Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 98

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Autobiographies and CSD - Conflict[edit]

I was in a discussion with another editor about current policies concerning autobiographies on Wikipedia. In the course of this discussion, I noticed that there is apparent conflict between the content guideline at Wikipedia:Autobiography and the policy stated at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion. Specifically, at WP:YOURSELF, the guideline states that "[i]f you are not "notable" under Wikipedia guidelines, creating an article about yourself may violate the policy that Wikipedia is not a personal webspace provider and would thus qualify for speedy deletion." This conflicts with CSD policy at WP:NOTCSD. In the section entitled "The following are not by themselves sufficient to justify speedy deletion," the first enumerated point is "[r]easons based on Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not..." I would like to bring the two into agreement, and policy would seem to be held higher than a content guideline, but it is good to have consensus before altering either. As I see it, Option 1 would be to alter WP:AB to read "...and thus would likely be deleted." This seems the least controversial. As an alternative, Option 2 would be to alter CSD to allow for speedy deletion using WP:NOT as a criteria. I would like to read the opinions of other editors in this matter. --Nouniquenames (talk) 02:06, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

The guideline may imply that every not notable autobiography qualifies for CSD, but it actually says something different: that doing so may violate the policy ... and would thus qualify qualify for speedy deletion. If you are not notable, and create an article that fails to explain why your important, it will qualify for speedy deletion, partly because we are not your personal web host. The problem with watering down the language at Wikipedia:Autobiography to better reflect policy is that it may lead to more editors who are not notable creating autobiographies that will get deleted quickly, even if they pass CSD. In this case I think the text serves a good purpose, even if it may not be clear about what the actual policy is. Monty845 02:37, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, WP:CSD#G3, WP:CSD#G11, or WP:CSD#A7 could apply. Rather than "would thus", perhaps "may"? Anomie 02:41, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I was looking at removing the word "speedy," reasoning that anything that falls under the criteria for CSD could be tagged that way, and anything else is likely to encounter PROD or AfD. --Nouniquenames (talk) 03:33, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest simply trimming the bullet point on WP:AB so it just says "if you are not notable, an article you create about yourself may qualify for speedy deletion" and leave out the spiel about what wikipedia is not. Simples. Basalisk inspect damageberate 01:37, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Blocks of promotional usernames[edit]

There is an ongoing discussion about the manner in which promotional usernames should be blocked. Please participate at Wikipedia talk:Username policy#RfC - Handling promotional usernames to help reach a consensus. NTox · talk 02:42, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

revert edits or not[edit]

A style of editing which was carried out by an individual a couple of years ago appears to have returned in the last month under a number of different UK IP addresses[1]. Cannot be certain if it is the same person or not but the style is always the same. Characteristics of the edit are always the same, basically adding many more wikiprojects to a talk page and over linking words in articles. [2], [3] is a couple of examples, although the long text is new. Question is, should this form of editing be reverted or not? There was an attempt to block the user a couple of years back but the constant change of IP address made it impossible. Comments and requests on the talk pages have never been answered. --Traveler100 (talk) 21:50, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I see no problems with these edits, I think I looked at all of them. Copy a link to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science onto each page where you have found a question like this, or whichever reference desk is appropriate. Copy the question about his daughter onto that forum on his behalf and copy back the responses. This will assist the person to complete their studies. If it persists, please feel free to ask my help directly on my user talkpage. Penyulap 12:17, 29 Jul 2012 (UTC)
additional examples [4], [5]

Discussion about changing formal mediation[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:Mediation Committee#Time to shutter formal mediation?, in which there is discussion about reforming the formal mediation process so that it is more suited to the needs of the community today. All comments and opinions are welcome. AGK [•] 15:10, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Plot summaries and reliable sourcing[edit]

This is a question that I have so far been unable to answer by reading the relevant MoS and policy pages. I've noticed that virtually none of the "Plot summary" sections in articles related to novels and films ever cite sources for the information therein. Is this an area where original research is permitted, or even encouraged, to some degree? Are we for some reason not required to provide reliable sources for information regarding fictitious scenarios? If so, why? Thanks in advance for your responses. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 06:01, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

It's implied that the primary source is used. That's about as reliable as it gets. It's not original research in the least to do this. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 06:32, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
"Is this an area where original research is permitted, or even encouraged, to some degree?" It is best to just write a straight summary without interpretation. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Writing about fiction#Contextual presentation, which states "Presenting fictional material from the original work is fine... If such passages stray into the realm of interpretation, secondary sources must be provided to avoid original research."
"Are we for some reason not required to provide reliable sources for information regarding fictitious scenarios?" Plot summaries are typically not referenced. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Film#Plot, which states, "Since films are primary sources in their articles, basic descriptions of their plots are acceptable without reference to an outside source." and also "Since the film is the primary source and the infobox provides details about the film, citing the film explicitly in the plot summary's section is not necessary." This example is for films, but similar things apply for plots in other media. (talk) 10:42, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
See WT:NOR#WP:WAF conflict with WP:NOR? which was a similar type question recently by another person. Essentially the answer above is right and you have to be careful not to put in any interpretation beyond the absolutely obvious clearly pointed out in the story unless you have a secondary source, and the length should be restricted. Dmcq (talk) 11:00, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification, all. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 02:33, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I can see two possible places to trip up in writing a plot summary.
  1. Unwarranted interpretation. Any interpretation of the meaning of a story that isn't a direct description of the plain text of the work risks straying into original research.
  2. Undue weight. A plot summary can report facts correctly yet still inadvertently (or deliberately) mislead the reader through the choices made in selecting material to include, to emphasize, or to omit.
The latter is more difficult to deal with (both to assess and to correct) than the former. I would be inclined to argue that any plot point that isn't touched on by a reliable secondary source may not be important enough for us to include in our articles. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:29, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
The undue weight aspect is dealt with by WP:NOT#PLOT and the general nature of providing only concise plot summaries. We also use common sense to recognize when focusing on one specific point may be overstating things (Case in point, at The Shawshank Redemption there's a user that wanted to include some minor details they felt were important but the consensus of editors said no). Also consider that unless we're talking works that have received academic attention, the full plot (beginning to end) is rarely spelled out in secondary sources except for things like TV episodes (via recaps). In other words, we wouldn't even begin to talk about plot elements for most fictional works. This is to a point why notability is important because that means there are secondary sources that at least touch on parts of a work and thus we can write the plot to make sure those features are highlighted. If you can find secondary sources for plot summaries, by all means use them, but its not expected. --MASEM (t) 04:52, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I would also say that some common sense would also apply with covering aspects of the plot if the analysis is obvious to the average person. For example if one character aimed a gun at another character it would be absurd to say that we can't put in the summary that the first character was using a gun unless someone directly sated that the item they were using was a gun since anyone of reasonable intelligence would know what a gun is. I would also think that if two character were shown trying to punch a kick each other while trying to avoid the punches and kicks of the other person we can call that a fight in the summary even if neither character explicitly calls it a fight due to it being extremely obvious. Granted these events could be trivial to the overall work and could be removed for that reason but it should not be removed as original research.-- (talk) 04:10, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I want to be clear that I am only talking about things that would be obvious to the general viewers and not experts. For example, saying that the character aimed a gun is one thing but saying what type or gun of analysing the shooters stance is another since the average person is far less likely to know that. Going back to the fight example almost everyone would know that a fight was happening but far fewer would know what style of fighting (Judo, Aikido, Kung fu, Karate, Taekwondo, a combination of them, etc) was being used so including that would likely require stronger sourcing.-- (talk) 04:21, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I've been cleaning up overly long and overly detailed plot summaries for years, and I think we honestly need to start requiring reliable sources for two reasons: 1) these plot summaries are typically filled with all sorts of WP:SYNTHESIS or original conclusions about what happened in the source that in many cases are completely different from what is actually in the source, and the people who put it there just then say "it's in the source". Second, a lot of plot summaries are way too long and go into details that are simply nonnotable trivia and violations of WP:NOT.

These problems largely go away if we require secondary reliable sources for anything in a plot summary beyond just the most basic summary. First, the conclusions about what happens in the plot can be attributed to someone who is a step up from the average Wikipedia plot sections contributor (who is typically someone who is less skilled in editing and in making sound judgment calls in general). Second, we tone down the trivia because reliable sources generally only mention the most notable parts. As far as what we can do if there are no reliable sources giving a plot summary, I don't see that as a real problem, as there should be countless reviews out there covering the important parts of any notable work. If it's not out there it simply isn't notable and should not be in Wikipedia in the first place.

Plot summaries on Wikipedia have been extremely embarrassing for years, to be quite honest. Generally the people contributing to the plot summary guideline were also the people most interested in filling articles up with low quality summaries, so encourages the kinds of things most encyclopedia editors would not do in an article in any other section.

I also think we desperately need a hard rule that any plot summary can at most be 25% of an article's size. If we can't find reliable sources for what impact the work had, how it was developed, and so forth, then it's the kind of work that an encyclopedia shouldn't bother having a plot summary for, as it had no notable impact anywhere. At that point summarizing the pliot is just fanwankery. DreamGuy (talk) 16:59, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I am sure that a "cite everything to secondary sources" rule will eliminate most overly long plot summaries (and eliminate a huge amount of others as well). I am not sure it will really lead to better plot summaries, but I expect it will lead to more copyright violations of secondary sources in plot summaries. Do you have some examples where "secondary reliable sources" actually leads to a good article about a moderately notable fictional work or is this rule only designed as an excuse to delete self-written plot summaries? WP:SYNTHESIS already exists and can be applied to bad plot summaries. In cases where there is general agreement between editors who know the primary source about its plot, I don't think a new rule will be helpful. —Kusma (t·c) 17:27, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
The "25%" rule is a problem too, and you're changing the rules of notability for fiction compared to other subjects; I'd argue to try to apply the same to math and sciences, you'll find extreme resistance to that change. We already have NOT#PLOT, which begs for more than just plot summary, but sometimes the information that makes the fictional work notable is sufficient to have an article but insufficient for documenting the complete plot. There is a reason that we beg for conciseness (eg FILM's 700-900 words) as with those sizes, you pretty much cannot engage in original research while covering the whole work. We need to recognize that as long a plot summary is appropriate for a notable work of fiction, the original work is the source itself, though any secondary sources that can apply should be used. --MASEM (t) 17:37, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
There's also a problem with not relying at all on the original work itself: it makes it far more difficult for an editor to separate summary from interpretation in the secondary source (does the movie itself depict a character as insane, or is that just the critic's characterization?) and secondary source authors may make even obvious errors about plot elements for simple human reasons as rushing to meet a deadline or apathy to the work, on elements for which there may not be another secondary source that describes it. postdlf (talk) 17:49, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I have to agree with the above. Secondary sources, by their very nature, will usually be an analysis of the work, which is inappropriate for a straight summary. Citing the work directly as a primary source makes the most sense so long as editors take care not to synthesize or analyze it (unless, of course, that analysis is already covered in a secondary source). Editors should also take care not to make overly detailed summaries, sticking only to major plot points and other points identified as important by secondary sources. No plot summary should ever be longer than two or three paragraphs, in my opinion. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 18:44, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree. I see the secondary source requirement as causing more problems than it solves.-- (talk) 19:29, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Forbid linking to other language Wikipedia in articles[edit]

Some Chinese editors suggests that Chinese Wikipedia should not link to any pages in English and other foreign Wikipedias. Should English Wikipedia forbid acticles linking to Chinese Wikipedia?--王小朋友 (talk) 07:13, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

You forgot to mention that "the users who oppose this idea are involved in Featured/Good article nomination". Can you stop garbling and messing the issue of one Wikipedia to another? Thank you. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 07:19, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I am not garbling or messing. The suggestion is universal. They are not only suggests forbid using in GA and FA, but also in other articles.
The involvement is not related to whether we should approve the suggestion. The mention of the involvement is a kind of Ad hominem: an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it. Can you stop making Ad hominem? Thank you. --王小朋友 (talk) 07:53, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
The foreign language links themselves are just fine, links for non-controversial claims can link straight to fox news for all we care, it's when the claim being made is an offence to reason that it needs a reference that people can be comfortable with. Otherwise, it's just going to be challenged. So it's not a yes or no answer, it's a scale. Penyulap 11:57, 29 Jul 2012 (UTC)
The English Wikipedia Article is not existed yet, while the Chinese version is already existed. Then link to Chinese version. For example:
Night Market Life stars Chen Meifeng (陳美鳳), Morning Chang (張晨光), Peng Chia-chia (澎恰恰), Jimmy Ni (倪齊民), Wang Shixian (王識賢), Daisy Fong (方馨), and Chiang Tsu-ping (江祖平) among others.
In that case, is it fine?--王小朋友 (talk) 12:20, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I dont see a problem with alternate language links in the articles language section but I dont see any value in external links in the body of the article to another wikipedia. This is English wikipedia so I doesnt add any value to the article here. Not sure other than the article name the other names have to be translated and linked. If we dont have an English article then a red link is fine. MilborneOne (talk) 12:35, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Should the English Wikipedia forbid such external links to another wikipedia in articles? (Of course I don't mean interwiki links.)--王小朋友 (talk) 12:40, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
We dont normally add external links to an article body at the moment so I suspect it is already covered by WP:EL somewhere. MilborneOne (talk) 12:48, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
It's covered as above, but I'd just pass right on by without a care about it, as it's often good to have a look at the pictures :) Penyulap 12:53, 29 Jul 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Interlanguage_links#Purpose allows enwiki articles link to zhwiki in some cases, but some Chinese user made a purpose that zhwiki should forbid linking to enwiki and other language wikis. If the purpose become a zhwiki policy, should enwiki make a policy to forbid enwiki articles linking to zhwiki in return?--王小朋友 (talk) 13:05, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Obviously not. I do not see any reason why policies of English Wikipedia should in any way be influenced by policies of Chinese Wikipedia.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:26, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Each language Wikipedia makes its own policies. The OP seems to be suggesting that we take some sort of revenge on ZhWp; no, we don't do that. LadyofShalott 14:03, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I think this may not fair.--王小朋友 (talk) 14:43, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
What has 'being fair' got to do with anything? This is an encyclopaedia. We are here to provide information to our readers, not to engage in petty squabbles with other-language Wikipedias. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:09, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

It seems that THE user who take this subject misunderstanding the real meaning of the other user said.It is not "suggests that Chinese Wikipedia should not link to any pages in English",what he mean is that "Should use temp Template:Link-en properly".-- (talk) 15:17, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Their 'proper' way of using the template is to stop linking to other language wikis.--王小朋友 (talk) 15:47, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
  • While I want no part in the pissing battle that takes up the first few lines of this thread, I strongly oppose interlanguage links. If I, an experianced Wikipedian, still get thrown for a loop whenever it happens to me, imagine the confusion it would cause casual readers to suddenly find themselves staring at a wall of Chinese, or Spanish, or Arabic text, just because he clicked a ling that looks identical to the ones he/she normally clicks to get to an English text article. The first response, I gaurentee, is not going to be "Oh, it must be an interlanguage link", it's going to be "What the f**k?". Sven Manguard Wha? 16:42, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Sven's argument is reasonable, certainly in cases where the link is presented in a way that is indistinguishable from normal internal links. However, there may be cases where that confusion would be minimal to non-existent, and the Chinese cases suggested by the original poster above may in fact be among them: if you have a redlink and then a bluelink in brackets and formatted in what is clearly a foreign script, as in "Peng Chia-chia (澎恰恰)", I think the implication that the blue link will lead to the corresponding foreign article is fairly obvious and shouldn't cause confusion. I don't see a strong reason why such links should be discouraged. Of course, once the corresponding English article has been created, the Chinese link should be removed; at that point we only need standard iw-links from our own Peng Chia-chia page. Fut.Perf. 16:54, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Which is all well and good when the link is clearly in a different typography, but when it's a link to another language that uses the same script as English, that would be problematic. At best, a warning, like "German: xxx" would give a warning that the link is in German. (talk) 21:12, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
        • Sven says they look identical, but they don't, at least on my screen. Internal same-language (unfollowed) links are dark blue, whereas interlang links are light blue. Admittedly it's a little subtle, but I don't think it's so terrible a violation of the least surprise principle as to make a hard ban on such links in exceptional cases. I certainly agree they should not be used routinely, but that's OK because they aren't used routinely — it is quite rare to run across one in mainspace. --Trovatore (talk) 22:01, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I strongly oppose prohibiting interlanguage links within articles. They can be useful in areas where Wikipedia's coverage is still lacking. Of course their presence shows the article / topic area is not in good shape yet. But clicking on a (clearly different-looking, at least in the standard CSS files) link and ending up in a foreign language Wikipedia is often better than getting no information at all. —Kusma (t·c) 04:10, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Could anyone close this please? Idk why 王小朋友 bring the discussion to here even though it's clearly unrelated. For the people who want to know what's happening on zhwiki, here's an example. As you can see, currently users such as 王小朋友 are adding an interlanguage link after each red link (that is "used routinely"), which looks terrible.--Jsjsjs1111 (talk) 01:52, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Without en-links, it still looks terrible.--王小朋友 (talk) 07:49, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Some Chinese Wikipedian says, enwiki is wrong place to discuss this issue. I apology. I moved this disscusion to meta:Help_talk:Interwiki_linking#Forbid_linking_to_other_language_Wikipedia_within_articles. Discuss in meta, please.--王小朋友 (talk) 08:00, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

But user Future Perfect at Sunrise says, 'this matter can only be decided here on our own wiki, because it's a question of our (en-wiki) editorial rules'. So open again.--王小朋友 (talk) 09:19, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I translate here some opposite reasons gave by Chinese users, because it may be useful for English users to decide whether it should be forbidden. ('English' replaced 'Chinese'.)

  • English Wikipedia is for English users. We can't assume our readers can read another language.
  • If users want to find imformation about the article enwiki doesn't existed, they can search it through serch engines.
  • We can't assume readers are reading English Wikipedia. They may browsing a mirror site. If the mirror site have English Wikipedia only, they can't click through interlang wiki links.--王小朋友 (talk) 09:34, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
    I think you still misunderstand the scope of this discussion. What you are quoting above is people on zh-wiki debating whether they should link from zh-wp to en-wp. That's entirely up to them, and we here on en-wp have no opinion on that and won't try to interfere. The question whether we here on en-wp want to have links to zh-wp is entirely independent. You seem to think there should be some kind of reciprocality. But no, there is no reason for that. We decide what we do on en-wp; people on zh-wp decide what they do over there. Each project has its own policies on such matters, and that's fine as it is. Fut.Perf. 10:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
    I now undersand the wikis are independent form each other.
    But what if I never mentioned zhwiki, and just asking enwiki to forbid interlanguage link, and may I ask whether the following statement OK?
    We can't assume readers are reading English Wikipedia. They may browsing a mirror site. If users are browsing a mirror site, and the mirror site have English Wikipedia articels only, then they can't click through interlang wiki links. So we should not use interlang wiki link in articles.
    --王小朋友 (talk) 10:18, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
    I personally don't find that a very convincing argument, no. We do whatever makes sense for our readers here, reading this site. If some other website wishes to mirror us, it's up to them to figure out what to do with the links: they can remove them, or decide to mirror all target articles too, or leave the links pointing to the original articles on WP, or let them point to nothing. It's the same issue with all links we have, not just those interwiki links you are talking about, and it's generally not our responsibility. – But in any case, nobody has proposed anything of the sort for en-wp anyway, so the issue is moot. Fut.Perf. 10:35, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
    Thank you.--王小朋友 (talk) 11:03, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

SPI process may defeat its own purpose[edit]

A current case of an editor using obvious and non-legit socks, and my attempts to interface with the SPI forum has illustrated to me that it cannot be accessed properly, or that its requirements are not specific enough and defeat the aim of the process, or both.

I have more than sufficient data to present to meet the required level of probability, I have enough data to remove all reasonable doubt. The SPI process defeats its own purpose by requiring all known data to be reduced by a undefined method, pure assumption is the only process available as a result. This means unnecessary information would be posted. Editors who are not familiar with the process, which means almost all editors, would be forced to lay out guides for the sockmaster to read, study, and improve their methods of attack. So in my case, if I post the extensive data I have, I attack the project by assisting it's enemy. I have been in touch with some investigators, but there is simply no clarity in who may or may not handle the case. I was directed to our IRC channel where I asked politely and waited so long for a response that it appeared to raise suspicion that I was 'lurking'. (Like my bot and everything else, it's left on when I sleep) The investigation page attracted no requests for more information, just an incompetent statement (Partisan), and it was closed and archived.

My own assessment of the process indicates that an assignment of a specific person to converse with, like in mediation, would be appropriate, rather than the apparent disinterest from investigators and the resulting frustration provoking complete walk-throughs being posted by frustrated but intelligent people. My own integrity prevents me from divulging more information (all of which is detrimental in the wrong hands) than is absolutely necessary. Although I can simply post all names of editors as a way to prevent this discussion from being ignored or overlooked, the discussion which that would provoke would also involve discussion by other people of the sockpuppets tactics, which in turn would educate the puppet-master, and so I am unable at this point to do that either.

Pesky did post some good advice on my talkpage about what to do, that is to prepare all evidence, or enough, with diffs, and then reduce that over and over down to some small amount, maybe a page or so, and email that. I refuse to do so, and the reason I refuse to do so is patently obvious to me, if a two-way process whereby an investigator can ask for guidance to information he or she wants, conversing in a two way manner, then the process is simplified and the labour cost of finding and processing a sockpuppet remains comparable in economics of effort to that of producing a sock in the first place. However, to find a place between posting all contributions the sock has made, all mannerisms a sock has illustrated, a report into their culture, interests, location, editing patterns, times, styles and so on (not listing all for walk thru concerns) and compressing all the data into an exact amount required by an unknown investigator requires considerably more skill and effort to do properly than it does to just make another sock. Either the investigator does as I do and looks at everything, finding the required data themself, or the requesting party has to make blind assumptions about the investigators abilities or shortcomings and use their unknown level of skill in order to guess what data is needed, even though all data is available to the investigator already. None of this makes sense, and the process is broken to the point that I cannot get it to operate properly. If someone as smart as me cannot get it to work, if I cannot present a case, then something is fucked up right here. That's all I'm saying basically. Penyulap 11:37, 29 Jul 2012 (UTC)

You raise some sound points about the inherently contradictory nature of a public, open Sockpuppet Investigations process. Our requirement that you make a complete submission of evidence to substantiate your suspicions that two accounts are linked undoubtedly offers the sock-master the opportunity to refine his or her ability to evade detection in future. However, fairness and security sit on opposite ends of the spectrum of policy tenets, and the community has historically believed that we ought to operate closer to the former than the latter point. I struggle to see how we can exclude an editor accused of sock-puppetry from the investigations process for so long as we use software as open and accessible as MediaWiki. (While I suppose we could conduct all investigations off-site, that would be unimaginably complicated, and would mean that the community at large would be unable to verify whether any given SPI decision was correct.) I do not see the openness of the venue changing any time soon, and the only consolation I can offer is that I believe most sock-masters will be blissfully unaware that the investigation exists iff you do not serve them one of those blatant "You have been accused of sockpuppetry" notifications.
The reasoning behind the expectation that evidence submissions will be very complete is that - as volunteers - we do not have time to investigate every allegation from scratch. Therefore, we require the editor who brings the allegation (who will naturally be much more familiar with the evidence) to set down their thinking for us. In terms of the trade-off, in this respect it is between ease of use for the end user (you) and reducing backlogs. If the process simply required you to dump the names of the suspected sock-puppets, the suspected sock-master, and some key words (like "Same AFD" or "Similar edit times") then the backlog would be astonishing. Like you, we have articles to write!
Might this discussion be better held on (or advertised at) Wikipedia talk:Sockpuppet investigations? AGK [•] 15:04, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Penyulap, I think you are overthinking it. Making a case at SPI is only as hard as you make it. We don't want every single detail, and we do NOT want verbose editorializing. We want names, several diffs that clearly show a pattern, and we will do the rest to the best of our ability. It is a little vauge, with the goal of not tipping off the sock as to how to avoid detection next time. The more verbose a case is, the less likely a clerk will jump on it. Fair or not, that is the reality of the situation as it can easily become a burden to filter through the text to get to the actual case. There is not likely ever going to be a single person to contact, and we all back each other up as a form of redundancy. This is a feature, not a bug. Every process takes at least two clerks looking at it before it gets archived. We almost never have the same person close and archive, for example. When CU is involved, 3 to 4 will lay their hands on each case. Again, a feature, not a bug, as the price of blocking an innocent party is greater than not blocking a guilty party.
Part of the problem is that most of us are busy in the real world during summer, and socking appears to be highest in the summer, so there is a huge backlog. We aren't paid for this, and we have other tasks here that we do. I'm not inclined to spend every hour onwiki at SPI. Cases that are obvious to you, might not be to me, for instance, because I don't know the article history as well as you do. If we aren't sure about a case, we are obligated to not act. Finally, SPI can not and will not solve every socking issue. It is about controlling the situation as best we can, using the limited tools we have at our disposal. Just as WP:AN3 can't prevent all edit warring, WP:SPI can't prevent sockpuppeting. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 15:23, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)"It is a little vauge" and I'm a little talkative. You're not even addressing the actual thrust of my argument, as you've wandered off into explain it to a newbie territory. Penyulap 05:46, 30 Jul 2012 (UTC)
There's a much simpler solution: send the information in e-mail to a CheckUser. Persistent socks are handled this way all the time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:03, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps this is silly of me to say, but... you're not filing the SPI in order to establish conclusive proof of socking and solve the problem entirely. SPI is a limited tool for a limited purpose. You're just trying to get a CU to use that tool. Your evidence that "removes all doubt" might be relevant at ANI, but it is irrelevant at SPI. Would it be incredibly hard to put a few diffs together just to get the SPI case opened? If the case is declined, you can provide more evidence or take it to another venue. In the case of sneaky socking and disruption, that is sometimes necessary anyway. It seems to me you've gone to a theater and been asked for your ticket, but you're pulling out financial records, video footage and witness testimonies instead. Just hand over the ticket to get in the door. Maybe that's hard to do with this particular case.   — Jess· Δ 06:03, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Jess I am trying to work out what you are saying I really am, and I have no idea.
For the few that aren't understanding me, I'll try another way.
  1. I have a problem with a sockmaster, he just will not give up because he's under the impression that he is clever.
  2. I goto 'Sock Puppet Investigations' because I want someone to check that this user is indeed as I say, a sockpuppeteer.
  3. There are no sufficiently clear instructions on what to post.
  4. I am unable to damage wikipedia by posting information that would help the sockpuppeteer become better at what he thinks he does well, or educate others.
  5. I need to know what parts I have to post in public, but I am not familiar with the process, same as any regular user.
  6. I am expected to know what I do not know, and the instructions do not tell me.
  7. There is nobody assigned to the case to ask, and the only drive-by's are simply damaging.
  8. I cannot harm the project, and so I cannot post by simply guessing.
Don't address me with an answer, suggest instead how we can address all users better
I could simply emulate some other user and then post what that person would probably post. But newbies have no clue, because it is as someone mentions, deliberately vague. Because it is vague, it's a venue for study and training. If postings were made more consistent, it would do less harm to the project. I consider the case on hand a good opportunity to streamline the process, to remove this threat, and to reduce the burden of learning on a new user. It's hard enough for me, and I know how to diff and so on, but when catching a sock is not as streamlined a process as making one, and each time we prove beyond all doubt that it is a sock we help make a better one, then it's best to reshape the process.
A logical process would be more along the lines of, state that you want to open a case, mention at least one user, someone is assigned like in mediation, you open negotiations with them privately and state briefly what you think, then they either can have a quick look and ask for further supporting guidance to match your overview (or just ask why is easiest), when they are already satisfied with an aspect of the case, you don't need to continue posting more and more and more detail, because they tell you that they have enough for that aspect. When all aspects have been thoroughly explored, then the person who is doing the investigation can post what they consider to be enough information in public so that the suspected puppeteer may challenge it. That way what is posted in public has some semblance of consistency rather than every 3rd report being the best how-to sock better guide available, and mine's a corker because I do not care one iota about socks. I'm happy to work alongside them because that's pretty much a fact of wikipedia. But this guy, even though I've warned him several times, so that a cat could understand, he won't give up, and so I'll slam dunk his ass into the middle of next century. I don't want him banned, at all, I simply want it confirmed, no more than that. So whilst he is trying to mislead my friends and colleagues I may point the at the case and no more than that. Or if he is just particularly annoying me personally, but not disrupting process, then I may hint that my barnstar page is a little quiet lately (he made a blunder of giving me two, one which I felt after hundreds of edits about me was well deserved for putting up with his antics). Penyulap 09:33, 30 Jul 2012 (UTC)
Yes I realised when I was writing it about the sublime 'check user thing' Penyulap 09:37, 30 Jul 2012 (UTC)

DMCA account "termination" question[edit]

A technical question: WP:OA states that repeat copyright infringers may have their accounts "terminated" under the DMCA. How is this implemented? Is this done by an indefinite block, or are there additional measures? Dragon 280 (talk/contribs) 17:46, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Well, I guess they could use a meta:global lock too, if they wanted it to be effective across all projects. Not sure if it's been done very often in practice – i.e. as an office action; obviously we admins do normal indef blocks for repeat copyright infringers on an everyday basis. Fut.Perf. 17:51, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Discography sections in band articles[edit]

This thread stems from a discussion for The Killers article where there has been addition and deletion of the album Sawdust to the discography section. The album is a compilation of B-sides and rarities. I have heard from different sources that only studio albums should be listed in the discography section of band articles; however, I have not found a corresponding policy/guideline/MoS that codifies this. All I have found is from Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Music#Discographies:

  1. Pages on artists, groups or works should have recording and discography sections as appropriate. These should be subdivided into albums and singles, audio and video recordings, or other simple systems as required.
  2. If the discography of an artist, group or work becomes disproportionately large in relation to the rest of the article, it should be split into a subpage list (preferably titled "<Name> discography").
  3. Do not use album, record or DVD covers in discographies, as this is an unnecessary use of images and is not compatible with Wikipedia's fair use policy.

This does not limit the section to solely studio albums. Is there some other policy/guideline/MoS that I am missing? Is this just Wikipedia common law? Is it OK to list a compilation album in a discography section so long it is labeled as such, and not as a studio album? Hopefully someone else knows more than I on this subject. Angryapathy (talk) 17:49, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I would list it under "compilations", but it should certainly be in a discography. Though I see there's a separate discography article, so unless the comp is particularly noteworthy it would be no great loss from the main article - David Gerard (talk) 21:27, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

A question on WP:BURDEN[edit]

Hi everyone! (I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, so please direct me if so.) I'm curious as to the application of WP:BURDEN - it's really important in science (in fact fundamental), and same in formal debates, so given this plus its prominent position in WP:V, I would have expected it to be important here, but I've never actually seen it cited by anyone.

The policy states the burden is with the editor who adds or restores material. Does/should this apply to cases of BRD? Presumably as the bold editor, I shouldn't have to write detailed justifications unless I think it's likely someone will object (it isn't for most of the edits I make). But then, if I make many changes at once and get reverted per BRD, can the reverter's reason be something vague enough to requires me to write out a justification for every single one of these edits, or can I reasonably ask that they tell me specific ones they would like to discuss? However, if they simply don't answer or provide only general statements, I'm essentially required to provide such a list of justifications if I want my changes to go through.

(None of this applies to any situation I'm involved in, although I'm currently watching a DRN thread where some of the information might be applicable. I'm not likely to comment there.)

On a related note, doesn't BRD essentially preclude any and all use of reversion beyond 1RR except in cases of vandalism? Maybe I don't edit the right pages, but when would someone ever want to go beyond one revert if not dealing with vandalism or a similar extreme case? Arc de Ciel (talk) 10:22, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Pretty much all day everyday every editor wants to play a game until they can no longer do it. Explanations I'm not seeing would be sufficiently defining the difference between policy and guidelines, and how to solve the 'no talking' problem. I direct people over and over to the talkpage, and that is pretty much the standard solution, to open a discussion section about whatever it is, a heading called 'recent edits' is as good as any, and asking why it's being reverted. Without fail, if there is no existing recent discussion, you get a free ticket to put back what you genuinely feel is ok so long as you start a new section on the talkpage where nothing exists recently. The other party has to give some assistance in gibberish or talk to you at bare minimum. I'd figure that there is not enough guidance to opening new sections on the talkpages. It is such a common theme by the time it reaches ANI. Penyulap 11:46, 29 Jul 2012 (UTC)
You might like to read WP:The difference between policies, guidelines, and essays. Or you might not, because it's going to confirm your fears about the labels being used semi-randomly rather than actually meaning anything. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:00, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Arc de Ciel, the BURDEN requires you to supply an WP:Inline citation to a WP:Reliable source that directly supports the claim when you restore the disputed material. Detailed justifications aren't required. Following WP:BRD is also not required. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:00, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
My impression was that it should apply much more broadly than that. I'm not really asking about uncited statements specifically but changes in wording, removal of content that is sourced but which fails WP:UNDUE or WP:NPOV, etc - edits that generally require discussion if someone objects. If WP:BURDEN does not apply, then who has the burden of proof in such cases? Arc de Ciel (talk) 03:29, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
BURDEN is very limited. If the statement is supported by an inline citation, then you're already out of BURDEN's territory. UNDUE and other NPOV concerns are "equal opportunity", because both adding and removing information have equal potential for producing violations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:39, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Hmm. So is there no other case where it is spelled out which editor should present their reasoning first (that is, the editor has the burden of proof, small b)? I imagine you could apply WP:CONSENSUS, but I would be especially interested in other cases, e.g. where both editors follow BRD, and/or when many individual edits are considered at once. Or if it is case by case, are there any rules of thumb that you might recommend? Thanks again for your help. Arc de Ciel (talk) 06:57, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The initial burden of proof is on the person adding the claim. Once a source is provided, it's then up to consensus to determine if it's appropriate to the article or not (the D in BRD). There's no hard and fast rule, but that's the general guideline. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:14, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Amendment/New Policy?[edit]

Per a discussion at WP:ANI, several editors (including myself) have called for a new policy or an amendment to an existing policy on article creation. The what happens occasionally is that an editor will mass produce articles with minor information, such as this one. In the discussion that prompted this proposal, User: Jaguar was mass creating articles with only one line, acknowledging that the town/county was there, with no other information. In that discussion I also talked about User:Carlossuarez46, who creates in a similar manner, but adds information such as population, size and other census information. Following this discussion, and seeing as this issue has come up many times before, I am here to resolve this issue. I propose a new policy that will not limit the rate at which articles can be created, as many users are in favor of, but will set guidelines on quality issues, such as one-line articles. I believe the policy should require articles about minor communities, towns, counties and other municipal locations to have some basic information, such as population, size and a main industry (farming, hunting, fishing). Please note that this will not limit these amount of articles an editor can create nor the rate at which they can make them. This is simply addressing the quality of these articles. Wikipedia is for the reader, and they want know more information about these locations, other than that they exist. I ask to please let me know what you think of this proposal, and discuss about creating it. Robby The Penguin (talk) (contribs) 20:29, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

This is not at all suited to being policy. In my mind there are likely to be bits which are suited to a general audience, and parts which are aimed at what can only be a handful of users that mass-create articles. There is little point in the former, we already have umpteen pages for the new page creator, we don't need more. If they follow the general guides they're probably fine and we can pretty much leave that as "probably" without problem. In terms of the smaller number, per WP:CREEP I would strongly suggest that policy aimed at only a few users is a bad idea. Therefore if you do want to go ahead – and I personally would think that these cases are judged case by case and will continue to be, guideline or no guideline – then I would suggest directly aiming it at that small number and not add it to the pile for a general audience. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:41, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Why isn't the solution then just to expand these? Is a reader helped more by a redlink than by a one-sentence stub "X is a community in Y"? postdlf (talk) 01:19, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
If the articles are de facto endorsed by common AfD outcomes, I don't see a need to limit their creation. 100 editors creating 1 article each, or 1 editor creating 100 articles, if there is nothing policy-wise wrong with the articles then it shouldn't make a difference. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm with postdlf: I have actually found "X is a community in Y" to be helpful, and frequently that's all the information I'm after. Consequently, I wouldn't want to discourage creation of these substubs. Demanding more is a bit like refusing a small gift from a friend because you believe you are entitled to a big gift.
Of course, a redirect to a List of communities in Y would be equally helpful to me, but I don't have a problem with the substub approach. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:11, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Any new article created should add information to Wikipedia. Taking information already present in a list and creating substubs without adding anything that would require individual articles (like interwikilinks or coordinates) is something that should not be done. It is insulting to the reader who has clicked on the link in the list to obtain information about the list item, and destroys the opportunity for other editors to fill the beautiful red link. —Kusma (t·c) 06:11, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually WP:CSD#A10 already allows deletion of pages like that. —Kusma (t·c) 17:39, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
How? Would that be duplicating a list of such minor towns and provinces? Robby The Penguin (talk) (contribs) 00:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
There's no reason they shouldn't just be redirected to such a list. It seems like the most efficient way. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 01:21, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Gun debates in article space[edit]

We barely got this started and it has already been tagged for MfD and created its own debate to even exist in its infancy.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:20, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

This is not a serious proposal for a new policy, sorry to disappoint you guys. Arcandam (talk) 07:23, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
How does it differ than other policies and guidelines such as religous, ethnic, and LGBT debates that keep infesting articles that they don't belong in? We have policies and guidelines on most of those for inclusion/exclusion and how much to include.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:47, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I think the difference is that these type of policy/guideline proposals usually start on the WikiProject. Have you tried contacting the firearms or crime projects for input? Viriditas (talk) 07:53, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
It isn't a firearm nor crime issue. It is an editing issue. Would you like those involved with guns and crime to decide how much of the gun debate(s) should be included in every article that has a gun in it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 08:01, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
OK. Using the core policy pages (or significant guidelines like MOS) under which category of editing does this fit? For the record, these types of issues are usually covered by the respective WikiProjects under a project-specific guideline or MOS. In the case of film, we have MOS:FILMS, for example. Viriditas (talk) 08:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
If there is a gun debate project would you trust the polarization, POV, etc. to help write a guideline on whether to include gun debates in articles? They may want to put it in the Microsoft article because of all the shoot-em up games played on their operating systems.--Canoe1967 (talk) 08:23, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, firearms and crime projects usually have intelligent members. I've worked with several people from the firearms projects who have astounded me with their brilliance. Viriditas (talk) 08:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I think you missed my point. It shouldn't be decided by any group that is pre-disposed to the issues. It is not an issue about firearms and crime. It is an issue about how much firearms and crime we should include in the Microsoft article type thing. They may wish to include a whole section on which virtual guns work best and which police games are best on Microsoft operating systems.--Canoe1967 (talk) 08:58, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
WikiProjects focus on these types of issues and make decisions regarding the MOS all the time, with the input of the wider community of course. No group "decides" anything. If we are going to create a guideline about how to best write about guns and gun violence, then we would consult the relevant projects. Viriditas (talk) 09:03, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
This is not about how to write articles. We have lots of quality ones about guns and gun violence. This is about how much we should include in them as an editing policy. This is the relevant project for policy and it is a wide community. Is there a chance we can get input from others before we get up to 50 colons wide with our posts?--Canoe1967 (talk) 09:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Well then, that's your mistake. We don't limit, exclude, or include content based on such criteria. Project-related guidelines make recommendations. The core policies don't have anything to say about how much content we should add or delete when it comes to a type of content. WikiProjects make those suggestions. For example, Wikipedia:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers has an informal guideline about lead sections for biographies that fall under their project. No other project limits content in lead sections like they do, and even thought it isn't an official policy, they enforce it. I can give you lots of examples. You need to work with a WikiProject. Viriditas (talk) 09:19, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Have you never read WP:ALIVE? We have many inclusion/exclusion policies like this. I am running out of colons though so I won't list anymore until you read that one. Please take your time reading it as this may allow input from others that don't need so many colons.--Canoe1967 (talk) 09:45, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought you might go there. BLP concerns have little to do with the type of content, and more to do with concerns for people. Actually, we have no inclusion/exclusion policies in regards to types of content (i.e. gun control), and as I keep informing you, criteria for types of content are set and maintained by guidelines created by WikiProjects. Viriditas (talk) 09:50, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree. That is why some may feel we more policy on inclusion/exclusion for types of content (i.e. gun control). I am almost out of colons so I will let others answer your questions now.--Canoe1967 (talk) 09:58, 30 July 2012 (UTC)


The template I just placed is how to continue a discussion when you run out of colons. Awesome Face
That said, this has changed into a proposed policy, so further discussion should take place on its talk page. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:30, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:27, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Request comments on my NPOV is a problem for images essay[edit]

I have a draft essay called NPOV is a problem for images. I would appreciate any comments on. In particular I am interested in topics I missed that I should have covered. Please put comment on the essay's talk page. Jason Quinn (talk) 14:40, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Banning policy discussion[edit]

On the banning policy's talk page at Wikipedia talk:Banning policy#Quick question, Nobody Ent (talk · contribs), a non-administrator, has added "Site bans should not be proposed for indefinitely blocked editors" in the community ban section. I had no objections to it, but I felt that we could gain a more clear consensus on the matter here. Please comment on the policy's talk page. Thanks, Darth Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 16:49, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Dermatology task force/Sources no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Dermatology task force/Sources (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Ambiguity in WP:CSD#G6[edit]

There is an ambiguity about using "uncontroversial maintenance" to move articles – see Wikipedia talk:Moving a page#.7B.7Bdb-move.7D.7D. Nobody commented it for more than a week. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 11:22, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Possibly because your issue or problem isn't very clear. Do you have a specific example of a bad CSDG6 application, or is this a purely hypothetical problem, or an abstract problem with CSDG6 ever being used as a rationale to delete anything to make way for a move? postdlf (talk) 12:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Possibly my issue or problem isn't very clear, but it's a lesser problem than unclear provisions of G6. In English and other wikipedias I noticed several irregularities with G6 a long time ago, including one almost clear case of wrecking. It is not uncommon in wikis where personal responsibility is next to non-existent, and writing better policies does not help. But in the case of user talk: Amatulic #WP:CSD#G6 in "Haute tension" a redirect with its talk page, both with non-trivial edit histories, were destroyed (by a responsive sysop) during a move request which was later demonstrated to be erroneous. Although that sysop willingly fixed all damage, he apparently was not obliged to do something of that. So, it is not a sysop's flaw, but no guideline indicates that sych damage should be repaired at all. On the other hand, I do not think that a sysop should proceed with an obviously reckless {{db-move}}, although this is not exactly the case I referred to. An obviously reckless {{db-move}} ambox, IMHO, may be deleted by a sysop with an appropriate explanation. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 13:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposed changes to WP:NOT[edit]

There is currently discussion at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#Is wikipedia a devotional compendium? regarding possible changes to that policy page to deal with article content of what might broadly be called a "religious" nature. Any and all input is more than welcome. Religious topics tend to be among the more contentious around here, and because of that I believe the discussion would welcome as many cool heads as it can get. John Carter (talk) 15:25, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposed change to the banner wording of the template:citation needed[edit]

See Template talk:Citation needed#Unverified information for a RfC proposal to change the banner wording of {{citation needed}} from "citation needed" to "unverified information" -- PBS (talk) 17:03, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Lists of notable Ns[edit]

In English Wikipedia there are a lot of lists of notable/famous subjects (see also about situation in German Wikipedia etc.) Usually these lists don’t contain the word «famous/notable» in its names, but such point is indicated in introductions (e. g., List of Asian Americans).

Some users in Russian Wikipedia suppose all such lists to be an immanent original research, because (as they think) notability is only a inner Wiki-concept; there is no one reliable source which contains lists, being based on the principle of notability; and lists of «famous Ns» in sources may contradict each other, because «famous» is not an exact term.

Other users (including myself) suppose, that Wiki-lists should not be based on original idea (any absurd principle of different subjects’ unification), but may have an original content, more vast, that any specific source.

Do en-wiki users see any problem here? Thanks for your comments. --Chronicler (talk) 19:17, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Such lists are navigation indexes that list articles. They don't purport to be comprehensive lists unless the grouping is finite and verifiable, such as a list of all U.S. presidents. The most common confusion is that the list itself is somehow a subject instead of a convenient presentation format; any list could be converted into prose and vice versa. See WP:LISTPURP, WP:SAL, and WP:CLN for relevant guidelines for this kind of list. postdlf (talk) 19:37, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
One further comment on the OR misunderstanding: if a reliable source states that John Smith lived in Wyoming, it cannot be original research to include him in list of people from Wyoming. If we decide Smith does not merit an article and therefore should not be included in this list, that is no more OR than if we were to decide that an individual news story isn't significant enough an event to be included in History of Wyoming. That's not original research; that is editorial judgment. postdlf (talk) 19:43, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
(1) I agree, but my opponents would say that there are reliable books named "History of Wyoming" and, maybe, books named "Who's who in Wyoming", but no one book about "Wiki-notable persons from Wyoming", so that list is OR as a whole, not in details.
(2) Is it possible to include in such lists planned (but not existing) articles for notable persons (e. g., based on encyclopedias on such topic)? --Chronicler (talk) 20:20, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
(1) Yes, but even in such cases where there are books with the same topical scope as articles, we don't slavishly follow what such works include or don't include. In many instances, we may be the very first to compile information from certain sources together, or we may be alone in omitting something. Your "opponents" can repeat "that's OR" until they're blue in the face, but repetition does not make an opinion true, and I doubt they've offered a cogent explanation as to why editorial judgment as to inclusion criteria is OR. While keeping in mind that different language wikis make their own policies so what the Russian wiki decides on this matter is relevant here only to the extent we say "yeah, that sounds like a good idea", I don't see how you can write an encyclopedia at all without making judgments as to what is too insignificant to include, and there's no logical reason for treating lists differently than prose articles in that regard. History of Wyoming could be rewritten as a timeline of Wyoming history (i.e., a list of events in the history of Wyoming), and the judgment needed to decide what to include would not suddenly become OR for failing to copy an existng timeline (and copying one could edge towards copyright infringement anyway).
(2) Yes, that's one of the original purpose of lists on Wikipedia, to aid in article creation by identifying missing topics. Too many editors now incorrectly view redlinks as bad things, while others more moderately insist on a verifying citation to tolerate the inclusion of the redlink pending article creation. If it's arbitrary to limit lists to only those topics we think merit articles, it's even more arbitrary to exclude notable topics we simply haven't yet gotten around to writing about. postdlf (talk) 22:35, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
It is indeed true that "notable" is a fungible quality which is much less concrete than, say, list of Nobel Prize winners. However, we have guidelines on lists of "famous" or "notable" people which indicate that the criteria under which these people are included must be specified, which goes some way to addressing this. I personally don't believe in such lists, but there is consensus amongst the project at large that they are appropriate encyclopedic content. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 10:20, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

The use of accent marks in article titles[edit]

There are currently two different RfCs in which users familiar to the debate are discussing the use of accent marks in article titles. Some believe that accent marks should not be used and all article titles should be restricted to the ASCII character set. Some believe that the article title should should be guided by WP:V and follow usage in reliable English language sources (as described in WP:UE). Some believe names should be spelled the way they are in the native language of the subject of the article with little or no regard to English usage (the argument put forward is that any English language source that does not use the native language spelling is an unreliable source for deciding on the correct spelling of a name). Input from more editors would perhaps help form a consensus on which strategy is the best to follow. See:

-- PBS (talk) 15:59, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Appropriateness of "X on Twitter" (or similar) articles[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
At first glance, a vast majority of users agree that "on Twitter" articles are generally inappropriate. However, the counter argument that the wording of the question lead to people answering the wrong question is very strong. I.E. most topics are "generally inappropriate" - what the community (likely) really wants to know is if "on Twitter" articles are ever appropriate. Thus, I will list the points on which most users seem to agree without specifically drawing a conclusion:
  • Singling out Twitter is probably unnecessary for most celebrities. Instead the topic "X's use of social media" is preferable.
  • Content related to a celebrity's use of social media should only appear on Wikipedia when reliable sources discuss the use of social media as a topic, not merely when they report what X said on Twitter (or where ever).
  • Such content should not include the day-to-day events of a person's life, as conveyed by them on social media.
  • For the vast majority of celebrities, their use of social media is best covered within their main biography.
  • There may be very rare exceptions when a person is extremely notable and/or their use of social media is extremely notable thus making it impractical to cover his/her use of social media within their main biography in adequate detail.

--ThaddeusB (talk) 15:53, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

There's been a lot of issues with behavior problems revolving around various celebrity's "...on Twitter" articles. Examples include

Uncle G has provided a good summary of the poor behavior that these articles are creating (either way), in that we have "empty" AFD !votes, articles at GAN/FAC being sent to AFD, articles at AFD being sent to GAC/FAC, etc. Plus a race to create more, put more to GA (at minimum) as "protection" from AFD, etc. Rightly so, the problem is that these are articles that we don't know what to do with yet, and there are arguments on both sides regarding them.

First, I'd like to propose an informal halt to any meta-activity on these articles, at least until some resolve has been made. No creation, no AFD'ing, no GAN/FAC (allowing the current running ones to complete of course).

But we do need some resolve. I have my own ideas how these articles should be treated, but I don't want to taint the discussion with my opinion here. Instead, I'd like to see what the general community feels about these, are they appropriate, are there better ways of handling it, should they not even exist? Based on what consensus says, we can make appropriate changes to guideline/policy that summarizes that and then and only then can we turn back to what we have to see if the articles themselves may be affected.

Note that I am going to assume that we are talking about "...on Twitter" articles that already meet WP:V in terms of sourcing, and we're talking only those that other sources have clearly recognized, not a random celebrity or nobody. The three examples above are the ones that I would expect of minimum quality for an "on Twitter" article to even exist, so this is not meant to say that we can create a "On Twitter" article for any random person X. But even when they get as largely sourced as the above three, the questions on appropriateness remain.

Note that I'm looking ahead to any type of "X on Y" where Y is some social media application, like YouTube, or Facebook, or whatever. There may not be any articles that meet these now, but we should be considering the potential of what future such services may bring.

Given this, I'm breaking up the discussion into three areas, below. Two for "Generally acceptable" and "Generally unacceptable", and a third for "Other options", which I hope people expand with possible ideas for determining between acceptable and unacceptable. --MASEM (t) 14:26, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

"...on Twitter" articles are generally acceptable[edit]

  • Assuming as the question does, that the twitter account is generally notable and verifiable. To avoid the illegitimate WP:BELONG type arguments, yes. These are similar to articles on noted individual blogs. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:03, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
  • It would be foolish to exclude broad categories of article types when they are capable of having their notability established by information discussed in multiple reliable third party sources. Any claims that these sorts of articles are too trivial are foolish as only people who think the subject worthy of study will spend their time reading them. Abyssal (talk) 21:41, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

"...on Twitter" articles are generally inappropriate[edit]

  • Because of the potential spread, since most subjects here in the entertainment industry have at least the potential for such a page, the standards should be very high. The claim that such a subject is notable is the sort of extraordinary claim that needs extraordinarily good sourcing. It should require a very strict interpretation of the notability guidelines, in which several really substantial non-tabloid sources of unquestionable seriousness and reliability --preferable academic or serious published non-fiction studies devoted primarily to the topic should be required. Otherwise we degenerate into a fansite. DGG ( talk ) 01:34, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I would say that notability for these types of articles should be based on impact, and not just activity. Activity will be written about by "reliable sources" every day just because of the incredible size, reach and potential profitability of the industry, but this material is generally of the trivia/tabloid kind. However, sources about the cultural impact or long-term consequences of a person's Twitter account by the kinds of organizations DGG mentions above ("academic o[r] serious published non-fiction studies devoted primarily to the topic") are a completely different animal and would certainly seem to warrant a serious article. Those are understandably rarer, and so given the amount of -- yes, I'm going to say it -- cruft that finds its way into current articles on these subjects, I think saying that "X on Twitter" articles are generally inappropriate is closest to the truth. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 01:53, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Well, WP:notability (fiction) was a notability guideline and tried "impact" as part of notability criterion, but it is now an essay about notability of characters itself. All internet stuff is notable under GNG, but this whole discussion is becoming more about how to write a valuable article. As said, why focusing more on notability than an idea of making MOS guideline about internet topics? --George Ho (talk) 02:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • The issue that is larger than the "...on twitter" articles is the issue of meta-articles in general. These articles are reporting on the reporting of others, which is distinct from using the reporting of others as sources. Said in WP-speak, articles such as these are treating what are normally RS as PRIMARY. By writing an article about what X or Y source thinks about topic Z, we are no longer an encyclopedia but rather a news aggregator. As an example if this, if a Twitter user tweets from their verified account that they are getting married then we may update their BIO to say that they are getting married and source it (BLP allows SPS as sources about themselves) to the tweet. That is writing about the event (getting married), not the medium of distribution (Twitter). When we get into writing about the medium, the line into meta-reporting gets crossed. That is no longer encyclopeadic, but just being an aggregator (at best). That isn't to say that there aren't notable events where there is an intersection. For instance, the race to 1M followers might be notable for both the BIO and the Twitter article. --Tgeairn (talk) 02:41, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
    • As a devil's advocate, we have articles on notable fan sites that are pretty much just news aggregation or the like for something else. Take, for example Lostpedia or Equestria Daily. I will not dismiss the idea that a celeb's twitter can be notable on its own as long as the sources are talking about the Twitter account and not just reporting on news reported in the account. There is some reasonable logic here. --MASEM (t) 02:53, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Right and to add, there is no basis in fact or logic to the claim that "The Washington Post" or a myriad of other sources are "primary sources" about a twitter account. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:59, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
        • It depends on how they are reporting it. WashPost stating "Celeb X said on his twitter that he will be getting married" is a primary source. WashPost station "Celeb X's twitter has been used for X to pass along news and personal information faster than through his PR agent." would edge on secondary. --MASEM (t) 03:08, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
            • No. The Washington Post is a secondary source; the tweet itself is primary assuming it's the person involved tweeting.Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:40, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
              • Wrong. Secondary sources require analysis and transformation of information; otherwise, if they are just repeating a primary source, they remain a primary source. This is why, for news and events, we expect analytic coverage of the event rather than only just rote reporting. --MASEM (t) 03:43, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
              • Also, specifically, the WashPost in the example above would be a third-party source, which does help with WP:V, but doesn't help with notability. --MASEM (t) 03:44, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
                • No. The Washington Post is almost never a tertiary source. And no, a secondary source reports from a primary source. It is third-party because it is not the first or second party in a communication. (however, its reporter might be the second)Alanscottwalker (talk) 03:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just as Washington Post, a secondary source, weekly reports from soap operas, primary sources. Like soap operas, Washington Post reports primary sources, like Twitter activities and fiction. --George Ho (talk) 03:59, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

As a secondary source, they have editorial control over what they report from a primary source.Alanscottwalker (talk) 04:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Be aware: primary/secondary/tertiary is one way to classify a source, describing how itself is using other sources,, and first-party/third-party a completely separate way. The WashPost is a third-party (in that it is unrelated at all) to a celeb's twitter, no question. But if all that is being repeated in the WashPost is what is in the twitter with no further comment, that makes it a primary, third-party source. The thing to remember: the primary or secondary nature of WashPost (or any other source) will change depending on the topic and how they report it; we never say that every article WashPost ever publishes is always primary or always secondary. It's context dependent. Please review WP:PSTS for clarity on this. --MASEM (t) 04:11, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
As that says primary is created by the people involved not by others not involved. The Post is not the primary source. If someone speaks to you in person or writes a note that's the primary source; if someone else tells you what they said or wrote, that is secondary. Alanscottwalker (talk) 04:22, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
No, that's assuredly the "first party" source, but even a first party source can be secondary depending on the nature of the topic and method of presentation. --MASEM (t) 04:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The nature of the topic is someone else's communication, and the method of presentation is the paper's editorial control over telling you that information is something they want you to inform you about. It is secondary. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:32, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Again, it's not as simple. If the newspaper is simply repeating what was in the Twitter with no additional analysis or critique, the newspaper is a primary source for that Twitter account because there has been no transformation of information. If the paper goes into an analysis of the Twitter account or critiques on it, or does something otherwise novel than just re-reporting what it said, it is secondary source for that Twitter account. That follows WP:PSTS and long-term discussions on WT:OR. --MASEM (t) 12:44, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The newspaper is not simply repeating (even if there were the specialized meaning of secondary, which is incorrect), it is picking that information out to highlight. Now, if you are saying the newspaper is primary for its own content, that is unremarkable and true of every source we use, but none of them are primary for other people's communications. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Editing down information from primary sources does not make a work secondary if there's no further analytical aspects added to it. And no, I'm not saying the newspaper is primary for itself. If an article, in the context of the topic of re-reporting what a Twitter account, performed no further analysis of that Twitter account, that article would be a primary source for the Twitter account. That makes no claim that the rest of the newspaper is a primary source, or that the article is only a primary source for any other topic, simply for the coverage of the Twitter account. Again, you need to review WP:PSTS, as we are looking not just for one-step removed but for the analysis that comes with secondary sources. "Secondary sources are second-hand accounts, generally at least one step removed from an event. They rely on primary sources for their material, making analytic or evaluative claims about them". --MASEM (t) 13:04, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The evaluative claim a newspaper makes when reporting is that it is something to be reported. Again, it is secondary. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:12, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
If it happened that the entire article (or at least a very sizable chunk) was about the Twitter account, that might be true. For example, this news article discussing the Twitter "war" between Gaga and Bieber is secondary to both of them. This news article which is supporting a commentary about Bieber via quotes from his Twitter, is a primary source for the Bieber Twitter article on WP. --MASEM (t) 13:21, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
No. Commentary is a secondary source. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The commentary makes the second article a secondary source for Bieber himself but it makes no statement about the Twitter account beyond repeating the quote, so it is a primary source for Bieber on Twitter. --MASEM (t) 13:34, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The statement it makes is that it is worth reporting. The tweet, itself, out of his or anyone else many tweets, is the primary source for the tweet. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Your concept of "secondary" is far outside the lines we use on WP. Just repeating information (even if it is the case of editorial oversight to pick out the most relevant quotes) does not create secondary information. Again, please review WP:PSTS. This is standard practice on WP. --MASEM (t) 13:44, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Ah well, as you have nothing to offer based on the ordinary meaning of policy, words, or reason. I take it that's the end.Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:20, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I quoted what WP:PSTS says about secondary sources! You are drastically mis-interpreting that. --MASEM (t) 14:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
No. Just reading it in its ordinary and common sense meaning. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:28, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
So exactly what "analytic or evaluative claims" are being made about the Twitter account by simply requoting the Twitter account? I strongly urge you to review past discussions at WT:OR where its being iterated that newspaper stories just reiterating the facts are typically primary sources, but can be secondary in other context. This is crux to this issue to understand why this articles can be problematic if they're based only on repeating what was said in Twitter. --MASEM (t) 14:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
No. Sorry. We've been through exactly this above and it's best not to repeat. My answer has not changed. If you would care to discuss further come to my page. Thanks. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
You never answered this, and it is critical to this discussion not to separate it to a separate page. Understanding the nature of Twitter coverage by sources is critical to whether they pass notability or other tests for article allowance. --MASEM (t) 15:11, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I've tried in at least three slightly different ways, see the comments beginning: "The newspaper is not simply repeating...,"The evaluative claim. . ."; "The statement it makes. . .". I don't know what more I can do. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:32, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
"The evaluative claim a newspaper makes when reporting is that it is something to be reported" is bogus, at least when considering the second article I point above. When a newspaper article dedicates itself to a topic, like the Twitter war article that the first example is, that gives some credence to the evaluative claim. But when it simply pulls a tweet out to support an article about the person, there is zero evaluative claims about the Twitter account. It's just using the Twitter account as a source, like they would use eyewitnesses, press releases, or interview responses as sources; using these first-person accounts as sources as part of a larger topic, without any further comment, does not make the newspaper article a secondary source for the first-person account. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
That is the evaluative claim it makes. It doesn't matter if you don't approve of the evaluative claim it makes. It has decided that that information is pertinent and worthy of coverage. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:47, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What happened to the recap thing and stuff? How is reporting real-life events not the same as recapping soap operas? --George Ho (talk) 16:40, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

You can have a primary source recap an event, a secondary source recap an event, or a tertiary source recap an event, so its not pertinent to the distinction. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:19, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
A recap that only summarizes the event/show/whatever is a primary source. A recap that summarizes and adds commentary or analysis is secondary. --MASEM (t) 20:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Incorrect, the categorization is the sources relation to the action and what they use as source{s). Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:46, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Primary/Secondary has nothing to do with the source relation; that's the first party/third party metric. It has to do with where the information is coming from and how it is used. I've read through the discussions on WT:OR to make sure my memory of how these discusses go, and again its pretty clear that reporting without analysis is primary, period. Your viewpoint, specifically on the example above where an article simply republished what the Twitter account says, that this article is a secondary source of information for the twitter account, is flat out wrong. You can check WT:OR if you want but that viewpoint is just not compatable with the normal definitions or how WP uses the terms.
But as to avoid dragging this out. I am making the assumption that when we are talking about this "X on Twitter" articles that they have sourcing that already meets the GNG, so we're not challenging these articles based on notability; ergo, whether certain pieces of coverage are primary or secondary doesn't matter since we're assuming we've got secondary sources aplenty so that notability is not what's being challenged here. There's other factors at play that are more significant to consider. --MASEM (t) 12:31, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Thankyou. The Notability assumption is the one under which this discussion was started. I appreciate that you have come to agree with me that this is not the place to discuss categorization, although your understanding of the categorization is incorrect. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:59, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I can't stand these articles for a pretty simple reason... 95% of what is written is pure trivia, while the useful 5% is already covered (or should be covered) on the subject's main article. They offer excessively fine detail on what is an incredibly small part of any celebrities person. Resolute 03:21, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I will add, however, that getting rid of them is about as likely as dumping the equally silly royal wedding dress articles. Excessive detail on trivial things is something the project will very likely contain until the servers are switched off. Resolute 03:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
      • What? Articles of wedding dresses worn by celebrity are historical and worth discussing due to royalty, value, and stuff, mergable or not. Of Twitter activities, on the other hand, are children of internet activities and may suffer from recentism. --George Ho (talk) 03:33, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
        • That is rather my point, actually. Kate Middleton is notable for marrying a royal and her wedding to Will is likewise notable. Her dress is claimed to be notable because she is, which is a borderline POVFORK. I view the ...on Twitter articles the same way. Justin Bieber and his music may be notable, but the fine detail on this trivia is likewise a borderline POVFORK. Bieber uses hashtags when tweeting, and discusses a wide variety of subjects! OMG! So do I! Better write an article about my Twitter activities too! Resolute 13:37, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
          • ...Well, wedding dresses are not similar to technology. In fact, under Wikipedia standards, articles of a dress need reception and analysis to add encyclopedic value, regardless of notability, right? 19th-century dresses may be exceptions due to needs of an offline source. However, an article of an account cannot explain only messages that made impact; it needs background of creation and signifying analysis in general. The current revisions of an account article is bloated and demeaning to general public of five years from now. --George Ho (talk) 17:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • It is a piece of technology, a means of communication. What a famous person may say may be noteworthy, but what means of communication they used is not. This should just be so completely obvious to anyone above a basic grade level that I find it difficult to fathom just why we have to discuss it. Tarc (talk) 13:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I explained below, but suffice it to say that I agree with DGG on this. WP:NOT applies. Dennis Brown - © 14:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • These are WP:SS subarticles of the main article. As such, their topic must not only be separately notable, but their size relative to the main article and other subarticles (if any) must be in proportion to the importance of the topic for the person's biography as a whole. I would be exceptionally surprised if a topic so trivial as a person's Twitter presence would be so important to their biography as to justify the creation of a separate article. Moreover, such articles are at a peril of filling up with vapid tabloid-style content even faster than the main article.  Sandstein  19:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "...On Twitter" is inherently unencyclopedic since it is essentially original research-type sifting of primary source material to first publish a treatise a topic. Carrite (talk) 20:05, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • See my comment on one of the AFD's - in short: no thank you (✉→BWilkins←✎) 21:32, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Doesn't belong here; shows poor editorial judgement. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • This is one of those odd cases where you can actually source an article correctly, even though the article itself contains nothing of value. Twitter might be a popular medium, but do we need a separate record to document what individual XYZ had said or done on this service? What about "On LinkedIn" or "On FaceBook", or the tongue in cheek "Caveman on historical clay tablet"?. There is simply no encyclopedic value in these articles - virtually the entire page is trivial information, and the few scraps of decent data can just as well be covered in the main page (And most times it is already covered). "On x" should generally be avoided - we don't want nor need an entire bunch of subpages for every article to document a relation with an external information source. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 22:41, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Such articles are never appropriate as an article on any site with a desire to be a professional encyclopedia. The test of these things is to swap out one communication mediaum for another. X on a telephone. X on walkie talkies. X on Skype. X on Reddit. Ridiculous. DreamGuy (talk) 01:28, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • It is pretty simple: we are building a serious encyclopaedia. For those who prefer a wiki that does not restrict their behaviour and accepts all kinds of nonsensical content: go install mediawiki on your own server. Arcandam (talk) 12:34, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is not Facebook or Twitter. If there is any notable content in the article, merge it with the celebrity's main article. --Nathan2055talk - contribs 15:50, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Again, I'll copy and paste what I said at two ongoing AFDs:
    ... because this is what Wikipedia is WP:NOT. Wikipedia is WP:NOTDIARY, WP:NOTCASE study, and WP:NOTDIRECTORY. This is not a simple issue of notability. The fact is, for any major public figure, you're going to be able to assemble sources about a myriad of subtopics. Barack Obama's appearances in Ohio. Justin Bieber's live performances. Lindsay Lohan's substance abuse issues. Those would all technically be sourceable. The problem is, you're starting to get into topic selections that resemble the biases of the editor. You're starting to confuse "the subject" with "what the subject is notable for". It's your standard WP:CONTENTFORK problem where people can write multiple articles that are all basically about the same thing, which would make the encyclopedia even more unmanageable than it already is.
    ... There's my best reading of our policy, in both letter and in spirit. Shooterwalker (talk) 15:48, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
    Lindsay Lohan's substance abuse issues might be large enough for a spinout.... — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:22, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
    Great, you managed to stumble upon my worst nightmare. (I'm one of the main editors trying to keep Lindsay Lohan in shape and I am all too familiar with the reams and reams of sources available on the most minor aspects of her life.) I seriously hope the BLP and POV issues of a spinout like that are too obvious for anyone to attempt it. Siawase (talk) 16:36, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Something like somebody saying they liked some clothes caused some rush that was remarked on in a secondary source then that would be about the limit of the twitter I'd have though was reasonable to include. A secondary source is needed. Dmcq (talk) 16:00, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Only if there is commentary about the celebrity's use of Twitter, and a sufficient amount of that so that a spinout article is appropriate. The actual tweets by that twit twitterer should not be a factor as to whether there is an article. Otherwise, it really does fall into WP:NOTDIARY. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:22, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Here's how I think WP:POVFORK applies. I think it was Tarc who mentioned this in one of the afds, NPOV doesn't just apply to controversial opinions (where it most often gets brought up) but to everything. It wouldn't be NPOV to add 50k text with details of Bieber's twitter activitities to the main Justin Bieber article, that would be giving it undue weight. And the context of the full biography makes due and undue weight and NPOV fairly easy to determine. Creating a separate article on only one aspect ends up skirting around the undue weight issues that would be obvious if it was included in the main article. We're talking about entertainers here, who are notable for their singing, acting etc. And we don't spin out separate articles on that. There is no Justin Bieder's singing career or Lady Gaga's singing career that had to be spun out due to length, but these minor aspects supposedly need to be spun out? Siawase (talk) 16:29, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "On Twitter" articles should never be considered encyclopedia-worthy. As I said on the AfD discussion about Justin Bieber on Twitter: If your interested in somebody's Tweets, then do you A) read the person's Tweets or B) read about the Tweets on Wikipedia? I have a feeling almost everybody answers "A". Also, a topic's verifiability and the fact that it is well-sourced are not enough for it to be included. Perhaps include the information on each person's article, or start a section on the Twitter article about "Notable Twitter Accounts", but individual Twitter accounts do not deserve their own articles. RedSoxFan2434 (talk) 20:13, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In almost every case, the media presence of a subject (on Twitter, on their own website, in the New York Times, etc.) is not independently notable of the subject itself, and as such, the default for "Foo on Twitter" should be "REDIRECT:Foo". The number of Twitter followers cannot and should not be used to claim notability pbp 22:24, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Per DGG at the very top above. I suspect that the appropriate number of "X on Twitter" articles is zero (certainly sometimes a tweet is notable but it can be mentioned in the article on the author or subject of the tweet). But that my change as new sources become available . In any event, they should be the exception rather than the rule. Eluchil404 (talk) 07:23, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I think DGG and Nolelover together covered it pretty well. I won't say that no X on Twitter article is worthy, but I think they would be exceptionally rare (and I'm not convinced we've had one yet). Anything someone tweets is either not worthy of mention at all, or should be in the main article on the person. We would need high quality (think academic) sources talking about the impact of someone's Twitter (Facebook, Goodreads, what-have-you) account as a notable phenomenon in order to justify an article in an encyclopedia about that account. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, WP:NOTPEOPLEMAGAZINE. LadyofShalott 02:31, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Like the user just above me (LadyofShalottcontact) wrote, I too feel that the users DGG (talk · contribs) and Nolelover (talk · contribs) together described the issue pretty well. Nothing much left for me to contribute, however I will say this that the subjects of the articles are not really worth a separate page.  Brendon is here 12:06, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I feel as though I'm mostly reiterating what others have said, but I see no need for separate articles along this vein. The content would be better kept (or moved, or added, as appropriate) to the ... article instead of existing in a ... on twitter article. --Nouniquenames (talk) 00:35, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I completely agree. - Presidentman talk · contribs Random Picture of the Day (Talkback) 21:49, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think that "on Twitter" article are really necessary. If a person's social media profile is notable enough to have many reliable sources documenting it as such, then the person's article should just be expanded to include a "Social media" section. I think it's inappropriate and unencyclopedic to create "on Twitter" articles, as it not only adds to the problem of the already-cluttered navigational system, but gives undue weight to certain celebrities.—Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 18:55, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Lots of comments above that make sense. Resolute and Sandstein, in particular, are right on the money. My take: X on Twitter articles are almost always inappropriate. The notability of X is completely irrelevant, and neither should it matter how often X tweets or how large an audience X has. The rare exception—and I think this would be very rare—would be in cases where X's tweets are recurrently noteworthy in and of themselves, attracting sustained news coverage and significant discussion among notable secondary sources over a lengthy interval. If we don't limit it to that, we're not only falling prey to recentism and indiscriminate content but also risk participating in the creation of a feedback loop that elevates the status of certain social media outlets and some of their users. Rivertorch (talk) 04:42, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
  • X's activity on Twitter (if verifiable via WP:reliable sources) is a subject of coverage in the article about X. In fact, there is no topic for the article "X on Twitter". At all. – Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 13:03, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Sorry but I have to agree that these articles are annoying and "X on Twitter" is so rarely a notable topic which is the primary subject of published sources. Once people finally get used to the strange reality that celebrities are human, use the internet like the rest of us and have twitter accounts, they will be even less appropriate. The only reason we have these articles and not e.g. "X on BBC Radio 4" is because people (including brain dead news sources) make such a big deal out of the amazeballs that celebrities could possibly use social networking sites. The 20th century's that way, folks. - filelakeshoe 12:24, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "...on Twitter" articles are generally inappropriate. Encyclopedic information they might contain should be included on pages about the author or the author's work. For example, if George Orwell had ever tweeted, the information ought to have been included in Journalism of George Orwell. G. C. Hood (talk) 00:43, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
  • There is no reason to have articles about a person's twitter account. It just isn't that notable. --Guerillero | My Talk 02:22, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, these types of articles should be avoided. If there was a sincere and big controversy caused by something on Twitter relating to that celebrity, and it created such a large scandal (not just a controversy, but a whole series of events), then a new article should be created about that scandal, with information about how it started on Twitter. However, notable or important Tweets or Twitter activity should generally be kept inside the existing article on that celebrity, and should be confined to referenced sources from reliable media outlets to avoid WP:UNDUE. While it's likely that 20,000 people will retweet a celebrity's message that they are currently eating breakfast (picture attached), it's unlikely that most people on Wikipedia will need to read it. --Activism1234 16:40, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Using Twitter is one of thousands of human activities that could, potentially, be mentioned in a biographical article. It makes no difference that there are sources. In the deletion review for the Ashton Kutcher article I jokes that by the same token you could have an article "Toilet habits of Ashton Kutcher". Then I googled it and found that you actually could. [6] [7] [8] [9]. Formerip (talk) 21:27, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
  • It is possible for a Twitter account to be notable but there should be very clear standards of when this happens. An example of one standard which I would accept is seeing that someone reputable in the field has published a literary critique or review of the contents of a Twitter account. This is the standard for other publications and could often be distinguished from celebrity gossip. Blue Rasberry (talk) 10:39, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Twitter self-published comments only useable if covered by secondary WP:RS sources. Just like everything else. Even if an individual's ONLY or PRIMARY connection to the world is twitter and it is frequently covered by secondary sources, that info should be part of their bio and not a separate article. You don't have "Madonna Interviews" articles, do you? CarolMooreDC 17:15, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I see no compelling editorial reason why we should not present information about a subject's Twitter activity within the main article, if indeed we must include the dreary world of tweets in our encyclopedia at all. AGK [•] 22:56, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • They are blatant trivia, and should be merged with the articles on the biographical subject. Otherwise we'll have Lady Gaga on MySpace, Lady Gaga on Facebook, Lady Gaga on LinkedIn, Lady Gaga on whatever site is popular now, ad nauseam for any bio subject with an obsessive fan base who like to write such wanky articles. It's not a notability question at all, but an encyclopedic relevance one. Many things listed at WP:NOT are things that could pass WP:N in certain cases and generate tripe like this, but we don't allow it. "[subject] on [media venue]" articles (this isn't really about Twitter per se; that just happens to be the popular example right now) could in rare cases make for an okay article, but it would have to a case of overwhelming public opinion and impact. Even then, "[subject] on [media venue]" would probably not be a useful title format per WP:AT anyway, but something more specific, like "[topic] controversy over [subject] on [media venue]". Even then, this would only make sense if the venue itself was completely integral to the article (i.e., the bio subject was only controversial on that venue. Even if so, the only reason to ever have this as a separate article is if WP:SUMMARY demanded it, and the material to be split into a stand-alone article was encyclopedically rich enough to support one. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 04:18, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
  • These types of articles are havens for fancruft and trivia. If there is anything actually notable about someone's use of Twitter, it should be included in a short paragraph in their bio article. Detailed commentary on celebrity Twitter use is generally unencyclopedic. -Scottywong| gossip _ 19:14, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Information about the Twitter feeds of famous people can be put into articles about those famous people without the need to create a seperate article. If there's too much information about Twitter such that it is overwhelming the main article, then it shouldn't be spun out, it should be pared down. --Jayron32 03:49, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

"...on Twitter" articles should not be lumped together but evaluated individually[edit]

  • I strongly object to the framing of this dispute. Were you to ask me whether I think said articles are generally acceptable or generally inappropriate, I would be compelled to say the latter even though I would vote to keep nearly all the ones currently in existence (the remainder being merge votes) and would move to undelete the one that just got deleted, which I said then and will say again was actually the one that was most worthy of being kept. The idea that there should be some sort of general verdict on the validity of including x-type of article is absurd. So, I will just create a section for people to assert the more basic principle that we shouldn't make judgments on Wikipedia content based solely on generalizations and innuendo. Each article is unique and should be judged based on its own independent circumstances not some confluence of hostility towards articles on popular culture and social media. We already have perfectly fine standards for determining whether an article should be kept or not, if we apply them appropriately and do not make judgments based on our preconceptions about the subject matter then it will work out fine.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:11, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • On a note separate from the overall status of Twitter account articles I would cover the specific problem of WP:INDISCRIMINATE being used in these discussions. In the Kutcher Twitter AfD, people citing WP:INDISCRIMINATE appeared to be using it as a nice way to get rid of articles on pop-culture subjects they detest by claiming it is an "indiscriminate" collection of gossip material without regard to anything that separates it from the norm (the Bennifer AfD mentioned below is a similar case of the policy being abused to ignore the unique notability of the subject). Now, when I cited that policy in prior AfDs it was for these "rumor" articles that literally just tracked down rumors and gossip about a subject and compiled it all in a single article that actually resembled some subject of pseudo-significance. It was an absurd thing that you could do for just about any subject, which is not the case here. You really wouldn't have the sources to do an article "Rihanna on Twitter" that would not just be a random summarizing of things she has said on Twitter because the actual subject of her use of Twitter does not get much attention. Nothing I can find in connection with her on Twitter has any independent significance. Basically it is just reporting her talking about stuff happening to her. That is the kind of difference I would try to find.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:01, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • This. More explanation for why I think this is available in my earlier comment, but the long and short of it is that there is nothing inherent about a Twitter account that means it cannot be notable or written usefully about. If some of the current crop of Twitter articles don't meet our standards, that's fine - we have a deletion process that can deal with non-notable or unencyclopedic articles! However, if/when there are articles about notable Twitter accounts - whether that's today, in six months, in five years, whatever - there will be, and will have been, no value in a blanket prohibition on the very concept. Evaluate an article on its merits, not on whether we like the topic or whether our scry glass says that every article about it always will suck. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 00:06, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
    • To both above, the issue is that we need to figure out some line if there are some that should be kept and some that shouldn't. To say "oh, treat each case-by-case" is not a resolution. I am starting on the assuming that WP:V is met, and that they are GNG-notable in that there are sources that talk about the Twitter account and not just the person or repeating what they post. (All three above examples I felt met that) But from that, based on those that don't think these are appropriate, how do we decide that? What line do we use? There's a confluence of BLP, UNDUE, and SIZE/Summary style issues that work together; some are insisting there's no such line at all, but if there is one, we need a strong definition of it. We can't just wave the problem off as it is causing problems. Please feel free to include specific ideas in new sections for !voting, of course. --MASEM (t) 01:40, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • This discussion is...well, sprawling and confusing, first of all. Regardless, While I agree we need a meter-stick to measure (or whack) things with, I don't think it needs to be a Twitter-stick specifically. The question is more, When does WP:IINFO apply? When doesn't it? What is the motivation of the policy? (cf. WP:WHYN) Does anyone have a clear idea of that? If we have some way to agree to that, then that will be the bright line for any 'on Twitter' article, after things like verifiable and notable have been passed, and judging them individually should cause some small measure less strife. I seem to have forgotten my login, I'll recover it momentarily. ~Darryl From Mars (talk) 07:47, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Twitter is a communication medium like any other. Probably 100 years ago if there was Wikipedia people would be saying should we have articles on radio broadcasts? And 15 years ago, should we have articles on blogs? Like anything else, most examples are non-notable, but there's going to be some that are notable, either because they use the medium in an innovative/clever/successful way, or because the communications have a wider influence/effect, or because they're useful in understanding someone who is sufficiently important to merit that understanding (much as historians and scholars use personal letters and diaries to understand figures of the past). People who pioneered use of Twitter as an advertising/communication medium are likely to be notable for their Twitter use, as are people who used Twitter for artistic or political purposes, but those who don't innovate may not be notable. But this can only be decided by studying the notability of the Twitter feed. (But of course there's a difference between notable twitter feeds and spin-offs from articles that have lower notability standards.) --Colapeninsula (talk) 09:34, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I want to be clear, again: For this discussion we need to start from the assumption that for "X on Twitter" (or whatever), notability has firmly been established, so that we're talking about the next step of if there are other aspects that make it appropriate or not. (Notability is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for a standalone article). --MASEM (t) 12:47, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Radio shows are a strange comparison to the social media use of already notable individuals. A more apt comparison from earlier eras would be "Correspondence of" articles, and we have very few of those. Siawase (talk) 13:05, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Not so different, see The Jack Benny Program. See also, Letters of Charles Lamb. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:12, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
A comedy show with several writers and a large cast? And yes, look at Category:Correspondences and how few entries it has. Correspondence is not something that appears to be generally notable if we go back in time a bit. Siawase (talk) 15:41, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Sure, Particular correspondence is notable and particular writers of correspondence are notable. But I was responding to your ill-formed claim that a famous person is not different from a communication outlet, solely because the person is famous. Thus we have Letter, Book, Radio, TV, etc. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:26, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • This. It feels silly that we're discussing the suitability of articles which can be well-sourced, notable and content-complete. True, it may seem that in the majority of cases a person's Twitter account is not independently notable. But sometimes it can be, and making a decision universally will harm the project. (See also the AWWDMBJAWGCAWAIFDSPBATDMTAD, which I'm a member of.) elektrikSHOOS (talk) 18:42, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Other viewpoints[edit]

  • Okay, after all considerations, notability of these things are.... not easy to define. Nevertheless, another Manual of Style subpage about internet content is needed. Someone must focus more on that rather than focus on notability criteria on internet. MUST. AVOID. SAME. FATE. AS. WP:notability (fiction), as there is WP:manual of Style/Writing about fiction. --George Ho (talk) 01:41, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

No special guideline is needed, just the usual WP:GNG. Has anyone written a book about Lady Gaga's twitter account? Are there serious articles from reliable sources that survey the history, behavior, and influence of Lady Gaga's twitter account? I just took a quick look at Lady Gaga on Twitter, and there do appear to be quite a few articles cited, in legitimate newspapers, whose main topic is indeed Lady Gaga's twitter account. There is enough material for a substantial article, with no padding or gratuitous quotations or cherry-picking references. Seems like a slam dunk to me.

OK, now I just took a quick look at Ashton Kutcher on Twitter. It seems to be a little more focused on trivia (do we really need to know the exact second that the account was created? do we need a list of his venture-capital investments? technology-related characters that Kutcher plays?? that he advertises digital cameras???), but there seem to be plenty of serious articles that really have this Twitter account as their main topic. I haven't gone over the article carefully, but it appears that even if the non-salient fluff were pared away, there is still plenty of factual material to make an article. The basis for notability is WP:NOTINHERITED from Kutcher's celebrity, it's that this was the first Twitter account to reach 1,000,000 followers. We don't just have a bunch of miscellaneous press coverage, we have a clear explanation for why the account received so much press coverage, in the form of a main fact that has a lot of closely related facts surrounding it, which got covered because that main fact was so important. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we write encyclopedia articles about.

Ben Kovitz (talk) 02:04, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Like fictional and nonfictional material, WP:IINFO applies to these types. Notability and referencing are less relevant than content itself. Kutcher account needs an analyst, as Suicide of Tyler Clementi and Sam and Diane have analysts, which I've already said in AFD of Kutcher. --George Ho (talk) 02:17, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Well said Ben Kovitz, the multiple angles the Kuthcher account has been covered in reliable sources -- from business, to communications, to philanthropy, to advertising, to media, to marketing, to (don't tell anyone) celebrity, etc. -- is why we write. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Shouldn't our usual metrics apply? Primarily, the one that says develop related content in the main article and only split when the content threatens to become too large? Powers T 14:34, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

In part, yes, though checking the history of these articles, that doesn't seem to be how they were created (and using the Bieber article as the example, it certainly wasn't from pulling out a section about his Twitter aspects based on its history, nor if we were to merge the articles back into the bios (ingnoring size) would much of these twitter articles retain their content. So the specific examples raise questions. But it still is entirely possible that a "on Twitter" article could be created as a spinout from a large bio article. That remains the question is that an appropriate spinout to meet SIZE aspects? That's a question to be answered here. --MASEM (t) 15:10, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm concerned about what I see as a conflation of a couple of issues here. First, there's "are the current '...on Twitter' articles we have up to the encyclopedia's standards?" question. This is why there are AfDs running, and it's important that we do evaluate them. Second, there's "is is possible for an '...on Twitter' topic to be notable enough for us?" This is a valid question, though I think the answer is really "that depends entirely on the account in question, doesn't it?" It matters less to me whether they appear as standalone articles or as article sections, but I think we'll find in the near future that commentary that happens on Twitter is going to turn out to be something people write about in some depth, and pre-emptively prohibiting content about those topics will turn out to have limited us unnecessarily.

Now, both of these two issues are valid discussion points, and it's good to see them raised. However, I think there's a third issue being brought into play here, one that's really, seriously obscuring the discussion we should be having about issues 1 and 2. That issue is "do we, personally, like recentist-type content, especially involving newfangled celebrities or newfangled communication mediums?" and I think the issue of whether we like Twitter, or think Justin Bieber is ridiculous, or wonder why the hell all these news bureaus care about what Ashton Kutcher tweets when there's a war on, etc, is acting as a huge derail from what we should be looking at.

It shouldn't matter whether we think a topic is childish or too new - if that were a criterion for our inclusion, I'd be running around nominating every Pokemon article we have for deletion, because you kids and your newfangled games...!. But the fact is we have documentation and sources to show that Bulbasaur is notable, no matter how much its existence makes me want to headdesk. People talk about Pokemon, they write about them, and no matter how silly I find them, they're notable and sourceable. Can the same be said for "...on Twitter" topics, some or all? I obviously can't say for sure, but I do wish the community would focus on addressing that issue rather than the issue of whether those durn kids today have strange taste in what they write about. Relatedly, I would love to know how I've somehow found myself speaking up for anything having to do with Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. One second I was mid-crotchety-cane-thump, the next I was copyediting a Twitter article! A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 20:41, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Bulbasaur article is diversive: it has merchandise, reception, and creation. "<name> on Twitter", on the other hand, is just retelling of events, suitable for Wikinews, and lacks general signifying viewpoint on account as a whole. Viewpoint on specific message from Twitter... is not that general. --George Ho (talk) 20:52, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Strong support Twitter accounts are no different than any other topic, they are not presumed to be automatically notable or non-notable, they should be considered notable if there's been enough coverage in multiple reliable sources. Yes, it's true that topics like this are prime symbols in grand narratives of The Decline of Western Civilization, this vague (and empirically unrigorous) feeling that "we used to care about important matters but now all we care about is the Kardashians". But such feelings ought to have no bearing on our consideration of whether these articles actually meet the notability policy. If the current articles don't, I'm fine deleting them, but I'm embarassed to see DGG of all people endorsing the notion that a topic can be presumed inherently unencyclopedic. If more serious publications are starting to cover Twitter accounts on a par with blogs or YouTube series as a creative form, who are we to second guess them? (I've seen trends in this direction, if nothing that yet indicates true notability, for instance Pitchfork Media including "best Twitter account" in their end-of-year music polls).

Maybe it's just the "X on Twitter" framing that's tripping us up here. Shit My Dad Says is an article on a discrete creative product; @FakeAPStylebook could be one if you could find enough sources; so what's inherently wrong with @kanyewest or @justinbieber as a topic (given enough sources)? Of course that's not the same as collating every media reference to "X said something on twitter today". We don't have "X on Youtube" articles either but we do have articles such as The Angry Video Game Nerd whose scope basically coincides with a YouTube channel. (talk) 23:23, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

One significant difference is that Shit My Dad Says is notable for being a twitter account. Entertainers are notable for being... entertainers, singers, actors etc. Their participation in social media is a sideline, just one aspect of many of their life outside of the reason for them being notable in the first place. Siawase (talk) 00:42, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think that's a valid comparison. There aren't the same WP:CONTENTFORK issues with that twitter account. IMO, if that account were the activities of an already notable comedian, perhaps we would merge them there. But since it's uniquely and separately notable, with no other redundant article, the best way to cover it is as a separate article about twitter activities. Shooterwalker (talk) 15:51, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
And on the flip side, there are personalities that have become notable by their blogs/social media (eg Angry Video Game Nerd, Doug Walker), but we generally keep the person and their blog/social media together. --MASEM (t) 17:03, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
If there are sources about accounts and they are copious and widespread I don't mind them, but the bar should be higher than the GNG, as for accounts of notable people or organizations they are superfluous and belong in a public relations or social media section of their owner.LuciferWildCat (talk) 03:00, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Just to be specific, since I want to collect as many opinions of this nature as possible; how much higher than the GNG, exactly, would suffice? Darryl from Mars (talk) 10:50, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

outline in sufficient detail an IAR exception[edit]

for example "When the resources consumed by discussion about N or EV, such as drive space and editor time is expected to exceed by a factor of 20 the size of the article, it should be included in order to render further haemorrhaging of editorial and server resources moot".

Just a thought, I figure it would be nice to leave it here so it can be overlooked. "Wikipedia, discussion ad nauseam" Penyulap 13:02, 29 Jul 2012 (UTC)


...Umm... Shall we move this to WP:village pump (idea lab)? Well, there is no policy on exact accounts used by people; just X on Y policies and guidelines, which might be vague. --George Ho (talk) 19:14, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Depending on how this discussion goes, this might fall under existing policy (like WP:BLP) or guidelines (WP:BIO). It is something that needs addressing. --MASEM (t) 22:59, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I think there's a wider discussion that needs to be had on forking out single aspects from BLPs. There was also the recent AfD for Personal life of Jennifer Lopez (and current Articles for deletion/Bennifer.) If we simply use the standard of "possible to cobble together enough news coverage to satisfy WP:GNG" there are almost endless aspects that could be broken out as separate articles for high profile celebrities. Siawase (talk) 20:19, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't know for sure if the scope should be expanded to include general split off of BLPs - I'm not saying that the issues aren't related but I'm more worried on the current issue of this "On Twitter" articles which are starting to pop up. If this goes that way, then we should add it. --MASEM (t) 22:59, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I would have to agree with DGG here, that X on Twitter should be the exception rather than the rule, and only when it has the proper coverage that isn't fansite like, or no more than recent news. There may be a few exceptions, but in general, most X on Twitter articles are not encyclopedic for a host of reasons, particularly those listed in our policy WP:NOT. Dennis Brown - © 01:39, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I would even agree to that but not for DGG's reasoning that they need extra special scholarly sources and thus a new policy, but because most do not have notability, under current policy. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:16, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I have listed this discussion at Template:Centralized discussion and added an {{rfc}} tag at the top of the discussion. Cunard (talk) 18:18, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Update: Ashton Kutcher on Twitter is deleted. --George Ho (talk) 19:29, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm new to this, but is the way this discussion is broken up really going to allow us to draw to anything? Half of this page as a far too indented discussion of 'nuh-uh/yah-huh's on something irrelevant, and the rest is a series of individual knight-templar 'no's and long-winded 'only barely's; there doesn't seem to be any exchange or comparison of the arguments offered, if any? Darryl from Mars (talk) 08:23, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
    • In response, this whole discussion is getting too big. Administrators, I want to split this discussion into WP:village pump (policy)/On Twitter articles or WP:requests for comment/On Twitter articles or something. Please, admins? --George Ho (talk) 08:56, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Why would you split it??? Its the same discussion. Moving it to its own page may be a solution if there's more involvement but right now there's actually a pretty clear consensus that has very little rebuttal about it. --MASEM (t) 12:34, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
        • Well, ignoring for the moment that it's not actually clear to me what that consensus you see is, the fact there's very little but is to my point; this is a good format for collecting a variety of opinions, but I can't fathom having a coherent back-and-forth on the arguments presented in this format.
And, ending the moment of ignoring it, what exactly -is- the 'un-rebutted' consensus you see in this? Darryl from Mars (talk) 12:49, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
There's about 15 to 1 that say that X on Twitter articles are generally unacceptable (yes, not a vote, but at the same time there's reasoning for each entry that's pretty clear what policies apply). --MASEM (t) 12:54, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes but that's the nature of the divisions made. I dare say that, if we consider the space of possible noun phrases as essentially infinite, almost all things are generally unacceptable. But I worry that you want to apply these general votes to specific situations? For example, as many as four or five of those fifteen express caveats that would lead to 'keep' votes for some of the specific 'on Twitter' articles under consideration, although they say rightly that this kind of article would be -generally- unacceptable. Moreover, there are arguments outside the first two sections, if you don't consider them to be rebuttals because they aren't directly juxtaposed, I can do something to that effect myself, if you like? Darryl from Mars (talk) 13:27, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I wrote the titles as "generally acceptable" etc. because like all policy/guidelines, ultimately IAR comes into play. Yes, the 15-to-1 doesn't mean that no "X on twitter" article should exist, but that they should be avoided. When can they be created? Assuming that this consensus remains, that's the next question, what are good metrics to know when a "... on Twitter" article is appropriate, or alternatively, when it is not. For example, in the latter case, based on the discussion here and at AFDs of the existing ones, issue like WP:IINFO come up, as well as UNDUE, as well as being wary that this is BLP-related material. At the same time we have Barack Obama on Twitter which, while at AFD, doesn't appear to be going to deletion any time soon as it is less a personal Twitter account as opposed to one done in the course of a job. So there's more to discuss, the first step was to get the feel for where consensus agrees things were. --MASEM (t) 13:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Hn, put like that, I can't help but feel this was foregone then. But fine, that next question is one worth moving to. Might I suggest consideration of each potentially relevant policy in it's own little section, or something like that? Something that winds the arguments into cohesive threads, because I suspect strength in numbers doesn't reflect strength in policy in this case. Darryl from Mars (talk) 13:52, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

My opinion is to deal with these articles on a case by case basis. By setting a policy in stone, we may find ourselves in a tricky situation in future when there is a highly notable incident involving Twitter's use by a celebrity. However, we should also not get carried away and create an article on Twitter use by top-10 celebrities by the number of followers.EngineerFromVega 07:11, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

  • generally acceptable vs generally inappropriate are highly misleading divisions and much of the posting above is therefore wasted energy over it. As such even replying to this discussion seems out far left. The requested comment is perhaps best closed and restarted without this misleading setup. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:22, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Those were the two initial options but editors were invited to add other suggestions (as done with the heading about not grouping them together). No one else bothered to do so, suggesting there weren't many other options. However, it is clear discussion has favored the concept that these are generally unacceptable, therefore we work from there. --MASEM (t) 13:26, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • That doesn't seem like a fair comparison, making a new section all for yourself requires a certain amount of will/ego/indignation, that I wouldn't compare it to just adding another few lines to the given opinions. And I'm still not convinced the 'there' you wish to work from is that different from the 'there' we started at. almost anything is generally unacceptable, cf. buildings, Willis Tower. Darryl from Mars (talk) 13:44, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
        • I disagree with the argument about creating new sections in a discussion (At least one editor did). And even if you think the initial discussion breakdown was bad, more than enough arguments in the decision point to a clear consensus about these types of articles not being appropriate except under certain conditions. --MASEM (t) 13:55, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
          • Yes, but you suggested that 'x editors made new sections' implied 'only x editors had other opinions'. Anyways, the point is that there's always 'certain conditions'. Every article on Wikipedia had to/has to meet 'certain conditions'. The interesting discussion isn't learning that those conditions exist, it's coming to consensus on what they are/should be. Darryl from Mars (talk) 14:20, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
            • But again, its pretty clear from discussion that the times where it is appropriate seem far and few between (but never impossible) that IAR is a perfectly fine means to justify the outliers. In general, we should not have "X on Twitter" articles (there's better means of organizing info about a famous person's twitter account) but there's always exceptions. --MASEM (t) 14:30, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Let's translate this to other topics[edit]

Let's write similar articles, but about people who are not internet celebrities:

  • Rossevelt on stamps. Did you know that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a stamp collector and made several designs for US stamps? And then he was depicted in several stamps. And you can find coverage in books.
  • Goebbels on poetry. Did you know that Nazi propagand minister Joseph Goebbels wrote an autobiographic novel, two plays and several poems? And that he used poets to write propaganda? Yes, that side of Goebbels is covered in books

And so on and on. When a person is famous enough, articles about him start digressing about minor aspects of his life. By picking pieces here and there, you can write tomes about any minor aspect of a famous person. (see also Siawase's comment above) --Enric Naval (talk) 11:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

  • You've mistranslated. The "Y" in "X on Y" is supposed to be a social networking WWW site where the person has an account. After all, that's what the "on" connotes. Per our usual naming conventions, your articles would be properly named Joseph Goebbels discography and Franklin D. Roosevelt in popular culture or some such, which aren't really the point at hand and aren't the "X on Y" form.

    For what it's worth: When researching Harriet Hanson Robinson recently, I found that she has two Facebook accounts. ("Activities: Women's Suffrage Interests: Books, Sewing". I kid you not. No, they're not in the mirroring-Wikipedia section, obviously, since Wikipedia has only just gained an article.) This is fairly good Internet-fu for someone who died in 1911. FDR only gets a page in the mirroring-Wikipedia section of Facebook. So come back with FDR only when you can write Franklin D. Roosevelt on Facebook to match Harriet Hanson Robinson on Facebook. ☺

    Uncle G (talk) 11:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

    • Well, Roosevelt has appeared in many stamps of many countries[10], so I could still write Roosevelt on stamps. "Seventeen foreign countries have honored the stamp-collecting President with total of 85 denominations, more foreign stamps than have been issued for any other American."[11] Heck, I could even write about his stamp collection[12] (OK, OK, I mistranslated that) --Enric Naval (talk) 07:10, 4 July 2012 (UTC)


As near as I can tell, these "Twitter" articles are spinoffs of famous people. Now normally such things are Bibliography of X (for books) or Filmography of Y (for films) or Album of Z. I can't imagine why Social Media Activities of X would be any different, as its just another form of media. Yes, its recent media, yes its hard to judge its impact objectively, but SO much ink has been spilled its hard to see why such activities should be forced onto RandomCeleb's main page. Its a fairly natural sort of break, and obviously some of these activities attract a lot of attention. Treat em as subarticles I say: Consideration must be given to size, notability and potential neutrality issues before proposing or carrying out a split.  The Steve  06:39, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

The "...on twitter" articles have very different contents from spun out bibliographies, filmographies and discographies. The latter are almost always lists of works that are in themselves notable. Siawase (talk) 15:44, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
(EC) But when twitter is being taken as a creative medium, the twitter account is usually taken as a discrete creative unit. Individual tweets are never going to be notable, just as we have articles on blogs and not blog posts. Maybe that's the fundamental disconnect, I think of these articles as no different than an article on a blog, it just happens to be one with a 140-ccharacter limit. Not all blogs are independently notable of their authors but some are. Regarding X on the phone, Y on Facebook, I have never seen those discussed as creative forms ( though you could make a case for the Obama campaign's use of Facebook). If we just get away from the distracting "X on Twitter" formulation, the question at stake is whether @justinbieber is independently notable of Justin Bieber. Just like we might argue about whether The Daily Dish is independently notable of Andrew Sullivan. (talk) 16:03, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm saying we should take the whole twitter account as a single work of new media (starring Celeb X), with each tweet being similar to a line of lyrics in a song or a line of dialog in a movie. Obviously very few twitter/facebook/whathaveyou should be split, but we already have a guideline on splitting articles - use that one.  The Steve  05:24, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Considering the exceptions[edit]

By no means am I trying to infer that these two are acceptable, but while the Bieber and Kutcher's have been deleted:

  • Lady Gaga on Twitter seems to be accepted
  • The Barack Obama on Twitter has an AFD that seems to be heading for keep at this stage, and at least to me, does seem to be a different function/approach than either the Bieber or Kutcher articles.

If we recognize these as exemptions to the general !voting trend about that "'X on Twitter' articles are generally not appropriate" above, then what type of advice can we give to reconcile these exceptions?

My observations is the argument WP:NOTDIARY is strong and prevailing in both previous AFD closures; when much of the page is repeating the events of the person's life as lived out by twitter, the "...on Twitter" article becomes redundant and/or excessively detailed. This is combined with the overall BLP aspect, which is something that we have to be very careful under the Foundation's guidance. For the above counter examples, the Lady Gaga Twitter article has little to do with her as much as that Twitter account; in Obama's Twitter case, its more on his use professionally for the account, there's no diary aspects or BLP aspects that seep into them.

Thus, to start some type of division, we have to look at how the sources discuss the Twitter account, praising or criticizing the accounts as a whole, and not at what is necessarily actually said on the account. In otherwords, there is a GNG aspect here in that we're looking for secondary sources specifically on the account and not on the person themselves. Just having a Twitter account isn't sufficient, and having many sources use the account often to iterate information out from it isn't sufficient.

There is also the Summary Style issue. I think for both Gaga and Obama, their personal articles are already quite long and merging those above Twitter articles back in wouldn't help. This was definitely not the case for Bieber's or Kutcher's, once the NOTDIARY aspects were removed, in that the parent articles are reasonably sized to have a section to talk about their use of Twitter. Thus, the "... On Twitter" articles should only be created when there's a SIZE issue with the personality's main article. Otherwise, a summary of the personality's use of social media is certainly not unwarranted within their respective articles.

A final consideration is that focusing on "...on Twitter" might be a problem. I'm sure, 2-3 years ago, we could probably have some "...on Facebook" pages, and years before that "...on MySpace". I'd rather see encouraging those personalities that use social media to have sections and/or articles towards all social media aspects and not just Twitter; eg "Social media use by Justin Bieber" may be more acceptable (if it was needed) than just "Justin Bieber on Twitter". Social media is here to stay (I would think) and while the means of social media will change with time, the general class of applications and interactions holds true. I think the same can apply to both Gaga's and Obama's articles too, renaming them and including more (IIRC, for example, the President doing YouTube Q&A. --MASEM (t) 16:38, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually, I think the Gaga article is at the bottom of the accounts being mentioned as her Twitter activity appears to mostly get coverage for being popular, without any clear significance beyond that. However, even there I would say it is a case for merging the article, not deleting it. Obama on Twitter would be at the top I think, with the Kutcher article next. I am seeing way too many arguments being thrown around in these AfD's that amount to "I don't like the way the article currently looks based on my selective reading of it and therefore I presume it must not be a worthy subject for an article." Those sorts of arguments should be getting tossed out as invalid, not heeded by an admin as though it were gospel.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:54, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Wow, Masem, I agree with all your points. 1)These articles should be massively trimmed to have only the significant and widely reported stuff. 2)Twitter may be too specific, and generally articles should be some form of "Celebrity + social media" 3) Such articles are only necessary when a section on social media wouldn't fit into the main article. Also, merge not delete is probably a much better choice.  The Steve  02:48, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
So, just to be specific, we have had a variety of arguments that there must be some additional thing to justify inclusion for these articles. Supposing for a moment that you see these articles as potentially having that thing, could you sort of...describe it in a few words, or potentially give an example of a good thing in comparison to a not-so-good thing? Darryl from Mars (talk) 08:37, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, no problem. For me, its all about sourcing. If Time magazine or Businessweek mentions what you twat in a serious article, there it is. If you only get one sentence every now and then, in the nature of "Oh yeah, and the twit is @celebX", that's not it. Quality sources vs. occasional mention. YMMV, naturally.  The Steve  04:33, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, the mileage varies. While the three of us may manage to agree on that, I worry about how effective touting 'the quality of the sources' would be against WP:NOTDIARY and IINFO in an actual AfD, since sources seem to fall under notability and verifiability requirements, which those policies explicitly disregard. Darryl from Mars (talk) 11:25, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure those policies were NOT intended to do an end run around good sourcing. Typical AFD misuse really. It doesn't make much difference to me, since back when I started editing here, I like it/don't votes were pretty much the only thing we used. It all comes back to editorial discretion really. If a majority of the editors are convinced that all twitter articles are beneath wp's notice, that's good enough for me.  The Steve  02:22, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Typical misuse indeed...Well, that is a discussion that would interest me, if it comes up; I can't say I'm as comfortable with that extent of democracy on these issues. Darryl from Mars (talk) 02:24, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
How can someone write a reliably article about "... on twitter" when twitter is supposed not to be a reliable source? Besides of that, most stuff is fancruft. To me, "... on twitter"-pages are not acceptable. Night of the Big Wind talk 09:39, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
If you look into whichever articles are remaining/userified, you'll see that most of the sources are news reports from more or less reliable sources that do some degree of analysis of the account or tweets, and not primary sources (that is, directly from twitter/tweets). For example, [1]. You probably wanted to make this comment in a section further up though, I think? Darryl from Mars (talk) 10:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
It is a quite chaotic discussion by now. You have my permission to move this to the appropriate section. Night of the Big Wind talk 19:36, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Summarizing to date, possible route forward[edit]

So considering what we have said:

  • There's general consensus that "X on Twitter" articles aren't encyclopedic and have problems considering we're careful with BLPs as well.
  • A celebrity's use of a social media service may be notable but its got to be more than just reiterating what the celeb says on the service.
  • Even if in such cases, spinning these off prematurely from a celebrity's bio article is not wise.

Given that, I would suggest that the following courses of action be taken:

  • We should never focus on one particular social media outlet; instead, the use of all manners of social media by a celeb to interact with fans or the like should be the thought process here, calling out specific services as examples if needed.
  • Splitting this off should be avoided at all costs, simply to avoid the spinoff becoming bio-like and encouraging poor sourcing/additions. Most celebs will have other material (film/discographies) that can be pulled off first that are more neutral and less BLP than how social media is used.
  • If the social media aspect is pulled out , such articles should be "X's use of social media"; these need to focus on the account itself and how its used, and not so much what actually is said by the account.

The current articles that are inplace shouldn't be touched, though editors involved are free to discuss issues, but we should strongly discourage other articles of the type "X on Twitter" if they are created in the future without considering other ways of discussing the topic. --MASEM (t) 16:28, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

I just was BOLD and moved Barack Obama on twitter to Communications of Barack Obama, some celebreities have extensive contact with the traditional media and social media and have noteworthy public relations teams often with spokes or lawyers that are of note even on here so this way we can avoid an unlimited amount of BO on facebook, youtube etc. and it can be more encyclopedic and comprehensive, however I highly suggest we add that since these articles suitability may be marginal we should set the bar very highLuciferWildCat (talk) 20:48, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

X on Wikipedia articles[edit]

Slightly off-topic but relevant: I recall an article Elephant (Wikipedia article) which was quickly deleted. If we can have 'X on twitter' articles, why not to have 'X (Wikipedia article)', too? Imagine having Barack Obama (Wikipedia article) which will go through the article development, related disputes, blocks, sanctions, arbitration cases, etc. ;-). EngineerFromVega 10:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Aside from areas where legal or ethical concerns constrain us, if there are truly enough reliable sources about the topic then it's a viable candidate for an article regardless of our own distaste or personal amusement. ElKevbo (talk) 10:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
If there are many newspaper and magazine articles (secondary sources) that cover someone's Wikipedia articles, sure we can have an article about their Wikipedia articles. Generally, this doesn't happen, but it occasionally does. I would never suggest deleting Wikipedia_biography_controversy. Ken Arromdee (talk) 20:17, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Most news stories are primary sources. See WP:NEWSPRIMARY. But a feature article or analytical piece might work for notability purposes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:03, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Could we also have articles about Wikipedia articles about Wikipedia articles (Barack Obama (Wikipedia article) (Wikipedia article), provided the notability is there? I'm not being facetious; just want to hear opinions on how far policy would actually allow us to take this. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 20:22, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
We could have Barack Obama on Twitter on Wikipedia. Formerip (talk) 01:33, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Only if we play our cards right. Tip FOX off to the fact that we have Obama but not Romney, wait for a media scandal to be manufactured, get someone to write a book about how it affected the election in November; add an academic article on the effect of the evaluation of political campaign techniques on Wikipedia on political campaigns, and you have a pretty solid case. But really, I'm with BenKovitz on this one. Darryl from Mars (talk) 01:57, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
There is a reason that Elephant (wikipedia article) and Elephant (wikipedia article) (Wikipedia article) are both in userspace. Chris857 (talk) 20:28, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
In answer to Evanh2008, as far as notability and verifiable reliable sources allow. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:31, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there's any present need to have special criterion for them. If there is some reason why the general notability guidelines don't provide enough guidance, we should let specialized guidelines evolve in response to actual difficulties that arise with actual topics as they arise. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 00:25, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Discussion, Part Deux[edit]

Ashton Kutcher on Twitter has been undeleted and then relisted as AFD. --George Ho (talk) 03:19, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

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

Article Incubation... how should it be done or even if it should be done?[edit]

There is an internal interest group on Wikipedia which developed the article incubator and tried to get into the nether world of articles that could be perhaps saved from deletion but really weren't anywhere near ready for prime time and usually were deleted anyway. This ranged from simply poorly written articles and articles that suffered from notability problems yet still seemed like something that should exist on Wikipedia in some form (such as emerging technologies or some person doing something very interesting but still hasn't received widespread press coverage yet). Some are simply articles that are just in a horrible state that simply need a whole lot of TLC in order to even be readable, thus are commonly deleted by otherwise lazy editors.

More to the point, this is something which I think could be an alternative to deletion in AfD discussions or even a place to "park" articles with notability concerns for awhile as a way to be a little bit friendly to new users. I've seen it in action where it can be positive.

The problem with the project, and why I'm bringing it up here on the Village Pump, is that the project seems to be dead with a group of editors zombifying a nearly year old RfC discussion to simply shut down the project altogether. That the discussion itself was not really dealt with in over a year should say something about the activity of the project that even the opponents lost steam to shut it down. At the moment it is sitting in a limbo state neither really alive or dead, with unfortunately a whole lot of content sitting in the wings that needs to be dealt with in some fashion as well.

I love the concept personally, and I'm willing to put in some effort to restart the project if necessary, but I would need some extra help doing that as well. It also needs wider support from the greater Wikipedia community and even a solid discussion about what role it should even have in terms of how it relates to other parts of Wikipedia, in particular the AfD process, New Page Patrol, or even the general article creation process as a whole. There is a danger to the concept as a way to make an already bureaucratic process of creating an article even more convoluted, so I can even see some merit to shutting down this project and marking it as historical. My main question posed to the general Wikipedia community is this: Should there even be an article incubator? --Robert Horning (talk) 15:44, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

People have long done this in their userspace, and the article creation page even slightly encourages you to do so. I see the incubator was intended to somehow include some of those. Your problem is thus, I suspect, not mechanism, but just having editors interested in doing the work. So the answer to your question is "it'd be nice, but the first step is to find people interested by the work." Next step would be inventorying the pages in people's userspaces that could do with attention, AFC listings, etc. For AFD candidates, offers to keep a copy in one's userspace if deleted are fine for otherwise uncontroversial articles - David Gerard (talk) 16:17, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
This isn't just talk, as there have most certainly been some success stories with the incubator where some articles have improved substantially and moved back from the incubator into the main article space. There was once upon a time even a fairly large community of interested people who were working in that project with active work to maintain lists, move stuff around, and in general performing the administration tasks necessary for the project as well. I'm not even sure what cause the lack of interest and what killed off that community of people who were working on it, but it seems at the moment the project most certainly is dead at the moment. It doesn't need to be that way though.
My hope in bringing this up is that perhaps a core group can be brought back to restart the process. This is an alternative to Userfication, where an active community of people who really do care about Wikipedia could be involved in helping out with the borderline cases that are driving people off of the project as well. It would be nice if instead of a PROD there could be a suggestion to incubate the article instead, including a "speedy incubate" option.
In terms of what to do next, if a core group of people would be interested in restarting this project, that they could also be active in the AfD pages and offering to incubate articles instead of seeing them disappear into the nether. When off-wiki canvassing to keep an article from being deleted happens, that would certainly be one way to keep people from getting totally pissed off and may even bring in some people willing to join us in developing Wikipedia by working on something they care about. --Robert Horning (talk) 03:22, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I support the concept of an article incubator. In general, the binary keep/delete is better served by the trinary keep/delete/Not quite ready but has potential. Userfication is an option for the third category, and used often. I accept that a userfied draft is unlikely to get much attention from others (sometimes a positive, sometimes a negative), which is inconsistent with our model of crowd-sourced creation. If there is a robust community of editors interested in working on drafts in the incubator, then the project can deliver decent content, but if the number of interested editors is too small, it is literally worse than nothing at all, as it produces some level of expectation that cannot be met. If it works, great, but the empirical evidence seems to suggest it is not. I'm not convinced that scarce resources should be encouraged to go there, as there are many tasks undone which are higher priority. (I'll emphasize that on any volunteer project, volunteers ought to have a lot of leeway to decide where they want to work, so if someone wants to work there, go for it, but if a new editor wants to help and asks where help is needed, it is not near the top of my list.)

I support the notion of marking it as historical. If a new group of editors wants to revive it, not hard to dust it off and start again.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:55, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

  • "Should there even be an article incubator?" Yes, there should be an incubator or something with a similar function. (talk) 09:48, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi there, I have now a running script to archive non-notables to working and another to upload them to a wikia, have been working on contacting people mentioned in the articles and cleaning them up. That is some form of incubation, some of them might be candidates to be put back into wikipedia some day. Many people have thanked me and I think they will be less likly to recreate the deleted articles. James Michael DuPont (talk) 13:41, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
There are a lot of issues there, but I think not for the topic of incubation.  Unscintillating (talk) 22:48, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Why not incubate in mainspace? That's where the articles belong, its also where they can be categorised and linked to. One of the features of the new new pages system is that unpatrolled articles will be {{Noindex}} so it would be easy and much less bitey to make that the incubator and mark all new articles as "drafts" until they have been patrolled or deleted. Having a separate incubator restricts crowdsourcing and means that if someone creates a new version you can easily wind up with multiple version of an article sitting in different namespaces. ϢereSpielChequers 11:25, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I am strongly in favor of using Noinxdex where appropriate, but I don't want to overuse it. If I understand correctly, it is a request to indexing services, not an order. My concern is that if an indexing service noticed that articles in main space were not indexed, they might rethink whether to decline to index these articles, and that might result in a blanket removal. I think an indexing service would find it acceptable that articles carved off in an incubator or in user space, by definition determined to be not ready for main space, should be eligible for Noidexing, but it is a harder case to make that we want to include an article in main space, yet exclude it from the indexing service. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 11:42, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes it is a request, or even a warning. But if we give such a warning and thereby enable the search engines to avoid google caching attack pages for far longer than they existed on our site, what incentive do they have to ignore that warning? A few thousand borderline notable early drafts of articles isn't going to be an adequate incentive to persuade a search engine to go out of its way to help cyber bullies. If we were to mark as no-index all currently unreferenced articles then you might see search engines ignore that, but I can't see the community considering that sort of option. A policy of not considering articles to be part of the encyclopaedia until they've been patrolled would make New pages much less confrontational. It would also increase the average quality of the articles which were being indexed. ϢereSpielChequers 13:17, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • User:WereSpielChequers is correct as it is our policy to develop articles in mainspace. The incubator adds no value to the process — it just seems to add a lot of busy work. It should be terminated per WP:CREEP. Warden (talk) 11:58, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

It sounds like a good idea but I think that it has floundered because it misses the mark in several ways:

  • To really develop, an article needs a good editor for that topic. These folks cruise mainspace to find these (or the start them). Thye don't look in the incubator.
  • Whether or not an article should exist is determined by the subject, not the quality of the article. If it should exist, but the quality is really really bad, it's best to subbify it and leave it in mainspace.
  • Such an off-line area is likely to get flooded with articles where it's marginal whether or not they should exist. Such would be a poor hunting ground for someone looking for an article to work on.

Probably a better approach would be to list or tag specially selected articles (that are in mainspace) for development from stubs or rescue. I imagine that some system halfway like this exists, although probably obscure and not focused. Possibly the incubator could be morphed into such a list with pointers? North8000 (talk) 12:25, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

  • It's a matter of inertia, more than technical issues. It's hard enough getting people to participate in other projects; fewer really want to dive into a group of stubs to bring them up to quality. As to noindex, I seem to recall that being shot down pretty soundly a while back. "A policy of not considering articles to be part of the encyclopaedia until they've been patrolled": this has been attempted, and currently is stuck in limbo. I doubt it'll ever get implemented at this point. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:04, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I think technical issues do have a part in the decline of the article incubator. I tried using it once to review the incubating articles, but was utterly confused by the process Jztinfinity (talk) 02:45, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment/explanation from one of the AI creators: I was one of the editors who helped create the article incubator and was very active in the project during the early days. I later became inactive on Wikipedia for personal reasons and I guess the project died out while I was gone for a year and a half. Anyway, I wanted to clear up a point confusion about the project's intended purpose. It was originally envisioned as a sort of "userification on steroids". That is a home for articles that might otherwise be userfied. The benefits of incubation over userification being two fold: 1) more opportunity for collaboration; 2) more eyes to ensure a draft didn't linger in userspace indefinitely. So, to answer the question of "when if it appropraite to incubate?" I would say "anytime it is appropriate to userify". Most likely, this would be content created by new users which has a decent chance of being reworked into a viable article but which is inappropriate in its current form.
As to the future of the project, I would be interested in reviving it is there is interest to do so. --ThaddeusB (talk) 05:08, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Non-free images in multiple articles need completely separate usage rationales for each article?[edit]

Why do non-free images used in multiple articles need completely separate usage rationales for each article? It it okay to have a single rationale for multiple named articles with only the differences noted? For example, one could use the following if the purpose of the usage is the same:

One will need to replace the "it is being used in educational articles..." with something like "In [[ABC]], it is being used for.... In [[XYZ]], it is being used for...." if the purposes are different. Does policy actually prohibit this? If so, why? — DragonLord (talk/contribs) 15:14, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Separate rationales are required because the rationale is supposed to describe why that non-free image should be allowed for that specific article. An image being used multiple times in separate articles should be used for very different purposes in each article; if the use is fundamentally the same, that likely means that one or more of those uses are extravagant and needs to be removed. While details like the source, reduced resolution, etc. will be the same for all uses, the reasons for the use will not be. --MASEM (t) 15:20, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps something like this would work?
This would allow for the differences in usage rationales, while avoiding redundancy.— DragonLord (talk/contribs) 15:26, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd have no problem with that. Indeed, we need to make sure we don't lose sight of plain common sense when dealing with FURs. It's bad enough so many people think that writing a FUR is just an annoying formal piece of paperwork. If we want people to put actual thought into their FURs and write something substantial, then of course we should also allow for common-sense redundancy avoidance. Fut.Perf. 15:30, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
First, don't call it "fair use". "Non-free" is specifically more exclusive than fair-use. But as for that then satisfying NFCC, I think that may be acceptable (assuming all other parts of NFCC are met). Be aware that some other aspects may be challenged on a per-article basis (for example, where it may be considered an image without free replacement on one article, it could have a free replacement on another), so splitting further may be necessary in such cases. We also want to avoid boiler-plate rationales too. --MASEM (t) 15:38, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I just reviewed Fair use and I'm not catching the distinction between non-free and fair use. Once I understand, I'll have some proposals regarding the use of the term FUR and Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline, which seems to use the terms interchangeably. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 17:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I may be able to partially answer my own question about the distinction between fair use and non-free in generic terms; it appears that "fair use" is the legal term, while "non-free content criteria" represent the Wikipedia implementation of a deliberately more narrow set of criteria. However, I'd like to see an explicit discussion of the differences, if one exists. I can think of one example—when an editor chooses to use a long direct quote in an article, we normally edit is down more than is strictly necessary by law, mainly because the law is vague, and we don't want to be pushing the limit again and again, because it might encourage legal action. While we might win each case, it could be expensive, so we prefer to stay safely inside the limits. Even with this example, I don't recall if it is codified. Is there a place covering these issues in detail? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sphilbrick (talkcontribs)
We use non-free as to reflect that WP's first and foremost m:mission is to create a free-content encyclopedia. However, the Foundation recognizes that the use of non-free media is generally necessary to achieve this purpose, hence we call such works non-free. The line is purposely drawn stricter than fair use, not only to protect the Foundation, but to achieve the mission better. For example, under fair use law, we could include a small image of each album in a discography or a screenshot for each TV episode (numerous websites around do this). But we have recognized that that approach is excessive use of non-free media that doesn't suit the end goals of being an encyclopedia. Ergo, we are more strict about the use of such images. The rationals we require for non-free not only address the 4 facets of fair law determination (purpose, nature, amount, and commercial opportunity) , but as well as to assure that we're not using non-free just for decoration or the like, and encourages the minimization of non-free usage. --MASEM (t) 17:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I understand the rationale behind the decision. I'm looking for a table or summary of differences. Such a list might include, for example, under fair use, am image with n pixels has been deemed to comply, but Wikipedia limits pixel count to m. Or, under fair use law, a passage of n words was considered acceptable, but in Wikipedia, we generally limit passages to m words. I do understand it isn't this simple, as word count is context sensitive, and not absolute, but we could provide some illustrative examples. I'm trying to determine if we already have provided such advice, or if it would be worth investigating and summarizing.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 18:27, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem is, US fair use law is specifically vague and very much not quantitative. Nor are we equally quantitative and very difficult to compare on such a basis. Our non-free policy should be envisioned as how much exception we can make from the free content mission while staying away from where we may surpass fair use, as opposed to thinking it as simply more extreme requirements on existing fair use. --MASEM (t) 18:33, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Historically, our main concern has been with non-free media; the rules for non-free text are less well documented. There are two key differences between US fair use law and Wikipedia non-free use policy with respect to non-free images. On one hand, we could include things like images of TV episodes and stay within the broadly accepted limits of US fair use law, but the non-free content policy does not allow such things because of our goal to be a free encyclopedia.
On the other hand, the spirit of our non-free media policies would allow us to include non-free AP photos of historic events, but these are not in general legal to include under US fair use law (see WP:NFC#UUI #7 and WP:NFCC #2 for our specific prohibition on them even if they meet all other criteria). — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:44, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
To avoid this "fair use"/"non-free" problem, I will write the title as Non-free media usage rationale for [[ABC]] and [[XYZ]]. The mention of fair use in the first sentence below will remain as fair use is still being claimed. — DragonLord (talk/contribs) 23:38, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
We have two templates exactly for this purpose: {{Non-free image data}} for the information and {{Non-free image rationale}} for each article. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 00:02, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for highly-visible templates protecting[edit]

See WT:PROTECT#Removal of highly-visible templates protection. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 14:12, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

RfC for proposal to promote Official names to guideline[edit]

You are hereby invited to comment on the proposal to promote Wikipedia:Official names to guideline status. See you there. --BDD (talk) 22:29, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

a little swap in the articles[edit]

Hello my name shall be jimyn less than I'm studying psychology. This is my first comment on this board for a little swap in the articles from "lavender" | "lavandula angustifolia" to "lavandula angustifolia" | "lavender". The brain remains to remember more likely the first in line, for the concentration induced by the thirst for knowledge which made one open the specific page in the first place. In a growing global world this would for one to another only care benefits for pointing out precisely the same thing. Like it is being done on the english Wikipedia already, this could spread around so that it is being coercively executed by all the other Wikipedia's around the world (french for example brings the common name first). This act would bring us even closer, and get's Wikipedia written in history as a platform where free knowledge is presented to connect people all around the world. This would be the ultimate place for Maria Treben's legacy for example - never checked if it can be found... Back to the topic: It seems the Latin word is always seperated by a bracket - so it should be possible to write a script which exchanges both I imagine. What do you guys think? Wish you all a nice day! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimyn (talkcontribs) 14:15, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia. Please see WP:Requested moves for requesting such a change. --ThaddeusB (talk) 16:06, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

RfC on using "Top X lists" for video game characters[edit]

On Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games/Article guidelines#RfC: Top X lists in video games, there is a request for comment on whether we should use "Top X lists" to determine a video game character's notability if the list has significant coverage from a reliable source. Please comment on the guidelines' talk page. Thanks, Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 01:30, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

DVBViewer- smallscale commercial software in general, geographical variability[edit]

Ezekial 9 (talk) 17:46, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your thoughts, but please limit your arguments in an ongoing AfD to the Afd page itself. The closing admin will keep it in mind - if you think a wider perspective is needed, you can place a neutral notice on the talk page of a related Wikiproject, but you should please not canvass or forum shop by making arguments elsewhere. On the off chance that a relevant argument is inappropriately ignored when the AfD is closed, there's always deletion review. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:46, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your advice. Ezekial 9 (talk) 23:23, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Requesting deletion of an article currently undergoing merger discussion[edit]

I have recently requested a merger of the List of computer viruses page, with its corresponding lists List of computer viruses (A-D), List of computer viruses (E-K) etc... However looking again at the articles in question, a merger as such would not be needed as the information contained within the List of computer viruses (x-x) pages, already appears in exactly the same way on the List of computer viruses page.

My question is this. As I have opened this merger discussion here, do I have to wait for this discussion to end before I can request deletion of the pages in question, or given that they are clone copies containing the same information but spread over different pages, that I can just close off the merger request and request deletion immediately.

I have currently not had any feedback on the discussion page regarding this matter, and as I am quite new I am uncertain as how best to proceed.

Any advice on how best to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Sirkus (talk) 04:44, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd go ahead and put them up for deletion. Whenever you're uncertain about something, just be bold! In fact, you might not need to go through the whole deletion process; you could just redirect the pages to List of computer viruses. No preliminary discussion or admin action required. If someone disagrees with you, they'll be sure to let you know, and then you can discuss it. That's the beauty of the BRD cycle. -- DoctorKubla (talk) 19:11, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I will go down the redirect route I think as I think this will be uncontroversial given the information is already being duplicated.
Sirkus (talk) 20:32, 16 August 2012 (UTC)


I have filed a RFC on {{Magazine}} because I feel it is a problematic cleanup template. Please discuss here. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 21:45, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

List of considerations about Lists of...[edit]

I don't know whether this concern has been raised before, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while now.

WP:ARTICLETITLE reads, "The title indicates what the article is about", speaking of course of any given article's title and how it ought to relate to the article's subject. We have articles about all manner of things, and often, many articles that need disambiguation because they share names with other things. What we likely shouldn't have by these accounts are articles whose titles don't match their subjects. And yet we do have such articles.

I'm referring to List of... articles, which seem to disagree with the logic behind WP:ARTICLETITLE. Visiting articles titled The X-Files, President of the United States, or monolith takes one to articles about The X-Files, the role of President of the United States, and monoliths, respectively, as suggested by the fact that each of these things are the subject in the article's title. Meanwhile, list of The X-Files episodes, list of Presidents of the United States, and list of largest monoliths in the world all suggest that their subjects are, in fact, lists, by way of having the article's title's subject be the word "List".

To be clear, I'm aware this is a somewhat trivial issue of semantics, but this is an article about a is this, sort of. The 'List of The X-Files episodes' article is not about a list, though. It's about the episodes, even if it presents them in list form. We've never encouraged making things longer or more complicated than they need to be on Wikipedia, so why encourage including "List of..." in the title of list-dependent articles?

Today's featured list includes several recently featured lists: Olympic records in athletics, Arnold Schwarzenegger filmography, and Puerto Ricans missing in action in the Korean War. While the first and third links take the reader to articles that begin with "List of...", the implications of 'Puerto Ricans missing in action in the Korean War' and 'Olympic records in athletics' are clear: clicking those links will lead to an article detailing athletic Olympic records or MIA Puerto Ricans. Whether these articles do this in list form or not shouldn't affect the very title of the article. (As a sidenote, the title 'Arnold Schwarzenegger filmography' clearly states the subject of the article. No problem with that title.)

On any given article, even "List of..." ones, the reader expects to find information on the subject. For this reason, Featured Lists (and many others) include ancillary information along with a list. For some "List of..." articles, there is no corresponding non-"List of..." article, further eliminating the need for the extra words in the title. (List of unexplained sounds exists, for example, though there is no article for unexplained sounds.)

I realize this has rambled a lot, so to condense all these thoughts:

  • "List of..." article titles are grammatically misleading, not in line with WP:ARTICLETITLE, and just longer than they need to be
  • Eliminating "List of..." from many article titles would not confuse the article's subject
  • Many current "List of..." articles are more than just lists anyway as they provide a lot of information not presented in list form

Any thoughts? It's very possible that there's some reason in Wikipedia's history that we differentiate the "List of..." from the rest, and if that's the case, then I apologize for the excessive pseudo-proposal. (I'm not proposing changing the guidelines from suggesting "List of..." to suggesting going without in article titles just yet, because I feel like I don't have all the facts.) Thanks for your consideration. BobAmnertiopsisChatMe! 19:07, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't really understand. Aside from some pure syntanctic point, I don't see that any single reader would expect List of The X-Files episodes to not be what it is. I can't believe anyone is confused here. Some lists would be confusing if the "list of" were removed, however; "List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom" would become "Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom" which is a lot more similar to "Prime Minister of the United Kingdom" which is a separate article. There certainly could be an article "Unexplained sounds", just no-one's written it yet. I also think that "Olympic records in athletics" and "Puerto Ricans missing in action in the Korean War" are partially confusing. They're not really confusing, but I can't see your problem with "List of" here. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:48, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree. We don't for example name an article 'Article of Barack Obama' rather Barack Obama, so I don't see why lists should be named 'List of' Regards, Sun Creator(talk) 23:43, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Not all list-articles use this convention, but sometimes it is necessary for technical reasons, and other times it is helpful to readers. President of the United States and List of Presidents of the United States are separate pages and therefore must have different names, and the "List of" convention helps readers get to the page that they're looking for. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

A Crowdin-like translating tool?[edit]

Hello there. I'm a translator of Chinese Wikipedia. I suggest add an Crowdin-like translation tool that with collaborative function, multi-lang. support, etc.

Sorry it's my first post on EnWiki. I don't know if I put this on the wrong page (cause my bad English)


by L19980623 (talk) 10:59, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Since this involves a tool, you might want to mention this proposal at the technical village pump or at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject User scripts, to find the people who might know how to build it. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 19:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, great thanks to your responce.感谢你的答复(If you can understand it)
Please remove this post. byL19980623 (talk) 04:50, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia governance reform[edit]

There have been many proposals recently regarding de-adminship and an improvement of community processes on Wikipedia. However, to reduce the amount of bureaucratic overhead that these proposals would have were they passed individually, I think that it would be wise to discuss a wholesale reform of governance on Wikipedia, with no existing governing body left untouched. While we may not hold the same opinions about how Wikipedia should be run, I think that we can all agree that a rational debate on the subject must begin.

Disclaimer: I have made several proposals on the topic in the past, none of which were accepted and all of which were disliked greatly by the community. I am not submitting a proposal here myself for this express reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wer900 (talkcontribs) 16:35, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Talking about everything all at once is a very effective method of making certain that zero reforms actually happen. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:19, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
RfCs are the place where such reforms are occasionally born. However, RfCs themselves are frequently poorly governed. One of the endemic problems is that they are often poorly proposed, unfocussed, and complex; even some of the most unambiguos and succinct proposals attract off topic comments and general side-tracking. Although Wikipedia has become very bureaucratic, most of the important proposals that gain weight, and may finally be accepted, are generally begun at project level where first a small consensus of participants agrees to launch a proposal to the broader community. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:47, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
The idea to try and review everything 11 years into the project seems reasonable to me. Much policy was designed under different circumstances than the ones that now prevail and should get a fresh look. Any reasonably managed organization has one of those whenever it grows by a ten-fold. Moreover, I would suggest that trying to attract comments from people who chose to either leave the project or never to take part in it, while maintaining strict enforcement of civility, should be a major part of such effort. I suggest further that the task of writing this reform proposal is in fact a valid Wikipedia project, and can take that form, if properly supervised not to derail. →Yaniv256 talk contribs 06:43, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

The reason Wer900's proposals failed was, at least in part, that they were too big and bold. And went in the opposite direction that any such reforms should go, but that's another point. That basic failure isn't going to be overcome by proposing an even bigger proposal! --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:40, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, yes, we know. The thing is, you put all what you want on the table. They reject it. You cut it half. They reject it. You cut it half. They reject it. You cut in half and take out the one thing that really could make a diffrence. They reject it. Three years went by. It sits for another year. Sombody else comes along and cuts it in half. It passes. Lets compute: you got 1/16 of what you wanted. The alternative:0. Meanwhile, little by little this drives small reforms all over the place. We count again with all these small reforms that came out: 1/3. But then there is also momentum. We look after 5 years:1/2. After 10:2/3. That's it. The one thing that really could make a diffrence is not there. Still. 2/3. Not bad. →Yaniv256 talk contribs 03:02, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
...and that's how things are. Maybe it's good and maybe it's bad, but that's how they are. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:15, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Philosopher, you write that my proposals were going in the wrong direction. If so, could you please outline to me how you would take to the task of governance reform? I've been told several times before that my proposals will make Wikipedia like the most hopelessly failed fat bureaucracy in human history, but that's at least an improvement from an hyperdecentralized outdated system which generally doesn't last too long. And while I would never conflate Wikipedia with the slave system, many aspects of Wikipedia, such as its split judiciary and limited central legislative and executive power, have caused harm to Wikipedia. Some centralization is needed in order for us to be able to track excessive bureaucracy, get rid of what we do not need, and make the most of the remaining bureaucracy. A rational starting point for any conversation on the subject should, at least, recognize that Wikipedia is in need of a wholesale review of its policies, given that the existing policies were made in different circumstances and times. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 20:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Obstacle for wikipedia[edit]

did anybody notice this link? someone wants to create bad name for wikimedia foundation. Some of the internal links leads to wiki related websites.

is there any restictional law to stop this?--Tenkasi Subramanian (talk) 17:48, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I am uncertain if their is any law in place which could be enacted as the name of Wikipedia is copyrighted but it is unlikely that the format of the site is.
To be honest I really doubt this site is creating a bad name for Wikipedia. I would imagine that the great majority of people will be smart enough to realise that it bears no relation to Wikipedia and that the site is only really going to be frequented by pre-pubescent kids who get a thrill from dropping f-bombs.
Many of these Wikipedia clones are likely to pop up from time to time. I don't think they really pose any threat to Wikipedia.
Sirkus (talk) 18:38, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. It didn't take me long to realize that that is just a parody website. A particularly poor parody, done by someone whose only takeaway from Pulp Fiction was "swearing lots is cool", but parody none the less. Resolute 18:45, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Certainly outside of anything we should be concerned with; however, would the website itself face BLP issues? Ryan Vesey 19:56, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, that would be something an aggrieved party would have to take up with that site's owner. But for shits and giggles, this is how BLP looks there. Resolute 20:40, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
BLP is a Wikipedia policy that does not apply on any other website. — foxj 22:01, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm curious if they are updating that parody site with an automatic script or manually. If, within the next few days, I make a few unannounced bold minor tweaks to one of the main page sections (especially the ones that stay static, where no RSS is monitoring them) or WP:BLP (preferably one of the templates that the page uses so it is not obviously detected on WP:BLP's page history), how long it will take to be reflected on that parody site. Zzyzx11 (talk) 15:30, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I tried to edit the Smith Act trials of Communist leaders page on Pulp-Pedia, but I ended up creating a page on the Hungarian Wikipedia! Keep your hands off of the edit button on that site, this kid is just an idiot who gets kicks from trying to see people banned. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 20:11, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I had the same thought myself. It appears they have a script which works in the following manner. Scan Wikipedia, extract the text, CAPITALISE EVERY WORD, and then insert random f-bombs in like they were going out of business. Either that or the site creator has a serious amount of spare time on his/her hands. Sirkus (talk) 03:13, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

The most annoying part about this site is that they link to our contact page as their own. OTRS probably gets at least 10 emails a day from people complaining that some article has been grossly vandalized that is actually on lohere. Legal is looking into solutions, but they didn't seem optimistic about how long that would take. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:30, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

That is truly a problem, but I don't think that it will last for long. Someday this kid's mother will stop paying for domain registration for this stupid, stupid site. The place is completely laughable. The place doesn't even have an Alexa rank. Not one higher than 317,473 in the US anyway. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 19:54, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

length of lines in articles[edit]

On many types of computer-screen, the lines of text in W'pedia articles are far too long to read comfortably (look at this one!). W'pedia needs to have body-text that's no wider than the type you find in a book or newspaper. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:29, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Minimize the web page via your browser to the desirable size. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:27, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The standard column width for a newspaper (in the US, at least) is 12.5 picas, known as 2.083 inches or 53 mm to the lay person. I seriously doubt that you would want to have the body of an article be no wider than what you find in a newspaper. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:03, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
The standard for Wikimarkup, HTML, and pretty much every computer application since we switched from 80-collumn dumb terminals to GUIs with proportional fonts, is to not insert carriage returns of line feeds but rather to let the text autowrap. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:17, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree. With the proliferation of wide screen and large, high definition monitors there is a need to look at a column layout for articles. It would have to be some sort of technical fix I think. Using the current crop of wikitext options may prove to be a clunky solution. There are other layout issues that I would to see addressed as well. One of them is having the See also and References Section squeezed in amongst images if {{-}} is not used. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:04, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (people) no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Notability (people) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Linking to external harassment no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Linking to external harassment (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Miscategorized requests at feedback request service[edit]

I signed up for the Wikipedia:Feedback request service in the area of Maths, science, and technology. The bot is choosing RfCs on pages such as Talk:Barack Obama on Twitter, Talk:Penis and Talk:Abortion -- not Maths, science, or technology. I brought this up at Wikipedia talk:Feedback request service#Miscategorized Requests and Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment#Feedback request service. No luck.

I do realize that I can unsubscribe or ignore the unwanted requests, but I think that the feedback request service is a good idea and I would like it to work properly, sending science and technology RfCs to those who sign up for science and technology RfCs, and sending political RfCs to those who sign up for political RfCs.

When I look at Talk:Abortion#rfc_E9CB18E, I see that the RfC was listed under Maths, science, and technology instead of where it should be, under Politics, government, and law.

Any ideas about how we can make this little part of Wikipedia work better? --Guy Macon (talk) 21:15, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Twitter is "technology", and the other two are "medicine", which falls under "Maths, science, and technology". I don't see how this can be improved much without making the RFC categories a lot more specific. Maybe that's feasible if there is a certain category/subcategory approach. Rd232 talk 21:25, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Twitter is a technology article. Talk:Barack Obama on Twitter is not. Likewise, Suicide bridge is not a civil engineering topic, nor is Bonnie and Clyde even though they used bridges. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:07, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
As I said over at WT:RFC, the bot is not making the decision to call this a technology question. The decision to list this RFC as a "technology" one was made by a human. If you disagree with the human's choice in this case, then go ask the editor why he made that choice. Please quit blaming the bot for something completely outside the bot's control. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:08, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
It sounds as if you are implying that it is technologically impossible to program the bot to use some other criteria other than giving the person who submitted the RfC the choice. Just because the 'bot does this now, that does not imply that it cannot do otherwise. It could, for example, use the category that the article is in. The feedback request service has some good potential, but right now it is flawed. Your opinion that I should just give up and accept it being flawed has been noted. I prefer to believe that bots, like any other aspect of Wikipedia, can be improved. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:05, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
You're right: we could program a massively complex, brand-new bot to guess whether any given article in the social networking category tree is related to technology. However, that's not what we have, and if SuggestBot is any indication of how advanced our artificial intelligence programming capabilities are, any such hypothetical future system will have even more false positives than the existing human-based system, in which a presumably intelligent human decides whether a given question is really about technology (or people or whatever tag is chosen) or not. After all, an RFC at an "X on Twitter" article could have a serious technology question, just like it could have completely non-technical question.
But we don't have an AI to sort these things now, and we aren't going to have one for at least a very long time, so a certain level of acceptance on your part would IMO be appropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:25, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (companies) and Wikipedia:Notability (products) are sorely needed[edit]

To assist with PRODs and AfDs we sorely need to rehash Wikipedia:Notability (companies) and create a Wikipedia:Notability (products) guideline (currently an old draft of mine). They need something that is quite prescriptive like Wikipedia:Notability (people) because, as with biographical articles, company and product articles are created all too readily (IMO). -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 19:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

We do have active guideline Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies). However, if you're trying to talk about the unwanted creation of such articles, these won't help. Subject-specific notability guidelines like these are designed to allow articles on topics that meet certain criteria on the assumption that more detailed sourcing needs to be located and added, or will become available. They are alternatives to meeting the GNG. By asking for one for these for, say, products, that would allow more product articles, which otherwise right now have to meet the GNG. I rather prefer keeping products limited to the GNG because that then requires secondary sources meaning that people have to find critical discussion of the product and not just the fact it exists. --MASEM (t) 20:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm. I want to somehow put the brake on the creation of company and product articles WP does not turn into a product catalogue and business directory. Does Wikipedia:Notability (people) not prevent the creation of bio article? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 20:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Not at all. The existance of a rule does not provide any physical barrier to people from breaking it. Doubly so for situations where people breaking the rule have no means to know about the existance of the rule, or of the rationale for its existence. In this case, people that create non-compliant articles are unaware of WP:GNG, because they're noobs. If we create a new rule they haven't had the opportunity to read, that rule doesn't actually stop them from creating new articles anymore than the existing rules do. They only make things more complicated. GNG is enough, has always been enough, and always will be enough. The only means to stop bad article creation is to raise the technical bar against article creation, and the Foundation has come out vehemently opposed to that at the most basic level (see WP:ACTRIAL and follow the history for some background). The short of it is, there isn't any practical way to slow down or stem the tide of good-faith creations of articles on non-notable subjects. We're just going to have to continue with what we do, which is to educate new users the best we can, and delete those articles that get created that shouldn't. --Jayron32 20:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that. It seems that there is a need to pursue changes at the editor rights end rather than through article guidelines. A case of horses and carts perhaps? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 21:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
We're not going to be able to do anything like that without having to require editors to jump through more loops, which closes off the open-ness of editing that WP prides itself on. All article creation advice pages link to notability guidelines, and even creating a new page I am pretty sure it asks the reader to check notability. That said, the one thing to remember with companies and products is that we do have two CSD criteria, G11 and A7, that apply here; if the article created is clearly promo material, then it likely could be deleted, but otherwise we have to do the normal AFD review process. --MASEM (t) 22:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Masem that SNGs have the theoretical effect of increasing the set of topics that are notable.  I agree with Jayron32 that the WMF is defending an unwanted tide, one that takes admin mops to remove.  Scottywong found out that the developers at WMF can implement the ACTRIAL in about one man-hour of work.  However, we can still put in place non-software requirements, such as requiring a creation rationale on the talk page.  The other point is that WP:NOT is the place to reduce the set of topics that are notable.  There is a discussion at WT:NOT about product announcements that (IMO) needs more attention.  Do we have any WP:NOT guidelines?  Unscintillating (talk) 00:09, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
CORP generally tries to be more restrictive than the GNG, but I'll agree that it is unusual in that respect. It is not difficult to find an independent analytical/secondary source for most major products, so we try to set a higher standard and to encourage merges to parent articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Since I was cited, let me just say that I don't really disagree with the foundation motivations over the rejection of the ACTRIAL thing, per se. I've discuessed it foundation reps before, including over beer and pizza, and it's one of those "agree to disagree" or "we have the same goal but disagree about the means" issues. I don't think that the foundation is "defending" the unwanted tide of bad articles. And, for that matter, my motivation in starting the process that got the ACTRIALS thing underway wasn't in stopping bad articles from being created, per se. When I made my original comments in the original RFC on the matter (that snowballed into the ACTRIAL thing), I was noting that the idea behind restricting article creation was to improve editor retention: editors would have a more positive experience if their first interaction with Wikipedia wasn't rejection. That is, if they got some good, accepted editing under their belt before trying to create an article, it would give them a positive experience and they would be more likely to stay around and thus be retained. When they're very first action is deleted right away, they get discouraged and leave. So, if you prevent them from doing the thing which is going to get them reprimanded, they get good, rather than bad, experiences at first. That's the rationale. It has nothing to do with reducing the stuff we have to delete; which isn't a big problem in my mind, even under the current system. The foundation believes differently about editor retention, and is trying other things before what they see as unneccessarily restricting Wikipedia's open editing ethos. It's that simple. No hard feelings on that, and I certainly don't see the Foundation as bad actors or as defending something that is unwanted. I think they are mistaken about their methods, but I still think their goals are in the right place. --Jayron32 03:12, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

PRs and Wikipedia again[edit]

More "guideline" than "policy". A request to write an 800-word op-ed for a PR newsletter, to represent the Wikipedia community (email quoted with permission):

I am the managing editor for the International Association of Business Communicators’ monthly e-newsletter, CW Bulletin. Our next issue focuses on the relationship between PR professionals and Wikipedia. The issue aims to inform and educate our readers about this topic. Our intent is not to take sides or to stir up controversy, but to present a well-rounded examination of the issue. The feature articles we have lined up include an overview of the issue and tips for PR professionals for effectively and ethically engaging with the Wikipedia community.
As part of an op-ed section of the issue, we are seeking two articles that present the ideas and viewpoints of both the Wikipedia community and the PR community through a “point/counterpoint” approach. Phil Gomes has agreed to write an op-ed piece presenting the PR angle. He recommended you as a potential author to present the Wikipedia viewpoint. The op-ed piece could touch on the Wikipedia community’s concerns regarding allowing PR professionals to edit pages, outline the thinking behind Wikipedia’s stance on this issue and also possibly offer solutions or ideas on how to move forward. Our aim is to present our readers with an informative and educational discussion of both viewpoints.

Phil is from CIPR and he was the other guy in the webcast we did on Wikipedia and PR editors. I expect I'll basically rewrite what I said in that webcast, but wanted to ask here if there's anything that was seriously missing that needs mention - David Gerard (talk) 22:48, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi David. I've been invited to write for the same issue of IABC as well. I'd be happy to share my draft privately if you're interested. It would be great if you had a plug for {{request edit}} and WP:COIN, since the primary argument for direct editing is that Talk pages are ignored. I'll also point out that there are some initiatives to make it easier for PR to get things done from the Talk page.
I watched the CIPR webinar a while back. I could be wrong (don't remember it well), but I seem to remember it giving off a tone that Wikipedia was sympathetic to PR people, but PR was merely victim of the media. Again, I could be mistaken, but I seem to remember walking away with that message. This is difficult, because some editors are overly hostile to COIs, while others are overly friendly. There is no singular way to accurately represent the community's viewpoint. But perhaps there is a way to find better balance.
Hope this helps. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 21:28, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
You may also consider asking User:OrangeMike or User:Herostratus, who are both opponents of paid editing. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 09:40, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Are they paying professional rates? I'm a freelance writer on the side, you know; still don't why I donate so much energy to this extremely unpaid gig, except for the pleasure of youse guys' company. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I was being very friendly and nice, but I will need to mention in this that many users are actively hostile to PRs touching Wikipedia at all, and why. OrangeMike's Signpost interview will be useful there - David Gerard (talk) 10:53, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I haven't found Herostratus, OrangeMike, or Smallbones overly hostile to me. In fact, I have learned from each of them and I think we have a basis for respecting each other's viewpoints.
On the other hand, I have spent time myself supporting COIN, request edit, fixing spammy articles, etc. and I too feel how frustrating it is to donate your time to something, just to have PRs turn it spammy.
From my point of view, you get out of it what you put into it. PR people who invest the time, effort and resources to be an asset to Wikipedia will find themselves reasonably welcome. Those who don't respect Wikipedia, should not expect respect in response. PRs that are not veteran editors and don't understand the rules of engagement are unknowingly rude and present themselves as devious, hiding something, being sneaky or just spammy un-intentionally.
Speaking for myself and my point of view, I think the right message is that the community is not hostile to PR people, but our experiences with PR contributors has not been good. PRs that have been frustrated with their experiences on Wikipedia will find the community more friendly if they learn how to do it properly. (or something along those lines) User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 13:45, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
"extremely peeved" then :-) - David Gerard (talk) 13:55, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I've been "extremely peeved" at some PR folks, but from looking at the webcast I think you, and the Brits in general, have it about right. I'd only add that PR folks are free to create their own CC-BY-3.0 pages on their own websites (which we'd then be free to use and know where it's from) and that PR folks sholdn't expect special treatment at Wikipedia. Editing is tough on everybody. Smallbones (talk) 19:32, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
"extremely peeved" at PRs who don't know our content rules and guidelines for engagement - rather than at PRs in general. Just my take though. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 14:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
It was a fantastic interview though - I merely bring up my one potential critique per the original request :-D User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 03:48, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Considering how we have a pillar here of Civility, doesn't it seem a little un-Wikipedian to be hostile to anyone? Maybe it is time to remind people what we're supposed to be about here. PR people don't necessarily get a class in Wikipedia best practices, yet some editors think not only PR people, but almost any new person should immediately know the 'rules' here. All the wiki-jargon, WP:THIS and WP:THAT. Maybe it is time to remind people that everyone here was new once, and PR people aren't necessarily here to bring down the order of things. Ultimately, the idea of a free and open encyclopedia is a pretty new concept in the history of the world. So let's give people some slack, and help them out, instead of just getting mad because they're making a living at this or because they're new to it. -- Avanu (talk) 06:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Please excuse me if I digress. The above reminds me of something from Ercildoun, Pennsylvania " The group declared that "every question, creed, or race was welcome on our platform," and above the platform was the motto "Let Truth and Error grapple." According to resident Gertrude W. Nields, one Quaker who had been supporting the group, withdrew his support on seeing the motto, considering it "inconsistent in Friends to grapple with anything - even error."[1]
  1. ^ Fallowfield Friends Meeting House, 1811-1911, One Hundredth Anniversary, Ercildoun, Pennsylvania
I think the issue is more of arrogance on the part of these contributors who do have quite a bit of experience in copy editing and have even been involved with writing story suggestions or providing significant information (often just lightly rewritten) that is published in "mainstream" news outlets and other major publications including on-line publications. After a career of doing this kind of activity they come into Wikipedia expecting the same kind of treatment... usually including "special treatment" because of their years of experience. That they don't get that "special treatment" they are put off by what appears to be amateur hour on Wikipedia without realizing there are legitimate reasons for the policies and practices on Wikipedia.
I understand where they are coming from, and it most definitely is a huge clash of cultures, where those who are from traditional PR groups don't realize they are essentially entering foreign territory in terms of engaging in a very different culture. Writing something for Wikipedia is not like writing copy for a newspaper, and needs a very different mentality if you are going to be successful. It is a culture of collaborative writing where the words of one person are relatively unimportant, but what really matters is contributing ideas and thoughts to the topic at hand. That writing process can appear to be very caustic from the outside, and it certainly takes some time to get used to.
None of this should be new to Wikipedia contributors, as it is something which has been repeated over and over again. On policy discussion pages, we are also regularly reminding ourselves to try and be friendlier in part because often the collaborative nature of Wikipedia pushes many of the younger contributors (for valid reasons) tend to go a little over the top and for old-timers to go numb over trying to keep things simmering under control with a sort of "don't care" attitude when some contributors are caustic. I think the generation gap between Wikipedia contributors and those who are involved in public relations is likely to be less than it was when Wikipedia first started, but it is also a factor to consider (and sort of emphasizes the "amateur hour" perception I mention above).
I think in time people will accept Wikipedia for what it is and that these folks who are trying to "correct" Wikipedia pages will get used to the philosophies that form the foundation of the project. It will just take time, but I am glad that some outreach like is being said above is happening. Thank you David for trying! --Robert Horning (talk) 21:36, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that COI puts an extra burden on civility and AGF - principles we should strive to maintain despite that tension. On the other hand, sometimes it's awkward to characterize someone in my position as "just another editor" (part of the community) rather than someone who represents their clients' interests on Wikipedia ethically. It's like the journalists at the New York Times inviting PR people to join their editorial ranks directly. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 05:57, 15 August 2012 (UTC)


Two days to deadline and I have a draft, at User:David Gerard/scratch. I throw it to the Disunited Bikeshedders of Wikipedia to do as they will.

I'm not entirely happy with its tone, it's long on how-to but short on objections. I have nicked helpful sentences from the above discussion. This is about 650 words, so there's headroom for more. Comments here please - David Gerard (talk) 14:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Would you mind if I gave it a semi-hamhanded going-over for purely grammatical concerns? --Orange Mike | Talk 19:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Go for it. King4057 did already, I'll revert anything I want to keep ;-) - David Gerard (talk) 21:37, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

OK, it's been sent off! Text above is what I sent. Out first week Sept. - David Gerard (talk) 15:25, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

number format[edit]

wp:mosnum says:

Numbers with five or more digits to the left of the decimal point (i.e. 10,000 or greater) should be delimited into groups so they can be easily parsed, such as by using a comma (,) every three digits (e.g. 12,200, 255,200, 8,274,527). A full stop (.) should not be used to separate thousands (e.g. 12.200, 255.200) to avoid confusion with the decimal point.

But several articles such as Giga- intentionally put gaps between groups of three digits instead of commas. Doesn't this violate the MoS? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 17:50, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

A space is a delimiter, satisfying that guidance. The comma is used as an example, and is not prescriptive. -- Scray (talk) 18:20, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Metric uses the space, where standard uses the comma. Hillabear10 (talk) 06:14, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Promotional usernames[edit]

As many of us have noticed, quite a high percentage of new users create accounts directly relating to the subject about which they intend to write; this is, of course, almost always followed by a username block or a spamusername block. Many of these editors are totally well-meaning, but not properly informed. And when blocked some, possibly the majority, get discouraged and never come back. I believe that we may well be losing some potentially good editors in this way.

I personally have no in-depth programming expertise. but is it not possible for a message to be shown, when an account is newly created, warning the editor at the outset, to avoid this pitfall?--Anthony Bradbury"talk" 20:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

In the instances I've seen they have all been spamming. Hence so many blocks. This habit of theirs makes spammers easier to spot IMHO. When they get discovered they then create a new account and continue spamming but at lest we then know the article is under attack and can keep it on our watch list. So I don't like this proposal.--Aspro (talk) 23:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, it cuts both ways. What Aspro says is also true but some small percentage of such editors do go on to become productive members and I think a spam article is recognized anyway mostly because of the spam contained therein; we don't need the clue of the username. To come at it from another direction, if you come across a fairly well sourced, fairly neutral article by a person who obviously has a COI by virtue of their name, we don't delete that article but (some of us) do automatically block the account, and that is indeed a harsh experience and may drive the person away. That's best avoided. So I would support this.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I've just found that this is already provided at Special:UserLogin/signup. It says: "Choose an inoffensive username that identifies you personally, either using your real name, or an alias of your choosing. Do not use your email address or domain name, or the name of any organization you're associated with." Please note that you get a different message if you are logged in when you click on the special page link I provided, so you have to log out and then click on it to see this text. So maybe the issue is making that already present message more prominent/noticeable?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:31, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I would hope that you don't block them in the latter, positive instance. That would be a violation of WP:CORPNAME, a policy. Any admins who are blocking in such an instance should be told to stop and, if they continue, reported to ANI. SilverserenC 01:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure I've ever blocked anyone solely for a promotional username – maybe once or twice long ago. Not my thing. I care about the substance of people's edits. But yes, it is fairly common; the simple fact that the person has posted an article on the topic that could be considered at all spammy would meet the letter of WP:CORPNAME. Go track {{Uw-softerblock}} usage using {{z15}} (its assigned z number template). See what those users created to get blocked. You may be surprised.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:15, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Anthony, the basic answer to your question is "no". The code you're looking for, expressed in plain English, would have to have the following steps:
  1. Look at the username.
  2. Magically look into the future to see what article the user will edit two minutes from now.
  3. Compare username and the article title.
It's the second step that is the difficult one. Face-wink.svg WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:09, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Well that's why I focused on the pre-account-creation text, and I can't speak for Anthony but I think he may have meant this.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:24, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
As I said, I have little programming skill. What I would like would be a message which flashes up during account creation saying "do not choose a name which relates to your area of editing interest" or something similar. I accept that it may not be possible. Whatever has been said above, a fair number of editors clearly do receive spamusername blocks, and a good percentage are ignorant but not intentionally inappropriate. But if it cannot be done then so be it. In relation to the post be WhatamIdoing could i suggest that my message should ideally post beteween #1 and #2 in his sequence? I have no wish to be aggressive here; I simply wished to find a way not to discourage potential new editors. --Anthony Bradbury"talk" 19:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Ongoing political controversies[edit]

I'm not the only one who has noticed conflicting treatment of articles about ongoing political controversies. You didn't build that (originally 2012 Roanoke Obama campaign speech) survived a very contentious AfD, but Mitt Romney's tax returns did not. The awkwardly named Mitt Romney dog incident survived two AfDs under previous names, but Obama Eats Dogs was deleted. Other deleted articles in this vein include Forward (generic name of socialist publications), Mitt Romney Cranbrook incident and Teleprompter usage by Barack Obama, while Todd Akin rape and pregnancy controversy rages on. If you think these outcomes are all the result of judicious application of our policies and guidelines, I think you're adorable. I have two major concerns about these types of articles:

  • Superficially, these issues will almost always meet WP:GNG. The current media and information landscape is such that many reliable sources will cover the controversy, and these stories will be very readily accessible. WP:PERSISTENCE rarely seems to be considered (#2 under WP:NOTNEWSPAPER is also germane). As one editor noted in one of these recent debates, the difference between "a notable and defining moment in the campaign" and "not sufficiently notable for standalone article" can frequently come down to individuals' political leanings.
  • Consequently, these discussions become political battlegrounds. Otherwise model editors seem reduced to their political views. Charges of canvassing and sockpuppetry are lobbed frequently and casually—sometimes they're even true. Personal attacks are made with alarming frequency.

These issues have been destroying two of our pillars, specifically neutrality and civility. I don't see how someone could be satisfied with the status quo, but perhaps I'm alone in my views.

I see this question as similar to the recent VPP discussion on the appropriateness of Twitter articles, in which a series of contentious AfDs is resulting in some serious discussions about what content we deem appropriate and encyclopedic for inclusion. Taking a cue from that discussion, I'm outlining a few positions and seeing where that takes us. I really don't know where I come down, or else I would have made a proposal rather than an open discussion; all of the below options appeal to me but the status quo. --BDD (talk) 03:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Articles on ongoing political controversies are generally acceptable[edit]

most or all of the AfDs referenced above should have resulted in a keep

Articles on ongoing political controversies are generally not acceptable[edit]

most or all of the AfDs referenced above should have resulted in a delete

Ongoing political controversies should be covered in a centralized location[edit]

such as a campaign article or a standalone article about all controversies related to a particular candidate or race
  • This seems the most sensible option, to me. It's impossible to determine whether a given political controversy has "lasting, historical significance" (per WP:EVENT) while an election campaign is still underway. I'm not a fan of "breaking news" articles in general, but all these articles about US political disputes seem (from my British perspective) especially silly and trivial. These incidents could easily be in discussed in the relevant presidential campaign articles (which of course are already political battlegrounds, so at least this would keep all the chaos in one place), and split out into seperate articles later, if necessary. Political controversies are not exempt from the rules are laid out in WP:EVENT and WP:NOTNEWSPAPER. All we need is for the rules to be better enforced. DoctorKubla (talk) 13:32, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Ongoing political controversies should not be covered until a certain amount of time has passed[edit]

so as to better judge if there's lasting significance
This sound to be the most noble goal, but unreachable in practice without harsh strict and rigid rules. Belorn (talk) 14:35, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

The status quo is fine[edit]

this is unnecessary; let the process play out as it will

Other viewpoints[edit]


  • Wikipedia will be used for political gain, spam, POV pushing, etc.. It's an unfortunate side effect of being a one of the more useful sites on the net. We don't really have a way of fixing that issue other than what we're currently doing from what I can see. (talk) 13:28, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Political silly seasons shall always be with us is part of Wikipedia scripture almost. The best thing anyone can do is try to hold back the most zealous POV pushers (ones who wanted Joe the Plumber's occupation to be "turd gurgler" and "illegal plumber" are recalled), and the ones who latch onto the "talkingpointoftheday" from a campaign to jump into Wikipedia. They form some of the most compelling evidence that "pending changes" is needed. I would likely set the minimum number of edits for anyone to touch semi-protected articles far above the nominal 100 now in place (reached by SPAs in an hour making consecutive minor edits). Say 1000. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Education Program extension RfC[edit]

I've just opened up a request for comment on whether to enable the Education Program extension for managing and monitoring Wikipedia educational assignments. If it does get enabled, there are related technical (user rights) and policy (who should be able to use it, and how will user rights be assigned?) issues that will need to be sorted out. (For that reason, I'm cross-posting it here.)--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 12:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite or indefinite article at beginning of name) has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite or indefinite article at beginning of name) (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, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name) no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Proper licensing of gadgets, user scripts and lua modules[edit]

  1. Currently, all gadgets and user scripts are supposed to be licensed under a licence (GFDL and/or CC-BY-SA) which is not recommended for software and e.g. not compatible with GPL, right?
  2. Considering the next version of the gadgets extension (want to test?) will introduce a new namespace specific for sofware on Wikipedia (and all other WMF wikis, actually), I'm wondering the following:
  3. What to do with code which is already under such GPL? E.g.: MediaWiki:PrettyLinkWidget.js, temporary hacks with code copied from MediaWiki software (on this example it's ok because Krinkle licenced it under CC-BY) and many others which may not be under a compatible license and require actions such as the change of license of the Wikilove extension (more info at mw:Thread:Extension talk:WikiLove/Reusing the default WikiLove.js).

Best regards, Helder 15:01, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Considering they're used basically exclusively with Wikipedia and other CC-licensed works, and that many of them are intertwingled with MediaWiki content to the point of arguably being derivative works, I don't think there's any possibility of not releasing gadgets/scripts/templates under CC-BY-SA. Dual licensing is already possible at author discretion. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 12:10, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
CC-BY-SA should not be used for software and as such it is unlikely that someone how licensed their work under e.g. GPL would allow us to copy and adapt it on Wikipedia if that means they will lose some of the guarantees a free software license gives them.
See also this thread on wikitech and this topic on Wikimedia Commons.Helder 00:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
BTW: Since Commons accept scripts licensed under GPL, those scripts can't be copied/modified here on Wikipedia either if we do not allow GPL-only scripts.
Another question which came up on wikitech was about the Lua modules which are going to be used to create templates when the Scribunto extension gets deployed on Wikipedia. What license should be used for them? Helder 00:08, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I assume you mean this thread? Anyway, while CC licenses are not recommended for code, much like the GPL is not recommended for prose, it is not strictly incompatible. Where code and prose intermingle, as they very frequently do on Wikipedia, keeping all on the same license is only practical. As for not allowing GPL-only scripts, that's not our problem: editors should not be picking licenses which are incompatible with the code base of the systems that their code is supposed to run on. Lastly, it's unlikely to be easy (or perhaps even possible) to broadly relicense the codebase again: the last time it happened the FSF basically had to rewrite the GFDL in order for it to happen, and I doubt very much that Creative Commons is going to rewrite CC-BY-SA to allow for migration to the GPL. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 15:00, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

United States Military Date Proposal[edit]

A discussion on the encyclopedic need for the use of military dates on United States military related articles is taking place at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Proposal to strike out the requirement that American military articles use military dates. Please join in.--JOJ Hutton 23:25, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

"Original" translations[edit]

In the Dodo article, I added a 17th century Dutch poem in a 2002 translation from a book, but I realise this would be a copyright violation, though the poem itself is obviously in the public domain. So I asked a Dutch editor to make an original translation (which he did), but now I'm unsure if that would count as original research? What should I do? FunkMonk (talk) 04:02, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

WP:OR addresses this general issue, see WP:OR#Translations and transcriptions. It seems that the mere act of translating is not considered original research, although originality could become involved if liberties are taken in the course of translation. Anomie 05:36, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I will add the translation provided by the editor. How would I cite it? Should the editor be credited? FunkMonk (talk) 06:05, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
The translator should be credited. You can credit him the same way you'd have credited the modern translation ("Trans. by x" or something similar - if you're using {{cite book}}, you can use the |others= parameter), but I suppose you could include a wikilink on his name (to his userpage) if you wanted to. Don't worry about the fact that the username is a pseudonym, pseudonymous works have existed since long before the internet. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 09:54, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Don't wikilink his username, such links are not appropriate. The translator doesn't need to be credited except in the history of the article, so when adding the content use a summary such as "translated by...". To cite a Wikipedian would be to imply that they are a reliable source, which they are not.--Jac16888 Talk 10:17, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Jac. Naming editors as sources, even as sources of translations, is not a desirable thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with that - not naming the translator is plagarism and should be avoided. As to the credibility of the source, transparency is always better, isn't it? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
But the translator is credited with the translation, in the history of the article, and (as a Wikipedian) is licensing his translation for use in this precise manner. --Kwekubo (talk) 21:45, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Adding userlinks to articles is a monumentally bad idea (and I've removed thousands). If you're going to add it for a translation, why not add a link for that cool photo you just uploaded. Or hey, that was an excellent introduction I just added to that article, I should sign it so people know who wrote it. My point is that we have the history page for exact purpose, and it's basically a given that unless something on Wikipedia has a reliable cite, it should be taken with a pinch of salt because anyone could have written it--Jac16888 Talk 22:10, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I did a new translation of a quote from a German textbook for Women in Nazi Germany, as requested by another editor, to improve the accuracy of the translation. Since I translated it myself, I added my translation side-by-side in the layout next to the German original. Both are inside a blockquote, which is in turn nested inside 'div col|2' and 'div col end' tags (with curly brackets instead of the ' ). I didn't add my name as a reference for the quote. I think putting the translation next to the original would imply to readers that the editor of the article has done the translation themselves. The original German work is cited of course. I saw someone do the same thing in an article quite awhile ago, and I can't remember where else I've seen it, but that's my suggestion. Otherwise, add the original in a footnote linked to the original translation you've made. And indicate that the foreign language is the original source of the quote that you've translated.OttawaAC (talk) 01:36, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

IPA guideline[edit]

I have been unable to find a guideline on when IPA should be used in an article. I have found information on how to introduce it into an article, what it means, etc., but nothing about when it's appropriate to do it. Frank Abagnale is an example of an editor who introduced two IPA defintions, one English and one Italian. I reverted because I thought neither was strictly necessary, but particularly the Italian one as it's not clear from the article that it's an Italian name. The editor added it back, and I left it alone, not wanting to fight over it and, honestly, not being completely sure of my ground. Without a guideline on the issue, it's hard to evaluate additions to articles except some sort of ambiguous, problematic common sense.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:08, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I believe that it's a "whenever possible" thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:22, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Care should be taken however, to avoid creating linguistic controversies. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:31, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Consensus has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Consensus (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (natural sciences)[edit]

WP:SCIRS has been around for some time. It's guidelines reflect the current practice of the community. Is there any reason it shouldn't be made into a guideline? IRWolfie- (talk) 21:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Why not? If it's a widely used guideline on scientific articles, then it would make sense to formally recognize it as being an actual component of IRS. Kurtis (talk) 00:39, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:No consensus has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:No consensus (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

This will be the result of an admin deciding to revert nearly a year' worth of changes to WP:Consensus in a way that broke the transclusion at Wikipedia:No consensus, which is marked as an essay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:22, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Articles for creation[edit]

Pages at Articles for creation are often added to Wikipedia content categories. They should not be added until they become an actual article in article namespace. I would like to have them prevented from being added to save a lot of work in cleaning up polluted categories. While we are at it they should have the __NOINDEX__ magic word added automatically. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 07:44, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, both are good ideas. David1217 What I've done 17:33, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
{{AFC submission/pending}} already pushes NOINDEX into the submissions. --Nouniquenames (talk) 15:39, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that regular content categories should not be live in AfC drafts, but do remember that the AFC categories are needed for the AfC process to work correctly. And it can be helpful to consider categorization while workign on a draft, perhaps a separate "Categories" section contain links to relvant cats which could be quickly transformed when/if a draft goes live. DES (talk) 17:03, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Good idea DES, but too much overhead I think. There has been talk forever in AfC about general categories for AfC only. Until that happens and for now it would probably be best to delete any categories we find in AfC until they go live. I never realized this was a problem, but I can see now the pollution it would cause. -- :- ) Don 20:54, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The script normally should delink the categories after cleaning up the submission (happens with every review, marking as "being reviewed", adding a comment, etc. (all except accepting)). I plan to push a very big update next week of WP:AFCH and thus fixing many known bugs, depending on my spare time in my new job and if I have some access to the net. Related to the noindex: A big common problem is that many WP:MIRRORs do removing the noindex part of these pages and thus getting displayed by Google & Co. I'm still on vacation, so leave tb's at my talk. mabdul (public) 21:11, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
So human editors, please do not remove the categories, instead comment them out or turn them to links with an extra :. When the page becomes an article the categories are useful. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:49, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Categories have several purposes, one of which is to encourage collaborative editing. Not allowing categories at AFC is one of the reasons why I personally don't encourage people to use AFC. Now that unpatrolled new articles are marked as no-index we should start the merger of the AFC and newpage patrol processes, so that article development is done in mainspace where it belongs. We could always make it a user option to ignore or list separately unpatrolled articles when looking at categories. ϢereSpielChequers 10:13, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
A lot of what gets submitted to WP:AFC is unsourced or blatant self-promotion, with the ability to resubmit a rejected article misused routinely. Maybe a fifth of what's there actually will see the light of day as a viable article. I can't see wanting to move this entire mess to mainspace (although, realistically, anyone can register one or one hundred accounts and post a new page to mainspace with all of these same issues one second later). Current procedure with categories is to allow [[category: on unreviewed AfC submissions, but to change it to [[:category: the moment a reviewer declines a submission. (The AFC helper script does this automagically.) This seems to work reasonably well, in that we're not hiding unreviewed submissions (removing them from the categories increases the chance that someone else will start a different fork of the same topic as they have no way to know a potentially-valid draft is already in the week-long AfC backlog) but at the same time not having WP:ADV and WP:COI WP:SPAM created directly in mainspace as often as would occur if AfC weren't the designated decoy for these posters. K7L (talk) 16:14, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
One of the purposes of AfC is to avoid the biteyness of speedy deleting the articles of new editors who don't yet understand our policies, particularly under the A# criterion. While many articles never make it out of AfC space, it at least gives the article creator a chance to work with the community to improve problems, rather then having it summarily deleted. Sending everyone straight to article space would eliminate that purpose. Also, IP editors may submit to AfC but cannot create in article space. Monty845 16:25, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

What is "vandalism" on Wikipedia?[edit]

I brought this up in the "talk" section of an article about a political figure, and a mod directed me here.

Why do we call malicious rewriting of a (usually political) article "vandalism?" We are literally handing the authors cans of spray paint and pointing them to the boxcars sitting quietly on a siding.

We don't vet our contributors. Yes, it's our claim to fame, our silver bullet, but it's also the bullet that hits us in the ass every time the subject comes up.

I am constantly berated and belittled on sites left and right because I sometimes quote WP. One site, where I'm a moderator, will literally kick me off if I quote WP. Unless/until some sort of contributor vetting takes place, Wikipedia is doomed to the lower depths of information media. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tbone0106 (talkcontribs) 20:43, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

WP:Vandalism should have the answers. Basically, any edit that disrupts the site is vandalism. The freedom that grants the ability to cause vandalism also grants not only freedom to undo that vandalism (which is what happens), but improve articles further (meaning that freedom gives a net gain). The people who dismiss this site for being "full of vandals and crackpots" know jack-shit about this site. We require sources for new additions (especially for articles about living persons), pages can be locked to prevent anonymous or even all edits, and accounts can be blocked.
That said, I never cited Wikipedia in academic papers because the site is a constantly changing tertiary source, and only appropriate for general reference. As a general reference, though, we're generally more accurate and more in-depth than the Encyclopedia Brittanica on the subjects they also cover, and we cover a lot more than they do. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:10, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
"Any edit that disrupts the site is vandalism" — not necessarily, Ian. Vandalism is defined on its policy page as "any addition, removal, or change of content in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia." Further, the examples listed include: "adding irrelevant obscenities and crude humor to a page, illegitimately blanking pages, and inserting obvious nonsense into a page." Disruptive editing is a much broader category, encompassing a wide variety of behaviours including but not limited to: vandalism, edit warring, rudeness, personal attacks, subverting Wikipedia's policies, POV-pushing, posting copyrighted material not covered by fair use, adding libellous material to BLPs, wheel warring, and so on. Vandalism (and by extention, trolling) is delineated by the intent of the edits, whereas disruptive editing in the broadest sense may not be. Kurtis (talk) 00:36, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Vandalism is solely restricted to edits which are deliberately bad faith. That is, edits which are intended to make a Wikipedia article worse. Edits where the person who io trying to article better, given their own personal definition of "better", are never vandalism. A person can be very disruptive, and be actually making an article worse, but as long as their intent is to make an article better, it isn't vandalism. It may be some of the worst sourced, most obnoxiously partisan, POV-warrior bullshit you've ever seen, but if the person adding it believes it, then it isn't vandalism. You should never accuse a person of vandalism if their goal is to improve an article. --Jayron32 14:44, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Edits that are not intended to improve Wikipedia fall into vandalism, example {{spam}} is used and may proceeded to a block for vandalism, where the editors intent is not to harm Wikipedia but is to further their own goals. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 10:34, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd disagree. Spam is spam, vandalism is vandalism. The key difference is intent. Lots of edits people make to Wikipedia have the effect of making an article worse. The vast majority of these are not done with the intent of making an article of lower quality. Even spam is intended, by the writer, to be of good quality, in the sense that the authors intent is to write good spam. Now, this may be antithetical to the ethos of Wikipedia, we may have every right to remove it or delete it, we also may need to take the step to block someone who commits them, but none of that makes it strictly vandalism. --Jayron32 04:19, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I would generally reserve "vandalism" to describe edits that insert obvious nonsense or irrelevance, or which delete material in a plainly nonsensical manner. Or to turn it around, it is edits for which there can be no plausible content reason, where it's impossible to believe that the editor had any constructive purpose, even a malign content purpose. I personally wouldn't call the kind of changes in the particular article that prompted this (most of which got BLP-oversighted) "vandalism". I also wonder why we're worrying that much over the precise distinction between people goofing around and people inserting false content with malice aforethought. Mangoe (talk) 20:32, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
The issue is that the bigger concern is that people call the edits of their opponents in edit wars "vandalism" because they don't agree with them. That is clearly not correct. --Jayron32 17:03, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I would generally interpret that use of "vandalism" as a personal attack rather than an honest evaluation. Mangoe (talk) 17:29, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Regardless, it still happens like all the time. I guarantee that right this second, someone is typing an edit summary that calls someone's edit "vandalism" merely because they disagree with it, and not because it is actually, you know, vandalism. --Jayron32 20:12, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Consensus no longer marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Consensus (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a policy. It was previously marked as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


I have seen a page (I can't recall which one, but it was probably a link from Brahmagupta where we have a strange mix of BC and BCE, namely 283 BCE. This must be wrong. How do I decide whether to change it to 283 BC or 283 BCE? -- SGBailey (talk) 11:40, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Look at the history to see what was the first clearly established practice at that article. Check the talk page and any archives for discussion. If there was no consensus to change from the initial practice, that should stand. This kind of change can be and has been be disruptive, so discuss your findings first before you standardize on one or the other.LeadSongDog come howl! 13:23, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
[[283 BC]]E looks to me like a failed attempt to apply link suffix combining, where [[bar]]s is equivalent to [[bar|bars]] giving "bars". For English, this only works for lowercase letters in the suffix (except maybe between June and August 2008). So IMO, [[283 BC]]E should be probably just be replaced with [[283 BCE]] or [[283 BC|283 BCE]] (depending on whether you abhor linking to redirects).
BTW, if the article was History of elementary algebra, that style appears to have been first added in this edit, as an AWB cleanup making the error described above in 2007. Does anyone know if AWB will still do this? Anomie 16:47, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

iABC PR and Wikipedia article is out[edit]

It's out: [13] Various gratuitous wording changes from the original. The changes didn't make it hopelessly wrong at a glance, though that won't stop loophole-seekers. The rest is worth reading too. Thanks to all for help - David Gerard (talk) 07:34, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

BLP: Misuse of primary sources[edit]

I have initiated an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#Misuse of primary sources, comment there welcome. -- PBS (talk) 09:22, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

What if a company states the opposite of a RS about it?[edit]

How much do we respect a company's right to decide that their products are xy and not xyz? For one instance- a Chevrolet Camaro is stated in our article that it is a Pony car, however the Camaro team at GM has told automotive news outlets that they dont wish for the latest Camaro to be called a pony car because they want it to compete more with Nissan 370Z and BMW 3series instead of the Mustang. Do we give any consideration to their classification? Similarly Personal computer and Apple Macintosh both declare an Apple computer to be a PC, but historically (and still in commercials) a PC is an "IBM Clone" and excludes Apple and Commedore. At what point do we say "Yes, technically by definition of what a PC is, an Apple is a PC, but because of history and corporate marketing, they are not". All soda's are called "Coke" down South ("What kind of coke do you want?", "I'll take a Dr. Pepper"), especially in Georgia, but we don't label Pepsi as a coke. (talk) 19:23, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Summarize and cite the sources for both sides, putting reliable sources first. Car companies do this all the time. They try to get out of obvious de facto standard labels for marketing purposes. —Cupco 19:29, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I would write it this way "Though Chevrolet would prefer to not use the term, (insert reference to company policy here) many reviewers categorize the Camaro as a "pony car". (insert more sources here). When sources disagree, cite them both and explain how they disagree. --Jayron32 04:21, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
However, it is still a bad idea to use a primary source. For example, the car company may say one thing officially, and not mind one bit that other people say the exact opposite, and reliable secondary sources could actually mention this, even if the car company itself doesn't *officially* say it. Primary sources might be good for something that requires zero interpretation, like "The car is officially called the Volkswagen Type 1", but almost anything can easily be subject to interpretation, even without realizing it. -- Avanu (talk) 05:01, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
That's just primary source paranoia, and entirely wrong. If it's worth mentioning at all, the article should say something along the lines of "Company's official position is X,[1] although various other sources state Y.[2]" You're more likely to run into WP:OR here when trying to interpret or analyze the "secondary" sources to support the claim of the opposite. Anomie 16:15, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I've seen many instances of a primary source being misused because someone presumed to know what it said. Hardly 'entirely wrong'. Of course, this happens with secondary sources as well, but our guidelines tell us to stick close to the interpretation of secondary sources. -- Avanu (talk) 16:48, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
You are permitted to WP:USEPRIMARY sources. The important point is not to go beyond what the primary source says. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:06, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The important point is to not go beyond what the source says, no matter if it is "primary", "secondary", "tertiary", "centenary", or whatever. I've yet to find an instance on Wikipedia where the "primary"/"secondary" distinction really matters, as opposed to it being a heuristic for (or a misnamed shorthand for) a different distinction. Anomie 19:37, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Suppose a primary source says: "100 murders occured in 2011 in Pleasanttown", and another primary source says "50 murders occured in 2010 in Pleasanttown." Now suppose a Wikipedia writer says "Pleasanttown experienced a 100% increase in its murder rate over the last year." This is original research. You are drawing a conclusion from two separate primary sources. You *MUST* be very careful with the use of primary sources. It is incredibly easy to fall into a trap of using them to draw conclusion that seem very true, but are possibly wrong, or even actually wrong. -- Avanu (talk) 03:04, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Except your beef there has nothing to do with the primacy of the sources. If you replace every instance of the word "primary" in your post with either "secondary" or "tertiary", the synthetic statement would still be original research. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:14, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. I also note that, if the sources are reasonably comparable (i.e. clearly the same measurement methodology), it's not original synthesis. It's just basic math. Anomie 22:27, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this is basic math. A better example of OR would be "The murder rate doubled during last year, and at the present rate of increase, 200 murders are expected this year." WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:47, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC for Global rename policy[edit]

Not sure if this is the exact location for this, but would like to invite your attention to Meta RfC on Global rename policy. --Jyothis (talk) 20:56, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

This is about renaming user accounts, not articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:14, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

3rr and edit warring[edit]

Many editors and admins have great prejudice against editors that violate 3rr, yet lionize the people edit warring with them, encouraging them to game the system, why is this seen as "good" or "normal"?

Take the simplest example, two editors are edit warring until the person that reverted the first edit breaks 3rr. First, let's say that the Admin intervenes neutrally, follows wikipedia policy admin guidance and "consider[s] all sides, since perceived unfairness can fuel issues". The admin rightfully sees both sides as guilty, and, per wiki policy, acts not as judge dredd, judge, jury, and executioner, but instead acts to prevent damage to the site, and impartially warns both parties of their infractions, tells them how the dispute resolution process works, and works to facilitate and enforce the dispute resolution process.

On the other hand, consider how admins seem to believe the process is "supposed" to work. The admin metes out harsh punishment on whichever side violates 3RR, tacitly endorsing the actions and edits of the other party, puts them in a position where basically their only "out" is to go through wikipedia's favored ritual humiliation. This sours one side, makes them think that the system is unfair, while at the same time it emboldens the other side, thinking that their edit warring was justified, and good, and that admins endorsed their actions. Then they see that admins and other editors treat them like the injured party, the saintly editor that was besmirched by the terrible bad editor, and likewise the other party is ostracized.

Why is this condoned?

And for the admins, it reinforces poor behavior.

Is my analysis wrong? Are there editors that follow policy admin guidance?

People talk about the terrible damage of "troublesome" editors, yet they ignore the damage of the editors that wield the system as a club. Editors that feel impervious to edit warring policy because they game the system so that they are always one revert behind the other, and thus seen as innocent. FYI, I mostly edit logged out. Bstone1 (talk) 01:46, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Blocking is not a punishment Wikipedia:Blocking policy. Jeepday (talk) 11:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
That's the point. Why do admins act not as guardians, but as vigilantes?Bstone1 (talk) 23:15, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Blocking *is* a punishment often, but I think we are doing a better job lately at reminding admins that it isn't supposed to be. -- Avanu (talk) 13:10, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Blocking is punishment as used in the English language but not in Wikipedia Jargon. As for the other point of the op, the problem is how do you stop the edit warring without blocking anyone, and if you block someone, how do you do so fairly, certainly it would be even less fair to block an editor who made 5 reverts, and 5 editors who each made 1 revert. Monty845 23:28, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
In cases like that, article protection is probably in order. If lots of people cannot play well, then no one gets to play. --Jayron32 23:37, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Let me clarify, I meant a 5v1 edit war, not a 5 way edit war. Monty845 23:43, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
If it is 5v1, what we have is obvious consensus. If we don't have obvious consensus, for whatever reason, the article should be protected. Either consensus exists, and someone is violating that consensus, or consensus hasn't been established, and everyone is in the wrong. If everyone involved in editing an article is wrong, we protect the article. If only one person is in the wrong, we block that person. Ipso facto, QED, na na, hey hey, good bye. --Jayron32 23:47, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Not unless you ignore wiki policy on truth not being decided by a show of hands. If you follow wiki policy if both sides have support(valid references), the correct path is for the article to be broadened to accept both points of view, although I suppose that only works for larger questions of fact, rather than something like wording. And this is the reason why I didn't make the example some convoluted example where there's a problem editor and an admin on one side warring against a new editor, an admin, and a sock puppet on the other side or something. That's not the issue.Bstone1 (talk) 00:12, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely, but that sort of thing is negotiated on article talk pages, not as part of a massive "revert and revert back" cycle. Protection and blocking are meant to stop that, and both tools should be used as needed, but ONLY as needed. If an article is in a state of a revert war, regardless of the nature or number of editors involved in it, the war should be stopped in the manner which is least disruptive. Sometimes that means blocking one or two people, and sometimes that means locking the article down and making everyone sit around the same table to talk it out. Of course, what you are talking about with regards to content is absolutely true. However, that is irrelevent to the behavior of the people trying to insert that content into articles. All I am talking about is behavior here. --Jayron32 19:24, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Making the usurpation process more flexible[edit]

Hi to all,

I'm opening here a proposition to change the current rule about the usurpation request.

First i have to remember what is an usurpation request and from where it comes from. An usurpation request corresponds to the fact to request a username already created by another user but unused. It's mainly coming from problems with the single user login (where a single username is used on several languages of Wikipedia).

I initiated recently a long discussion about the usurpation process (that you can find here: Discussion) after a refused usurpation request (refused usurpation request), and especially about the rules that allows to validate the usurpation.

One rule seems to make debate between users (see here: Wikipedia:Bureaucrats'_noticeboard/Archive_10#Modification_of_usurpation_practice_for_SUL_requests and Consultation on remanes): If the target account registers an opposition to usurpation, the request will not be performed. If an opposition is made, the usurpation request will be automatically refused, even if there is no justification for keeping the username (see examples here: [14], [15], Special:Contributions/Gsamat)

It's this point that i would like to discuss with the users to possibly modify it. This point does not detail what should contains an opposition, and gives unlimited power to an inactive member to stuck a username in opposition with an active member. I consider that it would be fair to support active, constructive members in regards to inactive, passive members.

As suggested the user WJBscribe: I proposed, where the target had made no (or no significant) edits to articles, a usurpation request for SUL would be performed "even where the target user has objected to being renamed". The idea here is that the inactive member will have to justify clearly why he should keep the username-source-of-conflict in regard to the other member that requests it.

I thanks you all for your contributions to this discussion that i hope will make this process less rigid.

--Ndiverprime (talk) 13:18, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I cannot support this. All it does is essentially make a threat to the target that if he doesn't make some significant edits within seven days, he will get booted off his username. I also cannot really support forcing people to lose their usernames just because they are inactive because that goes against the position that there is no deadline for tasks on Wikipedia by forcing them to make enough edits to "substantiate" their claims to the username. In fact, the chance for an inactive user to object is why we use a seven day grace period, so if this does end up passing, I would recommend removing the waiting time because it would just be a meaningless relic of a former policy.
Furthermore, with regards to the SUL account, the login doesn't work most of the time, so you have to log in on every wiki individually. I would say that maybe one in three times will I be logged into commons or meta if I go there from here.
Of course, if the target is a vandalism-only account or a sockpuppet, I have no problem with immediately renaming him to something like "Renamed Vandal 234248" and taking over his old username regardless of what he wants. Reaper Eternal (talk) 13:43, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Absent a compelling showing of why a the usurper has a clearly superior claim to the name on wiki and elsewhere, first come first serve is the only fair way to do things. If the account is truly abandoned, ok fine, but if the account owner can be bothered to register an objection, absent some special circumstance, they should get to keep it. Monty845 13:45, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The current process is not rigid at all. The issue is that someone already owns the username, and doesn't want to give it up. That's not the process that's rigid at all - it's the "owner". Call it "squatters rights" if you must, but it's reality and we cannot always get what we want when there's 8 billion people competing for the same names. Get over it. Now, where do I personally start the process to usurp Ndiverprime...I'm sure they won't mind, and someone will force it to happen on my behalf dangerouspanda 13:47, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I was considering the case of years-inactive users --Ndiverprime (talk) 13:49, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Two words: "so" "what". This might be the silliest line in the sand I have ever seen drawn. It's a bloody username for crying out loud. dangerouspanda 13:55, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
As English is not my native language, I'm not totally sure of what you mean ...--Ndiverprime (talk) 14:00, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
A username is not important in real life. You have a single edit to an article on the English Wikipedia. You're not even an editor of content here yet. You clearly have zero understanding that Wikipedia is a community, and that you do not force things upon other members of the community - even if they're currently not editing. Your attempts to takeover a username - even though the person doesn't want it taken over - are pure and full-out bullying. Someone else got the name first - THEY WIN. Choose a new one, and move on. Adults don't play games like this in the real world. dangerouspanda 14:04, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
"THEY WIN"? Wow, that's certainly the way to prove that "Adults don't play games like this in the real world", especially all in block capitals! This user has a single edit to Wikipedia, so wouldn't WP:BITE come into play; egads, what a welcome committee. Please accept my apologies, User:Ndiverprime. Dangerous Panda wasn't here in May 2008 when this idea was bandied about and discussed. Hiding T 14:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, you're right, I've only been here for "6 years, 5 months and 29 days" Sorry. dangerouspanda 14:18, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Apology accepted. I was also coming back to edit as I hadn't realised you were an alternative account. So glad we can keep the level of debate above that of the schoolyard. Hiding T 14:20, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I've just had a similar situation with a better outcome. In my case the other person agreed to move accounts, but I might not have been so lucky. There's some tacit support for the position on meta, which suggests user names be granted based on contribution: " if an account with your chosen name which is not controlled by you has more edits, or certain group membership such as sysop or bureaucrat (check here), you may not be the one with the superior claim on this username". I'm not sure I understand why the above commentators are so churlish in their objections; surely we should be attempting to keep good editors, and keep their morale up? I mean, all things being equal, which user do you want to sour on Wikipedia; the one with a lot of edits or the one with none? Hiding T 14:10, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I am extremely uncomfortable with widening the usurpation process; it puts bureaucrats in the awkward position of trying to decide which individuals have done more to 'deserve' a particular username, and which individuals can be declared second-class members of the community subject to forcible renaming. It also elevates a username from being a simple identifier to being something that an editor has to earn and deserve – and something to prized and fought over – which seems a tad silly and likely to lead to unnecessary and completely-avoidable conflict.
Wikipedia editors who want to use SUL across all projects have two choices when they find their preferred username in use on one of the projects. First is to ask politely if the other individual would be willing to accept a change of username; that was tried and failed here. Second is to consider a username change to a name that is available on all projects; this choice is almost always possible, but I get the impression that Ndiver has not considered it (or has dismissed it out of hand). Third is to accept the things that cannot be changed and move on.
In the particular case of Ndiver, the second choice doesn't seem overly onerous. He has made edits on only two projects as Ndiver (Global account info, 147 edits on frwiki, 74 edits on specieswiki), and just two edits not related to his usurpation campaign on as Ndiverprime on enwiki. His contributions have been thorough and valuable, but frankly they aren't that extensive, and he wouldn't have a problem (re)establishing his reputation in association with a new name. If he must have cross-project SUL, he can pick a new name, file the two rename requests, and be done with it. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I definitively understand this point: I am extremely uncomfortable with widening the usurpation process; it puts bureaucrats in the awkward position of trying to decide which individuals have done more to 'deserve' a particular username, and which individuals can be declared second-class members of the community subject to forcible renaming. The point is that the SUL appeared after i created my account in Wikipedia FR and that i was already using this name on Internet since something like 1997 (have over dozen thousands posts made under this name, and i'm still using it on the videogame World of Tanks ;-) ). That also explains why I'm attached to this username, as i consider as part of my identity, and would like to use it on both Wikipedia FR, EN and Wikispecies. On Wikispecies, I have to be careful about what i write as I currently have some personal unpublished work. I'm increasing progressively my contributions as I'm ending a PhD in zoology and that i have more and more knowledge about my studies topic, and as I have access to sources that justify what i write on Wikipedia. An typical example of excellent source to increase easily the knowledge on Wikipedia about a specialized topic is this article: Ng, P.K.L.; Guinot, D.; Davie, P.J.F. 2008 Systema Brachyurorum: Part I. An annotated checklist of extant Brachyuran crabs of the world. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 17: 1–286.
For the following point: Third is to accept the things that cannot be changed and move on, i saw by my own experience that if you don't try to change things, you can be sure that they will not change. That's also why i initiated the discussion here.
But i would say that the username Ndiver is definitively not the subject of this discussion, it's just what motivated me to initiate it based on what i saw on Wikipedia. --Ndiverprime (talk) 14:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
But where do you draw the line, if I decide I want to usurp the username of someone, over their objection who is still editing with 2000 edits to their name, do I get to because I have 10x the edit count? What about someone with 200, that is 100x, 1000x? Any edits at all? Does the one edit objecting count? I don't see how any of those are more fair then the current system. Monty845 15:24, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I would think there would be very few cases since SUL has been enabled quite a long while now that's there just the odd few of us who weren't lucky the way other people were. If we had to draw a line we could see about moving it from zero edits out to nearer 100? Hiding T 15:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I was not really considering the number of edits but more the time of inactivity. When you almost never contributed, are inactive since over a year and concerned by an usurpation request, it would be better to have to justify your opposition in more than few words or a sentence, as it was seen in the examples i gave.--Ndiverprime (talk) 15:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
There are editors who take breaks of more than one year; this is allowed and should not be punished. There's no minimum activity requirement to participate in this project. You're again talking about 'justifying' a refusal to give up one's username, which again comes down to arguing that one person 'deserves' a particular name more than another. I can think of few more effective ways to ensure that occasional or infrequent users never return than to say to them — "Your efforts aren't frequent or worthwhile enough to justify allowing you to keep your chosen username; sorry, there's another fellow here who's more important and who wants to take it from you."
Try putting the shoe on the other foot, Ndiver(prime). How should we have responded if, January 2011, enwiki's Ndiver had made a flurry of edits and then asked for a usurpation of your accounts on frwiki and specieswiki? At that time, you had been inactive on frwiki for eight months, and on specieswiki for close to two years. Neither account had accumulated even one hundred edits. What if someone decided that six months was a long enough period of inactivity to permit usurpation? How would you feel about this issue then? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:24, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
By explaining why I'm inactive and entering in discussion with the other user. So definitively more than just writing less than 10 words. For wikispecies, the reason was unpublished work and absence of access to peer-reviewed journal. Is it a good excuse ?--Ndiverprime (talk) 17:11, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as too overreaching. A user which is inactive but still in contact with Wikipedia enough to actually object to being forced to change their name is not inactive. I would support a differently worded attempt to slacken the Usurp requirements somewhat, with some combination of volume of edits and time since last edit, but insofar as a user would actually object to being forced off of a username they have already established for themselves, I don't see any compelling reason to do that. --Jayron32 16:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I remember having to usurp an account on the Chinese Wikipedia. Fortunately it was a vandalism-only account. -- King of ♠ 16:45, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • My goal initially was to possibly make the usurpation process a little bit more flexible, especially by avoiding that inactive users could block a username by just saying "no" and not answering at all to any try of contact. I was thinking by that to request in addition to the opposition a small justification explaining why the user is inactive and why he would like to keep his username. Is it so difficult ? I'm relatively disappointed to see that lot of user remarks are limit to be personal attacks, instead of trying to be constructive. I made the efforts to follow and understand the different steps in the Wikipedian bureaucracy, that's definitively more than just clicking on a link in a mail that you receive (it's what happens when somebody put a new section on your talk page) and writing few words.--Ndiverprime (talk) 17:11, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Why should they need to justify it. What business is it of ours what real-life difficulties are keeping them from editing Wikipedia. If they are aware enough of their Wikipedia account to tell us they don't want it changed, then "No" is sufficient. --Jayron32 17:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
    • "We're taking your username hostage, and we'll only let you have it back if you promise to maintain a certain level of contributions in the future, and explain to us why you haven't been editing lately"? No thanks. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose editors who have contributed should not have to justify having to keep their current username as taking it away from them would amount to a judgement that they are not worthy of having it. Not only is it very difficult to draw up criteria for deciding this but it is profoundly disrespectful to the person who already has the username. I would get seriously annoyed if someone tried to take my username over my objections. Hut 8.5 19:59, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Reframing the policy for having access to AWB[edit]

The current requirement for getting access to WP:AWB is 500 mainspace edits. It should be lowered or should include revert edits too.Harsh (talk) 17:24, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

AWB is a very powerful tool. I think the current requirements are just fine. David1217 What I've done 17:31, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree. But I also think that it isn't so complex that it requires 500 mainspace edits. Harsh (talk) 18:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I haven't used AWB, but from what I've seen, it's pretty complicated. By the time someone has 500 main space edits, they should have a pretty good feel for how Wikipedia works. David1217 What I've done 18:20, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • For active contributors to Wikipedia, 500 mainspace edits is nothing. Reversions generally also take place in the mainspace, but I'm not sure if they would count toward the 500 edit threshold because they do not have any relevance to content contributions. I think it's a reasonable minimum to set before considering requests to grant people AWB, which is (as David1217 states above) sort of a powerful tool. Kurtis (talk) 18:24, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Editors with less than 500 edits still can get access but they haver to state a good reason for that. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:31, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

  • My understanding of the approval process is that you need either 500 mainspace edits OR a good reason for requesting access. Looking at the request page, I see that editors who can explain their reason for wanting AWB access are being granted it even if below 500, so I'm not sure what needs to be changed. Why should those who have less then 500 edits AND can't explain why they want access be given access? Monty845 18:58, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Because an editor with less than 500 edits can get advice of how to use the program and someone they don't know they need advice. In some other cases the request has to do with one-off task and some other experienced editor can do it for them. AWB access to editors with less than 500 edits is rarely given. -- Magioladitis (talk) 19:04, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Here, my request is still pending approval (2nd entry by name Harsh 2580). The admin has stated that rollback edits do not count towards the total. (By the way, I have given a reason which I strikedthrough)Harsh (talk) 04:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
        • You have to discuss it with that admin. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:55, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

If you personally are in the process of applying for a right and running into difficulty, trying to change the requirements in order so that you can get the right is... well... not what I'd consider the ethical or proper thing to do. It also means that people will only consider your ulterior motive and not your actual arguments when responding to the proposal, as I am demonstrating right here. That in mind, I believe that we should both close this debate and deny your AWB request. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:55, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

How so? The usual concern with WP:COI is that someone in a conflict of interest will try to hide that COI or will directly edit mainspace pages on topics in which they hold a stake. I see neither here. K7L (talk) 16:26, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
No, Sven's observation is valid, in that it's inappropriate to submit an application in accordance with a protocol, while simultaneously requesting a change in the relevant policy to lower the standards for entry. See moving the goalposts. Mephistophelian (talk) 07:17, 7 September 2012 (UTC).

I opine that atleast automated edits excluding revert edits should be included in the threshold limit of 500. Harsh (talk) 18:13, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes, you already made your views clear but the rest of us think its just fine as it is... Spartaz Humbug! 04:05, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
500 edits is really a low requirement, not a high one. A month or two maybe. In that amount of time on Wikipedia there are still many mysteries to discover. Rmhermen (talk) 15:33, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Making public information from UTRS[edit]

We have an unblock ticket system URTS which has this privacy policy. Currently I understand it to mean that, in practice anyway, what is posted on UTRS doesn't end up on the wiki. However the current Philip Roth incident took place on UTRS, ticket 3217. I was the admin who handled the ticket. I can see that there is an interest in transparency and the actual text of the exchange, the username concerned etc. Is it appropriate to copy this information from UTRS to the wiki? What information should be copied across? None of the information is strictly private as any admin can see it, but we have told them that we handle data a certain way and they haven't given permission for re-publication.

There are other issues where UTRS exchanges don't get published and perhaps it would be beneficial if they did. If a ticket tells me they are the IP address of a school should this be recorded somewhere? If someone says they are the marketing director of the the company they are editing about, should we tell? Currently all of this intelligence is lost and kept in a semi-walled garden.

I personally don't want to publish the contents of the ticket without community consensus, although any admin with access could do so. What do people think? Secretlondon (talk) 21:09, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Redact and publish The "tickets" content has been (apparently) characterized and quoted from in the New Yorker piece by Roth. As it is partially already out, we should release, fully, as it may inform future issues related to handling such requests. Redact anything that is private 'data' (eg. E-mail, IP address, etc.), as the UTRS privacy policy only covers such data, it does not cover content text. Both (redacted) communications to and from should be disclosed. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:23, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Full Stop NO As evidenced in other cases where we keep semi-private information (Arbcom Archives, OTRS, etc.) Wikipedia has difficulty with keeping private information private. Information regarding private communications in your role as a UTRS volunteer was provided with some sort of privacy expectation. If you think other editors would benefit from the exchange, Flag ArbCom for it and let them enter it into their database of secret stuff. Hasteur (talk) 21:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Yeah this is a really bad idea. That said, I sure wish I could get my act together so I could log into UTRS... Magog the Ogre (t c) 21:58, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. At most, we should release only information for which we have received explicit permission to release. Otherwise we get into the situation where someone makes a little oopsie in redaction – either by simply missing an instance of private information in a long email, or by misunderstanding what information might have been considered private by the sender – and then there's no way to put that toothpaste back in the tube. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:03, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Developer comment - Some of the information UTRS collects absolutely, positively, must not be released outside of the UTRS system. The Toolserver, on which UTRS is hosted, is located in Europe, and thus is subject to European Union laws on privacy (which are quite a fair sight stricter than anything you've seen in the US). That's the reason the UTRS Privacy Policy exists - in order to get the tool up and running, we had to work with the Foundation's legal department to ensure that we had all the proper disclaimers up and were removing the correct data in a timely enough manner. For this reason also, certain data is irretrievable seven days after an appeal is closed; some of it is simply deleted, other data is sent through a one-way hash so that it cannot be read but can still be searched against. For this reason, if there is a desire to release any information that is covered under the UTRS Privacy Policy, then you need to contact the Foundation first before discussing it here (and keep in mind the answer will likely be an emphatic NO). It's a simple matter of what is and isn't legal. Now, that said, there is certain information which, if I recall correctly, is not covered under the UTRS Privacy Policy, including the text of the appeal itself (provided the user didn't type any private information in there, of course). It may be permissible for that to be released, but again your best bet would be to contact the legal team to make sure nobody is at risk of being sued by some person you've never met and/or heard of outside of an internet pseudonym. Hersfold (t/a/c) 00:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Another developer comment: I think transparency is important and I am open to ideas which would ensure privacy as well. My ideas include allowing certain non-admins to have read-only access to the system (which would require a major update) or having a publically accessible side of the system that displays communications with a script that detects and removed names, phone numbers, emails, IPs, ect. Just ideas. But until then, the appeals themselves as well as any data (as opposed to commentary) should remain private. Until then, any admin may get an account and provide some oversight if they choose.--v/r - TP 01:03, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Transparency is good, but I'm not wishing to run up a legal matter or exacerbate the situation. The foundation must be contacted, but I would also err on the side of caution and ask permission for its release from the filer. Even if we can legally see the appeal request, provided privacy policy isn't violated, it is a bad move publicly if we are going to release information that is under the guise of a private communication. Wikipedia does not need to 'save face' here, the matter is only a concern because it is recent. If the release could hurt the filer or Roth by extension then we should seriously consider our actions. Already present is the fact in the article's history that Roth's opinion was noted and sourced; that is already clear. Our concern and focus in this aftermath should go to streamlining a process for this very matter. A history of vandalism and errors can persist with no obvious way to address it, raising awareness is a good start. It would be better to streamline our help pages and policy pages so that this situation never needs to occur again. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 03:45, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – A brief background – the reason why UTRS was developed was to better facilitate email unblock requests through the old unblock-en-l mailing list. For those who are not aware, unblock requests are also handled via email, especially if confidentiality is involved or if a newcomer who is unfamiliar with Wikipedia but is with email can inquire about a block of some sort. Such unblock requests are more confidential in nature since that is the nature of how email operates; at least from the blocked users' standpoint when they make an unblock request via email. There is an expectation of cordiality and professional confidentiality that you do not see with on-wiki requests (i.e. that is why the material of email-based unblock requests are rarely discussed on-wiki, unless it's part of a community unblock/unban request, and the blocked user has consented). That is why email unblock requests (part of the UTRS system) should not be shared in the open, lest that defeats the entire purpose of email requests and UTRS as a whole. --MuZemike 06:04, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose In regard to existing tickets, you can't ethically release material provided under a presumption of privacy, especially if the privacy policy that they were submitted under forbids the release. (The policy as I read it doesn't seem to relate to the text of the messages, but I think that there may still be a reasonable presumption of privacy for the text as well). You can, potentially, change the policy to permit the release of selected material for future messages, but that can't alter the status of those previously sent. - Bilby (talk) 06:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Would it be OK for Secretlondon to release only his part of the message, (obviously) omitting anything that would compromise the secrecy of the email? Or would that too be a privacy violation, because it could have the potential to undermine the rep's version of the story? He may feel betrayed if it were released because he thought the communication was secret and he took a legitimate form of artistic license with the version of events. Alternatively, you could ask him what he'd feel comfortable releasing, and then ask the WMF, and release only what both are OK with. Magog the Ogre (t c) 07:58, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • In this context the principal of the filer has released the communication, so there is no expectation of privacy, even if there ever was one, for things not covered by the privacy policy (much of which is already scrubbed from the system after seven days). We cannot address systemic issues, if we do not know the basis on which the issue arose, which we would only know if we had the scrubbed information. A person has objected to that communication, quoting from it; if we are to take that objection seriously, than we need to look at the communication and its context. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:14, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it would be okay to confirm that the quote given in the New Yorker was an accurate verbatim, and to give an indication of the overall length of the communication – i.e. whether that quote was pretty much it, or whether there was more context that Roth did not quote. Beyond that, no actual wordings should be released without the agreement of both parties to the communication. However, in my view that agreement should be sought, from both Bailey and the admin(s), and if given, the communication should be made public. If not, then just chalk it up to experience and let the matter rest. JN466 13:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Given that Roth has published some of the communication (presumably with the interlocutor's consent) and that SecretLondon as the other party is happy to place their part of the communication into the public domain, then I can see some advantage in placing it all in the public domain. At least one of the IP edits identified themselves as Blake Bailey, Roth's official biographer. Other edits have mentioned being the Roth biographer and the registered account involved can also be identified with Bailey based on the information it has provided about its owner. Roth did not name the interlocutor, but if it is Bailey, then I can see some advantage in getting his consent to publish the communication with contact details redacted. If another party is involved whose name is not in the public domain, then that would make asking permission more complicated.--Peter cohen (talk) 00:33, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC on style consistency across articles[edit]

Fresh input would be helpful at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Internal consistency versus consistency across articles. The RfC is about this sentence: "An overriding principle is that style and formatting choices should be consistent within an article, though not necessarily throughout Wikipedia as a whole." The question is whether the words "though not necessarily throughout Wikipedia as a whole" should be removed or retained. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:56, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to modify MOS:IDENTITY[edit]

I am making the proposal that MOS:IDENTITY, bullet #2 should be changed to:

  • "Any person whose gender might be questioned should be referred to by the gendered nouns, pronouns, and possessive adjectives that reflect that person's gender at the time of notability as reflected within the prevalence of mainstream reliable sources. Identity changes thereafter should be dealt with chronologically but should always follow the conventions used with prevalence in mainstream sources."

I believe that this change will help prevent recurring debate issues. The present guideline is a failure because it creates a situation that sets Wikipedia apart from mainstream sources and groups us with advocacy sources. An example is our article Alexis know who calls this person that? LGBT publications and Wikipedia. Mainstream sources still call him Mark Karr. I have listed a few in this discussion as examples. If someone brings a new ref to the article, the ref will be calling him Karr which is inconsistent with our article.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

I believe that your suggested rule also creates a situation that sets Wikipedia apart from mainstream sources. Try applying your rule to Wendy Carlos, Switched-On Bach, and A Clockwork Orange (film). Now try to find any 21st-century source that does not call her "Wendy." --Guy Macon (talk) 14:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Considering both the Alexis Reich and Wendy Carlos articles, perhaps the answer is that there is no single absolute rule that can be applied. Sometimes it will be appropriate to use the post transition name throughout the article, sometimes (for example where someones notability is almost completely associated with the pre-transition period (like Karr/Reich) or when someone has separate unrelated claims for notability pre-and post transition) it will not. Of course however we deal with MOS:IDENTITY, we have to strive to produce clear and readable prose - the Alexis Reich article, with its batterys of (then male) and (at this point still a male) is not good writing.Nigel Ish (talk) 18:06, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Guy, if all the 21st century sources use "Wendy", then we would, too, under this rule. Carlos started transitioning before Switched-on Bach was released. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:34, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Please read the proposed rule again. It specifically says "at the time of notability." Here is the name used at the time of notability. Wikipedia (correctly, in my opinion) not only uses a name that was not the name used at the time of notability, we also (correctly, in my opinion) use an image of the album cover art that shows a name that was not the name used at the time of notability. It is a historical fact that Switched-On Bach and Switched-On Bach II were not released under that name.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22] The proposed rule is an attempt at a "one size fits all" policy that does not work properly in some cases. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:32, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Is it your theory that Carlos was only notable for a brief period of time? Or is it your theory that the legal name of a person who is transitioning—in 1967, when Carlos was living full-time as a woman and when getting a legal gender change was not a trivial or quick process—is the be-all and end-all of his or her gender? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
That's historical revisionism. Wendy Carlos had a choice as to what name to put on the cover of Switched-On Bach. She chose not to put "Wendy" on the cover. She was able to make other changes -- she objected to the look on Bach's face and a patch cord plugged in to the wrong place and was able to get those changes made. The last release to be credited to her old name was "By Request" (1975). The first as Wendy was "Switched-On Brandenburgs" (1979), after she revealed her new name and status to the public for the first time in an interview in the May 1979 issue of Playboy magazine. You cannot show a shred of evidence that she was publicly known as Wendy at the time of notability (1969) -- which is why the "at the time of notability" rule is a bad rule. Wendy first became notable in 1969, when Switched-On Bach entered Billboard's pop Top 40 charts and won three Grammy Awards -- all of which were awarded using her former name. To claim that she was known as Wendy at the time of notability (1969) is a total fabrication. I do not understand why you are clinging to the flawed "at the time of notability" rule, but please stick to historical facts when arguing your case. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:17, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
For those who may be wondering why there are, as far as I can tell no 21st century references that use any name other than Wendy Carlos, why I agree with that decision, and why nobody else applies a "name at the time of notability" rule even when describing her 1969 work that was released under another name, in my opinion it is a simple matter of respect. See and (skip down to the question "Why do some of the old LP's have a different name on them?") for Wendy's position. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


The rule does not say "stage name, legal name, or pen name at the time of notability", even if we pretend that Carlos was only notable on the exact day that the album was released (which I don't agree to) rather than for the decades afterwards when the sources were paying attention. The proposed rule is "gender at the time of notability". We have sources that say Carlos was living as a woman—remember, gender at the time of notability—at that point in time. Therefore the article would use "Wendy" and "she", not "Walter" and "he". WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:19, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

It's a difficult question, and it's not easy to handle name changes whatever the reason. My preference is to use the current status in the biographical articles (as every other source will) and use the name that literally appears on the credits or cover for artistic works (for artistic and historical accuracy) - regardless of the reason for name change (personal choice, sex change, marriage, etc). As a comparison, our article on Huckleberry Finn says the book is by Mark Twain and does not mention Samuel Clemens in the lede. I have no objections to the wording that is currently on "Switched on Bach" [23], where both the current name and previous name are used; that would correspond to "Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Samuel Clemens, writing as Mark Twain". However, just as it would be inappropriate to leave out all mention of Mark Twain in the article on Huckleberry Finn, it would be inappropriate to leave out all mention of Walter Carlos on Switched on Bach (because that name appears on the cover) or all mention of Larry Wachowski on The Matrix (because that name was listed on the credits, movie posters, etc.). I think that almost all readers will be aware that the name that appears on an artistic work is only a label, and the person's actual name may differ. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:30, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't support the proposed change, although some good points have been raised here. First, I don't believe "at the time of notability" is well-defined. Many individuals have careers that span transition, and the proposal would force us to pick one or the other on a relatively arbitrary basis. I'd prefer to pick one or another on a less arbitrary basis. Were that the only issue, though, and for me it's not, at least we could come to some sort of change for people whose notability is entirely pre-transition, etc.
In addition, in the specific case where (a) we're discussing a living person *and* (b) there's good evidence through reliable sources of the person's transition and post-transition pronoun/name usage, I oppose the proposed change more strongly. While much fuss can be made about the precision of one usage vs. another, in my view, both factors are quite minor in balance, in that I do not believe either choice will be particularly more or less confusing to the reader, some confusion is inevitable. On the other hand, some of the choices we could make here have the potential to cause unnecessary discomfort to a living person (see gender dysphoria, and also recognize that many transgendered people consider the use of pre-transition pronouns pejorative) As a result, I believe that there is some weight towards current policy per WP:BLP.
I admit to a good deal of sympathy for the idea of carving out an exception that covers Alexis Reich, but could it be that perhaps Reich is someone that I'm having trouble having any sort of a neutral point of view about, what with the child pornography, the false confessions of murder, and so on? I'd suggest that Alexis Reich is an distressingly loaded example to use in isolation for rewriting a general rule. Surely test cases such as Dee Palmer or Laura Jane Grace, who (so far at least) have largely achieved fame pre-transition, provide a more neutral ground to lay a basic groundwork? Better yet, the long list Guy Macon provided? --j⚛e deckertalk 21:03, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
To go on one other name above, the Renée Richards article reads incredibly awkwardly in spots. For instance, writing about how "she captained her tennis team at Horace Mann" strikes me as being misleading, as at that time it was split into separate schools for boys and girls and it would make it seem as if Raskind had captained the female tennis team when in fact it was the male team. Even if it were to be rewritten as "She captained the male tennis team at Horace Mann", no one can seriously convince me that sounds like good prose at all. I'm not sure if the proposed change above is the best solution (I'm still considering it), but it's these sorts of butchered attempts at working around the problem that current policy doesn't do anything about (if anything, it seems to encourage them) and really need addressing. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:28, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Oppose change. No one actually changes gender/sex. They only discover what their gender really was the whole time. Say we have an article about a country music singer named Natlee Roman. All her life she thought she was born in Memphis, and all the sources refer to her as being born in Memphis. But then she digs through her attic and finds her birth certificate and oops! She was really born in Nashville and just raised in Memphis. We should use the recent sources, even if there are fewer of them, because they have clearly proven the older sources wrong. (The older sources would still be valid for information other than Roman's birthplace.) That's what gender transition is. Chaz Bono didn't become a man; he realized that he had been mistaken in thinking that he'd ever been a woman or girl.
Even if one doesn't believe that, then it is still valid that referring to someone by his or her preferred gender is polite. So long as the article acknowledges when the change in identification took place, it will not be misleading. The example that Mincho gives above could be addressed by saying "she captained the boys' tennis team at Horace Mann."
Exceptions can and should be made for those who have faked or are suspected of faking gender transition. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:52, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Not a good analogy. Your fictitious singer's find would be meaningless to Wikipedia unless she made an announcement that got it published in secondary reliable sources. As a primary source, the birth certificate wouldn't work. You have actually just bolstered my stance. With comments like "We should use the recent sources,..." and "So long as the article acknowledges when the change in identification took place, it will not be misleading.". That is what I've been saying. Recent sources call him Mark Karr and do nothing more than footnote his post-notable identity.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:05, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
The other thing (which the Renee Richards case illustrates quite well) is that the whole gender/sex thing is way out into an ontological nightmare land which we can never, ever map out, and which really any thoughtful examination of the problem agrees that we can never properly map out. The flat statement that "[t]hey only discover what their gender really was the whole time" is endlessly contestable and contested; once one steps away from the biological reality of people with uncomplicated chromosome counts, the arguments about the reality of sexual identity go on and on and on. If Richard Raskind had never "discovered" his "true" gender, say he had been killed in a car accident early enough in life, we could have a section on his school days without all the currently misleading pronouns which would accurately depict him as a male student at a male school and that he played on the male tennis team as a young man. I find it hard to justify the current version which makes him look like a young woman on a coed or female team. Even without categories we are having a lot of trouble dealing with what is "true"; categorization, being so absolute, just makes the problem that much worse. Mangoe (talk) 14:20, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────So where do we go now? There seems to be a general feeling that this is a good idea, but I wouldn't think a policy change could be made based solely on this discussion as of writing. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:06, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I would phrase it differently, I'd say that there's a general feeling that something is (or in my case, might be) a good idea, but (and perhaps I'm involved) I don't see a consensus on a single particular proposal. And the devil is always in the details. I'm not sure if trying to come up with one or two more specific proposals first, or trying to push this discussion wider first, would be a better next step. --j⚛e deckertalk 21:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
A better way of putting it would probably be that there seems to be a sentiment that the wording should change in some capacity. Hopefully that's a bit clearer. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:26, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm open for wording suggestions. This is an attempt to solve a problem so there may be multiple solutions.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 14:07, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I've thought about it for a few days, and I honestly can't come up with anything better. Not sure whether or not this is RfC worthy, but I don't see any other suggestions forthcoming and I'm not sure where to go next. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:51, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC on capitalization[edit]

There is an open RfC at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles on the issue of capitalising the definite article when mentioning the band's name in running prose. This is a long-standing dispute that has implications for the manual of style, and the case mediators are requesting your help with determining current community consensus. Thank you for your time. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 00:01, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Advice on potential mediation, arbitration[edit]

Hi all. There has been for 13 days a content noticeboard discussion on a citations reference to a fanbase as whitetrash and hillbilly. Both Volunteers are European, with one admitting basically not having any knowledge about the offensiveness of the terms (despite the provision of links to the wiki articles) and the other asking and reasking for the cited source (after being provided it several times), and now the first volunteer is back requesting which citation stated w.t. and h.b., which is fine for the 2nd or 3rd day, not the 13th day. My concern here is if it is taking 13 days to find a linked source with two volunteers that either admit or seem not to understand the racial injection here (because of apparent cultural differences), then my next step is Mediation? (but since my request is for the deletion of two racist slurs from a about a Lakers, Knicks, Dolphins, Manchester United fanbase article is there any compromise on my part?) Arbitration, is more about editor behavior, or would 2 racial slurs being inserted in the article be enough. Marketdiamond (talk) 22:05, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

It's difficult for anyone to understand the context, and so to offer any relevant advice, without a link to the discussion in question. I must add that I am European, but have no problem understanding the offensiveness of those terms, although I had always thought of them as more classist than racist. Phil Bridger (talk) 13:31, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I think this article and related articles might provide a little more insight into how this becomes a racist slur rather than strictly something related to just social strata. Then again just reading the above referenced articles provides plenty of background. Complaints about immigrants has been a long time issue in America, and these terms do bring up long standing issues related to racial relations and the national origins of where people came from even if it is just immigrants from a different part of Europe compared to the earlier immigrants. Some times the term hillbilly is worn with pride, but it can be offensive if applied by an outsider. --Robert Horning (talk) 14:09, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Alleged sexuality[edit]

I propose that Wikipedia establish a policy that articles may not speculate that a subject was homosexual unless they admit it about themselves. It is too easy to say that "someone" was gay because people said they were. This is especially true of those who have been dead a long time, and the further back in history we go, the harder it is to prove such a claim. Wikipedia examples include articles on Moss Hart and William North, both of which I edited, but there may be a hundred others. It is appropriate to say Elton John or Neal Patrick Harris are gay because they have said so. It is inappropriate to allow such claims about historical figures simply because some obscure book says so. Several articles contain arguments among editors about a subjects alleged homosexuality; a clear Wikipedia policy limiting such claims is necessary.Catherinejarvis (talk) 22:07, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Introducing a specific rule for these instances seems unnecessary, as the existing policies on the neutrality, verification, and synthesis of content ought to preclude the addition of contentious biographical material, such as allegations of homosexuality. Given these principles or 'pillars' of the encyclopaedia, the issue is essentially just adherence and enforcement, rather than the introduction of additional policies to correct inaccuracies or misdemeanours. Mephistophelian (talk) 22:46, 17 September 2012 (UTC).
If it's just "some obscure book", then we probably would consider it to be WP:UNDUE to mention it. But if it's a major area of scholarly discussion, e.g., Eleanor Roosevelt, then it would be equally inappropriate to omit it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:41, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Or Alexander the Great, or Leonardo da Vinci, or Abraham Lincoln, or James Buchanan, or Richard I... Point of fact: it's not the articles that speculate, but rather reliable sources that speculate, and articles just summarize these scholarly debates and arguments. We are not going to omit it because we don't like historians' focus or interpretations. On the other hand, if you have a legitimate quibble with exactly what the sources do say that are cited in a Wikipedia article (as it looks like you may in the Moss Hart and William North articles), existing rules already deal with that and your proposed rule would be overbroad and not target that problem. That's simply a matter of ordinary verifiability and original research: we do not go beyond what sources state or support. postdlf (talk) 01:13, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Alarming policy on Sources that should be addressed.[edit]

Hi, I was just over at Wikipedia: Citing Sources and I noticed something rather disturbing. Under "Preventing and Repairing Dead Links" The fifth item lists this.

"Remove hopelessly lost web-only sources: If the source material does not exist offline, and if there is no archived version of the webpage (be sure to wait ~24 months), and if you are unable to find another copy of the material, then the dead citation should be removed and the material it supports should be regarded as unverifiable. If it is material that is specifically required by policy to have an inline citation, then please consider tagging it with [citation needed]. It may be helpful to future editors if you move the citation to the talk page with an explanation." This is rather disturbing as sooner or later all links will go bad, and we can't always count on the Internet Wayback Machine, to be there. Essentially if that site goes down this policy is saying that all dead link citations would have to be removed, which would be a disaster for this project. I propose we change this policy to better protect the future of Wikipedia.

I propose we amend the policy to state that if links are hopelessly dead that they can remain, after all if all copies of a book were lost that wouldn't necessarily mean that all the info in it is then useless.

I don't know I just really feel this policy could be problematic for the future.

--Deathawk (talk) 07:27, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Funny, I've been worried about the same thing ever since I started here. My only thought was that the Wiki archive the web sources to protect content, similar to the commons. But, I have no idea of what might be involved as far as resources or legally. Or, let the Wiki evolve with the Internet. -- :- ) Don 08:19, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Presumably, any change should adequately address the issue of plagiarism as well as verifiability. --Boson (talk) 08:43, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Is it even a plagerism issue? If you cite something in MLA, Chicago what-have-you, it's valid. It shouldn't matter how easy or hard it is to retrieve the source the point is you got it once and you told people where and when. --Deathawk (talk) 09:07, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Plagiarism is an editor level issue, and also a medium term one, as in the long run all the things that are in copyright will enter the public domain. I'd be rather more worried as to whether the information is true and fair. If the dead link was added by an editor whose other work was plagiarism/hoax free then we should assume goodfaith. If their other contemporary work included plagiarism or worse then it would be safest to treat the deadlink as the same. If it was done by an account that did little or nothing else on the project then presumably the risk is the same as similar one off edits by IPs and accounts that only made a handful of edits, but whose work survived as long. Once we've dealt with any where there is a significant risk then it seems to me to be perverse to remove such deadlinks. ϢereSpielChequers 10:00, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
As I see it, citation serves (or may serve) two purposes:
  • it allows verification of the statement made
  • it provides attribution, thus crediting the original author.
If the current wording says to remove a citation that is no longer suitable for verification purposes (without simultaneously removing the text that it was meant to verify), it is also (in most cases) telling you to remove the attribution, possibly resulting in plagiarism. In my view, WP:PLAGIARISM would only permit the removal of a citation where it is not required for attribution. Not having access to the original may make it even more difficult to decide that attribution is unnecessary. So the current wording would appear (to me) to violate WP:PLAGIARISM. I am not talking about copyright. --Boson (talk) 12:06, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

There are cases where it is justified to remove a citation: where it is used to justify (subtle) vandalism. I have seen many cases like this -- often pointing to irrelevant or random sources which have nothing to do with the subject at hand, never mind the statement to be supported. When I come across these, I replace them with a "Citation Needed." In one case (that I know of, the editor in question provided a citation that was behind a paywall. I took the the trouble and expense to pay for the information ($12 just for the one piece cited) but it contained no reference whatsoever relating to the statements in the article -- or even to the article itself. pietopper (talk) 13:04, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

If one can locate the material and find it has nothing to do with the statement it was purported to support, then of course it can be removed. Then the remaining statement can be dealt with: leave it if it is obvious, mark it with {{citation needed}} for a while then delete it, find a suitable source, or just delete it. But if you can't find the source, the the only way to avoid plagiarism is to remove the statement and write a new statement based on new sources. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:38, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes. All that is clear and makes sense. What is not clear, is what *successful* recourse there is against editors who deliberately and (presumably) maliciously create citations that lead nowhere, are totally irrelevant and just waste everybody's time -- besides damaging the credibility and usefulness of WP pietopper (talk) 17:59, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
This is necessary to comply with our main sourcing policies, which require that the source not only have (allegedly) existed at the time it was added, but also that it be accessible (somehow) now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:08, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I think the critical part here is web-only meaning the source doesn't exist in printed form or recorded as audio or video anywhere. Most of our reliable sources today will have a non-web original (print, audio, video). Of course there are reliable sources that are web-only and a simple soultion would be for some type of archive (library/university/etc.) to print and store them somewhere. Though, this isn't very realistic and would get more and more difficult in the future. We should be doing something to prepare for this issue if we want to maintain our reliability, (talk) 22:43, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
That may be true for some subjects such as Aincient Rome or Mozart but for other things it's quite the oppisite. For instance, I would consider myself on the Video Game beat and IGN and Gamasutra are the two big go to sources on that front-both are online only. In fact in this day and age when print media is dying, it seems that quite a few subjects only appear online. --Deathawk (talk) 03:51, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
From a statistical point of view, let's assume that 70% of the current references are from the web. Every year no matter what, a certain percentage of those are going to disappear without being replaced. Therefore, in order to maintain the existing content, the percentage of web references will have to decrease and off-web references increase or the articles will gradually erode away. -- :- ) Don 00:24, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

I think it should absolutely stay in the policy. We should never be in the position of telling our readers, "Trust us on this." If we can't point our readers to a verifiable source, then we're not a serious reference work. That said, archives exist for exactly this reason. Haven't some editors looked into having a bot crawl every link on Wikipedia and manually archiving them? Did anything ever come of that? Someguy1221 (talk) 03:59, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Link rot has some bots listed which do exactly that kind of work, though some of them have gone dormant. --Jayron32 04:23, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • This didn't used to be the policy, it used to be policy to leave the material in the article with the source because it may eventually re-surface. We had the opinion that our readers would evaluate how much to trust information sourced to a dead link. I do wonder, however, about the feasibility of a hard-copy archive of all cited web-pages. What sort of funding would be required, would it be a worthwhile university project? Hiding T 11:04, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
    • It was discussed extensively a year or two ago, when we discovered that we were giving contradictory advice, and some editors thought that dead URLs were good excuses to remove refs (even to hard-copy sources) ASAP. NB that is says to wait ~24 months in case the material resurfaces, which ought to be long enough for your "eventually". The re-appearance rate after two years is negligible. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

IMO that policy should not exist. Most old web pages can be accessed via wayback etc.. This is not to say that a dead link necessarily counts as sourcing or sufficient sourcing, but that can be decided elsewhere. North8000 (talk) 11:33, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

This advice is explicitly about what to do when the web page cannot be accessed via wayback. That's why it says "if there is no archived version of the webpage". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

I should make it clear that I have no problem with replacing dead links with newer ones that state the same thing (as long as the info is updated accordingly.) The thing is many things in a web-connected world will only appear once and never again. Again this is not a problem for subjects such as history, however for subjects like video games and even some current events it could be next to impossible to find new sources for such info. --Deathawk (talk) 00:32, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

In which case they are effectively unverifiable. Such ephemera is not much different than saying I think heard someone say once "...". OTOH, I hesitate to remove indications of where details came from for purposes of attribution, but unverifiable is unverifiable and should be removed if challenged and no other reliable sources can be found. olderwiser 02:08, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
The problem with this attitude is that the information was there. It would be like citing an unpublished paper that unfortunately was subsequently destroyed. I get the point you are sort of saying here that it isn't verifiable, but at the same time it is a valid point mentioned above that perhaps some way of archiving these pages that are used for bona fide sources could happen as well. Certainly provides a valuable source for such link (assuming that the ROBOTS.txt file of the original website permits such archiving). At the very least some sort of effort should happen to at least try and see if perhaps the link has moved to another URL or can be found in some sort of network archive. Simply stating "oops, can't access the page any more.... time to delete the link" is something I think is flat out wrong. That is just as bad as a common vandal and indeed I view it as a form of vandalism on this wiki. At the very least, links and content removed in this way certainly could be transferred to the talk page in hopes that some future editor might be able to find the content in another URL and restore that content again. There are other options which could be applied when this situation happens. --Robert Horning (talk) 02:42, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I have a couple of random thoughts on this topic.
  • I tend to take the middle road regarding dead links: The proper thing to do when one finds a dead link is to, before removing it, make a good faith effort to locate the source. Presumably, when it existed it verified the information. However, if no good-faith search turns up a replacement source, then the information is no longer verifiable. It doesn't matter that for a 6 month period five years ago it was verifiable, if it won't ever be again until the heat death of the universe. So yes, we should make every possible effort to replace the link, but recognizing that it can't be replaced is also sometimes necessary.
  • That being said, if some supposedly important piece of information is only referencable to a single web source on the Internet which is so ephemeral that it disappears after a few years then never comes back again, and which has no print source, or other online source, at all, then perhaps that little factoid didn't belong in the first place. WP:UNDUE makes it clear that we shouldn't be including points-of-view that are so minor that even mentioning them throws the article off; including information that only exists in one such ephemeral place seems to meet that definition in spades. It would be like referencing something to a newsletter or zine that only had 100 copies and then existed nowhere else. If the source was that ephemeral, maybe it wasn't that reliable in the first place, and if the "fact" was only availible at that one source, maybe it wasn't that relevent of a "fact" to begin with. --Jayron32 03:09, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I think if we look at all the arguments so far it seems that there are valid reasons on both sides on what action should be taken if a site were to go down. The problematic thing is that, right now we have a policy right now that point blank tells people to delete a source if it's not able to be found. Can we all agree that this wording should be changed so that it isn't so black and white? --Deathawk (talk) 04:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Changing the policy to permit this sort of thing would be pointless, as such material would still violate the verifiability policy. And I mostly agree with Jayron's second point on this, I think I even put something to that effect on my userpage years ago. If some fact is so insignificant that no mention of it can be found in any existing reliable source, it probably doesn't belong on Wikipedia. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:06, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

I think that some folks are conflating two completely different questions:

  1. Whether or not a dead link reference can count as meeting the verifiability requirement
  2. Whether or not to delete dead link references

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 14:18, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

I wish it were not the case, but in a few instances where I tracked down the original material, I found the link never supported the claims made for it in the first place. As a result, I tend to think discretion requires that "really most sincerely dead" links ought to be removed. If the information was only to be found in that one place in the first place, we ought not assume the claim to be well-supported. Important stuff should be noted by at least one other source, no? Collect (talk) 15:32, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

I think that is valid, but I also would like to be sure that users make a good faith effort to track down a second source. I would be whole-heartedly opposed to any user who removed, without making any effort to check, any dead links and the statements they support en masse. That sort of stuff happens all the time: A user uses a policy to overreach, and starts uncritically making a whole lot of rapid changes, and ends up pointing to a policy like this saying "I can do this because it says I can, nanny nanny boo boo" or whatever. Yes, I agree that truly dead links which were really the sole existing reference for a "fact" need to be removed, along with what they support, and that many of those "facts" probably didn't belong in the first place, if they were only linked to a single ephemeral source. I said as much above. However, it is important for anyone who removes such a "fact" to first establish that to be the case. If it is trivially easy to replace a dead link with a good reference, that should be done preferentially to just removing it. --Jayron32 15:39, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
That's why it says you may removal the dead link "if you are unable to find another copy of the material," not just if you want to be lazy. In fact, stopping people from removing dead links the minute the problem is discovered is one of the main reasons we re-wrote this section a while ago. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:00, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Coming at it from the other end, though, it is possible that other sources don't widely cover facts because they are already covered in Wikipedia. It is also possible that people source the fact from Wikipedia, and when the link dies we source from them, thus creating a circle which loses the original source. I think it is of some importance that we have some record of these sources beyond having to search through the archives. I think perhaps it is worth tweaking the policy to stress that the citation be placed on the talk page as standard practice, rather than helpfully hinting that to be a good idea. Hiding T 16:28, 7 September 2012 (UTC)


It occurs to me to mention webcite, which I assume we all know and use, but on the off chance we don't I'll put it on the radar. I don;t know if it would be possible to build a bot which could read a reference, extract the url and submit and then extract the archival page and add it to the reference, but it is rather more simple for humans. It would be a worthy goal if everyone in this conversation ran through their watchlist and performed this useful task, wouldn't it? Hiding T 12:26, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Going back to an idea I posited a while back it might be a worthy effort of the Foundation (Wiki, not Asimov) to create it's own archive similar to the commons. This could be done independently or maybe in association with a company like Google. At this time we are depending on newspapers, magazines, etc. to maintain a perpetual archive so that we may maintain a perpetual Wiki, A Library of Alexandria... The Library at Wikipedia. -- :- ) Don 15:21, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
The policy is fine as is, as noted, if it cannot be resourced it is not terribly likely to be necessary to the encyclopedia anyway; although OTH I have seen numerous cases where dead links and the content they supported was removed without any effort at locating a new source, which is very poor practice. I have restored content with new sourcing which has taken me a trivial amount of effort to locate. Regarding archives, we have the entire history of every article. Our server bill is high enough as it is; we run on charity, and increasing our servers by whatever factor is necessary to replicate data which is already available on current servers seems like a very poor ROI to me. One puppy's opinion. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:44, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I may be wrong but I think Dcshank is talking about a hard-copy archive, something that has struck me as well. It would be an endeavour worthy of support. Hiding T 16:24, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Dead tree? I'm not sure I follow you. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:26, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I certainly don't understand your question. Let me try again and see if we get there! My idea, which I am presupposing is the same as Dcshank's, is of some worthy institution which makes hard copies of all websites cited on Wikipedia and archives them, some University funded by some large corporation, perhaps. There has to be some value in that to the institution. The value to Wikipedia, of course, would be immense, no more worry of dead links! Hiding T 16:32, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I also said, "I have no idea of what might be involved as far as resources or legally." I know it will not be free, but I don't think we should kill trees for it. I think hard drives have a lesser carbon footprint. They just ain't as cheap -- :- ) Don 18:28, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I can say that a bot can do this - we had a case in the video game project where a reliable source was going dark and taking its site with it in like 5 days. We got a bot operator to look for all links to that site, webcite them and add in the archiveurl + date, well before the site was shuttered. --MASEM (t) 16:43, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Hello Masem! That's very useful to know. Do we know who the bot operator was, or if it is possible to do this on a wider scale? Hiding T 16:50, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
HEre was our bot request : Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/AnomieBOT 60 (Which was approved of course). A large scale is likely not a problem technically, but I believe the issue has been addressed numerous times (like, for example, after an article has passed FA) and I think there starts to be a copyright problem here in that automatic cacheing of papers on website could be a potential issue, but I can't find those discussions. --MASEM (t) 16:58, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Note the actual archiving was done by a different user, all AnomieBOT did was update articles based on the existence of archive links. Anomie 19:23, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Here's one solution I'll mention mw:Extension:ArchiveLinks which is a bit of MediaWiki software that would have the system automatically submit references to an archive such as WebCite or the Internet Archive. Perhaps this should be implemented on Wikipedia to resolve this dead link issue. (talk) 17:11, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like the perfect solution to me. -- :- ) Don 00:24, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Who wants to talk to the boss about trying this out? -- :- ) Don 01:11, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Which boss would that be? Raising the issue here on this talk page is sufficient. Debating the copyright issues of routinely caching articles used as sources is certainly something that could happen, but otherwise the Wikipedia policy is to just do it and then report back after some action has happened. Major changes in Wikipedia happened because something like this was simply tried. If you are talking about the Byzantine politics of the MediaWiki developers and implementing something like this automatically by default with the MediaWiki software through an extension, submit a Bugzilla request and then put on a flame suit or be prepared to have the idea shot down hard. Even very good ideas are routinely rejected, simply because nobody wants to bother implementing the idea. --Robert Horning (talk) 19:50, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeap, already been there done that once. "Is it possible to ...?" "NO, and don't ask again." I will some investigating and chatting to find out what I can find out. -- :- ) Don 20:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Hey I'm the developer of Archive Links. Right now the project has been kind of languishing, but it needs a security review and a few other things before it can be launched on the English Wikipedia. It is currently mostly working but needs more work before you could launch it wiki wide. The route we were exploring had to do with partnering with the Internet Archive (the people behind and having them as the primary archive service. This would relieve the wikimedia foundation of any legal liability arising from archive content and let someone who arguably has more experience than anyone else take over in this area. --Kevin Brown (talk) 23:59, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
One way to avoid the possible copyright issue is to only do the auto-webcite when 1) the article passes one of the various metrics we have for articles - FA, GA, change of A, B, C-class assessment, being on DYK or ITN, is kept after an AFD, etc. or 2) when a user requests it. The former can be tied to the bot that updates ArticleHistory routinely and while there's a lot of these, these assessment point don't happen often to make the approach wear down Webcite or whatever service we want. Alternatively, an "archive please" tag manually added on the talk page is also an easy shortcut that I would expect any editor worried about links doing dead would otherwise do manually. --MASEM (t) 19:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Would not WikiSource be the place to archive this information? -- :- ) Don 13:10, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Cached or archived versions of web pages are still subject to copyright; any Wikimedia Foundation approved site much adhere to the free content mission, and this would certainly be against that. --MASEM (t) 14:00, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • It doesn't necessarily need to be something directly affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation and certainly not a sister project. Something like this could be done in conjunction with the Internet Archive (which doesn't seem to have any qualms about archiving old web pages that may be subject to copyright). If the actual archiving was done somewhere else and the only role Wikipedia had in the whole endeavor was to simply provide scholarly links to the archiving service, I don't see where the Wikimedia Foundation would even have a problem. As for Wikisource as a venue, it works as long as the copyright has expired or otherwise meets the goals of that project (including content available under the GFDL, CC-by-SA, or other similar open content licenses). If you are trying to reference something that has passed into the public domain, it is indeed a resource that should be cited from Wikisource. Unfortunately nothing from the web will enter the public domain through copyright expiration for another 60 years if not much longer (depending on changes in copyright legislation). --17:58, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Should bot created stubs be labeled, "Created by bot," or some such[edit]

Discussion at Bot owners' noticeboard. - (talk) 01:24, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Input needed at RfC about the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard process[edit]

Input is welcome at an RfC about the DRN process. The RfC concerns the list of DRN volunteers, and whether the DRN process should treat them specially. --Noleander (talk) 01:02, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

About Sensitive IP Address[edit]

I think sensitive address should include Cleanfeed Server ONLY.And the IP address about governmental organizations should be REMOVED from the list!Because the IP of governmental organizations SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY PRIVILEGE! --Wangjinting (talk) 16:59, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

It isn't that they have any special privilage. It's that pragmatically, if we block government IP addresses, it often tends to generate bad press. Government IP addresses are not given extra lattitude before they are blocked, AFAIK, but we are required to notify The Foundation when we do so, so they can handle the inevitable damage control that comes with such things. --Jayron32 17:13, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
if we block government IP addresses, it often tends to generate bad press -- For us, or for them?
damage control -- What would the potential damage entail for Wikipedia? A drop in donations? -- (talk) 01:18, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Answer 1) For the Wikimedia Foundation. Answer 2) Not all damage is financial. The Foundation has an interest in maintaining the reputation of Wikipedia broadly speaking. --Jayron32 11:51, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Government IPs can be blocked just like any other IP, the only requirement is to notify the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Committee and to exercise caution when choosing a duration. If you read the actual page, it is clear about this. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 17:15, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Bird names[edit]

This is a notice of discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (capitalization)#Proposal - bird names. This is merely a clerical issue to add a note that bird names for their English name capitalize all words (not preceded by a dash), such as Black-headed Lapwing. This is not a policy change. Current policy states that there is a proposal at Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds to do that, and is exactly what has been done for all bird articles. Apteva (talk) 17:56, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

The Right To Edit; WHO Is The Authority??[edit]

I only just received an email message listed as from the "Wikipaedia 'Editor'" calling my linguistic, semantical, theory of proof, and logic revisions to the "Wikipaedia 'article' TENSOR" vandalism. I ASK WHY?? Furthermore, I ASK WHO?? I currently am a member of a number of "Leading Authority In The World" mathematics and computational sciences colloquia that meet regularly addressing topical and important issues from research mathematics throughout New York City. One is the NUMBER THEORY SEMINAR which rotates between the COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, CITY UNIVERSITY of NEW YORK Graduate Center, and the NEW YORK UNIVERSITY "COURANT INSTITUTE" institutions such being the leading mathematics centers in the world. I also am a member of the COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY "Minerva Lectures", "The Applied Mathematics Colloquia", and the Physics Department's "Large Scale Deep Space Telepscope Data Collection and Assessment" meeting group which uses advanced mathematics tools to model and represent star information from the very depths of outer space.

I learned logic, proof theory, linguistic analysis, and semantical construction from such world class authorities as Wistar Comfort[encrypted topologies & proof theory], Fred Linton[logic & proof theory], Herve Jaquet[differential geometries & analytic geometry], Dorian Goldfeld[number theory & encrypted topology], Joan Birman[encrypted topology & proof theory], Gregor Oshansky [Markov chain topology & semantical analysis], Kathryn Johnston[large scale deep space data collection & evaluation], Seeley Fu[linguistic analysis], and Louis Quintas[proof theory & data assessment]. All these individuals are the very leading sources in their fields and have been so for many, many, many years. I have been a member of the New York Academy of Sciences Mathematics and Computing Section since first becoming a member circe 1983 or so.

I myself served as a large scale computational sciences data expert while doing FDA patient assessment and evaluation project approvals at the Purdue Frederick Company's medical research division in South Norwalk, Connecticut and as a computational sciences statistics and database design and creation expert at Nabisco Brands HQ World Research located in Wilton, Connecticut. I was also the programming and computational sciences large scale data processing expert on the team which created General Electric's first commercially successful Computer Assisted Tomographic technology now used successfully for many years worldwide. The same exact programming and data processing methods and technologies were also implemented for GE's Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Nuclear MRI, Functional MRI, and Positron Emission Tomographic technologies. I am honored to say the work of my small hands has now saved hundreds of thousands amounting rapidly into the millions of lives worldwide since my efforts circe 1980.

I also served as the State Of VERMONT Chapter Chairperson for the ASSOCIATION for COMPUTING MACHINERY for several years during the mid 1980's. I have been a member of MENSA since the 1960's. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ely306B (talkcontribs) 08:03, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

I do not feel I "vandalized" the TENSOR Wikipaedia article. Using customary and soundly accepted methods of logic, proof theory, and linguistic and semantical analysis and review, I corrected the TENSOR article to a better, more easily read and understood, and clearer and more precise statement about and supporting TENSORS. Should anyone wish to discuss, argue about, or otherwise challenge my contention that I improved the TENSOR article highly, please feel free to contact me directly at <> theresoto for an opportunity to schedule a conversation within possibly one of the above named meetings, colloquia, or sessions or at a monthly New York Academy of Sciences Mathematics and Computing Sectional meeting, or as a presented and scheduled event through my personal and private not for profit 501(c)(3) charitable foundation based in the City of New York in Manhattan Borough called the FRANCES YORK CHARITABLE TRUST ENDOWMENT which is named after my indomitable and loving Grandmother, Frances Belford Poland York, and yes, that is the same YORK as Fergy's and Andrew's YORK Duchy, England, UK, her and my heritage tracing its roots back about 1,000 years.

I do not take lightly having my efforts and work called "vandalism". As a world authority on logic, proof theory, and linguistic and semantical analysis of mathematics statements, I am open to honest and honorable discussions, differences of opinion, fair argument, and likewise when reviewing mathematics statements and presentations. Such as they only help to advance sound wisdom and egalitarian colleagual discourse. But blind comments to the nature of "vandalism" only decrease the elegance and beauty of honorable mathematics creation, endowment, and precision.

At the time of the CAT and MRI efforts my name was Linda Milliguay. I was born Linda Frances Miller. I used the name for about 20 years, Catherine Felicitas, recognizing an affiliation with the Roman Catholic clerical order, the Ancient Order of Carmel[3rd Order]. My name ELYAS FRAENKEL ISAACS was designated after months of deep catechetical research and analysis looking at the theopolitical foundations of my person, name, and works.

Thank you for contacting me regarding your interests on how I improved the TENSOR article. Annotated 12 September 2012 at Manhattan, New York, USA at 3:33AM EDT. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ely306B (talk • Dr. Elyas Fraenkel Isaacs 07:58, 12 September 2012 (UTC) contribs) 07:49, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Without commenting in depth, a few things come to mind:
  • Any user can message you, and that user does not represent this website or anyone on this website save for himself. That is what happened here.
  • Users misuse the term vandalism - it happens all the time, and that's what happened here. Here, I've even written an essay on it: Wikipedia:Most people who disagree with you on content are not vandals. Speaking for Wikipedia (this time), I can say I'm truly sorry for any misrepresentations that occured.
  • You might try to discuss the issue at Talk:Tensor. If that fails, there are other methods of dispute resolution that the community could help you with if you were to ask us, say at the help desk.
Magog the Ogre (t c) 08:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
It's worth noting that whilst some of your edits might well be improvements, your mangling of links and names - Pais to Paris, for example, or Hermann Grassmann to Hermanne Grassmann, or Goodstein to Guudstein - fly in the face of the accepted and verifiable spellings. So. If you're feeling a little rejected, you perhaps have only yourself to blame. --Tagishsimon (talk) 08:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
After glancing at the history of the Tensor article, it seems that JohnBlackburne, Slawekb, TimothyRias, and Quondum agree that the overwhelming majority of your alterations are unnecessary, mistaken, unexplained, or otherwise nonsensical. Divulging personal details, capitalising your qualifications for emphasis, and lecturing others on your accomplishments are wholly inconsequential if there is a consensus of editors that your contributions are unconstructive. Mephistophelian (talk) 08:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC).
Ely306B, your comment here demonstrates a lack of understanding of what Wikipedia is, how it works, and how to use it. It would help tremendously if you would read some of the introductory material such as some of the links posted to your talk page. Another good place to start would be Wikipedia:Introduction. In particular, please learn to sign your comments using 4 tildes (~~~~) and learn how to use talk pages (Help:Using talk pages). Once you have a better understanding of the mechanics of editing, then learning the Wikipedia:Five pillars is a good next step to learn what Wikipedia is. The enormous appeal to authority you wrote above does not carry weight regarding edits. Using Reliable sources is the best way to defend edits. I have glanced at your edits. They consisted largely of unnecessary (and sometimes puzzling) grammar changes. You also pepper in what appear to be blatant mistakes such as changing the name "David" to "Dovid". As such, it was perfectly reasonable that your edits were called disruptive. It's not a big deal. Many users experience "growing pains" when they first start editing and it's no reason to get dispirited. Jason Quinn (talk) 12:29, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the Authority is what comes out of following Wikipedia policy and procedure, including judgements made by higher ranking editors, - and that may differ from what one or several leading experts say.33gsd (talk) 18:36, 21 September 2012 (UTC)