Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AG

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Chinese wikipedia[edit]

I don't know if I am at the right place to discuss this, so please redirect me if possible. This is with regards to the censorship of Wikipedia in China. With the alarming growth of Baidu Baike (seriously, Baidu ripped off and took unfair advantage of many Google and other internet trends and are profiting off of them as if it is their own), I am wondering if Wikipedia could take a similar stance to Google and agree to China's censorship demands on the Chinese version of Wikipedia. After all, with the entire Chinese population as an editors base within a year I can guarantee that the content on the Chinese Wikipedia will rival that of the English Wikipedia. I realize this is a great shift in Wikipedia's policies, and one that may require a lot of work, but in the end it is my belief that there is a lot more to gain. With the increasing influence of Wikipedia as a global knowledge base it is a shame to not have the vast majority of Chinese on board. By the end of this year China will have more internet users than any other country in the world, it will be a shame if the knowledge and shared experience of the vast majority of Chinese people are not able to enjoy the potential of Wiki because of a few of their government's policies. Personally I would say Wikipedia has more potential in the world's most populous nation by sacrificing the articles on Falun Gong and 1989 Tiananmen Protests than to uphold a rightful, but impractical moral standard. Colipon+(T) 05:45, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

NO, people complain enough about it being pro-PRC without it being censored. And this is the wrong place anyway, you need to go to meta. --tjstrf talk 05:48, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Ethics aside, I think allowing these pages to be shown is likely to result in a ban of Wikipedia in its entirety in mainland China, which I think is a far greater loss. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 08:58, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, cowing to the authority of foreign totalitarian governments is a great plan. Are you aware of how much information is censored is some place on earth or other? If someone else wants to make a government-censored fork, then let them. It's not like it hurts us, we aren't making any money from them anyway. --tjstrf talk 09:11, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe you lost the sense and intention of my message, as I made no prescriptions as to what should be done. This is clearly something which should be considered in the making a decision about this issue. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 20:08, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
At the end of the day, I see no reason that China should be allowed to censor the rest of the world. If they want censorship in their own country, then that's their national right (as distasteful as I personally find it). The answer is simply to allow the Chinese to have and censor their own wikipedia. If the Chinese government then wants to block access to all other wiki's, that's their perogative. Crimsone 09:13, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think any of you realize how systematically biased the Chinese Wikipedia has become when the vast majority of Chinese are not allowed their voice on very uncontroversial topics such as... say, Shanghai or Fujianese Cuisine, or historical figures like Confucius (non-controversial articles occupy over 99% of all Wikipedia articles). Moreover, it seems the Taiwanese topics on the site will soon exceed the number of mainland topics. Supporters of Taiwan independence use the Chinese Wikipedia as a method of voicing their nationalist rhetoric, something that would be shunned entirely on the English Wikipedia.
I have read Baidu Baike. In terms of quality and organization it falls short of Wikipedia by far even though it has 300,000 more articles. At this point you must see the Chinese Wikipedia as a Chinese organization, and all the mainland Chinese Wikipedians would rather see Wikipedia available for edit on issues that are not sensitive to the government, than to see it not available at all. When you take into the consideration of the situation faced by enthusiastic Chinese Wikipedians and look at the issue from their perspective, saying that "cowing to the authority of foreign totalitarian governments is a great plan" is purely ignorant, and goes under the assumption that Wikipedia is, and should remain, an predominantly American (or Western, if you prefer) organization, which goes against its founding values. We are but addressing a need to the Chinese Wikipedian community, not bowing towards the Chinese regime.

Thank you. -Colipon+(T) 18:09, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

To suggest that I am ill-informed on the scope of censorship in China is somewhat incorrect. I'm quite well aware of it. Further, there is an ongoing debate with regards to Taiwan and independance deserving of an article in it's own right! Regardless of what the majority of people on the chinese mainland want, the Chinese government decides what's allowed and what's not. If the chinese people don't like what their government is saying (which would be quite understandable), it's up to the chinese people to do what they can and when they can, with the support of the various international campaign groups and, yes, even other nations (as they occasionally comment on the issue). It's no reason to censor Wikipedia. We don't do it for minors, and it shouldn't happen to satisfy the whims and desires of the chinese government either. Wikipedia is a worldwide organisation, which is why non-american countries have wikis of their own. EN Wiki IS a western wiki, in so far as the fact that it's greatest userbase lies in the western world, that it's primarily intended for native speakers of English, and it's based in the US.
The Chinese wikipedia community has a need only because of their governments whims and dictats. To satisfy that need is indeed to bow to the Chinese regime. The chinese government censors anything that reflects badly on it's own regime, anything that shows them acting in a questionable light, and anything that goes against or might create discourse on what they feel the Chinese nation should be and how people should be living. All sorts of things are sensetive to them. unfortunately, all of these things exist and are worthy of mentioning in an encyclopedic article - they are real. To censor any of it to satisfy the requirements of the Chinese regime would be against the founding principles of Wikipedia. Crimsone 18:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
To do as suggested would be a complete submission to the Chinese regime.It would be an unpardonable compromise to the integrity of Wikipedia.It would also allow the arbitrary censorship of Chinese Language articles to extend beyond Chinese borders, to span the world.I'm also quite shocked at the casual use of phrases like "ethics aside...!" It's a nice idea to have a continued free exchange of information with the people of China, but if the Chinese government will not allow such a free exchange, then we can't them dictate the terms of a restricted exchange.zadignose 18:42, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the Chinese wikipedia should be censored. That was merely a consideration that would need to be taken into account. As you suggested, complying with this censorship would extend beyond Chinese borders and there are millions of Chinese-speaking individuals not living in China. I think it is our duty in this case to thumb our noses at this censorship by the Chinese government. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 05:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I will take this cause elsewhere. Thank you all for your responses. Colipon+(T) 05:19, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

essentially contested concept -handling of BLP or LPB[edit]

I believe this is the core of maintaining a NPOV on Cesar Millan.

I have posted a link below, if you are reading and responding to this, you might the lower article first.

"essentially contested concept is one where there is widespread agreement on an abstract core notion itself (e.g., "fairness"), whilst there is endless argument about what might be the best instantiation, or realization of that notion.[4]

Some of the notability of this person revolves around this issue. (controversy) He is in a profession of diverse opinions. He has reached celebrity status.

Although I have internet articles that support that this is indeed the case, there is no published media that describes the issue itself. Controversy is not over a fundamental issue but how that issue should be treated or resolved. The scope of the discussion is a topic in itself and perhaps that is the best way to handle it..if I can think of a title..other than Dog Training (which has been transwikied to wikibooks, prematurely in my mind.)

Can I use internet articles that describe the controversy (essentially contested concept)as there is no other source material that does (that I know of)and I have been researching this for some time (years) prior to editing this article.

I'll provide a link to an overview which I feel reflects this accurately.

I feel that any controversy around him should be explained and placed in its proper context. I attempted to do this but an anon user reverted and changed my edit.There is no current discussion other than my own comments.

I would like to proceed with cleaning up this article, but I'm not clear on how to handle it.

Thank you Tintina 05:42, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

there is no published media that describes the issue itself - then the controversy (issue) is NOT notable and anything you do to describe or summarize it is a violation of WP:NOR.
As to the larger issue of "cleaning up" the article, you should follow Wikipedia:Resolving disputes, which lays out the process, starting with informal discussions (talk page) and up through Arbitration Committee action.It's exceptionally rare, of course, for the latter to be needed.Please (a) follow Wikipedia policies and guidelines - for example, WP:RS with respect what sources are acceptable, and WP:NOR, and (b) abide by what the majority of other editors believe should be done (or not), because no single editor is infallible.-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 00:26, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Commercial links[edit]

I have seen a gradually increasing contamination of Desert hot springs with commercial links. I had suggested nicely a few times that they put their links only on Wikitravel; I even provided a link in the Exterior links section of the WP article, but they have just been polluting. I am torn but it really is unencyclopedic as near as I can tell. At least if they would write something interesting about themselves I could sort of justify it, but this is just abuse.--Filll 03:42, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

The article definitely reads like an advertisement.Listing a bunch of hotels that have recently been renovated does not seem like something encyclopeadic.I think you have to keep deleting this kind of junk - when challenged as to why you are doing it - there are plenty of guidelines for you to fall back on.Remember the 'three revert rule' though...don't break it.Foremost as always is to challenge the person to come up with suitable references to back up these facts.Secondly, the guidelines for external links specifically tell us not to link to commercial sites in this way.There really isn't much you can do to stop them from doing this.If the case is egregious enough, you could probably find an admin to come in and start blocking the offenders - but unless they are really quite insanely enthusiastic about fighting you on this, you can probably keep the article clean with relatively little effort.Good luck! SteveBaker 03:04, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Autobiographical content[edit]

I noted yesterday that Michael Wissot was all edited by a single purpose account that was almost certainly non-biased. I added an autobiography tag, which was then removed, and two new (I would assumed sockpuppet) SPA's arrived to make changes. The subject is probably notable, so I can't really AfD it, but I don't like the fact the the content is probably biased POV. --ArmadilloFromHellGateBridge 22:23, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I would attempt to warn each user with a template listed on Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace like {{NPOV2}} or {{comment2}}.If needed, you could list the users on WP:SSP.Also note there is a template, {{Socksuspect}}, for marking accounts as possible socks. Will (Talk - contribs) 22:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I've rewritten the article; I think it's pretty much NPOV now.Drop me a note if it starts moving in the POV direction, please.(It's on my watchlist, but so are a lot of other things.)-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 01:56, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

User pages used as articles[edit]

There is a trend for non-notable footballers to set up their user pages as articles. An example is User:Jonesy702. Is there any policy on this, please? BlueValour 21:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I doubt that user is that player. A look at the edit history (be sure to checkout the comments at the AFD!) shows he's got quite a bit of interest. The userpage is supposed to be about the user and/or Wikipedia. You could list this at WP:MFD per WP:USER. You say this is a trend? Can you point to some other examples? You could look at the edit histories to see if they really exist. It's possible for someone to create User:Blah even if user:Blah doesn't exist. This applies under WP:CSD. --MECUtalk 22:03, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Another thought I had is he may be using this as a sandbox to get an article ready before "moving" it to article space. Looking at the end history it could be that way. You should ask the user first before MFD (though don't expect a nice reply). --MECUtalk 22:04, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that there is any question that the user page, written in the style of a normal article, is about the user himself - is there some other reason why someone would set up a page for a nineteen-year-old football player who has played for two local clubs?Plus his brother has a similar page: User:Stew jones.
And yes, judging by the user's comments regarding an AfD of an article he authored, I would expect CAPITAL LETTERS and obscenities in response to any request that he should follow WP:USER.
This looks like a classic case to report to WP:PAIN, but of course that doesn't exist anymore.I think it's too minor for WP:AN/I, so maybe an MfD would be the most direct route to dealing with these two pages.Wikipedia is not John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:53, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Suggest again that 'Featured Articles' be semi-protected[edit]

Every time we get a new featured article it gets swamped by puerile little twits at school computers who thinks they're being clever, cute or funny. It's a long-known problem and I fail to understand why something hasn't been done about it. Semi-protect the article while it's on the front page and then revert it when it rolls over to something else. Anything on the front page is basically a standing target to these people. HalfShadow 19:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I think that's an excellent idea. It conforms to the old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." Odds are that as soon as an article passes on its featured status, no one else will bother to vandalize it. It seems that the mere fact that an article has reached featured status should be reason to protect it while its there. If dedicated Wikipedians want to edit it constructively, they can wait until after it isn't featured, because odds are, they won't forget about it like the vandals will. Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 19:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Most "dedicated Wikipedians" wouldn't be directly affected by semi-protection.Only new and unregistered users would be.As has been noted on countless occasions, this would be a terrible introduction to the site.(Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.Here's today's featured article.You can't edit it.")—David Levy 20:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Semi-protection is explicitly not to be applied pre-emptively or to the day's featured article for an extended period (per the terms under which it was approved by the community).—David Levy 20:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
See WP:NOPRO for the current status (which is disputed) and discuss there. Trebor 20:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Main Page featured article protection for some of the commentary on the dispute. Frankly, I'm for at least sem-protection. Askari Mark (Talk) 21:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
[oops, my comment was under the wrong discussion. deleted it] Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 23:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'll see what I can do to restart the process; we're probably looking at asking for at least a show of hands, if not a formal RfC.Someone might want to ping User:Robdurbar; he's also been a driving force in this.-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:59, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Blanking User Talk Pages[edit]

I have recently become aware of a user who routinely blanks his own talk page. It doesn't appear that he is trying to hide something, such as warnings, but is rather just blanking everything left on the page without archiving it. Is there an official Wikipedia policy regarding this sort of action, and if so, is there a template regarding it? i haven't been able to find one, but I'd appreciate any insight. Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 16:21, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

No, as far as I am concerned, there's no official policy against a user blanking his own talk page. PeaceNT 16:24, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
So there's no reason that that is illigitimate or controversial? It just seems to me that it defeats one of the purposes of talk pages, but if theres no policy, I'll just let it stand. Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 16:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Removing warnings immediately is frowned upon (see {{removewarn}}). Otherwise, there is no policy that says that user pages have to be archived. Many users remove comments once they have been addressed. The talk page history is a permanent record in any event. CMummert · talk 16:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't appear this user is trying to remove/hide any warnings, so I guess that answers my question. Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 18:22, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I do the same thing on my user talk page ... leaving a few posts that contain links to tags and policy pages etc. that I find usefull.Why?1) I find it easier to see any new messages I get. 2) I find no reason to keep a long chain of outdated, now meaningless messages on my talk page once the exchange of messages is no longer relevant to anything I am doing.I know that if someone needs to retrieve a comment or an exchange (or if someone suspects that I am trying to hide something), they can always find everything I delete in the edit history anyway. So it's not "gone".No, the fact that someone blanks their user page or user talk page is not always an idication of "something to hide"... sometimes it's just the way they like to do things.Blueboar 19:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that is my pet peeve about many users' talk pages.When I want to find an older topic, it is much faster to search archives (you have a handy like to the pages and you don't have to hunt as much) than to search history (which forces you to check every change).

That is why when I wanted to clear some of the clutter from my own page, I installed George Money's Auto-Archive system.It does all the work without requiring a bot.I never ask something of other users that I would not do myself.

Besides, I had some users delete conversations that weren't complete.They responded on my talk page and deleted the post from theirs.That left me with no way to reply other than to restore the post. Will (Talk - contribs) 19:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

But the point is, there is no official policy against it, at least according to what everyone has said so far, so I have no way of compelling anyone to maintain an archive of their talk page if they don't choose to. Is there any reason this statement is incorrect? Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 19:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Here's a pretty odd case of this.An editor made comments about me on her talk page, ones that were demonstrably false (that I reverted something, when the diffs show I didn't).When I asked for clarification or pointed out that it was false, she just deleted my response but left her comments.After a couple tries, I tried deleting her false statement but she just reverted that.It seems to me that if someone is going to make comments about me, particularly false ones, I should have the right to respond to those comments.Any suggestions on how to deal with this?--Milo H Minderbinder 20:26, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Summon an admin via WP:ANI.They either aren't being civil or they are making a personal attack on you.I would also considering adding a NPA warning template like {{npa2}}.Be sure to subst it. Will (Talk - contribs) 21:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Because of this example, and I'm sure others, it seems like it would be a good policy decision to instate a rule requiring a user to archive their talk page if they wish to clear it for ease of use or any other reason. This isn't tecnilogically difficult, and you can even install programs that do it for you automatically. It seems like that would defeat any issues like that above, as well as people trying to hide warnings. I know that the counter arguement is that the history preserves everything anyway, but it simply isn't efficient to search through. Any thoughts? Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 23:07, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

That's pretty much what I wrote above.So you have me all for it. Will (Talk - contribs) 23:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

My idea though is more general, because this issue isn't just limited to personal attacks. My only worry is whether or not that policy could be broadcasted effectively to new users, and other issues regarding its implimentation and enforcement. Are there any admins in on this discusstion that can give some insight on this issue? Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 23:20, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • WP:ARCHIVE explains the best way to achive a talk page and why. One possible solution however might involve an addition to the software (if anybody agrees I'll suggest it at bug reports. Essentially, it would mean a link that appears to the user concerned once a user talk page reaches (for example) 120 KB. Clicking the link would move the page to the next appropriate archive name (eg, Archive 3, Archive 4, etc per WP:ARCHIVE), add {{Talkarchive}} to the top and bottom of the page, update an archivebox (perhaps User talk:XYZ/Archivebox), clear the redirect on the main talk page and replace it with the transcluded archivebox. Nearly all the actions required for a full and proper archive in one click. Of course, those who (like me) have a header to their talk page would have to move it over manually, and any active conversations would need to be copied back over to the talk page manually, but it would hopefully mean a lower instance of newbies (and sometimes not-so-newbies) from simply blanking the page. It may even be possible for somebody to first write a script for it to trial it.
I think the idea is good, and might be good to implement eventually, but in the mean time, I suggest that we implement a general policy discouraging the blanking of one's own user talk page. It seems that there are three general categories of users within this topic. The first is well-intentioned newbies, who may clear their own talk page because they don't know any better, and it would be nice to stop that behavior for the purpose of keeping a record. The second is experienced Wikipedia users with a real reason to want their talkpage split into seperate archives, and it seems in general that they would know how to create a user sub-page to archive it, and if they didn't know, the information is easily obtainable. The third category is vandals, who want to clear their talkpage to hide warnings, etc. You say that you can just goo look at the history, but when you look at someone's talkpage for the first time, you don't immedietly click on the history, do you? It just seems to make sense to have it all stay in the same place, or in an archive if its genuinely necessary. Any opinions?

Chuck Norris' IQ can be expressed simply as a sideways eight. 00:03, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Minority dispute of majority[edit]

I do not like conflict. However, I have noticed a number of disagreements here on WP where a Mediation or RfC is held, and overwhelming support for one position is expressed, but one or two people disagree. These dissenters then fight a rear guard action, reverting changes agreed to, subverting community consensus, driving away other editors, etc. I have witnessed this at black people. I have witnessed this at Singapore Changi Airport. I have recently been told by a dissenting editor that the other 25 editors that disagreed with him were "deranged". Of course, this might be correct, but how does one give much credence to one person who claims everyone else is wrong, in the face of all evidence to the contrary?--Filll 16:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

You think you have it bad, you try working on a contentious article about the paranormal involving either urban myth or pseudoscience. You always get at least one really pedantic user who demands that people only use peer reviewed journals as sources, even though the odds of finding a peer review journal that deals with even the most notable urban myth etc is minimal.
perfectblue 16:20, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

That can make it impossible. At least on the evolution and creationism articles that I work with, we have not had that problem (yet, as far as I know anyway). I am glad to cite the nonpeer-reviewed nonsense of creationists because I think it is dangerous to not know what the other side is thinking. I want the biggest pile of evidence of their position in their own words possible, because it is interesting and valuable and informative. And if one wants to argue against them, very often their own words and sources will end up hanging them. And I think the readers deserve to see the unvarnished evidence on all sides (of course the creationism situation is a bit more serious at least in the US and some Muslim countries where we might end up with making science illegal).--Filll 17:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Someone who disregards consensus in his/her continued editing is considered to be a disruptive editor.Per Wikipedia:Resolving disputes, a user who disregards consensus as established in RfCs and mediation can be taken to the Arbitration Committee, which has not at all been hesitant to wield its hammer.There is absolutely no need to tolerate a disruptive editor, though you do have to be a bit patient to let the process proceed.-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 03:06, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


I've run into a dispute with another user over a section that is essentially recording criticism of an experiment and a rebuttal to that criticism. The other user says that the section is unbalanced because the criticism goes into more depth than the rebuttal so they have deleted the entire of the section (both criticism and rebuttal). They've done this 4 times (though outside of the 3RR time period), and I've repeatedly asked them to either tag the section as being disputed, or to expand the rebuttal themselves, but they have continued to delete it and have stated that it should be me who expands the rebuttal because it was me who wrote the criticism section.

Are there any specific policies that I can quote to them which say that disputed sections should be tagged rather than deleted, that balance is best resolved by strengthening the weaker side of the argument rather than deleting the strong side, or that if you think that something is unbalanced, you can't demand that the original author balance it themselves but instead should do it yourself?

(The factual accuracy and verifiability are not in dispute, only the balance between criticism and rebuttal).

perfectblue 13:58, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

WP:NPOV#Undue_weight? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 22:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
And maybe WP:POINT - deleting valid content is disruptive.In general, Wikipedia:Resolving disputes lays out the process for content disputes, as you're probably aware; you can, if informal discussions fail, escalate this to (say) a request for third opinions.-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

What do you do if the persons are anon and do not discuss?Tintina 02:41, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

You follow Wikipedia:Resolving disputes.If he/she won't discuss and it's only the two of you, then for example, you use the third opinion approach.(What you really want is a couple more editors dealing with the specifics, not just speculating, as we're doing here.)-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 03:12, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Image protocols[edit]

I wonder about the protocols regarding uploading images. In particular, I was reading a (motor vehicle) page tonight, and several images uploaded showed the user's personal vehicle in states of aftermarket upgrade. In addition, the comments attached indicate that the sole purpose of the upload was/is to use Wikipedia as a showcase - not the intention of the project, I believe. Any protocols for replacing with stock photos of the vehicle model, or would an addition be the best course? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PKBear (talkcontribs) 07:26, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

If the photos are good and under a free license they are preferable to the manufacturer's photographs because they are under less (or even no) copyright regulation. Whether he's showcasing his car doesn't even come into the picture. --tjstrf talk 11:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, a heavily riced Honda Civic isn't a good subject for illustrating the article Honda Civic. --Carnildo 23:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
The chance that such an image will be able to pass as the standard for that model decreases with each subsequent view of that article. In other words, good Wikipedia editors would be careful to mention in the caption of the image that the car is "riced" or whatever, and if they forget, the next editor who sees it might change it, and if that editor doesn't notice anything fishy, the next editor to see it might change it, etc.− Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 09:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Some cars (and the Civic is a sad example) are notable for how frequently they are 'riced'.I don't think it's at all unreasonable to show one decent picture of a severely riced Civic to illustrate that fact.I'd draw the line at one though.One photo to illustrate the concept - that's plenty - and it's assuming there is accompanying text explaining that Civic's in general are popular amongst people who do these kinds of things.I wouldn't want to see a photo of a riced Rolls Royce on that car's article - those cares are very seldom riced so the presence of such a photo would be misleading...but the Civic...yeah, sure.All other photos should be as representative of a shiney new Civic as possible.But don't let the riced photo be in the 'infobox' at the top of the page - and make very sure that you indicate in the photo caption that this is not standard equipment for that make and model year. In my Mini article there is a photo of the car converted to look like a giant Orange(!) - it's not stock - but it's an appropriate photo to back up the explanation of how these care were very well suited to that kind of radical surgery!But the car in the info-box is pretty much stock - that's what we must strive for.There is a tendancy for car nuts to put 'vanity' photos of their cars into the articles - but actually, that's not such a terrible thing.One photo of a car in stock condition - nicely taken - in front of a suitable background - that's fine.What do our readers care who owns the car?Half a dozen photos of the same car...Hell no! SteveBaker 03:23, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

wiki import to wiki books can original artilce lacking sources be deleted?[edit]

I am interested in beginning a topic in wikipedia which has the same as an article that was successfully transwikiedto wikibooks where it was appropriately renamed (by me)to reflect its non NPOV.

Can the Wikipedia article be deleted? I can't seem to rename it because it was moved yet it holds a general title.

It is also not sourced.

Tintina 05:23, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Remove the irrelevant content (with a good edit summary and possibly explanation on talk) and write encyclopedic content!I don't see how moving Dog training to Positive Only Dog Training is NPOV.It's completely reasonable that this article has a general title.It should incorporate all significant training methodologies eventually. Superm401 - Talk 08:33, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The POV exists throughout the text, that is why I renamed to reflect the POV it expresses. I entered talk comments with this explanation. It is written as a MPOV. The sourcing is problematic for this article. In the meantime the renaming is more accurate.

I want to reintroduce the topic from a broader perspective, including some history.

Essentially my question is: as the article has been transwikied to Wikibooks what happens to editing in Wikipedia under the original title? I'm looking for the simplest, cleanest way to treat the whole topic.

I was reluctant to continue in Wikipedia as I'm not clear about the transwiki to Wikibooks. Do the edits automatically end up in wikibooks?

Thank you.Tintina 16:38, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
As described at m:Help:Transwiki, it seems pretty clear that it's a one-time transfer.Further edits to the Wikipedia article stay in that article; they don't also transfer.-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll try to lay this out more clearly article #1 titled Dog Training transW to Wikibooks and renamed (I did not transwiki-someone else did)Pos Only Dog Training (as that is what the article reflected.) Perhaps others have not worked on this over the same issue-I don't know. the original title Dog Training exists in wikipedia so cannot be transwikied again. If the wikipedia article is deleted will the title Dog Training become free to reuse?it seems there would be no point working on the wikipedia version if it cannot be transwikied into wikibooks and into theDog Portal. It means working on two different formats of the same thing. As there is not a single source in the article I would like to delete it. editors have been absent for quite some time (months). If the existing wikipedia article is edited over it is orphaned in wikipedia unable to migrate to wikibooks UNLESS there is a way to change to the title or to reclaim it after deletion.

Tintina 03:21, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Query,talk page entrys demonstrating a solution/extra information about an article or subject ONLY by quoting widely known and definitively proved information in a linked context,Valid or not valid? 01:47, 24 January 2007 (UTC)Iron Head76.0.39.38 01:47, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Dozens of links to a good site[edit]

Hello all. This morning I found that external links to the USGS had been posted to the articles of every state and territory of the USA in the course of a few hours by Spydrlink (Talk|contribs). I have witnessed previous cases where an editor posted dozens of links to useful, reputable sites- and they were all deleted as spam. Is there a real consensus on that though? I wanted to ask the user about this on his talk page, but I'm not even sure how to approach it since I'm not sure if he/she actually violated any policies. His last edit was to the USGS page itself, so perhaps it's a case of WP:COI? I don't know. Comments please! --Elipongo (Talk|contribs) 17:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it's a useful addition, and it's not as if it's a commercial site. USGS actually has a lot of interesting information. Fan-1967 17:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The manner in which it was done was kind of spammish, but I wouldn't say it's really spam. The template {{{{Geolinks-US-streetscale}} performs a similar function but adds multiple links to commercial sites like Google and Yahoo, and it's perfectly acceptable. It's even expected. Kafziel Talk 17:48, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

But should it be cluttering up the External links section if it's not referenced in the article yet? I can't say I care for it when somebody slaps a link up and doesn't add anything substantive to the article. To me it's like saying, "I'm too busy/important to actually write anything— here's a reference, go write something about it, flunky!", but maybe I'm taking too personally! SFriendly.gif Maybe a good idea would to be to have a "Potential references" section on the talk page.--Elipongo (Talk|contribs) 15:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

  • It's a gray area. But if you look at the person's edit history and see that they created an account five minutes before putting the link there, or if all their edits seem to revolve around the organization or product pointed to by the link, then its probably spam. --Infrangible 04:47, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Film Notability, and Notability in general[edit]

It seems we need a guideline to define notability for film articles.Currently, the guideline seems stalled out, but a few people are looking for input to get the process going again.

I have my own perspective, but limited experience in these matters.My first basic question is, "are the notability requirements on Wikipedia intentionally loose?"That is, is it preferred to have a largely open door policy that allows vast amounts of articles with little claim to notability, or is it preferred to set a high hurdle for articles to clear?

As it is, films generally get reviewed in multiple publications, which makes "multiple published works" apply to literally tens of thousands of films if we regard reviews as "non-trivial" and "reliable."The current films guideline seems to take this approach.

Other loose standards are permitted, including major studio releases of feature films, which again in itself allows tens of thousands of films, whether or not these can reasonably regarded as "notable."There is a clause allowing films released nationwide in a country (presumably this means commercial releases outside festivals), or on 200 screens worldwide (which is a hard hurdle to clear, but only denotes popularity, not notability).

I may be a lone voice in the wilderness, as many people seem to want a further loosening up of the standards before endorsing the guideline, whereas I think it needs very tough, strict standards, which I commented on here.

What's the general feeling on this?I'm I just being too much of a hard ass?Is simply having one's work flickered in front of the eyes of a few thousand people, a couple of whom hold pens in their hands, enough to ensure eternal notability?Can some kind of consensus be found?zadignose 15:52, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Do you have any examples of film articles that you'd like a tightened notability guideline to exclude?Postdlf 16:11, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure if very strict criteria can be applied in films, but I am sure that Wikipedia:Notability (films) has to become reactivated. I have posted messages in various directions about it, but no one seems to be willing or able to tackle this problem. I know it would be very very hard to try to limit contributors. If notability for a film is simply that it has been screened or released in Home Video/DVD, we have a long and unsure way to go. Not very long ago, a WP Films member started adding endless lists of films from other countries. It took us quite an effort, including AfD's, to get them out of main namespace and into WP Films space. The result can be seen in the by-country lists here: WP Films/List of films without article, which I had originally started as a sub-project to deal with existing red-linked films (in filmographies and entered in various lists), some of which may be important, but not as critically important as films found in Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/List of notable films. The user has started filtering the "red" lists for notability (not sure by what exacly criteria) and an example of the results in main namespace can be seen here: List of Argentine films:1960s. I write all this to show to Village Pump that it is very hard to work without film notability guidelines. As project, we are nowhere close to defining them soon. We could surely use some expert help. Hoverfish Talk 16:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
As for what should be excluded, I'm not sure.Is it fair to say "most of them?"Well, here are a few semi-randomly selected titles that we can discuss, regarding their notability:
And, yeah, I know I picked on troma films by including two of theirs.
I also know that one of the listed films was directed by Sean Penn, stars some famous actors, got some positive press, may even have been good, but it slipped between the cracks.There are a lot of such movies, and we have to evaluate how notable such films really are, whether or not we WANT them to be notable.So we have a spectrum of notability to discuss.zadignose 17:02, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Notability is a low bar to ensure that there's enough material for an article.We're here specifically to catch the things that may have slipped between the cracks.If it's gotten any significant press, positive or negative, that's secondary sources.We want those tens of thousands of articles, since WP:NOT paper, we can fit as many movie articles as you can throw at it. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Night Gyr is right here.WP:N in essence is really only to make sure an article meets WP:V, WP:NOR, WP:NPOV and WP:NOT.As long as a film has enough secondary material to write an article with, why not have an article?ColourBurst 03:39, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
According to WP:N#Rationale_for_requiring_a_level_of_notability, "In order to have a neutral article, a topic must be notable enough that the information about it will be from unbiased and unaffiliated sources; and that those interested in the article will not be exclusively partisan or fanatic editors."This at least suggests that notability is of value in itself, ensuring at least some degree of general interest.It is also stated that "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate directory of businesses, websites, persons, etc. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia."But if notability was really just a hurdle to ensure verifiability, then so long as a person's name, address, telephone number, and date of birth could be verified, there'd be no reasonable argument for excluding this information.Wikipedia would, indeed, become an indiscriminate collection of information if being true and verifiable were the only standards for inclusion.And to paraphrase the rationale presented above, we might want those tens of thousands of articles, since we can fit as many indiscriminate pieces of information into Wikipedia as you can throw at it."Why not" have an article about my Uncle Pete?
I maintain that Wikipedia is, and should be interested in limiting it's articles to truly notable material.And I find that the standards for film are conspicuously absent.
Compare with the recently deleted article on the song 2 Much Booty (In Da Pants), which is definitely "verifiable," has been used in the soundrack of a "major motion picture," and has appeared on multiple music charts including Billboard's Top 100, but it was deleted for being insuficiently notable... because WP:NSONGS actually sets reasonably high standards of notability.Film could do this too.I suggest that it should. zadignose 06:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
There's a good reason we wouldn't have the sort of article you refer to, with name, phone number, address: WP:NOT#DIR.The kinds of sources you refer to fall into "trivial coverage," because they don't provide enough information for an encyclopedic article.We're WP:NOT an indiscriminate collection of information, we are an encyclopedia.Our only limitation is the availability of nontrivial information.Also, WP:NSONGS failed to gather consensus, because there is not that much support for higher standards of popularity. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 06:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
But doesn't your designation of "trivial" information depend on some standard of "notability?"I know that it's been said that Wikipedia is NOT an indiscriminate collection of information, but it certainly resembles one.And the question should be raised, "why shouldn't it be an indiscriminate collection of information?"Without basic notability standards, the answer would have to be "it should be."Only if you really believe that non-notable articles should be excluded, for the sake of Wikipedia's overall quality, can you form any rational argument against the indiscriminate collection of information.And dare I say it?I think the main reason that a guideline like WP:NSONGS can't gather consensus is because most editors are too enamoured of their pet projects, favorite bands, and their role as indiscriminate collector of trivia to be willing to embrace a tough standard of notability.By and large, the editors want the bands, and films and songs they LIKE to be recorded here, without concern for the general quality of the encyclopedia.It's time to start making some tough judgments, or else stop the farce of claiming that we have standards.zadignose 06:48, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Please read WP:NOT#PAPER, and understand that the existence of articles on topics that you don't think matter does you no harm, nor harm to the encyclopedia. Notability for wikipedia is not the same as notability anywhere else; it's not anyone's subjective standard, it's a basic line where we agree enough information is possible for an article, not that we agree the subject particularly matters on any scale. There's no harm in having articles about minor topics, if they're up to the same quality level as everything else.Only when quality is impossible should we delete.Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 07:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I've read it multiple times now, and apparently don't interpret it the same way that you do.I think that the fact that it says there is no limit on articles "other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page," combined with the initial paragraph's stated interest in "building a high-quality encyclopedia," the concept of "trivial information" that we've discussed above, and the guidelines on notability, all suggest that some verifiable material can be excluded for being non-notable, even if the possibility of writing a thorough article on the subject exists.zadignose 07:53, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Except that a person's name, telephone number, etc won't be enough to write an article from (see WP:STUB and WP:SD for a definition of what constitutes "enough context"), and if a person tries to pad the information somehow, in almost all cases s/he will pad it from their own knowledge of the subject or from primary sources, which is a violation of WP:NOR.ColourBurst 14:53, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
So, is it correct to assume that according to Wikipedia policy every film that has been screened (or circulated in VHS/DVD) by a known distributor is eligible for an article? Hoverfish Talk 16:48, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
According to policy, yes, as long as it's verifiable. All notability standards are just guidelines. Kafziel Talk 16:55, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not fond of the designation "just" guidelines, though, as guidelines are actionable, and can have a significant influence on the shape of wikipedia.I'm not suggesting you meant it in any dismisive manner, of course, but I'd like to assert that by drafting a well thought out guideline, we can positively effect the quality of the encyclopedia's coverage of articles within the scope of films.zadignose 19:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm repeating here what I posted at the film project page, so forgive me, but I'd like to see some more opinions focused on this discussion.I've recently made significant edits to the guideline, and would like to solicit further discussion in the relevant talk page.I seem to have become the recent outspoken proponent of tougher guidelines, but I would like to seek reasonble compromise, and find some workable solutions.I think that my recent efforts at least demonstrate a sincere interest in drafting a sensible guideline that isn't "all inclusive," but might help improve the quality of our coverage of notable films.Thank you.zadignose 16:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Images on the main page (user experience)[edit]

The description page of images which appear on the main page should always contain a link to the English Wikipedia article the topic of the image so that when someone clicks on an image on the main page, they don't have to go back to click the link to the article about it. e.g. Image:Raccoon_(Procyon_lotor)_2.jpg does have a link, while Image:Playoffs_021_crop.jpg which currently appears on the main page has no link (currently) from the image description page to what it's about. I've been adding these links to wildlife-related images but it's quite frustrating that other sysops don't do it. It makes for a horrible user experience not having anywhere to go after blowing up an image of interest from the main page, and as the images descriptions are always locked, normal users cannot fix it. —Pengotalk · contribs 09:21, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Frustrating? A little I suppose. But really, how hard is it to hit backspace? --tjstrf talk 12:15, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a good thing to remind people of, but if they miss it, you can always propose an edit on the talk page of the image with {{editprotected}}. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 12:31, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

It's a frustrating and confusing user experience straight off the main page, and it makes Wikipedia suck. Wikipedia might be a popular site, but disregard for user experience isn't going make anyone stick around. Making a link be policy would make Wikipedia suck less. Doing the "editprotected" thing is a good idea, except images don't appear on the main page that long, and users are already frustrated by the time a fix happens. —Pengotalk · contribs 03:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I actually totally agree here, it is really irritating and honestly doesn't benefit anybody.-Dmz5*Edits**Talk* 04:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Image pages have the file links section at the bottom, no? --Infrangible 04:28, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Why are we free?[edit]

If this is the wrong place to discuss this, forgive me, but I can't seem to find a better place.

This has bugging me for some time, and I can't really seem to understand it. Why do we strive so hard to make Wikipedia so completely free? I'm not talking about free to access, but free to take and use.

Why do we encourage derivative works such as how uses us when it will always be inferior to the actual article hosted on Wikipedia? Why can't we edit Wikipedia articles for Wikipedia? It seems stupid to not allow copyrighten images that we've obtained permission to use just because we can't let anyone else use them. It doesn't matter if someone mirrors the page, prints it in a book, or puts it on a CD. In the end, the online article will always be better, more up to date, and what people will actually use.

The goal may be to spread knowledge and information, but in reality it ends up stagnating it. How does having the same (but slightly inferior) information repeated accross a thousand other websites do anyone any good? I've actually come accross the problem of doing research on a subject, only to have difficulty finding original information because now everyone is too lazy to write their own summaries of a subject, as they can just use what Wikipedia has to say. Free information is bad, as it becomes the only information. Wikipedia is like the smart kid in class that lets everyone copy off of him, and now nobody else feels like doing their own homework anymore.

except it's not original research, wikipedia is just a compilation of info from other sources. So new work can still be done. Wikipedia just shares what is known.SpookyMulder 13:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
That's the ideal, but in my initial experience here, I've found that poorly referenced or uncited material used in some articles, often inaccurate, gets mirrored and repeated all across the web for long spans of time, so that later when the time comes to correct and improve an article, all the web hits seem to support the inaccurate original... it has "staked a claim" so to speak, and diseminated misinformation that's mirrored back in every search attempting to find more accurate data.An uncommon or improper word usage can become the most common word usage because so many people seem to turn to wikipedia as an authority on such matters.This of course, merely suggests that quality control in the early stages is more critical than some might think, and that crude research and arguments based on google hit counts are spurious.zadignose 19:05, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

So aside from say, a teacher printing off a Wikipedia page to help teach class, how does being so free actually benefit anyone?--SeizureDog 10:30, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

It's part of an overarching ideal of the founders, the actual benefit is probably minimal. Read Copyleft.--tjstrf talk 10:33, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an open content project, pure and simple.Many of us would not be here were that not the case.Why would I spend hundreds of hours of my time just to increase someone else's store of intellectual property?Even if that "someone" is a nonprofit foundation.
Re your wider point -- that free information is harmful -- I think the real problem is in accessibility rather than freeness.There are many proprietary sites that have a similar effect in specific fields; FishBase and AlgaeBase come to mind.Nobody wants to put the work into duplicating those sites' herculean efforts, not even on an open-content project such as Wikispecies.This is not really a huge problem, IMO; it's just part of the growth of human knowledge. -- Visviva 10:50, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree here.Having a free (even if a bit convoluted) license guarantees that the content will never die.If the Wikimedia Foundation does, someone can easily bring the project back to life.Moreover, the internet isn't even an option in some places, like Africa; making the project free lets people distribute it in whatever format they want.Several projects have made interesting uses of Wikipedia content offline.For example, there is a project to put article on iPods, and several CD projects. Also, some online forks of Wikipedia are interesting.Wikipedia can't satisfy everyone, so it's good that others can take our content for our own agenda.If you want to help Wikipedians enforce the GFDL, please see Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks.On a related note to this, also see #Copyright below. Superm401 - Talk 21:15, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • If the source is credited, how is quoting wikipedia different from someone quoting it in any other published work? Where do you draw the line? --Infrangible 04:18, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

WP:DELPRO and extra "social" restrictions on non-admins[edit]

WP:ADMIN says that non-admins may behave exactly as admins, except for the extra capabilities that admins have. This is backed up on the same page by Jimbo's assertion that adminship is "not a big deal" and that he wants to "dispel the aura of "authority" around the position". Nevertheless, Wikipedia:Deletion process#Non-administrators closing discussions creates new, purely social, restrictions on how and when non-admins may close deletion discussions "keep", which of course they are capable of doing. I propose changing DELPRO to dispel the aura of authority around adminship per Jimbo and bring it into line with WP:ADMIN, please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Deletion process#Social restrictions on non-admin behaviour. —Ashley Y 05:42, 23 January 2007 (UTC)


I was looking up policies regarding enterprises and came across this article/policy: Articles_about_ongoing_enterprises.Can someone tell me why it is archived? It seems reasonable.Did something take its place?Alex Jackl 06:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Looking at the talk page of the proposed policy, it looks like it never got any traction.The basic argument against it seemed to be that everything was (more-or-less) already in other places (see, for example, the list of "See also" policies and guidelines on the proposal page).
For the section you linked to, I'd guess that Wikipedia:Conflict of interest is the most relevant of existing guidelines.-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks!It is too bad - I may take a stab at resurrecting it.Let me do some more research. Alex Jackl 18:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

warning about explicit content[edit]

I'd like to ask whether people are obliged to put some warning (like "contains explicit content")when they link to some external websites with the explicit content. If not, do you plan anything like that or can you somehow take care of this for benefit of the underage? --The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:44, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

I know I've seen some, but it's probably not necessary. Wikipedia is not censored for the underaged. --tjstrf talk 01:59, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
There is no specific policy or guideline, and editors are certainly not obliged to do so, but I myself would recommend it. Yuser31415 05:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
"Explicit content" is silly and vague.If it's non-obvious from the link (linking to a porn star's official site, for example), then it might be a good idea to say what the link contains.Nevada-tan's links contain some violent images, and it's better to say that rather than "explicit content" which could be anything. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 06:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Warning labels are a slippery slope. You put one on today for sex, then tomorrow and violence or bad language, and before you know it you've got warning notices on The Holocaust advising the it might contain quotes form senior NAZI or from revisionists, and one the Iraq war saying that it might contain surrendermongering.
I am not necessarily convinced by slippery slope arguments - a warning label for an external link to a porn site does not necessarily lead to a warning label for websites about evolution or gay marriage.The slippery-slope argument is the one I see most frequently used in discussions of whether to mitigate explicit content in some way.--Dmz5*Edits**Talk* 04:15, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
There is more than enough software out there that parents and schools can buy that blocks access to pages containing sexual or obscene text or unsuitable image tags, if parents and teachers choose not to use them, and therefore choose to allow their children to access unsuitable wikipages, you can hardly blame wikipedia.perfectblue 09:22, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
An example or two might really help.In particular, are there any cases where the reader would be surprised that he/she was going to an explicit site if he/she clicked on a link?
Slippery slopes are not the only argument against them, there's also mission creep. Today you're tagging a porn site with a naked woman, tomorrow it's a bikini model site, the next day it's a child beauty pageant site.
The problem is that when you open the door to warning labels you tend to attract people whose mission in life is to add warning labels, and they tend to go to extremes. If you add a label warning of porn, pretty soon the above kind of user will start adding it to anything with remotely suggestive content, or even things without suggestive content, but which somebody could possibly be offended by.
perfectblue 07:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

High school articles[edit]

One argument in favor of fairly broad guidelines for including high schools is that an existing article can be built upon when something newsworthy happens at the school. For example, today there was a fatal stabbing at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Luckily, there already was an adequate article on the school to which details on the stabbing could be added. --Eastmain 21:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I would answer with a question: "Are we running a newspaper of an encyclopedia?" Clearly many love to add the news as it happens, but is this a primary role for the encyclopedia? Is this stabbing more notable as it happened in a school? David D. (Talk) 21:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I might win the Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow but that doesn't justify writing an article about me now.-Dmz5*Edits**Talk* 04:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Besides, I wasn't gonna stab that kid until I confirmed there was a wikipedia article first, to be sure it would be properly noted.zadignose 19:20, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Three strike system for deleting images[edit]

While deleting fair use images of living people is valid, far too many users delete without deleting references to the images themselves. This create complete and utterly horrible looking articles, and references to non-existent material. I have noticed this inaccusable act of lazyness in three users over the last month or so, without even trying to look for such descrepencies.

Take for example this electorial district article, which from November 27 to today lasted in such a delapitated state.

I propose that we have a three strike system for sysops deleting images CSD:I7. If they delete images without removing references to that images within the next two hours of the image deletion, they can be issued a warning by any registered user. This warning will be recorded on a special page.

If any user receives three or more warnings, they must stop deleting images for a period of a week, sufficient time for other users to locate all the mess they may have made. If they try to delete images during this time, they will loose admin priviliges. This process repeats itself once the ban on deleting images is over, indefinitely.--Zanimum 15:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Just as uploaders are not the only ones who can fix missing source info or improve a fair use rationale, deleters are not the only ones who can do peripheral cleanup by removing links.Because this is a collaborative project, no one has to do everything themselves and we can all fix problems we identify, no matter who did the initial work.Yes, it would be best if a deleter removed all the links to the image they deleted, but we're all volunteering here, and not all of us can dedicate continuous, extended periods of time (my losing lottery ticket last night ensured that—damn you, astronomical odds); sometimes all we have time to do is a few minutes of editing here and there which may not allow us to complete a task before the real world intrudes and yanks us away.Postdlf 16:09, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. If an admin is consistently deleting images, without clearing up links, then try leaving a message on their talk page about it, and see how they respond. While ideally, they would be able to delete all the links, it's easily arguable that deleting fair-use images that are being used wrongly is more important than removing the links. There's no need for a complex bureaucratic system of warnings and desysopping. Trebor 16:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
And if they don't, as is the case with User:Betacommand, the most recent repeat offender? It just seems disgusting that they are so lazy. And this wasn't a proposal for de-sysoping only honour system.--Zanimum 17:00, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with red links, especially for images on articles. It's about just as good (if not better) than a reqphoto on the talk page. Someone may see it and go "I have a free image I can upload to fill this void". Lots of them would look ugly. Perhaps a script could be written to aid the deleters, where when they click the delete it then opens up each page/article that the image is used on, searches for the image filename and highlights it and then the user just has to delete the caption text manually. Should be highly doable IMHO, but slightly beyond my skills (and capabilities, since I can't delete images to test this). --MECUtalk 17:06, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
(to Zanimum) The message you've left gives the wrong impression; nobody on Wikipedia must do anything (beyond following the core policies), it's a volunteer project. You can't warn someone for doing this, either. And if you leave a message in that manner describing their behaviour as "unacceptable" (again, a fairly meaningless term - is there a list of acceptable behaviour?), you're going to get their backs up. A friendly message asking them civilly to delete links is far more likely to engender a considered response and a change in ways. Trebor 17:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know it's a volunteer project, so we can't force people to do particular things. But these users are all admins who have chosen to take on the task? Why shouldn't we make sure that they do the task right? If I were to block someone without leaving a reason, that would be unacceptable on the English Wikipedia, as every administrator is expected to fully follow through on this action.--Zanimum 18:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Note, yet another image deletion that I stumbled upon. I was searching this guy's name, as he was listed as contributor to an upcoming book.--Zanimum 18:30, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be kind of cool to make a template to go along with the existing talk page {{reqphoto}}, that sits on the side of the article where a photo would go as a placeholder and tell people "replace me!" like an expand tag. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 03:53, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

While I personally agree this would be a great way of gradually phasing out fair use, these contributors are trying to remove things ASAP, as "Jimbo told me to". Note that Jimmy is not the entire Wikimedia Foundation board.--Zanimum 18:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

New Sock Puppet Policy Proposed[edit]

To deal with the fact that none of us are answering the reports at the failed Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets, I have proposed a new way of dealing with users approaching admins about potential abuse of sock puppets. Please see:

Robdurbar 14:38, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Copying articles from external wikis[edit]

What are our conventions on how to acknowledge authorship history when copying material from external, non-Wikimedia wiki sites under GFDL or similar licenses? I am thinking of a site like, a free GFDL-licensed wiki about Greece, which some users have taken articles from. This is quite a good and trustworthy site, the copying should be legal and the articles are generally decent and should be highly welcome here. But at the same time, it's not something we should quote as a "reliable source" in terms of WP:V. Adding it as a standard "external link" also doesn't make a whole lot of sense, as it won't provide the reader with more info than they already have in the article. Fut.Perf. 12:38, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Put it in a Source section, explicitly noting that you've used actual content (not just uncopyrightable information) and that it's licensed under the GFDL.Link to the original article, and Wikipedia:Text of the GFDL. You can create a template if this source is being used a lot. Superm401 - Talk 12:56, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, maybe a template might be a good idea. Fut.Perf. 13:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Sure, but either way we need to do the first part. Superm401 - Talk 13:05, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I found Category:Attribution templates, and created Template:Phantiswiki accordingly. Fut.Perf. 13:26, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Template:Phantiswiki can not be used for attribution/reference to a reliable source (as in WP:V, WP:RS, WP:ATT, etc);
  • The copyright status of is very unclear: it refers to "Free", but doesn't have a copy of the GFDL available, there are no copyright indications at the bottom of the main namespace pages (nor to GFDL, nor to copyright-specific pages) etc.
  • Arguably, the Phantiswiki website is currently in copyright infringement with Wikipedia on some pages (because of no proper implementation of GFDL, and not mentioning where it got content that was obviously copied from English Wikipedia), e.g. is obviously *not* mentioning where the content of that page came from, not even in edit history (and the talk page is empty).
  • Therefore also the risk of circularity-via-external-copy, as mentioned in the last bullet of Wikipedia:Don't use internal sources for verification#Content displayed in Main namespace is more than real, only confirming the point above that Template:Phantiswiki should never be used in a (content) verifiability logic, and that it would probably be best to do away with that template altogether (it's not as if Phantiswiki seems to give much attention to sound referencing...).
  • If notwithstanding all the above, content is copied from Phantiswiki, best to follow the 1st point regarding "Record information" of the (internal) transwiki procedure, see m:Help:Transwiki#Begin transwiki: "On the [...] talk page, copy and paste the original page's history log under a new heading [...] If there are only a few authors, you can note them in your [...] edit summary instead", plus notification of the URL where you copied the material from of course in edit summary or on talk page (for which no template is needed in main namespace either). --Francis Schonken 14:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Just to clarify what I said already in the first post above, I never proposed using phantiswiki as a source in the sense of WP:V. It's just that I happened to come across articles that were apparently copied from there and was wondering how best to "legalize" them in GFDL terms. They are decent little biography articles; their being unsourced in WP:V terms is an issue that must be tackled independently. Fut.Perf. 14:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
      • See last bullet of my comments above. When the edit summary of the "import" step doesn't seem to mention anything, making a circumstantial report on the talk page of the article seems the most obvious way of handling it. The only other solution I see is handling it as a WP:COPYVIO (import of unauthorised material). --Francis Schonken 15:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
        • I've contacted an admin at phantis and asked him to comment; I hope at least the problem about what license is intended on their side should be clarified soon. Fut.Perf. 15:04, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Mysterious entry[edit]

While perusing the List of military aircraft of the United States on English Wikipedia, I found an entry for the YF-24 that holds nothing but Arabic. What is the policy on such a page? Mikieminnow 23:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

If the article existed on another language Wikipedia, it could be speedied under A2. As it's not, then the CSD page suggests tagging with Template:Notenglish. As it's only a sentence, that may not be worth it, so perhaps try looking for a translator at WP:BABEL. Trebor 00:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
tagged for Speedy Blueboar 01:21, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Lead problem[edit]

Please take a look at Singapore Changi Airport. I thought this Lead problem had been resolved with an RfC, but apparently not.--Filll 21:58, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

It may be that someone did not know of the Mediation Cabal's result.I have posted the results on the Talk page, and have removed the problem in the Lead. Blueboar 01:12, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Community ban[edit]

I came across this which is just one paragraph of the banning policy copied verbatim into its own page. Only one person contributed to the new page. Not sure what to do with it as it seems completely redundant; could /should it be MfD'd? Or just redirected to the banning policy? Trebor 19:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd say redirect it if it's not goint to be expanded. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 22:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Was bold and did it. Anyone's free to revert if there's a reason. Trebor 22:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Psuedoscience importance[edit]

I think importance is really subjective. There are plenty of articles about the made up technologies if science fiction books and tv shows.But psuedoscience articles are labelled as important to only a small number of people, and therefore not worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia. Even if they aren't true, psuedoscience is important for other reasons.Why do people invent this stuff. What similarities do they have to so-called "real" science?

NPOV requires a tag saying-this is not consensus among scientists.But I would like to argue for more leniency in the case of articles considered Psuedoscience. After all, every scientific theory was unproved, and therefore psuedoscience, at one time.

Just because only a few people believe in a theory doesn't neccessarily mean it's IMPORTANT to only a few people.A lot of people might be interested in what a few whackos think.

I'm sure a lot of people have opinions on importance.But that's my 2c.

I make is stupid -- Puddytang 05:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

... Was there anything this was a response to? And what was that last sentence? No, none of this really makes sense at all. --Golbez 05:52, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE is the relevant guideline here, I think.As for Why do people invent this stuff. What similarities do they have to so-called "real" science?, that sort of information belongs in the pseudoscience article if not already there (I've not looked) - not your thoughts or opinons, though, but comments by those who have studied such matters.The question, as interesting as it may be, doesn't justify having a bunch of separate articles about impossible things that people claim to have figured out.
Also, please see WP:NOT - Wikipedia isn't designed to have articles on everything that people might find interesting.We're an encylopedia here.If a particular type of pseudoscience has gotten a lot of press (again, WP:RS), then sure, it qualifies for an article - but not Joe-my-neighbor's homebrewed perpetual motion machine or Crazy-Eddie's telling-the-future-even-better-than-before super-Ouija board. -- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

{{click}} on portals and alternatives[edit]

Someone has created Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Clickable images, in effort to remove {{click}}.This is with good intention, but think wider discussion of this and possible alternatives available is needed. This user is now going through all the portal pages and doing mass removal of {{click}}.It's not being discussed on Portal talk pages, nor is any alternative being implemented in place of {{click}}. One alternative is the new ImageMap extension, which can be used on portal pages for "Related portals".(see Portal:Criminal justice)It doesn't yet work in templates, so can't be built into {{click}} itself at this point. Such mass removal of the template without discussion and putting in place an alternative is not okay with me.This is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Clickable images. --Aude (talk) 14:40, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I see no consensus for the mass removal of this template, not on the project's talk page or anywhere else. It honestly looks like the owrk of about 5 people who hate the template, but I neither agree with them nor think their reasoning is sound. This little subproject also had a disputed tag removed by it members. Until this is agreed on or not, the removals need to stop. Removals can be seen here I have reverted them since consesnsus to do this does not exist at this time. pschemp | talk 16:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Hello, I am the creator and main contributor of this subproject to fix all the problems derived from that template. First of all, I didn't know that changes like this should be discussed in the Village Pump, I'm sorry, and as the main contributor I assume the fault. I had planned to discuss here the changes needed to fix the problems that require to edit the MediaWiki:Monobook.css and MediaWiki:Common.css, like {{featured article}} or {{Spoken Wikipedia boilerplate}} (template:click was substituted in those template to found the pages using it directly, but all the problems still remain in them), and I even proposed to discuss it here when a wikipedian showed his disagreement, the wikipedian who put the disputed tag. And yes, I removed the tag yesterday but I'd like to tell why: said wikipedian showed his objections about the project in several talk pages and put the disputed tag, so no more changes were made until a consensus was reached. We answered all of his questions and in all talk pages he protested he was said that the project is OK. But after that first contributions, he didn't participate anymore in the discussion nor explained more his objections, in fact he didn't reply any of our questions and seemed no further interest in the project. So after one week (and after some personal messages to please participate again on the discussion or else to remove the tag if he didn't have more objections) I removed the tag and started again to replace the template:click. But please note that I did that not only because while the project was stalled the accessibility and usability problems created by template:click were still present in Wikipedia, but because every day new pages were starting to use the template (so more and more pages were inaccessible). The ImageMap extension is good news because this means template:click has an easy and quick replacement (well, when the bugs are worked out). I promise to modify all of the pages where template:click removed to use the new extension. Best regards, --surueña 16:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
You don't get it. You need to not do *anything* until other people look at this and consensus is reached. pschemp | talk 19:15, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject or special interest group?[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place so if not, point me in the right direction.

I've come to the conclusion (and let talk about it in general terms for the moment), that many wiki projects actually operate as special interest groups and their goal (generally not spelt out in the project aims) is just to generate as much content about their given subject as possible - regardless of the wikipedia guidelines. Those special interest groups turn up on-mass on an AFD attempt and the articles just get longer and more full of crap (and there is no other way to put it).

Is there a way to call a failing wiki-project to task? if not, should there be? --Larry laptop 00:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

In any AfD, it is possible to defeat en masse voting with decent reasoning, as well as pointing out favorable vote-gathering. The WP:COUNCIL might be able to help you, too. – Someguy0830 (T | C) 00:35, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
This is definitely not true the vast majority of the time.-Dmz5*Edits**Talk* 04:22, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

See I don't really think that's true - many AFD slip pass the radar and if 3 people provide well-reasoned arguments that someone/something should be removed and ten people from the project turn up posting WP:ILIKEIT arguments - as best, you will get "no consensus". --Larry laptop 00:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I noticed this problem a lot when I was editing Islam articles. I proposed this to Moreschi: "I was thinking about setting up a WikiProject Anti-Votestacking, where blatent votestacking could be listed and members could vote to dilute it. Just 50 members regularly voting would demolish most cases of votestacking." Moreschi nixed it because he thought it would be too controversial, but mayeb it's something we need to revisit. Maybe as a working group of the Council? Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 00:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The poor participation in AfD's might have came from the same cause that made me virtually stop participating.The change from consensus decision-making to so-called "value of arguments" made me feel violated in that I believe in democracy.So I hardly ever look at AfD's any more, except when something I care about is nominated. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 00:57, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

An example would help illuminate this problem.Also, after being a Wikipedian for about three years, I think I would have noticed if this was a big problem.Therefore, I can only assume this is happening within a very narrow subject area. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 00:50, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm not convinced that this is at all a significant problem. It's certainly the case that WikiProjects aim to add material regarding their topic to Wikipedia—that's pretty much the point of having them—but I doubt that the vast majority are adding things that are generally regarded as not appropriate, much less conspiring to do so systematically. Kirill Lokshin 01:01, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
see that's not really what I asked - what would I do if I came across a SPECIFIC project that was failing in improving articles? --Larry laptop 01:03, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Again, I wouldn't know how to answer unless there is an example we can look at.Further, projects fail all the time in fulfilling their purpose, but this is usually because its members have lost interest, or they never had enough members to handle all the requisite project tasks. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 01:18, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
For context, I believe he's speaking of the WP:CVG project. --tjstrf talk 01:19, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Em no - so no sherlock holmes award for you - I was actually thinking of a few projects, I now realise this is sure way to get myself on various hitlists. Let's drop this I'm clearly very mistaken, this is all my mistake and I've made an awful error. Nothing to see here.--Larry laptop 01:23, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Hitlists?Oh come on.Sounds unlikely to me. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 01:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Seconded.Hitlists?There's absolutely nothing wrong with this discussion. Kirill Lokshin 01:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
oh fuck it I'm done anyway - gamesguide and cruft are here to stay what's the point in fighting it. --Larry laptop 02:13, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Again, you totally misunderstand what a game guide is. This is a game guide:
To defeat the Great Wyrm, you must wait until it rears up to breath flames and then strike at its underbelly with your weapons. You can also use ice-aligned magic spells to bypass its defenses. The Wyrm has 450 HP, 300 defense, and 360 MP. It deals 100-120 hp worth of damage with its breath attack, and 50-80 with its claws and tail.
This is not a game guide:
The Great Wyrm is a colossal fire dragon which acts as the boss of the fifth dungeon. Its thick skin defends it from most attacks. After its defeat, the dragon will tell the players the hidden location of the 6th plot token.
The first explains how to beat the game, the latter does not. The latter cannot be considered a game guide. --tjstrf talk 03:01, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
In defense of Larry, I have also noticed that articles falling under Wikiprojects dedicated to fictional material, especially games, tend to have a hoard of editors come to the defense of anything that gets nominated for AfD.The link provided by Larry is a perfect example: that article is probably going to get kept because a lot of people whom I presume are from a Wikiproject have come to its defense despite it being rather clearly against our guidelines (the current draft of the guidelines about what constitutes a gameguide does say that lists of weapons, items, etc are not notable and should be deleted).--The Way 04:33, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Larry here - WikiProjects on fictional universes are more apt to defend articles than WikiProjects on aspects of the real one. I would not expect Wikipedia:WikiProject Science to defend a biography of a non-notable scientist just because it was on a scienctist and therefore related to "their" subject. But I've never seen a fiction WikiProject say "this is too much detail" or "this is effectively original research". They also fall seem to fall prey to ownership delusions sometimes. I don't know whether it's just perspective but there seem to be more than the usual number of 'the relevant WikiProject was not informed' DRVs lately, always on fictional universe walled gardens. I've never seen that happen in relation to a non-fictional WikiProject. --Sam Blanning(talk) 03:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The good news is that articles about fictional subjects, whatever their excessive level of detail and lack of reliable sources, do serve a use, and original researchish stuff there is hardly of the type that can be so damaging in the bio of a living person or other nonfiction articles.My personal advice is just to walk away from heavily defended articles on fictional subjects - when the editors grow up (literally, in many cases), they may become excellent editors on subjects that matter much more (or, I suppose, can then be weaned from their NOR approach - "I saw that on TV, why aren't my observations acceptable content?")-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Username blocks need to be re-evaluated[edit]

I feel that username blocks are spiraling out of control.New users are being blocked for poorly defined "username policy violations", a move that will hurt the future of the project.From recent block logs, here are some examples:

Revertinging (talk contribs)
Wippippippipp (talk contribs)
Godpreist54 (talk contribs)
Thabo Mkbeki (talk contribs)
Kiddybandit (talk contribs)
Cheap couilles (talk contribs)
Hruodlandus Brittannici limitis praefectus (talk contribs)
WikiWarrior1 (talk contribs)
Loser12345 (talk contribs)
Sexybot12 (talk contribs)
Joeyjimbob (talk contribs)
Wowwoweeewow (talk contribs)
WikipediaFun (talk contribs)
Blabber mouth katie (talk contribs)
Youratowel (talk contribs)
Wheeeee! (talk contribs)
Wknight91 (talk contribs)

For the record, I did not "cherry pick" from X-weeks of block logs on purpose.I chose a half day period so I could draw attention to how widespread the problem is.Each of these had "username" listed as the block rationale.

I viewed a roughly 11 hour period to gather the names above, and does not represent a thorough examination.There are probably more questionable username blocks in that time period.There are hundreds each week, each one potentially a future valuable editor who decides to just walk away from the project.Perhaps some of them are legit (Is couilles something obscene in another language, for instance?) but I argue that most of them do not appear to properly violate WP:USERNAME.I'm not certain that the problem is to blame on anyone specifically, but the policy regarding username blocks appears to be flawed.

As I mentioned in my RfA many months ago, Wikipedia faces a growing crisis.We are constantly raising new barriers against contributors when we should be looking to cultivate new editors.If the policy of username blocking is not adjusted, the long term health of the project is at additional risk.

I'm not looking to specifically criticize the above username blocks, else I'd post this on AN or AN/I.Instead, I'd like to discuss the policy that tacitly allows this to happen.Does the community agree that protecting our eyes from the wicked text "Sexybot12" or "Godpreist54" is worth the trade off in curious new users who decide to go elsewhere because it's "just not worth it"?Let's focus on the long term health implications of this policy and determine a method for fixing this problem.Thoughts?- CHAIRBOY () 17:49, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

This discussion would be better suited for the WP:U talk page. For the two examples you call specific attention to: "bot" is restricted to actual Wikipedia bots so "wicked text" has nothing to do with it & "Godpreist54" was blocked based upon discussion at Wikipedia:Username so it did have community consensus. "Wknight91" is also marked as a sockpuppet and is an obvious conflict with Wknight94. "Youratowel" (and other like usernames with "you" & "your") can defineitly cause troubles in heated discussions where the person being replied to may take it as personally directed. If someone wants to belittle themselves in their username, I don't have a problem with that, but anything that belittles others should not be allowed. -- JLaTondre 18:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't buy your claim that blocking "Wippippippipp" is losing a valuable member of Wikipedia. If someone is unable to handle and/or overcome the blocking of their username, are they going to be able to function productively in Wikipedia, there conflict is a given? I also don't buy that Wikipedia's long term health is in jeopardy. We have over 3 million user accounts. There are 250+ million Americans (which most speak English, I don't know the number of English speaking people in the world which would be a better number to give here). That's an untapped resource of over 247+ million people. Also figure how many accounts that are duplicates or whatnot and losing "Wippippippipp" isn't a big deal. There are 247+ million other people to take "Wippippippipp"'s place and probably give the same contributions that "Wippippippipp" would have. --MECUtalk 18:18, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Mecu - if they balk at our username policy, that doesn't bode well for being able to cope with the other requirements of writing an encyclopaedia. It's stricter that most of the rest of the Internet, but this is an encyclopaedia and not a social community after all. --Sam Blanning(talk) 18:49, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm with Chairboy here. What on earth is wrong with "Wheeeee!", "Blabber mouth katie" or "Joeyjimbob"? Do these names "belittle" anyone in any way? And if so, shouldn't these people rather grow a thicker skin than us blocking any username that, potentially, could be in some theoretical way be insulting to someone? I think it's a very wrong attitude to say that there are enough people that could easily replace all those blocked users. It's true, yes, but it still sounds incredibly arrogant to me. We shouldn't say that no real harm is done in blocking these users, we should ask ourselves, what do we gain from this? I just don't see anything that we've gained from blocking the usernames I mentioned above, and I do see up to three newbies that we (probably) successfully scared away. --Conti| 19:21, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with Mecu and Sam.Most of those ARE bad names."Revertinging" clearly sends the wrong signal (even if inadvertantly) about what the user is here to accomplish.In a less obvious way, "WikipediaFun" does as well."Hruodlandus Brittannici limitis praefectus" is overly long and our software should be changed so that so many characters cannot even be attempted, let alone accepted."Kiddybandit" suggests illegal intentions.The list goes on... For the few that maybe should be allowed, I again agree with Mecu and Sam.If they are too thinned-skinned to think of a new username, they should find a different hobby as they are not likely to be successful contributors.We need to get past the utopian idealogy that we would have an improved project if we could somehow get every single person on the planet to contribute.Some people just aren't cut out for it. Johntex\talk 19:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Oh the hypocrisy.
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington blocked
Hruodlandus Brittannici limitis praefectus 
Is that 10 character difference really blockworthy? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:38, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Another irony is that -- with all the fuss about so-called "non-Latin usernames" -- "Hruodlandus Brittannici limitis praefectus" is one of the few actual Latin usernames here (in English, "Hruodland, Prefect of the Marches of Brittany"): it refers to a historical person who died in AD 778 and is remembered today as the legendary hero Roland. (His title, rather than a family name, distinguishes him from any other Hruodlandi who might have been around; titles and professions often developed into family names later, like Smith, Miller, or Butler.)
  • Count your blessings that he didn't adopt the Latin name of Tolkien's "Farmer Giles of Ham": "In full his name was Ægidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo, for people were richly endowed with names in those days".
  • There's no rule against using the name of historical persons, as long as they're neither living nor recently deceased. WP:U does say "avoid impersonating any well-known persons or fictional characters" -- but if that doesn't get Sir Nicholas blocked for using a well-known "Harry Potter" character's name, why be more severe about the less well-known name "Hruodlandus"?
  • Having a long username doesn't necessarily take up space on talk pages. I shorten my talk-page sig to "Ben" as a space-saver; Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington does likewise ("Nearly Headless Nick"); possibly this user might sign comments as "Hruodland" or "Roland". So what does it matter if the actual username is long? Who's hurt by it?
  • I can think of longer real names of living people, if they're given in full (including baptismal names) -- and especially if transliterated from a language like Russian, where one original letter may be transcribed as two-to-four English letters (щ → shch). Should such people be username blocked for using their own full names?
  • I agree with other comments here that such a username block's reason should be explained: pointing to WP:U says nothing about what was wrong with this name, or whether there was some way to fix it, since it didn't fit any of the prohibited types. When asked, Nick explained: "the username seems inappropriately wrong and difficult to spell" -- which seems inappropriately subjective and difficult to find in WP:U's reasons for a block-on-sight -- but Nick also unblocked this user and apologized for the inconvenience. So this is resolved, though it would have been less BITING to discuss the matter first, rather than immediately blocking. -- Ben 00:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I think some of the above are harmless and others should be blocked.But what disturbs me is that the blocking admin does not specifically outline what is wrong with the name.All that is said is "Please read our username policy".If someone is being blocked for a name they; should be explicty told why it is inapproprriate.If the blocking admin has difficulty decribing exactly what the problem is they should list it at WP:RFC/NAME instead of blocking instantly.--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 19:33, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
    • I think it should be like CSD -- people can't just say "DELETED", they have to be able to point to one of the criteria. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:34, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Would it be useful for a summary of "WP:RFCN" to be used in place of "username" where a name has been blocked as a result of WP:RFCN? At least that way a reason can be looked up. There's only so much you can say in a summary, and, wrong as it may be, I suspect most people are prone to filling in short summaries where possible - it's just human nature. Crimsone 19:39, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

A summary of WP:RFCN wouldn't really be more helpful than WP:USERNAME.The idea of having blocking admins specifying which element of the username policy they felt was being violated is a good idea, I'd support that.One concept here and in the WP:U talk page related to this that I can't agree with is the assertion that to do anything with Wikipedia, users need thick skins.To be clear, the folks we're talking about are brand new users.Their _very first_ interaction on Wikipedia is dealing with a block.That's pretty harsh medicine.I'm also troubled with the idea that 'we have so many users, we can afford to scare folks off'.If the person isn't doing something wrong, we shouldn't be "throwing then away", which was the implication I read.If that's not an accurate read, please correct me.The root issue, of course, is that I feel there are lots of 'bad blocks' happening here.The answer isn't more policy, the answer needs to be better community involvement in validating the quality of the username blocks. - CHAIRBOY () 04:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Amen to that.Most of these blocks are quite opaque to me, and presumably to the editor who was blocked as well.I am troubled by the idea, expressed here and on the policy talk page, that it's OK to block usernames created in good faith. -- Visviva 04:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That was very eloquently said I must say Chairboy, even though I may not entirely agree that that there are a particularly large number of bad blocks happening. I'm not sure how many username blocks are really that illegitimate, and of course, illegitimacy is often a matter of opinion. Clearly though, not every block will have the concensus of the community, as nobody is right 100% of the time. An admin that feels that a username "obviously" should be blocked is probably going to be right 99% of the time, but it's that 1% that may not seem quite so "obvious" to everybody else. This is also true of WP:RFCN - after all, it can only guage concensus according to who happens to visit the page. If a username is blocked per RFCN concensus, that doesn't exclude it from the possibility of that 1% error rate - though it does mean that there's less reason to consider the blocking admin as having acted inappropriately.
To have admins specify the appropriate part(s) of the username policy would of course give real and (hopefully!) understandable reason. It would also make it easier to spot when a block has been questionable. It could be trialed by creating a sub-page of WP:U similar to the speedy deletion criterion, designating each element with a code (the code idea having been suggested on the policy talk page). This would also have the benefit of keeping the policy itself intact.
I would like to revise my suggestion above though regarding summary usage. I feel that because this is a subject with the potential for strong views and feelings, the potential for "witchunting" or accusations of bad faith/inappropriate behaviour creeps into the picture as an unintended result. As such, I feel that it would be useful to identify in the summary whether the action was directly the decision of the admin on the basis of poicy or concensus driven (rfcn). To use "username {code}" for an admin decision, or "RFCN {code}" for an RFCN outcome would demonstrate what process has been undertaken, and thus where the cause of any possible failure of process (or responsibility for an inappropriate block) lies. Crimsone 04:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Visviva, please remember that although we assume good faith, that does not prove good faith on the part of the person who has chosen an innapropriate username.You don't know they acted in good faith, and you certainly don't know the blocking admin acted in bad faith.Futhermore, we remove good-faith but unhelpful things all the time.From photos to edits to, yes, usernames.The question of whether a username was created in good faith or bad faith is irrelevant to the question of whehter it is an acceptable username.So, of course it is OK to block usernames created in good faith - if they are inappropriate.If it is an unacceptable username then it must be blocked, regardless of the motives of the creator. Johntex\talk 04:48, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
But do we really need to get all prissy about what usernames are "appropriate" anyway?How does it really harm anything if some usernames are a little silly?If we were to be a totally stodgy project and ban all usernames that weren't a complete bore, we'd have to get rid of such users as "Can't sleep, clown will eat me" (or something like that... whatever his username is).I don't really see how the ones that are getting banned are really any "worse".This seems like a repeat of the big userbox debacle, where people on both sides are fighting over something that's really rather peripheral.Everybody should just live and let live.Having weird usernames, or weird userboxes, or deleting both, has no particular importance one way or the other to the encyclopedia. *Dan T.* 05:21, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
See, the username policy is supposed to keep out offensive things, not silliness.There's no reason to block a user for choosing "Wheee!" or "Joeyjimbob".The policy itself specifically says not to block names that may have been chosen in good faith.Requiring admins to cite the specific policy that prohibits such a name will prohibit blocks for silly, but harmless things, the same way we make sure admins only speedy delete pages that fit CSD, not just what they feel like. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 05:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree the username policy is to keep out offensive things, not silliness. Joeyjimbob - too close to Jimbo.Wheee! - I would have allowed to stand.But let's not lose sight of the fact that several of the ones in the list were clearly innapropriate. Johntex\talk 05:37, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Joeyjimbob is too close to "Jimbo"?That really seems like a stretch.(I'm feeling echoes of Chinese dynastic naming taboos here). -- Visviva 08:02, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The username blocking has gone completely overboard. Why is it our job to make sure no one on Wikipedia is ever offended, or, God-forbid, exposed to something less than completely serious? Why would we consider "Wheeeee!" to be a threat to Wikipedia? Who considers "Godpreist54" offensive to thier religious sensibilities? 90% of the blocks listed above seem completely asinine to me. Do people really believe these blocks are benefitting Wikipedia? This seems to be an example of rules overriding common sense. Kaldari 07:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

This does seem pretty overboard. I almost exclusively block usernames when it seems obvious to me they are up to no good. They're easy to spot. :-) Grandmasterka 08:26, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I know that "Godpreist54" was an RFCN one. Some of the others are obvious. Some of them in the list though may seem not so obvious. One of the WP:U examples of names that will be blocked are those usernames that are similar to those known to have been used by vandals - who of us can remember the name of every vandal there's ever been? Different people will remember different ones. This is the exact sort of reason that the blocking summary needs a mention of the clauses of the policy a name has been blocked under. Crimsone 08:27, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

While I agree that there should be standards for user names, particularly when it comes to names that are malicious or offensive, it appears to me that Wikipedia is taking the same path as a lot of the networks are these days and is saying "We can't do that in case in case we offend somebody". Honestly;Loser12345, joeyjimbob, Wowwoweeewow? In a normal civil community, none of these should be considered blockable based on their names and if Wikipedia were a non-US based entity I doubt that they would be blocked. Even Blabber mouth katie should be acceptable as it is/seems pretty that Katie is the user in question.

This appears to be a case of overkill

perfectblue 11:05, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I reiterate, though - no unauthorized bots. And "couilles" is "testicles". DS 15:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Wowwoweeewow, Sexybot12 are two that I think that I blocked. Wowwoweeewow because that there have been a recent spat of vandals going by similar names. This was highlighted during the fund raiser when we had vandals using those style names. As for Sexybot12 there was no log of which user created this account (normally there is with bots) and even so they still need to come to WP:BRFA I doubt that would ever have happened as that name of the bot defies bot policy. and when you place a block the block message says contact the blocking admin via e-mail if you have questions. This has happened to me several times the one that is sticking out in my mind is I obvious blocked as that is spam. the user contacted me and said that they wanted the username Bill Day but out filter with usernames wouldnt let them because it was too close to so I found an unused username BillDay and created it for the user, I then e-mail the user with the username and the password telling the user to change the password. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 17:29, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi Betacommand, your message above seems to highlight some of the problems that I'm describing.For instance, you mention that Wowwoweeewow was blocked because you thought it might be a vandal.In that instance, it seems that blocking it as a suspected sockpuppet of the vandal would be far more appropriate than a one size fits all "username" block.Sexybot12 doesn't necessarily mean that it's a robot, there are plenty of users on Wikipedia that have robot-styled names.And if it WAS an unauthorized bot, then it should be blocked for being an unauthorized bot, not because of "username", again.When doing speedy deletes (of which I do many, check my deletion log), the deleting admin must assert what criteria is being used.I can't just say "speedy delete" anymore, I need to be specific.I think that blocks are a much bigger deal than deletions, so consequently blocking admins must be absolutely clear about why they're doing it.The whole Giano mess, btw, was related to an offshoot of this, specifically where I urged you to be very careful about specific policies that folks are being blocked for.As you saw there, a misinterpretation of a block rationale can be pretty emotional, so we owe it to everyone involved to be absolutely clear as to why we're doing what we're doing. - CHAIRBOY () 18:36, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Per WP:U, usernames with "bot" are reserved for actual bots. Sexybot12 was not blocked for being an unauthorized bot. It was blocked for using a reserved term. If you want to propose a change to that policy, feel free, but implying it was an inappropriate block is wrong. While I tend to agree with you about indicating why a particular username is blocked (though the WP:U page needs to be revised to make that easier to do), trying to tie this to the Giano debacle is in poor taste. The vast majority of username blocks are clear cut. Also, a good percentage of accounts never make any edits & many of the blocked probably never know they were blocked. I think you are exaggerating the issues. -- JLaTondre 15:12, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
First, some context: The 17 username blocks that Chairboy found, looking through a half-day of blocks, represents less than one-half of one percent of new user accounts (well over 3,500) that are created in a typical 12 hour period.(See Special:Log/newusers.)Second, the main problem (in my opinion) isn't that admins are too quick to pull the trigger, but rather thatthe blocked new user isn't being told about Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User names, which is an appropriate forum (I think) for an appeal.If there were a badusername template that linked to that RfC page, and this template was routinely put on the talk page of the blocked user, I think that any admin mistakes could be quickly fixed.I think adding a template is much less work than having to categorize blocks.Admins have enough work as is.John Broughton|Talk 14:58, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
How is having to categorize blocks any additional work?Admins should already know what criteria they're blocked under, and typing a few characters to indicate that is a trivial amount of work. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 19:06, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
When an admin sees a new username like User:FUCC-U, he/she doesn't think "aha, that's an A7 or a G12" or whatever; he/she says - "time to pull the trigger".So categories would mean, at minimum, more memorization and/or a cheatsheet.And there is more memorization and changes when categories change. And user arguing over whether the category really applied, when two categories applied and the admin only cited one. In short, this is instruction creep.Any problem with overzealous admins can be solved by making it clear to blocked users how to appeal the block, for which a forum already exists.John Broughton | 03:33, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
We already have a cheatsheet: WP:USERNAME.Usernames that don't fit that page shouldn't be blocked on sight.If an admin can't articulate what's wrong with a name, they shouldn't block it.Your statement of block first and let review sort them out is absolutely contradictory with existing policy, that says when in doubt, don't block.If someone walks through the door, their very first experience should not be an assumption of bad faith by them in choosing a username.It's completely against our basic principles. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 03:54, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
It's quite trivial if nessecary to pull up a new browser window, point it to WP:U (or a sub-page if appropriate) and look up the code. This isn't instruction creep any more that first introduction of the CSD codes would have been - it's a very simple but effective way of explaining an action so that other people can understand what's happened, it's the creation of accountability in the unlikely case that an admin get's a little "trigger happy" (so to speak) with the effect that it should put an end to the behaviour, and finally it should put an end to bad blocks while making the whole thing that much more transparent to everybody. I fail to see why anybody would see such a trivial proposal as such a problem. Crimsone 09:05, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

My problem with the complaint here is that people seem to forget that when {{usernameblocked}} is put in the summary, on the next edit attempt it expands and gives all the information about our username policy, where to find it and how to go about requesting a change. No need to add instruction creep with numbers, that is the whole point of that template. The template also has been overhauled in the recent past to make it more friendly than it was. Users are not just being left out in the cold with no explanation. If you don't understand a particular block, talk to the admin who did it. They usually have a good reason. I don't see this as a rampant abuse problem or something that needs to be re-evaluated. pschemp | talk 03:24, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I seem to remember a discussion similar to this some months back when many editors, myself included, voiced a concern that too many new usernames were being arbitrarily blocked.Almost none of the above listed usernames should have been blocked, Sexybot being an exception (since using 'bot' is banned for valid reasons).Only usernames that are blatantly offensive should get blocked on site.The current 'policy' gives admins too much power to subjectively remove names they don't like.The fact that one admin posted above that one username was blocked because it resembled usernames used by vandals previously is especially unsettling; vandals can, and do, make all sorts of names and we can't possibly block everything that resembles a name previously used by a vandal.Overall I agree with some of the other editors that this has gotten way out of hand.Usernames should be accepted in good faith until they prove themselves to be a vandal (innocent until proven guilty) or unless its cleary offensive/obscene. --The Way 03:48, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

How about "username created only to evade arbcom ruling" for arbitrary banning?It doesn't match the facts; apparently based upon erroneous mind reading.(SEWilco 04:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC))


I've recently rewritten the three-revert rule. You can see discussion here and the rewrite here. Comments are invited. --bainer (talk) 07:48, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Confused about image use policy[edit]

According to the image use policy, as image contributors, users are supposed to "always specify on the description page where the image came from." I recently tagged Image:Punjabi gurmukhi shahmukhi.png (an image tagged as ineligible for copyright) for speedy deletion, however, because a source is not specified. I was soon, however, reverted by an anononymous user. When I restored the deletion tag and engaged in conversation with said user, an administrator removed it. Finally, when I restored the tag again and contacted said administrator, it was restored by another experienced Wikipedian.

I am confused. For the record, I am not opposed to the image. My only issue with it is that the source is not specified. Is there a discrepancy between the image use policy and {{PD-ineligible}}? Or is there a misunderstanding on my part about either or both? Please, I would really like to know so I can get all of this off of my back. I would really appreciate comments. (Note: I will immediately notify the three users of this post.) --Iamunknown 00:50, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

There is no source. The uploader typed it on his computer. If you wanted to specify that, you could I guess. --tjstrf talk 02:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. A user, as an uploader of an image, is required to specify that. We don't actually know that the user did was type the text onto his/her computer. --Iamunknown 02:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually we do know it unless he's been lying about his other uploads. Further when the entire point of the copyright status is that it's an utterly trivial work it really doesn't matter. --tjstrf talk 02:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Then this should be reflected somewhere in the image use policy. As the image stands, it is at least in indirect violation of it. --Iamunknown 02:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if this is explicitly stated anywhere, but as the only reason Wikipedia requires sources for all images is so the copyright status can be verified, if an image is clearly ineligible for copyright because of its triviality, then it seems to me there is no need to note the source of the image. —Bkell (talk) 05:55, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
This is probably the only case when a source is not required, though. In every other case a source is necessary for the verification of the copyright status, even if that copyright status is "public domain," because unless the image is so trivial as to be uncopyrightable, it is not obvious from the image alone that it is in the public domain. —Bkell (talk) 06:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, other cases in which I don't worry about the lack of an explicit source are things like company logos, movie posters, and album and book covers. With these types of images, it's usually pretty obvious who the copyright holder is. It's possible, though, that technically Wikipedia still requires a source for these things. —Bkell (talk) 06:58, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
tjstrf and Bkell have expressed my understanding of this issue as I also think of it. Nothing more to see here, let's move on. feydey 10:05, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

need clarification on image use with celebrity-not clear on policy reading[edit]

I have permission to use a photo by the photographer. It was taken in a certain context with another internationally well known (though not celebrity ) person. This person however has expertise and is well respected in his field which is part of the article I am working on.(He is mentioned and quoted in it). I originally sought permission from him and he directed me to the photographer (who is also a member of the organization and is more remotely connected to the topic.)This person did give permission to use any material of his and his organization.

so I have permission from both the photographer and the other person at a specific event recognizing the celebrity. can this photo be used without further permission. I have read the image use policy but am still not clear.

Tintina 00:42, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

We can't use images that only have permission for wikipedia, we need the image to be freely licensed so anyone else can use it too. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 00:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes thank you, the photographer (owner of the photo) is aware of that. I sent him wikipedia policy. FYI The photo is displayed on the relative organizations website. What I want to clarify is if the celebrity in the photo in any way has to give permission for it's use.

Tintina 01:00, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

XfDs by WikiProject[edit]

I was recently thinking about the idea of WikiProjects when I came to the realization that they should be used for much more than they are already being used for. Right now, they are a loose organization that has little power in regulating the pages under their jurisdiction. I think a problem now, though, with XfDs though, is that when something is proposed for deletion, it is just commented on by people who have little or no affiliation or knowledge of the topic which it covers. I think it would be a great idea instead of having XfDs open to the public, have them referred to a WikiProject or a few WikiProjects for review and subsequent deletion, if seen fit. The only prerequisite for voting on one of these new XfDs would be that you would have to be a member of one of the reviewing WikiProjects (not necessarily, but possibly, for a certain amount of time).

I think this is a pretty fair suggestion, given the nature of Wikipedia. Many users have sectioned themselves off into certain niches of the "society" and it should only follow that pages are maintained in this manner. Comments will be gratefully accepted! JARED(t)  22:08, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

No, for all the reasons that objected to this when it came up on Wikipedia talk:Articles for Deletion#Proposal_for_de-centralization_of_debates. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 22:12, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
If an article is covered by a Wiki Project, I see no objection to notifying the project in question via its talk page.This should serve the same purpose without balkanizing the debates.Robert A.West (Talk) 22:40, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I support notification, but giving them any authority would be silly. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 23:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Night Gyr that notification is a good idea, but not actually handing over the XfD (or AfD) process to wikiprojects.A number of reasons for this have already been supplied in the above mentioned discussion regarding the decentralization of XfDs.Most important are the facts that:
1. XfDs and AfDs are determined by Wikipedia policies and guidelines rather than any specialized knowledge about the topic.You don't need to be a physicist to determine whether a physics-related article meets our policy guidelines.
2. Many articles fall within the scope of multiple Wikiprojects meaning that if XfDs and AfDs were decentralized we'd have countless problems dealing with jurisdiction.For example, solar power falls under the scope of Wikiprojects on Energy, the Environment and International Development.
3. It's efficient to have all XfDs and AfDs located in one central location.Its easier for editors discussing the deletions, its easier for the admins who close them.It makes it easier to follow all AfDs and XfDs.Also, many editors (myself included) spend a lot of time working in the AfDs and XfDs rather than editing articles.I like to think of us as adminitrative workers (though not necessarily admins).Its important to those of us who regularly 'vote' in these debates to have them all available in one location.--The Way 23:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
To the above, I would add that not everyone with knowledge of a topic belongs to the relevant WikiProject.I have expertise and life experience that would be appropriate to many WikiProjects: I belong to none.Robert A.West (Talk) 00:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Despite assuming good faith for the majority of WikiProjects, an important point is bias. If only those involved in a WikiProject voted on an AfD, the borderline articles would be more likely to be kept. Sometimes those outside a particular area can be more objective. Though expertise is also good - you don't have to be a molecular biologist or surface chemistry expert to understand and have some insight into whether Transfersome is notable, but it helps. Carcharoth 00:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Brian G. Crawford and Wikimedia Foundation bans[edit]

As an active maintainer of Wikipedia:List of banned users, I'm looking for clarification regarding the ban of Brian G. Crawford (talk · contribs · block log). He was banned upon recommendation of Foundation counsel BradPatrick, and his userpage says he's "banned by the Wikimedia Foundation". However, he's on the banned user list under the heading "Banned by the Wikipedia community". I was thinking about moving his entry to a new "Banned by the Wikimedia Foundation" section, but I wanted to make sure everyone agrees his ban should be listed as a "Foundation ban". Of course, BradPatrick, Danny and others involved in the WP:OFFICE system are analogous to Jimbo and the Board of Trustees in their authority to issue bans. I'd argue Crawford is "banned by the Foundation", but does anyone disagree? Also, does anyone know of other instances I'm unaware of when the Foundation has banned a user, aside from Anthere's cross-project ban of JarlaxleArtemis? szyslak (t, c) 22:00, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Given the user's behavior, there would have been a formally called "community ban" soon enough. —Centrxtalk • 22:13, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Technically, I believe the reclassification of this user's ban that you suggest might be correct. However, I don't believe the Village Pump is a good place for this discussion, and for that matter I'm doubtful that including information about a person's medical condition on the banned users list is really appropriate either, especially given that the person's username is apparently his real name. Newyorkbrad 22:20, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Removed. szyslak (t, c) 22:40, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Refusal to tag + ownership issues[edit]

I've got a problem with a user who is systematically reverting every change made to a page and I need to know if there is a policy that I can hit them with or what the most appropriate admin intervention to ask for is.

This user has apparent ownership issues with a page, they revert every change that I've made and put these really loose reasonings in the summary box. They also refuse point blank to tag anything or discuss why they are reverting. For example, they might revert 10-20 changes in one go and state something along the lines of"WP:V, WP:OR, WP:POV" in the summary box but not say what which bit was reverted for which reason.

Any advice? They have already refused to talk so I'd like to get some intervention.

perfectblue 16:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The user and page would be useful so people can have a look at the situation themselves. Trebor 16:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to avoid a No Personal Attacks situation by not making any accusations against a specific user. Let's just summarize to "somebody keeps reverting my edits, does it in such a way as I can't tell which reason was made for the reversion of what, and they refuse to tag individual sections that they are unhappy with instead reverting the entire edit session good and bad"
perfectblue 17:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
The policy you want is Wikipedia:Ownership.Circeus 17:27, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Cheers, is there anything else, like maybe something that says TAG TAG TAG rather than revert revert revert.
perfectblue 17:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
You may also want to read Wikipedia:Three-revert rule and report him to admins. Blueboar 20:00, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to avoid a No Personal Attacks situation by not making any accusations against a specific user'.Statements that you believe a particular edit or user may have violated a Wikipedia rule is not a personal attack.If it were, many admins would be subject to repeated blocks for the dozens of "personal attacks" they make each day when discussing possible vandals, trolls, etc.(And no, admins are not exempt in any way from WP:NPA.) -- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:27, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Policy for images that can be replaced with plain text[edit]

Someone recently uploaded an image containing nothing but text which he had made for use as a subheader in one of the articles he'd been working on. It was subsequently replaced with plain text and the image was listed for deletion. A rather heated argument ensued, and the creator of this image is now threatening to quit Wikipedia. It seems that many of the people involved in this argument aren't aware of the benefits of plain text over text in images, so I was wondering if perhaps there should be an official Wikipedia policy on this issue. I've made a template that could be used to flag images of this type. It's based on the {{BadJPEG}} template — feel free to make whatever changes you feel are necessary). Wealso need to set up a new category for these images (Category:Images that should be replaced with plain text, perhaps?), and make suitable changes to the WP policy pages. There are probably other things that will also have to be done that I haven't thought of. Is this idea worth pursuing? Can anyone provide any pointers? -- Sakurambo 桜ん坊 13:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree, we definitely need a policy for this. Preferably one that reads as follows:
  • When you find an image easily replaceable by plain text, you must go through the following steps.
    • Replace it with plain text.
Really, not that hard. Why do we need a set of templates and complicated process for something as simple as replacing the image with text? (instruction creep anyone?) You'll expend more letters typing the template code than you will just replacing the thing yourself. List the image for deletion afterwards if you feel like it, but since it's going to sit in the database regardless even that wouldn't be necessary. --tjstrf talk 13:46, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Why? Because apparently some people are unaware of how to style text without using images. Because it would cost nothing to at least get the image policy changed to reflect this. And because it just might prevent a useful contributor from quitting Wikipedia. Incidentally, comments like this aren't going to help the situation. -- Sakurambo 桜ん坊 18:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Throwing an idea out here. Wanting to hear what people think.[edit]

Just an idea to throw out here. Since IP blocks aren't effective (with all the new Tor and open proxies appearing everyday) and problematic when it's a shared IP like Qatar, would it be a bad thing if Wikipedia required Java enabled to edit and then the Java read some hardware serial number? Not MAC address, which is easily spoofed and some people don't have, but some other thing like CPU ID or hard drive serial number. Or would this be shunned as a privacy violation (even if the hardware data is encrypted and salted--like they are in Second Life and how passwords in MediaWiki are encrypted and salted)? Anomo 04:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

No.Requiring java is setting the bar way too high.Even on machines that can run java, loading apps is often slow and painful.Plus, it's just begging to be spoofed. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 04:39, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I think this would be a little over the top. Night Gyr has a point (I don't use Java 99.99% of the time), and it is our aim to keep Wikipedia W3C-standards compliant and accessible on all sorts of devices (text-only browsers, cellphones, PDAs, etc.). Yuser31415 05:50, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
A bad idea in every respect. —Centrxtalk • 06:09, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
As an individual who's spent far too much time living under a repressive government that banned wikipedia, and can jail you for editing it, I'd fight tooth and nail to keep out any initiative that linked my PC to my Wikipedia account. If a government hacker were to find the serial numbers of dissidents hard drives (etc) on a Wikipedia server, or intercept them in IP packets going to or from Wikipedia, they could use it as a who's who to torture and imprison.
Tor might be a pain in the neck for blocking, but it can be the difference between freedom and a 10 year sentence for revealing state secrets for some people.
perfectblue 12:08, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Perfectblue, hopefully you use Wikipedia's HTTPS secure server to view and edit from, which should encrypt your information. Anomo 10:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

clarify parameters of Biography of living person[edit]

I am a new contributor to Wiki and am working on a Bio of a LP. The person has recently reached celebrity status though his main contribution is in the field of canine management.

My approach would be to treat the bio in his main field, with, of course, his celebrity status being a large part of his current international influence. On first reading the article struck me as emphasizing the celebrity and controversy more than his actual profession. Of course that may change over time, but currently his profession is primarily in handling canines.

This Bio is tagged to go into the larger Canine Portal.

Other difficulties are in establishing MPOV. Because of media attention and the nature of the [dog]industry it is very difficult to find NPOV sources. There has been controversy over certain handling methods long before Cesar Millan came along and this is the direction I have taken in handling it. I have tried to downplay the controversy so that it is not the focus of the bio.

Should ONLY sources of equal weight be included. ie one expert vs another, one shelter manager vs another etc?

The POV that criticises him and causes most of the controversy IMPLIES and states that they ARE the current standard in dog handling, but there is no real way to measure this.

The popularity of the show alone would say otherwise. Can this fact be used?

Thank you Tintina 03:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

  • It is okay to use sources that are POV. It is the Wikipedia article as a whole that has to be NPOV. --Eastmain 18:04, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
    • The popularity of the show alone would say otherwise. Can this fact be used?The fact that the show is popular can be used.That it's popularity means anything (other than a lot of people watch it) is POV, just as inferring that a chef on a cooking show is using standard/best/whatever cooking methods just because the show is popular; no, I don't think it can be used, at least not if it's you that thinks that popularity equals "current standards".
    • In general, when someone or something is controversial, it's best to paraphrase a neutral source (like a paper) that says he/she/it is controversial, or to paraphrase a critic as in "Susan X, a certified judge at many shows, said A, B, and C".And, as noted, you can use a POV source (Susan wrote an opinion piece, for example, or even said that on her website - quotable because she is an expert in the area being quoted about).-- John Broughton |(♫♫) 02:44, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay thank you! Tintina 02:55, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Why are celebrity promotional photos no longer allowed for living persons?[edit]

Since I run the Christian Music wiki at, I would like some help understanding the reasoning.My policy had been to attempt to obtain one image (or more, if requested by the artist) per artist.I typically e-mail the promoters for each artist asking for offical photos.Several times I have gotten replies providing them -- in one case, at high res!

So, should I now turn those images down? Will (Talk - contribs) 21:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Whether you should turn them down depends on Wikia's overarching policies and that particular wiki's policy.I can't help you with the former, and I hope you know the latter.
We no longer use "fair use" images of living people because we decided that the odds of such use actually being fair is too low, and conflicts with the goal of creating content that others can use freely.If a promoter released into the public domain or under the GFDL, we'd use it. GRBerry 22:22, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I control the policy other than what declares.(They chose GFDL, but for the most part it is up to me to interpet and apply that policy.) Will (Talk - contribs) 22:48, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Might I ask what is your position which allows you to do this?I couldn't figure that out from your user page.Thanks,Badagnani 22:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
As previously stated, I admin Wikia:ChristianMusic:.My page there is Wikia:ChristianMusic:User:Will Pittenger. Will (Talk - contribs) 03:00, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Who cares? Is this Wikia, no... So, to the OP you're asking in the wrong place! Ta/wangi 22:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Not really.If you read carefully, you will see I am asking about Wikipedia's policy and why it is that way. Will (Talk - contribs) 03:00, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy has no bearing on Wikia.They are merely sister sites.User:Zoe|(talk) 03:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
As previously noted, the templates I created (and the policies those templates reflect) were based on Wikipedia's.I don't care if "Wikipedia policy has no bearing on Wikia."All I care is Wikipedia's policy changed.So I need information if the policy at Wikia:ChristianMusic: should change. Will (Talk - contribs) 02:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Why?WP:FUC criteria #1 prohibits using fair use if a free one could be reasonably located.It's just being enforced more heavily now, espeically with the introduction of {{Replaceable fair use}}.Such removal has been controversial - some users think that it's better to have an image than none at all, or that free images don't look as professional as promo images.But it's still going ahead. Hbdragon88 04:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Basically, we want to encourage the creation or release of free content, so we tell people to license promo photos freely or create one themselves.That's how we end up with a lot of celebrities illustrated with public domain images from the US military, for example. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 05:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

What is acceptable on talk pages for living persons?[edit]

I wish to know if this version of Joanna Lumley's talk page is acceptable:

I have since reverted the offending section - is this a case of vandalism? Pendragon39 22:59, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Would this be considered a personal attack?[edit]

I was deeply offended by what an admin said concerning me. He refuses to apologize on the grounds that I mischaracterized him, when I mistakenly accused him of semi-protecting a talk page in an ongoing debate. Would saying that another user has his "facts" wrong as usual be considered a personal attack? you can find the edit in question here--Acebrock 22:55, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't really consider it such.It's a comment on your contributions (and you did have your facts wrong in this case; I believe MONGO was referring to past incidents regarding Cplot, a pretty egregious troll, no?), it's not a personal attack on you in my mind.Perhaps slightly incivil, and I don't know your history with MONGO (who, by the way, is not in possession of mop and bucket).—bbatsell ¿? 23:04, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I am not an admin. Acebrock misrepresented my actions by claiming that I had semi-protected an article talkpage here in the form of an accusatory question, and here again, when the talkpage in question was never semi-protected by myself[1]. Acebrock also accuses me of blocking an editor "out of process" namely, the notorious User:Cplot, who was harassing numerous editors and continues to do so via the creation of more sockpuppets than anyone has recently encoutered on wiki. Next, Acebrock then comes to my talkpage and makes demands...and uses edit summaries such as "MONGO seems very paranoid to me" Just wanted all the facts of this matter to be obvious.--MONGO 23:08, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Wow, in one case, and that was a simple screw up on my part. That's not really any reason to make a broad generalization about my editing. If you wish to see our history, look at archives 23, 24, and 25 in the September 11, 2001 Attacks talk page. Also Cplot wasn't trolling in my or some other people's opinions, he was trying to reasonably debate but was met with resistance on all sides, also where'd his adminship go?--Acebrock 23:20, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
MONGO and Seabhcan lost their adminship in an arbcom case.--Bobblehead 23:29, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
That remark about paranoia was made because I was incredibly angry and offended, I have apologized for the false accusation and am sorry about that, but an attack on someone's character because they made asimple mistake is far worse than accusing someone of a very controversial act. MONGO, all I want is an apology, for that remark, and that you withdraw it, it's that simple. It won't change my feelings about you but it will get me to stop cluttering up your talk page and wasting everyone's time--Acebrock 23:40, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
You are just being paranoid and oversensitive.Give it up.Gene Nygaard 23:44, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Could I gently suggest that Acebrock try to develop a slightly thicker skin. He falsely accused MONGO of making an out-of-policy block. MONGO falsely or justly (I don't know) accused him of often making errors. Without having looked into Acebrock's history, I'll assume that MONGO's accusation is false. So we have (first of all) editor A implicitly accusing editor B of a lack of integrity, and editor B implicitly accusing editor A of a lack of sense. Then we have editor A being deeply offended, demanding an apology, and taking the matter further, while editor B seems to be able to move on. Acebrock, is it really worth this fuss? To me, the accusation made by you was worse, and was demostrably false — just look at the logs. It's pretty bad to go to a protection page and accuse a (former) admin of violating policy. And how can saying that you have your facts wrong "as usual" be an attack on your character? It's perfectly possible to be a good person and to get your facts wrong. Why not just drop the whole thing now and move on with dignity? If you keep going, you're going to get more upset, because nobody is going to think that what MONGO said was worth making a complaint to the community about. Musical Linguist 23:50, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


I have proposed changes to Wikipedia:Copyrights, in order to move it a little closer in line with the GFDL (in my view).Please contribute your thoughts at Wikipedia_talk:Copyrights#GFDL_Notice. Superm401 - Talk 21:15, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Biographies of Living People question (Souhaila Andrawes as a case study)[edit]

I came across the article of Souhaila Andrawes which looked like this. It was correctly tagged as a biography of living person but it did not really meet the strict requirements for such bios, there was not a single source in the article and the article was of a negative tone (the article claimed the person was a terrorist, airline hijacker, sentenced to 12 years, etc.) But then again, it is not exactly difficult to find information about her, and I remember that the case was a big news issue in Norway in 1995. The article was definitely not created as a bad faith attempt to disparage the subject with libellous, slanderous and false accusations.

Question 1: In the form I found it, was the article a WP:CSD#G10 candidate for speedy deletion per the WP:BLP policy?
Question 2: Should unsourced articles about people with the considerable amount of notoriety in media be candidates for speedy deletion, or should we always make a reasonable attempt at sourcing before pulling the trigger?

For this particular article the question is moot, because the brevity of the article made it fairly easy to source it (which I have now done). But I am wondering what our policy is on things like this. Sjakkalle (Check!) 14:37, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll take the easy question - #2 - yes, in the best of worlds, an editor would always try to source an article before killing it.Some editors don't have the time, of course.It's more complicated if the editor isn't sure at all of the notability of the subject of the article - is it worth looking? - but even then, a quick Google search seems well justified if there is time.The most important thing is to do something, immediately, to fix the problem - source or kill.(And if doing a CSD becuase there isn't time to research or initial research failed to find anything, definitely delete all of the negative info on the page, even if that leaves it with (say) only one sentence.John Broughton |(♫♫) 14:49, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I would say you should always favor deletion with such problem articles (all negative without sources).Its rare the old content, unsourced, actually has much value.We need to find sources first, and then write based on them.Creators of articles have no incentive to provide sources, if others fix the problems for them.Also, what I've found, is that when you add sources "after the fact", its very easy to lower your standards for sources.A quick Google search may find "hits", but not always authoratitive stuff.If you find the source first, and write based on it, then you can be more confident that the source is good, and the content fully agrees with the source.If you're doing a bio on Mr X, go find everything you can, good and bad, from reliable sources on Mr X, and let the sources guide you.Don't start with a negative sourced articles, and try matching sources to content.Maybe you quickly find one "hit" agreeing with the notable claim, but don't bother finding other sources, contradicting it, or explaining it properly.Finally, we need a rapid approach, to enable a small number of people to monitor a massive growing number of articles.If patrollers are doing research, that the article creator failed to do, there is no way the patrollers can keep up with the article creators. --Rob 15:14, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo on blanking --Larry laptop 15:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Stubify and then notify the article's major author is sometimes useful. WAS 4.250 16:20, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Citing copyvio web site[edit]

Wikipedia:Copyrights says that "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work". Does the ban against linking to a copyvio site extend to citations based on that site? In particular, can I use a fair use-violating lyrics web site as a citation in the List of backmasked messages when no other citation can be found? Λυδαcιτγ 00:45, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

You mean a citation, but without a convenience link to the web site?I'd still stay away from it.If it was me writing an article that needed to reference song lyrics, I'd just cite the song itself as a reference.The song is published material just like a book is. Squidfryerchef 02:15, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Does that website actually talk about the backmasked lyrics?I think that it would be shaky as it probably wouldn't be the most reliable source.It also depends on what the website is - is it a fansite?A music magazine?ColourBurst 03:33, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
It's a commercial lyric farm. The problem with the backmasking stuff is that the messages are hidden in the songs, and "discovering" them would be original research, so I can't just cite the song. The website is useful in this case because the lyrics on the song page include the backward ones. Λυδαcιτγ 00:23, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

merge Wikipedia:Consensus and Wikipedia:Consensus can change[edit]

Now that both these elements have acquired the statues of policy (which really shouldn't surprise anybody), it is clear that there is no reason to state these elements on two different pages, but I'd like to gather some more opinions before I initiate discussion on the talk pages.Circeus 16:31, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

So long as WP:CCC redirects to the appropriate section, then I'm all for it. CCC is pretty short anyway (and repeats itself a fair bit) so could be incorporated into Consesus fairly easily. Trebor 16:38, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Good idea. People have recently taken to wikilawyering WP:CCC to mean "ignore any consensus that I don't agree with" (which, rather obviously, is not what it means). Merging may alleviate that. >Radiant< 10:40, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Date formats[edit]

On [[2]] (a link page, to link the battles off, so you can easily find which battles occured in a particular time period). This is an ordered chronological list and originally only the years were wikified, but not the month and day, because it is much easier to follow if the format is "Year Month Day". You'll notice that people keep "wikifying" the date format, meaning that dates become "day month year" or "month day year" depending on user prefs. What's worse, the latest modifications only modified SOME of the dates, meaning that (if you can follow this) the first incidence of a year is wikified but not the rest, but ALL months and days are wikified, meaning that in some cases you get "year month day" and in some you get "day month year", as well as some where only the month is known so you get "year month" as well. In addition to THAT, someone has decided to remove more than the first incidence of some years, and list each battle in that year as a sub-indent. They've only done this with some years though, so you get "1884" on one line and then just "month day" or "day month" on the next few lines. This is very difficult to read and I've reverted it twice but they use bots to keep wikifying the dates. Can anyone stop them? I'm not an admin and they just ignore me. The format I prefer is "year month day" on every line (most years don't have more than 1 battle anyway so having the year and then sub-indents just looks silly). It's a page I've contributed a lot to, not that that means much perhaps, but it's already gone through one deletion attempt and formatting it this crazy way is not helping its usefulness. Thanks muchly!SpookyMulder 13:09, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I see no evidence of bots being involved - why do you say that?
  • There appears to be one person (User:GraemeLeggett) making the date format changes you don't like.You've exchange comments via edit summary (a start); I note that the user's last edit summary comment was restore wikified dates as per MoS.So what we have is a content dispute.
  • You posted a note on the user's talk page twelve minutes before you posted here.That was the only communication you've had with the user other than edit summaries.And the note here (which the user is probably unaware of) is much, much more detailed than the note on his/her page.That's a mistake.
  • You haven't posted anything on the talk page of the article.That's where such a discussion should take place, since it preserves the discussion for future editors, rather than here or on a user talk page.
  • Your user page posting included I can have it ruled on if you like.I'm not sure what you meant by that - there isn't anyone at Wikipedia who issues "rulings" regarding content disputes - just behavior, and certainly the other user hasn't violated any behavior norms to date.Also, some people might take that sentence as a threat, which isn't a good way to start a discussion.
  • If you can't work out the problem between the two of you, please see Wikipedia:Resolving disputes, which includes an escalating set of procedures to deal with differences of opinions on content - for example, asking for a third opinion (and no, that isn't done on this page.)John Broughton |(♫♫) 15:06, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Specific notability criteria for current events[edit]

There is a serious lack of policy concerning the notability of current events. As far as I can tell, nobody has proposed a specific notability criteria and in this case, WP:N is really not applicable. Any current event, by definition, will be the subject of multiple, non-trivial current events, and there are many, many events that occur every day that are covered by multiple media sources but are not remotely notable enough to include in an encyclopedia. For a silly example, take an incident last week in which a really fat cat ran away and got trapped in a doggy door. A google news search on the cat's owner reveals 143 results[3]. Admittedly, many of these are from the AP wire, but I found two independent sources. If someone created an article about this event, there would be no policy reason to delete it, and thats absurd.

For a more significant example, take Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Proposed Israeli Nuclear First Strike on Natanz Facility. This article is problematic because of OR problems, but should we have an article about a newspaper report?The report in question was widely talked about initially, it was the top story in Israel and probably Iran too. However, will it prove significant in the long run? Discussion seems to have died down very quickly and I doubt it will warrant more than a footnote in any history book. The problem is that nobody has sat down and thought about what makes a current event notable, and as a result there are no guidelines for those of us trying to decide whether to delete article's about current events. I don't have a proposal, but I do want to gather some input.

So in order to start the discussion, what makes current events notable? How can we judge their notability without violating WP:NOR when there hasn't been enough time for secondary sources to evaluate an event's importance? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GabrielF (talkcontribs) 01:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC).

Mostly what is needed is a cluestick.The primary notability criterion states specifically that, "Several newspapers all publishing the same article from a news wire service is not a multiplicity of works."This covers the 143 instances of the same AP story, so there would be a guideline (if not a policy) reason to delete the Fat Cat story.A single speculative newspaper story comes under the same head, IMO.If it developed into a notable speculation in several publications, then Wikipedia:Wiki is not paper may govern.Of course Wikipedia is not a newspaper either, so judgment is available on whether a story is encyclopedic.Notability and encyclopedic nature are not presumed, they must be established using information gleaned from reliable sources.Robert A.West (Talk) 03:53, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the initial Proposed Israeli Nuclear First Strike on Natanz Facility article wasn't too hot, it was 65% OR.I've rewritten the majority of it now to (a) remove the previous OR aspects, (b) establish notability via multiple independent reports, and (c) balanced it with official reaction and context.Not a great article, but its better than many.-- 04:34, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • We do indeed have a systemic bias towards recentism. A reasonable rule of thumb is "would anyone care a year from now?" Regarding the cat the answer is obviously "no", and I believe AFD usually makes that decision correctly. At any rate, if this is a serious problem, Wikipedia:Avoid recentism could be created to address it. >Radiant< 11:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
    Actually, there is the Wikipedia:Recentism essay. Contains lots of clarifying examples. --Francis Schonken 15:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
    • I think recentism only occurs because the sources are convienent and people are interested enough to write.Wikipedia could have tens of millions of well-referenced articles if we covered every year in the 20th century to the depth we covered the present.I don't think recentism is a problem, because people are writing about things in the news, and hence automatically things with reliable sources available.It'll take later work to update, summarize, and merge prune or delete if necessary, but getting down plenty of detail about the real, newsmaking events in the world is an awesome thing. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 12:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Night Gyr here, Wikipedia's not paper seems to be the most applicable thing: if the article is reliably sourced, then there's no ground for deletion. In regards to Wikipedia not being a newspaper, I think that is primarily there to discourage first-hand journalism; it ducks the issue of inclusion by saying "historical significance", which is subjective. Is it our job to guess what people will care about in the future? Trebor 13:39, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The issue isn't that people write about present-day things, the issue is that people tend to consider recent issues more important than old issues. For instance, if you make a survey of who people consider the most important person of the 20th century, a disproportionately large amount of nominees will be people from the 1990s. >Radiant< 14:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not even sure it's that: people write about subjects they know, which have easily accessible sources, and that tends to be more recent stuff. But I don't think that's necessarily a problem, Wikipedia is in no way consistent in the depth it covers subjects in; I'd much rather have detailed articles on more recent events and less-detailed articles on older ones, than start trimming the recent events articles for consistency (well actually I'd rather have detailed info on all events, but unfortunately we live in reality). Is there a problem in having articles on relatively minor recent events, provided they are sourced? Trebor 15:22, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I think well-researched articles on recent news stories are not a problem, they can be used to increase the quality of the articles they'll be merged into once a current hype is over. Kusma (討論) 15:11, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree, but that kind of defeats Wikipedia:Notability#Notability is generally permanent (quote: "Thus, if a topic satisfies the primary notability criterion, it continues to satisfy it over time") - which I disagree with. --Francis Schonken 15:17, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Why do you disagree with it? Or do you disagree with the whole definition of notability as it currently stands? Because if you use the current definition, then notability is definitely permanent - multiple independent sources don't change with time. Trebor 15:25, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Your original research - never heard about acidic paper? Also not everything ends up in permanent web archives (for the next 100 year?)... --Francis Schonken 16:47, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Well yes, okay, the record of the sources may (in what I'd estimate to be a very small minority of cases) be destroyed or decay. I thought you meant you disagreed with the idea that notability is permanent even if there are multiple independent source. Trebor 17:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I still object to the crystal ball that appears to be the basis of your reasoning. You estimate "a very small minority of cases". My estimate is considerably larger (for various reasons I need not explain). You don't know, I don't know, and we would need a crystal ball to prove either of us right today. So, this can not be the foundation of frivolous speculations like "if a topic satisfies the primary notability criterion, it continues to satisfy it over time": it might, it might not, no conclusion in that sense can be drawn, and this should not be in a Wikipedia guideline. --Francis Schonken 12:52, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd be interested to hear your reasons: I'd say the majority of (paper) sources used are newspapers and published books, and they don't suddenly disappear. But if you're think the wording of the guideline is misleading, then change it. It's only meant to mean that notability does not require consistent or ongoing coverage; it's not meant to mean that if the sources are no longer in existence there should still be an article. Trebor 16:21, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
It shouldn't matter wheter something is or is not a recent event - this is an encyclopedia - not a newspaper.If something won't be notable in a year or ten years from now then it shouldn't be notable now.However even if you stick with that rule, 'recentism' is inevitable because whilst a lot of people are interested in something like the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning in 2006 and there is a ton of information and references to write that article, it's unlikely that an article will be written about someone getting poisoned in 1906, 1806 or 1706 simply because there is less information out there and less chance of an editor being interested enough to write it.Hence we have a huge article about Litvinenko and a separate (even longer!) article about his death by poisoning - but the more strictly notable poisoning of Aratus of Sicyon (the ruler of an entire Greek city state) in 213BC rates just one sentence.That systemic bias towards recent events is nothing to do with notability criteria - it's just about what people care enough to write about and how much information is available. SteveBaker 15:57, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Do you meant notability in terms of significance/importance/fame or the definition given in the guideline? They aren't the same, and to say the poisoning of [[Aratus of Sicyon] is more strictly notable doesn't really mean anything. Individual editors might judge as more significant/important but that's objective. It's almost certainly been covered in fewer sources though, so using the strict Wikipedia definition it is less notable. That's the problem of using a loaded word like notable. Trebor 16:08, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I sometimes wonder if we ought to have a "2 day hold" on events before they can be put on Wikipedia... the concept being that if a news story is still being discussed after two days of it's initial report, it has a degree of notability... or something like that.There are a lot of news stories that initially may seem important, but turn out to be erroneous or not all that notable. Blueboar 18:15, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that would ruin Wikipedia's useful coverage of current events - if I want a collated story combining lots of sources, here is the place to go. But in principle, I think the idea has merit. Two days is a (necessarily) arbitrary limit, but it might be along the right lines. Trebor 22:27, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Here is a VERY early draft of a notability criteria:

In order for an event to be notable, the length, breadth, depth and prominence of the media's coverage of that event must be greater than average.

  • Prominence refers to the degree to which the news media itself feels that an event is notable. Events that were covered on the front page or the lead of a news broadcast are far more likely to be notable than events that were covered on page E22 or as the last story on the evening news.
  • Breadth refers to the number of media outlets covering a story. An event that has generated only local coverage is probably only of local interest and therefore not notable, but an event that received significant coverage in every news outlet on the planet probably is.
  • Depth of coverage refers to the type of coverage the media has given an event. Did news outlets try to answer questions about the event beyond "what happenened" and "where and when and how did it happen"? Did the media analyze the importance of an event and come to the conclusion that it would result in some kind of important change? Did they spend any time discussing what had caused the event to occur? Was there an op-ed piece or a political cartoon? If the media has reported the facts without analyzing the event and what it signifies, than the event was probably not notable enough to be worth analyzing.
  • Length of coverage is, among other things, a measure of the degree to which the media believes that an event will be interesting to its audience. If nobody is talking about an event after five days, it most likely wasn't significant enough to warrant a wikipedia article.

Thoughts? GabrielF 19:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't like it, because it introduces a lot of room for subjectivity and people to say "Well this wasn't a big story and we're not wikinews... DELETE."We don't only cover the big stories.Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I think there's going to be subjectiveness in any guideline put forward for this, but there is obviously a need for wording about it. At present, the article on the fat cat would be included; yet, I don't think anyone would agree that it should be. There is some measure people are subconsciously placing on an event's notability, regardless of sources. There's discussion going on here about it too. GabrielF's wording is a start, but I don't think a good solution will be reached easily with this. Trebor 22:27, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I would agree with most of the guidelines that GabrielF has listed, however, based on the individual nature of every event, this should never become Wikipedia policy.Policies like notability already covers this in the general sense.Also, small stories may not be suitable in articles of their own, but should definitely be included in larger articles (Ex: A school bus accident in Pennsylvania is covered in the high school's article, Pennsbury High School, but certainly would be up for deletion if written on its own).So yes, I would support a guideline, but not a policy.
Another factor we might also want to also consider is how integrated an article on a recent event can be.For instance, the articles on the Somali War that just occured have hundreds of interlinks, as well as other historical, geographic, and biographical links.The more obscure the event, the more likely is that it will have few if any wikilinks. Joshdboz 20:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
All the pages related to notability are guidelines; I don't think there'd ever be a large-enough consensus to make it policy. But I think a specific guideline, something like Notability (recent events), would be a good idea to allow for the fact that we live in a very source-heavy time. Trebor 21:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

NC and wikipedia only images[edit]

It's been well over a year now I think it is time to clear out Category:Images used with permission and Category:Non-commercial use only images.Geni 15:05, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Is there a "sunshine law" that deletes uploaded images that haven't appeared on any page after two years, three years, or whatever?--Wetman 16:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
If they are fair use 7 days. Otherwise not directly.Geni 20:29, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Debate now at Category_talk:Non-commercial_use_only_images#Time_to_clear_this_lot_out. Inless I hear some valid objections by the next weekend I'm going to remove the remaining images without a fair use claim.Geni 21:22, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd be careful though and make sure that they wouldn't be legit fair use first. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 06:46, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Making "Show preview" mandatory before saves[edit]

This certainly must have been discussed before, but why don't we make it mandatory to click "Show preview" before saving changes? This is how they do it on other Wikipedias, such as the French. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 07:26, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Just no. —Doug Bell talk 07:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
As a preferences option, maybe, as a mandatory thing for all users, absolutely not. This would be tremendously harmful to vandalfighting (I don't need a preview to revert vandalism, and it would slow it down, this also would likely break certain anti-vandal tools), gnoming (I don't need a preview to change "teh" to "the"), and many other tasks, as well as likely breaking various bots. It's a good idea in principle, but would be better implemented as a "preferences" option. That many more previews being generated would also likely place significant additional load on the servers. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 19:14, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Show preview is useful, but I am not sure if it is a good idea to make it mandatory to use. Captain panda In vino veritas 14:40, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I have a suggestion for a middle road here. There is an option in user preferences under the editing tab for "show preview on first edit." I believe (but am not sure) that when new user accounts are created all boxes there are unchecked by default. I imagine it would not be difficult to change the software so that the such new accounts would have that option checked as the default, upon account creation. Certainly if this is not already the default this would cut down on some error filled edits. Such users might even get used to that default and never change it after they discover their preference page exists. Thoughts?--Fuhghettaboutit 17:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm with Fuhghettaboutit -- I kind of like that idea. --Thisisbossi 22:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

If this could easily be made as a user preference then this idea has potential, you could make it the defult option for all new users. Thus it would not make life too much harder at all for people like us, such as for vandal fighting. However it would at the same time also make the learning curve nicer for the newbies, and put good habits into them from the begining. Mathmo Talk 03:33, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Default the option but not mandatory. Since there are times when a preview is unnecessary. 01:35, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Make "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" an account creation default[edit]

↑:-) On this same issue, we could also make "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" the default in preferences upon account creation. This might also straddle a middle road for the perennial proposal that users always be automatically prompted for missing edit summaries.--Fuhghettaboutit 22:56, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea to me. Shall we take futher steps to implement it? Captain panda In vino veritas 04:14, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Fuhghettaboutit's first idea, but not the second. When creating redirects or new pages, I never bother with the edit summary. The default edit summary that forms when I leave it blank provides enough information: the default edit summary for redirects says that a redirect was created; and the default for a new article can easily indicate whether it's a real article or some useless drivel. If you can work around those, then I could support a blank edit summary prompt. --Thisisbossi 04:40, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Um... You do know that it doesn't prompt for an edit summary when you create a redirect, Thisisbossi. I have that option checked. Grandmasterka 04:56, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Oops... I didn't realise that was already an option -- I haven't played with options for the longest time. My mistake, then! :P --Thisisbossi 05:28, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I figure if this is to have any traction we would need a report on the technical feasibility of implementing even before trying to reach consensus, so I posted about this (in much expanded form) at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Defaulting show preview and edit summary prompt upon account creation].--[[User:Fuhghettaboutit|Fuhghettaboutit] 06:40, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The other structural change to the wiki that is needed is to separate the show preview button from the save page button (as well as the what's this wikilink). Some cursor mice, especially on laptops, are not that precise, and mis-clicks are problematic. Dhaluza 15:30, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
For got that "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" was an option and just checked mine. Yes, make "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" an account creation default. -- Jreferee 23:40, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I support this, for new registrations. — xaosflux Talk 02:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
In principle, I support this. I think, however, the prompt should be disabled when making a minor edit. Caknuck 19:02, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Unfair treatment of Scientology[edit]

This seems to be going on here. For example, in the opening section of the article Scientology you can read:

However, outside observers—including journalists, lawmakers, and national governing bodies of several countries—have alleged that the Church is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members.[3][4]

I don't think that you would find a sentence like that in the opening section of the articles on Hinduism, the Roman Catholic Church, or Islam even though those religions are just as "controversial." I'm not sure if this was the right place to post these comments. Thanks for your attention. Steve Dufour 02:05, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

While not in the lead section, the Roman Catholic Church article mentions criticism of the Church's stance on contraception and its role in the recent spate of child abuse allegations. I think this is more a product of the comparitive depths of history of the more established religions as opposed to Scientology. Caknuck 02:00, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, if you think that Hinduism, Catholocism, and Islam are controversial - or "controversial" - in the same sense that Scientology is, I'm not sure if anyone can help you, regardless of where you post. But best of luck. Herostratus 03:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

What makes Scientology controversial and the others not? Steve Dufour 04:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Scientology is labeled controversial because reputable published sources call it controversial. Wikipedia aims to represent all sides of the debate about any given article subject, as long as those positions are from reputable verifiable sources. If Islam and Christianity and Hinduism and Buddhism have a significant number of reputable published sources saying that they're controversial, then Wikipedians will endeavor to represent that in those articles as well. If you've got citations to that effect, please let the editors know on the appropriate article talk pages.—Perceval 05:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. I didn't mean for the conversation to get hung up on one word. The point I was trying to make is that the articles about these other religions don't bring up the negative opinions in the opening section. This is only one example of the special treatment given to Scientology here on WP. Steve Dufour 05:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, we do have scientologists editing on wikipedia. (We also have Hindus, Christians, Jews and Muslims editing). So things should be fair enough. Try moving the criticism down the page a little if you think the sources aren't prominent enough to warrent the current location. You might get reverted of course. If so, take your time to argue your position on the associated talk page. You might be able to reach a compromise.
I can't promise that you won't need to give ground however. It's quite possible scientologists themselves chose the current wording and placement, based on wikipedia guidelines that apply to all articles (notably: the Neutral point of view).
I hope this helps! --Kim Bruning 06:09, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I will give it a try and see what happens. Thanks. Steve Dufour 13:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I did make the change by moving the criticism down the page. And I was shocked!!! It lasted almost 3 hours and the person who reverted it was even polite in his comments on the talk page. Maybe there is hope after all. Steve Dufour 18:15, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Yup, the Wikipedia "process" mostly works. Sometimes not as smoothly or quickly as we'd like, but on the main it does work. Raymond Arritt 20:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

One must remember that unlike the other religions mentioned, Scientology is run (and closely managed) by a single organisation. This means that controversies about the business-policies of the Church of Scientology can reflect upon the religion itself. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 06:18, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that Scientology's negative points should all be reported here. I was just pointing out some of the problems with the way it is handled compared to other groups. Steve Dufour 13:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
hmmm....What might work is for all Scientology articles to be locked as they are. This would free up a lot of editors to do more useful things here. Steve Dufour 17:48, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

IP article creation[edit]

Hiho, are there any documentations about the impact of not allowing IPs to create new articles? -- 13:13, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

If you've got an article you'd like to submit, you're welcome to do it through articles for creation. If the topic is appropriate and you cite a source, an established editor will create the article for you. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 15:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, it would just be really easy if the IP users were to register and get their own account. Registering isn't hard, and no e-mail address is required. Diez2 16:18, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
To actually answer your question, (*wink*), there is no data, although I believe that article growth has followed a logistic pattern as of late. This growth may be natural, but the extent to which it is affected by the lack IP article creation seems to conplicated to calculate to me. You could look at another language Wikipedia that has anon page creation (like the German Wikipedia) and compare the results, but there seems to be too many variables to do an efficacious comparison (except w/ alternate universe). I know many editors that are in favor of lifting that restriction, but I'm sure that there are those that aren't. GracenotesT § 18:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for at least trying to answer my question :-) So, there is not even a single text on the impact of not allowing IPs to create articles on en-WP? Because, well, from statistics, there doesn't seem to be an effect except that the number of accounts has exploded. -- 22:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Ironically, users that edit while logged in are more anonymous to wikipedia readers than those users who edit without logging in, and so display their IP addresses for any other user to see. I have decided to use an account to edit wikipedia, for vanity and laziness reasons, to keep track of my edits and which articles I'm editing. However, I think users with complain about "anonymous" IP editors are doing so ingenuously: I have no idea if the above users that show account names are not the same person, or where they are editing from. An IP editor? I can tell where they are posting from and if that source is unique or pretending to give itself consenusus through "attaboy" posts talking to itself. Only amdins and above can "police" this sort of abuse for logged in editors. For IP editors, anyone can "police" their editing so to speak. Just my input as food for thought but no particular agenda or recommendation. Piperdown 05:12, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes and no. Users who are online using a service that employs dynamic IP "change their identity" any time they disconnect and reconnect to their ISP. Being logged in makes one accountable (assuming the account was created in good faith). Plus, an admin can use checkuser to check for sockpuppets or patterns of malicious editing. Caknuck 01:46, 17 March 2007 (UTC)