Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AB

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Speedy deletion continues to help vandalism

I now have two articles on my watchlist renamed and deleted. Such vandalism is from an outgrowth of some ridiculous racist edit war between South Korea and Japan. Someone moved both articles to a nonsense name and had it marked for deletion. Before editors of that article or I can even revert or discuss the deletion, all the content is deleted and the article history is now gone. The first time it happened I wrote about it on this page, but nothing has been done to improve the situation. I don't even know what the original article is about (or its title) because all of the information is gone! Please have more qualified admins to handle speedy deletion, change the policy, or add some sort of history to a deleted article. The speedy deletion process is currently quite ridiculous and puts too much power into a single admin edit. falsedef 01:22, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm finding this a bit opaque without some background and details to track what went on, and without that it's hard to discuss the merits of your complaint. You can't remember either article's name? The original names before the moves? Any discussions on your or someone else's talk page where the articles might have been linked? With the names we could look at the deletion log, see in the edit summary some information on why the articles were deleted, who deleted it, etc. Administrators also have the ability to look at deleted articles to get a better understanding. Note also that you can ask for deletions to be reviewed at Wikipedia:Deletion review (but this cannot be done without pinpointing the actual article that was deleted).--Fuhghettaboutit 02:29, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
This nicely indicates the roadblocks the system has inadvertently thrown in the way of editors who think they have a legitimate concern. It should not be possible for a single possibly biased admin to remove articles, it should be possible to easily find out for oneself exactly what has happened to a deleted article, there should be an essentially automatic process for looking at it without making it a personal favor, and there ought to be a much easier policy for reviewing speedys. DelRev is suitable perhaps for AfDs where they re is process to be discussed, and reasons on record, but not for most simple deletion of inappropriately deleted speedies. And there should be a regular procedure for reviewing the records of admins who make speedies that do not hold up. without making it into a major RfA matter. Most dissatisfied eds. will not know how to appeal, or will think --whether or not correctly -- that the "regulars" may not pay attention to them. Many will not even complain. All the zealots complain--the ordinary guy just goes away disappointed--
You can try checking Japan on undeniable wheels! if you're an admin. Since I'm not an admin, I can't be sure what the original article was, or if it even exists anymore. I know for sure an established article was moved to a nonsensical name and then deleted. Hopefully the admins who failed to cle:an up the vandalism fully at least restored the original article, since I have no way of knowing unless I backup names by hand. I'm sure most of us have dozens of various articles in our watchlists which can't be recited by memory (the only articles I keep track of personally are the ones I create). I'm not arguing against speedy deletion in general, but this special case needs to be cleared up, as I don't appreciate garbage or offensive trash articles in my watchlist replacing legitimate ones.falsedef 05:28, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I am not commenting on the merits of this particular case, about which I know nothing. DGG 04:14, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
That's odd, because other than the passing reference to this case, that paragraph is mostly a lot of words saying not very much at all. Chris cheese whine 04:49, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not the individual case that I wish to discuss, it's a loophole which is being exploited. A vandal moves an established article to a nonsensical name and edits it to look like nonsense. It is then flagged for speedy deletion. An admin will then proceed to see the nonsense and delete the article without properly looking at where the article actually came from. Anyone who has this in their Watched articles will only see the nonsense article name, not the original. I cannot keep track of all my watched articles by memory alone, and rely on the watched article feature to track vandalism and contentious issues. This bypasses the eyes of editors of that article, and relies on 3rd party admins to clear up, who are not (As I have two examples of this on my watchlist). Even if the article is reverted, editor's watchlists will not be reverted appropriately unless a moveback and restore is done. As of now it's not a popular method of vandalism, but I'm asking for a system to be implemented to prevent this from happening. A full history isn't even needed, but at least a move history should be seen on the article history, or the admin should always leave a report on the talk page. falsedef 05:19, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Hit to "display and edit the complete list" on your watchlist. That will show you every page you've ever watched, even those that have been deleted will be there as a redlink. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:21, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
The redlinked name is NOT the original article name!falsedef 05:29, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Japan on undeniable wheels! only has one deleted edit, it looks like Japan was moved there as vandalism. However, it was moved back. That was months ago, so it doesn't relate to this situation. However, if you can give me the names of the articles that were deleted, that's just as helpful, I can view the history there. But give us something! Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:35, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. So the issue has little to do with speedy deletion as I originally though, and more to do with reverting a move. Is there anyway for a non-admin to check the previous article name of a deleted article in a watchlist?
Unless the article name gives hints, no. This would require seeing the history, which is restricted to admins. Chris cheese whine 05:49, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
As to what I think might be confusing you-if a page is moved by a vandal, and moved back, it leaves a redirect at the location the vandal moved it to. Since this redirect is generally inappropriate, it's speedily deleted. However, only one actual edit (the move vandalism cleanup) is actually deleted, the rest of the edits are moved back to the old location, and remain in history, just the same as if it'd never been moved. It's basically just a little more complex form of reverting vandalism, but it doesn't harm the page or its history. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:04, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Even so, there needs to be a way for nonadmins to get this information without having to beg a admin for such trivial info. I understand the need to block illegal and policy breaking content from Wikipedia, but there needs to be accountability with deleted articles. Nonadmins make up the bulk of editors and there needs to be more transparency to see when mistakes are made. Even a simple "Bob the admin deleted this article due to policy violation" template would go a long way, and would also help prevent the recreation of articles that have no corrected policy violations due to unavoidable ignorance of a nonadmin. Seeing a completely blank deleted article (with no signs that it was even deleted) impedes legitimate work of nonadmins. As for the bugged revert, which was my problem, perhaps another function should be given to admins to revert any dynamic links along with the cleanup, since doing it by hand is failing to prevent it. Japan is a well known article, but I also have lesser known articles which might take years before I run into again by random surfing. Also such articles need the few watchful eyes it has. falsedef 06:13, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
The information is available, see Special:Log. For example, this is the on-wheels move vandalism example you gave, showing it was moved from and back to Japan. Generally, when you come across a non-existent page, you can click on the "check the deletion log" link that appears on that page (in this case though, it's helpful to change it so you see not just the deletion log, but the move log as well). --Interiot 06:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Template:Done and Image:Green tick.png


I came across the above template (Template:Done) today and noticed how it uses the same check that Template:Policy uses. I created a black tick mark and edited it into this template to reduce confusion as we're now starting to tag sections of policy pages (on the right side) using this same green check. Does doing this make sense? (Netscott) 21:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I can't see how using a green tick in more than one context will cause much confusion. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 22:03, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I support keeping it green unless there can be specific cases pointed to where there has been confusion. The fact that there might be confusion is not a good reason to change it, as I think that's very unlikely in my opinion. Quadzilla99 22:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
No, it just "waters down" the significance of the green check in terms of policy... like, "oh I see that everywhere, interesting"... big deal. (Netscott) 22:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
But how many people instantly associate a big green tick with Wikipolicy? -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 22:31, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Only editors that have been around long enough.... ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 22:34, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, which forms the question, why is a plain check mark denoting Wikipolicy? Something more distinctive should be it appears. (Netscott) 22:37, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Because we aren't trying to convey the intricacies of Wikipedia policy via an icon. Rather than being distracted and focusing their attention on an image file, readers are supposed to actually read the tag in question. After they've done that, the simple green or blue graphic serves as a visual cue. —David Levy 23:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, David, but I do not buy it. The reluctance to improve upon our graphics is something that I cannot accept. Long-standing magazines change and evolve their layour and graphics to become more appealing to their readership. Why we should not do the same? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:09, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
The above argument is based upon the fallacious assumption your proposed icons are unequivocal improvements over the status quo. Has it occurred to you that people simply prefer Gmaxwell's checkmark? —David Levy 23:40, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
If the consensus is to stay with the tick-mark, then I will work in creating a more modern version of that tick mark. Will have some samples later tonight. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
How is Gmaxwell's version outdated? —David Levy 23:40, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
David Levy, I think it has been illusrated to you here that for new editors the green check likely has little significance in terms of its appearance on a page needing to denote that the page should be taken more seriously. No? (Netscott) 23:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Has anyone ever been confused or commented that they were confused by it? I mean that is the real issue. Quadzilla99 23:19, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Quadzilla, if you've got a moment read this thread and you'll likely better understand why this discussion has come about. (Netscott) 23:22, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe that the use of similarly sized green checkmarks on one project page (or even the widespread adoption of this convention) is going to confuse people, and your apparent belief that the policy icon is intended to be perceived as sacred is incorrect. On the contrary, it's important for readers to understand that policies should be followed because they make sense, not because someone has applied an arbitrary symbol.
Nonetheless, we could change the {{done}} and {{not done}} tags to use this green "plus" icon and this red "minus" icon. —David Levy 23:40, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Again, the icon's purpose is not to convey the intricacies of Wikipedia policy. That's what the words are for. If users don't bother to read the template, no image file is going to help (and anything fancy will only distract them). The color-coded checkmarks exist primarily to help identify the tags in the future.
I don't, however, agree that the checkmark has little inherent significance. I just don't believe that it's possible for a graphic file to accomplish the feat that you evidently believe it should. —David Levy 23:40, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I've read the recommended thread and still see no sign that anyone is reading the done checks down at FAC and thinking they are official policy. I believe this mistake is not being made so I don't see the need to change the check symbol on the done template. If there is some other reason to change the done symbol maybe I'm missing it. Quadzilla99 00:46, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Exactly - the two contexts are so different, when is anyone going to confuse them. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 09:41, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Not a big deal really, but tick icons halfway past a page don't serve any particular purpose either. The term "policy shortcut" is misleading; shortcuts aren't policy, an entire page is policy (or is not policy, as the case may be). >Radiant< 12:41, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
The idea behind the "policy shortcut" label is to inform people who follow said shortcuts (and enter the page without seeing the "policy" tag at the top) that they're viewing a policy. I'm not sure why anyone would interpret the phrase "policy shortcut" as a claim that the shortcuts themselves are policy; it merely means "shortcut to policy." —David Levy 14:47, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

extend WP:BLP to cover particularly revered dead people?

I'm curious if there would be any objections to extending WP:BLP to cover figures that are particularly revered by national, ethnic or religious groups.

A great many people take criticism of their leaders seriously. Recently, YouTube was blocked in Turkey because of a video making fun of Attaturk and a British national was imprisoned in Thailand for "insulting the King". We all remember last year's furor over Danish political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

Given the growing coverage of Wikipedia in the mainstream media, it might be a good idea to explicitly apply the unequivocal language of WP:BLP to figures that are particularly revered, if for no other reason than to help prevent a situation where some idiot's vandalism of wikipedia leads to serious consequences in the real world. Its bad enough that Jimbo had to defend Wikipedia in the American press during his recent trip to rural India, I don't think anyone wants a situation where he has to deal with the secret police in some country because some idiot vandalized the article on that country's national hero.

I don't really see a downside here, we should be holding these articles to a very high standard anyway, if for no other reason than because they are likely to be highly visible. My experience with BLP is that it doesn't necessarily restrict criticism, but it does force people who want to add criticism to write better, more accurate and better sourced claims. GabrielF 22:06, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

It's easier, on the whole, to judge who's alive and who's dead. Would the category "Particularly Revered People' be vetted by a specially designated sub-committe of Wikipedia administrators? Would all saints be included as "Particularly Revered"? Would that include saints who never existed historically? How about just semi-protecting highly vandalized pages? --Wetman 22:29, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't think the subjectivity issue is a big deal. Lets say the category is overused - what's the worst that will happen? High standards are applied to too many articles? We can always develop a better inclusion criteria, say, any case where wikipedians would have reason to believe that vandalism of an article might cause undue harm to the project, based on multiple sources that say that people who have been accused of insulting the person have been prosecuted or otherwise persecuted.
Of course we can do this in addition to semi-protection, but there are a couple of advantages to having a formal policy. First, if we get attacked in the media it will be helpful to say that we have already developed a strict policy to deal with this stuff. Second, it may make all editors a bit more careful about citations and POV issues. Third, it will be easier to remove problematic material.GabrielF 23:05, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I object to extending WP:BLP to any particular subclass of dead people, except possibly some sort of "dead for fewer than N years", where N is a one-digit integer. In particular, all three cases you mention are places where Wikipedia should not apply WP:BLP standards. We have WP:RS, that's enough. Αργυριου (talk) 22:48, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I would object to this as well. It's not hard, and not subjective, to determine if a person is alive. It's far harder and much more subjective to determine if a person is or was "revered", and I don't think we should get into the business of deciding that. How do we decide? Revered by whom? The rationale for this policy is that it prevents harm to living people. Dead people can't be harmed, they're, well, dead. Of course, an editor repeatedly attempting to insert unsourced POV edits into an article about a dead person can be reported and dealt with for disruptive behavior, but that's true of all articles. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:57, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Seraphimblade. This just seems to be unnecessarily opening a can of worms. We really don't want to encourage arguments over which dead people are "revered", and which aren't. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 22:09, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

User page issue

Should we be concerned with icons blocking Wikipedia's menu?

For an example, see [1].

You can scroll to get around it, but where should we draw the line?

Just curious.

The Transhumanist   20:30, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

That's incredibly annoying - but is the fact that it obscures the menu really a problem? -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 21:03, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't care for it, have seen this used abusively on real pages, and see absolutely no reason why it should be permitted. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 21:07, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Publication of magic methods (aka. Exposure)

Publication of methods behind magic tricks, aka exposure, is a source of recurring controversy. There seem to have been various attempts to propose a policy but all have apparently fizzled out inconclusively (as far as I can tell from following trails from one page to another). I've recently started making contributions to the Magic WikiProject but it has become apparent to me that there's a serious risk these efforts might get wrecked by an edit war. In an effort to avert that I'm trying to re-start debate in the hope that we can end up with some official guidelines. I've set out my thoughts on the Magic WikiProject discussion page - Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Magic#Methods/Exposure - New proposals

Circusandmagicfan 14:35, 10 March 2007 (UTC)Circusandmagicfan

I don't think it is possible for WP to have a policy against this. I don't plan on reading the articles myself. Steve Dufour 17:46, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
As already stated in the discussion you linked to, I agree that WP:SOURCE is key for reducing WP:NOR. Once it the information is already out there, it is fair game. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 18:11, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
So long as a source is cited (and it's not just "I know this"), then, 1: The information is obviously already available to the public, and 2: It's attributable. WP:NOT censored, including for spoilers. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 18:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
In reply to Steve Dufour and Bossi, I agree that there shouldn't be a policy against publishing information that Wikipedia is free to publish. To an extent I agree that if the information is out there then it's "fair game" - but the exact definition of fair game depends upon various bits of law - and applying policy seems the best way to cover against falling foul of that. I think Seraphimblade summed up a crucial point well in saying that we need to avoid the situations where it becomes just a case of "I know this". Maybe all that is needed is a clear emphasis of relevant policies on the project page for the Magic WikiProject. And I agree that should include WP:NOT, which I'd possibly overlooked. Same with WP:SOURCE, although hasn't that been incorporated into and superceded by WP:Attribution?
Circusandmagicfan 09:03, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Circusandmagicfan

fair use and song lyrics

would replicating the entire lyrics to a song be considered beyond fair usage? i refer specifically to My Wall - if the lyrics were removed from this article, it would push it into one of those articles destined to eternally be a stub, and would then probably fail an AfD Kaini 09:32, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes. Song lyrics are (1) copyright violations, thus inappropriate to Wikipedia, and (2) source text, thus not encyclopedic. In general, this is why we have articles on CDs rather than on each individual song. I'd suggest WP:MERGEing the relevant information there. >Radiant< 09:37, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

overall improvements to Admin work as seen by a non-admin

since you asked...

  1. One simple change would be to encourage applicants from among apparently knowledgable editors, and recognize that they might want to work on only a particular task
  2. Another would be better organization of the patrolling, so that people could concentrate on particular types of articles and problems with confidence that others were also being attended to. The simplest sort I can think of would be to separate edits from ip addresses from those by registered users--they present different problems. More complicated ones are possible--separating out picture edits from text edits, or edits of different sizes. Again, they present different problems.

Some special classes might help: New pages by first time eds. containing less than 20 words would certainly provide a stream that could be dealt with very fast. Even 3RR violations should be able to be detected by formula.

  1. a related one would be sorting by time--at present if an problem is not caught immediately it will not get caught at all until somebody notices it. It should be possible to work on defined time segments of say 5 minutes, and sign off that the segment was examined, even if not in the first hour or the first day.
  2. not limited to admins, notification of previously involved editors should be necessary for all proposed actions and built into the processes. I know this is being discussed a various places.
  3. and finally, maintaining a log of editor decisions that had been criticised by anyone, and also a log of decisions that were reversed by other admins. It is not possible to maintain quality in a large group of workers with some sort of regular quality control.

(I am not complaining about anything personal, or even the general quality--I have not yet encountered an admin acting on anything of personal interest to me that I thought erroneous, though I have certainly seen errors discussed.) Just my 2 cents. DGG 06:28, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Having a second layer of newpage patrol could help. The first layer is for brand new pages, to eliminate test pages, vandalism, attack pages, and the like. They would bypass pages that are debatable, leaving them for the second layer. The second layer would come through a few hours to a few days later and evaluate the debatable cases, after they've had some time for growth.
I don't do newpage patrol much any more, but I often intentionally patrolled pages from hours before I was patrolling. To do this, I edited the URL to get a massive offset, as in, which (right now) would be a "Two day old pages patrol." (Not that two days is necessarily the right depth; eight hours might be better, or five days.) But the amount of offset for a given time changes all the time (by overall growth, time of week, time of day, whether schools are in session or not), so it would be even better if we could offset newpage by a time interval. If we had two layers of patrol, the immediate layer could handle the most flagrant cases, knowing that the second layer can evaluate the doubtful ones after the worst stuff is filtered out. (And it would increase the odds of finding junk that comes in when the new page patrollers are sleeping or otherwise mostly offline.)
Because deleting a new page drops it off the new page list, but reverting a change does not drop it off the recent changes list, I don't think the same system would be as valuable for recent changes patrolling. GRBerry 13:50, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Pictures of anonymous living people

Is there any policy about pictures of anonymous living people being used as examples in articles such as blond? In particular these two pictures:

In the second image the persons name is identifiable on a name tag.

The problem is these images violate Wikipedia:Conflict of interest .." self-promotion, including advertising links, personal website links in articles, personal or semi-personal photos, or any other material that appears to promote the private or commercial interests of the editor adding the material, or of his associates."

In addition the images may be problematic because of personality rights.[2]

I am of the opinion that because we have a Gallery of blond which has lots of pictures of blond people, and since the pictures are used only as examples, why should we have pictures that could be used for self promotion purposes -- "Look, Ma, I'm on Wikipedia!" -- pictures of anonymous living people shouldn't be allowed because of Conflict of interest and personality rights.

Are there any rules or policies on this? The problem is not unique to blond but also brunette and I imagine many other articles where people can go about placing their mug-shots under the guise of an "example".

I'm running it a real problem with one editor who is strongly pushing the above two pictures. How to deal with something like this? -- Stbalbach 20:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Surely "look Ma, I'm on Wikipedia!" happens when you say, "This is my userpage, here are my Contributions...". If a good photo, that can be otherwise used to illustrate anything else suitable, is available then why not? I have even played with the idea of putting a picture of myself in Commons under the title of "An Example of the Effect of Aging Upon a Representative of the Wikipedia Editing Demographic" which would allow me to use it on my userpage (with appropriate identification) and for any other person to use in any category mentioned or any other appropiate use. As long as it isn't altered, again why not? Vanity, sure, but if it serves a purpose, has a free use licence and the subject consents then it is a source. LessHeard vanU 23:45, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
It's a problem for a number of reasons: 1) It opens the article up to "plastering" and "jostling" where individuals jockey over getting their mug shot (or someone they know or like) on the page. People tend to get very emotional over this. 2) The editor in question above is obsessed with finding out who some of these people are and has expressed some sort of sexual attraction. It's weird, he has found all sorts of clues in the picture. 3) There is no way to know if it is a case of vanity. You say "Vanity, sure", but we have a rule called Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. If someone else wants to use your picture, someone you don't know, that's fine - but how do we know that is the case? It is very difficult to tell if it is a vanity case or not. With all those things in mind, why even bother with it when we have plenty of non-controversial images to choose from? We really need some more specific guidelines on using personal photos of anonymous people in articles. -- Stbalbach 05:01, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I think I am getting your point; there is (or should be) enough free use examples of anonymous individuals downloadable from the internet to satisfy WP's requirements, so an individual image that does give some clue as to the subjects identity should then be removed and replaced with one where the identity remains unknown?
I feel it may be a lot easier defining a policy than finding truly free use, contemporary, images of anonymous people on the internet (or any other public resource). Somebody must have uploaded the images once, and even if they permited free use it is questionable whether the subject consented, understood or was even aware. It is possibly likely that the image would be downloaded from a site that does not have permission to use the image anyway. It may be quite a shock for someone to browse the 'net and find your photo on one of the most visited sites. Whatever problems it may bring, having editors contribute original images of themselves or consenting individuals (anonymously may be best, although vanity publishing on ones userpage would likely still happen) to Commons in a manner which gives no or little info regarding identity may be an alternative. LessHeard vanU 21:47, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's a point in worrying about vanity/conflict of interest regarding images, which would require us to evaluate an uploader's subjective intent or unknown relationship to the subject of the photograph. We can always objectively evaluate whether an image is providing relevant information, and what about that image is informative, without making any such inquiry. Whether someone happens to benefit from their portrayal in an image we find useful to illustrate an article is really irrelevant to whether we should keep an image of them. Kudos to them if they physically embody blondness.

If the portrayed individual is irrelevant to why the photo is informative, it's probably just sound editorial judgment to crop or blur them out if possible. It's distracting, if nothing else, to have some random idiot staring directly at the camera while standing in front of or next to the actual subject of the photograph and the article in which it's included. Once again, that's a matter of objective editorial judgment for which it doesn't matter whether it's the uploader's girlfriend or a random stranger waving in a picture of the Eiffel Tower.

As for protecting the privacy of anonymous individuals, people are fair game for photos when they're in a public place, and otherwise we generally trust that uploaders had a right to take and upload the photos they were taking unless circumstances suggest otherwise. If a photo looks like it was shot from under the door of a bathroom stall, we should be suspicious. Clearly identifying marks such as the name tag in the above linked image can (and should) always be edited out. Regarding publicity rights, that's an irrelevant issue because we don't exploit the commercial value of anyone's likeness, whether they're anonymous or famous. Postdlf 22:17, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I uploaded a new version of Image:Two blond males.jpg with the name tag blurred; can someone who is an admin on Commons, or who is familiar with their deletion procedures, please request to have the original version deleted? Postdlf 22:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Deletion policy/Draft

Based on complaints that the deletion policies were too lengthy, complex and convoluted, several people have revised the deletion policy page, to clarify it, remove redundancy, and incorporate material from a few related policies, in particular WP:PROD, WP:UNDEL and WP:CBLANK. This is not a change in policy, just a reworking of the relevant pages. The draft can be found at the link above; unless there are big objections, the intent is to move this over the present deletion policy as a new version; the second step would be to verify that it contains all relevant material from the related policies mentioned above, and complete the merge with a redirect. Please comment on the draft's talk page rather than here. >Radiant< 12:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Oustanding idea. Anything that helps clarify policy is worthwhile. Thanks for your efforts. --Dweller 12:09, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I like the concept of merging multiple overlapping policies. Dr Aaron 06:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV for undisputed facts

We're having a discussion at the Roller Derby Talk page about NPOV and its application to the "Roller Derby Rules" section of the article. I thought I might open it up here to get more opinions on the topic. The general gist:

They: Because of NPOV, it's important to give equal weight to every roller derby ruleset that existed, past and present. If you don't, you are showing bias towards a select group of roller derby leagues.

Me: NPOV applies to opinions or contentious facts. As long as you situate the information (i.e., explain how popular any given league is) you don't have work so hard to put all leagues on equal footing. --Rsl12 13:56, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

To clarify: any help on the article is appreciated, but indepdendent of that, I'm wondering this: Is this situation a NPOV problem or not? It's not like each roller league is a person saying, "my set of rules are the best." Does each roller derby league using a different ruleset constitute conflicting points of views?

I understand that undue weight considerations should be made for verifiable facts as well. Does anything else within WP:NPOV apply?--Rsl12 14:37, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

This sounds more like a dispute about notability than about neutrality. I agree with you that it is possible to be neutral and still not represent the views of very minor long as your decision as to which data to include or to exclude is on grounds of notability then I think you are still behaving neutrally. It's always worth considering the needs of our readership - this is a test which is not sufficiently applied in Wikipedia IMHO. Which rule sets do they actually need to read about? Very minor leagues might still be relevent - but old and outdated rules that aren't used any more are probably much less interesting. Remember that if this excess of information is making your article look bloated, it's always possible to spin off some other articles. If too much notable stuff is accumulating in the main article - make more articles - make a category to collect them in - consider an nice-looking navigational template to get you from one to another quickly. Disk space is cheap! SteveBaker 14:50, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Rsl12 is misrepresenting and exaggerating my position somewhat. I'm insisting that appropriate, not "equal", weight to be given to gameplay rules, past and present, with the goal being to just provide for the reader an overview of what roller derby (the game) has consisted of throughout the bulk of its 70+ year history. I'm not asking for obsolete rules to be described in the article, but rather just for the objectives and requirements of the game to be described in general enough terms that the majority of the precise rules by which it is currently and has long been played are accounted for.
What I object to is getting into excessive detail about and giving undue weight (i.e, 100% emphasis) to one single, modern, barely-a-year-old ruleset just because it's more easily cited or is allegedly the one being used by most leagues today (a plausible, but unverifiable claim, and I've pointed out that many leagues elect to not follow those rules to the letter).
There are actually at least five rulesets from prior incarnations of roller derby available at one site online — it was temporarily down when Rsl12 came along, but is back up now. There are also gameplay summaries in a couple of books written by players. Although these were paraphrased en masse in Onlyemarie's original gameplay summary in the article, they hadn't been explicitly cited before now because A. at the time (a couple years ago), we didn't have quite this epidemic level of beating each other over the head with policy violation accusations and Jimmy Wales quotes, and B. the summary was never contentious; Rsl12 is just using its lack of citations as an excuse to replace it with his own version, a lengthy and overly-detailed distillation of the easily-cited/Googled rules, which he feels is easier to understand, even though the previous, less detailed version, was relatively stable and unchallenged for over a year.
Also, as one of the article's primary stewards, I've been in the position of very recently having to quash anonymous editors' efforts, by repeated mentions and linking, to use Wikipedia to promote & boost the Google rankings of particular leagues (pro & am alike) and the league association that publishes the easily-cited ruleset Rsl12 used. I don't think that he's one of the perpetrators, but the outcome is the same. I would rather the article be conservative in the amount of unintentional promotion it gives to particular organizations and their products, and in an article on a sport with a 70+ year history, the developments of the last couple years, interesting as they are, shouldn't squeeze out acknowledgment that the rules have changed with each incarnation of the sport, even though many facets of the game remain the same. Rsl12's position, as I understand it, is that such an acknowledgment doesn't appear to have been published in so many words (I disagree; it's in books that predate the current revival), so it can't be mentioned, whereas the WFTDA rules, being "undisputed facts", should be featured, at length, instead. —mjb 18:02, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

How many disputants makes a POV tag?

We have a situation where one user is arguing at great length about the name of an article being POV. No one else agrees with him and it is unlikely that he will win consensus. However, during his arguing he insists that the POV tag be placed on the article. Is just one person allowed to determine whether this tag belongs there? For how long, as long as he feels like arguing? --Ideogram 09:18, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

  • In general, no, one person shouting does not mean there's an actual dispute, POV or otherwise, and thus not grounds for putting up a big flashing tag. In specific, perhaps a WP:RFC might help. >Radiant< 11:58, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Whether or not one person makes a dispute very much depends on how big the other side is. If it's one-on-one, WP:3O is probably a good idea. If it's one vs. world + wife, then the dispute lasts about as long as it takes for the one to be shot down in flames consensus - which, IME, is not very long. Chris cheese whine 12:04, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not about the number of disputants - it's about the size of the problem that they represent. In an article about some aspect religion, there will be vast numbers of judeo-christians here - and very few buddists. Does that mean that the lone buddist can be ignored because this is just one person? No! It categorically does not! On the other hand, if you are writing an article about a topic relating to the chemistry of Zinc - then some nut job who insists that Zinc was brought to us in 1987 by aliens from the planet Zork - can probably be safely ignored. SteveBaker 14:55, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Cow tipping: Discussion on role of humor in articles

Thought some might be interested in the ongoing discussion at Talk:Cow tipping#Request for Comment: Inclusion of image of cow & related caption regarding the general role of humor in articles (good vs. bad), especially as it relates to this image and caption in this article. Input is welcome. --ZimZalaBim (talk) 02:05, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Repeated CV and false license?

What policy, if any, applies to a user who is repeatedly uploading CV images and adding false license tags asserting ownership? I'm used to the editor vs. editor form of DR; mediation seems like the wrong way to go here. - Keith D. Tyler (AMA) 00:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Push them for some evidence that they took the photo (they should be able to provide a larger one), failing that you will probably want to raise it at WP:ANI - the upload page specifically says "Do not upload content with false license declarations. You will be blocked.". Chris cheese whine 01:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Yep, and it also helps if you gave specifics. >Radiant< 11:59, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Definitely name the user on a noticeboard. Repeated adding of CV material is clear grounds for blocking, and deletion of the images will take an admin anyway. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:22, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

3RR "totting up"

Edit warring is harmful, and many edit warriors stay within its limit intentionally. Without wanting to get into a deep legalistic discussion, under what circumstances would a 3RR violation be considered on the basis of "totting up"? Situations that come to mind:

  1. Editors acting in concert: e.g. two editors reverting five times between them
  2. Reverting similar edits across a whole series of article: e.g. an editor reverting a series of five articles twice each, where the change is substantially the same
  3. "Logpuppetry": e.g. an editor performs three reverts, logs out and performs a fourth.

Any thoughts? Chris cheese whine 23:54, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't call your first scenario 3RR unless the editors were sock/meatpuppets. The second wouldn't be either; it's well established that the reverts have to be on the same article. The last scenario doesn't seem relevant -- the WP:3RR restriction is reverts per 24 hours, not per session. Raymond Arritt 04:11, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I should have made it clearer that in the last scenario, the editor logs out and makes the fourth revert anonymously. Chris cheese whine 04:48, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia admins have a substancial amount of common sense, and are not as slavishly adherant to written policy as questions like this assume they are. WP:DICKish behavior is still dickish behavior, and obtuse efforts to circumvent policy still result in disciplinary action if editors are willing to call attention to it. Pages can be semi-protected or protected, editors can be directed to take it up to the talk page, RfC and ANI can be used. There are many ways to deal with edit warring. If the behavior is disruptive, it can be quickly dealt with in the same manner as any other disruptive behavior. Chriscf, have you even tried to bring this issue up at WP:3RR or WP:ANI or WP:RFC or WP:RFPP or any other forum or are you just assuming that admins will not act in a satisfactory way? If the facts, as you spell out above, are the full story, and if you present the same case in THOSE fora as you have here, I see no reason why action would not be taken. Admins really can help, but it is important that they have all of the facts so they know what is really going on. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:57, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not raising specific cases, nor seeking to change the rule, just interested in what others think. Not a crime to be interested, is it? Chris cheese whine 06:15, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  • In all cases, it may help to drop a line on WP:RFPP to get the page protected. In the second and third case, it may well be grounds for a block under gaming the system. >Radiant< 12:00, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Leniency against persistent vandals

I have started a new discussion on Wikipedia talk:Administrator intervention against vandalism, proposing to redefine the present convention of not blocking persistent vandals who space out their disruptive edits in order to evade blocks by taking advantage of the requirement that "the vandal [must be] active now". I would recommend placing your posts on the above talk page in order to keep the discussion centralised. Thanks. CounterFX 19:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Guidelines don't apply to "publisher-of-delusional-theory posts"?

  • I've been discussing Conflict of interest and the "Importance of civility" with an Adminisrator, and noted the specific example on the use of the word "Vanity" in Articles for Deletion cases.
  • He told me that the "guidelines describe editor-to-editor comments, not editor-to-publisher-of-delusional-theory posts"[3]
  • Is this good policy advice?--Iantresman 12:40, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Without knowing the specifics of this case (since you didn't provide them), I can already tell you that Wikipedia's rules, policies and guidelines are sometimes broken, in particular with respect to people who hold strictly to their letter while violating their spirit. If someone with a conflict of interest says that we must do something weird or stupid because Da Rulez say so, we prove him wrong. It's not really incivil for JzG to call a "publisher of delusional theory" a WP:SPADE. >Radiant< 12:06, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Paid editing

After some discussion on wikien-l, I have added the skeleton of a proposal at Wikipedia:Paid editing. Comments, questions, and suggestions are very welcome. Thanks, William Pietri 20:58, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I would draw your attention to discussion 162 in the Archive. The view seems to be that WP:NPOV and WP:ATT would prevent unseemly articles appearing, not the banning of third parties paying for article creation. LessHeard vanU 21:33, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
It seems, at least per the above refrenced discussion 162, that the general consensus is against such a policy. I believe that firstly it is a solution in search of a problem, and that secondly, the wiki is monitored actively enough that paid contributions will either be properly created and cited, and therefore valuable contributions, or not, and therefore deleted just like everything else that doesn't belong here. SpadePrince Talk Contributions 16:19, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Reward board? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 03:10, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Call me a Stallmanite, but paid editing is ok by me, provided the wiki is respected. (In fact, if I were to pay someone, I would expect them to behave better than others). GFDL is free as in speech, not as in beer.

(See also:m:Foundation issues #4)

--Kim Bruning 03:59, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Request for comment: Psychic

There has recently been debate over how to define and describe topics that aren't proven to exist, generally things like paranormal topics. My opinion is that the definition itself should include mention of the purported nature of the topic. Many articles seem to do this: "Bigfoot, is an alleged apelike animal..." Dowsing:"a generic term for practices which proponents claim empower them to find water..." Uri Geller:"...with his claims to have psychic powers..."

Another editor has argued that the definition should define the term without mention of existence or controversy, that they are two different concepts and should be described separately. In other words, the term defined as if it really exists, with mention of dispute/controversy/unproved existence in a following sentence, paragraph, or elsewhere later in the article. I think this is misleading and POV (specifically undue weight). Including terms like "purported" has been accused of being POV, although it seems neutral to me since it doesn't claim existence or non-existence.

A specific example is Psychic, current wording is: "As an adjective, the term psychic means any event which involves psi; as a noun, the word means a person who can produce psi phenomena." I'd propose something along the lines of: "As an adjective, the term psychic means any event which purportedly involves psi; as a noun, the word means a person who can purportedly produce psi phenomena."

Opinions would be appreciated, there's discussion at Talk:Psychic#"Purported". I'd like to get some outside on this specific article as well as the general notion of whether topics like this should have "qualifiers" or not. This debate has been spreading to more and more articles (Remote viewing for example), it would be nice to figure out the community view on this. Thanks. --Milo H Minderbinder 13:53, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Have you added an entry at Wikipedia:Requests for comment? -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 21:06, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. --Milo H Minderbinder 21:43, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
The use of qualifying words is decidedly non-neutral. In the lead of the article, where no header announces any impending bias, it seems inappropriate to include such adverbs as "purportedly" and any other synonyms. To understand how this violates neutrality, consider replacing the word with its opposite: "Psychic... a person who definately can produce psi phenomena". Sounds non-neutral, right? Simply leave off all adjectives and adverbs and neutrality problems usually disappear. In the article, it can easily be dealt with in a section titled "Proof of psychic phenomena" or "Objections to existance of psychic phenomena" or some other appropriate, and better worded, section title that captures that idea. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:24, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Immature usurpation policy

Wikipedia is a large, mature web site, catering to a large number of users of different backgrounds. However, its new policies regarding usurpation of accounts are poorly considered. Namely, the current usurpation policy does not consider users who have made no edits, but still use an account to read Wikipedia. Such users, who may have built considerable watchlists, or have set preferences to their liking (for example so the interface is in another language) may find themselves being asked if their account name may be taken over even if they are logging in regularly.

It's not a common scenario, it's perhaps not likely to happen often, and it's very possible that the user will login in time to ask that their account not be deleted. However, it's a very poorly considered policy that allows an active user to be considered possibly inactive in the first place.

Admins or bureaucrats need the ability to check if an account truly is inactive for the purpose of usurpation, and only then should the account owner be attempted to be contacted. Going only by lack of edits is incredibly unprofessional and juvenile, and I'm embarrassed to be part of a community that would use such crude methods.

I propose that an account be marked inactive if: no edits have been made, the watchlist is empty, the preferences are still default, AND the user has not logged in for 3 months. To avoid privacy concerns, none of these (except edits) should be checkable by anyone (admin, bureaucrat or otherwise). Rather, the system can report a user as simply "active" or "inactive" (= "fair game for usurpation"). Also, an admin will need to actively request the the status of a user, and that request may be logged.

It's a small, trivial thing, but if we don't want to cause a poor user experience then it's something that needs to be fixed. Yes, it would take a little coding, but the system as it stands is just too crude to be taken seriously. —Pengo 02:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

What's the point of having a watchlist if you don't edit? If you read the encyclopedia, then you aren't checking to see if 50 pages have been updated recently and you aren't reading the interface. Maybe the best thing is to put a new warning in the new user login to set an working email address to prevent this from happening. None of them seem to have a working email, and it's a step that's taken before the Unsupation. It's always checked if a working email is there, and if there is I assume an email is sent. -Royalguard11([[User talk:Ro

yalguard11|Talk]]·Review Me!) 02:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)::::

To clarify, usurped accounts are not deleted, they are renamed (I think currently to USERNAME (usurped)), so any preferences or watchlists are just moved with the account to the new name and are not deleted. If the user does return to find their account usurped, all the actions are recorded in the logs and the process can be reversed back to how it was, or the account can be renamed to something of the users choosing. mattbr30 11:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, a user has a seven-day warning period to do an edit to prevent usurpation, per Wikipedia:Changing username/Usurpations. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
So if Saturday afternoon is your weekly Wikipedia time, better not miss a day. (SEWilco 19:09, 9 March 2007 (UTC))
Some of my friends have accounts which they use just so that they can install javascript tools, without ever making an edit. Why would we want to take these accounts away? Zocky | picture popups 06:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Unless I'm misunderstanding, they would have to edit their userspace to add javascript. If the account has made any edits, it cannot be usurped. —bbatsell ¿? 06:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
What if someone else edited the javascript for them? Zocky | picture popups 07:01, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Only an admin can edit someone else's javascript. --Carnildo 07:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Ummmm..... so, what if an admin edited the javascript for them? Zocky | picture popups 11:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
It seems pretty unlikely that an admin would edit the javascript for an account that had never edited. Plugwash 11:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think I've done it. The point is, accounts have preferences, watchlists, etc. There are plenty of reasons for somebody who's purely a reader to register an account. It seems a bit unkind that we would take those accounts away because the reader is away or simply not using Wikipedia that particular week. Zocky | picture popups 13:15, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Well as others have pointed out, the account doesn't get deleted, we aren't denying them their accounts. Also, while non-editors are welcome to accounts, personally, I think we should give preference to editors anyway when it comes to names since the name is their public profile (they can change their signature but they usually shouldn't change it to someone else's name and the name is still part of their profile) so to be honest, I'm not that worried if a non-editor loses his/her name to an editor. Personally, I think perhaps an extension of the term to 2 or 3 weeks is enough. (Having said that, I don't see anything negative about this proposal so if it isn't too difficult to implement, why not) In terms of javascript, presemuably the editors are likely to ask if they want custom javascript so they would probably have edits, unless they e-mail. Note in terms of watchlist, some users may use it like a bookmark. So it's perfectly possible a non-editor might have a watchlist. I do even though I edit somewhat regularly, I don't use it as a watchlist as such. Nil Einne 19:45, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Making Wikipedia:Good Articles official policy

As I was reviewing why a certain template had been deleted, I noticed that Wikipedia:Good Articles has not become official Wikipedia policy as of yet. Many users use this area of Wikipedia as a way to rate an article between Featured Article status and nothing. I would like to write a proposal making this page, project, and criteria official Wikipedia policy, but I would like to see the general feeling on this issue. Diez2 03:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

GA in its current form seems deeply flawed. The ratio of process overhead to depth of review is very high -- a large amount of centralized bureaucracy for reviews that are little deeper than the project assessments. In light of that I don't think we ought to formalize the process, as that would inhibit the major reforms that it could really use. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Can you suggest some of these needed reforms? 05:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I have to disagree with you when you say that the Good Article Rating is merely a project assessment. There is criteria found here that describes what a good article should be. This rating is not decided by the projects themselves. Heck, if GA is just a project assessment, then I suppose FA would also be an assessment, especially since they're both on the same template. Diez2 14:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Project assessments have criteria as well, so I'm not sure what you are getting at. The difference is that an FA is reviewed by many people, and then the decision is made by another person. This (perhaps) necessitates more centralization of the process. A GA review, on the other hand, is like a project assessment in terms of its depth -- one person reviews the article. For project assessments, since one person is doing the review, he just switches a tag on the talk page when he is done, and notes his comments. Everything takes place on the article talk page. The good article process has substantially more bureaucracy attached. First, you need to take it to the candidates page, then it gets reviewed. There is also a centralized page for review, etc. Why do all these pages exist?
See also this recent village pump discussion on what needs to happen with the GA process. Christopher Parham (talk) 14:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
About the project assessments: the projects decide their own criteria for the Stub, Start, B, and A ratings, not the GA rating (or FA rating, for that matter). I know that the FA involves more consensus than a GA does, but then again, there is a Good Articles Review page where these articles are reviewed and failed GAs are contested. If the GA were to be like the FA in requiring consensus before promoting, then there would be considerably fewer GA articles. I just feel that the page needs to become official policy; I am not suggesting that a bureaucratic agency be set up to properly review the article. The policy would state that the article would need the endorsement of one other user who has not worked on the article significantly. Besides, many people, when working on an article, consider the GA to be a milestone in improving his/her article. After passing a GA, people generally seek a peer review, and then post it to the FAC page. I think that making the page official policy would help. Diez2 16:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Why should it be a policy? Should people be blocked or banned for writing non-good articles? Note that WP:FA is not a policy either. Eugène van der Pijll 17:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I am not suggesting that people should be blocked/banned for writing non-good articles. I am suggesting that it should be made policy the process of making a Good Article (and probably, for that matter, Featured Articles). The Good Article WikiProject is obsolete (many users that participate aren't members), and I feel that it should take the next step by becoming Wikipedia official policy. Now, if it is as you say, and that WP:FA isn't policy either, and if it is as Christopher Parham says, and that WP:FA uses an immense amount of consensus and review to promote an article to the Featured Articles list, then I really don't see the obstacle in making WP:FA official policy. Even though WP:GA doesn't use as much consensus, I feel that the rating (which is currently maintained by the most lenient reviewer) can be maintained better if there is policy to protect it. Diez2 23:48, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I think there is a misunderstanding of what a policy or a guideline is in the context of wikipedia. It isn't like a page named a policy is "stuff we REALLY support" and a guideline is "stuff we KINDA support" Policies are policies and guidelines are guidelines and the Good Article process is neither. I see no reason to call it a policy just to imply that it is somehow then "holy" in the eyes of the Great Wikipedia Gods. The rationale behind this proposal confuses me. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:46, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


I'm proposing this as replacement for Notability, to avoid the many misunderstandings that surround the term. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 14:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

This seems more like an essay on why WP:N does not work, than a replacement for it. It does not really give any guidance or advice and omits huge sections that are key to the idea behind WP:N. Too much for my taste. Blueboar 15:14, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
It's supposed to be a stripped-to-the-bones version. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 17:56, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Well you certainly achieved that :>) ... I think you may have removed a lot of the bones as well. Blueboar 18:31, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I think it's one of the two halves that have gotten conflated into our notability guideline. One is the pure "are sources available?" and the other is the "Is it important/part of the historical record/etc." I've always been a supporter of the first, seeing the second as an inclusionary guide for when we don't have the sources yet, with only the first part being exclusionary. 18:45, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

[Un-indent]: You'll get some disagreements there. The issue in my mind is always, first, "Is this important enough to belong in an encyclopedia." I'm sure that would be a common view. Metamagician3000 10:17, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I see that a lot, problem is, importance is subjective, and often distorted. Even if you have a scale, then where do you set the bar? Setting a bar is just going to increase bias. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 14:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure what the issue is with Notability. This appears to be an open door to all kinds of cruft. Notability is about informational significance, not just lots of sources. If anything it exacerbates the google focus of much of WP at the expense of paper based sources.ALR 11:48, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Really? There's nothing in there about using online sources only. Read a book, find something interesting, write an article with the book as a source. God forbid people have to look away from the internet to create articles with offline sources. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 14:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for this proposal Night Gyr. I too have found the term "Notability" unworkable for it's Wikipedia purpose. WP:N essentially has become the dividing line between a topic remaining on Wikipedia or being removed from Wikipedia at AfD. Wikipedia consensus usage of the term "Notable" means sufficient source material to include an attributed, encyclopedic article about the topic. Common and ordinary usage of the term "Notable" means fame or importance. Fame or importance is often used in AfDs to keep an article that lacks sufficient source material and often used to delete an article that has sufficient source material, but little fame (e.g., I think this topic is or is/not important enough for Wikipedia). We need to move away from the personal, subjective opinions of Wikipedians about a topic to a more objective view. In my view, the focus is not what a Wikipedian personally thinks about a topic. Rather, the focus should be an inquiry as to how the collective source material has used information about the topic in its publications. Wikipedia editor's involvement should be to determine whether the collective source material has used enough information about the topic in its publications such that Wikipedia can develop an attributed, encyclopedic article about that topic from that source material. I do not think Wikipedia is going to win the battle to give the term "notable" its own, Wikipedia different and particular meaning. The term heading the [[WP:|notable policy]] should be changed from Notability to a word or phrase that means something related to collective source material usage or something neutral and to the point, like Wikipedia:Article inclusion. Same policy (without any mention of the term "notability"), but different name. -- Jreferee 01:10, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd tend to agree. I proposed "encyclopedic suitability", but I'd go for anything that gets us away from ILIKEIT/IDONTLIKEIT, ITSPOPULAR/ITSOBSCURE, IVEHEARDOFIT/IVENEVERHEARDOFIT, and any such other arguments that result in keeping cruft and getting rid of real articles. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 01:14, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Badlydrawnjeff has just posted a suggested new name for Notability at A change in notability proposal. -- Jreferee 01:23, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with distinguishing between notability in the sense of being adequately described in/the subject of sources, and encyclopedicness in the sense of proper material for an encyclopedia on other grounds. Best, --Shirahadasha 03:01, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Different levels of encyclopedic-ness in one wikipedia?

I'm certain this has been dealt with before, but I don't know where to look. Please consider this a description of a debate I'd like to read more about, rather than an attempt to start it.

I've seen a great deal of argument about what's "important" or "encyclopedic" enough to belong in wikipedia, with articles that fail the test being deleted. I understand both arguments -- one that wikipedia is becoming one of the world's foremost reference sources, and it should have info on everything anyone might care to look for; the other than wikipedia will become clogged with junk articles and lose all reputability unless it sticks to reasonably meaningful topics.

What about accepting the differences but noting them in the article? Tag articles that are encyclopedia-quality as encyclopedia-quality, articles that are reasonably well-edited but on silly subjects as such, fandom articles as fandom, etc? Alternately, what about saying that everything under the sun can have a page on wikipedia, but some of them will just be links? I seems like that would make wikipedia useful for all sorts of random questions, while maintaining an easily-identified core of high-quality material.

So, anywhere this has been hashed out before? Inhumandecency 04:12, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

If you tag pages that aren't encyclopaedic as such, aren't you just admitting that they don't belong in Wikipedia? Anyway, I'm sure a lot of editors would protest having their pet pages tagged as "silly". -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 05:36, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
we don't care about importance, that's the whole point of not being paper. We care about if the subject can be covered in encyclopedic fashion. Video games, characters from star wars, etc. all have enough information about them out there. We've got featured articles on obscure real-world things that no one cares about, as well as fictional ones that only the fanboys care about. Just remember, quality of the article is only dependent on the importance of the subject to the degree that we need reliable secondary sources for our information. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 05:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
See WT:N and a thousand other places for the "hashing out". The core policy WP:ATT provides a good guide-encyclopedia articles should never be written from our own interpretation of the subject itself or other primary sources, all articles should be based primarily on secondary sources. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information is also a core policy, and a very important one. There exist countless "specialized" wikis for fictional works, howto manuals, dictionary definitions, and so on, in-depth articles on minor Star Wars characters or the minutiae of a computer software program belong there. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 19:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
There are secondary sources on every person, such as wedding or birth announcements and lists of graduate, not to mention internet directories. I assume you mean non-trivial secondary sources, and then the discussion shifts to the meaning of non-trivial. I've seen it asserted that two books primarily about the person must be written about someone's accomplishments to justify inclusion. I & probably you think this absurd, but now we have all the ground in the middle to argue about.
If you consider the key word to be "indiscriminate" suppose I suggest that an article about every named character in a video series who appears in more than one episode is justified. There will be sources, such as program listings. DGG 21:20, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Why give people something else to dispute? Dominictimms 02:34, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Should we allow MIDI files for audio content?

I think that we should allow MIDI files on Wikipedia, in addition to Ogg Vorbis. This file format would be perfect for times when a piece of music should be included in an article, but trying to get a freely licensed recording is impractical (e.g. this piece of opera music requires a large band to perform and I am not rich enough to hire such a band, my garage borders a high-traffic road, making it impractical to record some music that does not contain disruptive noises from the nearby automobiles, or I do not have the required instruments). Should we change the audio policy to allow the uploading of MIDI files, or is there a patent that I am not aware of that disallows this file format? Jesse Viviano 03:22, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Midi files often have licensing problems too same as any other music, so they are no magic bullet. Furthermore if you do have a truly free midi file you can simply record it into an audio file and post that. We used to have lots of midi files but inconsistent performance has caused us to generally discourage their use, although you can still upload them. --Gmaxwell 03:35, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
For licensing issues, I feel that if the sheet music's copyright expired, Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. can cover any MIDI file faithfully generated from the sheet music, because it is like converting a BMP of the Mona Lisa to a JPEG. Both are still in the public domain. For music whose sheet music is still copyrighted, the resulting MIDI must be licensed as fair use. As for the inconsistencies, you bring a valid point. However, a MIDI is like a vector file, and will be much smaller than any sampled music format. Please do not forget about modem users. A reasonable compromise would be that uploaders are pointed to a free MIDI to Ogg converter be pointed to in the documentation at Wikipedia:Media, and that the MIDI file's image page contain a link to the Ogg file for Linux users without a good quality MIDI synthesizer (Windows 98 and beyond include the very good Roland GS software synthesizer). I myself prefer MIDI files because I do not have to install more codecs and that it is easy on modem users who have no access to broadband Internet (e.g. farmers whose farms are too far from any DSLAMs for DSL service, and are not close enough to an existing cable plant that the cable company feels that the expense of setting up a new cable plant is too expensive for too few potential customers). Jesse Viviano 04:52, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Not only bandwidth and storage but converting midis to audio defeats the purpose of having a midi in the first place. With a midi, you can edit it, change instruments, use different synths, and do a lot of stuff that obviously can't be done with audio. It's frankly, a bit silly IMHO to 'convert' a MIDI to audio. Of course, if people who know what they're doing and with good tools want to make a high quality audio file from a MIDI, then good. But encouraging people to 'convert' MIDIs to audio is going to means people who don't really know what they're doing will be doing it unnecessarily. Nil Einne 19:05, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Strongly agree. We should encourage an audio format that is equivalent to sheet music, and it would be especially relevant to articles about classical music where the sheet music has been public domain for hundreds of years but the recorded performances are copyrighted. I wouldn't recommend converting MIDI files to audio files in most cases; users should upload files in the smallest format possible. Squidfryerchef 15:15, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Could we do something like svg here? Convert to an ogg format for those who want it, but also make the original MIDI available for those who want to render or edit it on their own? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 14:34, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


The term Encyclopedic is used in policies and discussions, but I haven't seen a serious discussion of what that word means in specific relation to Wikipedia. Does anyone have a link to a good summary?

If there hasn't been such a discussion (recently), I think it's time we had one. Encyclopedic seems crucially pertinent to WP:N and WP:NOT, and editors often end up talking right past one another because they disagree on the meaning of this core concept. Worse, they often don't even seem to realise they disagree. -- Richard Daly 03:57, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

It's a meaningless term. Encyclopedic is what wikipedia is trying to be, and all our content policies and guidelines are oriented towards defining it. Saying something is or isn't encyclopedic is a subjective and very weak argument. You're better off just giving specific reasons. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 04:54, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
It means, "Like Britannica, only better."—Perceval 05:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I generally take it to mean "fails WP:NOT". E.g. a phone book is not encyclopedic. >Radiant< 14:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Got it! Encyclopedic is equivalent to the double negatation, Not! Not!
Good 'un! Think much of the conflict is those first two sections are in tension with other motivators. Some want this digital encyclopedia limited as if it is paper. Some want to merge small concise articles into obfuscated larger articles. Some articles are needed to cover technical terminology and that means they aren't much more than a dic-def. (e.g. GSAR and the below two links)
I prefer "helpful to someone", "informative in general", "useful", "educational" and "in good taste" with a serious businesslike tone and treatment. Anything which meets those tests, or is in tension with a sister project's policies like GSAR (Wikitionary would give that a bare line, insufficient coverage) should be included. (Contrast our with their treatment! So some dic-def seeming stuff have a place too, and that is always a judgment call.)
I may not care to be educated when selecting a random page lands me on some cruft article (pick any Harry Potter or other types of fictional character article, for examples in plenty), but my personal preferences don't mask that such are useful to some, and I can see they are usually educational... whether I want more education or not.
There's always the 'random page' when I'm not interested... so Click, move on, and let others have their space. Exercising a little common sense and tolerance seems to be the hardest thing for the young tigers among us. They feel a need to formalize rules when just being laid back and easy going --more tolerant--would be far more productive and better add to overall quality. THAT will only happen if we are editing articles, not talk pages. // FrankB 21:44, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that editors often claim a sourced article or proposition is not notable when they really mean it isn't encyclopedic, and that encyclopedicness refers to the various other grounds people have for noninclusion based on concpets of what's good for an encyclopedia such as whether a topic contributes to knowledge. I also think it would be worthwhile having a discussion on these criteria because there currently seems to be a log of discagreement, and uncertainty, about what they should be. User:Jimbo Wales has intervened in a number of incidents to maintain encyclopedicness. The concept appears with us to stay, so perhaps we ought to understand it better, discuss it, and have a more informed consensus. --Shirahadasha 02:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


Copied from Wikipedia:Image use policy Also, user-created images may not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself or anything else that would hamper their free use.

Is is applicable to steganography? For example user embeds his name and copyright (cc-by-sa-2.5) so that the license is properly enforced. Now if the image is used without attribution, the author can prove that the image belongs to him. =Nichalp «Talk»= 16:20, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think those interfere with free use. --Random832 18:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand... If the image contains such hidden information... and you know that it has this information... then don't you basically know that the owner of the image doesn't want it to be used freely? If you're anticipating that they may invoke their rights on the image in the future if they find out that you're using it, then doesn't that mean that you shouldn't be using it in the first place?
(Or am I entirely missing some significant point here?) Bladestorm 20:57, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point, Bladestorm; or else I am :) The concern is that the tag would be for tracking in cases where the image may be used freely, but attribution is required. This way if the image is used but not attributed, then the artist may follow-up with it and provide evidence. Did that clear it up at all? To respond to the concern, however, I agree with Random832: I do not see that this would conflict with its free use. cc-by-sa-2.5 is an acceptable license and the information that you indicate, as per my understanding, only reinforces that license. --Thisisbossi 22:38, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
If a steganographic watermark doesn't interfere with the appearance of the image, I see nothing wrong with it. The reason we don't permit watermarks or credits is that those intefere with the appearance of the image. --Carnildo 22:48, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It probably doesn't conflict with "free use" but that doesn't mean Wikipedia should accept watermarked images if an alternative is available. >Radiant< 14:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Iff the licence is compatible with our goals, and meets our criteria, there's no reason why we shouldn't allow such digital watermarking. If the licence is not compatible, then we already have an indicator to show it. Chris cheese whine 00:27, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Usernames and religious terminology

I believe I've uncovered an inconsistency in our username policy, whereby we currently cover a name like User:Jesushater but not User:Crucifixhater. I believe that this could easily be dealt with in the same measured manner as our "Jesus policy" (!) whereby the policy allows discretion, so we might permit a User:JesusGomez and similarly would be able to permit clearly inoffensive use of religious terminology.

I've posted at Wikipedia_talk:Username_policy#.22Usernames_of_religious_figures.22 and would welcome the contribution of experienced policy developers. --Dweller 10:12, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Policy wording proposal regarding fair use historical images (such as logos)

I have submitted a proposal to change policy wording, at Wikipedia:Fair use/Amendment/Historical images. The goal, essentially, is to allow historical images where their use would be transformative (and thus legally fair use) and provide visual historical information, even without so-called "critical commentary" (but where a caption identifying the significance of the image is still important); specifically in the case of galleries of historical logos. Please contribute to this discussion. DHowell 05:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

naming the author in captions

For various reasons we appear to need a slightly firmer policy on this so any ideas?Geni 03:26, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

What various reasons did you have in mind? >Radiant< 12:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I have always thought it was a good idea to allow for the crediting of image creators in image captions -- aside from aesthetic issues (for which I trust we can find solutions) there's no downside, and many upsides. It gives well-deserved credit to photographers/artists/creators. It encourages creators who want that credit to contribute to Wikipedia, when they might not otherwise. It might also encourage publicity departments for companies/bands/what have you who tentatively approve of free licensing for certain photos, but want clear attribution -- the image description page is just not visible enough for some people.
While I don't expect it to discourage the copyright-clueless from uploading copyrighted material, or from saving our pictures for their own (possibly illicit) re-use, it at least raises the awareness that these images were not created by Wikipedia out of thin air, and that there may be some licensing issues the well-meaning might want to investigate. (Again, that image description page is invisible to the average right-clicker.)
I've seen a few captions with the photographer's name in small text, although I expect most of them get removed over time based on current guidelines. I don't personally find it any more distracting than I do the credits in a newspaper or magazine. Perhaps there's a way to standardize the presentation of credits through MediaWiki image syntax and CSS, to use very small text above or below the descriptive caption, or even run it vertically up the side the way newspapers do. Naturally this would need to be optional, and not used in infoboxes or other frameless image applications. Still, I would be delighted to have that option. What do you think? — Catherine\talk 12:58, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm strongly opposed to giving any form of credit to a photographer next to the image. Image attribution is on the image description page. Why are images so special? We ask people to write for us freely and they don't get credit for their work on the article page (could you imagine a list of authors on an article page?) -- and folks seem to be fine with that. Credit is maintained in the history, and no one seems to have a problem with that. We don't seem to be suffering problems getting people to write articles for us. Just because we currently have a chance to get quality/professional images, doesn't mean we need to go down a bad path to obtain them. Wikipedia has decided (ala the fair use replaceable policy) that we are fine with waiting for a good free image, waiting for a good free image that the author doesn't require attribution on/next to the image should be no different. The "with restrictions" requirement of images are not allowed on Wikipedia. Explaining the attribution system to a user and letting them decide if that is acceptable to them should be their decision, but allowing captions for images is the first step to allowing "written by" on article pages, for which I doubt few would agree with, especially in the face of the credential problem currently ongoing and any sense of endorsement. --MECUtalk 13:35, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Credential ban

After reading some comments in discussions, I think there is some suppot for a counter-proposal to credential verification. Wikipedia:Credential ban Please discuss it on the talk page. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 23:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Unintended Consequences of the Anti-Fair Use Crusade?

Has the anti-fair use crusade gotten out of hand? Perhaps... We've apparently now replaced the International Symbol of Access -- the universal sign for disabled access -- with a non-universal and crudely drawn copy. The reason -- The International Symbol of Access, which, I'm sure you'll see in your day to day comings and goings about 700 times, is "not free enough." (I am of the position that this is, empirically, ridiculous.)

This is just the latest in an increasingly large number of examples where common sense is being trampled by libre absolutists, unwilling to make any accomodations for things such as, say, reality. I like my Wikipedia as libre as possible, and I know that makes me a minority... Apparently, the entire website (I forgot, it's not just a website) encyclopedia (whoops! have just been informed it's not an encyclopedia, either)... um.... social movement (?) is run by and for libre absolutists only; I thought the user community, at least, was a bit more diversified... and certainly not as well versed in the libre doctrine that is now guiding copyright-related decisions.

Either let's go "German," and get rid of fair use altogether, thus stopping things such as this, or let's actually allow regular, good, old-fashioned LEGAL fair use, and not some crazy, ten million conditions attached Wiki-fair use.

And maybe, just maybe, you know, we could bring back in the International Symbol of Access? As a step toward rationality in copyright enforcement? Because, you know, it's international? And, uh, was widely accepted meaning? Or someone at the foundation could have the lawyer figure out what Wikipedia's legal position on using the ISA should be. Or is replacing long-established international sybmols with "libre" versions part of the whole "we're going to change the world!" philosophy that's, in this case, making Wikipedia less relevant and useful, not more? Just some thoughts... Jenolen speak it! 20:58, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this seems pretty absurd. For starters, if attribution for this image is required or if it is copyrighted/trademarked/registered, then every handicapped parking space on the entire planet should theoretically have the (c), (tm), or (r) symbols on them; a full reference to the ICTA; and/or would have to have obtained the written consent of ICTA to use their image. None of that happens. If anyone is sincerely concerned, contact ICTA -- I am quite sure that they will have a hearty laugh on their end, as well, and say it's OK. --Thisisbossi 22:44, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Fair use should be pursued aggressively, if we are not to lose it. Some publishers and other copyright holders frequently claim rights they do not possess: I have seen many undoubted PD US documents reprinted unaltered with a private copyright notice. Many will instruct you to ask permission to use material you have a right to use anyway. It is not safe to err on the side of asking permission: if you have the right, but nonetheless ask for permission and do not get it, it is hard to argue that subsequent use is in good faith. More broadly, liberty in general is unsafe when we lose rights through timidity. en WP en properly operates under US law, and should make full use of what protections it prrovides. DGG 22:45, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, this is getting into absurdity. Use the universal symbol. In most cases, it's better to use free images, but this is a clear exception where there is a universally accepted symbol that has minimal restrictions on use. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 03:19, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


<Sigh>. This is not a problem with the "Anti-Fair Use Crusade", it is as always the old saw that individuals in society are not being very careful with our intellectual heritage, and lawmakers aren't helping much either. We are losing entire Libraries-of-Alexandria every month.

Demonising a group of people on wikipedia as "Crusaders" (or Jihadists) is:

  • Not helpful.
  • Shooting the Messenger.

All we're doing is preserving knowlege that is long-term preservable, and we're discarding knowlege which is not long-term preservable. That's all we can do. Though to be sure, that's still a lot. It's more than enough work to keep us busy, for now.

Yes the situation is absurd, I agree. We didn't make it so, other people did, by chosing a not-so-useful license for their symbol. We can ask them for a more appropriate license. If they don't want to do that, then in the long run that's their problem, not ours.

Part of our objective is to prevent such problems from recurring in future, by compiling a store of knowlege that is not so encumbered. And that's what libre information is really about.


--Kim Bruning 03:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC) If I could earn penny for every situation where seemingly innocent usage turns out to have legal complications... but wait! I can! I could go study law!

I went and looked it up, and according to the NZ government,

Given that we're using it for exactly those purposes, I feel this should be used in wikipedia. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 15:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Not free. There is a deeper point here about our goal - to create a free, as in speech, encyclopedia. Yes, we can obviously use the symbol and remain free, as in beer. We cannot, however, use the symbol and remain free as in speech. As such, it should not be here. Hipocrite - «Talk» 15:56, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
We use logos for identification purposes all the time because they cannot be equaled by a free image. This image is an international standard set by ISO and whose use is mandated by legislation in numerous countries. If we choose a wikipedian's drawing of a wheelchair, what freedom are we adding? The wikipedian's image is not a free equivalent; it's not the standard and does not carry the same meaning. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 16:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Which brings to mind an interesting thought - most encyclopedias attempt simply to catalog and describe the world around them; Wikipedia, as a social movement more than an encyclopedia, is in this case seeking to change the world around it. Comments on the always enjoyable WP:FU talk page include people decrying the ICTA for setting an international standard that is under... shudder... copyright! How dare they! THEY made a mistake! Because, of course, nothing can ever be wrong with Wikipedia's goal of, uh, complete libre-ation. However, when people ask me, "What's the dumbest thing you've seen done in the name of making Wikipedia more free?", I'm happy to report I have a new favorite... Jenolen speak it! 17:32, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is that a lot of "fair use" images were being deleted because their actual use did not correspond to the legal definition of "fair use", and they were therefore being used without copyright permission. Even though the wheelchair image is copyright the ISO, it appears as if they have granted an effective license for the image's use for various accessibility issues. I would suggest that the issue here is that the image has been incorrectly tagged as "fair use", when some other tag might be more appropriate. In reply to Hipocrite's comment, I am starting to get concerned about free-use (as in speech) crusaders hijacking the de-facto purpose of Wikipedia, which is to assemble the collective knowledge of the masses into the best encyclopedia on the planet. Bluap 17:55, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Has the anti-fair use crusade gotten out of hand?


Wikipedia, as a social movement more than an encyclopedia

Wrong. — Omegatron 18:57, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Not only wrong, but stupidly Idealistic

Not wrong... but worse. STUPID. Idealistic. It IS being administered as a social movement, not an NPO with pragmatic goals. Impractical and vexing, (Look closely at that case--that's a journalist fully aware of fair use criteria, and he's totally furious and frustrated! Why do we tolerate being shot in the foot that way?) inefficient, and MOST OF ALL: Totally Disrespectful of our time contributions as editors on behalf of some ideal unobtainable utopian stretched concept of 'Free' enshrined in the first of the five pillars. 'Legally free for all intents and purposes' is apparently insufficient, so we have to diminish quality in favor of some quixotic ideal as well. And on top of those two links, with all the time waste, Jimbo confirmed the interpretation directly by email when queried. Shrug.
So my heart says YES to good content and nice presentation, and NO to "Free" as in beer (whatever that meant) or whatever interpretation is attached to Free here, because I feel the foundation should not COST volunteers ADDITIONAL time nit-picking trivialities. It's counter-productive. If a politician's Publicity photos can't be used on an article about them (certainly qualifies as Fair Use!), something is totally wacked... and THAT is the stance Jimbo himself affirmed about that policy. So we continue to waste time because of "Free". Why? Because that's what Jimbo and the board want, and policy is not guideline.
Generally, I'd prefer more policy, but in this case... some phrasing is very inconsistent with the needs of a quality encyclopedia, which is consistent with the whole attitude the board has always demonstrated—a volunteers time is not valuable, because it's given freely. Hmmmm, wonder how many people just get disgusted and WALK!? (Ha! Loads!) At the same time we discuss means to up retention in the Welcome Committee and various other internal forums. Is retention of good editors and recruitment and retention of experts an secret? Hardly! This section is a case in point. We have discussion and dissent, without any active gain to content or quality. A TIME SINK. A good policy is a Godsend--eliminating the need for further discussion, as the Fair Use criteria is not. (Just Great-- now it's tagged as a guideline again, and not as a policy! It's got an ironically appropriate shortcut... "FU"! Why the new change? Arrrrrgggggghhhhhh!
Can the board PLEASE stabilize a few things that can be counted on... 
even a bad policy is better than a guideline in contention! (And I'm taking a balmy Sunday afternoon for commenting on more anarchy!
If you don't want to buy into that ??? policy or any other of the five pillars, then you need to make noise to them, as that's the only way policies will be adjusted. (Has this been LOUD ENOUGH! <g>) Or take the path of thousands of predecessor editors and vote with your feet. I know my family would rather I spent less time in these hallowed pages. IMHO, this one should go all one way or the other. Fair Use in the US per law, or none at all, including magazine, book covers and the whole of that media involved gaggle of things. // FrankB 21:05, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree completely with the sentiments of the original post. Unfortunately, as always, the Stallmanite brigade will shout very loudly about policy, the five pillars, Jimbo this and that, etc, without actually providing a good reason why perfectly good images and content should be replaced with, what is, frankly, sub-par content.

Like most others, I've no problem with fair use stuff being phased out in favour of free content where the free content is of equal quality, but some people have been taking it way too far. Lankiveil 11:32, 6 March 2007 (UTC).
How do we stop them? — Omegatron 05:53, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Lasers? Or, barring that, nominating the image on Commons for deletion or replacement? I don't know my way around Commons well enough to do that. Jenolen speak it! 07:45, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Acalamari's New Noticeboard Proposal.

Here is a link to my second proposed policy here. It should also be discussed on its talk page and not here. Acalamari 02:00, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Categorization of templates

Over the last month or so, I have been trying to sort out the categorization of templates (with User:David Kernow); see Category talk:Wikipedia templates. My main aim behind this was to categorize _all_ templates, so that templates relating to a specific subject could be found easily. I started by sorting out the top-level categories, and have been working my way into the sub-categories since.

I realised that I needed to find all templates that weren't currently categorized, and categorize them appropriately. Category:Uncategorized templates doesn't cover most of them, so I made a request for a bot that could find all templates and add them to the category for subsequent categorization into the appropriate places. User:Balloonguy responded with a bot. However, in the bot approval request, User:Alai said "Is there actually established consensus for categorising every single template, which seems implicit in the premise of this 'bot? Last time I checked there was an explicit disclaimer not to do this (though it seemed to becoming "more honoured in the breach", even then)."

Hence why I am here. I still hold that all templates should be categorized so that they can be found easily, but what does the community at large think of this? Mike Peel 15:20, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

As long as the categorization is noinclude'd, I'd say this is a fine idea. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:57, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Ditto; categorization of articles is encouraged and I reckon the same should be true for templates. Regards, David Kernow (talk) 02:08, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Manual of Style (trademarks) guideline change proposal

Proposal: Manual of Style (trademarks) guideline change: Lowercased trademarks with internal capitals --Aaru Bui DII 00:36, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The current proposal is useful, but there really needs to be attention brought to cases of mixed capitalization (e.g. xxxHOLiC, TNA Impact, etc.). There appear to be two sides to discussion: 1) those that see the trademark holder as the correct way regardless of characters or capitalization, and 2) those that see a more proper application of English capitalization and normalized typography as the correct way. ju66l3r 04:18, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Using WP Account on a Warned IP Address...

I use wikipedia on my school campus quite oftenly. Recently, Wikipedia contacted my school district because of the amount of profanity and SPAMing edits emitting from our campus' IP Address. They alerted my campus' IT department that our IP address would be blocked from using/editing WP if this spamming continued.

I use wikipedia oftenly. At my school today, I went on wikipedia and noticed that a message had appeared on the computer's IP Address' talk page. I noticed many notices of egregious editing and vandalism. This made me wonder: If I log in from that computer, will my account be atributed with part of the blame for spamming and vandalizing?

Thanks for your help,
Jtg920 21:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

You have nothing to fear if you do not vandalise. If you are accused of vandalism by your school, your administrators should be able to check which computer did the vandalism if they have the tools. x42bn6 Talk 22:09, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot; I appriciate your help! :) Jtg920 22:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Sticky Wicket

In the news--- A wikipedia administrator was exposed as a fraud.

[4] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Old news. x42bn6 Talk 22:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Acalamari's Warning Removal Proposal.

Here is a link to my warning removal proposal: Warning Removals. Discussion of this should take place on the policy's talk page and not here. Acalamari 21:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Need a fresh opinion at WT:3RR

3RR, non-identical revisions, and other joyous things. It would be appreciated if someone else could weigh in on this. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 17:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

redirecting talk page to project talk page

Wondering, has anyone run across this before - a talk page being a redirect. In this case, the redirect is from a template page to a project. Is this kosher? I can see the advantage (centralize discussion) but also the disadvantage (physically impossible to discuss the entity outside the context of the project). FWIW in this case I'm not yet 100% sure that the project isn't at least slightly dysfunctional. Anyway, I might take this to an RfC, but for all I know this is common. Any thoughts? Herostratus 03:02, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I haven't seen this before, but I can't say that I have a serious problem with centralising discussion like this. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 06:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
It's fairly common in WikiProjects which have various project pages to have all the discussion at one central page. You could argue that if the template does not fall entirely within the scope of the project then it's a bad idea, but I'm not sure if that's true or not in this case. --Cherry blossom tree 10:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:SEMI and Userpages

There is currently some discussion going on at Wikipedia talk:Protection policy#Indefinate Sprotection on Userpages concerning the line Indefinite semi-protection may be used for...User pages (but not user talk pages), when requested by the user. Discussion is of corse on that it might be contridictory with other policies/guidelines, WP:OWN/WP:USERPAGE ideas, and whether a user can just tell everyone else to stay away from their userpage, and whether there is any reason for an annon to edit others userpages. Comments by people would be appreciated. -Royalguard11(Talk·Review Me!) 02:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Help with ontology and naming conventions?

If you have a page about two closely related things, is it better to name the page after the most common of the two things or should we make up a categorical name for the common page and create redirects to it?

I've been editing Light bar which is about all the various blinkenlights you see on emergency vehicles. And this ranges from optical considerations to rules about which color is used for what in different countries. Well anyway, every so often it's pointed out that the article covers single revolving lights as well, and people suggest moving the page to a neutral name. On the other hand, light bars are more common than the other forms, and the term "lightbar" is unambiguous in a way that other terms like "beacon" are not.

So, is it better to leave the page as it is, or is it better to rename the page to something like "Emergency vehicle lighting"? I can come up with some pros and cons, but perhaps there is some policy about these situations. The closest I can find on WP:NAME is a guideline about using the most common name for the same thing, but in this situation we're dealing with a class of things. Squidfryerchef 00:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Emergency vehicle lighting sounds good to me. I don't think most people would know what a light bar is, unless they worked in that field. Steve Dufour 05:51, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Current primetime television schedules

I've started a discussion on whether we should include primetime television schedules in articles about television networks and stations. See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Television#Current_primetime_television_schedules. Please contribute there, not here.-gadfium 20:16, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

MikeURL's credential proposal

Can be found at User:MikeURL/Credentials. It is basically the opposite of what Jimbo is proposing.MikeURL 20:13, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The page has been cleaned up and modified quite a bit. Worth a look I think.MikeURL 19:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo's credential proposal

Can be found here. The community should probably comment on it. (there, not here) pschemp | talk 05:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd really like to see more comment there, especially because Jimbo has already announced to the press that we are doing this. pschemp | talk 20:49, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Watermarks on images

I'd just like some extra input on this situation. According to Wikipedia:Image_use_policy#User-created_images, watermarked images may not be used. However, shouldn't a free image that is watermarked be preferred over a fair use image? As much as I hate the idea of a watermarked image, this seems like it would be common sense, especially considering actions shots of athletes are few and far between. The reason why I am asking is that User:Cavic owns the copyrights for a number of fantastic actions shots of NBA players. He wants to let Wikipedia use them, but unfortunately he is adamant that the watermark remains. Now obviously the images can be Photoshoped so the watermark is removed, as was done with Image:Jordan by Lipofsky 16577.jpg, but that seems in poor taste as it is against the uploader's wishes (even if we have the legal right to do so). The uploader wants to contribute more images, but he is obviously frustrated by the situation and I doubt he will if someone will just later removing his watermarks. He has also apparently been given conflicting information as he stated that another administrator said that watermarks were perfectly acceptable. I'd really like to reach a compromise that makes Cavic happy and meets Wikipedia policies. Any suggestions? Does someone else want to try and talk with Cavic? Thanks. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 04:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

If its a free, its free. I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to use a free image that is watermarked. Of course, being free ANYONE can make a derivitive work from it without the watermark. — xaosflux Talk 04:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it is time to change the wording on WP:IUP from "user-created images may not be watermarked" to "user-created images generally should not be watermarked" or maybe something to the effect of "contributors are encouraged not to upload watermarked images and should be aware that they may be edited out" or "free watermarked images may only be used when there are only fair use alternatives"? --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 04:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Watermarks are not acceptable because they limit the reuse capability. It's like saying "Yah, you can use this car freely, but you have to have my ad on the side of it." It's not really that free. Delete the image, wait for another free one. Using a fair use image as a replacement for the watermarked one is not acceptable either. Allowing watermarks is a bad precedent. Crop them out or ask the user to re-upload non-watermarked images. The world is big, we'll get more free images eventually. There's no immediate hurry. --MECUtalk 14:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the discussion needs to be more specific. I can see why there should be no visible watermarks. But most digital watermarks are invisible. Why should we not allow invisible watermarks? It could e.g. help track down license violation of GFDL or CC-ASA images. --Stephan Schulz 14:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually most watermarking is very visible, and highly detracts from the image in question because it is plastered across the field. As far as "invisible" watermarks like Digimarc, they exist solely to protect copyrights and intellectual property. How would using these files with the caveat that the watermark cannot be tampered with actually benefit the project in the long run? Normal derivative works like changing resolution or cropping can break Digimarc, so this isn't even really possible. What are the author's specific concerns? - WeniWidiWiki 15:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, from my (computer scientist, but not media specialist) perspective, digital watermarking is all about invisible (steganographic) marks. It took me a while to notice that this discussion (also) involves visible watermarks. I did not suggest that the watermark should be explicitely protected against tampering. But in practice, most image manipulation is just cropping and color correction, and there are many known algorithms that are robust with respect to these operations. And protecting copyrights is a valid concern. My (few) Wikipedia images are under the GFDL, not PD. It is very possible to violate the GFDL, and I might want to enforce the license eventually. Having proof that the image is mine might come in handy. --Stephan Schulz 00:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Out of curiousity, do the people opposed to watermarks also think we should avoid using NASA / NOAA / USGS images if they have the creating organization's logo embedded in them? Generally it is better to use an unwatermarked image. In most cases however, I would not turn away a useful free image simply because it had a creator's mark on it. In the case of an embedded copyright notice, such as in the Cavic example, it is not even clear to me whether stripping such a note out is legally consistent with the GFDL requirement to "Preserve all the copyright notices". Dragons flight 15:22, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

But then that would be the exact problem. The GFDL states that people must be able to modify the image however they wish. If a copyright notice causes conflict with that, then a visible copyright notice would seem to prevent GFDL licensing, unless the author explicitly states that it may be removed during modification. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 15:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
No, the GFDL says you may modify the material subject to 15 provisions/limitations. Number 4 of which is that you must preserve any copyright notices. I don't think having a copyright notice conflicts with GFDL licensing since it is the GFDL itself that makes special provision for such notices. Feel free to read the Text of the GNU Free Documentation License, section 4 in particular. Dragons flight 16:10, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
You appear to be correct. (I get the GPL and GFDL crossed occasionally.) Still, it seems to be something we shouldn't in general allow-if you're correct on that interpretation, embedding (even very faint or too small to see except at high zoom) copyright notices throughout a picture could be a troubling end-run around the intent of the GFDL-that modification should be permissible. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 16:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree it should be discouraged. The key question though is what to do when presented with an image that has such a mark. Personally, I'd still favor using it until an alternative became available, but not everyone may agree with that. Dragons flight 16:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I've started a discussion specific to the copyright issue at Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems#Overprinted copyright notices on GFDL and CC-BY images. Dragons flight 10:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Having access to a watermarked image certainly doesnt require us to use it. Would this be better if we only accept public domain released images with watermarks, thus avoiding the question of if the watermark is a copyright notice? — xaosflux Talk 02:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:USER violation?

There is currently an omnibus deletion debate regarding several user pages containing notes from other editors, please see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Autograph books for the debate. — xaosflux Talk 02:46, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Do OED and Random House dictionaries have precedence over Google hits in a naming dispute?

We have a newly introduced foreign word—for an apparel worn in South and Central Asia—for which Google hits (by a 666,000 to 207,000) favor one spelling, "salwar," while two dictionaries, OED and Random House Unabridged prefer another, "shalwar." Websters Unabridged and American Heritage Dictionary don't include the word in any spelling. (For a discussion, see Shalwar vs. Salwar Redux). Can OED over-rule Google hits? Fowler&fowler«Talk» 14:57, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

My understanding is that WP:Attribution prefers established published sources over webpages. Is there any indication of the references used of the 666/207k split? LessHeard vanU 22:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

You'd be hard put to find a more reliable source, at least for British usage, than the OED. If anyone wanted to assert the validity of the Google search, they'd have to demonstrate that the majority of sites included many reliable ones, and more of them than the minority. It is likely that most of these sites are just copies of each other with no independent authority.--Runcorn 22:48, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The only thing is, of course, that the OED is not particularly up to date, it reflects English usage only up to the 70s or 80s (supposing that the real OED is in fact where you looked, and not some of the other dictionary made by Oxford UP). If you want commonness in present-day English, then some other dictionary would be a better choice. Fut.Perf. 23:08, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
OED online gives spellings up to 1973 ("shalvar") and 1977 ("salwar-kameez") under main head shalwar, and notes as variants "Also salvar, salwar, shalvar, shulwar, shulwaur". Whilst the online OED is updated, it's unlikely to add a new citation simply to show contemporary currency, so the last date of '77 doesn't say anything either way. In smaller dictionaries it's bemused; Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2004) gives salwar; New Oxford American Dictionary (2001) salwar; Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2004) shalwar; Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English (2002) shalwar... it's all a muddle. Pick one and stick with it - Anita Desai is the OED's '77 citation, and she uses salwar, so that's good enough for me... Shimgray | talk | 23:29, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

You can simply present the competing spellings and attribute them to the sources found. That would be the best way to approach it. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I just Usurped User:Capuchin from User:Capubadger

My talk link when signed in as capuchin redirected me to User_talk:Capuchin (usurped). That looked horrible so i changed it to redirect to plain User_talk:Capuchin. Is this against usurpation policy? Is there a reason it redirected to Capuchin (usurped)?

Thanks, Capuchin 08:45, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Policy on partial articles?

This must have come up before, but what is the consensus on how to handle an article like State Volunteer Emergency Personnel Light Laws? The article was intended as a repository on what kinds of lights and sirens are permitted for volunteer firefighters in different states, but right now only has Connecticut, and it isn't getting a lot of attention. Should I propose this for deletion? Is there a guideline about when creating an article that a certain portion of it should be complete before it goes on the Wikipedia? Because I would be OK with it if it had 37 states but not with just one. Squidfryerchef 03:10, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I have two comments; 1) If it is notable and encyclopedic then place a wikify template on it, hopefully it will get the attention it needs. Many good articles have grown from a stub, even limited ones. 2) I am glad that you mentioned Connecticut, because nowhere in the title does it mention that the article is intended to refer to US States only, rather than the State apparatus of various Nations. Perhaps defining the area the article covers will prompt more help, so a renaming will help. LessHeard vanU 13:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the very topic of the page is encyclopedic. It's the sort of thing that should either be covered in articles about state emergency personnel or left to Wikisource or Wikibooks. This sort of information is not useful sifted out of context and runs the risk of becoming a WP:NOT violation as a guide. —Cuiviénen 02:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The article is pretty much a leaf of Light bar, which describes emergency vehicle lighting and what the different colors mean in various countries. It already has a section on volunteer's personal vehicles, which already has info for Connecticut. I'd prefer that people interested in the topic use Light bar as an incubator, and wait to split off a new article when it is able to stand on its own. At this point I'm ready to PROD or AFD State Volunteer Emergency Personnel Light Laws but feel WP:NOT doesn't exactly fit. I feel the subject is encyclopedic enough, (otherwise I wouldn't be editing Light bar), but I'm at a loss of how to phrase why I want to delete the article. Squidfryerchef 02:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The phrasing would then be that it's redundant with Light bar and doesn't merit a separate article. —Cuiviénen 03:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I've PROD'ed it. Squidfryerchef 03:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

A change in notability proposal

Please see the discussion at Wikipedia:Notability's talk page and the new proposal at Wikipedia:Article inclusion. --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:00, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

People Specific Pages (and Right to Deny the Info by that person)

Should poeple be allowed to delete info about themselves on pages...? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC).

Editing an encyclopedia page about yourself can be considered a Wikipedia:Conflict of Interest. -GhostPirate 19:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Adding information or selectively omitting information to steer the reader toward another viewpoint could definitely be a violation of WP:NPOV. However, I also believe that individuals have a right to privacy as guaranteed by their national origins and/or the State of Florida (where Wikipedia's servers are located). As to how privacy requests are handled, I'm not sure... but I'm not particularly sure that they are at all, as the very nature of Wikipedia does not provide much mechanism for pursuing those requests. Additionally, editors are bound to cry "censor!" should there be attempts to heed privacy requests. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 20:55, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia's verifiability policy takes care of the right-to-privacy issue: basically, Wikipedia cannot be the first publisher of a fact about an individual. If something is widely-known enough to belong in Wikipedia, including it in Wikipedia will have no additional impact on the person's privacy. If it can't be verified, the fact should certainly be removed. --Carnildo 22:19, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The relevant policy is Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. It may be questionable whether someone is who they say they are, we should assume that they are in the absence of evidence otherwise. "Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material — whether negative, positive, or just highly questionable — about living persons should be removed immediately, and without discussion from" (every page, whether an article or not). See more specifically Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Dealing with edits by the subject of the article. We discourage people from adding content about themselves (that is better done by suggesting it and a source on the talk page) "subjects of articles remain welcome to edit articles to correct inaccuracies, to remove inaccurate or unsourced material, or to remove libel." GRBerry 22:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Jimmy Wales (back in 2005) was caught trying to delete some less-than-impressive parts of his own page on Wikipedia. However, he was indeed caught, and he agreed to return the stuff back to his page. I think that if a part of someone's life is properly sourced, then no one, not even the person himself/herself should remove it. Diez2 23:53, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons applies, and it gives a lot more scope, these days, to delete damaging and poorly-referenced material. The basis of the policy is that we are not here to do harm. Metamagician3000 08:45, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Two polls re policy

Please participate in these polls: Wikipedia talk:Attribution#Poll re "verifiability, not truth" versus "attributable ... not whether it is true". and Wikipedia talk:Attribution#Poll re handling of apparently false, but attributable, statements. Thank you. --Coppertwig 14:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Chemicals and mathematical formulae

Two separate groups but:

"A number" of entries for both categories consist of largely technical information.

What might be useful (for "persons coming across the term in other contexts" as well as casual "random article link clickers" would be an opening sentence/paragraph to the following effect:

"This is an organic/inorganic/other category chemical.

It was discovered/developed in (date) by (person/corporation).

It is used in xyz context."

"This mathematical formula was developed by (names) in (date).

It is used in xyz context/area of science etc."

Jackiespeel 15:28, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

The most famous and notable of formulae get articles - see Euler's formula, ethanol, polypropylene, etc., and they all state their uses, as they should. Is there a specific article that you wish to have context added to? x42bn6 Talk 14:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Scheufele article question

Like Senator Kerry, I tend to see in hundreds of shades of gray. Perhaps someone with more experience will illuminate this for me. I just ran across this article, which it turns out is an autobiographical entry. So first off, it's blatant WP:AUTO. However, (second), the article is basically NPOV (except for the self-important claim of his research being cited "hundreds" of times). Third, the links given on the page are (1) his vanity home page under his own domain name, (2) the university of Wisconsin home page, (3) an "under construction" page to a departmental home page. Fourth, "what links here" shows that one article does reference him (Spiral of silence). Fifth, he edited that article, but actually removed a reference to one of his papers. So, what to do? I mean, conservatively, I could put this under AfD, but I don't consider myself a deletionist. So as I said, I'm looking for comments. (Should I have posted under RfC?) --Otheus 20:50, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd just move it into userspace. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 20:56, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, my only real issue is with WP:NPOV. Er, also the article's name -- it should at least be Dietram Scheufele or Dietram A. Scheufele. In issues where someone is skirting the line of notability, I tend to learn toward WP:NOT#PAPER. Therefore, my personal opinion is that the article can stand; but it needs more editors. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 21:00, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I have Proded it as being a vanity page that does not cite sources. But I have no problem if someone wants to add them. Blueboar 01:33, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Rename AfD

I think that Articles for Deletion should be renamed "Articles for Discussion." Many of the articloes taken there don't need deletion. Many are merged and redirected to other articles. CFD, UCFD, and RFD already use "discussion." Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 20:15, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I thought "article discussion" was what the talkpages are for. Articles listed on AfD are there expressly because they're under review for removal, not so people can chat about them. Of course many articles there don't need deletion, that's why we have AfD instead of just giving everybody deletion privileges, but that doesn't preclude the fact that they're there because somebody thought they should be deleted. SnurksTC 20:19, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The others are "for Discussion" because they're also used for things like moves, merges and category renaming. We have specialized pages for that when it comes to articles so articles should only be on AfD if up for deletion, hence the name. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:04, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
You know, it would be interesting to see what we would be left with if everyone did have instant deletion privileges. Just a hypothetical. Blueboar 01:37, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Lots of banned people for wheel warring, that's what. --tjstrf talk 01:52, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Since the policy is that people listing for deletion should try to improve the article first, and a reasonable number actually do try, the "discussion" seems more applicable. Further, it frequently happens that during the course of the AfD, the various editors making comments, especially those who want to keep the article, do make contributions during the 5 day period. . Other people do likewise. It seems that the thought of impending deletion sharpens the impulse for working on the article. People sometimes add material for articles at AfD when they can do so easily on articles they would not otherwise see or on subjects they would otherwise not edit. Discussion is the way. An ideal AfD leads to upgradable articles being upgrading, and those impossible to upgrade sufficiently being deleted. Often it does indeed do just that. DGG 16:48, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedians are not permitted to post or edit material at the direction of a banned user, an activity sometimes called "proxying."

From Wikipedia:Banning policy.

I've been asked by a temporarily banned (one month) user to post his opinions to discussions, but not article content. I've tentatively said yes if I can follow WP policies in doing so. Most likely I'd disagree with the proxied opinions and I'm the one who requested the ban in the first place, my interest is in fairness to a unique voice. My reasoning is that discussions need varied opinions in order to create a consensus that will stand.

I've seen this done at RfC and RfAr where e-mailed comments to Admins, Clerks, or ArbCom members are re-posted because of a ban or to preserve anonymity in presenting a controversial opinion. This is entirely different from that though.


SchmuckyTheCat 18:40, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

A better option is for the person to email you with concerns, if you find any of those concerns valid then bring them up and paraphrase them. Parroting the opinions of a banned user is not acceptable however. JoshuaZ 19:11, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It would be parroting, as I vehemently disagree with them. Even though I disagree and regularly arguediscuss with him, I do not want this user being shut out completely. SchmuckyTheCat 03:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, consider the reason for the block. If they were just blocked for simple vandalism or 3RR, I see less trouble, but if they were blocked for disruptive behavior on the talk page this would make you an accomplice. —dgiestc 19:47, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The user has a long history of being blocked. They are blocked for edit-warring pursuant to ArbCom sanction. While I applaud (and requested) the blocks to articles, I think his input on certain discussions/etc provide valid input. SchmuckyTheCat 03:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
While this ounds like a good idea, how would this really be enforced. Unless the messenger says "So-and-so who is blocked asked me to say this", there isn't much proof. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 20:17, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
SchmuckyTheCat is aware of this dispute and presumably can exercise good judgment about what does or does not constitute subverting the block. And if he posts something obviously inflammatory by another user, that can be caught. —dgiestc 20:21, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'd use my judgment. There wouldn't be anything inflammatory about it. Just very specific discussions on guideline pages etc that deal with his expertise. SchmuckyTheCat 03:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you to those who responded. It doesn't look like a good idea, per JoshuaZ. SchmuckyTheCat 03:08, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Fromowner documentation

While not technicaly policy this is somethign people interested in free images and the like might want to look at.Geni 12:09, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

This is horribly confusing and I'm sure it'd confuse anyone else who was referred to it. What's the point? Who's it aimed at? How is this any different from the existing upload text? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 15:11, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Alright, I get the idea. The current documentation and wording is pretty bad, I had to go see it in practice. You'd be much better off having an example use on the documentation page. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 15:13, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The upper section of the documentation page is aimed at admins who need to know what pages to edit if stuff needs to be changed. It uses some rather obscure software features which most admins probably wont know.Geni 15:23, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The upper section should be aimed at people who want to know what the heck it's all for. It's not that I don't know the software features, it's that it gives no sense of its purpose. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It's called documentation for a reason. If you want to add an what it is about please do so.Geni 21:30, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, wtf: "When you use this upload page you must release your work under GFDL and the Creative Commons share-alike licenses which allow everyone to use, alter, and redistribute your work for any purpose. This release is not revocable."

We DO NOT mandate the use of GFDL or CC-SA. People can release their images under ANY free license. This must be changed to allow the use of any acceptable free license. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 15:15, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

If people want the other upload stuff under other lisences they can use the main upload form. The current setup is meant to keep things simple rather than 30 different options all meaning something slightly differnt.Geni 15:20, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
You shouldn't lie to people and potentially discourage them from uploading on a page that's going to be plastered all over and linked from thousands of articles. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:29, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't lie. Look most people don't care about lisences (For example I suspect most people on this page don't know about the argument over CC 3.0 lisences) thus there is little point in giving them a massive list of options which is likely to confuse them.Geni 21:30, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The page is incredibly confusing: having read over it, I still don't know what it's talking about. anthonycfc [talk] 21:56, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It is talking about the kind of thing you see in Philip Humber.Geni 22:58, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Ok I've reworked it somewhat.Geni 02:54, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Polemic and WP:NPOV

Recently, I saw an interesting research on bible and violence, and as such I placed it in the article. Howeve,r it was quite frequently reverted by User:Lostceasar User:Lostcaesar twice, who accused me of being NPOV and polemic. My question is: whether it actually is a NPOV on either my part or on his part, and what exactly consitute as "polemic" to the point of violating WP:NPOV? Thanks. George Leung 08:52, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Which article? Was it salient to the article? Did it have a reliable source? Metamagician3000 12:01, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It's in bible, and from a research by a guy in University of Michigan. Of cours,e I probably violated OR on that. However, I truly do not believe that it is a soapbox, which is what User:Lostcaesar accused me of, aside of being a polemic. I believe that it is a valid textual criticism, though perhaps in the wrong section. George Leung 21:32, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It is ... er ... a bit tangential to that article and was properly deleted IMO (I can say this confidently, having checked what you wrote). If there is an article somewhere that deals with the psychological effects of religion, or something, it might be more appropriate there. In that sort of context, I don't see why it would necessarily be original research, but anyone using such material would have to cite and attribute its conclusions ("reading the Bible makes you more violent" according to Foo's research, or "reading all the violence in the Bible is cathartic and makes you less violent" according to Snark's article in Psychological Boojums), rather than drawing inferences of their own from it. Metamagician3000 05:41, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:BLP courtesy deletion

I've created the first draft of a proposed policy to allow some BLPs to be deleted if the subject of the article requests it. Help in getting the draft up to scratch would be appreciated. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:53, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Why would we need a new policy on this? We already have a process for article deletion. Squidfryerchef 15:23, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
No this makes sense... a lot like {{Prod}} and {{db-author}}. Wikipedia shouldn't be in the business of making someone into a public figure who is not. The guideline would not apply if the party had become a figure in a matter much covered in the press--or so I would think. // FrankB 19:19, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Election Coverage

Please see Wikipedia:Election Coverage for a new take on an old proposal for election articles, and a very long rant by yours truly regarding its content. --Moralis 22:53, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Language characters in article titles.

Please see Natto. I noticed that word in the URL reads "Natto", while the word displayed as the title of the page (on the page itself) reads Nattō. How was this accomplished? What is the actual title of the article?

I thought this had been accomplished with the following markup...

<div id="title-override" class="topicon" style="font-size: 188%; padding-top: 0.5em; padding-bottom: 0.1em; float: left; position: absolute; left: 0.5em; top: 1px; width: 90%; background: {{#ifeq:{{PAGENAME}}|{{FULLPAGENAME}}|white|#F8FCFF}}; display:none">Title displayed on page</div>

...but it seems I was wrong. Can someone explain how it was done with the Natto article, why it was done, and under what circumstances it should be done? (Also, if you think this subject would fit better under another Village Pump section, please say so.) Thanks! Joie de Vivre 20:53, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Natto redirects to Nattō, so the article you are reading is the Nattō article. You can find more on redirects at Wikipedia:Redirect. The redirect will have been placed because many people cannot type an ō on their keyboard, so the redirect makes the article easier to reach. The URL in the browser says the article you have been directed from (not sure why), and under 'From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' under the title it also says where you have been redirected from. Hope that answers your question, mattbr30 22:50, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The browser URL is the article redirected from because the redirect is done on the Wikipedia side of the web fetch (not by sending the browser the HTTP response that says "go fetch this article from a different URL"). -- Rick Block (talk) 03:19, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Unicode characters in article titles

Please take a look at Talk:We Love Katamari and Talk:I ♥ Huckabees. Two debates were held deciding whether to use the Unicode heart symbol. The decisions were different. One now uses the special character in the article title, one does not. Shouldn't the policy be universal, either allowing the Unicode character or not? (Also, if you think this subject would fit better under another Village Pump section, please say so.) Thanks! Joie de Vivre 20:47, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

No, this is not an example where we should be consistent. The Huckabees article was ruled to be a special exception to the general rule because the heart character is apparently highly significant to the history of the movie or some such, while the heart in We love Katamari, like the star in Lucky Star (manga), is merely decorative. --tjstrf talk 08:58, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Both of the discussions in the I ♥ Huckabees article ended up with no consensus and there's nothing in the article itself that indicates the symbol being "apparently highly significant to the history of the movie", so I don't think that by itself is a reason to justify calling it an exception, unless you have sourced evidence that I missed. Note that there is consensus in We Love Katamari, and I don't really see anything different in the other article (except that more people like the movie.) The issue could still be reopened at some point. ColourBurst 23:14, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposals: What defines consensus?

I am involved in a proposal to merge two articles about a controversial topic. Both sides of the merge debate are very resolute in their positions, and the debate has become more and more acrimonious with time, with one RfC being filed against a user's behavior. I would like to close the merge proposal but am "afraid" that the other side will cry foul. I have contacted a few neutral admins to close this for me, but none have responded, most likely as a result of the huge talk page, and abrasive behavior of some users. So.... before attempting to close the merge proposal, and do it, I would like to know if the debate has achieved consensus. I realize that wikipedia is not a democracy, but clearly, if there is a vote that is 100 to 1, this would seem to indicate community consensus.

So, here is a summary of the merge debate. Could you let me know if you think this is a "consensus" or not? This appears to be a super-majority, but "consensus"? And if this is not consensus, what is the best way to resolve this issue?

Support merge: 9
Weak support for merge: 1
Oppose merge: 4

If you really want to know more about the specifics, go here. Thanks. Lunokhod 19:17, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Is it too late for me to add my vote for scrapping this article all together? It is poorly written, and comes very close to being Fringe. (I can't beleive someone actually thinks we need this article... but I guess it takes all types.) Blueboar 20:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Please help build consensus by expressing your opinion on the talk page. However, you should not take the quality of writing/article into consideration: the article is new, and as the result of an edit war, it has been blocked. Lunokhod 21:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, in Wikipedia consensus is a fallacy. The adversarial decision system, particularly when treated as a voting model, leads to confrontation rather than effort to achieve a consensus. Facilitation of a debate towards consensus is achieved by only a few, and tbh Blueboar is one of those who can help that process.
As soon as you get into a voting situation you're heading towards a majority opinion. you could take the admin vote route and consider an overwhelming majority as consensus, I think they're on about 70 percent and rising.
Appreciate this doesn't help but you have a clear majority there.
ALR 21:19, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

WP:RS to be merged and redirected to WP:ATT

Please NOTE: After due discussion on both talk pages, the guideline WP:RS is about to be superceeded by, and redirected to the new policy WP:ATT. The core aspects of RS are contained in ATT, so this should not cause any change in how we actually edit... basically the change is simply where the rules are to be found, not to the rules themselves. Blueboar 18:39, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: tenure system for administrators

Could en.wikipedia build up a tenure system for administrators?

In meta.wikimedia administrators are not granted for one year.

Poll after a year Sysop-hood is not a lifetime status. Get it if you need it. Keep it if people trust you. Quit it if you do not need it. Lose it if people feel they cannot trust you. Sysop status on meta will be granted for one year. After that time, people will be able to vote to oppose a sysop. If there is no opposition for the sysop to stay sysop, then they stay sysop. If opposition is voiced, then the sysop may lose sysopship if support falls below 75%. No quorum is required. It is not a vote to gain support status, but a poll to express disagreement with the current situation. The point is not to bug everyone to vote to support the sysop again (if there is no opposition, there is no point in voting your support again), the point is to not allow sysop-hood status to stay a lifetime status. If a sysop is not really strongly infringing rules, but is creating work for the community because of a lack of trust, then it is best that people have the possibility to express their opposition.

Could we have a more democratic wikipedia?


--Typepage 11:12, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

This should probably be on WP:VPR, since that's the proposals board. The reason admins are not required to stand for reconfirmation is that their work by necessity annoys people. This is why Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship has never been instated and probably won't be in the forseeable future. If we followed the meta system, there pretty much wouldn't be any admins left 12 months from now. --tjstrf talk 11:24, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Most admins don't last 12 months anyways, they stop volunteering. There is always a steady flow of new ones. SchmuckyTheCat 11:28, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • That's not actually true; over 80% of our 1000 admins are still active. At any rate, this is a WP:PEREN issue; the main problem is that reconfirming 20 admins per week would overload RFA. >Radiant< 14:45, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I guess it's a tough choice. Recall would lead to unpopular admins being singled out, universal reconfirmation would be too much work. I really think we ought to have recall anyway; in a consensus-based system, broad-based unpopularity is a sign that something's wrong. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 15:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


An important issue is raised at Wikipedia_talk:Reliable_sources#Historiography.2C_nationalism_and_reliability. Should the RS guideline discuss histographical/ideological bias commonly found in some sources? Obvious example: Nazi sources will be anti-semitic, and Soviet pro-Marxist. Less obvious: Western historiography, particulary from the first half of the 20th century and earlier, will have a 'Western bias'. Should we note that such sources are likely to be less reliable when discussing certain issues then modern academic work done in countries respecting free speach and academic ethics? -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  15:29, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

First, RS is in flux... in all likelihood it will be merged with WP:ATT. So any discussion on this should essentially be redirected there. My thoughts on the subject is that bias is not really the realm of RS (more NPOV). A source can be reliable under our rules and still be biased. The key is how you use it... a history written with a distinct Nazi or Soviet bias is certainly reliable for what it says (as a statement of the opinion of the author if nothing else)... however, it should probably be placed in context and discribed as potentially biased in the article. Blueboar 17:14, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

How to deal with a User's talk page which is solely used for personal attacks?

I'm reluctant to delete comments from a user's talk page, and understand this is a no-no. But if a user himself/herself adds nonsense or defamatory material to his/her own page, what's the best way of having it removed. Example: User:Skylinegtrr34 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tt 225 (talkcontribs) 12:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

If it qualifies as vandalism, simply remove it as vandalism. Also, even if it is not vandalism, you can give the attacker a warning to stop their personal attacks. Captain panda In vino veritas 14:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it is not that simple... It is indeed frowned on to edit another user's page... and the same goes for removing material from his/her talk page. The first step is to politely ask the user to remove the material you find offensive. If that does not work, bring the subject up with the admins at WP:ANI and let them deal with it. Blueboar 15:01, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. Will bring it up with the user in question, without a great deal of success expeccted! Tt 225 16:14, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I'm missing something here. Which part is the personal attack in that example? (I'm sure I'm missing something reeeally obvious; I just can't figure out what it is) Bladestorm 16:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

If there is consensus that they are personal attacks, I believe our policy has been to delete them, per Wikipedia:User page guideline and WP:NPA. Community policies, including Wikipedia:No personal attacks, apply to your user space just as they do elsewhere. and material that does not somehow further the goals of the project may be removed.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:47, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I personally don't see anything that could be construed as a personal attack, although personal information is revealed that someone may want removed. -sthomson06 (Talk) 20:27, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not find any of the information to be particularly offensive. I agree that there may be information that the named individuals may or may not wish to be shared, though. Tt 225, make sure to sign your posts by adding --~~~~ to the end of your posts to discussion pages. --Thisisbossi 22:34, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
You are correct - "personal attacks" was strongly overstating the case, now that I re-read the userpage. What I thought objectionable was the posting of personal information on named individuals. I still think it's inappropriate to use the userpages to say that a named individual spends her day lounging around in someone's bed. Nevertheless thanks for the discussion. Tt 225 12:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I deleted the unsourced, contentious material since was in violation of WP:BLP. The rest may fall under What can I not have on my user page? -- Jreferee 00:08, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Mission creep: Has any official policy or guideline ever been abolished?

Has any official policy or guideline ever been abolished?

From my two bad experiences with policy, it appears that a small group of vocal and influential editors make a page an official policy or guideline, and once it attains that title, no matter how dubious the path taken, it is difficult, if not impossible to roll back this policy.

Has any official policy or guideline ever been abolished? Travb (talk) 04:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure WP:AGF used to be a policy. That's one example. Grandmasterka 04:19, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Wait, AGF is no longer policy? Considering how often it's cited as a factor in complaints about user behaviour it's certainly not being treated as if it were just a guideline. Checking the talk page it looks like the reason was that it's not something you can strictly enforce, which makes sense, so I guess it's not a problem. It just seems odd. --tjstrf talk 07:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Not sure about this. Civility is still a policy, and assume good faith seems to be a guideline that clarifies civility in practice. I agree with Radiant, what makes a guidelines less actionable than policy, other than a mistaken perception? ColourBurst 15:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
As long as you're thinking of 'promoting' and 'demoting' pages you're not really understanding what policies are and how they work. The difference between pol and g is somewhat nebulous anyway. >Radiant< 08:33, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments radiant, I changed the question. Although unfortunatly your response does not answer the question that I was actually asking. I apologize for the confusion in my question.
If I ever need to know about how wikipolicy works, I will come ask you first, since you probably are much more involved with wikipolicy then most wikiusers.
Back to the (changed) original question: Radiant, has any official policy or guideline ever been abolished? I guess now that I think of it, WP:PAIN is one example. Others? Travb (talk) 01:03, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, WP:V and WP:NOR, but those weren't "demoted" per se, just deprecated upon being merged to WP:ATT. Some have also been significantly altered (the old VfD to the AfD system, etc.). I'm not sure if one's ever been abolished outright, usually things like that are changed rather then totally done away with. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 01:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Okay, sorry for the confusion. As Seraphim says, generally things are changed rather than stopped. Two examples of things we stopped, off the top of my head, are the notion that usernames must be in the Latin alphabet (which used to be part of the username policy) and the notion that removing warnings from your talk page is considered vandalism (which used to be part of the vandalism oplicy). I don't think it's generally possible to abolish a policy or guideline, because removing the "rule" won't stop people from doing it anyway; effectively, you can't legislate Wikipedia. >Radiant< 10:00, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

LOL -- What a brilliant point -- Ignore all rules is the only rule! Beg to differ. Guidelines and Policies are VERY VERY different. One is foundation laws, the other has room to ignore and exercise editorial latitude, as the banner messages say. Otherwise all the bloodletting and elimination of 'good faith photos' (mainly local politicians publicity photos), wouldn't have taken place. Looks like we need a guideline on how something can become a guideline, and how something can be discarded. Sometimes it's best to simply start over... ask any signer of the US Constitution! Hopefully, WP:NOTE is headed that way too. Cheers // FrankB 19:25, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a policy or guideline that says "ignore all rules" or words to that effect? (And if I could find it again I'd make a note of it here.) Cryptonymius 19:36, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes there is, and it's easily found at Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, or WP:IAR for shorts. ;-) Circeus 20:16, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

A dispute over the Disputedtag

There has been a small edit war over the placement of the {{Disputedtag}} on WP:N with regards some recent "disputes" about both the text of the guideline and whether it should remain as guideline at all. --Farix (Talk) 03:10, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

The edit war escalated until an admin stepped in and protected the WP:N page. To facilitate productive editing after the block expires, I have put a straw poll on the discussion page at WT:N#Straw Poll. Please carefully consider the options and weigh in. Note that this poll relates only to next steps for editing the page once it is unprotected; it is not the place to comment on Notability in general. Dhaluza 15:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Reliable Sources

It has been pointed out that nearly everything on the WP:RS page is also covered in the policy for Attribution and/or its faq page. It has also been pointed out that we have so many policy/guideline pages that it gets confusing to new users. Hence, the intent is to double-check that the page has basically become redundant, and merge/redirect it into WP:ATT. Comments on this are welcome. >Radiant< 08:53, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

WP:RS is only a guideline. Do we want to elevate everything in it into a policy?--Runcorn 10:01, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • It's not a matter of elevation, considering the important issues of RS are already part of ATT. >Radiant< 16:26, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd agree that sourcing and reliability should be elevated to policy, but I'm concerned about the number of holes in ATT and the associated FAQ.
There is a fundamental approach issue which I think is unhelpful; reliability cannot be dictated based on a number of individual rules, but sources need to be assessed based on a number of characteristics. The dogmatic approach being taken in ATT isn't specially helpful.
ALR 10:42, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Please bring that up on the ATT talk page. >Radiant< 16:26, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I have, a number of times. Each time garners the sum total of nil responses. Doesn't fill me with confidence.ALR 16:37, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree that the WP:RS page is now redundant. Like the WP:VER and WP:NOR pages, I think it should be left as an archive and be tagged with:
  • "This page has been incorporated into Wikipedia:Attribution"
  • "This Wikipedia page is currently inactive and is kept primarily for historical interest."
As a side note, I have less of an object to WP:ATT than ALR above - I don't interpret ATT as being overly dogmatic, and I also accept that it has been reached by general consensus as an practical policy.
Dr Aaron 12:22, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with archiving WP:RS and marking it as historical. It's another example of instruction creep. The Transhumanist   00:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Not only that, but confusing. I've been happily editing for several months now, using these "old" policies as reference, and one day the change. Heck, I just learned about the change! --Otheus 21:25, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Why not list the changes necessary to WP:ATT on the talk page and see if you ger consensus on their inclusion?--Runcorn 18:11, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Recreated images on my talk page.

OK, heres the situation. I have recreated various images and uploaded them. However it has been bought to my attention (By one user letting me know on my talk page, my userpage being edited by an administrator...) that I am not allowed to display my own work. I am quite aware of Rule #9 of Wikipedia:Fair use, but I don't believe that this case is what the rule is talking about. I created the images because there were NO alternatives available (free or nonfree) and therefore I am partial copyright owner. I have been told that I can link to them inline, but frankly this is not acceptable, and according to a recent court case[5] copyright infringement. If nessary I will put a fair use assertion on the images to allow them on my userpage, because frankly I don't think this is very fair. I have spent hours working on these things and I think I should get the right to display them. I know it sounds like I am throwing a tantrum, and I probably am, but as partial copyright holder to these images, I would be tempted to list them for deletion if I cannot display my own work!

Here are the images:

Fosnez 07:33, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

If I'm understanding your complaint correctly, I think what you're actually dealing with here is trademark infringement. Your images were created by you, but if they substantially duplicate the copyrighted/trademarked logos of the agencies and companies that you based them on, it's still not your image. I can't create a traced copy of McDonalds' Golden Arches and claim them as my own work, because there's no original content there. Does that help explain why they're being removed? -- nae'blis 15:37, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
  • If I understand your post, you added the fair use images to the appropriate articles, but you also want to display these same fair use images on your user page. Your Cairns City Council image might be a work made for hire, in which case your employer owns the copyright, not you. The other items may be derivative works, which only the copyright holder has a right to create. You cannot be a "partial" copyright holder of a derivative work where you create that work without permission from the original copyright holder. As for what images you can display on your user page, you might want to review images on user pages. It is a mistake to think of your user page as a homepage: Wikipedia is not a blog, webspace provider, or social networking site. Remember, your user page is not "your" user page, it's Wikipedias. -- Jreferee 02:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Notability/overview Discussion of guideline permutations, aka:instruction creep.

There is a discussion beginning at Wikipedia talk:Notability/overview to consider whether we need to develop complex permutations of instructions regarding notability. New proposals are springing up with greater frequency and in some cases being "passed" by several advocates without robust scrutiny. Please join the discussion. Thanks! --Kevin Murray 20:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Notability chart (2007).jpg
I have followed the arguments on the discussion pages of several of these proposed guidelines. There seemed to be common ground on the ones for shopping malls WP:MALL , religious congregations and their buildings WP:CONG , and the nonencyclopedic nature of some crimes, missing persons, cute animals, or other "water-cooler stories" which nonetheless were covered by several newspapers or tv news programs at WP:NOTNEWS . The need for these was seen in AFDs where the same arguments were repeated over and over at each AFD for the items. Kevin, a self described "inclusionist" and a couple of other editors have claimed these proposals should be merged with more general proposals, and that they are "rejected" on the basis apparently that there is not unanimity or that several persons object to them. With some diehard inclusionists who want anything anyone types into or cut and pastes into Wikipedia kept, and some diehard deletionists raising the bar such that only internationally respected sources and subjects count for notability, and others shouting "INSTRUCTIONCREEP" wanting every policy downgrades to a guideline, and every guideline tagged as "disputed" or downgraded to an essay, there should at least be an effort to take the heart of these proposals into the guideline it gets redirected to. Kevin in a comment said [6] that since in his view one of the proposals "lacked consensus" (or perhaps lacked editors as tenacious in editwarring over its status) there was no need to include anything from it in the guideline it got redirected to. I see this as a mistake which will only insure that future AFDs remain tendentious and repetitious refights of what was already talked through in the discussion pages of the various proposed guidelines presently under attack. A proposed guideline was probably not created to include all articles about a subject or to delete all articles, but to provide bright line guides and to list good reference guides to help determins notability for subjects of a given kind. Worries about "INSTRUCTIONCREEP" should not be allowed to eliminate useful instructions in favor of vague generalities. Edison 21:26, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (academics)

The proponents of Wikipedia:Notability (academics) believe that this should be adopted as a guideline. However, there is opposition to further instruction creep as it is questionable whether academics represent a special case sufficient enough to require special guidelines. Further concerns exist as to the wording etc. Please join the discussion at the talk page. --Kevin Murray 19:59, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

WP:PROFTEST (Wikipedia:Notability (academics)) has been a proposed guideline used at WP:AFD debates regularly since at least July of last year; see Wikipedia talk:Notability (academics)#inactive? for a selected list of AfD debates that demonstrate the guideline's acceptance in the community. With the exception of a few minor wording tweaks, the proposal has been stable for about a year. One or two comments about instruction creep have come up, but in this case, these guidelines are sorely needed, because success as an academic is not something inherently clear and obvious. Before the proposal stabilized, people had been very inconsistent in their opinions about notability for academics, but things have been much better since then. It has recently been recognized by User:Radiant, an outsider not involved in the proposal's development (and a tough critic), that this guideline is de facto accepted, and marked as a {{guideline}}. I'd like to invite other members of the community to review the discussion and my case study, and form an opinion on the matter. Mangojuicetalk 22:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Instruction creep is inevitable. Bad instructions need to be struck down and salted. WP:PROF is not one of those. It's useful. I thought it is an official guideline already, actually.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:20, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I should point out that, while the content of the page looks good, it may still be an improvement with respect to comprehensiveness and clarity to merge it with WP:BIO. Note that the shortcut WP:PROF used to redirect there as well, before Notability(academics) was written. >Radiant< 13:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
    • To this end, the guidelines at BIO have been enhanced to include most of the agreed criteria at PROF, under a section which would be applicable to scientists, artists, designers, and other creative professions. A merger of PROF could be accomplished by adding academics and professors to this list. Some of the discussion and example material at PROF could be featured in a supporting essay. --Kevin Murray 18:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Citations and Subcultures

I've written an essay at Wikipedia:Citation as Regards Newer Phenomena proposing that we ought to do something (change or clarify policy) to resolve the same dispute which has, albeit with different names, been dragging on for several years with respect to articles about subcultures with a supernatural bent. Discussion regarding it and editing of it would be awesome. Falcon 04:05, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposal - reform AFD (etc) to not be a vote.

I know what you're going to say. It's not a vote, right? Then why do people complain when anons vote? Why aren't you allowed to vote twice? Why do you have to cross out your first vote when changing your vote? Proposed: Abolish the formulaic boldface comments. Anything less is a half-measure. Forbidding people from maintaining tallies or dividing the votes into lists for and against while allowing admins to count votes is inherently self-contradictory. --Random832 21:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC) Withdrawn, speedy archiving. --Random832 16:24, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Re: IP/pure-SPA contributions. To measure consensus, it makes a difference whether one person is saying the same thing ten times or ten different people are saying it once. With IP/pure-SPA contributions, the closing admin often can't tell the difference. That's why that is a problem.
Re: crossing out the old bolding. This makes it crystal clear when an opinion has been changed. It is my personal opinion that changed opinions are the best indication of the consensus of a discussion and should receive stronger than standard weight, but I don't know of anyone that agrees with me on that point. GRBerry 22:05, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes the language is awkward when people try to say AfD isn't a vote, then they expect people to behave in a vote-like way. The bold words are crude but they are practical. Most AfDs really aren't very controversial, and are just consensus deletes or keeps, but it would take so much more time to close them without the bolded words. I guess it's a dirty little secret, but the bolding does serve a purpose. We're not ready to walk without that crutch yet. --W.marsh 22:18, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
    As was discussed one time on WP:VIE, it turns out that our XfD discussions actually are a type of vote in that they are a formal collection of opinion. They just aren't a numerically decided vote, and we dislike using the term vote because it is misleading to people who think "vote" means "majority rules". --tjstrf talk 00:09, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Anyone who's participated in an AfD knows that they're a vote at the moment, no matter how much some Wikiutopians like to insist it's not. The bolding does help though, for seeing where consensus exists or does not. Lankiveil 06:51, 24 February 2007 (UTC).
Like it or not, XfDs are definitely a vote. However, removing the bolding will not fix this. The discussions will still inevitably end up as a vote, with some arguing editors one side, and some arguing the other. All removing the bolding does is make it harder for admins to determine the consensus on an issue. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 07:01, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
  • This is a matter of semantics, it depends on your definition of the word "vote". Suffice it to say that AFDs are "not decided by vote count". If there are problems with AFD, then a change of terms is not going to help resolve them. >Radiant< 12:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
    • My proposal was to actually change how things are done, not just what they're called - don't have the boldface words there at all, so that the closing admin has to actually read and understand the discussion. --Random832 15:27, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Yes, but you're in effect adding length to an already-backlogged process, with little benefit. You seem to assume that closing admins don't actually read and understand the discussion; do you have any evidence to back up that allegation? >Radiant< 10:21, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Not a vote

For the skeptics regarding the statement that "XfD is not a vote", here are a few examples of discussions I've closed in the last couple of months. (I have counter examples on keep also with a majority of 'delete' opinions, but I didn't happen to keep track of those.) You decide.


All of the above seem to have been handled properly. I will always applaud an admin who looks at the merit of the issue instead of just simply counting votes. Wikipedia is very vulnerable to being inappropriately swayed by small and persistant "niche groups" (fanboys) of a particular article (or its topic). SPA's and vote-mongering can be real problems when trying to fairly apply policy; cheers to the admins who do more than vote count.  ;-) /Blaxthos 21:05, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)

There has been on and off discussion about this manual for a while, but of late the focus has turned to what sort of scope and level of detail should go into a fictional article.

I encourage people to visit the Talk page, but also to take a look at the draft revision that I have put together. It tries to keep all of the existing flavour (particularly about out-of-universe perspectives) but also refocus on the need for notablility, proper attribution, and suitable detail and scope in fictional articles. Cheers, Dr Aaron 12:30, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Merge of Wikipedia:Protection policy and Wikipedia:Semi-protection policy

Radiant spearheaded an initiative to merge several policies a few weeks ago (See WP:LAP). A draft of the merged WP:FULL and WP:SEMI is over at User:Steel359/Protection policy and needs more eyes on it. Please leave any comments on it's talk page. One thing to be emphasised is that this is merge is just that - a merge. There is no actual change to the policy itself. – Steel 19:24, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Alleged humor, in a sardonic vein

User:Herostratus/Guidelines for uploading photographs Herostratus 18:16, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

some random comment

I posted a page someone named Doc Glasgow blocked it? Wht the heck is this about? Some one invites you and me to participate and we enter a benign page and some is waitng in the bushes to play God?

So much for the notion of the perfect democracy the net represents, and oh by the way? There goes the donation to Wikipedia too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pitbullstew (talkcontribs) 14:13, 26 February 2007

Gosh, how terrible. That will teach us! Perhaps policy ought be rewritten. What terrible...people we...ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZ I am quite aware of WP:Civil, but sometimes... 22:37, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm tempted to go the same path as User:LessHeard vanU, and if anything by the time I'm done writing this I suspect I may have done just that. The reasoning is that your post here is not the most courteous toward Doc Glasgow nor do you provide any indication or evidence of the incident with which you have issue with. You did not even specify what type of article you wrote or what edit you performed. Before launching into attacks on other users because you feel that you have been wronged, maintain civility, assume good faith, and stay cool.
Much of the problem probably arose from the type of edit that you performed. There are numerous guidelines which attempt to curb unencyclopedic articles, which are a common trend among the more inexperienced editors. Not to point fingers at you: we've pretty much all done it (and some of us still do). My first article was an autobiography that I put into the mainspace instead of my user space (if that means anything :P) and my following couple of articles were all speedily deleted. It's disheartening, yes, but I took it upon myself to learn why; and to hope that such deletions do not happen again.
Was I creating articles that were really for my own interests rather than anyone else's? Generally, yes. I've since tried to put a stop to that. I also lost two articles to speedy deletion which I felt could have been helpful to Wikipedia, but at the time I did not have the editing knowhow of how to make a new article be at least somewhat useful in itself. In particular, you must assert its notability as well as write an initial article coherent enough so that other Wikipedians can understand it. You don't have to write perfectly -- there are plenty of gurus involved with grammar, punctuation, and spelling to take care of that (though it's preferable if you at least use spellcheck); but make sure that those proofreaders can comprehend what you are trying to say in the first place. Even just in writing this response, I've reworded it several times because I did not feel that my initial phrasings were the best -- there is always room for improvement.
If you really feel that you have been wronged and never want to come back, so be it. If you don't want to donate, that's fine -- I haven't donated, myself; but Wikipedia seems to be doing just fine from the plethora of others who do donate. On the other hand, if you want to stay here and take it upon yourself to become a worthwhile editor: welcome aboard! We're not all perfect, but edit by edit we try to do the best we can. I will provide several helpful links on your Talk page which may be of assistance, should you decide to stick around. Sláinte! --Thisisbossi 05:02, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Deletions of external links

A wikipedian User:Requestion seems to be obsessed with external links. In software listings, he deletes them, because "wikipedia is not a link farm". He started an edit war, and when I suggested to go to ArbCom, he told that if he looses the case in ArbCom, he will try to delete the whole article. If this does not work, he will again go to ArbCom (and again and again and again...) What to do? Or maybe I make a mistake, and external links for software are prohibited in Wikipedia? What do you think about List of screen capture software and List of screen recording software? --Urod 00:35, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:External links is the guideline for how to use external links. GRBerry 00:47, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • It would seem that both articles mentioned suffer from lack of sourcing, excessive self promotion, and lack of encyclopedicness. In general articles have a tendency to attract too many external links. >Radiant< 12:04, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed with Radiant, most articles benefit from a periodic pruning of external links. They tend to get a bit crufty over time, and quite often most of them don't support a bit of content in the article or if they do are redundant. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 12:08, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The focus of this dispute revolves around Wikipedia is not a mere directory of links. I also would like to take this opportunity to clear up a misstatement that User:Urod is claiming I said which is factually not true. I never said that I was going to take this issue to ArbCom "again and again and again..." What I said when describing how this dispute was going to be resolved was if ArbCom failed then the article would go up for deletion and if that failed then someone else would repeat this same process over again. I then offered Urod a generous compromise to this dispute to which Urod defiantly responded "No deals with you." (Requestion 17:51, 26 February 2007 (UTC))
To both Urod and Requestion: we are not here to settle any disputes between feuding editors. There are other locations more appropriate for that, and note that you should BOTH provide evidence of your disagreements. The great thing about Wikipedia is that the "paper trail" is easy to trace (but emails are not). Back on-topic: Radiant and Seraphimblade are right-on about WP:EL and redundancy or irrelevance of links; and yes, Requestion has a point about WP:NOT#DIR. As far as I see it, this policy issue is resolved; the feud is to be taken elsewhere. --Thisisbossi 04:46, 27 February 2007 (UTC)