerns to be addressed. JohnClarknew (talk) 14:55, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
As an incentive to make this change, imagine what it would do to readership response if people knew that WP was the only place to go for a BLP's list of links? And to the volume of donations? The increase would be exponential. JohnClarknew (talk) 16:41, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
The "only place to go?" Hardly. And I don't see how we'd get an "exponential" increase in donations; most people who use Wikipedia already don't donate. There's really no incentive to add these links, and several disincentives. — The Hand That Feeds

You:Bite 22:32, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

"Hardly"? "most people"? Poor argument. And stop being vague - where exactly is the one place you would go to find out these links? I challenge you to give me an example of a random LP and apply your answer. JohnClarknew (talk) 23:13, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I want to second Jayron's point; we are an encyclopedia, and have neither need nor incentive to make ourselves the place to go for somebody who says "OMG, i totally need justin bieber's twitter, waht is it?"! That is not our purpose. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:44, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
To answer John's challenge about the "one place you would go"- Google. Or any search engine because- that's their purpose! Searching Google would take you less time than Wikipedia. We dont need to list Facebook pages. Though similar to this I do wish contact information (email and/or physical address) for contacting elected politicians on their Wikipedia pages. I know when I would like to contact a senator or congressman or even my local common councilman it would be nice if I could come to their Wikipedia page. But we dont always get Wikipedia the way we'd like it, so Im sure there are those who would oppose that.Camelbinky (talk) 15:00, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Look, you are missing my point. Try these shoes. I am a journalist, right? I am a publicist, right? I am a lawyer, right? I am a manager/agent, right? I am a director, right? I am a competing professional, right? Where do I go to get my information on a living, breathing, notable person? Wikipedia, that's where. And why? Because 1. I usually get great updated information on the really notable, including their personal background as well as professional information, and a lot of marginal clues from the discussion pages too. And the linking has all been done for me, and all this by unpaid volunteers! 2. I can quote from it and run copyright-free pictures from it too. And, a big deal, I don't even have to cite the source, so I can pretend it's all my own work! As for Googling - that's a lot of frustrating work, and besides, you cannot find the combined information all in one place. Except at Wikipedia, usually optimized on top. But, as one of those persons (I'm the exception BTW, I always cite WP, as an active volunteer), I am grateful, and I do donate every year. JohnClarknew (talk) 17:03, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I hope you're being facetious in saying I don't even have to cite the source, so I can pretend it's all my own work, because that would be advocating the violation of Wikipedia Terms of Use. olderwiser 17:20, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Do, please, read more carefully before weighing in. I didn't say I do it, I said others do it, especially print and TV journalists. I don't think such people care about Wikipedia's "terms of service". JohnClarknew (talk) 19:44, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
John: Wikipedia is not a directory. Full stop. That is not what we are for. We are not a glorified Rolodex or collaborative Farley-file. For that, people should be going somewhere else and not burdening us with their mistaken impression of what we are for. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:55, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
(after ec) I did read it carefully, thank you. You framed the comment as a hypothetical in support of an argument to change policy. Even if people do such things, that is not a reason to make Wikipedia an even more convenient resource for people to do such things. olderwiser 19:59, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
This is a Village Pump, isn't it? Not a wailing wall. We need donations, and more of them. From most everything I read here, you people are stuck in the present. But we have to think of the future. Otherwise, next thing we'll be forced to take advertising, or become socialized, like free medicine. Oops, hope Obama doesn't see this, may give him ideas. Seriously folks, let's hear from some others who really are older and wiser, like me. JohnClarknew (talk) 21:43, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me Orange Mike– please do not ever attempt to throw me in to an idea in which I never proposed, advocated, or supported, do not misrepresent me or chastise me again! I said it would be "nice" if I could get such information as an address for politicians from Wikipedia and it would be convenient BUT that we dont get to have Wikipedia the way it would be convenient for ourselves. I suggest you completely delete (not strike) MY name from your comment. As for John quit with the Obama bashing and two- few just simply comes to Wikipedia like you described, normally it is through a Google search in the first place. And those professional careers you described are certainly not coming to Wikipedia for their information. I for one would not read any journalist's articles if they used Wikipedia as their source.Camelbinky (talk) 21:55, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
The rules seem to have been relaxed somewhat since I started contributing a few years ago. The 2 places to be read carefully and scrolled down are 1. Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons and 2. Wikipedia:External links. Editing by living notable subjects is much less feared than it was. As for FaceBook, because one has to register to open an account, it makes it tricky to include. Remember, linkage is not content, and shouldn't be confused. However, mark my words, I give it a year before my suggested changes take place. It will evolve. King maker James Farley would have used WP you can be sure, anything to get FDR elected, which he did. And, BTW, I think that Obama is a great president, because he stands for evolutionary change. He too is constantly blocked. Oh, and remember to be polite, it says so. And try to appreciate humor, it's in short supply around here. JohnClarknew (talk) 00:53, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Your casuistical arguments fail as to the need for a broader scope for the category BLP. Here's why: My dictionary defines a book of reference as A book, such as a dictionary or encyclopedia, to which one can refer for authoritative information. Wikipedia may be something different if you want, but the argument usually boils down to "is it encyclopedic?" WP will have to accommodate this change, because there's too much competition out there, and someone else will, and readership and popularity will decline. It will probably be developed by IMDb, which, as you know, is owned by ultra-rich Amazon. There, they are not afraid of personal links. As for common sense, when I note that Camelbinky wouldn't read any journalist's work if they used Wikipedia as their source, I despair. Wikipedia - just a tool for students? JohnClarknew (talk) 15:17, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
John, as a grad student and a TA, I would and never have allowed ANY encyclopedia to be used as a source in a paper by my undergrads. No professor I have ever met would allow an encyclopedia to be used as a source. It is not acceptable. At all. Wikipedia does however have the ability to be used as a source to FIND SOURCES that one can then use as a source in an academically sound paper. Due to our strict sourcing policy Wikipedia has a leg up on other encyclopedia's whose sources may be less transparent than Wikipedia's.Camelbinky (talk) 23:10, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Romanization of Russian (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, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Blocking policy needs to change for repeatedly disruptive editors

I've been here for a long time. I've improved hundreds of articles ranging from rattlesnakes, to aristolochic acid to the Bataan Death March to Goju Ryu karate. I've created templates, edited Wikibooks, uploaded images, and improved Wikipedia policy pages. I've removed hundreds of vandalism edits, patrolled new pages, and dealt with all sorts of other Wikignome-ish activities. Well, after nearly 16,000 edits here, I'm going to leave, and I'd like to talk a little bit about why, so that hopefully someone else can deal with the problem.

What ultimately made me decide to leave was the disruptive edit warrior User:V7-sport stalking me around from page to page, and forcing me to choose between spending large amounts of time arguing with him (an endless process), or just going away and giving him free reign to destroy articles. Most of my work was outside of the articles he's harassing me on, but the amount of time I've had to dedicate to him alone is enormous, and I see no hope of it stopping any time soon.

Before I go further, I'd really like you all to go and open up his list of contributions, and judge for yourself what type of editor he is.

You'll notice a few things:

  • There is not a single article that he has significantly improved (i.e. contributed a significant amount to, using high-quality reliable sources). Not a SINGLE ONE.
  • His tone is consistently rude and combative with anyone he disagrees with. He repeatedly misrepresents and ridicules other editors' positions. He rarely acknowledges the validity of anything that his "opponents" are saying. And when he has been shown to be wrong, he doesn't admit fault -- he just changes the subject, and keeps on battling, searching for some other way to attack his opponents' positions (or straw men).
  • The majority of his edits are to talk pages, rather than to articles (nearly twice as much to talk than articles). Furthermore, the majority of his edits are to ARGUMENTS on talk pages, rather than COLLABORATIONS with other editors. In fact, I'm not aware of a single place where he has been in an extended discussion on a talk page, and worked with other editors to improve an article.
  • He has been repeatedly blocked for edit warring. When blocked, he lies and grovels until he is unblocked, and then immediately goes back to acting exactly like he was before.
  • The few edits that he does make to articles are of very low quality -- using poor sources, misrepresenting sources, giving undue weight to trivia, taking things out of context, or performing synthesis or original research.
  • The vast majority (almost all) of the edits he has made to articles are on topics related to U.S. foreign policy or the U.S. military. He does not edit outside of this narrow topic area.

One of many possible examples of the behaviors listed above: He comes to the article state terrorism, because he is convinced that if he changes the definition there, he can then remove reliably sourced content regarding "state terrorism" from another article by claiming it doesn't fit the definition that he's written in the Wikipedia article state terrorism (even after it has been explained to him that this is not the case). He makes an edit to the definition section, which misrepresents the (low-quality) source that he cites, which myself and another editor have to explain to him. He then makes a false accusation of me stalking him when he actually followed me to the page.[19] When this is pointed out to him, he doesn't admit fault, but rather changes the subject and tells me that I'm being "disruptive" and "pathetic"[20], and informs me that "evidently" I think the page is "mine" (because I keep reverting junk edits like this one) and that I think that attempts to "improve them" (which I suppose is code for "adding original research and misrepresenting sources") are disruptive. When I tell him that I never said this, he says that he only said that "Evidently I feel" that this is the case, and that I'm "behaving like a yipping little dog that's defending a lawn it's previously peed on"... and so on (along with edit summaries like "Don't you have a dumpster to dive?" - a reference to the fact that he's been reading my personal blog - and "Shouldn't you be packing to move to Venezuela?"). This is the type of shit that I've been dealing with for months now, on multiple articles that he's followed me to.

He's taken special liking to me, and is stalking me both on and off-wiki (at least he only stalks me around in articles related to his nationalistic obsession -- he hasn't started harassing me at rattlesnake just yet). So I've had to deal with his removal of large amounts of sourced content, his soapboxing, his personal attacks, his misrepresentation of sources and of other editors' positions, and his persistent edit warring, on several pages. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it, and am deeply upset with the community for not having done anything about this by now. Why am I having to waste my time dealing with his bullshit, instead of editing?

Again, please look through his contributions, and verify for yourself that this type of thing is the norm for him. Now that you've done that, please answer me this: WHY IS THIS EDITOR STILL HERE? Seriously -- What is he contributing to the encyclopedia that makes him worth keeping around?

During an ANI he attempted to file against me when I called him out for repeatedly lying (a claim that was validated by the people at ANI), an uninvolved editor told him: "Reading the talkpage actually suggests to me that it would be a far more collegial environment if you weren't involved in it, rather than Jtayloriv." I would argue that the same could be said of the project as a whole. I welcome someone to explain to me the benefit of keeping people like this around.

Well, what do I suggest doing about it? Personally, I'd suggest blocking him indefinitely, as it appears User:Kww almost did, because he's clearly not a useful contributor, and wastes an enormous amount of community time. But, of course, that's not going to happen, because the policy here is currently designed to accommodate people of his ilk. The process goes like this: Act like an ass, get blocked, grovel and lie, get unblocked ("Free and rehabilitated!"? ... how cute), act like an ass in the same manner you did before, get blocked, grovel and lie, get unblocked, repeat ad nauseum ... He can keep going as long as he wishes, because nobody is asking the question "When we unblock him, do we expect it to improve the state of the encyclopedia?"

Of course, I'm not saying that everyone who edit wars should be indef'ed immediately. A lot of good editors, including myself, have gotten into an edit war during their time here. Everybody makes mistakes, and I am very supportive of Wikipedia maintaining a policy of "forgive and forget" for people who have obviously just screwed up. But when people are repeatedly blocked for the same behavior, and repeatedly act obnoxious, and repeatedly fail to contribute quality content, and give no indication that they are going to change their behavior, then maybe we should ask the question: "What good are we doing for ourselves by unblocking this person?" Limiting ourselves to waiting for them to violate 3RR or call someone an "ugly little loser" is not helping. Those types of things are easy to skirt around, while still being able to prevent productive editors from getting work done.

By repeatedly unblocking him when it's clear that he still doesn't give a shit, and doesn't intend to behave differently, we're just training an obnoxious and completely useless editor to game the system more effectively. He might be stupid enough to have been blocked for 3RR 3 times, and maybe he's even stupid enough to go for a 4th. But eventually he'll learn to control himself enough to be able to stay active in the battlegrounds he's created. He will learn how to act like as much of a dick as possible, while managing to just barely avoid getting himself blocked. And then we'll be stuck with him. He'll become a permanently useless and disruptive editor. We'll get to endlessly waste our time dealing with him, and in return our readers will get biased, low-quality content (and less of it too, since we'll be hanging out with V7-sport on talk pages, rather than writing articles). I don't want to be around to deal with that; he's already drained enough of my time as it is. So, in effect, you're losing an editor has contributed an enormous amount of quality content, and you've held on to a nationalistic zealot who contributes rude, inane comments on talk pages, deletes reliably sourced content that doesn't fit his POV, and contributes little, if anything, of value. I'd love to hear how that's going to result in the creation of a decent encyclopedia. (And I'm still waiting for information about that article he's written).

I suggest that you all figure out some way to revise the blocking policy for chronic cases like V7-sport, because what we've got now is not working. Unlike him, I'm not here looking for a political forum. I'm here to write content. It's too draining for me to have to spend several hours a week dealing with a single non-productive, nationalist extremist, because the community is assuming a bit too much good faith, and letting him come back "into the fight", when it's quite clear that he doesn't give a shit about collaborating with other editors. I also think that it needs to be made clear that admins should take into account users' contributions when determining block-lengths and unblock decisions. If a user isn't contributing anything useful, then why do we want them to come back, even if they don't violate 3RR and just spend all of their time arguing? What are we trying to do here -- have an open political forum, or produce something useful?

If I can't spend the large majority of my time writing content, and spend my talk time collaborating with people, I don't want to be here. Until you all decide to fix this, you can all enjoy dealing with his shit yourselves. I'm done. V7-sport, you win. Wikipedia, you lose. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 12:08, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Sorry to hear your retirement. Rather than get upset, you should have considered some of the dispute resolution avenues such as WP:WQA, WP:RFC/U, or the newly minted WP:DRN Hasteur (talk) 13:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
So, because this user decides that Wikipedia is a drama-filled place where several users get away with basically not editing and only harassing, some decide to collapse his, though very angry but still very important concerns. What a joke.Camelbinky (talk) 14:20, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Hasteur -- Of course I've considered WP:WQA, WP:RFC/U, etc. The reason that I didn't use them is that they are useless for this sort of thing. The result will merely be me getting told to assume good faith and wait until he does something "blockable" again (and then he'll be blocked for a few days, say whatever he needs to to get unblocked, and then come back to doing exactly what he was doing before, leaving the real problem unresolved). That's why I brought it here. If spending the majority of your time lurking around talk pages, starting fights with people over a single topic area, while contributing nothing of significance to the articles is not blockable, then the blocking policy needs to change. If you think there is some form of mediation that would be able to handle the situation, I am completely open to it; but none of the available options seem to be designed to deal with this situation. I love editing here, and would love to stay, but I'm just at my wits end with being followed around and harassed, and I don't see any options available to me that are going to be anything other than a further waste of my time. So what I'm doing here is ask that the community come up with such options, and consider how to deal with tendentious editors who contribute little to the encyclopedia, while creating an enormous amount of conflict and disruption. Again, I welcome someone to explain the value of keeping such a user around. Seriously -- point me to some thing X that says "In spite of V7-sport's repeated edit warring on U.S. foreign policy articles, in spite of his personal attacks and rude interactions with other editors, in spite of the fact that he hasn't made a single significant contribution to the encyclopedia, X makes it worthwhile to keep him around, and will help us reach our goal of creating a free, high-quality reference." If such an X doesn't exist, then something is wrong, and needs to change. Anyhow, I'll periodically check in on this thread, and you can also reach me via email on my userpage. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 18:40, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Jrtayloriv may be giving up prematurely. The user that s/he complains about here was blocked 5 times within approximately 6 weeks. That kind of record is not a result of Wikipedia coddling tendentious users. Rather, the length of the blocks was increasing at the same time that the user was getting "second" chances. If the disruptive behavior was continuing, it was time to escalate the issue. --Orlady (talk) 19:05, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Having been in a situation similar to what Jrtayloriv has described (linked at the top of my talk page), I can certainly relate to a lot of what Jrtayloriv is saying. There actually isn't a system in place for this type of thing. The person being disruptive only ends up indef blocked once their behaviour catches the attention of a much wider audience. I also wrote about some of this in a prior VPP discussion, and further expanded on later it in some comments I made during the AESH case. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:55, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Isn't the solution then to make their behaviour known to a much wider audience, for example through AN/I or other venues? I have seen several similar problem editors, which I at the time thought capable of gaming the system forever, but once reported there with proper evidence they actually did receive warranted attention and eventually booted off the project. The AN/I thread that Jrtayloriv links to was a botched attempt at the problematic editor to spread drama, but if Jrtayloriv themself had started a thread with ample evidence, I am sure it would have been treated differently. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:01, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
What never ceases to amaze me is that true vandals get so many short blocks and extra chances, but someone like User:James dalton bell who just wanted to correct some things about his own article went straight from newbie to indefinite ban for "incivility and disruption" after about 70 edits and 22 days.[21] I think all the breaks go to the wrong people. Wnt (talk) 00:48, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, many blocked and banned users create their own breaks. –MuZemike 18:38, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that too does not help individuals editing under their own name about their own articles. I know COI is a problem, but I think people who edit in such an honest fashion deserve some extra consideration. Wnt (talk) 20:44, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that things should change for repeat offenders. Think the simplest and most neutral way to do this would be to have set times limits for editors second, third and so on blocks. Something with more bite to it like - first time 24hrs, second time a week, third time a month and so on. Mandatory block times would also eliminate "judgment calls" on length of block times, that many times results in more conflict and unnecessary talks that are not about the underlining problems but rather the block its self. Having mandatory block times listed on some page would allow us all to link to this page showing vandals and POV pushers what their actions may led to. Having a well defined sanction type page is much better for our readers to understand then the "judgment call" system we are currently using. Moxy (talk) 21:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
"Isn't the solution then to make their behaviour known to a much wider audience, for example through AN/I or other venues?" Well, in theory anyway. Unfortunately it can sometimes turn into a situation of "the squeaky wheel getting the grease", especially if an AN/I post is long and difficult for others to read (many editors will simply skip over a long section which lacks visual queues and defined paragraphs).

In practice (and based on personal experience) when someone who has been repeatedly attacked or harassed finally makes an AN/I post, the individual(s) who have been attacking or harassing them will usually try to turn the AN/I discussion on the very person they've been targeting. (See Cyberstalking#Definitions "key factors") The effectiveness of this tactic depends on the initial AN/I statement, how the targeted individual has previously responded to attacks and harassment (ignoring and staying calm vs frustration, anger, etc), how much the issue has previously been known to other community members, and so on. One of the boilerplate ArbCom principles you often see is "Administrators should be sensitive in dealing with harassed editors who have themselves breached acceptable standards.", unfortunately this often seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

I can say from experience that simply making a statement on AN/I and providing a few diffs generally isn't enough to put a stop to attacks and harassment the first few times. In my case, after it got really bad, even trying to get ArbCom involved didn't help the first time around, and in the end, the community got involved and put a stop to it. Looking back over the material, it began on May 26, 2009 and was finally stopped on November 6, 2010, so it took place over roughly a year and a half (although it seemed like it was longer). In terms of how it played out as a whole, that isn't the way it is supposed to work at all, which is why I continue to push for change in this area. --Tothwolf (talk) 23:17, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes - as I said before, ANI won't do any good because he's not doing anything "blockable" at the moment, other than wasting everyone's time with inane arguments and failing to contribute. Example: He's been arguing for months about state terrorism, yet just asked a user if there is such a field as terrorism studies. This shows that he hasn't made the slightest effort to read about the topic that he is arguing about. Not only has he been contributing nothing, but he doesn't even bother to read reliable sources that about the topic over which he's arguing. How can a reasonable person be expected to deal with someone like this? Waiting until he starts another edit war and temporarily blocking him again doesn't fix the real problem: i.e. that he contributes nothing to the encyclopedia, while dragging people into endless arguments that have no basis in what reliable sources have to say about the issue. My problem is that we keep these types of people around, instead of asking (after several blocks) what good they are doing us. Nobody has answered my question yet: Why is he still here? Is his presence helping or hindering our writing an encyclopedia? -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 08:56, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Lists of non-notable people

A variety of IP editors insists on adding a long list of nn people to the Fnatic article. I've tried removing all of the names which have no Wikipedia articles, and there aren't even any references to indicate that these people exist, let alone that they meet the requirements to be in a Wikipedia article. Am I wrong to remove these names, or should I start issuing BLP warnings to the editors who insist on re-adding the names? The Mark of the Beast (talk) 18:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't pretend to understand video game culture, but it looks to me like you are doing the right thing in removing the names. This matter doesn't rise to the level of a BLP warning, but you could gently tell the IPs about WP:INDISCRIMINATE and you also could communicate the message at Template:Uw-badlistentry. If the problem persists, you may want to request semi-protection of the page at WP:RFPP. --Orlady (talk) 19:03, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll try the template first. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 19:08, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm tempted to agree with you, too; the names of these people don't seem to be critical to the article's integrity. I know nothing about this organization, though, so perhaps they are important within certain circles. I think it merits a little bit of research before totally ruling out the possibility of including the names. I don't, however, think that it is a good idea to write an article that is one giant list, whether the people are notable or not; people don't like reading lists, so this article could use a little more meat all around. If you decide to include the names, it might be appropriate to create separate articles. --Jp07 (talk) 19:23, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Notability does not determine content. You are permitted have a list of non-notable (or notable + non-notable) people in an article. Article contents must be WP:Verifiable rather than WP:Notable. If sources have been WP:Published to support this information, then you may choose to include it. On the other hand, you might decide that a list of individuals is so unimportant that it's not worth mentioning. What you can't do is use the notability guideline to delete information from an article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:34, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Call for image filter referendum

The Wikimedia Foundation, at the direction of the Board of Trustees, will be holding a vote to determine whether members of the community support the creation and usage of an opt-in personal image filter, which would allow readers to voluntarily screen particular types of images strictly for their own account.

Further details and educational materials will be available shortly. The referendum is scheduled for 12-27 August, 2011, and will be conducted on servers hosted by a neutral third party. Referendum details, officials, voting requirements, and supporting materials will be posted at m:Image filter referendum shortly.

For the coordinating committee,
Robert Harris

Cross posted by -- DQ (t) (e) 21:44, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Planned for 12–27 August 2011, so the referendum is not ready yet; perhaps check the link in a week or so. -Wikid77 23:42, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Methodist and Lutheran churches are the same?

I've noticed that apparently Methodist churches are now to be put in the category for Lutheran churches... Being Jewish I must admit I'm not always up-to-date on the very multitude of different Christian denominations, but I must say I see this as being quite peculiar and think the community as a whole may want to discuss and possibly override the decision reached in a smaller venue. From what I was able to research quickly in the last 10 mins since discovering this anomaly Ive found that while several Methodist and Lutheran organizations have decided to recognize each other's communions etc, I have found that they are still separate and more importantly have different histories. Methodists are a branch broken from Episcopalian/Anglicanism and Lutherans are directly broken from Roman Catholicism (Martin Luther and his 99 theses). I see that they are not combined in form and that several of their joint "declarations" of working together are also joint declarations of working together signed by Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans. Nobody would say Episcopalians and Catholics have given up their independence. And I think putting Methodist Churches in the Lutheran category would create a problem with ex-Methodist Churches that are now historical sites, labelling them as Lutheran could be insulting and inflammatory. I dont know the reasoning behind "Methodists are Lutherans" but if there is a good reason how is it possibly in the best interest of Wikipedia to categorize Methodist churches as Lutheran churches?Camelbinky (talk) 05:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I think that's inaccurate and less-than-specific. I didn't look it up to see how they are organized, but if they are declared one and the same, I think that's a problem.
I will do a little research on the topic, too, and get back with you.--Jp07 (talk) 05:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Methodists aren't Lutherans; they're totally separate, with different governance, theology and so on. Heck, even Lutherans aren't Lutherans -- compare the ELCA to the much more conservative Missouri Synod branch. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 05:52, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
According to this it's only a "communion" and "not merger" ; it's only in the U.S. and not globally; it's specifically the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodists not the whole of "lutheranism" and the whole of "methodism"; the Lutherans have the same relationship with "The Episcopal Church, the Moravian Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ." So all-in-all putting them into the same category in this way is...well, incorrect. DeCausa (talk) 05:57, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
It appears to have been a typo on a bot's command, someone put Lutheran instead of Methodist and to my knowledge all have been manually reverted and the category bot's task page has been corrected. Whew! Crises averted! Nothing to see here. :P Camelbinky (talk) 06:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

New essay: WP:SEOBOMB

I have written a new essay related to the recent RfC and arbitration request on campaign for "santorum" neologism:

Editors are cordially invited to review or improve the essay, leave comments on its talk page, etc. Cheers, --JN466 15:18, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Would you consider moving this "essay" out of the project space? At a quick skim it reads like a soapbox oratory about the controversy and the related issues around it. It reads like a semi veiled attack on Crit and an attempt to lay precedent tracks. Minimize the origination issue, generalize the comments (not only about online campaigns, specific examples from the issue, etc.) then I could see it being a valid guidance document. Hasteur (talk) 15:31, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
It's hard for me to imagine how anyone who wasn't active in the dispute would connect this essay with Cirt or any other user. I therefore think it unreasonable to interpret it as an attack on anyone.
The two primary reasons that we userify essays is that the editor doesn't want anyone else to make changes to it, and that the essay directly contradicts the community's view. I think that the general theme (i.e., don't abuse Wikipedia for your outside political campaigns) is widely supported by the community, and JN doesn't seem to mind others improving it. Therefore it is not appropriate to userify the essay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:29, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Anyone who looked at the history would be able to tell exactly who is at issue, connecting it to Crit requires about 10 seconds of work. I agree this doesn't belong in project space as written--it looks to be a thinly veiled personal attack. I assume it wasn't intended as such, but intent doesn't really matter here. As such, I'm not real thrilled with it in userspace either. Hobit (talk) 17:12, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I'd be fine with just describing the effect and issue. Even with a simple note where the term was first coined. But the fairly long list of the "bad things" done by one user is what makes it seem like an attack. Hobit (talk) 17:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I think the essay would be fine if it were genericized to remove all references to specific examples, that is remove all of the "santorum" stuff from it, and just leave it generic. --Jayron32 20:11, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Since the essay was in project space, I decided to be bold and cut out a bunch of details. Most obviously, the author has little awareness of how pagerank is actually computed - internal links in a domain are not taken into account (or are only a small factor). Thus the complaints about creating inbound links with templates and DYK nominations are not only speculative, but actually wrong, and in my opinion impugn the assumption of good faith we should have towards the editors who worked on the variety of articles related to Santorum (who was after all a prospective presidential candidate), and the generally useful templates that were spun out of that article. A page should be judged on its own merits, not the supposed motivations of its original author. Dcoetzee 21:29, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Looks much better, thanks. Hobit (talk) 21:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it's unwise to base essays like this on single events. This one in particular seems too focused on the details of what happened in the one case rather than the general issue.   Will Beback  talk  22:00, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

It looks to me suspiciously like an example of what it is talking about. At the very least references to the specific example should be removed. Dmcq (talk) 22:15, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • As I already noted, internal links do not contribute substantially to pagerank computations. However I agree that an essay based on a single event may be premature. Dcoetzee 22:21, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Most of the literature I find says that internal links are taken into account in calculating page rank: [22]. --JN466 22:59, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • This point (using single events to make decisions about how the community governs itself) is part of what I was talking about on WP:VPM yesterday before Malleus Fatuorum (talk · contribs) started haranguing me about it, for whatever reason. Bad things happen occasionally (vandalism, hoaxes, advocacy, whatever...), and we should deal with that when it does occur. If there is something that we can do to enable volunteers to better combat the occurrence of those bad things (like the NPP, for example) then that's a good thing. However, trying to prevent those kinds of bad things is usually worse then the problem. In this instance, for example, it appears that the intent of the essay was to somehow prevent people from linking to the type of article represented by the santorum article (see the original Guidance section). Understandable, but misplaced, and that advice tends to contradict other widely accepted guidance (Wikipedia:Linking). My point is: let's not allow ourselves to become overzealous trying to prevent problems.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:08, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    What's has been discussed a few times, but never implemented, is to add nofollow to nav template links. That would take navigation templates out of the page rank equation altogether. Lots of people are saying that our internal dofollow links push our page ranks up. That's legitimate, but arguably less so with nav templates adding a couple of hundred extra links in one fell swoop. --JN466 23:41, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    The thing is... that's all external to the site. Look, I'm not making light of your concern with page ranks and how SEO issues relate to our internal practices, but... I mean, that's not something that is really in our control, and I'm not sure that we should try to throw monkey wrenches into the way that Google (or Bing, Yahoo, etc...) operate based on our necessarily imperfect view of the way that they operate. If there's a problem with our content, then our content should be talked about and changed to address those concerns. Trying to keep people from seeing it doesn't seem particularly constructive, to me. Besides, all of the stuff about what affects page rankings in Google or any other search engine are just guesses... they're well informed guesses, but they're still guesses. More seriously, the manner in which Google and other search engines operates can change at any time, without notice. Relying on "nofollow" or similar mechanisms for issues such as this risks the possibility of Google and other search engines choosing to ignore all of our robots guidance, which is trivial for them to do. If that happens, what would we do then?
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 00:00, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    Well, yes. On the other hand, once people generally wisen up to the fact that they can make their articles rise up the Google ranks by throwing in a couple of fat navigation templates, everyone will want to have some on their article, whether useful to the reader or not. You may argue that promoting our page rank promotes the project -- in which case let's all create nav templates for our favourite topics! -- but I'm doubtful whether that's best for a harmonious editing environment. Someone will create navigation templates for Republican scandals and Liberal columnists, another one for Democrat scandals and Conservative columnists, and so forth; you get my drift. Making nav templates nofollow would remove the incentive, and the potential for strife, and level the playing field. Articles would earn their page rank with their content, rather than nav templates. --JN466 00:38, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    Well, keep in mind that there are good reasons to add navboxes to articles which are completely unrelated to any potential SEO effects (which, I still feel that the potential effects of our internal links on page ranking are speculative). See: Wikipedia:A navbox on every page, for example. Not everything occurring on Wikipedia is going to be related to partisan politics, even on partisan political pages. Some of us are actually concerned with improving the quality of our coverage. :)
    Taking your arguments on directly though (we obviously see this through slightly different paradigms, which is fine): should a "harmonious editing environment" trump potentially helpful content creation? If content can only come about though conflict... I mean, that kinda sucks (I'm awfully averse to conflict, personally), but in the end so what? After all of the arguing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, we do typically end up with good content. There may be some bent feelings as well, but over the long term... i mean, content is king, in my view.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 00:57, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    I've been googling about for a bit and everything I find says that internal links do matter, a lot. See [23][24] for example. Frankly, I need to think about this for a while, because I'd never really given it a lot of thought. Cheers, --JN466 01:09, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    I'm not trying to get the "last word" in here, or anything like that, but... if I concede the point that internal links matter (even if they matter significantly), my main point is much wider then that, you know? I'm trying not to be dismissive of your concern, not only because I don't want to dismiss anyone's concern, but also because I think that it's something that we can legitimately take into consideration in certain circumstances. My main issue is using that single concern to make content decisions on is not something that is good for the encyclopedia in the long term.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 01:38, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    That's why I need to think about it. I came to the topic through the santorum thing, but that's obviously only one aspect of the issue, alongside many others. --JN466 02:33, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • (ec) I agree that this essay would be better off without such pointed reference to Cirt, such as the list of his actions and link to the (declined) arbitration case filed against him. This appears to not just assume bad faith on his part, but also codify it into policy in a way that I'm not comfortable with until his actions are more thoroughly investigated and evaluated by the community. I'd also suggest that the guidance section be expanded/rewritten to give an editor guidance in how to write about a Googlebomb and expand its coverage fairly, rather than a warning that to expand coverage of a Googlebomb topic will be seen prima facie as bad faith. (Probably not how this section was intended, but it's how it's coming across to me at the moment.) I do think this is a topic worth talking about in policy terms, though, so thanks for tackling it. Khazar (talk) 01:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    • That's appreciated. As originally written, I actually tried to just describe the actions that caused concern this time round in the essay -- because these are the sorts of actions that would likely cause similar concerns in the future, if another editor were to engage them -- and to do so without imputing intent, because intent is a matter of perception. I may have my perception, which may differ fundamentally from that of the next person, and both my and others' perception may change in the light of new evidence. So, as an essay, the text should not interpret actions that have actually occurred one way or another. But it is legitimate to address how things might be perceived, both within the community, and by our readership and critics outside the community, and to get editors to think about that. I think we all agree that we neither want to be cheered by supporters of a campaign we cover, nor castigated by those opposing it. I'm happy for others to take the lead in developing the essay further; please remove what you think is too specific, and translate the scenario that occurred into more appropriate and generic language. --JN466 02:33, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


I've rewritten the essay in line with comments above: [25]. Further input welcome. Cheers, --JN466 04:24, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Thinking about it, the real question I think we should get at is: is there any upper limit to the number of links in a navbox? As said in WP:A navbox on every page, navboxes can go up to hundreds of links - which is to say, hundreds of inbound links to each article on the list. To facilitate that, navboxes have an exemption from the prohibition on content hiding which applies to nearly every other type of content, including potentially offensive images. Maybe we should have a fixed maximum size above which you should make a category rather than a template, and stop using show/hide to shoehorn unreasonably large numbers of them into articles. I've mentioned this idea just now on the essay talk page. Wnt (talk) 01:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
FYI: I've nominated the essay for deletion.Hobit (talk) 00:01, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Wikibombing‎, for the record. Prioryman (talk) 06:07, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The AfD resulted in no consensus to delete on 1 July 2011, from the 7-day debate, after the essay was rewritten with more NPOV-neutral balanced views. WP:SEOBOMB follows more generalized advice to avoid WP:UNDUE details in navboxes, or extra spinoff articles, in article sets where details would exceed the notability as covered in major WP:RS sources. -Wikid77 23:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Let Google do Google's job

It's markedly not our job to fix Google's ranking of pages and topics. Googles algorithm is proprietary and very confidential. Nearly everything circulating about it is highly speculative and likely wrong. We should not try to second-guess them and to orient our policy to do what we think would change their results to what we think they should be. It's in Google's interest to provide their users with the best results. Unlike us, they have the know-how to achieve this. Let them do their job (being a useful search engine), and let us do our job (building a great encyclopedia). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:05, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I think the general policy concept to "avoid undue spinoff articles" can be discussed without talk of Google's proprietary page-ranking algorithms: if a spinoff page does not exist, it cannot be ranked; hence no talk of how it gets ranked. However, it should be noted that a heading, "==Actress WXYZ67 is a burnout failure==" might appear as a quoted subpage link in newer search-engine results; hence, regardless of page-rank, a WP ==header== can appear as a prominent search-result. People should be aware of that, so that any policy decisions can be made about headers, if needed. -Wikid77 23:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
    • I can only repeat my main point. It's not our job to speculate how and why our content will be presented by outside publishers and search engines. That should not influence our policy in any significant way. Our job is to build the best possible encyclopedia. We provide knowledge. We don't hide it away because it offends some parties, or might topple regimes, or improve or hurt someone's business, or will (or will not) be presented by a search engine or a social network site or a re-publisher, in a certain way. All the world's knowledge, for everybody, free. That's the mission. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:06, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

RfC notification

A new discussion on wording changes to the current guideline to clarify the use of diacritics for subjects whose native names contain them has been initiated. It can be found at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)/Diacritics RfC Ohconfucius ¡digame! 08:43, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

The whole system is unfair and biased

It seems to me that, while wikipedia is presented as the encycleopedia that anyone can edit, this is very misleading. It seems a lot more like an encycleopaedia which only experienced, well connected people who know all the tricks to keep their articles on and delete other people's can edit. And also, the rules are supposed to be all community driven and democratic, but democracy doesn't work when most people are wrong about something. It is the more experienced editors who know how to change things on wikipedia, and these are the people who the unfair, biased, current system benefits. I keep hearing the saying 'When in Rome, Do as the Romans'. I prefer the saying 'Be in the world, but not of the world'. Just because most people are wrong, that doesn't mean I should be wrong as well. It also seems that people on here enjoy deleting people's articles for fun, however much they may make excuss about 'official wikipedia rules'. so I think the whole sysem needs sorting out, but the chances are this will never happen, because of who gets to make the decisions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alicianpig (talkcontribs) 12:42, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

To address your concerns: many people also think the policy "system needs sorting out" and it can happen, but will likely need years, unless new rules are imposed by top management (revolution is often faster then evolution). Wikipedia has already improved, from pure mobocracy towards the "Rule of law" where WP:CONSENSUS now states that an agreement of many people cannot override long-term policies. A united group of rumor mongers cannot decree that gossip, or crude jokes, will be allowed in celebrity articles, so there are limits which prevent "most people" from doing what they want. However, the Rule of Law works better with strict, but fair enforcement of sanctions for rule breakers ("outlaws"), and unfortunately, Wikipedia has limited polices about "fairness" where even the articles omit major concepts of fairness, such as no article in 10 years for "Proportional punishment" but only for "Mandatory sentencing". Meanwhile, the WP:Article_Incubator gives people more chances to create articles that can survive deletion. However, beware that you might want Wikipedia to be more fair than any nation on Earth. More below. -Wikid77 06:15, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
This desk is "to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines." Why did you post the above rant here? ╟─TreasuryTagSyndic General─╢ 14:49, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
You know, I'm really tired of seeing new editors attacked and belittled for not knowing all the rules. This includes the removal of the editor's comments above by TreasuryTag [26] ([27]) after I restored them once before. [28] [29] While I have to assume Bob House 884 just didn't know any better because he is a fairly new editor, TreasuryTag is not a new editor. In the case of TreasuryTag's removal of this editor's comments, this has got to be one of the most blatent disregards for WP:AGF and WP:BITE that I've seen. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:59, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I never questioned Alicianpig's good faith. I said that they posted their rant on the wrong noticeboard, because it is clearly not a proposed new policy or a discussion of existing policies. ╟─TreasuryTagstannary parliament─╢ 15:01, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, it expresses a viewpoint about the way policies ("rules") are applied on WP. Many threads on this page are far more off-topic than this.--Kotniski (talk) 15:05, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Just to say, I removed the comment initially because it seemed plainly outside the scope of the board and didn't seem likely to attract any constructive comment. Perhaps hatting would have been a better idea. Slightly ironically it seems that the cause of Alicianpig's stress is the impending deletion of an article called 'Whinge wars' Bob House 884 (talk) 15:10, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
(Directed at the OP) Instead of making vague generalizations, can you give specific examples of what you're referring to? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:11, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that the OP may be making a reference to Wikipedians' general scepticism of the WP:BROTHER excuse! ╟─TreasuryTagsenator─╢ 15:14, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah, that might explain things; however, I do see Alicianpig was given a dose of good faith there, which is, after all, what we're supposed to do around here. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:18, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Tempest in a tea pot, really, hatting would be likely been better. We should go have a refreshing beverage. But am I correct that implying another editor is a troll in an edit summary could be interpreted as a personal attack? --Nuujinn (talk) 15:16, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't be the first time. [30] This also begs the question if TreasuryTag wasn't simply trying to revert my restoration of Alicianpig's comments here because I had warned them for canvassing [31] here on VPP for this section above. Sigh. WP:POINT, anyone? --Tothwolf (talk) 16:16, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
TreasuryTag you did question Alicianpig's good faith, by calling them a troll in an edit summary. GB fan (talk) 15:13, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Don't know the particulars here, but Wikipedia is a vicious place for new editors. Imagine a world with zillions of imperfectly written rules where everything done violates a literal broad interpration of them, and where every person (including social misfits) is given a badge and a gun. That is the WP world to a new editor. North8000 (talk) 15:32, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. TheParasite (talk) 15:34, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Note that North8000 (talk · contribs) and TheParasite (talk · contribs) are the same person [32]╟─TreasuryTagconstabulary─╢ 15:56, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
With the exception of the "badge and a gun", wouldn't that be real life? –MuZemike 08:09, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Speaking as an occasional but serious editor, still a newbie in many ways, I have to say that I do not have a problem with understanding and following the rules once they are pointed out to me (which sometimes had to happen repeatedly.) I find the experienced and active editors to be friendly and helpful without exception. I do get irritated with editors who persist, sometimes in very mischievous ways which stay within the "rules", to push their (obviously) biased PoV. I have to work hard at disciplining myself not to retaliate in kind, and I think I have mostly been successful. I love what Wikipedia is doing, and I am pleased and proud to have played a small part in it. pietopper (talk) 22:23, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • With regards to the "particulars" in which why the complainant is here, I need to repeat that Wikipedia is not the place to post stuff that is completely unverifiable or otherwise madeup; see Wikipedia:Verifiability for details. This is an encyclopedia which relies on information that is verified by reliable, independent sources and that are neutral. If the complainant cannot understand those very basic things, then there is not much we can do to help. –MuZemike 08:24, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Of course Wikipedia isn't the place for unverifiable material, but we still shouldn't bite and bash a newbie over the head when they attempt to express their frustration with the general unfriendliness of the system. --Tothwolf (talk) 17:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I completely agree with Alicianpig - it's amazing that 'the free encyclopedia' can have such a vicious hierarchy which seems to take great pleasure from removing posts from new editors. How is Wikipedia supposed to encourage more people to start editing, when anyone who accidentally violates the smallest, most inane rule is slapped with an angry notice and sees their article/post deleted? I once referenced an online news story about an event which happened in July 2008. In the article, I accidentally wrote that it happened in 2007. Clearly a typo - but what does the editor at the top of the food chain do? Instead of correcting the obvious, one-character error, he/she decides to delete my article. This is exactly the sort of thing the 'important' people endorse - they assume they have some sort of power and decide to use it to make the whole experience difficult for new editors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by R013 (talkcontribs) 09:40, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    First off, there are differences between your case and Alicianpig's above – you were writing about stuff that were more viable, as opposed to something that was completely unverifiable or otherwise madeup. Second, it is not your article – once you hit the "Save page" button, it becomes the community's article and can be edited at will by others, within common sense and basic policies, of course. Moreover, I highly doubt an administrator deleted the article in question because of one minor typo. –MuZemike 13:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • "It seems a lot more like an encycleopaedia which only experienced, well connected people who know all the tricks to keep their articles on and delete other people's can edit."

    In some way this is true. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a place where everybody can write whatever he or she wants to. In order for this to work, there have to be some rules, otherwise everybody would just make what he or she wanted to and no encyclopedia would be built.

    Also, I think that I am also still a relatively new editor (I started editing in mid 2010). And I have made some mistakes since then. At the beginning, I really had no idea, where to look for anything I wanted to know (rules or policies for example). My experience is, it requires some time to be able to become a "well working editor". You can't expect to simply jump in and know all the nos and goes of Wikipedia. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes in good faith. I have also made a number of mistakes since I began editing here. I think you simply have to take Wikipedia a bit serious and you should always try to improve your knowledge of the working of Wikipedia. If you don't know how something works, don't just give up. If you really can't make sense of something yourself, you can always ask at WP:Help desk. Don't be afraid to ask question you think might sound silly, simply bring up what you have problems with, and try to behave as intended (eg try to avoid coming into the NOs part of Wikipea, such as Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not). For example, Wikipedia is not a democracy. And if there is anything you need help with, you can always ask me on my talk page. I simply try to be a helpful part of this community and while there are editors who bite other people or might seem unfriendly, there are also a lot of welcoming people on Wikipedia. I hope I am one of them. Cheers. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 11:21, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

  • A lot of Wikipedians have problems with the hierarchy, bureaucracy and sometimes difficult to understand, or to access, rules that WP operates on. Sometimes this results in inequity or BITEyness and sometimes we all want to complain about it, but this thread does not contain any actionable proposal. Have a cup of tea and visit the help desk if you need help. Bob House 884 (talk) 14:04, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Actionable isn't the point. There is active discussion going on here and I've undone your close of this discussion thread. --Tothwolf (talk) 16:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    (edit was simultaneous with the closing) Us who have have been down in the rabbit hole in the Wikipedia alternate universe for some time should realize that newcomers sometimes may have a better perspective than we have. North8000 (talk) 14:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The only suggestion I have is mandatory retirement of VIP editors after so many years, maybe the memory of being a newbie will stay with them the second time around.  Unscintillating (talk) 04:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

It's time for some massive change

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who seemed to agree with me about the unfairness of the current wikipedia system with regards to the treatment of new editors. I think that if so many people disagree with the way more experienced editors aggressively treat newer ones, maybe it is time for this to be changed. Please leave your opinions about this below (Alicianpig (talk) 17:24, 20 June 2011 (UTC))

Agree that change is needed

I'm not entirely sure this is relevant. However, deleting it would go entirely against what I'm trying to say. (even though your post was actually pointless, thanks for giving me an oppurtunity to make this point)(Alicianpig (talk) 18:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC))

I agree that change would be good. I have had similar problems with creating articles, so I just don't write new articles anymore. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Aerogarden and Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Jamison_Parker. I think that some of us forget that this is a volunteer project and seem to have a bit of an attack-dog/guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality. There seems to be lots of inaccurate, uninformed accusation slinging, too. I don't think these things are productive. I don't have any particularly good suggestions, but here is some evidence in support of Alicianpig's comments. --Jp07 (talk) 16:56, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree that change is needed, but I think you should specify what you mean. Over the years, I have seen many problems, which have been spoken about by many others. In particular: (a) Wikipedia is really an insider's game, and without connections or a thorough understanding of Wikipedia procedure, new contributors get slammed. (b) Wikipedia is best at textbook-type topics, but it gets weak in many areas. (c) the public expects Wikipedia to have coverage of virtually everything, and yet deletionists are very quick to remove many topics which would be fine to remain as stubs. (d) Wikipedia is not user friendly. (e) Wikipedia does not have a good way to deal with COI. It's absurd that major organizations, public figures, companies, or individuals are virtually barred from having meaningful information about themselves. There should be very simple how-to type guidelines for ~100 different kinds of articles, with tips and suggestions on how to get started. Then, if a newbie messes up, there should be friendly (not bitchy) newbie-style guidelines to refer them to. Wxidea (talk) 22:31, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
    Interestingly, wp:coi is well written and allows them to do this. But wp:coi is usually misquoted, especially by the bullies....they say that having such a relationship with a company IS a wp:coi, which is absolutely wrong, and absolutely not what the guideline says. North8000 (talk) 20:52, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I also agree that we delete new contributor's articles way too quickly. The notability requirement is one problem. If they want to write an article of interest only to a few people, I don't see the problem. Disk space is cheap. And if it's poorly written or not long enough, does this matter, if few people will ever read it ? I'd say we should improve such articles and/or mentor the newcomers to do so, rather than just delete them. StuRat (talk) 23:04, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree.  The deletion of articles is a sore spot, I continue to be puzzled as to why there is such a strong deletionist bias among the admins, the only explanation I have is that they have so many articles to delete all of the time that they become insensitive to the amount of work they are destroying.  One of the issues here is there is a difference between deleted articles with minor technical deficiencies that when deleted should be archived, and articles that really should be taken offline.  Radio Sandwell is a perfect example, it just needs one good source from a local newspaper, but now that it is hidden from the sight of regular users, only admins can really do anything about improving the article.  So at AfD we need to be differentiating between taking material out of mainspace and archiving it, and removing objectional material from mainspace.  Another example of an article that should be available in an archive is Kippax Uniting Church.  I think this would also help a lot of editors who put their work in here, knowing that they could still find their old work in an archive of deleted articles.

    Beyond that, the problem with deletion continues to be the creation of articles that need to be deleted.  I think we need to require sources before an article can be created, one for identifiability of the article name, and one for content.  Also, the creator needs to place a rationale for creation to start the talk page.  Another reasonable idea that was proposed was to require that a red link to the article exist before the article could be created. Yet another idea would be to start the article on the talk page, and it would require a second editor to actually create the article itself.  Maybe it would make sense to start all articles in the incubator.  Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Proposal to require autoconfirmed status in order to create articles goes in the right direction.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I strongly agree with [User:Unscintillating|Unscintillating]]'s comments that deletionist-prone editors and admins "have so many articles to delete all of the time that they become insensitive to the amount of work they are destroying." It's great that they weed out so much spam, but many newbies put a lot of work into trying to be encyclopedic, and rather then be helpful, I have seen too many examples of editors bullying new authors with wikipedia regulations, snotty attitude, or just plowing through an AfD. I am sure the deletionists mean well on some level, but it burns new contributors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wxidea (talkcontribs) 06:34, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Also agree. But even Unscintillating's comments are limited only to well-intentioned but rough "enforcers" are just a part of the problem. There are also bullies roaming WP, using wikilawyering instead of fists. North8000 (talk) 20:43, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is a mean place for new editors due to a combination of factors. Agree that a large amount of changes are needed with respect to this. That doesn't define what the changes are, but the strategic decision can come first. North8000 (talk) 19:58, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree in principle that change is needed. Wikipedia is currently at risk of coming to comprise an underclass of content creators effectively ruled by a supervisory class that uses mechanisms of content destruction to extract labor from the underclass on pain of having the fruits of their voluntary labors needlessly lost. There are counter-trends to the factors that create this risk, but it is in no way clear that they are presently on track to overcome it. This needs to change. How to change it is, as North8000 notes, another exercise. —chaos5023 (talk) 20:16, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree that change is needed. In my first efforts, in 2007, I was bitten twice in the same Wikiproject. Now I'd know how to deal with these cases. More generally, instead of the current "welcome" message, which links to reams of policies and guidelines, newcomers need: simple explanations of the main policies, e.g. 2-3 sentences each; links to the relevant noticeboards for the occasional more complex cases; and advice and tools that can make newcomers productive quickly. At User:Philcha/Essays/Advice_for_new_Wikipedia_editors I have a draft on these lines, and hope some editors will comment at User_talk:Philcha/Essays/Advice_for_new_Wikipedia_editors. --Philcha (talk) 21:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Disagree that change is needed

"Change" is an attractive, but utterly meaningless term. Everyone can say "oh yes change is good" but what change? How can we avoid biting new editors and deleting their articles when a good number of those articles violate core Wikipedia tenets? Should we throw out notability requirements and let anyone post anything? Should we throw out Verifiability requirements, or allow only one self-published source to suffice for an article? Without doing both of those things the fact of the matter is a good chunk of new articles will be summarily deleted. I am all for changes but there are no CORE POLICY issues here. Except maybe us being less tolerant of incivility everywhere and much more liberal with indef. bans for incivility and personal attacks. now THAT is change I can support. HominidMachinae (talk) 07:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I think a good start would be to adopt a policy of innocent- or good faith-until-proven-guilty. I do not write new articles anymore because I know that I will inevitably be accosted for something, and it really requires full-time defense of the article to prevent speedy deletion. As a volunteer who has other things going on in his life, I don't have time to sit at my computer for several days straight writing a magnum opus and defending an article that was meant to be a donation of my time. Excellent writing takes a great deal of time, and I think it's silly to expect such devotion from unpaid workers.
Perhaps establishing stronger checks and balances would be effective. It might be a good idea to require someone with established authority (I'm not familiar with the authority structure) to nominate articles for speedy deletion. When the average joe editor with a Napoleon complex attacks a newbie editor, that newbie is not going to contribute anymore, even though they could become a valuable asset to the project. I think speedy deletion nominations should come only from those with a demonstrated track record of civility. Other editors should have a separate space where they can submit concerns for senior editors to review and decide whether or not the topic of deletion should even be brought up. A separate locale will prevent hostilities between the concerned and those who are working on the article as the writers will not be notified of concerns that do not necessitate deletion.
In corporate life, hostile managers do not run effective workplaces. Managers must be assertive, but civil. Think of it that way. --Jp07 (talk) 07:48, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
If an article requires aggressive defense against a CSD deletion then it is most likely (but not certain, admins make mistakes like any other human being) that the article meets at least one criterion for speedy deletion. There's a reason that the criteria are very specific and all grounds for immediate deletion without any prior steps: namely that they are articles that have no chance of being salvaged or are actively damaging to our reputation (attack pages, nonsense, pure vandalism, ect). Speedy deletion is not the problem. The problem is the article. I think that the combination of speedy deletion, the AfD system and Deletion Review do form adequate checks and balances. The only way it could be improved is mandatory notification of article creators of speedy deletion. HominidMachinae (talk) 08:26, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm finding it hard to reply to this because I'm not familiar with any of your acronyms, which -- pardon my frankness -- I think is another problem that we run into in engaging in conversations about change. Although we are all Wikipedia editors, some of us have a great deal of experience, whereas others of us do not. And I think you could edit Wikipedia throughout your lifetime and still not learn all of the jargon and acronyms. So, Thing #1: I think it is best to avoid jargon and to spell out acronyms.
Thing #2: I agree with you on this: attack pages, nonsense, vandalism, etc. should all be quickly removed from the wiki because these compromise credibility, and they also may have legal ramifications. I do not, however, believe that articles that do not conform to every facet of Wikipedia style and those that are stubs should be instant targets for persecution. Reference Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Jamison_Parker. Although this topic is notable and the article is still around today, other editors seemed more interested in deleting the article because they were not personally familiar with the band and because of coincidences that inspired elaborate theories on Wikipedia abuse. I think this is a pretty clear demonstration of what I'm talking about. If these editors had taken the time to investigate a little bit, they would have realized that the topic was, in fact, notable, and that I was a new editor. The article was not my best piece of writing, but it was not horrible, either, and my demonstrated mastery of the English language was perfectly fine (despite inappropriate comments to the contrary).
This is a relatively commonplace occurrence for editors who write new articles, particularly when those editors are new to Wikipedia. This will not lead to repeat customers.--Jp07 (talk) 08:54, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for being unclear. For the record CSD means "Criteria for speedy deletion" and AfD means "Articles for Deletion" Deletion Review is often abbreviated DRV. I think the largest problem is the perception that Articles for deletion is seen as "OMG they're going to get rid of it, when in reality it is a discussion forum. To me an Articles for Deletion nomination means "hey guys, I think that this article might not meet notability/verifiability/other requirements, can I get some input? It's not a bad thing, certainly, and as many articles get saved from deletion as get deleted. Perhaps the best solution would be to follow Redirects for Discussion and call it "Articles for Discussion" not "deletion". HominidMachinae (talk) 22:33, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Right yeah 'change' - are you actually suggesting something? Bob House 884 (talk) 17:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm thinking about changing the rules so that it is not so easy to delete other people's articles and so the rules are less complicated (as this gives an advantage to experienced people who learn them). However, I'm interested to hear what other, possibly more experienced editors, have to say about this issue. Thanks for asking, I didn't make it very clear to start with. (Alicianpig (talk) 17:34, 20 June 2011 (UTC))

I'm inclined to think that your experience at wikipedia might be better if you didn't upload obvious copyright violations (File:Vishling.jpg), didn't make personal attacks [33], and didn't write insulting things on people's own personal pages [34] and maybe didnt ask other people to come and sabotage wikipedia on an off-site website [35]. All of these things are real world rules - they're easy enough to stick to with a healthy dose of common sense. People might be more inclined to help you out if you stuck to the more obvious stuff like that - you can then try to get to grips with the more complicated ideas which are specific to wikipedia like WP:Notability (which is why your article got deleted) and WP:Verifiability. Regards, Bob House 884 (talk) 17:43, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
This is nothing to do with the system or policy, just a need for consideration for inexperienced users.--Charles (talk) 17:48, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
The OP appears to be unfamiliar with WP:BITE. --Jayron32 17:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Are you referring to me or to Alicianpig? Bob House 884 (talk) 17:55, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Not you. --Jayron32 18:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Regards, Bob House 884 (talk) 18:14, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Oh. so it's bad doing that stuff, but it's ok to do vicious, underhand stuff as long as it fits in with the ridiculous rules on this website. It's ok to repeatedly come up with different excuses to delete someones website. It's ok to call someone a sockpuppeteer and a troll. It's ok to accuse them of breaking copyright laws with a photo they NEVER ACTUALLY ENDED UP PUTTING IN THEIR ARTICLE. I think I'm starting to get the idea. If you're an experienced editor who knows the tricks of the trade, sure, it's fine to do bad stuff, go ahead, as long as you keep within your own stupid rules. But a new editor doing what's necessary to fight his own against repeated harassment and aggression? Who could think such a ridiculous thing?.(Alicianpig (talk) 18:05, 20 June 2011 (UTC))

Are you, Alicianpig, asking for help or are you just here to express anger because you didn't get your way? --Jayron32 18:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Both, and more. Not just on a personal level, I do think that there needs to be a certain amount of help and protection for newcomers. However, I am also expressing a certain amount of anger about how I have been treated by certain editors so far, both with regards to my Whinge Wars article, and also to my suggestions of change. Thanks for asking. (Alicianpig (talk) 18:22, 20 June 2011 (UTC))

The main reason for your concern seems to be the deletion of your article Whinge wars at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Whinge wars. I see there is also an attempt to recruit people to keep the article at See Wikipedia:Canvassing. In [36] (admin only diff of deleted page) you wrote:
"This is not a made up game
Due to the current small scale of this game, there is no information available other than the source website. However, this does not necessarily mean it is made up, just that it has little online presence. As it is not a commercially available or predominantly online game, the internet does not have much information about it. This is why it is necessary for the information to be published on wikipedia, so the information is accessible online somewhere other than the actual website. It is a mistake to say that there is no online information about it, because this article IS the online information. If wikipedia only contains information which is available elsewhere, there is very little point in it existing"
Regardless of how new editors are treated, the above is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Wikipedia is for. The article would also have been deleted if it had been written by an experienced editor knowing all the rules. Nobody would be able to satisfy Wikipedia's source requirements if the only source in existence is the subjects own website. Wikipedia is exactly for containing information which is available elsewhere in reliable sources, but collected here in a free encyclopedic format. See also Wikipedia:Verifiability. You will not get this fundamental principle changed. And there are millions of selfpublished websites. Wikipedia is not the place to duplicate the Internet or advertise almost unknown subjects which "need" a Wikipedia presence to become better known. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:25, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with PrimeHunter here. I thought several other editors made this clear several threads above. Wikipedia is not intended as a substitute for the rest of the Internet, but rather it is a complement. This all concerns an article you created that was doing to be deleted regardless of how lax we would have been with the guidelines we have. Once again, it is (or was) not your article; once you hit that "Save page" button, it becomes the community's article and can be edited at will, within common sense and the basic rules we have. That is one of the most basic aspects of a wiki-editing environment (its communal nature), and editors who cannot understand that will likely not get along well here.

As far as the perceived harassment is concerned, we have several people who are trying to help you and trying to guide you in the correct direction, but, from what I have seen so far, you have not tried to follow our guidance. If you feel you have a problem with being harassed, then I suggest that you step back a bit and try to put things in perspective.

That being said, when I started here some 3 years ago, to me, it seemed like common sense that we try and build up articles whose content is verifiable, and that not everything under the sun is going to be included; otherwise, Wikipedia ceases to be what its primary purpose is – which is an encyclopedia. –MuZemike 21:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

That's what I'm trying to say. If the old rules are wrong, however 'fundamental' they may be, surely they need changing. Nothing is really ever going to be changed if no one is willing to do anything more than modify the most minute rules. (Alicianpig (talk) 06:25, 21 June 2011 (UTC))

I tend to agree with all of this (and the reason that it's being brought up, because the user "lost" at AFD, certainly doesn't help), except... NPP'ers and vandal patrollers still seem to get overzealous or burnt out from time to time. More importantly, I think that many of us who have been around for a while have become somewhat "ossified" in our thinking, which is exemplified by your closing comment MuZemike. I find the whole "Wikipedia is too big!" thinking to be unproductive, and I suspect that it's more of a reflection of some user's need for control rather then anything that is really related to the encyclopedia.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:14, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I find myself wondering why it is people seem to have already forgotten about the results from Wikipedia:Newbie treatment at Criteria for speedy deletion (related Signpost article)? --Tothwolf (talk) 22:47, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it can (seem to?) be an extremely bitey place, even for an intelligent person. My first 'comeback' edits disappeared insanely quickly, because I was unfamiliar with the rules (obviously! How many people, in all seriousness, are going to read the whole rule book before making a one-sentence or two-sentence edit?) If I had not been me, I might have just never come back, instead of trying to find out what happened and where I went wrong. And we really do need to remember that some newbies can be real youngsters, and what seems mightily important to them may be complete crap to the rest of us - but it doesn't mean that they don't have the ability to turn into really useful members of the community, given the right nurturing. Imagine if the newbie you'd just given a severe bite to turned out to be a very bright 10 year old kid with a load of potential, who spent the next week crying themselves to sleep every night. Hmmmm. I'll bet Einstein himself could have looked pretty trollish as a kid. We really mustn't assume that all our newbies are adults, and likely to respond and react and interact in an adult manner. And DO remember - we have some exceptional young-teen editors on-site; they have to start somewhere! Yes, some people are just trolls. But some really do just need a bit more guidance than others, and could turn out good - instead of just walking away whimpering, or biting back.
Always remember, in your interactions with someone who just doesn't seem to 'get it', that this could be a kid you're talking to. They're not going to 'get it' like a 17+-year-old will! And they may not even know what some of the words and phrases you're using even mean! Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
With all due respect, I don't get what is so "ossifying" about requiring that content be verified by stuff that is reliable rather than from some "Joe Schmoe forumite" or "I heard it somewhere" source. Moreover, I'm not suggesting that "Wikipedia is too big", as we're already at over 3.5 million articles and increasing daily – including topics from Abraham Lincoln to Toilet paper orientation. However, there is a threshold for what we include and don't include, and that one most basic policy is one of our gauges of that. –MuZemike 15:50, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Proposal: why don't we try and make sure that our rules and guidelines are written in a vocabulary that our younger editors can actually understand without having to have a dictionary on-hand while they read them? Young !=stupid. But it can very reasonably = reduced vocabulary. So, with rules and guidelines, the first one to follow is WP:KISS. This might not only solve quite a few problems, but actually encourage and retain the next generation of Wikipedians. If we can't make our rules easy to understand, then the fault lies with us, not with them. Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:24, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

What makes you think that we WANT or NEED "young" editors? If you dont have the vocabulary to comprehend our !rules to the point that you can make a contribution (it need not be perfect, just not vandalism or incomprehensible, we are a work in progress and someone will come along and refine your grammar or fix your infobox formatting, etc). Yes young!=stupid, but it can equal immature. Just as you we make you wait until you are 18 to vote because you need some knowledge of the greater world before voting, regardless of IQ or educational attainment. You can graduate college at 14, but you still can not smoke, drink, drive, vote, or serve in our military. Intelligence does not mean you have the social skills and ability to contribute, we should not make it EASIER and dumb down our Wikipedia policies for younger people. We are not desperate for newbies. Simple English exists.Camelbinky (talk) 22:55, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Massive change? Sure. Anomie 03:21, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Real proposal - project

Re-wording templates, rules, all-sorts.

Suggest adding a "The Simplest Explanation" sentence to the top of each rule page.


  • NPOV = "Don't take sides. Anyone reading what you've written shouldn't be able to guess which side you're on."
    • (I boldly did that one)
  • Verifiability : "people have to be able to check that you didn't just make it up!" Maybe?
    • Boldly did that, too.
      • ... aaaand ... just got reverted! Oh, well .... Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:07, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Bite: "don't be too harsh on new editors"

Simple stuff. Who do we have who's creative enough and interested enough to make this work? Pesky (talkstalk!) 06:12, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

This sounds like a very good idea. (Alicianpig (talk) 06:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC))

Ahhh, good! I've done two 'simple explanation' things - can you go check them out, please? They're at WP:NPOV and WP:V. :o) Pesky (talkstalk!) 06:36, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
This all seems to me to be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. If people are unable to read the guidelines as they are written, they are not going to be able to contribute writing of the quality required for an encyclopedia. The "nutshell" versions are concise and clear, and I don't see a need for two one-sentence summaries of the policies. ~ Mesoderm (talk) 07:46, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
There are many things people can do that don't involve writing high-quality prose, but still require understanding the policies. For example, Alicianpig does not appear to have understood that merely uploading a copyrighted picture to Wikipedia is itself a serious copyright violation, even if s/he never linked the picture into an article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

People who fall foul of the rules, either because they don't even know what they are, that the rules exist, etc., are our target-audience for the policy pages. In order to be able to understand what the policies actually mean, so that we can make sure they don't continue to fall foul of them, there has to be a dead-simple explanation which that target audience can understand. As we're for the main part likely to be talking about newbies, and often young newbies, it's therefore our responsibility to make sure that there's a jargon-free, readily-understandable 'simple concept' thing right near the top of the page. There's almost always a way of describing a concept so that a 12-year-old can at least understand what we mean by what we're saying; and if we write the entire page in language which is hard for them to understand, from start to finish, then we can hardly blame them for our failure to make it clear to them. It may be one's view that 12-year-olds shouldn't be trying to edit Wikipedia in the first place, or that 12-year-olds should come to us ready-equipped with an internal WikiJargon dictionary - but that's not what happens in real life. The target audience for policy pages is going to be precisely those people who don't yet know the rules or understand the jargon. Pesky (talkstalk!) 10:35, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I think you have a very good point. There was a previous small scale study on the readability of user warnings which was covered in the May 16, 2011 Signpost. It might not be a bad idea at all to see a larger study done for all of our guidelines and policies. I seem to remember there also being a bot-generated list of the most frequently cited policies and guidelines but I can't find it now. --Tothwolf (talk) 12:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Tothwolf, as and when you can find it, could you please let me have a list of those? If we can improve the understandability of the first thing people see in all the guidelines they get pointed to, that would be a great start :o) Anything we can do which makes the basic concepts really easy to grab will reduce the necessity for subsequent re-explanations, and ultimately potentially save everyone a lot of time and heartache. This is the idea. Pesky (talkstalk!) 21:18, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
      • I've spent hours looking for it and I cannot find it now. I even checked under Wikipedia:Database reports and it isn't there either. In order to generate a new report for the various guidelines and policies the bot or process will also need to resolve any incoming redirects (mainly shortcut links) for each of the guideline and policy pages too. It would probably be best generated by someone using the toolserver. --Tothwolf (talk) 23:04, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Template, please?

Can someone do this? I feel that the 'simplest explanation' thing should be in a box right under 'this page in a nutshell'. :o) Pesky (talkstalk!) 06:46, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

So we're going to have a "In a nutshell" box with a once-sentence summary of the policy, and then below that there will be another box with a one-sentence summary of the policy for people who lack reading comprehension? ~ Mesoderm (talk) 07:46, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
No, not the point, quite. We need to make sure that whatever summary we have can be understood by pretty much anyone capable of clicking on the link to the page they've been directed to. I'm really hoping that we can get this done - even if people don't yet have the ability to understand the in-depth explanations - or even the 'in a nutshell' explanation (because some of those aren't 'simple'!) they really have to be able to understand the purpose of the rule at an elementary level. We can't just throw people in at the deep end of vocabulary, particularly if they're new - and those are exactly the type of people who'll be being directed to those pages. Anything we can do to recude biteyness has to be a good thing, on the whole. Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
What does your suggested one-sentence summary do that is different from the one-sentence summary in the "Nutshell" box? Can you give me an example of a "Nutshell" box that uses difficult language? Can you explain why you feel that it wouldn't be better to just rewrite the "Nutshell" box to use simpler language? ~ Mesoderm (talk) 08:06, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Rewriting the 'nutshell' box is certainly an alternative way to go about this. My suggestion - of really dead-simple wording - will get the idea across to absolutely everybody, including the 12-year-old who wants to put something in about thier favourite place / game / whatever. If they can't understand what we mean, and make mistakes because of that, then that's our fault, not theirs. Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:13, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia, not a collection of trivia about 12-year-olds' favorite comic book characters. We don't need to cater to people who can't read. ~ Mesoderm (talk) 08:25, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
"representing all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias" isn't that easy for a youngster to 'get'. "don't take sides!" they understand from very early on! Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:15, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Now I think I understand what you're trying to say. You're not concerned about the vocabulary, really. You're actually concerned with people not understanding the purpose of the policies. Is this correct? ~ Mesoderm (talk) 08:39, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My concern is that at least the basics of each rule, the why and the how, must be able to be understood by the person we've just directed to the page, whoever they are. It seems unfair to expect people to abide by rules which we can't make really clear for them, and all of us should be able to word things in a way in which people don't have to be totally fluent in the jargon to understand. I hope this is clear :o) So, a summary which a 12-year-old can understand will help them not to fall foul of the rule. Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:02, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I just removed "Innocent until proven guilty" from wp:Assume good faith because that is not what AGF means. This a serious danger when you try to explain policies in 6 year old language. Take for example your "don't pick sides", that is not what the actual policy says. For example we write the moon landing happened and only provide a small section about the people who say it didn't. If we didn't pick sides we would have to treat them as equal, but as the undue weight section explains we don't do that. "don't pick sides" completely ignores that section of the policy and would therefore actually cause new editors to misunderstand the policy. Yoenit (talk) 11:34, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The vast majority of 12 years olds won't understand most of the concepts anyway, not matter how simplistically you break down the content. I understand where you are coming from, Pesky, but I think it is a mistake to equate a lack of clarity (or failure to understand) the policies with the choice of language. Talking simplistically doesn't often have the effect that is expected. The policy pages are primarily there to record, in detail, the established policy of Wikipedia. Making them understandable is probably best done as a separate "project" - perhaps a collection of pages expressing the policies in various simple and effective ways that can be used to link new users lacking comprehension.
Although, at the end of the day, no matter how simple or clear you make something there are still many people for whom it will not "click"--Errant (chat!) 11:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

You don't have to get all the small details into a 'The simplest explanation sentence. You just have to get the general point across. for example 'don't take sides' doesn't give you an exact, detailed explanation of NPOV, but it gets the general sentiment across. (Alicianpig (talk) 12:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC))

The problem is that it doesn't really. Such an explanation is useful advice for an editor, of course, but isn't really the NPOV policy --Errant (chat!) 12:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
As Mesoderm already pointed out, that's what we have {{nutshell}} for. I think most of them are written pretty reasonably, but if there is room for improvement, then changes are welcome, though care should be taken per Yoenit's points above. It is understood that there is often initial confusion, and that's what we have WP:BITE for. Otherwise, if someone really doesn't have enough competency in the English language to grasp the meaning of the policies (whether it is because they are 10 years old or speak English non-natively, or have a learning disability or etc.), then maybe the Simple English Wikipedia is the place for them. —Akrabbimtalk 12:33, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Anything that gets even the beginning of the idea across has to be better than something which people shy away from. Sometimes you have to do a minor 'not-quite-accurate' version of something, just to give people a foothold on the thing. See Lying_to_children; that explains it pretty well.
I should probably point out here that I'm actually a trained & qualified instructor myself, and have been since (eeek!) 1977! I've taught all ages, and obviously don't teach beginners and advanced students the same way. Beginners progress to more advanced knowledge, and more advanced explanations, as they go along. Pesky (talkstalk!) 13:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Weren't the nutshells on each policy page for the purposes of what these summaries are? And we have WP:5P which is a great summary of most existing policies and covers the "problem" (if there is one) that is attempted to be solved here. I see no problem. I see a terrible solution creating problems. For clarification I think some here dont seem to understand that our policies are not prescriptive of future action, they are descriptive of our past consensus and actions. Policies are written codifications of how we have decided in the past on how things should be done, they are not laws we must conform to and frequently are overruled in individual cases. They are guides that show "this is how we made decisions before, use this to guide you in future similar issues/problems/cases". WP:IAR. Too many here seem to think to be a good editor you have to know the policies. All you need to know is "do no harm". Mistakes will be made. Someone will download a copyright picture. OMG! The world wont end. It will be deleted. If the editor learns his mistake he/she can go on and be a great contributor. If not- oh well, banned or blocked or loses interest. There is no problem here. Please stop making policies more bureaucratic and cluttered over a non-issue.Camelbinky (talk) 23:03, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

If Nutshells are too complicated, re-write the "in a nutshell" section. but we are a grown-up encyclopedia not one for kids. That means we get into areas and issues that require complex policy to deal with. Some policies are easy to break down to a very simple sentence (WP:V "do not say anything you cannot prove" WP:RS "only use sources that you can trust to tell the truth") others are definitely not. The above example of WP:NPOV for instance is a great example. "don't take sides" isn't accurate, as has been pointed out. The simplest any explanation could be would be something like "keep the same ratio in our articles as the sources do. If a viewpoint is the majority, say so. If it is a significant minority, add it but keep the section small. If a viewpoint is a small minority, it is best left out unless the article is about that viewpoint specifically" HominidMachinae (talk) 07:33, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm certainly not trying to make any policy "more bureaucratic", and I'm not suggesting that we become a kids' encyclopedia. All I'm suggesting is that the first thing that a newbie sees, when they are directed to a policy page, is something that is universally understandable. It's not only 'kids' who can have problems with in-depth, complicated ideas expressed in vocabulary which is sometimes (often?) more complex than it needs to be. The NPOV suggestions was not just "don't take sides"; it's "Don't take sides, explain the sides, fairly". Of course that's not a stand-alone thing - but it gives everyone a foothold on the ladder. Someone - I forget who - once said "The mark of a good teacher is that they can explain the lesson to everyone." Pesky (talkstalk!) 04:07, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Should WikiProjects have a maximum size

Time and time again I have been drawn into conversations about the size of WikiProject United States I want to have a discussion about how big a project should be.

Should WikiProject's have a maximum size or scope? Should they be limited by the members in the project or have their scope dictated to them by others outside the project? and if the decision is that a project should not exceed a certain size, what if anything should be done, to reduce it? --Kumioko (talk) 02:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

What are the purported benefits of imposing limitations? ~ Mesoderm (talk) 02:45, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
None as far as I can tell but I have repeatedly been badgered by editors (non members of the project BTW) who feel that the scope of WikiProject United States is too wide with too many articles and they want me and the other project members to redefine the scope of the project to be less broad. I was hoping to gather comments on others feelings on wether a projects size should be limited. Personally I think it should be up to the members of the project to decide their scope and size. --Kumioko (talk) 02:58, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think project size should be a matter of policy, but common sense definitely should come into play. WikiProjects seem to work best when they unite people with common interests and complementary knowledge, and when there are enough participants to have frequent enough interaction to keep everyone engaged. A project can be "too small" if there's not enough interaction for the participants to stay engaged. On the other hand, the scope of a project is "too large" when its scope is such that there's not enough commonality of interests and knowledge to make it function smoothly. IMO, if you define the United States WikiProject to include all topics related in some way to the United States (government, history, law, individual states, territories, TV, military history, medal of honor winners, comics, museums, etc.), you lose the glue that holds a WikiProject together because you lose the commonality of interests. --Orlady (talk) 03:08, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Direct them to the fact that there are also dozens of daughter projects for Wikiproject United States, and that this sort of heirarchy (where large subjects are under the remit of one project, and subprojects exist to deal with various aspects of the large subject). It isn't as though WPUS directly oversees every single article under every single topic which could conceivably be connected to the United States. There's lots of subprojects that do the hard work on most of the individual articles. Once you "parcel off" all of the articles which are dealt with by other projects in conjunction with WPUS, the number of articles which are uniquely and solely under its remit doesn't seem all that large. I don't see any problems at all in this regard. --Jayron32 03:09, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. And many articles that may be tagged for WP:USA likely are primarily handled by entirely unrelated projects - i.e.: Many sports articles may be tagged as belonging to a national project, but often are not handled there, but at the sport specific project. Also, at 102,000 articles, the American Wikiproject is actually smaller, relative to population, than the Canadian at 76,000 articles. Resolute 03:17, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, storage seems to be no problem for Wikipedia, but lots of people complain about things taking up too much space; this seems to be a frequent justification for really snarky speedy deletes. Is Wikipedia's storage space virtually unlimited, as it would seem to appear? If not, could someone provide some links/information to show the storage capacity? I think this information should be made available (if it's not already) and it should also become more visible. Otherwise, when you tell someone their article isn't worth the seemingly unlimited space, people are going to take it as a big insult, and they're still not going to understand the concept of storage budgeting (I don't). This is generally speaking -- I'm not limiting these comments to WikiProject size.--Jp07 (talk) 05:47, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

In a similar sense than with content forks, the best approach may be to let the wikiproject grow, and if it gets too large, begin to create task forces for specific subtopics. In other cases, a certain group of articles with an overlapping project may be left to the other project, and the wikiproject tag may be simply removed: for example, most comics and videogames are from the US, so it may not be needed to include them within the WP:USA, even if the projects are not subprojects in a conceptual way.

In other cases, as in countries with few editors around, the best approach is the opposite, to group all articles within their single country wikiproject. Is there's a problem with an article of a comic book from Argentina, an Argentine editor, living in Argentina, with knowledge of Argentina or whatever would be more likely to be able to help than the average editor of wikiproject comics.

The hierarchy of categories must be precise, but the hierarchy of wikiprojects should be pragmatic and empirical. Cambalachero (talk) 03:48, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

For those that have commented and may still be watching I agree with Cambalachero. I have also stated multiple times in multiple venues that I agree that we cannot and should not try to create a super project thats all inclusive of all things US. I also do not intend to force projects to fall under WPUS. I do think that WPUS is a good place to help support projects that are struggling or have gone completely inactive and is a good pivot point for things like the Newsletter, portal management, Collaborations and the Noticeboard. In regards to Jayrons comments I agree with him too, IMO there is no need however to add a banner to an article of a project that doesn't do anything (and I mean no offense by that at all). Some projects are very very active and do a lot of great work (US Roads, MILHIST, California, etc), others don't do much at all. Many of them have members who do a lot of article work but there is very little activity or coordination from the project itself. Thats partly were I think WPUS can help. In addition to managing and collaborating on articles at the National level, there is need for a general US related project to help maintain the articles on those projects that are struggling like is being done with US Government and others. These projects still exist, they still continue to collaborate and work on articles, they just get a little extra help from WPUS. The thing to remember is that the articles are whats important, not the project. --Kumioko (talk) 15:11, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Before we get any further, please note the following important definition:

WikiProject == group of editors who work together.

WikiProject is not a bunch of pages, a set of categories, a subject, or a list of articles that those editors are interested in. A WikiProject is a group of editors.

This question, therefore, translates as "Should the community tell a group of editors who work together that they may not work together on more than a set number of articles?"

The answer, BTW, is in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide: "members have the exclusive right to define the scope of their project....if a WikiProject says that an article is within their scope, then you may not force them to remove the banner." WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:51, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Hmm, that sentence seems to be in direct conflict with wp:CONSENSUS, "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale." Yoenit (talk) 20:16, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
WP:Consensus does not permit you to tell a group of editors that they are not permitted to WP:VOLUNTEER to work on an article, or that they may not be automatically notified of AFDs about it, or any number of other things. That's WP:OWNership, not "consensus". "The two of us agree that you're not allowed to play in our article" is not a valid consensus on Wikipedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
To clarify, I don't have a problem with Kumioko's tagging or anything, my comment was about the wording of that guideline in general. I can think of various hypotetical examples where wikiproject tags may be BLP violations, spam or otherwise completely unsuited. I have yet to see any of this happen in practice and if it does IAR will trump all, but I don't like having rules which can easily be abused. Yoenit (talk) 21:15, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
BLP violations have been claimed before and rejected. Johnny Weir is a good example of that; an editor demanded the removal of WP:WikiProject LGBT studies's banner because Johnny Weir refuses to publicly declare his sexual orientation. It was the editor's position that the editors at WPLGBT were not permitted to support any BLP unless the subject had verifiably declared that he was gay, because saying that the article was "of interest to WikiProject LGBT studies" (actual text on the banner) amounted to a declaration that the subject was gay.
The claim was roundly rejected, in multiple discussions on the article's talk page, at administrative noticeboards (the determined editor ended up blocked for edit warring and BLP-violating insulting speech about the subject), and at WT:COUNCIL. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:11, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
All of that is contradicted by WP:IAR, which says "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it." If Kumioko feels that tagging certain articles with the WPUS tag helps coordinate the efforts of his taskforce better; that is if he feels that such taggings allow people who wish to pitch in and help improve an article find articles in their interest area which they can fix, then why, exactly, should he be forced to stop tagging article talk pages merely because he has reached a magic number of tags for a particular project? This is not a rhetorical question. It is one which needs to be answered: What does the presence of the tag on the article's talk page do to make the article text worse? --Jayron32 20:29, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

WPUS is really not that large when you compare it to WikiProject Biography... 930,000 pages! -Mabeenot (talk) 20:55, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I understand that WPUS is around 100,000 articles. Is that about right? --Kleinzach 15:33, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Why would we limit our editors from collaborating in anyway? As noted on the Council-guide bot alerts notifications for deletion, RfC, disputed etc.. will be seen thus participated in by many projects and more editors. All this is a plus. Founding principle #4 say - creation of a welcoming and collegial editorial environment. Jimbo has stated in the past - Wikipedia's success to date is entirely a function of our open community'. So lets let our editors decide what they would like to collaborate on and in what way. Moxy (talk) 21:01, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Is this question about wikiprojects in general, or about WP:USA in particular? If it is the later, discuss it at the project talk page, and if the inclusion of the banners does not have internal consensus, then they may be removed Cambalachero (talk) 21:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

The problem has come up repeatedly, but WP:USA seems to be the poster child this year. The problem normally arises from one of two misunderstandings:
  1. The editor believes that WikiProjects shouldn't have overlapping scopes, e.g., that there must be some clear demarcation that separates "WikiProject First aid" from WikiProject Medicine, because the sky will fall if two completely separate groups of editors want to work on the same kinds of articles. (It is good and desirable for such groups to merge, but the fact is that we can't force them to be friends any more than you can force all the cliques at your local high school to merge.)
  2. The editor has confused the way we organize content into categories with the way we organize editors into teams. These people complain whenever a group named WikiProject X wants to support articles that aren't in a category tree under Category:X, or otherwise having some obvious relationship to the subject X. For example: These editors want to remove WP:LGBT's tag from Eleanor Roosevelt or Johnny Weir because the individuals aren't proven to be gay.
This round appears to be primarily the first. The editor seems to believe that WP:USA must limit the articles it is interested in to avoid trespassing on the articles he believes should be "belong" to other WikiProjects. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:03, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
While it's for WP:USA to decide on its organization, I'd have thought it was something of a non-issue because users can re-structure/re-scale their projects by working in taskforces. --Kleinzach 15:14, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Just a note. WPUS has 102, 000 items but only about 45000 are articles. The rest are files, categories, templates and other things. The task force issue is an excellent point Kleinzach. Although they are not task forces per say many of the subprojects that are supported by WPUS (and even WPUS itself) have their own members that work primarily on that projects content and not necessarily anywhere else. Most of the members of the project(s) would fall into this actually. There are only a couple of us that I know of that actively edit and maintain content within the entire project and as far as I know I am the primary one. Most the rest work on the item that interests them and that is perfectly fine. --Kumioko (talk) 16:46, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I think I may see an underlying issue: some editors believe that wikiprojects "own" articles; that they can decide how articles should be structured or styled, with no regard to wider consensus or even policy. Nothing could be further from the truth Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 18:25, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I have also seen this and it aggrivates me to no ends and I could offer several WikiProjects and associated policies as examples. In this particular case though the comments are more related towards the scope of the project and "how big" we intend to let it get. Admittedly, the project may become quite big like WPMILHIST but nothing near Biography with its million articles (WPUS only has 61000 articles currently with 104, 000 pieces of content including templates, categories, etc). --Kumioko (talk) 20:09, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Like others have said, there's no set limit on a Wikiproject, nor should there be a hard rule. However, common sense must apply. If we had a "Wikiproject Earth," you could concievably tag every article on Wikipedia, because it was all "discovered" on Earth. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Formalizing a WP:BUDDY plan for editing

I think the long-term solution is to move WP into a "buddy system" (WP:BUDDY) like with SCUBA divers who should never dive alone, so when it comes to new articles, then the buddies also can watch for speedies, or help improve articles, when others are on wikibreak or sleeping (see topic: "#Speedy deletion process broken"). Almost everyone on Earth sleeps at night, and so "night owls" are the rare exception, although many thousands of people work the graveyard shift. I'm advocating that WP be turned into "87" welcoming teams for new users, and now for new articles, where a welcoming team could be a buddy system for new articles, although any 2 or more people could use a buddy system. I cannot emphasize the number of times I have tried to collaborate with other editors, to establish a background for creating new articles, and I was accused of nefarious collusion, topic-banned 3 months ("92 days") for WP:CANVASing (because I notified 2 pro-article editors but only 1 anti-article), and recently smeared as being the "ringleader" of other editors whom I had contacted for advice. However, use of buddy-system groups (called "collaboration") is the logical future of WP, with more WikiProjects (as in WP:GOCE), and an editor can be in many buddy-system groups. Hence, we need WP:BUDDY, and few could claim "ringleader" when a person is following the tactics of WP:BUDDY to save articles from speedy or stop the WP:AfD rush-to-delete SNOW actions. Enough said: I think this is obvious to most. --Wikid77 11:25, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

No, not really. Your whole reference to night owls and the graveyard shift seems to be utterly unrelated to your proposal, so that part only helps to confuse me. But even ignoring that, I don't see what you hope to achieve by this. You are basically advocating tagteaming and an institutionalized version of canvassing, with a "you scratch mine and I'll scratch yours mentality". If you want to save articles from speedy or AfD, write better articles, wich clearly meet WP:GNG. Fram (talk) 12:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, the concern is about how we're treating new article writers, and their article writing is not directly within an established editor's locus of control. I think this buddy system is a good idea... I'm not sure how practical it is -- perhaps creating a Wikiproject would be the best fit for this, and I think we need to start thinking about how many articles we want to buddy with a new writer on. I think if the standard becomes anything beyond three articles, we will quickly find ourselves spread very thin. I think that any attempt to increase positive interactions would benefit Wikipedia because we tend to be prone to hostilities.--Jp07 (talk) 12:42, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for those quick replies, which help show that there are potentials for abusing the concept, as with several editors from one corporation trying to promote their company and product lines. Look at the knol pages, of Google Knol, to see how many thousands (millions) of knol pages were just various forms of adverts for products which have been considered valid pages there. We want to allow users to work together without encouraging a tag-team mentality which could force decisions by majority rule, so I think a guideline is needed to note the differences. Because almost everyone is asleep at night, people should not expect anyone else in their region to save their articles overnight: a need for 24-hour coverage must be noted. -Wikid77 13:07, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (stand-alone lists) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (stand-alone lists) (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, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposed partial solution to NFCC enforcement

Please see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive248#Request exemption of restrictions ΔT The only constant 02:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Semi-aggressive usernames

Tangent topic to: #The whole system is unfair and biased. -Wikid77 23:00, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely no offense or bad faith assumed for any of the editors mentioned but I have to make this observation. Whinge wars was proposed and then nominated for deletion by an editor with the username "Steamroller Assault". I can't help but wonder what newbies think when they are warned/blocked by an admin named "Smashville" or even reverted by a bot called "Smackbot". I'll state again that I have no problem with any of these policy compliant usernames but I can see how some newbies might feel that they have been "steamrolled" "smashed" and "smacked". This was actually an issue in Snotty Wong's RFA. (another 100% policy compliant username). My advise to anybody with a username that suggests aggression is to take their usernames into consideration if they do anything, such as NPP/RC patrol, AFD nomming etc. which brings them into close contact with newbies. IMHO you have to be just a little more civil then the rest of us. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 14:02, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Something similar could be said of many of the edit summaries used too. Even the default Twinkle summaries can sometimes look a little "bitey". --Tothwolf (talk) 14:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • But then what about someone like me, whose username contains more than enough letters to spell the word 'rage'? Or someone whose username contains the word 'wolf'? I think that going too far down this line would get a little silly... ╟─TreasuryTagconstablewick─╢ 14:48, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
i am only a gurch i don't mean to hurt anyone Gurch (talk) 15:56, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I think 'animally' names are OK. But then I like animals :o) And I'm a WikiWolfcub. A good point about trying to ensure that people don't appear to be approaching potentially bitey areas with a name which suggests that they take pleasure in inflicting pain or oppression ... maybe those with 'bitey' names need to take care to be even more un-bitey in their style? Pesky (talkstalk!) 20:12, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Hi there, Ron Ritzman et al. I invite you to look at my edit history, which has spanned about three and a half years here. My sincere hope is that new users look at my often personalized advice or reasoning before leaping to my signature. For the record, I briefly engaged Alicianpig (a username for whom I hope no kosher Wikipedians are offended) on the (now deleted) talk page of Whinge wars. I am interested that he/she is now looking into Wikipedia policy, but it seems that interest has only been piqued now that the article promoting the game he/she invented has been deleted. Much good-faith advice was given on that talk page, but I believe it was deliberately ignored because the advice did not fit with that particular user's intent, which was to promote and legitimatize his/her invention. Steamroller Assault (talk) 05:14, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes good outcomes spring from unlikely sources. Anything that piques someone's interest in getting into the policy stuff has to be good - my 'comeback' started just the same way, but at a slightly different level (verifiability vs. truth, WP:NOR stuff). And if the result of it all is that we can do anything which makes policy clearer, that's a major net gain, and reduces the need for experienced editors to spend time on personalised explanations :o) Pesky (talkstalk!) 04:16, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes. However, I was of course only responding to statements of general advice that specifically used me in an ill-informed manner. To respond to the issue of "simplest explanation", my feeling is that in whatever form or placement it takes on the policy page, it is unlikely to be read by your target audience. Direct contact with the editor who can't, won't or hasn't yet read that page is still the best option. Remember: this entire proposal began not with an editor who couldn't comprehend the "in a nutshell" template; it began with an editor who was unwilling to accept, after many instances of simple personalized guidance, that Wikipedia is simply not the place for him/her to promote a made-up game. In a nutshell: I feel a solution is being proposed here for which no problem previously existed. Steamroller Assault (talk) 05:10, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

All games are made up. (Alicianpig (talk) 12:00, 23 June 2011 (UTC))

True, but the reason that Steamroller mentions it here is that we have a guideline wp:Wikipedia is not for things made up one day, which is almost always shortened to wp:MADEUP. A wikilink would have been nice, but if you just ignore the word it does not change his argument. Yoenit (talk) 12:11, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Moving on ....

More about: #The whole system is unfair and biased. -Wikid77 23:00, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

We've moved on from that now. Let's not step backwards. Put down the swords and pick up the ploughshares, guys :o) Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:59, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Can somebody plese explain to me what we solved in this entire discussion?--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 00:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

This was a conflict of interest with me, the system is unfair sometimes and it can be bias. And from what I see, absolutly nothing has been solved. I hate to drag on something that someone out of nowhere said to be moved on, but this is something that really needs fixing, especially for newbies.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 11:38, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't see anything that was brought up where something was wrong or some sort of improvement was desirable. Dmcq (talk) 15:00, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Read the title of the disscussion.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 18:09, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I read it. I could state Obama likes green cheese just as easily. It hasn't been backed up. Somebody wrote stuff about a non-notable topic and it was removed then they started complaining and insulting people despite the help they were given. If they had read WP:5P they would have known better. They don't need to read any of the policies. It says it all there. This is an encyclopaedia. Articles need to have some notability. What you write should be backed up by reliable sources and you shouldn't soapbox. Don't break the law about copyrights. You need to try and be civil to other editors and work with them. Just try and improve the encyclopaedia. Follow those and one won't have much bother doing things. Have I missed anything? Dmcq (talk) 18:58, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
My point is not about the user that posted it but about the post itself. As I said before the system can be a bit unfair and bias sometimes so we need improvment on this, and from what I can see, absolutly nothing has been improved from this disscussion.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 21:37, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
"Nothing has been improved from this discussion" because there was no real problem described that needed improving. The original poster felt that the system was unfair and biased because subjects on Wikipedia need to be notable, verifiable and backed by reliable sources; and that user felt Wikipedia should abandon those tenets and be a repository for everything regardless of significance. If you (GoldenGlory84) could describe some way that the system is unfair and how it could be improved--instead of just stating that it is so--then perhaps there could be some meaningful discussion. Steamroller Assault (talk) 08:48, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We did achieve something - an amendment to the nutshell box on WP:V. I'm hoping to get some similar minor improvements on understandability on some others, too; so not a total loss. Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Nowhere close to what the OP had in mind, but agreed that simple, accurate language is an improvement. Steamroller Assault (talk) 00:50, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

(Steamroller Assault) The newbies is one example. If they post an article it's immediatly deleted, and if a user does not know the policy and he/she commits a bad edit, he/she is warned and eventully blocked. There needs to be a different and better way to deal with clueless newbies. As for being bias, the more experianced editors are ussaly put into consideration more and consulted more than the newbies, this esspecialy apllies with administators. No editor is over another editor regardless of what extra "buttons" thay have. And to call my statement unmeaningfull is another example of slight unfairness, anybody's statement should be put into consideration even if it is meaningless. This can also go with the IP users as well. Now if this statement is still considered unmeaningfull, then you need not reply at all.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 21:49, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

When an article is nominated for deletion, be it speedy, proposed deletion or deletion discussion, it's standard to notify the original poster as to why it was nominated. There are procedures set in place to contest all three tiers of deletion, as well as deletion review; which are described in those notifications. Except for the most egregious edits, editors are given multiple warnings before being blocked, all of which include advice on how editors should modify their behavior and/or discuss the problem at hand. Do you have a suggestion on how that system could be improved for new editors? I'm not sure what extra consideration more experienced editors are given if they create articles that qualify for speedy deletion or engage in behavior that eventually gets them blocked. As for "anybody's statement should be put into consideration even if it is meaningless", meaningless statements carry zero weight, so I'm not sure why they warrant consideration. Your statement was not meaningless, but it did need some clarification. Steamroller Assault (talk) 00:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a suggestion on how that system could improve for new editors?

Possibly by teaching them better at the rules of wikipedia and creating an article. Just like TheParasite said earliar, For a newbie, it's bassicly like giving them a badge and a gun and sending them out in a perfect world of written laws. When I was a newbie(and I still considerably am) It was like that.

meningless statements carry zero weight

Not unless there completly meaningless, such as "this proposal is stupid".--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 01:29, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Almost no statement is totally 'meaningless' unless it's complete gibberish. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and all that. Anything we can do, collectively, to make the rules and policies more easy to understand without reams and reams of reading has always got to be helpful; so any ideas on how to make these things more like 'plain every-day English' will always be worth looking at. Wikipedia can feel ike an incredibly bitey place for newcomers - simply having a well-meant edit immediately reverted can feel like a real slap in the face. It happened to me on my comeback, after nearly five years away, and I felt quite squashed. It took me a while to 'get' the truth vs. verifiability thing, and the 'no original research' thing (but I think I have got it now!) Pesky (talkstalk!) 06:42, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
As suggested before, we could make the over all definition of the rules more simpler to understand.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 19:27, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I totally agree with you here! I shall continue to work on it - and take heart, others are working towards the same goal. Pesky (talkstalk!) 03:38, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I think all of this sounds like a good idea. However, I think that the actual rules need to be simpler, not just the way they are written. (Alicianpig (talk) 12:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC))

The rules need not be simpler, just simpler to understand.--GoldenGlory84 (talk) 16:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)


Wikipedia:WikiProject Firearms contains the project's guidelines, a certain portion of which appears to depart significantly from the spirit if not the wording of our core content policies. Namely, Wikipedia:GUNS#Criminal use says:

The inclusion criteria of "legislation being passed as a result of the gun's usage" or "if [the gun's] notoriety greatly increased" strike me as completely arbitrary demands, which are --in actual practice-- being placed on the inclusion of any bit of information into any gun article.

And to top it off, there is the barefaced WP:NPOV quote, which actually prohibits precisely the kinds of arbitrary demands the WP:GUNS guideline makes, since WP:UNDUE works both ways: "treat[ing] each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject" means that notable and verifiable information should be included, just that it should be represented according to its relative importance and notability.

I'd like to put this up for debate with neutral, uninvolved editors (ie. not at WT:GUNS). Is such an arbitrary threshold compatible with the spirit and aims of Wikipedia? -- (talk) 12:10, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

All inclusion criteria everywhere on wikipedia are arbitrary. If we didn't create inclusion criteria there would be an influx of all kids of trivial information into articles. To me this inclusion criteria is reasonable. It lays out criteria where the criminals can be mentioned and excludes those that the information would be trivial. As with all rules on Wikipedia this one can be ignored if ignoring it will make the encyclopedia better. This would need to be considered on a case by case basis and the place to discuss thos exceptions would be on the individual article talk pages. Just because some piece of information is verifiable about a subject, that does not mean that the information belongs in a specific article. It could be verifiable that a criminal used a particular weapon in the commission of a crime. That fact probably should be mentioned in the criminal/crime's article but it doesn't necessarily belong in the article about the gun itself. GB fan (talk) 12:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Just because some piece of information is verifiable about a subject, that does not mean that the information belongs in a specific article. -- When a piece of information does not meet the criteria of "legislation being passed as a result of the gun's usage" or "if [the gun's] notoriety greatly increased" does not mean that the information does not belong in the article, either.
criteria where the criminals can be mentioned and excludes those that the information would be trivial -- I do have one specific example which imho defies your logic. The Red Army Faction's logo contained a depiction of the Heckler & Koch MP5 ([37], [38], [39]). This is not "trivia" by any stretch of the imagination, and it should be perfectly fine to briefly mention it in the gun article, not just in the Red Army Faction article. WP:GUNS members however adamantly refuse to let this bit of info into the article, referring to their arbitrary Criminal use guideline ("arbitrary" as in departing significantly from our core content policies).
Wrt IAR: It appears WP:GUNS is ignoring our core content policies, arguably without a plausible justification. -- (talk) 13:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the information about the red army faction would be a good addition to the MP5 article. There is no way to add all the different items that could go into an article into an inclusion criteria. Trivial information should not be in the article. GB fan (talk) 13:14, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
There is no way to add all the different items that could go into an article into an inclusion criteria. -- Then they shouldn't attempt to do it in the first place, as the outcome is condemned from the get-go to be unacceptably narrow.
Trivial information should not be in the article. -- Agreed, so what speaks against saying just that in the WP:GUNS guideline, rather than formulating some arbitrary standards? Almost all contested cases should be decided on a case-by-case anyway. -- (talk) 13:39, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
None of policies and guidelines in all of Wikipedia have all the different possibilities included in them and there is no way to do that. Based on that should we trash all policies and guidelines and discuss each case individually? I would say no, better to cover the majority of the situations and then discuss those that come up less frequently. If something starts coming up frequently then discuss it and add it to the appropriate page. GB fan (talk) 18:08, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
None of policies and guidelines in all of Wikipedia have all the different possibilities included in them and there is no way to do that. -- You're now arguing against yourself. -- (talk) 20:37, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Where am I arguing against myself? GB fan (talk) 20:56, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
None of policies and guidelines in all of Wikipedia have all the different possibilities included in them and there is no way to do that. -- How is that an argument for keeping a bit of a guideline that does try to do just that? It's an argument for saying something as specific as "No trivia". -- (talk) 21:07, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Also, it appears you don't quite understand what the Criminal use portion of the GUNS guidelines does: It does not "cover the majority of the situations". What it does is specifying rare cases (laws being passed as a result of the respective criminal use etc.) and then it says that everything that fails that very narrow threshold does not belong in a gun article. Just saying "No trivia", without defining some arbitrary and very narrow inclusion criteria would be the way to go. Accordingly, project-wide guidelines also don't specify "this or that belongs and everything else doesn't". Because it would be madness. And it is.
The RAF logo/MP5 situation proves that very clearly imho. I personally think it is notable enough to include in the article, yet it doesn't meet the GUNS guideline, and that's how the bit's inclusion was rejected by GUNS members. So yeah, in that sense, the Criminal use section does indeed "cover the majority of the situations" -- but from the point of view of someone who wants to exclude notable bits like in my example situation. -- (talk) 21:26, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Ultimately, WikiProject 'guidelines' are useful but non-binding. WP:IAR aside, they cannot trump WP:NOTE and WP:V etc. ╟─TreasuryTagTellers' wands─╢ 12:37, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I fully concur, but that didn't keep WP:GUNS members from barring the above-mentioned piece of info from the article. The most ardent opponent of the info's inclusion has since been banned as a rabid anti-semite, among other things, and in the case I discuss above, I got the feeling that the wikiproject is dominated by right-leaning individuals who are particularly opposed to that bit being mentioned in the gun article since it would in their perception "sully" the gun article by mentioning a left-wing terrorist use. (As you can see, I'm having a hard time staying calm about this issue, whence why I opted to bring this up here instead of WT:GUNS.) -- (talk) 13:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

WP guidelines are somewhere between weak to non-existent regarding relevance and significance for inclusion of material into articles. (only a weak bit bit is available under wp:undue) Some of the projects try to make up for this by making their own rules, some of which go too far and/or arbitrary. I've seen this under other topics. In then end they have to be considered to be non-binding.

The solution is to make up some general guidelines regarding relevance and significance for inclusion into articles, only to be brought into play where there is some question or dispute beyond meeting the guideline.North8000 (talk) 12:53, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

they have to be considered to be non-binding -- I agree. But tell that to the members of WP:GUNS. -- (talk) 13:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
While project-based guidelines are non-binding they have been formulated by editors versed in these subjects to help explain how the policies and general guidelines of wikipedia can/should be applied to the topics the projects cover. In that respect the Guns exmaple above is a parallel to the WP:Aviation guideline on inclusion of aircraft incidents on articles about specific aircraft types. Personally the guideline makes a lot of sense and I don't see how it deviates from the general content guidelines. Without knowing a particular dispute it is hard to give an opinion as to whether the GUNS guideline is failing in purpose or being wrongly applied. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:06, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Discussion is here from 2008. I must be missing something because the only edit that I see adding it comes from User:Everyme with the edit summary, "re-adding RAF notice. removal will lead to an RfC, and to arbitration if need be. POV OWNership will not be tolerated." I didn't see where it was added before nor other edits to the article by that user...maybe I missed them. The block log of the presenter is telling. Regardless, I see no recent attempt to open the issue on the article talk page.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 14:39, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that used to be me. There is another discussion, where admin User:John tried to reason with these folks but subsequently gave up as well. This is not about the specific example though. The Criminal use criteria just strike me as unacceptable. I take it you don't care about that though. Ah well, next. -- (talk) 14:46, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Reading the 2008 discussion, the Guns guidelines is barely used but the core policy of UNDUE is. The way I am see this now is as retreading an old content dispute, with no actual attempt at discussion either at WP:Firearms or the article talk page. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Here is the older discussion. This board probably isn't the right venue for this thread. That said, I haven't seen any difficulties regarding the Criminal use guideline from WP:GUNS. This complaint seems isolated.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 15:34, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm having real trouble understanding what the problem is. (Maybe that is the problem...) I'd say delete the RAF logo ref too; it's trivial. It's only a logo, so calling it "use" is a bit of a stretch; it doesn't even rise to "use" in an actual film or TV project. Does every photo of a firearm qualify as "use", then? Does a photo of Dillinger with a S&W qualify as "use" (absent evidence he ever fired it)? That can be taken to absurd lengths, & I daresay you'll get trvial cruft from editors wanting to promote their favorite guy or favorite gun. Let's not. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 15:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
The RAF logo is the single most notable depiction of the MP5 of all times. -- (talk) 16:54, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
In which case, I'm sure you'll be able to produce a solid WP:Independent source that directly says that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:29, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
If you want to play that old game with me, you're gonna have to play it properly.
I do not want to include that bit ("most notable depiction") in the article, so your request of a source must be a red herring; or you didn't properly read my posts.
What I do have several reliable sources for (see my posts above) is what I actually want to include in the article: The simple mention that MP5 was depicted in the RAF logo.
The obviously true fact that the RAF logo is the most notable depiction of the MP5 is something I'm merely employing as a valid argument in this discussion between Wikipedians. And if you sincerely doubt that the RAF logo is the most notable depiction of the MP5, I dare you to find a more notable one. Gotta love amateur Wikilawyers. -- (talk) 20:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
This is a content dispute involving a single article, not a policy question. I recommend that the OP follow the recommendations at WP:Dispute resolution. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:29, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
No, it isn't. I just stumbled upon the GUNS guideline via that article. It was the occasion, not the reason. The "Criminal use" portion of the guideline with its arbitrary inclusion threshold is unacceptable regardless of my own involvement. To dismiss that fact on the grounds of my initial motivation is ludicrous. -- (talk) 20:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
You freely admit that this is an issue you've wanted to have resolved this way for some years, and is specific to one article (not the project's content guideline). You took it straight to a noticeboard without notifying the article talk page, the project in question, attempting to re-add the edit, or anything else. Your behavior here obviously calls your motivations into question.
As is noted above, the guideline / threshold is similar to that in other areas (aviation accidents and aircraft type articles, etc). It's not in violation of general Wikipedia policy. It's been in place for some years. It's not a monolithic block on any such inclusion, and specific exceptions could be argued on article talk pages, to local consensuses.
You have a clear agenda here and you're attacking this like it's a legal problem. You need to argue your case on the article talk page. This is the wrong venue and the wrong approach. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 20:46, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I've tried the article talk page, as well as WT:GUNS, to no avail (several years back). I simply decided on this fine day to post here and gather opinions of uninvolved editors because I just happened to remember that guideline today, for no particular reason.
The thing is that I see not a single convincing argument by those who would leave the Criminal use portion of the GUNS guidelines as it currently is. I swear that I am actually open to any such arguments and reasonings, and also that gauging whether there are such arguments and reasonings was my sole agenda in starting this thread. -- (talk) 21:00, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I can't say I understand the issues here entirely, but I tagged the section with {{WikiProject style advice}}, to clarify that it's not a site-wide "Guideline", in the usual Wikipedia sense of the word. Mlm42 (talk) 21:49, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I have to say I see what they are trying to do here. If it were not for a guideline like this then gun articles would become POV battlegrounds as one side tries to put every time someone is killed by a gun into the gun's article and the gun manufacturer's article and everywhere else they could. The other side would want NO information that guns are ever used in crime on Wikipedia. I see the existing suggestion as an extension of WP:UNDUE. Sometimes a gun is notable for how it is used. The fact Dirty Harry carried a .44 magnum is notable, often-talked-about, ect. The fact that Machinegun Kelly got his name for his use of a Browning Automatic Rifle is notable. The fact that babyface Nelson used one as well is not. If a gun is widely vilified (the TEK-9, the MAC-10 and -11) for its criminal use that is notable. Trivia should be rooted out whenever found. HominidMachinae (talk) 08:51, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Generally, I agree with you, just like I agree with the flight folks that an encyclopedia article doesn't contain a laundry list of every single minor incident that has ever happened at an airport.
But this is still a single-article content dispute, and this page still isn't an appropriate forum for dispute resolution. The OP needs to go to WP:Dispute resolution, not ask on a new page every couple of months for years, until you get the answer you want. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:26, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
You might have responded to my debunking of your arguments above, rather than repeating them. -- (talk) 21:50, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I read through about half of this, so this might have already been said, but is blowing up a content dispute from one article into a crusade against the guideline itself. Frankly, that's inappropriate. I take issue with's tone as well. This isn't the proper place for this, the proper place for this is the talk page of the game, where normal consensus practice applies. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:57, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Pease see my reply to Georgewilliamherbert. See also my comments here, which have not been addressed at all.
Like I said, it is outright ludicrous to ignore this problem simply because I was foolish enough to use that specific article situation (which I don't actually care about any more, and haven't for years) as an excellent example case which illustrates how that guideline can be misused.
What you guys are saying here amounts to the advice to be more dishonest in the future, rather than innocuously making a case for what should be an uncontroversial discussion about a section of a project guideline that is simply not compatible with sitewide policy (which is not "just my perception", but demonstrated by the fact that no other part of any guideline or policy even remotely resembles the basic logical setup of WP:GUNS#Criminal use).
Also, it is just as ludicrous to ignore this problem because you don't like my tone. Please feel free to ask me to change the tone, and I'll try my best, but please don't respond by declaring everything I say inapplicable nonsense. -- (talk) 12:59, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
First, this is not advice to "be more dishonest." You may disagree with their guidelines, but they appear to be reasonable to me. I agree with HominidMachinae's interpretation of the guideline and why it was implemented.
Second, if you attempt to solve a problem by taking an offensive tone, you're not going to get far.
Finally, if you are User:Everyme, why are you not using that account? I see Xavexgoem unblocked the account in April (though not why). — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:41, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't have the password anymore, nor any interest in resuming editing as a registered user.
this is not advice to "be more dishonest." -- You sure about that? People berate me basically for bringing up the specific example where I originally encountered WP:GUNS and their guidelines. I did so because I saw no reason not to. In hindsight, I should have kept my mouth shut about that part of the story.
Also, please don't quote WP:CIVIL to me. I already apologized if anyone took offence at my tone. Nevertheless, it is true that it is ludicrous to ignore the problem because someone doesn't like my tone. Like I said, ask me to change my tone, and I will do my best to oblige, but don't dismiss the problem I'm bringing up by pointing to my tone.
The one true statement in HominidMachinae's reasoning is that Trivia should be rooted out whenever found. The thing is that WP:GUNS already does have a section dedicated to Pop culture (ie. trivia). There is zero valid need for an additional guideline specifically for trivia as related to criminal use, especially one that deals with the problem the way WP:GUNS#Criminal use does. I'm yet to hear a single example of any part of any other guideline or policy resembling WP:GUNS#Criminal use, or a truly vindicating reasoning for why it is necessary or useful beyond anything a simple and straightforward guideline section on trivia is for.
You may disagree with their guidelines, but they appear to be reasonable to me -- I have shown how they are not reasonable. I have shown it through arguments, all of which have been simply ignored (sorry for the link, but it applies). -- (talk) 19:57, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
You have shown your opinion that they are not reasonable to you. Your opinion is not fact. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 11:48, 6 July 2011 (UTC)