Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 96

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Identification age

Hello, I feel that the need to be 18+ for identification should be challenged. I have parental consent, and I handle personal information for my 400+ member clan, the CoD Wiki, my own personal servers, and my own websites. I see no reason that younger site users should be discriminated against, even though personal information is disclosed, for someone to apply to handle this information, they had to be mature enough to even consider going through the rigorous process of AAC rights obtainment. Please let me know what you think of this. THX, Ax1om77 05:08, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

You signed up just two days ago. Identification should be the least of your concerns. Nobody is going to give a two-day-old account any sort of special permissions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:28, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Even after I gain some credibility from you guys, I still want to address this issue, not only for myself. THX, Ax1om77 05:32, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

You don't need to be 18 to be an administrator. Becoming an administrator is a defacto prerequisite before becoming anything that needs access to personal information. (And becoming an administrator is generally a 1-2 year process). That's what you would be working towards first. --Rschen7754 05:58, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) ...1 to 2 years being the bare minimum before anyone's ever become an administrator. Even after 4 years there's no guarantee. Just FYI. Equazcion (talk) 06:03, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
There was a successful RFA in 2011 by an editor with a WP:Clean start just under 12 months from account creation, if you think that counts. Monty845 06:21, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I think that can be topped by a wide margin. In 2003 an editor was made an administrator after only six weeks on the project. He was only eleven at the time. SpinningSpark 16:25, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Alright alright, nitpickers. "...under the current standards," hows that? :) Equazcion (talk) 16:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

My major goal is to work on RAA/CAA rights, I want to create accounts for people who request them. I would love to become a moderator someday. THX, Ax1om77 06:01, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

There is a great many things you can do on Wikipedia without having any sort of "special privileges". About the only unique status I have on Wikipedia is as a "confirmed user", and there are very few situations where my status prevents me from doing anything constructive... including page cleanup and even recommending pages for deletion or suggesting user accounts that need to be blocked for various reasons or protesting the actions of abusive administrators and in some cases getting their actions overturned. If you show maturity and a willingness to do the work, you will get nominated for administrative work. Doing the "New Page Patrol" or other thankless tasks will likely get you to there faster than otherwise, especially if you show that you have good judgement. For myself, I don't have the patience to be an admin on Wikipedia as I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with the issues, even though I've done admin work on some of the Wikimedia sister projects. Show what you can do with the tools you have available, then if you really do need advanced tools that require special status because of some projects you are working on, you can get those privileges after proving what you've been able to accomplish with what you have. --Robert Horning (talk) 06:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)


As I previously stated, the only rights I will ever be interested in within the next couple years are Rollback, Twinkle, AAC, and Huggle. However, for other people who may be wondering about this matter, I would like to have these rights explained- why is age a discriminating factor here? As a 15 year old, I can see both sides of this arguement, but I would also like to be at ease regarding the scrutiny placed on younger-aged editors seeking expanded rights. THX, Ax1om77 06:28, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

It's mainly a legal requirement, so the Wikimedia Foundation does not get sued. The 18+ limit is imposed by the WMF, so you would need to talk to them about it; we have no control over that here. By the way, Rollback, Twinkle, and Huggle do not have an age requirement - you could get them after 3-6 months of active editing. (For the record, I became an admin at the age of 16. The only 18+ roles here are ACC, OTRS, checkuser, oversight, steward, and ArbCom - and I'd say less than 2% of users are any one of these). --Rschen7754 06:39, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

OK, thank you very much, this helped a lot. I am sorry if I bugged anyone, but it really helped. Thanks, Ax1om77 06:58, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

rationalizing/rationalising -ize -ise suffixes in articles

I don't mean to cause great controversy, but I am wondering about a guideline to encourage -ize endings for English words that both the OED and Philippines/American English use -ize and depreciate -ise for only those words where -ize is used by both. Where the OED and American usage of -ise and -ize spellings do not match (analyse, analyze) the current policy would remain in effect. This would unify the spellings for many words and is not culturally biased as evidenced by OED endorsement. It also is more logical in terms of etymology. Again where the OED and current American English words differ either could be used as is now. This would only effect words in which they are in agreement. Thoughts? EdwinHJ | Talk 15:54, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose If we enforce whatever is common to both the OED and American English it would imply our support for just two variants of English. Currently we tolerate any version of English provided the article is consistent. ϢereSpielChequers 16:07, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
    • The OED is rather old fashioned in this area, ise is quite common in Commonwealth English,[1] and there would be howls of protest if this proposed change to guidelines was made and bots were to implement it. -- PBS (talk) 17:49, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I've yet to see us tolerate Indian English in practice. Uncle G (talk) 11:54, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose In fact, -ise is the normal suffix in UK English. The usage preferred by the OED in this case is famous for not corresponding with UK norms. Bluap (talk) 14:33, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with the above user. By preferring -ize the OED is at odds with UK norms and other respected dictionaries such as Chambers. Although we support any variant of English perhaps as a general guideline (not a fixed policy) any articles written about topics mostly relating to the UK, the Commonwealth and the globally adjacent areas such as Europe where British English is more influential could prefer/encourage -ise and 'colour' etc whereas articles mostly relating to the Americas could prefer/encourage -ize and 'color' as long as they are consistent. Ant501UK (talk) 23:06, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment that is already codified at WP:ENGVAR. --Trovatore (talk) 23:12, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment oh, well not in some of the details. There is no preference for British English for Continental European topics, nor for American English for Latin American topics. WP:TIES relates only to English-speaking countries. --Trovatore (talk) 23:16, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Bluap. "-ize" is not the more common suffix in British English. Bretonbanquet (talk) 23:18, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The Oxford English Dictionary is the legitimate authority in matters of British English. Far more people around the world use USA-type English than British English because of its use as a lingua franca in science, engineering, and business. If those two agree, a 'z' should be used, but I also feel that this is not very important. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert the Devil (talkcontribs) 00:33, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment What evidence do you have that the OED is the "Legitimate Authority in matters of British English"? I have never heard that it has any officially sanctioned UK Government authority giving its opinions prevalence over those of any other British Dictionary (such as Chambers) but do correct me if you know otherwise. Ant501UK (talk) 09:23, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per many reasons noted above. But I would say that if y'all would just smarten up and adopt Canadian English, we wouldn't have this problem.  ;) Resolute 23:45, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

NPOV changes

Note that an editor is making large scale changes to the examples without providing adequate reasoning for why (or for reasons that don't make sense): Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view#Recommended_changes. Extra editors for opinions welcome. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Most of this seems to be a desire to change the examples in the policy, generally away from Holocaust and Flat earth examples towards Elvis sightings. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:24, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Couldn't we find a compromise? --84.44.230.72 (talk) 18:21, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
It seems rather than discuss the proposed changes JJB has waited until things have become quiet and has started the changes again: [2]. IRWolfie- (talk) 21:40, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism

What should I do if two guys always vandalizes the edits which I made? — Preceding unsigned comment added by World historia (talkcontribs) 10:51, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Probation Period

We should create a policy which would create a administrator for a probation period for something like one week or else.In this policy, whenever a user reaches a confusing decision at WP:RFA, the user should be made admin for a trial or probation period.In this period, his actions and contributions should be observed by fellow administrators and bureaucrats.There should be a voting at the end of the period.After that it can be decided whether he could be a permanent admin or not.Such way, It could get really easy at WP:RFA.Also, this way a user can also get a hold of the responsibilities of admin.So, he or she could rethink about it.Max Viwe | Viwe The Max 20:29, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Something similar was proposed at Wikipedia:Tool apprenticeship and got a lot of good support, but didn't quite get over the hurdle. 64.40.57.98 (talk) 07:59, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Website URLs watermarked on Images used in Articles

Have a question for anyone who has the time to answer. Does Wikipedia have a policy regarding whether or not it's permissible to use a picture in an article, in which a website URL appears watermarked in the image (say, near the bottom of the image, on the left or right, etc)? Assume that the font size of the URL is relatively small, and not commercial in nature; is there a specific policy that speaks to that issue? Thanks, AzureCitizen (talk) 04:01, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:WATERMARK. In general and if possible, the image should be edited to remove the watermark. Anomie 10:37, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Also, if the image is at Commons, see commons:Template:Watermark and commons:Commons:EXIF#Purpose for using EXIF at Commons. Anomie 10:42, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Policy regarding human genitalia

OK, completely random question, not derived from anything really happening anywhere. For real. Is it OK to put pictures of genitalia on a user page? You know, like vaginas or, more specifically in this non-existing case, penises? (From humans.) Thanks! Drmies (talk) 04:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd be OK if they were hatted with disclaimers, or otherwise hidden by default. Ideally, no-one should do it, but we've got to have a sense of humor.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:43, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Jasper. People! Need more opinions! Drmies (talk) 05:06, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
There is an enormous difference between a good joke (the unobtrusive penis on the admin's user page), and adding pictures to explore the limits of what is acceptable at Wikipedia. I don't think there should be (or could be) a policy or guideline on this—just do what is best for the encyclopedia: laugh at the good joke and block someone who edit wars to keep pictures that have little difference from what a troll would post. Johnuniq (talk) 05:08, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
John, I think you're on to me. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 05:12, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

This basically comes down to local culture. Much of middle america will say no, much of europe perhaps ok. Nobody else counts on wiki. Agent00f (talk) 05:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Such pictures should only be used in an educational setting in Wikipedia I think. WP:ASTONISH applies in articles and WP:UP#Images applies in user talk pages. Dmcq (talk) 08:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I've never observed a picture of a penis hurting anyone, but I'm not in middle America. HiLo48 (talk) 08:14, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Pictures communicate information to viewers. Gratuitous and/or sexualized pictures of penises communicate "you are not welcome here" to a large proportion of the world's inhabitants, including women, Africans, and Asians. That these groups receive a different, and harmfully exclusionary, message than white males and naturists is very well-documented in the research.
As a side point, the same thing is true about the use of foul language and joking insults: it's usually accepted between two white guys, but everyone else is far more likely to be offended. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:38, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

I would've posted something original here, but Johnuniq pretty much nailed what I would've said, so I hereby transclude his comment here. The only thing I can't echo is the part about "the admin"'s particular use of the appendage in question, since I'm uninitiated in the dispute that apparently sparked the question. I'd like to point out, also, that if a dispute did the sparking, it would be more proper to detail that with links in the original post. Equazcion (talk) 08:42, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

But the OP said it was "not derived from anything really happening anywhere". I'm confused. (Not about penises.) HiLo48 (talk) 08:44, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Johnuniq's sidebar, "the unobtrusive penis on the admin's user page", seems to be referring to something happening now, and Drmies seems to know what he was referring to, regardless. It would be good to let everyone here in on what they're referring to (preferably without us having to ask). Equazcion (talk) 08:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I was not wanting to draw attention to specific cases, but I see my comment above is unfortunately teasing for third parties. It relates to a discussion here involving a user who has recently been discussed at ANI. Johnuniq (talk) 10:34, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
John is correct, and John, I appreciate your discretion. Equazcion, I am trying to ask what policies or guidelines are applicable here without burdening the answer too much by the particular case. Some people are predisposed, given the amount of dust thrown up, to judge this one way or the other. I myself am very much on the fence. HiLo, I thought the irony was dripping from every word in my original posting; next time I'll add "hush hush, wink wink, say no more." ;) In the meantime (and I haven't looked at the particular user's talk page this morning), I'd appreciate it if this particular question could be answered here without spilling over onto his talk page. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 13:44, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The Principle of Least Astonishment really ought to apply here. There are certain articles where I would be astonished not to see a penis, but a userpage is something that a wide variety of editors might visit and some things are just not appropriate on userpages. That said not all images of penises are equal, nor all locations on user pages. If the start of your userpage explains that you mainly write about gay porn then people shouldn't really be surprised if after paging down you reach a bit that includes a photo of a penis. Equally there is a huge difference between a photo of a nude male statue and a close up of an erect penis. ϢereSpielChequers 08:45, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That's the general principle but the guideline WP:UP#Images covers the specific case of sexual images on user pages. Dmcq (talk) 08:51, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:GRATUITOUS also applies. Jakew (talk) 10:13, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I feel compelled to point out that penises aren't just sexual objects. They have other purposes too. And they're not just part of gay porn. Some females have an interest in them too. HiLo48 (talk) 11:38, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • It is all about context, as others have pointed out. As part of a good joke or to make a simple statement, it wouldn't bother me in the least. If it is done solely to inflame, push the limits (WP:POINT), or other reasons that are clearly outside the limits of WP:UP, then it doesn't really matter that it is a penis, as disruption is disruption regardless of the actual content. They grey area is very difficult to pin down, however, as there is so much cultural difference regarding the "offensiveness" of the human penis among English speaking Wikipedians. This is why it is so difficult to make inflexible rules that are fair or reasonable. Typically, the pool of judges is limited to whoever is lurking at AN/I at the particular moment that attention is drawn to it, a less than ideal situation. And I am bit curious why you qualified your question with "(From humans.)". I wonder if the reaction would be different if an offending page had pictures of non-human penises, and why. Dennis Brown - © 12:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Look at penis--last time I checked the article opened with a rather bizarre collection of what appear to be penises from sea mammals. That's not what I'm talking about; I don't think anyone would take offense to that. Drmies (talk) 13:46, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
      • I don't think it is possible or desirable to provide guidance for when a user page may or may not display genitalia (other than the links given above to the effect that such images are very rarely helpful). All we can do is rely on I know it when I see it, and if good editor A presents a barnstar to good editor B, and that barnstar happens to feature a good joke involving an image of a penis, and if it is clear there is no gaming involved, it is easy to conclude that there is no problem and if someone objects to the very unobtrusive image on a user page, they can be told that the solution is to not look at that page. By contrast, when editor C is known to like trolling, pretty well any discussion about what C is "allowed" to have on User:C is a waste of time and is sending the wrong message—we are here for the encyclopedia, and the only discussion with C should be to point out that Wikipedia is not an exercise in free speech or a place devoted to fairness (he has a penis pic so why can't I?). If that core message is ever received, it might be possible to restart a discussion about what is "allowed" on User:C, although such time would be far better spent helping editors who are tired of defending the encyclopedia from incessant POV attacks (I have a specific case in mind where yet another good editor is possibly retiring). Johnuniq (talk) 23:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

This whole thread is likely part of a gigantic troll, instigated by a recently unblocked but supposedly laying low member of GNAA, User talk:Badmachine#statement. The fact that at least one admin is now helping him see how far he can push the limits of his behavior here is unfortunate in my opinion. Heiro 02:01, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

True. And even if not true, the thing that should count is that the discussions are indistinguishable from trolling, and they need to stop. Johnuniq (talk) 03:23, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, Heiro, what a nice little comment about me that was. Let me PayPal you a couple of bucks so you can replenish your supply of good faith. You know what, someone close and archive this already. "Gigantic troll" is enough of an exaggeration--you and others are very good at making mountains out of molehills, and we see the process in action. Guy wants to put a cock on his userpage, and whoa, Wikipedia comes to a grinding halt. Sheesh. I came here for advice on policy and guidelines, not for yet more drama and now a personal accusation. Drmies (talk) 03:35, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I think you are being hoodwinked by the user, not that you are participating in the troll. I think your extension of the hand of friendship to them is being taken advantage of. WP:AGF is not a suicide pact and until the ratio of their edits starts to trend more toward useful contribs to the 'pedia and not making sure they can somehow put images of cocks on their userpage, I'll assume they are merely here for the lulz. As another user noted above, discussions that are indistinguishable from trolling still have the same effect. Heiro 04:07, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a lot better--now I'm dumb instead of a troll enabler. Drmies (talk) 04:13, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Not at all, just in this instance too nice for your own good. I respect you. I respect all of the work you do here. I just dont think they are as altruistic as you. Sorry if I caused offense, it was not what I intended at all. Heiro 04:21, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
i find this statement dubious. your other comments on this matter wrt me in particular, are quite offensive. you state "until the ratio of their edits starts to trend more toward useful contribs to the 'pedia and not making sure they can somehow put images of cocks on their userpage, I'll assume they are merely here for the lulz". if you look at my contribs, only the most recent contribs are dedicated to restoration of a userpage that sat undisturbed for months, iirc, until one user, who has since expressed regret for doing so, brought up my userpage at an SPI, at which i was cleared of socking. -badmachine 10:01, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Whether you find it dubious or not, I did not intend to offend Drmies and I do sincerely apologize for any offense I caused him. Heiro 23:31, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

This body part discussion seems to be a complex matter. Some users are offended to see body parts allowed at any page whereas other users are offended to see body parts disallowed at any page. However, the reason for the blacklist policy seems to be that images shouldn't be used where such images aren't expected. With user pages, this appears to depend on the user page. Some users like to create galleries of their photos and of their uploads, and if there are body parts among a user's uploads I don't see why the user shouldn't be allowed to include the photo in a gallery. There are probably also other cases when photos of body parts may be expected on pages in the User namespace, but it really depends on the situation. --Stefan2 (talk) 10:40, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

I think the key issue is the WMF resolution on "principle of least astonishment". As I said recently; a small and collapsed penis image on a user page isn't very astonishing. 50 penis pictures (which is what the issue skirts around mentioning) is fairly astonishing. Is the "joke" good enough to ignore that principle? I don't think so. People visiting user pages would not expect to see nudity, or other controversial imagery, so it is a good idea for our policies to caution against it. --Errant (chat!) 11:01, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

  • I wasn't aware of the desired number when I posted this. Drmies (talk) 14:40, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can see, most users commenting here agree that WP:ASTONISH applies here, and as such we need to have some context before allowing or disallowing penis pictures on user pages. One collapsed image in a large user page may be okay, 50 large penis pictures and nothing else clearly is not. Can I assume that we have a consensus for this? --Conti| 11:36, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd say that 50 large pictures always is unacceptable on a user page (regardless of image type), but maybe acceptable on a user subpage in certain cases. Users might be visiting the user page using a mobile phone or an old computer, and heavy image use could be too much for less powerful devices. It would also consume a lot of bandwidth, which may be an issue for users connecting from a mobile network. That said, I don't know exactly what was going on here. A user name is mentioned in the discussion above, but when I went to check the page, I noticed that the page has been deleted and restored multiple times, so there is no way for me to check an old revision and see what it looked like. --Stefan2 (talk) 12:26, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
there has been a misunderstanding. it is not fifty large images, it is one image, 100px wide, five per line, ten lines. this is a humorous reference to the fifty hitler post internet meme, and is hardly "astonishing" imo. this "fifty penis post" sat undisturbed on my userpage for months, iirc, with no problems until one editor brought it up during a SPI, (at which i was cleared of any socking). i have supplied an example here. -badmachine 16:32, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Do we enforce a limit on images for user pages that that have, say, 50 pictures of birds? Maybe we have, I just don't remember it. I don't remember any concerns about iPhone rendering recently. Dennis Brown - © 16:59, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Two new requests for comment regarding the Arbitration Committee

I've started two new requests for comment regarding the Arbitration Committee:

The intent of these requests is to solicit community feedback regarding potential improvements to the arbitration process. Input from anyone with an interest in arbitration or the Committee's work would be very appreciated! Kirill [talk] 20:34, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Muhammad RfC Close

After closely examining the arguments put forth in each section, we have concluded that the status quo of the Muhammad article should largely be retained. For proposal 1, we found there to be no consensus to put any type of hatnote in the article. In the discussion of question 2, we found that there was the strongest consensus to put a calligraphic depiction of Muhammad in the infobox. With regards to the placement of other figurative images, we found that the current status quo -- of using figurative images of the highest encyclopedic value to illustrate important events in the subject’s life -- had the most support. This was accompanied by a general sentiment that figurative images were not necessary before the “Life” section, but would certainly be necessary after that point. However, editors should remember that calligraphic representations are the most common, and should not add images, especially figurative ones, without a clear encyclopedic reason to do so. Furthermore, there was a clear consensus to avoid any quota of figurative or calligraphic image, and to let the text of the article dictate the images used. There was no consensus for how the principle of least astonishment should apply to Muhammad.

Thank you all for your participation and your patience.

Respectfully, Black Kite (talk), Keilana (talk), and Someguy1221 (talk) 00:57, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Splitting articles arbitrarily

WP:SIZE#Very large articles says that articles may be split at an arbitrary point. This would create articles which are not in themselves notable. I agree with splitting large lists in such a way but I think this drives a horse and cart through WP:Notability and have been objecting to it being stuck into WP:Summary style. Do people support the splitting of large articles arbitrarily rather than into subtopics with their own notability? Can anyone find an article where such action is necessary? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dmcq (talkcontribs) 23:12, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:N is a guideline, so there are practical exceptions and not a hard rule, so we're talking guideline vs guideline. The most recent notability discussion that's appropriate here was about the idea of notability of lists, and the best that we could agree via consensus that "list of X" type articles (Which are often spun out from larger ones) should generally be notable, but there could be no agreement on "List of Y of X" articles (say , list of characters from a fictional work) or more complicated lists. And this says nothing towards non-list articles.
We do expect that the sourcing in spinouts will be more than primary. The "topic" of the spinout itself may not be notable on its own but would otherwise be a natural and fair collection of secondary sources that point to it. (case in point that I know Cultural impact of the Guitar Hero series is not a notable topic but the type of coverage of the individual factors, plus the limit on content, make it an appropriate split from the main article on the series itself. --MASEM (t) 23:20, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Why do you say that the cultural impact of the Guitar Hero series is not notable? Are you saying "With over $2 billion in total sales worldwide, the game series has made a significant cultural impact, becoming a "cultural phenomenon" and recognizable in the popular culture." is not an assertion of the notability of the article? Dmcq (talk) 23:30, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
If we go by hardcore notability philosophy that some have, no, the topic of "cultural phenomenon of guitar hero" is not notable because there is no single secondary source that covers that topic in whole. Of course, the idea that's not article that meets notability is a BS one, but I've seen people argue that definition. My point is that the example is a natural split as an original subsection from the main series article that clearly is well-sourced to secondary sources and is not an OR-aggolmeration of infomration. --MASEM (t) 00:52, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That isn't a requirement in WP:Notability so it is as you say BS. Have you an example of say two unrelated things in a subarticle or something which really isn't notable? Dmcq (talk) 01:11, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Arguably it is: the topic of that example article is not "Guitar Hero" but "Cultural impact of Guitar Hero", and thus it is argued at times that notability has to be about that specific topic.
But as another example class, the various "Criticism of X" articles, like Criticism of Christianity, have always been contentious because there is almost no notability (secondary sources directly about) for that topic name. Yet, for obvious reasons, we include those articles. --MASEM (t) 01:21, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That is covered in WP:TITLE. Notability is about topics not names and the name may be descriptive. Dmcq (talk) 01:37, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I (and probably most others) recognize that but there are hard-core notability people that recognize that if I call an article "Criticism of X", the notable topic is "Criticism of X" and if that topic is not fully documented as a whole within multiple source (read: each source itself being in detail on that topic and not a accumulation of smaller bits of coverage leading to that topic), then its not notable. Yes, I know that's not a majority view but that is a viewpoint taken at times in some AFD and why we have so much difficulty with concepts like notability of lists. --MASEM (t) 16:19, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Speaking in terms of logic and not strict policy, a list is basically a summary with all breakouts and no summary. Therefore one critical difference is that a summary can be used to protect subtopics which cannot be broken out. However this creates a dilemma when the protection is useful AND the resulting page is too long. To resolve this, currently either all subtopics must be made to meet general N to create a list first, or the same arbitrary split feature from lists can be incorporated into summaries. One solution seems better than the other. Agent00f (talk) 23:31, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand what you are saying, could you make it simpler please. Dmcq (talk) 23:34, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I'll try to break it down:
  1. A critical feature that summaries possess is that even without arguments about N, it can be used to incubate smaller subtopics without subjecting them to AfDs. This is not something you can reasonably do in a list.
  2. However, just like lists, summaries can get too long. In that case, we have a problem which needs solving, just like lists.
  3. One approach to solving it is that we can transform the summary into a list, which contains existing guidance on splitting. However, this disposes the summary feature of protection, and forces everything to be spun off.
  4. The other approach is to incorporate the same "arbitrary" (subject to domain discretion) split feature from lists into summaries. That way, the disruption is minimal, and only requires a more full understanding of the close relation between these two templates.
  5. Personally I perceive one solution to be superior to the other for obvious reasons. Others might differ.
Thanks for hearing this out. Agent00f (talk) 23:45, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid I simply don't understand your argument. The basic question is about straightforward articles, not about logical arguments equating summaries to lists or whatever, that just sounds like some encouragement to wikilawyer to me. You used the word obvious in the middle of all that, really we're not taking about anything esoteric. If a topic is very large is it reasonable to split it into subarticles which are not notable in themselves but arbitrary chunks split out? Or are we constrained to find subtopics which have some sort of notability themselves? An individual chapter in a book which has had a lot of comment may have individual notability but two chapters or half of one chapter and half of the next are much less likely to have notability as a unit. Arbitrary means should we allow splitting into parts which have no reasonable notability as units? Dmcq (talk) 23:57, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
That argument was somewhat targeted to your statement: "agree with splitting large lists". The gist of the argument is since you already agree that lists can be split to resolve a size problem, then there should be no problem with applying the same agreement to summaries. This isn't "lawyering" as much as applying the same reasoning consistently instead of special cases for lists vs summaries which really aren't that different.
From a design standpoint (which is what the spirit of the rule is aiming at), it makes sense to split a cohesive and coherent whole out in a way that's informed by both the subject matter and size constraints rather than "arbitrarily". For example, even if some chapters brush up against notability, it makes no sense to force them onto the same page if the result is just unwieldy and miserable to use. That's why WP:SIZE was written in the first place: "Readability is a key criterion". If one chapter in the book per entry makes everything easier to read/navigate/use, and it's the same material as a whole anyway, then it's breaking the 5th pillar in two to force a worse solution just because another rule for standalone entries (created without this scenario in mind) seems to contradict this. WP:SIZE was created to address this very issue, so please let it. Agent00f (talk) 00:17, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Have you got any examples where an article has been split into non notable pieces that still makes sense? Not something theoretic but something actual and concrete that's in Wikipedia and is there because this bit of WP:SIZE allowed it? Dmcq (talk) 00:58, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
There might exist examples, but in practice it's probably more common for people to create reasonable stub-sized entries in the first place and grow them rather than start with something stupid-big and then use WP:SIZE just to adhere to policy. You can probably look at histories of the competition-types entries I linked below. Some of them probably started with "summaries" and then got split and linked via template. Agent00f (talk) 01:06, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose long articles must not be split into arbitrary chunks but into bits with separate notability. Only very large stand alone lists may be split arbitrarily. Dmcq (talk) 00:00, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
So what is the solution if the resultant bits are still too long or just irregular? Why propose a special exception for lists rather than more general solution given that the the problem is shared over a broad range of entries? Agent00f (talk) 00:17, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That's why I asked if anyone can find an article where such action is necessary. I don't believe it is ever necessary, that there would be so much to say about a topic but it can't be split into notable subtopics. Dmcq (talk) 00:46, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
If you look at any kind of competition entries, it's very common for this to have already been done: cars, cards, horses, etc, etc. Practically none of these types of entries individually meet N, but the subtopics together as a whole do (eg. all f1 races in 1997). The template on the bottom links them. Agent00f (talk) 00:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Are you really saying that 1997 Canadian Grand Prix or 2009_Preakness_Stakes are not in themselves notable? I do have doubts about 1998_World_Series_of_Poker as the citation is to some web page with no indication of its value as a secondary source and there is no lead section pointing out why the article is in Wikipedia. Exactly why is that article in Wikipedia? As WP:IINFO Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Provide some notability indication and it is no longer indiscriminate and it isn't an example of some arbitrary split article with no notability. Dmcq (talk) 01:22, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
All are simple collections of STATS about ROUTINE events with often poor sourcing. Just because you've heard of it doesn't mean it's inherently notable (accord to hardline interpretation anyway). There have been successful AfD's on similar entries which are generally better sourced. These aren't some carefully chosen collection, just random competitions off the top of my head and then some arbitrarily chosen entry . There are countless numbers of them on wiki. Agent00f (talk) 01:28, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
And I believe the poker one should be sent to AfD. Its talk page asserts it is list class but it isn't a split of a larger list. Lists require notability like anything else. The other two are not examples of non notable articles that I can see. Have poker articles like that one survived AfD, I'd like to see one that has. Dmcq (talk) 01:33, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
NONE of them would survive a hardcore AfD individually. The point is it's rarely tried for kicks because removing one entry out of the list is a dick move. Agent00f (talk) 01:37, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Could you give up this hardcore business please. I'm not asking about anything strange, I'm talking about a straightforward consensus. Has any of them passed AfD? Dmcq (talk) 02:20, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
This one didn't. Agent00f (talk) 02:23, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
This one is a bad example because it's an unsettled discussion. I see AFDs all the time that delete something that is a subtopic of a notable list. I just merged Tower Cube, for instance, though that's not a great example either. But the issue is that (unlike with Tower Cube) often the merge would dramatically unbalance the "main" topic. JJB 02:27, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
How it is "unsettled?". It's settled in wiki's eyes as far as that individual event in its current state goes. The fundamental problem is it never should've been only settled for that individual event, but rather all or nothing for all similar entries according to more domain-informed guidelines. Until that root issue of general vs local rules on wiki is resolved, we're never going anywhere since single AfD's using GNG/NOT/etc can be used to delete regardless of what domain experts think. The AfD's should be focused on the fit of local rules to general ones, not singling out arbitrary entries. Otherwise the only way it's NOT a mess is through hapstance of apathy on the part of AfD enthusiasts. Agent00f (talk) 04:28, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
There's also the example from the summary template page that got us here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1701_Okavango. Note these specific ones are computer script generated (incl auto-source from one DB). I can't imagine any out of thousands passing a hardline deletion process, yet I supposed many find the formatting useful. There are a LOT of these lists/summaries/article-collections on wiki. Agent00f (talk) 01:37, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

(Ahem) I was the editor who carried this quote from one page (WP:SIZE) to another, so I had suggested Dmcq discuss this at Wikipedia talk:Article size. A couple of side notes: first, there is no conflict with WP:N intended, as it says, "These notability guidelines ... do not limit the content of an article or list," clearly affirming that notable articles can grow beyond size requirements; and it is logically conceivable, given the N wars, that none of the subarticles would be clearly notable (not every camp has the very wide view that all my various examples at Wikipedia talk:Summary style are all either notable, or exceptions because lists). I appreciate Masem's comments and examples.

Now, given the sizes we're dealing with, from Dmcq's point of view of N, it would not actually ever be necessary to split "arbitrarily", because there would always be enough data to split something with some logical subtopical method; Dmcq and Masem basically have given an N pass to these kinds of subarticles. From the narrower POV of N, the split would be called "arbitrary" because there are many cases where it could easily be asserted that no RS divides the topic the way we do or gives independent notability to the subtopic. Accordingly, this might direct us to clarify the meaning of "arbitrary" in both guidelines to indicate something like "the 'topic' of the spinout itself may not be notable on its own but would otherwise be a natural and fair collection of secondary sources that point to it." I certainly don't hold that "arbitrary" means to call the article "Isaac Newton part 3" and split it anywhere. I would appreciate it if comments would stay on the primary topic, viz., whether the long-standing sentence in WP:SIZE should be clarified. JJB 01:44, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

This seems to more or less fall in line with actual practice. So it's just a clarification of what reasonably knowledgeable editors do anyway. The crux of the problem IMO is that lot of folks conflate "arbitrary" with "random". Agent00f (talk) 01:55, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I have not given a notability pass as you phrase it. That's practically the opposite of what I've said. Allowing all logical splits would allow these poker articles which have no separate notability that I can see. Dmcq (talk) 02:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
If these poker articles have no separate notability, then NONE of the entries with same formatted I linked above have separate notability. Each are the top tier competition in their respective subject. Some people might personally care for one subject over another, but how do you brightline distinguish between what's inherently "acceptable" about one subject vs another? Agent00f (talk) 04:17, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That's what I've been going on about. You treat them like normal articles. In particular you look for notability of the topic as that is what distinguishes an article from a subsection of an article, subsections only have weight within an article. The essay WP:BEFORE that JJB pointed at below gives a good summary on what is needed for an article. If an article would fail AfD then it shouldn't be in the encyclopaedia. If they are as important as you say then surely there should be some secondary source that talks in a some detail about them? If somebody wins the 100 meters in the Olympics we're pretty certain there will be newspaper articles about it, that's why it is assumed such an event is notable. Notability is not just a random choice by editors on Wikipedia. Dmcq (talk) 07:18, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The reality is that they're NOT like normal articles. A 1998 tour article by itself is clearly NOT the same thing as a 1998 article which is clearly and cleanly linked to all surrounding years of similar articles all forming a set of useful information. Your entire stance is that context CANNOT matter, which is very hardline and ignores the fact that wikipedia is not a site of individual siloed entries. For example, a random planet #10103 article is surely not the same as the long list of them. As to sources, if you look at the circumstances surrounding the linked AfD, clearly secondary sources weren't going to save it: the AfD Delete crowd demand WP:EVENT "enduring historical significance", claims any event that occurs regularly (ie every year) fails WP:ROUTINE and whatnot. The problem isn't YOUR standards, but theirs. Agent00f (talk) 17:12, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

(ec) The issue with poker is that very few at all of the articles in Template:Major poker tournaments pass N on their own; many of them have zero secondary sources, and one primary source or a dozen. Further, to AFD the 1998 event alone would be exceedingly rude to WikiProject Gambling and would delete data haphazardly and thus unencyclopedically; and to merge it to WSOP would leave that article unbalanced, contradictory to WP:SUMMARY. Accordingly, these many kinds of articles are given a pass, and I am interested in codifying why. It appears that their "N pass" stems from (occasionally) an SNG exception or (more often) unconsciously being regarded as balanced spinouts of a list (here, the list in World Series of Poker, and the list of World Series of Poker Main Event champions). That is, the list with its spun-out details would be too long in one article, so each item on the list is spun out. Notability inheres only to WSOP, but the spinout is natural and fair. I add that in many cases secondary sources are not findable for every spinout; I think encyclopedicity is achieved by a proper combination of subtopic primary sources with topic-level secondary sources that also mention the subtopic. JJB 02:01, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

People are warned that they no longer own stuff after contributing it. Any stuff may be edited mercilessly. NPA applies to interactions wth people, however if the consensus is that an article should be deleted we do not keep it because it might be rude to delete it. And we cannot be rude to a project, only to the people with it either individually or as a group. If you just deal with the issues and don't attack people personally that is fine and rudeness does not come into anything as a factor.
Now has anybody actually tried an AfD on any of these poker articles? Please see WP:IINFO and if you think the poker articles are not indiscriminate collections of information point to the source that shows it has some interest, and then perhaps that will be good enough for notability of the articles. Otherwise if there is no notability for the articles why are we keeping them in Wikipedia instead of just pointing to where they are in some external database? A list would be okay but I do not believe those articles are sections of a notable list, each article at best is a list and needs separate notability. Dmcq (talk) 02:36, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

You want me to dare you to go to AFD? I see these AFDs all the time and they are considered a violation of WP:POINT, especially when WP:BEFORE is omitted. If you don't like the word "rude" to mean "pointy", that's fine. These articles exist all over WP, when AFD deletes them they break up datasets or create imbalanced merges, and whichever result occurs they cause hard feelings. I can find you some examples of AFDs if you want; it's generally regarded as gauche to nom certain kinds of articles singly rather than as groups. In the poker case the article is a spinout of an item in a notable list, merge would imbalance the main topic, and delete would imbalance the overall WP coverage very, um, arbitrarily. Now, getting back to the subject, I see there was some discussion of your primary question at Wikipedia talk:Article size, so I recommend we close this VPP discussion due to redundancy with that one. JJB 02:49, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

It isn't a question of daring. I asked if any had gone to AfD. That's a simple enough question. Doing an AfD takes a bit of work. If it requires a test case like that to decide this question then yes of course I will take one to AfD. Yes I would like to see an AfD which has been rejected on one of these poker articles or something similar if you can find one please. The poker would be best as I can agree the individual article is not notable. Dmcq (talk) 02:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I gave you an example above. Note that similar examples o the same subject brought that whole wiki space to its knees for months. I don't think a better example of how destructive this sort of AfD can be exists. Agent00f (talk) 04:31, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The only ones I can see mentioned as having gone to AfD are two that have nothing to do with poker and that were both deleted. Hardly a convincing case that there is a consensus that large articles can be split into bits which don't satisfy notability. Have I missed out some AfD that failed? In fact has any article which fails notability got past AfD? The later life of Newton and McCain's life before he became a presidential nominee are both notable subjects even if people are only interested in them because of the rest of their lives. Those poker games though have no indications of individual notability that I can see. Just saying the world poker series is notable does not automatically mean everything about it is notable to the extent one can split off subsidiary articles about every game. Newtons later life and McCains earlier life could easily have been unnotable if they hadn't been such notable people. Dmcq (talk) 07:57, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I have placed a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Poker#Discussion at VPP as there is an extended discussion here about the notability of one of the articles they look after. Perhaps they can explain the status of the 1998 World Series of Poker article which was cited as one of no notability and yet reasonable to keep. Dmcq (talk) 08:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
"Hardly a convincing case that there is a consensus that large articles can be split into bits which don't satisfy notability." Note that this is the exactly the problem that this discussion in part might help resolve. Again, can we agree that deleting random elements in the set makes no sense when the real question concerns the notability of all fungible members? Is your claim that sticking them all on a massive page is somehow an improvement? Split them off cleanly is just a navigation aid, just like splitting off unwieldy lists. Agent00f (talk) 17:18, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary split

Daring itself would be rather pointy, although I get it that you are being rhetorical here. And there are a great many articles that shouldn't be here, or should be merged, or should be here but aren't because someone just hasn't written them yet. This is why comparing to other articles is not useful, as Wikipedia is a project, not a finished product. All we can do is take it one article and one project at a time. Where there is controversy, more eyes are drawn toward it, so it ends up getting more attention first. The less controversial problems tend to get pushed onto the back burner. The order in which we choose to "fix" areas on Wikipedia is more a factor of how many people are willing to get involved, rather than an indication of how important or how broken it is. Dennis Brown - © 11:44, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't go in for rhetorical, I try to be more of a what it says on the tin type. I don't have an infinite lifespan, I don't fancy doing AfDs, and I'm not interested in poker, but if it would clear up the point one way or the other then yes I would do it, and I don't see it as pointy to delete stuff that is not notable. I would consider it disruptive to do hundreds at once rather than get the principle established first but that's about it as far as restricting AfDs is concerned by me. Dmcq (talk) 12:09, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I do agree with you, and I don't imagine you would do it only for a pointed dare. For example, my experience with MMA has been such that I'm not convinced that you could use the basis of that poker AFD to convince the enthusiastic crowd that it should serve as an example and gain a consensus there. As to the merits of making such a comparison, there are both pros and cons. Dennis Brown - © 15:51, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
If it's meant to set or result in some sort of precedent/guideline/rule for all such articles of that type on wiki, then it's worth doing considering this format style for sets of competitive events is the rule rather than the exception. Agent00f (talk) 17:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate your optimism, but I'm not convinced the rest of the wiki is ready to follow the example set by the MMA discussions. Dennis Brown - © 11:43, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I was referring to the poker example in the comment you replied. 99.99%+ of wiki with very similar entries (to poker) are not MMA one. I agree that nothing on wiki should follow the latter example. Agent00f (talk) 19:20, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
To be sure, there are a great many problems with inconsistency in sports article treatment. My observations about MMA shouldn't indicate that it is necessarily the worst regarding format (although arguable true by the number of administrative venues it occupies), but rather than it is likely equally broken as many other areas. It is simply is in the spotlight now due to a number of factors, most of which predate participation by either one of us, and would be more or less still present if neither had entered the area, to be honest. How we deal with sports in general is the larger question, and one I tend to agree with DGG with: however we deal with them, it should be equal to all and clear to everyone, and obviously consistent with policy. It is the inconsistency that troubles me most, not the particulars of any one sport. This is one reason why I view the "creative" application of WP:SS so skeptically, as it neither guarantees fairness nor simplicity, particularly when you consider it must apply to all articles, not just sport. This "creativity" could open a Pandora's box that extends far beyond any single article or group of articles, regardless of any short term conveniences it provides. Dennis Brown - © 19:45, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Articles should never be split arbitrarily, the resulting articles should always be separately notable. Editors deciding where to split the article into original subtopics which are not mirrored in reliable sources constitutes original research. It is of a topic that is not discussed as a collection by reliable sources. Also note that although OR is a content guideline, the reason we ask for notability is because; "Significant coverage" means that sources address the subject directly in detail, so no original research is needed to extract the content, to be consistent with this there should be no original research on the grouping of topics (or even a single topic) into an article (as a general rule). IRWolfie- (talk) 10:58, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Provided these articles are clearly and cleanly linked (say perhaps by template with fwd/back/up links), and assuming the audience is aware of how links work, can you provide arguments to the downside of "arbitrary" splits as long as they make sense? Individual volumes (let's say 100+ in total) in a serialized publication, each with summaries and links to background data, might be a good example to work with. Agent00f (talk) 17:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Policy and guidelines are supposed to describe the best practice in what is done. You are entitled of course to try finding an article where you think something like this would be reasonable and then discuss splitting it like you want and there is even a basis in IAR for then implementing it even if it conflicts with current standards. That could form the basis to amend the guidelines or set up a new one. However this discussion isn't about something new like that but what should be described as currently okay and reasonable. Dmcq (talk) 23:00, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I've provided real examples here and elsewhere (which you've seen). This more hypothetical (but reasonable) one is based on your "chapters in a book" example above. As we talked about before, in practice editors already split up excess entries before they get too unwieldy. If you look through reasonably popular TV shows, they often have a separate page per episode with nothing but plot synopsis from the DVD or whatever. The implication is either every TV episode is notable or there's already some other practice at play. Agent00f (talk) 23:19, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The episodes should have secondary sources showing notability. Are there examples which do not have such secondary sources and a statement showing notability? Whatever about my preferring maths and science topics and throwing up my hands about Pokemon cruft I'm fairly certain that every single episode of the Simpsons or Doctor Who or Star Trek can easily demonstrate notability. Dmcq (talk) 23:43, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Just something I pull at complete random: south park episode. Only refs are network's own page and generic entries at DBs like, well, IMDB. Note this is basically best case scenario of the most popular show on a whole network (comedy central). I doubt most would do better. Agent00f (talk) 23:50, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm going to come back to an argument I've made before way back on these elements. en.wiki's SIZE creates an interesting problem that traditional print or offline encyclopedias don't have. A print work could have coverage of a single topic that spans dozens of pages; it may be possible take bits and pieces of that topic and make individual articles on them, but they lose relevance when taken out and may hurt the cohesion of the main article. So as such, they can print it all in one large chunk.
    Now on en.wiki, what if that same content is 500k of text? SIZE would tell us we're looking to try to break that down to 5-7 separate pages, but even if I took the few aspects that could be make individual articles, we're looking at a 400k article with the same problems of losing cohension that would happen with the encyclopedia. (But with WP, where overspace is not limited, it would be completely possible to have those individual articles and enough summary of them in the main article. However, this is a point not relevant to this). The only way to we can resolve this is to find ways to break the article up naturally, a combination of how information is organized in the main article, the relative importance to the reader to have that immediately available when they read about the topic, and other facts. I use Cultural Impact of Guitar Hero as a prime example: at one point, the Guitar Hero series article had just a small "Cultural impact" as the last prose section (back when it was just a couple of games), but obviously expanded with the growth of the series. Though for all purposes the topic (not title) of "cultural impact of Guitar Hero" is not singularly covered in detail by any one specific source (a "technical" violation of WP:N), the breakout is logical, backed by numerous reliable third-party and/or secondary sources (for all intents, passes WP:N), and is not necessary to have (outside of a summary) on the readthrough of the main game article to start with.
    Another common split are "data tables", but these can range from things like episode lists for a TV series, discographies for a band, or a filmography for an actor. Such tables or lists aren't necessary to have to read about the core topic, and easily can weigh down size.
    Now, to that end, I've come since to recognize that UNDUE plays a big role here. If you have 500k of text, not considering any tables or sections that can be naturally split, and are forced to start consider arbitrary splits, you probably have too much detailed information. I'm not saying its impossible to have that much text that simply cannot be easily split "naturally", but I'd bet more often than not the lack of splitting either comes from simply being too detailed, or perhaps reorganization is needed. In the later, things can be fixed; in the former, major trimming is required. If after all that, you simply cannot trim down further and have considered every possible topic reorganization and still far exceed size, then the next step is to break apart "arbitrarily", ideally on reasonable breakpoints that still are well sourced to secondary/third-party sources to make it feel likes its own topic. For example, this appears to have been done on Early life of Isaac Newton - this is an example of probably a bad cut, because there's really only one source (and a handful of others), and seems to apply undue weight to this portion of his life; the gravitation law section seems awfully tacked on as well.
    My end point here is that when spinning out, notability should be a major consideration, even if we're not going for a 100% WP:N requirement on spinouts. It is not that notability in inherited to spinouts, however; except in the case of certain data table spinouts, we do expect that the sourcing to cover the spinout is coming from non-primary sources. This makes, for example, calling the 1998 WSoP article a spinout of the general WSoP article problematic. There's no secondary coverage, it's just results. I could see a table summarizing results over the years for all WSoP since it doesn't appear any single event is notable on its own, that table being a separate article from the WSoP article. --MASEM (t) 13:29, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

This sounds very reasonable. In the case of WSoP, we do have two tables summarizing results, though not in as much detail as the spinouts: the inline list in World Series of Poker, and the list of World Series of Poker Main Event champions. These are main articles to the subarticles. Since this discussion is now about a generic question that is different from the specific questions on other pages, I am going ahead with the suggestion that, hypothetically, if 1998 WSoP were nommed, WP:PRESERVE would indicate that the data be kept (especially as part of a notable dataset), and WP:SS would indicate that it not be merged but kept due to imbalance in the main article. There is tension between the belief that articles should "stand alone" and the belief that very large datasets have enough collective notability to be preserved. I don't believe in weakening N, but it does already state that N does not limit content of a notable topic (thus necessitating WP:SIZE and this resolution). We can still say "split 'arbitrarily' if necessary", but that is now charged as ambiguous, so the question becomes what we mean by that, or whether we should retain the ambiguity for convenience. I submit that, per a prior discussion, the community's first favorite is the bandage of using SNGs to localize the question (56%-76%); its backup view is that spinouts are treated as sections of a larger work ("arbitrarily", at 50%, ahead of "inherent notability" at 29%-47%). If we carefully describe the situations in which spinouts are treated as subsections, as I am seeking to do, I think that would be recognized as at least an equal solution to SNGs. JJB 14:47, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

The problem with an article like the 1998 WSoP is that very few people would actually think of that in terms of a spinout. It is talking about a very specific event instead of a broad subtopic of a larger topic. To that end, we would expect that to be a notable event on its own, not considering that there is a parent WSoP. In part, there's a problem as it is classed as a "list" but we would expect this to be an article, not a list. Another problem is that there's only one source given, and a search on Gnews' archive shows some hits but only as "this player finished X in the 1998 WSoP". I've glanced at some of the other WSoP articles from the template, and they all have this same problem that I refer to above under UNDUE. I have no question that the recurrent annual WSoP event is notable, but the individual events, and the results of every single sub-event outside of the largest money event is truly UNDUE given the level of coverage provided for the event. (If you haven't been following, this screaming out the same situation as the MMA/UFC sport event articles). Some coverage, but not as detailed as given - particularly since there are websites linked that repeat this information - is appropriate, and perhaps the summary of the events, grouping, say, the WSoP events by decade, may be the better way to make these feel and be treated more like spinouts rather than non-notable articles as they are now. --MASEM (t) 15:18, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Would it help spinout status in your argument above if the linking template where more prominent? I would think that 1998 WSoP is a natural subtopic of WSoP events which helps provide a narrative of the org w/ respect to competitors. Without this info, it's difficult to form a picture of who was competing against whom in a given era/year. In comparison, looking for the same knowledge by clicking on every notable player and remembering all their individual timelines to match up later would be unnecessarily time consuming. IMO it's difficult to argue that this type of useful info isn't encyclopedic. It's also notable to others that WSoP-event type articles exist in just about every competition I cared to look up whether it be cars, horses, triathletes, etc, etc. Clearly this knowledge is useful to wiki editors across the board, well past the point where the same argument is fungible everywhere. That seems to provide a good rational for rule clarification. Agent00f (talk) 18:08, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
May I point you again at WP:IINFO, if people want to check some database like that then let them do that outside Wikipedia. See also Wikipedia:Do not include the full text of lengthy primary sources Dmcq (talk) 23:07, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
This is a quote from you above: "Are you really saying that 1997 Canadian Grand Prix or 2009_Preakness_Stakes are not in themselves notable?", which implies that you have no problem with this as long as it's something "recognizable". None of these pages are full text copies. Agent00f (talk) 23:27, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, the same compromise was proposed in MMA where all 2012 events were attempted to be grouped into one article. But 2012 in UFC events is no more notable than UFC 145, and 1990s in poker is no more notable than 1998 World Series of Poker (though that may be "hardcore"). Now, if all the articles were styled as "lists with explanatory prose" rather than "articles containing lists", the breakout nature would be more obvious. Then there might be an argument for "arbitrary list split" per WP:NCLL, which would favor the by-year or by-decade articles, or there might be a stronger argument for "subtopical split", which would favor splitting into individual articles; and this could be determined by local consensus. I can also consider an argument that WSOP is perhaps an undiscovered work-in-progress currently unduly balanced, but it seems to me that the situation happens often enough that we need to strengthen current guidance so that local projects can build from it. The same list spinout situation happens with presidential-preference polls, e.g., but they are much more conducive to listing, because there is less data per event; so we have tons of poll list articles and not all that much contention. It's when there is significant data per event that we run into these battles. So while I've recognized the "bundling" option has often been presented as a compromise, I think alternatives are possible. Perhaps a joint essay on options? JJB 16:53, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

In terms of notability. I don't think anyone questions that World Series of Poker isn't notable, and as it is a competitive sport, some summary of the results make sense. However, as best as I can tell, specific YYYY WSoP articles are just event with nothing beyond routine coverage, and this is where splitting them off into as much detail as they give is UNDUE; this is particularly supported by the fact there are very few notable poker players on those lists.
Going back to my statement just above, lets consider how a print encyclopedia would likely handle this. They'd have an article covering the ideas, concept, and structure of the WSoP, how it relates to the sport of poker overall, and the like, but then in considering the paper aspect, they would likely list the top major details of each of the individual year events (where held, how many players, total winnings/prizes, and who actually won in terms the top match and overall) I really cannot see, with the level of sourcing possible for the individual YYYY WSoP events, for them to actually have articles on each. While we are not paper and can expand indefinitely, we also need to be very aware that it is not an allowance for infinite expansion past one notable aspect. Hence, I would tend to treat our coverage of the WSoP in the same way, tables summarizing the most fundamental and the most important details of the event with links to sources that outline all the details. Exactly how to format this, I don't know. Maybe one table for the event's 20+ yr history could work, or if that grows too large, splitting into reasonable chucks (by decade) are natural splits without creating seemingly individual, not-split-like articles, even if those splits haven't been done before in other sources. --MASEM (t) 17:14, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
But what if a poker event is reformatted as a "split-like" article, such as with a header template indicating its position in a main list, Template:ArticlePair to indicate the prev and next articles, a lead that further indicates its subservience to the main list, and a Template:Subarticle on the talk page? Then it would look better than a decade article with the same features. Would using 1998 WSOP as a guinea pig (for restyling, not for AFDing) be advisable, to illustrate what I have in mind? JJB 17:29, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
To be blunt, I would expect that to be compared to "putting a dress on a pig". It doesn't change the core problem that the article is not the type of material that is considered as "spun out" but would be expected to hold its own. --MASEM (t) 18:01, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
To the contrary, I would think that stuffing the exact same info all on one page only to provide some kind of aggregate notability is comparable to stuffing hogs in a dress. Agent00f (talk) 18:14, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
If it was simply dumping all the same information into that article, yes. If we are being highly selective to summarize the results, no. --MASEM (t) 21:06, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The summary might already exist (eg history of WSoP events or somesuch). We're mostly talking about unwieldy formatting here (like all WSoP championships on one page). Agent00f (talk) 23:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, that crystallizes my question: what type of material is considered as "spun out", and what type of material is expected to hold its own? I would think the former should include any subarticle of a long main article with sufficient overall primary/secondary sourcing; why would that category be abridged? JJB 19:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Demanding that notability of subtopics or sublists be demonstrated is neither helpful nor even a coherent analysis in many instances ("yes, the university is notable, and it has notable alumni, but a list of its notable alumni is not notable." wtf?). It also doesn't make sense to hold navigational lists to a different notability standard than categories, which WP:LISTPURP and WP:CLN recognize, and which WP practice clearly demonstrates is widespread consensus, but WP:LISTN confusedly recognizes only backhandedly (the confused caveat in the last paragraph of that section, which most people ignore when they are trying to use it to delete a list). If a section or list legitimately belongs in an article because it is verifiable and encyclopedic, and the size of that section legitimately grows to the point that the original article would become cumbersome to include it, it adds absolutely nothing to the encyclopedia to demand that such a split-off be itself somehow notable apart from the parent topic. Obviously if article size were not a concern, or if we were making a print encyclopedia where the articles and related sections could just unfold over successive pages, we would not even be having these discussions. So long as a split-off article or list is anchored in a notable topic, I don't see that notability of that split-off per se is often (if ever) a useful question. The main issue instead should be whether the split-off section is that large only because of trivia or other indiscriminate details, which is not a question of notability at all but rather what we determine is "encyclopedic", i.e., what we think would belong in an article if length were not an issue. Otherwise we are inhibiting the growth of the project, and the depth of our coverage, for the sake of nothing but misguided formal enforcement of a guideline meant to describe best practice, not absolutely prescribe it. postdlf (talk) 17:07, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I completely agree with your sedimentsentiment, but knowing what's been argued over the years, this rationale for when to split has lukewarm support. This is why LISTN is so flimsy and only talks about a specific case; there's much disagreement on it. There are bad splits, but the line between good and bad is grey an at times as "I know it when I see". --MASEM (t) 17:18, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Now here is a summary I can endorse! Debating notability of splitoffs is rarely useful, when we should be debating what content is encyclopedic in the unlimited main article. That's what the last graf of the lead of WP:N is about. JJB 17:21, 24 May 2012 (UTC) I endorse "sediment" too, that's the most humous thing anyone has said yet. Better than all this swineyness.
Should I start an essay and slap an RFC on it? I prefer essays that are not one-man shows. JJB 19:31, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary Split 2: What is a spinout article?

This is address a point that JJB asked above, which is completely a fair question and may help to address some of the points here.

I would first argue that a spinout is not about a highly focused, singular topic. Regardless of how the article came to be, something like 1998 World Series of Poker would never be considered a spinout and receive whatever "allowances" we'd give spinouts (if we give spinouts any); it's too narrowly focused and we would expect it to prove its own notability. Spinouts, to me, are broad cuts of a larger topic. Cultural impact of the Guitar Hero series, the various "Criticism of X", discographies, filmographies, episode lists, etc, are all types of things that, irregardless of notability, would like be considered as spinouts, though whether we keep them or not, that's a different story. But key is that they don't focus on one specific narrow facet of a topic, but are broader pieces.

From there, I would qualify spinouts as two categories. One is based on creating spinouts that exist for other topics. Yes, it is a form of OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, but usually if there's wide use of that type of spinout to create appropriate articles that are generally accepted by notability (eg: episode lists of multiseason TV series), then these are appropriate regardless if they are as notable or not. It is still inappropriate to split these off from short articles (there's been a push to put 13-26 episode lists back in the body of the show's article if the show only lasted 1 or 2 seasons as one example), but one there's a general SIZE issue, the spinout is accepted.

The other type is the one that is hard to give guidance on, where "Criticism of X" or "Cultural impact of X" fall. They may be patterned after similarly-named articles but these aren't always accepted. It is very hard to give guidance beyond two factors: that the spinout is helping to relief SIZE of the main article, and that numerous secondary sources are present to validate the topic's notability. But these are not requirements from what I've seen at some past AFDs. But again, going back to my first point, they are generally broad cuts from the main article and not narrow focuses.

But these are very rough guidelines, they will vary project by project. Hence why we should focus on the concept of notability as a means of unifying what is broken out as a spinout though by no means the last determinant of it (notability is just a guideline.) --MASEM (t) 22:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I see no requirement for any special status for spinout articles. We can describe them as a group of articles which may go logically together with some using the {{Main}} template to refer to others and having just a summary of what they refer to. It is entirely possible however for two different articles to both refer to and summarize a third article and there is no requirement for that third article to ever have been part of a larger article. Dmcq (talk) 23:21, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
It is possible to create a spinout without the actual text of the article ever being in the main article; eg: the "spinout" is not describing the process but the resulting arrangement of articles. Mind you, editors are discouraged from creating spinouts before they know they are necessary, though I'm sure with experience this step can be bypassed. I'm still considering the end point of what results regardless if it started in an article or fell out afterwards.
That said, that brings up another point. A good spinout article is one that can be reinserted into the larger article (ignoring SIZE) and would otherwise not disrupt the flow or content of the article. That's why pages and page and pages of stats broken out as spinouts are likely not really good spinouts because you wouldn't have tables and tables and tables of stats in a single article. --MASEM (t) 23:31, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Masem, the second type you're talking about seems to be addressed by this essay. Note abundant use of word consistency. As for the idea that spinouts can be incorporated back in, I would suspect that there might be good design reasons why they were created seperately in the first place. That argument essentially comes down to bias against info that isn't conducive to referencing in giant chunks. Agent00f (talk) 23:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
That's what I mean, consistency, but at the same time time, a 5k article on a TV that would add 5k more for an episode list does not need a separate episode list.
When I mean "put back in", it is simply a theorhetical process for simply evaluating if a spinoff makes sense as a natural division of an article. --MASEM (t) 23:45, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree completely on consistency, but just a warning that policy hardliners do not. I understand the put-back test, but only wanted to note that if it was separated for good design reasons, it doesn't make sense to evaluate the worse format for readability. Agent00f (talk) 23:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Let me give an example of a spinout that fails the put-back test without worrying about readability: Early life of Isaac Newton. The whole section about the law of gravity in conjunction with this makes no sense in context if that spinout was put back into Isaac Newton. There is a whole message around this articles that makes the choice of this spinout poor to start with. (There might be better support to put forth an article on "scientific advances by Isaac Netwon" but it would require reordering a lot of information. --MASEM (t) 00:01, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I believe I understand the test. The problem is as you say the amount of work necessary to make it right, if it's possible at all. Being hardline on this IMO excludes useful encyclopedic info (his early life) for no good reason. This isn't a trivial problem to solve broadly given the solution is mired in subject details. For example, Britannica solve the N problem in part by using two sets of books. Wiki can be far more flexible on inclusion and should just use the deletion process for truly bad entries (and by entry I mean set of entries if applicable). If we're to be strict, it seems the only reason all these common cases above survived is because of apathy in deletion. Agent00f (talk) 00:12, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I never said that the early stuff would be lost. The problem is the organization between the main and early life articles is haphazard and an example of how not to spin out stuff. (Also to a point: the early life article is weak with sources, putting it in an UNDUE light). And at one point WP was more inclusive but we've become more critical of what gets included to avoid being indiscriminate. We are not a collection of all possible information, we are to summarize it. Too many people treat WP as the end-all, be-all of information, when all we are as an encyclopedia is the first step. --MASEM (t) 02:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I think we're in significant agreement on this, such as the problem in this case is poor article synergy. I think you misunderstood my "inclusion" statement. What I meant was that IMO the problem isn't so much how we can create the perfect encyclopedia starting afresh, but rather how we treat odd things that already exist. From your statements about merging, I feel we agree here, too. In general we're on the same page that the rules should protect a certain threshold of "reasonable" spinouts, but not poor ones which don't fit a given criteria. We might disagree on actively merging what's always been separated. Moving fwd we just need to work out where that line is, or more importantly how to determine where that line is. Agent00f (talk) 04:22, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Just an illustration of domain specific this is: some TV shows are episodic with no long plotlines. It therefore makes little sense to put generally unrelated shows on a "season" page just to satisfy arbitrary size thresholds. The only reason those "seasons" would exist is external (local TV culture, nothing inherent to the show). Even within any given category, many nuances exist, so creating rules with bias towards specific designs (ie the omni page) only makes the field ripe for unnecessary contention. Agent00f (talk) 00:20, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
TV shows are split by season because between seasons is usually when any major changes will occur: casting, timeslot, production, writers, etc. Season articles naturally fall out from that regardless of the show being serialized in story or not. The point is to recognize that certain breakouts are commonly accepted, but the breakout should be done only if needed; you don't break out 5k from a 10k article just because every other article that's much larger in the same field does it. --MASEM (t) 02:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, 5k break out from a 10k article is ridiculous. In this case where it's more like 5k breaks from >155k (31eps, a few with marginally longer entries), the reasoning isn't so clear. But more importantly, I was trying to convey that it can be hard for someone looking only at a rule on a page to make a definitive determination (which is what often happens at AfDs), and it rather requires some external reasoning. For example, you gave a justification above which is still primarily based on domain knowledge, even if it somewhat favors larger pages. My question here would be if a bias towards as large of a page as possible should be the site policy. Agent00f (talk) 04:22, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Dmcq, can you summarize the "no requirement for any special status" in the context of 1997 Canadian Grand Prix or 2009_Preakness_Stakes or 1998 WSoP above? All of them seem subject to AfD ATM given the interpretation that they're just info from DBs. Thanks. Agent00f (talk) 23:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I read the leads of the first two articles and they seemed to assert good reasons for notability. One of then just had a citation needed for the notability rather than a secondary source but it looked like it could probably be found. I'm not sure all the lists within them are worth including. However just because some DB info has been put in them does not remove their notability. The WSOP one though had no statement of notability and no reasonable secondary sourcing. It was just a database. It appears no one has shown any interest in writing about it as an event never mind satisfying WP:GNG. Dmcq (talk) 00:25, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
The difference there seems to be a couple lines asserting that these are grand prix's or part of triple crown; I assume that's also true for WSoP championships. This is somewhat biased by own selection of higher level competition, there are probably pages for lower rank events. When I checked for sources, googling for "1998 world series of poker champion" seemed to return many hits. Agent00f (talk) 01:12, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Well if they can show their individual notability in secondary sources then fine by me. I'm still a bit leery about what I see as a database dump in them but I'd be much happier if each event could show it satisfy the notability guidelines. And I believe if they can't they should be deleted. I'd much prefer they had been set up in the first place with some evidence of their notability rather than having people coming along thinking they can fill Wikipedia with articles that have no notability provided they can phrase them as spoinout articles. Dmcq (talk) 12:56, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm mostly trying to get a measure of what you might suppose is a reasonable line for competitive event notability (not "games in a series" as alluded to elsewhere, which I assure you annual WSoP championships are not). Frankly given that you don't object to those examples above as long as they have a very brief intro and secondary cite I don't think there's any bone of contention here. As to the general question of splitting, I supposed we might disagree but frankly it's irrelevant at this point given you have a very reasonable standard for notability. The problem mostly arises when WP:NOT/EVENT hardliners feel that basically all events are inherently non-notable unless they prove "enduring historical significance". Agent00f (talk) 20:00, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
There's guidelines which supplement WP:Notability, I'd guess WP:Notability (sports) would cover that. In fact looking at that notability is tightened up slightly because practically any sports event is covered in a number of newspapers but even so people don't consider them notable unless they receive more than routine coverage. The talk page of that would I'd have thought be the place for discussion if you find problems with that guideline, AfDs tend to define common practice a bit too. The change to the summary style guideline seemed to allow practically anything through without any notability check and that definitely is a step way too far for me. If the specific notability guideline seems straightforward about something I don't believe that any enduring notability question arises, such questions about enduring notability of sports should be discussed on the talk page of that guideline and the results incorporated into it rather than trying to appply that over and above what has been agreed as okay. The specific guideline should be enough for the notability requirement. Dmcq (talk) 21:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
During AfDs, material arguments can be made without reference to local rules (for example, failing EVENT's "enduring historical significance"). In general the hardline stance is that local rule CANNOT be more lenient than EVENT or NOT. Separately, the specific problem with the NSPORTS page is that its events section is only written with the few most popular sports in mind, which share their own eccentricities. Note the exceptions made (including inherent notability); their application to everything else is awkward. It's worth pointing out that Masem was a regular participant there and perhaps feels this is a general enough of a problem to also address here. The overall intent is only to help protect thousands of similar coherent sets of pages from arbitrary AfDs on their individual elements. For example, it makes no sense to delete WSoP 1998 while keeping 1997 and 1999. The notability test (of whatever degree you desire) is still applied across the set. We can also specify minimal level of notability for each element (which IMO is not "enduring historical significance"). The details are open to discussion, but we should agree on the general idea first. Agent00f (talk) 10:35, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
History of... articles would also be spinouts, eg History of the Montreal Canadiens as a spinout of Montreal Canadiens. Resolute 23:36, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, have read this all once, but will need to come back to it. JJB 05:09, 25 May 2012 (UTC) OK, my reading of Masem's def of "spinout" is that a spinout shows obvious dependency on its main topic. However, some articles are technical spinouts yet appear independent (European Theatre or Pacific War), and some of these easily have multiple (adoptive?) parents. Thus my reading is that Masem might regard an independent-looking and -sounding article as needing to satisfy a notability guideline, but a dependent-looking article might be judged based on its "evidence of dependency" (just as other articles display "evidence of notability"; evidence of dependency often includes an uncommon (descriptive) name, like criticism of patents). So my next questions are:

  • Is there a way to make an "independent-looking" article look dependent, or would such attempts just be cosmetic because there is a qualitative difference between independent and dependent? I could imagine articles making very obvious "assertions of dependency", such as "Subtopic is the nth item in the [notable topic] list of ...." Template positioning would also assert.
  • Second, as above, would anyone support my drafting an essay, moving this already-long discussion there, and opening an RFC to gather more input on subtopic notability; or is there already a good community solution somewhere? JJB 09:46, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd prefer we decided the basic question about notability of 'spinout' articles first. We could have an RFC on that here if you like. The question is simple enough, do we need to show notability for the separate parts of an article that is split up or not? If some annual conker competition is notable can we set up separate articles on each conker competition without needing separate notability for them? Or is the only real requirement for their contents verifiiabilty? Dmcq (talk) 13:11, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
You might be trying to find a mallet to swat a gnat. We might not want all years of all notable competitions to have their own articles, but it doesn't follow that the best or only way to do this is to require all spin-offs independently satisfy notability requirements. That's way too far reaching a rule, and one with no actual support in practice as an absolute. It's also quixotic to think that if we just formulated the right rules, we could clearly preclude content we don't want or avoid the need for case-by-case determinations. I think this is about as definite as you can (or should) get: "Sections of articles split-off because of size concerns may satisfy notability requirements purely by virtue of the parent topic's notability. Other considerations, such as whether the split-off consists of unencyclopedic and indiscriminate trivia or data, or does not appropriately represent WP:SUMMARY style, may be more relevant." postdlf (talk) 17:00, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I am incorporating those thoughts into my draft. JJB 21:03, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Um, I thought it was clear there was no consensus: Discussion in 2008 did not result in a significant single consensus on the question, "Does every article need reliable third-party sources to prove it is notable, or can notability be inherited [in any way] from another article?" There are divergent apologia for status quo; yours (that "McCain's life 1981-2000" is a notable topic) is just one of many alternatives. (Here's another: History of the United States (1789-1849) and History of the United States (1849-1865), even though 1849 is only mentioned once across both articles, the Gold Rush began in 1848, and there is no notable reason to select the Gold Rush among many other events. Arbitrary OR split, or source-based notable subtopics?) The competition question, and most such general questions, would be based on whether main article plus subarticles have sufficient WP:SIZE, they meet core policy, everything is sourced, primary sources are not imbalanced, the main article is not imbalanced, and their relationships are made explicit. Just like any other article set, there is no bar for creation when basic requirements are met. I think that an RFC would work better with a foundational proposal to build from and I do have some text for one now. JJB 16:43, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I did not know of that but exactly how do you see that RFC as relevant? The Notability guideline is what is agreed. We have no policy or guideline currently saying notability does not apply to articles which have been split off a large article. And I really do not think that editors in general would see WP:SIZE as allowing articles about every episode in a film series or every game in a championship just because the series or championship is notable. This was what I mean about trying to drive a a coach and horses through notability. The [[WP:SIZE}] guideline does not even mention notability. I see the phrase about 'arbitrary splitting' was introduced in an edit about technical issues with Firefox and just hasn't been looked at much since. Has this really taken as support for ignoring notability guidelines before? I'll put a note on the Notability guideline talk page about the discussion here. Dmcq (talk) 17:42, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
In these cases I'm not sure if you still have an objection. We've clarified that the type of "arbitrary splitting" that the community does every day is not the evil random splitting feared. We've clarified that spinouts have varying unresolved views on notability (per 2008 RFC). In particular, episodes and games or events are handled locally, in accord with core policy, and without any change in community N practice; many such, as demonstrated, are spun out with incomplete demonstration of RS, which often needs adjustment when it happens. By your definition of N, N is not being ignored. More discussion is good (which is why I'm angling for support for an essay about treating spinouts as a group, anyone, anyone?), but what are you specifically objecting to that I said or did? JJB 21:03, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
So are you going to revert this [3] where you say in effect that notability does not apply to split out articles? If not I believe we still have a real problem. Dmcq (talk) 21:21, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Here I showed how your diff of my edit was simply a collection of other guidance in one place, among several others inserted at the same time. Your WP:OR reading (which is not my view), that N doesn't apply to splits, is not an objection to my words, but an objection to the guidance and practice. If you think that the guidance says N doesn't apply to (some) splits and that this is wrong, you can offer changes to the guidance, which hasn't happened. Which of those guides needs to change? JJB 21:44, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
You have stuck two bits together in a synthesis that implies that. And if you want to quote OR look at WP:SYNTH. There was no reason to mention notability there at all and it didn't do so before you put that in. WP:SIZE never said anything about notability and yet you have used it to say notability is not needed. Dmcq (talk) 00:06, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
A bit before this I separated the sentences and used exact quotes from each source (including yourself). Your inference is not my implication. If you think the new version still contains synthesis, rather than tell me what you think I'm saying, tell me how to say what should be said. But please do it at Wikipedia talk:Summary style. JJB 00:22, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

I would like to offer some context to the position that JJB and Agent00f have been arguing. Specifically there have been exhaustive discussions at WT:MMANOT and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Agent00f about notability of individual articles for MMA events versus merging those events which do not appear to meet notability into a collection that together appears to better satisfy the notability guidelines. JJB and Agent00f's discussion style has been documented quite thoroughly at the above mentioned RfC/U. Please feel free to review both of the exhaustive discussions and exercise best judgement in regards to arguments posted here. In no way does this constitute canvassing, just context that has been missing so that editor's motivations and intentions is no longer hidden. Hasteur (talk) 21:24, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this is not canvassing, thanks. (Neutral audience, open transparency, mostly unbiased message.) However, my interest in summary style long predates my attempts to pseudomediate the MMA dispute by use of it. I also believe that Hasteur's hint that my and Agent00f's "discussion style" is collective and needs documenting is a colorable view. However, when I first brought this topic up at WT:Summary style, I did advertise that the MMA dispute was related and findable in my history. JJB 21:54, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Hasteur, it would serve everyone's interest to contain MMA drama in its own space. Thus it would be best if you can link to relevant content notes where applicable and restrict personal statements to your RfC/U's. Thanks. Agent00f (talk) 10:05, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary split 3

In other news:

So the poker example is removed as a case in point for keeping splits which are not notable even without doing an AfD to really determine it.
However we have a case Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Long articles in Rees's Cyclopaedia which JJB thinks is not notable but has voted to keep in an AfD. I have asked in the AfD for them to explicitly comment on whether Notability is an issue with it and listed the secondary sources in the article which talk about the topic. I really would like a much better example than that where it looked less notable but if JJB is happy with it then perhaps we can agree tha in general there do not seem to be examples where a split out article would survive AfD if it lacked notability. In that case there is no reason to make some explicit end run round notability for articles like that.
I did answer the questions. You can easily make things look dependent if they are not notable by just sticking {{Main|not notable article}} above a summary of it in some more general article. And I don't see the point of you doing an essay and moving the discussion there when the discussion has been centralized here. And can I add I most certainbly do not want you summarizing what I say i an essay and then inviting comment judging from the places here where you've said you were doing that and put in the complete opposite of what I said. Dmcq (talk) 10:10, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

I see at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Long articles in Rees's Cyclopaedia you do not wish to use that as a test case. Perhaps we could remove the bit you stuck in about notability not being relevant at WP:SS until such time as you do come up with an example where that is relevant and proper guidance based on common practice? Dmcq (talk) 11:23, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

A few clarifications. No diff will show me calling the Rees's spinout nonnotable. (I now think the Toray Pan below is the best example for Dmcq yet, but see there.) No diff will show me saying I summarized what you said. (The word you're thinking of is "enfolding", meaning "bringing into a fold or heterogenous group", i.e., adding your clauses to others.) No diff will show me saying Rees's is not a test case, nor calling notability irrelevant. All the objected adds to SS are now either exact quotes of other guides, or are taken directly from what you added, so your objection is not to my adds.
Finally, Masem and probably others would object that putting tlx in the main article does nothing for the "cosmetic" appearance of the subarticle, especially when readers don't look at the main article; so I'm not sure that my question #1 has an answer that would satisfy Masem. However, without going into further clarifications, maybe we have enough critical mass for the following:

Proposed takeaways:

  1. Clear consensus: Long lists can be and are often split "arbitrarily", such as by initial letter.
  2. Clear consensus: Long articles are almost always amenable to semilogical ("nonarbitrary") subtopic splits by virtue of the size and sourcing requirements almost always resulting in long articles having reliable sources that have considered comparable subtopics.
    Proposed corollary: While some believe some subtopic will always be "notable", and some believe it's hypothetically falsifiable and a long article might have no "notable" subtopics, the small number of cases is not worth arguing about, as it becomes a semantics debate; rather, both camps should agree locally on a logical split based on available content.
  3. Probable consensus: The sentence "If necessary, split the article arbitrarily." is ambiguous and might be improved by discussion at the Wikipedia talk:Article size RFC.
    Comment: Not much discussion at that RFC.
  4. Statement of nonconsensus: It is unclear whether present guidance or practice allows a sufficient agreement to arise (as at AFD) that a particular nonlist article is "nonnotable" but to be kept anyway. Some believe all such consensuses arrive at notability, some believe a nonnotability consensus might be found.
    Proposed corollary: Nonconsensus arises because notability and other guidelines leave just enough wiggle room for differing views, and so the guidelines should generally be left with the present small level of deliberate ambiguity. JJB 17:44, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Later comments do not address this proposal, but my reading is that they essentially build on it. I would appreciate anyone who disagrees with any the proposed takeaways saying so. JJB 17:46, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Observation

TLDR as regards the above discussion, but it becomes apparent to me having seen a number of discussions on the topic lately that there is no coherent and consensually adopted philosophy as regards the whole question of notability. The same conclusion follows when you try (necessarily unsuccessfully) to find any overall coherent logical structure in the WP:Notability guideline and its children. Unless you guys just like discussing these things over and over and want to retain the inherent ambiguity so as to increase opportunities for such discussion, I suggest there ought to be a concerted effort to work these matters out from first principles so that we can produce some clear and meaningful guidance. Victor Yus (talk) 08:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, and principled discussion is good, but so is ambiguity; see #4 in previous section. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
So do you support saying in effect as in [4] that notability is not required for sub articles based on putting various sentences from different guidelines together? The notability does not restrict contents comes from WP:Notability, the arbitrary split bit came from WP:SIZE. The split of long lists bit came from WP:SIZE - and I do agree that they can be split this way. WP:LSC was put in too but is not relevant here I think. Dmcq (talk) 10:18, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
That's not what the diff says. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Myself, I don't think these various guidelines are worth a crock of beans. They don't generally seem to represent considered consensus, or even convey a logically coherent and consistent take on the matter.

I can see that there are two issues: one of being selective about what information (even of the "verifiable" sort) Wikipedia ought to contain - we realize that "the sum of all human knowledge", taken literally, is not a realistic aspiration even to be aimed at. The second issue is that of combining information or splitting it out onto separate pages for convenience of use. It may just happen that our ideal criteria for page size limitation, for information inclusion and for "notability" mesh happily in such a way that we can say that if information needs to be split onto a separate page and the topic of that page is then found not to be notable, then the information is superfluous. But I doubt it; in any case I don't think we have well-defined criteria for any of those things. Sorry, I'm not helping to answer the question on the table, just making a general observation about the state of things. Victor Yus (talk) 11:38, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Excellent; see #2 in previous section. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The difference is between what you describe as the current unclear situation where common practice and AfD decide corner cases, and a clear statement that notability is irrelevant. Dmcq (talk) 11:49, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
There is no diff of such "clear statement". JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
If it's about such pages as List of Star Trek characters (G–M), then I agree that notability is irrelevant. Few reliable sources wiill have addressed the specific topic of Star Trek characters whose names begin with the letters G to M. But Star Trek characters (or at least Star Trek itself) is a notable topic, and it assists our presentation of that topic to make a separate list of characters and then to split the list into arbitrary parts, so no probs. Victor Yus (talk) 12:09, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Excellent; see #1 in previous section. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
List type articles are specifically okay for splitting arbitrarily and have special standards. Dmcq (talk) 12:14, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
IMO, an argument from the rule (ie. authority) is not a valid stance here. Agent00f (talk) 12:19, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
So if it's about pages like History of the United States (1789–1849), then I still don't have a problem. I don't know whether in this particular case that exact period has garnered specific attention from reliable sources, but even if it hasn't, it still seems quite reasonable for Wikipedia to have such a page if there is a need for a split and no more satisfactory way of doing the splitting. Victor Yus (talk) 12:24, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
"work these matters out from first principles so that we can produce some clear and meaningful guidance" I agree that's the right approach. The primary problem IMO is how a given large set of information is presented on wiki. Let's first use the list of WSoP championships (or TV episodes) above as an example. First, it makes no sense in cohesive lists of similar items to evaluate each entry/year individually. Either the general topic is notable, or it's not. Removing 2001 while keeping 2000 and 2002 makes the user experience inconsistent, and this is noted at OTHERSTUFF. Then the problem in these lists becomes if it makes sense for broader policy to have a bias on how domain-specific content is presented. For example, the current policies seem to support giant pages over smaller ones, since notability tends to "aggregate", while splitting risks arbitrary AfDs on member entries.
Another example to use are the "Early life of" or "Criticism of" variety of spinouts which are clear not the same type of case as cohesive sets. The solution arrived at in each might coincide, but as matter of first principle they should be considered separately. Here the case becomes even more mired in domain details, since an answer to designing knowledge presentation in the general case (ie data with inconsistent uniformity) appears far too open to be address by trivial rules. Thus it might be best to consider the first type of example before moving on to this bigger challenge.
To put both cases in perspective with respect to current rules, the common practice is either keep piling stuff on until it's handle by "arbitrary" splits in WP:SIZE, or more often just make divisions/spinouts from the start and hope nobody AfDs with hardline interpretations. An sometimes contradictory set of local rules with inconsistent quality also comes into play. Considering individual AfDs can be informative, but this really needs a fresh look from the ground up to provide coherent guidance across more than unique circumstances. Agent00f (talk) 11:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The very first line of WP:POLICY says "Wikipedia policies and guidelines are developed by the community to describe best practice, clarify principles, resolve conflicts, and otherwise further our goal of creating a free, reliable encyclopedia." It does not say we develop new policies and guidelines from first principles. It says we describe best practice. Practice is something that is done. IAR and discussion can be used to bring in new practices or change practices but if there is no clear need to discard a guideline like notability then extracting bits and pieces from different guidelines and sticking them into a synthesis to claim something that is not obviously intended is synthesis. Dmcq (talk) 11:44, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
No synthesis has been proven, though I changed it anyway because you keep inferring. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but citing even a single guideline/policy by way of an argument from authority is an almost equally weak tactic, since these pages often do not provide a coherent and true description of real practice or real consensus, or even of an imaginable state of affairs. Until we can improve matters in that regard, we are unfortunately reduced to having to think for ourselves. Victor Yus (talk) 11:56, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Please note both types of examples above are in very common practice, and not some abstract ideal. The idea here is to consider what the right thing to do is, and then reconcile that with existing policy; not throw everything away and start afresh. This is consistent with POLCON. It seems fairly evident enough from comments above that the intent is to provide reasonably conformable harbor for tons of existing useful/encyclopedic info (the definition of practice) in no-man's land right now. Weighing this against examples of shouldn't be kept is of course part of that discussion. Agent00f (talk) 12:13, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
If they are so common then please give a good example of a split out article which has gone through AfD and survived and which looks like it would not pass the notability guidelines. Dmcq (talk) 12:18, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand the request. If those are common, then there's no point to this. The examples above would all pass and everyone (except AfD hardliner) is happy. Agent00f (talk) 12:24, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Why should the example have been through AfD? An example that has not gone through AfD is probably even better, since in that case no one has considered it worthy of deletion, whereas in the AfD case at least one person has. Victor Yus (talk) 12:27, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The change would say that notability is definitely not required for spin out articles. This would mean that if one can establish a series as notable then by putting in a big database of all the games in it one could say it was too large and all the separate parts of it could become spinout articles and need not satisfy WP:Notability (sports). This is the sort of wikilawering that happens currently but saying they are list type articles because this is expressly allowed for lists, it is countered by editors saying the articles are not parts of a list. Dmcq — continues after insertion below
Nothing says "notability is definitely not required"; the bogeyman is straw. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The point about wanting one that passed AfD is that would show notability was not established but the consensus was that the spin out article should still be kept. We have had people putting in ones which hadn't passed AfD above and then arguing they actually would pass the notability tests which just makes everything messy. If such articles are common then it should be possible to find one which doesn't establish notability and which passed AfD as we have quite enough people going around looking for stuff to delete. If they are not common then it is not common practice and we don't need a policy or guideline covering it, and certainly not one that removes a basic requirement like notability for articles. Dmcq (talk) 12:53, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Nothing says it removes notability. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
All right, I see where you're coming from. I think the issue to be addressed is a more general one: that of how much detail of information Wikipedia wants to provide. If someone downloads a huge database of information on some (notable) topic, then we need to decide whether we want all that information in Wikipedia or not. If we decide we don't, then goodbye; if we decide we do, then we may further decide to split it onto separate pages to improve our presentation. The question of notability (with respect to those separate pages) has no need to arise, just as you acknowledge it doesn't in the case of alphabetically split lists, to which the case we have in mind here is closely analogous. Victor Yus (talk) 13:10, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Excellent again. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. Do you really think such a weak argument would block a AfD?
  2. Whose notability standard are we referring to here? Does this, or this, or this collection of "stats" pass yours?
  3. Victor has a good point that the "common" article is not one which has gone through AfD. 99.99+% do not. Agent00f (talk) 13:19, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Do you believe they pass WP:Notability (sports)? If not I would ask why are they in Wikipedia. The change to WP:SS would make WP:Notability (sports) irrelevant to them. Dmcq (talk) 13:28, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
They don't seem to pass WP:SPORTSEVENT, but they (and all their peers linked from them) are clearly in wiki. I hope these satisfy your request and we can move on with the goal above. Agent00f (talk) 13:35, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The first is the only one that passed AfD and it definitely doesn't seem to have notability established in its lead. However the AfD for it said 'Keep being part of the 2010 US Open Series appears to be notable, and I'm seeing significant coverage on Google News.' I do not know why after that they couldn't be bothered to stick in some of that significant coverage establishing notability into the article. Also it seems that notability was a definite consideration in the AfD. Does WP:Notability (sports) say notability is assumed for something like an event in the US Open Series, where assumed means people are pretty certain that notability can be established properly with citations if ever required? Dmcq (talk) 13:45, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I does seem to me that the argument is with WP:SPORTSEVENT and this is an effort to try and get around that. If people can't agree on WP:SPORTSEVENT I really don't particularly care for them trying to break the rest of Wikipedia to get their fave sports event included. Dmcq (talk) 13:51, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Is the new quest now to find samples in another category? Seems like you're not willing to be satisfied. Agent00f (talk) 13:57, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
No I was investigating and commenting on the example you gave. It is not always possible to satisfy someone, they may be asking for something that doesn't exist. That does not mean they are unwilling to be satisfied. And I am interested, have you a problem with WP:SPORTSEVENT and is all this hassle to do with that? Dmcq (talk) 14:08, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
This seems to be a more general problem per long discussion above, and I personally desire to solving problems broadly so they don't pop up again in slightly different form. I also AGF and ask what would satisfy you it's a broader problem? Agent00f (talk) 14:14, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't see that, the only examples which I can see which halfway go towards supporting that removal of notability have been ones I believe should be covered by WP:SPORTSEVENT. I can imagine fans of Pokemon or some TV series trying out the same tricks but I haven't seen evidence they do. The example that had been through AfD expressly talked about saying it seemed to meet notability. If they hadn't mentioned notability or said they couldn't find suitable citations or it was a clear IAR on WP:SPORTSEVENT which passed that would have been a much better example of something that was accepted but didn't meet the criterion set in WP:SPORTSEVENT. Dmcq (talk) 14:29, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm just trying to figure out what would conclusively satisfy your remaining point of contention, which is fair enough given the criteria keeps moving around. BTW, there are 3 links to afds above, with multiple entries under the last. The only reason they're sports related is because I looked under sports AfDs since that's the example everyone was using above. Agent00f (talk) 19:14, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Here is one way that we can simplify all this, recognizing that the MMA stuff is a large driver behind this article:
  • Point 1: The only reason it is worthwhile to talk about spinouts/SIZE and the like is as a back-door means to avoid notability. But, this is not true. We do warn that spinouts without any strong evidence of notability for the spun out material will likely be deleted, but at the same time, we cannot provide hard-nose advice to this end. We know of spinout types that are readily accepted, and others that are not, but that's really the only advice we can give, by example. There's other residual issues with actual sizes, how spinouts are done, etc., but that's not relevant to this specific discussion.
  • Point 2, and more important: Would articles like the individual occurrence of a yearly sporting event or the MMA event articles be considered spinouts? 99.99% sure that the bulk of the community would say no regardless how said articles came to be. The individual occurrence of a sporting event is a topic; it might be heavily related to a parent topic but itself would never be considered spinouts as outlined by summary size/size. So trying to continue to argue how to make these event articles like spinouts and thus enjoy special notability concerns is a dead end. What is worth while is to validate that a summary listing of cumulative results from said events in a list would likely be an accept notable spinout of the article about the general event itself. --MASEM (t) 15:45, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  • This seems to be just a matter of perspective. As mentioned above, in the end it's just a cohesive set of information formatted in different ways. Whether a TV show is done by season or episode is largely immaterial unless it's too short or too long. The only reason "spinout" seems to be used is because it's the closest relevant guideline. Agent00f (talk) 19:39, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
If we cannot provide hard nosed advice then AfDs can decide notability. However saying explicitly that notability doesn't matter is a far stronger statement. You talk about 'notable spinout'. If it is notable and in common usage then a guideline can be put in about them into the general or specialist notability guidelines and the bother of AfD avoided in the normal cases. Or did you not mean to put notable in there? Dmcq (talk) 17:15, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say notability doesn't matter. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Yup. Notability is always presumed, meaning that it is decided by consensus if the question arises, meaning that AFD is usually the decider if the notability presumption is challenged. Hence why we can't write guidelines towards this. Experienced editors recognize notability, what spinouts are, and the like, but that's information that's impossible to write down without wikilaywers trying to argue every little point. --MASEM (t) 17:26, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
If we can agree that inexperience editors aren't wikilawyers, then they probably won't be using torturous logic to justify poor content. We can also probably assume that editors and admins can use their better judgement to group nom/speedy delete such examples, esp. if it's simply clarified in the guideline Agent00f (talk) 19:39, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but I can't agree to that. Some of the most determined wikilawyers I've seen have been very inexperienced editors attempting to defend the indefensible (e.g., spam for their local charity fundraiser). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Is the general expectation that all rules be completely bulletproof to anyone? If so, would it be adequate to explicitly clarify the one case of torturous logic we can find here? Agent00f (talk) 19:54, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Bulletproof rules are not always possible and, even when they are possible, they are not always desirable. But you are building your argument on the erroneous assumption that new editors are not wikilawyers. They are. In fact, because of their limited knowledge of the policies and guidelines, and their typically narrow interests, they may be more likely to take a single statement out of context or to twist it beyond recognition. Your argument therefore fails, because its foundation is unsound. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:31, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
AFAICT after skimming through tons of AfD's where notability is at stake, most policy-inexperienced subject/domain contributors tend to appeal to common sense, other similar pages, or at best local policies. It's the wiki-law enthusiasts who generally use the same 5 rules to vote in 10 different directions. Maybe you're thinking of "inexperienced" in another context. Agent00f (talk) 11:20, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • All 3 of Agent00f's sport examples passed AFD (in the third, only 3 of 5 nommed articles passed). In the very interesting Toray Cup case, keepers 1, 2, 4 seemed to argue for nonnotability, while keepers 3, 5, 6 argued for SNG notability, which would moot the prior arguments for the closer. So this shows that the nonnotability argument is alive but it's possible that (following Dmcq) it's never won an AFD by itself. I have not read SPORTSEVENT to decide that question between Dmcq and Agent00f, and both of you know when to back off. I do think that Dmcq's persistence in asking is inconsonant with the probability that a logical nonentity is being asked for; I believe N is always relevant, so I too would be surprised to find an AFD where consensus agreed N is irrelevant. It's conceivable consensus might arise at "nonnotable keep due to guidance other than N", but I believe pressing this question is moot: I think in any such case consensus would not say "nonnotable" but "treated as notable due to the other guidance" (i.e., a semantic difference). (Further, if such an odd consensus were found, Dmcq could always say it's an outlier of nonpolicy editors that should've gone to DRV, and so on.) JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  • There is evidence that Pokemon and TV episodes have used similar spinout notability solutions (e.g., the South Park example), and searching such AFDs would likely be fruitful for the general question (not the Dmcq question): they might provide further illustrations of how local consensus has creatively interpreted N. I know that minor-planet AFCs and AFDs are rife with a relationship to this question, but I don't know of any immediate illustrative examples. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Masem 1: It is true that Dmcq raises the bogeyman of "all spinouts become automatic keepers", though there is no evidence I ever held this view. What I am interested in is documenting the ways that people have "creatively interpreted" (not "avoided") notability. It's clear that spinouts (usually of lists) are one creative interpretation; but they must still meet core policy. For the MMA subquestion, I am also interested in preventing a constant barrage of AFDs in topic areas resembling a WP:WALLEDGARDEN, which I have now documented has occurred for ~5 years in MMA. Accordingly, the takeaway is: in general, use local (add: and AFD) consensus; in general, don't avoid notability; but in wars between deletionists and walled gardens, we still need a solution.
  • Masem 2: I believe there are community ways to widen the definition of "spinout", Masem believes it's a dead end, that's a good agreement to disagree. The side issue (that a spun-out list in itself is generally often notable, regardless of further spinouts from the list) is already policy and we affirm it. JJB 18:30, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
    • "Accordingly, the takeaway is: in general, use local consensus": absolutely not. Using local consensus above all else is what is creating the walled garden for MMA, and the discussions through several pages have been attempts to swing policy/guidelines to meet the local consensus, and not vice versa. Similarly, it absolutely not true "that a spun-out list in itself is generally notable"; in trying to draft WP:LISTN, several factors including spinout lists were considered but there was never agreement that every spin out list is notable. Again, the idea of trying to widen the concept of spinout is basically asking the whole community to come to local consensus of MMA editors. If the proposed ideas being presented were small corrections to existing guideline or policy, I wouldn't have as much of an issue, but the efforts that are seemingly being put towards making individual sports event articles be called as "spinouts" and thus judged by a weaker standard of notability is bogus. Take TV episodes. I am 100% sure that you can probably find a TV episode without notability in 5 minutes of searching. It is doubtful such articles have been through AFD but there have been numerous ones in the past (see through Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Television/archive). It is clear that episodes are expected to stand on their own - if there's no notability in secondary sources, they are deleted. There often is some allowance in the case where nearly every other episode is known to be notable (typically if it is a major prime time network broadcast series which are heavily reviewed). In other cases, only selected episodes of a TV series may even be notable such as pilots and finales; in such cases, it is not assumed that the other episodes are notable. But overall: TV episodes are never considered spinouts. This is true across a lot of other projects, but what the MMA editors are trying to make their event articles, the equivalent of TV episodes, to be handled differently. Again, that just cannot happen without creating the walled garden. --MASEM (t) 18:48, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
      • "if there's no notability in secondary sources, they are deleted". Would you be willing to reconsider with evidence to the contrary? The problem in sports events seems to be that hardline WP:EVENTS interpretations (presumed to trump any local rule) seems to require FAR MORE than secondary sources (to the point of inherent non-notability if not of "enduring historical significance"). If it were simply a matter of secondary source, the current conflicts would never have arisen. Agent00f (talk) 19:49, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
        Actually, most sports events don't have secondary sources. Most news articles are primary sources. Sports events typically have a plethora of eyewitness, independent, primary sources. WP:Secondary does not mean independent. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:31, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
        In typical sports AfDs, secondary often means independent or else many useful pages would never get written. For example, a player's bio might include their results/achievements, and it's a net plus for readers for those to be linked to common pages when they're shared between other players (otherwise the only way to connect this info is by reading ALL player bios). This is the sort of domain difference that can cause conflicts to arise when editors from the outside try to argue against long established reasoning in a whole category. "Walled Garden" accusations get tossed around even if the issue results from a failure to capture local nuances. Agent00f (talk) 11:40, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
        No, WP:Secondary does not mean independent ever. I'm willing to believe that misinformed people use the wrong term (the English Wikipedia's policies were seriously and embarrassingly confused on this point a couple of years ago), but "secondary" does not ever mean "independent". Secondary sources can be unreliable, biased, self-serving and self-published.
        And, yes, the fact that notability guidelines demand secondary sources means that many of these articles about sports and other current events shouldn't be written—or, more probably, that the guidelines ought to be corrected to no longer require secondary sources, but to instead emphasize the need for multiple, detailed, independent, high-quality, reputable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:24, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
        I'm just trying to point out how things seem to work on the ground. I think we agree this VPP for the most part is an attempt to reconcile what's common practice (the rule rather than exception across a multitude of categories) with an isolated reading of the rules. From what I can tell in the discussion above, most everyone agrees the types of examples raised pass their view on N (for example, in the TV show case, no one feels 200K articles which easily subdivide are helpful). In order to move fwd we need to make these shared views clear in the wording. Agent00f (talk) 21:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Refactored for hastiness. I'm not trying to ask the whole community to come to local consensus of MMA editors. I affirm reliance on secondary sources. I think investigating TV project practice will be useful. JJB 18:56, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The concept we call "notability" is a poorly defined composite of two separate concepts: one is inclusion , the other is arrangement. There are topics that should be covered in detail , and those that should be just mentioned, and those that should not be covered at all. Most topics that should be covered can in principle be covered equally well as single separate articles, or parts of larger articles, or a string of articles. It is desirable in a printed encyclopedia that people do not need to use an index or try in multiple places, because of the physical difficulty in handling multiple large volumes.This does not apply here: everything in an online database like Wikipedia can only be found using an index; the index can equally lead to articles or paragraphs, and there is no intrinsic reason why this must be consistent. There are 3 possible rationales why we have the concept of separate articles being significant: one, is to give the impression of seriousness by looking like familiar printed encyclopedias and not giving separate articles to things that will strike people as trivial; another is to discourage separate articles on unsubstantial topics lending themselves to promotionalism; but I think the real reason is because of the great emphasis given to article titles by Google, which lets people think that having a separate article about their company or favorite subject is extremely important. It really isn't, and the sooner we get away from that concept the better.
Similarly, there is no inherent reason why we should not give extremely detailed content for events of all sizes as long as reliable information is available.Individual musical performances, for example, are often reviewed. There is reliable biographic information about every candidate of a major party in even the most local election; essentially every local business has enough valid information to write a paragraph. We already accept we should give substantial content that is not in traditional encyclopedias: we do give some directory content, for example in filmographies and bibliographies; we give very substantial almanac content of multiple sorts, but not all of it, and we have accepted that we give all the content of a gazetteer.
But I think the general feeling is that we do want to preserve a distinction, at least between an encyclopedia and a directory, and I think this feeling has if anything gotten considerably stronger in the past year because of the rise in promotional articles. The question then becomes, where to do the cutoff? We only pretend to do it by the GNG--we adjust the GNG very drastically by what we consider sufficiently reliable sources for notability, particularly the choice between strict and lax interpretations of substantial coverage and of independence, and what sort of informal online sources we accept. I think our distinctions here vary not on any logical basis, but on what we want to cover.
So who is this "we"? It's the community as a whole, through the common encyclopedia -wide process of AfD. The various people interested in detailed coverage of specific areas ask for what they want, and the overall community either accepts it or rejects it--or wavers back and forth. To a considerable extent we tolerate things we are not personally interested in so people will tolerate the things we personally care about. There is also considerable variation about how far to accomodate special interests--there is a fundamental difference here between the inclusions and the exclusionists, except that I have seen very few of either whose view is consistent across all subject areas. For I think everybody, the limits on what we accept depend in practice of what people consider the intrinsic importance and seriousness of the subject. There is no rule, there is no policy about that. There can never be, because we can make whatever exceptions to anything we choose.
If we wanted to cover this subject in detail, we could find reasons. If we wanted to not cover it in detail, we could equally find reasons. Anyone who thinks that the relative strength of the reasons is decisive is naïve about our processes. (And how could it be otherwise? there are multiple axes, and there is no principle to normalize them.) What matters is what we want to do. Advocating that we need to do something because of our rules is useless, because we will change the rules to produce the result we desire. In practice, it means that the people who want detailed coverage here need to persuade us overall that either we should have very detailed coverage either of this sport in particular, or of of sports in general Not based on what I myself want, but estimating as best I can community feeling, I think persuading us of the first extraordinarily unlikely, for extremely few people here think this sport more important than others. I think the decision to increase the depth of coverage of all sports quite unlikely also--if anything, the trend seems to be in the opposite direction. I would advise the fans of this sport to stop trying--if those with a special interest try too insistently, they give the impression that their special interest is unreasonable. Rather, they should make whatever articles we do accept stronger--the same advice I'd give anyone with special interests. That people can write very strong articles in an area is fairly persuasive about their serious intent here. DGG ( talk ) 15:12, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't see that has particular relevance to the issue in question which was should we assume that large article that are split up don't need notability of the separate articles - or whether sticking a bit that seem to say that into a guideline quite clearly doesn't mean that and is okay. Probably the talk page of WP:Notability (sports) would be the best place for it I'd have thought.< I see from the AN/I you actually support splitting and not having any notability requirements. Do you really think for normal articles, excepting lists, we really do get ones of 100k or more where no section has individual notability and yet they alll have weight in the topic? I haven't seen any. Dmcq (talk) 15:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Hasn't History of the United States (xxxx–xxxx) already been mentioned in this regard several times? Victor Yus (talk) 16:15, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
History of the United States (1776–1789) for instance covers the early national era, a definite period between the formation of the US and the civil war. It is definite topic that is notable. Dmcq (talk) 17:23, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding his point. I got the impression that he was saying that the primary motivation for splitting should be because of notability concerns, but rather to make an article more useable (less complex) and readable. IE: for the purpose of splitting off details that might be more akin to minutia in the greater article, but worthy of coverage in more detail in a separate article. For this, "notability" isn't a consideration in the split, nor is it generally a concern as most of the time when an article has gotten this large, there are plenty of existing sources for the separate article, thus WP:N is already met. We don't just break off a section of an article because that section could passes WP:N, we only split when it makes sense for other reasons: navigation, ease of use, balance, etc. Dennis Brown - © 16:17, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Agree with that. When we split off a big logical section of a big article it is practically bound to be notable anyway. The real questions would be what on earth is happening in the article if that isn't the case and is that a general practice. Dmcq (talk) 17:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
"In practice, it means that the people who want detailed coverage here need to persuade us overall that either we should have very detailed coverage either of this sport in particular, or of of sports in general" Victor above mentioned the common occurrence and practice in wiki outside of sport, and there seems to be agreement these problems are not narrow. If we must restrict ourselves to sport, there seems to be broad consensus here that examples of competitions (the common case in practice across the category) passes N tests. There also seems to considerable agreement with the argument above that aggregates of dozens of similar entries, whether it be book/ tv/ etc all on one page can be unwieldy. Thus it's puzzling to me why we can't build on the all these various agreements and tweak guidelines to accommodate the consensus rather than choosing to focus on potential abuses (which can be explicitly worded out of said tweaks). Regardless of whether various consensus continues to be the case, it's still best if these kinds of decisions are uniform to some extent at AfD's so the existing ambiguity doesn't need to be argued entry by entry. Clarification not only offers consistency but considerable time savings. Agent00f (talk) 19:51, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
To me the larger question is a clarification of what N means. Again, I think this is best done by an analysis of what it has meant in consensus in various kinds of AFDs, and this analysis is appropriate for an essay. I'm surprised nobody has signed on to assist in reviewing such an essay. Since there is no other proposal here for text that will describe current practice, it appears that "centralized" discussion here has actually gone in several directions and not led to a resolution but only to an airing of concerns. So my question is: What path forward? Please answer below. JJB 17:41, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Essay on the various consensus methods of reconciling spinout sets with notability. JJB 17:41, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
There needs to be some common practice or pressing problem before we start talking about having other guidelines besides notability for spinout articles. The WP:Notability (sports) guidelines gives guidance on what sports events are okay and just saying one can make a huge article with them in with an overall topic which is notable does not justify having articles on them if they aren't okay by the guidelines. Sticking stuff into the guidelines on splitting up articles isn't going to make them any more acceptable at AfD - it just makes the guideline conflict with practice and continually sticking it in doesn't make it more acceptable. The policies and guidelines are bottom up not top down. Dmcq (talk) 00:00, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

There does seem to be a specific problem at WP:Notability (sports) which this MMA business is a symptom of and it may be wider. People are trying to use Wikipedia store stuff they don't want to see disappear. This I feel is totally wrong headed as Wikipedia is supposed to summarize reliable sources, there is no way we can check whether these statistics are vandalized or not if Wikipedia is the primary storage. They need a site which is dedicated to the job and which has far better editorial controls than Wikipedia so it can act as a reliable source for all this stuff. Then Wikipedia could reference that for individual matches and there would be no point sticking the actual details in Wikipedia for most of them. The articles can be cut down to something manageable with good commentary rather than looking like train timetables. Dmcq (talk) 07:52, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary spinout to ANI

You stuck two bits of other guidelines together in a synthesis into WP:SS "Notability guidelines only outline how suitable a topic is for its own article or list. They do not limit the content of an article or list. If possible, split the content into logically separate articles" . This is obviously saying that one needn't bother about notability for spinout articles. And yet above you say " I believe N is always relevant, so I too would be surprised to find an AFD where consensus agreed N is irrelevant". This strikes me as inconsistent. Could you remove your edit please or give a good short straightforward reason for doing it and standing by it. Dmcq (talk) 21:58, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I see you have reiterated the synthesis by doing an edit moving it to a different place with diff. I have removed the synthesis since you have given no explanation as asked above I believe you are engaged in deliberate pointy and disruptive behaviour. Dmcq (talk) 00:33, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I have raised a complaint about this behaviour at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Disruptive_edits_by_User:John_J._Bulten Dmcq (talk) 01:23, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
And since Dmcq mentioned "others" from VPP with three clauses of charges, all of you are invited there! JJB 01:37, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
JJB, As I've told you in the ANI, I have a great deal of concern in you editing the WP:SS. You claim yourself to be a neutral party, mediating (I would disagree as my prior experience shows you indeed have a bias and a desire to have WP:SS interpreted one way [5]). More importantly, if you truly were trying to be a neutral party, you would not be editing the guidelines so that they now support your proposal. As I stated: "That is a rather huge, cardinal sin in mediation, and a fatal one. You just don't do that in mediation. Ever. That you fail to understand this shows that either you don't understand what neutral or mediation means, or that you have a bias and are manipulating the policies to fit it.". Once you have decided to call yourself neutral, you do not change the rules. Once you change the rules, you have shown you have a bias, and can no longer mediate. This is not a novel concept. That you see this as acceptable calls into question your judgement here. Dennis Brown - © 12:23, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
You are now objecting to the semantic words "mediate" and "neutral". I agreed to refactor the first term (and have done so here as well) but you keep pressing it. The second term is core policy, meaning considering all POVs, not necessarily meaning that I treat all POVs with moral equivalence (you certainly don't). However, returning to the main question: how should we generally handle wars between deletionists and walled-gardeners? Answering this would greatly improve WP. JJB 16:32, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
When you are in a dispute, you still don't go tinkering with the guidelines, regardless of your role. It is not acceptable behavior and the potential for abuse is too high. But as to the next question, when you have an issue that is this contentious, and no other methods of dispute resolution have worked, you recruit someone who is completely uninvolved, normally, to mediate, but that didn't work out either... The MMA discussion has gone on for so long, and risen to a level of disruption so high that I don't think non-binding resolutions will ever work. So you have two options, continued chaos, or binding Arbitration. I don't care how it comes out personally, I'm just tired of the socks/meatpuppets and pointless debates where the majority of the participants haven't a clue about policy and can only quote WP:IAR as their solution to everything. JJB, surely you've seen plenty of that as well. I would be happy to enforce whatever Arbcom interprets as the solution. Dennis Brown - © 16:46, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Pseudo mediate? That sounds pseudo constructive to me. Really I meant Whassat? but I'm bad at resisting digs like that. Dmcq (talk) 17:06, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Not the most constructive comment, although I agree that neutrality is a binary thing: Either you are, or your are not. If you aren't sure or you almost are, then you aren't neutral. Regardless, JJB should refrain from altering policy pages that are fundamental to any ongoing dispute he is involved in, as there is a clear conflict of interest involved. I'm probably not the only admin that looks upon that rather harshly, if only on principal. Use the talk page to make suggestions, or wait until resolution of the current conflict. I would rather make that clear here than at the ongoing ANI, but can do both if JJB feels it is necessary. Dennis Brown - © 17:43, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
On topic, I think better solutions exist to the general question of deletionists vs. gardeners than Medcab (indicated at MMA) or Arbcom, to which my own experience also attests. Off topic, though Dennis's observation has some merit, I did make suggestions at the talk page and proceeded incrementally; Dmcq was the only objector and has still not clearly stated the rationale for reverting all alternatives, even after being reverted by Jclemens also; and it's still incremental because the simply copy-paste from one guideline to another still isn't complete. JJB 18:09, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I consider MedCab to be a non-viable solution as the problems are beyond the scope of the venue. For the MMA as a whole, Arbcom has pretty much become the only option, and I'm contemplating how to proceed now. This is one of those times when a binding resolution is needed. Both sides of the issue have demonstrated this amply. Again, I don't care what they rule, only that they do. Dennis Brown - © 18:33, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
The MMA (esp MMANOT) space has recently been the quietest it's ever been. I'm now of the opinion that it's best to help contain what minimal drama is left and maintain the sanctity. In retrospect escalation has never worked there, so perhaps best to leave alone whatever's working right now. Agent00f (talk) 21:50, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
This is actually a good observation, although I still think MedCab is the best solution for MMA later. Changes made by Agent00f contribute in no small part to the quietude. JJB 17:41, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
There was no reason to explicitly say notability was not relevant into the guideline. The way it was put in was synthesis. The bit in WP:SIZE saying articles may be split arbitrarily did not talk about notability considerations at all, that does not make them irrelevany. WP:SS says "Editors are cautioned not to immediately split articles if the new article would meet neither the general notability criterion nor the specific notability criteria for their topic. Instead, editors are encouraged to work on further developing the main article first, locating coverage that applies to both the main topic and the subtopic. Through this process, it may become evident that subtopics or groups of subtopics can demonstrate their own notability, and thus can be split off into their own article. If information can be trimmed, merged, or removed, these steps should be undertaken first before the new article is created." You addition in effect said the opposite.
Jclemens expanded on his talk page at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jclemens&diff=494550290&oldid=494549563 diff] that he was considering the merging back of split out articles which faced deletion at AfD, something that the guideline doesn't go into except for what I quoted above. In that case the notability is relevant because even though a split out article may be deleted the contents may still be okay to merge back into an article that summarizes it. However if something like that was to go in the guideline it should be stuck into a separate section talking about this and not in a way implying notability is irrelevant to split out articles. The amount of notability required in split out articles may be contested but there is no evidence people wish to remove such a requirement altogether and the bit in WP:SS quoted above whilst it doesn't explicitly say notability is required has stood the test of time in a relevant place fully enough to show a declaration that it is irrelevant is not the commonly accepted consensus. What you are engaged in is WP:SYNTH.
You still have not explained why you said " I believe N is always relevant, so I too would be surprised to find an AFD where consensus agreed N is irrelevant" and yet you insisted on reiterating your insertion saying it was irrelevant. Dmcq (talk) 18:44, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Discussion about AFD merge results is off-point. Feel free to handle your preferred insertion as you see fit.
  • Since I claim my insertion does not say N is irrelevant (it says N doesn't limit content), it doesn't contradict what you quoted me saying. This is attributing a strawman position to me.
  • Your remainder repeatedly argues in circles that the verbatim placement of 2 WP:N sentences into WP:SS is synthetic, without ever showing the synthesis. Your statements "explicitly say notability was not relevant", "The way it was put in was synthesis", "You addition in effect said the opposite", "remove such a requirement altogether", "What you are engaged in is WP:SYNTH", "your insertion saying it was irrelevant" are six circular arguments, as none of them demonstrate the inference you draw.

I am beginning to conclude you have no true argument to forestall the reinsertion of the two sentences. JJB 20:07, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

What I said above and you are replying to states the position clearly about the synthesis. At [6] clearly indicates you say 'Summarization shifts the question from the intractable N debate to the better questions of DUE and other content policies.' WP:SS#Avoiding unnecessary splits clearly warns about checking the notability of articles split off. What you are trying to do is quite clear and it involves synthesis. WP:PGCHANGE says "However, because policies and guidelines are sensitive and complex, users should take care over any edits, to be sure they are faithfully reflecting the community's view and to be sure that they are not accidentally introducing new sources of error or confusion." You have been pointed to that before too. Dmcq (talk) 20:55, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
For everyone involved, would it be possible to limit discussion of this WP:SS editing "synthesis" disagreement to either its talk page, a single separate thread here, or the ANI? There's no progress to be made by expanding the scope of a specific guideline interpretation dispute. Just to be clear, I'm not involved and only wish to stop seeing it everywhere. Thanks. Agent00f (talk) 21:50, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
This discussion at VPP was set up because a number of policies were concerned and it could have affected any one of them, well in fact it would affect a whole lot of guidelines if the wording was accepted. This should have been the single place of discussion. However I think it would be okay to put a specific RfC on the talk page of WP:SS specifying some specific wording and asking whether the wording should be put in. The RfC should be notified on the talk pages of WP:VPP, WP:N, and WP:SIZE. That's probably a good idea in fact and then this discussion can die a natural death. I don't think much new is being said here. Dmcq (talk) 23:44, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

JJB is still insisting on setting up a separate discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Summary_style#Next_discussion rather than either deciding the basics here or going for an RfC there. We don't need a 'Next discussion'. Either it is still discussion or there is some actual proposal he thinks is well formed enough to go ahead with. Dmcq (talk) 13:34, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

(Blink blink) The well-formed proposal is the copying of 2 sentences from one guideline to another; a new heading on the same subject on the same talk page is not a separate discussion. Don't you think we should wait for the previous RFC to close at Wikipedia talk:Article size#Discussion about split of large articles at an arbitrary point first, which does not in fact begin with an actual well-formed proposal and so ought to be resolved prior to actual proposals? I was also hoping this thread, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Splitting articles arbitrarily, which does not in fact begin with an actual well-formed proposal, would grow stale at some point too; that or consensus really would arise as to "deciding the basics here" (how would you like to do that?). It appears the conversations at User talk:Jclemens#Meaning of synthesis and at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive753#Disruptive edits by User:John J. Bulten have both wound down appropriately, even though they did not begin with well-formed proposals about what synthesis is or what ought to be done about my editing. There's something all four of these threads have in common, beyond their beginning without well-formed proposals: can you guess the common link? JJB 17:03, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
So you think you have a good proposal. Then go ahead and raise an RfC on it. I have not objected to an RfC being raised at Wikipedia talk:Article size#Discussion about split of large articles at an arbitrary point or to discussion there after that. Dmcq (talk) 17:44, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I have gone ahead and raised the RfC at Wikipedia talk:Summary style#RfC: Should the summary style guideline quote WP:Notability and if so in what place . I have added a third option that I believe reflects Jclemens concerns. Dmcq (talk) 19:14, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Competition for the worst Wikipedia page - be in to win!

Add your entry below to go in the draw for an all expenses paid trip to Jimbos user page. Runners up will be exempt from 3RR and will be given free admin rights for a year.
Be in to win folks!
DO NOT edit content pages to score extra points
The winner will be notified on their talk page.
This is actually a serious issue the community has to address. There are systemic problems that are not being resolved. I have to use humour otherwise I will loose my rag and leave Wikipedia. I don't want to do that - Wikipedia is too important a project. I want to fix it. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 21:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Category:Logic - This one was bad and I managed to make really bad by putting templates up for deletion and adding a {cleanup} template. I was really lucky that other editors helped me in making it the ugliest page on Wikipedia. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 21:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Cute, but what's the systemic problem you're trying to point out? That lots of pages on Wikipedia suck? Equazcion (talk) 21:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • It will take me all day to list them. I don't have time. Too many other things need sorting on Wikipedia as well as in real life. Face-smile.svg -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 21:46, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • WP talk pages are treated as if they are social media
  • the wrong sort of human emotions are all too easily roused
  • some editors are as thick as two short planks
  • some editors think WP is to be configured for editors alone
  • some editors seem to abhor change
  • some editors don't realise that there should generally be a separation between the project and the content
  • lack of prescriptive guidelines leads to endless edit wars, edit/revert cycles etc
etc.... -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 21:59, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The systemtic problem he's trying to resolve is that he doesn't like navboxes in categories, and doesn't like information for editors to be visible in categories. The unnecessary clutter is mostly Alan's. And this is probably the wrong VP page for the discussion. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:51, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I guess this is what sparked this. Just FYI for whoever's watching. Equazcion (talk) 22:18, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • There are worse things to be found than excessive use of navboxes, I challenge any editor to find any articles worse than Jerusalem during the Crusader period and Expropriation of the Princes in the Weimar Republic. Both created by the same editor over a year ago as machine translations of the hebrew and german wikipedia articles respectively, the muppet didn't even bother to use the source code of the articles. The result are massive, largely unintelligible and barely sourced articles, filled with [1]'s and [2]'s, that are so gigantic an undertaking to sort out that barely any editors go near them.--Jac16888 Talk 21:53, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    • You are now in the draw. Congratulations! -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 22:04, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Interesting note: If you hit Edit on a google-translated Wikipedia page, Google's code invades the wiki-code. Might deter people from trying anything further than copying the rendered text. Only way to do it is to hit edit on the untranslated page, then copy the code into google translate. Equazcion (talk) 22:02, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    • "am i a maaaaaaaaan, or a muuuuuuuupet??!" :D. No, seriously, in all fairness I did try to use the source code for the article, but those hyperlinks - "[ __ ]" - broke up sentences and caused them to be translated even awkwarder (those translators translate better sentence by sentence rather than word by word. Plus, even tyring to do that caused so many errors due to the differeces in the English and Hebrew/German codes, that I just gave up. TBH it is one of the more embarrassing moments of my Wiki career, creating those articles. I never (to my knowledge) actually argued their case to kept or deleted. I *am* fine with them going. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing... and I do regret it.--Coin945 (talk) 01:15, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Why don't you try fixing it? Drmies (talk) 03:49, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
        • Echh... i dunno.... i guess i just forgot about it.. plus ive been very busy with uni atm so even if i had decided to work on them, im not sure how much id have been able to accomplish.--Coin945 (talk) 08:05, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I counter with Impacts of Colonialism in India. However, it is not nearly as bad as the other two above. Bzweebl (talkcontribs) 03:16, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

The problem I have with nominating the worst pages I've encountered is that I fixed them. Well, not just me, but you know what I mean. And I reckon that translated pages should be a special category. The main cat should be those created by editors(?) who would claim to be native users of English. HiLo48 (talk) 04:22, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

I'll bite. Non-helical DNA structure. Worse a few days ago. JJB 05:06, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
You are now in the draw. Congratulations! Good on you for making a stab at fixing it. I will give you a bonus double entry in the draw. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 05:32, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Despite appearing innocuous enough on the surface, any and all entries in the Mixed Martial Arts space qualifies as the worst articles on Wiki ever. Though only a handful out of hundreds of clones have been sent to AfD, it's already resulted in an influx of off-wiki canvased SOCKS of all types and drama of the highest order. No other page nevermind hundreds more of the same kind can drag out the same miserable situation for months and manage to antagonize insiders and outsiders alike. I boldly believe a ticket to the draw for every single one is well deserved. Wiki veterans are welcome to try fixing them to nullify this nomination and increase their chances of winning, but anyone who enters the no-man's land between the entrenched positions on AfD's (WP:NOT/GNG/EVENT/NSPORT/EVERYTHING) is subject to shelling from either side. It wouldn't come as a surprise for an edit war to erupt over this very nom, and someone ends up indef-banned for 300RR. Agent00f (talk) 06:05, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Agent is mostly referring to 2012 in UFC events, which is pretty ugly, as per several threads on its talk page (IMHO the rest of the MMA articles do not sink to the level of putrescence you are looking for). However, parts of list of British supercentenarians are worse, starting with the table of contents. No, I didn't touch that DNA article at all. JJB 07:07, 25 May 2012 (UTC) Y'know, orders of magnitude (length) has gotten much worse since I last checked it, especially the fanatic PNGs disguised as navtemplates. JJB 07:12, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
JJB, I hope you're not detracting from my petition for extra tickets to the draw to increase your own chances of winning. Unholy levels of drama is clearly a factor to consider and the drama in MMA long preceded 2012 in UFC events. At the very least I should get extra credit for unwittingly becoming a now seemingly inseparable part of that drama. Agent00f (talk) 19:24, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
"that their articles are bad"; Ignoring Wikipedia:Ownership of articles, the really bad articles are abandoned, many of them can be found at WP:URA. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 15:00, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:OWN largely only applies in theory but not in practice in my opinion (as users may show in discussions about "their" stuff), but never mind; that's another matter. What I meant was that users who have written an article may feel humiliated if the article is elected "worst article of the month" or anything like that. Let's avoid pointing fingers. --Stefan2 (talk) 17:57, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
 :) Concur WP:AGF & WP:BITE. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 19:04, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Agree that this whole discussion is very BITEY - mocking good faith articles (which in most cases could be fixed) and by implication their creators does not help to improve the encyclopedia or retain editors who could, given time encouragement and mentoring could become valuable assets. . If the articles are broken because of editor behaviour, then there are seprate avenues for dealing with individual issues - this page does not appear to be it.Nigel Ish (talk) 10:49, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I nominate Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research. I tried to help it earlier, but it didn't stick. The disputants eventually reached a compromise and settled on an article that was too useless to be biased. The current version is actually one of the best in the history; at one point it looked like this. Kilopi (talk) 15:44, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
    • My gosh...if past histories count, then I second that one. I'm reminded of a very brief essay I wrote a long time ago, but this is a whole new level. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 15:55, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
      • The current was ridiculous, there wasn't actually an article, just a little rant about neutrality thats remained like that since november. I've restored the article to a one-line stub, it can be rewritten from there--Jac16888 Talk 16:04, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
  • It's actually kind of neat that these "worst" articles are somewhat being fixed by bringing them into this discussion (redirected, cut into stubs, etc.). Go team. :) Killiondude (talk) 18:04, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
  • My nomination West Hartlepool War Memorial, almost the definition POV OR.--Salix (talk): 18:51, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Never seen such TLDR like that Energizer Bunny TLDR! JJB 20:54, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I nominate List of wars between democracies. Almost all wars listed are either not wars, or not between democracies; sometimes neither. It's soon two years since the last big effort to clean that up and the minor wars that caused. --OpenFuture (talk) 08:44, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
That's a POV split off from Democratic peace theory who thesis is that democracies don't go to war with each other. The page is set up like an attempt to disprove the theory, however the lack of big wars between functioning democracies seem to back up the thesis.--Salix (talk): 14:57, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Worst biography not dominated by "current political POV arguments" is likely Charles Lindbergh at this point - longer than reasonable by a factor of two with wondrous adjective and verb choices <g>. Many silly season BLPs also are pretty bad - Wikipedia is a prime site to run campaigns in. Collect (talk) 12:07, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

If Wikipedia has Charles Lindbergh classified as a 'living person', we're doing even worse than I thought! Robofish (talk) 16:16, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry -- meant to just use "biography" there. The facts about the length and word choices (vide the vast detail - well over six hundred words - for his trip to Europe to avoid the press -- expanded into an ungodly length when "He went to Europe to avoid the American press" or the like which would have covered it quite sufficiently and nearly 30 lines (five hundred words) on the kidnapping - when it should only be a short summary of that article.) Collect (talk) 14:42, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Hmmm... So is it within the "rules" to nominate a section of a page? Like perhaps this section of this page? : ) - jc37 18:16, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
See WP:IAR. Face-smile.svg So why would you nominate this little bit of frivolity? Sounds like sour grapes or something to me. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 21:57, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Sour grapes of what? lol Alan. Believe it or not, the world really doesn't revolve around you : ) - jc37 04:14, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Jc37, I don't know how you could even suggest such a thing. There is some good results coming from this little competition. Cleanups, redirects, AfD's are happening as a result of this discussion. I am having serious doubts about your ability to make rational decisions that lead to WP improvements. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 22:12, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Why Alan, you don't know what that means coming from you : ) - jc37 04:14, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Verinag though I did what I could it's still a mess. Rich Farmbrough, 05:33, 27 May 2012 (UTC).

I came across Biopower the other day. It's pretty much a series of impenetrable walls of text. But given the subject matter, postmodern philosophy, that's probably inevitable. Robofish (talk) 22:35, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for a new clause in WP:EGRS

At present a living person has to self-identify his "religion" in order to categorize him with it. The same clause is applicable to "ethnicity" too, since the subject may not be interested to identify himself with any ethnic group. So my proposal is to bracket both ethnicity and religion together and the policy should mandate self-identification in both the cases. The changes should also be reflected in WP:BLPCAT. --AshLey Msg 12:49, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Support This would help put a stop to the practice of pigeon-holing a subject into, what may well be, the undesired and inaccurate position of a poster-child. There are media sources currently cited in Wikipedia articles concerning perceived ethnicity which do exactly that. As a result, Wikipedia articles themselves reflect this causing such misrepresentations to be even further entrenched and propagated. Such a new clause, as the one proposed, would put the subject's self-identification first and foremost and eliminate all potential sources that merely second-guess or presuppose one's ethnic identity. I'm not sure why this proposal, nor for that matter WP:BLPCAT, be only limited to living persons. Veritycheck (talk) 20:53, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, assuming reliable sources are required to validate the self identification. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 14:52, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Why should a statement about whether someone is a Latino, Aboriginal Australian, or Inuit be mixed up with whether the person is Catholic, Muslim, or animist? You've got to quit thinking about religion as a practically racial issue. With the sole exception of Jewishness, ethnicity is much closer to a question of skin color or race than it is to a question of religion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Mixing up the ethnicity with religion is not the major issue here; policies related to both could be listed in separate sections. Whether "self-identification" should be made mandatory or not is the question here.--AshLey Msg 07:02, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose putting ethnicity together with religion, but support the general idea of considering self-identification as an important factor for ethnic categorization. I'm not too keen on making it a rigid requirement, though; there are plenty of folks whose ethnicity is non-controversial (including from the POV of the interested party) but where you may not be able to find an RS where the person has explicitly stated it. --Trovatore (talk) 21:43, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No need to make it mandatory. Any RS will suffice. But if under controversy, a person's self-identification statement is what counts above any other source. -PrinceMathew (talk) 08:27, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Based purely on my experience in the India-related area of Wikipedia, I support the principle of self-identification for ethnicity but not the linking with religion: the two can and should be treated as separate issues. I wonder if the proposer has slightly mangled the phrasing of their explanation? For example, someone may be a member of a certain Indian caste but be a Muslim rather than a Hindu. I and several other experienced contributors have been applying the self-identification principle to India-related articles for many months now because the issues in that particular sphere are most definitely awkward. Instances such as that of Amitabh Bachchan stand out. Bachchan has denounced the entire concept of caste/ethnicity but is still reported in reliable sources to be of this or that group (& they cannot even agree upon the group). This may well be an India-specific problem, and it is extremely complex in that sphere due to things such as the use of ethnic names and a general acceptance that even "reliable sources" are often not terribly reliable at all, but the proposer has been trying to assert that it needs consensus at a higher level than the WP India project. However, I do recall similar issues at Carlos Slim where, again, various experienced contributors stepped in to enforce the perceived intent of WP:BLP. Given my limited work outside the India sphere I would not be too fussed if this proposal failed here, provided that any consensus reached at WT:INB in relation to India articles can be accepted by the wider community. WT:INB has already discussed the issues, eg: here and here. - Sitush (talk) 20:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Manipulative ??? --AshLey Msg 09:07, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Who is being manipulative and where? What is manipulative and why? My experience of this particular issue is pretty much confined to the India sphere, where there is general acknowledgement (even within the India project) that the standard of articles is pretty poor. I cannot comment in detail on stuff regarding which I have little or no experience, and it is because I do not have a rounded view that I am not prepared to declare myself in support or opposition of extending the principle to the entire Wikipedia project. If that is manipulative then your threshold for what constitutes integrity must be pretty high. - Sitush (talk) 14:42, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
@Sitush: To not sound manipulative why don't you also express something on how the so-called consensus has been working? Do all ediotrs, registered, non-registered, old, new, etc. cooperate with the consensus? §§AnimeshKulkarni (talk) 15:43, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Ethnicity isn't subjective - it needs to be at least partly objective and as long as it is objective then reliable secondary sources will quite happily summarise the objective reasoning and we can cite it. I would support an Essay giving guidance on how to deal with Ethnicity as prescribed in Secondary Sources, and would also support the downgrading of Religion from Self-Identification Required to Reliably secondary sourced with again an essay giving guidance on when and how to deal with secondary sources that prescribe a notable individuals religion. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 15:29, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Modify RS are fine if there is no contradiction among them. If there is, self-ID takes priority; if there is no self-ID, all RS should be given appropriate weight. JJB 23:39, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

transmittal by email and the meaning of publishing

When answering a question I raised in #When should administrators decline to email the source text to deleted material? another contributors seemed to be suggesting that transmitting copyrightable material in an email constitutes publishing.

I am pretty sure over on the commons this issue has comes up with some individuals claiming sending an image via email did not constitute publishing, and that such images would remain "unpublished".

I'd welcome others' opinions on this.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 05:51, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Although that diff does use the word "republishing", that may be a red herring. The principal concern should be copyright violation, which can occur in transmission by email even without publication. I don't see BLP being an issue in email tranmission, as the point is to create a cleaned-up version before putting back on wiki. That said, I can't think of a case where emailing just the references section could be a problem. A userfied stub with just the references remaining would also be a reasonable option. LeadSongDog come howl! 07:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply.
Since my original question concerned emailing the source of deleted articles back to the original authors then I don't see how copyright violation could possibly be the concern voiced by the contributor whose diff I provided.
As to whether the point is to create a "cleaned up version" -- that addresses whatever got the article deleted, so it meets the wikipedia's current standards; a version the author can try to restore to article space here... Well, that is a fine goal. But wouldn't a perfectly appropriate alternate goal be for the original author to take their original contribution and contribute it to an alternate wiki where it would be welcome without a rewrite? The point I was trying to make in the original thread is that I questioned whether administrators should claim they couldn't email back author's original text, which the actual copyright holder has a perfect right to use elsewhere -- on BLP grounds. Geo Swan (talk) 14:13, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Whether sending something by e-mail constitutes "publishing" depends on all the facts and circumstances, but especially the number of recipients.
However, publication is not strictly necessary to violate a copyright. If you photocopy a coloring book that you own, so that you can color the pictures a hundred times in the privacy of your own home, then you have violated the copyright without publishing anything. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:20, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, so far as material deleted from any WP space goes, it obviously was already published here or there'd have been nothing to delete. The deletion doesn't change that fact. It may have been previously published elsewhere and copied here, or it may be original text. If it is original, then anyone may under CC-BY-SA 3.0 License use it elsewhere, and indeed a refusal to provide it might be construed to infringe the terms of use under which it was originally contributed. But if it is known or reasonably believed to be a copyvio we should not be contributing to that violation and we should make a good-faith effort to minimize any harm from our prior inadvertent contribution once we learn of it. That is the reason for the deletion. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
There is no license violation. The license says that you may make and distribute copies. It does not say that you must do so. There is nothing about the license that gives me the right to force you to hand over a copy of the licensed material. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:10, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
It's pretty hard to see how withdrawing access doesn't infringe on someone's abilities "to Share" and "to Remix" the work, but IANAL. Perhaps someone can explain it to me in simple terms. Para 7.g of the Terms of Use also says "Re-use: Re-use of content that we host is welcome, though exceptions exist for content contributed under "fair use" or similar exemptions under copyright law. Any re-use must comply with the underlying license(s)." LeadSongDog come howl! 22:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Just because someone has the right to share or remix it doesn't mean Wikipedia is obligated to host it for them or provide it on request. Anomie 23:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Let me try an example. There is an article Non-notable object X written by several users a few years ago. User:Example downloads a copy, either manually or using Special:Export. The article is deleted at WP:Articles for deletion. As long as Example complies with the license, he can do whatever he wants with the downloaded copy: neither the original authors nor Wikipedia can influence that. (There is an issue if Example had used a link back to Wikipedia to attribute his copy, as the deletion hides the page history and breaks attribution.) If Wikipedia were required to host all submitted content in perpetuity, any and all deletion would be disallowed. Flatscan (talk) 04:26, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
And not just Wikipedia. The license applies to all users equally, not just the WMF. If LeadSong were correct, then all users would be required to provide copies to anyone upon request. If he ever printed or saved any copy of any part of a page, we could all go to him and demand that he hand over a copy, because otherwise he'd be 'infringing on our ability to share and remix the work' exactly as much as if the WMF chose not to supply 100% of material on demand. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:07, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that there would be circumstances where sending text or images via email constitutes “publishing”. People communicate with others via mailing lists. I don′t know how many members a mailing list would need before a judge would consider it “publishing”.
But what we are talking about here would be a single one-time email, sent privately, from one individual to another. Geo Swan (talk) 20:04, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
No, that misses the point. It has already been published on wiki, before being "deleted" (really just hidden from regular users).LeadSongDog come howl! 22:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism templates on talk pages

Can these be used by average, regular users such as myself or does one need to have some sort of special status (patroller, administrator, etc.) to do so? Thanks,
RedSoxFan274 (talk~contribs) 07:39, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Anyone can use them, but please do so only when you are sure that an edit is malicious rather than just misguided or incompetent. Phil Bridger (talk) 08:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

RfC: Should the summary style guideline quote WP:Notability and if so in what place

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Summary_style#RfC: Should the summary style guideline quote WP:Notability and if so in what place.

This RfC is to decide the specific changes discussed above in Wikipedia:VPP#Splitting_articles_arbitrarily. Dmcq (talk) 19:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Could it have a few eyes on it thanks and give your feeling? You don't have to read all that screed above. Dmcq (talk) 00:14, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I have added an option D to explicitly remove all notability considerations for split out articles like some people seem to want. Dmcq (talk) 12:16, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Following the process but failing the community

At this point there is very little hope that Rich Farmbrough will be allowed to continue to contribute to Wikipedia. In a short time the Arbitration committee will finalize their vote and a long time editor and the second editor in the history of Wikipedia to make a million edits, who devoted hours a day to editing, will be banned. An Arbcom member stated that editors in good standing are enabling a behavior of defiance in Rich. That is not true. The defiance is against an extremely poor decision made by Arbcom in banning a useful editor, bot operator and administrator for performing too many minor edits. This case was only the latest in a string of poorly adjudicated decisions that weaken the community and Wikipedia as a whole. At this point I can only reiterate that Arbcom is following the process but failing the community. If members of the community in "good standing" are beginning to defy Arbcom rulings then perhaps the members of the committee should look upon that as a sign of their failing, accept it as an opportunity for growth and development and correct their deficiencies rather than continue to deny the facts presented. This case represents the latest major failing in a string of them by Arbcom to the community in both form and function. Rich failing to follow the sanctions (which were unnecessary, inappropriate and poorly written) was enabled by the committee itself and its extremely poorly worded decision that lacked definition or clarity and provided the avenue for the committee to ban him. If this discussion is even allowed to remain it will likely lead to my block or ban as well but I can not just sit idly by as a few entrenched editors force their narrow view to the rest of the community. Kumioko (talk) 08:10, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I think that the arbitration committee have considerably undermined it's authority in recent events. It's clearly now damaging Wikipedia with it's activities and the future reform or disbanding of Arbcom is surely an option that would gain much momentum going forward. It's not really the people but the process - and those within the process want to keep the process in a similiar way that a politician will vote to keep the corrupt political system. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 11:57, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I haven't seen anything to suggest that arbitrators are corrupt, but my impression is the same of yours about the inappropriateness of the process. It seems more oriented towards playing judge and handing out punishments than what it should be doing, which is solving problems in the best interests of Wikipedia. Victor Yus (talk) 12:14, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't mean to imply the Arbcom members are corrupt, only they are in a self-reinforcing downward spiral that just by participating they reinforce. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 12:37, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with Policy discussion. Please don't use this page for soapboxing. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:25, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that there is no place to discuss this that would be clearly applicable and this is the closes thing because it deals with policy. The policy of having, using or controlling a functional Arbitration committee. The committee was designed to help Wikipedia by giving us a venue for dealing with contentious issues within the community that couldn't be resolved at lower levels. Over the last few months they have gotten the notion that they and their decisions are above reproach and have infiltrated nearly all of the highest venues for dealing with problems eliminating the chance that any member of Arbcom or a decision by the committee could ever be overturned. There is no checks and balances. If you can think of a better venue to discuss this then please let me know. Kumioko (talk) 13:08, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
There's not supposed to be "checks and balances" with ArbCom. That's why it was put into place: to act as the final arbiter of contentious issues. You can take it up with Jimbo, but there's nothing we can do to change ithat as a community. There's no place to discuss this, because it's nothing but WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Unless you can convince Jimbo & the WMF to change their minds, ArbCom is remaining as it stands. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:09, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Well your probably right that we can't change it but we definately can't do anything if editors are unwilling to discuss it. I for one did not start editing so that a small group can take over. WP works by consensus not a few controlling the rest. Kumioko (talk) 14:15, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
It's already being discussed in Rich's ArbCom hearing, which you are well aware of. Further discussion here is pointless, because we can't overthrow ArbCom. Further, there are things where consensus is irrelevant: you can't WP:COPYVIO by consensus, for instance. ArbCom exists because consensus fails us on contentious issues. Appeal to the WMF for changes to ArbCom if you want, but I'm pretty sure you'll get a resounding "no." — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:41, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy certainly can be amended by the community - the page even lays down the procedure for doing so. No WMF or Jimbo required. Victor Yus (talk) 15:35, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Amended, sure. And such discussion should take place at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee. But a complete overhaul, like some are calling for, is never gonna happen without WMF consent. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:59, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
WMF don't come into it at all. I seem to remember German(?) Wikipedia abolished their arbitration committee at one point. Our own policy makes quite clear that it's a referendum among editors that says yea or nay to any changes, whether they be minor tweaks or complete overhauls. Victor Yus (talk) 09:20, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
BLP and NFCC were handed down as a necessity by the WMF. On the flip side, there was an alternative proposal to Pending Changes that got community support, but the WMF vetoed. So no, community consensus isn't the end-all be-all of how things work here. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:41, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Is it really true they're thinking of banning Rich Farmbrough because he has broken his restrictions in correcting Verterbrate to Vertebrate? I'm finding it hard to get my mind round this. Dmcq (talk) 14:46, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Thats part of it. More directly because he did it using "automation". The major problem is they never even agreed amongst themselves what defined "automation" let alone make it clear to Rich or the rest of us. Kumioko (talk) 14:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Well I think they should get some far better examples, I think WP:IAR "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it." covers that change. Dmcq (talk) 14:56, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I think that Arbcom feels that rule doesn't apply to them. The Arbcom established a sanction against Rich of no automation or any clear definition of what that was and naturally Rich broke that unclear sanction. Arguably the sanction wasn't needed in the first place and now they vote to ban him for various amounts of time, for breaking the sanction. Kumioko (talk) 15:07, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Rich knew better. The whole BetaCommand/Delta issue made it clear that anything that even looks automated falls into that category. Rich ignored that at his own peril. He's only got himself to blame. And IAR refers to policies and guidelines; violating an ArbCom sanction and then claiming IAR isn't going to fly. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:59, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I compeltely agree with you that Rich knew better and that he is much to blame. The problem here is bigger than Rich and his specific case though. Arbcom has made a lot of poor decisions over the last several cases and Rich was only the latest one. I don't disagree that Rich should be blocked for a duration, I would start with a month and go from their (Arbcom passed a motion of starting with a month but are ignoring their own decision which is a part of my gripe). I do not at all agree that automation should include anything and everything and be an open license to ban him because he did half a dozen similar typo fixes in a row (as an example). The bigger problem I am getting at is that Arbcom needs to be clear in their decisions, stick to them and be open to discussion. When they have a history of banning every single editor thats brought before them because they have preconcieved notions that if it makes it to them its automatically a problem (guilt by default and that has been admitted by several members of Arbcom BTW). My list of complaints goes on and on but it all ties back to a lack of appropriate controls and processes for the Arbcom.Kumioko (talk) 16:21, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
First, you're seeing selection bias. Cases that get accepted tend to be the ones where one party has exhausted the community's efforts to resolve the matter. That's pretty much going to end up with blocks or sanctions. Second, motions do get changed as the case goes by. That makes sense, since it's an ongoing discussion. And sometimes new evidence comes to light, or policies get changed, which means they revisit previous decisions and change them. I'd frankly be concerned if they never deviated from their initial findings. Finally, I'm not seeing these "poor decisions" you are. I've been pretty satisfied with ArbCom's decisions lately. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:30, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok fair enough then can you please explain how Wikipedia is better off without Rich or his bots in it? Can you explain to me what the point of an Arbcom sanction is if its written in such a vague and unlclear manner that nearly everyone that reads it interprets it a different way? What the point of an Arcom decision is if they don't bother to follow it unless they feel like it? These are rhetorical questions of course and I understand you are happy with their decisions but not all of us are. Frankly the more I read into their discussions and motions and policy and talk to them in discussions the more they concern me. Kumioko (talk) 16:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Without commenting on anything else raised here, discussions seem to have been started at various venues in relation to Rich's arbitration case (hashing out the same points) - or so my watchlist would indicate. My concern is that it may be distracting, and will have a counterproductive effect on his case, particularly at a time where motions are being considered. Of course, that may not be so important for the relevant users if they feel there is a bigger issue to discuss, but that said, I have not seen much benefit emerge from those discussions so far. Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:43, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Well your right. Very little has come out of any of the discussions other than Arbcom starting a few motions to correct a few of the deficiencies pointed out to them which I admit is a positive step in the right direction. However, given that in the Rich case they passed a motion of increasing blocks if he broke it but now are voting to ban him for a year, inclines me to believe that even if these motions pass, they wouldn't follow them. IMO if Arbcom is going to continue to play a role in Wikipedia policy a key to that is fairness and good judgement. Neither has been displayed in abundance recently. In truth Wikipedia needs an Arbcom function but it doesn't need to be done the way it has in the past and it might be time to reevaluate their role. Kumioko (talk) 16:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
And that discussion should take place on the appropriate page. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:42, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Except that very few editors watch that page ensuring that few would respond. Kumioko (talk) 18:11, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah, I've heard that song and dance before. That's the appropriate venue, not this. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:37, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Well if you've heard it before then maybe we need to add that to the to do list of things to make better. If I propose a change on my talk page and no one answers does that mean I have consensus and can go ahead with it? Submitting changes on unknown or unwatched venues and then wondering why people complain when they didn't see it is a rather big problem on Wikipedia. This topic is no exception. Kumioko (talk) 20:45, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Quit being so melodramatic. You know damn well that getting consensus for a change happens on the Talk of that policy, not your own Talk page. Hell, you could run an RfC on the ArbCom Talk page, and post the RfC notices in the appropriate venues. That would be better than running around in circles here. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:32, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I guess it doesn't really matter at this point since it feels like I am the only one that thinks that Arbcom is making a lot of bad decisions lately and Jimbo and the WMF are the only ones that can do anything about it. And they are unlikely to do anything. As you stated we contributors don't have a vote on what Arbcom does or doesn't do. Kumioko (talk) 21:39, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary, as I mentioned above, the Arbitration Policy specifically provides a procedure for that policy to be amended by the community of contributors. But that would require some specific proposal(s). However such specific proposals might well crystallize out of a more general exchange of views and ideas, which seems to me exactly what the "village pump" is here for. I don't understand HandThatFeed's somewhat aggressive-sounding attempts to suppress discussion of the issue altogether. Victor Yus (talk) 09:16, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not trying to "suppress" anything, I'm trying to get people to make their points at the appropriate place. VPP is for issues with specific policies, not "I hate arbcom" soapboxing. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:05, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I had a look briefly there at some AN business related to a complaint I had raised at AN/I and I thought it was just so awful and petty and silly and longwinded. I have no intention of ever looking at ArbCom discussions unless I absolutely have to, I think this forum is good enough for general highlighting and discussion if something really untoward seems to be happening to the whole process. Dmcq (talk) 11:07, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
What "untoward" is happening aside from WP:IDONTLIKEIT? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:05, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Well I asked above "Is it really true they're thinking of banning Rich Farmbrough because he has broken his restrictions in correcting Verterbrate to Vertebrate?", and it seems the answer is yes, that is true. My belief is that IAR is one of the most fundamental and core principles of Wikipedia, this certainly seemed to be a fix to Wikipedia that might not have happened otherwise. So Arbcom is saying that their decisions are more important than core principle. Dmcq (talk) 16:45, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
They're considering banning Rich because he appears to have been using automated tools, which he is expressly prohibited from doing; and because he was using them to continue his "single character edits" that got him into trouble in the first place. It's not just a spelling correction getting him banned, it's Rich's apparent inability to abide by the restrictions put in place.
WP:IAR is a loaded gun. It should be used carefully, in situations where bureaucracy is slowing down an obvious change or fix (ie. blocking an obvious sock). ArbCom could use it too, and bypass their normal processes. That would result in (justified) outrage from the community. Besides, invoking IAR to get around the restriction that was imposed in lieu of a ban is pretty much thumbing one's nose at the community. Rich was pushing to see just what he could get away with, instead of honestly abiding by the restrictions to earn the community's trust back. Same thing happened with BetaCommand. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:16, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Arbcom could have waited around until he caused some problem rather than thumbing their noses at basic policy. Dmcq (talk) 19:50, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
There's another "basic policy" in play here: the principle that editors must work together. This is a collaborative project. People who insist upon going against the directly expressed decisions of the en.wp community are violating that important principle. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I am so tired, Kumioko +1, discussion venue being here, +1, Rich banned for something that people cannot even possibly see, stupidest thing which, ironically everyone can see. This is like the way Christianity departs from the teaching of Jesus into the worship of the letters and phrases in the bible which is then used to justify absolutely anything which is fundamentally against the teachings of Jesus, name your heinous crime and it's been done in the name of Jesus. When you worship the letter not the spirit (like the 'written rules' not the pillars) you've become the enemy. Pick a religion, or pick wikipedia, it's the same tune being played over again, and I can see why and how, the whole lot.

In the end, along all possible outcomes barring acts of God, Wikipedia is unable to repair itself and will be marginalised, that is your future here. Fixing anything is impossible in this system, it's doomed. Penyulap 09:37, 5 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before. Wikipedia has been "doomed" since it launched. Eventually, it will become obsolete, when the next new technology for distributing information comes around. Until then, Wikipedia will be around in one form or another.
Oh, and dragging religion into this was a bad idea. That's just asking for trouble. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 11:31, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Own rules more important than basic principles, dismissal of expressions of disquiet. Slashdot classifies the karma of contributors on the line "Terrible, Bad, Neutral, Positive, Good, and Excellent." I think my impression of the Karma of Arbcom is rapidly going leftwards in that list. Someone here like to pitch the Karma at good or excellent? Dmcq (talk) 11:50, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The rules are in place to help codify the basic principles. And yeah, I'd rank ArbCom at Good right now. But, we're way past any semblance of Policy discussion now. Anything else to discuss? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:49, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
We may as well close this discussion. Its obvious at this point that very few care about what Arbcom is doing and how and those that do don't seem to mind. Using a religious term I feel a bit like Noah saying a flood is coming and no one believes him till its too late. A flood is coming to Wikipedia and if things don't change with a number of areas including Arbcom and how they function we are going to get washed away. Kumioko (talk) 14:01, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
More like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. People have bemoaned that Wikipedia is dying since at least 2006. At this point, it's hard to take any such suggestions seriously. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:50, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I second that.1 What could possibly go wrong ? We don't need any changes to policy as there are no problems. I can't see any problem when I look around, what are you talking about ? Penyulap 05:57, 6 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Looking at the way backlogs on basic things are building up I think the crash may already have happened. The difference between a place with sufficient capacity to deal with queues and one that is overloaded develops quite rapidly. Dmcq (talk) 09:12, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that the backlogs prove anything. Try this thought experiment: Why aren't you all active at COIN? Because first Atama, and now OlYeller21, always took care of it, right? So you didn't think your help was especially needed there, and you decided to pay attention to something that needed more hands. Why aren't you all active at ELN? Because I answered most of the questions for the last couple of years, right? So you didn't think your help was especially needed there, and you decided to spend your time somewhere else. We could go on, but I think you see the pattern. We get a "backlog" when the couple of people who've "always" taken care of a given board take a break or cut back their involvement. The existence of a backlog is how we signal to the community that someone else needs to step up and help for a while. It doesn't mean that any given backlogged page will always be that way. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:32, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

New users can instantly create articles?

According to Wikipedia:User_access_levels#New_users(and elsewhere), new users can instantly create article, but in practice it seems that new users cannot create articles until they are auto-confirmed. Can someone check(or point me to) what the policy is suppose to be, and if necessary test what a new user can actually do. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 11:44, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Answered at Wikipedia talk:User access levels#New users. It's right that new users can create articles. Why are you so convinced it's false that you post about it in multiple places? PrimeHunter (talk) 12:38, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The discussion on a new users talk page : User talk:PatriciaSR. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 12:48, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, people sometimes say things that are incorrect because they are mistaken in good faith. At to the talk page discussion you've linked, you're right that Rich said that, but he was not correct. As Primehunter told you, you can test it yourself. Go to Special:NewPages and see all the articles being created by brand spanking new, not-yet-autoconfirmed users. You can click on a few names and look up in the creation log when their accounts were created, and look at their contributions to see whether they created the page before reaching ten edits. When in doubt, go to original evidence.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 13:02, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. With your prompting, I eventually someone who has create an account and a new article today User:Soumitramehrotra. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:12, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Actually, a proposal to change it so that only autoconfirmed users could create articles passed last year but it suffered a foundation veto that first looked like a developer supervote. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:14, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Still not happy about it. Their alternative attempts to lighten the load at NPP are only marginally effective. SilverserenC 19:43, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Hm, so something the community desired was rejected by the mediawiki devs? Is there a local endaround that can be done perhaps, maybe a new speedy deletion criteria to tag articles created by non autoconfirmed users. Tarc (talk) 16:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Crimedog, note that the final decision was made by Erik Moller; hardly a developer supervote :). Tarc, I'm not sure what such a proposal would accomplish; surely if the issue is that articles created by new users create a large burden on patrollers because of the amount of junk, requiring them all to be tagged would actually increase this workload? As Silverseren notes, we're working on a more nuanced alternative to Special:NewPages; I would be very grateful if everyone here could test it out and leave feedback and ideas for enhancements here. Thanks! Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 19:29, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Read my comment again. I said it first looked like a developer supervote, not that it was. I understand that the foundation occasionally nixes proposals with community consensus when they have good reasons to do so. Two examples I can think of were an early proposal to delete unused accounts and a more recent one to add a "view deleted" user right. I just don't think this was made clear by the developers who first commented on the bug. However, Erik Moller's statement in comment 43 was reasonable. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:12, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
"The community"? You act like there's only one. If you ignore Erik Möller's (significant) role in that decision, then the story is that "the developer community" did not choose to implement a change requested by some people in "the en.wp editor community" (e.g., myself).
The devs are mostly volunteers (just like us). MediaWiki gets run on a lot more websites than just the WMF's, and many of them have no interest in or connection to the English Wikipedia. It is a separate community with its own goals and priorities. We don't own the devs (and they don't own us). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And you, madam, get a beer should you come to wikimania :). Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia a contributor to murder?

Okay, this is just plain off-topic for this board. This isn't a policy discussion at all, it's WP:SOAPboxing. As for Mr Magnotta, Wikipedia is not therapy. We can't fix someone's personal problems. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:12, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Has it occured to anyone on Wikipedia that if you'd let Luka Magnotta have his 15 minutes of fame, that he would not have felt the need to murder, cannibalize, and mail bits of some innocent person around the country in order to get the attention he clearly craves? As early as 2008, he was apparently trying to get an article about himself onto Wikipedia. Instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt based on his appearance in porno videos and his brief tabloid infamy, the denizens of Wikipedia did what they always do and turned into a pack of vicious, self-righteous crusaders intent on pounding flat the proud nail. It would have cost Wikipedia absolutely nothing, and it might have saved someone's life. - SmashTheState (talk) 10:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it might have, then again.... HiLo48 (talk) 11:02, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I see we have a new standard for encyclopedia articles: Virtually every human being is capable of murder, virtually all human beings like to have their egos salved, salved egos produce better moods, which reduces the odds of violently acting out, so obviously...encyclopedia articles for all humanity! Smash the state, indeed.—DCGeist (talk) 11:06, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Has it occurred to anyone that had SmashTheState gone and given Luka Magnotta a hug that he would not have felt the need to murder, cannibalize, and mail bits of some innocent person around the country. It would have cost SmashTheState absolutely nothing, and it might have saved someones life. Just saying--Jac16888 Talk 11:13, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
If he had walked up to me in 2008 and repeatedly tried to hug me over a period of months, during which I not only refused but self-righteously denounced and humiliated him for trying to be hugged, then yes, I might very well bear the same level of moral culpability for his later actions as Wikipedia. - SmashTheState (talk) 11:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
This section is preposterous. Even if it were not speculation it would still be preposterous. North8000 (talk) 11:33, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The chance that keeping the Wikipedia article would have prevented Luka Magnotta, is about the same chance that keeping the article would encourage him to do even worse acts of violence. Most psychiatrists agree that indulging people who demand attention will just increase the persons need for more attention. It acts like a drug, the more you give the more the need is increased. Denying Luka Magnotta attention might have been the best chance in preventing the murders from happening all together.
Now I have just one question. Why is this discussion still here and not deleted already? If SmashTheState want to discuss Luka Magnotta and the impact of denying a wikipedia article, SmashTheState should either start a blog, post on facebook/twitter, or at most, use his own talk page. The Village pump is not the place for general discussion of Luka Magnotta. Belorn (talk) 11:38, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
This is not a discussion of Luka Magnotta, this is discussion of Wikipedia policy, and the real-world repercussions thereof. If I had posted this to the Luka Magnotta talk page, they would quite rightly have told me to take it to the pump. If you're telling me that I should be censored, I'd be interested to know on the basis of what Wikipedia policy you believe I should be silenced. - SmashTheState (talk) 11:45, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Smash, I do not think anybody is proposing to censor you. A number have people have questioned your hypothesis that letting some unknown crazy have his way would have prevented that person from murdering somebody. There's simply no proof that the murder was connected in any way with Wikipedia. --Salimfadhley (talk) 12:01, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The culpability of Magnotta is no established fact. An arrest warrant is in effect, but we should still consider him innocent until proven guilty. I imagine this BLP policy also applies here in the village pump. Expectans (talk) 12:10, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Anomaly regarding notability of high schools

I have nominated an article for deletion (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Al Yasmina School‎), since it doesn't comply with Wikipedia's notability criteria, but apparently there is an anomalous rule being applied here, stating that high-schools are meant to be kept no matter how irrelevant they are. Is there a way to solve this issue? Expectans (talk) 12:04, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

See: Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments - for starters. And see some more recent stuff here. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:32, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
From Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments we cannot jump to the "we keep schools" argument used at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Al Yasmina School‎. However, there seems to be a group of people systematically pushing to keep all high-school articles. It's true that some members push systematically in the other direction, and nominate for deletion the same articles (I'm not in this group, by the way). I think it could be constructive to ask not related users about how the Wikipedia criteria apply to these articles, since many people seem to already have made up their minds. Expectans (talk) 12:54, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and this was fairly recent too - also no conclusion to change the status quo in spite of the debate having wasted everyone's time - again. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:48, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The status quo is here: "No company or organization is considered inherently notable. No organization is exempt from this requirement, no matter what kind of organization it is." What is happening with the "keep all high schools" movement is an anomaly. Expectans (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:04, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I think there are other examples that mean that it is not an anomaly, or at least not a unique one. We keep articles on all species of animal or plant even if they are referenced solely to their official classification as species. I think the same is true for all chemical compounds and named villages. In these cases we require verifiability but we regard notability as intrinsic. Why not high schools? Do we really want to declare war on loads of articles about genuine high schools? As I see it, that is not the war we want to fight. The war we want to fight is against promotion, cruft, hoaxes and vandalism within the articles about schools. --DanielRigal (talk) 17:12, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I know, I know. There are things worse than high school articles here. Expectans (talk) 19:22, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Expectans, please read what you've been linked to before attempting to change Wikipedia single-handed - especially when it concerns one of the longest running perens we have, and look up what status quo means. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 17:16, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I know what "status quo" means, but you could check the meaning of irony in its etymological meaning. And BTW, I am sure the link I provided is being considered as an argument by other editors. Expectans (talk) 19:22, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Rights of indef blocked users

Started RFC at Wikipedia_talk:User_access_levels#Rights_of_indef_blocked_users Nobody Ent 01:54, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

IPA

This has been discussed in the past, including here, but i've not seen this exact question addressed, so here it is: Is it OK to start having IPA transcriptions for every single WP article, or is there a policy that says otherwise? Sometimes there are quite common-looking names that are pronounced in complex ways, so pronunciation guides across the board would be useful (especially for foreigners, who regularly read the English WP as it's often richer); as well as IPA, we could also have an English-based "for-dummies"-type transcription (eg "Berkeley: BERK-lee"), as well as a link to Forvo sound files. This would be particularly useful with names that have several accepted pronunciations (eg. Lindsay Lohan - whose article currently seems to ignore this fact and only lists one).

I realize this would all look too heavy at the beginning of each article, so these three guides (IPA+"for-dummies"+Forvo) could perhaps be hidden, requiring a mouse click to expand & view. Any thoughts? Thank you. BigSteve (talk) 11:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

I believe english-for dummies type transcriptions is a proposal that keeps coming up but there doesn't seem to be a way to make it work properly. For instance should your BERK-lee really pronounced BAR-klee or BURK-ly, E can have widely different pronunciations in different dialects of English. Dmcq (talk) 14:51, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I think playing a soundtrack is the best other way as well as IPA. The problem there is that people in general don't seem to be able to hear sounds outside of their dialect. For instance I can hear big differences between words which my wife find hard to distinguish and vice versa. When you listen to a foreign person's name as like as not you've completely missed some part of it a native speaker thinks is important. With a soundtrack you still mightn't get how it's pronounced, but at least it is the listener's fault rather than Wiikipedia's for not making it accessible ;-) Dmcq (talk) 15:00, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
If you take a look at a favourite (relatively local) example of mine, Happisburgh, all three can be achieved in a small space. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:12, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Brilliant! That's exactly what i was looking for :-) so it's both doable, and accepted on WP! Thanks BigSteve (talk) 08:13, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I wonder if this could go in an infobox.
I don't think I'd include a pronunciation for words that normally appear in English-language dictionaries. If you want to know how to pronounce food, you should look in a dictionary, not here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:28, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I'd go out of my way to put in pronunciation guides for common words, but if somebody wants to put in the effort to add a few thousand guides into various random articles around Wikipedia I don't think there should be a corresponding idiot running around and reverting all of those changes. Not only is life too short to be fighting things like that, but I think it even adds some spit and polish to the project. It would be more like the Geotagging project and other similar projects where somebody can put the time into doing such a thing if they feel inspired and should generally be accepted because it does make for a better Wikipedia. --Robert Horning (talk) 19:32, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • IPA is as useless as Esperanto. I've met one (1) person in real life who knows it. He was a junior high school English teacher of mine and a wierdo, loosely defined. Newspaper-style pronunciation is ADD-uh-kwet if you really need something pronounced. Ideally there would be sound files for tricky pronunciations. IPA is arcane, esoteric, useless flotsam in a WP lead though. Carrite (talk) 21:52, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
In this vein, I DARE YOU to poll actual WP users on the question: 10 of 'em, 100 of 'em, 1000 of 'em — any sample size. Vote IPA or Crude Newspaper Pronunciation system. No participation by the ummm, wierdos loosely defined, who spend their lives tweaking MOS... Actual users of WP. Vote would be no less than 9 to 1 in favor of the rational system over goop. Carrite (talk) 21:58, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Lists of characters

Throughout my 6 months on Wikipedia one question has boggled my mind since the beginning: What is the rules for lists of characters? Lists such as List of Family Guy characters. But I have also noticed that some of them like List of Toy Story characters have the {{in-universe}} tag on them. Due to the nature of the article, in-universe and its backing guideline should all render each list in need of a rewrite. This confuses readers and new editors as they may start to think that such lists don't meet notability or fail MOS. And I learned this the hard way. Some were bold and I really suggest someone write an essay regarding this. Also, if anyone sees {{in-universe}} on any list of this like, please remove it. Thank you. --Michaelzeng7 (talk - contribs) 20:22, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

The short answer: It's fickle.
The longer answer: For a running work of fiction, a collect list of characters is generally acceptable (even in a single work, listing the characters can be a possibility). Whether that needs a separate article for the list is not clear, but generally if you can easily fit the list of characters on the overall article about the work itself without approaching size limits you should do that. When the list grows long, then that can be split out to a separate list.
But, when this happens, that list should (not required, nor is this standardized) show some sense of notability. The list once broken out now needs to be less about the plot, and more about the work or the characters as elements of fiction themselves. Are the characters notable? Did the character cast receive critical attention, etc? Were the creators influenced by anything in creating the characters? One thing that certainly should be avoided is having the character list be retelling of the work's plot (that's the problem with the Bug's Life list above).
Also, remember that in-universe is usually fixable. If a character's story is easy to tell by stepping out of the work, ordering events that make the most sense, instead of trying to follow how the character experiences things, that's doable. --MASEM (t) 20:51, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
So does that mean if you find a list such as the Bug's Life one, redirect it to force a rewrite, or whatever? --Michaelzeng7 (talk - contribs) 13:26, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
You certainly can be bold to make the appropriate redirects or changes, but be aware that some editors who have best intentions may be overprotective of such articles and will revert such changes, at which point you should seek out consensus to resolve. --MASEM (t) 13:34, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I see, thank you for the enlightenment! --Michaelzeng7 (talk - contribs) 18:45, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Should wikipedia policy recognise its own imperfection.

Apparently this may be an uphill battle, which is understandable given the cultural differences in approaches to justice.

In cases where significant doubts regarding the innocence or guilt of an editor exist in the community, forcing the editor to make admissions of guilt as a prerequisite to unblocking could punish innocent editors, or reward guilty ones in an innocent prisoner's dilemma.

— suggested basic addition to policy

Incidentally please DO feel free to help with the article as I don't like to write articles generally, I just like to make the empty colouring in book or its pages where there is not enough elbow room for the editors who are there. I also managed to shove the article into Wikipedia space first (yes I am a a goof) so the essay space is like right there already, so please go for that as well.

The innocent prisoner's dilemma, or 'Parole Deal', is a detrimental effect of a legal system which does not recognize the possibility that its judgements may be imperfect. When an innocent person is wrongly convicted of a crime, legal systems which require the individual to admit guilt, for example as a prerequisite step leading to parole, punish an innocent person for their integrity, and reward a person lacking in integrity.

— from the article

Penyulap 19:21, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Apropos of what? JJB 19:33, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
First of all, I don't think anyone has ever suggested that Wikipedia isn't perfect. Secondly, you might be interested in this essay, which I think you should expand with some of this content. Equazcion (talk) 19:40, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
"Innocence" or "guilt" is a strange way to characterize block-worthy offenses, unless we're talking about socking where there might be a question of fact as to whether someone did it. Regardless, community blocks either are or are not supported by consensus. If they are not, then the block should be undone. If the block is supported by consensus, then we can't honestly say there is significant doubt in the community as to whether they engaged in conduct worthy of being blocked, particularly as consensus does not require unanimity. Next, blocks are enacted to prevent further bad conduct and if it is serious enough or persistent enough that we have imposed an indefinite block, we don't want to unblock unless we're confident that the conduct will not repeat. So expecting an editor to acknowledge that their conduct did constitute disruption, or socking, or POV warring, or whatever it happened to be, is not an unreasonable expectation to help ensure that the issue has been resolved. postdlf (talk) 19:44, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
We're aware of the reasons unblock requests are handled this way. It's sound logic and you don't need to defend it. Ideally it would be enough, but if we're not speaking in ideals but practicality, it also has the potential to create the problems illustrated here. See WP:EHP. Equazcion (talk) 19:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Equazcion, I have no interest in EHP, pride and integrity have significant differences. It could be argued they are opposites.
I recall seeing an issue outside here on commons, someone was banned because they mentioned that they can sue anyone who uses their images inappropriately. One admin thought it was a legal threat, others said it was a fair statement of attribution licensing, neither side made the suggestion it referred to usage on the project or on the web. The banned editor was asked to take sides in the argument which ensued as a prerequisite to the block being reviewed. Given an artist can be emotional at the best of times, it's not a viable solution.
An initial block needs to stand on it's own, at the time the block is made. If the original block is disputed, then making demands upon the blocked user to help prop up the thinking of the original block to justify it means that unjustified blocks will stand in cases where the banned user is incensed by a perceived or real injustice. Fair enough if someone gives you a punch in the head you may well forgive them, maybe, OR you just may forgo the apology preferring to avoid a reapeat and stay away from that person forever more. Should banned users who avoid wikipedia because they feel wronged be used as proof that the original disputed block was correct ? I punched you in the head, and because you didn't come back for more, I am right. Penyulap 20:49, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Semantics. If you read the essay it describes the same issue. Equazcion (talk) 21:18, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
The business of asking people to acknowledge their crime has always made me cringe. I'd just look for good behaviour whilst n prison and possibly there might be restrictions on actions afterwards in some cases completely irrespective of whether they acknowledged their crime or not.
Whether or not we are going to apply the concept of guilty or innocent to Wikipedia blocks I think we should similarly take absolutely no notice of whether a blocked user does or does not say they acknowledge the problem causing the block. I see no connection between saying they acknowledge a problem and being willing to do things differently and that actually being the case, I think it is entirely possible that the correlation is negative. Dmcq (talk) 23:23, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Equazcion, I re-read that essay carefully, and seriously, I can see the elements there, which are covered in manure, Omg that essay sucks, no wonder it will never make it past essay, it shits on integrity, completely denigrates it, puts WAY TOO MUCH intimacy into the equation. Admittedly if anyone else pointed it out I wouldn't have gone searching so hard, but that essay will never describe the problem in an acceptable way when so little is salvageable from it, no to mention the inevitable retentives. Considering just how many can't see the problem, when there clearly are some that completely do, it's cause to write properly from the start.... and the one thing we ABSOLUTELY MUST leave out is pride. Pride and integrity ARE NOT THE SAME THING. OMG. break out the dictionaries people. Penyulap 09:35, 1 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Apropos of what? From which policy might we currently infer we use forced confessions and duress? Thanks. JJB 11:19, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

See the answer to WP:UNBLOCK#Common questions ' I did something a bit wrong, but how do I get unblocked now?'. Compare the answer with that of 'I've never done anything wrong and I was blocked! Please advise'. Dmcq (talk) 22:45, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I was reading about the approaches that different countries take to child care a while ago, and one of the things called out as a point of difference was how everyday infractions were handled. America was unique among the countries profiled for running a miniature trial and expecting the child to confess his "crime". So a typical event would be a boy hitting another boy, and the teacher (even if she had witnessed the hitting) would pull the two boys aside, prompt the plaintiff to make an accusation, prompt the defendant to explain his side, extract a confession from the defendant, pass judgment, and then sentence the convicted boy (to having to play by himself for a few minutes, for example).
Since having read that, the old "you must confess" advice has always struck me as very American. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:20, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I suggest we lose this sentence

One common requirement for unblocking is simply "do you understand that what you did was inappropriate for this site, and confirm that you won't do it again".

Penyulap 03:50, 3 Jun 2012 (UTC)

  • Support, for the reasons I gave above. I don't think this distinguishes between people who will follow the policies and guidelines and those who won't and it annoys people with integrity where the admins have made a genuine mistake or where they have been just picked on e.g. for parity like seems to be often done. Dmcq (talk) 08:44, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, sort-of... There seem to be some problems with that guide (Wikipedia:Appealing a block, [7]), but they are not going to be corrected by this deletion. The problem is that the possibility of mistake or misunderstanding (on the side of blocking administrator, on the side of the blocked user, or on both sides) hasn't been mentioned. If that possibility was included in some way, the sentence in question would become something like "It is generally helpful to explain what happened and if there are any plans to avoid this situation in the future.". That should avoid the impression that anyone is being forced to lie, while the administrators would still have the ability to look at the explanation and see if it corresponds to reality... After all, "Competence is required." (I wonder if we shouldn't add "Humility is required." and "Obedience is required.")... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 12:39, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I've put a notification on the talk page there. Dmcq (talk) 14:18, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support change, not deletion. First, the sentence in context applies to a situation where the blocked user has already admitted "I did something wrong". In that sense the sentence has value; it works to say, "Because you know you did something wrong, simply confirm you won't do it again". OTOH, if it is construed as "all unblocked users must understand they did something inappropriate (unless specifically excepted, e.g., IP block)", it runs afoul of the principle of this thread. (Also, to nitpick, "one common requirement" actually means "one common way of satisfying the requirement": the "necessary/sufficient" conflation.) Accordingly: It is commonly sufficient simply to understand when you do something inappropriate for this site, and to confirm that you won't do it again. The shift from "what" to "when" addresses the innocency concern. But this is not the most ideal phrasing either. JJB 23:53, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Filter out the good and keep in the bad

Wikipedia:Guide to appealing blocks It's full of more of the same, creating logic locks as explained in The innocent prisoners dilemma Penyulap 07:20, 11 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Two confusing pages

These pages are virtually identical. I redirected the page, and my edit was reverted as unconstructive (see next edit). I spoke with the editor who reverted my redirect, who retracted the warning, however, had advised me to initiate a discussion before redirecting such a page. Please provide input on what you believe should be done from here. Thank you. 70.248.176.149 (talk) 23:26, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

It's ironic that the user who reverted you has a userbox that says WARNING: This user is capable of completely screwing up using Huggle. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 03:57, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
This is a perfectly straightforward case. These are two copies of essentially the same page, created by the same author with within a short time. Having two copies is not only pointless, but also potentially confusing, and redirecting one of them was the most reasonable thing to do. As far as I can see, the only reason given for reverting the redirect is that "essays need to be discussed before majorly changed", but I cannot see any reasonable way of seeing this as a major change. If anyone has any rational reason for preferring to have two copies of the same page then please explain; otherwise, it is much more helpful to keep the redirect, and so I shall restore it for now. JamesBWatson (talk) 08:46, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree. Content forks aren't good anywhere on Wikipedia. Nyttend (talk) 03:22, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

A New Pages-like Patrol for Non-free Media

An issue we are struggling at WT:NFC is appropriate education of users using non-free media. It is very possible for an editor that has otherwise never used images to insert non-free inappropriately without being aware they are wrong.

New Page Patrol does watch for new files but the only checks they make there are to valid a copyright license (including free licenses) are there, and some idea of a source for the image. There are several additional checks that would need to be done for a non-free media to assure that they meet NFC policy. Some of these are done in batch analysis of non-free media files via automated tools to find when certain expectations aren't there but not all of NFC can be done by automated processes.

I am looking at some type of process that is like New Page Patrol but specifically targets non-free media, and only adding it to the queue for patrol after a day or so as to give editors a chance to spiffy up what is needed. Once on the queue, any editor can review the image use for the core expectations of a non-free rationale. When there are clear problems, the images should be tagged with the appropriate templates and users warned. A 4000x4000px image for a CD cover? Tag it "non-free reduce"; image used in a page otherwise not listed in its rationale? Tag it. However, at this stage, the quality of the rationale should not be judged to a great degree, giving the benefit of doubt to the uploader/user. For example, if a screenshot of a TV episode is used as the identifying image for that episode, with a basic rationale "this image identifies the episode", but mainly involving talking heads of live actors and otherwise something we'd normally not allow as non-free after review, this patrol should not make that evaluation, though I certainly can see caution tags alerting the user that a stronger rationale is preferred to avoid any potential deletion in the future. Patrolers are not required to fix any problems but they can do so if they want, though if this is done, the uploader should be notified of what they should do in the future.

This patrol cannot delete images but should remove the clearly offending ones from appropriate pages with appropriate messages to what the problems are. Most of the tags we have to warn about bad non-frees end up going to admin categories for deletion after 7 days if these aren't resolved; the cautionary tags are simply that, and no further admin action is expected at that point.

There is probably some bot automation needed for this as well as additional lists/categories/etc. I'm seeing if there's significant interest in this or ideas for it to move forward on. --MASEM (t) 15:55, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

When should administrators decline to email the source text to deleted material?

Some administrators routinely decline to email the source text of deleted articles to authors citing the English language wikipedia's policy on biographies of living persons.

The wikipedia relies on its volunteer contributors for its content and editing. When contributors draft new editorial content they voluntarily surrender some significant intellectual property rights -- and they retain others.

Contributors are free to re-use editorial content we drafted, anywhere we want. We wrote it. We retain the right to claim authorship if we re-use material we first drafted here.

When contributions are deleted through the wikipedia's processes the contributors are recommended to consider that even though the material was judged not to fit within the english language wikipedia's project scope it may very well fit within the scope of a sibling WMF project. They are asked to consider that the deleted material may well fit within the scope of a non-WMF wiki.

Sometimes the author or authors of an article may be aware that it may soon be deleted -- because they were participating in its {{afd}} and they can see how it is going. In those cases they can look at the revision history, and cut and store those passages they wrote themselves, prior to deletion. If they were the sole author of the article's intellectual content, they can save a copy of the whole thing, for use elsewhere.

Other times however material was subject to speedy deletion, or it was subject to {{prod}} or {{afd}}, where the authors weren't aware the material faced deletion -- because the nominator skipped the important step of leaving them a good faith heads-up. In those cases authors who want access to the material they submitted to the project in good faith have to rely on administrators to get access to their material.

As I noted above some administrators routinely decline to email deleted content back to authors on BLP grounds.

I had an administrator recently decline to email me deleted content. I won't name the article, or the administrator, as I would prefer to have this discussion be about the general principle as to whether there are grounds an administrator can decline to return deleted text to authors.

I will say that in this most recent instance the article was deleted as an expired {{prod}}, not following an {{afd}} or after a claim it met a criteria for speedy deletion.

Is it legitimate for an administrator to call upon the authority of policies, like BLP, that only apply here, when justifying withholding deleted material from its legitimate authors for use elsewhere? We have a principle that the wikipedia is not censored. Policy compliant administrators don't delete material to "censor" it. Policy compliant administrators delete material that isn't in this project's scope, or otherwise doesn't comply with this project's policies, guidelines and long established conventions. So, does an administrator's authority to interpret this project's policies really extend to withholding content so it can't be used elsewhere?

Some administrators might read the arguments I wrote above, and might respond, "I am going to continue to decline to email deleted material from authors. I am going to justify doing so not on censorship grounds, but just because it is extra work, my time is valuable, and I don't see it as part of my job as a closing administrator."

We are all volunteers here -- including our administrators. No one has the right to order us to undertake new tasks, because we are volunteers, and we get to pick and choose our tasks. I do think the rest of the community should expect us to bring tasks we begin to completion. Sometimes we may begin a task only to realize it is going to be more work than we expected, and in those cases I think other contributors are entitled to expect us to nevertheless bring that task to completion or find someone to take over for us. I suggest to closing administrators that responding collegially to the occasional good faith request from contributors to have the source of their deleted contributions made available to them is part of the task of closure. Geo Swan (talk) 13:55, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

In principle, only in case of copyvio. Even there it would likely fall under fair use in the UK, but presumably the text would still be available anyway. There does seem to be a general willingness to email deleted pages, it's only one or two I've seen be awkward about it. Rich Farmbrough, 05:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
If an admin has a reasonable belief that deleted material fails to comply with significant English Wikipedia policy, such as COPYVIO or BLP, then they should decline to provide a copy, since they are in effect republishing the material by emailing it from an archive inaccessible to the public. It's not particularly uncollegial to decline IMO, and after all, since articles are based on reliable and verifiable sources, they can be rewritten from those same sources anyway, right? One expectation I could see being applied to closing admins is that they provide the sources the deleted article relied on, i.e. a HTML copy of the References section from a preview pane, and not necessarily by email. Franamax (talk) 05:42, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your reply. Forgive me paraphrasing you...
... but you seem to be saying transmitting material by email constitutes republishing... We have contributors who are quite knowledgeable about copyright issues. I think they would be very surprised to learn transmittal by email constitutes publishing -- or republishing. Could you please clarify your position at #transmittal by email and the meaning of publishing?
Even if, for the sake of argument, transmittal by email constitutes publishing, do you mean to suggest that returning material to its original author could be in any way described as publishing?
Clarification please, are you disputing that we only release some of our intellectual property rights when we submit material here?
Clarification please, are you disputing that we retain the right to republish the material we personally drafted?
Articles can be redrafted, given the references. But why would we require an author to start from scratch if the author's intention is to submit the material they personally drafted to another wiki, with different policies, where the version that was deleted here would be perfectly acceptable without a rewrite?
Please consider if you really think withholding author's material from them really complies with your definition of collegiality.
Our standards have changed over the years. There are articles that I started, that complied with our standards when they were written, but wouldn't now. Some of these were kept at {{afd}} 5 or 6 years ago, and deleted at more recent 2nd {{afd}}, because references they relied upon were considered WP:RS then, but aren't considered RS here and now. I know, for a certain fact, that there are OTHER non-WMF wikis that would accept those references.
These deleted articles weren't deleted because they were slanderous, but because our standards over references changed.
In practice I would generally not simply port material I originally drafted to submit here, to the wikipedia, and submit it there, without a rewrite. But I would prefer to start from my original draft, and adapt it, rather than go the considerably greater effort of rewriting it from just the reference section.
Finally, with regard to suggestion that "closing admins [only] provide the sources the deleted article relied on, i.e. a HTML copy of the References section from a preview pane, and not necessarily by email." Clarification please, as I find this passage unclear. Do you mean that the references be provided after the WMF markup had been rendered? If so, you seem to be assuming the contents of a {{cite}} template is protected by copyright. Please see #Copyright and cite templates, spelling and punctuation corrections.
As I wrote above we have the principle that wikipedia is not censored. I think that means administrators should delete articles from here solely because they think they don't comply with our current policies. Franamax, clarification please, as you seem to be taking the position wikipedia administrators should withhold the intellectual property from wikipedia authors in order to enforce their interpretation of wikipedia policies over the use of that material outside of the wikipedia. That seems to be your meaning, and if it is I suggest your advice does not comply with WP:CENSORED. It seems to me that wikipedia administrator's authority to control the use of wikipedia contributor's intellectual property should apply only to their use on the wikipedia itself.
Is it possible you have forgotten that contributors haven't signed over all intellectual property rights to their contributions? Is it possible you have forgotten that the original contributors remain the copyright owners of their contributions? Geo Swan (talk) 14:10, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
The only time administrators should definitely say no is in cases of clear copyright violations or obvious libel, because legally (at least in the United States) this sort of text would not be acceptable anywhere. All other times should probably be considered on a case-by-case basis, with a bias towards "yes." That's just my opinion, though. Regardless of the legality of "transmission," sending someone a copy of clearly copied or libelous text implies that text would be acceptable even if published elsewhere, which isn't the case. In that regard, I don't think WP:NOTCENSORED applies here, because while Wikipedia isn't censored, it also operates within the law, and that includes not disseminating copyright violations or libel. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 23:21, 5 June 2012 (UTC)


Admins should not decline to to email the source text to deleted material because they don't feel like it, or don't like the requester. In general, admins should be willing to provide other editors with copies of their own writing, including citations. The alternative is that the editor may use up a lot (2.4 shit-tons, to be precise) of valuable administrator time by contacting more and more of 'em until they get their writing back.--Elvey (talk) 01:24, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Copyright and cite templates, spelling and punctuation corrections

When answering a question I raised in #When should administrators decline to email the source text to deleted material? another contributors seemed to be suggesting that the source text to article's references -- the populated {{cite}} templates, and reasonable equivalent, were protected by copyright.

The US Supreme Court ruled, in Feist v. Rural, that "facts" aren't copyrightable. The ruled that copyright protection requires creativity, originality. I don't believe there is any originality in a populated {{cite}} template. I don't believe {{cite}} templates are protected by copyright.

The position that the other contributor seems to have taken is that respect for the copyright of contributors requires withholding the source text to deleted articles but even withholding the source text to references used in those articles.

I have contributed to some non-WMF wikis. I ported some articles I started here to some of them, including the Citizendium and a wiki aimed at providing information on military and political conflicts to US civil servants. When I have done so I looked at the revision history, and start the article there by cutting and pasting the last version where the article's history shows I was the last contributor of intellectual material -- material that qualifies for copyright protection.

  1. It has been my interpretation that edits that add categories, add new wiki-links, but don't add new passages to the article, while useful, aren't eligible for copyright protection.
  2. It has been my interpretation that edits that are devoted solely to correcting the spelling or punctuation of the article, but don't add new passages, while useful, aren't eligible for copyright protection.
  3. It has been my interpretation that edits that merely add or flesh out references, while useful, aren't eligible for copyright protection.

The way I have seen it the three kinds of edit I listed above don't show the creativity necessary to be eligible for copyright under US law. The way I see it, if the initial edits to an article are mainly mine, but also include edits by other contributors, that add categories, or consist solely of minor corrections, or alterations to the meta information, but don't alter what it actually says, I don't have to undo those edits when copying contributions I altered to somewhere else.

The GFDL and CC liscenses we use here allow material to be re-used, but require attributing contributors. It is my interpretation that only contributors whose edits were eligible for copyright protection require attribution if material is copied. Since this other contributor seems to think {{cite}} templates are eligible for copyright I thought I would ask for others' opinions.

Cheers Geo Swan (talk) 05:31, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Nothing in that diff you linked suggests anything what you are saying about cite templates being copyrighted. --MASEM (t) 05:41, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply.
I think you are agreeing that the contents of {{cite}} templates aren't eligible for copyright.
If I understood the other contributor, they claimed respect for copyright required withholding the actual source text to references from deleted articles:

One expectation I could see being applied to closing admins is that they provide the sources the deleted article relied on, i.e. a HTML copy of the References section from a preview pane.

Note -- they said authors should only be allowed to see the rendered preview pane -- not the source. Why do you think they claimed this restrictions was necessary? Geo Swan (talk) 06:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
My take on that claim is not that the format of the cite templates would be a copyright problem, but simply a matter of workload. The source for references are scattered about the text in most articles with the way our current inline citation system works. Extracting all those would take a lot of time to assure no refs are missed. On the other hand, taking the rendered text in HTML that the reflist template produces, plus any general refs, is an easy copy-and-paste but otherwise has the same information outside of the actual cite template format. Most admins are going to want the easiest route so the copy-paste of the references is an acceptable solution. It is not because of any immediate copyright problems with the citation templates, just the difficulty of doing it. But consider: since the entire article has to be recreated, the actions of recreating the citation templates is trivial if you have the HTML information. --MASEM (t) 15:05, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your reply. Yes, I understand there is additional workload involved in emailing a deleted article, or portions thereof.
But, in my experience, administrators who decline to email intellectual property back to the original copyright hold have not said it was too much work -- they justified their refusal on policy grounds. Declining to return intellectual property based on workload and -- declining on an interpretation of BLP or some other wikipedia policy are two very different arguments.
As I wrote in the earlier thread that triggered this one, I am concerned over administrators declining to return copyright holder's intellectual property back to the original authors on policy grounds. We all remain the copyright holder of all our intellectual contributions which pass de minimus. We only released some of our IP rights. The wikipedia is not the copyright holder -- we are. I think wikipedia community's role in deciding how the original copyright holder's intellectual property is used or re-used ends when the copyright holder want to consider re-using it outside the wikipedia, when they want to consider adapting it for re-use on another wiki.
I did address the workload issue in the original thread. Geo Swan (talk) 16:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
There's two ways to view this: one: if you make a major copyvio and attempt to publish it with a new license, that copyright/IP claim does not hold; you do not own the copyright on the original work and thus cannot claim copyright here. So in this case, asking to "return the IP" to the original author is bogus since the work wasn't theirs to start with.
OR
When you submit text to WP, you "irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL" as per the line right under this text box that I'm typing in. That means that IP as soon as you hit submit is no longer yours. There is no way to "return the IP" to you because you've passed the point of no return on hitting the submit button.
Arguably, the citation templates are not copyrightable to start with (they are factual info about sources), and thus that is neither "IP" that can be returned but could be returned if possible. That goes back to the work effort aspect. --MASEM (t) 17:55, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
With regard to what we have agreed to release, sorry, but I believe you are mistaken. You seem to be saying that clicking the button assigns all our rights to the WMF.
We do release key rights, but not all our rights. Let me quote that whole box.

By clicking the "Save Page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.

The second sentence about attribution -- the one you did not quote -- is necessary because contributors retain copyright. We retain the right to have our copyright eligible contributions attributed to us. Wikipedia readers are free to re-use, adapt, rewrite, our work -- provided they acknowledge they are using the copyright work of others, and those others are named. Attribution would not be necessary if we had assigned all our rights to the wikipedia or WMF.
With regard to your theoretical examination of whether someone can request the return of copyright violations... Well, of course no request for copyright violations should be honored, because if the material was a copyright violation we would not have had the rights to use it in the first place, and we would be violating the rights of the legitimate copyright holder by emailing it. But we have a policy of assuming good faith. Are you suggesting we should never email source text of deleted articles that were essentially the work of one contributor -- based on the assumption that material was a copyright violationʔ That does not seem consistent with AGF.
You are absolutely correct that there is some additional time commitment for an adminstrator who agrees to email an deleted article where the intellectual content was essentially the work of a single contributor back to that contributor. Well, this is a cooperative project. We should all consider helping other contributors who have a civil request. My commitment to building the wikipedia is substantial. I don’t want to say exactly -- multiple thousands of hours. I do not remember ever declining to help out another contributor who made a good faith request of me. So should I be embarrassed to make an occasional request that would cost an administrator minutesʔ
When making a request like this I should be prepared to be gracious if an administrator said to me:

Geo Swan, the time I budgeted to deal with your request was not sufficient to confirm your recollection that you were the sole author of all the intellectual content. You made the first dozen edits. Then other contributors made some edits, and you returned and made some more. In the time I budgeted I did a diff that confirmed the first N edits by other contributors were all to the metadata, thus all de minimus, so this is the version as at 200x-yy-zz.

It would probably be possible for a bot to take a conservative approach and figure out at which revision was the last revision where the original contributor made the last edit where they were the sole contributor of intellectual content.
Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to make thoughtful comments. Geo Swan (talk) 19:30, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not feeling too sympathetic here. The complaint is basically "I didn't think this was important enough to make a backup, but now I think it's important enough for someone else to go out of his way to give me a copy."
You have no more right to insist that a volunteer here give you a copy of an article you wrote than an author has the right to demand that I lend him my copy of his book so he can make a photocopy of it. You're asking for a favor. You are likely to get a more favorable reception is you ask nicely instead of standing on your supposed "rights". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:16, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I think you have mischaracterized what I wrote.
I think my requests were polite. I thought I saw a pattern of administrators who declined by requests, based on interpretations of policy that I thought were incorrect. I thought seeking others opinions as to which interpretation of policy was useful and I thought a forum on policy would be the right place to ask these questions. Geo Swan (talk) 19:46, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't know whether your requests were polite or not (as I haven't seen them), but IMO WhatamIdoing is dead on in interpreting your "returning intellectual property to the copyright holder" argument. Anomie 22:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, since I think WhatamIdoing offered rebutals of straw arguments I did not make I do not know whether your agreement with her actually means you disagree with what I actually said.
My main point was that administrators have said they decline to email deleted articles to the original author saying policy prohibits this. I believed they were mistaken about this interpretation of policy, and I thought the policy forum was a good place to seek other opinions.
I believe wikipedia policy only authorizes administrators to try to control how contributions are used on the wikipedia itself.
I would be very interested if you had an opinion on this issue. Geo Swan (talk) 09:37, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that you seem to be implying that there is some sort of obligation for admins to email a user a copy of their deleted edits on request. Regarding the BLP question specifically, Wikipedia:Undeletion policy#Access to deleted pages touches on the issue. Anomie 15:52, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Would you agree the most relevant passage was: "Note that these requests are likely to be denied if the content has been deleted on legal grounds (such as defamation or copyright violation), or if no good reason is given for the request"?
Would you agree that the corollary would be that requests for deleted material, where there is no legal issue, and where the requester offered a good reason should not be declined -- on policy grounds.
Administrators who decline for reasons other than policy are a completely different issue. When an administrator declines, and says, "No, I can't be bothered", or reasonable equivalent, I can initiate a request at WP:DRV. But since administrators have declined -- citing policy justifications -- I think it was completely legitimate for me to ask questions about those interpretations of policy I had doubts about, here, in this policy forum.
In your last comment you used the word "problem" to describe my comments. I tried to phrase those questions in a civil, collegial way. I did make a suggestion, which I also tried to phrase in a civil, collegial manner. Honestly? I thought I succeeded. Maybe, by problem, you merely meant you disagreed with my suggestion. But, if by your use of the word "problem" you meant to imply that you saw a genuine lapse from policy in my comments, or something else I should try to avoid, I would appreciate you explaining what you thought lapsed. If that is what you meant I would appreciate you explaining on my talk page, or via email. Geo Swan (talk) 12:17, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Let me be clearer: It doesn't much matter to me what their excuse is for declining your request. They have zero obligation to fulfill your request. In declining your request for this strictly optional favor, I'd be satisfied if they told you that the Moon was in the wrong phase, or if they just said no.
If these pages were important to you, then you should have kept your own copy, so that you would not be dependent on the kindness of grumpy strangers to get the information now. Since you didn't, you are now faced with the difficult task of persuading someone to help you—persuading, as in, convincing them that helping you is a path to happiness and peace and rainbows and cookies and eternal gratitude, not claiming that they have some sort of obligation or duty to do so.
Your problem, in other words, isn't a policy problem. It's a human problem. We are never going to write a policy that requires anyone to give you a REFUND. Consequently, you need to make someone want to give you that page. No amount of policy editing or complaining here is going to have that effect. You need to win friends and influence people, not change a policy page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
See WP:Copying within Wikipedia#Where attribution is not needed. It may be more convenient to provide a full List of authors without filtering for minor contributions. Flatscan (talk) 04:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I was not familiar with that page.
WP:Copying within Wikipedia#Where attribution is not needed offers adding "bare references" as its first example of the kind of copying that does not require attribution. I can see how someone could interpret that as supporting the premise that copying a {{cite}} template with some of its fields populated, in contrast, would require attribution.
I think that would be a mistake. The third example that guideline offers of the kind of copying that does not require attribution are "Simple, non-creative lists of information." I believe populated {{cite}} template are "Simple, non-creative lists of information". Therefore I am going to suggest on Wikipedia talk:Copying within Wikipedia that it should say "references" -- not "bare references". Geo Swan (talk) 20:05, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't fully remember, but I think that "bare" is directed at the quote parameter, which has some creativity in its selection. Most or all of the other parameters are facts about the referenced work. Flatscan (talk) 04:09, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Hmmm. The person selecting the quoted material, is, bringing judgment to the selection. I would agree that this judgment passes the bar for creative input that qualifies for copyright protections -- except wouldn't the copyright to the quoted material clearly belong to the original author being quoted -- not to the person who chose to place it in the quote field? Geo Swan (talk) 05:06, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
    I have another guess: refs that are added to existing text. You will probably get a better answer at WT:Copying within Wikipedia. Flatscan (talk) 04:10, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Abolishment of using WP:BEFORE as an editing restriction

Several times (most recently with User:TenPoundHammer), I've seen editors propose being forced to follow WP:BEFORE as part of a thread involving supposed misuse of AfD or CSD. WP:BEFORE is neither policy nor a guideline and there has never been a consensus to make it as such. Therefore, I propose some sort of disclaimer that forced adherence to this non-policy is a non-starter. Note that this should not be a vote on the merits of WP:BEFORE pbp 13:28, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

The instructions in WP:BEFORE related to verifiability and notability (which are the ones that cause most contention) are firmly grounded in deletion policy, where the relevant criteria are "articles for which thorough attempts to find reliable sources to verify them have failed" and "articles whose subjects fail to meet the relevant notability guideline", not "articles which do not currently contain reliable sources" and "articles whose current content fails to meet the relevant notability guideline". Phil Bridger (talk) 13:36, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • (ec)I'm afraid I don't understand your post or what you hope to accomplish with it if the merits aren't at issue. WP:BEFORE is consensus-supported, the main difference in opinion from case-to-case being how much "due diligence" someone is expected to do if the article's flaws seem pretty self-evidently unfixable on their face. You'll find there's little on Wikipedia that anyone is "forced" to do, but those editors who have nominated something that is easily found to be notable or whatever the issue are rightly criticized, and those who have repeatedly abused AFD by repeatedly making frivolous nominations have been banned from it. BEFORE is certainly in the spirit of WP:ATD and WP:PRESERVE, which are policy, and is at minimum good practice and an exercise of good judgment. If you're not questioning those merits, I don't understand why you'd want to make it less likely that editors would be expected to follow it. postdlf (talk) 13:46, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
    • "WP:BEFORE is consensus-supported". That's not exactly true. While there's no consensus to get rid of it, there's no consensus to upgrade it to a policy either. And since it ain't policy, editors can't be required to follow it, and it shouldn't be used as an editing restriction pbp 15:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
      • That strikes me as wikilawyering. Whether it's a policy, guideline, Miss Manners rule of etiquette, or traffic ordinance, it's a good idea and a reasonable expectation that AFDs not be wastes of time for easily researchable issues, and per policy at WP:ATD and WP:PRESERVE, not be brought for fixable issues. And we don't fail to do good things just because we're not "required" regardless of whether it's written down somewhere or not. If someone's only reason for not doing something is "you can't make me", they are failing to be a good editor and member of the community. Really that's about the worst attitude someone could have on here. postdlf (talk) 16:37, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
      • As Phil Bridger has already pointed out, WP:BEFORE is policy. It is currently deletion policy where it has been for some eight years, although it in fact originated in the verifiability policy in 2003. Uncle G (talk) 11:38, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely not. There's been a whole spate of AfD's recently where the good practice of BEFORE have categorically been ignored for favour of quick and dirty AfD's (several of which you were involved in you, Purplebackpack89). Some of those were problematic because the nominator failed to realise that they were AfD'ing an article with a problematic title (and was, in fact notable), or articles which were recently created.
It seems to me that you're trying to get rid of BEFORE, not because it's bad practice, but because it gets in the way of some sort of "kill score" that you hope to attain at AfD. ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 13:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
This "kill score" allegation is not germain, not proven at all and frankly is a personal attack pbp 15:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
All that BEFORE can be used for is to demonstrate AFDs that should have never been started because of "ease of correction" that BEFORE would highlight. The problem is that proving that BEFORE wasn't done is difficult and I've seen cases where the nominators who normally follow BEFORE and even talk about lack of sources from their google searches are accosted for failing to do BEFORE. Basically, if it is a case of an editor that nominates for AFD often but a great deal are quickly shown to be bad noms because of easy google search hits or the like, then that's a behavioral issue that likely will restrict their participation at AFD, not require them to do BEFORE since again, proving that BEFORE was actually used is impossible. --MASEM (t) 14:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Echoing what Masem just said, WP:BEFORE itself is not the problem; it's a great thing to follow when going through the deletion process. However, more of the problem lies when editors use WP:BEFORE to whack nominators over the head with, even if said nominator may have made a good faith effort to follow it. Of course, that in itself is very hard to show physically that one has or has not. --MuZemike 14:31, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And that's exactly what I want to stop, Mu (and Masem). Inclusionist whack nominators over the head with it as a straw argument. When Hammer, or me, or any other number of editors have made several AfD nominations that are perfectly acceptable policywise but other editors don't like, and then make one AfD nomination of slightly more questionable merit, inclusionist insist they be shackled to the (not a policy or guide) of BEFORE for eternity. That's wrong. Assuming BEFORE is here to stay, but not as policy (and there's never been consensus to make it one), BEFORE shouldn't be used in this manner, and something should be added to BEFORE to reflect that it isn't policy and shouldn't be used that way pbp 15:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
How exactly are they being "shackled to BEFORE for eternity"? That sounds like empty rhetoric to me, and I don't know what you're actually trying to describe. postdlf (talk) 16:37, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Are you sure that needs modification of some policies or guidelines and not just some encouragement to follow Wikipedia:Assume good faith..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:33, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, this is more of a behavioral argument than a policy problem. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:20, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Purplebackpack89, I suggest that you read WP:The difference between policies, guidelines, and essays. The tag at the top of the page is not what makes a page contain sense or be support. WP:BRD is widely supported, but it's "just" an essay. WP:Five pillars is wildly popular, but it has no tag at the top (it is generally considered to be the best essay about policies ever written, without being a policy itself). There's no tag at the top of BEFORE because it's been embedded into the middle of a major procedure page. It needs WP:NOTAG to contain good advice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:32, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Forget WP:BEFORE for a second—let's look at underlying principles. The touchstone of AfD nominations on the basis of notability (and verifiability) is existence of sufficient reliable sources and certainly the majority of AfD nominations are notability-based. A nomination on the basis of notability is, then, profoundly a discussion on the merits of whether sufficient reliable sources exist. Now comes along a fairly experienced user who nominates a topic at AfD on notability grounds that literally a five second Google Books search would show has scads of sources written about it. They don't bother to do that search. What happens then: the nomination stays open for a week if not snowed, and ten people waste their time on it when it never had any chance of succeeding—never, not maybe, not possibly—it was a nonstarter because the grounds for the nomination did not exist and that lack of merit was child's play to discover. That's irresponsible and an insult to everyone who ultimately participates. We owe some duty to not be complete assholes to our fellow editors. Okay, so say this is the first time this user has done so as far as we can tell. Fine, they deserve a trout slap but let's not make a big deal. Now, how about the user who does this over and over (as does happen)? Now we're talking about numerous man hours wasted. That is disruption. WP:BEFORE is where the obviousness of this is written out (though it it doesn't say it in these terms, nor with the clarity and emphasis it should about the minimum expected—I attempted to fix that some time ago but that's for another discussion). Yes, I have seen WP:BEFORE abused; people who expect a complete survey of sources the nominator may not even be familiar with before nominating, but the principles of every policy/guideline/essay are subject to perversion, which does not invalidate their proper application.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:47, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Me personally I would agree that (regardless of WP:BEFORE) before sticking something in for AfD the nominator should check if there are obvious sources. It just wastes everyone's time otherwise. The better nominations say "A Googgle search turns up nothing but press releases by Foocorp" Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:25, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, it is the author who has to come with proof for statements (or whole articles). Not the nominator. Why should you put the burden on the nominator? Night of the Big Wind talk 17:04, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I would hope the better nominations spell Google correctly :) The WordsmithTalk to me 16:56, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Advice to nominators

I agree with MuZemike, WP:BEFORE is sometimes used to beat nominators over the head with. Therefore, what a nominator should do when he properly follows WP:BEFORE is pick 3 sources from the search results that he suspects that a hyper-inclusionist might try to pass off as supersources and impeach them in his nomination statement. Are they press releases, are they trivial mentions, are they blogs? Say so. Yes there might be some editors !voting "keep" who disagree with the nominator about the quality of the sources but at least the discussion will be about the sources and not the nominator and there will be no doubt that the nominator did indeed follow WP:BEFORE. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:28, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

  • It's extra work, but that would be ideal! Hobit (talk) 18:09, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Years

Does Wikipedia have a guideline about whether "1921–2", "1921–22" or "1921–1922" is to be preferred, or does it depend solely on the manual of style that one is following? --Toccata quarta (talk) 20:57, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Longer periods says "A closing CE or AD year is normally written with two digits (1881–86) unless it is in a different century from that of the opening year, in which case the full closing year is given (1881–1986)."
So, in this case, 1921-22. I'd also say this seems more natural, but that's just my preference ;-) Andrew Gray (talk) 21:01, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Taboo Titles

In past few days, we had a discussion in Persian Wikipedia on avoiding taboo words in titles. In fact, there are some articles in Persian Wikipedia whose titles are taboo words (Most of them are body parts). In English Wikipedia, scientific names for these body parts are used. I wanted to know if there is a guide, law or policy about avoiding taboo or slang words when there is a scientific neutral name. In other words, can I move these articles to a neutral name based on a policy?Ali Pirhayati (talk) 16:31, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Our policy only extends to the English wikipedia. If you're talking about what happens on the Persian WP, that's not in our realm. The Foundation (Which oversees all) has asked for an approach of least surprise in all aspects of any Foundation project but how that's implimented at the Persian WP is outside our venue. --MASEM (t) 16:38, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
In the case of body parts the way that we handle this on English Wikipedia is to have articles about anatomy under neutral titles, such as "vagina" and "vulva", but, if the taboo words are notable as words, we have separate articles about the words themselves, such as this one. Apart from the shock factor the neutral titles are better for anatomy articles because they are usually more precisely defined than taboo words. This would seem to me to be a sensible approach to take in any language Wikipedia, but it's possible that editors of the Persian Wikipedia see things differently, so you really need to discuss things there rather than here. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:46, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Electromagnetic hypotheses about UFOs

Hello. The above page was created by a banned user in violation of ban, and deleted per speedy deletion criterion G5. I had requested an exception to this rule and had left a note on the deleting admin's talk page stating that I believe it is reasonable to make an exception request for this given that the page contained content which was very useful and constructive for the encyclopedia. The deleting admin appeared to have avoided responding. I hope that I am not perceived as a sock puppet of that banned user, but I honestly do believe that significantly constructive pages, even those created by banned users, should be retained. Please provide input. 69.155.128.40 (talk) 18:14, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

They shouldn't have been sticking in stuff into Wikipedia and I see no reason to acknowledge their contribution no matter how interesting or notable. They can apply to have the ban lifted if they wish to contribute constructively. If they weren't doing something unconstructive elsewhere they probably wouldn't have been detected or people wouldn't have cared, WP:DENY is the appropriate advice I believe. Dmcq (talk) 20:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I think the philosophy of banning a former editors is that their contributions are so unlikely to be useful that it is unfair to ask editors in good standing to bother thinking about the contribution, and blind, unthinking deletion is in order. If you think the approach is worthwhile, write the article yourself. Jc3s5h (talk) 20:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
A judgement call has to be made with such deletions, as with anything else we do. In the case of articles created by banned users the best such call is only to keep them if no effort is required to ascertain that they are of obvious benefit to the encyclopedia. I don't believe that any article with such a title could possibly fall into this category. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (published works)

Wikipedia:Notability (published works) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

This proposed guideline was created years ago but then has become neglected. I wonder if it must become official at this state. Nevertheless, the intention to replace all existing guidelines is way too much and must not come true, but I don't know if I want to remove that notice of intent yet. --George Ho (talk) 19:48, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

WP turning into a sports newspaper

It looks like with the outcome of two recent AfD's (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/UFC 145 and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/2004 Estoril Open) the respective projects and fan bases can muster !votes at AfD's to keep articles on routine sports events, thus turning the encyclopedia into a sports news reporting service. So my question is do we :

  • A) change the WP policy to accept that (if that's what we want) or
  • B) reinforce policy to say we are not a sports reporting service.

Mtking (edits) 20:28, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

I guess the question is where do you draw the line? Aren't most UFC types of events pay for view? If so aren't they also television specials and as such also subject to those inclusion guidelines which would probably say they are fine? Vegaswikian (talk) 20:45, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
So are quite a number of sports events, that does not necessary make them anything other than routine sports events. Mtking (edits) 21:18, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I've said at WT:Notability (sports) why Wikipedia is no good for what they want and not just because the policies and guidelines are against it. The really should set up a Wikia which concentrates on sports statistics and has stringent conditions on the editors so it can gain a status as a reliable source. I'm wondering about a couple involved in the business whether they are not doing it because they like sports or are just silly but because they like playing games with Wikipedia and causing disruption. Dmcq (talk) 21:03, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Mtking has a long history of trying to delete as many UFC articles as possible. He has sour grapes since his latest attempt to get a UFC article deleted failed. UFC 145 clearly passes notability guidelines. As the admin who closed the afd as keep said, it has sources from the NY Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, etc. Mtking tries to get a lot of UFC articles deleted, and when he CANNOT get them deleted, he goes to other areas of Wikipedia to try and get the POLICY changed so that he can get what he wants. It is his modus operandi. Gamezero05 23:30, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Let's be perfectly clear here. The Estoril Open AfD was comprehensively rejected by the wikipedia community. If you take out User:Portillo from the equation (he admits he only voted delete because he was being a "being a trouble maker"), the AfD, which was open for a fortnight, got all of 2 delete votes. Members of Wikiproject:Tennis contributed only a minority of the keep votes, so are not to blame for the AfD failing. Non tennis keep voters still outnumbered the delete voters by 3-1. Sour grapes? I think that's pretty clear. Jevansen (talk) 03:22, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It is not sour grapes, if you re-read what I am asking her you will see that I asked is it time to change policy in light of those outcomes so as to remove any doubt. As for your analysis of the The Estoril Open AfD, I see that you failed to mention the fact that you and four others were canvassed by a member of the project (I know you denied it had any effect on your participation), I also take issue with the analysis of the keep votes, the majority of which were from project members (those judging by user-boxes on their user page or contribute at the project) or from editors canvassed by a member of the project. Mtking (edits) 03:56, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Take issue all you want, but I did the numbers and the majority of keep votes were not from WP:Tennis members (PrimeHunter, TheLou75, Secretaria, P.T. Aufrette, Ymblanter and John J. Bulten). I'll concede that TheLou75 has made some edits to Rafael Nadal related articles (and also a disturbing amount of edits at Talk:Human penis size) but he isn't a member of WP:Tennis. Regardless, it's 5-2 at best (non tennis keeps > deletes) so I suspect the AfD would have still failed without "canvassed" users and members of the wikiproject. That's all I'm saying, a pro-tennis wikipedia conspiracy isn't the reason your AfD didn't succeed. Jevansen (talk) 07:43, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikiprojects cannot override global consensus about notability, as well as other policies (like WP:NOT#STATS). There's no doubt that, for example the annual event of the Estoril Open is notable, but each yearly iteration fails NEVENT, NSPORTSEVENT, and several other policies, the same that are being applied to the MMA article. There is a serious issue if these articles are being kept on dubious claims of notability. --MASEM (t) 03:47, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
How do you decide what is notable? For example... do you think UFC 145 is notable? It had the light heavyweight championship of the world on it, was covered by major publications such as LA Times, USA Today, New York Post, etc. It was one of the biggest PPV events of the year, and not-to-mention, 360,000 people visited the Wikipedia page the day after the event. For comparison, 380,000 people visited the most recent Super Bowl page the day after the Super Bowl. If that isn't notable, then I don't know what is. One other point I'd like to make. There are different ideas of "notability". Users like Mtking finds things notable that are "unique" in some way. An article can get 2 page views in an entire year, but as long as some smart guys talked about it in scholarly journals, and it is unique, then it is notable. Yet other pages can get 10,000 views PER DAY for years, and even if it is covered by major newspapers, if he feels it has no "enduring notability", then he wants to delete it. Which brings me to my point... what is notable? Isn't notability what we make it? If hardly anybody cares about a subject apart from a few people, then how notable is it really? Notability isn't some inherent force in the universe that is just waiting for humans to find. Notability is what humans make of it. Gamezero05 05:43, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The type of reporting that UFC 145 currently lists is what's consider "routine", it is "flash in a pan" with no evidence of long-term importance, and is all primary sources - straight data reporting and no context. Page views - and by extension popularity - do not count, unless those facts themselves are of significant discussion. Yes, we can define what notability is, but that is based on the idea that significant coverage in secondary sources - or the likelihood of that in the case of subject-specific guidelines - is what the community has decided. Projects cannot override that. --MASEM (t) 05:51, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Over at WT:Notability you seem to take a different view - that what the notability guidelines say is just a presumption, whereas what really matters for notability is what concrete decisions are reached in AfD discussions. So if the AfD discussions on these two articles concluded that they should be kept, then those topics are notable, right? Victor Yus (talk) 08:11, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Notability is still presumed - it can be challenged later. In this case, there is recognition there is a problem with articles like these that seem to pass the notability guidelines, but clearly there's something that other editors don't agree with that don't belong. So now this is where everything gets fine tuned on this specific aspect. --MASEM (t) 12:59, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And the other thing to remember: we are an encyclopedia. We summarize information. We reiterate what is said about events from a 60,000 ft thousand view. UFC is a notable sport; several of the athletes in it are notable. But that doesn't make every event appropriate to include as the summary: the results, yes and how they relate to the bigger picture of UFC in general, but not the specifics of each individual event. Similarly: the state of the US economy and of stock markets like Dow Jones notable, but that doesn't mean the day-to-day market change (which is widely reported, perhaps more so than the UFC events) of appropriate encyclopdic value, unless it was a big dip or the like such as Black Friday. There may be notable UFC events, but my survey of such articles, and of articles like the tennis one, suggest otherwise. I point out how the PGA editors have done it - most of the annual golf events don't have articles, save for the 4 biggest matches (eg like the Masters) which attract extra attention due to their legacy to start with. Understand how to summarize sports coverage is what is lacking in all this. --MASEM (t) 05:59, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Masem. On some days 20% of what goes through my new-pages-patrol are articles about minor soccer players, barely notable event fixtures. Most of these stubs seem to have been auto-added and offer very little in the way of notability or verifiability. I think Wikipedia would best serve these sporting communities by encouraging them to form their own specialist wiki-sites for this kind of content. --Salimfadhley (talk) 08:48, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And they should also have better editorial control than Wikipedia so people can trust them as a reliable source. Have we got vandals changing odd numbers in various of these pages and how would one know which figure is correct anyway with the lack of good sources. That would mean less maintenance too. For the stuff in Wikipedia you need lots of people looking at it and good sources as it is the encyclopaedia just about anyone might have edited, they could have a trust system for their editors which is something we can't do in Wikipedia where we rely on many eyes instead. Having that system would mean I believe we could refer to them for statistics like we can refer to Citizendum, there would e no point however in duplicating the data. Dmcq (talk) 09:44, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
This is the big problem with any article that is comprised of mainly statistics. There's simply no effective way to verify pages like Yemen national football team match results. Rather than allow these articles which consist of nothing other than long lists of statistics we should be encouraging shorter articles which explain what the most important results are, and their significance in the subject's history. I'd personally like these list'o'stats articles to go away. --Salimfadhley (talk) 12:04, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Here's an unrelated example of the kind of sports-related low-value content we seem to be accumulating: Archery New Zealand - from what I can tell the sole rationale for the existence of this page is that somebody has already created stubs for other administrative branches of the sport. There seems to be a sort of template-completism going on. This would make sense if the goal of Wikipedia was to catalogue every aspect of every known sport. I'm sure that's not our purpose! --Salimfadhley (talk) 09:05, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Notabilility has nothing to do with importance. It is more a question of "Do RS report about it" and "Do people expect us to provide some information". If I go to a village football match I don't go home afterwards and check if the goaly has a Wikipedia entry. I would if someone on the sidelines said "great that we now have x he used to play in such-and-such-higher league". Then I would want that information available and could expect notability as in such-and-such-higher league there no doubt was plenty of media coverage. Important? not really. On the other hand some boring scientist who found the cure to some obscure cancer might be considered important, but is he notable? Personally I would like to be able to look him up as well, but I doubt there might be sufficiant coverage. Agathoclea (talk) 09:28, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
But is that really Wikipedia's role? I could envisage some other kind of sporting statistics project whose role it is to compile not just an encyclopaedic but complete set of sporting statistics. Such a site would be unlimited by the WP:CRYSTALBALL rule, and could include include school and college leagues and would allow a user to chart the entire career of sports-players from the little league to the professional and back to amateur leagues. I do not think Wikipedia is that site. In the case you gave of the "boring scientist" - it would not be up to us to determine whether he was notable or not. We'd look to the reliable secondary sources. I think we should have the same standards for sports-people as we do for scientists in Wikipedia. --Salimfadhley (talk) 09:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And as I said above I'd encourage them to use a reputation system so readers were fairly sure that what they read was right. Dmcq (talk) 10:08, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I think we have - the only difference between the boring scientist and the popular sportsperson is that without checking we know that the relevant sources that establish notability exist purely on the popularity of the subject matter. There are thousands of specialist magazines covering that. Agathoclea (talk) 10:24, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I can't judge these events I have zilch interest in them, but I would hope for some statement at least showing why they are notable. 2004 Estoril Open mentioned above just seems an affront to me in that it was passed at AfD without even an attempt to put notability statement into the lead. Also the citations didn't support the statistics, how would we ever know if they were vandalized? Dmcq (talk) 10:52, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but you seem to be putting yourself into the same contradictory position at Masem above. On the notability talk page you say that the one true solid test of notability is the result of AfD discussions, not the notability guidelines themselves. Yet here, when you see an AfD discussion whose result goes (in your view) against the guidelines, you feel something is wrong because the guidelines have not been adhered to. What is your actual position? Victor Yus (talk) 11:02, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The guideline seems to be in contradiction with the AfD result. I'm commenting on that, such contradictions are a good basis for changing the guidelines. I'm asking if we wat to change the guideline for notability so we don't have to show notability and if the guideline on verifiability should be changed so statistics can be stuck in with no reliable sources. Isn't that what you want? Dmcq (talk) 12:41, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Let's not confuse two separate things here. The main problem that we have had recently is the effort by fans of an invented-for-TV pseudosport to get every last detail of their obsession into Wikipedia in as many different articles as possible, despite the fact that there is very little coverage of this entertainment outside the broadcaster promoting the events and unreliable fan sites. Let's treat these events for what they are, TV episodes, and follow the appropriate guideline. Events in genuine well-established sports, such as tennis, would take place even without TV coverage and receive plenty of independent coverage in mainstream reliable sources, so are a completely different kettle of fish. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:14, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't matter if it is a pseudo-sport, the problem is that observing all these MMA/UFC events has highlighted that there are similar problems with true professional sports events like 2004 Estoril Open. If all we can cover about them is the same type of information that the UFC events are putting forwards - basically statistics and results - then these are no better than the UFC articles even if they are a professional event. This is where the various NSPORTS guidelines fail, because they are too inclusive and yet there seem to be double standards between the professional sports and the pseudo-sports in their application, and still include far more than any other project on WP. --MASEM (t) 12:59, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
What are you talking about "pseudo-sport"? MMA is regulated by state athletic commissions, is covered by all mainstream media and newspapers, and is broadcasted on major TV networks (Fox, Globo Brazil, etc). It is as much of a sport as any other out there. Secondly, it seems that Masem simply does not like sports. Because many of the UFC events contain far more than simply statistics and results. But secondly, statistics and results ARE going to be most of what a sports article is about due to the nature of what sport is. So why are you guys on an anti-sports crusade? And you guys like to bring up that Wikipedia is not a statsbook. So let's take the UFC for example. I can't find almost any UFC stats on Wikipedia except for individual records of fighters. I can't find takedown percentages, striking percentages, punch counters, transitions, takedown defense percentages, etc. Other than results of fights, there really isn't any statistics. Gamezero05 17:10, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
We're trying to summarize sports; we are not a sports almanac but at least can try to include elements of such. We recognize that sports gets a disproportionate amount of coverage in the media, but at the same time, much of that coverage is duplicative and mostly of a primary nature (read: box scores and game summaries for the major league game are reported in papers across the globe); effectively it is the definition of routine coverage. Thus, we have to be aware that if one cannot provide context and commentary on a sporting event, and can only give out stats and standings, the event probably isn't notable, even if current sports guidelines say they are. Thus given all other aspects, it makes sense that we can discuss sport results at the season level, or in the case of continuous events like MMA, as annual summaries, breaking out individual games, competitions, and the like when they are truly notable above and beyond routine coverage. This is normalizing the area of sports with all other fields on WP. --MASEM (t) 22:51, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I would say you just aren't looking, Phil. I don't care for MMA myself, but one of my local papers covers each UFC event in considerable detail. Truthfully, I see no issue at all with an article for each UFC event. It's no different than articles on each WWE pay-per-view, many of which are GAs. Or season articles for pro-sports teams, many of which are GAs. Or articles on single games that are events, many of which are GAs. The simple fact is, people like Masem have consistently campaigned against these articles on the simple and exclusive argument of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Resolute 17:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I fully agree that there are lots of games which should be covered by Wikipedia. But how did 2004 Estoril Open though get through AfD without any indication of notability, practically zilch summary of anything and a whole bunch of statistics that aren't supported by the citations? Dmcq (talk) 17:42, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I would say it passed because the participants of that AFD generally felt that such tennis events are notable. Wikipedia is a work in progress. No, that article is not done. But there is no reason why it can't be expanded. Resolute 17:48, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough I guess, but couldn't people at least add a citation for the statistics? How is anyone supposed to know what's right if somebody changes a 1 to a 2 in those tables? And if there is a good source that supplies those figures why are we duplicating them rather than summarizing? Dmcq (talk) 17:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
@Resolute, I don't agree with how you summarise the "campaign"; for example I would have the same reaction if WikiProject Australian rules football decided to have an article on each and every AFL game, they are are also covered in "considerable detail" in every newspaper and sports section of every news website here, shown on PPV TV overseas. What about WikiProject Football (Soccer) deciding to have an article on every one of the 300+ English league games every year, each of which is shown on pay-tv here and the results of every game make the TV news section here in Australia far more sourcing to chose from than these UFC events. Mtking (edits) 20:46, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Apples and oranges. We don't write articles on every tennis match or UFC fight either. We write on the tournament, the event or the season in most cases, with some exceptions made for the especially notable individual matches. e.g.: 2011 Heritage Classic or Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. Resolute 20:53, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I look at the number of "events" per year for UFC events and compare it to other sports that are centered on individual performance and realize that the folks that maintain the PGA tours (eg: 2011 PGA Tour) have it right. Most of the specific recurring yearly events aren't notable (but the encapsulating article about the collection of yearly events itself its), save for 5-6 major exceptions which are the biggest golf tourneys of the year. The same logic can be applied to UFC/MMA.
The problem become that the UFC/MMA stuff is geared towards individual on individual, not individual against the rest of the players involved. As such, yes, it seems like the smallest iota of information is the individual matches, but to that end, I strongly suggest that the right way to present this information is to focus it from the participant's side, instead of trying to group a series of unconnected matches together and saying that's notable. It's not the way the UFC/MMA people have been thinking about it, but it makes it much more logical (working on the assumption that notability of a MMA fighter is relatively easy to show compared to the match) to present the information that way. The yearly summaries can still be useful as a separate cross-reference for that. --MASEM (t) 23:06, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I would apply the same logic to MMA as we have WWE and professional wrestling. We don't write articles on the individual house shows unless something truly notable occurs (MMA equivalent: UFC shows on broadcast TV/Bellator weekly shows) but there are currently 81 GA class articles on WWE/TNA/WCW pay-per-view events. And I'll tell you right now, I could write a GA class article on UFC 149 if I felt the desire to. So can the MMA folks - and I wish they would realize that doing so is their best defence against the people working to delete their articles. Resolute 14:34, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) So what if someone was to write an article on each days MLB games, or each week of the NFL season, or each week of the AFL or EPL ? What we have at the moment is a policy (WP:NOTNEWSPAPER) that says we don't cover newsworthy events unless there is some demonstrated enduring notability, we don't cover every reported murder, because the vast majority are not of encyclopaedic note yet most would get coverage in the press both at the time of the crime, at the time of the trial and at any appeal but all of the coverage is routine primary news reports. Take the 2004 Estoril Open, what happened at the event that was of encyclopaedic note ? some professionals were watched doing their job, it was shown on TV, it was reported in the press, so was 13 March 2012 in the Australian House of Representatives or 16 May 2012 in the US House of Representatives. Mtking (edits) 23:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I told you above that we don't generally do articles on individual matches, and I have no doubt that such articles would be quickly and correctly deleted at AFD. If you are unable to comprehend the difference between an individual game, match or fight and a season, tournament or event, then you are just wasting my time. Resolute 14:34, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

WP:notability is founded on the fact that suitable coverage is a rough indicator of encyclopedic-type notability. Mathematically this assumes a a relatively constant ratio of suitable coverage to encyclopedic-type notability. When this ratio varies, the wp:notability guidelines don't work quite as well. Nowhere is this more true than with sports, which is extremely coverage-heavy, out of proportion to enclyclopedic-type notability. The coverage itself (and watching/reading it) is itself an immense activity and entertainment, rather being just coverage. Add to that being the one with a very high incidence of fandom, and fans working the AFD and I think that the overall situation has gotten out of whack. One answer is to toughen up the SNG standards. Biting my tongue while I say that because I think that GNG should be refined so that SNG's can be eliminated, and then eliminating SNG's. But that is a very complex project. It will probably require introducing a new metric into the wp:notability equation, the "degree of enclyclopedicness". Trying to handle this aspect only with a separate pass/fail test (via. "What Wikipedia is not") is too hamhanded to accomplish this. But I digress. North8000 (talk) 22:41, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

North8000, you have made some damn good points. I don't know what the solution is, but the problem is: coverage of sports does not reflect notability the way it does in other topics. Coverage is itself part of the spectacle, and fans work to bring Wikipedia into it. I'd like to hear some ideas about how to amend GNG to include genuinely notable sports topics and exclude the endless stream of trivia. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 18:24, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Folks, there is nothing wrong with covering notable events. And everything is routine at the end of the day if it happens on a regular basis. The Superbowl is a prime example. As are the Olympics and presentational elections. We cover them even so. If the coverage is there and even mildly sustained, we cover it. As well we should. Hobit (talk) 02:00, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Even the Super Bowl is "routine". It happens every single year. We all know how much coverage it will get. We're expecting it. According to Mtking, only something like the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction that happened in 2004 would be considered "notable". The Super Bowl itself wouldn't. He takes the notability thing way to far... to the extreme. Gamezero05 16:49, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
<sarcasm>And here I was thinking it was turning into a reality show "news"paper</sarcasm>--ukexpat (talk) 17:54, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree on the Superbowl, and also for the other 20,000 sports articles that are next in line with respect to notability. The problem is the other 200,000 sports articles that aren't in that 20,000. North8000 (talk) 20:55, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Closed webpage

There is a closed webpage (http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/cricket/histories/matches.html) being used to reference the Datchet Common article. I have attempted to change the reference to an archived version but have had my edit reverted seemingly on the grounds that the page although closed isn't dead. The archived version (http://web.archive.org/web/20110716021623/http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/cricket/histories/matches.html) of the page can back-up the articles claim while the current closed webpage cannot so is it not better to use the former? --88.111.35.122 (talk) 22:05, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/cricket/histories/matches.html works fine for me here (82.71.1.109). It's a really long page ... - David Gerard (talk) 22:28, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I've used cite web to add the archive. Hope that helps. --Izno (talk) 19:21, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

WP:article size and WP:SPLIT causing problems to Wikipedia?

List of Codename: Kids Next Door episodes (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
Personal life of Jennifer Lopez (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

The Codename episode list was split into Season articles, and each is full of fancruft and absent of reality. The second was split from Jennifer Lopez due to length and is nominated for AFD due to possible violations of WP:BLP and tabloidism. I wonder if this guideline about size and splitting helps Wikipedia become a better place than it is now. As far as I can see, Jennifer Lopez article is 180k, and Codename list needs some heavy cleanup, as transcluding Seasons pages is not very easy. --George Ho (talk) 18:36, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

We need SIZE as long as we are considering serving as many devices (including mobiles and other units on limited bandwidth) as possible. SIZE and SPLIT work just fine, its isolated problems like these that can be resolved without changing these policies. --MASEM (t) 18:44, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

The newcomer's manual

I came across this purely by accident when looking up Manchester's WikiProject. Had this page been launched properly I think it could have been a really useful tool for newbies. Is there anyone who would be willing to restart it? Otherwise what should be done about it? Simply south...... always punctual, no matter how late for just 6 years 20:32, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Per MOS, this should really be called WP:Newcomer's manual or WP:Newcomer's guide. Our impersonators at Uncyclopedia call theirs simply "Beginner's Guide" and incorrectly have it in the mainspace. 68.173.113.106 (talk) 21:18, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
There we go, I've changed the title of the discussion. Simply south...... always punctual, no matter how late for just 6 years 21:26, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Btw, this subject is not todo with the subject's title. 193.201.64.11 (talk) 13:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Question about closing the verifiability RfC

I have a question that I would like to put to the community. I am currently mediating a MedCab case about the verifiability policy, in which we are drafting an RfC about the wording of the policy lede. We are very nearly ready to put the RfC up live for community comment, and discussion has turned to the matter of who will close it. The participants are all of the opinion that it should be closed by three uninvolved admins, and there seems to be a rough consensus that we should specify which admins these will be before the discussion starts. Furthermore, there is a rough agreement that these admins should be the same ones that closed the Oct-Dec 2011 RfC on the same issue - namely RegentsPark, Worm That Turned and HJ Mitchell. However, I'm not sure that these are all things that we mediation participants are qualified to decide. Therefore I'd like to ask the community if these are reasonable things to do, and whether it is reasonable to ask the same admins to close the discussion as did last time. Also, I've left messages on the talk pages of RegentsPark, WormTT, and HJ Mitchell asking them whether they would be willing to do this, and whether they could comment here as well. I'd be very grateful for any feedback people can give about this. Best regards — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 14:28, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm happy to close as a neutral admin again. I don't believe I've taken a side on the debate, let alone expressed one, but if anyone has any issue with me as a closer, just let me know. WormTT(talk) 14:38, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I had no objections to the conclusions reached the last time. Unlike the last time I have avoided involvement in the subject and have no idea what form the RFC will take. Two points occur to me. Is it intended to give this widespread awareness via MediaWiki? As far as the closing Admins are concerned, surely they are now involved having studied and adjudicated on the issue the last time and having arrived at a particular decision may not be seen by all parties to be entirely without a view on the matter. Leaky Caldron 17:01, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I haven't been following the discussion at all and am willing to close it again as a neutral admin but Leaky caldron makes a good point. So, as with worm, if anyone has any issues at all I'm just as happy to step back. --regentspark (comment) 20:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry everyone, it looks like my post here might have been a little hasty. Since I posted the original thread here we have had a couple more mediation participants disagree with the plan I mentioned above. So probably what we'll end up doing is starting the RfC without mentioning any closers, and we can work out how the closing process will happen nearer the time. Thanks for all the input you've given so far. (And Leaky caldron, yes, the RfC will be widely advertised, including at WP:CENT and with a watchlist notice.) Best — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 04:46, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Current consensus on PR editing?

Is there any collected consensus on PR editing or is it all still a lot of shouting?

I ask because next Wednesday I will be the Wikipedian at an episode of the CIPR TV webcast. (A past episode.) Basically a podcast with a camera. I have my own opinions, but I'll be there to say something reasonably representative of what the community actually thinks. So is there any place to get a feel for that?

They're also interested in this document, which is a how-not-to-foul-up guide put together by WMUK. But of course that's descriptive and not normative. - David Gerard (talk) 13:09, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

No. It's all shouting. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:38, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
If PR is part of COI, then even the shouting seems to have gone dead, judging by Wikipedia:Requests for comment/COI and its talk page, where even my query last week about what was happening drew no response. Victor Yus (talk) 15:01, 14 June 2012 (UTC)hat's very useful,
That's very useful, thank you! - David Gerard (talk) 09:05, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
This recent RfC might be of interest. Hut 8.5 13:25, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm with Nikki: it's all shouting in the end. If you play it straight, then you will get a couple of cowboys yelling at you for doing even those things that we beg people to do ASAP (like reverting unsourced libel from BLPs). If you don't disclose your connection, and you get discovered, then people who would have welcomed above-board editing are now mad at you. If you don't edit directly, for fear of being banned as a POV pusher, then people tell you to be WP:BOLD—or, as is often the case for articles about smaller companies or other low-traffic pages—nothing will ever happen because nobody ever reads it.
And the lack of hard-and-fast rules means that you get all sorts of made-up rules. I dealt with one nasty situation for a long while in which one editor (a self-disclosed activist) demanded that another editor (a self-disclosed professor) disclose his supposed "conflict of interest" not just on his user page, but every single time he edited an article having any connection at all to his academic area. There's no such rule—but there's also no way to stop a POV pusher from yelling at you or trying to convince inexperienced people that his made-up rules are real.
I'm fond of WP:MEDCOI, if I haven't mentioned it before. It gives some decent examples of strengths and weaknesses for particular types of editors. Perhaps it would make a good model for something about PR professionals. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

BTW, please help with the draft best practices guideline

By the way, I should note that the draft best practice guidelines for PR mentioned above needs more review. It's had a fair bit on the talk page, but it would be best if no-one were surprised that this thing exists. More input from jaundiced en:wp eyes would be tremendously helpful - David Gerard (talk) 21:40, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

CIPR would like questions for the show

From the producer: "Also, are you sending out a note to your members on the show? We’re really keen to get questions from the ‘public’ too. They can tweet them to #CIPRTV in advance (or during the show) or submit them by the question box on the www.cipr.tv website." By midday tomorrow - David Gerard (talk) 15:58, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Show is up. I think it got our general views across. Though I promise the ponytail is going - David Gerard (talk) 12:00, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Australian athletes?

My first post here so please be gentle! If this should be posted somewhere else I will be happy to do so. Is it my imagination, or is there an unusually high proportion of "did you know" items about Australian athletes? I don't particularly mind and maybe it's just because there are so many good athletes in Australia, but I found it curious. They also seem to come in groups by a particular sport or team. I haven't been able to find anything that tells me how these items are chosen - if someone could point me to the right spot I would be grateful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.156.96.116 (talk) 23:30, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Items on "did you know" are recently created or expanded articles (subject to a few other rules). In each particular batch, a diversity is maintained, but if one particular editor is prolific on a topic, it is reflected in did you know, possibly for several days or more. Not long ago, there were complaints about the number of race horse articles. Hope that helps. Chris857 (talk) 01:43, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Bolding of first letter in a mnemonic.

I found in MoS that it is not mentioned about whether the bolding of first letters of first letter mnemonics is acceptable or not. The bolding is used in all articles listing mnemonics. (articles like list of mnemonics, list of chemistry mnemonics, list of electronic color code mnemonics, etc., one may visit Category:Mnemonics for more. Use of italics for emphasizing is not applicable and only causes distraction. Further the mnemonics itself must be emphasized and hence need another kind of emphasize for those useful letters of mnemonics. Please create a solution for this and kindly update this in MoS.Vanischenu mTalk 18:55, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Inappropriate COI bans

I've seen a few of these recently, but for a specific example, consider http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Paxlodge

Bear in mind here that what we are seeing in this case is someone who devotes time to the boy scout and/or girl guide movement. They are keen to improve Wikipedia coverage of an article close to their hearts, In this particular case, the Pax Lodge World Centre for the Girl Guide movement. They happened to choose a name similar to that of their chosen cause.

And we ban them. Indefinitely. [8]

No warning. No prior suggestion to change user name. Here is a clearly good faith editor who could potentially have been an asset to the project and we just just kick him or her down the stairs without warning.

Now years ago when I asked about what to do about vandalism (blatant vandalism - obscenities in articles) I got good advice about assuming good faith, and encouraging even IP vandals to become constructive editors. In the years since, believe me, I have become as pissed off as anyone else about blatant marketing editing. But I have also learnt that the most insidious of this breed is unlikely to be as clumsy as to name an account after the product being touted. Have we now got to the point where those clumsy marketeers have made us blind to the good faith attempts of new editors to help the project?

Forgive me for somewhat of a rant, but I believe this is important to the project. Not sure what to do, but suggestions welcome. Mcewan (talk) 21:22, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, we could change the usernames policy to allow organizational usernames with a little bit of common sense and admin discretion... so "HOTBABES4U" would get username blocked but "Inoffensive Girl Scouts Troupe from Wherever" isn't. But, again, this isn't my area. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't call a softblock and a very polite message "kicking them down the stairs". They're not being told, "YOU'RE BAD, LEAVE!!111" Just a very gentle, "hey, you can't use that name, please choose another one." Someguy1221 (talk) 08:55, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
OK but it's not exactly welcoming either. The "polite warning" was at 11:30, the indefinite block at 11:31. talk. I daresay that may be an editor we never see again, but I was more interested in airing this to see if it is a more general problem. Mcewan (talk) 11:13, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
The actual policy in regards to this is to ask them to change their username without immediate blocking so long as the account is being used for vandalism or very obvious POV editing. Thus, immediate blocking is completely inappropriate. SilverserenC 09:10, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Several of us are actually working on an essay to deal with the COI from new editors of many types (but not serial offenders) here, with the goal of reducing some of these blocks and getting COI editors up to speed on proper names and methods. Dennis Brown - © 12:26, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
The policy (WP:ORGNAME) was changed about a year ago and most older admins don't know about it. If this person was not actually editing problematically, then the block should not have been placed. The user should have simply been directed to WP:CHU to get a new username on the same account. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:26, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Request for Adminship reform 2012

Please comment and/or sign up to help with Wikipedia:RfA reform 2012 concerning whether limiting voters to a randomly selected jury of uninvolved editors selected from a pool of volunteers eligible to vote for trustees would prevent potential inaccuracy from off-wiki canvassing and also prevent pile-ons, which I hope also makes the process more pleasant. The extent to which a jury would match the opinion of all community members bothering to vote would be in proportion to the size of the jury pool. About 20 jurors would be accurate to the width of the closer's discretionary gray area, while allowing for no-shows. The downsides to this process would be effort coordinating a call for volunteers and establishment of jury volunteer, selection, and selection without involved editor pools. I note that arbcom would similarly be able to make use of such a jury pool to prevent arbitrators who eventually come into contact with most disputants from having to cast votes after they have drafted a case, as an optional side benefit later on if it works out. 71.212.226.91 (talk) 22:16, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Pending Changes RfC close

After considering the arguments put forth in each section, community consensus on this matter is determined to be that the community should dedicate itself to determining the implementation of Pending Changes that it wishes to be turned on. Many opinions have been presented in the various areas of this RfC as to what works and doesn’t work in Pending Changes as implemented/proposed; the community must now focus its energy on optimizing the implementation of Pending Changes that it wishes to see go live. Because the community must have time to discuss this, and in order to avoid the holiday season which would interfere in both devs’ and editors’ schedules, Pending Changes will become live on 1 December, 2012. To allow developers enough preparation time, we recommend that community discussion about changes to the draft Pending Changes policy be concluded no later than 1 November, 2012. If the community has not, at that time, reached a consensus about how to change the draft policy, Pending Changes will be implemented according to the terms of the Draft Policy until the community can find a consensus.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and thank you very much for your patience.

For the closing admins, The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:17, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Are there limits to NFCC #1?

An image, File:Stephen Sondheim - signed.JPG, was deleted because of NFCC #1, "it illustrates a subject for which a freely licensed media could be found or created that provides substantially the same information or which could be adequately covered with text alone." My question is whether there are any clear guidelines to the rule, being that it's open ended and subjective?

The article Stephen Sondheim had no image and the person has long been retired and is now 82. There was no free image readily available. What are editors expected to do in this case? I came across only one stated exception:

However, for some retired or disbanded groups, or retired individuals whose notability rests in large part on their earlier visual appearance, a new picture may not serve the same purpose as an image taken during their career, in which case the use would be acceptable.[[9]

Does that actually mean that only members of music groups or TV and movie personalities are allowed to have an earlier non-free photo uploaded? Shouldn't other professionals or notables, such as authors or scientists, be allowed to have their earlier years image used instead of nothing? --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 03:01, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

The reason we allow limited exceptions for the case of living individuals to use non-free imagery is when there is a significant degree of important of the visual look of that person in an earlier part of their career that, due to age or other reason, we cannot capture today in a free image; this is typically limited to the entertainment fields, actors, musicians, sometimes sports players. An often used example is File:Weirdalclassic.jpg, showing Weird Al prior to his Lasik and other visual changes, as part of his original trademark look (as described in the article). But again, this is still an exception and not a rule. There must be good reason to use the non-free image with connect to the text.
For most other individuals, their appearance when younger has no acknowledgement in sources, or to impact the reader's understanding of the article. Because we strive to be a free content encyclopedia, we cannot use non-free just because no free image currently exists but we know can be taken. Ergo, no, non-free images of living persons are nearly never allowed. If that means we have no image, that meets the free content mission better than including a non-free image. --MASEM (t) 03:11, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Creating a new user-right group

New proposal. - jc37 17:08, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:The answer to life, the universe, and everything has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:The answer to life, the universe, and everything (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, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Ignore, this is erroneous. WP:42 is not a guideline. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 04:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Ethics for Living People Bios

Should a living person have the right to post errors and omissions on their own biography? EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 00:45, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

No. They may post sourced corrections, same as anyone else. Anyone posting erroneous information or censoring reliably sourced information is violating this site's policies. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Where do they post and who reads it? EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 00:59, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The article's talk page is a safe place to post corrections and additions, though it's fine to attempt to post properly formatted additions in article space (as long as the user remembers to discuss instead of fight if the addition is removed). A variety of users may run across the post, and some may do something about it. The articles are maintained by volunteers. 01:05, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) On the talk page of the article in question. And, hopefully, another editor will come along to read it and assist. If no one else shows up, attention can be brought to the requested, sourced changes at the COI Noticeboard. SilverserenC 01:07, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
What if it is a matter of POV where the principle person editing is "well-wired" and actually hates the person he is editing, let's say for competitive financial reasons or differences in religion?EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 01:18, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
It comes down to sources. If an editor is trying to push their POV, they will eventually try to censor certain sources and overemphasize others (or even use unreliable sources). That person would be in trouble. If the person who the article is about doesn't like a well-documented aspect of their life being public information, this site is not the place to fix that, as we just get our information from reliable sources. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:22, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Ian EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 01:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Neither WP:COI nor WP:BLP prohibit the subject of an article from editing the article about themselves. There are limits on the type of edits (which apply to everyone), and there are smarter ways to go about some issues, but there is no outright prohibition. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:38, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Council of Wikipedia

Currently, there is no body which coordinates actions and policies on a Wiki-wide level. While the rulings of the Arbitration Committee and its cousin the Mediation Committee may apply to all within the community, these bodies are responsible for adjudicating disputes, not for coordinating improvements to Wikipedia. Therefore, in my essay "The need for coordination," I lay out a proposal for a Council of Wikipedia which will fill this enormous gap and end the disorganized, unicellular way in which Wikipedia is growing. Please comment on the proposal either here or on the talk page of the essay. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 00:45, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

A WikiProject is—I quote the actual definition—"a group of editors that want to work together as a team to improve Wikipedia." So you are proposing a WikiProject, just a regimented, powerful one whose scope is a mash of the existing WP:WikiProject Council, WP:WikiProject Policy and guidelines, and the WMF's Meta. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:39, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
When one usually thinks of a WikiProject, its normally a group of editors who come together and discuss improvement to a particular subject, not the entire Wikipedia project. WikiProjects do have some power in deciding the content of each article related to their subject but not enough power to rise above the powers of bodies such as the Arbitration Committee and coordinate Wikipedia as proposed. --Michaelzeng7 (talk - contribs) 01:19, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
One could only believe that WikiProjects were content-oriented if one were unfamiliar with the long list of WikiProjects at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Wikipedia.
WikiProjects per the official guideline have no more authority than any other group of editors, and rather less than the editors actually working on any given article. If a couple of editors waltzes into the talk page of an article you've been working on and tells you to do everything their way because they're a "WikiProject" and they said so, then you may freely reject their silly and anti-policy demands. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:24, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Looks like this proposal has been shot down (just as it should) on its talk page. However, I would like to use the opportunity to ask the proposer how User:Wer900/Consensus study is going on. It is the report you "almost promised" in Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 94#A clear process for determination of consensus, isn't it? I suspect that if you concluded this study, you would have found out that the problems that you want to solve (with this and other proposals) are not the problems that have to be solved...
Oh, and, if you don't mind that much, could you please remove the links to your essays from your signature? They made finding that first link via "What links here" much harder, adding unnecessary noise... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:26, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The proposal has been changed, an updated version can be found here, and it takes into account all of the grievances of the editors who have commented on the original page. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 01:18, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, I read some of it and have a single piece of advice: it's time to abandon this proposal. I understand that it is fun to think about different "constitutions", but it is clear that those proposals will be completely rejected.
Also, I don't think it is accurate to say "it takes into account all of the grievances of the editors who have commented on the original page", when, for example, the proposal ([10]) still gives great power to Wikiprojects (that are only informal groups of editors where being a "member" is mostly meaningless by itself) - and that was one of the criticisms both here and on the talk page ([11]). It is still not clear what the "Council" will really do ("To promulgate resolutions calling for action on a given area of Wikipedia." - they will write essays? You know, you can also do that now - and, by the way, have done so.). And I suspect that writing down something like "This article of the Charter of the Council of Wikipedia may not be amended through any process." is a bad idea in any constitutional arrangement anywhere. Who knows when some improvements will be necessary?
So, once again, I'd like to ask you to give up on this proposal, mark it as rejected and cancel the RFC. Now it is no longer a fun (and probably useful) game where you invent constitutions and imagine how they would work, but just a waste of time, energy and nerves. It would be far more fruitful if you did some more research on how Wikipedia actually works (like User:Wer900/Consensus study - that's a very good start; unfortunately, you didn't reference it in your proposal). Then you might find real problems with internal order of Wikipedia and propose solutions that will be far more useful. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:35, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
WIkipedia has lots of problems. And I wouldn't consider lack of coordination to be one of them. North8000 (talk) 20:58, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
We're all going in different directions, together Penyulap 03:18, 12 Jun 2012 (UTC)

A universal board would give the illusion of an oligarchy. Bulbapedia (an independent Pokemon encyclopedia that only registered Bulbagarden members can edit) is a prime example of such a system. 68.173.113.106 (talk) 23:09, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm rewriting this proposal within my user space to make it more logical. I've already cut WikiProjects out of the loop and added an Electoral Commission to ensure honesty. - Wer900 (talk | contributions)

Good luck. When you're done with the draft, you might ask for feedback at WT:COUNCIL. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:26, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Wer900, what problem would actually be solved by this new bureaucracy? Someguy1221 (talk) 23:45, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

We'd solve the problems of not having a single effort to reduce the number of stubs, among other things. We need to stop running Wikipedia like it's a new frontier, it's urban and mature.

If my proposals all ultimately fail, I've proved one good thing for the encyclopedia: Wikipedia has no liberal (American sense) bias. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 00:21, 21 June 2012 (UTC) The draft is done now, it can be found here. Please comment on it. The main concern on the previous discussion—excessive bureaucracy—has been resolved with a principle of subsidiarity. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 16:50, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Are you kidding? An "Executive Branch" of Wikipedia? Sorry, I just can't see this level of bureaucracy being useful here. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

PR editor guidelines released and publicised by CIPR

Precis: "don't." Press release, guideline (PDF), Huffington Post - David Gerard (talk) 11:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Request for comment

A request has been opened at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy#Proposal: third party request for unblock

Should the proposed change, "A third party may request the review of a block at the Administrators' noticeboard," or some variation of that change, be added to the unblocking policy. Penyulap 22:36, 27 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Proposal re.: Wording change needed to stop forbidding copying of properly licensed free content

We need to stop telling editors to not do something we want them to do!

This MediaWiki message, found at the bottom of each of the zillion edit pages our editors use, needs changing! :

  • Please do not copy and paste from copyrighted websites – only public domain resources can be copied without permission. (it's crossed out to ensure people don't confuse the extant text with the proposed text)

However, it's often perfectly fine to copy and paste content from copyrighted websites: Nearly all of our own websites' content is copyrighted. Much essential Wikipedia content comes from copyrighted websites that license their copyrighted work. The CC-BY-SA 3.0 License itself was copied from the copyrighted website http://creativecommons.org! The improper instruction of the first half of the sentence, "Please do not copy and paste from copyrighted websites" is not rectified by the second half. Inthis discussion in a less-trafficked forum, several alternatives were considered.

So, I now propose we go with the following (Credit to Richardguk for coming up with this revision and listing some pros and cons.)

Argument

Advantages: brief, comprehensive. "Please" is unnecessary when warning people not to break the law.

Disadvantages: unspecific, no reference to copy-pasting from sources other than websites, no explanation of public domain and other exemptions. But anyone relying on public domain exemptions can reasonably be expected to have enough diligence to check the detailed rules.

For the sake of brevity, the text is deliberately ambiguous about who must have "permitted". This is intended to combine the notion of the source site permitting copying and the notion of Wikipedia policy permitting pasting.

"Copyrighted websites" is changed to "other webites" because many casual users don't know that nearly all websites are copyrighted, but they are so it is safer and simpler to cover everywhere – except Wikipedia itself.

The important thing here is to firmly deter potential abusers, briefly guide casual users, and usefully steer diligent users.

Thoughts? Let's get this fixed! --Elvey (talk) 01:10, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Discussion (less cruft)

  • Agree about avoiding to frame the issue as "public domain" vs. "copyrighted", which is somewhat misleading. But I'm not quite happy about the proposed alternative either – we need something very simple, something that gets just the central message across to the clueless user, and without the reader having to first follow a link to the extremely confusing WP:Copyrights page. For the purpose of simplicity, I would think that even a slight amount of oversimplification is a reasonable price to pay. Perhaps something along the lines of "Do not copy text from elsewhere, unless it has been released under a free license". Fut.Perf. 07:35, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks and Kudos for the support and suggestion! (That's the best kind of feedback one can get!) A problem with your suggestion is that PD work is not licensed at all, so it has not "been released under a free license". --Elvey (talk) 21:00, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support any such improvement as anyone's mentioned so far; the "public domain" vs. "copyrighted" dichotomy is legally wrong and so misleading as to be worse than pointless. I've long detested it. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 08:08, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Thanks! --Elvey (talk) 21:00, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Copying straight from external websites is against policy as far as I'm aware anyway. We don't copy information, we re-write it into our articles and source the material accordingly. This is why I Oppose. MrLittleIrish (talk) © 19:29, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
    • You're mistaken. There are many good Wikipedia articles that started out as a copy of an entry in another 'free' encyclopedia.--Elvey (talk) 21:00, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Nyttend. We routinely copy from EB1911 or the DNB, for example, and AFAIK the policy is that we attribute to avoid plagiarism, not that we do not copy.--Tagishsimon (talk) 19:46, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Actually, we do not routinely copy from the 1911 Britannica. We used to, just under ten years ago, in order to kick-start a number of articles. It was a controversial practice even then, because, as people pointed out, the 1911 Britannica was biased and highly dated. It has been known for fifty years that this was a problem with the 14th edition, let alone the Britannica of a century ago, and Wikipedia editors weren't the first to observe this. Six years ago, we set up Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/1911 verification to work on cleanup and deletion of things that had been imported from the 1911 Britannica.

      Anyone still "routinely copying" from the 1911 Britannica is doing something quite wrong at this point and should stop.

      Uncle G (talk) 07:59, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Looks like rough consensus is forming for this. If no unresolved objections within a few days, would an admin please make it so? --Elvey (talk) 01:51, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Not sure that we are clear on which statement we are discussing. In any case, it should probably be run by the WMF counsel to be sure we're doing something legally sensible. Meanwhile, I note that below the edit window, I read

    Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable.
    By clicking the "Save Page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.

  • That wording seems pretty much on the mark. It doesn't introduce red herrings about websites vs other sources. It doesn't confuse copying copyrighted content with violating that copyright. It remains silent on copying public domain content. LeadSongDog come howl! 03:00, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Using the same wording as the edit page is a more sound proposition. It avoids ambiguity and is legally accurate. isfutile:P (talk) 13:44, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
      • The above comments by LeadSongDog and isfutile (AKA Tonyinman AKA Tony Inman) indicate they are confused and need to reread the first sentence of this section. The proposal is about other wording that is also on the edit page that is legally INACCURATE and needs fixing. We are telling users to not do that which we routinely and appropriately do, as Tagishsimon notes, above. --Elvey (talk) 01:10, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Hello LeadSongDog--the wording of the "copy and paste" note is a decision for the community (see the previous discussions). We should keep the Wikimedia copyright warning, but we may rephrase the "copy and paste" note to help users understand how to comply with copyright law. Cheers, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 15:28, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

I would propose Please do not copy and paste from websites unless you know that this is permitted.. Taemyr (talk) 09:08, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment. Instead of telling what people should not do, it would be better if we said what we want them to do. Psychology has commonly proven that negative statements are harder to understand, and most people filter away those kind of messages seconds after reading them. Belorn (talk) 15:36, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Good feedback. So do you like this, Belorn?, Taemyr?: " Be certain you have permission before you copy and paste from other websites." I think "Please" is best left out when warning people not to break the law. The word 'other' clarifies the source and destination of the copy and paste, and the sentence doesn't read normally without it.--Elvey (talk) 01:15, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Do not copy and paste from other websites unless the content creator grants express permission.

Clear and simple, and covers both public-domain works and freely licensed ones. Also avoids the problem of "innocent infringement" due to a lack of a copyrighted message. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 03:39, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Article titles for military operations

Hi all, I've read WP:TITLE but could not find why military operations are titled [Operation Something] instead of [Something], e.g. [Operation Market Garden] instead of [Market Garden]. --Petar Petrov (talk) 15:24, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

There's probably a relevant guideline in the Military History WikiProject, which deals with the topic of battles and wars. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 15:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, I'll ask there too. --Petar Petrov (talk) 18:40, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
A lot of sources use "Operation" as their identifier. For example, I've seen many printed references to Operation Desert Storm but none to Desert Storm. Also, it avoids the need for disambiguation, since Operation Market Garden clearly has nothing to do with market gardening. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

RfC on the verifiability policy lede

Hello all. I'd like to draw your attention to an RfC about the lede of the verifiability policy. We have been drafting this RfC for some time as part of a MedCab mediation, and it is finally ready for comment. In the RfC we have included a few specific drafts of the policy lede for you to comment on, and we have twelve general questions to find editors' views about how the lede should look. All editors are warmly invited to join the discussion at the RfC page. Thanks! — Mr. Stradivarius on tour (have a chat) 02:06, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

New RFC posted

Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation was approached by the founders of an organization called the Internet Defense League, which is soon to be launched. The founders would like the Foundation to join the League. However, the online community as a whole is the heart of this proposed grassroots movement and therefore, the Foundation would like guidance from the community as to whether or not the community feels the Foundation should join this effort.

Please make your view known at the RFC on meta.

Thank you, Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:12, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Ethics for Living People Bios 2

No real policy proposals, bad-faith editor who claims they were bitten by the Notability template yet refuses to give a concrete example. All heat, no light Hasteur (talk) 21:34, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

When a dubious template questioning notability is placed on the biography of a living person (and that might decreases their income), should we not have errored on the side of notable? I say "dubious" for cases where 20 users have already contributed to the bio, and the posting user has a banner advertising their deletion record. For that latter factor, other editors might be afraid to remove the template in order to avoid the wrath of the posting editor on other articles on which they have worked. It also seems to me that there is a good case for defamation of character, and there are damages in terms of lost income. EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 13:54, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

What article are you talking about? GB fan 14:03, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not here to enhance anyone's income. You appear to have created an alternative account to avoid scrutiny of your other edits; please use your main account instead. Anomie 14:27, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is perfectly entitled to have its own notability criteria, and contributors are perfectly entitled to express an opinion as to whether the subject of an article meets such criteria. Expressing such an opinion could not remotely be construed as 'deformation of character'. Ridiculous.
P.S. Read WP:NLT while you are at it. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:57, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry to have upset you. However, when a man in business goes from public "notable" to "deletion" it will have an impact on his income as most people use Google and then click Wikipedia to check out a person. That notability banner is defaming (not necessarily in a legal sense). It also seems these edits come from a country "foreign" to the subject of the bio, making legal recourse virtually impossible. You might also see a competitor make such an edit for profit in business if it is a zero sum game.EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 15:16, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
If people are basing their salary/hiring decisions on Wikipedia, that is sad. Ethics, last chance to give us the context of your complaint. Otherwise I'm inclined to recommend a block on a hybrid of non-legitimate alternate account and legal threats. We're not here to right wrongs in the world or on the internet. We're here to build a compendium of notable knowledge. Any further responses outside the giving of context (with a direct link to the article in question) will result in my hatting this thread. Zero light, All heat. Hasteur (talk) 15:24, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Please let me recast this conversation in a positively-worded, general proposal that focuses on the language in the notability banner rather than its consequences.EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 15:33, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
No. Please either provide a direct link to the article in question, or stop wasting our time with opinionated abstractions and personal attacks on the intentions of other contributors. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:36, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I was trying to get an article going for John E. Hearst, and I noticed that many new bios get hit immediately with notability banners.EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 15:44, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
So you still don't have an example of where this has happened for us as John E. Hearst does not and has never existed. GB fan 15:46, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
trying to get an article going means planned.EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 15:52, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I understand that but do you understand that we are asking for an example of where a dubious template questioning notability is placed on the biography of a living person. GB fan 15:56, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I was leafing through some bios, did not keep my history, and ran into that banner. It just struck me as weird, and frankly, defaming. Please tell me how to search for those templates (or a page of names, so labelled), and I will have another look. I doubt that we would have a page that indicated articles that were once labelled as such but are now OKEeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 16:17, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
You can start by looking through Category:Articles with topics of unclear notability from June 2012. That is all the articles tagged with the notability template this month. GB fan 16:25, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Here's one: Youvan. Now I remember: As a Member of the NRA, we just nominated him for the National Patriot's Medal.EeTtHhIiCcSs (talk) 16:38, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I take it you mean Douglas Youvan. Now read WP:NOTABILITY, and tell us whether you think the subject of that article meets the guidelines - if it doesn't (or it is a reasonable opinion to suggest that it doesn't), there is nothing wrong with the notability template. As for what the NRA does, that is their opinion, not ours - and you've not provided a source for your assertion either. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:07, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
And a simple question, to which I'd like a direct answer, EeTtHhIiCcSs: Hve you edited Wikipedia before under another name? In particular, have you edited as User:Noncanonical? I ask because this user (who works with Youvan, as his/her user page makes clear) uses very similar language to you: "Youvan's work is defamed, and we are dealing with a living person who heads a foundation that can be financially hurt by such an appearance". Frankly, to claim that you came upon this article by chance, and yet purely by coincidence use the same phraseology seems somewhat implausible... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:15, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

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