Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AA

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Policy on images that contain URLs for commercial websites?


For example this image contains a watermark for, which is where the image originated, but that site is quite spammy and I don't think it would be allowed as an external link (the first text on that site is "Official Rocketbelt Flight Gear On Sale Now!!!")

I'm more aware of this site because there have been attempts to promote this site in the Jet pack article, it was previously mentioned and linked to many times and the related Dan Schlund article looks like an advert to me. Should images like this that have spammy URLs watermarked be removed? Basil Richards 19:37, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Nope... Image_use_policy states "Also, user-created images may not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself." (read for context, its a bit contusing). Seems to me it would fall under spam guidelines and in addition make the image unencyclopedic. Since the image is licensed to permit derivative work, couldn't it just be cropped out or photoshopped over? ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:58, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
However, the GFDL and CC-BY both require that any copyright notices be preserved in all derivative versions. Hence under those licenses it is inappropriate to remove embedded text that is acting as a copyright notice. 20:06, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Not so, GFDL does not require that the copyright notice be contained within the image... Also, that copyright notice does not satisfy the requirements of GFDL anyway. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 20:33, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
The GFDL does not require that copyright notices be contained within the image, but it does require that if there is one in the image, then it is preserved. (See section 4. d. of WP:GFDL. This requirement to preserve copyright notices is indifferent to whether or not they are well-formed copyright notices. In summary, we can't remove this copyright from the image, so this image is not in compliance with the image use policy. Sancho 22:51, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
That being said, perhaps the copyright holder didn't realize that they are given credit on the image description page. We could probably convince the copyright holder to remove the watermark and upload another version. Sancho 22:54, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
The GFDL and CC seems irrelevant in this specific case. According to the summary, the copyright holder releases the file for any purpose provided the copyright holder is properly attributed. It doesn't specify any form of attribution as necessary so IMHO removing the watermark would be fine. The GFDL & CC never come in to this as the copyright holder did not release them under the GFDL or CC, at least according to the summary. It is probably possible to license these under the GFDL & CC but this is unnecessary. However the bigger issue is that I see no evidence the copyright holder has released this image for any purpose. There is no mention of this on the rocketman page. If this was permission was received through e-mail, this should be done via the OTRS. Edit: Actually I didn't notice the uploader claims to be the person in the photo. In that case, the image license really needs to be clarified. Is it GFDL+CC or GFDL+CC+all rights released but attribution required or all rights released but attribution? Nil Einne 17:21, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
In this case? list on PUI since I don't belive the uploader.Geni 00:00, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Policy Question

I recently joined with the intention of adding our non-profit agency. Making note of the neutral writing requirement, I assumed I would write a brief article outlining our mission statement and history of the agency. I don't intend to use it as an advertisement; I just thought it would be useful for people looking for information about the agency. I also don't want to create a conflict of interest issue. I either need advice on how and what would be appropriate to post or offers of feedback on the article after it's written to gauge appropriateness.


VanishedChildren'sAlliance 22:45, 3 October 2007 (UTC)VanishedChildren'Alliance 10/03/07

It will need to be a notable non-profit agency, which means it should have some coverage in independent reliable sources. If those two criteria are met, you can probably use information from the agency's own literature to describe it. Just beware of making original research or point-of-view statements which are not supported by reliable sources - like, you know, "this is the best agency of its type out there!" Hope that helps. Gatoclass 23:00, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, to avoid conflict on interest, once the article gets started, you should try to leave as much of the editing as possible to those not involved. You can of course (and are to some degree encouraged to) provide feedback about the article on the talk page. --YbborTalk 03:06, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Linking to Google cache

If a newspaper takes down an article upon the subject's request, is it a copyright violation to link to the Google cache of that article? I don't see how it could be, unless the original article was itself a copyright violation, but I'd like a second (or more) opinion(s). Thanks, Mike R 17:55, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

The google cache isn't likely to last much longer than the article in any case. But, regardless, you can cite a newspaper article (at least, one that appeared in a print newspaper) without any link at all. It's preferred to have a link, but if it's not available online people can verify it by going to a library and looking at microfilm of the newspaper. —Random832 18:12, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, you are correct. But that doesn't answer my question about copyright. A couple people are claiming that to link to the Google cache would be a copyvio and my instinct is to call shenanigans, but I want to be sure first. Mike R 18:20, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
If it would be considered a copyvio, I'm sure Google would have gotten in trouble for it by now. Don't you think? Mr.Z-man 22:14, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
See also the archiveurl functionality of citeweb (as merged from Template talk:Waybackref) which links to caches. --Quiddity 04:01, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

removing warning on talkpage

when someone placed an image warning template on a user's talkpage and then this user removed it, without adhering to the message and disregarding the warning itself, is there any warning template or policy to warn this user about his actions? †Bloodpack† 22:53, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

No, there isn't. If they removed the warning you can assume they have read it, and admins will assume they have read it. There's no point in complaining about them removing it - whether or not they remove it, it's their future actions that matter. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:08, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
However, if they've repeated the problem, it is appropriate to warn them again, with the next level up. This is true whether they've repeated the previous dodgy action verbatim, or done something similar on a different page/image/whatever. SamBC(talk) 23:47, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Can we not expose IP addresses of un-autoblocked users?

Please see my question here about why we are exposing the IP addresses of users that haven't even been directly blocked, when they are un-autoblocked. 1of3 19:04, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Since the Wikipedia logo is copyrighted, is this use a copyright violation? Corvus cornix 23:18, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems like the same kind of fair use as when we use a copyrighted logo in one of our articles on the corporation or organization that the logo represents. Postdlf 23:27, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Where does it make any fair use claims? Corvus cornix 23:47, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't have to make any such claims unless and untill it is taken to court and wishes to use fair use as a defence.Geni 23:52, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
From a practical standpoint, if it were really a problem they'd most likely get a Cease and desist letter from the relevant representatives of the Foundation. As the previous answers have already stated, this instance is a garden-variety fair use. dr.ef.tymac 00:37, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Geni is right that fair use does not require a pre-made claim, this is only something Wikipedia requires. Since it is a critique of Wikipedia, I would say it is a legitimate use of theirs. ([[User:Until(1 == 2)|(1 <font color="maroon"

Geography, Places and Notability

Perhaps I'm missing something. I can't seem to find any guidelines or policy on the inclusion of geographical features, highways, small towns and the like. I've tended to assume these are almost all notable in one way or another but I'm starting to doubt this perspective.

There is a constant influx of articles on towns of small size. Does every town and neighborhood deserve an article? Verification is of course easy with an atlas but that's my point. If Wikipedia is not a directory, is there a corollary of Wikipedia is not an atlas? Merely having Reliable Sources for a subject doesn't necessarily make it notable.

I admit up front I have strong biases for defining edges and limits for Wikipedia's content. I don't think I'm being unreasonable to expect an encyclopedia to have criteria for inclusion and exclusion, to not include every town in the world just because it exists. Well, my attitude assumes Wikipedia isn't an atlas. If it is, then I'll go on my merry way without questioning the basic inclusion of these features and focus instead on other issues. I really want to hear some discussion on this. Pigman 16:06, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Nobody and nothing "deserves" an article, but WP:OUTCOMES indicates that every real location should have an article. That doesn't apply to housing developments and trailer parks, but verifiable communities. Corvus cornix 16:17, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Almost every town in the world has a history, which is available in published sources. Whether these sources are online is an irrelevant question, they exist so someday we should have an article on the town in order to fulfill our mission. WP:OUTCOMES is correct in noting the consensus position for towns an major geographic features. The boundary between major/minor geographic features has never been closely drawn, and comes down to the basic Wikipedia:Notability issue of available sourcing. WP:NOT explicitly does not say that we aren't an atlas, because we've never been at risk of becoming one, nor will articles on towns make us one. GRBerry 16:44, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Now, see? I managed to miss WP:OUTCOMES somehow in my WP experience or didn't make a note of it if I came across it. That neatly answers my questions. If this is a general statement of how AfDs tend to resolve, then that's a form of community consensus I can understand and respect. Although I admit I'm having difficulty resolving any practical difference between an atlas and WP on this score if WP eventually includes all towns and probably most geographical features. Be that as it may, I'm happy to go along with general consensus on the point. Thanks for the info and feedback. Pigman 17:10, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Since wikipedia is not paper, it can be an encyclopedia and an atlas at the same time. This is a reader distinction, not an editor distinction. If a reader does not look for the "atlas" articles, then they are effectively invisible to that reader. I think that the WP:OUTCOMES consensus reflects this. Since file storage is essentially free, the only "cost" of an extra article to a encyclopedic reader would occur if the article's name obstructed a search. An "atlas" article is more likely to enhance such a search than it is to obstruct it. As an editor, if you see such an obstruction you should create an appropriate disambiguation article and fix up the links. By "obstruction" I mean that the name of the article "blocks" the casual reader from seeing useful search results. In my own experience, "atlas" articles rarely block valid results, but they are often useful to add context to other articles which can link to them. By contrast, biographies (usually of actors, musicians, politicians, or athletes) frequently block searches for historical personages. -Arch dude 01:27, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Arch dude! Your view is very practical and useful, particularly in terms of "obstruction". I'll keep it in mind as I edit. Pigman 15:58, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Punishing the Project

I refer here to WP guidelines and policies concerning punishment, blocking, banning, censorship, verifiability, with un-written reference to assumption of good faith rules, arbitration life-sentencing and inability of the project to divide itself into a religious and a secular sphere.

It was an un-called for relief being punished for 18 months, and the only result was that the punishment has been of the project by the project. As ever, I only refer to facts that can be verified, and this isn't the time nor place and I'll just say that I have done a 'recce' and noted the plethora of articles which either still labour under mistruth or whose mistruth has profited from the very long punishment. (Doubtless a clever-dick will speed in and try and curry favour by maligning me, despite the project's guidelines, so that'll come as no surprise. i don't plan on responding to such..) My point here is solely that the project has only succeeded in punishing itself, whilst I have gained considerable free time to clarify the truth. Just as it always was, my entry is out of duty, to 'benefit society' (a legal concept). The persecutions of me will be no more justified ahead than in the past and the truth alone necessitates my personal effort. For enquiring minds I shall however endeavour to reveal something of relevant interest to today. The scope of my corrections before dwelt upon the 7 week period between 30 January 1933 and 23 March 1933 (the particular period of the 'Common-Plan' or conspiracy as defined by the Nuremberg Tribunals) whereas now it is possible for me to see the relevant religious element in this period as being descendant of a continuum to, in the latest, 800 AD. The illegal re-invention, in that year, of what we could call a christian 'Caliphate' bears directly forwards in spirit, philosophy and politics through to that 23 March 1933. I will shoulder the burden- in so far as denialists' hitherto non-existant respect for the project's laws determine- of supplying the most interesting textual verifications, in the sure understanding that by alerting the world through the project to this continuum I shall even further incur the odium of those for whom this 'caliphate' was, since 800 AD, their chief project. This is to say that I shall supply texts concerning historical events such that these will benefit disparate articles. The only other good news is that, as I am exceedingly interested in the entire 'caliphate', seeing it as exemplar towards our superscension of its co-terminal or slightly preceding twin and parallel absolutist concept, that the Wikipedia project's plethora of 'Common-Plan' flaws and denialism, since they have already been verified by me, become solely repetitious details for correction. Anyone who is concerned by the fact that I aslo persecuted and punished by a 'life-long' ban from 'catholicism' articles, might ask themselves in the first instance why a certain Ludwig Kaas - who's action is termed 'decisive' for the empowerment of Adolf Hitler, at Hitler's article, whether Kaas there should better be recognised as Monsignor Ludwig Kaas, or, whether the 'monsignor' Kaas article is or is not a 'catholic article'? If it is not, then it is not closed to me. If it is closed to me for the period of my life on earth (or the life of Wikipedia) then, logically, Ludwig Kaas is a 'catholic figure' and his status as Monsignor warrants immediate recognition as such at the Hitler article, and, that recognition also absolutely proves the point of contention verified by me through User:Bengalski from the eminent ecumenical historian, the late Klaus Scholder, that at the least Kaas is accused by this eminence as acting secretly upon the instructions of his religious mentor, (ie. boss) the future Pope Pius XII. Such an honest person would also be keen to see the allowance of full and true verification concerning the exact known elements of the final act of the Common-plan, which is to say, how it was that Kaas actually amassed the unitary vote of the Party he led, and gave this to Hitler in the rigged parliament against his own agreement with a previous chancellor in his party whose retention of his 'fraction' may have changed the entire course of mid and consquent 20C history, because it verifiably wasn't as Wikipedia anywhere reveals. Please don't call me, EffK 22:35, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

All of the decisions on your RfAr were a unanimous 8-0 vote. When there are 8 people elected by the editors of the Project who disagree with you, as well as those who brought the RfAr and those who posted evidence, might you not want to stop and think that maybe it's you who is in the wrong? Corvus cornix 23:35, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I am questioned. Indeed they were unanimous, and also entirely ignored the central plank of Wikipedia, which is verifability. I am proud to stand by my efforts at explanation, allowable under policy. I cannot regret my actions which were towards verifiability, NPOV inclusion of full history, and, when policy was openly traduced, my determination of the danger to Web2 and this project by concerted -nay verifiably instructed under pain of spiritual deprivation- editing. I note for you that none of the substantive issue of verifiability was addressed by any of these, nor the policies regarding either explanation nor regarding AGF. I wouldn't expect you to spend any time on it either as it is difficult, but the facts remain whatever about the punitive judgement handed down. Your 'maybe' is kind, but misplaced as 'maybe' the Arbcom was blinded by a desire to save the project from massive contention and that that explains how an arbitration called for by myself in the first instance, was incapable of attending to the substantive policy issues. Bengalski called it a scandal, it remains a scandal, none of the issues were satisfactorily dealt with, only brushed with punitive stroke under the carpet of bureaucracy. In reality an investigation should be held as to how the policies of WP were surrendered by its own representatives. As to he who brought the Rfa, he stupidly crowed as to his christian vindiction, was thereafter recognised for his off-site racism, and re-defined himself exactly as I had concluded- as Rfa fixer for the denialist outside power. Of course, he left, and now only jimbo lives in a limbo. It remains the case that the failure to address the issues of policy hurt the project then, still hurts it, and will doubtless continue to hurt it. Do you care? Do you not consider it your duty to understand how the policies were traduced, and to repair the damage to the project. But, thanks for maybe, and to the following editor- Anonguy did that.EffK 09:19, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore in reply to Corvus cornix I should add that were it true that I was either promoting a 'conspiracy theory' or 'obsessive' or soap-boxing or original research, then Corvus would be correct. However it was a 3rd party, User:Bengalski, who showed by verifiability and in-controvertible references that I was in-line with leading scholarship and thus appropriate with my NPOV presentation in mainspace. Mr B also publicly witnessed, to Arbcom, the open factional editorial efforts that I categorised. Again, I cannot account for Arbcom, and the verifiability and contributions I have made upon leading Wikipedia articles are the real testimony as to my character.EffK 12:53, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
On a completely unrelated note, you might wish to have your talk page unprotected now that you're back. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 23:44, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Reading age

This is spawned from a discussion at WP:NOR.

There appears to be no policy or style guide on what the target reading age should be for Wikipedia articles. If there is, I haven't spotted it.

I am a great believer in Plain English (though not a great writer in it). However complex a subject should be, there should not be any need for any unnecessary complexity in the language. It is very tempting to write academic articles in academic prose, when we should recall that this is supposed to be an encyclopaedia for everyone. Often people think that clever English makes a piece seem more credible. I think that a really good piece of editing can bring the reading age down, and still keep the same content.

I've run a few random pages through a readability test (cut and paste of plain text to avoid distortions of links etc) and I have seen that pages appear to come out at requiring graduate level comprehension and low readabilities. I would suggest that biographies and descriptions of places that came up should not require high reading skills, I might forgive more esoteric scientific articles. Harry Potter did not fair well (14 years of education required for a children's book subject).

W3c guidelines support this approach.

Do you think that this is a worthwhile issue to pursue? Spenny 15:39, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

From what I gather, articles are meant to suit the average English reader who understands most common words in English. The articles themselves do have implicit guidelines for understanding - you will only understand Leibniz integral rule if you understand integration and only if you understand calculus and so on. If you think an article is too confusing, there are tags like Template:Confusing and Template:Technical to use. We do have a Simple English Wikipedia that uses Simple English. x42bn6 Talk Mess 16:02, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
My opinion: use the simplest language that can explain the concepts. If you have a reading-level tool you think we can trust, please consider automating it and running all articles through it. Set up a wikiproject to evaluate the worst offenders. Note, however, that an article's comprehensibility is increased dramatically by juducious use of links, and the tool will not recognize this. -Arch dude 20:26, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
While we should avoid unnecessarily florid or elaborate language, I see no reason to dumb down any given topic so that it's accessible to the lowest common denominator. -Chunky Rice 20:29, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
There is a difference between dumbing down and plain English - which I think really is what you have said in a different way. When Rupert Murdoch took over The Times, they deliberately lowered the reading age, I seem to recall it went from something like a 15 to a 12. Such writing does not need to lose facts or concepts. It is more about getting the point across clearly. Spenny 21:26, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the clarity of an article often depends most on how the information is organized and whether necessary context is given. "Big words" are less confusing than missing or disordered premises, which X42bn6 alludes to above in raising the idea of subtopic relationships. It's largely a matter of remembering to set forth the basics before you get into the details, which is often difficult to do because the obvious facts that a completely unversed reader needs to understand the topic are usually invisible or uninteresting to someone who would presume to write about it. Many articles have really lousy introductory paragraphs because of this. Postdlf 20:50, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm all in favor of plain English wording, however it depends a lot on the subject as well. But, if it's a 'simple' subject, like military history or something, there is no need for having a lot of convoluted jargon that only veterans or military history specialists would know. Subjects such as these could easily be writtenn for probably like a Middle School level without losing any information. OracleDude 21:39, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Military history is a simple subject? How should we explain Psychological warfare or Hundred Years' War at middle school level? The longer and more comprehensive an article gets, the more technical it gets and the reading level will increase. Most stubs (except those about technical subjects) are quite simple as the only provide basic facts. Longer and more comprehensive articles will, by nature, be more complicated. While we should not make things hard to understand just for the sake of using big words and purple prose, we should not restrict complexity at the sake of quality and comprehensiveness. Mr.Z-man 21:33, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I would mention that there is an assumption of summary style so arguably it should not get more technical and detailed. There should be no incompatibility between explaining a complex subject and using plain English to do so. My point is that if you feel there is a need to use complex English to explain complex subjects, then one of the aims of an encyclopedia is being missed. I'll take a look at those articles and see if there is anything specifically wrong with them. Spenny 14:40, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think either of them were articles that were appropriate to make or deny the case. Psychological warfare is just not a very good article: confused and inaccurate lead, major POV problems that psychological warfare is a modern phenomenon where as there is solid written evidence of such things going back to Greek and Roman times. Whilst the term may be relatively modern, the concept is not, and also the term is not always used simply in international military conflicts, but national, and also in sporting and social contexts. That's before we get onto the English.
With reference to the 100 Years War: yes it is bound to be a more complicated level of English with specific terms, but reading through it, it had a reasonable lead, but no intermediate summary of the subject - simply diving into detail. There was a complexity to the language that seemed unnecessary ("primarily a dynastic conflict" struck me as something that someone who was not an historian would flinch at), but mainly it is the dense presentation that is an issue, rather than plain English. Spenny 16:36, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I haven't found Wikipedia to be hard to read. I'm 13, a non-native speaker, living in a non-English speaking country. If I can read it, anyone can. If we make it anymore easier it will be like the simple English Wikipedia. What Spenny probably used was a readability index. That calculates a reading grade level based on the number of syllables per word, and number of words per sentence. It does not take vocabulary into account, and is pretty inaccurate. While some articles might benefit from simplification, I don't think this is a serious issue. --Puchiko 21:44, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


I've opened a disscussion on the next generation of our license at Wikipedia:GSFDL comments from as many as posible are requested.Geni 02:50, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh, lummee... another essay

Anyone who cares to look over, comment upon and expand (or contract, per comment received) Wikipedia:In Wikipedia, X is an Article, not Evil is welcome to do so. LessHeard vanU 20:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC) edit LessHeard vanU 21:03, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

RFC: External links to harassment

Some editors want to delete part of Wikipedia:No personal attacks. The policy is the subject of a current ArbCom case, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Attack sites. I have initiated an RfC on the talk page to gain community input on the proposed policy change: Wikipedia talk:No personal attacks#RFC: External links to harassment. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikipedia:Requests for adminship‎

A request for comment for the requests for adminship process. All comments are welcome at the page. Ryan Postlethwaite 17:35, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

So... this is a request for comment on the request for comment about the requests for adminship? :D EVula // talk // // 18:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
God damn typing! I'll start again: A request for comment for the requests for adminship process has been opened and all comments are welcome at the page. Ryan Postlethwaite 22:28, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Right to Vanish refactor - eyeballs sought.

The Right to Vanish is a respected and well established policy on Wikimedia projects. Recently there have been some concerns over abuses, or questions about its use, scope, and wording. The page wording has not been updated, clarified and sharpened by vigorous discussion, as might have been the case if it were on en: rather than a soft redirect.

Without being certain what exact wording is best, I'd like to propose a significant and (hopefully) non-controversial rewrite of this page to bring it closer to a more current standard of style, specificity and clarity. See draft at: m:Talk:Right to vanish#Discussion of RtV implementation and wording, compared to current version.

FT2 (Talk | email) 10:26, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Sandbox pages and categories

I've noticed that some users are in the habit of copying entire mainspace pages to their sandbox for editing. The problem is that these sandbox pages then get listed in the mainspace in all the categories that the original page contained, because the categories are copied too. Sometimes these sandbox pages end up being maintained for months, even years.

This not only messes up the mainspace with sandbox entries which simply don't belong there, but it can also potentially be a method by which users can create alternative articles or POV forks by stealth. I propose therefore that a statement be included, possibly on the Wikipedia:About the Sandbox page or some relevant policy page, prohibiting or at least discouraging the use of categories on sandbox pages. Gatoclass 22:14, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

When I come across such cases, I "turn off" the categories, either by including them in <nowiki></nowiki> tags, or by putting a colon before "Category", which turns them into a link. eg. Category:Categories. This involves editing user subpages, but if you use a polite edit summary, most people don't object. One problem can be when the categories are provided by a template. These are mostly administrative, maintenance categories, but if not, you can turn templates off as well by turning them into a link, as in Template:WPBiography (ie. replacing {{WPBiography}} with Template:WPBiography), or using the {{tl|TEMPLATE NAME}} feature. eg. {{WPBiography}}. That's a talk page template, but the same trick can be done to any template. When the article is ready to go back into mainspace, switch all this sort of stuff back on. You can switch them back on temporarily to check layout as well. Carcharoth 22:36, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I know there are simple methods of temporarily deactivating categories, but I don't like editing other people's user pages. And here is an example of a user indicating a reluctance to remove categories from his sandbox page. So I don't think one can assume that everyone is going to be amenable to deactivating the categories. For this reason, I think there should a word or two about this issue on an appropriate page. Gatoclass 22:53, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
The decategorization is *required*. See WP:CATEGORY#User_namespace. EdJohnston 03:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh heck, I missed that. Thanks for pointing that out Ed :) Gatoclass 08:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Although, of course, if you're sandboxing a template change, you're better off following Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, at least for one quick test edit, and then commenting 'em back out pending the change. MrZaiustalk 15:04, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Policy for transferring photographs to Commons

A humble suggestion follows. Motorrad-67 21:59, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Before doing anything to initiate a transfer, the photographer must be contacted to discuss the potential transfer. No transfer will ever be made without prior communication with the photographer.
  • The person wishing to execute a transfer (transferer) must ascertain the photographer's opinion about making the transfer. If the photographer does not understand the meaning of the transfer or the nature of the Commons, the transferer must explain this to him or her.
  • If the photographer agrees to the transfer, the transfer may be made.
  • If the photographer does not agree to the transfer, discussion must continue to ascertain the reason(s) for the disagreement in an attempt to implement reasonable and mutually acceptable procedures to secure agreement.
  • If no agreement can be made, the photographer will be provided the option to have his or her photograph(s) deleted completely from Wikipedia. If the photographer does not agree to deletion and does not agree to the transfer after reasonable efforts are made to secure his or her agreement, the transferer may transfer the photographs 14 days after the initial contact with the photographer was made.

Might I ask what concerns you are trying to address? And are they hypothetical ones or actual past problems? Postdlf 22:19, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
My suggestions above are to make clear a very murky area. And, yes, because of the murkiness, my suggestions are based on unhappy experience. Motorrad-67 22:28, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Further context can be found here. Also, I know there is one admin (I think, Neil), who does not wish for his images to be transferred to the Commons. Will (talk) 22:32, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with a common sense statement that we let people know when their uploaded images (you keep saying 'photographer' but we only know the uploader for sure) are going to be moved to commons, and explain it in a reasonable, simple way. However, I don't think the uploader should really be able to say "no, I don't want it on commons", especially if the image in question was freely licensed. Eventually, all images will probably come from commons except for fair use ones, so we can't let a handful of people who don't understand what commons is to stand in the way of that. If your license agreement requires the image not be on commons then you have not freely licensed it. --Golbez 22:47, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I can't wait for the: "This image may be used for any purpose except that it can not be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons" license. 00:06, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Just like "Wikipedia only" tags, any photos uploaded under such a tag will be deleted. Carcharoth 13:40, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Can't see what the problem is you're trying to address. The fair use images won't be transferred, and uploader has relinquished the rights to the freely licensed images. It's a courtesy to notify the uploader, but the moment they uploaded it they relinquished the right to say "no". iridescent (talk to me!) 23:01, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Correction: they don't relinquish all rights. They retain copyright, for a start. They just freely license it to the point where it is freely usable. Releasing an image into the public domain comes closer to relinquishing all rights to an image (it may in fact actually release all rights, but I've never been entirely clear on that). For example, it is possible to modify a GFDL image, but you can't then copyright the resulting image. On the other hand, you can modify a public domain image and then assert copyright over the resulting image. Also, consider a point in 100 years time, when someone starts to wonder whether a GFDL picture uploaded to Wikipedia by "Carcharoth" is public domain or not? AFAIK, though IANAL, The answer is that without author death date information, it is not possible to tell precisely when said image will fall into the public domain. This is an example of how anonymous GFDL pictures can be less free in the long-run than copyrighted pics that fall out of copyright tomorrow. Finally, non-copyright concerns (moral and libel issues for a start) still apply, even for GFDL, and the user of the image needs to take that into consideration as well. I'm sure there is a "when is a free image not a free image" joke in there somewhere... Carcharoth 00:07, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Under American copyright law, the copyright term of works published under a pseudonym extends for 95 years from publication. The date of death of the actual author behind the pseudonym is not relevant. 17 U.S.C. 302(c). I'd imagine other countries have similar provisions. Anyway, that issue is purely dependent upon how the author has identified themselves; it is not a consequence of the GFDL licensing. Postdlf 01:10, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I thought there must be a pseudonymous clause somewhere, but it is nice to have that confirmed. Carcharoth 13:40, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • For the reasons above, I can see no reason to require this. --Kevin Murray 23:13, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

edit break

The whole point of using only copyleft licenses is so that we can decide how to use the content by consensus, not by who owns it. When you give content out to a free license you lose control over how it is used, if you do not want that, then do not do it. ([[User:Until(1 == 2)|(1 <font color="maroon"

Suggestion for general pronounciation guide policy

I'm new here and not sure how to make a suggestion for a policy change (or whatever this idea is thought to be at the Wiki)...anyway, I would like Wikipedia, in addition to the scholarly method used to show the pronounciation of a word, also include a much more accessable pronounciation guide that even an average person can use...for example, this is from the NY Times and shows their method for helping a reader pronounce a word: "Mr. Contois (pronounced con-TOYZ) undertook a campaign to improve safety awareness."

Now can't the Wikipedia request that contributors to articles, in addition to the method for showing pronounciation now used that only scholars understand, also use this NY Times technique so that regular folks, including kids, are able to easily figure out how to say a word correctly??

Just a suggestion, but would someone put this in the right place on your web site, if this is not the right forum, where this proposal can be properly considered by the Wikipedia community??

Thanks, 15:06, 5 October 2007 (UTC)Martin A.

Sadly, Wikipedia has coalesced around the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) which is generally well understood by linguists but completely inaccessible to the vast majority of the general public. See WP:PRON and the discussion at WT:PRON. 1of3 21:26, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
The problem with ad-hoc pronunciation schemes is that they assume a specific regional accent. The NY Times example you give, for instance, assumes a midwestern US accent. --Carnildo 00:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
There are alternatives which have been around far longer than the IPA, and with which the vast majority of English speakers are far better acquainted. 1of3 01:05, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
While it's true that ad hoc pronunciation schemes may assume regional accents, we have contributors from many regions who can edit things to avoid that. For example, if someone writes that troff is pronounced "tee-rawf", they probably have the father-bother merger; but someone else can correct that to "tee-roff"... problem solved. A bigger problem is that there are some sounds that can't be clearly represented this way; for example, since neither of the two sounds of "th" in English has any other spelling, there's no good way to distinguish them. I still feel that non-IPA pronunciations are of value and should not be discouraged. -- 01:25, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. IPA is perfectly accessible if you click on the link, and is actually quite intuitive. I make no claims to being a linguist, but I find it easy to use. A problem wth non-IPA pronounciations is that, even if there is standardization, some people may not realize this and crreate nonstandard spellings. ¿SFGiДnts! ¿Complain! ¿Analyze! ¿Review! 01:56, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
What is "intuitive" about symbols which to most people are not associated with any sound? 1of3 02:14, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, any scheme, ad hoc or the IPA, must choose a specific accent when there is a choice between pronunciations. There is nothing magical about the IPA which rescues it from that dilemma. 1of3 02:17, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Academic disclaimer

After reading yet another "complaint" I turned the Wikipedia:Academic use article into Wikipedia:Academic disclaimer. Now I need consensus on the issue of adding the Wikipedia:Academic disclaimer article into the permanently protected Template:Disclaimer-header. Who is for, who is against?

Another issue is how should we line up the disclaimers in the Template:Disclaimer-header. In alphabetical order or in order of importance. If we chose the latter option how do we classify the dissclaimers? Mieciu K 10:11, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with this change. There is an academic use for wikipedia--it is merely that wikipedia can not be used for all academic purposes. I am reverting the change, pending discussion on the talk page there. DGG (talk) 00:14, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Child Editors

What are the policies, if any, regarding editors who are children (i.e. under 16). I've run into a few recently, and have discovered just how frustrating it can be dealing with a kid who couldn't care less about policy. It made me wonder why children are even allowed to edit (certainly before 13, few children would be capable of producing quality content, I'd think). I was also rather disturbed to see that their user info pages contain so much personal info that anyone who wanted could very easily find them in real life. I seem to remember seeing that Wikipedia isn't beholden to the laws about collecting info on kids, so I'm curious if there are any policies about them at all? Collectonian 06:07, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any specific policies on this. There's no age limitation here, and I'd be against such a limit. If you encounter a child editor who uses poor judgment in editing articles, you frankly just need to deal with it, the same way you might deal with a sub-par/bad-intentioned adult editor. There are poor editors who are adults too, and conversely, I've come across some kids who could give the average adult a run for the money in the intelligence department. Age limits wouldn't solve anything. However, if there is potentially dangerous info on an underage user's page, you might want to inform an admin (perhaps via email for discretion) so that the user can be warned/advised on a change to that page.
Equazcionargue/improves06:18, 10/5/2007
It was proposed once, but rejected. The discussion, however, did yield us Wikipedia:Protecting children's privacy, but places no limitation on editing privileges. -- Ned Scott 06:47, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
It is easy to lie about your age on the Internet so an age limit would be unnecessary and incompatible with the idea of unregistered editors. Jeltz talk 10:46, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above. There are, and should be, no age restrictions on editing. Wikipedia benefits from contributors of all backgrounds, and our younger editors have given much to the project both in terms of writing content and in other ways (vandalism patrolling, etc.). For that matter, we have administrators who self-identify as young as age 12, and many of them are doing quite a good job. On the other hand, it has also happened that a younger editor chronically violates policy and is asked to leave Wikipedia for awhile. (Of course, this is equally true of adult editors.)
If you are having a problem with a particular editor, of any age, and are unable to resolve the problem directly with him or her, you can post to WP:ANI or follow the steps in Wikipedia:dispute resolution, or contact an individual administrator.
The problem of younger editors posting too much personal information is something that more experienced editors and admins do keep a lookout for. Such users are advised to reduce the information provided, and in serious cases it is deleted by admins. The last remedy provision in the ArbCom decision in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Protecting children's privacy addresses this issue. Newyorkbrad 12:11, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. It looks like the user names of the two I've seen with school, family names, location, etc. should be posted to the admin noticeboard so someone can work with them to not have so much personal info out there. Otherwise, just continue to keep an eye on their edits and try to correct and encourage to follow proper policies and guidelines when editing. :) Collectonian 15:12, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I have always removed such personal information from such pages--how much I remove depends upon the age of the person--and it is not necessary to be an admin to do it. I then post to their user page explaining in very general terms that it is unwise, and also giving them some information on how to contribute usefully, such as WP:CTW. If it seems that they might not understand, I add something like, "if you don't understand why this is not a good idea, please ask your parent or teacher." I don't want to spell out the dangers. And be aware that it is a common technique of sexual predators to pose as children. Someone saying they are 12 and giving a phone number might be much older. I'd never say this of course on a user page, but be aware of the possibility. If anyone is uncomfortable giving such advice personally, I'll help. I'm a parent and a teacher, and a librarian, and I've done it many times. I know about true child abuse, but I'm not paranoid about it. DGG (talk) 00:44, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I ended up bringing it to [the Admin notice board]. The user pages in question were completely deleted, because they were also apparently violating some other policies and the admins agreed they had way too much personal info on there. Deleting makes sure it doesn't stay in the history. See the full discussion for more on why they felt deletion is better than editing. Collectonian 01:04, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Pertinacity, encyclopedicity, undue weight, for images. With what precision can one apply them?

On September 30, I posted an RfC, Request for Comment: Featured Picture in the Culture Section of a Featured Country Article on the Talk:India page (see TOC there as well). Although the superficial content of RfC is a particular image, Image:Toda Hut.JPG, a Wikipedia Featured Picture, the underlying content concerns the topics pertinence, encyclopedicity, undue weight and notability for images. Specifically, with what precision can one apply these notions to images and what criteria does one use in that process? Are images for a certain page or section always to be chosen because they are "precisely" and "conventionally" representative, or can they be sometimes chosen because they point out a contrast or represent the unconventional? Among two candidate images, how does one decide which is more representative? Or, is that question a futile one if both images are reasonably representative? Similarly, assuming we could precisely define a representative image, could we nonetheless chose one image that is a little less representative, but graphically remarkable (like say a Wikipedia Featured Picture), over another that is a little more representative but graphically unremarkable? In my less than scientific survey of Britannica and Encarta (involving a few articles), I felt that Britannica seemed to be more conservative in its choice of images, i.e. preferring the more conventionally representative images, whereas Encarta at least some of the time either used images to provide contrast to the text or presented the unconventional viewpoint in the images as well as the text. It is such questions that are being explored in the RfC. Although we have received a few responses, most people have not addressed these questions. I would be very grateful if Village Pump readers could comment in the RfC. It is a bit on the long side, but your response will greatly help provide clarification. Regards, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 19:38, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Mainspace warnings

Though mainspace warnings are valid and necessary in many cases, they do junk up the articles. So shouldn't such mainspace warnings be limited to only those situations where they are a necessary disclosure to readers rather than warnings to other editors? For example, the warnings on protected articles really detract from what may otherwise be a commendable and pristine article. Here's a case I'm talking about: Greek mythology. It's awarded Featured Article status and gets a subtle tiny star in the right corner. However, it also gets frequently vandalized, and the "award" it gets for that is a big ugly boxed message at the very top of the article with a solid "keep out" padlock icon which is 10 times larger than the FA star.

Can't we do better? Would it be so horrible to simply post the lock with a cute little padlock icon under or next to the FA star and save the big boxed protected article messages for the talk pages? I appreciate that we want to really maintain the "anyone can edit" atmosphere here, but sometimes I think that we go too far, always fluffing the pillows and warming the coffee for the editors, and overlook how it sometimes leaves a mess behind for the readers. Professor marginalia 22:34, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

But why does it have to be a case of readers v. editors? Ideally, we want readers to become editors, that's the whole point of maintaining Wikipedia as an open wiki. It would be a lot easier to maintain Wikipedia if we closed it to anon editing and made registration a requirement to edit pages, but that would defeat the purpose. Editors should know what is wrong with an article so they know what to fix and readers should know what is wrong with an article so they know how good it is and so they know that they can fix it. In the case of protection templates, they tell the readers why the can't edit the page even though "everyone can edit." Mr.Z-man 23:09, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
We can do that exact thing (cute little padlock), it's just an option on the template, |small=yes . See Template:Semi-protect. Why don't you find the administrator who protected it (seems to be User:AndonicO and ask if they'll do that? --AnonEMouse (squeak) 23:18, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks AnonEMouse!! I think that looks a million times better. Sorry, Z-man. I do think the two features are somewhat distinct. As I see it, the article mainspace is best to be reserved for issues, images and copy directly related to article content. I'd allow for advisories or warnings pertaining to the content, such as content disputes or problems with neutrality, and also for warnings that the article is a candidate for deletion. But the banner warnings on protected articles is a much bigger visual notice than we even give to the open edit tab! I just don't see how visually minimizing the lockup on the mainspace presents such a huge impediment to many newbies. Just my opinion, but the template message boxes should be toned down a little. It's just getting to be a little much with editor "post-it" notes all over the place.Professor marginalia 00:08, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm very happy to be educated on the |small=yes for protected article notices. Is there any sympathy for my complaint or WP solution for articles that look like this? Concord Village This article is like a movie trailer. Its ambiguity of content teases readers to learn more about this subject. But its templates are like a naggy Job Jar list of things that need doing, over a year's accumulation of editors tinkering with the wikipidian To-Do list. The original To-Do identified was that the article was wiki-orphaned, and more than a year later it still is orphaned. In the intervening 15 months 3 more "attention needed" boxes have been added, essentially confirming that the article deserved to be orphaned all the while. We are are just piling up the boxes! All four are just post-its for editors, not helpful to readers who came to it to become informed, rather than necessarily looking to be put to work. Meanwhile, there is still no improvement to the content of the article, and no editor interaction at all on the talk page. Aren't we gradually starting to confuse ourselves that somehow the goal of this project is to treat each article mainspace as a recruitment platform of some kind, a WP Free Help Wanted beg-a-thon, with this addiction to mainspace boxes? I guess I'm just not very persuaded they're even effective for improving the articles where they appear. Professor marginalia 07:49, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I overlooked mentioning that one of the box alerts, the invitation to a page for dialog to determine if it should be "merged" with another article, linked to a talk page where no comment was added except those of two editors expressing annoyed bafflement over what the purpose of talk page was. This kind of thing doesn't smooth entry for newbies. It's a labyrinth of redirects, policy and guidelines procedures, and insider speak. I wish we would shove as much as we can of the squeaky gears of communication between editors off the mainspace, onto the talk pages.Professor marginalia 08:26, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. Correct the problems that the boxes are addressing, and then you can remove the boxes. Corvus cornix 22:21, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

The priority of Wikipedia

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that this website is meant to be an encyclopedia. As such, I believe that edits should not (except for legal reasons to ensure that this website be legal where it is hosted) change, add, or censor things to please people for some reason if it shall entail the sacrifice of encyclopedic value, because a report on truth should not be influenced by anything other than evidence and truth. Such reasons include social norms, potentially offensive content, controversial issues, and sensitive content, among other reasons. In addition, this should entail the fact that the burden of proof shall rest upon the those who want to edit it for one of those aforementioned reasons reasons to prove that it does not sacrifice any encyclopedic value, because the main priority should be about the encyclopedic value of Wikipedia. I use the phrase "encyclopedic value" to roughly mean that which keeps Wikipedia most informative, accurate, neutral, and proportionate attention to that which is important - in a nutshell, that which makes this encyclopedia a good reference for truth. I apologize if something similar is already there. However, I would like for this to be in a policy or guideline.--A 19:40, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:NPOV are the core policies that wikipedia articles and editors need to follow. Karanacs 20:05, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, whatever the actual "encyclopedic value" or purpose of Wikipedia be, what I mean for the essence of this is this: I mean that there should be "no other kinds of edits" in sacrifice of encyclopedic value or whatever the main objective of this encyclopedia is. An example of what I mean by "other kinds of edits" are those to please people, like social norms, potentially offensive content, controversial issues, sensitive content, etc., if it shall be to the sacrifice of Wikipedia's original purpose, informativeness, and accurate representation of the subject.--A 20:20, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Edits to please people for those types of reasons usually violate WP:NPOV. Is there a specific case you are concerned about? Karanacs 20:35, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
No specific case, but I would mean for edits not to be just because they are "immoral" or "offensive" if it sacrifices encyclopedic value - in other words, no censorship to the detriment of encyclopedic value. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Scarlet Letter (talkcontribs) 20:44, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Today is your lucky day because, per official policy, Wikipedia is not censored. -Chunky Rice 20:51, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Could you provide an example of something that would be considered informative, accurate, neutral, and important yet was removed for being offensive and immoral? Specific concerns are a lot easier to address than vague generalizations. Mr.Z-man 21:36, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I believe the editor may be concerned with the treatment of pro-pedophile activism. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Pedophilia Article Watch#Attack of the Clones II. Pro-pedophile activism is widely viewed as a fringe viewpoint, and should not receive the same weight as other, opposing viewpoints that are more mainstream. It is not the purpose of Wikipedia to contain all of the justifications for why pedophilia is an acceptable lifestyle. While e certainly need to maintain a neutral point of view when covering it, we don't need to include every study that pro-pedophile activists use to support their viewpoint. Not because we, as editors, disapprove of that viewpoint but because it is a minority viewpoint and should not be given excessive weight as that would violate NPOV. Editing out marginal materials in that context is not censorship. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

What to do with administrators that repeatedly and knowingly go against policy?

Ok, here's a conundrum: What should we do with administrators that repeatedly and knowingly act against written policy, like misapplying CSDs? I know some will say "it's just a small thing to speedy something that would (probably) have only sat there prodded for a week" and "WP:DRV can fix it" but what should we do with the administrators that just go and violate the same policy again even though we know they should know better? I am well aware of WP:IAR but most often they keep doing what they were doing even after being overturned several times (which - to me - violates the spirit of IAR). Are admins truly above us normal mortals without the "Bit" in this aspect. Are they permitted to do things with impunity, for which we would be warned and blocked for? Or what should they do with those administrators, their infractions might be minor, even if they sometimes cause surprisingly much wikidrama, but should they not be our rolemodels? So what should we do in those cases? CharonX/talk 16:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Is there a specific example that you're talking about? It's harder to talk about vague issues without some sort of example to work from. EVula // talk // // 16:34, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I intentionally kept the issue vague, as to avoid the discussion devolving into "is doing X - even if in violation of policy - right or wrong" but rather to keep it focused on "if admin Y does X, gets overturned, but keeps doing X anyway - what to do?" CharonX/talk 16:55, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, the basic problem is that it's easy to make a bad deletion and walk away, it takes a lot of vigilance to deal with such deletions. But it can be done... DRV of truly bad deletions does tend to result in a sound defeat for those who make the deletions. And I notice that the ones who keep getting overturned again and again eventually just give up. So the system does tend to work... if people are vigilant enough to see it through. Other than a few well-connected admins, if someone does keep making terrible deletions, you should be able to successfully take them to ArbCom for de-sysopping if you are patient enough. But the basic inequality is there... it takes 5 seconds to make a bad deletion, it can take days or even months to really fix it, if the admin is uncooperative. I'm not confident there's much chance of changing that. --W.marsh 16:46, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
What should we do with administrators that repeatedly and knowingly act against written policy, like misapplying CSDs?
It depends on how bad they are misapplying it.
What should we do with the administrators that just go and violate the same policy again even though we know they should know better?
Have you tried asking on their talk pages?
Are admins truly above us normal mortals without the "Bit" in this aspect?
Are they permitted to do things with impunity, for which we would be warned and blocked for?
No, but generally no one has to go through process simply for the sake of process either - that's what WP:IAR is for.
Or what should they do with those administrators, their infractions might be minor, even if they sometimes cause surprisingly much wikidrama, but should they not be our rolemodels?
Any time an admin messes up (on purpose or not) it causes some drama. Remember also to assume good faith. Admins are not supposed to be "rolemodels" anymore than any other editor is - they are regular editors with a few extra tools.
So what should we do in those cases?
Every case is different: this is where specifics help. Mr.Z-man 16:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Admins should delete any page they find that should be deleted. It takes some experience and discretion to know which pages those are. Not every page that should be deleted meets a CSD criterion, and not every page that meets a CSD criterion should be deleted. The idea that admins may, or should, only delete pages after satisfying some proceess requirement isn't correct. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:17, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Citation needed... WP:CSD exists for a reason, so does WP:AFD. Many speedy deletions that don't meet CSD are contestable... admins who don't care if editors in good standing object to their deletions, really are probably willfully ignoring the fact that it might not have been a good deletion after all. Sometimes discussion is needed... it's not "process for the sake of process", it's process for the sake of not making bad decisions. No one's infallible. --W.marsh 17:52, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
As I said, admins need to have discretion and experience, which is the theoretical goal of RFA. Bad deletion decisions can be remedied easily enough, as can every other sort of bad decision an editor might make. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:02, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not really easy, though. Making strong arguments in a DRV takes exponentially more time than an admin making an uninformed deletion and giving no good reason. In theory, yeah, RFA weeds out people who are going to make bad decisions with respect to articles... but that's just theory. We've seen many examples of candidates who can say the right things at RFA, then do a 180 once they've gotten their adminship. --W.marsh 18:05, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Gather up diffs of every example you see of mis-use of tools in a central location. Then e-mail it to me. Can't say that will solve the matter, but it will result in more eyes on things. ([[User:Until(1 == 2)|(1 <font color="maroon"


I see that this proposed, and possibly unfinished page has been worked on by basically a single editor, who contributed extensively in June, not so much in July, and whose last contribution was 2 months ago. I also see a fair amount of recent opposes by established editors on its talk page. Has the time come for a final discussion on whether to accept, reject, or amend this proposal? Users are welcome to comment. Thanks. - Mtmelendez (Talk|UB|Home) 12:30, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Don't really see the point, given listcruft et al. That said, these lists would lose any value that they currently have if we just had a decent way to correlate categories and subcats. The Jewish Publishers example, for instance, could be just as easily be automatically generated if we had a tool that was capable of crawling Category:Jews and Category:Publishers. Do we? If not, can one be written that just works off an offsite cache? MrZaiustalk 13:08, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Look at how Wikinews works; browse by topic and look at the code for one of the topics. It's inserting a list of items by cat. I don't know the options and limits of that option. (SEWilco 16:54, 6 October 2007 (UTC))

== 2)]] ? (('Stop') : ('Go')) 00:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day seems to be controversial, but popular with some admins and thus a sacred cow. Is this an essay or a guideline? Reading through the talk pages leads me to believe that this has never had the support necessary to demonstrate consensus. Most recently it has been re-tagged as a guideline without broad support, but today’s effort has both established the guideline tag and had the page protected. Please join the discussion. --Kevin Murray 08:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I merely see it as further explaining WP:NOT#OTHOUGHT. So it should have at least guideline status. --Farix (Talk) 11:33, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
That's almost exactly why I don't think there is any need for it to be a guideline. To me, that's a perfect essay - it doesn't add anything new to Wikipedia's rules, it just explains some concepts with reference to established policies and guidelines. In my view, saying that everything that further explains a policy or guideline has to also be a policy or guideline is the road to instruction creep. TSP 11:50, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I hate to see instruction creep cited, but I have to agree with the remainder of TSP's reasoning. This should be an essay that explains the rationale behind the policy/guideline, and nothing more. That is the perfect use of essays when they relate to section policies/guidelines such as those found in WP:NOT. Adrian M. H. 15:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Read Wikipedia:Per to understand what refering to things like this means. It is not "This should not exist because it is written in stone that wikipedia does not allow this." It means "I believe that Wikipedia should not have this article for the same reason that this policy/guideline/essay/other editor has said". Wikipedia has only 3 unbreakable rules; everything else is open to consensus. When someone says: Delete per Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day, they DO NOT MEAN that that page should be accepted as official policy. Rather what they are saying is that they agree with the opinion expressed by that page; when a preponderance of other editors likewise agree with the same opinions, that is called consensus. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 02:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why there should be a controversy over what tag is put on something that is just a matter of common sense, and is really just an example of how the policies on verifiability and original research are applied. And it's not instruction creep, because over time many people have created articles about things that obviously were made up one day in school, or at work, or in a bar, so there is a need to spell this out. 6SJ7 04:07, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with 6SJ7. We need separate guidelines to tell us not to post unsourced information we hear at bars, via spam email, or from stories told by grandparents. Yes that was a bit of sarcasm to illustrate a point. The root of the problem is already dealt with via verifiability. Guidelines dealing with examples of verifiability problems are not required. To me this seems like people getting really lazy about citing reasons for removal of information. We could have 50 guidelines citing examples of violation of verifiability, or a single guideline with those 50 examples included, so that when a verifiability problem comes up we can direct someone the guideline without offering any argument whatsoever -- OR, we COULD just use our goddamn BRAINS and make actual ARGUMENTS, saying things like, "This information is unsourced and seems to be original resaearch. I am removing it for now. If you have a source for this information please feel free to repost it along with a proper reference. Thank you." Say no to laziness.
Equazcionargue/improves04:22, 09/28/2007
I just saw this comment. Equazcion, I don't think you agree with what I was actually trying to say. I guess I was being too subtle. I see nothing wrong with this being a guideline. 6SJ7 23:55, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
In what way is it controversial? Do you think we should have articles about things made up in school one day? Corvus cornix 21:30, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
There is a rather obvious consensus for the fact that Wikipedia indeed is not for TMUISOD. Have you seen anybody recently who argued that Wikipedia is, or should be, for TMUISOD? Because I haven't. That means that it is, de facto, a guideline, regardless of whether people think it "doesn't need to be one" or "should be called something else".
Looking at it from a practical point of view (do try running NP patrol for awhile, people!) there are novice editors who make TMUISOD articles; would it be best to (a) tell them we delete those articles according to our guidelines, or (b) tell them that "some editors have the opinion that such articles should not exist"? The former educates people, the latter causes people to argue. >Radiant< 09:57, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
So, Radiant, what you are saying is that in some cases, policies and guidelines should be prescriptive, rather than descriptive? I agree. 6SJ7 23:53, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it is really controversial. ([[User:Until(1 == 2)|(1 <font color="maroon"

Wikistalking clarification

Is it always "wikistalking" to follow the contribs of a user you disagree with? What is the standard? Please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Harassment#Wikistalking clarification. --BlueMoonlet 21:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Does resizing photos protect your copyright

I have been thinking about uploading a photo to Wikipedia. The problem is that I don't want to give up my ownership rights to the photo as I worked hard to take it. However I might consider uploading a reduced quality version. My question is, If I resized a photo, uploaded the smaller version to Wikipedia and the larger version to my website, would I be giving up my copyright for only the smaller version or all version? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:08, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Uploading the smaller version to Wikipedia only releases that smaller version under an open-source licence (which isn't giving up your ownership rights entirely). The larger version keeps whatever licence you put on your own website.-gadfium 04:26, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Whatever you upload, even if it identical to your original, is what you are releasing under an open-source license. The original (and other copies which you make) are separate from what you give to Wikipedia even if they are identical. Just as if you printed 100 copies of photo, gave away five, and sold the other 95 under some business contract; the copyright and license status of each copy is separate (unless the original was created under some restriction). There sometimes is confusion between images on the Internet as to whether a copy on Wikipedia has been taken from a web site; I try to label the descriptive text on the Wikipedia Image: page to make the origin clear. (SEWilco 05:24, 9 October 2007 (UTC))

search engine test and notability

Can a search engine test establish notability on itself? Is a Google hit count enough? I would say that this cannot be seen apart from other WP policies and guidelines, especially WP:V and WP:RS. Intangible2.0 03:07, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

That's what I thought, too bad people in the particular AFD do not. Intangible2.0 13:54, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
That's the very least of the problems with that article. It's a complete mess, and the AFD isn't going to help anything.Wikidemo 15:04, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
The article may be a mess, but content or style issues are not handled via deletion. Internal to the article itself are several reliable sources, certainly enough to establish notability of the subject. Deletion is about whether or not the article has a right to exist at Wikipedia. Crappily written articles need clean up, not deletion. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:12, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Links to YouTube

Hi there. I came across an article that includes a link to a youtube music video. Is that ok, or is there a rule against it? -- 19:10, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

This may help Wikipedia:External_links/YouTube--Aspro 19:27, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I don't see how a rejected proposal can be a valuable source of information. If there is no guideline (why not?), how would you generally treat a link to a music video on youtube in the article about the band? -- 19:47, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

It depends whether the copyrighted material has been verifiably posted to YouTube with permission (this is very unlikely). See WP:EL#Restrictions_on_linking and Wikipedia:Copyrights#Linking_to_copyrighted_works. -- zzuuzz (talk) 19:58, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Note also that if the YouTube account that posted the video is the official account of the band itself or its producer, it probably is reliable and not a copyright violation (since permission is not needed when one is the copyright owner). GracenotesT § 20:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Why should John Doe be responsible for deciding what's copyright infringed or not? As far as I'm concerned, the holder of the copyrights generally accept the opt-out policy of youtube. -- 20:25, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

We shouldn't waste time arguing "should"s here because the law is what it is on the issue of contributory infringement. If you know or should know that what you're linking to is a copyright infringement, don't link to it. Given the nature of YouTube, one should probably presume that any commercial content posted on it is an infringement absent information to the contrary. Postdlf 20:53, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, thanks :) -- 21:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

American Regionalism

I have noted in a very large range of articles that there appears to be an almost offensive attitude by many american contributors when writing about issues which affect the whole of the english speaking community or whole of the world. What I mean can be summariesd in a number of examples:

1) International standards Vs regional ones.

On an number of pages I have noted that references are made to american standards such as the ASTM or ANSI without specifying what the standard is or what country it originates from, in some cases completely failing to mention the existance of other countries standards, and especially when there is a divergant ISO standard. (The USA often seems to feel no need to adhere to ISO standards, even when they contribute strongly to such standards). One recient example of this was on an article on sound insulation created by (I assume) an american contributor, which provided a clear and detailed article on the american stnadards for design and measurement of this are, but completely failed to mention that the standards referenced are specific to the USA, and differ in significant ways from the ISO standards followed by much of the rest of the world). I created a draft article on the ISO and UK approach to this topic, and cross referenced it to the original articel. I sublequently found that my cross-references and notes about "in the USA" had been removed from the original artical. (a subsequent edit was left in place)

2) Reference to national and international organisations

Today I was reading articles on Ulcers and Gangerene, and I noticed that there were references to the Center for Desease Control (CDC). Once again this is the name of a major American (US) establishment, but the article failed to state wheather it was refereing to this organisation or to the english language name of another countries organisation (reference was made to Austrialian medical research projects), or possibly to a WHO organisation.

These are just two examples.

I would ask / propose that anyone contributing to an article should ensure that unless it is clearly intended to be country specific that references to standards and organisations should be clearly identified indicating what country or organisiation they are refering to.

Just some food for thought

Anruari 14:15, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

You're offended by an article on sound insulation? Interesting. Presumably, if someone links to the Centers for Disease Control you can figure out which country it is in by following the link. Articles emanating from the UK and Australia make similar references without stating the country. I don't see what the problem is. We're always striving to be more international in scope, so if you see something that could be improved why not do so? Wikidemo 14:26, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I should think that a great many of my mainspace edit summaries include the words "Add Nation...". The assumption of knowledge on the part of a great many editors is breathtaking, and does appear to be more prevalent among US related subjects. Not only do I add in the name of the nation, but I often find myself expanding the names of States from the abv abbreviation; most of the editors who know which State MO is will often not see the need to expand it to Missouri in an article, but it is often not obvious to other non US readers - and I apply the same criteria when confronted with "Berks" and similar in UK related subjects. Indeed, after a couple of hours simply including basic information such as nationality or location to people and places my edit summaries can be so caustic that I have placed a general apology on my talkpage for anyone offended/irritated by my comments. All relevant information should be included in the article, and links are only there for people who wish to investigate or learn further - not just to get some idea where or what it is that the article is referring to. I think Anruari's comments very sensible. LessHeard vanU 20:58, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Links to mirrors that do not follow the GFDL

Do we have any guideline or policy that says anything about mirrors which use Wikipedia content without being compliant with the GFDL? If an external site is using information from Wikipedia, obviously it can't be reliable, but if they have additional information, is it appropriate to link to it?

I'm asking this after investigating some copyvio issues at John S. McCain, Sr.. This article was originally taken from a pd usgov website. Additions were made by Wikipedia editors over the course of a few years. In late 2006, seems to have copied our article and added it to an existing page on their website, without complying with the GFDL. Our article was later mistakenly deleted as a copyright violation, but I restored the deleted revisions today. As it turns out, is used as an external link or a source on quite a lot of pages. The site has some content that may be original, and they've got some pretty pictures, but as stated above, they also have at least once copied from Wikipedia without attribution. Should we be linking to this site at all? --- RockMFR 22:24, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

WP:EL#Restrictions_on_linking says that we should not link to sites which violate Copyright. Corvus cornix 22:39, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Well yes, there is that, but in practice it has been used to remove links to individual pages that violate copyright (such as on YouTube), but leaving links that do not violate copyright on the same website. What I'm asking is - should we blacklist mirrors of Wikipedia who do not comply on some pages? Our guidelines right now are rather ambiguous in regards to whether they refer to web sites ("site" meaning "domain" here) or web pages. --- RockMFR 23:07, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
WP:EL is a style guideline, not policy. Interpret it in the way that assists the purpose of WP, the provision of information. If we want to proceed against them for violating our copyright, that's a separate process. Removing them is the extreme of wikilawyering and over-scrupulousness. DGG (talk) 00:14, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest discussing the matter on Wikipedia talk:External links. Corvus cornix 01:41, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

We should not blacklist sites which have pages that violate copyright. The blacklist is for spam, and in exceptionally rare cases, harassment. Think of the implications if we blocked sites with problems. Discussing those sites would be a chore. 1of3 01:09, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Again, take this up at Wikipedia talk:External links. As it now stands, WP:EL says not to do it. Corvus cornix 17:16, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Cyber-bullying and misuse of historical diffs that never get deleted

Recently, someone did this to WP:NPOV. Someone reverted it, of course, but the vandalism is still in the history. Ironically, this historical edit can now still be used for Cyber-bullying. Even though the page was restored, the offending party still can link to the diff and e-mail it to someone as an attack, saying: "See! Even Wikipedia agrees with me! You suck nyaa-nyaa (so on and so forth)."

Of course, there is a function to totally obliterate edits from an article history, but that seems to be used in only rather extreme cases. What (if any) is the consensus viewpoint on dealing with not-so-extreme cases where vandalism remains in the edit history, potentially satisfying the objectives of the vandal through edit-history links? dr.ef.tymac 21:22, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the big red warning box at the top, saying "This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Tielzebob2 (Talk | contribs) at 19:46, 2 October 2007. It may differ significantly from the current revision." goes a long way towards mitigating this. It makes it pretty clear that the content isn't in any way endorsed by Wikipedia, and if one simply wants to type some crap on a website and link to it, it would be much easier to use a pastebin. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:33, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I understand your points, but WP is open-source, and pretty "high profile" ... not to mention the fact that it is relatively trivial to doctor the page so that a specific "target" would not be able to see the warning box. It just doesn't seem to quite pass the "smell test" ... that the vandal may have actually gotten exactly what he wanted, because now the content is (for all practical purposes) permanently viewable by anyone, notwithstanding the huge "warning box".
But your points are well-taken. Mostly I was just wondering if this has been discussed before, and if so, where. dr.ef.tymac 21:43, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Why not let admins delete edits. They can do it now, but have to delete the article and restore selected edits. Why not just have them delete one edit, like oversight does (I think), except the ones deleted by admins would be viewable by other admins. Sasha Callahan 21:58, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that would be a useful power, not only because of this issue, but because it would prevent vandal edits from completely clogging up an article's edit history. As we now have the ability to view deleted edits as part of a user's contribution history, I don't see any reason not to implement this if it is feasible. Postdlf 23:23, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Quick thoughts - "yesno no". I'm not sure that this is a primary reason for modifying page handling. But if it can be done without degradation to the project, then it's harmless and courteous. The main problem I see is this:

According to policy and practice, the difference between editors and administrators is little except tool access. Editors are expected to be free to undertake dispute resolution, and related matters, every bit as much as anyone else, and on equal footing. A proposal like this elevates administrators, because it would mean that a regular user contemplating a dispute resolution case and collating evidence would be unable to see precisely those edits they might most need to. It would greatly impede non-administrators' ability to undertake dispute resolution, if the diffs they needed were selectively likely to be removed from their sight. That to me is a terminal problem. A better solution would be to change the header for old pages, if this is a concern. FT2 (Talk | email) 09:57, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that it's a good idea - provided that there are guidelines for its use. I think this should only be done for major copyvios, personnal attacks and cases where there is evidence of Cyber-bullying. Od Mishehu 08:13, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


I have created another proposal for a guideline of naming conventions for school articles. The original proposal became inactive and consensus was not established. This new proposal simplifies things a little, I would like some input at WT:NC(S). Camaron1 | Chris 17:30, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

"Real life emergencies" - Suggested policy

The project is periodically hit with "Real life emergency" type panic-button incidents (like people saying "I'm going to commit suicide") where a bunch of people call police and stress out about what's almost certainly a troll. The most recent example that I'm aware of is this one today on AN/I.

I'd like to propose a formalized handling of these situations, and I know this will probably not be popular with some folks, but I hope this will spark some conversation that will allow us to be proactive instead of reactive.

Erase and block. - I propose that anytime someone posts some sort of thing like this (suicide threats, etc) that we treat it like a personal threat. Erase it, block the user indef (it's not infinite, but it forces them to use an unblock request to explain themselves) and deny them the soap box.

As far as I know there hasn't been a single non-trolling example of this so far. The preponderance of evidence indicates that this is a button that manipulative people can use to get attention on Wikipedia with no regard to the deep anguish and stress this causes their victim. A poster in the thread above mentioned that this has been a "very stressful day" because of this nonsense. By allowing these to stay, we're hurting the people who care and get sucked into these mind games.

We all want to be the person who saved Kitty Genovese, but instead, the people who take those posts seriously and act on them are becoming victims of emotionally manipulative narcissists.

Finally, none of us are qualified to determine the difference between real and fake threats, the same way we aren't qualified to determine legit legal threats. To protect ourselves and the well meaning editors who get caught up in these imbroglios, let's agree on straight forward way of handling all such situations that doesn't require special knowledge.


CHAIRBOY () 23:43, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I drafted a pretty straight forward common sense proposal at User:Jeffrey O. Gustafson/Threat - I've since deleted it, because the general consensus (on IRC in the cabal channel, at least) is that any attempts at drafting a proposal may cause more problems than solutions. The general feeling is that the Office should always be contacted first. Admins can take a gander at my proposal if they wish, and if anyone wanted to restore it so others may add to it because they think its worthwhile, they are free to. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! - <*> 23:57, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Considering that your proposal is essentially 100% opposite of what I'm suggesting, I'm going to go ahead and gently disagree, heh. - CHAIRBOY () 00:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that either formal policy is a good idea. On the one hand, we don't want to create a duty where none exists. On the other hand, we don't want to tie the hands of independent editors that want to intervene. -Chunky Rice 00:11, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

We had some proposed policies regarding this fairly recently actually, but there was a complete lack of consensus. See Wikipedia:Responding to suicidal individuals and Wikipedia:Helping suicidal individuals. --YbborTalk 00:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with Chunky. This is not our business; we are in the business of writing and maintaining a reference tool. --Kevin Murray 01:02, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Revert and ignore sounds good to me. Friday (talk) 01:12, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm basically against writing this into the policy level because of WP:DFTT and WP:BEANS, but if anything does go up it ought to include contacting the proper authorities about suicide threats. DurovaCharge! 01:31, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't the procedure for handling a death threat and a suicide threat be pretty much the same? Not because both involve threat of death, but because both are serious threats that should be passed to the proper authorities, and the people making them should be blocked (per the general principle of "don't cause disruption by issuing threats"). Of course, it depends on whether you see such things as manipulative threats, or a plea for help. Carcharoth 01:39, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

The target of a death threat can make the decision about whether to contact the authorities. And no, it absolutely does not matter whether some untrained Wikipedian thinks the threat is genuine or not. We aren't qualified to make that determination and if we open that door then sooner or later someone will get it dead wrong. DurovaCharge! 02:08, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I think we can figure out part of it at least: the choice of what to do with the threatening content and creator of the content on Wikipedia. I would modify Chairboy's suggestion to be: notify appropriate authorities based on IP location, erase, block, all with normal admin actions and not oversight. I do think it's important to take threats seriously, whether harm to self or other, but also to minimize disruption to other users. These shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Once the police have been informed, we can all go about our regular business as usual once the blanking and blocking have been accomplished. ~Eliz81(C) 03:54, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Myspace gets about one real suicide note a year, and they don't do anything about them administratively.[1][2] It's a tough call. I once got a misaddressed e-mail death threat ("I am going to kill you tonight"), which reached me because I own a .com domain which matches a domain belonging to a private boarding school in England. I called the school, and got the headmistress out of bed. Turned out to be some 12-year old sending a stupid message. --John Nagle 05:47, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
To do something about it would invite possible liability issues, for them at least. Not sure about that, of course, I'm no expert. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 06:46, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
This is my concern. I realize that such issues are probably best left to the foundation legal counsel, but as it stands, Wikipedia and we as editors owe absolutely no duty to anybody who posts about killing themselves. Even if we have verifiable proof that it's a genuine threat, we have no duty to act. On the other hand, if we create a policy that does compel us to act and we don't, that may create an opening for liability. -Chunky Rice 14:19, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
In some jurisdictions, bystanders who become aware of a life threatening situation do inherently have a legal obligation to notify authorities. 16:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

The first step to dealing with these problems should be to request an urgent CheckUser. This gives information which would be essential in any further action, and also ensures that no editor is acting alone. Beyond that, I'm not sure that we can have any "one-size-fits-all" protocol. The Office should be informed, yes, but this can be done in many ways. Similarly for the Police: it doesn't have to be the Foundation which informs them directly, it could be an ISP or a Chapter member or a trusted indiviual in that jurisdiction (not every WP user lives in Florida!) Physchim62 (talk) 15:59, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

That concern had crossed my mind too- plenty of people are going to just revert such nonsense as trolling. It might make things look worse if this happens when we were "supposed" to notify someone. Friday (talk) 15:59, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
So this is a blank check for trollers, then? This approach does a massive disservice to the well intentioned suckers that fall for this, as evidenced in the threat I mentioned. This is causing serious stress for some of the people who are caught up in the artificial drama because of the "what if it's real?!?!?!" approach. If someone wrote "I'm going to sue Wikipedia into the ground, destroying the foundation" or something like that, it's a big threat, but we have a policy for how to deal with it. We're letting ourselves be puppets for emotionally manipulative mean spirited attention-whores, and the "what if it's real! What if it's real!" argument just gives them strength. - CHAIRBOY () 17:48, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I think the same philosophy applies to both these situations. We have no duty to protect people from themselves. If an editor wants to intervene and get caught up in whatever drama there may be regarding a suicide threat, I don't think that there's much to be gained in trying to shield them from that. -Chunky Rice 17:57, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

(outdent)There is a relevant essay Wikipedia:Potentially Suicidal Users that follows similar logic to my recommendations (although it's not a policy or guideline), and WP:SUICIDE redirects there now too. ~Eliz81(C) 02:15, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Wrongful systematic translation of Québec place names

My mind has just registered that ALL many Québec place names are unapproved translations. I have double checked with government sites "Office québécois de la langue française", and the Commission de la toponymie du Québec[3] and the Government of Québec has a very clear policy on name translations, it is not done (except for name places overlapping borders, where use of actual French name may be accompanied by an English equivalent. This is not a new policy.

How is it then that all the place names got translated? To be sure, I checked on France's place names, no problem there, all proper names have been kept in French. English name places have not been translated to French Salton Sea. I can't even begin to imagine why this has come to be... Some of you may think, hmm, bilingual Canada... but names places and bilingualism status are provincial jurisdictions and not federal. Québec is officially French only.

I haven't brought this up over there on those pages as debate is already heated enough with Nation issues, and this is completely aside. I'm certain no Wikipedia policy may override local governments... Certainly there is some model, banner, tag, request page, where this issue can be handled outside of individual pages. Yours truly, Tracy--Tallard 08:10, 7 October 2007 (UTC)(--Tallard 7 octobre 2007 à 06:04 (CEST))

PS, If this debate has already taken place, and I imagine it may have many years ago, please direct me to the archive, that would be a start to correct this huge mistake.

This is the English Wikipedia. If a place has a common name in English, that name is used for the article, even if it isn't an "approved" translation. --Carnildo 08:24, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
This is absolutely erroneous, France's name places are NOT translated to English and British/Australian/New Zealand names places are NOT translated to French. --Tallard 08:38, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Please direct me to the wikipedia policy allowing Wikipedia to override local government. Thank you--Tallard 09:36, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
As soon as you provide a link to the Canadian or Quebecoise legislation that gives it jurisdiction over Wikipedia and its contributors. Merci. LessHeard vanU 10:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

What I suggest, (hopefully some kind of Bot or template) is a massive redirect campaign, which would affect approximately 90% a great deal of Québec name places (non border), so users entering whatever informal translated form they choose to use will be redirect to the properly named place. In France, Brussels and Switzerland (as far as I've come) even accents are preserved, exception being a very few major cities such as Geneva.--Tallard 09:30, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy can 'overrule' any local law it wants; it is subject only to the laws of the United States of America and the state of Florida. Quebec has no jurisdiction. --Golbez 10:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Put another way, if we had to follow every law passed by every jurisdiction in the world, what's to stop some town (or large asian communist nation) from declaring Wikipedia illegal? --Golbez 10:40, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Tallard, I am an Italian, but when I read and edit the English-language Wikipedia I accept that it is written in English, to the point that Italy is not called "Italia", Rome is not called "Roma", Naples is not called "Napoli" and so on. As I see it, it is not a question of linguistic policy or overriding anything: it is just that Italian-speking people say "Roma" and "mela", while English-speking people say "Rome" and "apple". Or am I missing something? Happy editing, Goochelaar 10:43, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

"...I checked on France's place names, no problem there, all proper names have been kept in French..." Which would be because place names of France (apart from France itself) do not normally have English translations or equivalents. Many Latin and other names do, however, hence Goochelaar's point about Italian place names. See Kiev, for example. Where possible, when a common-use equivalent exists, we use English names. Adrian M. H. 12:06, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I realise of course it's English Wikipedia, and I am not saying to eliminate it completely, only to create redirects. Other than legal reasons, there are practical online reasons for this. Take for example the Bay of Chaleurs (Eastern Quebec, where I grew up). If a reader goes to that page knowing only that name and then tries to find it's equivalent government page or official site, it does not exist. This page (and many many others) mislead the reader into believing that Chaleur Bay has the same weight as the not even linked Baie des Chaleurs. The other problem with this lax treatment of proper nouns is that not all speakers write Chaleur Bay, many write Bay of Chaleur or Bay of Chaleurs, some even say Heat Bay, and many Québec anglophones even use Baie des Chaleurs. By accepting that the ARTICLE NAME may be anything, it misleads the reader. Given the 5 options, selecting one of them is UNVERIFIALBE. By redirecting from miscellaneous translations to one properly named article, readers then access better information. My brother's name is Michael, and it would not be acceptable to call him Michel. I realise this did happen with Michael Angelo, (and most historical information) but is that not an issue of old colonial views where people kept changing names around between languages, just because they were too righteous to use the person's actual name? In modern Québec, the government's openness to using proper historical names has resulted in many First Nations communities reverting their place names back to their own language. I just think Wikipedia's stance on this is intellectually lackadaisical. By creating redirects instead of improper names, there is nothing lost to readers and everything to be gained--Tallard 17:44, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Should it not at least be a policy that non official translations MUST BE ACCOMPANIED by proper official name, as the Commission de toponymie states?--Tallard 17:44, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
You are not going to get a policy out of this. At best, you may get a MoS guideline. See all the country-specific MoS guidelines for comparison. Any such guideline would only be able to recommend that articles start with the same system that you see in the Kiev example, but we routinely do that anyway because it is already mentioned elsewhere in the MoS pages. Adrian M. H. 18:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
See WP:PLACES for the current naming convention. Since place names are often hotly debated, this topic has been legislated in some detail. In general the name that is most commonly seen in English usage is the one preferred. Sometimes it is not obvious which one that is. In the case you mentioned above, we have an article Chaleur Bay and there is a redirect to it called Baie des Chaleurs. That seems reasonable to me, though I personally would be more likely to look it up under the French name. If there are other dual-named places in Québec, it is reasonable that the French version should always be at least a redirect. Somehow I imagine that Wikipedia:WikiProject Quebec would have discussed this somewhere already. If there are any places that don't at least have French redirects, they should be added, in my opinion. EdJohnston 18:45, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
The basic priniple is still, do English sources, outside of Wikipedia commonly use the name in question. Each name should be taken of its own accord, and not based on some regionally-specific policy. Each name should be tested agains this basic principle. We have had cases which go both ways: In the positive, Bombay(English name) redirects to Mumbai(Marathi name), largely because most major English sources (such as the Associated Press) made the change themselves to calling the city Mumbai. In the negative, Nürnberg(German name) redirects to Nuremburg(English name), because most reliable English sources use the name Nuremburg. In the former case, we have evidence in reliable sources that English usage has changed to adopt the local name and abandon the former English name(Peking/Beijing underwent a similar shift about a century ago). In the second case, we have a situation where the local name is not used in English, so we use the English name at Wikipedia. If you wish to see the Quebecois French name used at Wikipedia, then you need to find where the majority of reliable English sources use the local French version, and that said version is accepted by a majority of reliable sources. If the location is more commonly referred to by an English name when speaking in English, then the article should be located under said name. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Jayron32, you make the strongest pacifying point against my outrage. I will definitely research as you say percentages of common English usage. But having lived 17 years in th Gaspésie, in the Baie des Chaleurs, with English as a mother tongue, I know English names were more popular years ago, as was the funny concept of «La belle province» when the Canadian Anglos held complete dominion over Québec politics. In fact as you state for other place names, things have changed in Québec since the Quiet revolution, anglo population has decreased and the anglos having stuck with Québec through the 70s tend to be less colonial in their attitude, and so tend to agree to the use of actual French names instead of the anglicised ones, as has happened with native names. I will start gathering numbers. Thank you.--Tallard 02:21, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not necessarily numbers, Tallard, so please take care with how you make your case. For example, the vast majority of availible English sources probably use Bombay by the raw numbers, since the change in the English lexicon happened relatively recently. If you REALLY want to make your case, you should see that some large and reputable organization that publishes frequently has made the official change, for example The Associated Press, or perhaps more relevently, the some national canadian Press organization, such as the CBC or some such. Such organizations often have official style guides that mandate usages. This is different from a government organization declaring an official name; since Wikipedia needs to reflect what exists in reliable published sources, we need to look at how those published sources handle the situation. At issue is not how often a name has been used, but what is established practice within reliable sources today. If an oft-used English name exists, Wikipedia usually defaults to that name, using non-English names only for places where a common English name does not exist. For Candiana, it will be hard to prove that any place in Quebec does not have a commonly used English name. Always remember when proposing or making your changes: Wikipedia does not MAKE any changes to the lexicon, it only REFLECTS changes as they happen. Good luck with this, but I am not sure you will get very far.--Jayron32|talk|contribs 03:19, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your measured words. You have great writing talent :) I think I already had that in mind idea after reading your previous post but you have certainly clarified it nicely for me. I will take them along with me.--Tallard 04:37, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Required registration?

Denise Anthony, Sean Smith, and Tim Williamson's Explaining quality in internet collective goods: zealots and good Samaritans in the case of Wikipedia, page 18: "To deal with the negative impact of this group of contributors Wikipedia has instituted a policy that requires contributors to register after some number of anonymous contributions."

I found this after a post on Slashdot which also linked to a Dartmouth press release: "According to Anthony, Wikipedia now requires that anonymous contributors who make numerous edits must register."

I've never heard of this requirement, and WP:REG and Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ#Do I have to register to edit pages? says the opposite. Is this a policy in another language Wikipedia? -- Jeandré, 2007-10-18t11:54z

You might want to post this question at the Wikipedia-wide equivalent of the village pump: m:Metapub. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:33, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I know of several anon editors who have made thousands of article edits and have never registered. Everyone can edit is taken seriously. Certain tasks, such as article creation requires a username, and articles may be semi-protected to block vandalism from anonymous sources; however I have never seen or heard of such a policy. The policy at Wikipedia has always been, and hopefully always will be, that "anyone can edit and we mean it." --Jayron32|talk|contribs 18:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
If you have been involved in the things that media reports on you will soon realize they are often wrong. In this case they are wrong, anons do not need to register to continue editing, they are welcome if they behave. I often consider becoming an IP sometime. 1 != 2 18:27, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Grr, what's the IP of the editor who's made thousands of edits and his talk page is really funny with all of the people begging them to create an account? I can never remember. —bbatsell ¿? 18:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
And Google comes through: User talk: —bbatsell ¿? 18:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
There are dozens more. There is one guy who has a dynamic IP address in the 150s somewhere who is a very good editor. There are probably a dozen or so IP addresses that are ALL his, and they all have hundreds, if not thousands of contribs on it. There are probably a few hundred dedicated and good users who edit solely by IP address.--Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:15, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
For the record, the authors are aware of the mistake and have edited the press release (and assumedly will fix the paper in the next go-round). —bbatsell ¿? 03:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Legality of images other than for copyright reasons?

In the revisions of 11:33, 11 October 2007 for the Aswan Dam page (history), two links to images are removed (the images themselves have not been deleted), with the explanation:

taking pictures of the dam is against Egyptian law

What is the (English) Wikipedia policy on images that may be illegal for non-copyright reasons in various jurisdictions?

Wikipedia:Image use policy and Wikipedia:List of policies#Legal and copyright only discuss copyright (and libel), and do not address this issue, and I can't find other policies.

Given that the English Wikipedia servers are located in the US, and that some jurisdictions have very restrictive laws (such as "no photographs of people"), I assume that Wikipedia follows US law.

Proposed resolution:

  • Determine what Wikipedia policy is (if there is an existing one, could someone indicate it? If there isn't one, could it be discussed?)
  • Wikipedia:List of policies#Legal and copyright should address this.
  • If the above Aswan Dam photographs are acceptable by Wikipedia policy, their links should be restored;
  • If they are not, the media files should be deleted suitably.
Nbarth 22:41, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Many a time I've seen this type of thing pop up, and those who know these things always respond the same: Wikipedia is only subject to the laws in which its servers are based, which is the United States and Florida specifically. The images are acceptable here. I mean, if it's ok to put an image on the commons of a sign saying not to take pictures of the place, this is perfectly fine. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 23:09, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Someguy0830! I've added links and discussion to that effect at Wikipedia:List of policies#Legal and copyright, linked Wikipedia:Image use policy to legal policies, and restored the pictures (and other damage to the Aswan Dam page). Amusingly, there was a discussion of deletion of the image of that sign, but only for copyright reasons, not other legal ones. Nbarth 23:13, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

If a photographer wants to risk prosecution in Egypt by taking pictures of the dam while in Egypt, and by broadcasting this fact by posting those pictures publicly on the internet, that's their business and their risk. Whether Egypt has a law further forbidding the possession or distribution of said pictures is of course completely irrelevant to anyone not actually in Egypt. Postdlf 23:24, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Requiring reliable sources in media

User:Tgm1024 brings up an interesting point on Talk:Ejaculation. They wish to remove the video of a person ejaculating on the grounds that it is original research, and that there is no verifiable source that shows that it's an "average" or "normal" act of ejaculation. My objection to this is that we have, as far as I can tell, no policy that mandates this across the whole of Wikipedia, and attempting to formulate one would lead to, let us say, no pictures on Sheep which were taken by ordinary users and not veterinarians or biologists. Is there a policy? Should there be a policy? What is a good way to proceed? The Wednesday Island 22:36, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

It is difficult to write serious answer to that.... But in short, no; we don't need a new policy for this issue. Without viewing it, we can probably assume that it is sufficiently average and normal for its intended purpose, whatever that may be. If they really want to make comparisons, I'm sure Google will oblige. Adrian M. H. 22:47, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
The trouble is that they are threatening to delete content from the article unless this can be justified. "We can probably assume" probably won't convince them not to. The Wednesday Island 22:50, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Look, you just have to deal with it as you would any other source dispute. What statement or claim is it being used to verify? Or is the claim about the video itself (ie, "this is an average ejaculation")? If the latter is the case, just change the wording to remove "average" and it can no longer be argued with by any sane individual. Either way, given that it is visual evidence, I really think that they are being too pedantic about the OR angle. If they are that bothered about it, put it to them that they should find a viable alternative before removing any content. Adrian M. H. 22:56, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, will do. The Wednesday Island 23:01, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Original Research on UserPage??

Hi, I'm a new wikipedian, and I'm curious if it's ok to post original research on ones userpage. I currently have started a section with some my mathematical work on it. I am aware of the GFDL and I am completely ok with what it entails in regards to my work. A math-wiki 05:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

User pages aren't article. Most article policies don't apply. — Someguy0830 (T | C) 05:04, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not offering free web hosting to you. You can explain briefly who you are on your userpage, and you can link to your own webpage. See Wikipedia:User page.-gadfium 05:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
New to Wikipedia ehrr? You poor fool... you can now say goodbye to any free time you may have enjoyed up to now!
Back to you query: You might like to have a look at some of WP's sister projects as well, as they might better suit your basic intentions.
Wikibooks is beginning to look favourably on original research. See their draft policy [4] (you could assist them in developing it -since your needs may be complimentary)
Also, take a look at the other project Wikiversity: [5] and [6]--Aspro 08:40, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a "Consumer Watchdog"

I've come across a couple of instances recently where pages appear to exist purely for the purpose of providing warnings to consumers etc about questionable business practices. Examples would include the now deleted "Alex Finch" and "Ayman Ahmed El-Difrawi" who were linked to Lou Pearlman. These pages often attract edit wars, which causes me to notice them through browsing recent changes.

I've now identified four similar articles, all about medical schools, all of which seem to focus on the lack of accreditation of qualifications granted by those schools, and in such a way that in all four cases I suspect that the articles concerned are basically attack pages. There is a possibility that in some cases the articles were originally intended as an advertisement of the "school" concerned, and there are often two factions attempting to edit each page, one of which insists that it is a bona fide medical school in good standing, the other insisting that it is a diploma mill. It appears that in such cases the truth may be somewhere between these viewpoints, although I'm not really qualified to assess the standing of such institutions myself.

However, it seems to me that there's no clear policy on such issues, and whilst I'm tempted to AfD all 4 articles as being non notable and inappropriate, I feel that some form of policy on the issue of being a consumer watchdog needs to be formulated. Alerting consumers to potential fraud is of course a praiseworthy objective, but I don't think it's the purpose of Wikipedia, and I don't think that Wikipedia should allow itself to be used for that purpose. Creating or using an article about an organisation, product or person as a means of warning that that person, organisation or product may involve some form of misrepresentation or fraud is as inappropriate to Wikipedia as creating or using such an article as an advertisement for some sort of goods or services.

The four articles are St Christopher Iba Mar Diop College of Medicine, St Matthews University, University of Health Sciences Antigua, and Caribbean Medical University. I can't see any real assertion of notability on any of these pages either. DMcMPO11AAUK/Talk/Contribs 09:47, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Can appreciate your sentiments on these articles. Think though, that the 'attack article' aspect (in these cases) is best left to individual editors to neutralise. After all, to AfD it for that reason alone, is almost an open invitation to every editor that dislikes an article, to turn it into an attack article to get it removed. The are plenty of negative articles like Criticisms of Microsoft etc., so I do not think that yet another policy needs to formulated as existing policies cover this. One just has to get used to the fact, that there are editors on WP who after working hard for their degree, feel that they do not receive the respect and deference that they had been expecting from those around them and thus feel obliged to attack any institution or person that they see as inferior.--Aspro 13:18, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
You miss my point I think. We already have a "no advertising" policy. Does that cover pages that are being used as "consumer watchdog" style pages? Is the use of Wikipedia as a consumer watchdog a good thing or a bad thing? Personally I don't think it's a good thing. Many of the contributions to such articles appear to fail NPOV, OR or No advertising (and I include anti-advertising in that). DMcMPO11AAUK/Talk/Contribs 17:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your general point here. I've no opinion on the articles you cite because I haven't looked at them, but I have seen this in other articles, in many cases to the point of using mostly WP:OR synthesis of unrelated sources to justify assertions. Existing policy addresses the OR, but discussions with other editors show that many are stuck on the idea that wikipedia's role is front line first as consumer watchdog, leading to all sorts of conflicts. Problems with WP:SOAP, WP:Undue Weight, WP:AGF, WP:OWN, WP:Legal etc. I think the problem would make for a good essay topic.Professor marginalia 17:50, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Neither do I think it is a good thing to have consumer watchdog type articles as WP is not a soapbox. As we have a Template:Advert already, it would be possible to have say a watchdog template for articles where it is blatant. BUT -looking around at other articles where these style templates have been liberally plastered, one discovers, they tell editors nothing that they are not aware of already. Moreover, these style templates (despite all the hype they are given) do not fix matters simple by their placement on the page. Looking at the talk pages of the above articles, it looks very much like editors are never the less trying to get the articles to conform to existing WP policy. Just coming up with yet more instructions will not rewrite the articles for us; instead it just becomes instruction creep. However, that is just my POV and I am sure that someone else knows of a policy to say I am wrong and we should clutter the pages up even more with unhelpful tags. ;-) It would be better to wade in and help sort out the articles yourself -if you feel upto it- or at least suggest improvements on the talk pages. --Aspro 18:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't considered instruction creep, you make very valid points, people using Wikipedia as a campaign media generally know that it is not an appropriate use, and don't really care if it is right or not as long as they perceive they're getting their message across. Perhaps we should just consider "consumer watchdogism / scam exposure" as another form of campaigning and deal with it similarly? DMcMPO11AAUK/Talk/Contribs 01:45, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I noticed WP:AGF was mentioned in passing above. Have you considered that whether or not a school is accredited or other nations/states accept their degrees is a relevant fact in an an article about the school and perhaps the writers aren't just here to push their POV about various medical schools? Mr.Z-man 02:01, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it's relevant, but I don't think that half of the article (eg SCIMD-COM) should be dedicated to stating in great detail that the degree is not recognised by the UK and several US states, when you could state the same fact in two or three sentences eg like this. I'm quoting this as a current example. I believe the shorter version also benefits from being much more neutral in the way that it states facts and presents references. Also, wrt WP:AGF, when an author is adopting a similar position in multiple similar articles, it starts to look like he's campaigning, which brings us back to WP:SOAPBOX. DMcMPO11AAUK/Talk/Contribs 03:18, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I raised AGF violations because they frequently result when users edit away problem areas to bring watchdog "editorials" and OR loaded statements more in conformity with a true encyclopedia article. The motives of editors who try to correct such problems are often brought into question by the watchdogs who don't understand the distinction. For example, no article at wikipedia should contain information that isn't already published, and I've seen several articles at wikipedia where a school or college is identified as unaccredited - while the only source used as ref is simply a list of named educational institutions that are accredited, a list wherein the institution named in the article is absent. This is unallowed OR synthesis. Editors can't go this far, and if they do, they are acting as "consumer watchdog" reporters constructing new claims out of inference, etc, which are elsewise unpublished. As soon as editors confuse the difference, they are adding their own assertions rather than previously published assertions. The bare minimum requirement for determining if a fact claim is verifiable and noteworthy for the article is that it is already published somewhere. In the case of accreditation, that would mean the independently legit published source must first be found that states, as a noteworthy fact, "X school is not accredited by Y", or "the Degrees offered by X school are not recognized in Y or Z countries". I have found this is often not the case that such claims are suitably referenced. As I spot checked sourced claims in the SCIMD-COM article, I find it too is riddled with these problems.Professor marginalia 15:51, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
The above example of «accreditation in one or two lines» as «just another topic in an article» is highly insufficient. Institutions of higher learning (colleges, universities, institutes) are members of official worldwide networks. The accreditation statuts of an institution (and people generally pay good money to receive degrees from them), is fundamental to it's very definition on Wikipedia. I'd suggest that notability and accreditation be addressed in the Infobox models somewhere in the very first lines. The burden of proof to be an accredited institution of higher learning ought to be on the institution itself, not a few wikipedia readers.IMHO--Tallard 18:43, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Do we need deletion request notification?

Currently, Wikipedia:Guide to deletion states:

It is generally considered civil to notify the good-faith creator and any main contributors of the articles that you are nominating for deletion.

If this should be changed or deleted is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Guide to deletion#Deletion request notification. — Sebastian 20:02, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Is there a standard about how important a topic should be to have its own portal? The one I am concerned about is Portal:Scientology. Thanks.Steve Dufour 22:11, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The information you seek can be found at Wikipedia:Portal. As for the Scientology portal itself, I'd be willing to say that it's a significant enough topic that it could easily support its own portal. EVula // talk // // 22:24, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I did check that out. I didn't see anything like a clear standard of what is important enough for its own portal. I disagree about Scientology. It only has about 100,000 members in the world and a history of about 50 years. Steve Dufour 22:53, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Counted among those 100k members are some very, very prominent members of Hollywood. I'd say that Scientology, though it may lack in numbers, is certainly not suffering from an abundance of reliable coverage in the media, which is more important than raw (and relatively arbitrary) numbers. EVula // talk // // 23:46, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Most of that coverage is a mile wide and an inch deep. :-) Steve Dufour 01:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
As long as the portal isn't being used for propaganda (and it doesn't look like it is), I suggest dropping the matter; we really have better things to do here than to debate what level of media coverage is (somehow) "deep" enough to meet Wikipedia's criteria. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the portal probably doesn't do any harm. I won't bring it up again. However, I think the shallowness of media coverage shows that there is not all that much to say about the topic. Steve Dufour 02:18, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Because the media is well known for giving deep coverage to ideas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (U.S. schools)

Following a discussion at WT:NC(S), a new proposal has been created for naming conventions applying purely to United States school articles, in a attempt to more easily gain consensus for adoption. Some input from the community at WT:NC(USS) would be great. Camaron1 | Chris 17:22, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Question regarding foreign language sources in WP:V

In responding to a WP:3O, I've encountered a question of interpretation of the section on foreign language sources. The discussion is at Talk:Sejny#Third opinion. Abbreviated, it boils down to whether or not the call for "clear citation" means quoting the original in its base language and providing the translation there or simply full citation. (See footnote #1 on this version of the article to see the translation interpretation implemented, if what I mean is not clear.) I'm inclined to the latter view, but the editor in question is very anxious to do what policy requires so I told him I would seek wider opinion. I first asked the question at Wikipedia talk:Verifiability, but not having received an answer for half a day (the one response is another editor involved at the relevant conversation and unrelated to the topic) left a note there saying I'd ask here. --Moonriddengirl 11:55, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the policy requires quoting and translation... but I don't see any harm in it. In fact, I would say it is a very good idea. I would definitely do so if the statement being cited has the posibility of being controvercial. Certainly an original language quote and translation should be given if the statement is challenged by someone saying (in essence) "how do we know this is what the author said or means?" In short... not required, but a good thing to do. Blueboar 15:20, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
A quotation in the original language shouldn't be necessary in the vast majority of cases. English Wikipedia has plenty of editors who can read text in a wide range of languages, so the original text should not be a requirement of verifiability. There are, of course, occasions where the quote in the original language might be useful, such as when the translation is difficult or controversial or where there are several versions existing in English. Physchim62 (talk) 16:32, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback. I'll tell the editor in question that while the quotation is not necessary, it is not harmful. There has been some question further up the page of Talk:Sejny as to whether the extensive quote violates WP:WEIGHT, but perhaps this can be addressed by limiting the scope of information presented. --Moonriddengirl 21:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Exactly my point. And thanks for bringing this to attention of more editors, Moonriddengirl.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:03, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Military history style guide

We of the Military history WikiProject have been planning to tag our style guide as part of the official MoS. In light of this, we would like to invite community comments regarding this; if you have any opinion, suggestions, and so forth, please drop by WT:MILHIST#MOS. Thanks! Kirill 20:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Featured Article Protection

Let me start this off with a quick observation, one that I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing. It seems to me that the featured article of the day is targeted by a major amount of vandalism every day, especially by IPs. It's my thinking, then, that it might be useful to have a policy of semi-protection on each day's particular featured article. Now, I'm not sure if this has been discussed previously. However, in any case, I was thinking about doing a small study of the featured articles of the past few months, possibly further back, to prove that the vast majority of edits to featured articles on a particular day are vandalism. Would this be worth doing, or would Wikipedians be against a proposal like this? GlassCobra (Review) 21:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, our policy is quite the opposite. Yes, any page linked from the main page will have much higher levels of vandalism, but unless that vandalism is unmanageable, there is a vested interested in allowing anybody to edit these articles. That is the purpose of Wikipedia, after all, and new editors are our lifeblood. -Chunky Rice 21:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, please see Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection. Mr.Z-man 05:21, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Isn't this a WP:PEREN issue? I know this specific one isn't listed, but I don't know that I have EVER seen a VPP page where this exact issue wasn't queried at least once. As soon as it gets archived, someone else asks the same question. Main page content and featured content isn't special. Its very good stuff, the best we have often, but it shouldn't get any special treatement that one would not give another article. Yes, sprotecting the article may be needed if vandalism levels warrant it; however to do so preemptively is against the heart of Wikipedia. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:29, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for that link, Z-man. I wish I had known that it existed! GlassCobra (Review) 13:08, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Pages with no learning route for novices, like the one on eigendecomposition

Why can't mathematical symbols be linked to their relevant pages? Currently there is a "did you know" article which consists purely of an equation. It has something to do with eigenvalues and matrices. I have an interest in that because I'm doing some openGL programming, but the article might as well be written in another language since I can't click on any of the symbols to educate myself about them. There's even one I recognise (equivalent to a For loop) but I can't tell you its name because I can't click on it and find out. I hate it when I encounter one of these impenetrable pages that can tell me nothing (unless I guess at where I have to look for background information, which is a painfully slow process). Fix this oversight so I can learn to speak algebra. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I know your pain, it's taken me considerable time to get even a vague understanding of set theory and stuff like that. I think your proposal is a very good idea. I think it would be best implimented if there was a mathematical notation's page that contained all the symbols used in mathematics and gave a through description of the meaning and use of it. A math-wiki 05:06, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe that WP:SOFIXIT applies here. If you see a shortcoming in an aspect of Wikipedia, please feel free to go ahead and fix it. 1) You can't break anything 2) This specific problem is probably a good idea to fix anyways 3) Just because it hasn't been done yet does not mean it isn't worthwhile. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 16:21, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Are you talikng about things like  ? This is not done using normal wikitext and does not produce regular text. It uses TeX and produces png images, so it cannot really be linked like regular text can. (At least not without a significant software change) Mr.Z-man 18:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
So can we change it? Pretty please? ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 00:02, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Do we need deletion request notification?

Currently, Wikipedia:Guide to deletion states:

It is generally considered civil to notify the good-faith creator and any main contributors of the articles that you are nominating for deletion.

If this should be changed or deleted is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Guide to deletion#Deletion request notification. — Sebastian 20:02, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Changing a guideline to a policy

Hello everyone! How does one (or in this case a group) go about trying to change a guideline into a policy? We at WikiProject Accessibility are using the guideline laid down at WP:ACCESS as our basis for making articles more accessible, but individual editors have reported problems with other users reverting their edits and claiming they need to be discussed on the talk page because WP:ACCESS is a guideline. Only in very rare cases are we actually removing content, so obviously this is getting to be a hindrance. Do you folks have any suggestions? Thanks, L'Aquatique talktome 18:25, 20 October 2007 (UTC)!

Could you give us some examples of these reverts? I'd like to know the nature of the problem.--Father Goose 22:04, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, it hasn't happened to me, I'm just the temp spokesperson. I'll see if I can get one of the editors who've reported it to drop by here and give details. L'Aquatique talktome 05:09, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi, sometimes I encounter opposition from some editors wrt my accessibility changes. But it must be said that I usually fix the accessibility problems of any page I read, therefore, although in some cases I return to consult that article again discovering that somebody has reverted my changes, I don't usually monitor my edits so I don't really know whether they survive. Some reverts I remember are [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]. It seems that not every edits were caused by a direct disagreement with the WP:ACCESS, but sometimes they are, see the follwing discussion: [16]. Cheers —surueña 11:14, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I see two issues here. The first is that the edits you link to were not discussed on the various article talk pages... so simply reverting them is a natural reaction to what is seen as "fly-by" editing. When editors who regularly work on a given article see sudden undiscussed structural changes, there is a natural tendancy to revert the change back to what is familiar. The solution to this is to first raise the issues of accessability on the talk page, and then conform the page to WP:ACCESS. If that is too cumbersome, at least you could reply to the revert on the talk page and explain why you made the edit. You may find that editors are more receptive to your edits if you give some explanation of why the edits are needed and what WP:ACCESS is all about. The second issue is whether the pages needed to be conformed at all... I don't really see any reason to force articles into conformity with WP:ACCESS, which is what making it a policy would do. As I see it, WP:ACCESS is great as a guideline, but it doesn't need to be policy. Blueboar 13:25, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I can understand those reactions, in fact I always write onto the edit log the rationale behind those changes pointing to a specific section of the accessibility guidelines [17] [18] [19] [20] to explain why we are making those changes. But sometimes that's not enough and that's our point in asking how to convert WP:ACCESS into an official Wikipedia policy. And we really believe enforcing the accessibility rules are very important in the Wikipedia. As can be read in the mission statements of the World Wide Web Consortium [21] [22] the Universal access to the web is listed as the first goal of the organization, and namely accessibility is in addition listed as the first point of that point. If W3C recommendations have to consider accessibility before being approved, we do believe it is important enough to be a policy. Nonetheless, Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone may edit, including people with disabilities. Best regards —surueña 19:00, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm all for accessibility, but looking at the examples you provided, many seem to be of the nature "this works better here than there when accessed through a text reader". That's fine, but where such changes make the layout work worse when accessed by a traditional browser, the changes should not be forced. For those cases, can you find other solutions that improve accessibility without negatively impacting the normal formatting?--Father Goose 19:24, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
The second issue is whether the pages needed to be conformed at all... I don't really see any reason to force articles into conformity with WP:ACCESS, which is what making it a policy would do. Okay, this really bothers me. Are you actually saying that you don't think articles should be made accessible when these edits make a page "look worse"?! May I remind you that point of this encyclopedia is about sharing information, not creating a pretty user interface. If there is a problem with a page that makes it so even one person cannot access that information, we as an encyclopedia have failed- it is just that simple. If we must "force" changes, then we must. L'Aquatique talktome 20:05, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with L'Antique. If in fact, conformity would make a page look significantly worse, one could invoke WP:IAR. However, I can not think of a single page which would lose content due to this.Smartyllama 20:23, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I can't say that I think that accessibility should be an overriding concern that trumps everything. However, I will say that it should definitely trump fine points of cosmetics/aesthetics. This is about letting people use the site properly, fergoodnessakes. SamBC(talk) 21:13, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Changing a guideline to a policy is a big change, so probably we must give a better explanation about our proposal. We are a small group with only a few members. But even if we were a large team, simply we can fix the accessibility problems of all the 2,000,000 articles (and counting) of the Wikipedia, moreover if we must discuss them at the talk pages before. If editors create new contents with accessibility in mind, that would be a real difference, that's the reason we are interested in a policy about universal access. We only want to have the needed tools to make our work. Of course we know that the current guideline will probably be modified, it is not perfect and consensus will improve it. But I would like to remark that accessibility doesn't mean wikipedians without disabilities will end with articles having less rich content or presentation (there is a common myth that a plain text page is more accessible, and that's false). As I said above, modern web standards are built with accessibility in mind, so an article can be very rich and visually pleasant but without accessibility problems. The main point is not if the current guidelines are good enough to be a policy, but if universal access should be considered a Wikipedia policy. Thanks —surueña 21:11, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Reading through WP:ACCESS, it looks like most of the layout changes it recommends improve the formatting of the site on screen readers by arranging templates and other elements in a more logical sequence. Are there cases where material is completely inaccessible if certain changes are not made?--Father Goose 23:20, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
That's not an easy question, because it depends on the disability (a blind wikipedian has different requirements than a user with motor dysfunction due to cerebral palsy), but in the case of blind users which probably is the group most considered in the current guideline, the answer is yes: besides extensions like EasyTimeline, floating the table of contents can completely hide complete paragraphs, or links in headings can also suppress a part of it. Anyway, the point is not only avoiding these more visible problems, but also enhancing navigation to all users, because in some cases can be a complete nightmare even if in theory no contents are totally lost (like a logical order of the cells inside some layout tables). Universal design is beneficial not only for people with disabilities, but also for all wikipedians browsing through non-conventional browsers, like through a PDA or an iPhone. —surueña 07:54, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Right. And things like floating the TOC and putting links in headings are discouraged for other reasons anyway. As for the policy aspects, I'll reply below.--Father Goose 20:10, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

As the writer of the first substantial text that was on Wikipedia:Accessibility, I feel I need to comment here. The great value for almost all people about Wikipedia is its consistent interface across millions of articles. However if someone decided to revert my change of the order of final section headings for a good reason related to their article, I wouldn't revert them because I don't think it's a huge thing to worry about. Wikipedia:Accessibility is not a stick to bludgeon people with - it's just a set of style guidelines akin to the Manual of Style. Of course there are things in there I consider are fairly high priority, like spelling fixes and abuse of CSS as in hidden structure. I think the discussion at Talk:Pulp Fiction (film) #RfC: Ellipses was worth it to provide an alternative to inconsistent formatting that didn't work in all browsers. I also think the table of contents shouldn't be moved from its default position below an article's lead section without a very good reason. I do support the idea of accessibility for Wikipedia - but the way I see it, the only thing that could be codified into policy is "Wikipedia should strive to be accessible to as many users as possible." Graham87 00:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

While I also think that some parts of the current accessibility guideline should not be policy and moved to the manual of style instead, I'm disagree with you with respect that nothing can stand as a official policy. Some of those changes are only under the hood, so they can and should be enforced without any problems, like those concerning with data and layout tables or some XHTML attributes. But others are beyond the scope of the current guidelines, like not accepting a new non-accessible Wikipedia extension if it can be made accessible. For example, nowadays the EasyTimeline extension is completely non-accessible to some types of users, although it can be easily modified to be fully accessible. Even fancy AJAX and Web 2.0 pages can be made fully accessible (i.e. rich web applications [23]), this will not be a disruptive policy at all for the rest of wikipedians, or a burden to MediaWiki developers. —surueña 07:35, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd support a policy that compelled accessibility in any case where there was no loss of functionality for the non-disabled. WP:ACCESS in its present form is a formatting guideline, not that policy -- it should be supplemented by an accessibility policy that outlines general princples and practices.--Father Goose 20:10, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with FG. --Kevin Murray 20:38, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I was restrained from calling a man a racist

I made a comment regarding American author James A. Michener and his racism. I flat out called him a racist in his wiki article, which last time I checked is accurate, so even if it is incendiary why should the truth be blocked? why should my IP address by flagged for conduct? The man made repeated comments in his own books regarding the inferiority of the black basketball player and their negative impact on the game. What is wrong for calling him out for what he is? If this is somehow wrong please let me know —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:33, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure of the circumstances surrounding your block, but Wikipedia has fundamental policies regarding verifiability, reliable sources, and original research. Basically, identifying someone as racist would have to be confirmed by (multiple) reliable, secondary sources and the article would have to reflect a neutral point of view. An editor adding their own opinion to an article calling someone a racist would be reverted on sight. I would hope that our policies would have been explained to you before or after your block, but in case they haven't, there they are. If you'd like to read more, you can take a look at Wikipedia's five pillars. —bbatsell ¿? 06:06, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
The term is generally derogatory, and has become so loaded as to be meaningless.I'd almost entirely avoid using it to label someone on Wikipedia. If they have been widely accused of racism, by all means include that with verifiable sources etc, but Wikipedia should not be a medium with which to actually label people as racists. --Breadandcheese 07:35, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
It's much more useful to actually quote someone, or add text describing their acts (in a neutral way - refused to let blacks eat at their restaurant, charged them twice as much for X, whatever), plus text saying that Z (a reputable person or source) said that they'd been accused (or were) racist, and let the reader decide for him/herself. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:44, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
The user was warned, not blocked. The comment he/she added is unsourced and utterly without context - basically "is a racist" to the first sentence of the article lead. Michener plunged head first into matters of race in his writings, and did so from the point of view of a mainstream white American male who was trying to be fair. As far as I'm aware he succeeded for the most part. Not everything he wrote in his 50-odd year writing career would be the way people say things today. That's hardly racist. By that standard nearly everyone who wrote anything 50 years ago is a racist. Although it might be worthy of an article somewhere on the changing norms and attitudes about race, we can't have editors going about slapping unsourced "is a racist" comments to the opening lines of biography articles. That is, or is very close to, the Wikipedia definition of vandalism, and the warning is in my opinion correct. Keep doing that and you shoudl be blocked from editing until you understand the policies. However, if there is truly a well-documented controversy about his comments on race, that might warrant a short mention, properly researched and cited, somewhere near the end of the article. Wikidemo 14:52, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, a former Indian foreign minister thought he was. Relata refero 18:15, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
At which point the verified quote can be attributed to that person within the article, but not as a blanket statement in the lead in sentance. 21:11, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, 50 years ago, thinks were really different from know, and so were the people's opinions. As it is such an old case, I think you should not worry about it so much. If only it would have been recent, aye, but it wasn't. -The Bold Guy- 14:55, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


Is there a standard about how important a topic should be to have its own portal? The one I am concerned about is Portal:Scientology. Thanks.Steve Dufour 22:11, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The information you seek can be found at Wikipedia:Portal. As for the Scientology portal itself, I'd be willing to say that it's a significant enough topic that it could easily support its own portal. EVula // talk // // 22:24, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I did check that out. I didn't see anything like a clear standard of what is important enough for its own portal. I disagree about Scientology. It only has about 100,000 members in the world and a history of about 50 years. Steve Dufour 22:53, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Counted among those 100k members are some very, very prominent members of Hollywood. I'd say that Scientology, though it may lack in numbers, is certainly not suffering from an abundance of reliable coverage in the media, which is more important than raw (and relatively arbitrary) numbers. EVula // talk // // 23:46, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Most of that coverage is a mile wide and an inch deep. :-) Steve Dufour 01:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
As long as the portal isn't being used for propaganda (and it doesn't look like it is), I suggest dropping the matter; we really have better things to do here than to debate what level of media coverage is (somehow) "deep" enough to meet Wikipedia's criteria. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the portal probably doesn't do any harm. I won't bring it up again. However, I think the shallowness of media coverage shows that there is not all that much to say about the topic. Steve Dufour 02:18, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Because the media is well known for giving deep coverage to ideas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (U.S. schools)

Following a discussion at WT:NC(S), a new proposal has been created for naming conventions applying purely to United States school articles, in a attempt to more easily gain consensus for adoption. Some input from the community at WT:NC(USS) would be great. Camaron1 | Chris 17:22, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Required registration?

Denise Anthony, Sean Smith, and Tim Williamson's Explaining quality in internet collective goods: zealots and good Samaritans in the case of Wikipedia, page 18: "To deal with the negative impact of this group of contributors Wikipedia has instituted a policy that requires contributors to register after some number of anonymous contributions."

I found this after a post on Slashdot which also linked to a Dartmouth press release: "According to Anthony, Wikipedia now requires that anonymous contributors who make numerous edits must register."

I've never heard of this requirement, and WP:REG and Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ#Do I have to register to edit pages? says the opposite. Is this a policy in another language Wikipedia? -- Jeandré, 2007-10-18t11:54z

You might want to post this question at the Wikipedia-wide equivalent of the village pump: m:Metapub. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:33, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I know of several anon editors who have made thousands of article edits and have never registered. Everyone can edit is taken seriously. Certain tasks, such as article creation requires a username, and articles may be semi-protected to block vandalism from anonymous sources; however I have never seen or heard of such a policy. The policy at Wikipedia has always been, and hopefully always will be, that "anyone can edit and we mean it." --Jayron32|talk|contribs 18:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
If you have been involved in the things that media reports on you will soon realize they are often wrong. In this case they are wrong, anons do not need to register to continue editing, they are welcome if they behave. I often consider becoming an IP sometime. 1 != 2 18:27, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Grr, what's the IP of the editor who's made thousands of edits and his talk page is really funny with all of the people begging them to create an account? I can never remember. —bbatsell ¿? 18:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
And Google comes through: User talk: —bbatsell ¿? 18:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
There are dozens more. There is one guy who has a dynamic IP address in the 150s somewhere who is a very good editor. There are probably a dozen or so IP addresses that are ALL his, and they all have hundreds, if not thousands of contribs on it. There are probably a few hundred dedicated and good users who edit solely by IP address.--Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:15, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
For the record, the authors are aware of the mistake and have edited the press release (and assumedly will fix the paper in the next go-round). —bbatsell ¿? 03:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

"Names and titles" out of sync with our normal naming conventions

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) advises editors to:

This runs counter to our basic naming conventions, namely "use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things". I've seen no argument as to why this special style is necessary, and it produces silliness such as Victoria of the United Kingdom instead of Queen Victoria, William I, German Emperor instead of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Mary I of Scotland instead of Mary, Queen of Scots, and so on. Where there is no "common name", using this system might be reasonable, but the way it is enforced right now defies common sense. Separately, it disregards our normal style of disambiguation; even John (King of England) is a person I can more readily identify than John of England, which sounds like some kind of loo.--Father Goose 21:23, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Create redirects from the name you think they should have. That should solve your problems. Corvus cornix 21:34, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
The redirects are already there. The point is, why do we call Queen Victoria "Victoria of the United Kingdom"? We don't have Tony Blair point to Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Queen Victoria should simply be Queen Victoria.--Father Goose 22:04, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
"Queen", "King", "Kaiser", etc. are not part of a person's proper name, but the title of their office; thus, not used per WP:NAMEPEOPLE. The current system may not result in the most common names applied to some monarchs, but it is a standard that can be applied to all articles on monarchs and provides the least confusing way to disambiguate (for example, between "Queen Victoria" of the UK and the former and future "Queen Victoria" of Sweden). It is also the closest approximation to the usual form of <First name><Last name> for monarchs (most of whom do not have commonly used surnames). --BlueMoonlet 22:23, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Nearly all monarchs are known as "King", "Queen", "Empress", etc. That is the name by which they are most widely known. To say "it isn't part of the person's proper name" is to miss the point of our naming conventions: to place the article where most people will look. --Tony Sidaway 22:40, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the present naming convention seems a bit daft. Nobody in the world talks of "Victoria of the United Kingdom". You'll find Victoria; Queen Victoria; Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (etc etc). Without wanting to jump on BlueMoonlet, I must say that "Queen" "King" etc are not titles of office, they are hereditary titles, and as much their name as anyone else's surnames. Lord Peter Wimsey is just that, and cannot be correctly or politely called something else. Kings and queens, like dukes and earls, can have their title follow their name, so we can have "John, King of England", as well as "King John" or "King John of England". Secondly, Wikipedia's inconsistency is displayed in your example ofVictoria, Crown Princess of Sweden. Why will she become Victoria of Sweden rather than Victoria, Queen of Sweden? Gwinva 23:07, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
The general naming convention is to use a non-disambiguated page name for subjects that are very strongly associated with that name, even when there are other subjects associated with it -- thus, Moon belongs to Luna, not Moon (disambiguation) (with a hatnote provided at the top of the "main" article). And even Queen Victoria right now goes to Victoria of the United Kingdom, not Queen Victoria (disambiguation). We have existing, sensible, working standards for naming and disambiguation, and WP:NCNT ignores them.
The instruction in WP:NAMEPEOPLE is "don't add qualifiers (such as "King", "Saint", "Dr.", "(person)", "(ship)"), except when this is the simplest and most NPOV way to deal with disambiguation". I'd say Queen Victoria matches that exception perfectly. We have perfectly good existing standards for naming and disambiguation, and WP:NCNT should not undercut them.--Father Goose 23:36, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Hear, hear. And what's wrong with normal Wikipedia style Queen Victoria (United Kingdom) or Queen Victoria (Sweden) when disambiguation is required? -- 01:22, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Let me take the other side of this debate for a moment. The idea of this style seems to make sense, for example you would never use the name Dr. Robert Jarvik for the guy that invented the Artificial Heart, you use Robert Jarvik; titles should not be used like that. Secondly, and more importantly, preemptively disambiguating a name in certain cases, such as monarch names, is an expediant and a GOOD use of WP:IAR if there ever was one. Like, for example, cities in the U.S., where there may be dozens of each name, and so the articles always include the State name as a matter of course, there are likely to be many monarchs with the same name. Take for example King Henry IV, there have been no less than 3 Henry IV's which I can count among the best known monarchs of their office; The English, French, and Holy Roman Emporer are all exceedingly well known as to be equal in stature, as well there are multiple lesser Henry IV's, some of which have articles already, while some may not. Indeed, there are often so many monarchs of a name, that it seems to require more work to "undisambiguate" those few cases where a single monarch has that name. The naming convention works, it allows for the entire class of articles to use the same naming convention, which seems logical to me; why do we need half a dozen or so monarchs with a differently named article from the other hundred? For the sake of consistency, why not let ALL have the same style name of "Name # of Country" and let that be it. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 01:40, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The basic naming convention dictates Robert Jarvik not Dr. Robert Jarvik because the "Dr." is unnecessary. The exact same thing is true of "of England" in most cases.
Just "Victoria", however, is ambiguous; that's why she's referred to in the real world as "Queen Victoria" -- and if you say that name, people will generally think of the UK queen, not the Swedish one. Now, as you point out, there's multiple well-known kings by the name Henry IV as well as a Shakespeare two-parter, which is why Henry IV goes to a disambiguation page. The basic policy is we only disambiguate when we have to. What WP:NCNT has created instead is Henry VIII, Richard the Lionheart (aka Richard I), Edward VII, Louis XIV, Elizabeth II, and dozens more not needing disambiguation being redirected to "pre-emptively disambiguated" page titles. It is WP:NCNT that needs to be ignored, and in fact dethroned, because it ignores the basic naming policy, which works much better.--Father Goose 04:44, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Presumably you mean Henry VIII of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Richard I of Aquila, and Elizabeth II of Bohemia? ;-) Kirill 05:02, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Consistancy would seem to trump the basic naming convention hear, and that is the MAIN part of my arguement. MOST monarch articles will need disambiguation, and thus to have undisambiguated titles for the small minority that need them seems to be unnecessary. We should not be blindly adhering to a guideline against common sense, and that is why the most important guideline, in this one case, is WP:IAR. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:33, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Back up that claim that "most monarch titles will need disambiguation". Looking through the lists of monarchs, I'm seeing more monarch pages that are needlessly disambiguated than ones that need it. We have absurdities like William I of England instead of William the Conqueror and hundreds of examples of Isabella II of Spain and Ivan III of Russia when we could just have Isabella II or Ivan III. Regarding IAR and common sense, I don't know if we're in disagreement or not. Calling the Queen Victoria article Queen Victoria is common sense, isn't it? And even more so if most monarchs do not need disambiguated names? I fear the person who came up with WP:NCNT had porphyria. Let's end this madness already.--Father Goose 08:06, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it was actually Richard I of Capua. And not everyone knows that the English kings in question were called "Conqueror" and "Lionheart". There is a case for titles being descriptive enough to tell people what is being referred to. Thus you have William I of England instead of William the Conqueror of England. Similarly, 1356 Basel earthquake, as opposed to Basel earthquake. Sometimes it is OK to have a little redundancy in the title at the expense of being informative. Carcharoth 15:44, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
William I lists 36 different articles. Though the English king MAY BE the best known, he has some good company near the top of this list, including the prominent Dutch king and the equally prominent German Emperor. Isabella II may be a notable exception, as I cannot find another Isabella II, but there are enough Isabellas that may indicate that one of these may be a II or that an Isabella II is out there and just doesn't have an article yet. There are at least 2 Ivan III's, one of Russia being the better known, but also one of Bulgaria as well as several dozen other Ivan monarchs out there. Again, while you CAN find RARE cases where a single name, such as Isabella II might NOT need disambiguation, consistancy would dictate that since MOST prominent monarchs appear to have duplicate names, it makes sense to have the SAME NAMING CONVENTION for all of them. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 01:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Ivan Asen III is Ivan Asen III. Ivan III is Ivan III. No ambiguity there. If you're looking for other monarchic Ivans, you should be looking at Ivan (name); who the heck looks up Ivan via Emperor John?
You claim that most prominent monarchs have duplicate names. In my survey of Wikipedia's monarch articles, I have found the opposite to be true. Rare cases where monarch names don't need disambiguation? There are hundreds. The need to disambiguate royal names is overstated, and this "pre-emptive" disambiguation approach is based on a fallacy. The end result is, yes, consistent -- consistently bad.--Father Goose 21:29, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Why is this discussion going on here instead of at the appropriate Talk page of the MoS? Corvus cornix 17:41, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I guess it was to gain wider interest. It could be continued there. Is it the done thing to copy this discussion across, so it remains accessible? Gwinva 22:29, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
It was indeed to gain wider interest. Discussing it at WP:NCNT I imagine it would only attract the attention of those who maintain monarch articles, and my contention is that they created a naming scheme for their own convenience that goes against our general naming conventions, which favor ease of use for readers, not editors.--Father Goose 22:09, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the argument of titles in the article name, I would never say, "Dr. Richard Jarvik invented the artificial heart", I'd say "Richard Jarvik invented the artificial heart". However, if someone asked me who the Victorian age was named after, I'd say, "Queen Victoria", not "Victoria of the United Kingdom". Charles 04:16, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

RFC on Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits‎

There has been substantial disruptive editing at Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits‎/latest. Although the page says in bold that editors may remove themselves from the list and should not be reverted, certain editors are in fact reverting on the grounds that editors don't own their contributions and have no right to ask to left off the ranked list, and that a ranked list is useless unless everyone is listed. I have filed an RFC requesting community input on whether on editors should be allowed to remove their names from the list. Thatcher131 16:32, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Could you provide a link to the RfC, please. LessHeard vanU 19:48, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Chronological order in Talk page posts

Do the Wikipedia Talk page guidelines about preserving chronological order in Talk page topics also apply to the individual posts within that topic (or section)? If not, then is there some other Wikipedia guideline for this? I find that when too many people break the chronological order, the posts become very confusing to interpret. Am I the only one bothered by this? Fowler&fowler«Talk» 21:36, 18 October 2007 (UTC) Updated: Fowler&fowler«Talk» 02:03, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Within a topic it's perfectly okay to break chronological order. I do it all the time. It's especially useful when you have a comment that applies to an earlier comment. Putting the two together can avoid a lot of misunderstandings. In forums you'd quote the message, here you post your response near said comment. - Mgm|(talk) 11:00, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
No, you're not the only one who is bothered by it. Comments get missed, it's messy and it can be confusing. Specific replies are not always quite such a problem, but even so, why not address the editor by name or make a reference to their comment? Adrian M. H. 19:17, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The implications of GFDL and other wikis

One of our choices, if the material we have written, doesn't belong on the wikipedia is to take it to other wikis.

I visited the citizendium after reading about it on the The Times. Larry Sanger, a co-founder of the wikipedia is one of the founders of this project. Third time the charm?

Now everything we submit we submit underl the {{gfdl}} -- which is why the wikipedia has so many mirrors.

If I understand it properly the citizendium's interpretation of the {{gfdl}} is that once an editor makes a change to an article, it stops feeding readers the wikipedia's copy, and starts feeding the version modified by the citizendium editor. If I understand it correctly, the article's edit history on the citizendium includes its edit history here on the wikipedia. If I understand it correctly they regard this as necessary in order to honor {{gfdl}} liscenses of the original contributors.

So, would the citizendium be in breach of original contributors liscenses if the wikipedia community decides to delete an article, after a citizendium editor has forked a version there? Its historry mechanism will no longer be able to show the individual contributions of the individual editors.

Why am I even considering defecting from the wikipedia? Afd. In my experience the deletion fora are the weakest aspects of the wikipedia, because breaches of civility are so routine there.. The citizendium plans to replace {{afd}}, and our other deletion fora, with some other processes.

Well, maybe that is a problem to be discussed at the citizendium's village pump. But just how much cooperation should the wikipedia provide to competing wikis?

Now, if an article I have been a big contributor to gets deleted, I am still the original copyright holder of my contributions to that article. It seems to me that there should be no liscense problem with me submitting material I contributed to the wikipedia to another wiki. And I know I was the only contributor to the deleted article, there should be no liscense problem with accessing my text from the google cache. But, if someone else had made even a single spelling correction, then I can no longer use the google cache version, because the other contributors have their own rights under the GFDL, which include they have to be credited -- have I got that right?

If I was the only defector, or one of only a handful, of defectors, and defectors only wanted to copy the full edit history of a handful of articles there might be administrators willing to help on an ad-hoc basis. But, if there are going to be a lot of defectors that would obviously be insufficient.

I have read that some commercial wikis have a tool that will automatically build an archive, that allows a customer to pack up an article, and its edit history, or all the articles on a list of articles, and their edit history, so that the customer can carry it waway, and automatically unpack it into another wiki that uses the same software. If the wikipedia had access to this kind of tool, should it be made available to defectors? Is this a service defectors, or other wikis, should have to pay?

What about all those mirrors of the wikipedia? Do they have give readers access to the edit history so they too can honour the original contributors rights under the GFDL?

Cheers! Geo Swan 17:46, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

  • You own the copyright to everything you submit, and can license it under any additional licenses you choose to. Whether anyone else has some copyright stake in it is legal advice we cannot provide here, but things like spelling corrects often do not attract copyright - in all cases, ask an actual lawyer.
As long as Citizendium retains the contribution history of an article, they can retain a forked copy of the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL. Mirrors should be required to maintain some kind of contributor list for all articles, yes. In practice, many point to our list and we usually don't complain. The Wikimedia foundation can't actually pursue actions of GFDL violations anyhow, the copyright holders (i.e. the editors) would have to do that. WilyD 18:58, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
(ec) Under the GFDL you are generally expected to identify the prior title(s) and publisher(s) that the article appeared under, name (at least) 5 major contributors to the previous version(s) and provide a reference to the online location of the prior version (if one exists). You are not obligated to provide complete copies of those prior versions, or to ensure that they continue to appear online in the indefinite future. So in general, no, you aren't obligated to preserve edit histories or ensure those prior versions are still accessible. (There some ambiguities with regards to Wikipedia's treatment of histories that may require one to copy the entire list of history page contents, i.e. all names, edit times, and edit comments.) But in general, no, the existence / viability of the GFDL license is not dependent upon the continued accessibility of the Wikipedia edit history, provided you allow some other mechanism for identifying authors. Dragons flight 19:10, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


I was asked to write a note about my first experience on the citizendium.

The details are in my note. I'll mention here though that my memory that the citizendium served wikipedia pages, until someone edited one, and kept the wikipedia edit history available, after forking off a new version on the citizendium was completely incorrect.

I am sure there is another wiki that does this. But it is not the citizendium.

Cheers! Geo Swan 11:45, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Questions about anglicizations of names

I've come across a couple of articles that are titled in Old Norse. My understanding is that articles should be under the most common or pertinent English spelling. Non-English names should redirect to the English version. Is this correct? This is particularly an issue here where the names uses a non-English alphabet. An example would be Þorvaldr Ásvaldsson where the note at the top of the article currently refers instead to the anglicization in the opening rather than the reverse. Again, my understanding is because this is the English Wikipedia, articles should be organized under English with other forms/languages being mentioned/included at the top of the article. Can someone point me at policy/guidelines on this? I've probably just missed something obvious... Pigman 16:57, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Precedence of style

Very occasionally, when I have made a change to an article to bring it into line with WP:MOS, I have been challenged by another editor who claims that a certain project does things differently. I am not sure how best to reply to such situations.

It seems to me that Wikipedia should be cohesive and local guidelines should only resolve matters not already covered by top-level guides. If separate projects are to have their own special-case exceptions to guidelines should they not first get a consensus for such an inconsistency here?

Thoughts? Gaius Cornelius 21:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

There is a current discussion on project guidelines at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council#WikiProject guidelines. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 09:28, 18 October 2007 (UTC)