Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AI

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Wikipedia a Laughingstock?

I for one have been too embarrassed and shocked at this Essjay affair over the last week or so to edit at all. Now that I can gather the ability to get on Wikipedia again I must ask the question that has been simmering in all our minds lately:

Is Wikipedia becoming a laughingstock? I mean, the Essjay matter has been reported on all media outlets, including the network nightly news. This sort of unwelcome attention can only attract a flood of people who deride Wikipedia. In fact, I think the ONLY coverage of wikipedia EVER in the media is negative, and plays up our shortcomings in being a reliable encyclopedia. And now academics, the very people who we need to approve of us, are so much further from ever doing that.

Furthermore, I would argue that the last high-profile snafu here, the Siegenthaler affair, has attracted more users who come here to deride us. While some people come to wikipedia curious about our bad publicity and eventually become bona fide contributors, I think the larger percentage of them come here to vandalize and cause trouble. Just think of how much vandalism and disruption have increased exponentially since 2005-06. Thank you for your time. Hallibrah 01:39, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

If Wikipedia is becoming a laughingstock, then what do you suggest we do about it? Captain panda In vino veritas 03:21, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

So you are agreeing with us that it is becoming a laughingstock? Or is that the general consenus anyway these days here? Hallibrah 03:23, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, my comment was not directed at whether Wikipedia is a laughingstock or not. As for your question, I would not go so far as to call it a laughingstock, but it is certainly seen quite badly by many people. Captain panda In vino veritas 03:26, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Well since you basically agree that Wikipedia is becoming a laughingstock, what do you think we should do about it? Hallibrah 03:43, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the ONLY coverage of wikipedia EVER in the media is negative - *rolls eyes*. Whatever. You obviously have some agenda and this thread appears to be a troll. -- Stbalbach 03:56, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

By the way, what is the Essjay affair, and what was the Siegenthaler affair? zadignose 04:17, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Stblebach, that last comment was not particularly helpful. Please be civil. Hallibrah 04:20, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

If you're too embarassed to edit, then don't edit. I for one don't care what the rest of the world thinks about Wikipedia: I'm editing for myself. --Carnildo 05:07, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
For my part, most of those I know have generally gone to Wikipedia when they need a quick bit of information, or a starting point for some in-depth research, just like one would use any encyclopedia. After all the recent events...wait, nothing's changed, the same thing still happens! So I guess not. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:03, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. When doing serious research (as opposed to casual reading) Wikipedia is a great place to start, but a poor place to end. Raymond Arritt 06:07, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

To get an idea of recent reporting of Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Press coverage. Some of it is critical, some of it is positive. That's always been the case. There's also a lot of coverage which doesn't get onto that page. Today I was reading my local TV&Radio magazine (the New Zealand Listener), and in an opinion piece on state housing there's a sentence "By international standards, New Zealand towns ... have a very low density of population ... according to Wikipedia". Some pages later, in an article on spam, the Wikipedia discussion page on palm oil is mentioned. Wikipedia has become an essential part of everyday life for many, who for the most part have never heard of Essjay.-gadfium 06:53, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

As I stated in another thread, usability and practicability are far more important than credibility. This is a matter of what my Mom told me when I was young and trying to face the harshness in the world: "Keep your chins up". The Wikipedia is OUR BABY. We will do with it as we wish, and if others find it useful (and they frequently do!), great, if not, whatever. We will not ever even consider closing shop just because of any degree of external derision. As Dumbya Bush says, "Bring 'em on!". I don't care. Meanwhile, I and many others will continue to contribute and build an increasingly fine and usable encyclopedia. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 02:42, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Who cares if we're a laughingstock? We're a FUN laughingstock! More to the point, the reason we get lambasted occasionally is not because nobody takes us seriously but rather because people take us far too seriously, not catching on that we really aren't a reliable source. (Besides, who seriously thought Essjay was a professor anyway?) --tjstrf talk 02:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win." (Eric Raymond attributed this to Ghandi) -- llywrch 17:42, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't need academics, or anyone else engaged in the professional production of information. They see us as a dangerous competitor and a threat to their privileged status. They have been hostile of years, but their hostility has had no meaningful effect. Most intelligent adults I know that have discovered Wikipedia think it is a great resource for their personal use, and that is the main endorsement we should want. Why is there this fixation with what goes on between kids and professors? Let's just forget about them. They aren't relevant to the mainstream adult world. Most adults have put the education system and its issues behind them. Wikipedia should do the same. LukeHoC 00:42, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Resolution:Licensing policy

I want to make everyone aware of the resolution taken by Meta at Resolution:Licensing policy. I think the fair use policy should be redefined acording to it Perón 14:37, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

By the way, that page isn't at, meta, it's at the wikimedia foundation page. These are different sites. Anyway, it looks like that the resolution says that all existing fair use images must be examined to see if they really are fair use. mrholybrain's talk 16:01, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Anti-commercial bias?

One thing I have noticed is that some passionate WP editors seem to have an anti-commercial bias. I think this stems from an over-reaction to the need to remove commercial spam content from articles and links. Some editors take this to an extreme and try to stamp out any trace of commercial activity or interest anywhere on WP, even where it doesn't exist. Since in the English speaking world capitalism is the dominant form of commerce, and most economic activity is conducted for-profit, disfavoring anything commercial would create a systemic bias. Two recent bad examples I have run across were the speedy tag slapped on Camp Alvernia claiming blatant advertising, despite the fact that it is a historical landmark operated by monks in a not-for-profit organization. The other is the (ham fisted) removal of a citation[1] in List of notable glider pilots to a bio by the Academy of Achievement, claiming that links to this site are spam, again even though this is a not-for-profit organization, and the bio was actually a very good secondary source. We need more citations on WP, not less! Has anyone else noticed this Anti-commercial bias too? Dhaluza 01:57, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. My recent experience with improper deletion of ADERANT has left a bad taste in my mouth. --Nélson Ricardo 02:12, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think much of the problem arises from editors simply describing the company and listing its products/services without any indication of notability. A quick read through ADERANT leads me to think it was fairly prodded. Most of the company's history is about its being the orphan of serial divestitures; other than that, it's chief claim to notability seems to be "Despite the short life of the present company, it has existed for over 25 years in previous incarnations." The article itself is well-documented, but what is missing are any clues as to why it's noteworthy or whether there are even any laurels for its products. I don't think it needs to be deleted, but this weakness does need to be fixed (and promptly). Askari Mark (Talk) 04:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe you're exactly correct. We've certainly got articles on plenty of corporations and companies, but we also get in a veritable flood of attempted advertising. (And yes, when you see "We are the leading providers of..." in a new article, it's an ad.) Some people then do start to see spamming where there's not any, but given the flood of real spam, a false positive is an easy mistake to make. The best solution to it is: write an encyclopedic article if you're going to write about something commercial. If the company's been criticized or been in some trouble, state that. Say why it's important, what they do, the history of the company, why they matter-stuff you'd expect to see in an encyclopedia, not what you'd expect to see on a product list. Guaranteed, you start up an encyclopedic, balanced article in a neutral tone, and indicate why the company is notable, no one will even consider deleting it. Start something that looks like an ad or puff piece, and it'll be flagged before you can blink. Oh, and we get plenty of spam for nonprofits, it's not limited in any way to for-profit companies. Nonprofits can (and do) advertise, and sometimes, they take a shot at doing it here, just like others do. But in the end, I don't think it's a "bias", per se. If one site we can use as a reference has a ton of ads, and another of equal reliability and quality has few or none, we should pick the one with very few. If a paywall source's information can be gotten from a free source instead, we should prefer the free one, all other things equal. If a commercial site offers nothing over and above noncommercial references, we shouldn't have a link to it in an article. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:45, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest that the false positives are more damaging than the flood of advertising, because it discourages editors from writing, which hurts the project more than nonsense that readers can simply ignore. I'm not suggesting that we allow advertising--I remove it myself, and will prod vanity articles, etc. But we need a much more careful and measured approach. I think we have too many zealous deltionists prodding anything they don't like. The whole project would be better served if they stopped trying to expand the envelope on the limits of deletionism, and instead focused on improving questionable articles, reserving deletion for the really obvious cases. The ADERANT example given above is an excellent example of trying to push the limits of notability. The company itself has an obviously non-trivial economic impact, which IMHO suggests inherent notability. The article just needs more independent sourcing to meet the notability guideline, but standing ceremony is not productive, and deletion is a rather extreme remedy in cases like this. Dhaluza 11:43, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Last time I checked, NPOV does not require that if we have an article on one company we must have an article on all its competitors. Chris cheese whine 12:14, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
No, it simply requires that we have balanced coverage of a topic (WP:UNDUE). So if a significant commercial market segment has only two dominant competitors, and we have a detailed article on one, and no article on the other, this is not balanced. Dhaluza 16:25, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Speedy Deletions Problem

When an article is speedy deleted, people who have the article on their watch list have no way of knowing. The article simply stops showing up, and the watcher may forget about it. We must have a mechanism to inform watchers that a watched article has been deleted. Also, some deleting admins. will delink links to the deleted article. This, however, seems to be destruction of evidence. Although certainly not the sole criterion, the number of links to an article could be one indicator of its notability, for example for a restoration debate. --Nélson Ricardo 01:30, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Check your watchlist, there is a edit this list link, that shows all pages on a watchlist including the deleted page. as for removing red links, the article was deleted for a reason, and thus should not be recreated removing red links also deters recreation. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 01:49, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
No, we are not going to force users to click deeper just to keep track of their watched articles. Your arguments for delinking are specious and disingenuous. --Nélson Ricardo 02:10, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
You miss the point. Speedy deletion is for articles with no redeeming value (see WP:CSD). Things that get speedied do so for a reason (namely that they shouldn't be on Wikipedia in the first place). They stay on your watchlist, however, so you can see when they've been recreated (and may need deleting again). Sorry, I've just noticed that you're trolling the Pump because your pet article got deleted. Get over it. Chris cheese whine 10:41, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Dude, I do not appreciate your accusation that I am a troll. I have a valid grievance. Your flippant remark just pisses me off even more. Are people just trying to annoy me intentionally? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nricardo (talkcontribs) 10:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC).
Also, you miss the point. Speedy delete is to be used judiciously in the most blatant circumstances. The article in question was not a valid candidate for speedy, but somebody got a bit overzealous. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nricardo (talkcontribs) 11:13, 23 March 2007 (UTC).
This is a bug at MediaZilla: #881 and related bug #778 requesting that image uploads register on the watchlist. It would be nice to have. I think that, however, unless a user who is not a developer develops the code, it will not be implemented very soon. Fact is, the developers have the critical bugs and roadmap issues to deal with. That said, I wish all log events for a specific page registered on the watchlist. I also wish I could help with the development, but with my poor programming skills, that is unlikely. --Iamunknown 02:21, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
It appears that Chris is correct. This entire thing seems to be about ADERANT, an article about a company that has been created and maintained almost entirely by the user who started this discussion. It also appears that this user has made it a habit to engage in personal attacks against other users who disagree with his opinion, calling people "bitches" and such. In fact, he has a recent final warning from an admin for this behavior on his talk page. It is my opinion that since no valid policy discussion is even taking place, this discussion should be disregarded. SpadePrince Talk Contributions 14:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Notwithstanding possible bad behavior, I think there is a valid point that speedy deletes do not register on a watch list, and this is a shortcoming of the wiki software. A possible workaround would be for admins to always apply a tag or make some other edit to an article with an edit summary first, even if deleting it immediately thereafter. This way it will show up in the editors' watchlists with an explanation. It will also make sure the speedy deletion is marked in the edit history if the article is restored. Although this adds an extra step, it could save extra work in the long run. Dhaluza 16:19, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Today's Featured Article proposal

It has been proposed below that Today's featured article procedures be amended. The original proposal was rejected at as per discussion at the archive.
Discussion is now open on the amended proposal 2 below. Support or oppose the amendment should be on the proposal page, under the heading "Survey". If, after a few days, a clear consensus for the amendment is reached, please notify the administrators noticeboard for further assistance.

TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 21:07, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Use of archival tags on Images and media for deletion debates and proposed image prod process

Unlike other deletion debates, such as WP:AFD, IFDs are not currently utilizing archival tags when closing a debate. I think the use of archival tags should implemented here on IFD. I have created a tag that could be used: Template:Ifd top would be used at the top of a debate and Template:Afd bottom would be placed at the bottom. I am looking for a few opinions about adding this to the closing instructions. --24fan24 (talk) 20:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it would be that useful. AFD is run as "I think this should be deleted. Does anyone agree?" IFD, on the other hand, is "I think this should be deleted. Does anyone object?" Since the vast majority of IFDs have no discussion other than the original nomination, archive tags would just be pointless paperwork. --Carnildo 20:58, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point. This got me thinking though, perhaps we should develop a prod process for uncontroversial deletes and keep the ifds for more controversial deletions? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24fan24 (talkcontribs) 22:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC).
A prod process would also be easier for the nominating users. A prod tag is far simpler than adding a tag and going to another page to list a reason. --24fan24 (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll coin the phrase: "iprod". I think this is a great idea. Then the archiving of IFDs that actually have discussion should occur with the templates listed above. --MECUtalk 23:45, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

You raise interesting points, but I don't think that either archival or proposed deletion would be useful. I get the indication that fewer people include images they have uploaded or otherwise have interest in their watchlists, so they might not see when an image has been prodded. If you find the ifd process laborious, then install User:Howcheng/quickimgdelete.js to your monobook. Administrators will have to go through every single image anyways, so I argue that it would be better to include the arguments for and against deletion on a single page. I don't think that ifd is broken, so I don't think it needs to be fixed. --Iamunknown 23:56, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Just my two cents: if users aren't watching an image they won't notice an ifd any more than they would a prod. I agree that ifd is not broken but that doesn't mean it cannot be improved. --24fan24 (talk) 02:36, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

High Schools

(Moved from the talk page ) -- 22:49, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I have seen, quite often' a statement that High Schools are intrinsically notable. Can someone tell me if this is in fact stated in WP:POLICY, and if so, where?--Anthony.bradbury 22:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

  1. This talk page is for discussion about the Village Pump. You want the project page itself.
  2. Didn't you already ask this once before?
Short answer: There is no such statement either in favour or against this position. The stated position of the community is that it is sick and tired of the schools debate already. Chris cheese whine 22:35, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. Yes, I did ask the question before, but the discussion got archived and I lost it. My bad. And for the record., I am not trying to re-open a debate, and am personally sick and tired of being told in AfD, when I oppose a clearly non-notable school article, that High schools are intrinsically notable - which is the point of my question. If I am on the wrong page, I apologise. But thank you for your answer.--Anthony.bradbury 22:48, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Don't sweat it too much, we're all entitled to make mistakes. Part of the whole "human" thing. :-) Chris cheese whine 01:20, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Only thing to do is for us reasonable people (smile) who think some are and some aren't to keep arguing, and ignore the all schools and ignore the no schools-- the randomness of particular AfD decisions is a little disturbing, though. DGG

I am very comfortable with "some are and some are not". I just want to be able to decide in AfD without some twerp telling me that my edit is pointless because notability is WP:POLICY.--Anthony.bradbury 01:28, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

link to private company offering services at bottom of article dd form 214

I have a company that obtains military records. The article dd form 214 in wikipedia describes this important document. At the end of the article a competitor keeps adding a link to his site which is allegedly a consumer advocacy site, in reallity it is just a site to refer business to another company he owns.

Is this allowed? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Steveljones (talkcontribs) 14:30, 28 March 2007 (UTC).

Reverting talk page vandalism

I reverted some vandalism on an article and left {{test1}} on the perp's page. He then left a nasty message on my talk page. Finally, a well-meaning editor reverted that last edit.

IMHO, destructive vandalism of user talk pages (e.g., deletion or massive addition) should be reverted by whoever finds it first, but that merely incivil comments should be left for the user/owner to deal with.

Is there a policy or guideline about this? Matchups 01:57, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Not really, but you may want to point them to WP:RPA which is definitely not a policy or guideline. >Radiant< 11:33, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Cosmetic images (again)

Further to #Cosmetic images above, can someone clarify the policy? I've had a batch of these images kept at IfD because a bunch of users came in and voted "Keep WP:ILIKEIT", even though the images have no encyclopaedic value. So, apparently, I need to find chapter and verse which says that we should not use images composed entirely of text when the equivalent text will do just as well. Next, they'll be telling me we need to establish a consensus that grass is green (otherwise we'll have to tag that first paragraph as {{disputed}}). Chris cheese whine 02:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia mainly as source of reference

In the world there are some reports about people using Wikipedia as a source of truth. Since anyone can edit, the validity cannot be verified. Hence, school teachers and such are not so happy with the use of Wikipedia for research.

For this reason, I use Wikipedia as a source of reference; if I find something, the most value is in the reference to non-wiki sites like vendors, organisations about the topic, researchers on the topic, books, etc. They have their own level of validity that can be verified.

So if wikipedia is promoted less as an encyclopedia and more as a reference, then it would not have to deal with the validity issue. Users who are looking for information can read up on a topic and afterwareds find useful sources through wikipedia.

This could be implemented by having editors focus on further reference on the topics.

Maybe this idea has already been suggested, in which case my apologies. If you know this is the case, please try and close this thread.

Regards, Philip. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lafeber (talkcontribs) 19:35, 19 March 2007

Well, Wikipedia classifies itself as an 'encyclopedia', which in itself should imply that it is not designed for serious academic research, but rather, as a general guide and reference. Encyclopedias are by their very nature rarely regarded as reliable academic sources. -- Chairman S. Talk Contribs 09:21, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
We make a good faith effort to publish authoritative content. While we often fail, especially in the case of hotly contested issues, we should continue to pursue the goal of being an authoritative reference. I have been here now for 5 years and have seen vast improvement. Certainly following up on the references used leads to more knowledge, but our mission is to create reference works. Fred Bauder 18:20, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like the goals that have attracted me. Philip makes a valid point. Any dynamic system is going to give a shifting source of research, by definition. But I wonder if these criticisms are a wider misunderstanding of the "www commons". Many people still regard a webpage as exactly that...a page. That name was only ever meant as a bridge between paper world and digital realm. Wikipedia is neither a Reference or an Encyclopaedia it is a "WIKI - Pedia", a modern, electronic hybrid of both...with both strengths and weaknesses. Some pages are brilliant reference works while others are merely works in progress. DJ Barney 18:24, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
When I was an university it would never have crossed my mind to use an encyclopedia as a reference. True, my university was one of the most prestigious, but I assumed things were the same elsewhere. Is it really the case that at the average university students give Britannica as a reference in their essays? I would never have guessed that could be the case, but it is what this recurring debate implies. LukeHoC 00:46, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
A competent author will sometimes find her/himself confronted with a fact that needs a source to verify its accuracy, yet it is not important enough to justify the time to do the research to find that source; she/he must either exclude the fact or find a source that is "good enough" to verify it. (I can list quite a few otherwise reliable books where this has been done.) In those cases, the author may cite an encyclopedia as verification, trusting that up to this point she/he has proven their competence at the craft & hoping the reader will overlook this bending of the rules. However, students (by definition) are still learning the craft of writing; they are expected to follow the rules (e.g. don't cite from encyclopedias) until their instructors say otherwise. -- llywrch 18:43, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Infoboxes and navigational templates

I was wondering whether anyone else thinks that whilst the quality of infoboxes is generally very good, vertical-style navigational templates are generally low quality, irritating and often POV? They appear at the top of many articles yet are only rarely well thought through. For example:

Some navigational templates work well because they allow the user to navigate to other articles of the same type. For example, Human rights uses the Template:Africa_topic. But others (e.g. those listed above) presume the reader is looking at an article with a particular angle and this can be POV. In my experience editing templates is difficult because:

  1. Some editors don't get involved because of the technical challenges
  2. People protect templates and assume there is consensus even when there is not

Does anyone else have thoughts on this - can anything be done? Andeggs 09:10, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I would agree with that, but not that infoboxes are generally very good quality - they vary hugely, and some definitely detract from the articles in my view - too big, too little useful information, inaccurate or over-simplified information, just repeating the first lines of the article. As you say, both are hard to control. The biography infobox is a particular menace in Visuals arts articles, where it is creeping in, pushing out paintings by the artist in favour of a whiskery Victorian photo or dubious engraved portrait. Johnbod 13:50, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Attribution/Poll

Per comments on the Talk page here, and in other locales, it appears groups of editors are specifically against Jimbo's specifically requested public poll to gauge thoughts/support on the idea of the ATT merger. As it has been stated that the Poll is "dead" per users such as User:WAS 4.250, I am nominating this. If there is wide spread support to run this poll, this page should be kept. The MfD is here:

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Attribution/Poll

Thank you. - Denny 16:12, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Policy on Pages about Commercial Entities

I note that I can find Wikipedia entries on a great many commercial companies, (search for Sony for instance). If you search for Hoover, there is even a section heading: 'Companies named Hoover'.

Are there rules or codes of practice that govern the insertion of pages about companies?

If so what are they and where are they published? (Please don't say FAQs, as I have already spent a ridiculous amount of time browsing FAQs.)

Thank you

Nic Williamson —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC).

WP:CORP, WP:COI, WP:NPOV, WP:RS, WP:SPAM. That should be a good start. Αργυριου (talk) 16:22, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies) and the pages it references, in particular Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia is not for advertising. The basic principles are Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Attribution. General advice: don't create an article about your own company to promote it (or a competitor to criticize it). -- Rick Block (talk) 16:23, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

A user talk page without vandalism has been protected - is this appropriate?

I'd like some clarification on an issue. An admin has protected User talk:Qxz so that nobody can cantact that individual nor comment on that individual's recent conflict.

I couldn't find anything in policy that allows a talk page to be protected except in the case of vandalism, and then only as a last resort and only for as long as necessary to thwart such vandalism. Can a user request that his talk page be protected just so that he can't be contacted?

I haven't run into this before, and it seems counter to the nature of the Wikipedia project. Please unprotect the page so that the community, me included, can console the individual, who has had a wiki-stress blowout. He also left a message on my talk page, which I'd like to respond to on his talk page.

Or at least quote the specific policy or precedent on this issue. Thank you. The Transhumanist   05:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Note: I was the administrator responsible for protecting Qxz's page per interpretation of meta:Right to vanish. Similar measures have been taken in the past, most recently with respect to User talk:Essjay. Qxz made it quite clear[2][3] (see [4] for more) that he/she did not wish anyone to edit his/her talk page. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 05:16, 30 March 2007 (UTC) (copy of post to WP:RPP ˉˉanetode╦╩ 05:19, 30 March 2007 (UTC))
I brought this up (vaguely) at WP:VPM to no response. I am unsure of my reasoning, but I would prefer the talk page unprotected. --Iamunknown 05:31, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

For future reference, what should the policy on users requesting (or implying they want) protection of their talk page be? The Transhumanist   06:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

If they are gone there is no need to have them unprotected. We can always unprotect when they make an appearance again (like those many fake wikibreaks). Apart from that it is a kindness to protect userspace from vandalism and attacks while the target is not around to deal with it him/herself. Agathoclea 17:27, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Essay on ignoring users started

at Wikipedia:Ignore all users. Someone will have to take it further, as I don't have the time. — 11:31, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, wait, should I have put this in proposals? I checked Special:Whatlinkshere/Wikipedia:Ignore all credentials, and it came here, so I assumed this was the right place. — 11:33, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe it sums up all existing proposals thus far. — 11:36, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Let's ignore this essay. >Radiant< 13:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we need WP:IAE or Wikipedia:Ignore all essays? JulesH 07:22, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales's requested poll nearly done - please see

Jimbo Wales requested a poll to gauge community thoughts on the Wikipedia:Attribution merger. A poll for this is being crafted, and is somewhat close to done. Concensus for the past 24 hours (with the occasional dissenting voice of course) that the thing is close to done. Only the main question is still heavily debated. A pre-poll straw poll is here:


To sort that out. Accepted group concensus seems to be to pre-poll to 4/1/07 22:00 and then launch a site-wide poll (again, as implied/requested by Jimbo) at 4/2/07 00:00. Please help hash out the wording for that last quesion. - Denny 13:31, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

  • We have here 897 kilobytes worth of discussion in order to decide the wording of a poll to decide the wording of a poll that is to decide an issue we already wrote 2.6 megabyte worth of discussion on. For reference, this adds up to three times as much text as found in Homer's Iliad. Future literary historians will never be short of work. >Radiant< 13:51, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
    • "A million monkeys at a million typewriters could produce the works of Shakespeare in a million years." Now, thanks to the internet (and Wikipedia), we know this isn't true. --MECUtalk 14:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
      • I've heard that joke, before, MECU, but it's still funny. YechielMan 19:19, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Attribution/Poll

A poll collecting opinions about WP:ATT is now open at Wikipedia:Attribution/Poll ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Poll is not yet opened. -- Ned Scott 03:40, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
It was open until you and another editor closed it after more than 20 people made their opinions known. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:57, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Poll was re-opened. Pardon our dust. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:18, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

See Also

Is there an official policy regarding criteria for inclusion into the "See Also" category of an article's page? I removed some things which I felt did not belong and am wondering what the policy is. I didn't see anything in the MoS. Aaron Bowen 13:00, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a bit in Wikipedia:Guide to layout#See also. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 14:06, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use on main page?

I feel obligated to point out Wikipedia talk:Fair use exemptions#Removing exception in policy for "Main Page", because 1) it's grown rather large (50+ editors), 2) I only see it linked to on WP:AN, and 3) it's probably going to make a lot of people angry if it actually starts getting enforced. Nifboy 03:22, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Tweak to username policy

A change has been proposed at WP:U for a slight expansion of the current ban on usernames which reference "reproductive and excretory functions of the body" to include flatulence and vomiting. RJASE1 Talk 21:50, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Dispute over OR - comments sought

The blogger 'Zombie' of the blog Zombietime took photos of an antisemetic sign at a San Francisco antiwar rally on Feb 16 2003. At any given large antiwar rally, dozens of people take photos, and many such photos would no longer be on the www 4 years later. Zombie's photo gained prominence on right wing blogs. An article in the Santa Cruz Sentinal states : "In addition to the Elders of Zion protocol published in New Jersey, war protesters at a recent San Francisco peace rally were photographed displaying pictures of the devil with a dollar sign over his head standing over a globe, surrounded by the words "Zionist Pigs" and "Stop the War Pigs." and provides a link to the site of the conference. Neither the article nor the conference credit or even mention Zombietime. The conference uses a pic, that under close examination might be Zombie's or might not be. The contents of the site are copyrighted however, with no credit given to Zombie. Several editors, including Admin Slim Virgin are claiming that since Zombie's picture was prominently discussed on right wing blogs, and because they think the photo used on the conference site is zombie's that this makes it OK to use the Santa Cruz Sentinel article (which never mentions Zombietime) as a supporting ref for the article as second instance of evidence that zombie's photos have been used in the mainstream media. I say that this is speculative unsupported OR. The photo on the conference site might actually be zombies, and it might not be, but unless it credits Zombie, it's still OR to claim that it is. Admin Slim Virgin suggested that someone contact the conference to ask them if they used Zombie's pic. Wouldn't this be more OR ? Opinions sought. Thanks Link Thanks - FaAfA Aloha 21:29, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Zombie certainly claims to have taken the photo. The question is whether Zombietime is a reliable source.--Runcorn 21:59, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that Zombie may have taken the pic (although it's odd that the UC wouldn't credit him on a copyrighted site) but for the article to claim that this passage "war protesters at a recent San Francisco peace rally were photographed displaying pictures of the devil with a dollar" was referring to Zombie and only Zombie is OR. - FaAfA Aloha 22:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Trivial observation - anti-zionism ≠ anti-semitism, (though there may be a strong association of the two views). (WW is neither, though he would support transfer of a significant portion of the land presently controlled by Israel to a Palestinian state with rather better governance than the present entity. Or banging everyone in the Middle Easts heads together. Whichever). Winstonwolfe 04:10, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


I have been reading up on some various policies since I cam here to write sourced articles on biography people. So I been reading the "BLp" policy that ostensibly wants to have a goal of reducing libel. But the HUGE loophole I found is that you can have libellous comments about other people in a living person's biography.

Like for instance I could insert "<removed>" in the biography about Adam Corrolla, and it would be ok with the "BLP" policy. Can someone propose a way to close this glaring omission and loophole pleae?17:18, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't see this loophole, the policy applies to any non-sourced negative information: "Accordingly, editors must take particular care with writing and editing biographies of living persons, and biographical material anywhere on Wikipedia, with the following practice in mind..." --Golbez 17:24, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
And if your comment was a nice attempt, too bad. ;) --Golbez 17:32, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:VAND and the inability of anons to see the new messages bar

How how these two never affected one another? I mean one would expect that this would necessitate a change in the vandalism policy--VectorPotentialTalk 23:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The people who thought that up never edit as anons (anymore) --Kim Bruning 01:09, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
What? I post warnings incrementally assuming that anonymous users see the "new messages" bar. Do they not? Sancho 02:29, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I believe they do see the bar actually. (I once asked this somewhere). From looking at some comments on the Help Desk and on VPT, it seems the some anons are having problems with the bar not going away after checking messages. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 02:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Not all of them see it (for example, I just tried it on myself, and I don't see it). There is a short thread on this at the technical village pump. I don't know much about it. CMummert · talk 02:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Infoboxes and MOS

Is there anything in the MOS about the use and content of Infoboxes? If not, shouldn't there be? Frelke 08:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

There are a number of topic specific subpages of the MOS that include guidelines for infoboxes for articles about that topic, for example Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction), and Wikipedia:Dynamic infobox templates purports to be part of the MOS (although it's reachable from WP:MOS only through Category:Wikipedia style guidelines). Many infoboxes are "owned" by a specific WikiProject. Including general guidelines about infoboxes in the main MOS seems like a reasonable idea to me. Please bring this up at WT:MOS. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Policy regarding "Criticism" subheadings

(moved from talk page)

I have noticed some differences in how articles have their 'Criticism' section structured. For some, such as the Microsoft article the Criticism section contains a description of the various criticisms levied against the subject. While in other articles, such as the Amnesty International article, there is rather a 'Criticism and response' section, where each point of criticism has been given a counterpoint or refutation. Is it policy that criticism sections should, alternatively can, include response lines? And would acceptable response lines be from third parties, or preferably the organisation itself? 20:32, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Ideally, criticism should include all major points of view in order to maintain WP:NPOV, regardless of them being in a section called criticism or not. So the article for Bill Gates should include not only the criticisms of Gates, but also the response to those criticisms. The source for the response does not really matter as long as it is properly attributed. I've never been a fan of criticism/controversy sections and have argued against their inclusion in articles because it is, in my opinion, the POV equivalent of trivia sections. Criticism sections tend to become the dumping ground for every minor criticism/controversy of the article's subject and rarely include all points of view on the "criticism" and frequently fail to say why the information is a criticism or a controversy. I have yet to find a notable criticism/controversy included in a criticism/controversy section that could not be worked into the existing prose of an article, or if need be, given its own section. --Bobblehead 20:55, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
A further point is that criticism is not necessarily negative, and that positive criticism is permitted. It is only as "bad news" is considered more interesting that the term has come to be perceived as only negative review and comment. As for who the respondees should be in referencing rebuttal of various points of view; any reliable published source. Two journals in a field may come to different conclusions over a matter, so both should be quoted and cited. The article subject may also make a detailed response, and should be referenced.
As Bobblehead stated above, the major criticism of a subject should be included in the main body of text anyway.LessHeard vanU 22:41, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, that usually works a lot better than "Criticism" headers. This does depend on the subject-in some cases, such as writing about a film, "Critical response" sections are entirely appropriate. In most cases, though (people, corporations, etc.), if there are notable and sourceable criticisms, just work it into the article. "Criticism" sections are even worse than "Trivia" or "In popular culture" ones because they tend to become a dumping ground for unsourced, weasel-worded garbage, and quite often violate undue weight (in either direction, sometimes a "criticism" section at the end of the article makes the rest of it read like a puff piece). They should certainly be discouraged. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:22, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

HTML MAP element in WP

  ... but what are all those other countries???


  1. Why aren't HTML image MAP elements allowed in wikipwdia?
    1. Is that likely to change soon?
    2. Is there a workaround/alternative?
  2. How/where does one look for the answers to such questions?

Thanks. Saintrain 19:43, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, there's an alternative, using the Imagemap extension.-gadfium 20:56, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks gadfium. Looks like that will do the trick! And a lot more! --Saintrain 00:08, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

(Carried over to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Extensions, alternative, & workarounds)

Performance of Microsoft FAT 32

A comparison of Microsoft FAT32 and other filesystems can be found at:

The first column names the filesystem tested. The second column records the total time (in seconds) it took to run the filesystem benchmarking software bonnie++ (Version 1.93c). The third column records the total number of megabytes needed to store 655 megabytes of raw data.

SMALLER is better.

REISER4 (lzo) 1,938 278
REISER4 (gzip) 2,295 213
REISER4 3,462 692
EXT2 4,092 816
JFS 4,225 806
EXT4 4,408 816
EXT3 4,421 816
XFS 4,625 799
REISER3 6,178 793
FAT32 12,342 988
NTFS-3g >10,414 772

Each test was preformed 5 times and the average value recorded. SMALLER is better.

The Reiser4 filesystem clearly had the best test results.

The FAT32 filesystem had the worst test results.

The bonnie++ tests were preformed, with the following parameters:

bonnie++ -n128:128k:0

More detail on the tests can be found here:

The above site provides a script, so that you can check these results for yourself.

Where do I officially COMPLAIN?

I have the knowledge to help out, but of course, I won't help an organization that allows jerks like Strangnet AlistairMcMillan Nick Ryulong Chacor Golbez & RJASE1 to totally abuse the system.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity: How is this related to Wikipedia? Do you wish to put this somewhere? x42bn6 Talk 17:34, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, the text you removed after asking the above actually somewhat "explained" that. -- 18:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Ooh, now I get it. I just thought the multiple headings were some messed-up heading editing. x42bn6 Talk 18:55, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
And why is there a mediation template on the top of this page regarding this? x42bn6 Talk 18:57, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

For more information on this, see Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive217#Bizarre_vandal_on_Hans_Reiser, and for a reply to the material, see User talk:, and Talk:Reiser4#This_section_was_removed._WHY.3F.-gadfium 21:28, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

  • How on earth does any file system use 900+ megabytes to store 650 megs of data? >Radiant< 15:53, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
    • You use a rigged test. Namely, you store lots of small files on a large file system, which isn't a situation that FAT32 handles well. Note also that the site referenced claims that Hans Reiser's incarceration is the result of his file system's performance... Zetawoof(ζ) 04:02, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Commons media categorisation

I've posted this question to several places more relevant to images, but I haven't really gotten much feedback. I've encountered a user who has created several categories for images as analogues to categories on the Commons based on the idea that then linking those categories to the Commons makes locating images easier, even though there is far less image content on WP and so the result is many categories for a few images; they have even begun categorising Commons media that are not even used on WP (1,2,3,4) so as to populate the hierarchy of categories created (1,2). My understanding was that we were actively in the process of moving all free images to the Commons, and so it followed that if not reducing image infrastructure on WP, we shouldn't be increasing it. After an inquiry to an admin working on image categorisation that recommended that I transwiki to the Commons any images that were on WP, and which led to deletion of one of the images, this user promptly created a page for the Commons image and again categorised it on WP. According to that sort of convention, what stops us from categorising every image from the Commons by their WP description pages, thus pretty much negating the utility of separate projects? Please advise, TewfikTalk 18:18, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Notability of sports figures

Over in the talk page for Wikipedia:Notability (People) is a discussion as to what constitutes a notable football (or soccer, for us yanks) player, stemmed from the proliferance of "sunday-league" football teams here in Wikipedia. The problem is that I don't see any policy that reflects any notability standards for sports figures as a whole. This begs the questions: One, is such a policy really necessary, in the opinions of the readers here? Two, just what would constitute "notability" for sports figures? (I'd propose that, if they are on a team, that would be a rather weak figure of what's notable, so there needs to be other reasons for their placement here on WP.) Thoughts? --Dennisthe2 20:54, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

As regards reasons for WP articles on sports figures I should think that the notability of professional sportsmen is on a par with local politicians. The regular squad members of a historical team in a competitive league would equate to the members of a State Senate or City Council, in that the roles will be filled by different individuals over a period. The major characters (Captains, Presidents, Mayors) are notable as a matter of course, and some positions (leading goalscorer, VP's, Deputy Mayor/Treasurer) or other claim to fame (international player, active in some other field, etc) and simply long serving members are also notable. Those appear for a shorter period of time in whichever, but without much other notability, are perhaps only a stub. At what point a team member becomes notable in their own right will likely always be subjective (does half a season for Manchester United count as more, less or the same for a few years for a lower league club, or a Assistant Assistant to X in New York the same Vice Treasury Chairman for State of Zzzz?) LessHeard vanU 21:47, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the notability guidelines, even the main one at WP:N are important tools for helping decide the possibility that the subject of an article may not be worthy of said article. However, one should never blindly apply them to an entire category of articles and assume that "all X are notable" or "all x are not notable". Such statement may by coincidence be true (For example, all US presidents are notable, being a small set.) but it does not hold that it is always true. The best way to decide if the subject of an article is notable enough to avoid deletion is to determine if enough source material exists to write an encyclopedia article from That is all that WP:N and all of the derivative guidelines are about. For example, it is hard to establish that a U.S. Army seargant should be notable on face value, at any given time there are thousands, and few have any extensive source material about their lives to draw from. However, no one should be able to claim that Alvin York is not notable. We could imagine, based on other similar guidelines, that someone could create a guideline named Notability (military personal), where it said something like "Military personel who have a rank lower than Colonel (or the equivalent) are generally not notable." That, however, does not make Alvin York a deletable article. Likewise, while we could note that "Sunday League" players are not inherently notable, if extensive reliable source material could be found on one, then there is no reason an article could not be written. So, if you want to know if it is appropriate to write an article about a Sunday League player; if you are sitting down looking at a book-length biography of one that has been published by a reputable publishing house, then probably yes. If its a buddy of yours who plays for a local team to keep in shape, then probably no. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 17:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion to alter a speedy deletion criterion

Please see WT:CSD#Alerting criterion R2 if you have any input on the matter; thank you. GracenotesT § 15:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Too many policies

If you agree that Wikipedia has too many policies, list your suggestions for merging them on Wikipedia:Overlapping policies and guidelines. >Radiant< 14:58, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Too bad April 1st has already come and gone, otherwise I'd suggest we draw up a policy regarding this. ;) EVula // talk // // 15:02, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

National Library References

Wikipedia is a digital encyclopedia that is composed of multi-authored articles on a great variety of topics.

To write quality articles, one needs reliable resources. Since Wikipedia is an online project, the preference naturally goes out to resources one can check online.

National libraries store quality resources that have been selected and categorized by people who know best how to do this: national librarians.

It is also the librarians who know best what is stored in their libraries. For this reason, it makes sense for them to help authors and readers to find their way to the resources that fit their needs.

However, the guidelines of Wikipedia indicate that people who refer to the resources they (or organizations they represent) store automatically have a conflict of interest.

In short, librarians who refer to resources stored in their libraries have a conflict of interest, and are thus breaking the rules of Wikipedia.

Furthermore, a person or organization who repeatedly adds external links could well be a spammer. (Against current developments, this is an understandable assumption.)

Indeed, this happened in my case. I have been busy adding external links to national library resources, and this led to some disturbance among editors and a blacklisting of the site I was referring to: The European Library. This webservice has also been chosen by the European Commission as technical and organizational foundation for their proposed European Digital Library.

I would like to know how you feel about the following:

1. Wikipedia’s quality would go up if it accepts references from national librarians. Organized library references need to be considered added value, not spam (NB: Several editors have suggested that references are more appropriate than external links.)

2. The references could go either to the “library record” of the cited resource (if applicable showing possibility to view the full resource online) or to more online information (image / short description) when the article is about a so-called ‘treasure’ of a national library. In the latter case, this includes a picture reference.

3. Keeping in mind that The European Library gives centralized and direct access to Europe’s national library resources, representatives of this organization should be allowed to add references to the articles.

4. If needed, we can create a template for making national library references (making further editing unnecessary).

Thanks.Fleurstigter 14:26, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


A librarian would have a conflict of interest about the institution they work for but I don't see a conflict over the data they have in there collection (in general, there could be specific cases if the collection is biased). Having someone find a reference for you does not conflict the reference so if the librarian finds a book for you this should not be a problem for you.RJFJR 19:27, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree. They may have a COI over their workplace but not over the content in it. For one thing, COI is a guideline, it has exceptions. For example, would you say that a resident of the USA shouldn't edit the United States article? Also, COI mainly applies to writing about organizations/people who pay you, self-promotion, or campaigning. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 19:36, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the larger issue here seems to be the spam blacklisting of the site. What we have here is the unilateral action of a small number of admins that has negatively affected the ability of wikipedia editors to accurately write and reference articles. The content of the site in question is academic in nature and should be availible for use. Yet, what we have here is the example of a punitive action by admins... What they have said was "the site was spammed (added to wikipedia articles by employees of the organization) and thus the entire site is blacklist. What they are saying is: We are punishing the EU libraries website because its employees are acting in a way that we don't agree with. Spam blacklisting, like all admin actions that block or otherwise restrict access at wikipedia, should NOT be about punishing, it should be about damage control. I can understand blacklisting a site with no academic content, where such a blacklisting serves to stop the addition of said site to articles; such a blacklisting is not punitive in nature, it is pragmatic. However, we are not dealing with a commercial website here. If the librarians in question are acting in contravention to wikipedia policy, they should be adequately warned, and maybe blocked. But to declare that the site is blacklisted is a punitive measure against the organization in question, saying "We will punish you by not allowing your website at wikipedia". This is cutting of our own noses to spite our faces. The fact that such action can be taken without regard to consensus, and based on the unilateral action of a small number of admins, is a flaw in the spam blacklisting process. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 19:51, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
If it is on the spam blacklist it needs to be talked over at m:Talk:Spam blacklist. There is likely a reason for it, and I'm sure someone there will look it up for you :). I will say it was not blacklisted using en.wikipedia admin tools. —— Eagle101 Need help? 20:15, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I've edited your link to the talk page to fix a minor typo. Adam Cuerden talk 20:45, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

OK, I promised Fleur to wait for some time before I would give my PoV in this case, but I see some answers now, which IMHO slightly misform the situation. This is what happened. I saw Fleurstigter (and 2 IP's) adding links to the external links sections of several sites. Per WP:SPAM:

Adding external links to an article or user page for the purpose of promoting a website or a product is not allowed, and is considered to be spam. Although the specific links may be allowed under some circumstances, repeatedly adding links will in most cases result in all of them being removed.

I reverted those and added a warning and an explanation to the user talk page of Fleurstigter (diff of two edits). Fleurstigter emailed me from an email address connected to '' (Dutch Royal Library, Koninklijke Bibliotheek). I also informed her that she had a COI (the other point is technical; the site only works in a couple of browsers, and most of the links were not really directly pertaining to the subject).

At this point Fleurstigter went on, and another user also warned her that what she was doing was spamming (diff). The links were still only added to the external links sections, while the user was repeatedly informed that when the links were used as references, they could be allowed, when taking the policy WP:A in account (this specifically does state things about COI:


You may cite your own publications just as you would cite anyone else's, but make sure your material is relevant and that you are regarded as a reliable source for the purposes of Wikipedia. Be cautious about excessive citation of your own work, which may be seen as promotional or a conflict of interest; when in doubt, check on the talk page.

So yes, one can cite works one owns (with caution), but IMHO, adding only links to an organisation that one is affiliated with to external link sections is not improving the wikipedia, I regard that as pushing the links in order to advertise or improve the interest of the organisation.

Since after several discussions the additions continued, and additions were mainly performed by IPs and people connected to the European Library, the link was blacklisted on user:shadowbot (note1: this does not affect referencing, shadowbot should not revert when a link is in a reference, only when it is added as a plain link to a document, and reverting shadowbot does not result in another revert; note2: the link is not blacklisted on meta, and that has also never been considered). I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:47, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Note: The site has already been removed again from the shadowbots blacklist. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:52, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


Thank you all for your reactions.

If I understand correctly, we agree that references of The European Library add value to Wikipedia, and that representatives of The European Library are allowed - encouraged maybe - to add them.

Please note, I am using the term 'references' NOT external links

Have a nice afternoon. Thank you.Fleurstigter 13:17, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Not so fast! You have set up a number of new articles that are not at all encyclopedic in tone, very badly written, and show a complete disregard for WP style and conventions - examples are: Van Hulthem (manuscript), Gospel Book (Ethnike Bibliotheke tes Hellados, Codex 2603),Khitrovo Gospel, Brussels Coin Cabinet, Oktoikh - and plenty more. These are blatently just pegs to hang your links on (the links have now been removed). In some cases (like the last) other articles on exactly the same subjects/books existed, but you did not bother to check. Some of your links added as references to existing articles are equally cavalier. You should realize that articles like this serve little purpose - very few will see them. Nor do they add value to WP. From your user page, and almost all your contributions, it is fairly clear that your only interest in WP is in promoting the European Library, and apparently you are editing WP in your working hours as part of your job. I don't think this helps either WP or the European Library, at least when done as crudely as you have been doing it. I've said elsewhere that it is far preferable to block you (and your colleagues if need be) as editors rather than the European Libraries site - we do this frequently to badly-behaved American high-schools. Just putting your links in as references does not in itself change the situation if you add them in the fashion you have been doing. Also I'm sure that in some cases the better link would direct be to the member institution - British Library etc - rather than through the EL. Just being a reference does not stop a link being spam. Johnbod 18:31, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello again. I am sorry for giving you the wrong impression. Yes, I started a number of new articles - why? Because I felt these topics are important, and deserved their own articles. I did check. At that time I didn't find other articles.

Earlier I didn't know anything about Wikipedia or how things work here. Now I do. For instance, I understand now that one should not create an article because you think the topic is interesting, and you hope other people agree and help creating a proper article.

Have a nice evening, Fleurstigter 19:23, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, I think this decision is a bit fast, Fleur. I would like to see this subject to be expanded a bit more, since I feel that certain points have not yet been fully addressed. For example, I don't think the subject of the conflict of interest is fully addressed here, or defining the mass additions of links as spam, regardless of the quality or the appropriateness of the page being linked to.
Concerning this, indeed, if a librarian would go into his/her library, grab a book, and add and cite information out of that book into the wikipedia, that person would not have a conflict of interest. Things change when one has that copy available online, and one would, in the reference to the cited work on the page on wikipedia, add a link to that specific online copy. I believe that at that point one does have a conflict of interest. Also, if the link is to a non-unique resource (many libraries have copies of a certain book, though there are some that are unique); is it then appropriate to link to a copy you own (or even, is it appropriate to add such convenience links; I believe this is not covered in a policy or guideline)? And even if the target of the link is appropriate and good, mass-addition of such links is spam, certainly if the person who adds it has an interest in the target of the links. Hope to hear more about this. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:45, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
While I agree the articles Fleur wrote were not very good the way they were written, I'd like to stress very strongly that to create articles on topics like these (individual notable historic manuscripts) is a very worthwhile thing to do in principle, and I will warmly welcome Fleur as a Wikipedia editor if she wants to contribute in this field. We have a Wikipedia:Systemic bias in Wikipedia that works against such topics, and there's a huge amount of room for improvement of coverage here. And if we can get well-written articles on interesting manuscripts, then I would not worry too much about "spamming" - what could be more relevant in an article about a book, than a link to the library that holds the book, with a page describing the book? The external pages I saw were certainly informative and link-worthy, and the mere fact that a single editor might add a lot of those links wouldn't constitute a problem for me. Fut.Perf. 23:46, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I certainly concur that articles are welcome. And of course members of libraries are welcome to help us with first hand information on data that they have, providing they edit with a WP:NPOV. But that indeed means content with references, not only references because we have the information that is mentioned in the wikipedia. And when the library has a unique copy of a book, that is certainly worth a link, no doubt. I will leave it at this, and hope that a lot of new information will be included in the wikipedia. Hope to see you around! --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:07, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
If Fleur does want to actually contribute, she should start by wikifying the articles she has already started up to the level of a reasonable stub - with links, dates, categories and encyclopedic language. There are plenty of stubs in Category:Illuminated manuscripts she can see the style & terms from. Johnbod 01:59, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

>>> Hello everybody,

About making references/links, and the things Dirk Beetstra said about this, for instance:

"(..) content with references, not only references because we have the information that is mentioned in the wikipedia"

Why? If you agree that national librarians know good, quality references, why complicate their work and only allow content with references? Isn't a good thing that they are willing to step outside their libraries and tell people where they may find good , reliable info about a particular topic?

The European Library gives access to Europe's national libraries. If the particular item is not online available, this portal tells you where you it is stored. This means that a reference to a library record of The European Library tells you which library/libraries in Europe have it. So.... doesn't this umbrella characteristic make The European Library a great Wikipedia referent?

Greetings, Fleurstigter 13:30, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

No, it doesn't. Wikipedia is primarily about having information on line on this site, not about telling you that a hardcopy book is available in the Lithuanian National Library, which you could probably have worked out anyway. We have very few links of this sort to American libraries, which are more relevant to most of our users. We also have rules and policies about how and where information is presented, just as your National Libraries do. If you want to edit here, you need to respect those. Wikipedia is not generally a place for telling people where to find copies of a book, although it is about naming books that are used as references.Johnbod 14:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Johnbod raises an important point: why do you need to link to this source? If I made a similar link to a US library -- my hometown central public library, the Library of Congress or an institution somewhere in between -- at most the only thing this link would supply is the ISBN number of the book. If that is important, we should just add that number to the article & forget about the external link. Now, if it the case that the link leads to an image or article about the subject at the Library ... you need to explictly tell us that is the case. -- llywrch 18:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You like references to online items that are made available by the libraries, but you don't appreciate references to the bibliographic record? Is this what you mean? Fleurstigter 14:22, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand your question. How is a ISBN, a Library of Congress, or British Library number not the same as "the bibliographic record"? -- llywrch 18:51, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
it's what I mean, and I suspect Llywrch too. I am in favour of links to Illuminated manuscripts and (very) rare printed books featured, as opposed to just catalogued, online, where they are in articles written in WP style, and where are no better sources around. Often they are the only images available, and the ones on the site are too low resolution to be useful for Commons, in my view. It's an unfortunate by-product of Fleur's spamming that many such links that have been around for two years have now been removed after the site was blacklisted, so there are currently fewer links to the site than when she started. But later printed books do not need a reference to the site: WP is not a compendium of library catalogues.

Johnbod 14:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Johnbod, just as a remark, I have been working from the the contributions-list from Fleurstigter and the two IP-addresses that were adding ('spamming') the links to pages; there have not been that many links to the European Library as yet (the site is relatively new). I have only removed the links from pages where these accounts added links (which is generally the strategy I use when a domain gets spammed, only for bad links I work from the linksearch-page). I must confess that it may have been that links that were there before one of these accounts added another one has also been removed, but I do not recall removing links from other pages.
As a general note, I do not have a big problem with librarians pulling a very rare book out of their collection, and improving a wikipedia article with the information they pull out of that book. If that book is the only copy available online I would not have a big problem with a link to that book (though it is not a must, and of course it should be a reference with focus on the book, not on the link). When more (or many) libraries have the book available (even if there is only one library that has the book available online), I would advise to use an ISBN, a plain description of the book (even without a link), or a general link to a independent linkfarm. Hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:44, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
There were a number of East European manuscripts added in mid-2005 by User:CristianChirita who just cut and pasted the info from the Treasures section of the EL site. I think all these links were removed after the recent black-listing. See Codex Vyssegradensis for an example - link removed by ST47. I don't approve of those articles either, not least because I have ended cleaning up several of them, like that one (compare the original version). But if they are there the the link to the image should be too (I have restored this one, but I can't remember the others). Maybe there aren't all that many. He removed (march 3) a number of other links too, but mostly not from articles on specific books. I'm all for more articles on important manuscripts, but they should be in WP style, not just cut & paste, and if possible with an image. Johnbod 17:14, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Wow, another high-throughput editor, but I found the mentioned set of link-removals. I had a quick look, though did not look into all the link removals (I will look later this evening). The link removal you mentioned above was actually the removal of a reference. That removal was reverted, and indeed, it was there a proper reference, the text linked to does state the same as what is mentioned in the wikipedia document (though the wording of the reference could be better).
From the contributions of ST47, the first page I clicked (Orhan Pamuk removal diff) contained a link to the homepage of the European Library, which indeed does not comply with the guidelines on external links. The second (on Latvia, removal diff) removed three links, one is to a general searchpage, one to a document on an artist from Latvia (the country being the subject of the page, not the artist), and the third a link to the address of the latvian library on the site of the European Library. None of these three links are directly linked to the subject of the page, or violate other parts of WP:EL. I do concur with the removal here, these links really don't expand or improve the page. I will look through the rest of the diffs later.
With me the following question starts to come up. There have been (or are) several links to the European Library on pages, which did not link directly to the document where one can find the information, but which link to searchpages or collection pages where one has to search on the page for more information. Does the site of the European Library not allow to directly link to the appropriate documents? If that is the case, then there are certainly better sites to link to. Hope to hear more. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes there often will be better sites, as I have said above or somewhere, certainly for the big Western European libraries. But for the East European ones the EL site Treasures section is still a good reference for important MS not covered elsewhere. I have spent a little time rooting around the EL site without finding much else of WP interest, except links to the British Library, BnF Paris, Royal Dutch sites etc, which are well known & best linked to directly. Each library adds its own bits, so apart from the Treasures section there seems little consistency so far. Early days perhaps. I don't argue with the removal of links to search pages etc. Johnbod 18:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I have checked the other removals, and in most cases the links are only sideways linked to the site, or again, general or search pages. I also checked the 13 occurances of * in mainspace at this moment. A couple of them are references (Alonzo de Santa Cruz, , Codex Vyssegradensis, İbrahim Hakkı Erzurumi) telling the information that is stated in the sentence (though in these cases I had to flip back and forth to see which item I needed, as I stated above, the description could be better, etc.). The others are all external links. On the pages European Library, German National Library (an internal link to European Library would suffice) and library (linkfarm) . On Biblia Pauperum, Velislai biblia picta, Oktoikh, Rosarium philosophorum, and Penny Dreadful the links are mainly to the item under discussion or an item similar or closely related to the item under discussion (for some I have to see the link first to understand it is indeed appropriate). Not all really very informative, and still, but that is a technical shortcoming of the site, there are more items on one page, and one does not get a link directly to only the required information, which is a bit confusing (certainly when the information is not directly linked to the subject one is browsing from).
I hope indeed that this is a problem of 'early days' (as with browser compatibility, which is being worked on), and that things will improve. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for sharing your views.

The European Library can directly link / refer to the subject of the page. Soon you can also find direct referrals to specific treasures (making it no longer necessary to scroll down).

What do other editors think?

Have a nice day, Fleurstigter 11:54, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

>>> Another thing...

Say an editor refers to a rare book that has not been digitised. Is it not great that one link tells you whether or not you can find a copy / original in your country?! Why build in a hurdle, and only mention the ISBN? Why not guide those with a specific interest in the specific title to the place where they can find it (and examine it without costs)? In the same way - isn't great that a researcher from the US can find out where a particular European treasure is this person knows where to go if he/she wants to take a look at it.

On the 'about us' page of The European Library, it is explained that "A national library is the library specifically established by a country to store its information database. National libraries usually host the legal deposit and the bibliographic control centre of a nation." Fleurstigter 08:40, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Because for most books, there are more places where it is stored, when you provide a linksearch via the ISBN, people have a choice, and not the editors bias. Moreover, if the book is available in 3 libraries over the world (of which one in the European library), the reader might want to find the closest copy, not only the one in the Romanian national library. If it is the only copy, the story changes, then a direct link is perfectly fine. By the way, why not link to the copy on the homepage of the library itself, i.s.o. using the 'hurdle' of the European Library? Hope this helps. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Dirk. The European Library combines the resources of the national libraries. As a result, it can tell you everything about the availability of a resource across Europe. It tells you if the resource is available at the library you selected, or another European library. Furthermore it also offers information via the 'all countries' option: (internet) locations where you can find out more about the item, for instance wikipedia! So a reference from The European Library is not a hurdle - on the contrary! To use your words: it gives people a choice :-)

To be clear - I like to refer to unique European resources, not "regular" titles (stuff you can't find just anywhere) Fleurstigter 09:11, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


The general WP:Notability guideline has had a major overhaul after failing a consensus straw poll. An editor has been WP:BOLD and removed the disputed and discussion tags after a stable version has apparently been generated. The true test of WP:Consensus is whether it is maintained when exposed to a wider audience. So please have a look at the new version. Your input is welcome at WT:N, but please bring any new ideas to this talk page first, and also review the extensive discussion there. Remember that guidelines on WP should reflect the consensus opinion of the community at large, which may differ from your preferred vision. Dhaluza 01:08, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

What is the policy on signing talk page comments?

I recently say a signing that was this:

-I - amazingly - am not playing Tardis Tennis at the moment. 4 July 2005 11:11 (UTC)

The text nor the link had anything to do with anything the discussion was about and the user had this same signature for multiple posts. What is the policy for this and would be it appropriate to edit the users signature? Thanks,-Dacium 02:57, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

This user hasn't edited in roughly 18 months. If the user were actively editing I'd suggest asking him/her to change the signature (external links are not allowed in signatures, per Wikipedia:Signatures). Editing a signature in a comment made over a year ago seems not exactly necessary, but if it really bothers you for some reason I'd say go right ahead. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I used this one as an example because I sort of know the user is no longer active. However I have seen many signatures that are very similair (have long sentences and external links, is there a policy for this?--Dacium 04:02, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest you read the guideline, as Wikipedia:Signatures#Length and Wikipedia:Signatures#External links answer both your questions. EVula // talk // // 14:46, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks thats what i was looking for.. dont know why i didnt try WP:SIG doh :-(--Dacium 04:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Blocking Tor proxies and censorship in China

The blocking of Tor proxies can collude with Internet censorship by the Chinese government. Please have a look at this discussion on the blocking of Tor proxies: Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy#Softblock for Tor proxies. —Babelfisch 07:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Infoboxneeded Template

There has been some question if the {{Infoboxneeded}} template should be placed on the talk page or on the article itself, on the top of the page. I think it is a no-brainer: when it is on the talk page, no one sees it! Point: I added "infobox needed" to several articles and they got updated. I have also watched these exact same articles that have "infoboxneeded" on the talk page, and they do NOT get updated. Check out any of the North Dakota counties articles. I added "infoboxneeded" to the article and they were changed within a week, but the infoboxneeded banners on the talk page (placed weeks before I added the infoboxneeded banners to the article) are still there. What does this mean? It means that placing the banner on the article gets results; placing the banner on the talk page DOES NOT. I'm hoping we can reach a consensus on where infoboxneeded should be placed. Discuss here or (better) on the infoboxneeded talk page.

Currently the infoboxneeded template states that the banner should, indeed, be placed on the article. I cannot see where there is official policy on something like this, but it seems clear that to help articles get better, the template belongs on the article. Please comment here or on the infoboxneeded talk page. — Timneu22 00:22, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

9 times out of 10 cleanup tags usually go on the article itself. Plus when it's on the talk page, it takes an unnecessary extra edit edit, and sometimes will stay on when an editor adds an infobox without knowing there's a tag on the talk page. --YbborTalkSurvey! 02:10, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Agreed... Timneu22 10:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (pornographic actors)

Why should we have special guidelines to lower the bar for porn actors etc.? Is disrobing and copulating really a valid rationale for easier inclusion at Wikipedia? Please evaluate these standards: Wikipedia:Notability (pornographic actors), and join the discussion. --Kevin Murray 18:34, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually I believe those special guidelines are there to raise the bar for pornographic actors, not lower it. Given that the notability guidelines in Wikipedia:Notability (people) for general entertainers include "Have appeared in well-known films, stage plays, television, and other productions." Mere appearance in a pornographic film (even a "well-known" one) would be appear to be insufficient under the Wikipedia:Notability (pornographic actors) guidelines. --Stormie 04:35, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

If anything, the bar should be raised. These people have careers that are at best ephemeral -- and there are a lot of them. Maybe the most major of performers are notable, but not the typical ones. Notability implies interest to people besides genre devotees. Yakuman (数え役満) 10:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

(to be a devil's advocate) For the very reasons Yakuman raised, I believe that indicates notability per WP:PAPER. As long as someone cares about it and there is a claim to fame of even a small degree, then it'd be tough to argue. Take a look at a Wikiproject and browse it's low-importance articles: you'll see plenty of items that few will care for. ...I'm sure the Physics and Chemistry Wikiprojects are rife with them. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 11:42, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Responding to suicidal individuals

As per WP:HCP I would like to propose the following new policy: Wikipedia:Responding to suicidal individuals. This proposal has been extensively discussed here, and that discussion is also reproduced and has been expanded upon at the talk page for the proposed policy. In a nutshell the policy is “Wikipedia is not a counseling service. Respond to suicidal individuals by pointing them towards one of the listed crisis lines/websites. Do not ridicule or make personal attacks on suicidal editors.” Please edit or comment upon this proposed policy. Thank you. S.dedalus 22:34, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Naming conventions for baseball players

Please take the time to review and contribute to the discussion regarding naming conventions & disambiguation for baseball player articles going on here. Thanks, Caknuck 20:53, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposed guideline: Wikipedia is timeless

I have proposed a guideline at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is timeless. Should I announce it anywhere else? --NE2 05:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

well, for one thing, it isn't. Some topics are included because they are recent, which is equivalent to saying that some aren't because they are not. I would phrase this as an effort to "counter temporal bias", not as a statement of intent to weed out recentisms. We can't help it that Wikipedia as it is was written in the 2000s. dab (𒁳) 12:44, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you implying that we shouldn't have an article on a similar "scandal" from 50 years ago, if sources exist? My intent is not to "weed out recentisms" but to ensure that older stuff is not deleted just because it's old. --NE2 02:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
This looks a lot like: Wikipedia:Notability#Notability_is_generally_permanent. There has been next to no discussion about this portion of the guideline, however. There was a bit of discussion of that phrase's use at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Ashley_Leitao, but not much. It will be interesting to see how discussion on this goes. Sancho 12:52, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Notability only deals with the existence of articles; this also covers inclusion of information in articles. --NE2 02:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Username RFC archiving proposal

The current regime of WP:RFCN, which uses edit history's archived revision as archive of closed discussions, creates a lots of confusion. I propose that the archiving of RFCN to use the same method as we do in WP:AFD and WP:MFD, to put archives directly on subpages rather than in edit history. Wooyi 15:33, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

A similar proposal was made at WT:RFCN -- see here. User:Wooyi is aware of the other discussion. Flyguy649talkcontribs 19:08, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

3 Strikes and you're out.

I might be new here, but even I can realize that there is something wrong with something like this for eg: That particular example is a obvious and typical "vandal" that will not change his way all of a sudden and decide to become a happy cheerful person that will want to contribute to "wikipedia". As a matter of fact that particular user has vandalized over 100 times and has been doing so for about 3 years and all he gets is please stop..... wikipedia is very serious.... u have been a notty boy??!?!PLEASE.... I suggest (AND I am sure it has been suggest 69million times before but) after an annonymous user makes 3 random vandalisms and gives no response to anyone (so therefore ignored the comments given to stop vandalizing and keeps on doing it) that person should be blocked perminatelly. If anything, that person (after his life changes?) decided to not vandalize anymore, he should write something along the lines of im so sorry blahblahblah (Would a vandal really be bothered to go through that? I mean do they really have no lives?) Give me you're opinions. (Please dont tell me I posted in the wrong spot lol)ps if this has been suggested recently please show me where, so i can add my support. Cya. petze 14:37, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not indefinitely block IP addresses. x42bn6 Talk 14:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC) (talk · contribs) was actually blocked for six months back in January, the most recent of several blocks.[5] Most of the "please stop" warnings are actually automated bot notices. You can't assume that an IP will always represent the same user. Many persistently vandalizing IPs are actually school computers rather than private individuals. But yes, repeat vandalism over time from the same source justifies lengthier blocks. Postdlf 14:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Usually, an IP that's repeatedly problematic is blocked for quite a while (and open proxies are indef blocked, before someone asks "Why is IP suchandsuch blocked indef then?"). However, a lot of IPs are either shared between multiple users, or regularly change hands. If we block an IP indef today, it may be getting used by someone who wants to contribute constructively tomorrow. In the case of schools and such, if nothing else, the kid doing it is eventually going to get bored of doing it after getting a few months' block, or finish school. (Or get kicked out of it, if they act at school anything like they do here...). That's why we don't indefblock IP's. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:00, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I guess that makes sence then....then again though, if my ip was blocked for example (if my ip was shared and someone was vandalizing with the same IP as me) i would probably make contact with an administrator to get the situation cleared out? But then again if you were not given the option to edit automatically, that might deter people from starting to contribute all together. Thanks for all of the responses. It deff cleared things up for me. petze 15:26, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Just because a vandal is using a shared address, doesn't mean that they are unidentifiable, as the majority of organisations using shared computers require a login and have audit trails which allows abusers to be traced. If you use a whois lookup it will often have an email address for abuse reporting, if you let them know the date and time they will be able to take action. I am doing just this on one such article at the moment. John 21:04, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Is it a vote or not?

In the Fenian Swine RFCN, much noise was made over a comment made by the user in question under the username Swenian Fine. But, let's examine this. He didn't hide the fact that he was the same person, no-one would seriously have even mistakenly believed it. So, in essence, his only sin was voting twice. Now, we're allowed to comment as many times as we want, yet somehow, despite that it's not a vote, magically we're each allowed one and only one comment which begins with a summary of the direction of the argument in boldface. I propose vacating the supposed policy (i haven't seen where it's stated, so i don't even know if it's a real policy) against voting multiple times, on the grounds that it does not apply anyway since we do not vote. --Random832 19:12, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Repeatedly voting in an attempt to throw the discussion in your favour is forbidden for the same reason that canvassing all your friends to come pile on "me-too"s of your position is: it is not good-faith editing, as it does not seek consensus and amicable resolution but rather tries to accomplish a victory by tenacity and force of opinion. In cases where the sockpuppetry isn't so obvious it's also quite deceptive.
It is not in spite of but rather because of our discussions not being votes that attempting to "stuff the ballot box" with your opinion is so frowned upon. If it were a vote then we wouldn't care half so much, because canvassing would be easily counterable by canvassing in the opposite direction and the more canvassing was done the better the end result would reflect the opinions of the community as a whole. But our discussions aren't votes, so it just disrupts the debate because it's the equivalent of trying to get your point across by loudly shouting the same points over and over. --tjstrf talk 22:44, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Courtesy titles - The Honourable

I've had the courtesy title, "The Honourable", removed from the body text of an article about the daughter of a Viscount when used for the first time (is that referred to as inline?). Having taken some time to read up on it, I don’t understand WP's policy on this, which is -

1. Styles and honorifics which are derived from noble title, including The Most Noble, The Most Honourable, The Right Honourable, and The Honourable, should not be included in the text inline but may be legitimately discussed in the article proper.


when contrasted with social convention -

The younger sons of earls, along with the sons and daughters of Viscounts and Barons are granted the courtesy title of "The Honourable" before their name. This is usually abbreviated to "The Hon.".



The style The Honourable is always written on envelopes (where it is usually abbreviated to The Hon), and formally elsewhere, in which case the style Mr or Esq. is omitted.


6. Courtesy titles (also referred to as an honorific prefix)² such as Lord or Lady differ from full titles because unlike full titles they are included as part of the personal name, often from birth.


Please can someone explain the WP policy and point me towards the relevant discussion that lead to it ? Thanks John 17:38, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia generally follows press reporting form, as seen in the AP Style Manual,

rather than diplomatic form, which is too bulky for general use. --John Nagle 04:22, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your response John :-). In respect of a first mention within an encyclopedia, though, I think WP policy is wrong, because a matter of style has suppressed a matter of fact. As the articles stands now, it is up to the individual reader to derive the full title from the parents title and this only if they know the rules for succession of titles.
It sounds as if this has already been the subject of discussion, which I can't locate, so I'd be grateful for any onward pointers. Thanks - John 11:17, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
There has been a discussion on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies). Sam Blacketer 11:39, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The honorific can be mentioned in the body of the article, just not in the first line. The reason for omission is largely because in many countries "The Honourable" is used as a prefix denoting various offices (such as judges, government ministers etc) and allowing an exception would lead to honorifics springing up all over the place, which would complicate matters and be generally undesirable. It was therefore decided to omit them all from article first lines. -- Necrothesp 12:47, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks ! :-) John 16:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Policy for reversion comments?

It there a policy on an edit comment for a reversion? Some particular users always blank there edit comment completely whenever they revert something, which seems to hide the fact it is actually just a reversion. They give no comment at all. I know comments seem to be optional but recommended, but actually deleteing the standard reversion comment??--Dacium 05:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

  • It's "not very nice" but not really against policy (other than that being nice is policy). If it seems deliberate obfuscation, I suggest getting an outsider to the situation to comment on it, e.g. via WP:3O >Radiant< 11:51, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
There are also ways of reverting without using a system that automatically generates text; simply editing a previous edit of an article. It may be that this is the method you are noting.
If there is no apparent reason (such as vandalism, patent nonsense) for a reversion I feel quite free to revert the revision with a note to the effect of "undo previous revert - no reason given". This usually spurs the reverter to giving their reasons when they revert again. If no reason is given for a subsequent revert I then ask a question on their talkpage (I have only had to do this once). As long as things are conducted according to WP:Civil it is usually quickly sorted out. I also often look at the talkpage to see if the reverter has already made comments there, or if they are reverting persuant to a discussion.LessHeard vanU 12:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Why Exactly Do We Use [citation needed]?

I'm becoming increasingly dismayed at the number of times I see [citation needed] and related templates in many of Wikipedia's articles. I come here for an authoritative source on a wealth of information. A well written, feature worthy article without good sources is useless garbage. I know accuracy isn't always going to be 100%, but I know it's going to be very good. I also know that alot of people are working hard to maintain such a level of excellence. The majority of articles are decently written and sourced well.

However, why is it that unverified, unsourced information should be allowed to sit around? It undermines not only the rest of the article but also a user's trust in Wikipedia in general. WP:V says "Be careful not to go too far on the side of not upsetting editors by leaving unsourced information in articles for too long", but I'm seeing time and time again that unsourced information (be they bits, sections, or entire articles) sometimes just sits around for whatever reason. Surely I can't be the only person who believes that unsourced information should always be swiftly removed and only be put back in after a source is found. Removing unsourced information upsets people and sometimes generally descends into internet shenanigans, but isn't it more important to have accurate sourced articles not peppered with "Random statement [citation needed]"? Isn't anyone else sick of [citation needed] et al? -- 08:39, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Because quite often there is no particular reason to doubt a statement's accuracy, but it does need and presumably has a citation. By putting the flag out, we can hopefully find someone who knows where confirmation can be found.
For instance, I read in a TV show related article recently that the voice-acting director changed halfway through the second season. I have no reason to think the editor was lying, it seems plausible enough and the people mentioned are all real, so I'm not worried that statement spreading disinformation. It doesn't merit removal to the talk page or deletion from the page, but it really does need a source to be given. So I mark it with {{citation needed}}, and wait to see if someone else knows where that information is from. (It doesn't disrupt my reading either, but that's probably because I'm used to it.) --tjstrf talk 08:52, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Dear, I think you are totally right. I think it should be a policy that any statement left standing with a "citation" tag for more than 14 days should be deleted summarily. Any article without sources should be deleted 10 days as such. Wikipedia is having enough problems as it is without these vandals and malcontents allowed to destory sourced information sources. Thanks, Gatorphat 17:16, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

This would lead to slow motion vandalism; tagging normally cannot be regarded as vandalism, and the reality is most fact tags don't get sorted in anything like 10 days. Vandals would be able to scatter tags freely, and wait for the almost inevitable result. I would say that fewer than 50% of the ones in articles I watch end up with the statement being significantly changed. There is currently one on Icon, for example, on "... Islam, severely limit(s) the use of visual representations[citation needed]." The comments of the placer, User:LoveMonkey on the talk page around the subject are also interesting. Johnbod 17:26, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Gatorphat, I'm not sure where you got that 14 days thing, but what I do is remove any citation that seems wholly unfounded and leave any that I think is probably correct but just needs a citation. Editor judgment, I guess. --Iamunknown 22:24, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
In controversial articles, indiscriminate scattering of {{fact}} tags often is used to push a POV or waste other people's time. For this reason I think the policy that Gatorphat proposes is unwise. Raymond Arritt 22:35, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I would tend to disagree (although I guess it would depend on how they're used, as well). Usually, I'll use {{fact}} to indicate that a statement which is relatively harmless (not a BLP concern, etc.) is plausible but unconfirmed and I can't find anything reliable to confirm it. I also will use it on statements that look like they may be personal knowledge or synthesis. There's also {{who}} for unattributed statements with weasel wording ("Some critics state..." "Many people argue..." "Others believe..." and the like). In most of these cases, while the tagged statements are relatively innocuous, they're also potentially incorrect, and probably should be removed if they remain unattributed for too long. There is nothing wrong with cutting (I'm not sure what the general resistance to that is, it's a normal and beneficial part of the editorial process), and unsourced material and synthesis is a fine place to start. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:48, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Oooo, I didn't know about {{who}}. Unsourced BLP pruning is, in my book, an absolute must. --Iamunknown 05:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, if it's BLP, it shouldn't be tagged, it should be removed the moment you see it, not moved to the talk page, etc. This more concerns statements that are relatively harmless and plausible, but are unsourced. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict - original response to Gatorphat, but responds to comments above also) The most legitimate use is where a statement or fact is made, and the rest of the section includes cited references of the discussion or consequences of that statement/fact. Removing the tagged statement statement as no author has managed to find a good reference after a set number of days would not serve the article or WP. An example may be Ghandi; if his assassination were tagged (everyone knows he was murdered, but we need a cite for the date and place) and then removed after X days the rest of the section dealing with the consequences for the region, all with good sources well referenced, suddenly becomes unintelligible. The cite request needs to stay for as long as there is no third party source for the time, date, place and manner of the death.
Another problem with removing uncited statements within X days of the placing of a tag is that the smaller articles and projects are disadvantaged. An article watched by numerous editors will be resolved a lot quicker than one which is not watched (at least by anybody with access to the information required), although both are legitimate articles. LessHeard vanU 23:02, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I guess I'm failing to see the "disadvantage". Sourcing isn't a nicety, it's a requirement. "Don't write unsourced material" applies equally to a project with one member as it does to one with one thousand. Now, of course, if the statement is relatively harmless and plausible (not a BLP concern, obvious editorial, totally implausible statement, etc.), people certainly should look for a source before removing, but if one can't be found, it's eventually got to go. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
eventually yes, but eventually is not 10 days, especially on smaller articles. Johnbod 12:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I think a fixed "time limit" is generally a bad idea, and should depend on the case. Harmful (BLP, potential libel, totally implausible) statements should be removed immediately. Statements which are plausible but unconfirmed should be given some time (and the level of activity on the page should be a consideration as to how much), others that are very likely true but could just do with a citation could probably be left almost indefinitely. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:23, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Using my fictional example of Ghandi; if an editor was using as a source a book about the partitioning of India which notes the consequences of the murder of Ghandi, but not the circumstances (since it isn't in the book) of the death, why should the section/article be effectively made incomprehensible because another editor (correctly and in good faith) places a cite tag against Ghandi's assassination - which part is removed X days later? LessHeard vanU 15:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

(undent) Look at it this way. If a statement is uncontroversial, unlikely to be challenged, or likely to be easily referencable, but as yet is not referenced, the {{fact}} tag is appropriate. However, for statements that are likely to be controversial, inflamatory, or otherwise generate objection, they should be removed post-haste and without prejudice. Consider these two (fictional) examples:

  1. In an article on George Washington, a statement is made that he participated in the seige of Fort Duquesne, where he led a group of English Soldiers. This statement is uncontroversial and easily referencable, but it is not currently referenced. THAT is an appropriate use of the {{fact}} tag.
  2. In an article on George Washington, a statement is made that he kept young boy slaves for the purpose of pederasty, and was a founding member of NAMBLA. This statement is inflamatory and controversial and appears false or misleading at face value. As such, if there is no reliable reference, it should be removed. Leaving a {{fact}} tag here is pointless.

Also, people should avoid overusing the fact tag. If an article is mostly unreferenced, leave the cleanup tag {{unreferenced}} at the top of the article. Or best of all, do some research yourself and fix it!. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 16:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

A time limit assumes that people who can respond will be aware of the situation and will have sufficient time to respond. There is no mechanism for ensuring notification of action on obscure articles, nor for ensuring editors will have time and resources to quickly respond (which may involve time and travel to a library or book collection). (SEWilco 16:54, 2 April 2007 (UTC))
There is a reason (many of them, actually) that Wikipedia:Speedy deletion criterion for unsourced articles did not achieve consensus. -- nae'blis 18:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Not every statement needs to be sourced. If the article provides one or more reliable general references then every single sentence does not require a separate citation, as some people seem to believe. This is not done in other works and adds nothing to Wikipedia. Controversial statements, yes. Unlikely statements, yes. But not every single statement. In the George Washington example above I would argue that the first type of statement does not need a separate citation if a general reference is provided. The second type should be deleted if blatant rubbish, but have a {{fact}} tag added if feasibly true. Tagging or footnoting every sentence just leads to unreadability and, frankly, it would be incredibly tedious for editors to reference every statement they make. -- Necrothesp 13:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to abolish RFCN

There is an ongoing MfD discussion regarding the future of RFCN at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User names. Flyguy649talkcontribs 04:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Which, by theway, is not a proposal to abolish checking for invalid user names, but a protest against the recent complexification of the page. >Radiant< 11:31, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The current process can archive properly to reduce loss of records, it's a good thing. WooyiTalk, Editor review 21:36, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

New deletion system proposed.

According to the oft-cited guideline WP:NOVOTE and the policy WP:NOT, Wikipedia is not a democracy. This means that votes should be deleted to prevent these policies from being violated.

To facilitate this, I am hereby proposing the new Votes for deletion system, in which votes can be proposed for deletion. Please comment here or on the talk page! —Dark•Shikari[T] 00:30, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Support. Wonderful idea. Should pass by supermajority. Gatorphat 19:17, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I have no idea what Dark Shikari is proposing. I don't understand what you're trying to say here. What do you mean, votes can be deleted? And what would your new process entail? Where is your proposal? Corvus cornix 20:17, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

External links

Is there a policy regarding the content or type of external links listed in an article? Recently in Mexico City, two picture blogs have been added. Even though the pictures therein shown are outstanding (one of them includes pictures taken from a helicopter), I do not know if they are allowed, coming from personal blogs or webpages. --the Dúnadan 21:05, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a guideline, see Wikipedia:External links, which says links to blogs (I suspect meaning text blogs) should normally be avoided. You might ask for clarification at Wikipedia talk:External links. -- Rick Block (talk) 13:48, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Not linking to blogs has to do with problems with verifiability (blogs are essentially personal opinion, unless published by a newspaper, in which case editorial review and corrections are to be expected). An external link to a picture blog doesn't raise verifiability issues (unless it's, say, pictures of "UFOs"); rather, it's a question of whether we want to provide readers with links to sites with pictures rather than text. I'd argue that we don't (except, say, collected works of an artist, from that artist's bio on Wikipedia); per WP:NOT, Wikipedia isn't an indiscriminate collector of information. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:58, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Pic placement

Per this section of the MoS am I understanding correctly that left aligned pics should be place above the header under second level headings (===) but not first level headings


proposed guideline is here Wikipedia:African_American

I originally posted this here User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#African-American, but an editor suggested I bring it here for consensus. Now, this is a very PC topic, but please understand I'm not being insensitive, I just want to discuss what I feel to be ludicrous terminology.

The term African-American is a US political term which in the past fifteen years has been forced upon us by the NAACP, politicians, and journalists, mainly the latter two. The majority of people however still use the correct descriptives white American and black American, etc. Why does Wikipedia not also follow suit? Having said that, America, thus far, is the only country engaged in this politically correct, though inaccurate, terminology. Since this is an international site, I would like to propose and see Wikipedia set up a guideline or policy to use black American rather than African-American to describe color. The latter doesn't make sense for many reasons. What if someone is 6th generation Jamaican and they come as a tourist to America? Does that make them a Jamaican African-American an African-American or a black? And what about people such as Roger Whittaker, Charlize Theron, Dave Matthews, and others who are true African's but only white? Are they White African-Americans or are they African-Americans? African-American is an ethnic term, not a color descriptive. In the rest of the world it adds confusion and people automatically think ethnicity, and even here in the US.

 African American is widely viewed more as a media created term.
 The term 'African American' has also been misused by some in lieu of 'Black', regardless of an 
 individual's nationality, ethnicity or geography. For example, during the 2005 civil unrest in 
 France, CNN anchorwoman Carol Lin referred to the rioters as "African Americans". [25] This leads 
 to the belief amongst many opponents of the term that 'African American' presents an 
 'American-centric' view of black people across the world.[1]

Is an individual from Calcutta is black and they are being described, are they then called a Asian African-American when visiting America? What about Seal? Is he an African African-American? Where does this confusing lunacy stop? Is a Black Englishman tourist then called a English African-American? or in the quote above, is a Black French called and French African-American? Additionally, on Wikipedia, America and American is a disambiguation which you have to direct someone to the correct meaning you're referring to. So to keep with Wikipedia, the term is not even properly used. Additionally the definition of African-American usually means someone who descended primarily from enslaved Africans brought to the United States. However, in today's mobile society, many have moved from the Caribbean, from Africa itself, from the UK, or from the Pacific islands, etc. Lastly, it does not follow common sense or pattern; An Iraqi-American is someone born in Iraq who became an American citizen; an Asian-American is someone born in Asia who became an an American; a Canadian-American is a person born in Canada who became an American citizen; an African-American...however is suppose to be a black person...what? Looking at this from another country, there is no sense to this term.

My grandfather was black, my grandmother mixed, my mother mixed, one of my brothers black, my father white and so I'm not doing this maliciously. I am from the Caribbean and my whole mixed family still uses the term Black along with the majority of America as well as non-Americanized West Indians. As mentioned I would like to see a policy/guideline set up instructing Wikipedia to balk the PC world like it does in many other areas and go for color, not the confusing exclusive-to-American-Media-and-Politicians ethnic descriptive political term that makes no sense. I would like to hear some feedback from the rest of you. --Maniwar (talk) 15:09, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

I would agree that using the term that will be understood by the world, including those in the US, is the thing to do. Sancho 16:20, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Black is equally as controversial: I think we all remember sometime about 2-3 weeks ago when tha woman tried to insist that Barack Obama wasn't "black" because she said that in the US "black" means descended from slaves (which Obama isn't). --YbborTalkSurvey! 16:27, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the issue raised by Maniwar was one of controversy, but of world-wide understandability. Perhaps diligent wiki-linking to articles describing the term being used would help. Sancho 16:46, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Sanchom is correct in the assertion. And ybbor, you make my point for me. Because of the unclear African-American PC, there is a mis-conception in a few as to what a person should be. I would venture to say that the person who made the statement about Obama is either ignorant or because PC, is confused themselves. Again, African-American is an ethnic description, not a color descriptive. The rest of the world sees it this way. --Maniwar (talk) 20:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you aware of Wikipedia:WikiProject Ethnic groups? (SEWilco 18:45, 8 April 2007 (UTC))
What are you trying to say? What relevance is that to the proposal? Please help me understand. --Maniwar (talk) 18:52, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
If we are going to be encyclopedic about this, how are minority ethnic groups in the US referred to in other major encyclopedia? This may be one case where the dusty language of authorative printed media could serve as the model to be used here.
In the UK the terms when used are usually either Black, Asian, other followed or preceded by nationality (Black Briton, British Asian, etc.) where the emphasis is that they are are British, but of descent other than European. This obviously may differ from the preferences and realities in the US. (FYI, in the case of Seal, he is generally referred to as just "British").
If this is intended to derive consensus in an attempt to form policy or a guideline, it may be wise to understand that what may be deemed appropriate in the US may not be so in the rest of the English speaking Nations with large non-European communities. Any policy/Guideline will have to be flexible enough to incorporate all groups existing in all Nations. As such it may not be possible to form such a policy/guideline. LessHeard vanU 20:04, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
LessHeard vanU, I think it could work. You yourself mentioned, ...when used are usually either Black, Asian, other followed or preceded by nationality (Black Briton, British Asian, etc.)... So to propose we use black would work both in the UK as well as the U.S. Again, we're looking for something that would work internationally. To say Seal is an African-American is misleading and confusing. People the UK know he is British and so would wonder if we are they saying he's an American. To say he's black fulfills the color descriptive, and then we could indicate whether he's a U.S. citizen or a U.K. citizen. The quote from Carol Lin shows how wrong the term African-American is. If a reporter is talking about a black man in the U.S. and calls him an African-American (to use for color descriptive) they must then follow suit if saying a black man in Briton is an African-American British subject. Again, this term is ludicrous and just wreaks havoc with my logic and thinking and insults my intelligence. I am not a politician seeking office, so I can make sense rather than PC. Additionally, you are saying exactly what I am, that the term must be widely accepted, internationally. Yet the term, African-American is not. To say a black British is an African-American, which one must to be consistent, is very U.S. centric. ---Maniwar (talk) 20:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
As I understand it, the term African American specifically refers to an American of Negro ancestry (notwithstanding the process by which the individual arrives in America). Asian American, Sino American, Indo American, etc. similarly defines ethnic derived populations in the United States only. In that context perhaps the wording is correct. When speaking of ethnic minorities in other nations then the naming conventions of that nation apply (which can differ; Asians to Americans refer to Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese origins, but Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan in UK terminology).
I am now unsure what the basis of your comment are. Are you addressing the point that it is only Americans racially dissimiliar from the (North) European origin majority that are referred to by their cultural origin, or some other point? I do not see how a person of African or other origin could be described as African American outside of the context of US citizenship. LessHeard vanU 23:23, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
if you reference the comment above by CNN anchorwoman Carol Lin, you will see that sometimes the media does just that. I am talking about how the Political correctness world of American politicians and the media use the term African-American, which is an ethnic description to describe a black American. When the American Media and politicians use the term, it is, incorrectly, being used as a color descriptive rather than an ethnic descriptive.--Maniwar (talk) 01:13, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Yes. Carol Lin used the wrong phrase to describe French of African descent (although the phrase French African is often used to describe people from the former French colonies, both those who live in France and those living in the former colonies - so there may not be an easily available phrase). When WP reports what was said by an individual then such mistakes should be retained, but when WP includes such ethnic groups then the appropriate phrase should be used (which may include not mentioning the ethnic background if not appropriate.)
I don't think there need be a new or altered policy or guideline. It is simply a matter of good editing standards. People should be described as suits the subject matter, and as appropriate. If a black Briton is described as of African American ethnicity then it is an editing error and should be corrected. As a whole ethnic group then Africans and African descended people can be described as "Black(s)" in popular culture articles, and as "Negro(es)" in scientific articles. Same for all ethnic groups. Usually I would think that defining such individuals as a particular nationality first and foremost and only then as a ethnic group within that nation if appropriate. Does this make sense? LessHeard vanU 11:24, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
We are losing site of the biggest issue here in this whole debate. The biggest issue is of self-determination. We should only use terms to desribe a person that they themselves use. If John Doe calls himself "Black" than use that term in an article about him. If Jane Smith calls herself an "African american" use that term. It is rather presumptuous to decide how we should idenitify other individuals; we should let them do that themselves. This applies not only to this issue, it applies to ALL issues of labeling.--Jayron32|talk|contribs 17:03, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that both terms ("black" and "African-American") are, currently, socially acceptable, mainstream terms in the U.S., for (approximately) the same group of people. Some people prefer one, some prefer the other and some have no preference. That being the case, I believe that both are acceptable on Wikipedia. 6SJ7 18:28, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes... but do we always know how the subject prefers to be called? If we are citing other sources then we use their terminology without considering if the subject agrees or even objects. What is the subject refers to themselves as "American"?
The original point, though, was that a newsreader referred to Africans in a different (European) Nation as African Americans, which showed an Ameri-centric lapse of attention. I'm pretty sure it was just a mistake, but one that would cause some dismay if repeated in Wikipedia. LessHeard vanU 21:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the contention that "African-American" is a media-created term. I'm from the US. I'm white, my sister-in-law is black. She educated us to call her "African-American", but also uses "black". My sense is that the hyphenated term emphasises that Americans of African extraction have legitimacy as Americans; people of European extraction don't have a special claim on that legitimacy. I agree that the terms "African-American" and "black" are primarily a matter of self-definition, so we should leave it to editors to balance respect for self-definition with clarity for an international audience. It's pretty clear to me that using the term "anything-American" to describe people who are not from the USA is simply mistaken (leaving aside the issue that "America" refers to two whole continents and not just the USA). --Jdlh | Talk 09:17, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Jdlh, you can disagree, however it is known by many that the term is more media centered and media forced. Wikipedia itself has stated this, and other encyclopedia's have stated this. It grew out of Political Correctness and was adopted by the media and politicians who took it mainstream. The fact is, it is driven by the media because of PC. A similar case would be the term undocumented workers being used instead of illegal alien. It is media and politician driven. But again, you all are missing the point as LessHeard vanU pointed out. This is not a universal term and it causes confusion to international readers. It is not proper English. You cannot use an ethnic descriptive to describe a color. Additionally, who is going to decide whether the person should be a black or an African-American? Again, do we say Seal (the musician) is black or is he a black Enlishman, or an African-American? The latter is false because he is not an American. And what about true African's, as pointed out, like Roger Whittaker (etc.) but who are white? No one has addressed these issues. We want to express truth and facts, not political correctness. Case in point, though maybe not a good one, in the UK, the term Fag refers to Cigarettes, but we don't use this term universally because it has different meanings in different parts of the world. So we use the more accurate and universal term of cigarette. Again, this term adds confusing to the rest of the world...It is a U.S. exclusive term'. We should represent the world on this encyclopedia, not our own country. Just like we are not going to change all the instances of cigarettes to fags, we should not use an ethnic term to describe color. The U.S. is the only nation that uses this term. --Maniwar (talk)
Not that I (or anybody) can do anything about it, but I find it distressing that these 'labels' are not only politically charged, but mostly grossly inaccurate and even confusing. What are we trying to label? Geographic origin, as in African, Asian, European, American, Oriental? The problems here are obvious. White Africans, South and Central Americans and Canadians. Racial origins, as in Negro, Caucasian? (also has geographic and skin clour connotations). And where does the racial classification "Hispanic" come into the picture? Or are we trying to pigeonhole by skin colour? Black (well, not really), white, (well not really), er....yellow (not acceptable and not really). Or is it by cultural/historic/religious affiliation, as in Muslim, Buddhist, Jew? The next problem is that with changing perceptions, politics and fashion these epithets gain and lose favour. "Negro" makes way for "Black", makes way for "African American", which will, no doubt, make way for whatever. pietopper 04:39, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Here is a visual of the proposal: click here. We can do as LessHeard vanU suggested, or we can keep discussing here. Any suggestions to the article is welcomed as well. --Maniwar (talk) 01:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Vote temporarily stopped...will resume after more discussion. --Maniwar (talk) 12:11, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

  • ===Consensus call===

I'm not sure if this topic is too PC that no one wants to touch it or if it has run it's course of discussion(s). I would like to call for a consensus of Wikipedia adopting the policy to the replace the inaccurate, politically-correct, African-American term to describe color to the more global and accurate term Black (see original post and discussion). As mentioned, the term is American-Centric and causes confusion on a global scale. Again, refer to original post and discussion. --Maniwar (talk) 17:08, 11 April 2007 (UTC) Replace - per discussion. --Maniwar (talk) 17:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Keep discussion open. Maniwar opened this topic, what, 90 hours ago? I see active discussion still underway. I don't see signs that it's too PC to touch. A vote now is premature. If I have to vote now, I say No Policy Change Needed, leave this writing issue to editors' discretion. --Jdlh | Talk 09:17, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Should it be decided to put this to a straw poll or consensus call, then it should be on its own page with a redirect from here.LessHeard vanU 20:30, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Some of the arguments here don't work. It's fine to say that the term is confusing, undescriptive, or offensive, although I do personally disagree. But if it's decided that it is a good term, we can't not use it on the grounds that evil political correctness forced the term upon America. We're not in the buisness of changing the language to support what we want. -Amarkov moo! 01:46, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
For the example of Seal, describing him as an African American is not good simply because he is a British subject. I am not an Anglo American when I visit the USA, so why does his skin colour define his ethnic identity? Another example is a Caucasian African who takes up US citizenship is not described as African American as a former Irish citizen is described as an Irish American. Why, because African American has been "reserved" as an ethnic denominator. It isn't a matter of pc to say that the term, although popular in the media and popular culture and within an ethnic group in America, is appropriate in talking about people of a certain skin colour in an encyclopedic context. LessHeard vanU 22:42, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I've added Wikipedia:African American to WP:CENT. --YbborTalkSurvey! 01:57, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Hyphenated expressions of ethnicity are hardly "media-created terms". Italian-American, Irish-American and hundreds of other ethnicity designations have been around for a very long time. They are references to the Great Melting Pot identity held by many in the US. African-American is a way to express that same sense of joint identity. Are the terms US-centric? Well, yes. That's the "American" part. A person of African decent who emigrated to Europe could not logically be called African-American. But the expressions are universally understood by English-speakers around the word. "Black" on the other hand merely refers to skin color (which many believe is irrelevant). On the whole, both are socially acceptable but have slightly different connotations. The selection of which descriptor to use in an encyclopedia article has to depend on the context. Rossami (talk) 02:27, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
People, please read the entire conversation. Amarkov, of everything that was written, did you only glean the smaller mention of political correctness over everything else? Political Correctness is in there to build the argument and set the stage, but is not the reason for the call for change. And no where, except for your reference, is the term evil used. Please take things in context and do not mis-represent. And Rossami, yes you are right on hyphenated Americanism. However, please note, as pointed out in the very first post, those are all ethnic descriptives and not color descriptives. So, in your example, the term African-American should be of people who were born in Africa and who became American citizens. Or, as Wikipedia's own encyclopedia points out, a person who can trace their roots to a respective country. So, an Irish-American would either A) be born there and became a citizen here, or B) Can trace their roots via parents to Ireland. However, the terms are not used as color descriptives. If we use the term African-American as you pointed out, then it would be correct. But if I say Irish-American means you are white...then I am flat wrong! Also, any person, wherever they are from be they British, African, Jamaican, French, Brasilian, once they touch foot on U.S. soil, politicians and the media refer them to African-American's as a color descriptive, yet they are not U.S. citizens. Lastly, other encyclopedia's and even Wikipedia itself states that this is a media created term. Go and read the article on African-American and see for yourself that it is widely understood to be a Media created term. I will not keep responding because I truly want to know what others think. However, please be consistent, and do your research before responding and challenging the facts. --Maniwar (talk) 03:18, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

While this discussion is interesting, I don't see the need for a Wikipedia policy. The Storm Surfer 01:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

A couple of points:

  • Obviously to call a person who is not American African-American is inaccurate and such an inaccuracy should be removed as would any other similar inaccuracy. Carol Lin's mistake was laughable, but it was her mistake, and such things do happen. It is not necessarily indicative of a massive problem in the world, or here on Wikipedia.
  • Yes, we American's do have a history of assuming that the rest of the word also carries our "baggage" in regards to race. But the historical debates over what black people in the U.S. are called have been real, and have great significance, to both white & black Americans. It's not just about the media, or about political correctness, although both those things are factors.
  • Also (because I don't think this has been addressed) while in every day vernacular American speech the descriptive "black" is not regarded as offensive, there is a matter of register. To my ears, it is an informal term and "African-American" is a formal one. To say "Nelly is a black rapper" is certainly both true and not offensive. But in an encyclopedia article it would be my natural instinct to write "Nelly is an African-American rapper". Informality can feel dismissive and register is often very regional. I suggest that the matter can be largely resolved in the way that regionalisms generally are, such as color vs. colour above.
  • I don't see what a policy could possibly solve here. A policy certainly can't say that an African-American can't be described as such, can it? While it's illuminating to understand more about the rest of the world's view of this term (and will certainly inform my personal usage of it as an editor) I really don't think a policy should be created to discourage me from using an expression that, in my regional language is the correct and formal expression.
  • Finally, it's easy for me to imagine that if Wikipedia created a policy that insisted on the replacement of instances of "African-American" with the word "black" it might garner some unsavory media attention in the U.S. We've gotten tagged for much less. Not that that alone should prevent anyone from doing things, but it is worth noting, as such issues are quite real here in the U.S. Dina 14:22, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • One more thought in reply to the assertion that the term is "confusing" to people outside the U.S. (an assertion I cannot prove or disprove, but will assume is accurate): When a term has the potential to need more explanation in an article, we wikilink it. There is an article at African-American that clearly describes the term and its usage. If someone is confused about the descriptive's meaning in an article, they can read the article about what the term means. Dina 15:18, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration#Wikipedia:Requests for adminship

A case has been filed concerning Wikipedia:Requests for adminship -- Cat chi? 19:52, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

See Also

Is there an official policy regarding criteria for inclusion into the "See Also" category of an article's page? I removed some things which I felt did not belong and am wondering what the policy is. I didn't see anything in the MoS. Aaron Bowen 13:00, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a bit in Wikipedia:Guide to layout#See also. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 14:06, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Conflict of interest rewrite

I've completed a rewrite of Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. You can see the rewritten version here, or see it with diff to the old version. Comments are welcome on the talk page. --bainer (talk) 02:13, 8 April 2007 (UTC)


Is there a policy or guideline on wikipedia about lists in articles?YaanchSpeak! 01:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

There's {{cleanup-laundry}}, and the Wikipedia:Embedded list guideline that covers which cases it might be best to convert embedded lists into prose. --Interiot 01:48, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks YaanchSpeak! 01:51, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Deleting Policy and Samuel Ball (academic)

I get the conflict of interest issue and am ambivalent over the matter. I believe I have learned much with the posting and am satisfied with that.

I am concerned that notable persons may be deleted for no better reason than the apparent conflict of interest. It is easy for some, who falsely believe themselves to somehow feel slighted by something I wrote, which didn't, to gang up and claim disinterest. I have never spoken up for the article, and won't, but would appreciate knowing whom may be interested in improving such material DDB 01:00, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Policy/guideline/practice on information about minors

Where can I find information about either policy, guideline, or practice regarding the inclusion of personal information of minors on their user pages? I've heard conflicting opinions recently. Sancho (talk) 14:05, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Even though Wikipedia:Protecting children's privacy was rejected by the ArbCom, I think the statement on Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Protecting children's privacy#Counseling should be a moot point. Perhaps we should have some sort of policy or essay on this. x42bn6 Talk 22:27, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
There are three texts on this. See the section on "Privacy proposals" above.
From watching various noticeboards, my opinion on the current state of affairs is: there is no policy forbidding it, but you are free to counsel users privately, and Wikipedia:Oversight may be willing to delete the information from edit histories if the user requests it. CMummert · talk 22:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
#Privacy proposals - status unclear, to make it easier. Either way, I do believe that sysops remove personal information of minors for their own good. As I've seen on WP:AN/I on a couple of occasions. x42bn6 Talk 23:16, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, this makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why an instance of this that I sent to oversight was ignored... the response that I received said that he oversight user felt that nothing was wrong with a fifteen year old identifying themselves by their e-mail and the school that they attend. Sancho (talk) 07:37, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I will suggest to the user that they avoid publishing identifying personal information. Sancho (talk) 07:39, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I can't remember, but I have seen something like 13 being the threshold. I put a lot of information on my userpage when I was 15 when I joined Wikipedia and nobody told me to take it off. Still, I think those policies do need some sort of reconsideration, especially considering the fact Wikipedia is being mirrored and forked more and more times, and there are more and more users thinking this is like MySpace. x42bn6 Talk 13:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
  • There is no threshold per se; basically, it's the user's own responsibility. >Radiant< 11:57, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
There is an essay at WP:YOUTH, which due to tag-warring by obstructionists, has been erroneously labeled as a rejected proposal (and the text has some errors because when I tried to fix it I was reverted and warned against fixing it again). This essay (adapted by me from another page) suggests that all children (as defined by your local definition) refrain from posting personal information. There are some administrators who regard the posting of such information by a self-identified child as inherently disruptive, especially if accompanied by "provocative" comments, and who will delete the information and request permanent removal by WP:OVERSIGHT when they see it. Others, no doubt, do not. 6SJ7 17:10, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
"to tag-warring by obstructionists"? 6SJ7, I can no longer assume good faith in regard to your continued incivility. You attempted to unilaterally change the status of rejected proposals to being policy, were repeatedly reverted by several users (all this over the course of over 2 weeks) and annouced that you "will continue to do what I think is right" - which does sound quite alot that you wish to continue to try force through your "right version", even it if it means editwarring with many others. CharonX/talk 16:13, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
What you assume is irrelevant to me. And for the record, I stopped the reversions after I received a direct warning on my user page. I think the warning was an abuse of the administrator's authority, but that's the way things are here on Wikipedia. Doing what is "right" sometimes has to give way to the fact that other people have power and are willing to abuse it. 6SJ7 23:41, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I would be glad for someone else to review the messages I left on your talk page. CMummert · talk 00:23, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Would you explain your opinion on the difference between an essay and a rejected proposal, and how to tell them apart? WP:YOUTH started with the {{proposed}} tag at the top; nobody claimed it was an essay until after it was tagged {{rejected}}. As the primary author, if you would like to move it to your user space, I don't believe anyone would object. CMummert · talk 18:43, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Is a person with oversight responsibilities bound to act in a certain way when receiving requests for removal of personal information self-posted by a minor? Sancho (talk) 17:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It is my understanding that there is no policy on this matter and each incident is handled on a case-by-case basis (which is probably the best way to handle it anyway). Obviously a case involving a 15 year old is not that dire and I personally would not object to them posting personal info (up to a point). It would be up to the discretion of the individual oversight person as to whether or not to take any action on the matter. Kaldari 19:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Age has little to do with it; in general, personal information is frequently removed if it is posted by someone else (obviously) or in more uncommon cases if the oversighter believes it's plausible that this could harm the person. >Radiant< 08:52, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
It is mind-boggling to me that you can say that age has little to do with it. Age has a lot to do with it. What is the big objection to protecting chidren who may post their own personal information without realizing the dangers? And in any event, my opinion aside, there are admins who will remove personal information posted by a self-identified child, and not remove personal information posted by an adult, so Common Practice does take age into account. 6SJ7 05:32, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't see what you mean - admins can't remove information from the edit history. Users with Wikipedia:Oversight abilities can do so, but in these cases they do so at their own discretion, especially since none of the three "official" uses of oversight is to remove correct information users post about themselves. CMummert · talk 18:55, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Protecting_children's_privacy#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soap_opera ("Reasonable measures which forestall the drama associated with interactions between naive children, predatory pedophiles, and sting operations by law enforcement are appropriate.") passed 5-0. I think discussion about what is reasonable should take place. One specific question that I don't know the answer to is: is it reasonable to delete the sentence "I'm a sexy 13 year old boy" under the motivation that the deletion will forestall the drama associated with interactions between naive children and predatory pedophiles? Sancho 20:17, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

  • A somewhat related question regarding WP policies (or lack thereof) about minors, concerns identifying minors in articles pertaining to criminal trials. Many newspapers and TV networks won't show pictures of, or name, minors in such cases. Does WP have a similar restriction? For example, the Article Living with Michael Jackson does not mention his accuser's last name. Is there any reason why the name (and/or a Fair Use screenshot from the ABC-TV program showing Jackson with his accuser, to illustrate the article about this program) has to be omitted? JGHowes talk - 21:04, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Ordinarily, until reliable media sources publish the name there is no reliable source that can be used to source it, and so in a BLP setting it will get deleted from the article. This is just a consequence of the citation requirements, not a specific policy about releasing names. CMummert · talk 21:17, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Uploading other people's images from Flickr with Creative Commons tags

Are we letting people upload images from Flickr that they do not own just because they are tagged as Creative Commons (tagged on Flickr, that is)? I noticed someone uploading the images of various Flickr members that use Creative Commons tags on their pictures. I think that it is a bad idea. First, if the owner closes their Flickr account or removes the image from their account, then all we have is the uploader's claim that it is licensed under Creative Commons (I say "is licensed" because I checked the Creative Commons website, which claims that the licensing is non-revocable (actually, it would be nice if there were a conditional variant)). Also, while Wikipedia might be able to legally use the images under Creative Commons, the image owners may not have envisioned this use. If this is the case, the images are not worth the ill will using them would create. -- Kjkolb 10:01, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I see nothing wrong with taking images from flickr, as long as everything is credited properly. I would strongly encourage anyone who takes an image from flickr to drop a message with the flickr member to let them know where their image is used, just out of courtesy. I wouldn't be too concerned with the flickr people being opposed to us using the image as they went to the effort to change the license and presumably they understand what the license meant. As far as verifying that the license is correct, if uploading to the commons, there is a bot that automatically handles that if you choose the flickr option from the drop down menu during the upload. That way if, as you suggested, the flickr user deletes their account, there will be a secondary confirmation that the license is indeed correct. I don't think WP has such a thing, but all flickr images should probably just go onto the commons anyway, so there really isn't a need for it. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 10:13, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
The purpose of the creative commons share alike licence is to allow specifically this action: the unhindered downstream use of material under an identical licence. Sancho 19:36, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
While I agree with PS2pcGAMER and Sancho in principle, I would also urge caution. I've seen copies of my own work appear on Flickr under blatantly incorrect licensing. We should keep in mind that some of what appears on Flickr is simply stolen. Anonymous Flickr users who claim to have very large, diverse and professional seeming image protfolios should be treated with all due scepticism. Dragons flight 19:46, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Good point. I was thinking about a similar problem the other day. I requested via e-mail that somebody release under the GFDL an image that I found on their website. They agreed, I uploaded the image, credited the creator, and forwarded their agreement to release the image under the GFDL to Wikimedia (all the standard procedure when obtaining GFDL permission for use of material found on the web or elsewhere). However, it seems extremely hard to verify that the person releasing the material actually legally has the ability to do this! Maybe it was a copyright violation on their part before I even made the request for them to release it to the GFDL. How is this problem dealt with in this case? Sancho 20:09, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I thought Commons has their own Flickr reviewer, who is an admin. WooyiTalk, Editor review 22:21, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
If memory serves, it was original setup so that admins had to review flickr images. Now a bot FlickreviewR handles that task and an admin only has to intervene when necessary. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 07:52, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I forgot the name, it is FlickreviewR. But I didn't know it was a bot. Then the question becomes if the bot reviewer is reliable or not. WooyiTalk, Editor review 16:12, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Links to or mentiosn of "attack sites"

There is dispute now on Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy as to whether 'any and all links to, or even mentions on-wiki of the names of "attack sites", should be considered blockable offenses. Some editors are caliming a very black&white approach to this should be followed. I think this is too absolute. I don't think there is policy-level consensus ywet on claims being made and, I gather, acted on. More eyes would be good here. DES (talk) 01:04, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


Question: If I can cite reliable sources, what type of research is allowed?

Jhize 16:30, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

You might have read this already, but the Wikipedia:No original research page in a nutshell is:
  • Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought.
  • Articles should only contain verifiable content from reliable sources without further analysis.
  • Content should not be synthesized to advance a position.
Sancho 16:54, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, thank you, i did. However, what I'd like to post is a culmination of reliable content. It certainly falls within the domain of theory; however, the topic of Gravity is listed and that is only theory, as is much of quantum physics. Again I ask, if my sources are reliable what is allowed?
Jhize 17:20, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Generally, any material that can be attributed by reference to a reliable source can be included. The topics that you mention, gravity and quantum physics, for example, should include only information that can be attributed to a reliable source. The way in which it is worded, or the manner in which the article is structured, however, should also comply with the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy. One thing that is not allowed is taking one source that says, "If A, then B", and a second source that says "If B, then C", and using them together in a Wikipedia article to support a statement that says "If A, then C". We'd have to wait for a third party reliable source to make this connection before it we can include it in a Wikipedia article. Sancho 17:38, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Excellent Answer Sancho! I have been searching wiki for the last hour and finally have my answer. I also found relevant information here: Thank you very much. Jhize 17:50, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Basically, if at anytime I reach a conclusion (If A, then C). I must provide a reference to that as a citation.

Now one last question if you'll entertain me...If what I am describing in this article I am referring to has a specific name and this name is scientific in nature and I provide a link to the definition, is that acceptible? I have read the policy about coining a phrase and this seems to tell me no. However, I didn't coin the phrase "Endothermic Nucleosynthesis". This term is used on the following page; The problem is, it refers to this process on a stellar scale; while my article would be atomic scale. Additionally, Endothermic is found here: and Nucleosynthesis is found here: Together these two Wiki definitions are exactly the definition I require. It seems that the Wiki definitions are more appropriate for my use. Is this still considered "coining a phrase"?

I am obviously going to have to cite anything that seems "new". Is my thought process way off track here?

Jhize 18:05, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

No, you're not off track at all; any material added must be directly and explicitly supported by cited sources. As regards the term "Endothermic Nucleosynthesis", however, I believe that since you intend to use the term in a way that hasn't been used before that it would be "coining a phrase" (Wikipedia:Avoid_neologisms). I tried looking for references that use the term in this manner (at an atomic scale), but couldn't find any. Maybe you know of some sources that use this term applied to the atomic scale. If there are none, it's probably a little too early to add an article on this topic to Wikipedia. I hope you will still join our efforts in improving other articles, and later, you can create this article. Sancho 18:38, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Put SEARCH window back near top of page

Moving the SEARCH window down so far in the left-hand colum means it is necessary for the majority of users to have to scroll first to get to it -- bad policy. "Sign in/create account" is nowhere near as important as having SEARCH right there up at top, ready to go, on every single page of the Wiki. Please revert to previous format.

-- JRS —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:46, 8 April 2007 (UTC).

First, I think it was always like this; there is no earlier format to revert to. Second, a quick look at photoshop reveals that the distance from the top of the page to the bottom of the search box is exactly 481 pixels. The typical Internet explorer window bar and browser bar, etc. takes up 116. This comes out to 597 pixels from the top for the average user. Unless you're using 800x600 resolution, it shouldn't be an issue. Besides, it's getting pretty rare to see an 800x600 (it was originally proposed in 1989). --YbborTalkSurvey! 20:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The Way Back Machine indicates Wikipedia hasn't had a search bar on top of the page since at least May 2004. --YbborTalkSurvey! 21:44, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The location of the search bar depends on the skin one uses with Wikipedia. The Classic skin put the search box at the top of the page in 2004, & still does now in 2007. -- llywrch 23:30, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
[10] states that ~81% of users use a resolution of 1024x768 or higher. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 21:49, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Attack sites

An essay I wrote, Wikipedia:Attack sites, was promoted by others to proposed guideline status. Please take a look and contribute. The aim was to define what is an 'attack site', which seeks to out the personal identies of Wikipedians, and/or harass them, and why they should never, ever be linked to or promoted on Wikipedia for the safety and protection of editors. - Denny (talk) 13:15, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Infoboxes and MOS

Is there anything in the MOS about the use and content of Infoboxes? If not, shouldn't there be? Frelke 08:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

There are a number of topic specific subpages of the MOS that include guidelines for infoboxes for articles about that topic, for example Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction), and Wikipedia:Dynamic infobox templates purports to be part of the MOS (although it's reachable from WP:MOS only through Category:Wikipedia style guidelines). Many infoboxes are "owned" by a specific WikiProject. Including general guidelines about infoboxes in the main MOS seems like a reasonable idea to me. Please bring this up at WT:MOS. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:VAND and the inability of anons to see the new messages bar

How how these two never affected one another? I mean one would expect that this would necessitate a change in the vandalism policy--VectorPotentialTalk 23:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The people who thought that up never edit as anons (anymore) --Kim Bruning 01:09, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
What? I post warnings incrementally assuming that anonymous users see the "new messages" bar. Do they not? Sancho 02:29, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I believe they do see the bar actually. (I once asked this somewhere). From looking at some comments on the Help Desk and on VPT, it seems the some anons are having problems with the bar not going away after checking messages. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 02:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Not all of them see it (for example, I just tried it on myself, and I don't see it). There is a short thread on this at the technical village pump. I don't know much about it. CMummert · talk 02:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Template deletion RANT(ish)

<rant> (hey, I need to blow off steam too, sometimes)

Alright, now this is really insane. I found {{Policyalteration}}, which is obviously broken (and was broken both before and after I made some clarifying edits to Wikipedia:Vandalism) . So since people really shouldn't be using this template ever, I put a quick {{db}}, I mean, duh.  :-P

So I got back a (decline speedy, discuss at MFD instead).

Well that sucks. You can always trust CSD %-)

So let's see, first of all, shouldn't that be TFD? And then, all the *FDs have different policies with strange gotchas, and odd, confusing jargon, and I'm not going to wade through 10 different pages memorising the Local-Deletion-"Policy" of the day just to get rid of a single silly template.

So no, let's not do that.

So finally I throw on a {{PROD}} like I should have done in the first place. But like, fsck, what's this? I need to subst it... well fine... but, oh crap, I'm not supposed to use it for templates.

Ok, pursuing this further was just not worth it. At that point, I just gave up.

We now have one crappy template still alive, ready to be abused by some pitiable fool for next week's wikidrama installment;-)


In practice, it turns out that ordinary users can't get blatantly silly templates removed at all easily.

Of course, the reason I had my admin flag turned off is for precicely this kind of reason. Now I'm forced to try to figure some way to {{sofixit}} at least. ;-)

--Kim Bruning 01:04, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

You're right, the 3 steps at TFD are so hard (and one is optional, depending how you read it). It would have taken you less time to list it at TFD than to write this. MECUtalk 01:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
<looks, looks twice, finds after 3rd try> Oh you mean the 3 steps spanning a single screenful, wedged in after the > 100 line index, the what and what not to do on the one side, and the surely over 1 megabyte of substs on the other side? Ahuh.Ok... now reading the steps... they are marked I, II, III... let's see.... step I is just under 1k of details you need to remember... II seems simple enough, oh and step III tells you to go off and canvas people and stuff. Ok, let's not quite do that.
You know what? I think that just figuring that through cost more time than typing the rant. :-P
This was supposed to be quick :-/
Granted TFD currently looks to be somewhat more streamlined than some other *FD processes, but there is no standardization, so you have to learn different ways of doing things for each. There's no one-stop-shop. --Kim Bruning 01:26, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and I object to the term "ordinary users". I find that offensive. MECUtalk 01:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, "users without an admin flag", then? --Kim Bruning 01:26, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
So are you suggesting we overhaul, standardize, and simplify XfDs or cleanout some of the hyper-specific, totally unused templates? Either way I'm behind it. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 02:44, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
<sigh> Um, see ... that's why I should learn to keep my mouth shut. Now I've just made myself a new big job, haven't I? </sigh> --Kim Bruning 12:41, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Centralized Discussions

Are there any pages/lists of centralized discussions of commonly discussed issues, such as blanking user talk pages, removing warnings, etc. ? Not a dog 23:03, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind, I found it: Wikipedia:Centralized discussion. Not a dog 03:25, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Naming conventions for baseball players

Please take the time to review and contribute to the discussion regarding naming conventions & disambiguation for baseball player articles going on here. Thanks, Caknuck 20:53, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposed guideline: Wikipedia is timeless

I have proposed a guideline at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is timeless. Should I announce it anywhere else? --NE2 05:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

well, for one thing, it isn't. Some topics are included because they are recent, which is equivalent to saying that some aren't because they are not. I would phrase this as an effort to "counter temporal bias", not as a statement of intent to weed out recentisms. We can't help it that Wikipedia as it is was written in the 2000s. dab (𒁳) 12:44, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you implying that we shouldn't have an article on a similar "scandal" from 50 years ago, if sources exist? My intent is not to "weed out recentisms" but to ensure that older stuff is not deleted just because it's old. --NE2 02:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
This looks a lot like: Wikipedia:Notability#Notability_is_generally_permanent. There has been next to no discussion about this portion of the guideline, however. There was a bit of discussion of that phrase's use at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Ashley_Leitao, but not much. It will be interesting to see how discussion on this goes. Sancho 12:52, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Notability only deals with the existence of articles; this also covers inclusion of information in articles. --NE2 02:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


I recently stumbled across the following image: Image:IIH.png. Concerns have been raised on that talk page before over a number of years, (but no one really looks at image talk pages in the first place.) Anyway, I'm wondering whether or not this is directly violating WP:SELF and is breaking the fourth wall; it appears to be used on a large number of articles so alot of work (or a little code) is needed to fix the broken links if deleted, so I decided to raise the issue here. - Zero1328 Talk? 14:35, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:SELF says:
And the same applies to this image... it's something that facilitates development of the article. --Interiot 17:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Query: Are there any templates/tags that simply state, "This article could be improved by the addition of images"? (You know, something similar to the concept of, "This article does not cite any references") Seems like it'd be a solution that was a bit more separated from the article (and that wouldn't be so incredibly ugly). Bladestorm 17:19, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed: {{reqimage}} and related templates. But the "not picture available" might still be useful under many possible circumstances. 20:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Another false Living Person bio.

Today, the bio of Hollywood actor Corey Sevier was vandalized by anon. IP, who stated that Sevier "announced he was gay on April 4". This was undetected for two hours.

Further, said vandal also added a "Category:Gay Actors" to the Sevier article, which went undetected for 6 hours.

I know that User:Jimbo Wales is strongly committed to the founding principle of anon. edits to Wikipedia, but realistically, how much longer can this go on for Living Person bios, especially high-profile celebrities?

Is this the proper forum to propose a revision to Wikipedia Policy? If so, I propose changing the policy to:

Automatic "Semi-Protection" for all Living Person articles

JGHowes talk - 12:27, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I believe that the current policy of allowing anonymous edits can go on indefinitely, even for Living Person bios. In the example you give, the vandalism was noticed and corrected. Perhaps we just need to watch more diligently articles that are biographies of living persons. Sancho 20:24, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Also if editors have been away from WP when they notice vandalism, checking the edit history for any previous vandalism before reverting only the last example would help. LessHeard vanU 20:30, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps there should be an easy access BLP watchlist/recentchanges like many Wikiprojects have. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 22:23, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Apparantly there is: see Special:Recentchangeslinked/Category:Living people. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 22:34, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Very nice. How can we bring more attention to this? Sancho 22:45, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I've requested that this be added to the top of the RecentChanges page. I will report back here later to announce where exactly. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 03:22, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Include a link on the BLP (or whatever the Living Person Biography acronym is) template? LessHeard vanU 20:42, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, its been added to the Recentchanges page in the "Utilities" row as a link titled BLP. I've tried to advertise this the best I can. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 18:44, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to go out on a limb and agree with JGHowes. I am against shutting Wikipedia down to anonymous users but I believe I could support a proposal to make all BLPs semi-protected. Yes, we will inevitably lose some constructive edits by anons. However, I feel that Wikipedia's reputation is continuously hurt by incorrect information/vandalism to BLPs. They seem to bring the most negative attention to Wikipedia and it appears to be getting more frequent. If I remember correctly, the edit that claimed Sinbad had died was reverted after only a few minutes but that didn't stop the presses from reporting Wikipedia's claims he had died (also despite the fact that it was reported elsewhere before it was added to Wikipedia). There are many people out there that would like to see Wikipedia fail and I'm sure they are aware of Wikipedia's vulnerabilities regarding BLPs. Besides, if an editor truly wishes to improve a BLP, it may be more of an incentive to register.↔NMajdantalk 19:36, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Please contribute to...

WP:HAIKU. >Radiant< 15:47, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Double redirect.
Bad, bad thing.
Fix it right now please.
Sjakkalle (Check!) 15:51, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Don't you mean "Bad bad bad bad bad bad thing"? --Minderbinder 15:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Sjakkalle does not,
Know a thing about haikus.
You are quite right friend.
Sjakkalle (Check!) 15:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Thats only if you are writing american-style haiku. normal haiku is simply strong images that are concentrated. it doesnt have to have funky syllables.. it would have to be like

glowing computer screen glistens
it flickers and redirects, a flash of two
and i succumb to the angry double redirect stew.
i just thought stew rhymed with two and that was neat.

Proposal for a "Stub:" namespace

Hi, most of my ideas get shot down here, but hey, you throw enough and something's gotta stick! How about a stub namespace? Or at least some way to store them differently, as we do redirects. Since we're so proud of our "random article" button — and roughly half the time it turns up a measly scrap of an article — it seems like we should want to make it appear that we're as credible as possible. I stub-sort a bit, so I've seen quite a few, and while some stubs blossom, many end up at AFD, but hardly any are yet ready to be included in an encyclopaedia. Think of it like a testing/holding place for that which could be. Any takers? — Jack · talk · 02:18, Thursday, 12 April 2007

No. Fundamentally, your suggestion assumes a distinction between stubs and full articles. That distinction is arbitrary and left to the judgment of individual editors. Thus, there are one-line articles not tagged as stubs, and four-paragraph articles that are stubs. All it takes to fix a stub is add a little content and referencing, then remove the template. In this respect, a stub template is like a {{cleanup}} tag. As for the "Random Article" concern, some people use that feature with the specific goal of finding problem articles to fix or to nominate for deletion. YechielMan 15:42, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed: there is no "distinction between stubs and full articles", stubs are a form of article. Incomplete ones, certainly, but still articles.Circeus 15:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC)