Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 99

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Fact sheet, a new type of article

I originally posted the proposal here but VPR (not VPP) is more appropriate. I'm still leaving this pointer because here the proposal may impinge on our Wikipedia:NOTSTATS policy. Tijfo098 (talk) 06:48, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Guideline status for file renaming?

Please see the "Guideline status for the What files should be renamed section" section of WT:FMV for an RFC. Right now, WP:FMV (a help page) has a list of situations in which files should and should not be renamed; the issue is whether this list should be moved to WP:IFN (a guideline page) or remain where it is. I've created the RFC at the help page instead of the guideline because there's already an unrelated RFC running at the guideline's talk, and it would be confusing for there to be two RFCs on the same talk page at the same time. Nyttend (talk) 02:14, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Censorship for Politicians ?

I have noticed certain articles about politicians getting the Royal Treatment:"King can do no wrong". All "criticism sections" on these politicians have been censored by reverting.

a partial list of these Articles:

do we allow one-sided articles on Wikipedia ? don't these articles violate WP:NPOV ? --Ne0 (talk) 08:00, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

No, but you want the WP:NPOVN for this. —Cupco 08:21, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Before going to WP:NPOVN you should simply discuss the issues on the talk pages of the articles involved, but please note that if you add unsourced or YouTube-sourced content, or content about the subject's ancestor or friend rather than about the actual subject, then it is quite acceptable for other editors to revert without discussion. Phil Bridger (talk) 08:35, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, moving it in there. --Ne0 (talk) 09:13, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

copyright of text and images

OK, Here's a fun question. Say we've got an image of _text_. And say the image itself is fine other than the claim that capturing the text is a copyright violation of the author's words. So thus it's not a free image. Is the bar for keeping the image of the text higher than that of keeping the text (as a quote) itself? Seems like a weird situation. I'm not really sure that any step along the way makes sense. I imagine this has come up before so I'm looking for any guidance.

The discussion that prompted this is here. I'm not sure that A) minus the text this image would actually be free under the US FoP laws. B) that _if_ it would otherwise be free the capturing of the text changes that and C) if the image _were_ otherwise free other than the text exactly what the bar for keeping it would be. Same bar we use for quotes? Same bar we use for images? Any thoughts about the general or specific case welcome. I wasn't sure where to post this, so went with the broadest place I could think of. I'll link to it from other places that might be more on-target. Hobit (talk) 16:54, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

The manner in which the text is reproduced, AFAIK, doesn't effect whether or not it is a copyright violation. If I copy the text by taking a photograph of it, or if I copy it by typing it out myself, it is still a copy, and the copyright of the image is still encumbered by the original copyright on the text. Though User:Moonriddengirl may be the best person to ask regarding this. --Jayron32 17:02, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. But we are a LOT more liberal (at least in practice) with non-free text than we are with non-free images. Hobit (talk) 17:08, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
[citation needed]. We are? --Jayron32 17:20, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
WP:NFCC talks partially about "non-free content" and partially about "files" or "media". It is clear that WP:NFCC#10 only refers to files (since textual quotations don't have file information pages), but points 1-9 don't specifically refer to files. I'm not sure how people handle fair use of text; I'm mainly looking at file use. See also WP:NFCC#3b: you're not supposed to use an entire work, but the image uses the entire literary work. Every single word is included in the image. --Stefan2 (talk) 17:39, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)AFAIK there is no equivalent to the fair use rationale image tagging requirements that applies to quoted text. There is also not nearly the same level of oversight and review for fair use quotes as there are for images. So while policy doesn't say we are more lenient, in practice we are. Text is largely a gray area unless it gets reported as a cv. Monty845 17:42, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, it does though. Quoting text needs to be done for the proper reasons, and done the proper way. If an entire article consists of nothing except text copied from somewhere else it is deleted, or if the Wikipedia article contains the entire text of a copyrighted work, it should be removed. Wikipedia is a big place, and stuff does get missed occasionally, but we're supposed to delete invalid uses of copyrighted material no matter their format or type. If it gets missed, it isn't because we aren't trying in earnest to stop it. --Jayron32 18:02, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Jayron, your absolutely right from a policy standpoint, and egregious cases are promptly dealt with, and in the case of new articles we have good mechanisms to detect and deal with them. However I don't think we are doing a very good job policing quotes generally (in older articles), for instance we could require a talk page NFCC/Fair use tag on the article talk page for every quote, or at least every quote over a certain de minimis length and then could have tools that searched for quotes the lacked rationales. We certainly don't have as many people searching specifically for longstanding violations like we do for fair use images. Monty845 18:23, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
That's just a fault of the fact that we have people who have voluntarily chosen one over the other. Wikipedia has better articles about hurricanes than it does about Kings of Portugal, but that is only because we (arbitrarily and coincidentally) have editors who are passionate about and knowledgable about hurricanes, and work dilligently to see that hurricane articles are well written. As no one has, yet, displayed a similar level of passion and expertise about Portuguese monarchs, that area of Wikipedia is of a lower quality. That doesn't mean that Wikipedia doesn't value that as a subject. Its the same thing here: if there are more copyvios in text than in pictures, it isn't for want of trying, its just that this is a volunteer organization, and as we depend on volunteers to do what they care about, we can't declare that something gets fixed by fiat; we can't shuffle resources around merely based on the seriousness of the problem. So yes, if copyvios are worse in text than in pictures, it doesn't necessarily mean how Wikipedia is supposed to work, and most importantly, it doesn't mean that if you are made aware of a text-based copyvio you are to treat it more leniently. What you are supposed to do is to treat it in exactly the same manner. --Jayron32 18:32, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
One alternative that doesn't seem to be used often enough, and would avoid any disagreement about whether we should host content, is simply to ask copyright holders whether they would be prepared to release material under a free licence. In the case of the image that prompted this discussion I would imagine that if you got through to right people at Arlington County (i.e. the PR department rather than the legal department) they would be more than happy for this text to be disseminated freely. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:18, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

ITN/R discussion

Following a debate over on WP:ITN/C which deals with an item that features on the front page, I have opened a debate at Wikipedia_talk:In_the_news/Recurring_items#Remove_All-Ireland_Senior_Football_Championship to discuss whether a specific item should be removed from the WP:ITN/R list. This list features those events which will make it to the front page regardless, as they're deemed important/notable enough not to go through a formal debate process. doktorb wordsdeeds 17:13, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Title changes and Template:movenotice

{{Movenotice}} has been nominated for deletion based on the premise that:
1). there's "no consensus-for" its use
2). it's misused when tagged without placing {{Requested move}} on the talk page and opening an RM
3). it clutters up its own Category:Proposed moves instead of Category:Requested_moves
4). article moves are of no concern to "readers" and it's up to "editors" (ie those who hang out at WP:RM) to decide what's best
5). it's an "editor-facing" template and only serves to clutter up the article

- in practice, it was used in conjunction with the talk page template and every move discussion i've seen involved both templates
- it's needed to draw input on potentially controversial title changes, and no, IPs and new users are not "discounted from polls"
- moves are similar to splits/mergers/deletion in that it affects the scope and availability of information within the article
- not all "editors" hang out at WP:RM and check talk pages for a (potentially) appropriately titled section
- this kind of elitism is contrary to our principles. we should be encouraging participation (and by extension an increase in "editors"). Editing article space is not a requirement.

I'm posting this here since it's been "cleaned up" from all articles[1] there's nothing to draw additional input. I've only chanced upon the TfD from the list at WP:Template messages/Moving. I propose we establish consensus on its appropriate use in article moves. Skullers (talk) 19:03, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

in practice, it was used in conjunction with the talk page template and every move discussion i've seen involved both templates
In practice, it was used in a small percentage of move requests (something like 10%) when editors arbitrarily decided to insert it (not in exceptional cases or those meeting certain criteria).
it's needed to draw input on potentially controversial title changes, and no, IPs and new users are not "discounted from polls"
I agree that the claim to which you're referring is too broad; responses from new and unregistered users aren't necessarily discounted.
As for the need to generate participation, we have to draw the line somewhere, and disagreement about where is inevitable.
We all agree, I presume, that certain templates belong in articles and certain templates belong on their talk pages. Historically, consensus has been that such determinations are made based on the templates' utility to non-editors. If a tag supplies information that a non-editor is likely to find useful, it goes in the article. Otherwise, it goes on the talk page. That way, we avoid filling articles with irrelevant clutter that merely distracts/confuses a vast majority of readers.
Some examples (such as cleanup tags in articles and WikiProject banners on talk pages) are fairly obvious, while others (such as move tags and merger tags) are more debatable.
When the matter was discussed years ago, some editors argued that merger tags should go on talk pages. But because they assist readers in general (by pointing them to related/overlapping material), it was decided to place them in articles.
Conversely, consensus has been that move tags are useful strictly to editors, so they go on the talk page. Is this decision sacrosanct? No, of course not. The community can reconsider the matter and determine that an article template should be used (either in all instances or in certain ones). But that has yet to occur, so the template should be deleted (with the understanding that it can be recreated if consensus for its use is established).
moves are similar to splits/mergers/deletion in that it affects the scope and availability of information within the article
As I noted at the TfD listing, the template doesn't indicate a proposed change in scope (which isn't an element of most moves and can occur without a move). I asked (and you haven't explained) why you aren't you arguing for the creation of a tag advertising a proposed change in scope.
not all "editors" hang out at WP:RM and check talk pages for a (potentially) appropriately titled section
And most Wikipedia users interested in a particular subject won't happen to view its article when the move request is in progress.
No matter what we do, only a small segment of potential participants will reach the discussion. We need to balance the need to advertise it with the needs of readers, most of whom have no interest in such matters.
this kind of elitism is contrary to our principles. we should be encouraging participation (and by extension an increase in "editors").
As I noted at the TfD listing, it isn't elitism. Indeed, anyone can edit. But most readers choose not to. This isn't about punishing them or deeming them inferior; it's about respecting and accommodating their preference by providing encyclopedia articles that aren't cluttered with irrelevant distractions.
A Wikimedia Foundation survey showed that at least 94% of Wikipedia readers have never edited Wikipedia content, and "the most prominent reason for not editing was readers feeling happy with simply reading the articles."
Yes, we want to recruit new editors, but we need to respect the wishes of those who prefer to simply read encyclopedia articles. —David Levy 21:29, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
In practice, it was used in a small percentage of move requests (something like 10%)
Citation needed. Every move discussion I've ever noted involved both, and that's because of this template, not reading talk pages or hanging out at WP:RM.
If a tag supplies information that a non-editor is likely to find useful, it goes in the article. Otherwise, it goes on the talk page. That way, we avoid filling articles with irrelevant clutter that merely distracts/confuses a vast majority of readers.
Most editors are mere readers of most articles they read. Doesn't mean it's of no concern for those reading them without editing.
As I noted at the TfD listing, the template doesn't indicate a proposed change in scope (which isn't an element of most moves and can occur without a move). I asked (and you haven't explained) why you aren't you arguing for the creation of a tag advertising a proposed change in scope.
I don't see how you can possibly say that. An explicit change of scope can not occur without a change of title.
And most Wikipedia users interested in a particular subject won't happen to view its article when the move request is in progress. No matter what we do, only a small segment of potential participants will reach the discussion.
The same is true for deletion tags, yet we place them on articles.
A Wikimedia Foundation survey showed that at least 94% of Wikipedia readers have never edited Wikipedia content
Drawing conclusions from surveys is questionable, and using them to justify deletions is even more so. The survey includes all language wikis, and it's 31% for the US. Hitting the Edit button or editing content is not the same thing, nor a requirement for, participation in discussion. Skullers (talk) 22:23, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Citation needed.
The ratio mentioned in the TfD discussion (before someone evidently orphaned the template) was "224 to 21". 224 talk pages contained WP:RM discussions, while 21 articles contained {{movenotice}}. That's 9.375%, assuming that none of the articles were tagged without initiating proper RM listings. Similar statistics were provided in the past.
Every move discussion I've ever noted involved both, and that's because of this template, not reading talk pages or hanging out at WP:RM.
Exactly. You didn't check talk pages or WP:RM, so those were the only instances that you could have encountered.
This raises an important point. Treating this article tag as optional promoted the misunderstanding, among some who saw it, that no move request could exist in its absence. (Based on your comments at TfD, you seem to have been under that impression.) So it discouraged users from seeking the other ~90% of move requests.
I don't believe that articles should be tagged for this purpose. But we can agree, I assume, that tagging the articles involved in all move requests (or all meeting specific criteria) would make far more sense than having the template's use subject to individual editors' whims.
Most editors are mere readers of most articles they read. Doesn't mean it's of no concern for those reading them without editing.
Agreed. But a vast majority of persons reading any given article aren't editors at all.
I don't see how you can possibly say that. An explicit change of scope can not occur without a change of title.
Huh? It happens, for example, when material is split out to a separate article; the original article remains titled "Foo", but coverage of foo in x context is relocated to a new "Foo in x context" article. The opposite occurs with some mergers. (Of course, we have article tags for both splits and mergers.)
And again, most moves don't involve changes in scope.
The same is true for deletion tags, yet we place them on articles.
A deletion makes material unavailable. (Even mergers and splits don't do that.) And a deletion request reflects a belief that something about said material renders it unsuitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia. This information is highly relevant to readers (just as the concerns behind cleanup requests are).
Drawing conclusions from surveys is questionable, and using them to justify deletions is even more so.
The template's deletion is justified by the lack of consensus for its use. I cited the survey in response to your comments (in the TfD discussion) challenging my statement that most readers don't edit. Such a conclusion is inescapable, regardless of whether the "6%" statistic (which the Wikimedia Foundation stated might have been inflated by the survey's opt-in nature) is entirely accurate.
The survey includes all language wikis, and it's 31% for the US.
Your point being?
And keep in mind that we're not referring to frequent (or even occasional) editors in particular. These figures include all survey respondents indicating that they've ever edited Wikipedia (even once).
Hitting the Edit button or editing content is not the same thing, nor a requirement for, participation in discussion.
Indeed. I participate in Wikipedia discussions far more often than I edit the encyclopedia.
Whether the survey refers specially to articles (as opposed to pages in general) is unclear. It matters very little, as the conclusion is the same regardless. —David Levy 23:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Treating this article tag as optional promoted the misunderstanding, among some who saw it, that no move request could exist in its absence. (Based on your comments at TfD, you seem to have been under that impression.)
That is indeed the impression I was under, likely due to the instructions in use at the time[2] and documentation in the template itself.
Exactly. You didn't check talk pages or WP:RM, so those were the only instances that you could have encountered. [...] So it discouraged users from seeking the other ~90% of move requests.
How would its deletion encourage seeking move requests, checking of talk pages, or using WP:RM?
I don't believe that articles should be tagged for this purpose. But we can agree, I assume, that tagging the articles involved in all move requests (or all meeting specific criteria) would make far more sense than having the template's use subject to individual editors' whims.
It wouldn't make sense any other way. Its use should be mandatory when {{Requested move}} is used and vice-versa. A bot can then ensure that the article is tagged when {{Requested move}} is on talk, and untag the article if it isn't.
Agreed. But a vast majority of persons reading any given article aren't editors at all.
Yes, and 100% of editors are readers, unless one is so much of an editor as to stay out of article space entirely.
Huh? It happens, for example, when material is split out to a separate article; the original article remains titled "Foo", but coverage of foo in x context is relocated to a new "Foo in x context" article. The opposite occurs with some mergers.
What? An article named "Foo" is on the topic of foo. Same with Bar. Unless bar is synonymous with or a variation of foo, moving it will necessarily change its scope. And if an article titled "Foo" is moved to "foo in x context", that makes non-x-related content out of scope.
And again, most moves don't involve changes in scope.
Most moves are non-controversial and don't involve opening an RM.
a deletion request reflects a belief that something about said material renders it unsuitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia. This information is highly relevant to readers (just as the concerns behind cleanup requests are).
Same with controversial move requests. It can reflect accuracy, notability, neutrality, and other concerns.
I cited the survey in response to your comments (in the TfD discussion) challenging my statement that most readers don't edit.
I wasn't questioning that most most readers don't edit but that deleting templates that call out to discussion is neither a way to recruit new editors nor effectively utilize existing ones. Skullers (talk) 01:07, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Belated reply:
How would its deletion encourage seeking move requests, checking of talk pages, or using WP:RM?
It will eliminate the mistaken belief that all (or even most) articles with move requests are tagged, so interested users won't rely on such notices (and miss ~90% of move requests).
An article named "Foo" is on the topic of foo.
But what about foo in popular culture? If material on that topic is relocated from the "Foo" article to a new article titled "Foo in popular culture", that constitutes a change in the "Foo" article's scope (but not its title).
Unless bar is synonymous with or a variation of foo, moving it will necessarily change its scope.
"Synonymous with or a variation of" describes most moves (including those listed at WP:RM).
And if an article titled "Foo" is moved to "foo in x context", that makes non-x-related content out of scope.
Agreed. That isn't the scenario that I described.
Most moves are non-controversial and don't involve opening an RM.
And most moves, including those that do involve opening RMs, don't relate to changes in the articles' scope.
Same with controversial move requests. It can reflect accuracy, notability, neutrality, and other concerns.
Such concerns have no bearing on an article's prose. But if one is deemed sufficiently important, that can be indicated via a tag.
I wasn't questioning that most most readers don't edit but that deleting templates that call out to discussion is neither a way to recruit new editors nor effectively utilize existing ones.
Of course it isn't. We want to encourage editing, but not at readers' expense. And based on the available data, this particular template didn't work well anyway. —David Levy 20:13, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Citation needed. Every move discussion I've ever noted involved both, and that's because of this template, not reading talk pages or hanging out at WP:RM. You are clearly in a minority of editors. The vast majority of editors come to requested moves via their watch lists, or other avenues (such as RM lists, through notification on project talk pages, or from various other talk arenas).

This can be shown by the list of stale {{movenotice}}s I cleaned up just under two weeks ago. The vast majority were months old (the oldest were over a year old), and because they did not have a {{requested move}} template they make a good test for how effective placing a {{movenotice}} on the pages is. In the majority of cases if there was any response from other editors (or readers) to the {{movenotice}} it was within days (usually a day) of the initial placement of the {{movenotice}}, which suggests that the editors who responded were not passing but had the page on their watch lists (in which case they would have noted a requested move change on the talk page making the {{movenotice}} superfluous). There is no evidence from the articles that I converted that the {{movenotice}} attracted much passing interest (If they had, one would expect to see new comments added at random intervals to the talk page section over the whole period the {{movenotice}} was present in article space). The one place where one would expect passing interest was Wikipedia:Parenthetical referencing because that is where editors may come, and an editor to editor message is more appropriate. However between 29 February [when it was placed on the how-to guide and my converting the request into a requested move on 8 September not one editor commented on the proposed move. Here is a list of most (all?) those edit I made to articles where I converted a {{movenotice}} in article space into a {{requested move}} (or in a handful of cases--such as where over a year old or had no proposed move name--closed them). It will allow anyone who wants to bother to see just how ineffective {{movenotice}} is at generating opinions on talk pages (There may be a few missing through my faulty editing of my edit history, but the list is just about complete):

-- PBS (talk) 16:34, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

If the template is made a bot-only template it would solve the problem of stale-ness and whether an editor should add one or not, since it would be automatically added, and automatically removed, as I suggested at the TFD and at WT:RM -- 76.65.131.248 (talk) 02:19, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
That's true. But is the template's presence during a move request beneficial? The available evidence suggests that it isn't, even if we set aside the fact that it's irrelevant to non-editors (a vast majority of readers). —David Levy 05:23, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
If the readers like having a particular topic accessible by a particular name, then it is beneficial to determine that, especially if no one who would otherwise participate in the discussion would present the data for a primarytopic examination. So this additional pool of participants may indeed have the data needed, especially if its a discussion on a rarefied field or with a moribund wikiproject. -- 76.65.131.248 (talk) 22:17, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
How do you suggest the "additional pool of participants" communicate this information? —David Levy 23:27, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
The placement of the template will communicate to the additional pool of potential participants. -- 76.65.131.248 (talk) 01:52, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
That didn't answer my question. —David Levy 01:45, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Duration in office (officebox)

How do you fill in the duration of a politician's term in office?

Example: politician Z.

Politician Z is an MP from October 10, 2009 to September 7, 2012. That means that the last day in office was September 6, 2012. What do you fill in in the officebox: September 7, 2012 or September 6, 2012?

Wikix (talk) 09:36, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

It depends on when the actual transfer of power/administration of the oath of office occurs. The President of the United States, as per the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution, takes office at noon. In cases such as this both the outgoing and incoming officeholder would list the transfer date as part of their terms as they were both "in office" on that particular day. Other offices, such as the Mayor of New York City, transfer power at the stroke of midnight. These cases result in the outgoing officeholder's last day in office being one day before the incoming officeholder's first day in office. --Allen3 talk 10:05, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
So when a politician's last day is e.g. September 21 you fill in September 21 and not September 22 in the officebox. Wikix (talk) 08:35, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Request for comment

Hello, and I opened up an RFC here about bird names, if you want to participate. Hill Crest's WikiLaser! (BOOM!) 20:06, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

writing a new article about a relative.

I am considering writing an article about William B. Kannel, recently deceased former director of the Framingham Heart Study. He is my father's brother. I am a physician in a private practice. I briefly worked at the study as an informal summer intern for several weeks 25-30 years ago. Is this enough of a conflict of interest to suggest that I should not write about him?--Ckannel (talk) 20:30, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I would use the Wikipedia:Articles for Creation process to aid you, and I would declare your conflict of interest clearly, as you have done here. You are right to be cautious, but that doesn't mean you are outright prohibited from creating the article. Just take care and ask for lots of feedback and help. --Jayron32 20:32, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Step one is to find WP:Reliable sources (such as newspaper articles) that discuss your uncle's life (not just the study). If you can turn up three or four such sources, not counting any paid death notices or obituaries, then you should be able to write a decent article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:12, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Airport names

WP:HYPHEN says that proper names get hyphens, like Jones-Smith (or, as the example says "John Lennard-Jones". Are airport names any different? If I take a bicycle trip from Paris to Orly and write an article about it, or someone else does, it would correctly be called Paris–Orly trip with an en dash and trip not capitalized. But if I create a bicycle and call it the Paris-Orly Flyer that becomes a proper name and is capitalized. Is not the same true for airport names? Please see the discussions at WP:MOS, Talk:Seattle–Tacoma International Airport#Requested move and the recently opened RfC at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Airports#New RfC. Apteva (talk) 20:31, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm not going to comment at the RFC because it has already been structured in such a way that invalidly forces comments into sections supporting either a hyphen or a dash. It seems pretty obvious that the airport serving Paris situated in and named after Orly should have a hyphen, and that an airport serving both Seattle and Tacoma should have a dash. I'm not basing that on any written policy or guideline, as I base my use of such things on the English language rather than any style manual. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:12, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Good point. There are situations where a hyphen is the most logical choice. But "Seattle–Tacoma" is definitely not such a case. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 21:22, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
To be more specific, in writing a paragraph of text that used Seattle and Tacoma, it is appropriate to connect them with a dash, specifically an endash, but in the case of a proper name, such as Seattle-Tacoma Ramblers (a made up name), if that was the name of a baseball team, for example, a hyphen would be used, because hyphens are used in proper names. It is appropriate to refract poorly structured RFCs, by the way, such as adding a third or more possible choices. The choice of hyphen or dash in text is used to indicate the relationship of the words, but in a proper name that does not apply. Apteva (talk) 17:09, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC: Graphic, disturbing images on the main page

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

Should images that are very graphic or disturbing be included on the main page of Wikipedia? Mudwater (Talk) 12:34, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

This question came up a few days ago, when Today's Featured Article was Lynching of Jesse Washington. The summary of the article on the main page included the image File:Washington hanging 1916.jpg. There was a discussion of this at Talk:Main Page/Archive 170#Featured Article image. I am posting a Request for Comment here, to encourage a discussion by a larger group of editors. I'll start:

  • No -- For millions of readers a day, the main page is the gateway or front cover to Wikipedia. If images that are very graphic or disturbing are included on the main page, all those readers are forced to see them, whether they want to or not. Many readers will be disturbed or bothered by these images, and have a negative experience using Wikipedia. This is different from when a reader clicks through to the featured article, or searches Wikipedia for a particular subject. I understand that Wikipedia is not censored, and I'm not questioning that the images should be included in their respective articles, but leaving them off the main page is still appropriate and desirable. For a short essay that expresses similar views, see Wikipedia:NOTCENSORED and the Main Page. Mudwater (Talk) 12:35, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Define Define disturbing. It is completely subjective unless this is done and no discussion can be had unless all participants use the same definition. --LauraHale (talk) 12:47, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    Reply -- I respect the question, but the discussion very much can and should be had without there being universal agreement on what constitutes a very graphic or disturbing image. Yes, it's subjective, so it's going to be a judgement call. But in general terms, this would include images of severe violence such as the Jesse Washington lynching photo, medical images showing the effects of disease or accidents, explicit sexual images, and also images that would be highly offensive to persons of particular religions, such as images of Mohammed. Mudwater (Talk) 12:55, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
What about Aniconism? Is that included too? IRWolfie- (talk) 22:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Then I object to your terms and oppose (that is, oppose the exclusion of graphic images on the basis of potentially disturbing or outraging readers).--WaltCip (talk) 12:59, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    But in general terms, this would include images of severe violence such as the Jesse Washington lynching photo, medical images showing the effects of disease or accidents,
    Okay, so this photograph (appearing in a "medical" article) is out.
    explicit sexual images,
    By whose definition? Is this acceptable? What about this? What about this?
    and also images that would be highly offensive to persons of particular religions,
    Oh, that last image definitely is out. So are all photographs of women, which are highly offensive to Haredi Jews. —David Levy 15:44, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    Oppose: The definition of offensive offered by Mudwater is so vague that I could be offended by anything related to Germany or Egypt or Christianity or Islam or clothing and this policy would take my being offended seriously. We cannot have a serious RfC unless the term offensive is clearly defined to allow possible enforcement. --LauraHale (talk) 22:41, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. This is a very poorly-worded RfC. Who are you to decide what is "very graphic or disturbing" for the rest of us? That is extremely subjective such a wide collection of cultures in the world as to be essentially meaningless. Some people find images of Muhammad disturbing, others will faint at the sight of a naked breast, or the Virgin Killer album cover. This is just a poor attempt at an end-around of WP:NOTCENSORED, please. Tarc (talk) 12:52, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, although wide discussions can occur on a case-by-case basis. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:04, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Moot - This is pointless. As pointed out above, defining "very graphic or disturbing" is inherently problematic as it is a subjective definition; precisely the reason why WP:NOTCENSORED exists in the first place.--WaltCip (talk) 12:59, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Opposeof course not, wiki's not censored, doncha ya know ;) Br'er Rabbit (talk) 13:14, 27 September 2012 (UTC) (phrasing of this is rfc is biased; asks people to 'support' disturbing imagery;)
  • Support. Nothing to do with censorship, since the pic appears in the article. It keeps the front page at least "SFW". The terms, while not fully defined, "very graphic and disturbing" would apply to violent, explicit sexuality, and/or nauseating disease pictures.83.70.170.48 (talk) 13:17, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    fyi, Meth mouth is on the FA fast-track… Br'er Rabbit (talk) 13:20, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    Oh yes, I imagine if that ever makes TFA there will be another flood of outrage on Talk:Main Page. I shall prepare for the winter of their discontent. Mark Arsten (talk) 14:29, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    Nothing to do with censorship, since the pic appears in the article.
    By that logic, we could relocate an image from an article to a separate page linked therefrom. It would remain available on the site, after all.
    If an image is free and illustrates its subject, barring it from display on the main page on the basis that people find it "objectionable" constitutes censorship. If you want to argue in favor of censoring the main page, that's fine. But please don't claim that this has "nothing to do with censorship". —David Levy 15:44, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Question: Which person do we designate as the official arbiter of what qualifies as "graphic or disturbing"? Before I vote on this, I want to know who I am supporting or opposing as making the decision for the entire planet. --Jayron32 13:21, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    We could uplift a Suzerain of Propriety to arbitrarily make such decisions for all teh planet; I'm sure there would be no lack of aspirants ;) Br'er Rabbit (talk) 13:42, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    Let's create a United Nations of Wikipedia and form a subcommittee within the group comprised of various countries that represent the majority readership of Wikipedia..--WaltCip (talk) 13:49, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment, no don't make such a policy Besides this RFC being poortly worded, such a policy would have all the problems that go with defining the problem, similar to what we see in defining "civility", "not censored", etc. It would cause more problems than it stops. PumpkinSky talk 13:55, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Even if I were supportive of the spirit of the thing, which I'm not, "graphic and disturbing" is quite a nebulous term and isn't going to easily apply in a clear-cut manner. If concerned editors actually want to get proactively involved in main page content selection (WP:TFAR, T:DYK/Q, WP:ITN/C, etc etc) and voice their opinions beforehand they might actually see their side being given a greater degree of consideration rather than waiting to be reactionary about things. GRAPPLE X 13:56, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Information. Bear in mind that the desktop site is not the only place that users interact with Wikipedia. In the mobile web site and phone apps the TFA picture sometimes fills the whole screen and is the only thing viewable on loading. It may be helpful to consider the first illustration on the main page to be a special case as mobile users generally have no choice as to whether or not to view it. Blakk and ekka 13:57, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Further comment. To further refine the above I think the important thing here is context. As has been pointed out elsewhere it's virtually inpossible to arrive at a usable definition of what may be offensive or disturbing, but I think that everyone can agree that the context within which an image is displayed is very important. For example, set as it was within a short blurb putting it in the context of the American south of a century ago and the injustice of lynching the photo from the Jesse Washington article is a valuable, if emotive, historical resource. Shawn of its context on the first screen of the mobile site it's reduced to just an image of a charred corpse. While I uphold WP:NOTCENSORED the selection of the first image on the main page is a special case and care should be taken in its selection. Blakk and ekka 14:46, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Leading question. The way this has been phrased is clearly biased. Of course people will oppose 'disturbing' images, but you haven't given examples or defined this. Also, I can't tell whether 'oppose/support' means you oppose/support the use of this image, or that you oppose/support restricting them. The Jesse Washington image was both appropriate and necessary, and I strongly support its use on the main page. Modest Genius talk 13:58, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No; choosing to limit our content like this opens huge cans of worms. One example: persons who know we censor front-page content having grounds for complaint if something they find offensive slips through. Powers T 14:02, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No answer possible. Question undefined. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:08, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment We censor (or whatever euphemism you prefer) the Main Page every once in a while, as in the Human Centipede and Jenna Jameson issues. "Who decides" was like any other content decision on Wikipedia. And we would surely censor full-page nudity or vomit. The real question is, should we pretend we don't? Art LaPella (talk) 14:12, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    diff of Wikipedia:Today's featured article/October 31, 2011. This was a poor edit (and that was a poor choice for TFA). Also interesting is how that copyrighted image survives on Commons. And someone should fluff up Jenna Jameson and take her to TFAR. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 14:31, 27 September 2012 (UTC) (nb: derivative work of img w/OTRS ticket;) 14:36, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Where do we draw the line, whose sensibilities do we use as the gauge of what does not belong? Would this include artwork of murder? of sexual acts? of nudity? Without a very clear line as to what would be allowed or not allowed we can not make this decision here. The way to do this is to have the discussion on a case by case basis. GB fan 14:33, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose censorship of the main page. And I don't like the idea of setting up censorship committees. People – including children – are gratuitously exposed to violence all the time, for entertainment. Here, it was used in an educational way, and its use was appropriate. -- Dianna (talk) 14:34, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support keeping the main page safe for work/college/grade school - If I go to the main page in my college library, I don't want shock porn thrown on my screen where officials can see it. It could get people in trouble, and for that reason I never visit the main page in public. That said, the image currently referenced seems perfectly SFW. If a 6th-grade student, asked to search for information on geodes, goes to Wikipedia to look for that information and gets accosted with porn, he too could get into trouble. Reaper Eternal (talk) 14:42, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Censorship WP:NOTCENSORED should apply just as much to the main page as any other page. While there is some room for editorial discretion, there should certainly not be a rule/guidelines/policy restriction. Monty845 14:53, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No censorship please, we're Wikipedians Trout to the OP for doing a RFC in which "no" means "yes".--Wehwalt (talk) 15:19, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No censorship This is the Internet. With one click of a trackpad, you can see either The Daily Mail or XTube, a kitten speaking in child-talk or a bloke being very overfriendly with another bloke. The fact that an image on Wikipedia, which was here and gone in 24 hours, has started such a row is bewildering. It wasn't supposed to be a friendly image - it accompanied an article on lynching. Of course the image had to be there, it underlined the story. A parent who was faced with a child concerned about the image could have done one of two things - explained the image and the importance of the story in our history; or requested the child close Wikipedia/the browser. To censor the project does nobody any good or justice. doktorb wordsdeeds 15:24, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose censorship, meaninglessly vague terms that are hopelessly subjective and so offer no guidance as to what images would be appropriate or not. I'd agree that the lynching image is disturbing (though less graphic because of its lack of clarity), but that's rather the point for an article about a disturbing act. It should disturb us. You might as well try to exclude articles with disturbing or graphic subjects from the main page. postdlf (talk) 15:26, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose censorship - This is, as usual, the wrong question to ask. The standard for image use should remain whether the image properly illustrates the text to which it is appended and/or adds to readers' understanding of the topic. Now, obviously, we should not use an image merely for shock value, but we also should not censor an image merely because someone might be disturbed by it.
    After all, any question concerning the censorship of "graphic or disturbing" content is meaningless without knowing whose values and standards we are being asked to swallow. Let us not forget that our own views represent only a fraction of the world's cultural diversity and let us never underestimate people's ability to find offense. There are cultures which are disturbed by visual depictions of the deceased, people who consider this to be obscene and this pornographic, and at least one person who will be deeply and personally offended by this. -- Black Falcon (talk) 15:28, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    Or, to put it more concisely: Wikipedia is not censored and the Main Page is part of Wikipedia. -- Black Falcon (talk) 15:30, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Just FTR, I processed this comment via OTRS two days ago. I don't know if other letters came in, or if I got the only one. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:33, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

My young son has Wiki as his home page. The picture is horrific. Why is this disturbing hellish photo on your front page? Was this for shock value so Wiki can compete with Fox or MSNBC?

How about you feature the most disturbing images mankind has produced to a page other than the one we all wake up to.

Including young children. Young Black children. Dumbass.

See, that offends me much more than any image. Why let your young child browse this site at liberty and complain to us about graphic content in an encyclopaedia. Taking offence at an image is one thing and that's entirely your own judgement and opinion, but I can't abide the kind of asshole who fires off an abusive message to blame others for their own lapse in ability. GRAPPLE X 15:41, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm beginning to suspect that you may not a parent Grapple. Remember that this is not referring to the encyclopaedia in general but the first image at the top of the most visited page (and who is this "us" that you're talking about here)? 62.254.209.242 (talk) 15:49, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
If a parent wants to shelter their child from reality, it is their prerogative, but they should not expect us to help. Also, without reading the caption, its not particularly obvious that the image is even graphic. Monty845 15:55, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Not that it should matter. While I don't have children I'm frequently a guardian to infant relatives, and there has not once been a time I've let them use wikipedia when they surfed online under my care. I know enough to avoid the site altogether than risk them seeing some of the things on here; how the level of caution I take with others' kids isn't mirrored by those with their own children boggles the mind. As for "us", that's quite clearly wikipedia. Believe it or not it's a communal effort. GRAPPLE X 15:58, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Re: the anonymous comment above about who may or may not be a parent, I'm a parent and I oppose the proposed censorship here. You're mistaken if you think parents should or shouldn't naturally feel one way or another just for being a parent, and parents don't get any added moral authority on the issue for having that personal relationship in our lives. Nor do the interests of children (whatever we imagine those to be) trump all other considerations here. postdlf (talk) 16:00, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm sorry for the person who sent that line to OTRS, but people concerned about their children seeing inappropriate material on the internet need to take their own action, rather than the encyclopedia censoring itself. Wikipedia has many images and indeed texts that a child might find disturbing. The internet has rather more. This is not a children's site and does not purport to be. On the other hand, we should not set out deliberately to shock and offend: but that is something rather different. --Dweller (talk) 15:39, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment -- When I posted this RfC, I asked if graphic, disturbing images should be included (i.e. allowed) on the main page. My intention was that "no" would mean they should not be allowed, and "yes" would mean they should be allowed. In hindsight, this was not the best way to phrase the question. A number of editors have interpreted my original post, quite correctly, to mean that I was suggesting a new guideline that would not allow such images on the main page, and therefore answered "support" if they favored such a guideline and "oppose" if they did not. So, the bolded summaries of the replies are already hopelessly muddled and inconsistent. But I for one will carefully read the text of every reply, to see what other editors are actually saying about this. Sorry for the confusion, but the small silver lining in this cloud is that we should generally be reading the complete replies anyway. Mudwater (Talk) 15:53, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose prettifying front page - the OTRS poster should consider having his young son set something which is designed for children as his home page. I took my young daughter to America's Black Holocaust Museum (whose founder was sole survivor of a group lynching) where such disturbing images were displayed, because all our children need to know that this stuff happened, lest it happen again. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:57, 27 September 2012 (UTC) (Southern white boy)
Mike, the difference is that you decided yourself to take your daughter to the Holocaust museum. You can decide what your own children need to see. You have no right determining what the children of others must see. Honestly, the arrogance and presumptuousness of Wikipedia editors is astounding. - Balph Eubank 16:54, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Balph: It isn't Wikipedia's responsibility if parents abdicate their responsibility to manage what their children do and do not see. There is also no way to know ahead of time who will be offended by what. Do we refuse to post images of spiders because some people have arachnophobia? Why do you get to draw the line between "shocking" and "not-shocking". If Rule 34 states that there is porn about everything, then Rule 35 should state that everything offends somebody. We can't operate in a world where we don't want offend a single person. I understand that editorial decisions need to be made, but if the main page is of such a concern for you, you need to be involved in the discussions ahead of time. It may be a wise editorial choice to avoid posting a certain image, but reacting after the fact is never a good idea: you put others on the defensive and don't actually encourage the correct change. Look at what happened here: The manner in which you present a position has a great effect on that position being accepted. You need to frame your argument in a manner such that it is likely to be effective. Post-event complaints are counterproductive in that they encourage people to dig in their heels and refuse to budge. Instead, start to be involved from the beginning, propose reasonable alternatives, and grant respect and dignity to people who believe differently than you do. If you did all of that, then it is quite likely that you could have had a significant impact on preventing the picture from appearing. People will listen to you if you present your case properly. Also, acting incredulously is not, of itself, any actual rational defense of a position. You may be correct in your stance, or you may not, but the level of incredulity you express when stating your position has no bearing on its rightness or wrongness. --Jayron32 18:22, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: POTD regularly skips "graphic" or "disturbing" images (e.g., File:Japanesesuicide.jpg, File:Lynching2.jpg, File:Child with Smallpox Bangladesh.jpg), but it's a different dynamic because the images are so large and they are the focus of the section. howcheng {chat} 16:17, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    • The big difference is that those decisions are handled on a case-by-case basis during the nomination and promotion phase. If people want to control what makes the main page, they need to take an active role in discussing and commenting before things hit the main page. Complaining after the fact isn't helpful, and neither is setting an overly broad and unenforcable rule. If it is a concern to keep such images off of the main page, this is not the way to go about it. --Jayron32 16:28, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No - Journalistic integrity should apply. While graphic images are perfectly appropriate within pertinent articles, adding them to the main page basically constitutes a bunch of crusaders deciding what everyone, including small children, need to see. The main page is the common entry point for most of our readers. There is absolutely no encyclopedic value in placing what amounts to shock images on that page, if one considers that a shock image is intended to upset and provoke people for its own sake. Scientific or historical images have an important place in Wikipedia, however as far as I can tell, all arguments for including them on the main page amount to "OH NOES CENX0RSHIP" or "I want my kids to see them and I think everyone else and their kids ought to be forced to view them as well". This comes down to what Wikipedia is. Are we an encyclopedia or a human rights crusade/some kind of soapbox to be used by people with a "message to get out"? The latter sounds exactly to me like what Wikipedia is not. That fact that this RfC will probably fail miserably further reinforces all the criticisms of Wikipedia that I've read, not least the one that it's basically a walled garden full of self-important egoists who are incapable of listening to any criticism without making dismissive, snide comments. - Balph Eubank 16:48, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
    • There are ironies within ironies in your comment, particularly given your last sentence. You don't think your characterization of those who disagree with you here is snide and dismissive? ("...all arguments...amount to 'OH NOES CENX0RSHIP") You've actually framed the argument against this proposal yourself: "[not] adding them to the main page basically constitutes a bunch of crusaders deciding what everyone, including small children, [don't] need to see." postdlf (talk) 16:56, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
      • Your retort makes no sense. Why do you oppose allowing main page viewers to choose what they view as opposed to shocking them with images of graphic violence? - Balph Eubank 17:31, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
        • There is a rather ridiculous fallacy in that question, especially the fact that the viewer is not choosing anything we put on the main page. Whether it be a graphic image of human history, a fluffy bunny, an article on a sports hero or news of the latest election in a major nation. Your question is disingenuous. This isn't about "letting the reader decide" either way. This is about whether or not we should kowtow to certain people's sensibilities when choosing what our readers see. Resolute 17:40, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose'. Perhaps we should have taken a picture of a Carebear in a noose to put up with the caption "what a lynching might look like"? This RFC is just whining by someone Several comments are just whining from those who seem to fear the presence of adult topics in Wikipedia. I'm sorry, but Wikipedia is not necessarily a site for children, and that includes its main page. We are here to educate, and shying away from topics that some people don't really want to think about is counter to our mandate. That includes our images, and the image in question was easily the most relevant to the topic, and as such, belonged on the main page with the article. Our mission is to present information, not to sanitize our corner of the internet for the "WONT SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?" crowd. Resolute 17:21, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
So why couldn't we have pictures of a penis on the main page if it was relevant to an article? Or even on someone's userpage? Might the article on penis ever be featured, or have the FA crew basically said that is never gonna happen? Why the double standard regarding images of sexuality versus images of graphic violence? I repeat what I've said elsewhere: how very American. - Balph Eubank 17:46, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
If it is important to you what appears on the main page, involve yourself in discussions about that ahead of time. --Jayron32 18:25, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Reply to Resolute: I posted this RfC because I wanted to see what other Wikipedia editors thought about this question, and to encourage a constructive discussion on this subject. But I've decided, as a bit of a tangent, to award a prize for the least helpful post. The winning comment will need to combine a lack of civility and respect with a blatant disregard for what was actually said by other editors. It's far too early to declare a winner, but so far what you said here is in first place. Mudwater (Talk) 18:14, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Hypothetically, what image would you use for Gelding as TFA? ;> Br'er Rabbit (talk) 18:23, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Reply to Br'er Rabbit: Thanks for the effort, but my remark was intended sarcastically. Mudwater (Talk) 18:29, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Where will I place if I dismiss you as a prude, declare that this RfC doesn't have a prayer of going your way, and that the entire proposal is anathema to the Wikipedia policy of being free of censorship? I like blue ribbons. :) Tarc (talk) 18:37, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
The irony in your statement is that he isn't American. -DJSasso (talk) 18:19, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
You're begging the question now, Balph. Also, anyone who was monitoring TFAR about two weeks ago would likely know there is a possibility of just that some day. Mudwater - I do owe you an apology, as I grouped you in with some of the other comments, but my general point stands. These complaint fests always come down to "I'm offended, therefore I feel I must change Wikipedia to suit my sensibilities". It has happened a dozen times before, and it will happen a dozen times more. Resolute 19:19, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Reply to Resolute: Thank you, I appreciate it. But, I do think this is a legitimate topic of discussion. That is, I think my original point is worthy of the wider conversation it is now receiving. I posted it here so that we can get some sense of where the editing community stands on this question. Mudwater (Talk) 19:42, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Just to back up what Mudwater has said here, I think this is a perfectly legitimate thing to have a discussion about. That it is being opposed by a large margin (one of which is me), doesn't delegitimize the initial question. It is quite right and proper that we have these discussions from time to time, in a dispassionate manner, to see where the community stands. I also think that there can be situations where the community may deem something inappropriate for the main page, but that needs to happen in the proper time and context: during the discussions to put things on the main page, ahead of time, and not as some all-encompassing and over-reaching rule. I am not precluding that the community may find a specific image inapprorpriate, and decide not to put it on the main page. However, this isn't the way such things get done. Being proactive, rather than reactive, is the best way to handle this, and that means being proactive on each case. We simply can't make blanket rules in cases like this. --Jayron32 19:52, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Community sensibilities are always operational. Community sensibilities are never disabled. Before the graphic image of a lynching was included in the "Featured Article" there was no doubt consideration as to the propriety or impropriety of including that image. There are arguments for and against the inclusion of images. To have your voice heard you have to participate in the discussion leading up to the inclusion or the exclusion of an image under consideration. I don't think we should be deciding in advance that a poorly defined class of images should not be included. Bus stop (talk) 17:38, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I should be surprised by this RfC but I am not. A similar RfC happens every time something someone doesn't like ends up on the main page. There simply is no good reason to restrict what goes on the main page because everything offends someone. -DJSasso (talk) 18:22, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Opposed to new policy. While I don't find having an image of a person's charred remains (or an image of the finger) on the Main Page to be a good idea, I don't believe a policy should exist banning such images. Who determines what is disturbing? How many people have to be disturbed before an image is banned? Discussion should occur when a specific case presents itself and hopefully common sense can prevail. --auburnpilot talk 18:54, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose What's disturbing was that lynching was commonplace. Without such a disturbing practice, those photos would not exist. Don't try to hide history - if you're trying to hide American history, don't. You're kids should know how horrid your ancestors were. Now - sexually explicit photos - yeah, we already keep those off the main page dangerouspanda 20:14, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia has no mandate to avoid causing psychological distress to its readers. It can further be argued that any responsible work of general scholarship in a far less than perfect world has rather the opposite mandate. —chaos5023 (talk) 20:29, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as any vague standard such as "no disturbing images" would be impossible to apply. As an example, I did not find the image in question to be "disturbing". Rreagan007 (talk) 20:52, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support principle per principle of least astonishment. Noting that I found nothing wrong with the picture that started this debate. Also noting that TFA and POTD do this already, in a limited form; Raul said that Jenna Jameson was the only FA that he would not put on the Main Page. --Rschen7754 21:05, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose censorship—and attempting to state that certain content can't be used when appropriate to the topic at hand is censorship. Since there is no one, definable, concrete standard for what could be "objectionable" to everyone, we must assume that everything could be offensive to someone somewhere at sometime. That means everything is out and nothing is in, and that's not acceptable for a reference work. Imzadi 1979  22:27, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No censorship especially without defining what is considered too "graphic or disturbing" for the Main Page. Not to mention that Wikipedia is not censored unless content violates policy or U.S. or Florida laws. As I understand, "very graphic or disturbing" content on the Main Page does not violate policy or U.S. or Florida laws. Not to mention that the WP:NOTCENSORED policy guarantees that " 'being objectionable' is generally not sufficient grounds for removal or inclusion of content." RedSoxFan2434 (talk) 22:52, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm not sure what the best way to word this RfC is, and I agree with the above comments that defining what is offensive is tricky at best. But as a matter of principle, what we've relied on in the past is that we're an encyclopaedia, so we place appropriate images in the articles, relying on the basic idea that if someone chooses to go to an article titled "oral sex" then they can reasonably expect to see pictures depicting the act. It was their choice to visit the article, so they should be unsurprised at what they see. But the front page is different - people don't have any reason to expect to be offended by what they see there. So the principle of least astonishment seems to apply - out of deference to readers, we should be cautious about what is displayed on the front page, where readers don't have a choice about what they see. That said, a principle is only valuable if it is workable, and defining what is offensive is inherently difficult. Thus while I agree with the principle being expressed, I'd rather see a process by which it can be reasonably applied, and it may be the case that such a process can't be formed. - Bilby (talk) 23:13, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

The discussion was getting rather long.

The discussion has a wider resonance - there were similar discussions in printed newspapers last year with 'images from the last sequences of photographs of Gadaffi.'

Certain images will disturb viewers (and even blocking of the main page in some contexts) - and not just violence/war, 'medical' and 'adult themes' (and there will be others that annoy people of certain viewpoints).

I have suggested before that there are two WP main pages - vanilla (work, library, school etc safe) and 'more colourful'/occasionaly having 'all things referring to (overused theme of the week) etc. 21:32, 27 September 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jackiespeel (talkcontribs)

  • Oppose First, it is unworkable. Second, as noted above, (and I'm tradmarking this as Rule 35), everything offends somebody. The only page which will offend nobody is a blank page. If you are concerned that things may someday appear on the main page which will offend somebody, and that is a criteria you are prepared to argue for, particpate at WP:TFA and WP:ITN and other places where it gets decided what appears on the main page. If you can make a good case, with rational explanations, and can do so dispassionately, you stand a good chance of swaying opinion in your favor. If all we are is reactionary, we end up with unworkable and unreasonable proposals like this. --Jayron32 21:39, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I find a blank page offensive. Seriously though, Jayron32 is right, there is no objective standard for offensiveness, or work safe for that matter. Different cultures diverge radically as to whats considered work safe. Is two fully clothed men kissing work safe? In much of the western world it probably is, other places it could be a problem, yet do we censor everything that anyone anywhere might potentially find objectionable? Really, there is nothing stopping someone from creating a censored version of the main page in their userspace that they and others could use, but I doubt anyone would, as it always seems to be about censoring for others, not for the censor. Monty845 21:56, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment -- One of the objections that is being raised to the idea of restricting the images on the main page is that the proposed guideline is too vague, especially since different people are offended by different kinds of images. But, it would be possible to have a very specific guideline. For example, we could say that images depicting the following things are not allowed on the main page: violence against people or animals, the medical effects of disease or accidents, nudity, or sexual activity; perhaps depictions of Mohammed would also be prohibited. This would cover a broad range of images, including many images that most people would not find graphic, disturbing, or offensive, but it would provide the specificity that some here think is necessary for a guideline of this type. Of course, this will not be acceptable to those who oppose any general guideline restricting images on the main page. Mudwater (Talk) 00:13, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    • No. Tarc (talk) 01:02, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
      • Comment: Define violence against animals. Does that include pictures of bacon where the pig was killed to make the bacon? Does it include makeup that was tested on animals? Does it include a picture of man kicking a dog in an article about animal cruelty? Why would you not want to show the medical effects of frostbite? That could be highly illustrative of frostbite. What is this policy's alignment with policies regarding using images to illustrate a topic? --LauraHale (talk) 01:19, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Why those specific things, and not whatever other specific things some group wants to censor? Anomie 02:43, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: One person's disturbing is another person's art. Wikipedia is not censored, period. "perhaps depictions of Mohammed would also be prohibited." Wow. Just, wow. 69.62.243.48 (talk) 01:11, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Even if there's consensus that "graphic, disturbing" pictures shouldn't be on the main page, who will judge exactly what is disturbing? Probably the people who frequent DYK, TFAR, etc. I think that people who feel strongly about keeping graphic content off the main page should just be active in one of those and make their arguments on a case by case basis. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:43, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    • What he said^^^^ --Jayron32 03:14, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
      • Mark Austen asks "...who will judge exactly what is disturbing?". I'm perfectly happy to take on that role. As a guide to my candidature, I've never felt disturbed by a pic yet, in seven years of watching. Everyone fine with that? HiLo48 (talk) 09:36, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, although the particular example of the lynching was an acceptable images, I think it's valid to ask where we would draw the line. For example, Wikipedia has many nude and sexually graphic images/videos, and we probably wouldn't want to place one of them on the Main Page. I think the point is that if you explicitly look up an article then you should expect to see images of its topic, but if you just go to the main page, you shouldn't have to see something NSFW. —JmaJeremy 15:01, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I realize Wikipedia is not censored, but when an image is either disturbing or not safe for work, then it should be collapsed with a notation of either *(Disturbing )* or *(NSFW)*. That way, the image stays, but is not viewable except by the viewers consent (given by uncollapsing the window ).  KoshVorlon. We are all Kosh ...  16:28, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    We again run into the same problem as mentioned above by doing this - who is to decide what is disturbing or NSFW?--WaltCip (talk) 16:57, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    ...along with "Wikipedia is not censored, but this stuff should be." HiLo48 (talk) 17:06, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    Indeed, these are the comments that I find most perplexing. Whenever these discussions arise, people inevitably write things to the effect of "I know that Wikipedia isn't censored, but that doesn't mean that we can't modify its content based on what people find objectionable." It simply doesn't make sense. —David Levy 19:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support It is not censorship to exerceise reasonable editorial judgment about what goes on the first point of entry (for many people) into Wikipedia. If you click through to read about a lynching, I have no issue with putting a graphic lynching photo on the article page. There are many readers who will be put off by extremely graphic content on the front page--as we saw by comments about the lynching photo--and we should be trying to cast a wide net in terms of our readership, not just liberal, young, white, Western men (who dominate our current editor base and all of these discussions). It is ridiculous to say "slippery slope, we can't say this is offensive because everything is offensive." The New York Times manages to exercise editorial judgment in a way that is not absurd--why could we not do so as well? I can think of many things that are extremely illustrative that I think should be uncontroversially inappropriate for the main page (to think of one off the top of my head - a photo of an actual gang rape, for an article about gang rape). For that example, should we take into account people's potential offense when deciding whether that image would be appropriate for the main page? Of course we should. Not to do so projects an image of Wikipedians as insensitive crusaders. Furthering Wikipedia's mission of giving the world the sum of all human knowledge also includes reaching more of the world. We should not unnecessarily alienate our readership. WP:NOTCENSORED is not Wikipedia's highest value, to the exclusion of all others. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:36, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    Not quite sure I follow, Why do you assume that non-liberals would be put off but liberals wouldn't? IRWolfie- (talk) 22:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    I regard it as a very good thing that "There are many readers who will be put off by extremely graphic content" about a lynching. And it's precisely the reason the story exists. HiLo48 (talk) 17:47, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think it is Wikipedia's mission--above all else--to awaken readers' consciousness (or, as Chaos says below, "hav[e] their complacency disturbed") by forcing readers to encounter extremely graphic content where they are not expecting it. (And to preemptively respond to the argument "well then they shouldn't be Wikipedia readers"/"they're not forced--they shouldn't read Wikipedia if they might be offended"--yes, they too should be Wikipedia readers. We should not be limiting our readership to people like most Wikipedia editors--thick-skinned, hard to take offense, super-liberal, etc.) Calliopejen1 (talk) 18:50, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    It is not censorship to exerceise reasonable editorial judgment about what goes on the first point of entry (for many people) into Wikipedia.
    Define "reasonable". Are objections to this image's display reasonable? What about this this image? Or this one? Or this one?
    There are many readers who will be put off by extremely graphic content on the front page--as we saw by comments about the lynching photo
    From the dozen people who complained at Talk:Main Page (on a day on which the main page received more than eight million views)?
    and we should be trying to cast a wide net in terms of our readership,
    In other words, our fundamental principle of neutrality should be superseded by a goal of pleasing as many readers as possible.
    It is ridiculous to say "slippery slope, we can't say this is offensive because everything is offensive." The New York Times manages to exercise editorial judgment in a way that is not absurd--why could we not do so as well?
    On what do you base the statement that its editorial judgement isn't absurd? Your personal/cultural standards, of course.
    Another newspaper's editorial judgement includes refusing to publish photographs of women. Is that absurd? Do you want Wikipedia to formally adopt the position that it is (along with its readers' cultural beliefs)? —David Levy 19:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    We could look to the standards of respected publications in countries from which en.wiki receives most of its traffic and attempt to emulate those standards, as an example of how we might draw the line if you believe line-drawing is otherwise impossible. (Also, if you don't believe any lines could be drawn, I assume you would support including a freely-licensed photo of gang rape on the front page of en.wiki were such photo available and the article featured?) Also, we rarely receive any feedback whatsoever about what is on the main page, so this amount of feedback was large in comparison. It is not easy for tech-illiterate (or even many tech-literate) people to figure out how to comment on the talk page of the main page. (And if you are not a wikipedia editor, you probably don't even know that that page is where you should post feedback.) If you read above comments, there were also at least some complaints received at OTRS, but I have no idea of the volume because I am not an OTRS volunteer. Calliopejen1 (talk) 20:30, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    We could look to the standards of respected publications in countries from which en.wiki receives most of its traffic and attempt to emulate those standards,
    In other words, we should deem the majority's cultural views correct.
    as an example of how we might draw the line if you believe line-drawing is otherwise impossible.
    Oh, I don't believe that it's impossible. I believe that it's inappropriate for a website at which neutrality is a fundamental principle.
    Also, if you don't believe any lines could be drawn, I assume you would support including a freely-licensed photo of gang rape on the front page of en.wiki were such photo available and the article featured?
    With the victim's consent and no legal barriers, yes, I would support it.
    Also, we rarely receive any feedback whatsoever about what is on the main page,
    Exactly. Apart from regular editors, its readers typically come out of the woodwork only to complain. Those who approved of the image's display had no motivation to comment. —David Levy 21:08, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support on a case-by-case basis Wikipedia is not censored just because we decide that some material doesn't belong on its front page. Of course we cannot make a hard-and-fast rule, but it is reasonable for readers to expect that when they visit a page that they would expect to be innocuous, they don't get presented with an offensive surprise. We make too much of a fetish of out of WP:NOTCENSORED in situations where it doesn't apply; it's almost as if we have a principle that says we ought to offend people. Mangoe (talk) 17:38, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    People ought to be offended by lynchings. HiLo48 (talk) 17:48, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    Concur. Further positively affirm the principle that says we ought to offend people, insofar as people are offended by having their complacency disturbed. —chaos5023 (talk) 17:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    We make too much of a fetish of out of WP:NOTCENSORED in situations where it doesn't apply; it's almost as if we have a principle that says we ought to offend people.
    To what "situations" are you referring? I agree that we shouldn't go out of our way to include an image considered likely to offend people (i.e. "let's do this because we can"), but that doesn't describe the case that sparked this discussion (in which the photograph was even more relevant and illustrative than most TFA images are). —David Levy 19:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • "no censorship" brings with it responsibility; sure, you could take the above line that "we ought to offend people"; or alternatively you could respect personal choice; "gang rape" as suggested above presumably would need no accompanying image of the act, nor perhaps "paedophilia"; there's a difference between material being available for whoever seeks it out and hitting the unwitting with it; it's rather disingenuous to feign aporia as to what is gruesome; drop for a moment the mantle of urbane indifference and I'm sure most could show enough judgment to keep things a family show - on the main page, that is; that's not to mean "Wikipedia is censored" - since everything is still there for whoever looks it for it; things are purposefully added to the main page, it's not a question of something being taken away; are such images peddled simply to drive up hits? Shocking image or intention to shock? Maculosae tegmine lyncis (talk) 19:01, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    In other words, you want us to tailor the main page's content to your personal/cultural standards. Sure, people and cultures find other things (e.g. photographs of unveiled women or women in general) objectionable, but that's because they're unreasonable. We need to make the main page attractive to people with reasonable beliefs like yours. —David Levy 19:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose censorship. I was feeling very proud of Wikipedia when they led with that image. Though gruesome, though disturbing, it should remind us of two things - first, of the great accomplishments of civil rights activists, without whom our expressions of outrage would not even be permissible; and second, of the perfectability of human cultures. I hope that there are people in Syria and Rwanda and Kosovo who looked at that poor burned man and who realize that yes, in one single century, in merely fifty years, and really, beginning with tomorrow, their countries could surely get over their problems, just as the U.S. has largely put the eras of slavery and Jim Crow behind it. Wnt (talk) 20:36, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose That it made it through the queue and onto the main page in the first place means that a cross-section of editors that are involved in the nomination process didn't object to the image being on the main page (images have been removed during the nomination process before). That is pretty close to editorial review, and I'm not going to second guess them. If you don't want graphic images of historical events appearing on Wikipedia, go out and make the world a safer and nicer place (i.e. prevent the things captured in those images from happening). Yes, that's a tall order and a bit dismissive, but we're an encyclopedia, and one aimed at a general audience. Bad shit happens, deal. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:25, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • WP:IMAGE LEAD has some good general advice about selecting images for leads that I believe could be profitably applied to the Main Page. My suggestion for the FA image is that it be discussed as part of the selection process, and that editors be encouraged to choose whatever they believe will result in the most people learning the most information. That will require them to use some judgment, since there are competing factors. For example, some highly educational images are illegible at the Main Page's size, and it seems likely that nauseated people will be less likely to click through to read the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:44, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • One of the worst aspects of this attempt to make the Main Page always seem nice is the lack of understanding of the actual case that triggered this debate, the Lynching of Jesse Washington. The photo is not an illustration of the story. Those who actually read and understood the story will realise that the photo IS the story, or at least a major part of it. That photo, and others like it at the time, led to massive public outrage, and a huge step along the path towards the elimination of lynchings. I would hope that even those opposing the picture's presence would agree that is a good thing. That anybody should want an image that led to such a great outcome removed disturbs me greatly. To allow such an argument to trigger this debate says to me that we have a subset of editors who place surface level niceness ahead of truth, justice and civil rights. Very sad. At least we can see who we're dealing with here. HiLo48 (talk) 22:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Reply to HiLo48: I read and understood the story, and I agree that the photo is a key part of what happened. Nevertheless, you and I have a difference of opinion about what types of images are appropriate for the main page (and again, it's only the main page we're talking about). I strongly object to your characterization of myself and other editors who have taken this position, and I'm surprised and disappointed that you would think that about us. Mudwater (Talk) 22:55, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
You're free to object, but he's right. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:58, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Mudwater, if you agree that the photo is a key part of the story, then how can you argue that we should omit a key part of the story? HiLo48 (talk) 23:08, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Reply to HiLo48: I believe I've already explained how. Sorry if I still haven't made myself clear. If I think of anything else to add, I'll post it in this talk page section. Mudwater (Talk) 23:12, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Your position is quite clear. Your logic and thought processes aren't. HiLo48 (talk) 23:34, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose on the specific definition of Graphic/Disturbing given, it's rather arbitrary and seems unnecessarily bureaucratic since there is no actual issue that I can see. The image was gruesome, but sometimes real life is not nice, but that is the card we are dealt and censoring them doesn't help anyone, and it certainly doesn't help the educational mission of wikimedia. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unless there's a concerted effort to stuff the Featured Article box with provocative imagery, this is a knee-jerk reaction. EVula // talk // // 22:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Calliopejen1. JN466 01:31, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Given the very powerful points made in opposition to Calliopejen1's arguments, that's a fairly pointless post. Do you have anything original to add yourself? HiLo48 (talk) 01:36, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Dream on, mate. Face-smile.svg But I did want to add something: especially as long as the fundraiser materials the Foundation publishes include testimonials like this one: "Wikipedia helps me teach my children about the world in a safe, clean and trustworthy manner. Free from bias, banter, commercial interests and risky content." I am always amazed how Wikipedia is ideal for children when it is a question of getting donations from parents, and how parents are idiots for letting their children use Wikipedia when the discussion is about content. Cheers! --JN466 01:39, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
It's ideal for children when a responsible adult checks content ahead of time to ensure it's good to go for children; or obtain the information themselves to disseminate in a stripped-down fashion like a teaching aid. Parents, and anyone else for that matter, can't expect every tool at their disposal to be geared specifically to them and their children and yes, are idiots if they assume that's going to be the case. A car is an ideal aid for getting children from point A to point B if a parent is driving but you're going to have to be missing a brain to let that same child drive it. GRAPPLE X 01:45, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
What is it about the image that started this debate that's not ideal for children? (Reliable sources supporting your view would help here.) HiLo48 (talk) 02:10, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. We should exercise discernment and good taste, and as a rule we seem to. I see nothing inappropriate about the lynching photo. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:18, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I want my imaginary kid to see a mutilated corpse when he goes to wikipedia while he does his essay on global warming in his grade school class. I suggest we get holocaust pictures next showing a pile of severed limbs from experiments. We should have also get a picture of the dead ambassador on the front page too when it was in the news! wait no I want the opposite of all that.75.73.114.111 (talk) 11:08, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
    Your imaginary kid needs better imaginary supervision. —David Levy 14:05, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I find it funny that so many people are claiming that they or their child or a hypothetical child is "forced" to see something here. You (or that child) came here of your own free will, you didn't have to come here. There are other sources. Don't like what you find here, either go elsewhere OR take part in the discussions that determine what is presented here. And if you are allowing your child to use the internet without supervision, YOU have the problem. --Khajidha (talk) 14:09, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose even if we ignore the question of how we decide whether something is "disturbing" (which is impossible to do objectively, and some people are offended far more easily than others) muzzling our coverage of controversial topics is fundamentally inappropriate. The event described in this article is inherently disturbing, it is impossible to give the reader a complete and accurate discussion of that event without showing or mentioning something disturbing, and it is part of our mission to give the reader such a discussion. I might also add that the disturbing nature of racial murders is a major reason why we study and remember them - to ensure they don't happen again. Hut 8.5 15:51, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
And just to make that point even more strongly, that story was not about a lynching. There were plenty of them. It was about photographs taken at a lynching and made widely public, having a dramatic effect on future public policy on lynchings in general. That photograph and its publication IS the story. HiLo48 (talk) 18:55, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

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

Proposal to better enforce CC-By-SA

I have noticed that Wikipedia is generally unable to enforce copyrights on its content. For example, the community cannot sue Getty Images for creating a non-free screenshot of a Wikipedia page (see discussion on Wikimedia Commons) even though it is a copyright violation.

On the other hand, GNU uses a centralized rights management scheme where project contributors assign copyright to the Free Software Foundation. So FSF has exclusive rights to the GNU OS but licenses it under the GPL; thus they can sue companies that don't comply with their license.

I don't think that would be necessary. If it is possible to "share" copyright between one or more legal entities, we could create a somewhat centralized rights management scheme where:

  • the copyright for any article edited by at least 5 users is shared between those contributors
  • 15+ users and/or reached Good Article status - copyright held by all contributors, global administrators (users that are admins on all Wikimedia sites), and the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Project and Help namespace pages (excluding WikiProjects) - ??

Talk pages would not be affected. 68.173.113.106 (talk) 23:52, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Update: The purpose of this would not be to "sue for the sake of suing" as this goes against our principles. It would be to "secure the blessings of liberty to our articles and other media" - to ensure that our content remains free, forever. 68.173.113.106 (talk) 23:54, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia is here to build an encyclopedia. What others do with it after it leaves the foundation's servers really doesn't effect that core mission. The foundation is taking the proper stance to leave it to contributors to enforce their rights against third parties if they so choose, while not itself engaging in costly litigation that will do nothing to further its mission. Monty845 01:36, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I would be very skeptical of a copyright assignment scheme. If a central entity owns enough copyrights, what's to prevent someone from coming up with a bogus lawsuit - defamation, slipped on the ice on their front steps, whatever - getting a multi-million dollar judgment, seizing their assets, and making the whole shooting match their own personal property to use however they will? (except, grudgingly, recognizing the remaining GPL licensed stuff as beyond their reach) Nor do I think that Wikipedia, contributors being such as they are, should really be beating down the doors to get into a courtroom! If Getty Images were to misuse some of our CC content, then fine - remember it, maybe even make fun of them for it, but don't actually call them on it in court unless and until they sue Wikipedia or its people for something, at which point you call together your militia. Of course, there's no preventing a suit if they step on the toes of some particular contributor who's a hardcase about his attribution (professional photographers...) ... and not having centralized copyright means we can never really rule that out. Wnt (talk) 20:44, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Contributors still own the copyright to all of their contributions, so they have full power to enforce those rights if someone violates them by using the content without complying with the license the contributor released it under (or the contributor's right even to grant a different license to someone else). Wikipedia's inaction has nothing to do with that because it's not "its content"; the Foundation doesn't obtain ownership or an assignment of any copyrights in any contributions posted here. What makes it difficult, of course, is that in the U.S. at least you can't actually sue someone for copyright infringement until you've registered your material (whether text or image) with the U.S. Copyright Office, though once you've done so you can still sue for the infringement occurring prior to that registration (but without a lot of the statutory damages available for infringement that occurs after registration). A lot of our contributions also aren't actually copyrightable because they are noncreative or too minimal (correcting spelling, adding category or cleanup tags, etc.). Nevertheless, I've actually written a number of cease and desist letters in the past when I've found other websites (primarily commercial ones) misusing large quantities of text or images I've posted here or to Commons, and the content has subsequently been removed. So if you uploaded an image to Commons and see that even a big company like Getty is using it but failing to comply with your chosen license (and not protected under fair use), it's your right (and your own responsibility) to contact them and demand they stop. postdlf (talk) 17:32, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't think a centralized scheme is necessary because articles could be considered somewhat of a joint work. Although, we see the same problems with Facebook because they are known to sue for copyvio over users' posts. What if they (accidentally) sue the original user and thwart any attempts by them to prove they are in fact the copyright holder? 68.173.113.106 (talk) 20:41, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC on emailing users

An RfC has been opened here over whether or not the email feature should be disabled. Please feel free to weigh in. AutomaticStrikeout 01:21, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

  • The above discussion is now closed. Monty845 16:07, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

RFC on considering two page archive methods deprecated

See Help talk:Archiving a talk page#RFC on deprecating two archive methods. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:24, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

One week majority vote PC proposal

I see that Wikipedia:PC2012/RfC 2 is listed at "Centralized discussion" above, but is it normal for an RFC to have a one-week time limit before it is settled by simple majority? This thing is being actively canvassed at Wikipediocracy - but I wonder how many "normal" Wikipedia editors will even know it exists before it is closed. Wnt (talk) 04:18, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

My read is that a vote may be initiated to close the RFC early after 1 week, and that the closure vote would be by simple majority, but that the RFC would then be closed normally. While it is an novel mechanism, I don't see what is really wrong with it. Monty845 04:24, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I concur - it is not the RFC that is to be settled by simple majority, but the decision to close the RFC. (All in favor? 1. me, ok the majority voted to close). What they are doing is incrementally working on the implementation of PC (Pending Changes) by the end of this year, and do not want to take a month for every little detail. Some issues will be more difficult to work on than others and this process lets them sift through everything and identify those issues that need further review. Apteva (talk) 05:27, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I have clarified the directions. If further WP:Bradspeak on this point would be desirable, please speak up. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:10, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

AWB rules of use

There is a proposal for a change to the AWB rules of use at Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser#Rule clean up. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:34, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Un-bundling of the block tool.

I know that I may get trampled on for writing this, but I will give it a shot anyway. I was thinking, all users specialize in different things, for me that is counter-vandalism. I would probably be useless at using all other admin tools other than the block tool. Of my 1251 main namespace edits, 70 are not countering vandalism. I suggest that this tool is given on an approval basis, as many people might be in a similar position. I know this was done with rollback a few years ago.Thanks,W.D. 15:17, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't think this has much of a chance. Of all the admin rights, the block button is arguably the most sensitive, because using it badly has the most serious and most direct potential of harming other editors, so I'd say it's pretty much the least likely bit to be ever unbundled. Fut.Perf. 15:27, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I fully support unbundling the block tool, nevertheless, over other tools, as the blockage of vandals has the highest priority over things like deleting vandalism/attacks and page protection. I might argue that page protection is more contentious, especially full protection. I would not support unbundling blocking for purposes besides combatting vandalism, because everything else like edit warring are contentious uses of the button.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:11, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
W.D., if we can trust you with block, then we can trust you with everything, even if you never use any other button. Having said that, a counter-vandalism person would benefit from being able to delete CSD-worthy vandalism, so your rationale for un-bundling is not very practical. I think the community would benefit more from having someone like you have the full set of tools. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:18, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Not quite. CSD can usually wait, while blocks can't. I strongly dislike the notion that "trustworthy in one tool = trustworthy in all tools", because page protection often is much more contentious than vandalism or CSD patrolling (yes, I'd support unbundling delete too, but no more than that). What use do you think that W.D. would have for page protection, other than combatting mass attacks?--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:25, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
CSD can usually wait... and sometimes RevDel on your way to Oversight is totally appropriate, because "can usually wait" means "sometimes, really should not wait at all". A person who focuses on counter-vandalism work is more likely to encounter that situation than a person who writes articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:09, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, not gonna happen, especially without a much stronger argument for it than has been presented here. "I've made 1100 anti-vandalism edits" isn't a sufficient reason to, especially when page deletion is often hand-in-hand with blocking. EVula // talk // // 20:23, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Deletion unbundling is also something to support, but I think deletion can wait while blocks cannot.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:25, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm 99% sure that the Foundation with step in to override any attempt at unbundling deletion (specifically, its related function of seeing deleted content); I vaguely recall hearing/seeing something about how the ability to view deleted content has to be vetted in some fashion, and splitting deletion/deletion vision/undeletion up is just fracturing the userrights for no discernible reason. EVula // talk // // 20:32, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
They said they'd be OK if we did a vetting process, not quite RfA's intensity but intermediate between that and the process of granting the edit filter manager permission.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:35, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

As with the last time this was brought up, I see no need for it. AVI is not constantly backlogged, we are not over-run by vandals, if you want to play the Wikipedia game and fight the bad guys then go ahead, you don't need the ability to block to do it--Jac16888 Talk 20:57, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

With all due respect for those who argue there should be much better reasoning other than that the vast majority of my edits are counter-vandalism, note that this is true for many others also and that this could be benificial for all editors. What other reasoning is there than it may be better for Wikipedia as a whole? The shorter time a vandal isn't blocked, the less chance they have of editing distruptively. Thanks,W.D. 21:00, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
No offence, but if there was to ever be a blocker right I can guarantee you would need a hell of a lot more than a thousand edits, a dedicated vandal-fighter using huggle could rack that up in a couple of weeks--Jac16888 Talk 21:16, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
While I disagree with Jact16888's overall opinion on this, active vandal-fighters should definitely have rollback and many thousands of edits before getting it.--Jasper Deng (talk) 21:47, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
If someone has rollback and many thousands of edits, they should take a stab at RfA. EVula // talk // // 22:24, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • When AIV is backlogged, patrollers shouldn't have to wait hours (I mean that literally) for an admin to come and block the vandal/spammer. AIV gets backlogged more than some would think.--Jasper Deng (talk) 21:47, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
When AIV is backlogged, it is generally because of incorrect or unnecessary reports, it's a rare occasion for aiv to have actively vandalising editors sitting listed for hours. I think you overestimate just how many blocks take place here Jasper, the log of the last hundred goes back some 3 hours (compare that to the recent changes log, which goes back 1 minute for the last hundred edits), and of those hundred blocks, maybe 15-20 are for vandalism--Jac16888 Talk 22:22, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
[ec] The solution then is to get more of our 1,219 admins to watch AIV. Semi-permanently deputizing a slew of editors for exceedingly temporary situations is a knee-jerk reaction. EVula // talk // // 22:24, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

lol, blockers. --MuZemike 00:17, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

and admins--Jac16888 Talk 01:02, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The proposal is a PEREN, and there has been a spate of new ones this year. The reasons they failed to gain consensus are varied but among the more common ones are that creating more rights would be seen as more opportunities for hat collecting, a fast-track to adminship avoiding the tribulations of the RfA system, and that if a user should be trusted with one of the tools they should be experienced and mature enough to be trusted with them all. Other reasons for opposition included the increased managerial burden of administering such rights. I am not in favour of unbundling admin tools or creating additional user rights. What is needed are more active admins, and a clean up of the NPP process - we now have an excellent control panel for it, all we need is more editors with the competence to use it well. I don't generally see any serious backlogs at AIV, but what I do see there is a lot of wrong reports, and among the regular counter-vandalists I sometimes don't see enough placing of user warnings or detailed edit summaries. Sufficient incremental vandalism warnings and accurate CSD tagging of new vandalism, hoax, attack, and nonsense pages will soon enough alert the attention of an admin. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:59, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
    I am aware of the perennial status of this proposal. But... perhaps limited blocking rights can be unbundled. Blocking a vandal for up to 2 hours should be enough to a) spoil the fun of the vandal and b) give a fully fledged admin time to review the block and act accordingly. Off course, misuse should be punished by repealing the right. The Banner talk 21:47, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
    So we don't have the administrative manpower to keep an eye on AIV, but we do have the eyeballs free to go back and double-check every psudeo-admin's temporary blocks? I dunno about everyone else, but I don't have the time to hand-hold everyone; I'd rather trust that the people that can block accounts have been vetted in some fashion and don't need me to look over their shoulders. EVula // talk // // 22:09, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
What he said. Also, anyone who has actually done admin work is aware that it is very common to need more than one tool to resolve a situation. That is a big part of the reason why the endless proposals to unbundle one admin tool or another always fail, like this one clearly is going to... Beeblebrox (talk) 21:30, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm aware of the perennial nature of the request, and the rationale for not allowing it. However, as someone who does not do a lot of anti-vandalism work, but is very grateful to those who do, I could support allowing an anti-vandal specialist the ability to block for a very limited time, say, an hour. I'm imagining a situation where someone is on a spree of vandalism, and taking even a few minutes to file at AIV and get a block may result in the need for a bit of cleanup. Allowing a block of an hour gives breathing time to file an AIV, get an admin to lengthen if appropriate, and if it turns out not to be a valid block, it expires quite quickly.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:36, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Oops, I thought I had read the whole thread and see that User:The Banner already made this point. In response to EVula, I see it differently. I envision all such blocks should be double-checked, but I'm assuming (please correct me if I'm wrong), that a dedicated vandal can make a fair mess in a few minutes, and we can't assume that an admin will respond in minutes, not even considering that it may take a couple minutes to file a report. I might even be persuaded to accept a shorter time - a 15 minute block might stop an attention span deficit impaired vandal, while not being a meaningful interruption to a good faith editor.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
In this "no admins available" scenario (which is becoming increasingly unrealistic, but whatever), it would be just as likely that someone could "make a fair mess" and get blocked by a temp-admin for 15 minutes, but any bad pages they created would sit waiting for one of the hundreds of apparently-absentee administrators to delete; meanwhile, because Wikipedia has become such a lawless state with no administrative oversight, that 15 minutes would wrap up and they could go back to their care-free vandalizing. To actively address vandalism, you need to be able to delete and block. This scenario just doesn't make any sense to me, both in the exceedingly pointless bureaucracy that it would create, and in the fact that it's addressing a problem that doesn't exist. (seriously, looking at AIV, I'm not seeing any evidence that administrators are absent; hell, the latest report is both stale and incorrect, which just reinforces the comment above about how sometimes reports at AIV don't get acted upon for reasons other than there not being anyone around) EVula // talk // // 20:06, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I haven't done much of any anti-vandal work, but it seems to me that you'd need delete and block and protect to deal with all types of vandalism (to avoid Maslow's hammer). Protect being needed, of course, for the "flood of vandals to an article sent by an external source" case. Anomie 20:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking about AIV reports specifically, but yes, you are indeed correct that a well-rounded vandalism fighter would need to utilize all three of those abilities. Yet another reason why spinning off a single userright doesn't really accomplish much. EVula // talk // // 04:51, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
On this note, protection is seldom needed compared to blocking/deletion - we don't need all three unbundled. Anyone with the unbundled right should not have to require admin time to oversee them, because that would imply lack of trustworthiness.--Jasper Deng (talk) 05:07, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Since we have consensus not to censor images, fix Wikipedia:Picture of the Day/Unused

A few days ago we agreed not to censor illustrations for Today's Featured Article. However, it was pointed out on User talk:Jimbo Wales that there are also some images that have been pulled aside at some point due to their graphic nature at Wikipedia:Picture of the day/Unused. The same arguments apply to these. I propose that censorship of images that have already passed the very difficult stage of reaching POTD be abolished. (The larger group of images which are held due to lack of context is not included in this proposal, as the appropriate context should eventually be generated and they should be displayed once it has been)

As a fall-back position, I strongly urge that at least the two most important of these images be featured appropriately:

  • File:Child with Smallpox Bangladesh.jpg - to be featured either on May 8, the date on which the virus was declared eradicated in 1980, or on December 30, the first date in 1993 when the World Heath Organization had recommended that all remaining stocks of the virus be destroyed. I hope that this photo will remind people of the risks of resurgent smallpox or mutated related viruses.

But please consider ending the practice of withholding POTDs based on "graphic nature" altogether. Wnt (talk) 15:24, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

sidenote: File:Rows of bodies of dead inmates fill the yard of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp.jpg should probably be renamed (or evidence provided that it was a "Gestapo concentration camp", as opposed to a concentration camp like any other where Gestapo were active). Unfortunately Commons doesn't like renaming files unless it's really necessary, but errors like that (if it is an error) should qualify. Rd232 talk 18:46, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm generally first on board with the WP:NOTCENSORED arguments, but I think we need to provide some editorial discretion to decide that the value of adding a graphic picture as picture of the day is out weighed by the likelihood that it will disturb/offend people. I think you make a strong case for the concentration camp photo and remembering the horrors of the Holocaust on the Remembrance day. The other tie in seems less compelling, but at the same time, the image image is disturbing in lesser ways. I would suggest a better approach would be to alter the rejection process such that there is a chance for discussion, but keep the discretion to reject a photo pending discussion, and decide on a case by case basis. Monty845 16:01, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
My gods, the lynching image got blown ridiculously out of proportion. What is wrong with applying common sense to pictures, and just acknowledging that sometimes people are going to disagree? EVula // talk // // 16:11, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
This sentence jumps out at me as an inappropriate use of an Encyclopedia "I hope that this photo will do good service to refute Holocaust denial." The denial people also hope that the encyclopedia "does good service" to their denial claims. There are tons of POV in WP. Having them there is not a goal. We hope that the encyclopedia shows the Earth is round-ish, but we maintain a neutral point of view. Apteva (talk) 17:24, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Certainly we want a neutral point of view. My point is that if you have a random set of points of view, and then you take some out ... what you have isn't neutral any more. Perhaps the people who refused to display these images did not realize that they were making Holocaust denial more plausible or belittling the importance of preventing a resurgence of smallpox, but this was inevitably the effect of their actions, which a return of the photos to the collection will remedy. Wnt (talk) 17:50, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
It is Wikipedia's job to educate people. That is done primarily through text which conveys information, and only secondarily through images, which document or explain. Shocking people with horrific images is only conducive to education when done in an appropriate informative context, and generally when they're expecting it. So whilst putting horrific images in TFA is questionable, it's clearly inappropriate on POTD. Wikipedia's mission is to be educational for the benefit of readers, not to satisfy editors' desire to prove that they are NOT CENSORED. Rd232 talk 18:57, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
To suggest something that might be a middle ground: if you collect a series of related images in some way, that collection could be featured at POTD using a front-page-acceptable related image and a link to the collection, with a clear warning of what lies beyond if the reader chooses to go there. Rd232 talk 18:57, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
I have massive problems with concerns that any particular image "will disturb/offend people". That's one of those horrible, non-specific terms that can be interpreted by the reader to mean whatever they like. My first question is "Which people?" In my town at the moment the supporters of one football team are offended by seeing pictures of the team that just beat theirs to win the season's championship celebrating at their expense. Being disturbed or offended is far too subjective a concept. HiLo48 (talk) 21:09, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
I love how whenever this discussion happens people come up with examples that are... far out, let's say. Football supporters 'offended' to see opponents celebrating?? I. Don't. Fucking. Think. So. ... More constructively, just because it's a fundamentally subjective issue doesn't mean we have to throw up our arms and stick goatse.cx on the Main Page. We can come up with some meaningful standard if we try, like whether it would be reasonable to have the image on the front page of a newspaper. Obviously countries vary, so we can (very very roughly) do some weighting for either average reader or average contributor, and if it's "mostly OK for most people", that will do. Better than saying "we can't agree, so fuck any kind of standard at all, anything goes". Rd232 talk 22:08, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Who has proposed to put Goatse on the main page? --Jayron32 04:37, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
When ever I find myself in a discussion about censorship or Taboo subjects, I give examples of late 1990 TV censorship. Sweden, a west'ish looking country, with a culture dominating with American movies and American/UK TV shows, had a very opposite view when it came to decide what to censor on national tax supported TV. To take a few examples, the movie Showgirls was shown not once but twice and both times the uncensored version. Nudity was never viewed as something bad, and even segments from pornographic films was shown on a teen-age educational show (during family prime time) called Bullen. Nudity was not discussed in censorship discussions as it was just not an issue, and American/UK view on the subject was seen as odd and strange.
Violence on other hand, now that was viewed as bad for society. TV violence was often a hot topic, discussed on all political levels in society and a strong censorship was enforced onto cinemas and TV. A cartoon show, my guess is it that most of you have heard of it, called Darkwing Duck, was banned mid season as it was viewed as "Video nasty". The movie The Texas Chain Saw Massacre became a symbol for a Swedish movement against video violence. For more info on the Swedish version of "Video nasty" can be found at Videovåld.
It wasn't until 2011 (yes, last year!), that the Swedish national cinema censure system was abolished. The censoring of media violence has mostly ended now in regard to movies and TV, but not in regards to video games. Both Norway and Sweden had a temporary censoring of games after the Norway attacks of 2011, and my personal guess is that censoring of games will last a while longer. Last, we have the subject of alcoholic beverage, where any ads about alcoholic beverage is currently (2012) strictly forbidden in Sweden. Any form of promotion, be that TV, movies, cinema, radio, road signs... are all forbidden.
So, when someone say this or that is "normal and acceptable", remember that its only true for their country. Their community. Their group. Finding what is "mostly OK for most people" will only reflect the location the voting people. What it wont reflect is the consensus. Belorn (talk) 08:37, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
The smallpox image would work fantastically for smallpox or smallpox eradication as the related article, and would make an interesting POTD. Finding an article that the holocaust image would best represent would be trickier (that specific camp, the wider holocaust, or even the article on Holocaust Remembrance Day if it's run on that day) but I'd still support its appearance. To be honest I'm not up to date on how POTD choose the bold-linked article to accompany the image, though. GRAPPLE X 21:15, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
As pointed out by User:Jayron32 in the previous discussion, the difference is that for Featured Pictures, the possibility of an image being skipped as POTD is discussed during the image's nomination phase. Sometimes !votes are cast based on the promise that the image will *not* appear on the Main Page—the Lager Nordhausen nomination is one such example. howcheng {chat} 00:15, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I think I broadly agree with the TFA decision (though editorial decision-making always an option, etc) but I would be cautious about extending it to the FP, which has a very different dynamic. I don't think we can automatically transfer one decision to the other, and on the whole I'm happy with the current system of limiting FPs. Andrew Gray (talk) 09:15, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think that the OP gets the entire point of the last discussion. There's broad consensus to not have a site-wide policy introducing a sloppily worded and sketchily enforceable "ban" on "offensive images". That doesn't mean that there is a site-wide policy that we need to be gratuitous. The general tenor of the discussion would indicate that editorial decisions need to be made on an case-by-case and image-by-image basis; and that it would be quite all right to decide to not us a particular image on the main page, or in an article, based on a specific direct discussion over the salience and the appropriateness of each particular image. Sometimes, editors will arrive, via consensus, at the conclusion that we shouldn't use a specific image in a specific context, and that's quite fine; that sort of thing is endorsed by the policy/guidelines all over the place. Wikipedia:Offensive material states unambiguously " Wikipedia editors do not remove material solely because it may be offensive, unpleasant, or unsuitable for some readers. However, this does not mean that Wikipedia should include material simply because it is more offensive, nor does it mean that offensive content is exempted from regular inclusion guidelines." (bold mine) WP:CONSENSUS is a "regular inclusion guideline", and if people in a discussion about a particular image, have decided that that one image should not appear on the main page, that's perfectly acceptable. The distinction here is making editorial decisions on a per-image basis, and not on any site-wide policy. --Jayron32 12:52, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Medical advice and unsourced medical "facts" at the reference desk

The Science Reference Desk is hosting medical advice and unsourced medical claims. The former, advice, is expressly against the guideline; the latter is a very bad idea. Can I hear thoughts on the appropriateness of the latter – anonymous Randys posting dubious unsourced health-related assertions on a public page? Many editors work tirelessly around the clock policing Recent changes (medicine) for this kind of thing from newbies and vandals in articles, but at the "reference" desk references for medical assertions are considered unnecessary. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:34, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

As far as medical advice goes, that is not allowed. However, that only means a specific attempt to diagnose or prescribe a treatment for a real person, not any question related to human biology or general medical protocols.
While sources are preferred, we often get unsourced answers with follow-ups which either provide supporting or contrary sources. StuRat (talk) 07:08, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
The Science Reference Desk typically provides unsourced opinions. Sometimes answers include the semblance of a source, but the source often doesn't support the opinion. That's how the reference desk operates. To be fair, many questions cannot be answered using WP:RS-compliant sources; the questions require some interpretation (original research) to answer. Axl ¤ [Talk] 08:57, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Anthony, can you link to several recent answers in the archives that disturb you, so we can see what you're talking about? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:12, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
The reference desk should provide advice with references. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 00:38, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, we can't provide advice, properly, because advice implies value judgments. For example, if you have metastatic cancer, one person will say cisplatin, another will say $unitinib, another will say shoot yourself, another knows a guy with a gene therapy vector to express angiostatin that works in a mouse ... the difference is not just the facts, but your philosophy.
In response to a rash of unreasonably restrictive removals and subsequent rancorous debate, I think it is less than satisfying, on a case by case basis, to fight on for your right to answer one lousy question. Rather, I propose WP:JETFA. Wnt (talk) 08:28, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Civility Enforcement RFC

A discussion has been started at WP:CIVILITY regarding Civility Enforcement. Please feel free to comment and provide suggestions. Hasteur (talk) 12:38, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

RFC on civility and the enforcement of same

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Civility enforcement. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:15, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the notification. --Jayron32 02:27, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

RFC on sodding civility and bloody enforcement

A fucking RFC on sodding civility and bloody enforcement has been launched. Yippeeka-yay, etc. Well if we're going to duplicate announcements, we may as well demonstrate a variety of communication styles, eh.... Rd232 talk 19:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Blow it out yer ass. --Jayron32 02:27, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
They aren't duplicates, though. There actually are two RfCs. Jafeluv (talk) 11:55, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Umm, mainly no. Only one. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:09, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Huh? RFC 1, RFC 2. Both are listed separately at WP:RFC/A. Jafeluv (talk) 01:37, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia (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 October 2012 (UTC)

If it is no longer marked as a guideline, isn't it a given that it was previously marked as a guideline? Is the redundancy necessary? 69.62.243.48 (talk) 02:03, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
You appear to be arguing with a bot. It is generally a waste of time to argue with software. You could try contacting the owner/creator/Dr. Frankenstein responsible at User talk:CBM AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:36, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I am not arguing with the bot, I'm arguing with whoever wrote the template. 69.62.243.48 (talk) 05:06, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I think that the form is designed to accommodate changes between policy and guideline status. This is now marked as "nothing", and was previously a guideline. The form would make more sense if it said "This has been edited so that it is now marked as a policy; it was previously a guideline." WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:23, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Is Privacy a Legitimate Reason for New User ID?

I used to participate in editing Wikipedia articles, but stopped about two years ago after inadvertently forgetting to log in a few times, and having the IP address of an organization that I'm associated with appear with some of my edits. I do not speak for that organization (on the topics of the articles I had edited), and I was frankly disconcerted that their IP address was linked to my edits. So I discontinued editing.

Recently I decided to try editing again, with a new User ID, vowing this time to be more careful about never logging into Wikipedia from any but my own personal IP address. I don't remember the password of my former User ID, and even if I did, I would not want to edit with that ID because of its link with the afore-mentioned organization's IP address.

After I started editing again, another editor noticed similarities between my views and those of my previous User ID, and has declared that I am a sockpuppet and should not be allowed to edit. I'm trying to find out if that charge is valid. I read the WP article on sockpuppets, but it's somewhat ambiguous. It says Privacy is a legimitate reason for changing User IDs. Also, it says sockpuppetry is defined as changing your User ID for nefarious purposes. I freely admit that I changed my User ID, but not for nefarious purposes. I'm not evading any bans or blocks, and I'm not simultaneously participating in editing as multiple users. (As I said, the last edit under my previous User ID was over two years ago.) It is purely a matter of privacy and not having my edits linked to any outside organizations.

My question is: Am I guilty of sock-puppetry? Am I effectively banned from ever editing Wikipedia again, because I do not wish to officially acknowledge an association with a former User ID for reasons of privacy? Thanks for any insights.Pumpquest9 (talk) 21:09, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Your situation seems about half way between Wikipedia:Clean start and Wikipedia:Changing username. I am not active in those areas, but if you disclose on your userpage or some such place what the situation is, I think it should be okay. Chris857 (talk) 21:27, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion, what you have done is legitimate. What you have discovered is that the Wikipedia culture tends to prefer one user one username, but there are both legitimate and illegitimate uses of other user names. Alabama proposed a law against having more than five screen names. Wikipedia servers are not in Alabama. It is my opinion that many editors are far more overzealous in accusing editors of being a sockpuppet than is warranted, and the best thing to do is simply provide a link to WP:SOCK#LEGIT. If your previous user name has been identified you can ask that the edit be overseen (this is stronger than deleted). It is important to assume good faith and let your accuser know that you appreciate their concern for making certain that WP is not abused by the use of sockpuppets, but that there are actually legitimate uses for alternate accounts - and you can refer them to one of the many admins who maintain alternate accounts if necessary - ask me if you need help finding one. Please note that if the only reason for changing accounts is because of making edits while not logged in, it should be sufficient to simply have those edits deleted, but there are complications there, one because the process is complicated, but second because it can leave an awkward edit summary. If you do not have access to the old account you can use e-mail to request that it be marked retired, but doing so is not required. A rename is not what you are looking for, as all it does is move your user page and user talk page to a new name, preserving all of your old history including the edits that are associated with the unlogged in IPUser edits. Pumpquest9, of course, is not the user name in question, as it only has one edit, and appears to have been created for the sole purpose of anonymously posting to the Village pump. Which is, in fact, a legitimate, though quite unusual, use of alternate accounts, and not a method that is recommended. In addition to e-mail, there is an IRC chat facility that can be used to resolve issues such as this one. Please note the warning of staying away from articles that you have recently edited with a different account. Apteva (talk) 22:46, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Edits from years ago are too old to effectively oversight. Technically possible, yes, but they will have been replicated on countless mirrors and dumps by now. And if you made talk page comments as an IP years ago, then it may simply be too much to oversight. To the original question, you haven't done anything wrong. As long as you aren't logging into your old account (which includes forgetting the password), and your old account isn't banned, then it's permitted under policy. Plenty of users have abandoned account after account, and as long as they aren't doing it to avoid scrutiny it's tolerated. Now, as to actually maintaining your privacy, the only thing you can do yourself is abandon your account, create a new one, and don't edit in the same areas that you used to. That's also permitted. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:17, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
If another editor pointed out your behavior in the same area of editing then yes, you might be socking illegitimately. Wikipedia is a great big place and nothing required you to return to the same editing subject(s) as your other accounts. You risked exposure by returning to the same areas and got recognized. In that situation, privacy is not legitimate as a reason for alternate accounts. Usually "sock" comes out as an accusation following someone's objectionable behavior and not just because someone holds similarities between views of an editor that isn't around anymore. Cutting to the chase, you should email an admin with a diff of the accusation and let them review your situation to determine the best way to proceed. It's easier to look at specifics.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 23:29, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. How does one go about "emailing an admin"? Sorry for being dense, but I'm not too familiar with Wikipedia processes. I don't even know how to find an admin, or how to find the appropriate one (select at random?), nor how to email them. Could you point me in the right direction?
Also, I don't know what "specifics" would be relevant. Needless to say, if I was involved in edit warring or some other bad behavior, then my edits would be illegitmate just for that reason alone, regardless of what UserID I was using (or even if I was posting from IP addresses of various McDonalds). But the question is, if someone is NOT engaging in any bad behavior, are they still prohibted from editing, merely by virture of the fact that they once edited (years ago) the same article under a different User ID? (Again, stipulate that the former UserID is not blocked or banned, etc.) Is there a definite answer to this question, or is it ultimately a subjective thing?Pumpquest9 (talk) 01:03, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
All rules on Wikipedia are enforced capriciously. As you describe it, you have done nothing wrong, but if you haven't edited for two years and someone has recognized you, that suggests that there is something about your editing that draws attention. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:31, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Editors in (truly) good standing are permitted to get a new account any time they want, so long as they stop using the old one. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:43, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
The problem with giving a straight answer, Pump, is that these things exist on a spectrum. On one side are editors in perfect standing and nothing to hide who decide, for whatever reason, to abandon one account and create a new one. That is always permitted. On the other side are editors who have been the subject of blocks or other sanctions for tendentious editing in some area, who create a new account to continue their disruptive behavior while avoiding scrutiny. That is always forbidden. It's the in between area where the rules are enforced capriciously. The typical but vague example is where an editor has been involved in edit wars and/or heated disputes, but has never been formally sanctioned, and then returns to the same area under a new identity. Whether that is permitted can only be decided on a case by case basis. And ultimately, I think if you are concerned about your privacy, you should completely avoid your old editing niches regardless. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:51, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
To answer the question, "how do I e-mail an admin?" There is a list of admins Wikipedia:List of administrators here and it can be confusing figuring out which admin to contact and how. WP has an internal e-mail procedure that can be used for many (click on username and select the e-mail link at left), and WP has certain individuals who have publicly listed their e-mail address, mostly bureaucrats, arbcom, etc. some of whom if not all are also admins. You should be able to e-mail from your actual account, and any admin who gets the e-mail should be able to help you. See this link, for example, just to pick on one of our bureaucrats.[3] Apteva (talk) 04:07, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Many thanks to all for taking the trouble to reply, and for the useful feedback and information.Pumpquest9 (talk) 01:21, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Capitalization of lower-case words in article titles

What is Wikipedia's policy on capitalization of 1) RNAs and 2) proprietary names when either is the title of an article? Currently, wik uses the (in my opinion wrong and confusing though at least following one interpretation of standard rules) policy of capitalizing common nouns (e.g., "dog" becomes "Dog"). But then where we have recent bio-chemical "words" such as "miR-132," this rule is generally not applied (except that in my list of user contributions it is applied by the bot (e.g., "m Mir-132 ‎ (typo) (top)"). Also when some company comes up with a "cute" way of spelling its name including spelling the first letter small, this is maintained in the Wik article title. I don't see why we can't simply follow standard rules of capitalization of English as taught in schools around the world. Kdammers (talk) 03:23, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles for the official rules on this. Be aware that many of the practices you describe are actually contraindicated by the Manual of Style, but also be aware that with 5,621,682 to keey track of, sometimes we miss a few wrongly titled ones. You are, of course, free to fix any article title which directly violates the MOS, so long as you don't fight over it, and discuss it if someone objects. --Jayron32 03:48, 28 September 2012 (UTC)


A good rule of thumb is, how would you capitalize the words in the title, if they appeared at the start of a sentence? So for example the name von Neumann uses a lowercase v in the middle of a sentence, but if you start a sentence with his last name, you use the capital V. Therefore the article von Neumann universe does not need the {{lowercase}} template, and correctly displays with the uppercase V.
On the other hand, eBay is just wrong if spelled EBay, even at the start of a sentence. Therefore the {{lowercase}} template is appropriate there.
This doesn't seem to be codified in the MoS per se, but it should be. Maybe I'll bring it up. --Trovatore (talk) 04:32, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
MoS has codified absolutely everything. In this case the sub-sub-clause is at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Trademarks#Trademarks that begin with a lowercase letter. Thincat (talk) 10:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
The difference between "dog" and "miR-132" is that dog actually can be capitalized while miR-132 cannot. The use of lowercase letters for miR-132 carries meaning in and of itself just as does the usage of capital or lowercase letters in the metric symbols Mm and mm or the chemical symbols CO and Co. There simply is no such thing as MiR-132. --Khajidha (talk) 13:37, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Which is exactly the sort of thing {{lowercase}} is for, and that template is correctly used at miR-132, so I'm not sure what we're arguing about. Kdammers: It appears to me that you are missing a key piece of information here. The MediaWiki software automatically upcases the first letter of every title; this is built-in and no one seems to be interested in changing it (I've argued in the past that it shouldn't happen for non-Latin letters, so that e.g Ω-logic could be different from ω-logic, but the developers made it clear the proposal was going nowhere). The {{lowercase}} template is a sort of a workaround that allows such titles to display lowercase in some circumstances, but internally I believe they are still represented as uppercase, and that's what you're seeing in your contributions list. --Trovatore (talk) 19:07, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I'm arguing from ignorance, but how do I know if a word gets cap'd at the start of a sentence? According what I was taught in school many years ago, every word gets upper case at the beginning of a sentence. [Re: "A good rule of thumb is, how would you capitalize the words in the title, if they appeared at the start of a sentence?"] Kdammers (talk) 05:38, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
It does, which is why if you have a word that should never be capitalized, you should try, if possible, to write the sentence in a way to avoid making it the first word. For example, mRNA is an abbreviation for "messenger RNA", and the abbreviation never takes a capital M. So, when writing, avoid using mRNA at the start of a sentence. Either write "Messenger RNA" (which can be capitalized) or write something like "The mRNA molecule" or something like that, since "The" can easily be capitalized. The first rule of most style guides is "if a construction makes for awkward writing, use a different construction". That includes the odd "never capitalize" word; just construct sentences to avoid putting them at the start. --Jayron32 06:01, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm still at a loss. Yes, I construct sentences to avoid this issue where I can. But what about other cases? How do I know that mRNA is never MRNA? Why can "messenger" be capitalized but not "m"? Is there a list some-where of these protected words? Also, when and where did this practice of protecting lower-case letters in special cases get started?Kdammers (talk) 06:21, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
It's a case by case basis. There's probably not a list of everything, as it could vary from item to item. You will know by how other publications handle the names. EVula // talk // // 06:39, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

What is to do with cases of Incivility by dynamic IP users?

I was really unsure how to proceed with this; whether I should ask at the Village Pump or any ANI. Finally, I decided to try my luck here and maybe gain valuable advice. But straight to the point:
A contributor has been editing a set of articles and discussion pages via a dynamic IP address. He knows his place around Wikipedia very well, but I cannot possibly allege if he is a returning user or not. I've noticed his latest incarnations here and here. I have engaged in a couple of discussions with him; other users have done it as well. However, the latest interaction ended with this comment. He obviously has no issues with insulting other editors and it seems like his confidence is reinforced by the fact that he feels untouchable.
Now, how are editors supposed to work with him? Mind you, he will return in say two days and do and write the same. What is more, as I explained, he is aware of wikipolicies and knows what he has done. And he is also sure there's nothing anybody could do.
I am mainly looking for advice as to how such an issue could be addressed. I know a block is hardly a option cause he'll just pop up tomorrow via another IP. Articles and wikiessays on the topic did not shade any light on how Wikipedia deals with such cases. This one is not about vandal who could be stopped by simply semi-protecting the page targeted by him. It is about an IP that insults editors and could do so at a wide range of talkpages etc. What is to do in such a case really?
Thanks for any advice that comes my way and sorry if this has been discussed before. I did try and locate such a past discussion but obviously failed to do so. --Laveol T 17:23, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Without any regard to whether this guy meets the standards, generally when someone with a highly dynamic IP address is being disruptive he is met with a combination of page protection and short "whack-a-mole"-style blocks until he gets bored or gets a clue. --Jayron32 17:27, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Laveol, if you find it suitable to do so, you may want to file an abuse report against this individual. Also, I'll direct you to a conversation I had at the village pump in April 2012, with the subject line of Is there a policy to deal with dynamic IP range disruption?. The administrator contacted the ISP provider of the disruptive IP hopper, and I was notified on my talk page that the perpetrator in question was suspended by said ISP provider; the administrator was very helpful, and I have not sen the perpetrator on Wikipedia since then. Disruptive dynamic IPs are a tricky and irritating situation to deal with. I hope that this post is helpful. Backtable Speak to meconcerning my deeds. 04:54, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. It seems like a great proposal. I'll see if the IP continues its abusive comments, as it seems to have calmed down a bit for now. Given his edit history, though, I suspect this kind of behaviour might soon resume. --Laveol T 16:35, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Non-editable Wikipedia Pages

I have seen some pages on Wikipedia that are editable and some are not. What are some topics that are non-editable on Wikipedia? How do we know that the information provided on the page is relevant or not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.189.37.27 (talk) 13:00, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Answered at the helpdesk. Yunshui  13:07, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Editors soliciting offers on own user pages

Hi, I was looking around on en.wiki about how this community managed with this kind of requests, e.g. putting on own user page a link to IBAN, Paypal or other online money transfer systems. A LinkSearch targeting "*.paypal.com" reports at least one occurrence amongst user pages, so I am wondering if any policy exists and/or has ever been discussed before. Thank you, M/ (talk) 23:15, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

This was recently discussed at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive239#Solicitation of donations, for one. Anomie 00:33, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Semiprotection of candidate positions pages

I may be wrong about this if my browser is doing something weird (if so, I apologize for wasting everyone's time) but it does not appear that the pages on the positions of political candidates are protected or even semi-protected. I think it is advisable to semi-protect them, at least, to prevent partisans of both sides from posting crazy stuff that may have outwardly reputable sources (such as blogs et cetera which will then have to be checked). This problem cannot be wholly solved with semi-protection, but it would be a step in the right direction. If there is a good reason that these pages are not semi-protected, I would like to know it, please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert the Devil (talkcontribs) 18:33, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

We don't do preemptive protection— we protect only when there is a problem. See Wikipedia:Protection policy. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:14, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Grace period for deletion for recently deceased

It has been a common recurrence that Wikipedia pages have been made to people who have recently died. Many of the people are not notable and the author simply created the article as a sort of tribute (so assuming good faith); however, many people also nominate the article for deletion straight away.

Now to the family of the diseased, having people discuss (sometimes rather harshly) the achievements (or lack of) of the diseased can be heartbreaking. So I am proposing that any articles made in good faith of a recently diseased person, should have a grace period of 1 week before discussion should ensure, irrespective of the notability of the subject.

Kinkreet~♥moshi moshi♥~ 11:08, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

How would you enforce this? Of course we AGF. How to set the length of the grace period, when grieving periods vary? (just an example of new problems this will create) BTW, it's "deceased", not "diseased", though in a way they're connected. -- Scray (talk) 11:21, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Correction: It's "deceased", not "diseased". --George Ho (talk) 11:52, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

If a biographical article has been nominated for deletion for lack of notability, then editors shouldn't be discussing the person's achievements, harshly or otherwise. Notability is about sources; the sources or lack thereof should be the subject of discussion. Ntsimp (talk) 15:46, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
As long as such articles aren't PROD'd within 5 minutes of the creation of the article and actually given a chance to try and prove notability, I don't have a problem with the eventual deletion. I'm pretty certain that ordinary obituaries, while verifiable, would likely fall under WP:SELFPUB or similar kinds of policies, but the death of a small-town mayor or other minor local celebrity may produce some sources of information that could in theory be used to write such an article yet have an AfD kick such articles out of Wikipedia. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:21, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
While I'm not inherently opposed to this in cases of people who become notable because of their deaths (not necessarily murder or disease victims, but also folks who did things in life that result in attention after their deaths), I would prefer that is some sort of exception to prevent unencyclopedic memorial pages for Grandma Nonn O'Table. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:35, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I may not be following the original proposal, which sounds like a moratorium on deletion discussions. I am supportive of the goal, but think there is a better solution. Rather than impose a moratorium on deletion discussions, I'd prefer a moratorium on creation. If a person didn't have a article when they were alive, that doesn't mean they don't deserve an article, but there's no rush. Why not impose a moratorium, say, a month, on the creation of any article for a person in the period after their death. This would eliminate the quick creation of memorial pages, and the ensuing painful deletion discussions. Wait a month, and most of the desire for a memorial page will go away, that left can be handled courteously, but without the challenge of a very recent death. My proposal would not probit the creation of an article about a murder or other event involving death of a person, that discussion can discuss the usual notability issues without having to delve into the potentially insensitive discussions of a bio. I fully understand that the immediate period after someone's death is a time people may be looking for an article in Wikipedia, but if the person does not yet have an article, the world can wait a month. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 17:02, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't see how you can prevent creation of an article without it going through AfC.
Worse is, I CSD'd a 9/11 victim article that reappeared a week ago which had been PROD'd away 2-3 years ago. I felt bad, but life goes on. --  :- ) Don 17:09, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I presume that "preventing creation" means that PRODs for articles about the recently deceased become speedy deletes? I think that is the wrong way to approach this issue. Instead, if such articles are created by people with a relatively short edit history (under 100 edits... give or take) and especially if this new article is the only one that they've worked on, some sort of encouragement and education about reliable sources is a much better way to handle the situation. By definition these articles are being contributed by new users who really are trying to act in good faith to create these articles, and really are the kind of people we should be encouraging to participate with Wikipedia in the long run. Slamming the door on them and telling them that they are without a clue because they can't read Wikipedia guidelines they may know nothing about is insulting and hurts Wikipedia in the long run. This is a situation where diplomacy is particularly needed. --Robert Horning (talk) 20:03, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
That was something I did consider, but this person was very sneaky. They left absolutely no trail. The article appeared complete with infobox and citations in one edit from a new user with only that edit. It was hidden elsewhere, because a search of the Wiki only showed the two year old PROD. So I'm guessing the user knew what was going to happen. --  :- ) Don 21:07, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiLeaks_is_not_part_of_WikipediaShold be removed

There are many sites contain "wiki" in there names.They are not part of Wikimedia too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 111.197.173.87 (talk) 05:43, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

True, but irrelevant. It is a fact that WikiLeaks is not part of Wikipedia - and it is also a fact that far too many people think otherwise. We are fully entitled to tell them that they are wrong. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:55, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
I've created the nomination for you at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiLeaks is not part of Wikipedia. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 10:11, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I had this exact question come up in a meeting last week and wish I had thought to point to that page. MBisanz talk 22:20, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
For your information, the discussion was closed under what we called the snowball clause, which means that it stands no chance of succeeding. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:14, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Editing environment no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Editing environment (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, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Airlines/Notability no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Airlines/Notability (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, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Attack page has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Attack page (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, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

There was no proper proposal and community wide discussion on changing a policy to a guideline. I have changed this back to policy and it should remain policy until a community wide discussion decides to make the change.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:28, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Local copy of TOU and PP

We should have a local copy of wmf:Terms of Use and wmf:Privacy Policy on en.wiki. Possible locations:

  • Wikipedia:Terms of Use (shortcuts: WP:TERMS, WP:TOU, WP:TOS)
  • Wikipedia:Privacy Policy (shortcuts: WP:PRIVACY, WP:PP)

--68.173.113.106 (talk) 15:52, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

We do— they are in the bottom left of every page. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:12, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
The links at the bottom of pages go to wmf:. The IP wants a copy at en.wikipedia.org, and presumably that the links at the bottom should go there. I oppose. The pages are made by the Wikimedia Foundation and not Wikipedia. It's also the foundation which physically controls the data. "Wikipedia" is not a legal entity. The pages are stored at wmf where you can only edit if the Foundation gives you an account. They apply to all Wikimedia projects. Many English Wikimedia wikis have the wmf links. I have only seen local pages for other languages. We already have Wikipedia:Terms of use and Wikipedia:Privacy policy with links to the official wmf versions so people can see it's foundation policies. A local copy would have to be fully protected and kept synchronized with the wmf version. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:10, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I also oppose for the same reasons as PH. MBisanz talk 22:19, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
A locally kept copy could be a version specific to English Wikipedia, since the terms contain information relevant to other wikis that don't apply here. For example, that Wikinews is CC Attribution as opposed to CC BY-SA is relevant only to Wikinews, so it would appear only in a local Wikinews TOS. 68.173.113.106 (talk) 19:54, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
The attorneys at the WMF said that they want the entire organization to have identical terms, and the Board of Trustees voted to support their decision. We cannot overrule their explicit decision to use one identical set of terms for all sites. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing is quite correct. This idea is a non-starter. The Foundation's position is that a clear and consistent set will apply across all sites. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 09:32, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Is there a reason wmf:Category:Terms of Use does not contain wmf:Terms of Use/ca, wmf:Terms of Use/cs, wmf:Terms of Use/de, wmf:Terms of Use/fi, wmf:Terms of Use/bg? They are in the languages box at top of wmf:Terms of Use. Are there published rules about what is allowed for languages not listed there? Maybe a non-English Wikimedia wiki should only be allowed to replace the link to wmf:Terms of Use with a protected translation containing a link to wmf:Terms of Use. I noticed [4] in the Danish Wikipedia replaced the link on "brugsbetingelserne" (terms of use) away from wmf:Terms of Use. The new link is a Danish page about copyright: da:Wikipedia:Ophavsret. The page is unprotected, sometimes severely vandalized, says people are allowed to change it, only deals with copyright, and has no link to wmf:Terms of Use or any translation. The interlanguage links are to copyright pages like Wikipedia:Copyrights. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:40, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Re: the categories, just needed the tags. Added. Thanks. :) Languages not listed there are governed by the English versions of the Terms of Use. Actually, all languages are governed by the English language Terms of Use, if there are discrepancies between the two, per the link at the bottom. I appreciate your pointing out the issue on the Danish Wikipedia; I've brought that to the attention of the legal team. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
OK. da:MediaWiki:Wikimedia-editpage-tos-summary does link wmf:Terms of Use below the Save button in edit windows. It's the bottom of rendered pages which omits the link in da:MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyright. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:41, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Section of channel lineups in articles of providers

Look at Angeles City Cable Television Network, Cablelink, Dish México, and others in Category:Lists of television channels by company. In the light of WP:articles for deletion/List of AT&T U-verse channels and WP:articles for deletion/List of DirecTV channels, I wonder if they shall be removed and then inaccessible to prevent reversion. --George Ho (talk) 03:41, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of DirecTV channels closed as keep, FYI. --Jayron32 04:04, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, wrong one; here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of DirecTV channels (2nd nomination). --George Ho (talk) 04:13, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Which is still running, so until we have some consensus develop there (it doesn't look overwhelming in either direction) it may be worthwhile to hold off. --Jayron32 04:34, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Let's continue in #Channel lineups in Wikipedia. Also, the AFD is closed as "delete". --George Ho (talk) 02:35, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Deleting a template

I should know this, really but here goes. The article Alliance for Change (UK) was deleted many moons ago. I've just noticed that the connected templates ([[Template:Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/shortname]] and [[Template:Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/color]] still exist

How do these get deleted? Do I go through TfD or is there another flag I could raise?

Cheers doktorb wordsdeeds 10:01, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

You might see success with {{db-g8}}. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:39, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that applies here. Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/shortname and Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/color show both templates are in use. Such templates are generally used on articles about elections and not the article about the party. By the way, there is no reason for <nowiki>...</nowiki> in the post. Template:Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/shortname and Template:Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/color are normal links. It's transclusion code like {{Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/shortname}} which requires special treatment. A common way to present it is with {{tl}} as in {{Alliance for Change (UK)/meta/shortname}}. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:06, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Cheers for the replies. I'll try db-g8 now that I've delinked the templates. Thanks for the tips PrimeHunter. doktorb wordsdeeds 10:31, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Merge GlobalBlocking to Blocking policy

Currently, we have two policies about blocking: GlobalBlocking and Blocking policy. GlobalBlocking receives a grand total of approximately 6 views a day (and yes, it is formal policy), while the main Blocking policy gets 200. Note too that GlobalBlocking doesn't show up in the tool that calculates pages' number of watchers [5]. Would there be any objection to merging GlobalBlocking to a new section in the Blocking policy? It is a very short policy, so we would not be dumping a huge load of text. IMO, I think it is generally favorable to keep policies concise and as short in number as reasonable (we have over 50 formal policies now), and to avoid splitting same-topic issues into multiple pages. This is so we do not drown people in rules, especially newcomers, and I think we should generally discourage new policy creep. Remember of course that a merge would not demote the importance of the issue; it is simply being moved, to a location that will better serve community members by being in a centralized place that is read when people want to learn about blocking. NTox · talk 21:55, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Why is "There's this bit of software, see, and we sometimes use it" even a policy in the first place? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:16, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I scanned GlobalBlocking's talk page and it looks like the page was self-created by someone, then they decided to mark it as policy since it looked similar to some other policies. A couple people have since suggested a merge, but nothing really came of it. The creator himself even said he's fine with merging, since the policy tag was rather improvised. I'll let him know about this thread - but since this never went through the normal proposal process et al. I wouldn't think merging would be that controversial. NTox · talk 01:27, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I was amused by your description of this "self-created" page. As it says, it is a procedural policy. Feel free to review other pages in that category for a sense of what that types of pages those are. This page is simply for explanation of what a global block is, as a lot of users won't be familiar with them given that they are Meta, issued by Stewards. By all means, merge it...it isn't that big of a deal. Rjd0060 (talk) 14:32, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
No offense or derogatory subtext was intended with my use of that term; I'm sorry. I simply meant, "there wasn't an RfC or somesuch as there usually is before policies are created" - no judgement intended. In any case, it's good information to have; in all I think more people will have the opportunity to be educated by it on the main page. I'll go ahead and merge them in a bit. NTox · talk 18:59, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Notice: Images in userspace

A proposal concerning images in userspace - jc37 02:03, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Using a radio show as a source

I've been looking around for a policy on using a radio show or something discussed on the radio as a source. I haven't found any policies relating to that and I haven't found a cite radio template. Do we not have a policy on this and should we make one? Ryan Vesey 16:21, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

If a recording or transcript has been published then a radio show is a verifiable source, as the content can be checked, but if no such record is available then the ephemeral nature of a broadcast would make it unverifiable. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:06, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
That is what I should feel the policy should be per WP:V but I thought it might be good to have that written down. Even if we didn't make a specific policy, what would be the proper way to cite that? Ryan Vesey 17:11, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
If you're using the CS1 series of templates, there is {{cite episode}} which could cite a specific episode of a radio show. Imzadi 1979  18:02, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
This section of WP:CITE and the surrounding may be helpful as well. NTox · talk 20:02, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

RfC on RfA oppose rationales

For those who are interested, an RfC has been opened here regarding a policy change for contentions oppose rationales at Requests for adminship. Regards, AutomaticStrikeout 02:21, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Attack page no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Attack page (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, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

This was downgraded from a policy to a guideline on 11 October 2012, and on 20 October 2012 restored to being a policy to allow for a wider discussion before making any changes. Apteva (talk) 04:12, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

GFDL 1.2 ONLY Images

At Commons the FPC just had a discussion to change their rules to disallow GFDL 1.2 because it's essentially not free. (link). The license requires anyone who wishes to use the image licensed under it to reprint with the image the entire body of the license text, a cost prohibitive venture for virtually anything, making not a free license in practice. There are several well-known within both FPC project photographers who solely use this license, heavily nominate their images, and sell publishing rights to them on their website. Because they use the GFDL 1.2 license anyone wishing to use one of their images they saw on Wikipedia pretty much has to pay for it commercially. (They even blatantly state in their images that for commercial licenses contact them, thus acknowledging the commercial implications that GFDL 1.2 imposes.) I thought I'd bring up a discussion here, consensus can change, licenses we allow can change. To me, essentially not-free isn't free, and goes against the purpose of this resource. — raekyt 19:45, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Isn't this going a bit further than the Commons discussion? They explicitly chose not to deprecate GFDL-only as a license in general, just for FPs. Andrew Gray (talk) 10:37, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
All policy decisions start somewhere... — raekyt 04:12, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it is going to far to suggest that there appears to be a significant faction on Commons who wants to get rid of GFDL-only images. While this particular discussion was in the context of the featured pictures criteria, it certainly has the potential to spread to a general exclusion on Commons... as has similar discussions in the past. It really disappoints me to see an administrator encouraging sock puppetry by counting votes for establishing policy as well, but that is a completely separate issue. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:40, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Verifiability for articles with no English sources

On Monday, an article on Anatoly Wasserman was AfD'ed with the justification that it has no English sources. The nominator claimed that using non-English sources would necessary involve translation, which, in their opinion, constitutes original research, and is therefore not acceptable. Three users pointed out that the article has a number of Russian sources, which are reliable and clearly show notability of the subject of the article (who is a living person). Then an administrator came along and mentioned that he would delete the article, since he does not speak Russian and the article is therefore unverifiable for him.

I am afraid at this point I need the community input. Is this indeed the common interpretation of Wikipedia:Verifiability? The policy itself only states that English sources are preferred over non-English sources, which is quite natural for English Wikipedia. However, I have difficulties with the interpretation of the type "I can not read the source thefore the article can not be verified". There are at least two main reasons why I do not like it:

  • In this case, the AfD result would depend on the admin. A monolingual admin (who are in great majority) would delete an article which a bi- or multilingual admin could keep, because they speak the language of the sources.
  • If broadly interpreted, this stance can be also extended to English specialized sources. For instance, I am not sure we have many admins who can verify whether this source (freely available here for non-subscribers) correctly confirms the following statement: "In suspended monolayer graphene at the Dirac point the coupling between electrons and flexural phonon modes is stronger that the coupling to the in-plane modes".

Actually, my own activity here is for 90% writing articles which can not be sources in English at all, or most of their text can not. I always thought this is a net benefit for Wikipedia, because in this way the content which is not available in English still becomes available to English-speaking readers. The position I described above says completely thje opposite: If this content is not available in English, the readers do not need it.

For the record, I do not care about this particular article: I do not like the person, I do not care about What? Where? When? show, which he became primarily famous for, and the topic is not of my direct interest. If I have time, I can look for English sources, but as a matter of principle, I believe, the issue should be discussed.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:13, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

WP:NOENG allows the usage of non-English sources when English ones are not available or are very short. Per WP:NOENG, "when citing a non-English source for information, it is not always necessary to provide a translation", unless required. The good article Roza Shanina for example, which I wrote, relies almost entirely on Russian sources. There are several topics which are broadly covered only in non-English sources. Brandmeistertalk 09:55, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, the GNG at WP:Notability explicitly says, "Sources are not required to be available online, and they are not required to be in English." (emphasis in the original). And WP:NOR has a section explicitly contradictng the nom's claim that translation work is original research.
This is a completely invalid reason for nominating an article, and I hope that the nom will not make the same mistake in the future. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:31, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure that the nominator will learn from this. What is much more worrying is the we have an experienced administrator who would delete an article for not having English sources.[6] It's really time that we developed a procedure for de-adminning based on incompetence, rather than the deliberate disruption that is currently required. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:13, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I am learning from this. I thought this would be minor maintenance. Lexlex (talk) 18:26, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
It's easy to make a mistake. This place is too complicated for anybody to keep track of all the details. The way you can tell who the good editors are is that they make a new mistake each time, rather than repeating the old ones. Face-wink.svg WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I write many articles with few English sources - and the English language sources there that exist are nearly always inferior to the Russian ones. Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Academy/Working with foreign-language sources might be interesting reading. Secretlondon (talk) 19:45, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Incompetence is as good a reason as any for de-admining. That particular admin notes "I was in line with the consensus on WP:RFA exactly 100 % of the time, and on WP:AfD a bit over 92 % of the time." 92% is pretty low. There are plenty of admin tasks other than closing AfD, and a friendly note that that is an area where they could get into trouble 8% of the time seems in order. The nice thing about WP is that almost everything is reversible. Apteva (talk) 20:23, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I am learning from this. I thought his would be minor maintenance. Lexlex (talk) 18:25, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Without making a comment about this particular case, I think it is worth noting that we have had a number of recent AFDs where this has been an issue. We seem to be having a particular problem with this where an article is subject to both WP:NOENG and WP:COI. Such cases typically run as follows -
  • Article is created by (non-Eng) COI editor about a (non-Eng) subject with which they are familiar.
  • Article is either created with no sources or non-Eng sources and without being able to verify WP:N, the article is AFD'd.
  • At AFD, the original COI editor cites myriad non-Eng sources as being sufficient to meet WP:GNG.
  • Other editors can't read/translate the cited references in question and no uninvolved non-Eng editors are available as a third opinion to verify sources.
  • Original editor's argument amounts to "trust me (regardless of my COI) the sources are WP:RS and confer WP:N" and "it's not my problem you can't read <language>, the sources say what I say they say". The second argument, especially, tends to illicit WP:OR accusations.
  • Non-ENG sources are rejected as non-RS, regardless of objections based on WP:NONENG.
I have seen AFDs like this go both ways - some accepted (especially where the COI is not as direct, like this one) and some not (especially where COI is blatant, like this one). While in theory the policy is straight-forward, in practice the policies seem to often be interpreted differently and on a case-by-case basis. Not sure what the solution is but I think it is worth having the discussion. Stalwart111 (talk) 00:49, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, I have seen such cases. The only solution I see for major languages is to invite uninvolved editors speaking these languages to check whether the claim is actually correct. For minor languages, I am afraid, it might be no solution.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:05, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Without knowing details of this particular AfD, I fully disagree that translation is OR or makes sources unreliable in any way, when the original source is reliable. I've added many non-English sources, because English alternatives do not exist or are vastly inferior (even with errors). This is exactly what NONENG addresses. Of course, the more exotic the source, the harder it is to find an expert to verify its reliability and correct translation. So, one would expect there to be COI/OR cases where we cannot easily verify statements without uninvolved editors checking the soruces. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:27, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

I can offer at least help from the regulars at WP:PNT; we should be able to cover many languages. Perhaps WP:Translation could also be of use. And I agree with User:Hellknowz: translation does not automatically confer unreliability, and does not constitute OR. Lectonar (talk) 11:44, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

  • I for one would never close an AfD or XfD and delete an article, merely because there were no English-language cites in the article. However, if zero sources written in Roman script were available, then translating it is very diifficult. I have voiced my concerns over verifability and in favor of deletion in such cases. Bearian (talk) 17:30, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • That contradicts you statement here, where you said that you would delete the article that prompted this discussion because it cited no English-language sources. Please correct one or the other so that we know in which case you were giving your true opinion and in which you were lying. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:02, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • How often do we come across a need to verify sources in other languages? I've been contacted quite a few times to verify Tamil/Hindi sources even when I haven't gone near AfD for days, so I'm guessing that's typical for other languages too? We do have babel categories, so it should be easy to contact active editors fluent in those languages? —SpacemanSpiff 17:37, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm the nom on this one and my prime concern was notability. The article was (poorly) machine translated, sources were only in Russian, seemed weak at best, and to top it off maintenance tags were regularly summarily deleted by anons with no comments. This made me think it was an autobiographical article. Since AfD, it's becoming clear that he has some notoriety (or a very vocal minority support) - yet no one has improved the article - and it's impossible for me to do it as I don't speak Russian. While it's fine that non-English sources are allowed, perhaps it would make sense for those using such sources in the English Wikipedia to translate the relevant portion? Currently in NOENG, translation is merely optional. Lexlex (talk) 18:20, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
A fair point. I will see what I can do about the article.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:41, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Deleting articles which lack anglophone sources would worsen our CSB problem. Just because a source is written in a different language doesn't necessarily mean that it fails WP:V; if it's still practical for somebody to verify it, then I'm happy; just as with paywalled journals, obscure books, and sources with highly technical language. bobrayner (talk) 11:01, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Child protection no longer marked as a guideline

Resolved: Several people have reviewed the edits. The page is marked as a policy.

Wikipedia:Child protection (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, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

The above three were the result of some cleanup I recently did of stray project cats. Feel free to check. NTox · talk 02:06, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Wait...are you saying you accidently removed "child protection" as a guidline? So....just "oops" with no "Sorry"?--Amadscientist (talk) 10:53, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Edits look perfectly fine. NTox removed guideline cat from two pages that were an essay and a basically empty page, and replaced guideline cat with a proper policy navbox in the last. What's the issue here? —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:07, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, perhaps Amadscientist will be apologizing instead. --Golbez (talk) 18:19, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
It would be helpful if the bot had been a bit more complete: Wikipedia:Child protection (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) was previously marked as three kinds of policy (legal, conduct, enforcement) and one kind of guideline (behavior), and now it is only marked as just being a legal policy.
Whether or not it is desirable for NTox to limit interdisciplinary policies to a single policy or guideline cat is something I've been wondering for a few days now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:39, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Right. I had of course given it some thought, whether to begin a discussion about those subcategories or not. I decided to be bold on the issue, since it is simply an organizational matter. All other policies except one or two were listed in a single category, so I assumed that having each in one cat was a consensus. If there are issues however I'm willing to talk. NTox · talk 00:03, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
What a mouthful for the bot. Apteva (talk) 05:51, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
It would have helped to add some mention of what was done when the initial post was made. If NTox feels an apology is needed here I have no problem extending it, however it was not an accusation, it was a question.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:01, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
It was my initial impression that an explanation would not be necessary, as I thought the reasons for removing the categories were obvious. Perhaps however it would have been better for me to do so. Quite generally I think WP:OBVIOUS is good advice. And, philosophically, I have never much for requesting apologies, as they usually end up being disingenuous. We can consider the matter ended. NTox · talk 06:19, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

The bot can only handle so much complexity, so these notices should be viewed more as "someone should look into this" and less as "here is a problem". The motivation behind this bot task is just to ensure that changes don't happen without anyone noticing. If the edits look OK, please just make a note at the top of the section, as I did here. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:28, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Separately - the bot would normally notice that the page was also marked as a policy, but someone renamed all the policy categories without notifying me (the bot operator), so the bot had the wrong list of policy categories. I have updated those now. In its normal operation, the bot knows all the policies and guidelines from the day before, and so it can tell if a page goes from "nothing" to either policy or guideline, or from one of those to "nothing", or if it switches between policy and guideline. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:32, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Filemovers without the essential "suppress-redirect"-right

Some time ago, i got filemover-rights for commons. However, when using the "move-and-substitute"-function, the option "leave a redirect" is checked and I cannot change that. The consequence: I have to add a speedy-deletion-request to the wrong named file to get the redirect deleted and a commons-admin has to carry out this action. Now I learned, that the so called "suppress-redirect"-right is excluded of the filemover-rights. But: Being a filemover without the "suppress-redirect"-right is not only senseless, it is kind of ridiculous because with that restriction, a filemover has the same rights as a user without the filemover-rights.

Is there any reasonable background, why a filemover cannot move a file without leaving a redirect? I strongly recommend to include the "suppress-redirect"-right for filemovers. cheers, --cefalon 13:21, 21 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cccefalon (talkcontribs)

  • Are you talking about moving files on Commons or here? If the former, it first should be discussed on Commons, second, I have there filemover rights, and I do move files on Commons with redirect suppression on a regular basis. (I also have a global rollback, but I believe this is irrelevant).--Ymblanter (talk) 15:15, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
I am talking about moving files on Commons. Is there another Village pump especially for Commons? --cefalon 16:43, 21 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cccefalon (talkcontribs)
Oups, there is ... sorry for any unconvenience, I will restart the discussion there. --Cccefalon (talkcontribs) 17:17, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

WP:COI+

Hi all!

I was wondering if would take a look at WP:COI+.

I intend for COI+ to seek a middle ground between the current ambiguity of WP:COI and the severity of Bright Line prohibitions on any direct editing. This is particularly important because the community has identified that there is some problem with WP:COI but also found no consensus to outright ban paid editing.

  • The 2009 RfC to ban paid editing closed with no consensus.
  • The 2012 RfC on COI closed with no consensus as well.
  • For as many people who have supported a prohibition on direct editing there is another editor who calls COI a distraction and cites WP:NPOV as the only relevant policy.

For those reasons, I simply don't believe that Bright Line will ever gain consensus. I also happen to think it's not ideal, as it could drive paid advocates under ground, it has no requirement for disclosure, and it offers no reasonable assurance to paid advocates of a timely response to their suggested changes.

COI+ is designed to address each of those concerns:

  • COI+ would appeal to paid advocates by welcoming them to the community, educating them about our mission and policies, and guiding them towards constructive interaction;
  • COI+ would require disclosure--in triplicate--on user pages, relevant article talk pages, and with links to COI declarations in comment signatures
  • COI+ would set a 1 month time limit on edit requests: if no editor even responded to a paid advocate's suggestions or proposed changes within a month--after going through talk pages, help boards, noticeboards, and OTRS--then a paid advocate could make a change directly, if they left clear notice on the article talk page and at the COI noticeboard.

I am drafting a Signpost op-ed introducing COI+ to run in the next month or two, with an RfC to follow. At first COI+ would merely be an aspirational, voluntary agreement. It could, however, be a bridge forward towards a more comprehensive, instructive, and hopefully effective guideline for COI editors and particularly paid advocates. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about it. Ocaasi t | c 14:14, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

On a related note, some editors and I am working on a draft COI guideline rewrite at WP:Conflict of interest/draft. Input is invited. Gigs (talk) 00:52, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Currencies used on WP

(moved from WP:AN) Apteva (talk) 04:04, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

The main MOS page and the currency subpage conflicted on whether we need to use US$ in generic articles, or whether we have a choice of $, €, or £ as the sole currency. Actually, the subpage contradicted itself in the section on converting smaller currencies, so I changed it to reflect the statement found on both pages (to $, €, or £ rather than $ with option of also € or £). I expected this would get some serious response at the current MOS discussion, but there's been nothing, so I'm posting here. I don't want to see a huge argument erupt months from now over which is consensus. So, what is best practice: in a generic article, not associated with a particular currency, can we use any of the big three as the sole currency mentioned in the article? Or should we always at least use US$, with the option of mentioning euros or pounds as well?

(Not posting at RfC because there's no disagreement to resolve; I just want people to be aware of a quite profound change I made to the MOS in case I made the wrong choice.) — kwami (talk) 23:47, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Why is this posted here instead of one of the Village Pumps, where it belongs? --Jayron32 01:18, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Someone should move this before dramaz follow kawami again.... Tijfo098 (talk)

RfC: Arbitration Committee Elections December 2012

This year's Arbitration Committee Election RFC has begun at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Arbitration Committee Elections December 2012. It is scheduled to last for 30 days and will decide the structure, policies and procedures of this year's election to the Arbitration Committee. There are a few new issues for consideration this year. Comments from members of the community would be appreciated. Monty845 03:46, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at FRINGE

There is a discussion about this change [7] to WP:FRINGE at WT:FRINGE. Editor input is welcome. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:33, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Style vs. content

The question came up at WP:MRV, are titles style or content? One editor says style one says content. Any opinions? Right now, as content, titles are determined by policy, at WP:TITLE, and style is determined by guideline, at WP:MOS, which per Arbcom motion, "are used as a means of creating a consistent end result. They do not affect content, but rather how that content is presented". The question is does changing the punctuation of Minneapolis - Saint Paul affect content or style? In that case, it is style. There is no official city with that name, and AP and other style guides dictate how it appears in print. But in changing Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (with a hyphen), an actual name, to either Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport (which by the way is not correct), or to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (with an endash), that to me, affects content. I do not want a discussion of where and why endashes or hyphens are used. I would like instead a discussion of where titles should be decided - as content, in WP:TITLE, or as style, in MOS? My preference is to decide them solely in the 71 pages of TITLE. Another example is Reno/Tahoe International Airport (see [8]), which in two foot tall letters at the airport[9] (page 3) and by the FAA[10] is spelled with a slash, but in most print media is spelled with a hyphen. I see that sign may have been changed.[11] So are titles style or content? Apteva (talk) 15:27, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Our content is styled. I believe this is true of article bodies and article titles. The content of the titles is handled by WP:TITLE, and the styling of content is handled by WP:MOS. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:39, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the content of the title is handled by TITLE. The presentation of the title is handled by MOS. They complement each other. This has been discussed many many times. For example, in one of the airport move requests you just made, the official website of the airport can't make up its mind how the name should be punctuated. In another case, the airport doesn't use the hyphen you've requested, but a bullet. The punctuation is clearly not the name, but simply the presentation of the name, a matter of style. — kwami (talk) 18:23, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Increasing incivility and personal attacks

Lately, I've been seeing absolutely shocking incivility and personal attacks among long-term editors. New editors need only say "go to hell" and they get blocked. What I've been reading is many times more serious than that, with outright swearing. It seems to be really pervasive now.

I think they're doing it because there are few repercussions these days. Admins seem to be tolerating an awful lot. This can't be good for the community. It's really turning into a scary place. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 18:58, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree. WP:CIVIL is marked as policy, but it obviously isn't one. Demote it or enforce it. --OnoremDil 19:07, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Examples would be good to have, but I'm reluctantly inclined to agree with the sentiment in general terms. More disturbing to me is when it's claimed that experienced editors should receive more leeway to be incivil because of their innumerable "valuable contributions" to the project. If anything, I'd think an editor who's been here longer should be expected to be a positive role model for newer editors, and certainly should be aware of what's expected of editors in terms of civility (new editors at least may not know any better). I don't see why "time served" should give any editor the right to be incivil to others. Doniago (talk) 19:30, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)We should probably have a larger discussion about this. This issue comes up often on ANI, and simply creates more drama with few results. Having a policy which isn't enforced doesn't do us any good when it comes to enforcing other behavioral problems. We work on a collaborative project, and the attitude that if an editor contributes content then he should be allowed to treat others poorly is doing damage to the community. I've personally seen it drive away great editors (even me for a little while). If we decide that damage is acceptable or unavoidable, or whatever, then the least we can do is demote or rewrite WP:CIVIL so we know where we stand, and we don't have to rehash this conversation every week.   — Jess· Δ 19:35, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

There is an ongoing RfC on this topic here.   — Jess· Δ 19:38, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

That's a 250,000-character discussion, all for what? I may be naive, but this seems like the sensible thing to do:
1. Warn the editor.
2. If he does it again, block him for a day or two.
70 characters. Easy. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 19:53, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Define 'it'. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:55, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
"...█████ off and die you disgusting little heap of █████..." Anna Frodesiak (talk) 20:11, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Ok. So by that definition, if someone says "...█████ off and die you disgusting big pile of █████..." then they're not being incivil, because they said "big pile" instead of "little heap". Yes, I know that's a ridiculous claim, but it's indicative of the real issues that you're ignoring in your insistence that this is so simple. The problem isn't in defining the extremes of incivility, it's in determining what's civil and what's incivil in the very large grey area, particularly when dealing with people from cultures around the world. Anomie 20:23, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
It's a fuzzy line, but best judgement and common sense will do. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 20:33, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Whose best judgement? Mine? Yours? Malleus Fatuorum's? Anomie 01:00, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Can't tell if troll. --OnoremDil 19:57, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Anna, no one is going to agree to that. We need to actually come to consensus on this issue so that it is enforced consistently. Having an extremely vague guideline which doesn't address the concerns of those editors who are against civility restrictions is how we got here to begin with. You should read the RfC.   — Jess· Δ 20:01, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Anna Frodesiak - its simple - need admins with more gusto in this reguard. Need to have the same standers for all - Long time users should be block as fast as an IP is for incivility. Just because people have written an article or have been here a long time does not mean they can act like children and be ass's. Would also help to get more admins - but the admin situation is its own can of worms -as most long time editors now avoid the convoluted Admin request process.Moxy (talk) 20:06, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)If it's that simple, then contribute to the RfC and sway consensus. We have this problem because many tenured editors don't think it's that simple, so there's not one standard and any we have aren't applied consistently. This is a problem. I don't know how to solve it, but ignoring the real issues isn't going to help.   — Jess· Δ 20:35, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with her as well; however, the problem comes in implementation. My incivility sensor kicks in at a much lower level than a lot of editors here. There could be editors who are even more strict who would feel that you were uncivil in your comment "act like children and be ass's". I'd love to see civility enforced more strictly, but there's so much difficulty in enforcing it equally. I think a good start would be enforcing civility where it is clearly abusive or basing the decision on the opinion of the one who the incivility was directed at rather than an administrator. If someone is referred to as an ass and they have no problem with that, don't block. If someone is referred to as a pig and they say it makes the editing environment uncomfortable for them, use a civility block. All of this said, the only way civility enforcement is going to change is if we remove the statement that blocks are meant to be preventative and not punitive. Allowing punitive blocks, at least for enforcing civility, would be preventative. Since we don't allow them, it is incredibly easy to unblock someone or oppose a block on the grounds of it being punitive. Ryan Vesey 20:29, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Best judgement is already used for NPA and civility. They just need to collectively crack down and raise the bar a little. As a grey area, it will always boil down to the community of admins setting the standard best they can. The odd 24-hr block for a breach just below the line isn't so bad. The editor shouldn't be testing the limits anyhow. Simple. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 21:46, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
No one is going to agree to that? But that is exactly how newcomers are handled. Admins can simply apply the same thing to all, using their best judgement. Simple. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 20:11, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
There aren't many versions of the chat that would seem civil. I'm not a fan of censoring comments when you're looking for reactions to those comments. It clearly was rude. Unfortunately, CIVIL is only a policy and not something to be enforced. (Wait, what? Policies are the things that should be enforced?{Who knew?)--OnoremDil 20:19, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the original poster here. Incivility turns people off; we should be working on curbing it rather than debating its precise definition. Change needs to come from the inside of the system out, and reaffirming our civility policies and actually implementing them would work. And, as long as we're discussing definitions, how about something along these lines: incivility results from comments made by an editor to another that were derogatory or overly brusque given their wording or context. dci | TALK 22:56, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
To clarify, I'm not proposing that as a WP definition, merely as something for our discussion here. dci | TALK 23:31, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

An appeal to admins

Hi folks. We love ya! :) You're all sort of like parents around here you know. Moms and Dads wouldn't need a very long meeting to sort this one out.

Just up the bar and crack down a little. Let 'em ride out those 1 or 2 day blocks. They'll all be speaking with a civil tongue in no time. No need for a whole bunch of this' and thats. Many thanks, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:49, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

  • I find your tone to be condescending, the editors of Wikipedia are not children, and admins are not on wiki parents. The community governs itself, and admins exist only to carry out the consensus of the community. Furthermore, your condescending tone is itself uncivil, so if an admin wanted to take your advice they could start by blocking you... Monty845 07:01, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
1) Please don't make me laugh, my lips are chapped. :)
2) To editors who act like children, admins seem very much like parents. Probably every admin here has watched two editors fighting like children and wanted to clunk their heads together. As for us, well, we're civil, so our relationship with admins is collegial.
3) Regarding your suggestion that I should be blocked for incivility for a condescending tone, I trust you were being ironic or facetious in a pleasant way.
4) The consensus of the community is for the admins "to carry out" enforcement of civility. That is because part of the non-admin community cannot self-govern in that respect.
5) Your arguments just vanished in a puff of logic. My dogma ran over your karma. Case closed.
(If you wish to appeal this case, please tell me in advance so I can go buy some chapstick.) Smile.svg Smile.svg Smile.svg Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:11, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Anna, if this issue is of such concern to you, why have you not participated in the RFC to this point? You appear to be making an appeal to the admins, but some may feel that you're, as Mark Twain might say, complaining about the weather but not doing anything about it. I'd strongly encourage you to join the conversation there if you have a genuine interest in seeing your concerns addressed. Doniago (talk) 14:06, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

I like the Twain thing. That's good. :) You're probably right, but plain thinking seems always met with maze-like responses that go nowhere. I can't make heads or tails of an RFC with millions of sections with names like "Abandon civility to stand a chance of having more civility" and "Philosophical problem". I'm not much one for bureaucracy and complicated meetings. I just don't want to get sucked into the vortex over there. I've said my piece, and will back into the shadows to let those folks work it out. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:29, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Anna, it's just not that simple. I'm shocked you see editors as naughty children who fight, and you see admins as having the social and emotional skills to function as parents, and clunk heads together (block editors). Occasionally arguing, even arguing vigorously over content is a proper role for content editors. An important role for admins is to model effective behavior and function as mediators and facilitators, like Dennis Brown does. But we don't select admins on that basis. Skills such as those hardly figure amongst the selection criteria for admins. Instead, they are expected to be skilled with arcane details to do with copyright or obscure nuances buried within the guidelines for deleting articles. Some admins operate as if they were elementary school principals, lecturing and knocking heads together, like... oh you know examples. That can be appropriate for some editors, but is totally inappropriate for most.
There are editors, just as there are admins who behave like children, and perhaps we all do occasionally under enough stress. The immaturity of some admins beggars belief. Admins are not, and never have been, selected on the basis of their ability to discipline editors. You have only to look at at any recent RfA to see that. Handing discipline areas over to admins who may be more childish than the editors they are supposed to discipline is not the solution. It is already difficult enough for content editors to work with any dignity on Wikipedia.
We need a special group of administrators who are elected specifically to facilitate, and enforce when necessary discipline amongst content builders. Such admins would need to demonstrate that they have substantial mediation and facilitation skills, and have developed substantial scholarly content, sufficient to ensure that they understand the pitfalls and difficulties of content development. Only a few current admins would currently qualify to belong to that group. Handing the disciple of experienced content editor over to other admins, who no way qualify to belong to that special group, is absurd. --Epipelagic (talk) 01:31, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Commentary - Though it may not be much of an assumption of good faith on my part, I think there is something very human about the unwillingness of admins to "discipline" experienced editors for WP:CIV breaches while happily clonking inexperienced editors for far less. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that while most accept the principles of WP:BITE, the reality is that few brand new editors will ever actually become long-term contributors. Some will, but for them a first week/month CIV citation is (in my opinion) less likely to turn them off long-term editing anyway so it does little long-term harm. If they are here to contribute, they will take it in their stride. If not, then it just becomes another reason not to stick around (never their intention anyway) and they will disappear into the internets from whence they came. So admins can go about clonking newbies knowing the long-term impact is (probably) fairly minimal. Experienced editors are a different story. Admins will likely (in the course of AFD, RFC, SPI, etc) come across the same experienced editors again and again in their various capacities. CIV-citing an experienced editor risks developing animosity between the admin and the editor in question, as well as the "clique" of editors around them (which I think naturally form in topic/function areas). Future efforts to remain neutral in dealing with that editor's activities will always have that original CIV-citation hanging over them - "you're not neutral in this, you've had it in for me for a long time". The reality is that it's in the best interests of admins to be seen as "big brothers" (or "sisters") rather than "parents" (to borrow the analogy) - someone who will help you do what you need to do while occasionally giving you a wrap over the knuckles if you get really bad, but someone who will buy you cigarettes, let you stay up late and eat junk food (ie. be occasionally uncivilised). Your big brother is unlikely to take the same attitude with the new kid from across the street. My comment can be summarised thus: there is a reason so much effort is expended on WP:RETENTION and not on WP:ATTRACTION and pushing admins to clonk experienced editors for WP:CIV breaches doesn't conform to that general effort. Stalwart111 (talk) 02:23, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • An admin can be just a kid with the toolbelt. It's probably fitting that their role is limited to harsh tools (blocks) for clear-cut violations. So what's left review, and make admonishments, warnings, findings for all of the leas clearcut problems. And deals with experienced editors who drift off course but know how to avoid bright lines and have posse's to insulate them from guidance until arbcom whacks them. So what's in between an admin action and arbcom? NOTHING. We have the gigantic toothless RFC/U process. So we need some very experienced and skilled people to review conduct / cases at two levels between wp:ani type level and arbcom. One would to put some teeth, structure and findings into rfc/u. And also a mini-RFC/U type process for smaller/lighter things. North8000 (talk) 02:36, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Epipelagic: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to shock you. Of course I know the vast majority of what admins and editors do isn't like a parent/child relationship. Of course I'm talking about their interaction over civility. When editors swear and attack each other and admins give them a time out, it really does seem like a parent/child thing.
And of course I know about all the other things admins do. I bug them all the time for help. I have absolutely wonderful things to say about them. I really think Jimbo could cut them a check once in a while.
North8000: I'm sorry. I got very confused reading what you wrote.
Stalwart111: Big brother shouldn't treat longtimers differently in my opinion. Time outs won't make them leave, and no need to indef them if persistent. Just make it like a machine that shuts down if overheated until cooler. Then it can continue. Users will get the hang of how much they can push.
I see I've opened a can of worms with my comments. I didn't want that. I thought this was just a quiet page to find out why so much incivility is tolerated. When I discovered that there are 2574 watchers, I almost fainted. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:47, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I guess the bottom line is that admins are people who have the experience and expertize in resolving disuptes by quoting relevant policies and discussions. They are also supposed to know better when taking a controversial action like a delete or a move, than say a new editor. They are not supposed to be people friendly per se. in their job and civility is assumed from everybody in Wikipedia - editors and admins. Anna Frodesiak raises an interesting question as why incivility is tollerated and I believe it has more to do with the culture one comes from. In our personal life we might be uncivil and have a good reason to be so, based on whom we meet and talk to every day. We tollerate and dish it out based on our own standards and their is no golden standard for this. -Wikishagnik (talk) 01:11, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Interesting points. I'm not sure this thread makes sense anymore. As you've probably been reading, gross incivility, outright personal attacks, and vile language are now common place, even among many admins. Not a great example to set. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:17, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The ability to moderate and diffuse is very much taken into consideration when electing admins. Too many people think of adminshiship as just a bunch of tools, but most (but certainly not all) active admins - when they are not on strike - have social skills and are able in many instances to lead by example. Anyone who has been an active admin for any length of time knows full well that there are children who contribute to Wikipedia, and that a lot of incivility and running to Aunty ANI because someone farted in the classroom stems from them. The kids generally do great work but often do not have not the maturity to behave as they should. That said, there are plenty of more mature editors who don't hesitate to make disingenuous remarks and disparage the good faith of admins who at least try to moderate things. Those admins who are prepared to stick their necks out to improve the climate here are not consequent enough because they are simply fed up with the negative comments about their work, so at the end of the day, why should they bother? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:17, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Well, my friend, that makes darn good sense. Maybe I should be run for admin after all. :) I may not be too interested in reading walls of text, or figuring out the whole arbcom thing, but I do think I might be able to help in terms of cooling people and negotiating peace so we can all get back to work.
Then again, I sort of do that anyhow rogue-style, without the admin thing. Come to think of it, I've been itching to butt in at the Sally Season matter to try to save the community another million keytrokes. It's sure nice when things can be handled off-ANI. Maybe we need diplomats as well as admins. I'd be happy to be one of those. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:38, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Project tags on AFD talk pages?

Just saw an instance of this for the first time, on a year-old AFD. I'm not aware of any guidelines addressing it either way, but at least within the purpose of WikiProjects (to aid in collaboration to develop articles) and language of the tag ("this page is within the scope of FOO Project]") it seems out of place. Most WikiProjects I've seen will keep lists posted of relevant AFDs that are still pending, and it would make sense to me to keep a list of archived ones, but tagging closed ones as relevant to the project seems a different matter. Cons could be that 1) it creates talk pages for AFDs that are not active and will not be discussed again there, thus unnecessarily creating potential vandalism targets; 2) it fills project maintenance categories with pages that are archived and have no need for maintenance. Thoughts? And do we have a more general principle against creating a talk page on something that shouldn't normally have a talk page, just for the sake of adding project tags? postdlf (talk) 17:37, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Talk pages should not be created just to create them. Discussion guidelines should not be used to create an otherwise empty talk page. Since the article is deleted, how can there be anything to discuss? Moving a project template from a deleted talk page to the discussion to delete it seems pointless. Apteva (talk) 04:05, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
We had an enthusiastic editor in one project tagging everything and anything he though was related to the project, including old AfD pages he found. The solution was to politely explain to him why it wasn't needed and delete the talk pages he created. Imzadi 1979  05:09, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I think it was the same editor; the project tags were originally posted earlier this year (though still well after the AFD closed), and only popped up on my watchlist because someone then auto-updated the tags. I saw some comments from you on this editor's talk page on this issue, too. I just deleted the talk page and so far no one has complained, so that's how I'll proceed if I notice any more. postdlf (talk) 14:03, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Convenience templates

What are peoples views on these templates? Template such as this (which provides links to the convenience templates I am referring to) have become increasingly common. They have been created in order to "save space", but I feel that this is unnecessary. The main reason is to cut down the size of article such as United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics, but our guidelines such as WP:ARTICLESIZE suggest splitting articles if they, in the case of the linked article, are over 100kb. Nowhere in this guideline does it state a need for templates to be created, containing data that can easily be included in the article in a wikitable, to be created, to reduce article size. Is this a wikipedia policy? Is it necessary? Hopefully a consensus can be reached over the issue. NapHit (talk) 21:42, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Have you discussed this at the relevant Wikiproject? Navboxes are fairly well accepted on Wikipedia, provided they are used with moderation and collapsed when there are several on a page. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 10:54, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes I raised the point at WT:OLYMPICS but there was not much response. I'm aware navboxes are common, that's not the issue. The issue is the templates the navbox is linking to, which could (and previously were) used in articles as tables and not as templates as they are now. My point is that the templates contained in the navbox could easily (and where) be in the articles as tables. NapHit (talk) 12:39, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Ultimately "convenience templates" do not cut article size down at all. Sure, the size of that article itself may be reduced, but the data contained within the templates does not materialize out of thin air. Any which way you slice it, that article is far, far too large. Templating everything to shrink a single article's size akin to sweeping problems under the carpet. The solution there, I think, is to split the article into subtopics. Perhaps a three way split for track events, water events and the remainder, with United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics serving as a general overview of medal winners and as a portal to the child articles. Resolute 14:00, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this assessment, that is what I suggested here, but the discussion has since got out f hand and pretty much turned into a slanging match. Creating templates to reduce size is papering over the cracks, I like your idea for a three-way split of the articles, which would reduce the size considerably, thereby solving the issue. NapHit (talk) 14:22, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
It would have been fairer by NapHit to use this 2012 example, which is complete. See also Category:2012 Summer Olympics football convenience templates, or even its parent category Category:2012 Summer Olympics convenience templates, to get the whole picture. Work has been ongoing lately to make older Games complete, and judging from a currently incomplete template is unfair, even though that is the one currently being discussed at TfD.
Saving space is only one aspect of the benefits this system of convenience templates provide. It also saves maintenance and upholds consistency, uniformity and completeness. Resolute, you're correct that all of the data "materializes" upon viewing the article. But it does save space on the servers as data used in 2–7 articles – depending on the type of template and the number of teams in a group – can be kept in one place. And that is only the first "dimension" of the savings. The next dimension is that each version of the transcluding pages (often fairly big ones) save space, and in some cases – where the change concerns what's specifically being kept in one of the templates – there isn't even a new (big) version at all, because the edit is done to the template.
Here are some examples, where I have made some calculations on Germany at the 2012 Summer Olympics and Volleyball at the 2012 Summer Olympics:
  • A non-volleyball team roster edit to the Germany page would add 87 kB to en.wiki with the templates in place, 112 kB without them.
  • An edit to the team roster page, not related to a specific country, for instance the lede section or the categories, would add 1.5 kB to en.wiki with the templates in place, 31.5 kB without them.
  • An edit relating to the German volleyball team roster would add 3.6 kB to en.wiki with the templates in place, 112 kB + 31.5 kB without them.
Not only is one edit less than two (or 5 or 7), the amount of space saved is significant. The achieved uniformity and the avoided edit conflicts are merely bonuses.
One correction/clarification of NapHit's first paragraph: the purpose of the navbox is obviously not to save space and maintenance, but to provide easy cross-navigation between the convenience templates within the same team sport, as several of them are often edited at the time. The purpose of the convenience templates themselves, however, is to save space and maintenance, and uphold consistency, uniformity and completeness.
HandsomeFella (talk) 16:09, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Certainly, templates used on multiple articles have value. My arguments should be considered focused on single use templates. This is one of the reasons why I broke my !vote down several ways in the associated TFD. Resolute 17:19, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I honestly think that space-saving on the database is a total non-reason for having these templates. Templates can clearly be very useful when the same information appears in multiple articles, but is having three copies of some data that is never going to change a big enough problem to warrant this huge proliferation of templates? I'm not sure... 86.171.43.215 (talk) 02:17, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
    • The only space-based consideration with regard to editing is keeping the articles short enough that they are readable and don't take forever to load for people with slow connections. If and when an article is a problem for the servers, Wikimedia staff will let us know. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:56, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Sure, compared to the whole wikipedia, the savings are probably peanuts, but it can't be bad, can it? And when considering the space saving effect, one should bear in mind that no less than fifty-three (53) NOCs participated in at least one of the six team sports for which this system is implemented. Some of the articles are very large, and, generally speaking, the larger an article is, the more often is it edited. Some examples: GBR 218 kB, USA 197 kB, Russia 170 kB, China 158 kB, Australia 128 kB, France 117 kB, Italy 107 kB, Canada 104 kB, South Korea 97 kB, Spain and Germany 87 kB each, etc. NB: these are the sizes with the templates in place. Without them, they would be considerably bigger. E.g. the Germany article would go from 87 kB to 112 kB, as mentioned above. That is an increase of nearly 30%.
A good thing that might come out of this, is that we're finally discussing how to actually split these articles. Since they mostly comprise result details, it's hard to cut anything out, so we will probably have to divide them in some way, without losing the details.
HandsomeFella (talk) 08:24, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't found any of your data of the Germany page and I don't understand that with or without the template change the space of the future edits. Becouse I don't think that when you do an edit Wikipedia save all the page and not only the changes, if they save like that I understand that wikipedia go out of space in very few time. So I think that your count don't means anything. And as I said already if there is a page that use only one template that page can be use as template with "<onlyinclude>" as is done for the standings of UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying – Group 1. For the roster pages (e.g. this) I think, as I already said, that it is quite useless because who care about the lists of all the players of all the squads? Stigni (talk) 13:23, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure I understand what you mean, Stigni, but as far as I have understood, wikipedia is in fact saving every version in full, not only the changes – correct me if I'm wrong. As for the Germany article, the current size is roundabout 87 kB. It has been suggested that the convenience templates be disassembled, and the content – minus the noinclude part – be put into the transcluding pages of each teamplate, replacing the transclusions of the templates. If that would be carried out, the Germany article would grow to around 112 kB, which means that every future edit would create a new version of 112 kB, instead of 87 kB, regardless of which part of the article was edited. HandsomeFella (talk) 14:17, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I think is quite insane if wikipedia works as you said... If I change a byte then I create a new version of n bytes, I find this so insane that I don't have word to describe it. So I think is better to check this thing first of all. For the Germany article: before you link the Olympics page and then you never said that those number are of the 2012 Paralympics page. Stigni (talk) 14:54, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
My understanding is that Wikipedia does indeed save a complete new version of a page, even if only one byte has changed. It would be nice if a techie person could verify that. (Even so, as I have mentioned before, I still do not believe that saving bytes in the database is a viable reason for creating all these templates.) 86.160.208.15 (talk) 17:07, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
That is how it works. Every time its changed it does save a whole new version. That is one of the many reasons people say to try and do one big edit instead of many little edits. -DJSasso (talk) 17:39, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance. Or rather: Don't worry about article size for its own sake. If templates save structured information from being repeated identically on multiple articles, they are probably beneficial. But they shouldn't be used as a technical way of reducing article size; what matters is how they page renders when it is read, and how easily maintainable it is for editors. — Richardguk (talk) 17:37, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
To expand on this, disk usage is irrelevant. Wikipedia has always had more storage capacity than it needed, even back in the days when we were struggling to get enough servers to keep up with traffic; the bottleneck has always been CPU capacity to render the pages. If you're in the mood to worry about performance, you should be going the other direction: using one of these template saves a little bit of disk space (cheap), but costs more CPU capacity (expensive) and editor time (priceless). --Carnildo (talk) 00:48, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, it costs less editor time, as one edit is less than 2 or 5 or 7. And we're short on that even if it's priceless. HandsomeFella (talk) 15:04, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Of course I agree with you if you are talking about the standings and the matches during the competition (see 2012-13 CL templates) but not about the template of one competition that ends 4 years ago. Stigni (talk) 15:16, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, as the Games are over, there will be fewer edits for some time, but it will never come even close to a full stop. Just check the history of these pages. There will always be new edits; disambiguations, better refs, bot changes, vandalism, reverts of vandalism, etc. Also, whenever new Games are held, there will be renewed activity, not only as a result of attention, but also as old records are broken, and for similar reasons. 1 edit is less than 2 or 5 or 7, and that goes forever. HandsomeFella (talk) 17:26, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Fair use and local image Uploading

I think that local image uploads should only be for non-free fair use content, otherwise it must be uploaded to commons. --TheChampionMan1234 05:15, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

We also allow things that are educationally useless, such as pictures to illustrate questions on the reference desk. Images of users, and images that are not free in the country of origin, while free of copyright in the USA. The idea is to keep useful stuff that commons would delete. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 09:55, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Oppose - Per GB above. There are more reasons for uploading to Wikipedia then fair Use.--Amadscientist (talk) 10:47, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
However, per Graeme, there shouldn't be any images on Wikipedia that are fine at Commons. We really need to increase the level at which we discourage local uploading of free images. Nyttend (talk) 03:12, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
However, discouraging local uploading of free images is much more capable of discouraging uploading fullstop, than is a system by which free locally uploaded content is moved across to the commons after the fact. I would be wary of putting any further impediment (along the lines of don't upload that here, upload it there) in front of newbie uploaders. --Tagishsimon (talk) 03:28, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
The problem is there are uploaders who are upset with their content being deleted at commons for various reasons, often relating to the lack of transparency or deletion discussion quality. They then start uploading locally, and then don't have the problem. As there is no mechanism for automatically kicking content back to en. if commons rejects an image, your essentially saying you must submit free images to commons, wait until commons deletes them, then hope you notice as you wont be notified locally, and only then may you upload them locally? I think that is asking too much. Monty845 03:43, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Remember that the whole purpose of having a Commons is to host free images, since we don't need them here. Commons has a preference option to send you an email whenever your talk page is edited, so you'll be notified if someone mark your image for deletion. People who obstinately upload free images locally are simply creating extra work for those of us who will eventually upload the image at Commons anyway. There's a bot that uploads images locally here that have been deleted from Commons in the rare cases in which they're acceptable here but not at Commons, but note that the vast majority of images deleted from Commons are unacceptable here as well. Nyttend (talk) 21:12, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Paid advocacy has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Paid advocacy (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Please see WT:Paid advocacy. I think this is a big mistake as it appears to contradict WP:NPOV Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:45, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:No paid advocacy has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:No paid advocacy (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, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

This and the section above have been combined because they are the same. Paid advocacy was moved to No paid advocacy. The argument is that since this was copied verbatim from COI, a guideline, this should, out of the gate be called a guideline. Yet the fact is that it could degenerate to an essay or go to a policy depending on the edits made. Or could just be folded back into COI. Apteva (talk) 00:35, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

User page global edit notice proposal

I propose editing Template:Editnotices/Namespace/User to put a global editnotices on userpages with something similar to the following: "This is a Wikipedia user page. User pages are for communication and collaboration. While considerable leeway is allowed in personalizing and managing your user pages, they are community project pages, not a personal website, blog, or social networking medium.", which is drawn from the nutshell of WP:UP. I'll leave formatting and coloring up to other editors, but I don't think it should be too obtrusive. Gigs (talk) 19:24, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to take silence as tacit approval if no one speaks up. Gigs (talk) 00:53, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We don't need to clutter the interfaces of all editors to try to deal with a few people who don't understand the point of userspace and who will probably ignore the notice anyway. Monty845 20:20, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
    • Would there be some version of this that would be acceptable to you? If it were fairly unobtrusive? Gigs (talk) 16:25, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
If it were one line or less, I wouldn't really object, but unless its really obtrusive, it will just be ignored as more edit interface clutter, and we don't want it big enough to work, as it would annoy too many editors who already know. If there was a way to show it to new editors only, that would make a lot more sense. Monty845 17:09, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
We could probably do that with a bot that modified each new user's personal editnotice template and inserted an editnotice with the expiry parameter set for something like 2 months. Gigs (talk) 20:50, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
But then many spambot accounts would have that unnecessary subpage. Bad idea.  Hazard-SJ  ✈  02:29, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Question on copyvios and the RevDel policy

So, an interesting situation happened recently that got me thinking about some policy or guidance that may need some tightening up. Recently I tagged an article as db-copyvio which was basically a direct copy from a website. It had been at Wikipedia for about 5 years, and had never been caught, and some superficial updates and changes had been done, but it was still essentially identical, almost word for word, in organization and layout and writing as the source it came from, and had been since the very first edit. It was basically five years of revision history to an article that had never not been a copyvio. Between when I tagged the article and when another admin came along to respond to the db tag, a third editor came by and did a massive rewrite of the article, removing any copyvio problems and making it a wholly original article without any problems of copyright violations. The admin that did respond correctly removed the tag, and we all went on our way. It was, on the whole, a very satisfying conclusion (making Wikipedia more complete is always perferred to deletion if possible). However, the entire sequence of events got me thinking about what to do about the page history. In general, when we have copyvios of notable topics, it is often standard to delete the article and start from scratch. This was essentially done in this case, but without deleting the old copyvios. In the page history, prior to the recent rewrite, there wasn't anything redeemable at all that could really be extracted from the copyvio: the rewrite is essentially functionally the same as starting from scratch. In cases like this, where there is a clear demarcation line in the history from "all this needs to be deleted as Copyvio" to "compliant, quality article" is it feasible, or desirable, to revdelete the old, unredeemable versions? There's no real reason to keep them, is there? Or is it not worth the effort? Just some clarification and guidance: Is there already a policy that covers this, and if not, do we need one? --Jayron32 18:57, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Why bother revdel unless there is a complaint from the copyright owner? They are potentially available, but not displayed. Once we started doing this routinely there would be people doing it that did remove significant parts of the history. The ed. in this case who rewrote was an exceptionally careful editor, totally aware of the need to remove copyvio, but most people are not quite as careful.
More important, in this case, the editor in question rescued an extremely important topic just in time. The article could easily have gotten deleted before he had noticed it. I see this as a reason for us to generally stubbify, not delete. Especially in this case, where thecopyvio was ignorant, not malicious. DGG ( talk ) 23:25, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Copyvios break CC-BY-SA/GFDL, peroid, even if hidden away via revisions. Their RevDel removal is extremely important. --MASEM (t) 12:14, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Template:Expand French

And other expand language templates. I have noticed these on Good articles (example Ardennes horse and Breton horse) and while expanding these from other language may be a nice it seems a bit obtrusive to have these at the top of otherwise good articles. I propose moving these templates to the talk page. AIRcorn (talk) 11:01, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm generally sympathetic to the perennial proposal that maintenance templates shouldn't go at the top of articles, but I don't see why these particular templates should be treated any differently from others. Phil Bridger (talk) 11:15, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I think they're very intrusive, especially on articles that are already GA class, but I can see Phil's point. However, I do remove them when the relevant article in the foreign language Wikipedia is either poorly referenced/unreferenced or copyvio (and plenty of them are!). I also do it when the article is actually less complete than the one here. Sometimes those tags are simply out of date. Voceditenore (talk) 11:29, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
They are not really maintenance tags, they are basically saying that there is an article in another language that might have information we can use. They are speculative at best and most of our readers are not going to know the language or even if they do care enough to do anything about them. They are also huge compared to the more important templates (NPOV and the like). AIRcorn (talk) 11:53, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Also I think there is something wrong with displaying tags which do not present any obvious flaws with the current article so prominantly. The tag on the Breton horse was even used as justification for a GAR. I think these types of tags are a different class than the clean-up or warning type tags that are justified. I admit that it also galls me a bit that a good article has a tag that in all likihood is going to stay on it for a long time, yet the quality is fine. AIRcorn (talk) 12:02, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree about their gigantic-ness in relation to their virtually nil value to the reader, unlike NPOV, etc. Perhaps they could simply be replaced with a discrete hatnote? Voceditenore (talk) 12:15, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
These have much greater value to the reader than typical maintenance tags, because they present a link to further information that the reader can read in machine-translated from. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:48, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Since they're intended as pointers to additional information, perhaps an outside-the-box approach would be to place them in the See also section of the article. Just a crazy thought, and there would have to be a discussion somewhere before going ahead with it. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 12:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I think this is a great idea. -- Scray (talk) 15:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

I just noticed that under usage it says "To prevent the banner from imposing unnecessarily on the reader it is best placed at the top of the ==References== section." That would alleviate some of my concerns. However, I wonder if there could be a better solution as it will still dominate that section. At least reducing the size might help. Will move it down in the above articles at least. AIRcorn (talk) 19:54, 19 October 2012 (UTC) My apologies, I should have done this last night but it was already well past my bedtime. Looking further there have been some recent discussions on the parent templates talk page that address the same concerns I had (see Template talk:Expand language#Article page or talk page and Template talk:Expand language#Template placement). The question appears unanswered and I am not alone with concerns about it placement. AIRcorn (talk) 20:10, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

  • These tags are completely pointless and should all be deleted. They stay on articles for literally years, disfiguring them with a huge intrusive banner, just in case of the faint possibility that someone will come along and act on them, and that someone didn't in any case realise the blindingly obvious fact that articles related to country X may have better coverage in the language spoken there. I see that a previous deletion nomination (that I had no involvement in) failed, but perhaps someone should renominate. Failing that, these banners should be hidden away as unobtrusively as possible, not put in an in-your-face position at the top of articles. 86.146.109.205 (talk) 02:53, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I think that what's needed here is just a bit of common sense in the application of the templates. I occasionally apply these "expand language" templates, but only when the English article is obviously deficient in content, rather than simply lacking a few details, and the other-language article has some decent reliably sourced additional content. For example, I just applied one to Sollentuna Köping. No such deficient article should get through the GA process, so I can't think of any reason why such templates would be required on Good Articles. If the templates are being used speculatively rather than as genuine maintenance tags then they should simply be removed. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:51, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Does anyone know of a written guideline that "speculative" expand templates can be removed? I would like to be able to cite that when I remove them. 81.159.108.13 (talk) 22:54, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
You don't need a policy or guideline to improve articles, whether that involves removing templates or any other kind of edit. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Phil Bridger (talk) 23:00, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
The particular one I have in mind involves a difference of opinion with another editor, who feels the template is worthwhile. If there was a guideline supporting my viewpoint then maybe that would sway it. Otherwise it's just one opinion against another. 81.159.108.13 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:46, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I've just had a closer look at the text of these templates, and am concerned by the fact that they link to Google Translate in the default view, but only provide a (much too mild) warning about the use of machine translation when expanded. The only people who should be using machine translation to assist with writing content are those who already know the limitations of machine translation, and have enough familiarity with the languages involved to evaluate its results. The way we present things encourages the ignorant use of machine translation. At the very least we should remove the Google Translate link from the default view, which would have the helpful side-effect of reducing the template's size. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:05, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Phil Bridger that their positioning should be discretionary. I think it's silly to put these tags on the main page of a decent article, but I think they are 100% appropriate for stubs. I don't share Phil's concern re: machine translation, because I have seen no evidence that this is remotely common on articles tagged with this tag. (I have often trolled articles recently tagged with the {{translated}} template that this template encourages using, and I don't think I've ever seen one that's just a copy-pasted machine translation....) I also don't think the google translate link should be removed, because it's very valuable to readers. The link allows them to read a translation of content we have in another language when our English-language article is deficient. Obviously it's not an ideal solution, but often a machine-translated B-class article is better than a stub in English. I wouldn't oppose moving these to the talk page whenever the article is beyond start/stub. That might be a good compromise to avoid overuse but to help out our readership and encourage participation where our article is unequivocally deficient. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:44, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

  • So it seems that at the least we have consensus to remove them from Good articles. Probably consensus to reduce the visible size of the template too, although that may have to be done by moving the show button up. Not sure on the rest though. AIRcorn (talk) 23:22, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
    • For good articles, I'd say to move them to the talk page, not to remove them altogether. (Obviously, especially given foreign-language Wikipedia's generally lower quality standards, it would be relatively uncommon that a good article would warrant being tagged at all, however. That is, it would only be appropriate where we have a GA, and what they have is along the lines of an en.wiki FA.) Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:05, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
actually, that the other WPs have better than our rather erratic GA standard is very frequent for academic or even just serious topics in the German WP, and often in the French or Italian. Enough people know languages like this that the templates are important, because just as we encourage the translation of enWP articles into other languages, we should t make use of their good work also. And even in the WPs where major topic articles are shorter, ones on national topics are very often much better. and if fewer people know them, all the more reason to call attention to the need for translating the additional material. I do not agree with removing them from any article if the other language article has anything important to add (What I might quarrel with is our using GA in such cases without making the translation and using it.) I don't think there's consensus to remove them from GA. DGG ( talk ) 23:34, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
What about moving them to the talk page? AIRcorn (talk) 23:42, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
They will not there attract the attention of the likely translators, people who know something about the subject are likely to also know the language. This is course an overall problem with maintenance templates & I do not think we have found a viable solution: on the one hand, they do interfere with the readers, but on the other they catch the eye of editors who might fix the problem. I, for one, do not check the talk p. of articles I read unless I am looking for problems, but I have fixed many articles when I do see a template on them. DGG ( talk ) 02:36, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Can someone figure out why the template is expanding to seven lines, though? It could be reduced to three lines I would think. Do we need the blank lines inbetween "This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2011)" and "View a machine-translated version of the French article." and "Click [show] on the right for instructions." And do we even need the line that says "Click [show] on the right for instructions." or the line that says "View a machine-translated version of the French article." Isn't that something that could be revealed after clicking show? And do we need to be able to see the date that the tag was added? Apteva (talk) 20:16, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I find the dates useful with maintenance tags (in fact I would love it to link to the diff of the addition if possible) as you can compare the current article to the version when the tag was added. Sometimes the article is improved and the tag is not removed or it is a piecemeal improvement and no one thinks they have done enough to remove tag. Agree with everything else though. AIRcorn (talk) 23:38, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Anyone Can Edit Has To GO

Teh "anyon can edit" policy has finally been put to the test; Just a few hours of the "Justin Bieber cancer" hoax here was enough to convince some people that it was, in fact, truem and those behind it even brag about it:

This is actually not true at all. I was there when we started this shit. Somebody made a few twitter accounts, we edited Wikipedia, we spammed chat rooms, and we even posted here on Reddit (but it was deleted for lack of evidence). Somebody made a few fake news posts too which were convincing but without a link it wasn't enough.

Source: reddit /dot/ com/r/funny/comments/1242jb/oh_god_4chan_i_love_you/c6s0njs Clearly, the policy is a dismal failure. It's time to end it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.5.196.169 (talk) 06:52, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

There was only one edit of such kind to the Justin Bieber article, which was quickly reverted as it was clearly vandalism and didn't have a source. But I don't see anything here to throw out this policy. Just because there is the potential for vandalism doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bath water. After all, "Anyone can edit" also means that anyone can remove vandalism when they run across it. —Farix (t | c) 21:42, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I have seen quite a lot of vandalism removed by IP users, and I am not counting the self revert ones. Apteva (talk) 17:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Since that policy would have prevented you from saying this, you've created a paradox which could tear our universe asunder. Good job. --Golbez (talk) 20:28, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Alert the media! Apteva (talk) 21:09, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

WT:MOS#Modification to MOS:IDENTITY

In late August, there was a proposal to change MOS:IDENTITY here; I've raised this at the MoS talkpage. Comments would be supremely welcome. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:12, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:No paid advocacy no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:No paid advocacy (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, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is promoting concert tours now?

Truth About Love Tour
I find it hard to believe that this is Encyclopedic content, but not much surprises me here any longer. But, it has been approved by Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Concert tour articles by quality log, whatever that is. -- :- ) Don 02:29, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

That is merely an automated log that means that someone was of the opinion that it should be rated as start class in the WikiProject on concert tour articles. That doesn't imply that the community at large believes it should exist as an article. Also, there is no implication of "approval", and start class is hardly promotional. Chris857 (talk) 02:44, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Many concert tours by notable musicians are the subject of multiple reliable sources, i.e., satisfy WP:GNG. Having an article about a concert tour does not mean we are promoting it, any more than having articles on any commercial topic are necessarily promotional. postdlf (talk) 03:13, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Having a list of 50 dates and locations set by the promoter is not WP:CRYSTAL? How can a multiple reliable sources pick exactly the same dates and locations if not all from the primary source? The logic escapes me. -- :- ) Don 03:37, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
There is no reason to have this discussion here. It belongs on the article talk page. That being said, make sure you reread WP:CRYSTLE for information on how it is about speculative, unconfirmed information, not on confirmed notable events Ryan Vesey 03:47, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I thought this page was about policy. -- :- ) Don 04:54, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
"The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines...If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try the one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards" (from the top of the page). Ryan Vesey 05:44, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

wiki rewards for contributing to online content.

Last March I contributed "a quote" from a Leon Tolstoy novel. I don't see it as I open my file. Has it been omitted, or is the quote not visible to the user? rodneyjensen04 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rodneyjensen04 (talkcontribs) 16:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Your contributions may be viewed here. Did you contribute without an account? Also, where did you contribute it? Ian.thomson (talk) 16:24, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, sometimes articles and contributions are edited by others. Check the page history to see if it was removed. Apteva (talk) 16:33, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Your account was created 28 March 2012 but it has not saved any edit before this question. New users sometimes misunderstand the interface and think they have saved, for example when clicking "Show preview". PrimeHunter (talk) 02:35, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

WP:COI RfC

Of interest: An RfC on our COI guideline for editors with an "intractable" conflict of interest. -- Ocaasi t | c 18:02, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Changing usernames and Harassment incoherent

WP:CHU says: Renames appear in the user rename log and requests are moved to the archives. This is done in the interest of transparency, and there are no exceptions The WP:OUTING part of WP:Harassment saysIt also applies in the case of an editor who has requested a change in username, but whose old identifying marks can still be found. I can't make this two things work together in my head, or even figure out what would actually constitute outing. A recent noticeboard discussion affirmed the that calling a user by their old username was unacceptable. But merely telling a wiki-saavy editor some changed usernames means they can, by searching the logs, figure out the old username in relatively short order. So if I say "editor X used to have a different username," have I just outed them?

A related issue is Rfa records for admins who have changed usernames since getting the bit. Does creating an Rfa redirect under their current name to the name under which they passed Rfa constitute outing?

Just for clarity, I'm talking about users who changed usernames by having a Bureaucrat do their Bureaucrat wiki-magic, not someone who started a new account via cleanstart. Nobody Ent 01:56, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

The only such case I'm aware of is the one we both participated in the discussion of, where the issue was not the old username but what the old username stood for. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
There were two. The earlier one was the user name itself. Nobody Ent 02:02, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I would say it really depends on the situation. Using CHU does leave an audit trail, but calling attention to it is the same as any other form of outing. There are many ways of figuring out who someone is, I recall that we lost at least one good editor because they had been outed. The point is not how it can be done, but to avoid doing it. If an admin changes usernames it is somewhat academic to have a record of their RfA, and I would think it up to them if they wanted it easy to find or not. Whether they stay an admin is not dependent on how they became one. As a related issue, if someone with an apparent COI has a username that indicates that COI, is it outing to ask them if they are? For example if someone with a user name HillaryC edits the article Hillary Clinton? Apteva (talk) 04:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I think you have found a legitimate contradiction between the two policies, and that WP:OUTING is in the wrong. There is a very good reason we log user name changes. Even with logging, repeated username changes can serve to mask a users real block log. I have some personal experience with this, in that a year or so ago I was involved in a discussion of an indef block for a certain user. People were looking at their log under their current name and commenting on how many blocks they had, which was somewhere around fifteen. After examining their log carefully I discovered they had been renamed four times and each of those accounts had its own block log, bringing the real number of previous blocks to almost forty. It was not outing, and nobody suggested it was, to bring this up. It is not outing to mention a users previous username. It may not always be the polite thing to do but it categorically is not outing. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:34, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed that language from OUTING. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:38, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Delayed creation proposal

A proposal to prohibit edits to new U.S. election articles until November 7 was largely rejected. Apteva (talk) 19:57, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Another U.S. Presidential Election and Wikipedia once again is being used as a political battleground. A problem with existing tools used to address this, such as AfD and DRV, is that their delay in reaching an actionable consensus allows article space to be used as a battleground while the discussion continues. It's not just the U.S Presidential election, but many elections all over the world result in Wikipedia being used as a battleground right before the election vote. To address this, we may want to look into creating another tool similar to speedy deletion, but instead merely delay creation of the article in article space until after the election. The criteria for delayed creation would give administrators broad consensus to, at their discretion, immediately remove certain pages or media from article space two weeks before the election date until after the election, where the article then would be automatically restored to article space. For example, if we had delayed creation in place now, the policy would allow admins to delete, userify, or otherwise temporarily remove from article space, certain US presidential election political topics created between October 24, 2012 through November 6, 2012 and have them automatically restored/returned to article space on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, one day after the US Presidential Election. An admin's decision to delay creation of an article by removal from article space could be reviewed at WP:DRV. Being an encyclopedia, an at most two week delay in creation of an article seems a reasonable exchange for lessening an ability to use Wikipedia as a political battleground during election season. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 11:02, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose I am having a hard time seeing the need to deal with this. I'd rather deal with people who abuse Wikipedia than to admit defeat and remove (what should be) decent articles from the article space merely because they attract the wrong sorts of people. Existing tools are more than adequate. --Jayron32 12:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This doesn't solve the problem it is intended to solve. Sure, right now, it means that US election topics would "blink" out until after the election, but the timing window is easily gamed for later events. Not to mention the nontrivial issues with even attempting to implement this. What are the criteria? It cannot be "anything election related", both because the project does not need layers of process specifically for US political events, and because some articles about current topics are legitimate. I cannot imagine any set of criteria that would receive widespread consensus. And, indeed, this proposed process is self-defeating; DRV is acknowledged as one of the loci of "delay" and debate, but DRV would have jurisdiction to review this sequestering as well. As Jayron notes, existing tools suffice. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 14:40, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose - Not only is this WP:CREEP as there are plenty of existing policies in place which prevent any abuses that this sort of policy change would address, but it also seems to be violating WP:CENSOR as well. There can (and may very well) be topics that come up at the last minute which are notable and otherwise do not justify anything in current deletion policy. I also fail to see why events in the USA should be singled out in such a way either. Delaying creation of an article for anything other than WP:CRYSTAL seems like a misplaced rationale. --Robert Horning (talk) 14:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The election-time "problem" I'm hearing is: 1) too much encyclopedic information gets added, and/or 2) a lot of non-encyclopedic gets added. Problem #1 cannot be solved; it's simply a fact that our lives as editors get harder when events like this take place. More encyclopedic information is good. Problem #2 is solved by using the existing consensus of sound WP policies to keep out non-encyclopedic or unduly-weighted or poorly-sourced or self-published or COI or newsy material. New policy not needed. --Ds13 (talk) 16:26, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Even though I essentially just did what this proposes with my close of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comparison of United States presidential candidates, 2012 (2nd nomination). In that case there was a consensus that despite the notability of the topic, the article we had on it was fatally flawed. I therefore deleted it and protected it from recreation until five days after the election. This sort of thing should only be done on a case-by-case basis and should not be standard procedure. As others have noted it would be easy for clever users to game it, exacerbating rather than resolving the issue. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:23, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a joke, right? Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 19:26, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure it was proposed in genuine good faith with the intent to improve WP, but it has basically no chance of ever being implemented and I would advise the proposer that there is no shame in acknowledging the WP:SNOW nature of the response so far and withdrawing it. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:49, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Channel lineups in Wikipedia

Why are we allowing channel lineups of any satellite or cable in Wikipedia, like List of AT&T U-verse channels, List of Dish Network channels (United States), and List of channels on Sky? Are they supposed to be alternative conveniences to channel lineups from mail, receivers, or official websites? Moreover, they always change. If we cannot ban them, then how are these lists increasing quality of Wikipedia? --George Ho (talk) 05:01, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

I noticed these from other boards, and I completely agree they are unnecessary. Because network channel lineups change all the time, as well as differences between regions, there is no hope for these articles to be relavent ever. We can link to the current lineup that is usually offered by the network provider, but we shouldn't be listing them ourselves. --MASEM (t) 05:34, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Either I will ask one of my mentors to accept my deletion requests, or someone else must tag them as AFD. If these are not that simple, then we must make a policy against them in WP:NOT. What do you think? --George Ho (talk) 06:35, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
It's already there under WP:NOTDIR - these are electronic program guides. --MASEM (t) 13:34, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Deletionism is an interesting view here and the articles suffer from great inattention. My review of sources indicates that changes in channel lineups are very frequently a subject for third-party media attention requisite for keeping the articles, but those sources are rarely incorporated in the article. Further, there are plenty of static sources for a historical review to be carried out. Encyclopedicity attaches to the list because it attaches to the changes. However, it appears the motivated pool of editors is primarily interested in forever syncing to what the official websites say "today", which prevents the necessary balance from appearing on the face of the article, leading to a prima facie case for deletionism. I am involved in a separate dispute on one of these articles and I don't mind if AFDs process but I think more time and discussion are needed than AFD typically allows. 12.153.112.21 (talk) 13:36, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
I know that when there are certain issues with certain channels not being available due to contract negotiations or other wankery, that does make news, but that's information that can be summarized on the provider's page. I have never seen significant coverage of other channel lineup changes. Even given that, WP:NOT specifically says we don't provide electronic program guides. --MASEM (t) 13:45, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm AFD'ing the AT&T Uverse one as a test case. If that goes through, I'm proposing a secondary discussion to delete the others in that Category:Lists of television channels by company without AFD. --MASEM (t) 13:45, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

See:
--A. B. (talkcontribs) 14:29, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Also see Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/Archive 33#NOTDIR include current channel listings from July 2010. After the AFDs, this discussion should be brought back to WT:NOT to make the Directory policy more explicit. -- Wikipedical (talk) 07:02, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

May we do something about other channel lineups right now? None of them are nominated for deletion, and we may face more revising, edit warring, pointless editing on long, complicated table, etc. --George Ho (talk) 19:25, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

I must withhold my embarassing comment; I didn't know that Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of DirecTV channels (2nd nomination) is already done. --George Ho (talk) 19:28, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
This AFD was relisted a few or several days ago. --George Ho (talk) 23:29, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

WP:Articles for deletion/List of DirecTV channels (2nd nomination) resulted as "delete". --George Ho (talk) 02:31, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

I have created Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of channels on Sky on the same basis as the arguments here and elsewhere doktorb wordsdeeds 06:22, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, I created Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/2nd bundle of channel lineups. --George Ho (talk) 21:08, 20 October 2012 (UTC)


For your information, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of channels on Sky has been modified to include an expanded list of directly related articles. I'm just letting you know that this has happened so you may add or amend your comments in response. Many thanks, doktorb wordsdeeds 03:43, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Template:List of Astro Channels is nominated for deletion. --George Ho (talk) 05:09, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


Just to let you know, I've created Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of digital terrestrial television channels (UK) as a further extension of the current debate on channel listings on Wikipedia. Your input would be appreciated doktorb wordsdeeds 17:49, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
...and now we've tripped from a good idea into taking completely the wrong lesson from this, as this UK list is a list of broadcast stations, not channel lineups for individual cable providers. See also the newly opened Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of television stations in New York. postdlf (talk) 22:29, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Question - why stop here? I've already sent a message to one of the individuals who is involved in the mass AfD's referring to UK radio articles: List of radio stations in the United Kingdom, Category:DAB ensemble, their related templates (Template:Digital radio in the United Kingdom) and articles too. What about every TV and radio channel article? We'd probably have to disband a number of media WikiProjects too, as their contributions would likely be at odd with the AfD's being submitted here. I fear these AfD's are driving people who write for media articles on Wikipedia off the website. I myself, are considering the idea of Wikiresigning. For everyone's information, I am the creator of Digital radio in the United Kingdom, a good article and several other media related articles. --tgheretford (talk) 00:01, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

When I started the first AFD on the AT&T Uverse listing, the line for me was the contents of the one specific catagory that was by provider. Nothing else. The line, effectively, is that those were lists for doing business with the provider, and lacks the idea of "enduring information". Lists that compile - without respect to provider - all broadcast stations within a country or similar region, are completely appropriate as there's no commercial intent there, and the media of a country can be considered an encyclopedic topic. I personally will fight AFDs that are against my original intent, as I do agree that we should have articles on individual stations (tv & radio) as well as lists appropriate for "media in nation X" discussions. --MASEM (t) 00:20, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The nominations are based on media companies providing a directory of services which are not WP:USEFUL and violate WP:NOTDIR. Well, in the UK we had a directory, the IBA Television and Radio guide listing its channels. Today, it's user generated content from the likes of Wikia. The channel articles would in theory violate WP:NOTDIR on the basis of the aforementioned avenues. Not sure how someone would go around AfD'ing BBC One though (and I rather hope that never happens). Should that be the case, WikiProjects and task forces such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Radio/UK Radio, Wikipedia:WikiProject Television Stations and related WikiProjects need to be taken to WP:MFD --tgheretford (talk) 09:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

With regards to further AfDs, I think there is now a clear consensus, not least because two unsuccessful AfDs which I started. I'd be willing to continue Masem's work of nominating channel line ups connected to provider lists, not geographic ones. doktorb wordsdeeds 06:45, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

What about radio station lineups, like List of Sirius Satellite Radio stations? Unfortunately, I don't know what to do with non-notable individual satellite stations, like Martha Stewart Living Radio and Pop2K. *ugh* --George Ho (talk) 04:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
If they are non-notable AfD them, but I seriously doubt that they are, awful though they may be. Rich Farmbrough, 00:37, 5 November 2012 (UTC).
Aren't they specific to Sirius's service, and/or produced by Sirius? Then it's a very different question from the cable lineups, which are each one of many companies carrying much the same stations that are not their own original assets or content. The only question then is whether there are enough individually notable stations in their service to merit indexing them separately from the main co. article. postdlf (talk) 01:11, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Inadvertent canvassing

An editor sent all contributors to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/3rd bundle of channel lineups a note about a new AfD at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Net channels. This is probably a bad idea as it perpetuates the viewpoint from one AfD to another - in this example the contributors to the more vigorously contested earlier AfDs were not notified. Nor incidentally was the key contributor to the article. Rich Farmbrough, 00:37, 5 November 2012 (UTC).

RfC regarding CSD

For those who may be interested, there is an RfC regarding a potential new CSD criterion. The RfC can be found here, and please feel welcome to weigh in. AutomaticStrikeout 22:03, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Piped link to redirect vs. direct link

Policy (WP:NOTBROKEN) states that there is no need to pipe a link to avoid a redirect, and to leave the existing source as it is. I am trying to figure out how to address the reverse case where the link is piped to a redirect page and the unpiped link would have gone to the target directly.

As an example, which of these changes (if any) should be made? (Note: "Venus (planet)" is a redirect to "Venus".)

[[Venus (planet)|Venus]] → [[Venus]]
[[Venus (planet)|Venusian]] → [[Venus]]ian
[[Venus (planet)|Venerian]] → [[Venus|Venerian]]

If there is a specific policy? I could not find one. Thanks.Novangelis (talk) 02:42, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

One of the exceptions to WP:NOTBROKEN reads: "[[redirect|target]] may be replaced with [[target]] if [[redirect]] is not a {{Redirect with possibilities}}." The specific example you give is probably a remnant from a bygone era (2006), when Venus (planet) was the name of the article. DoctorKubla (talk) 11:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. It was staring right at me, and I completely missed it in the multiple negatives: an exception to a "do not", requiring the absence of a category. The only possible policy improvement I can think of is an explicit instruction to check the redirect for categories before making changes, and I'm not sure if that would be an improvement. Mostly, I need to increase my awareness of categories.Novangelis (talk) 15:08, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Of course, it would be nice if the categories added by {{Redirect with possibilities}} and related templates were not hidden for most readers. As it is, you need to edit the redirect or examine its history or have enabled the option in preferences to display hidden categories. olderwiser 16:00, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi, what's wrong with the article Jackie Brown (film)? In the section Plot, there is underlined link at words "money" which (if you roll your cursor on them) have advertisement to some pages www.ufxmarkets.com. I have tried other articles with word money in them, but they are normal. Why that? --213.155.255.148 (talk) 16:50, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

It seems that now it's everywhere. Just word money. Maybe fault on my side. --213.155.255.148 (talk) 16:53, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Yep, it's just you. Something your browser is doing, or some kind of malware on your computer, because it's not part of the article page code. postdlf (talk) 17:01, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I've checked up my Mozilla's supplements and it seems like some Yontoo was making all troubles. Now it's OK. --213.155.255.148 (talk) 17:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

RfC - What is the test for free-content? - Does Wikipedia respect foreign copyrights or only US law?

What is the common-sense test for free content on the free encyclopedia? Is it "US law only", or "the same as on Commons", or something else?

Request for Comment here

9carney (talk) 17:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

You shouldn't have a discussion of Wikipedia policy issue on an article talk page... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:36, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Commons requires that the free content be usable anywhere in the world, so content there must be free everywhere in the world. For en.wiki, we do allow free content that at minimum qualifies as such under US law (it may also be free in other countries, but US law freeness is required). --MASEM (t) 17:48, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Masem summed this up perfectly. No RfC should be needed unless you desire to change something. Ryan Vesey 17:51, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Not quite, I think. According to commons:Commons:Licensing, works are required to be free in the US and in "the source country of the work"; other countries aren't supposed to matter. OTOH, I don't know whether in practice something with no connection to a country such as Germany and public domain in any country that might be considered "the source country of the work" might not be deleted anyway, thanks to weird Commons politics. Anomie 18:19, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Note that the reason the Wikimedia Foundation has a lawyer is explicitly to cover this particular issue... not just for the WMF but Wikipedia as a project. If you are asking a legal question, I'd suggest that you either contact the WMF directly, or better yet seek your own legal counsel by hiring a lawyer who understands copyright laws in your location. In other words, talk pages and other articles on Wikipedia are not really places for legal advise.
This said, note that the Wikipedia servers themselves are located in Florida, and as such are subject to the laws of the State of Florida as well as the United States of America. Normally that just means you need to worry about federal law, but some state-level laws do apply too (harassment and some death threats might apply Florida law, for example). Copyright law is obviously U.S. law.
Note though if you are editing a Wikipedia article you can be legally liable for copyright violations both in whatever country you happen to be editing the article in, and in the country where you may hold citizenship. If you are a Saudi subject on vacation in Germany, you may have both Saudi, German, and American laws apply to what you edit in Wikipedia simultaneously. While it may be safe for an American to be adding some kinds of content, you might get in trouble if you are working on an article and you aren't an American citizen. Note this is one of the reasons why non-English Wikipedias have different rules for copyright, since often a majority of the participants may need to worry about copyright in another country in addition to American laws.
This issue has been debated to death on the Village Pump and elsewhere, so reopening an old discussion is real pointless. Note that even Wikimedia Commons does not really have a restriction on having content which must be legal in all countries, as there are nude images and content like a swastika or images of Mohammed or God that are illegal in some countries around the world. In theory almost anything could be considered illegal somewhere, or at least would make it impossible to run a project like Wikipedia if it had to be legal to use everywhere. Common sense is that we have a an encyclopedia that we want to write, so as long as content is added with permission of the person who created the content (images, music, even text in articles) or is generally free for anybody to reuse, you should be fine. Fair use is real tricky and is like going into a rabbit hole in terms of what is legitimate or not. According to U.S. law, fair use is only a legal defense where you are taking a gamble each time you end up in a court room and is subject to whatever whim a judge thinks at the time really is fair use or not... usually based upon legal precedence and issues like the 1st amendment. Wikipedia tends to try and stay on the safe side of these issues where ample legal precedent and shown them to be legal, like showing corporate logos in articles. --Robert Horning (talk) 19:50, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Ticker symbols in article leads and acting upon this essay as policy

In looking at a recent edit on my watch list, I saw this Wikipedia essay being quoted as policy. While it seems like something that instead should be put into the Manual of Style, something here in this series of edits by User:MZMcBride seems amiss. I would think it to be quite self-serving to create something that appears as an official policy on Wikipedia that you wrote yourself and then act upon that policy as something which has gained widespread consensus with a number of edits to different pages. I also note that this particular user also made a general help desk inquiry into this practice.

Basically I'm bringing this up to the greater Wikipedia community to decide if in fact this is something which should be cited as policy and if these edits by this particular user should stand or be reverted. For myself, I sort of think having the ticker symbols in the lead paragraph of an article to be appropriate even if there is a separate infobox, so I would find it appropriate to even revert these edits... but I'd like to get some general consensus on the issue first. This essay also needs to be reviewed regardless and perhaps if it is to be made policy to be merged into a more general policy document or added to the manual of style as appropriate.

Sometimes issues like this need to be done in this manner in the process of simply being bold, so I don't want to make this sound like this particular user is doing something awful and these are legitimate good faith edits. Still, they do need to be reviewed. --Robert Horning (talk) 21:50, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Where was it cited as policy? Or where did you get an indication that it was a policy?
Can you explain why you feel article leads should contain a ticker symbol? --MZMcBride (talk) 22:12, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
See also this edit where this "policy" was cited as the rationale for the edit... or at least gives the impression that reverting this edit is contrary to policy. I am suggesting that such a "policy" is not necessarily something which has gained widespread consensus on Wikipedia yet, even if it may have additional supporters besides yourself. --Robert Horning (talk) 23:08, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
You think using the word "per" indicates it's a policy? I'm a bit baffled by your interpretation of basic English.
Can you focus a bit on the substance of the issue? Why do you feel NASDAQ ticker symbols should be in the article lead sentence? Is this a common encyclopedic practice?
And broadly, do you think a policy is required to make article edits? Most of what you've written here in this section doesn't make any sense to me. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:39, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
What I think is odd here is that you made a page that seemed to be policy when in fact it isn't. You are playing a game here with this edit, as I know you are a long-time Wikipedia user who is trying to rationalize your actions as though this is normal to Wikipedia when in fact it isn't. Others before you have made systemic changes to Wikipedia in a similar kind of bold move, so this action by itself isn't unusual... just creating this page that seems to be oddly self-serving to justify your actions. I am posting here on the Village Pump because I think this sort of action deserves to get widespread attention from other Wikipedia participants and shouldn't fly under the radar. The substance of this issue is being addressed. Note also that I went out of my way to let you know that I posted this on the Village Pump... I just didn't think this was something that should have languished on user talk pages.
It sort of seems like you are offended that I'm bringing this to the attention of other users instead of letting this slide by in the shadows. --Robert Horning (talk) 13:47, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm mostly offended by your actions in this section. You keep trying to suggest that I cited this as a policy, when I didn't and there's no evidence to suggest that I did. When you use phrases like "slide by in the shadows," I'm not sure how I'm not supposed to be offended. If I were trying to hide my actions, I don't think I would have created a separate page to explain them and then linked it in every edit summary (in capital letters, no less). Yes, I'm really lurking in the shadows trying to improve our articles. What's wrong with you, dude?
I don't have any problem with this being discussed on a village pump. When I first investigated this practice, I went to a very public forum to discuss it (the help desk).
Meanwhile, you still haven't discussed the substance of the issue, which leads me to believe that you don't really object to removing the ticker symbols from article leads. Could you please try to focus on the issue at hand? --MZMcBride (talk) 14:30, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
You are making it appear as though this is policy. For a new editor to Wikipedia, they would definitely think that because the quoted essay is in the Wikipedia namespace that in fact it is policy, even if it isn't necessarily tagged as such. This is the game that I see you are playing here and I think it is disingenuous for you to claim that "I didn't cite this as policy". If you wanted to make this policy, you should have gone through at least some sort of motion to come to consensus on the issue. At the very least, you (not other users) should have labeled this as an essay and not as a policy in the first place.
The real issue here is that this action is very arbitrary and can result in edit wars. I don't mind an edit war being turned instead into a flame war, as talk is cheap and doesn't impact the readers of these pages nearly as much. Still, I don't see why your "policy" or assertion that ticker symbols should not be in lead paragraphs is a compelling issue on Wikipedia. You don't like it, but that doesn't seem to be quite as compelling here. This is gaming the system, and I am calling you out on that principle here. Other users are taking the ball from here, but I did feel this needs more attention and not less. You are expressing anger at me because I shined a spotlight on this practice of yours. You are asking for substance on a non-substantive issue that really is just about style and aesthetics. --Robert Horning (talk) 15:21, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Gaming the system by making edits to articles? And you've now suggested that any page in the Wikipedia namespace is policy? I'm at a loss as to how to respond to you because you've jumped so far from the ship.
As to the substance of this thread, you seem to have now admitted that there is none. I think I'm finished here. Please stop wasting my time. --MZMcBride (talk) 15:34, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Sure what MZM did might be considered arbitrary, but that's the spirit of WP:BRD. He never claimed it was policy, he merely used the word "per" to indicate that WP:TICKER was his rationale for doing so. Never did he say that rationale was backed up by other editors or the community, but people could see a bit longer reason than what would fit in the edit summary. Bringing it to the pump for better discussion is fine, but now you're arguing over the meta-issue of how he made a change, rather than the substance of his changes. Legoktm (talk) 16:51, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
By the way, I have no objection to this page being merged into the Manual of Style or to a discussion to gather (explicit) consensus. Personally, as outlined in the page I created, I think these ticker symbols in article leads are historical artifacts that can safely be removed in most cases. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:21, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with putting it into the MOS for two reasons. First I disagree and think that it is fine to duplicate the info in the infobox, but I would prefer to keep it where it is more easily seen - right next to the company name. Ditto for pronunciation. Secondly there already is way too much stuff in the MOS - it goes on to 70 subpages already. Apteva (talk) 22:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Is there some kind of length limit you're concerned about running up against? I don't see how it's relevant how long the Manual of Style is. It's as long as it needs to be for a general-purpose encyclopedia that encompasses over four million articles.
Regarding the position of the ticker symbol, can you elaborate on why you think it makes sense to include a particular stock exchange's ticker symbol in the article's lead sentence? Is this a common practice for encyclopedias? --MZMcBride (talk) 03:47, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Bizarre. Create a page, no discussion, no indication that it is not a policy or guideline, create two links to it, and start using it as if it was policy. Apteva (talk) 00:48, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Err, where was it cited as policy? --MZMcBride (talk) 03:39, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Tag as essay? Apteva (talk) 00:58, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
For the time being, I've stuck a {{notice}} on it, pointing people to this discussion. It's not an essay per se, but I don't know of a better way to describe it. Legoktm (talk) 16:52, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with what MZM did. We don't have the ISO 3166 codes for countries stated in the lead, just the infobox. Similarly, it doesn't make sense to have stock tickers in the lead when they fit in the infobox. Legoktm (talk) 01:37, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
IMO anything in the infobox should be in the article as well. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 02:34, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but that doesn't mean it has to be in the lead section. Legoktm (talk) 03:08, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Aye. For example, the Google article mentions the NASDAQ ticker symbol ("GOOG") in the body of the article, alongside a second ticker symbol ("GGQ1"). This seems much more appropriate to me. I'm not sure why others disagree, but maybe they'll expand on this soon. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:41, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

WP:MOSBOLDSYN hints at it, but only goes so far as to say that if it appears, then it should be bolded. I don't know that the broad stroke of a guideline is necessary here; some acronyms (ticker symbols) will make sense to add and some will not. For example, for the listed Research In Motion on WP:Ticker symbols in article leads, it makes sense to include the symbol as the symbol is just as often found in the context of stocks and trading as in general business or even non-business usage.

I would say that it is definitely the case that if the information appears in the infobox, then it should also appear somewhere in the article proper. The infobox serves a summary purpose at the least, and not an all-inclusive fact box. --Izno (talk) 11:43, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

I think declaring that all info in an infobox should also be in the article prose is just as bad as a blanket rule that info doesn't need to be in the article prose whenever it is in the infobox. It should always depend on the particular information in relation to the subject and the state of the article. Infoboxes often have data or dates that makes for awkward prose at best. Honestly, the need many editors have to overdetermine results by applying abstract, absolute rules in every instance is really a detriment to the project. Many things should be left to individual article editors to decide on a case by case basis, and different outcomes in different articles allows for experiments in form and style so we can see what works and what doesn't and make improvements and innovations. postdlf (talk) 14:45, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Except that what's in the infobox should be important enough to be in the article in the first place. If it's not important, why is it there? Doesn't have to be in the lead, no, but if the 'data or dates' aren't important enough to make prose out of, why are they important enough to be in the box? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:59, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Take a look at Apple Inc.. Their address in the infobox is "Apple Campus, 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, U.S.". Is that mentioned anywhere in the article? Nope. Is it still good information to have in the infobox? Sure. As Postdlf says, it's a bad idea to have such blanket policies or rules. Legoktm (talk) 16:56, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
My $0.25... I have cited WP:NASDAQ as the basis for some of my edits. It's not policy and I don't need it to be policy in order for it to be a sound rationale for an edit. I would argue that a company web site URL is actually more likely to be clicked upon and a more desirable piece of information for most readers than the ticker symbol. Yet we smartly avoid putting domain names, external links, etc. in article introductions. So relegating the ticker symbol to a consistent place for all publicly traded companies is just as smart as relegating the (more useful) web site link into a consistent place at the top of the "External links" section. --Ds13 (talk) 16:20, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

I noticed this going on as I watch a large number of company articles. Leaving aside the actual issue of whether tickers should be in leads - personally I think this is best left to the editors of the articles to judge - I do agree that an editor creating an essay and then linking to it in edit summaries to justify bulk edits across a large number of articles is not appropriate behaviour. Many less experience editors watching the article(s) will see the link and think that the removal is for some kind of official or semi official reason and will then be far less likely to challenge it. It will not cross their mind, as it might the more experienced/cynical of us, to check who has edited and created the essay, and realise that it was exactly the same editor who is using it as justification for their edits, and that the essay was only created a few days earlier. Rangoon11 (talk) 01:33, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

While I find this a trivial and mostly pointless discussion in terms of the actual placement of the stock ticker symbol, I do find this disturbing in terms of general behavior. I realize that many policies have been created in this fashion (that is how WP:FIVE originally started and now considered foundational to Wikipedia policies) but I think before you engage in a great many edits there should be some sort of consensus. Make a change to an article as a prototype, bring it up to some place like the Village Pump or to a Wikiproject discussion group, and if other editors agree with your concept then you can be bold and start making the changes more widespread.
Other examples where editors have made widespread changes like this across a large number of articles include infamous edit wars like changing dates from BCE to BC and back again or the whole kB vs. kiB controversy that rocked the Village Pump in years past. Wikipedia has weathered these kind of storms before when you had an aggressive editor applying a concept across a large number articles in a short period of time, but there does need to be a point where they are also called on the carpet to explain their actions and get other editors to be aware of what is going on. I certainly don't understand why I'm attacked or being said that I'm insulting simply because I'm trying to shine a light on this practice. I am also concerned about WP:CREEP when things like this happen too. --Robert Horning (talk) 02:21, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
You view yourself as the Defender of the Wiki and it's kind of disgusting. You chose to dramatize the issue and you chose to try to stir up controversy rather than using an appropriate forum for discussion such as, y'know, the relevant talk page. If anyone's behavior needs a spotlight as an example of how not to act, it's yours. Nobody is attacking you for bringing up this discussion (though the fact that you feel that way only serves as further evidence of your self-martyrdom); people have raised legitimate concerns about your blatant dishonesty in this discussion (calling the page a policy, saying that it was cited as a policy, pretending as though it was done in a cloak and dagger manner, etc.), all of which have absolutely no evidence or basis in reality. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:45, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
You wanted me to raise an issue on a talk page that was a redlink at the time I noticed the problem? Again, you seem to be very angry at me because I brought this to the attention of others. Absolutely nothing I have done here is contrary to Wikipedia policy or for that matter any different than dozens of other similar issues. Everything I've done here is out in the open and on public discussion pages that are frequently viewed and read by a wide number of editors. I also went to relevant Wikiprojects and notified users on those projects to pay attention to this issue. If you have any further issues, bring it up to ArbCom or at least point out specifically what I'm doing wrong. I am calling you on the carpet here though pointing out that this previous series of edits you were performing was misleading and I still insist that to somebody new to Wikipedia would have been construed as according to long standing policy even though it wasn't. The only disgusting thing I see here is that you got caught when you thought you could get away with something here. --Robert Horning (talk) 03:56, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
"I do agree that an editor creating an essay and then linking to it in edit summaries to justify bulk edits across a large number of articles is not appropriate behaviour." <-- This doesn't make any sense. The edit summary field is quite limited in the amount of text it can accomodate. Linking to a page that fully explains the edit and its rationale is surely better for less experienced users, isn't it? --MZMcBride (talk) 23:45, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
It's the idea of doing mass edits based on an essay that hasn't had any consensus vetting that's the problem. Changes done en masse do really need to have community backing to avoid disruption. --MASEM (t) 23:57, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not indifferent to that. About a month ago (on October 3), I made this exact change with a similar edit summary that linked to WP:NASDAQ to four high-profile articles: Apple Inc., Nokia, Adobe Systems, and Ericsson. I actually expected objections, but after four weeks, nobody had said a word about the changes. So I went ahead and edited a few dozen more articles. Then one person (Robert Horning) decided to make a big deal out of very minor changes and here we are. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:17, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Each are watched by quite a few, over 100, Apple right now over 900, but most are only looking for vandalism. An official sounding edit summary like per WP:XYZ is not as likely to be scrutinized. Sometimes change is good, sometimes not. In general people do not like change. They like to get used to things the way they are. The Amish have made a career of staying the same. And they just smile when our power goes out. Apple, by the way, got changed on Oct 3, replaced on Oct 20, removed on Oct 22, and restored on Oct 30. Do I detect a little bit of an edit war? Apteva (talk) 02:25, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Ticker symbols in navboxes

Speaking of ticker symbols, I think the worse practice is the inclusion of external links, ticker symbols, and stock values in the bottom of company navboxes. See for example Template:Research In Motion. Should something be done about that? --Izno (talk) 11:43, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with having the symbols there, however I believe there should be only one link to nasdaq.com (or whatever) from the stock symbol on a single page (templates, infoboxes included). Legoktm (talk) 11:51, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. I see no problem with repeating the same link in the text of the article on the company, the infobox, and a template at the bottom (which may be collapsed). The template is probably used on many pages that do not have the company infobox. UnitedStatesian (talk) 14:58, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Is there an advantage to linking it multiple times? I see this as the same as not wiki-linking a word over and over again. And if the article doesn't have an infobox, we can always modify the navbox to accept something like |link stocks=yes to accommodate those articles. Legoktm (talk) 17:00, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
The idea of OVERLINKing text multiple times typically excludes repetition in infoboxes, navboxes, citations, lists and tables. It's meant for readable prose. --MASEM (t) 17:21, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
100% agree with Masem. Could not have said it better myself. UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:58, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
That's a good point. Legoktm (talk) 10:33, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

If someone is in the habit of reading a financial newspaper, the ticker symbol is the most important part of the article, which is why it comes right after the company name. If someone is in the habit of reading general newspapers, and then mostly the comics pages, the ticker symbol is the least important part of the article, and if at all should appear in an info box. However, we do not get to decide who is going to be reading our articles, and need to make them useful to everyone. Is it that difficult to get past the pronunciation gobbly gook and the ticker symbol to get into the text of an article? I clearly do not see that we need a policy to tell us what to do - do whatever seems appropriate, for that article, and discuss any disputes at that articles talk page. But creating a page that says to do something, undiscussed, and only a month ago, and then citing that page as if it is policy, is clearly questionable. Apteva (talk) 18:05, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

We have Wikinews for news articles. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so I'm not sure why the practice of including NASDAQ ticker symbols in the first sentence of the article is acceptable. Can you elaborate?
And can you explain where this page was cited as a policy by anyone? --MZMcBride (talk) 18:08, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I do agree that the ticker symbol should not be used immediately after the first appearance as most news sites do, as there's no context for it. On the other hand, a statement in the lead, stating that "Microsoft is traded on the NASDAQ market under the "MSFT" ticker." may be appropriate if editors' feel the need for such, but it does feel out of place if you alos have that in the infobox. --MASEM (t) 18:15, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Completely agreed. :-) This is what articles such as Google do, though in case of Google, it's not in the intro paragraphs. There's a separate section which includes the line "The company is now listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol GOOG and under the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GGQ1." --MZMcBride (talk) 18:24, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
No need for a sentence. It is the practice of every publicly traded company to have the ticker symbol right after the company name in the article about that company. No need to make any change to that practice. The reason why it is there is that it is useful. For someone who does not know why it is useful, that does not matter - it just is. Google was not a publicly traded company and the sentences about the stock symbol were added when it became publicly traded. Eventually those sentences will likely be removed and the ticker symbol simply added to after the company name, just like every other publicly traded company. Sentences are not needed. Ticker symbols are. Apteva (talk) 18:30, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
So are you willing to help revert the hundreds of edits where MZMcBride has recently removed the ticker symbol template from the lead sentence, and cited his personal essay as the reason in the edit summary? UnitedStatesian (talk) 18:43, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
A mass reversion right now is a bit hasty. In the spirit of WP:BRD, sure you can do it, but then you're just trying to make a point. There's no consensus either way right now, so its probably best to wait for a consensus to be determined, then act upon it. Legoktm (talk) 18:50, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Even a mass reversion is simply the R part of BRD. But instead of doing that it is better to discuss with the editor(s) who is/are doing that, instead of just following them around like a street sweeper following a horse, and get them to help with the reversions. Apteva (talk) 20:00, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't believe there's any consensus for the inclusion of these ticker symbols in a general-purpose encyclopedia. In the discussion above, opinion seems to be split. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:51, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. But opinion being split also means there is no consensus for removing them from the lead sentence. They are, though, in fact, just like the scientific name of a species, or the pronunciation - gobbly gook for anyone not interested, but essential information for anyone who is interested. Apteva (talk) 18:57, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
So far I am only checking one ever 500 edits to Google, and find most often the ticker symbol has appeared both in the lead sentence and in the info box, but occasionally it has been removed from the lead sentence. This is how it appeared in 2007.[12] Apteva (talk) 19:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It is 100% WRONG to say there is not consensus to include ticker templates in the lead sentence of articles on public companies. The many hundreds of articles that have these ticker templates in the lead sentence constitute incontrovertible evidence of this consensus. UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:19, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Err, do the hundreds of public companies that do not include a ticker symbol in the article lead constitute evidence of consensus against this practice? --MZMcBride (talk) 19:21, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Examples: EarthLink, ECOtality, E-Trade, Einstein Bros. Bagels, etc. It looks to be about half and half. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:26, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
So we missed some. Added page to MfD. Apteva (talk) 19:29, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Err, do the hundred of articles that do not have references or sources indicate that there is consensus against having references or sources in articles? All three of the public company articles that are featured articles have the exchange template in the lead sentence. UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:43, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
We're here and now, so we should be discussing whether going forward it makes sense to include or omit the ticker symbol in the lead sentence of a company's lead. What exists presently or happened in the past, or the existence of the essay, doesn't matter. It should be decided (via an RFC?) and then appropriate actions taken to reflect that. If the consensus does say to ditch these ticker symbols, then we can promote the essay to guidance. If not, then we can delete the essay. --MASEM (t) 19:53, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
No. It already has been decided, by the hundreds or even thousands of articles that do use it. What is appropriate, is to propose here, should we change that, and if even one editor objects, drop it. Apteva (talk) 20:00, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
It is sort of like proposing should we stop making the title bold, or should we move the references to before the see also section. No RfC is needed. Run the proposal up the flag pole, if it meets with an objection, drop it. Apteva (talk) 20:03, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Uh, "if one editor opposes, drop it", is not how consensus works. I would say, without doing any numerical survey of what exists now, that it is likely the case that most articles on publically-traded companies include the ticker symbol right in the first lead sentence, but that doesn't invalidate the ability to propose a change, particularly one that is more style-guide-ish than content (since we know the ticker symbol is likely listed once more in the infobox). It is fair to RFC a propose to change that, and decide based on consensus, not on the fact one person opposes. --MASEM (t) 20:06, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Someone suggested that readers with a financial bent would enjoy seeing the ticker symbol immediately after the company name. I agree, they probably would. I suggest that at least as many readers, likely many more, would appreciate the convenience of an external link directly to the company website. Clicking through to the company website must be a common pattern of behaviour when reading up on a company, even more so than checking current or historic stock prices. However, for good reason, we relegate those types of peripheral information elsewhere, beyond the intro sentence, BUT easily found in a standardized place (e.g. infobox for company financials, executives, ticker symbols, or top of the "External links" section in the case of the official home page). My position: Serve readers with special needs (e.g. an appetite for ticker symbols or external links) with a standardized place to find those tidbits without polluting the lead sentences. --Ds13 (talk) 21:27, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

This would be far too big a change to decide with one, two, three, or even a dozen RfC's. It would be in my opinion, a disastrous change. We put company websites in the external links section, and in the info box. Not one or the other, but both. Ticker symbols are definitely not "for good reason" or relegated elsewhere, nor is a ticker symbol "peripheral information". They are primary information about a company, as primary as the name of the company. We do have a standardized place to put that primary, not tidbit, information - right after the company name, and there clearly is no reason to make any change. Apteva (talk) 22:59, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, yes the ticker link for a company is periphery information from an encyclopedic standpoint; the company's present and past performance is of little encyclopedic value unless it is specifically written and commented upon. For companies, we are here to write about what they do, how they were founded, their history, locations, management, products and services. If their stock performance is of note (as often the case for Apple, Microsoft, and recently Facebook), then that can be discussed in prose. But the here and now of what they are doing presently on the market is not enduring information, and thus is not immediately necessary to provide to the reader, and ergo the link is extraneous to most readers if right there after the company name. If we were a financial news site, heck yes it needs to be there, but that is not what we are. --MASEM (t) 23:28, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
That is not the primary use of a ticker symbol. The primary use is as a uniform link to information about the company. The performance is secondary. The ticker symbol might as well be the company name. But it is impossible to guess why each of the million people in the last 30 days looked at the article on Google[13] or what they were looking for. Hopefully they found it, no matter what it was. An "encyclopedic standpoint" is to provide information that would be useful. Hopefully we are doing that. If we were not, then few people would use WP. [If it is not broken, why fix it?] Apteva (talk) 02:23, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I said this earlier above, but if you think the ticker symbol might be company name, why don't we similarly put the ISO 3166 codes for countries in the lead section or the ISO 639-1 code for languages in the lead section? Arguably those are even more well known than ticker symbols. At the bottom of it, it comes down to the question of are ticker symbols important and prominent enough to justify being put in the lead section, and does doing so enhance our reader's experience? I for one don't think so. Legoktm (talk) 10:32, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Taking Google as the example, here is where the ticker links to, what you are claiming is "information about the company". None of that that is directly linked is encyclopedic information save perhaps the bottom 1/3rd, the "about the company" prose, which is what we at WP should be describing already. The only use of this information is for someone with financial interest on Google's current market performance. It is not encyclopedic information, which is more than just utility but looks to academic and educational value. Ticker information is appropriate to link to, but not so important to be linked in the first sentence. --MASEM (t) 11:55, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Please be clear that each of us is solely expressing our own personal belief as to how important the ticker symbol is. If the ISO code had been important it would have been located next to each country name. As WP evolved, no one thought it was and no one to my knowledge put it there. As WP evolved, everyone thought that the ticker symbol was important and put it next to the company name. It is my opinion that validates it as important. Instead of someone asking on the help desk, where should symbols go, and not getting an answer, and creating an official looking policy and suddenly using it for a justification for suddenly moving all of them and one or two people jumping on the band wagon and saying they are not important, how about just leaving it alone? Like I said, if it is not broken, why fix it? I do happen to know how ticker symbols are used, and no they are not clicked on as a link. Our links do provide some information, but it is the symbol that is important, just as important as the scientific name of a species. Please, just leave it alone. Apteva (talk) 13:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
WP:BOLD. Legoktm (talk) 13:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
First off, just because it was done in the past don't mean it is necessarily validation. Consensus can change. That said, I do agree that there is a problem when one creates an essay and then makes a large number of changes in a semi-policy-like manner without seeking consensus, but that's a behavioral issue.
We are here and now discussing the issue whether to include ticker symbols in the first sentence. What's happened in the past doesn't matter, though yes, there is an implicit argument that it was appearantly undocumented standard practice for WP in the past, and a near universal practice for any finance news site. That said, we are free to come to a different consensus (eg, not including them) if that is what we so chose. Remember, we're not wiping ticker symbols: they will be there in the infobox, possible navboxes, and if notable within the body prose. The question here is if they are that encyclopdic necessary to have as the second piece of information, after the company name, that an average reader sees. --MASEM (t) 13:47, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I just want everyone to be aware of the gravitas of the issue. There are according to Bloomberg, 63,000 publicly traded companies. Say we have articles on 1/6th of them. That is 10,000 articles with ticker symbols, likely created by thousands of editors each of whom have an opinion on where the symbol should be located. It is simply not appropriate for a dozen editors to make decisions that affect a thousand. What is appropriate is for a thousand to affect a dozen. I can not say it often enough, the symbol is just like the scientific name of a species, and in my opinion, should be in the lead sentence. And how many articles on companies have I created? Maybe one at most, that I can think of, but I can assure everyone I made sure the ticker symbol was included in the lead sentence. Really, mucking around with where the ticker goes is not helpful. There actually are important issues to fix in Wikipedia. This is not one of them. Apteva (talk) 14:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi, Apteva. I strongly disagree with a statement of yours, above. You say: "It is simply not appropriate for a dozen editors to make decisions that affect a thousand. What is appropriate is for a thousand to affect a dozen." You just declared Wikipedia (and Internet publishing in general) "inappropriate". Dozens of editors make decisions that affect thousands all the time. It needs to happen that way. Heck, a single editor affects thousands with one well-written essay that will be followed (or not) based on its merit. Again, a good idea does not need to be official policy for dozens or thousands to follow it. --Ds13 (talk) 14:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The ticker symbol is not like the scientific name of species, because not every company is publicly traded and has a ticker symbol, while every species is classified with a scientific name. Again, we're not saying that we never should include the ticker symbol, but it is being given far too much undue weight for an encyclopedic coverage (not financial) of a company when placed in the lead sentence like that. And Ds13 is correct on how consensus works on WP. --MASEM (t) 15:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

The fact that it is publicly traded is important, and that is trivially indicated by including the ticker symbol. Some very large companies are privately held, and therefore there is no ticker symbol. Look I am not saying that someone comes up with a good idea and it affects everyone else. And even some of those brilliant ideas get shot down later as not that great. I am saying that if a thousand editors have been doing something one way, it is appropriate to have that be the deciding factor, not having an RfC and a dozen people deciding to change that all of a sudden, with no possibility of the thousands affected having any say in the matter. Readers is another issue. We now do have a feedback mechanism to help us learn what readers needs are. The last time I checked an article, there was maybe one feedback offered per thousand page views, so it is a very small sample. Here is a test. Put GM back into the lead sentence of the GM article and see if there are any reader feedback comments one way or the other in the next month. Apteva (talk) 16:28, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

And again, that's not how consensus works. It changes with time. There's the influence of "oh, this article does it, so I should do it in this other article" factors, and on and on. The fact that tickers have been used in articles in the past is an argument for keeping them in place, but its not an irrefutable one that other, better arguments can override. This is how the encyclopedia improves with time. --MASEM (t) 16:37, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, consensus on a particular practice can change with time. And yes, a change in consensus depends on a better argument. I have not heard a better argument. The only argument I have heard is "it is in the infobox, so we don't need it anywhere else." I dispute that. No one makes that argument with the company's website: it is in the infobox, and in an External links section at the bottom. Why? Because certain users expect to see the website in one place, or the other, or both. The same applies to the external exchange link: some users find it very useful, and expect to see it, in the lead sentence. Have I missed any other arguments? UnitedStatesian (talk) 23:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
It is not needed in the lead if the infobox has that info already. Corn cheese (talk) 23:54, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The argument against its inclusion within the lead sentence is that our target audience as an encyclopedia is far different from the target audience of a financial news site. While we should assume that readers know about stock markets and trading, we should be assuming they are going an article on a company to learn about the history and purpose of a company; to these readers, the market and ticker abbreviate are a mishmash of letters. Further when a company is not publicly traded, there's no ticker symbol, at which point it may be confusing to this type of reader as to what the purpose is. There may be a small subset that are interested in the financial performance of the company and will want to see that, but they will also likely be able to flick their eyes to the right and see the ticker symbol in the infobox. I know the comparison has been made to the Latin names for species which are universally added after the common name, but this is the case where it is universal - if we are talking about a species of flora or fauna, there will be a latin name for it. It also serves as identifying the reader's on the right back if the latin name is used as a redirect to the common name. This doesn't apply to ticker symbols. --MASEM (t) 00:02, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Your argument is completely unconvincing. If we talk about public companies, there will be ticker symbol. Public companies and species are the corresponding sets here. The fact that there is a larger non-corresponding set of organizations (all companies, all organizations, whatever) is irrelevant. UnitedStatesian (talk) 01:00, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I personally don't like tickers (and info such as revenues and employee numbers) at the bottom of company navboxes, which I find messy and out of place, when I create a company navbox, and I've created quite a few, I always leave this out, but why on earth are we trying to impose this one way or another on the actual creators and editors of the templates? Can't the editors of the templates be left to make their own mind up, using the template talk page if necessary? It is hardly spoiling the consistent look of the site for some to have it and some not, since it is a small and unobtrusive difference. Rangoon11 (talk) 01:47, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I think the next time I hear "target audience" I am going to throw up. Our "target audience" is everyone who uses the Internet, bar none. We do not have a target audience. We write articles to be useful for absolutely 100% of all Internet users, from 3rd graders to those with three PhDs and everyone in between. Our target audience is someone who wants to find out what Hurricane Sandy is doing and someone who wants to find out what sand is. Our target audience is someone who wants to know if 2+2 is 4 or 5, and someone who knows quantum mechanics backwards and forwards but wants to find out something. We serve that audience by providing information, and the quicker and easier people can find that information the better. The GM article did have feedback from someone who was disappointed that they did not find out how the stock was performing. Okay, we can add that to the article. We had five people who wanted to find out who created algebra, plus one who wanted to know how algebra was brought to America. No can do on either, but we can and do provide a history. But many of the feedback requests we can add to articles to make them easier to use. </rant> Back to the salt mines. How many articles need to be reverted? Apteva (talk) 02:26, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
To say our target audience is 100% of internet users is wrong. We actually do have limits: we expect the target reader to be fluent in English (hence, en.wiki) and that they have a reasonable competent secondary (high school) education, as to not have to write articles in a remedial manner. As we are also an encyclopedia, we are not here to provide every possible detail, and thus there are some aspects we simply cannot cover: short term performance of a company is a powerful example of what we simply cannot do. --MASEM (t) 12:55, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  •  Comment: Given that "per" is often used to refer to policy material, may I suggest using "rationale:" in edit summaries instead when referring to essays, to avoid confusion of this sort? — Hex (❝?!❞) 12:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    • The word "per" is probably more commonly used to refer to other editors ("per Newyorkbrad", etc.), but you make a reasonable point. --MZMcBride (talk) 16:46, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
      • The word per is in these cases just meaning "according to". Editors use it to "refer to" essays, people, guidelines, precedents, policies, proverbs, and any other thing. Anyone assuming that the use of "per" indicates that a policy is being cited, is making a mistake. I'd be strongly opposed to giving the word "per" an elevated and prescribed definition. We have enough confusing language use already. —Quiddity (talk) 20:20, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

RFC opened

Hi. I've started an RFC regarding ticker symbols in article leads: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Ticker symbols in article leads. Please weigh in! --MZMcBride (talk) 15:17, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for handling citations imbedded in quoted text

An example

An excerpt quoted from an article by Robb and Heil runs as follows:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."
In the bibliography of this article is found the information:
Davidson, D., 1963, “Actions, Reasons, and Causes”, Journal of Philosophy 60: 685-700. Reprinted in Davidson 1980, pp. 3-19.

- - - - – – – –, 1980, Essays on Actions and Events, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The query arises as to whether it is appropriate to replace the reference (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) in the quoted text with a footnote containing the bibliographic information, or whether it is preferable to leave the citation in the quotation as it is, and leave it up to the reader to seek out the original article and search its bibliography.

A subtlety of this question is the following: the authors' provided bibliography provides some information about the source, but typically a WP footnote contains more information, for example, in this case one might find:

Davidson, D. (1963). "Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Journal of Philosophy. 60 (23): 685–700.  Reprinted in Davidson, D (2001). "Chapter 1: Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Essays on Actions and Events (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 3–19. ISBN 0199246270. 

It should be noted that the WP footnote above refers to the second edition of the Oxford text, not the original edition cited by the authors.

The proposal

The proposal is that introducing links to on-line versions of sources is an aid to the reader to be encouraged, and a switch to more recent editions of works than those actually referred to is OK provided the updated source does not include serious modifications of the original text. Where some concern over content is warranted, the WP footnote can be supplemented with a caveat such as This is a later edition of the source cited in the original work, and has been somewhat revised (condensed) (supplemented), or some such disclaimers.

Is there an existing policy or guideline on this subject? If not, should one be drafted? Any comments? Brews ohare (talk) 17:24, 5 November 2012 (UTC)


I can't imagine any case where there's citations in a quote where the quote can either be stripped down or paraphrased as to still include the original citations as WP inlines within the text, and still citing the work for any remaining quotes or paraphrased info. Eg in the above, if the original is as you say, then it could be rewritten as "Robb and Heil [1] identified some philosophers [2],[3] that claim the 'very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation'." The original quoted line is not one that needs to be repeated verbatim so manipulation to rephrase it as to make it easy to include all sources is fine. --MASEM (t) 17:35, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Masem: I believe you are suggesting in this instance that the quotation be avoided, and some paraphrase with footnotes be used instead. Thus, a direct quote like:
"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."
should not be recast as:
"Some philosophers (e.g., [2], [3]) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."
with WP versions of citations [2], [3]; but instead as (perhaps):
Robb & Heil have suggested[1] that according to some philosophers[2],[3] "the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."
That seems to duck the issue of misrepresentation in this example, but in general a paraphrase seems to me more likely to introduce inadvertent distortion than going with the original full quotation using footnotes to the authors' sources. In addition, for a long quote, say a paragraph with several author's sources interspersed, breaking up the quote with circumlocutions becomes awkward. What is your objection to simply using the author's sources as WP footnotes? Brews ohare (talk) 18:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Add a note:

"Some philosophers[Note 1] insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."

— David Robb & John Hall
Notes
  1. ^   Davidson, D., 1963, “Actions, Reasons, and Causes”, Journal of Philosophy 60: 685-700. Reprinted in Davidson 1980, pp. 3-19.
    ----––––, 1980, Essays on Actions and Events, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Dcshank (talk) 18:10, 5 November 2012
Dcshank: Your proposal then is to simply use only the information provided in the original source as a WP footnote, and to avoid providing extra information such as isbn numbers, more recent editions, Google links to articles and books, and other items not provided by the original? Isn't that an unnecessary limitation, imposing extra work upon the reader? Brews ohare (talk) 18:39, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
We shouldn't be using excessive long quotes, and I would again have a hard time imagine that if we are using a long quote that has several interspersed references that we cannot paraphrase (as we are allowed to do) as to keep the quoted sources' original sources in a manner to make it clear that the paraphrase is based what the main author said by pulling info from their quoted sources. My only problem is that putting WP cites inside a quote is disrupting the quote, and to leave the cites as is is unhelpful to the reader. You should nearly always be able to paraphrase around that problem. --MASEM (t) 18:53, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
A plausible workaround is to footnote the quote itself and provide references to the cites there (possibly in a see also or somesuch). — Coren (talk) 19:00, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think putting WP footnotes within the quote is misleading. How about this: put a WP footnote at the end as in:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."[1]
or
"Some philosophers ... insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."[1]

and have WP footnote #1 mention both the original citation (or ellipsized text) and the newer/fuller cite/link info. --Noleander (talk) 19:04, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Noleander: To put your suggestion concretely, the example becomes:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."[Notes 1]

— Robb, David and Heil, John, "Mental Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Notes
  1. ^   See, for example, Davidson, D. (1963). "Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Journal of Philosophy. 60 (23): 685–700.  Reprinted in Davidson, D (2001). "Chapter 1: Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Essays on Actions and Events (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 3–19. ISBN 0199246270.  and Mele, A. R. (1992). Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019507114X. 
In this way there is no implication that the authors have endorsed this representation of their sources. Is this your suggestion? Brews ohare (talk) 19:24, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Close, but not quite. Footnote #1 would also indicate (in fact, its primary purpose) the source of the quote itself. Its secondary purpose would be to provide details/links about the sources mentioned in the quote. For instance:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."[Notes 1]

Notes
  1. ^ Robb, David and Heil, John, "Mental Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.    Robb & Heil are citing Davidson, D. (1963). "Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Journal of Philosophy. 60 (23): 685–700.  Reprinted in Davidson, D (2001). "Chapter 1: Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Essays on Actions and Events (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 3–19. ISBN 0199246270.  and Mele, A. R. (1992). Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019507114X. 
--Noleander (talk) 19:40, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Something should be done to indicate that the WP citations are not exactly those of the original authors. Perhaps this:
Versions of the sources cited by Robb & Heil are: Davidson, D. (1963). "Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Journal of Philosophy. 60 (23): 685–700.  Reprinted in Davidson, D (2001). "Chapter 1: Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Essays on Actions and Events (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 3–19. ISBN 0199246270.  and Mele, A. R. (1992). Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019507114X. 
Is this any improvement? Brews ohare (talk) 20:07, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that looks good. My point was simply that the WP footnote should be at the end of the quote, not inside it. Within the WP footnote should be all info you want to present to the readers. If it gets lengthy, the footnote can be broken into multiple paragraphs. --Noleander (talk) 20:15, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Noleander: Building upon your remarks, let's look at a more extended quotation and how that might be handled:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. (For contrary views, see Ginet 1990; Sehon 2005...)."

How would the WP footnotes be placed here? One could try this:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation."[R 1] "If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. (For contrary views, see Ginet 1990; Sehon 2005...)." [R 2][R 3]

— Robb, David and Heil, John, "Mental Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  Notes

  1. ^   Versions of the sources cited by Robb & Heil are: Davidson, D. (1963). "Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Journal of Philosophy. 60 (23): 685–700.  Reprinted in Davidson, D (2001). "Chapter 1: Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Essays on Actions and Events (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 3–19. ISBN 0199246270.  and Mele, A. R. (1992). Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019507114X. 
  2. ^   Versions of the sources cited by Robb & Heil are: Ginet, C. (1990). On Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052138818X.  and Sehon, S. (2005). Teleological Realism: Mind, Agency, and Explanation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0262195356. 
  3. ^   Quotation is from: Robb, David & Heil, John. Edward N. Zalta, ed. "Mental Causation". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2009 Edition). 

How does this look to you? Brews ohare (talk) 21:01, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Revised proposal for handling citations imbedded in quoted text

As a result of comments provided above, here is the proposed guideline for handling references imbedded in quoted material:

Proposal
In quoted material with imbedded sources, it is helpful to the reader to supplement the reference in the quoted text with footnotes following the quotation containing extended bibliographic information using one or more of the customary Wikipedia templates such as Template:Cite book, Template:Cite journal, Template:Cite web.
An example
An excerpt quoted from an article by Robb and Heil runs as follows:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. (For contrary views, see Ginet 1990; Sehon 2005...)."[R 1]

— Robb, David and Heil, John, "Mental Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The WP footnotes are placed following this quoted text as follows:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. (For contrary views, see Ginet 1990; Sehon 2005...)."[R 1][R 2] [R 3]

— Robb, David and Heil, John, "Mental Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  Notes

  1. ^ a b   Quotation is from: Robb, David & Heil, John. Edward N. Zalta, ed. "Mental Causation". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2009 Edition). 
  2. ^   Versions of the sources cited by Robb & Heil are: Davidson, D. (1963). "Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Journal of Philosophy. 60 (23): 685–700.  Reprinted in Davidson, D (2001). "Chapter 1: Actions, Reasons, and Causes". Essays on Actions and Events (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 3–19. ISBN 0199246270.  and Mele, A. R. (1992). Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019507114X. 
  3. ^   Versions of the sources cited by Robb & Heil are: Ginet, C. (1990). On Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052138818X.  and Sehon, S. (2005). Teleological Realism: Mind, Agency, and Explanation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0262195356. 

Is there any comment regarding this revised proposal? Brews ohare (talk) 18:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

My gut feeling is that this is a rather rare situation, and perhaps incorporating this into a WP guideline would constitute WP:Instruction creep. In other words, I think the guidance is okay, but not every situation needs to be documented in a WP guideline. --Noleander (talk) 19:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Noleander: I've added this suggestion to Wikipedia:Citing sources. While it is a special case, you can see from the discussion here on the Village Pump that there are a variety of approaches to this situation, one of which suggests avoiding it altogether with paraphrase and another suggesting limiting information to the original source's description. Your suggestion is more useful and less awkward than either of these, and I didn't think of it myself (so, congratulations). Yours seems to me to be a good idea, and as you may know from your own experience on WP, it is helpful to have an explicit guideline when faced with contributors who have their own ideas and are willing to argue them forever. Brews ohare (talk) 19:19, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Alternative suggestion: shortened footnotes

Maybe I'm missing some fine detail, but is there any reason why you can't embed shortened footnotes in the text directly?

Direct embedding example

An excerpt quoted from an article by Robb and Heil runs as follows:

"Some philosophers (e.g., Davidson 1963; Mele 1992) insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. (For contrary views, see Ginet 1990; Sehon 2005...)."

— Robb, David and Heil, John, "Mental Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Citations in quoted text

Hex (❝?!❞) 00:26, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

(I refactored your headers, they were causing some TOC/edit section problems.)
The only problem here is that if the formats in the original source text vary from the article, there will be inconsistency there. It is better to do one of the solutions suggested above to avoid this. --MASEM (t) 01:29, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix.
I really don't see that as an issue. Given the myriad of citation styles in our articles, the chance of a random excerpt of text lining up stylistically with any given article is pretty small. We should expect and work around inconsistencies. There's absolutely nothing to stop you following a differently-formatted citation in a quote with a Harvard citation in brackets, or even replacing it, much the same way that you would elide or summarize text for brevity. — Hex (❝?!❞) 11:58, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Hex: Suppose that WP footnotes are introduced using various WP templates like Template:Cite book and the fields in the template are filled out to provide information not supplied in the quoted material. Most of us would not be too concerned about that, regarding the supplying of links and isbn numbers as aids to the reader, relieving the reader form the need to search out this information themselves. Unfortunately, not every contributor to WP takes this view, and for various reasons object to any departure that suggests the original author endorsed the WP footnotes. An instance of objection that might seem reasonable is when the footnote supplies a later edition of the quoted work (which last is now out of print), or an alternative source which is more readily available, like a volume of reprinted papers. The proposal here avoids prolonged and ultimately stalemated discussion over such matters by placing the WP footnotes outside the quotation, making it clear that this information is not that supplied by the quoted author. Brews ohare (talk) 16:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
I understand the concerns you refer to. But I have to admit that I can't see anything in my suggestion that conflicts with the requirements you describe. A specific section for quoted citations would provide total differentiation between them and article text citations. Our citation templates are also fully capable of indicating specific editions. If there's something more tricky than that, just type out the citations by hand.
I should also say that I concur with Noleander about the lack of need to add this rare situation to our guidelines. — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:23, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Having investigated this discussion further, I've found that it's an offshoot of a dispute between Brews ohare and another editor. See Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Quoted citations for details. — Hex (❝?!❞) 18:22, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Editing environment has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Editing environment (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, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

That essay had apparently incorrectly been categorized with several categories at some point, which were recently removed. However, the author of the essay, Brews ohare, reverted that edit, triggering this message. I have removed the categories again. — Hex (❝?!❞) 03:33, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

WP:RFD#KEEP

I had discussions with WillyD about the redirect List of AT&T U-verse channels (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). Seems to me that point 1, 4, and 5 make logical sense. Point 1 says that any revision of the former article is useful, and I reluctantly agree. However, I am deeply concerned about the merged content that doesn't add up relevance of the cable provider significantly.

Point 4 says that people outside Wikipedia may find difficulties if the link is found to be broken. However, as I pointed out, people outside Wikipedia would realize that a page is broken in many ways. It may still or may not anymore exist. If still exists, the article becomes merged (or redirected). If not, the page would show a deletion log banner (colored red), like Template:spoiler.

Point 5 says that one may find a redirect page useless, while the other says it is useful. I tend to agree this point reluctantly. However, I'm discussing the case of this redirect. Per MFD (which was a nomination on, what was then, a userfied page), I must wait until either January or February 2013 to decide whether or not to tag the page for deletion.

To point out, I am very unsure whether logical points from that section overcome ANY reason to delete this page. To be honest, many cases have stable reasons to keep redirects. However, I can't say the same thing about that page that already violates WP:NOTDIR before it became a redirect. --George Ho (talk) 08:32, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Congressman vs. Representative

This might not be the most appropriate place to ask, but do we have a policy that expresses a preference between using the title "congressman" or "representative" with regard to members of the U.S. House of Representatives? I frequently see congressman used, although congressman could technically also refer to a U.S. Senator. I have been using congressman because it helps distinguish between U.S. Representatives and members of state houses of representatives, but another editor just went through one of the articles I was working on and changed all instances of congressman to representative. I've never seen that happen before, but I understand the logic. Just wondering, for future reference. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 14:39, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't think there's a specific rule about it. You might want to ask the folks at Wikipedia:WikiProject Politics to weigh in and see if there's a consensus there. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:28, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Good idea. I'll do that. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:03, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
In practice "Congressman" always refers only to a member of the House of Representatives. Senator is used for a member of the Senate. I know some people wish this weren't so. See etymological fallacy. --Jayron32 18:12, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Too much content, too little quality?

Is publishing poorly sourced or completely unsourced material and then waiting (sometimes for years) for someone to bring the article up to standards really the hot setup? Example: Easy Rider (soundtrack). You present the article as encyclopedic to start, when it is not? Any article is better than none? Should you be bragging about four million articles, many questionable, rather than two million reliable articles? Do you really think that all readers evaluate the sources?A Source Monster (talk) 18:41, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

There are two schools of thought about this. You'll find many editors and readers advocating more content to be included than our notability or reliable source guidelines permit. Similarly, you'll find some editors that will only accept the best verifiable content and sources. This is particularly true when discussing specific fields. In the end, it comes down to this being a volunteer-maintained project. We can't expect everyone to have time or dedication to see articles from start to finish. If you browse article histories, you'll often find that they are created by one person, hugely expanded by another, and brought to featured status by yet another. Different skillsets, different knowledge, and different interests is what allows the project to grow articles organically. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes, omissions, excessive detail, bias, etc. are a part of this process. But if you don't allow a partially complete article to exist in the first place, you may never see one polished at all. We have disclaimers and article tags and readers should exercise common sense. We also take precautionary steps to avoid misinformation, such as a strict policy on living person biography sourcing, for example. There have been many proposals to address different views of a problem, such as pending changes. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 20:12, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your quick answer, but we are not making ourselves clear. We are not discussing “best verifiable content and sources” or editing existing articles, both above us. We are referring to a lack of sources to start with.
Easy Rider (soundtrack) was published on August 24, 2005, yet in September 2012 there was not a single source to the article, even though over twenty accounts had edited it in seven years. Not one of them made any attempt to source anything said. And this is hardly the only baseless article, how many have only one or two sources, often just some company propaganda?
With all the guidelines, policies, rules, regulations, and WP: links, the idea of a minimum standard, say, three sources to get published, is unreasonable? Do you really think “We have disclaimers and article tags and readers should exercise common sense” is realistic? If one Googles almost anything, the top several hits will be Wikipedia. Yet you feel that the average reader has common sense? Isn’t “common sense” subjective, if not outright oxymoronic?
If you publish something, shouldn’t you prove it? Back up your blurb with something other than your own ego? Encyclopedia, or blog?
Thank you for your time. Like your name, too.A Source Monster (talk) 13:48, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
If you feel this strongly about it, my recommendation would be to start discussions at the appropriate policy pages. Bring up your specific concerns and ideas as to how the policies could best be rewritten to address those concerns. I think that's more likely to yield positive results than the "catch-all" notes you're leaving here, which make your frustrations clear but don't advocate any specific changes and aren't really in the best location to see them addressed. Cheers. Doniago (talk) 14:18, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I feel that the appropriate response is WP:SOFIXIT. It is easy to criticize but few are actually and seriously willing to help out, for free. I would like to add that adding sources is more a vehicle rather than a principal necessity in achieving high-quality, comprehensive, and neutral encyclopedic content – there are other reasons for why strong sourcing is important nonetheless. I would also like to suggest studying our verifiability policy and our sourcing guideline, which also address the issue of dealing with disputed content – in case that is what you are complaining about. Nageh (talk) 14:42, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
One dedicated editor cannot fix all Wikipedia's countless low quality articles. And Source Monster, I understand your concern, but I think a rule like "at least three sources" won't work. What to do with all decent articles that only have one or two sources? Delete them??? And what about low quality articles with one well-sourced section? Lova Falk talk 15:40, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
No one is asking one editor to fix everything. But, if you seriously have a problem with an article, go ahead and either source it or put it up for deletion if you think it's never going to get sources. That's what WP:SOFIXIT is about. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:25, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
As I understood it, Easy Rider was just an example of a general problem the editor saw, and that s/he wanted to do something about by creating a new rule. Lova Falk talk 18:22, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, Source Monster twice blanked the soundtrack article in question and was apparently frustrated that this was treated as vandalism. Dragons flight (talk) 18:44, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

We are still not communicating. There seems to be a strong corporate mentality of “don’t delete, any article is better than no article”. Why? This is our point. Why can’t Wikipedia have stricter standards than a blog?

Who decides what are “decent articles”? If you have a minimum standard, and an article does not meet it, isn’t it by definition not a “decent article”? A written rule rather than an arbitrary opinion?

If you were completely ignorant of U.S. politics (how lucky would you be?) and one Doctor of Political Science’s book told you that all Dems (or Repubs) had sex with dogs, would you take his word? Would you be so closed-minded that you would not like to hear a second opinion? Would you write an article about Dems doing dogs? With one source? Would that be a “decent article”? Some Wikipedians could argue that it was, it just needed polishing. Should we name our article “The Sex Life of Dog-Democrats” or “Canine Loving Candidates”? Or MAYBE just NOT PUBLISH IT to start with?

We are not really trying to discuss, much less argue, that there should be a minimum standard. The subject is above us, and moves too fast. We agree with Doniago and Negah, if we could, we would. It just seems to some that Wikipedians having pride in the accuracy of their encyclopedia would be “common sense”. Oxymoronic? Or something that you should look into a mirror and think about?

Thank you for your time, and maybe thoughts. No reply needed, if we haven’t gotten through by now, we probably never will. We get to do dogs now. Walk, that is.A Source Monster (talk) 18:29, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Who decides what are "decent articles"? The community. Your straw man hypothetical is unhelpful, and you are equivocating the problems of 1) content that irrevocably fails fundamental policies (WP:V, WP:NPOV, WP:BLP) and so would be either speedy deleted or deleted after a week-long discussion without real controversy (i.e., our "minimum standards") with 2) content that fails short of our goals but can be improved through normal editing and so should not be deleted. Your understanding would be improved by reading more through our policies and practices, as it seems you are unfamiliar with them and are instead operating from some misunderstanding about how Wikipedia operates and what we, as a community, tolerate. postdlf (talk) 18:56, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
We wondered how long it would take the thought police to show up and tell us what was tolerated. For those who gave the subject some real thought, thank you.A Source Monster (talk) 19:43, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
What article content we tolerate. But thanks for making it easy for me to dismiss this thread as trolling. postdlf (talk) 20:07, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, indeed it is us, the community, who is deciding what is tolerated. I might say that you are not doing your homework. If you had read WP:V and WP:RS as suggested you had figured that in fact we have quite strict article creation and sourcing policies. Nobody and none of our policies and guidelines are saying that "any article" is better than no article. What we do require is that all contributions are verifiable. By that definition, they should be attributable to reliable secondary sources, at least in principle. That we do allow content to be added without sources in the first place is a result of consensus on our policies and guidelines over the years: many newcomers are not familiar with our strict rules, and we could not accept almost any of their contributions if we required sources from the outset. Also, casual edits by regulars may not be fully sourced, and sometimes we/I are just lazy. However, there is a difference between merely unsourced content and disputed content. It didn't seem that you disputed the content of the article in question, so blanking it is naturally being interpreted as vandalism. If you feel that you would like to see sources feel free to add them – remember this is a community-driven project. If you truly dispute any content then tag the article for cleanup, boldly delete specific statement(s) (but not the entire article), discuss your issue at the article's talk page, or bring the entire article up for an articles for deletion discussion. Hope that helps. Nageh (talk) 20:11, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Nageh, again, thank you for your time. You are right about homework, etc, if we could we would.
Are we not making it clear that we are talking about article creation ONLY? (Soundtrack) had no sources at creation, that sounds like “we have quite strict article creation and sourcing policies” failed. That over twenty people edited it for seven years without sources is sad, but the article was published with no sourcing to start with.
No, we don’t dispute anything, we own the CD. The blanking was vandalism, we were happy with the results. These posts were meant to address this issue again, in a more appropriate forum. And we have gotten at least a few people thinking. Thank you for being one of them. And to others, also.A Source Monster (talk) 21:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like you feel there should be an "article vetting process" for newly-created articles, at least to ensure that there are, for instance, "x sources included". Given that Wikipedia freely advertises itself as the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, I guess my questions are how it does any harm to allow the creation of articles that don't have sources (it will be readily apparent to readers that the article isn't sourced) and, even if we did have a vetting process, how you would suggest we handle cases where an article is created to minimum specifications but then is edited in a way that causes it to fall below those specifications. Honestly, given the number of articles of dubious quality that already exist, and the constant threat of vandalism or even unintentionally harmful edits, I just don't see how a vetting process would necessarily do much to ultimately improve matters. And really, any information you're taking from the internet that isn't originating from a reliable source should be considered dubious in any case, in my opinion. Doniago (talk) 21:35, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Like many works of modern culture, e.g. books, films, etc., the primary source of a soundtrack is the soundtrack itself. Often this is unstated, but it should be obvious. That source, by itself, is sufficient to establish what the soundtrack contains, who published it, etc. and should suffice to make those basic details verifiable. However, usually the work in itself won't be able to provide information about the larger context and significance of the work. In that sense, additional sources are usually needed to establish notability and context. When deciding whether something should appear on Wikipedia, it is usually those secondary sources that should be consulted. However, we also know that Wikipedia is not paper and has room for many things of only limited significance. So, am I bothered that an album soundtrack appears on Wikipedia while having no sources other than the soundtrack itself? No, not really. Nor can I really figure out why this bothers you? If it isn't wrong and isn't hurting anything, then why the fuss? The need for careful sourcing is often handled in rough proportion to the harm that might be caused by inaccurate content. False statements about politicians, for example, would give rise to very different consequences than false statements about the content of an old soundtrack. Hence it is not surprising that the community looks at the sourcing requirements for such cases with different levels of intensity. Dragons flight (talk) 21:36, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
And that doesn't even take into consideration the fact that an article with a high number of invested (and ideally knowledgeable) editors is likely to end up being much more developed (and ideally higher quality) than an article that is drawing limited interest. Doniago (talk) 21:42, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Doniago, "article vetting process" seems to imply people making judgment calls, doesn’t it? We MUST agree that would wipe out any pretense at “free”. No geeks here, the thought was filling out blank a, b, c, then mouseing over to “save”, certainly technically possible. Three points define a plane. When you survey, measure the planet, you put your transit on a tripod. If you are big on even, two or four, whatever. But zero seems pretty lame. If you have read zero books on a subject, maybe you shouldn’t write an article.

Dragon, I understand pretty much not a word you say, but I will try. “the primary source of a soundtrack is the soundtrack itself. Often this is unstated, but it should be obvious.” Common sense again? And there is that conflict between the credits and times, and the rest of the propaganda. What should, and should not, be accepted? Even if you allow half of the cover to be used, it’s still pretty lame, isn’t it?

It is strange that the Wikipedia name should be defended to believers. But it’s a strange planet. Thank you again.A Source Monster (talk) 23:15, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

One of the most recent {{stub}}s I have created is Rodolfo Giovanni Marazzino (c. 1585–1645). I created it because of a red link in Battle of Wittstock and because I fixed an error in the article Battle of Chemnitz and according to the sources I used Marazzino was one of the two commanders at that battle. The stub only has one source, but I do not think that is a justification for not creating it or keeping it. Wikipedia has 1,000 of articles on historical events and historical figures based on just one source (often copied form copyright expired sources such as EB1911) and yes they do need checking and/or expanding with more modern sources, but deleting them should not be an option.
The standards that are accepted for new articles are higher now than they used to be. If you come across an article that is years old and you can not find sources for it, and you think the information contained within it does not meet Wikipedia policies such as WP:NOT, WP:V etc then there is always the WP:AFD process which will usually force the issue so that the article is either sourced or deleted. In the case of Easy Rider (soundtrack), an article that you (ASM) have expressed an interest, I have searched the web and added some sources for some of its content so I don't think it is now suitable for an AfD. -- PBS (talk) 02:34, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, whoever wrote that Easy Rider ST article didn't make up the information out of thin air. Why s/he didn't include any source we don't know, but I think the important question is why does it bother you so much that you must blank it? What harm has been done that no sources were present? If you want us to hold up higher standards for article creation, what would be the benefit? We already have quite strict new article patrolling, and an article that is not verifiable (check the WP:V policy!) or notable at all is quickly brought up for deletion again. In the end, if you are bothered so much simply fix it yourself or ignore it – it's all for free, remember? And btw, who are you referring to when you say "we are owning the CD"? Nageh (talk) 12:08, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

We're blending two different sourcing-related things here.

  • One is the existence of the article, where wp:notability is usually the criteria, and detailed coverage in sources (or likelihood that such exists) is usually the criteria.
  • The other is the content of what is in the article, which must be verifiable. There is some difference of opinion on knocking out or tagging unquestioned material, but none on "challenged or likely to be challenged" material. So, if some specific material is sincerely in question, Wikipedia has already given you the tools to fix it. If you are just knocking it out to make a point, then things are a bit fuzzier.

North8000 (talk) 12:21, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

More? This is longer than expected. Hope your time isn’t being wasted.

PBS, your one source articles may seem a touch grey. Not quality, but you have come across the subjects before, in many small ways, correct? Somebody is in a masterpiece, somebody else is in a song you whistle, etc. And you have the original article, and it’s talk. That’s probably a source in itself. Not noted, but implied for credit. Since you can do it with one, that should be the standard. But qualifications might be nice. Like being a stub, rather than an entirely new article.

A note on number of sources. We had proposed three, but that seems stiff. Two would give the possibility of “both sides”, yet be attainable. One book and one link? Most have access to that much, correct? Sometimes how much you have isn’t understood, lots have less.

“The standards that are accepted for new articles are higher now than they used to be” is probably the simplest bottom line, that’s the goal. The idea of going back is unrealistic, and probably not fair. Especially in any article that has been edited. You would have to give everyone involved notice, impossible in itself.

Easy Rider (soundtrack) was just an example, what you did is so far beyond the call of duty. Actually, we’ve come across you several times before, impressive, and you cover a lot of ground.

Nageh, the blanking was vandalism, relating to lack of sources. Dlohcierekim and Trusilver showed, give them credit. “an article that is not verifiable (check the WP:V policy!) … is quickly brought up for deletion again.”? The example was up for seven years.

North 8000, the example did not meet “and detailed coverage in sources (or likelihood that such exists) is usually the criteria.” Content is not an issue. Although talk is often underused, editing generally does improve the article.

Thank you all for your time and thoughts.A Source Monster (talk) 15:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

You are confusing verified with verifiable. And you still prove that you haven't read any of our policies and guidelines. I think I have said enough on this. Nageh (talk) 15:33, 15 November 2012 (UTC)