Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AD

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Including alleged Nobel Peace Prize nominations in bios

(I inserted the word "Peace" into the section title, since that's the only Nobel Prize where this is an issue. Other Nobel prize nominations are handled by Nobel Committee panels of experts, and aren't open to outsiders) --MiguelMunoz 08:00, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Several biographies include claims of Nobel Prize nominations. (Al Gore, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Alfred H. Love, Maksim Kovalevsky, SOS Children's Villages Canada, Hugh Harman, Ding Zilin, Tookie Williams, and Rush Limbaugh to name a few.)

Since the Nobel Committee does not release the names of nominees for 50 years, none of these claims are verifiable (the Nobel Committee neither confirms nor denies any nominations). The fact of whether the nomination was actually made is not verifiable, hence it's against policy to include any of them. Therefore I propose that all of these Nobel Prize nominations included in the bios need to go. —Doug Bell talk 12:05, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Struck out names of people nominated more than 50 years ago. —Doug Bell talk 12:36, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Did you check those against the Nobel Committee's official list of nominees? Just because a nomination is claimed to have happened 50 years ago doesn't verify that it did.The Monster 00:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
If the Nobel Committee are the only people who know the names of the nominees (and therefore the only way to get verifiable information regarding who the nominees are), then this is an obvious case of what's "impossible to verify", and therefore must go, per WP:V. --`/aksha 12:14, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, obviously I agree, but the subject is debated contentiously and separately at each bio, so I'm hoping a centralized discussion on this can establish a uniform consensus on the matter. —Doug Bell talk 12:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
On ones such as Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh, we do have published evidence that they were nominated, simply not by the Nobel committee. As long as that fact is made clear in the articles, I fail to see the problem. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:42, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
No, we have published claims that they were nominated. Not the same thing as evidence. —Doug Bell talk 12:43, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
This comes from a lack of understanding as to how the Nobel nomination process works, I think. Regardless of one's knowledge of it, though, as long as the facts of the case (that it's been claimed by Such-and-Such that So-and-So was nominated or something similar) are presented accurately, there's no problem. --badlydrawnjeff talk 12:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with mentioning Nobel Prize nomination rumors if they are clearly marked as rumors and there are multiple reliable sources that claim somebody was nominated. A similar example is "Christoph Cardinal Schönborn was considered a potential successor of John Paul II": there was considerable media speculation about all the people on the List of papabili in the 2005 papal conclave, but there are no records of the votes in the conclave itself, so we can't reliably say who the real candidates were other than "all cardinals". In any case, WP:V tells us not to say "John Doe was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Pathological Nanoarcheology" (which is unverifiable and unfalsifiable for 50 years), but "The New York Times claimed that John Doe was nominated for the ..., but that was neither confirmed nor denied by the Nobel Committee", which can be verified. These rumors are of course a lot less notable than a verified nomination would be, so unless they attracted considerable media attention, they should not be included. Kusma (討論) 12:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I like others didn't have a complete understanding of how the nominations are made. So I would say that it now makes sense to remove the claim that they were nominated. However, if reliable sources such as The Globe and Mail report that Coutier and Gore were nominated then it should be mentioned in that way. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 13:12, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
My two cents is that if an editor can provide a reliable source verifying that someone was nominated then the information should stay. However, I can see the other side of the argument that we can't absolutely verify (with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt) that a nomination actually happened until the Nobel Committee releases the name in fifty years. However, I still go back to my original position. However, I believe should apply the "clear and convincing evidence" standard. We talk on Wikipedia all the time about various movies or actors getting Oscar talk before the Osacar nominations are actually given. We also talk about movies and actors being the leading contender after the nomination but before the actual announcement on Oscar night--as long as we have a reliable source to back up such speculation. In the Oscar situation we can't absolutely verify any of this talk until the actual nominations are announced or the winner is announced. But if we quote a reliable source, CNN, for example stating that "Clint Eastwood is the leading contender", then I don't see a problem. Basically the Nobel candidates should be treated just as we do MVPs for sports or Presidential candidates in politics. There has been much Wikipedian ink spilled on Barack Obama and Dr. Condi Rice, even though neither of them are President (yet). I always err on the side of giving a reader more info than less, as long as it is verifiable with a reliable source, and then let the reader decide.----Getaway 13:44, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Having thought about this I re-did the entry for Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Would something like this be OK? CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 14:53, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I think that is fine. The statement as rewritten is verifiable. —Doug Bell talk 16:25, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Rumors aren't noteworthy, even if they are clearly marked as rumors. Rumors are often put out by PR departments. Including them amounts to giving people free publicity. They're (arguably) acceptable for news stories, but they have no place in an encyclopedia. --MiguelMunoz 08:10, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Yaksha writes "If the Nobel Committee are the only people who know the names of the nominees ... then this is an obvious case of what's "impossible to verify", and therefore must go" But they're not the only people who know. The people making the nomination also know, and are free to announce this. So much of this comes down to the credibility of the announcer. --MiguelMunoz 08:00, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

"Each year the respective Nobel Committees send individual invitations to thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists from numerous countries, previous Nobel Laureates, members of parliamentary assemblies and others, asking them to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year," [[1]] and therefore persons who may not be bound by statutes of the Nobel Foundation may claim to have nominated someone for a prize. And in the words of the Nobel Foundation's own web site, "Well, either it's just a rumour, or someone among the invited nominators has leaked information. Since the nominations are kept secret for 50 years, you'll have to wait until then to find out." [[2]] Cryptonymius 15:11, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I think that nominations made by eligible parties as reported by reputable sources are OK for inclusion. I believe that those nominations which are submitted by ineligible parties but reported by reputable sources should either be excluded or included only with strong mention that the nomination is invalid or made by an ineligible party. Obviously, claims with no reputable sources should be excluded entirely. I take a neutral stance on whether they should be included or not as a general guideline. Vassyana 15:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I think stating the nomination as a claim of a nomination, tying the claim to reliable sources, and including a caveat that the claim cannot be verified is acceptable. This creates a statement in the article which is itself verifiable. —Doug Bell talk 16:25, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

If a wikipedian is stating that the claim cannot be verified, that would be in direct conflict with verifiability and so not acceptable. If a reliable source however can be *quoted* as stating that " and so says the claim cannot be verified..." that may pass. If the claim is tied to reliable sources and by tied, I mean quoted from (which is typical in the case of controversial claims), that would probably be sufficient to assert the statement in the article. Wjhonson 17:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
An example wording might be "Nobel Prize nominations are not released for 50 years and prior to their release the Nobel Committee neither confirms nor denies any claims of nominations." That is a verifiable statement that puts the claim of a nomination in its proper context. A reliable source, preferrably from the person or organization claiming to have made the nomination, would be needed to make the claim at all, but that source is not a verification that the nomination was in fact made. That fact is not verifiable as the information is not released by the Nobel Committee and there is no other means of verifying the claim short of that. —Doug Bell talk 17:43, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
What cannot be verified is whether the Nobel Committee considered the nomination "legitimate". What can be verified, and therefore included in an article is the organizations that claim to have nominated the person. I believe that without such attribution, the statement "X has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize" is not verifiable, and therefore non-encyclopedic. In contrast, "X was nominated by Y for the Nobel Peace Prize" with a link to the official statement by Y to that effect, is verifiable. I don't think we need any specific disclaimer so much as the specific link I show here, which takes the reader to the page with the rules on it.The Monster 00:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I was one of the people who wanted it removed from the Al Gore article (actually for me the main problem was that it was being mentioned in the opening paragraph of the article). As others have said, the Nobel committee doesn't release who was nominated until 50 years later, and in their rules they discourage people from announcing their nominations. I ask this purely out of ignorance -- has anyone who has been previously announced as a nominee ever won? Evil Monkey - Hello 20:01, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Over the years I have made several sweeps through Wikipedia and removed scores of unsourced assertions of Peace Prize nominations. I have done so for several reasons. As noted above, nominations are usually unverifiable unless older than 50 years. The exceptions are instances in which the nominators have publicized their nominations which then became the subject of media coverage. (Bob Geldof, Stanley Williams, etc.) Another important reason is that being nominated is not an exceptional honor. Over a hundred people are nominated annually, the pool of potential nominators is vast, and there are no eligibility requirements (other than being alive). An exception there would be the nomination by the American Friends Society (Quakers), who make an annual nomination and do so with such care that it is something of an honor in its own right. So my general view is that nominations should not be included unless the nomination claims are sourced and exceptional. -Will Beback · · 22:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Will are you sure that it's not a honour? A quick look at the nominators list and then at 39th Canadian Parliament, United Kingdom general election, 2005 and 110th United States Congress would indicate that in those three countries alone there are over 1000 possible nominators just from elected officials. Expand that world wide and include the other people who get nomination papers and that is indeed a vast pool. Yet this large group can't manage to come up with more than 200 nominations. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 10:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
How in the world can we even guess at how many nominations there are? Where are you getting the information on the number of nominations—since they don't tell us who was nominated, I'm surprised they would say how many...where? —Doug Bell talk 10:33, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
What we do know is that the Nobel committee, in their own words, send out "thousands" of invitations to nominate someone. Even with considerable overlaps of opinion, it stands to reason that hundreds of distinct people get nominated in each category each year. Thus I would argue that it is not a notable honor to be nominated, let alone to be rumored to be nominated. --mglg(talk) 19:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh I agree it's not notable. I'm just thinking that the numbers are MUCH higher than several hundred. Probably for exactly this type of "I've been nominated" self-promotion. —Doug Bell talk 19:16, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to search for the link, but the Nobel Committee announces the number of nominations received. In recent years it's been around 120. Among others, I've removed nomination claims from the article about a philanthropic car dealer from Ohio and a faith healing dietitian from Brazil. Since any national legislator, and any humanities professor may make a nomination, the only honor is that one person feels the nominee is worth nominating. -Will Beback · · 20:21, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Here's the Nobel Committee's page on the nomination process.[3] They say they've been getting 140 nominations annually in recent years. -Will Beback · · 20:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I see that Will already linked to the same place I got my info from. mglg, in this case we are talking only about the Peace prize and the links provided reflect that. Will, I would agree that if the persons only claim to notability is the nomination then not only should the claim be removed but the article on that person should be deleted as well. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 21:41, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the Peace Prize has an entirely different nomination procedure from the other prizes, which have nominating committees composed of experts. -Will Beback · · 22:12, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Number of nominations: 2005, 199; 2006, 191; 2007 (so far), 167.[4]Mike 23:34, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Nobel prize nominations aren't noteworthy for a category, template, etc and just add clutter. In the prose of a bio it's not a cut and dried issue. If outside sources have made a big deal of it - well, then, same as any fact that sources makes a big deal of. I just hope we have an an article to wikilink the claim that points out how arbitrary and non-notable it is to be nominated. (IMHO, anybody who tries to gain positive spin by proclaiming themselves a nominee deserves to be ridiculed) SchmuckyTheCat 20:23, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if they should be included, but I'd like to suggest one disqualifying standard. Nominations should clearly not be included if they're obviously self-serving. For example, Rush Limbaugh sits on the board of an organization that nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. It's not worth asking if they are even qualified to nominate. To include this nomination in a Wikipedia article would be acting like an arm of the Rush Limbaugh PR department. --MiguelMunoz 07:29, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I disagree there. If there is a conflict of interest in the nomination then the article should include it and point that out. Similar to the way that it's done already in the article. The reader can then draw their own conclusions as to the validity of the nomination. As to it being seen as "...acting like an arm of the Rush Limbaugh PR department.", it's a statment of a claim made by the fondation and not an endorsment of it by Wikipedia. In fact the inclusion of his and others "nominations" has an educational purpose. The reader can now find out how the Nobel nominations are made and that someone announcing it does not always make it so. I saw in the paper that Watt-Cloutier was nominted but not until this came up did I understand how the nominations work. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 10:31, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

A few points I'd like to make: first of all, this talk about whether or not we can know who has been nominated is getting a bit silly. If Landmark Legal Grp. has issued a press release saying that they've nominated Limbaugh, then it is certainly fair to say that they made such an announcement. If it is to be removed from the artile it should be based on issues of significance (is this any more notable than if I myself sent such a letter? Does it carry any weight?) not on verifiability issues. Can we 100% prove that they actually sent the nomination to the committee? No. But do we have any reason to doubt that they did? Do we have 100% certainty of anything written in wikipedia? Perhaps they sent the letter, but it got lost in the mail; can we prove the Nobel committee received it? We can take this verifiability issue to an extreme, but let's not.

Secondly, we need to establish the facts on what is or is not a vaild nomination. The Web Site seems to say that anyone who fits any of the criteria listed can nominate any person. So, it seems, a Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Tehran can nominate Ahmadinejad. Any member of the national assembly of Guinea-Bissau can nomiate his brother Charlie. If this is the case there must be hundreds of thousands of people eligible to make nominations. 200 or so a year seems pretty small. Yet this seems to contradict what website says here : "Nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize is by invitation only. The Nobel Committee sends confidential forms to persons who are competent and qualified to nominate". This basically seems to shoot down Limbaugh's nom as invalid. What about Gore's? Relable news sources have stated that Gore's nom was made by qualified individuals (I think that much is pretty certain) but was their opinion invited? and if not, is it still valid? In any case, I see nothing wrong with keeping mentions on both pages, if phrased properly. A few of us have done quite a bit of tweaking of the Limbaugh article to keep the mention in perspective (not "Limbaugh was nominated..." but "Landmark announced its unsolicited nomination of...", mentioning Limbaugh's connection with the organization, etc.) Admittedly Gore's nom has received much more press attention than Limbaugh's, likely because Gore may be a serious contender and Limbaugh almost certainly isn't, though I'm sure the dittoheads will just point it out as another example of liberal bias in the media. In any case, the mention in Limbaugh's article, far from serving as an arm of the Rush promotional machine in my mind, works to dispel the idea that seems to be floating around the blogoshpere that Limbaugh is in the running for the Nobel Prize this year. -R. fiend 16:27, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Jon Stewart had a hilarious take on this notion of elevating a dubious question to the status of a debatable point. He ends by saying "Is your Mother a Whore? I'm just asking." His point is that, simply by answering the question with a firm "no" is still dignifying the question. Limbaugh's publicist can easily maneuver somebody to announce a ridiculous Nobel Peace Prize nomination, but that doesn't mean it belongs in an encyclopedia. If we include it, then soon people are debating whether or not Limbaugh's nomination is valid, and people will take sides, and soon it seems natural to use "Limbaugh" and "Nobel Prize" in the same sentence. This becomes a victory for the publicist, even though many people scoff at the nomination. If you read the Limbaugh discussion page, some people are arguing that the nomination is valid! Wikipedia should not be a rumor mill, even if it discredits the rumors. Limbaugh's "nomination" is self-serving hogwash. We do him the enormous favor of dignifying the hogwash by including it. If you still don't agree, ask yourself this: Before the Landmark Foundation nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, Al Franken called Rush Limbaugh a Big Fat Idiot. Should we precede the section about his Nobel Prize nomination with another section calling him a big fat idiot? Do we present both sides of the question and let the readers decide if he's a big fat idiot? --MiguelMunoz 05:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The preceding comments highlight exactly why nominations are not notable. Some people think the nomination of Rush Limbaugh is absurd and politically motivated. Others think the same of Al Gore's nomination. I am not taking a position on this, but it could be argued that neither one has had any impact on world peace (or any of the criteria listed for the awarding of the prize). It could also be argued that the public announcement of Gore's nomination (in violation of the recommended practice of confidential nominations) was also for political purposes (to bring publicity upon the nominator for his own benefit). But ultimately it is irrelevant what the general public thinks of the worthiness of an individual for the prize. We only know the following: 1. It is inherently notable when someone wins a Nobel Prize. 2. The nomination process is so loose that nominations are left to the individual subjective assessment of an incredibly large pool of people. The small number of nominations received doesn't change that fact. 3. There is no way to know whether or not a nominee is ever seriously "in the running" for the prize.

We on Wikipedia should not be making subjective judgments about which nominations are worthy and which are not. We should simply be deciding whether or not they are notable and verifiable. I think they are not notable. Some in this discussion have argued that nominations are notable because of the significant publicity given to them. But this is circular: The public gives nominations attention because it mistakenly believes they are notable (as I and many others here believed before looking into it). If Wikipedia decides they are notable because the public does, it will only reinforce the public view that they are notable. If everybody in the world knew all the facts around nominations, it is likely that most would not find them notable.--JrStonehenge 16:51, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

While I feel that most Nobel Peace Prize nominations are not notable, I do feel that some are and should be included. For example, as user Beback pointed out above, nominations by the American Friends Service Committee are notable and deserve mention. So would nominations by any other previous Nobel Peace Prize winners. -- MiguelMunoz 05:54, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

please note that i have removed the nomination sections on the limbaugh and gore pages. i doubt it will stay that way for long, but i would implore all of you to please help me keep such silliness off wikipedia. gore could possibly win and then i would agree that his nomination and WIN would be notable. until then its ridiculous. limbaugh sits on the board of the group that supposedly nominated him. is it really notable that his friends nominated him for something we would all be surprised if he won? my friends think i am a good guy, too. if they didnt i doubt they would be my friends. i would also like to note that hitler, mussolini and stalin also received nominations. does anyone really think that fact should be included on their respective wikipedia pages? of course not. nominations (inherently unverified) should not be included. thanks. Brendan19 10:43, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Attribution: Merger of Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research

Wikipedia:Attribution, a proposal to subsume and replace Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research, is ready to be implemented. Please review the document and discuss any problems on the talk page. —Centrxtalk • 23:06, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Adminship survey

I've started a survey on adminship and its procedures, to find out if a substantial majority of editors believe that certain changes should be made to our procedure or precedent. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated! :) - Mailer Diablo 15:27, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Why GFDL by default and not public domain?

Why do contributions to Wikipedia fall under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and are not public domain by default? What are the advantages of a GFDL over a public domain license? Itayb 12:41, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I think basicaly the GFDL license was the most known free license that exsisted at the time Wikipedia was started (IMHO the cc-by-sa license would be "better", but it did not rely exist at the time (the CC licenses where published a year after Wikipedia was launched)). The key thing is the "share alike" principle. Anyting based off a GFDL work have to itself be GFDL. You can not edit a Wikipedia article and then claim exclusive copyright over your version because that would violate the terms of the license that allowed you to modify it. If we had released everyting to the public domain there would be no way to police such things though, anyone could modify "our" contnet and asert copyright over it rater than having to share it freely with others like the GFDL (and many other licenses) require. There is also the issue of attribution, fewer people might be interested in contributing if they where not entitled to some "credit" (however small) for theyr work. --Sherool (talk) 14:25, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. In a similar vain: if i quote from a Wikipedia article, or even verbatim copy an entire article, say, in a book i'm writing. Who am i suppose to attribute the article to? Wikipedia, or each and every one of the people listed in the history page of the article? Itayb 15:00, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
To comply with the license you need to list at least 5 of the "principal authors", unless there are less than 5 authors in total naturaly (how to determine who is a "principal" author is not always that easy though). There are other requirements too though, like including a copy of (or at least a link to) the full text of the GFDL license and such. This is why I mentioned that cc-by-sa might be "better", it's a bit less demanding when it comes to republishing, while still having the "share alike" and attribution aspects. As for citing there is a "Cite this article" link in the toolbox when viewing main namespace articles that will give some examples (see also Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia). --Sherool (talk) 15:59, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks again. :) The "Cite this article" feature seems very useful. I wasn't aware of it before.
Correct me if i'm wrong, but the Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia page doesn't mention the 5-principal-authors rule. I suggest that you add it to that page and quote your source.
I'd appreciate it, if you could point out more specifically what it is in the cc-by-sa licence that you find better, particularly when it comes to republishing. Itayb 16:20, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Our GNU Free Documentation License article lists some of the issues with the GFDL. The major problem in this instance is that the GFDL makes republishers jump through hoops to use the content. To make a postcard using a GFDL licenced image you would technically have to include the whole licence, which is about 17 pages long. --Cherry blossom tree 23:03, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Citing Wikipedia for a quote or fact in a paper doesn't require the 5-principal-authors business. When you quote or paraphrase in this context, you are not invoking the GFDL; rather, you are quoting Wikipedia as you would any other copyrighted document. If you intend to take advantage of the GFDL to reproduce entire articles for publication, the relevant page is WP:REUSE, although it might not be any less confusing. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:43, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

German exercise on anon IPS

Some time ago it was reported in the press that on the German WP there was a trial exercise where anon IP edits would not be added to an article until 'approved' by an established editor. Did anything come of this? BlueValour 03:32, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you should ask in the German WP. (SEWilco 18:12, 16 February 2007 (UTC))

Contacting users for academic surveys.

Should requests made to user_talk pages, article talk pages, and/or emailing editors be prohibited? Please comment at Wikipedia talk:Spam#Academic user surveys. -- Jeandré, 2006-12-17t10:36z

NPOV = mainstream only?

Not sure if this is the right place to post this... but we have two editors on the Kriss Donald article effectively claiming that NPOV=MPOV (mainstream point of view) and that only a mainstream adherent counts as a "prominent adherent" from the viewpoint of a news article (thus for instance, critical academics and even some mainstream journalists are excluded). The first user claims anything other than MPOV is "tiny minority" while the latter claims anything other than MPOV is "original research". I don't think this is Wikipedia policy, can't find either policy or precedent for it, and frankly the situation is past a joke - I'm well aware my edits required some work on style, removal of inadvertent weasel words etc., but this is different from claiming the kind of material I inserted (in particular, the actual sources I referred to) is inappropriate as such. It was things like: official trial defence reported in mainstream press, racial politics specialist writing in political magazine, BBC investigative journalist in special report, anti-racist group commenting on broader context.

Is there any chance an admin or someone familiar with NPOV disputes could have a look at this? If NPOV=MPOV really is Wikipedia policy then I'll bow out but I'm very concerned about what's going on. Please have a look at my edits, and my comments (on NPOV=MPOV and the summary of arguments), rather than just the latest version of the article.

- 08:53, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

They are trying to intimidate you hoping that you don't know the rules. In most cases, mainstream sources should make up the thrust of the main premise, but non-mainstream sources are fully acceptable everywhere else (eg, don't use a non-MPOV for as your primary source, but it can be used either to agree with it or to dispute it)

(user did not sign)

Yes, I figured NPOV=MPOV was a very dodgy reading of policy. I raised it here because third-party contributors have not always been very supportive of me, including one who embraced the NPOV=MPOV position and several others who ignored that dispute and picked up on other flaws in what I'd written. The talk has got bogged down in nit-picking so it's hard for someone coming fresh to it to figure out the exact stakes.

The user who claims NPOV=MPOV is also edit-warring (both vs me and others) and repeatedly reverts to blank the contested section. He's just started doing so again today. I'm not sure what to do because if I revert back he just blanks again, requesting third opinions has so far been unproductive, the user is refusing compromises etc. -Ldxar1 23:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

What to do is to follow Wikipedia:Resolving disputes. Third opinions are a first step, then there is RfC and then mediation. If all those fail to get stop those who are disruptive editors, then the Arbitration Committee will deal with the issue. -- John Broughton | (♫♫) 19:53, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

While I would like to think that articles would be as unbiased as possible, I also don't think there is truly such a thing as NPOV. No point of view is truly neutral, as every point of view has its own biases built into it. So I think the key is to write articles that would generally be accepted as NPOV, even if they're technically not.Librarylefty 22:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Are you saying there's no such thing as NPOV, or that there's no such thing as "objectivity"? See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ for more information on this common concern. szyslak (t, c) 22:53, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Case in point: WP:ATT

Talking about mergers... I'm sure many of you have seen WP:ATT, but it's now ready to replace WP:V and WP:NOR. It has already been tagged as policy, so please have a look at the talk page for the deployment plans. --Merzul 04:28, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Of course I absorbed a major shock when I viewed the page, but it's wearing off, and I kind of like the idea. Just make sure to note, on that page, that Wikipedia is a tertiary source, and perhaps give the definition of a tertiary source. That's all; good job, people who worked on it. GracenotesT § 05:47, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
And perhaps if WP:V redirects to it, mention the word "verifiability" at least once in the policy? GracenotesT § 05:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

communication = notification be phone [or even] eMail and at least Snailmail

why not ALERT a user that [at the worst] our 'TOPIC' is about to be deleted or [ the LEASTE] an important responce is in your Bit-Bucket ? ! ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by UNiRaC (talkcontribs)

Wait, what? Are you saying you want us to send you a postcard before AfDing "your" page? No. A talk page posting and maybe an e-mail is more than sufficient. --tjstrf talk 06:37, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
But most of the time, users don't even get a notification on their talkpage when an article is AfD'd. Admins just use their arbitrary powers to delete anything they don't like. Walton monarchist89 10:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Please (re)read WP:AGF - the view of most of us here, I believe, is that admins try their best (and usually succeed) in being objective about deletions.
Having said that, I do think that it could be a major improvement to have an automated system post a message on user talk pages (as is done, for example, with the Signpost), for, say, the person who created the article (but does NOT, as noted by someone else, own the article), and also post the same message on the talk pages of (say) the last ten editors (or, alternatively, anyone editing the page in the last 30 or 60 or 90 days). John Broughton | Talk 14:47, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
There are huge numbers of editors who fix typos, refine categories and DAB wikilinks on pages they have not made major content changes on. No bot could distinguish them from actual content editors. I would think most of them would be, uh, less than thrilled to start getting their Talk pages filled with notices like this. Fan-1967 14:52, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's keep things simple. Users want their page in good condition : they respect our policy and they put the page in their watchlist. They may use RSS too - see VP:Tech. -- DLL .. T 18:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
While a notification to primary contributors is nice and appreciated , no user is under any obligation to do so, because users don't own the pages they contribute to. ^demon[omg plz] 22:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • We have such an automated system, it's called a watchlist :) (Radiant) 13:30, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I personally always leave a message on the talk page of the user most active (if he is not the creator) if i have left an AFD on his article. Generally most articles to be AFD's are very recent in creation, so the creator will still see the tag or his talk page message. And if not, there are always other users who seem to get the word around, esp. with wikiprojects watching all of their own articles. I personally think the system works well. From articles I have seen AFD'd or AFD'd myself, if the user wants to contest it he has always found out pretty quickly and added the hang on template. SGGH 11:29, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I especially commend this when it is a newbie, and more stronly when it is the first article. Note {{Firstarticle|Page name}} is available so one doesn't need to come up with text, but I personally try to add a detailed discussion of the reason that we want to delete certain kinds of articles. Sometimes the newbie still accuses me of being stupid and arbitrary (and usually mistakes me for an admin), but sometimes it helps. Robert A.West (Talk) 23:21, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
As do I, usually giving a specific specific suggestion or two. Many articles are written on very worthy subjects, but in so great ignorance of our standards and practices that they will never survive deletion unless fixed. DGG 22:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

We have too much policy

I've compiled a list of policies that are partially or wholly redundant with one another, or overlap in a significant amount. The list is here. It would seem that we can roughly halve our amount of policies by doing some effective merging. I think this would be a good idea, but must note that people have objected to such merging in the past. >Radiant< 10:14, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

We should make this a policy! Blueboar 20:47, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
That does sound like a great idea -- if only we could have done it much, much, much earlier. I personally don't like the merge, but that's not a reason not to do it :) Each page has taken on its own character, and its own connotation/meaning. I'd rather group policies and guidelines by their goal rather than by their subject matter, as a personal preference. GracenotesT § 21:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I raised this one a week or so ago as well :) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, and information content strategy would help for a start, then all the content policy and supporting guidance should cascade from there. Just got no idea where to start (on introducing it to WP, not information strategies)....ALR 21:38, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the following can be done:
  1. Clip bits from policies or guidelines that are covered in other ones
  2. Transclude all pages related to one subject matter onto one specific page, separating each one with the text "= Policy name ="
How does this sound? I would prefer to keep each on a separate page, with specifically designed functions. Also, some Wikipedia culture will be destroyed by performing the suggested mergers; it's not as though this is horrible and oh no! you're killing the community!, but it is still something to consider. GracenotesT § 22:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
We could reduce the number of policies to just one, by combining them all into one large policy, called Wikipedia:Wikipedia policy.
Okay, a super-long single policy is obviously undesirable. It's also undesirable, I think, to focus simply on reducing the count of policies. Rather, overlapping information should be reduced.
Take Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not and Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. The first is roughly twice the length of the second. There is very little overlap - a dozen lines or so, perhaps five percent of the first policy. Combining the two would result in WP:NOT being roughly 50% longer, with a third of the policy covering just one of the ten "nots". That isn't, I think, a persuasive argument. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:32, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The dictionary page is pretty bloated, at least 3/4 of it could be dropped in a merge. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:28, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Too many policies makes progress on Wikipedia bureaucratically slow. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 12:47, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Identifying sock puppets

For those who haven't heard, User:MsHyde was identified as a sock puppet and blocked on the 13th. That was more than a week after his/her first edit, and after more than 500 edits by that account - edits that caused a significant amount of time and effort by other editors in response, not to mention aggravation.

So my question: why are human beings the ones expected to identify possible sock puppets of blocked/banned users, rather than computers, when computers are so much better at this?

By "better at this", I don't mean identifying sock puppets by their editing characteristics (articles edited, edit summary style, misspelling, etc.). Rather, I mean "identifying" as determining that a newly registered editor has an IP address that matches that of a banned/blocked user. And no, I'm not suggesting an automatic block by the system - I'm suggested, in essence, an automated "checkuser" posting that admins can then evaluate. Wouldn't this spot possible problems a great deal sooner? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:59, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

So, hang a fishing net across the entrance door, basically? Where this is possible (i.e., on any non-shared IP), IP addresses can be blocked from registering new accounts, what would this proposal accomplish that isn't done already? I also suspect that your proposal is indeed much more far-reaching, but would result in something like a checkuser being automatically requested every time someone from comcast, verizon, AOL, etc registers an account - there would be too much chaff. --Random832(tc) 19:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There are a lot of legitimate reasons for two accounts sharing IP addresses, e.g. two people on one computer or LAN, or, depending on how the ISP is set up, a shared proxy for several users. If details are posted for every user that shares an IP address then people could look at what they know about each of the people on that IP address and 'guess' personal details about the other people on that IP address.
What might work, however, is to make it so that only checkusers can see this 'list' and then they can investigate any potential problems themselves, and release results only when necessary. Tra (Talk) 19:31, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Editing style is the primary method of identifying sock puppets. Checkuser is there for a technical review when the edit style is suspicious but not proof positive, especially if there isn't yet an adequate body of edits to truly establish solely via editing style. If a banned user reforms, then we should welcome them back. True reform will mean that editing style never causes suspicion. Wikipedia is here for the long haul, we won't want to block a user that was banned a decade ago when they were a school kid doing school kid quality vandalism if they have matured to be a good contributor.
Also, there would be way too many false positives in such a system to find the real results. Only checking when there is suspicion takes less effort and better preserves privacy. GRBerry 19:48, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Random832: IP addresses can be blocked from registering new accounts, what would this proposal accomplish that isn't done already? Tra: There are a lot of legitimate reasons for two accounts sharing IP addresses. So which is it - do we block the IP addresses of known problem makers, or don't we?
Random832: there would be too much chaff; GRBerry: there would be way too many false positives. I can't imagine how you actually would know. There would certainly be some false postives; that's why a human being would look at "possible" matches. Of course we're talking a tradeoff here - shutting down a vandal a lot faster is a benefit, checking for false positives is a cost.
If a banned user reforms, then we should welcome them back; we won't want to block a user that was banned a decade ago. I'd be astounded to find an IP address being stable that long; in any case, restricting the IP list to indef blocks/bans done in the past six months would accomplish most of what is being suggested here, and deals with that objection.

It's trivial to have a computer check each of the 10,000 or so newly registered users (daily) against a list of (say) a couple hundred (or even couple thousand) IP addresses (or even narrow IP ranges) that were used by (major) problems, but aren't blocked (for one reason or another). And certainly I wouldn't suggest that the list of matches be posted in some publicly viewable place. But if in fact the norm is to not block an IP address when a major problem registered user is indef blocked, it would be nice for an admin to be able to able to check a page and say "Well, looks like Cindery might be back to his/her tricks - let's see what the edits look like", and then seeing that the user is back to his/her tricks, shut the account down, immediately.

And of course the current ways of identifying sock puppets should continue - human beings are good at (messy) pattern recognition - but that doesn't mean they should do it alone. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:02, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

So which is it - do we block the IP addresses of known problem makers, or don't we? I think what's normally done is that shared and dynamic IPs are blocked for shorter lengths of time than static IPs. If there's a shared IP where there's often a lot of trouble (e.g. a school), it can be blocked so that logged in users can edit but anonymous users can't edit or create accounts. If they want to edit, they could move to another location and create an account from there. Tra (Talk) 21:53, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
If they aren't dangerous enough to be blocked, why are they dangerous enough to hunt automatically with a program? WP:AGF needs to go back to being a policy. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:36, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Generally, when someone starts looking into possible sockpuppetry, it means that someone's already been creating a disruption. Quite realistically, if a previously banned user creates a "sock puppet" and is so constructive in contributing that no one ever cares to look into whether the account's a puppet, I couldn't care less if it is. If Willy on Wheels were to create a sock and set up three featured articles with it while causing no disruption whatsoever, and then these "random checkusers" uncovered who it is, how would a block at that point be anything but punitive? (Granted, that particular scenario is unlikely, but it's certainly not unthinkable that someone who previously was here to troll or disrupt might mature, feel sorry for what they did, and come to make amends with a new account and a "clean slate.") On the other hand, disruptive users should be dealt with appropriately, whether it's their first or fiftieth account. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 00:24, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Featured articles

I've just noted how much a featured article is attacked by vandels while on the main page. How about putting a protect on the main page featured article for the 24 hours it is up? It would save a lot of editor time reverting the almost constant vandalism. --Michael Johnson 00:42, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

This is a very common proposal - see Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection. The general consensus (although it is often disputed - see the above article's talk page) seems to be that anonymous users who come to Wikipedia can make valuable additions to the featured article - edits they would otherwise not make. I don't agree with this entirely, but I understand the rationale. Chairman S. Talk Contribs 01:18, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Any substantive edits to pages marked as {{policy}} without reaching a consensus beforehand may be reverted on sight and without limit

Proposing a new policy to do what the section title says. --Random832(tc) 04:34, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't really see the need to say this. If someone makes a large scale edit that seems... wrong... then people will revert it and discuss without being told to do so. The problem with the statement is that it might limit things where the change is to reflect a consensus found on another talk page, etc. Then you get people revert warning saying "no consensus was found here" etc etc. Sometimes a big edit is ok, usually not often for policy pages, but it can still happen. -- Ned Scott 07:07, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Wait, is this about those recent disputes you've been in? No offense but, for crying out loud, can you at least make the proposal when it doesn't look like a blatant conflict of interest? -- Ned Scott 07:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
What recent disputes that I've been in? The only discussions that I've participated in recently in which this would be an issue are disputes to which I am not a party, but stumbled on the already-ongoing debate, and I thought this was an issue raised in those that should be considered separately. I also was not proposing that this should apply to any of those cases, but only to _future_ such changes. --Random832(tc) 19:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC) p.s. even those only involved changes to guidelines, which are not included or meant to be included in this proposal. policies are more important because they are often based on statements from Jimbo, ArbCom, or the Foundation. 19:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Vandalism is already limitless-revert-on-sight. What sort of other edits would be so heinous as to sanction breaches of 3RR? Chris cheese whine 09:07, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I just think that so many people rely on these pages for things like deciding deletion debates etc, that they shouldn't be "subject to change without notice", as it were. --Random832(tc) 19:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
See previous section on the disputedtag. Same principle applies here. >Radiant< 17:31, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

That's not how Wikipedia:Consensus works. Um, period. --Kim Bruning 17:55, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

What Kim said. It seems like a WP:POINTY proposal.Doug Bell talk 18:01, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
As an aside, Ned - if by "blatant conflict of interest" you're referring to Wikipedia:Conflict of interest, I don't believe that policy defines "conflict of interest" the same way you do. Specifically, the policy does not cover the situation where an editor wants a policy change that would support his/her position in a dispute. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:04, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I was not talking about our policy on the matter that shares the same name.. -- Ned Scott 21:14, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
The database ate my replies from earlier today, see above. And, keep in mind the full title of WP:POINT; you just accused me of "disrupting wikipedia" when all I did was post a thread on here (and, even if it were disruptive, it wouldn't fit WP:POINT unless my point was about posting threads on here or somesuch), that doesn't seem very WP:CIVIL, and none of these reactions have been particularly WP:AGF. --Random832(tc) 19:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC) aside: multiple comments in one post seems to invite complex edit conflicts - and why doesn't it just show me the section instead of the whole page?

To clarify, WP:POINT would be, if this proposal is rejected (or, to try to score points before it's decided) nominating this page for MfD since the discussion it provides on policy changes isn't necessary if just anyone can change policy. I have no intention of doing that, but can you see the difference? --Random832(tc) 19:14, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) OK, that wasn't quite what I meant to say, so I take that part back. —Doug Bell talk 19:18, 14 February 2007 (UTC) a trusted source?

I think the question should be asked although I know the answer: Is considered to have trusted source material? (SEWilco 03:17, 14 February 2007 (UTC))

No. User-editable content is never considered a reliable source (not even Wikipedia). The only exception might be Citizendium's expert model. ColourBurst 03:44, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't Wikinews specifically intended to be usable as a source? --Kim Bruning 17:56, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

First Person Accounts

I know that much discussion and probably a fair amount of brain damage has occured over the issue of first person accounts and the resolution that they are not appropriate for Wiki. I posted one regarding a train wreck I was in (my first real entry to Wiki) and it was deleted in a fairly abrupt manner. While, of course, I think my entry added a lot to the story and was actually more accurate than many news reports that were cited, I accepted the fact of the community that such postings are not appropriate. Well I was reading the 'Animal House' movie entry a few days ago and lo and behold there is an entry from one of the writers of the movie talking about different options for one of the scenes - another first person account. It really added a lot to the story and should not be deleted in my opinion.

I continue to grapple with first person accounts for Wiki. In my opinion they add a lot to the entry and arguably make it much better and probably more accurate. A sincere yet rigid devotion to using only quoted sources seems to limit the usefulness, accuracy and texture of the entries. And let's be honest, even with a well written entry like the one for "Animal House" it seems like there were a lot of 'needs citation' even for blindly obvious statements like the fact that toga parties increased after the movie.

Is there some way to compromise on this? Can we create a section in every entry for first person accounts or a mirror wiki dedicated to first person accounts? It seems to me that the many eyeballs philosphy will keep the junk at the bottom and allow the cream to rise to the top for these. Perhaps a voting type system could be used or the existing edits approach. By clearly segregating first person from the 'main' cited entries it seems like we could have the best of both worlds and have a better handle on the truth.

While I know most look upon Wiki as an encyclopedia, I would argue that it is really a social artifact containing our collective perceptions and knowledge. Expanding its reach in a thoughtful way could make it an even more powerful tool.

--Taganwiki 21:14, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The problem comes up when person A gives a first person account, but person B asks, "How can I know that you're not lying or mistaken person A?" Wikipedia doesn't have dedicated and reliable fact-checking machinery in place to settle this type of question, so we need to rely on the reliable sources that do have this ability. Certainly, this does end up eliminating some true information, but great articles can still be written given this trade-off. Sancho McCann 21:22, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews: is for first person accounts. --Kim Bruning 13:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Hm. Does wikinews mind if you write old news articles? I don't see why they would... after all new news articles will all be old someday themselves, and I hope that they won't just delete them! :)--Gmaxwell 15:30, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Please note that there is a difference between first person account of a writer of a movie that is reliably published, and the personal accounts of an editor of Wikipedia. If your account of the train wreck is published by a reliable source such as a newpaper, broadcast transcript, or book then some one can use it as a source in Wikipedia. If not, then it can not be used as it would be in contradiction of both WP:NOR and WP:WS. Please also note that it is frowned upon for an editor to cite their own work (of course, the author can always ask someone else to cite it for him). Blueboar 18:14, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews is our original research branch. They are supposed to accredit reporters, and ensure that such research is done as thoroughly as possible, so that it can be used as a viable source for wikipedia. Wikinews articles are edited collaboratively, just like wikipedia, so there is no single author. --Kim Bruning 20:01, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: Romanization of Mongolian

After sporatic discussions over more than a year, I've tried to compose what I hope to be a decent proposal for Wikipedia:Romanization_of_Mongolian. Unfortunately, there's a very small circle of people who participated so far, and most of them don't seem to have any linguistic background. We'd welcome more input on the respective talk page, or on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Cyrillic). --Latebird 17:38, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Deleted articles

I'm surprised we don't offer them under the GFDL for other wikis running MediaWiki software. Could be good for people who want information on webcomics, other stuff considered non-notable here on Wikipedia etc. --sunstar nettalk 14:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

What if they violate WP:COPYVIO? We couldn't do that because we have to premanently remove the info. Of course anyone can copy the info across if they get in in time! AndrewRT(Talk) 14:56, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
As long as the content is not offensive or copyvio, I can't see any reason why. It could be temporarily undeleted per a new section in WP:DRV. --sunstar nettalk 15:29, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, if you just ask an administrator for the text of a deleted page, then provided it's not a copyright violation, libellous or anything else like that, they'll retrieve it for you – Qxz 15:46, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
A number of admins will provide access to deleted revisions, provided the request is reasonable, made in good faith, and there's no secret skeletons hiding in the closet. I think WP:DRV makes some mention of that. Some things should stay very deleted (though many of them are now subject to oversight, not quite all are), but others are harmless. So long as the admin in question is very careful. – Luna Santin (talk) 06:10, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

In the past people have suggested that we make deletion have an associated level. When someone deletes a page they select a deletion level or intensity. A minimally deleted page(or revision) could then be viewed, for example, by any logged in user. Additional levels could replace normal deletion and oversight. The ability to delete at different levels could be assigned as separate permissions. Undelete/View and delete access for a particular level could be separate permissions. It's an interesting concept.. but it would require a lot of social, procedural, and software changes. Until this happens, it should be easy enough to make a case to any admin to get a copy of an article which was delete because it was not suitable for wikipedia.--Gmaxwell 15:41, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Are nutshells a good thing that should be encouraged on policy and guideline pages? Personally I think they are good, and their use should be encouraged. I have found them particularly useful if you have to wade through various policies and guidelines trying to find an answer for something.

The reason I ask is that I added one to WP:N and when someone came along and removed it saying "This is already stated below". I would have thought that would always be the case with nutshells and indeed should always be the case. I would appreciate other's views. Thanks AndrewRT(Talk) 14:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd have to say that the lead section has the same function of the nutshell in the case of WP:N. ColourBurst 15:08, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Nutshells are a very good idea, I think. Especially on a wiki, and especially on this wiki, the spirit of a rule is just as important as its letter, if not more important. Besides that, it makes things more accessible to the reader, to the new user, and to anybody hoping to have a little bit of context before reading fifty pages of policy which may not always make sense or be coherent. – Luna Santin (talk) 06:17, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Depends, really. If you cannot meaningfully summarize the policy/guideline in a short sentence or two, then it doesn't need a nutshell. If the title of the p/g is already a good summary, then it doesn't need a nutshell. In other cases, it's useful. >Radiant< 12:43, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I think nutshells often end up mis-representing our policies. The reason the policy page is longer than a sentence is because they need to be in order to accurately express our policy. Nutshells should be removed and replaced with terrific intros. Policies which are overly long should be trimmed down. --Gmaxwell 15:43, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

On at least that one count, I agree: the nutshell is not a substitute for the policy. I do like the idea of giving people a quick rundown, if they don't have time to read the full policy, but can see why others might not agree. – Luna Santin (talk) 19:45, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Documentation requests: stub placement, globalized locations, don't crap on anons

I have tried to find guidelines on several subjects (if you look at my Talk page you'll see I've been able to find most of the ones I've been looking for), and hope someone here can point me in the right direction (also interested in any new tips or tricks on how to find them myself).

  1. Stub placement: I've been editing here for more than 3 years, and stub placement has recently changed, from the long standing 'immediately below last other visible part of the body of the article', which was most often immediately under the 'External links' section. Something like 6 months ago they started showing up below the Categories, which I don't fully support, but can understand the reasoning--stub cats end up at the end of the list. In the last few months they've also started showing up with two blank lines above them, causing extra blank/white space in the article display. Whether or not that is a good thing seems entirely subjective to me (and I think it is a bad thing--requires additional vertical scrolling to view the whole page). My question is, 1) does anybody know anywhere that either or both of these changes was discussed, 2) whether a consensus to overturn a long-standing status quo was reached, and 3) if there were changes in the community consensus, where they are documented?
  2. Globalized locations: In my mind, and in discussions with other editors it seems obvious that all geopolitical locations should be described out to the country level on the first reference, to ensure the article serves the global audience. For example, the intro of my place of birth starts "Centralia is a city in Lewis County, Washington, United States.", so people who don't know that that Lewis county, and/or Washington are in the United States can understand where the community the article describes is in the world. Similarly, "London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom." However, I can't find where that is documented--didn't find it in anything connected to the {{globalize}} template. Surely it's documented somewhere? Anyone have a link?
  3. Discouraging anon biting: Is it documented anywhere (specificallyWP:AGF and WP:CIVIL would seem to apply, but they're very broad) that treating anons dismissively, just because they're anons, is frowned upon? Or, to put it other ways, that 'username snobbery' or 'anti-IP bias' is discouraged? I have about 30,000 edits under my largely retired usernames, but just because I've chosen to edit anonymously the last year or so, I'm often being treated like a clueless newcomer with nothing of value to contribute, by people that don't know Wikipedia:Policy or the Wikipedia:Manual of Style half as well as I do. Heck, I helped polish the first version of Wikipedia:Tutorial, and created another Wikipedia documentation page from scratch. Anybody know of anything along the lines of Wikipedia:Don't bite the anons? 01:51, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
For 3, we have this exact guideline at Wikipedia:Please don't bite the newcomers. For 2, we have the Wikipedia:Proper_names as a subsection of the MOS, but doesn't mention your issue. For 1, I don't think it's been discussed anywhere and WP:STUB doesn't actually say anything about where it should be placed. ColourBurst 02:02, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd think 1 would be a non-issue for most people, and would have so little effect that making a rule about it would violate WP:CREEP.
I'm often slightly on guard when an IP editor suddenly makes a comment that shows a lot of interior knowledge of Wikipedia because it triggers my sockpuppet warning flags. Not when it's on something non-contentious, but if it's a controversial subject or debate page. --tjstrf talk 02:12, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
But I'm not a 'newcomer' and there are many anons with hundreds, even thousands, of edits, to which Wikipedia:Please don't bite the newcomers doesn't really apply; and while this editor has backed off and admitted they might have misjudged the situation, so I am just using this as an example of one most recent of the many variations on the 'anons can automatically be assumed to be clueless and/or vandals' attitude I regularly get hit with, not a complaint about the user overall, the initial response to my citation of the MoS (regarding capitalization of subject headers) seemed unnecessarily condescending. 02:44, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
The way I see it, you shouldn't bite or be rude to anybody on Wikipedia, it's just not professional to completely trash somebody or yell at them for no good reason like a mistake. Darthgriz98 02:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

IP accounts are treated as newbies by default because the majority of them are. Now there are two ways in which I see people treat IPs differently from account-holders: For some members, they insult them/think they're vandals by default. This is a bad thing, I agree. For other members, it means they try to be patient, explain things to them, and help them as members who mean well but are uneducated in policy and whatnot. If you are meeting people of the first type, then I sympathize with you, but if you are complaining about the latter type of behaviour I cannot. If you are not a newbie then having basic policy explained to you every 5 minutes and having people going around "fixing" what they think are mistakes when you actually meant to make them might indeed seem like condescension, but you can't blame them for it if they're trying to help. The practical solution to both types of annoyance is simply to get an account. I realize this isn't the answer you want to hear, but it is the pragmatic one. In terms of WP:AGF, is it not better to assume IPs are bumbling newbies rather than that they are purposefully breaking rules? --tjstrf talk 02:56, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

As for (1), I've seen both, and it wouldn't bother me, either way. I personally go for the very bottom (below category, below interwikis) because it's easiest for somebody to find and remove that way -- not sure if that's been set down as a guideline, anywhere. WP:STUB mentions a lack of consensus. Either way, not something worth arguing over; if somebody moved a stub tag I placed, I wouldn't even so much as bat an eye at it. *shrug* As for (2), I've seen an essay regarding this at Wikipedia:The Pope is Catholic, and in general it seems like a good idea for an encyclopedia hoping to cater to a wide variety of people. As for (3), I agree that IP editors are in many ways the future of the wiki, and should never be dismissed out of hand. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who started as an IP. – Luna Santin (talk) 07:11, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Don't listen to this fool! Can't you see (s)he is not registered?! What a bunch of poppycock suggestions! − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 08:23, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Dear dear... now, if that's not username snobbery I don't know what is. Even as joke this doesn't go down well. I have no clue about the process of changing people's attitudes, so all I can do here is to provide some stuff to munch on - (1) By the anon, and (2) About the anon. And, please, stop using words like fool or poppycock, it's against Wikiquette. Cheers. 14:29, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Although I appreciate this comment is probably meant as ironic, someone could take it the wrong way. It seems this violates the principles of WP:CIVIL. Please could you consider this in future. AndrewRT(Talk) 14:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I am really sorry that I made kind of a derogatory comment. And, I take this opportunity to praise User:Twas Now for the good work done, as well as putting forward my sympathy for the trouble the user had with anon editors. But, while many of the anons are vandals, sockpuppets and what not, you can't forget that the bulk of WP was developed by anon editors. More importantly, it would be very nice if you mentioned WP:CIVIL when words like fool or poppycock was being used. And, while my 2nd link was to a humorous article, the 1st one was a serious philosophical comment on being anon. Cheers, and thanks for correcting me. 16:31, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

As for number 1, I wouldn't care if the extra blank lines were being added manually by regular editors on occasion, but since there are one or more VERY active BOTs doing it wholesale across all of Wikipedia, I think the change in the long-standing de facto standard of a single blank line ahead of {stub} tags should only have been done following discussion and consensus, rather than arbitrarily based on their personal preference. In other words, I think BOT operators should only follow existing standards, whether de facto or documented, rather than making it up as they go along. 01:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

As for number 2, thank you very much for the link to Wikipedia:The Pope is Catholic--should be good enough to refer people to if no one knows of a geographic equivalent. 01:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

As for number 3, I have absolutely NO problem with people trying to 'help the newbie' on my talk page (even if I usually know more about the relevant WP policy/guideline(s)). What I DO have a big problem is when the tone of what they write is condescending/derisive/dismissive/etc. or based more on my being an anon than on my actual edits. 01:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Town articles

Also known as, well, let's just drop all pretense and call them what they are, Rambot articles. Many of these do not assert notability (the basic skeleton created by the bot certainly doesn't), and I can't find a consensus, or even an assertion, that small towns are inherently notable. This issue has been raised in WT:WEB regarding to a certain double standard on things existing in the physical world getting better treatment than web-based things. (note that another issue is how to deal with non-notable ones - presumably any that are deleted will be recreated with 2010 census data unless something is done at Rambot's end of things. --Random832(tc) 08:19, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

A double standard with web things vs real places.. I'm not saying I think the articles are a good idea, but come on, you can't compare websites and real places like that. Yes, things in the physical world should get better treatment than web-based things. -- Ned Scott 08:31, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Articles on every town are beneficial and important to have. It looks bad if we've got 20% of a state's towns redlinked. Even articles with minimal information are a good start. Badagnani 08:52, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with NEd and Badagnani. Every geographical place article is important in WP. The difference between a web site and a small town is very clear, a website is a virtual thing, which anyone can set up for a few bucks. But a town is *real*, and isn't set up overnight by a single guy. --Ragib 08:56, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Real-world settlements are inherently notable. The only criterion the articles have to satisfy is verifiability. —Angr 09:07, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the double standard as we are comparing two entirely different things here. Websites are a part of pop culture and must establish notability. Towns and communities, on the other hand, are geographical areas that has an inherent notability. --Farix (Talk) 14:40, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Personaly I don't see any problem with having a seperate article on every town, village, hamlet or other settlement on the planet. Most settlements have hundreds if not thousands of years of history behind them. Granted finding verifiable sources can sometimes be a problem as there are usualy not published all that many verifiable works (scertainly not online) focusing just on the history of every little town out there, but it's still a world apart from your average fly-by-night website or forum. --Sherool (talk) 16:32, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Towns will almost always satisfy verifiability in several reliable sources. Town/country records can show demographics, settlement characteristics, etc. Local newspapers and other newspapers can verify culture and events in the town in a lot of cases, and so can history books.
The two aren't equal at all. The internet as we know it has been around for 15 years or so. Most settlements outpace that by an order of magnitude, possibly two. ColourBurst 17:06, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that "geographical areas have inherent notability". That opens a can of worms - is a single city block inherently notable? Should some of these articles perhaps be merged? The problem is not the "average fly-by-night website or forum", it's sites that have been around for years, have readership/participation of hundreds if not thousands (more than the population of many small towns), have been written about in blogs, etc, yet aren't considered "notable" solely because of the lack of print coverage. If towns are inherently notable because of being incorporated and recognized by the bureau of the census, analogous claims could be made about other classes of things - are public companies inherently notable? --Random832(tc) 19:05, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with print and everything to do with the fact that blogs are self-published and have no semblance of a fact-checking process. They cannot meet the definition of a reliable source. Wikipedia cannot fact-check anything; it's an encyclopedia filled in by volunteers. So we have to rely on the fact-checking mechanisms of other media. Also, the bias of Wikipedia editors is towards websites and web content, so they may think something is more notable than it actually is (whereas they may think something is less notable than it actually is if it was in one of the neglected areas in WP:CSB.) ColourBurst 20:38, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Also note that notability is not popularity, so saying that something is more popular (the Spears vs. Brahms dilemma, if you will) doesn't necessarily mean it needs an article more. ColourBurst 21:53, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about popularity, I'm talking about stuff that IS notable, but the sources that it get coverage in are online because the subject matter is primarily or exclusively of interest to the online community. Please continue this in WT:WEB. --Random832(tc) 23:02, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
However, blogs and similar sites vary; some are operated and moderated by responsible named people or groups, but the authority depends entirely on the actual known reputation of the blog. There are beginning to be some areas where these may be the most reliable source, or the only source. This probably will be an increasing problem in trying to reduce the R of RS to a fixed formulation. (Do not interpret this to mean I like the situation. I deplore it as a threat to standards, but it's there just the same.)DGG 22:44, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Can we get THIS discussion back to the matter of whether and why small towns are or are not inherently notable? I wasn't making a point with this, I really do think that East Nowhere, Kansas doesn't necessarily deserve an article, and that raw census data belongs on wikisource. If you want to talk about notability and "non-trivial source"-ness of blogs, etc, please go over to the discussion already in progress on WT:WEB. I was just disclosing what made me initially think of this.--Random832(tc) 23:02, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

What is "small"? I'm less worried about East Nowhere, Kansas then I'm worried about systemic bias towards Small Capital, Small Country, Oceania or even Big Town, Non-English-speaking country. ColourBurst 01:19, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Really, I think anything that there's not enough material to write an article about (and, raw census data is not an article), should be merged into a section of the article on some larger division - notability should be able to be established for any of your examples without saying "settlements are inherently notable". For the first, I'd think national capitals are inherently notable. And, for the second - notability doesn't depend on language, and presence or absence of articles likely has more to do with systemic bias anyway, especially since as it is, the proverbial East Nowhere KS does have an article. If we need a population cutoff, say that any town with a population less than, I don't know, 100, doesn't get an article unless it's otherwise notable. But really, I'm not sure that's necessary. If there's insufficient material to write an article, merge what there is to a larger division (i.e. a county for example, or a "town" in northeast states that use those as larger administrative divisions where the settlements themselves are called villages) --Random832(tc) 14:12, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
As I understand the guideline (aided by the answers that I got to my question above), a subject is notable if and only if it satisfies the primary notability criterion. This would mean that no subject is inherently notable, because then we would be using a test other than the primary criterion to test for notability. Sancho McCann 01:21, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
"Inherently notable subjects" are those in which the primary notability criterion is going to be met in all cases one can reasonably imagine, or where the subject as a whole and so many of its members are notable that leaving out articles on the remainder of the set for "lack of independant notability" would simply be pedantic. For instance, the group of United States congressmen can be considered inherently notable. Sure, there might be one representative somewhere who no-one on the planet would know from a WP:HOLE in the ground, who never gave a notable speech, and was only elected because his district consisted entirely of his extended family, but leaving him out would be absurd. The same thing is true with towns and mountains and rivers. --tjstrf talk 02:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Sancho, that is "inherently" wrong. The PNC does not trump the criteria set by any of the other notability guidelines. The PNC is only one test for notably that is shared by almost all notability guidelines, the only exception I know of is WP:FICT. The notability guidelines provide other criteria that are specific to their respective subjects. However, if a subject can pass the PNC, it will pass any of the criteria set by the other notability guidelines. --Farix (Talk) 03:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for this correction. So just to clarify, subjects can be deemed notable without passing the PNC? Sancho McCann 03:53, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, if it also passes one of the other criteria in the subject's specific notability guideline. The PNC is simply the most common, and perhaps the most strict, of criteria that is shared among most of the notability guidelines. Let me use WP:BOOK as an example. A book may have won a major award, such as the Newbery Honor, but does not have the multiple, non-trivial published works whose sources are independent of the book itself which the PNC outlines. But since winning a major award is one of the criteria points in WP:BOOK, the books is considered notable. --Farix (Talk) 04:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I think you mean WP:BK. But I think I understand now. In WP:BK, passing any one of five tests would deem a subject notable and the PMC is just one of those tests. It isn't clear in WP:LOCAL though that it defines what tests an article about a place could pass to be deemed notable. In fact, it states that its purpose isn't to provide strict criteria like that, but to outline the considerations that should be discussed before deciding on the inclusion of an article about a place. The spirit of this guideline seems to lean towards not making a blanket decision such as "towns are inherently notable", or "towns are notable if and only if...", but rather to give points for discussion in the building of consensus at an AfD. I think an approach like that would be appropriate for articles about towns as well.Sancho McCann 04:46, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
How likely is it that a Newbery winner will not have anything reporting on it? For Ella Enchanted (an example randomly picked), a casual search in findarticles gets an article from Newsweek, and reviews from Kliatt, ALAN and the Book Report. I just couldn't imagine that any book that wins a major award like that would not get reviews, and only the parameters of the BK criteria might limit whether those reviews are "non-trivial". ColourBurst 15:44, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Rambot articles have been challenged (and strongly defended) MANY times. Here's just one early example. Real places (whether towns or islands--even ghost towns and micronations-OK, micronations aren't overwhelmingly support, but generally no consensus to delete is ever reached) have consistently been overwhelmingly agreed worthy of inclusion many times. Even the smallest lake has probably out-lasted humanity, and virtually every community has out-lasted at least one generation of people. Including ALL real places is consistent with being a timeless encyclopedia of the universe, as opposed sites that try to document what's notable to people alive at this moment. US Census data being public domain is the primary reason the Wikipedians haven't been able to do the same for other countries, not systemic bias. 02:02, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Since the bot works off census data, the fact that there is census seems to establish some reasonable notability. We shouldn't start an article for a plot of land I randomly call "Nedland", but you're not going to find census data for Nedland.. -- Ned Scott 03:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

"NedLand"? Not Nedva Scottia? --tjstrf talk 03:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Is "notability" required for individual articles? I view those articles as geographic stubs which were created to ensure that the geographic collection as a whole is encyclopedic. These stubs can acquire more detail individually, but their joint existence with common information contributes to all geographic needs. (SEWilco 05:12, 12 February 2007 (UTC))
So, why not merge them into county articles unless there is enough detail present for an individual town article? And raw census data still belongs on wikisource. --Random832(tc) 13:55, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
There is also something of an unconscious New World bias, too. A great many of the permanent year round habited sites in the Americas and Australasia are of recent origin (the last couple of centuries). In the old world there have been many periods of expansion and contraction for many sites of habitation. The best example would be Old Sarum; whilst it has notability as a Rotten Borough it also indicates that what is now (or even a few centuries ago) a few homes once once a thriving centre for the locality. Current population figures and housing density of itself is no indication of an placenames notability. The converse, once separate towns & villages swallowed up by urbanisation of a city, is also true. In the Old World the districts and areas of a large conurbation were likely to have been seperate entities, and can therefore be regarded as notable seperatley from the modern city. LessHeard vanU 14:10, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
This being the english language Wikipedia, I think any "New World bias" is overwhelmed by the bias toward english language source material. I have several hundred pages of U.S. government memos and ship's logs from the First Barbary Wars, and recently hunted down a little Spanish town which was mentioned under an old name in a different language. Maybe Spanish sources have a lot of information about that little town but I don't have it. (SEWilco 19:17, 12 February 2007 (UTC))
The bias I was referring to is that the perception of history is possibly different. Most New World places have a history measured in centuries, if not decades. Old World habitations sometimes have histories of some thousands of years, which of itself may be considered notable even if the place is otherwise obscure. My village, Carleen, is such; the place name indicates a neolithic origin, but it is otherwise unspectacular. Is it notable? How many places that have existed (possibly continously) since the Bronze Age do you know? LessHeard vanU 22:22, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

There is a finite and 'fairly limited' number of localities possible... I think they are one of the (not too common) things whos mere existence we can accept as the basis of notoriety. It is the sort of material people expect in an encyclopedia. We have good verifiable data (thanks Rambot). Someday, perhaps the same will be true of domain names, but so long as anyone can invent new domains until they turn blue in the face I doubt it. --Gmaxwell 15:28, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Use of Wikipedia logo images and other Wikimedia copyright images

I believe images which use the Wikipedia Logo or other Wikimedia copyright images should be deleted where they are not fair use, including images linked to by Copyright by Wikimedia and those on Wikipedia:Banners and buttons. Non-fair use includes use on userpages and Wikipedia project pages, or anywhere they are used incorrectly as per WP:FU.

Please see the deletion review of Image:NotSuckBanner.jpg and these posts from the Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List, which essentially say that the images should only be used where it is fair use. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Kat_Walsh's_statement is also relevant. One of the key reasons is WP:FU#Downstream use - notably Wikipedia mirrors. I've posted it here because it's not actually a new proposal - it's down to the existing policy under WP:FU.

Please add any comments below. Thanks. - 01:24, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

To clarify, the question being raised by the anon is whether or not unfree images owned by the Wikimedia Foundation and their derivatives should be allowed on Wikipedia, even when they violate our Fair Use Policy. Historically no restrictions have been applied to the use of Wikimedia logos and their derivatives on Wikipedia. However, as such images are unfree, this is potentially bad for reusers. At present, the Foundation has no official policy on the use of logos or the creation of derivatives, though a draft policy has been on meta for 22 months. So, the question is: Should the unfree WMF logos and/or their derivatives be restricted to only those uses consistent with our fair use policy. Dragons flight 01:57, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Other than directly relivant articles they should not appear in the article namespace. Beyond that there is no clear pratice or policy.Geni 02:57, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Our goal is to make a free content encyclopedia, not a free content website. As long as the images are not in the article namespace, they should be allowed. Of course, the decision of whether or not we can use these ultimately is in the hands of the Foundation, as I can't see how the use of these images can be considered fair use. The Foundation needs to rule on when and how the logos can be used on the Wikimedia projects. If they don't care, then we should continue using them. Users who redistribute the content hosted on Wikimedia projects need to be aware of the specific legal conditions for all the hosted material. We certainly wouldn't remove the logo from the corner of the page solely for the sake of having "free" content, would we? --- RockMFR 03:35, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
The logo in the upper left corner is not an issue, that's just part of the website skin and is not included in content dumps. Using it "internaly" is an issue though. We have a total ban on unfree material outside of the main namespace, so it seems highly inconsistent to allow the use of these particular unfree images in those very namespaces... I have tentatively brought this up before on the talk page for the admin userbox that use a derivative of the logo, but it didn't rely go anywhere so I've just made my own version of the admin box with a free image. IMHO we should flush the "Copyrighted by Wikimedia" category, retag the logos used in main namespace articles as {{logo}}, and come up with our own set of free licensed "unofficial" project logos/mascots/whatever not derived from the official logo for "internal" use, such as Wikipedia:Wikipe-tan. Alternatively come up with a very strict set of rules such as only allowing them to be used for "self reference" and maintainance type stuff, like transwiki boxes etc.--Sherool (talk) 12:52, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I guess I should ask this question: if the issue of content dumps was not a problem, would you still want to remove Wikimedia images from the userspace? --- RockMFR 18:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I would say no, unless the Foundation explicitly says to, like during the WP:CVU logo issue. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:40, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
For the sake of consistency; Yes. There is not rely any benefit to be gained from using these logos on userpages. Creating seperate classes of restricted use images only for "comunity use" that are excluded from image dumps and what not have been suggested before and shot down every time. At best it would be a waste of developer resourses to implement features intended purely to allow people to decorate theyr userpages with unfree material. --Sherool (talk) 01:13, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
So other than the userpages, is there any other pages that would be affected by this? Also, would this include the derived images, such as the Wikipedia with a Santa hat? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:55, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Well if "my" suggestion was implemented it would affect everyting across the board. The logos would be treated like any other copyrighted logo meaning they would have to satisfy all of our fair use criterea on any given page they where to be used. The "exception" clause in criteria #9 could be used to treat special cases such as the "Wikimedia commons have more media about XXX" type templates or the commons link on the upload page if the comunity deems it to be important enough to continue using the logos in such cases. Though granted it would be more of a "problem" for projects that do not allow fair use at all. All sorts of derivatives would obviously be affected too, unless the foundation have explicitly authorised such a work to be released under a free license. --Sherool (talk) 08:57, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
My view is that when the Wikipedia/Wikimedia logos are used inside the article proper (not the monobook skin upper left hand logo) space they should be treated exactly like any other logo and need to meet our fair use guidelines. The logo in the skin isn't a part of our project really, so it's outside of the scope of our rulemaking, and the logo use in meta namespaces should be fairly limited and it's fine to give it a pass because .. well.. it's our logo. --Gmaxwell 15:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

There is no reason to care about mirrors, it's their problem to fix their problems. Besides, Wikimedia logos should be copyrighted under free licenses. We need to oppose meta:copyright paranoia. It's as simple as that. PS. And the old 'not suck' banner was better, too.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Actualy there is reason to care about mirros and other downstream users, see: foundation:Wikimedia Foundation bylaws#ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. Let me quote the first paragraph:

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

(emphasis and wiktionary link mine). To spread content as widely is possible is why this project exists. As for the logo not beeing free licensed that is a unfortunately side effect of how trademark law works. It just doesn't work to well to trademark an image everyoen is allowed to use and modify, and the logos is part of the foundations "signature", they need to restrict theyr use in order to maintain the integrety if it's visual identification. All major open source projects do the same. You are free to modify and release your own versions of theyr contnet/software, but you may not use the official project logos without official approcal while doing so. See meta:Logo#Logo guidelines. --Sherool (talk) 09:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Game-cover Merge again

Some may recall 2 months ago when I posted something about a merge proposal for game-related fair use templates. After waiting a while with no objections I performed the merge. It has now been reverted by someone who thinks I did not make enough of an effort to contact interested persons to obtain concensus. So here we go again. ANYONE INTERESTED IN Template:Game-cover, Template:Boardgamecover, OR Template:RPG-artwork IS INVITED TO JOIN A DISCUSSION AT Template_talk:Game-cover#Merge ABOUT MERGING THESE THREE TEMPLATES. I'm cross-posting this to all the Village pumps. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:28, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

You might also want to drop a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Computer and video games and Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags too if you have not done so already, there are probably some interested parties there. Individual template talk pages are not the best place to discuss changes that would affect multiple copyright tag templates... --Sherool (talk) 12:33, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Use of admin rollback tools

Can someone provide me links as to where it is explicitly mentioned that the use of admin rollback should not be used to revert contentious edits? Previous ArbCom rulings, all of them, if possible, please. Thanks. — Nearly Headless Nick 14:53, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

This Google search lists some arbitration pages which might be of use, but I haven't managed to find anything yet which explicitly says that rollback cann't be used to revert contentious edits. Help:Reverting#Rollback tells you when not to use it in the third paragraph of that section, but that page isn't marked as policy. Tra (Talk) 15:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I've always treated the help pages as de facto policy, there's a lot in them we treat as policy, WP:ES for example. Steve block Talk 21:23, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
  • WP:AAP gives community opinion on the restriction. A majority opposes restricting rollback to just vandalism. >Radiant< 12:38, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Financial appeals on article pages

I suspect there is no policy on this, and neither do I think there should be, but what's the position on links to financial appeals on article pages? The article Bryan Budd talks about a Parachute Regiment soldier who has been posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross following his death in Afghanistan. The article includes a non-encyclopedic comment about a trust fund having been set up on behalf of his spouse and two children, with a link to the website.

I appreciate that removal will be a contentious issue but I'm not convinced that it is appropriate or encyclopedic however would appreciate some other views on the point.

ALR 13:09, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The article itself appears to be deleteable under WP:NOT#IINFO as a memorial. The only reason the article states he is notable is because he was KIA and posthumously given a military award. --Farix (Talk) 15:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree the article is not well written, but the award of a VC is pretty notable. My issue is with the link to the charity. ALR 16:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. The Victoria Cross is the highest military honour in the Commonwealth. I think that is fairly notable, especially since it has only been issued thirteen times since the end of WWII. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 16:57, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
And all newton ever did was write some books. Being able to talk dismissively about a person doesn't mean the article doesn't belong. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 16:31, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
He himself is notable, but issue with the charity link is warranted. While it is a tragic circumstance involving the subject of the article, Wikipedia isn't a soapbox and probably shouldn't have that particular link. Darthgriz98 16:52, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Removing the trust fund charity link is the correct action to take. zadignose 17:02, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
All Victoria Cross winners are inherently notable and have entries on Wikipedia. Indeed, the external Victoria Cross Reference project was migrated to Wikipedia several years ago, with Jimbo Wales' blessing. -- Arwel (talk) 21:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Talk page "owning"

I have recently, reluctantly put myself "in charge" of Talk:Kevin Federline. I archived a ton of stuff, nearly all of which was irrelevant - the talk page had almost literally become a straight-up message board to discuss Federline's career. I put a notice at the top of the now-blank page saying "irrelevant comments can and will be removed." So far I have removed several (most recently an unsigned statement that simply read "Federline has no career"), and I believe that whether my "instruction" was there or not, the page would slowly revert entirely back to its previous anarchy. Is it wrong or WP:OWN of me to do this? -Dmz5*Edits**Talk* 03:21, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Non-topic stuff should be deleted. The talk pages are meant to be for discussing Wikipedia, so I see nothing wrong.++aviper2k7++ 03:25, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Irrelevant talk page comments are a problem everywhere, and there is no reason to let them sit on the talk page for too long. You can delete them or move them straight to the archive. But you should err on the side of leaving them if they actually have comments about the article mixed in with their comments about the subject. As long as the talk page isn't too long you don't need to rush to archive the reasonable comments; try to leave a couple weeks of discussion and only archive the page when it gets too long (40 or 50k). CMummert · talk 13:07, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
It's not WP:OWN unless you get into a disagreement with another editor about what you're doing. Personally, I wish more editors would do what you do, to make it clear that talk pages are for discussing the article, not the subject of the article, and that old comments belong in an archive, not on the active page.
It may be useful to say "per WP:TPG" in your edit summary when removing wikichat; my experience is that I've never had any complaints when I do that. -- John Broughton (☎☎) 13:37, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I've added {{notaforum}} for you, hopefully that will help bring this rule to people's attention. --Random832(tc) 13:49, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Now, just so I have it straight, are these the same people who tell us we can't delete trash from our own Talkpages?--Wetman 20:16, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Nope. I've posted a couple of times recently about people misunderstanding the policy on deleting stuff from one's user talk page (the policy is that one can delete anything, whether it's trash or a real warning); in fact, I added something about that to WP:USER. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:53, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Primary notability criterion questions

I am in the middle of a few discussions that have left me very confused about the notability criteria. I will just list the questions and comments that I have and hopefully some insightful discussion and perhaps changes will result. (These questions concern only notability; I understand that the article must also be in agreement with other policies and guidelines.)

  • Are there subjects that have to pass a stronger test than the primary notability criterion?
  • If no subject is required to pass a stronger test than the primary notability criterion, what is the purpose of the multiple subject specific guidelines regarding notability?
  • In the subject specific guidelines, specifically WP:BIO, there exists a list of tests one can apply to a subject. Are these to be used in lieu of the primary notability criterion?
  • In the subject specific guidelines, specifically WP:BIO, there exists a list of tests one can apply to a subject. Are these to be used in addition to the primary notability criterion? In other words, does a subject have to pass not only the primary criterion, but also some test on its subject specific page?
  • If a precedent is set that is in contradiction with the primary notability criterion, or if a precedent is set that adds stronger criteria that certain subjects must pass, how can we best inform members that meeting the primary notability criterion is not sufficient?

Sancho McCann 23:36, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Each and every notability guideline includes the primary notability criterion of being (paraphrasing) "the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the article's topic". What the subject specific guidelines do is define other criteria that where present, imply the primary criterion, even if not easy to verify, is likely true of the subject. For example, the WP:BIO guideline criterion: "The person made a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field," means that if a person meets this criterion it is "very likely that sufficient reliable information is available about...[that]... person. All of these additional criteria are disjunctive--they are additional bases for recognizing notability through the primary criterion, and not bases which must be met on top of the primary. So to answer your points in order as I see it:
  • There are no subjects that have to pass a stronger test than the primary notability criterion;
  • The purpose is to help us find other bases where the primary criterion is very likely true but is not easily substantiated, as well as provide guidance tailored to the specific subject area;
  • They are not used in lieu of the primary notability criterion; they include it and expand our understanding of it and how to recognize other criteria that make it likely to be present;
  • No they are not used in addition, meeting any one criterion is enough in all guidelines I know of;
  • Your last question is only relevent if the above was not the case.
--Fuhghettaboutit 00:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
The fundamental issues that all "guidelines" raise are made quite clear here. Guidelines offer a guide to common sense, not a replacement for it. Any guideline one can write will eventually be enforced as an iron-clad ruling by a Wikipedian coming from an enforcer-type background, buoyed by their indoctrination. There is no procedural solution if procedure is actually the problem. --Wetman 20:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Follow Up

Many AfDs have arguments that are simply: "Delete. Subjects of type x are not notable." Without addressing the primary notability criterion whatsoever. Is there a way that we could place more emphasis on avoiding this type of argument? Sancho McCann 18:40, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

How about the Argument from Ignorance— "Well, I've never heard of X"— that appears to trump all aces at Wikipedia? --Wetman 20:03, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
You are encuraged to read Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions (or WP:AADD) for short. A question I have no real clue about is how to shift the AFD culture towards better, more informative, discussions. The scale is too big, and I'm rarely there at all these days. GRBerry 03:38, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Should WP:HOAX become policy?

I think that Wikipedia:Don't create hoaxes should become official policy. There are several reasons for this: first, it is relatively uncontroversial, and seems to be accepted by community consensus, from what I've seen at AfDs about suspected hoaxes. Also, the guideline tag says that it "should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception." It seems to me like that implies that it is occasionally acceptable to create hoaxes, and users not familiar with WP:V and WP:POINT might construe it that way. If there ever were to come a time when a hoax was allowable, WP:IAR would solve that problem.--Grand Slam 7 | Talk 12:28, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

  • It's too low-level for it to be policy. There are relatively few policies (blocking policy, deletion policy, stuff like that) and content issues do not generally belong there. Besides, WP:NOT and WP:V pretty much address the issue. >Radiant< 10:48, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
    • See also "policy bloat" discussion, two sections below this one. -- John Broughton (☎☎) 13:52, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Another option is to make a shortened version of WP:HOAX a section of Wikipedia:Deletion policy and create a guideline titled Wikipedia:Hoaxes or something of that sort for further clarification.--Grand Slam 7 | Talk 20:13, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't really think this needs to be addressed. Personally, I don't see how Wikipedia is even benefited by having this guideline at all. No potential hoaxer is going to read this guideline and say "Oh, ok. I won't do it, then." Hoaxes are just vandalism with some planning behind it, and as such, are already prohibited by almost all of our other policies. Definite policy bloat.--Aervanath 06:53, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Anon editors

I know this has probably been discussed to death, but why allow anon editors to edit? In my experience on the 171 pages I monitor, they are responsible for almost all the vandalism, and rarely add anything useful to Wikipedia. --Michael Johnson 01:34, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes this has been discussed to death - see perennial proposals. In fact, if you scroll upwards, you'll find that it has already been discussed on this very page only a couple of days earlier. Chairman S. Talk Contribs 01:39, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Well it remains a contentious issue, and a source of frustration to all of us out there trying to achieve something with this project. The claims in the reference given just don't stack up in my experience. --Michael Johnson 02:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Even though I can see why we wouldn't want to have annons editing (ie: mass vandalism, which even registered users do anyways), it might take away from the whole "anybody can edit" ideal. Although, it isn't that hard to register really, unless you absolutely can't and that I can understand. Darthgriz98 02:36, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
As an example how helpful is this edit? The anon editor has made two edits, in which they carefully alter Orangutan to Orangutang thoughout the document. Probably not vandalism, but pretty typical of "genuine" anon edits I see. --Michael Johnson 02:39, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, even if they weren't annon's they would still make the same mistakes, shave the tiger can't change it's stripes. When I'm on RC patrol, I tend to search for new users and IPs. Lately I've been finding more new user vandalism than IP, but that's probably just me. For myself personally that just makes the whole point of forced registration a little tougher to decide on. Darthgriz98 02:50, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Note that IIRC most valid content actually comes from anons too. --Kim Bruning 21:52, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I see plenty of bad edits by logged-in users, and reverts of vandalism by IPs. (And please let's not confuse IPs and anonymous users; most logged-in users are equally anonymous.)--Runcorn 22:38, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I would totally disagree with this. It is entirely true that most vandalism comes from anons. It is also true, in my experience, that anons contribute very little useful information (at least, to the many articles I watch). Even if it's in good faith it's frequently illiterate, irrelevant, duplicated, not wikified, or just plain wrong. Frankly, my heart sinks when I see an anon edit on my watchlist, because most of the time the edit has to be copyedited if not just outright deleted. Most people who want to edit seriously create an account. -- Necrothesp 21:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I suspect this depends on whether a person enjoys the "social networking" aspects of Wikipedia. Many people just want to edit the encyclopedia and are reluctant to "join a community" (which is what creating an account amounts to) in order to do so. This is particularly true of editors who are not regular users, but contribute only occasionally. It is easy for a regular to underestimate just how much of a barrier a "registration wall" could be to such users - witness the popularity of BugMeNot for example. ISTM that Wikipedia benefits as much from its casual editors as from its "hard core elite" of regulars, if not more so, and anything which discourages them should be avoided. AdorableRuffian 16:50, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I used to be annoyed at anon editors too. That was before I got fed up with the politicking among the "clicks" and groupies. The wiki itch is a hard one to shake and I have found some refreshing freedom in my anon editing. Edits without politics. What can I say, I like to talk. I do agree though with the "cynical assessment" that IP editings allows easy targets for further review. I think in the long run the benefits outweight the annoyance. 23:35, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

nobody forces you to be "social", even when logged in; you can be just as anonymous by creating a new account whenever you feel your former account is burdened socially. dab (𒁳) 17:02, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

well, maybe this particualar proposal is "perennial" because it is actually a good idea? I understand we gradually take power away from anon editors, they cannot create new articles, and they cannot edit semiprotected ones. disallowing anons will just be a gradual process of sprotecting more and more evolved articles. Letting anons edit stubs is a good idea. Letting anons edit GAs may not be: I would be interested in a study showing what percentage of anon edits to FAs or GAs are actually useful. dab (𒁳) 17:02, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Essay pages being mislabled.

There seems to be a growing trend in the WP namespace of late, to try and make the {{essay}} tag obsolete. Either by creating essays and putting them up mislabel as howtos or removing the essay tag and replacing it with a witty tag because this page doesn't need to follow convention.

The {{essay}} tag serves a pretty important use, as it makes sure new users can tell that not all pages in the WP namespace are official policy. Without it, anyone would be able to create pretty much anything in the WP namespace, and declare it 'The way we do things here' by fiat. While it's a good thing that the WP namespace is open for editing, it really needs to retain the use of essay tags so this doesn't happen.

Loosing the essay tag would lead to a flood of pseudo-policy pages, conflicting with each other, and all appearing to new editors to be 'official'. --Barberio 01:20, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Not all non-policy/guideline WP pages need the essay tag, and I'm quite happy with the one that's currently up on WP:SNOW. -- Steel 01:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Also worth noting is that this thread is only here because Barberio's attempts at getting rid of a page he doesn't like are failing (See MfD and talk page disussion). -- Steel 01:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh no! You have seen though my disguise, and now know I am the evil Doctor Smythe, and my aim is to Take Over The World via editing the Wiki. My five year plan to get one small essay deleted is Ruined! Quick, to the Escape Pods! --Barberio 13:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree that is is becoming a bit of a mess. Essays should remain essays, and these "witty" tags removed from the Wikipedia namespace. The WP namespace should be reserved for policies, guidelines, and help and FAQ pages. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:28, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I start to wonder if we might need an equivalent of notability requirements for the WP namespace. I think the WP namespace is where we really need to be deletionist, and right now there's just too much stuff that really belongs on userpages. --Barberio 13:02, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I think I should also draw the comunities attention to this edit [5] made to the Policies and Guidelines page without any apparent discussion, and seems to be intended to support those who want to abandon use of the {{essay}} tag on their essays. --Barberio 13:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Oh no! You have seen though my disguise, and now know I am the evil Doctor Smythe, and my aim is to Take Over The World via editing ... well, anyway. No, you're missing the point entirely, which is that there are quite a lot of pages in Wikipedia namespace (over 80% if you must know) that are not policy, guideline or essay. So this is to counter the misguidedly bureaucratic effort to tag every page, including sticking essay tags on pages that aren't essays, or indeed proposal tags on pages that aren't proposals. Also, please do quit your forum shopping. >Radiant< 13:35, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
    • This isn't forum shopping,t his is consensus building. Take notes. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:37, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Um, most of the pages that are not Policy Guideline or Essay are... Process pages or Wikiprojects, or *purely informational* Help pages. If it's not a Policy or Guideline, if it's not a Process page or Wikiproject, and it's not a *purely informational* help page, then what is it?
Radiant, you haven't addressed the fundamental issue, that the Project namespace should not be cluttered with things a new editor could mistake as being 'Official Policy'. --Barberio 13:41, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, 'Forum Shopping'? Er... On the Pump? Er... Isn't this supposed to be where we discuss this stuff? --Barberio 13:43, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Yep, forum shopping, since you've brought up the same issue in at least three different places already, and got disagreed with in all of them so far. The point is that not every page is going to fit into whatever neat classification you devise. But since Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, that problem lies in the classification, not in the page that doesn't fit.
  • At any rate, I fully agree to an effort of clearing the Wikispace of some of the worst cruft. That seems to be a productive task that we both agree on, wouldn't it? But how exactly do you seek to accomplish that? MFD? >Radiant< 13:51, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we can have pages in the project name space which do not fit cleanly into the categories of process, wikiproject, help, policy, guideline and essay... However, the question is should we?
I think such quasi-policy pages would be a very bad thing for Wikipedia, creating extra bureaucracy and instruction creep and confusing new editors. Everything in the project space should be there for a reason, and be immediately identifiable into a category of project page.
The project namespace is not somewhere you can just put anything in, and too many people have been using it as such. It may be time for a review of what should and should not be allowed in the project namespace. --Barberio 17:20, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, that's what you want, but how do you seek to accomplish that? Besides, you're pretty much wrong. The project namespace is somewhere you can just put (almost) anything in. You may not like that fact (I surely don't) but nevertheless it is fact. Everything in project space is there for a reason, it's just not always a good reason (e.g. disgruntled people writing an essay may not be a good reason, but it happens all the time). "Quasi-policy" doesn't exist, and is only a problem because you assume it does. Also, nearly everything in project space is identifiable into a category of project page (in large part because I actually read through all of project space and added a lot of categories); the problem appears to be that you don't like some of the categorizations. >Radiant< 10:21, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • First off, I'd like to object to the term forum-shopping in this context. This implies that these different places that Barberio has used to discuss this matter are fundamentally separate in some way. I do not agree. All of Wikipedia is, and should be, one common forum. Just think about it like the original Roman forum (or was it Greek?...doesn't matter). It's all one big place, but there are various clusters of people gathered at different corners. Think about it more like running to different clusters of people to try to gain a consensus of the larger group, rather than as going to different places that will produce different decisions.
  • As for Barberio's concern about confusing the newbies, however, I think this is pretty much unfounded. Newbies are much more likely to run across actual policies and guidelines before they run across the random essays and cruft that are scattered throughout the project namespace. Personally, I really like some of the essays, including WP:SNOW, and I think there should be a systematic gathering of consensus on whether to promote them to guidelines, even if this is not the original intent of the author.
  • I also agree that there is a trend towards trying to over-categorize and over-tag these articles, and I think that this part of a general worrisome trend on Wikipedia towards trying to put everything in a "box". Not everything belongs in a box. "Think outside the box", after all, right? (Yes, I know this could be read to partly conflict with my second comment. Hush, you! I'm ranting.)
  • I will stop babbling now. :-D --Aervanath 03:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I just want to say that after reading that hilarious edit summary I had to pop in and see what was going on. --Ideogram 04:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I live to please. :) --Aervanath 02:54, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Cleanup

I've created Category:Wikipedia Cleanup and associated template as a way to identify and clean-up problematic pages in the project namespace. No idea why we didn't have this before. --Barberio 18:10, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Because that doesn't actually help. It just encourages people to stick it on pages they don't like (which incidentally is precisely what you've been doing). We have a process that does help, and it's WP:RFC. >Radiant< 09:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
    • The category description says It may be for any of the following reasons:
  • Confusingly written, and in need of clarification.
  • Obsoleted and no longer used.
  • Incorrectly identified. ie, help page that contains actionable recommendations more suitable to an essay or guideline.
Or other unresolved issues.
  • Bad, bad idea. We have already have variety of templates that specifically identify a problem. This new category basically calls for mind-reading, which is in scarce supply here. -- John Broughton (☎☎) 04:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Seaking opinion on use of Essay Tags

Since {{essay}} is getting considerable opposition in it's use, I'm going to raise this issue to try and get some general measure of the opinions on it here.

Is the essay template ...

  1. mandatory on project space articles which are not consensus supported, but read like policy or guideline.
  2. highly recommended on project space articles which are not consensus supported, but read like policy or guideline.
  3. optional, not everything that reads like policy, but isn't consensus supported, is an essay.
  4. should be avoided all together.

--Barberio 01:27, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Most of what you propose here is instruction creep, and "read like policy or guideline" is somebody's opinion. Actual policy or guideline is obviously identified by the presence of {{policy}} or {{guideline}}. There is probably something to be said for deleting {{essay}}. As I said before, the solution to ignorance (about p/g) is education, not forcing all of Wikipedia to change their behavior to accomodate the ignorant. >Radiant< 09:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Barberio, I would disagree that {{essay}} is getting "considerable opposition." From what I can see, it's a vocal minority who are simply objecting to having {{essay}} forced upon them. This is OK by me. I would go with your third alternative above: {{essay}} is completely optional, which I believe is already established practice. If the author wants to put it on there, fine. If not, fine. I don't think it's worth worrying about.--Aervanath 04:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
    • Why should what the author wants matter? Anyway, I think there is a question that hasn't been answered any of the places this has been brought up - what is an {{essay}}? If it's a purely optional categorization what's the point in having it at all? --Random832(tc) 14:23, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Assume good faith. Perhaps -as the person on the ground- they realize that the categorisation scheme might be broken? :-P --Kim Bruning 14:43, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
      • User:Ta bu shi da yu has written an essay about essays: WP:EANP, which gives a great explanation of essays, and what they are for. Personally, I think that anything in the WP namespace that isn't an official policy or guideline is an essay. As for the categorization scheme being broken, is it really? --Aervanath 02:13, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Semiprotection notice

If you would like to comment on doing away with the semiprotection notice on articles that are semiprotected by adding additional information elsewhere, please see this discussion. -- Kjkolb 04:56, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Image use policy

This conversation needs more input by people well versed in our image copyright policies: [6]. SchmuckyTheCat 22:57, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Cracking down on Politics Edit Warriors

One of the weakest parts of Wikipedia's content is anything about politics. There are a spate of editors who edit wikipedia not to create an encyclopedia, but rather to push their political viewpoint as fact on a large website. I suggest that there is wide consensus to take strong and decisive action towards these editors - community bans from all articles about politics/current events. I further suggest that the only reason these actions are not taken is because of fears of backlash. I am very interested to hear if there are others who feel this way, or if there is a belief that we are not overly leniant with what I will call "politics edit warriors". Thank you. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:07, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Can you explain your campaign regarding David Horowitz then please?

  • User puts David Horowitz Freedom Center up for deletion: [7]
  • Votes to delete FrontPage Magazine [8] which is edited by David Horowitz.

Removes all External Links related to Horowitz:

  • National Lawyers Guild

[9] [10] Bill Moyers [11] [12] [13] Christian Peacemaker Teams [14] [15] World Festival of Youth and Students [16] Evan Thomas [17] Mengistu Haile Mariam [18] Paul Booth (SDS activist) [19] Brandeis University [20] CounterPunch (newsletter) [21] Lynne Stewart [22] Political Research Associates [23] Mumia Abu-Jamal [24] Durban Strategy [25] Keith Ellison (politician) [26] Joel Beinin [27]

I have to agree there is much warring over politics, seems deleting a commentator you do not like is not the answer either. --NuclearZer0 18:09, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

A big reason is the way the sentence gets reworded as the pronoun changes. "I am defending Wikipedia." "You are being contentious." "He is a POV edit warrior." (Not that this situation is unique here; script writers use the technique often.) There are quite often counterclaims. Sorting them out is never simple, and always takes time. The policies are clear, handling the situations is non-trivial. GRBerry 18:30, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
What value is gained by sorting it out? Ban em' all, let it sort itself out. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:36, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree that Politics warriors are a big problem here, and may I suggest you start by looking in the mirror, Hipocrite! ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 18:43, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
A 'crackdown' would accomplish exactly nothing. So you ban all the POV pushers on politics, somehow being completely fair and impartial in the process... and miraculously none of them create new accounts to get back into the game. A month later a whole new batch of politics POV pushers will discover the site and start it up all over again. It's a non-starter. Even setting aside the vast and many problems with implementing it, even imagining that it would somehow not cause far greater problems than it aimed to solve... the end result still would be of no benefit. The only real hope for dealing with such situations is to educate people on NPOV and verifiability and slowly build up a cadre of people who feel passionately about politics, but follow Wikipedia policy on writing about and discussing them. Ban the people who show no effort in even trying to comply after repeated efforts... but we desperately need to keep the ones who make any progress towards cooperative editing. --CBD 18:41, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
we do already crack down on vandals, trolls and edit warriors. WP:NPOV is policy, and firmly in place. People are free to have an opinion, and to focus on documenting their selected point of view by referring to WP:RSs. But at the point where they try to spin the prose, or insist on undue representation of a fringe position, they are violating policy, and any admin may, and should, crack down on them. dab (𒁳) 19:55, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
It would seem to me that the fairest thing to do would be for editors to limit themselves to AfDing only articles on subjects supportive of their own strongly held viewpoint, and eschewing doing so for those in opposition to it as a simple matter of WP:COI. Askari Mark (Talk) 22:24, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

A lot of the NPOV editing of political articles is sorting the wheat from the chaff. I would argue (but not so much as to trawl a few dozen articles for examples) that some good notable information is provided by POV pushers (both for and against) which a dispassionate contributor who may not have been so inclined to do the research would not have found. Whilst it is undoubtedly frustrating to deal with such 'warriors' simply removing them may result in a case of baby/bathwater etc. LessHeard vanU 22:39, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of Articles

The content of a deleted article should be retained, the submitting author notified, most likely on the user's page. If this is current policy, it is not always followed. Recently a new article that contained considerable information was deleted. There is no "history" to account for such disappearance, nor any indication of where the information may be retrieved by the contributor. Apparently it is lost forever.Phmalo 15:00, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean by "retained"? The content isn't actually deleted except in the case of clear copyright violation. Speedy deletions recommend that the author be notified, but do not force the tagger to do so. People can see that the article's deleted through the logs (and if the article is deleted, there's a clear link there that will point them to who deleted it) and they can then go ask the deleting admin why it was deleted. I'm not sure why they need the contents unless they needed it to 1) recreate the article (in which if they haven't addressed the concerns will probably be deleted again) or 2) move the article somewhere else (in which case they contact the admin who deleted it). Please show me an example. ColourBurst 15:42, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
The "content" of a deleted article always is retained, but this deleted history is only visible to admins. The deletion is recorded in the deletion log, for which a link is provided on the "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name" screen. If someone wants to object to a particular deletion, they can talk with the admin who deleted it (I have on occasion undone my own deletions after requests/explanations), or follow the procedures at Wikipedia:Deletion review. Postdlf 16:32, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, the content isn't lost, it just isn't visible to our readers, or to non-admin editors. Please take a look at Wikipedia:Why was my page deleted?. The preferred method of trying to get it back is to talk to the deleting admin first, and only after they've responded then go to deletion review. Less than 10% of page restorations come about through deletion review. GRBerry 18:01, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Policy bloat

It strikes me that there is a growing, and understandable, movement to promote more and more to policy or guideline. I'm no fan of policy bloat because it leads to additional management overhead and in the pseudo-democratic wikipedia universe that slows down production. So do we need to develop a policy which says not to create policy cruft?

ALR 13:15, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree: we currently pile up policy, but hardly manage to slim down existing policy. I'm sure I'm not aware of half of our policies by now, WP:ENC, WP:5P, WP:BOLD and WP:DICK are quite enough most of the time. dab (𒁳) 14:39, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
It already exists and is called m:instruction creep. ColourBurst 15:56, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
It's almost like everybody with an edit wants to make a policy nowadays. What ever happened to WP:IAR? Wikipedia isn't like getting a PhD where you need to write a dissertation for your time here in policy. I think WP:KISS needs to apply itself to policy, as in keep them amount of them short and to the point, no use in 100 policies on the same thing. Darthgriz98 16:07, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Aren't admin candidates required to write something in the Wikipedia: namespace these days? Ut oh. --Kim Bruning 16:37, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's well and fine, but does each administrator need to make up a separate policy? I think not. There is nothing wrong with contributing to existing policies or making one when absolutely needed, but there is no need for every administrator to have a policy on Wikipedia. Darthgriz98 16:47, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
It'll be on one of thos my criteria for admin promotion or my vote will be super strong you cant bed it oppose, just after 3FA.ALR 16:50, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Just a side note, when I mean policy I don't mean individual administer policies that are on their user space, I mean ones like WP:SOAPBOX, WP:IAR, WP:NOT some, maybe most of which have merit, but policy bloat is never good since much of it can be compressed and combined. Darthgriz98 16:57, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a great idea to take out excess policy bloat, there really is no need for separate articles when it can all be found in one place. Darthgriz98 14:58, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I think in general it would be useful to streamline some of them, there is the risk that in streamlining they become too abstracted for many editors to deal with. I think Attribution is quite a good example, good effort but I think it's still going to need some supporting material in guideline form to really be useful.
Probably a common theme from me recently but one of the problems is the lack of either content or process strategy, which in itself positively encourages the apparent proliferation of special cases and the bloat of extant policy and guideline.
Now is there a place appropriate to raise the absence of effective governance?
ALR 11:05, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

full circle? --Kim Bruning 14:19, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

corporate censorship is happening

What is the policy for dealing with PR people from the corporations described in wikipedia editing their own articles? I don't know a ton about wikipedia but I think that free advertising is not the purpose. Neither is censorship of a long and dirty corporate history. Personally I see NPOV as partly to blame. It is too easy to mean Mainstream or Status Quo... or complicity in power. Wikipedia use to be a place you could go to cut through the BS that you get on a google search where the results are paid for. Now that wikipedia is THE content creator for all the fake webpage robots and has so much influence... it is becoming a lot more contested. Articles are shorter and have less open conflict written out. I liked the conflict because it gave balance and I could link to both sides of the arguement. We need a more coherent ideal than absurd objectivity. It seems like the norm is becoming stylistically concise, naive, less informative, more palatable to those not in the know. The article in question is the Unilever article and the edits are being made by a user who admits to working for them making websites. The animal rights and other political criticisms have been de-linked in the name of NPOV. Has this sort of thing happened before? I think it is going to become more of an issue. I think it is a great project nonetheless, you are all admirable for participating. I am always melodramatic. ~rusl

All that can be done is to be vigilant and revert anything that seems to violate WP:NPOV. It is difficult, because paid PR people will be able to edit full time, so obviously they have an unfair advantage.--Runcorn 12:34, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
NPOV *means* you get the good and the bad. Revert them. --BenBurch 16:38, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I have found it possible to deal with such concerns by persistence. It helps also if there is more than one person involved, so it doesn't get to a 1 on 1 personal matter. The determination of many of the WP editors is the equal of any hired PR, as is the special knowledge of how to work in WP. The editors who come to work on the article for their company have sometimes made very useful contributions; it might help to have a Wikiproject for commercial products. What I have learned to watch out for is the simultaneous starting of pages for many different individual products. For consumer products, especially product safety, Consumer Reports is a well known source of NPOV information. DGG 18:03, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Just a thought... PR departments for an international company usually operate from the head office on one continent/time zone. Find editors who are active outside of said company/dept. work hours who would be willing to patrol the pages for POV edits. LessHeard vanU 23:11, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Or you could just add the page to your watchlist and check for suspect edits. Caknuck 21:54, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
True, but one of the comments is that multi-nationals can afford to hire a dept. to look after their interests and overwhelm a volunteer editor. I was suggesting patrolling an article out of office hours. LessHeard vanU 22:24, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't thought about this until I saw this section. There are sections in Wikipedia that document corporate corruption, but there would be a strong temptation for the coporates to try to re-write history in their favor. Don't let them win. Richiar 03:36, 8 February 2007 (UTC) Business ethics - Corporate crime
This would be a conflict of interest. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 04:21, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
As far as the animal testing section Unilever goes, keep in mind that NPOV can be applied to controversial issues. If we have legitimate sources for citation -- and bear in mind that when dealing with huge multinationals and issues, we need SOLID sources -- then we shouldn't shy away from stating the facts of the matter. Caknuck 21:54, 9 February 2007 (UTC)