Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive I

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Image size

A short while back I was blocked for 24 hrs by what I feel to be an overzealous administrator for allegations of incivility and vandalism against me that have thus far been unsubstantiated.

The dispute centred about the size of images used in various articles I had written - George Albu, Lionel Phillips, Lady Phillips, CG Finch-Davies to mention just a few. The reversionists who favour thumbnail images cited MoS guidelines that are not at all clearcut. I pointed out that the vast majority of articles using images, do not confine themselves to thumbnail sizes, and in fact use quite large images, for example Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Winston Churchill, Jan Smuts, Elizabeth I of England to name but a few. Apparently the editors of these pages have

  1. not heard of the thumbnail guidelines OR
  2. know of such guidelines but ignore them OR
  3. don't interpret these guidelines to mean obligatory use of thumbnails.
  • 1 Does WP have a firm clearcut guideline for image sizes?
  • 2 If such a guideline exists, why is it ignored by the vast majority of articles with images?
  • 3 Why is such a guideline necessary (if it exists)?

Paul venter 21:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I just listed a handful of your images at Wikipedia:Possibly unfree images#April 9. You have tagged these images as GFDL when they probably are not. The name and year of death of the author should be given, as well as the date of publication of the image.
When we use copyrighted images we generally reduce their resolution to avoid infringing copyright. There is no specific rule about how low the resolution should be, however the resolution should not be larger than necessary. 300px wide is a general rule of thumb, but it ultimately depends on the image in question and how it is used. —Remember the dot (talk) 21:35, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
For more information, please read Wikipedia:Fair use. —Remember the dot (talk) 21:38, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
After looking about a bit, it seems that Remember the dot's answer misses the point some. This is not about the size of images uploaded, but rather the size of images as they appear in the article. Paul has been involved in a dispute with Kittybrewster over the formatting of images in articles, specifically the specification of the size of thumbnail images. Kitty feels that the size should not be specified, and points to the MOS. Paul replies that the MOS is a guideline and not policy, and therefore optional. The discussion became heated. Paul was blocked by Tyrenius for Personal attack after specific warning after Kitty brought an edit to the attention of Tyrenius in which Paul claimed in the edit summary to be "repairing damage by a stalker" after being warned by Tyrenius that such summaries violated WP:NPA. (I apologize to any and all involved if my summation is inaccurate.) To answer Paul's question: it is my understanding that the MOS is indeed a guideline, but it is widely followed. Without a compelling reason, it is probably a bad idea to violate it. In this case, specifying the width of an image can screw up the layout for some readers so much as to make the article unreadable. Wikipedia is used by people who may have very good reasons for specifying smaller, or larger images than what looks good in your browser. Since specifying an image size overrides the preferences they may have set, it should not be done without a very good reason. Essentially the guidelines sat that it should only be done if shrinking the image to default size will make the image unusable. Dsmdgold 23:02, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Your summation is accurate, although I regret that you introduced the users' names - I was hoping to keep personalities out of the discussion, since an issue is automatically polarised and mindless supporters are often drawn in to add to the noise, if not to constructive ideas. Your setting out of the reasons leading to WP's favouring thumbnails, though, leads right back to my question 2 above.Paul venter 07:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
In a word ignorance. I do a lot of medieval manuscript articles, and I used to specify image size. However, when the reasoning for the guideline was brought to my attention, I uderstood and accepted it. Perhaps the other editors are not aware of the guideline. Also, many (but not all) of the images in the articles you point to are of paintings with a horizontal orientation. Perhaps the editor in question decided that in order for the image to be understood it needed to be wider than the default thumbnail setting (for an extreme example of this see Monet's Waterlillies in his article). Although the guideline doesn't state it I believe that certain images have such iconic status that an argument can be made for making them larger. For example, The Child's Bath (The Bath), by Mary Cassatt, is probably her best known work, and deserves a larger image. Other editors may disagree. Dsmdgold 14:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The thumbnail issue is also important because it allows the user to have the pics appear at his/her size according to their preferences (see the preferences box on top of your screen and click on files). Quadzilla99 23:07, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I posted a question in the technical section, but it bears repeating here:- "Just how difficult is it changing WP's image-handling software to deal with the 'screwing-the-browser' issue without forcing thumbnails on everyone?". The other thing that puzzles me is that some articles happily mix thumbnails and larger images. What does that do to the problematic browser? Paul venter 12:30, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

"Undue Weight" on NPOV policy

I feel strongly that the policy WP:NPOV should be changed in the "Undue Weight" section. The provision states that a majority view should have major proportion on an article while a minority view should be represented only marginally or not at all. This isn't reasonable. First, Wikipedis is not a democracy, it's not like U.S. Congress which has a majority party and minority party with different representation. In here everyone is equal in article editting, and any non-trivial sourced views should be represented in equal footing. Because the so-called "proportional" representation is de facto endorsement of the majority opinion, as a naive reader would assume that the opinion represented in large proportion in an article would be the correct opinion. WooyiTalk, Editor review 21:32, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Like Gallileo vs The Inquisition we need the luxury of hindsight to understand that the minority view was/is the truth. As Wikipedia is about verifiability and citations then the status quo witl always be better represented. The only way round this would be to create an article for the minority viewpoint, where undue weight should not be afforded to the standard sources, which links to the main article. LessHeard vanU 10:05, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
We don't create articles for minority views - see Wikipedia:Content forking. The reality is that in most cases, the minority view is wrong - Galileo was right, but the myriads of proponents of perpetual motion machines and miracle cures have pretty universally been wrong.
Wikipedia isn't about suppressing information, but saying any non-trivial sourced views should be represented in equal footing is absurd. It's enough to mention a minority view if there in fact is a reliable source (as opposed, say, to some crank's personal website) and let the reader pursue the matter if interested (it's not as if people don't know who to do a Google search).
For further information, please see Wikipedia:Fringe theories. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:05, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
What you are citing WP:FRINGE is a policy, and what I'm trying to do here is getting that policy changed as well. Because it's unreasonable and unfair. WooyiTalk, Editor review 19:57, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I had assumed that User:Wooyi was talking about a situation where the minority view didn't fall under WP:FRINGE etc. and was supported by reliable sources, for instance whether Homo Neanderthal bred out into Homo Sapiens rather than just die out through competition. Even as a fork of the ascent of Homo Sapiens Sapiens this would be creation, where the proponents sources should be given more weight than opponents. (This supposes that the example I gave is not considered Fringe, I thought it had some credibility/support some little time ago). LessHeard vanU 19:39, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with LessHeard vanU, minority view and fringe view are different things. A minority view is often held by a handful of professors and prominent people, while "fringe" views are often published in trivial sources (personal blogs, etc.) When a view is presented through non-trivial means, it does deserve equal footing. If Galileo lives today, he'd probably be angry at Wikipedia. WooyiTalk, Editor review 19:50, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
In the case of the "paranormal", as in your query here [1], which refers back to [2], generally, paranormal arguments are seen as fringe views rather than legitimate minority scientific views, since they tend to be published in non-mainstream journals. --- LuckyLouie 19:13, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
This discussion is based on a misunderstanding of the rules. I believe the rules we have are correct. The misunderstanding is this: some editors wish to assume that they know what a majority view is, even when none has been stated. This is evident in the article on Electronic voice phenomenon. Editors there wish to give weight to a "majority view" which is actually a "skeptical view." They believe that a few skeptics who claim to speak for science are automatically a majority. But the majority of science has not stated any view on the subject. Among those who study the matter, the majority view is that the phenomenon is paranormal. This puts Wikipedia in a very difficult position: we are dealing with a field which is notable and makes factual claims. We know in our hearts as editors that many scientists -who knows how many since most scientists do believe in the paranormal- would think EVP is bunk. Yet at the same time, the actual peer-reviewed papers (published in parapsychological journals) we have on the subject are inconclusive (one positive, one inconclusive). Mainstream science has no opinion specifically on EVP whatsoever, though some studies have been done which skeptics (not, I believe, the scientists themselves) claim might explain EVP. We are being asked, in the EVP page, to present the view of a few skeptics and the silence of the mainstream as if it constituted a mainstream consensus that EVP has been determined to be bunk. If any change is needed, it is to make it (even) clear(er) that editors of Wikipedia cannot invent a consensus of the mainstream where there is none. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 21:19, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
The counter argument is that "mainstream" scientific journals do not comment upon such matters as they feel that it falls outside of their remit; they do not partake in discussions of the dimensions or physical attributes of the Flat Earth for the same reason. Many of the people who request that "due weight" be given to the skeptics are doubtless taking the same stance toward the EVP example you give. LessHeard vanU 21:55, 7 April 2007 (UTC) (ps. I know nothing of EVP, I am just suggesting the reason for a lack of mainstream comment on the matter and the consequent thinking of some editors.)
WP:FRINGE already covers this: "If proper attribution cannot be found among reliable sources of an idea's standing, it should be assumed that the idea has not received consideration or acceptance." To insist otherwise is to insist on a burden of disproof. --Minderbinder 22:22, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Which is exactly what I have been trying to do to the article: state clearly that the scientific mainstream has not considered, nor accepted, EVP. But the skeptics want to state that it has been rejected. But if it hasn't been considered, it hasn't been rejected. Therefore, it is OR to state that it has. You are proposing, basically, that we break the rules. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 02:55, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
If you would like a clearer rule: If reliable sources have not been found to indicate that mainstream science accepts an idea, mainstream science rejects it. Science journals get sent articles on pseudoscientific stuff (such as EVP) all the time. The fact that all those submissions go in the garbage can without comment speaks for itself. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:02, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
If this is really the policy, then it should be no trouble to change it. Why don't you? It won't take you much time to edit. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 05:58, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
"You are proposing, basically, that we break the rules." That's a pretty strong accuation, especially since I just did nothing more than quote a policy. Where exactly did I propose breaking the rules? And it's a strawman to insist that people have argued to make the EVP article say that it has been rejected, all along we've wanted to say nothing more than that science hasn't accepted it, and more importantly, to follow undue weight so that the article isn't 90% arguments that the purported phenomena exists, or writing the definition to say it exists. --Minderbinder 12:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The current policy is logical and accurate. Wikipedia is not the place to push forward fringe theories or minority views. I often see this in articles, people want to be fair and balanced so they give negative aspects of a certain topic—which really aren't significantly noteworthy—as much coverage as more well known positive aspects. What we need is more of this policy, not less of it. Aaron Bowen 16:07, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Also you see advocates of a certain minority theory or interpretation using Wikipedia as a soapbaox and shifting the focus of an article to their views or theories. Aaron Bowen 16:13, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

We are talking here -I think- about articles which are specifically about the fringe topics. It looks above as if people are talking about articles on other topics which give too much coverage to alternative fringe interpretations etc. Minderbinder, the way the EVP article has been written in the past has had innuendo or outright statements which basically say that the mainstream has rejected -as opposed to not considered or accepted- EVP. Seraphimblade's comment above was basically followed in the article. I suggest that this statement be added to the rules. Then things would be clear. You would get to write the articles the way you, ScienceApologist et al have been trying to, and no argument. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 20:13, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

One problem with this discussion is that we are trying to find one rule for lots of different things. The point was made above that we don't create articles for minority view (John Broughton said it I think), and the probelm is that yes we do, sort of. That is, most of the topics that are being discussed here do not fall into the round Earth v's Flat Earth dichotomy. That is, the Earth being round has an abundance of scientific evidence to support it (peer review mainstream science about the Earth), whereas on a topic like ghosts there is nothing similar. Mainstream scince hasn't really considered ghosts and so even if one were to claim that the majority scientific view is that ghosts don't exist (rather than simply scince has not considered or accepted the existence of ghosts) you are going to have a hard time saying very much more than that. The problem that this creates is that unless we are going to write a 10-word article on ghosts the "mainstream" view is either going to be take up very little space in ocomparison to other views/points etc. about ghosts, or else we can write "science/sceptics say ghosts don't exist" every few lines in the article (a method that sems to have been adopted in the EVP article).

I also agree with Martinphi that Seraphimblade should put his/her money where his/her mouth is and either change the policy to say "if mainstream scince hasn't considered something then it should be taken to have rejected it", or accept that it doesn't actually mean that at all.Davkal 20:41, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

We are now talking about fringe theory but originally the discussion was regarding minority views that are supported by reputable sources, but by less than a nominal 50% of the community, where the wording of Undue Weight means that the views of a sizeable minority should be represented "only marginally or not at all". As the original commenter said, if the minority represented 45% of the scientific community then this guideline would effectively censor that element.
The EVP matter does not appear to be a scientific minority viewpoint, but a viewpoint that does not have any citable credibility in the mainstream scientific world. LessHeard vanU 21:03, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I didn't think of the point that there simply isn't enough mainstream material a lot of the time to make it a large part of the article. LessHeard is right, also. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 21:49, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Undue weight says that views should be represented "in proportion to the prominence of each." In other words, it encourages us to make a distinction between a "minority" view that is supported by 45% of the scientific community, and one that is supported by a tiny minority. I don't see a problem here. WP:WEIGHT is one of the most important (if least understood and least obeyed) policies we have, and it already deals with the situations mentioned above effectively. What I'm hearing is that proponents of certain minoritarian views would like more freedom to expound on them uncritically here. There are many forums to do so, but Wikipedia generally is not one of them. MastCell Talk 22:57, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Unless the minority view is Scientism, in which case whole articles (and many sections of other articles) can be used to expound on it using the "this is what scientists would say if they said something and this is what experiments would show if they had been done" rule. Davkal 23:05, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, MastCell, but the problem is cases like EVP. In that case, 90 percent -and that's probably not an overestimation though it is OR- of the people who make it prominent believe it is communication from spirits. So, that means we should give 90 percent of the article to those views? Or maybe even 100%, since the skeptics are a very very tiny minority? I believe there should be more skepticism in the article than that. On the other hand, skeptics are arguing that the 90 percent actually represent a minority because..... ummmmmm.... because they aren't skeptical. So what do you think should be done? Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 02:28, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Simple... fields which have not been studied critically by mainstream science should not be presented as if they are mainstream scientific fields. They are "fringe" fields by definition. That's my opinion, but then I'm just one person. MastCell Talk 02:52, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
And that's what WP policy already says, repeatedly. And the 90% thing ignores undue weight and values quantity over quality (reliability) of sources. If there are only two or three articles appearing in journals discussing a topic, we're supposed to consider that enough evidence of mainsteam acceptance? Or a whole pile of self published "experiments" along with those?
I have to admit I'm amused by the addition of "scientism" to the rhetorical arsenal, it's a nice change of pace from "pseudoskeptic". --Minderbinder 12:06, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

No one is saying that they should. WP:FRINGE says:

"Articles which cover controversial, disputed, or discounted ideas in detail should document (with reliable sources) the current level of their acceptance for the idea among the relevant academic community. If proper attribution cannot be found among reliable sources of an idea's standing, it should be assumed that the idea has not received consideration or acceptance. However, a lack of consideration or acceptance does not necessarily imply rejection; ideas should not be portrayed as rejected or labeled as pseudoscience, unless such claims can be documented in reliable sources."

This is interpreted by skeptics to mean what Seraphimblade says above. If that is really policy, then let's change it. If it is not policy, then let's present the articles that way. I have absolutely no problem with the current rules. I have a problem with skeptics who don't want to follow them. EVP, for instance, has not been considered or rejected, and the skeptics, for pure repugnance to the subject, want to write the article, by giving undue weight and outright innuendo or statements, as if it has been considered and rejected. They want to do OR to make out as if it has. So either change the rules or follow them! (to paraphrase Davkal.) Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 23:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Again, you're arguing with a strawman. All along, editors have been editing EVP to present it as a subject not accepted by science (which you seem to agree we should assume based on the policy above), and present it so undue weight isn't given to those advocating the topic (since it hasn't been accepted by science, and since the sources supporting it as a "proven" topic are few and questionable). YOU are the one who wants to ignore the rules and give undue weight to the arguments supporting it, regardless of how poorly sourced they are or whether they have been cited or reproduced by any other scientists or scientific publications. You have basically been arguing to present a fringe topic as if it were a mainstream one (simply because the mainstream has failed to disprove it).
Martin, at this point, upwards of twenty editors have agreed that you are misinterpreting NPOV and FRINGE, yet you still insist you're the one who is right. What would it take for you to accept that your interpretation of wikipedia policies is a misinterpretation and twisting through wikilawyering? I'm serious, please tell us what would clear this up for you once and for all, and would let you accept that your interpretation is wrong? --Minderbinder 12:51, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
No, they have been editing it to subtly or not so subtly- present it as a subject rejected by science. [[WP:KETTLE| Wikilawyer???]. First, it would take some reasonable argument instead of ignoring arguments and POV-pushing. Second, as Seraphimblade made clear above, there is a very wide disagreement as to how to interpret the rules. Why don't you put that interpretation in the rules? If it sticks, then our argument is over, and you win. If it doesn't, then please concede. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 22:39, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah. So editors haven't been editing the article to say that it's rejected, they've been editing it to say things that you've interpreted as (in some cases subtly) implying rejected. You sure have policy on your side there. And is there even any point in debating it with you if you can just declare anything you don't like "presents it as rejected!" (whether it actually says that or not)? There isn't "wide disagreement" either, there seems to be wide agreement and a small group that doesn't agree (which includes you). I'm disappointed to hear you say that you aren't going to change your mind until either you declare an argument "reasonable" (love the ridiculous strawman that you have been ignored, that's just hilarious) or the policy is changed.
But along those lines...I think the policy is just fine but it's just getting wikilawyered in this case - is there any reason to tweak the policy wording to make it more weaselproof? Or is it fine as-is, and should we just take the refusal to follow policy to the next stage of dispute resolution? --Minderbinder 23:32, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Let no one unfamiliar with the page and its/their history be fooled: the skeptical position, even where only a very few skeptics have spoken and even where no science has been done on the subject, have been given a huge amount of attention in the article. It has been argued that even when 90% of the people who know about the subject believe the thing is paranormal, they are actually in the minority. This for no other reason than that they are not skeptics. No, I think that the rules need to be made clear, and I think you should put them in just as Seraphimblade said. Then no one would be in doubt.
Put that in the rules or concede the argument. Don't come and try to weasel out. I'm calling you out on this.
I meant "wide disagreement" in terms of "great gulf" not "lots of people."
Reason is reason. Why do you think it can merely be "declared"?
Don't bother with the wikilawyer thing- you can't get away with it here just because few people here know you. You taught me all I know about wikilawyering, and I would absolutely love to be half as good at it as you are, because I could really put to good use the power it unfortunately gives one around here. Coming from you, really, it is a compliment that you would think me capable of it, so thanks.

Put that in the rules or concede the argument. Don't come and try to weasel out. I'm calling you out on this. If reliable sources have not been found to indicate that mainstream science accepts an idea, mainstream science rejects it. Put that in WP:FRINGE. Do it. Don't try to get out of it. That's the way you and others have been writing the articles, so put it in the rules and see if it sticks. Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 01:19, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Martin is right here. The rule (the actual rule) explicitly says that if mainstream sources cannot be found then it should not be assumed that a subject has been rejected. But the rule is being interpreted as if it should be assumed that a subject has been rejected - as per Seraphimblade's direct statement of that very thing above. The point here is either change the rule or obey it as it currently is. Re the EVP article, it is ludicrous to suggest that the rule is being applied appropriately. We have had statements saying "scientific explanations for EVP include...", and we have had those supposed scientific explanations actually take the place of the definition at one point. We have also had the claim "EVP has not been considered or accepted by the mainstream scientific community" - a direct quote from the rule - removed on a number of occasions by skeptical editors (it is not currently in the article). What this does is serve to muddy (hide) that point and pave the way for the "skeptical" explanations to become the mainstream. For example, we currently have about 90 words for paranormal explanations and about 900 for skeptical explanations (even though those 900 words just say the same thing over and over again). One would not think, from that ratio, that the skeptical view was not the mainstream scientific view. How else does a minority view of this type come to be given so much air-time. There is much pretense going on in the EVP article and all of it surrounds the muddying/changing/breaking of the rule Martin is talking about here.Davkal 12:59, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Messianic Judaism and Undue Weight

I am confused about how the Undue Weight policy should be applied in certain cases. I recently spent some time trying to clean up and expand articles relating to Messianic Judaism (MJ), which admittedly is a minor religious movement within Judaism. In fact, mainstream Judaism considers it not to be Judaism at all. This creates conflict between editors who hold views of different sides of the issue. MJ is a real phenomena in the world that can/should be covered by Wikipedia. By its own claims it is related to (or is a sect of) Judaism, and thus could be mentioned in certain articles where relevant. The counter-argument is that MJ is such a small minority that virtually any mention gives undue weight to this fringe position, thus MJ should be relegated to its own, separate articles. This use of Undue Weight policy is criticized by pro-MJ editors as it tends to lend support to the anti-MJ view. (Popularity doesn't make it correct.) Since MJ is a minority view within the realm of things Jewish, and this specific issue is particularly charged, true consensus is nearly impossible to find. It seems that certain policies (WP:WEIGHT, WP:CONSENSUS, etc.) can be used by a majority faction to censor differing views, and in situations where there is no one view that can be proven correct in a "scientific" sense—which covers nearly everything religious—editors such as myself are left in a quandary. This conflict has been so polarizing at times that not only have MJ references been completely eliminated from articles in the Judaism domain repeatedly, but articles/templates within the MJ project have had links to "regular Jewish" articles removed, as this was seen as "hijacking" and/or "misrepresentation of MJ as mainstream". With these policies in place, and given the existing understanding of them, is it even possible for legitimate (albeit minority) views to be fairly represented on Wikipedia? Can there be understanding? Or is it acceptable that the ignorant reader of Subject X be kept in the dark that different views of the subject even exist? ⇔ ChristTrekker 15:58, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Maybe some fresh eyes would help. Being a total outsider to Judaism in general and having read the article Messianic Judaism for the first time, my impression is that the article is very informative, yet has a slight edge of defensive advocacy towards the end where it discusses the controversy between mainstream Judaism and the conflict with Jews For Jesus. Regarding links to your article, in the "mainstream" Judaism article, I see mention of the MJ movement in Judaism#Syncretic beliefs incorporating Judaism which appears to be in appropriate weight to the other topics. Again, this is just my opinion after a cursory glance. -- LuckyLouie 23:58, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
The WP:3O is much appreciated. I have a feeling that is what this situation really needs for resolution, as all the people who typically weigh in are too close to the issue. OTOH, those not close to the issue have no interest in following its development for any length of time. If the MJ articles seem a tad defensive in places, it's probably because they are—seeing most every edit reverted tends to wear on a person. (Is it a persecution complex if the perception of persecution is legitimate?) WP:MESSIANIC is going to start trying to mark articles where these differences have been worked out amicably (or not), as a step toward better resolutions in the future. ⇔ ChristTrekker 15:53, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Louie, here is one illustration (a revert war over a footnote, in this case) for you. Follow the edit history through the rest of 2007-02. ⇔ ChristTrekker 17:15, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Would it violate NPOV to require a scientific viewpoint?

Articles about the supernatural like ghost and qi are written from a thoroughly unscientific viewpoint. That is, they give (what I feel to be) undue weight to the possibility that these entities exist. In the same way that we require articles about fictional entities to not be written from an in-universe style, I think that we should require articles about unscientific topics to clearly state that their existences are not supported by science. Would this violate NPOV? And to dig myself even further into a hole, I would like to extend this question beyond articles on the supernatural to articles about religious topics and articles about pseudoscience (as determined by scientific consensus). Would it violate NPOV to put some kind of "this is unscientific" disclaimer onto those? --JianLi 05:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

This discussion has a long history here. The outcome of this discussion is most clear for fields which claim to be science but are not. Compare WP:SCIENCE, WP:FRINGE (for extreme cases WP:BOLLOCKS) and the outcome and discussions of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience.
Pjacobi 12:29, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Another problem is that the use of science has not been able to disprove that some phenomena is the result of ghosts, beasties, God, witchcraft, aliens, Government Conspiracy (please add Fringe Belief System as appropriate). The creed of "Absence of proof is not proof of absence" has been very helpful to those who proclaim faith in such matters. To contemplate placing a scientific disclaimer on certain classes of article will likely raise as much debate as to its validity as the subject itself. It is best to allow the reader make up their own minds based on the references and examples available in the article, understanding that the reader will likely bring their own views to the subject anyway. LessHeard vanU 12:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
How about just sticking to "verifiable information from a reliable source", and making it very, very, very, explicitly, clear that while some people do believe in these things, it is an unproven (and in some cases, unprovable) belief. Attribution solves everything-instead of "Ghosts exist[1]", say "Supernatural Monthly claims that thousands of ghosts have been observed.[1] Debunkers Weekly states that this is "the worst form of pseudoscience we've ever seen," and has found that the group fabricated or altered statements in at least thirty cases.[2]" Seraphimblade Talk to me 13:03, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but "verifiable information from a reliable source" could include an EMP reading in an investigation conducted by The Atlantic Paranormal Society; they have a tv show, what more proof do you need? ;~) My point is that disclaimers will bring nothing to an article, the scientific/skeptic community don't need telling what is junk science and the believers will ignore/dispute its validity. LessHeard vanU 14:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC
There is an established practice of including a Controversy section to articles that merit it. If there is some controversy concerning the current state of Martian politics, then that should of course be mentioned. ruinia 18:30, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Don't tell me the Fungoid Transferable Vote Policy has been bought up again!?! LessHeard vanU 20:36, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

WHAT IS a "scientific" perspective, and the tool for its measure? To the Wikipedia Community,

My proper address is Entologist George Johnson-Hill, I had an entry entitled 'Entology' here in Wikipedia's FREE online encyclopedia deleted by one of the "administrators";

Reason: violation of Wikipedia guidelines(CSD G1, NONSENSE)


Websters' definition of the prefix "ento" is: combining form within or inner...

Websters' definition of the suffix "ology" is: the study of...

Respectfully, 'Entology' is a conjunction of the two, hence, "the study of within."

Yes, it is a word that I formed, as well as what I believe to be a scientific platform, as "science" IS a searching field based upon theories.

"Entology" thus: is the study of "dynamic relativity," or "cause and effect by objective." A "science" utilizing the premise of Einstein's theory of general relativity examined within the principles of the Domino Effect.

For a model of "dynamic relativity" I offered for examination a parlimentary system;

For the presence of "dynamic relativity," I offered for examination the United States.

Obviously, I am serious about this issue and feel the deletion of my entry violated the principles of the Wikipedia forum. I am therefore, presenting this issue to the Wikipedia community for review. I will graciously respect whatever decision the Wikipedian community decides. Entologist George Johnson-Hill, [email removed]removed by Kirbytime

Not knowing anything about your case, I suspect that you fell foul of the rules against Original Research. To summarise, Wikipedia is not somewhere where you can submit essays on particular subjects. Instead, Wikipedia is somewhere where you can summarise information that has already been published in a Reliable Source. If you write an Entology article that is fully based on existing published material (citing the sources of such material, and not copying them verbatim), then I would expect the article to form a valuable contribution to the encyclopedia. If you feel that you contribution has been unreasonably deleted, then you can report it to Deletion Review, where you will obtain an unbiased opinion on whether Wikipedia guidelines have been violated. Bluap 05:34, 13 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)

Is there a policy/guideline regarding punctuation style? Apostrophes and quotation marks, specifically?

This isn't of major improtance but I thought this edit to the Birdman and the Galaxy Trio article was odd, mainly because I hadn't seen this type of edit before. The apostrophes and quotation marks have been swapped from the conventional ones to a different style. I don't even have that type of punctuation on my keyboard, just ' and ". This is such a small detail I never expected Wikipedia to have a policy on it, but if this editor went to the effort of changing the quotation marks, then I wondered if there is a guideline? Pufnstuf 04:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

The manual of style has a lot of stylistic guidelines, but I don't think it has anything on what particular type of quotation marks to use. Those look like Unicode ones, you can generate them with a regular word processor and paste them in. (I don't know of any keyboards that specifically have them). Usually we just use the standard "" or '', but it's probably not a tremendously big deal. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:11, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
In particular, the MOS section on quotation marks uses the Unicode directional quotes, but does not say that they are required. It does say that grave and acute accents should not be used for single quotes. 01:21, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Notification when user talk page has been blanked

Accepting that users have the (general) right to clear their talk page of warnings, I'm wondering if there should be some kind of template or bug (like the cute little admin broom) that must be displayed to indicate to others that user warnings have been removed from a particular talk page. Seems to make sense rather than having to check the history to see if there is an on-going problem... Not a dog 03:44, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

This is a problem with the bots' automated warnings. A disruptive user will blank off their warnings, then a bot will leave an automated warning on the clean page. This means that unless a manual revert-then-edit is done, at least one of the warnings will be lost. Any template indicating deleted warnings is just as apt to be blanked off by a disruptive editor anyway. Caknuck 05:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Note that in general people are allowed to remove warnings from their talk page. So I'd suggest you check the history tab, which should show the issues in the edit summaries. >Radiant< 12:33, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    • I remember several months ago however that an anon account replaced the images on a Montenegro-related article with images of female anuses. I considered this to be such an obvious bad faith action (not a newbie test) that I went straight to {{test4im}}. I blocked when he replaced the warning with a standard {{test}}... as if a new IP entitles you to vandalize four times without getting blocked. I blocked that guy immediately. (Good thing that this iron fisted poor excuse for an admin is no longer an admin...) Sjakkalle (Check!) 14:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

It just seems to make sense to have some kind of easy indication that warnings have been issued and since blanked, rather than having to rifle through the history. I dunno. Not a dog 16:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Speaking for myself, possibly for others as well, I usually did not only review the user's talkpage, but also the contribution history. This usually reveals a lot more than the history of warnings. Sjakkalle (Check!) 06:06, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

When leaving a warning, you should put a description in the edit summary. That can't be blanked and should be visible at a glance unless they have an extremely busy talk page. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 12:16, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Technical point about copyright status?

On the page Image:Felix-pace.jpg, User:Pietro Shakarian is quoted as saying that US copyrights expire after 25 years if not renewed. My understanding is that they formerly expired after 28 years if not renewed, and once expired, they stay expired. This would still leave the image in question as public-domain in the US, but if I am right as to the copyright law, this wording needs to be fixed.

Where is the correct place to suggest such a correction, if not here? If I put it on the image's talk page, would anyone even notice? 20:11, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

If you think you're right, you could just re-write the PD declaration under your own signature (though as a logged-out editor, you might find that a little tricky to make stick, which is unfortunate). Here's a good place to ask, but there's also WT:CP, even though it's not strictly a 'problem'. Splash - tk 21:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'll post this there. Thanks. 02:30, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Cornell has an informative table here. Works published in the US from 1923 through 1963, and not renewed, are in the public domain.--Pharos 04:31, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Edgar Allen Floe

Is an album cover being used to illustrate the artist's page a valid fair use? Corvus cornix 00:09, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

No. Splash - tk 00:12, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Religious topics in the pseudohistory category

What is the policy on including religious topics, specifically religious texts and characters from religious texts in Category:Pseudohistory? Recently, User:Java7837 has included among other things Nephites and First Book of Nephi in this category with the edit summary "it is psuedohistory in that it doesn't agree with the accepted view of history which is jews didn't migrate to the americas so early." By this same argument, one could also include Garden of Eden, Genesis, Adam and Eve, and other religiously charged topics into that category. IMO, religious texts should be outside of the realm of pseudohistory since they were not created through some application of historiographical conventions, even if they contradict the common historical understanding. Also the term pseudohistory is general understood to be perjorative, and applying it to such text may border on NPOV or NOR issues. So what's the policy in this situation? --FyzixFighter 23:44, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that articles on religious concepts do not belong in the pseudohistory categorization, but articles on attempts to prove sacred history in a secular context probably do (for example, Archaeology and the Book of Mormon).--Pharos 01:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Usernames with advocacy

I have been noticing usernames such as these:

I checked WP:USERNAME and there doesn't seem to be any policy regarding these types of usernames. So my question is, ought there be policy regarding usernames which push a POV?--ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 22:19, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

POV usernames are OK unless they are disruptive. No need for such policy. WooyiTalk, Editor review 22:21, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Disruptive in what sense? Because isn't advocacy in direct contradiction with WP:NPOV?--ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 22:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
It's OK if they're not editing articles relating to their usernames. Even still, so long as they provide verifiable references to support their additions, I have no quarrel even if they are editing such articles. Their dedication to an issue may make them more aware of useful resources which may not have been referenced within the respective Wikipedia entry. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 02:16, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I see no problem with such names. If anything they do themselves a disservice (as pointed out in the username policy) because people will tend to assume they are biased in their edits. >Radiant< 11:52, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The problem with banning such things is where do we stop? User:AnimalRights? User:ChristianWarrior? maybe we'd ban them, but what about User:ProudAmerica? or User:YoungSocialist? and then do we ban usernames with implied POV like User:CommradeRed? then we end up in wikilawyering definitions. If it is disruptive kill it, otherwise suggest a change and leave it at that. If POV warriors want to flag themselves up as such, that's probably helpful in the long run.--Docg 12:02, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I have no problem with usernames which state a position in general terms, so long as the position is not an extreme one or obviously inflammatory. However, yesterday I encourged User:Freeleonardpeltier to change his name because that was a bit too specific. Sam Blacketer 12:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Usernames that state a position are fine, even if they edit the articles that their username reflects. The problem is when it becomes disruptive. Logically, if we were to prevent people with names like "AnimalRights" from editing articles about animal rights, it would make sense to do the same with POV userboxes ("This user supports animal rights.") As a result, the actions of a user need to be judged independently of their username. .V. [Talk|Email] 16:36, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't see any problems with having a POV username; every single editor necessarily has their own personal pov and pretending they don't by banning such usernames isn't going to change that. What such a ban would do is chase off a lot of users, both old ones who've had such screen names for a good while and new users who would choose such names. I think it is a natural reaction for many individuals to choose usernames on any website that reflect some interest of theirs. If anything such usernames at least make things more transparent and can make people more aware of biases. --The Way 19:54, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Rating scale

I've seen a rating scale for biographies, but where are the criteria for other categories? I'd like to make an article A class but I want to be sure it meets the criteria. I don't want to know for just this category but all categories. Tayquan hollaMy work 05:04, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Also if A class is ahead of GA, why is A class arbitrarily decided but GA class requires a systematic process? Tayquan hollaMy work 05:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
My interpretation is that an A-class article is one that only just misses the Featured Article Criteria, while being easily a Good Article. Bluap 05:27, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
That's what I'm talking about "just misses" "while easily being a Good Article" isn't there some kind of formal criteria here? Tayquan hollaMy work 06:58, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
It is somewhat odd but that's the situation. A few wikiprojects have formal systems for making A-class articles. For the rest, you just assign the article a quality rating by yourself. If someone else disagrees with your rating, they can always change it later. CMummert · talk 11:44, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, GA isn't really that much of a systematic process. While there are criteria, special pages for the system, and a special logo, the decision ultimately comes down to one editor. This is nothing like the process for FAs which must gain a consensus. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 00:34, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Pushing an article to featured status should solve the problem. =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:42, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Naming conventions for India-related articles

Proposal for naming articles for India-related topics in English: Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics#Naming conventions for India-related articles =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Community Service?

Don't know if this belongs here, but I couldn't find a better place to post it

Does Wikipedia offer community service to members for making positive edits and contributions? As a junior in high school, anything that can be put onto my transcript will be beneficial. Editing on Wikipedia is similar to other forms of "community service", and Wikipedia is a non-profit organization. I guess the point I'm getting at, simply put, is can I put the hours I put into editing Wikipedia onto my college transcript?

Thanks in advance CyminX 01:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I wouldn't put it on a college transcript; that would come off as unprofessional. Just my advice. --The Way 20:09, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I recommend speaking with your Counselor regarding this. As for the comment by The Way, I don't see how it could be seen as unprofessional. Yes, Wikipedia is not a recognized source for papers within academia, but many people within universities do see the importance of the project. Anyway, back to the main subject, your Counselor will have better advice for you than anyone here. CASCADIAHowl/Trail 15:08, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

New Handicap Symbol

The new image

Why are we so stuck on it being a wheelchair? What does everyone think of this? --Random832 20:22, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

It kind of looks like a slingshot. But you're right, maybe there's another symbol that we can use. Sancho 20:35, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
We're stuck on the wheelchair, because it indicates where a person in a wheelchair can go. Way different from where a person on crutches can go. I think they can go pretty much anywhere, can't they? - Peregrine Fisher 21:10, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what problem you are trying to solve by using a new symbol. I do know that there is a broad, international recognition of the wheelchair symbol to signify information or locations or what have you that are relevant to people with disabilities. By using the standard symbol, we build on shared understanding. I would want to see a very strong reason to give up that advantage. --Jdlh | Talk 09:22, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Some silly person put the "standard" symbol under a restrictive license. :-/ --Kim Bruning 11:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I thought it was a wine glass.++aviper2k7++ 05:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Commons has several unrestrictive images of the recognized symbol here. CASCADIAHowl/Trail 14:31, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Just found the debate going on regarding the symbols. Nevermind. CASCADIAHowl/Trail 14:48, 15 April 2007 (UTC)


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)

Privacy proposals - status unclear

The status of the following old policy proposals is somewhat unclear:

They were all tagged {{rejected}} until recently when tags of all three were changed to {{disputed}} by the same user. Two of them are currently protected until the status is resolved. I am not trying to revive any of these proposals; I think that none of them is close to having consensus and they should all be marked as rejected. But it seems that a discussion is required to decide on their status. CMummert · talk 20:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, I hadn't followed this discussion so far. But immediatly when reading this I thought: Why not state on the edit page of [[User:]] "Be careful with providing personal information on your Wikipedia userpage" (or something more directly targeted at children ?? I really don't care what goes there exactly). I mean it would be technically possible to add a small message just above the editpage box of a User page wouldn't it ? And we don't become babysitters like Yaksha was afraid of with such a message, while still doing something along a "best-effort", which is quite a lot of effort for a non-profit organization! --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 23:37, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
So what i was hinting as what we have on the edit box of talk pages for instance: "This is a talk page. Please respect the talk page guidelines, and remember to sign your posts using four tildes (--TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 23:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC))."

Unless there are objections, I plan to tag all three of these as rejected on Apr 9. CMummert · talk 01:54, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I object to any of these being labeled as rejected. In the case of Protecting children's privacy, the current version was essentially written by the ArbComm -- it was taken directly from their findings in a case involving the previous version. I don't see any statement in the current version that anybody could possibly object to, nor have I seen any objections other than "IDONTLIKEIT" type objections, which aren't supposed to count. In the case of Youth protection, I think I have the right to make it an essay, which I did, but it was edit-warred into a rejected policy page. I think this is wrong. Just because there was no consensus for the old version of Protecting children's privacy does not mean there can't be an essay saying that these protections should exist. After all, there are essays on almost everything else. You or someone else suggested userfying it, which is where it started, but there's nothing wrong with having it as an essay. As for WP:Privacy, this one truly baffles me. Radiant originally created it as a counter to Protecting children's privacy, but once the original version of the latter was "rejected" (which was and is still in dispute), he seemed to lose interest in it. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that policy on Wikipedia is all one big game, and the best interests of users in general are trampled by admins who assert ownership of policy pages and get their admin friends to leave stupid warnings on ordinary users' talk pages so they can have the upper hand in disputes. 6SJ7 05:25, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and one more thing. The current version of WP:Youth protection, when it was properly labeled as an essay, had several passages that suggested that it was a policy. That was my mistake, but when I tried to correct it, Radiant reverted me, because he was so hot to have that "Rejected" tag back up there. But somehow, I was the only one you saw fit to warn, CMummert. Not that I am holding a grudge or anything. 6SJ7 05:35, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I brought the discussion here in the hopes of expanding the discussion to a broader audience. The basic question is, when is it appropriate to use an essay tag vs. when is it appropriate to use a rejected tag. I hope that others will comment on the situation. The second question is what to do with these three pages. CMummert · talk 12:22, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, well, as far as I can see, there is no policy or guideline that says that a rejected policy proposal cannot be tagged as an essay if someone wants to do so. I don't see why there should be such a policy. I looked at WP:ESSAY to try to find some guidance on what can and cannot be an essay, and unfortunately there is no policy there; only an essay! It then leads to another essay with a confusing name (somthing like Don't worry about writing essays) which basically seems to say, go ahead and write an essay on anything you want. But, of course, that is only an essay! So the bottom line is, there is no "rule" against what I did at WP:YOUTH, there is no reason why there should be such a rule, and this non-existent rule should not be enforced as if it were a rule. 6SJ7 13:04, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I think they should stay rejected. There had been no consensus to make them policy (half the room shouting "we have consensus" and the other half "no we don't" can't really be considered consensus) and after a while people simply left to work on something more productive. CharonX/talk 13:35, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

moving forward

I was hoping that some uninvolved editors would comment on the issue. The question is how to label these old proposals that didn't gather consensus. CMummert · talk 18:44, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Check WP:POL which lists the "tags" and reasoning behind them. In particular, "A rejected page is any proposal for which consensus support is not present, regardless of whether there is active discussion or not. Consensus need not be fully opposed; if consensus is neutral on the issue and unlikely to improve, the proposal is likewise rejected." >Radiant< 09:42, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I have asked the editor opposed to using the {{rejected}} tag to make a comment on the resolution they would like to see here. CMummert · talk 11:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I think I have given my opinion above. In any event, I see little point in participating in this at the moment. I do not plan to change the tags for the time being. Hopefully, at some point, some of the many people who saw the need for a policy/guideline in this area will rejoin the discussion, and at that point things can move forward. Hopefully it will not take a Major Bad Incident with screaming headlines on CNN to bring that about. But until something does happen to attract people back to the discussion, I suppose that those who own these pages and their tags will be able to do as they please. 6SJ7 19:54, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

What if I put a {{historic}} tag instead of {{rejected}}? That wording is much more ambiguous about the status of the proposal. CMummert · talk 15:36, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Youth protection is more in them of form of an essay, and ought to be reconsidered as such. Wikipedia:Privacy could also be made into an essay with the removal of some directions to admin action at the end of it. The third one is clearly a rejected policy and should stay as it is. Mangoe 03:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
True, but both were originally proposed as policies, so it would be appropriate to have some notice that they were proposed as policies but didn't get consensus. What about a compromise with an essay tag as well as a messagebox that says exactly this: "An earlier version of this page was proposed as a policy or guideline but did not gain consensus". CMummert · talk 03:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
That seems reasonable to me. Mangoe 11:52, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Naming conventions

I brought this up at WT:NC, but I didn't get a response. My question is about the names of articles about places or buildings within a city, such as Humboldt Park, Chicago. Is there a rule to help us choose between "Humboldt Park, Chicago", "Humboldt Park, Chicago, Illinois", "Humboldt Park (Chicago)", and "Humboldt Park (Chicago, Illinois)" for the name of the article? Thanks, Smmurphy(Talk) 15:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Why not call it Humboldt Park (over the redirect that is currently there)? Certainly don't use any of the parentheticals since no disambiguation is needed. -- JHunterJ 20:13, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
So is simplest best? For instance, is History of Chicago a better title than History of Omaha, Nebraska, or is there a difference because Omaha is smaller (not that Nebraska is going to help that much if you aren't from the US). Smmurphy(Talk) 05:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
If you look around, you'll find more than one massive discussion failing to arrive at a Wikipedia-wide consensus. The U.S. editors, for example, prefer that cities be named City, State, but international editors largely prefer City, Country. This isn't easily resolved. The working system seems to be that really major cities get to stand alone (like Chicago) while others retain the state. I think that Humboldt Park, Chicago works best in this case, but I'm afraid there's no rule that's going to make any choice stick. --Dhartung | Talk 04:54, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Violation of BLP?: Don Murphy

Is this content, which was published in the some of the largest of magazines in the United States, a violation of BLP? -- Zanimum 13:57, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

we already had this discussion. YOU are a loser who locked the page as a favor for a friend. All of this is revealed on
You should resign, go back to graphic design, and slice yourself. Fecapedian 15:16, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia's no personal attacks policy. Comment on content, not on contributors; personal attacks damage the community and deter users. Note that continued personal attacks may lead to blocks for disruption. Please stay cool and keep this in mind while editing. Thank you. Corvus cornix 17:24, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't really care for Mr. Don Murphy's approach to this by rallying on his website, but it seems this was decided on WP:ANI and the rationale "gives undue weight" is something that I feel for in this case. Wikipedia is not censored, but it's also not a tabloid, and if we cannot be bothered to have a proper biography on a person, then I don't see any reason to add a well published but regardless still totally unimportant fact to the article either. Negative press is easy, but wikipedia should not set sail on that sea even if Time has. I propose to add a simple and short statement about the dispute, with the source, and add a comment in the wikitext that this is enough detail in the current state of the article. That way we don't fully censor the fact (which we have a policy against), but we also don't dive into the subject. Ergo, "significantly shorten the statement" seems like the most wise action to me. --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 15:49, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Is it undue weight when this is the only topic that EW and Time have covered about him? While he's directed many movies, I simply can't find any more information on him in the media.
When I unprotected this article, my aim was to contact his forum, and encourage them to expand on writing about his career. I've yet to ask them to do this, but once they participate the length of article should be significant enough that the scrap between the two would be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. -- Zanimum 19:17, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
It is one of the more notable things that has happened in Mr. Murphy's life. It was all over the press and caused a great deal of noise when it happened. I also think that once we shorten the statement he is going to have a problem with it not being sourced enough either. Honestly, I think the entire section should be left in, it was well sourced, had lots of press, and was rather a rather notable event in his life. Philip Gronowski Contribs 19:19, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
This should be directed at the WP:BLP/N not here Nil Einne 19:44, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
The above is why I believe User Phiol Gronowski should be banned and arrested. He is 16 years old. He was 6 years old when the incident happened yet he states with certainty that it was all over the news and caused a great deal of noise. Yet Murphy denies it happened...links that were Wiki linked are now down...doesn't appear to be very much on the web at all about the alleged incident. Further, Murphy has piblicly accused Gronowksi of being obsessed with him and of haveing a vendetta against him akin to stalking. Why is Wikipedia allowing a venue for Gronowski to commit a crime? The guy has two big films coming out this year yet his stalker claims that an alleged incident from TEN YEARS ago was one of the more notable things to happen in his life. This is the same User who went on the record that he was leaving the commununity when he did not get made an admin because of the lack of knowledge in his 16 year old brain. Rather than allow him to edit the article he really should be locked up and examined. StillbornScott 02:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Have you ever heard of these creatures called brothers? I happen to have one, and he also happens to be a Tarantino fan, and while this is original research in a way, he tells me it was all over the news. Remove that from my comment then, the rest still stands. Honestly, this admin thing isn't getting to me, if I can't make my own lame jokes then I don't want to be an admin. And I was 7 in October '97. Philip Gronowski Contribs 02:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Don't bother yourself, Phil, this is Murphy's online schtick. He probes for weakness and attacks. I once offered his sock ColScott (talk · contribs) to cooperate improve the article on Murphy but at the time he was more interested in adding all the trash he could to Jane Hamsher. Funny, that. In any case, my reaction when he added the story (yes, ColScott was the first to do so, just for the record) to her article was "Oh, he's that guy", because Tarantino punching him out is sort of a legendary QT story. Part of the reason that Murphy ended up suing Tarantino, as I understand it, was that QT re-enacted the incident on the Arsenio Hall show. It's in half-a-dozen books, even in the listing for Ago in the book Los Angeles for Dummies, so it's very hard to argue that it isn't notable. (It's also a bit bizarre to contemplate why Murphy initiated a lawsuit if nothing happened.) In his post above as Fecapedian Murphy finally breaks character and makes a rational point, which is that it's maybe 1% of his life. I'm certainly sympathetic to that. The solution is that Murphy should encourage his fan-board people to improve his article, not harass Wikipedia editors with bogus legal threats and juvenile taunts. I would hope this reasonable suggestion might lead to some productive improvements, but Murphy seems to have an inability to realize when people are trying to be reasonable. --Dhartung | Talk 04:49, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


While I'm a strong support of spoiler tagging, it appears some editors are going too far and don't seem to understand it isn't acceptable to remove information just because they're spoilers (as according to policy). For example, I came across this unacceptable warning which I replaced with one more compliant with policy [3]. Many reversions were made on this 'don't add spoilers' idea. While I suspect all of these reversions were proper since it is difficult to source information if any episode has not aired, I think it is important that editors understand policy and don't remove spoilers just because they are 'spoilers'. Wanted to mention it here so other editors keep an eye out for similar issues (in other reality series especially) and advise editors accordingly Nil Einne 19:36, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

blocking policy

yah in da block log ive noticed that ip's using openproxies are banned for 5 YEARS! Y IS that seems like overkill Tremewanbill 02:44, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Could you please give an example? YechielMan 04:52, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Unless I'm mistaken, open proxies are indefinitely blocked, not banned for any amount of time. As soon as the owner fixes the problem, they can apply to be unblocked Nil Einne 19:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Featured Articles/Pictures and the Right to Choose

Wikipedia has earned the reputation for being a place where internet users can come to find accurate, plentiful, uncensored information on any topic that interests them. To do so, they enter keywords in the search box. This allows them to find the articles that interest them, but more importantly, to avoid the articles on topics they don't want to learn about, for whatever reason. However, to do so, all Wikipedia users must pass through the main page, a page that contains one big featured article per day and one big picture, as well as a few dozen smaller articles. Now, what right does Wikipedia have to force users to view pictures and articles on the front page? User's can't close their eyes and click on the search bar, nor can they blindly scroll to the links to the bottom of the page which has links to other languages and other wiki sites. To do so, they must pass by the featured content, whether they like it or not. Now, text articles on the front page aren't as great of a problem as the featured picture, because it's much easier to avoid reading text than it is to avoid looking at a picture, though both are difficult and unnatural to do. Certain pictures on the front page this month have been found distasteful by many, most notably, but also to some extent, and there may be backlash when becomes public on April 29th. The least we can do is prevent such disgusting pictures from going on the front page, because many find them disgusting. However, take the picture of April 13, It's just a cute little Gray Squirrel, hardly a threat to anyone's tastes it would seem. However, consider the feelings of someone who perhaps kept a squirrel as a pet, and it just recently died, and they don't want to be reminded of it. They'd probably avoid the article on squirrels. And yet, if they came to Wikipedia on April 13th, and wanted to get to the link to Wikiquotes, they'd have to pass by the picture of the squirrel, which in this case would be an image they don't want to see. So, I suggest something that may sound very drastic, but I think it's the best choice: not have any more featured content on the front page. No featured pictures, no featured articles, no featured news. That's not to say that we can't still have articles on those things; in fact, we could have simple links to pictures of the day and featured articles. But showing them on the front page is wrong. By doing so, you force users to view things they don't want to do, and they can't do anything about it if they want to use Wikipedia. The main page of Wikipedia should just be a page of links. To have any more infringes on people's right to chose what they want to see and know, and what they don't wish to see and know. Kevin 19:58, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

And what if I don't want to look at a sea of blue text every time I get on Wikipedia? Why must I see that, if other people can get all content removed from the front page because they don't want to see it? -Amarkov moo! 20:01, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Users don't have to go the wikipedia main page every time. For those who want to just search, you can bookmark this alternative main Page, and go there when you want to go to wikipedia. --YbborTalkSurvey! 20:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I note that none of those images are more objectionable that something you might find on the pages – indeed, the front page, from time to time – of a major newspaper.... TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:48, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Most people probably come here via, which only contains a search box and a language selector. So I think the point is moot- you have to know the en. main page is there to go straight to it instead of going through www. --Moralis (talk) 21:42, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Oh. I guess I didn't notice it before, or it's new. Last time I checked, it only had Wikipeda language selection. But, I just checked it now, and it has search, language selection, and links to other wikis, all nice and simple there, without any of the complexity or obscurity of Actually, that looks pretty much like how I wanted it, so I guess if that was there before, I was kind of calling for a change that's already taken place :-$. In that case, nevermind, though I still think a little more prudence should be taken when selecting a picture of the day. Kevin 15:04, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I suspect the vast majority of people come direct to a content page, via a search engine. Google, in most cases. --kingboyk 23:00, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
(Reply to Kevin)

Wikipedia has earned the reputation for being a place where internet users can come to find accurate, plentiful, uncensored information on any topic that interests them.

Correct right up to the last three words. Wikipedia does not exist to provide uncensored information that interests internet users, it exists to provide uncensored information. In doing so WP may upset some parties but it takes the responsibility to publish what is legal very seriously, and cannot be prejudiced by the sensitivities of any group or individual. Also, since it is a resource and does not create the information then WP should not be restricted in any manner when the original source is not. LessHeard vanU 23:10, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
No duh. I was saying users have the right to choose WHAT ARTICLE they want to go to, not the right to censure things they don't like. Or are you saying Wikipedia chooses what articles you want to look at for you? ;-) Kevin 15:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I am finding it hard to take this serious. If true, we are in trouble today. Image:Ferry Birka Princess 20050902 M-cropped.jpg might hurt people with Aquaphobia, Image:Aintree Eglinton Reserve.jpg perhaps people with allergies might object? Garion96 (talk) 23:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem with your argument, LessHeard, is that is not at all clear to me that "exercising editorial prerogative" is "censorship." One might decide that (for example) a picture of an evisceration is not appropriate, editorially, for the front page. To make that decision is not, by any stretch of the imagination, "censorship. Nandesuka 23:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree completely, Nandesuka. Cirtain images aren't necessarily editorially appropriate for the front page. Besides, that's not to say they don't have their place in the releivent article, or they should be banned altogether; just that it might not be appropriate for the front page. Kevin 15:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
This is extreme to me as well, I was with Kevin here but not with the drastic solutions he just offered. Quadzilla99 00:05, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with editorial judgement where an image could be considered "outraging public sensibilities", but Kevins examples were of being upsetting the sensibilities of smaller groups; pictures of gray squirrels being hurtful for owners of recently deceased same... I am not convinced about the other examples, either. They may not be pleasant for some to view, but they are editorially valid in the context of the article. If removing them would be to the detriment of the article, and as it could be argued that there are no alternatives, then such removal effectively alters the article. In that way it is censorship. LessHeard vanU 10:34, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
"detriment of the article"? Reread my first post. Did I ever say anything about taking the picture of the squirrel out of the article? I'm only talking about featured content on the front page here. Kevin 15:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Haha, the first image on todays page would upset people who had Arithmophobia. this image of mars would upset people with Astrophobia. I won't even mention the war picture upseting people who have Traumatophobia.++aviper2k7++ 05:12, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I strongly feel that en WP should actively try to include absolutely everything notable that can be legally put on the internet where the servers are based, but I find myself agreeing with Kevin that it is not appropriate to shock or offend visitors. Our outside cover should be chosen with discretion--even the first picture displayed in an article should be chosen with discretion, and then the content inside WP as a whole or any article should include whatever is appropriate for the subject as judged by those interested in the subject. What newspapers may do to attract attention is irrelevant to our purpose.DGG 06:22, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Hear hear. Kevin 15:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
You can't be serious. What if this hypothetical person goes outside and sees squirrels running around? Maybe we shouldn't allow squirrels outside just in case it might offend someone who just lost a squirrel. Squidfryerchef 15:21, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I recently read of a woman who is suing a shopping mall because she was attacked on the mall's ground by a squirrel. She felt that the mall should have warned patrons that there were attack squirrels around. Corvus cornix 20:52, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Each time I hear arguments about people complaining about seeing images that are not obscene or pornographic, I can't help but laugh. Yes, you have the right to not log on to Wikipedia and immediately be greeted by a picture of some ones gentiles, I will give you that, but the other images mentioned I really cannot see a problem with in the slightest. As a person, everyone has the right to put their head in the sand... and believe the world is only beautiful pictures of cute puppies, but no one has the right to enforce the doctrine of "cute puppies for everything" (or something similar) on everyone, because it is a false truth. If you choose to live with your head in the sand, then why own a TV, Radio, and Internet Access? CASCADIAHowl/Trail 15:20, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

==)? Quadzilla99 17:33, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Hello? Quadzilla99 20:48, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Huh, that's a fairly subtle observation, actually. It's a Mediwiki-layout thing. It sensibly positions images that have to dance around the horizontal lines that accompany == headers, but often 'gets wrong' those that come after === headers since there's no line. Sometimes, though, other circumstance might mean it all falls out fine. In general, don't worry overly about this sort of minute detail, though, and just do what looks best. (Though the principle of the advice of not disconnecting pictures from their associated text sounds good to me). Splash - tk 21:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure about that? I want to make sure, just so I can follow all the guidelines. It appears both headers separate the text from the headers. Quadzilla99 21:38, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Hm, I'm sure I've had trouble with === headers before. Not that I can show you an example, of course! Anyway, yes, I'm sure: it's more important that the article finishes up looking right, even if it does have to bend some bits of advice a little. Splash - tk 23:10, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
The MoS is completely wrong. It should not be at the end of the section at all as the image overlaps into the next section. =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:41, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
That's the point Nichalp. Quadzilla99 17:00, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
You'll have to be bold and make the changes. There are two points to remember. 1. An image should never be placed at the end of a section -- it overlaps into the next section. 2. Images aligned to the left should be avoided at all costs at the beginning of a section, it makes it harder to read the text. =Nichalp «Talk»= 19:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Images should be aligned left only when there's a navigational template or something similar on the right. AQu01rius (User &#149; Talk) 21:50, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
That is not recommended as it squeezes text and makes it difficult to read especially on low resolution screens. =Nichalp «Talk»= 06:05, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
You've misunderstood the situation I think Nichalp, a pic placed at the end of a section will appear next to the follwoing section's header, it looks fine that's what I'd prefer see here. Quadzilla99 00:11, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
No, I haven't misunderstood the situation. :) An image should be pertinent to the section placed in. If placed in at the end of the section, it flows to the next section, which does not necessarily make it pertinent there. Secondly, a left-aligned image flowing into the following section as you have illustrated, pushes the section title to the right, which is bad style, and definately not recommended. I have opposed many FACs based on poor presentation, and this is one frequent wiki style malaise. =Nichalp «Talk»= 06:05, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Well the pic was deleted so that exampe won't work anymore, I'm not really sure what style guide you're referring to Nichalp, unless that's your personal interpretation. I thought it looked rather appealing, any way that's the current recommended format per the MoS. Quadzilla99 02:53, 16 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

Guidelines for "References in Popular Culture" sections

Do any such guidelines exist? If not, I'd like to suggest some, namely:

1. Avoid such a list if possible. "References in Popular Culture" lists are (almost always) inherently WP:Original Research, because they (almost always) depend on Wikipedia editors to determine what is worthy of inclusion.

2. Before creating a "References in Popular Culture" section, ask yourself: Is it useful? Does it make the article more or less encyclopedic?

3. If you really must have a "References in Popular Culture" section, then a guiding principle should be: "if X is less famous than Y, then references to Y by X are by definition not very interesting". Only references by people or things more interesting are notable. A reference to a well-known person or event by an obscure band does not qualify. A reference to a lesser-known person or event by a popular band (e.g. the song about the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo by U2 comes to mind) does qualify.

4. A little more leeway exists for things which exist mainly in popular culture anyway. So the "References in Popular Culture" section is generally more appropriate for a TV show than for a politician.

p.s. If there is a policy page already where this is discussed, or where it should be discussed, could someone please direct me to it. Thanks. Rocksong 07:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I especially like idea #3. I find it incredibly annoying that about 90% of all 'popular culture' sections link to Family Guy, just because much of its method of humor is to play off semi-obscure references for laughs. By the way, you probably want to look at Category:Fictional works in popular culture, where whole articles have been devoted to this subject, though supposedly only for "iconic" works.--Pharos 08:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Something to this effect can be found at WP:TRIVIA. AgneCheese/Wine 08:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Personally I'd like to see 'References in Popular Culture...' sections done away with completely. They are inherently POV and almost always actually mean 'References in Mainstream US/UK Culture.' Furthermore, we generally want to do away with trivia in general and these types of lists are almost always pure trivia... --The Way 20:14, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
See Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc a Featured list for a counter-example. Quadzilla99 20:47, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

See Cargo cult encyclopaedia article writing. Uncle G 16:05, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, it looks to me like there's a bit of a consensus that "Popular Culture" sections are usually A Bad Thing. Assuming I'm right, how do I go about suggesting it as a Wikipedia guideline? Do I find the existing guideline page whose subject matter is closest (probably Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles) and suggest it there? Or do I have to "start at the bottom", and first try to incorporate it into an "essay"? (which is a lower level than a "guideline", but seems to me to carry so little clout that I don't see the point). Rocksong 03:35, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I would recommend trying to incorporate this into Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles.--Pharos 03:40, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Change in community-ban policy

Please see Wikipedia talk:Banning policy#Deletion of text from WP:BAN#Community ban. Thanks. -- BenTALK/HIST 18:15, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew)


Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) (an attempt to standardize naming conventions for articles whose titles come from Hebrew/Yiddish/Aramaic words and names, and incidentally an attempt to standardize in-article romanization for such words and names as well) is being revived.

If you're interested in the topic, please drop in at the talk-page.

RuakhTALK 12:19, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Warnings about inaccurate external sites

Wikipedia editors are advised to point to only accurate external sources. That raises the question of being tempted to warn readers that inaccurate external information source xxxxx is inaccurate. Site xxxxx not being linked to by the Wikipedia article, does not imply automatically that xxxxx is inaccurate: sometimes there are too many relevant external pages on a topic to list without turning the Wikipedia article into a "link farm". This topic arose elsewhere recently, and I was told that "Wikipedia is not Snopes." But I would like to start a discussion on this apparent policy point about warning readers about inaccurate or misleading external sites.

A case of this that arose with me a while ago was with the APS Underwater Assault Rifle. Before I wrote this article, I Google seached for information about the APS Underwater Assault Rifle and found a web page describing, along with many real rifles, a USA-made copy of the APS called the Mk 37 Mod 0 Underwater Assault Rifle or Frogman Stinger; the page did not describe anything obviously unreal such as rayguns. There was nothing on the page that said clearly that the page was fiction, so I thought that it was real. Likely many others have made the same mistake. Soon after, I found via a weapons-related Yahoo email group that the page described not real events but events in a fictional world called Twilight 2000; this was made clear on the page's site's root page but not on the page that I found. This is a case of a mistake caused by Faction (literature), which see.

Anthony Appleyard 09:27, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Context is everything. We have lists of types, functions and service histories of star-ships on Wikipedia. None have been built (outside of a CGI suite) and never will be. As long as the article indicates the context of these creations then both the article and the links are valid. Your article need only note the fictional context of the weapon to make it and the link legitimate. In short, the link was not inaccurate and does not require readers to be warned. Since you created the article in good faith, and mistakes are easily corrected, then I feel little harm was caused. LessHeard vanU 10:50, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
If you wanted to include a site like that, you'd point out that it was about the Twilight 2000 universe. Squidfryerchef 15:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The world knows that the Star Trek scenario and similar are impossible and fiction. I was writing about things that look like fact but are not. The Mk 37 Mod 0 Underwater Assault Rifle is completely possible in the real world; it happens not to exist (as yet). Anthony Appleyard 16:10, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Niko Bellic is a perfect example of all the "don'ts". Read it's discussion page. Likely to be a hoax, but at least, not referenced, only a forum link is added, wich claims that an "insider" knows, what will be in the in the May 2007 issue of Game Informer.

I repeat it, exactly quoting from the article: "(...) His name was announced in the May 2007 issue of Game Informer." Got it? Then laugh together that Wikipedia sees the future, and there's no tag on that article, at least untill it is officially confirmed by R*, by showing an external link saying: "Q:Bellic? R*: Yeah." -- 18:27, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Er, you do realize that many magazines come out months before the cover date, right? Now, I don't know if the May issue of Game Informer is out yet or not, but it would not be the least bit surprising if it is. Phiwum 19:12, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I did. The only "evidence" is a forum comment, from a guy, who claims he's an insider. And BTW I don't think so, that the May issue is out almost a month (page was created april 10th) before may... Am I right? At least, what I know, is that Playboy's local May issue will be available only in the first week of May :))) -- 19:34, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

  • In brief, my proposal is: "In a Wikipedia page about subject yyyyy, it should be allowed to provide a warning section with a list of external links and saying that those links are not reliable information and why." That includes deliberate untruth, misguided information, hoaxes, out-of-date information, and fiction not well enough distinguished from fact. Compare Wikipedia:Use common sense with Wikipedia:There is no common sense: often what is 100% obvious to one is not obvious to another who has a different personal background: e.g. I am not a football fan, and various facts about football are obvious to a football fan but are not obvious to me. Anthony Appleyard 05:10, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
People often add a short phrase after a link, when the nature is not obvious , e.g. (Republican National Committee site) but such a phrase really has to be NPOV and defensible e.g. (not updated since 2001). Sometimes this is done by grouping by opinion. Anything more precise is usually POV pushing. A site may be called e.g. (racist) etc. by somebody and we can quote the statement, but we should almost never add such a phrase. We shouldn't editorialize in the article, and the external links in particular are external and I think everyone understands that much. DGG 08:54, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Random Articles Should Not Jump To X-Rated Articles

I'll keep this suggestion brief: I have no objection to the adult and X-rated material on Wikipedia. But couldn't we flag certain articles so that, if a user selects the "Random Article" link at left, those flagged articles will not show up? Who wants a ten year old selecting "Random Article", and jumping to a page on D&S, S&M, etc.?

Wikipedia is not censored. Yes, kids looking at the Internet unsupervised may happen upon objectionable material. Hence the reason that a ten-year-old kid shouldn't be looking at the Internet unsupervised, be that Wikipedia or otherwise. This also seems a solution in search of a problem, to some degree. Generally, when doing random-article patrol, I find a lot of poor articles that may need to be tagged for cleanup, merge, or deletion (which is why I do it), but in doing that through hundreds of pages I've not yet come upon a sexual topic at random. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Nor have I come a sexual-related article in WP which would really qualify as X-rated. Pornography is discussed on WP, and pornographic sites are very occasionally linked to, but I do not know of any articles which would in tcontemporary culture be termed pornographic or even X-rated. In part, this is due to our general policy of not usually liking to sites that require payment--and that is where the real pornography is to be found. Compared to the internet in general, WP is tame. DGG 04:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it is an excellent idea that the random article function should not go to sites involving X-Rays or any of those really difficult to understand Science (including Human Biology) subjects. Best stay clear of biographical subjects, since people have mums and dads and we don't want leading questions from 10 year olds, do we? Perhaps the random article switch should only go to popular culture (but not adult orientated subjects like drama, etc.) so the world can be made safer for unsupervised 10 year olds... "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" is only ever said by recipients of same! 11:34, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

A better idea is to make Random Article never pull up biographies or towns, since those tend to be less academic and less of general interest. If there's a decent heuristic to guestimate that, it might be worth coding up on the toolserver. --Interiot 07:29, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

  • yeah who would want to learn about places they've never been or people or something like that. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 09:16, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I think the "random" button should be replaced by a "read my mind" button. >Radiant< 11:52, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

While I can appreciate that some people who are just tasting the thing would rather not be suprised by an article on genitals or American History X, in practice I'd like to see how we identify enough of those articles to keep them from showing up. In practice I've never hit one-- there are too many town and band and minor biographical articles for the "rude" ones to have much of a chance of appearing. I'd also like to observe that there are a number of people out there using "random article" to do statistical research on WIkipedia contents, and concern has been expressed that the selection isn't truly random. Mangoe 17:26, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

BAG being un-wiki?

Some time ago, the old bot approval process was deprecated and replaced with a highly bureaucratic system. It is made up of self-nomed admins get to decide whether your bot will be beneficial to Wikipedia or not- on their own whim. Any one of these administrators can reject your request if they feel like it or not. This is highly un-wiki, as other users (such as those who edit the affected topic) can give little input. If you are looking at this right now and want to give your $0.02, please do so at User:Rschen7754/BAG, where there are more details about the situation.  V60 干什么? · VDemolitions 21:30, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:BAG is an open process, they want community input, they sometimes drag out the approval process waiting for more community input. I can clearly state why the bot was not approved. When the request was placed approval was for a task that had no community consensus behind it, there is no MoS guideline, or current practice. it was stated that 7 editors at one WikiProject is a consensus. BAG and the rest of the community don't see that as consensus. Please tell me if im mistaken on what consensus is. The second request was for approval for the exact same task as another bot, see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Rschen7754bot 2 for the most part bots(task) are not cloned without reason. Why have 2 bots do the EXACT same task? that is why that bot was denied. And as for framework my bot is BAG approved and uses both pywikipedia and AWB. BAG does a great job for what the task is. BAG is a group of users who know what bots are, how they work and how they need controlled. Wikipedia has set up a system where people who know what they are doing can monitor the issues with bots. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 01:53, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
For an issue concerning just a WikiProject, it is, also considering that only about 7-10% of the 100 editors who claim to be active actually participate. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 00:04, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I looked through the bot requests and I don't see anything improper. Many of the requested tasks could be accomplished by just asking one of the other bot operators to run a job for you. One of the requests was denied because no bot flag is needed to take the requested action. Another one of the requests asked for an edit rate of 40 edits per min, suggesting the person making the request is not familiar with the standard practices. CMummert · talk 02:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't remember saying 40 edits a minute... could you point me to where? Maybe I made a typo... --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 23:31, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, was Vishwin60's request that indicated a desire to run at 40 epm, which was rapidly cut down by a factor of about 8 :). Martinp23 23:40, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh okay. I was wondering if I was going crazy :) --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 23:56, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
(Being a BAG member) I personally welcome as much community input as possible in to every Bot request, and have specifically asked operators to link their requests to related projects, or link to where consensus has been made on a project. Some bot requests are slam-dunk quick approvals (e.g. interwiki bots) but some require much thaught. While bots can be reverted like any other editor, the community has been pretty clear that some edits just shouldn't happen by a bot (the perenial WelcomeNewUserBot request comes to mind). Changes to the bot policy are of course possible, and if the community wants something new, we should start up a discussion at the bot policy talk page. — xaosflux Talk 02:20, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
This user is becoming very problematic. When he doesn't get his own way he rants and moans and, in his earlier dealings with Mets501, was close to getting civility warnings (hence my rather acerbic closure of that request). He demonstrates no technical expertise but frankly displays a great deal of immaturity. Is it any surprise he doesn't get approved? If at all possible, I should prefer not to give him a bot flag at all until he has matured somewhat.
Where a user has the necessary attitude, the process can be very quick. See Nono le petit robot. Useful bot, clear brief, exceptionally polite user, approved with hardly a problem. --kingboyk 11:53, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll echo Kingbok's words - when a bot is using a tried and tested structure to do a simple task (like interwiki), then we approve with the minimum of fuss. A number of my approvals in the past fortnight went through the process in less than 24 hours. It is with the other bots that bwe have to be careful, and we are charged with the task of protecting Wikipedia from thousands of bad bot edits. Vishwin has been in converstain with me on IRC about some of his bot tasks, but has not once there expressed his apparent concern to me, so one gets the feeling that this is a response to the recent denial of one of his bot tasks, which was denied as it was for Wikiproject assessing - something which should be attributed to a user to show that some automatic process isn't doing the assessments. By all means, if Vishwin60 wanted to put another task in which was simple Wikiproject tagging, the BAG would consider it without prejudice, though we could well decide to ask him to allow an already approved bot (ReedyBot for example) do the task for him. Vishwin60's other task - newslettr delivery - is coming close to approval once one or two problems are ironed out. I should note that as Vishwin's assessment task was deemed not to require a flag, he's free to do it without BAG approval (as it isn't needed for his particular task, as expressed on the talk page of it). The BAG is not made up of "self nommed admins", in both senses of the phrase - an election procedure much like that used by WP:MEDCOM takes place, in which anyone is free to chip in. Bot approvals are always subject to appeal and oversight, in the form of the resubmission of a previous request.
I'd just like to explore a couple of the cases brought up on User:Rschen7754/BAG. On the case of the Reflist task - there was no community consensus for the change, and in fact many issues were brought up when the issue was brought to the spotlight by Mets501 on one of the village pumps. Due to this lack of consensus and no clear prior discussion, the BAG was policy-bound to deny the request (no prejudice to re-application). On the case of the newsletter task - as I understand it, WP:USRD, without bots, split up the rather long list of newsletter subscribers between three members, manually using AWB. Suddenly, BAG recieved two requests for bot approval from two of the users who carr yout this task, the requests being posted within 4 days of eachother. Now, although the subscription list, at about 100 long, is lengthy for manual delivery, it is a breeze for a bot, so despite the fact that Mets501 had already given Rschen's bot a trial, I denied it, on the basis that Mets was on a Wikibreak, so unlikely to be able to respond soon, and after off-wiki discussion with other BAG members, by way of a sanity check. To make it abundantly clear to avoid any sort of bad-feeling - I only denied Rschen's bot because it's request for approval was put in after Vishwin's. There are a number of technical reasons why one would not want to have two bots running on the same task at the same time - most notably that a problem can be harder to track down, and having only one user doing the task gives the WikiProject more continuity and provides editors with just one person to contact when problems arise, rather than having to find two. Rschen is free to leave a message at WT:BRFA if ever he wants a second opinion. Finally, I would encourage as many editors as possible to get involved at BRFA - at the moment we have 2 or 3 regular non BAGers there, and we would really like more to come over and help us! Thanks, Martinp23 12:46, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
At teh top of WP:BAG, it states that "There is no formal process to add new members to this group or to remove existing members; requests for addition and removals are handled on a case-by-case basis." Upon further investigation, only 6-10 people are supporting the new addition, and most of these are current BAG. I don't feel that that is sufficient consensus for an institution that will affect all of Wikipedia. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 00:12, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, as per this diff, I did request the newsletter first. I don't mind that Vishwin is delivering the newsletter, but the principle is the problem. Rather than just arbitrarily deciding one person on some justification (which was flawed in this case), we (WP:USRD/NEWS) should have been told of this and given a chance to discuss this, without BAG dictating to us how to deliver our newsletter. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 00:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Vishwin's request was the first to arrive properly formatted as a request. I admit that I didn't notice your earlier comment (diffed above), though I doubt that it would have had any bearing on my decision - which, to be clear, was most certanly not arbitrary, on account of the fact that I have provided a reason, as you note above. If you wish to dispute with Vishwin60 about who should be able to do the task, I invite you to do so (though request that you don't), and should note that any request of the sort you presented (ie - a clone delivery task for a relatively small delivery list) is usually rejected. BAG members make their decisions on the grounds of the poliy to which they are bound, and using their technical expertise and common sense. It has long been known that anyone can comment on BAG member nominations, but no one has chosen to (just in the same way that so few people comment at IfD). In addition to this, there are very few BAG nominations, as we only need so many people in order to keep atop the backlog, which is probably a reason that the BAG page has dropped of peoples' watchlists. As I mentioned above, feel free to resubmit any application that has previously been rejected, if you have grounds to do so (like a regualar RfA), and the BAG member who took the final decision will freely recuse himself from making a closure on the new request. You claim the BAG is full of "corruption and bias" - to me, this is an over reaction to your feelings about BRFA, which could easily have been solved on some talk page. As most users will tell you, there is no bias nor corruption in the BAG. If I may be so bold, I'd suggest that the first place to look if you want to tackle broken process is WP:RFA. Thanks, Martinp23 01:08, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I understand your reasoning, and to clarify, I could care less about delivering the newsletter. However, your arbitrary decision was, in effect, dictating to us how we should deliver our newsletter. For example, what if Vishwin and I discussed this and we decided I should deliver it? Or if TMF should? It wouldn't matter, because you made your decision, thus overriding ours. That is more of what has us upset. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 01:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, more efforts should be undertaken to publicize BAG member nominations. Currently, the nom page is located at the talk page of a subpage, which is not at all a public location. I'd venture to say that about 60-80% of Wiki editors are not aware of where the BAG noms are. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 01:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
To be clear, Rschen is not upset about not delivering the 'letter. It is how BAG can override consensus without any consent except its own, which is very troubling. Thus it is violating this core policy, unless the BAG is invoking IAR in some way.  V60 干什么? · VDemolitions 01:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
You shouldnt quote consensus at BAG. When a user/WikiProject come to BAG asking for a task they check and see if the task does in fact have consensus. Don't blame BAG for your inability to choose a bot operator before coming to BRFA. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 04:52, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Problem is, the consensus between the three of us was to still have each of us delivering the newsletter. You (collectively) just tromped over that consensus and told us who should deliver our newsletter. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 05:02, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Im sorry the "consensus" of 3 users doesn't override bot policy. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 05:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

<-- Ok, may I please ask, why are 3 bots needed for one wikiproject task that is about 100 postings. That makes little sense. With or without bag, we don't need 3 bots to do the task of one, unless there is some really compelling reason, which I'm sure we are all waiting to hear. —— Eagle101 Need help? 05:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Having more than one bot doing a newsletter task can only create potential problems, and I have yet to see a convincing reason why a clone needs to run. I thought (when rejecting your request) that a simple mixup had been made, and nothing would come of it. After conversing with Vishwin60 on IRC, I found out that 3 editors delivering newsletters was "the way it had always been done". I went on to point out the problems of having more than one bot doing the same task (for this sort of task), and Vishwin60 seemed to understand and accept my reasoning - I thought nothing more of it. With Vishwin60's consent, I will be happy to look for, and (if I have it) post the IRC log. The way I understand the bot delivery system to have developed at USRD/NEWS is that three editors, who were manually delivering newsletters using AWB, split up the list of 100 subscribers between them. Even 30-odd newsletters can be a bit of a trial to do manually using AWB, so the senisble thing happened - bot approval was requested for the task. However, confusingly, two of the three users there requested approval, when the newsletter could be delivered to the whole list using just one AWB account in about 15 mins, without supervision required. Although a great system without a bot, the division of the task at USRD becomes nonsensical when a bot is intoduced. To be perfectly honest, when Vishwin60 explained the scenario to me, I actually thought that I was doing USRD (and specifically Rschen) a favour, by removing from him an unnessecary burden and responsibility, leaving him more time to do what he, and most of us around here, does best - improve the encyclopedia. Based on the pointless, continued policy wrangling above and below here, it seems that something bad has happenned to the fundamental guideline of AGF, and it dismays me to see two long term contributors arguing ad nauseum about relatively minor issues, which could have been solved and put behind us quickly should a different approach have been taken. Like most processes here, BRFA is highly efficient and effective. That is until it goes against you, at which point the calls for deletion and borderline personal attacks labelling BAG members as "corrupt" and "biased" surface. This is turning into argument for the sake of argument, and I sincerely hope that those involved realise that a couple of rejected bot requests are really not such a big deal, and that they don't allow themselves to become bogged down in what can only be called a campaign against the BAG. As you may be able to tell from the tone of my message, I am somewhat shocked that this has gone on for so long, and for my part apologise for any offence that may have been caused by the BAG's actions, all of which were (and still are) in good faith and fully justifiable (again, in good faith). I hope that Rschen and Vishwin60 can realise the situation in which the BAG is placed on a day to day basis wrt bot approvals, and would like to see closure on this gross over-reaction, which I would hope could be solved quickly and efficiently on a couple of talk pages.
Just a quick note on the issue of BAG elections - this is something which has recently been improved upon. As of my nomination, notices are posted in relevant bot places, including, but not limited to, WT:BRFA and WP:BOWN. This is far more publicity for nominations than the MedCom offers, and the system that we use for nominations is very similar to theirs. In any case, this is a tried and tested (for want of a better word) election mechanism, and no one has been elected to the BAG who would be reasonably expected not a achieve community support. Thanks for reading, and sorry for the rant :) Martinp23 12:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

In other wikimedia projects, bots aren't approved by technicians. But it's not a good thing, sadly. BAG members are capable technician who knows better that any of us what harm bot can do to wikipedia. In fact, one of 'em is even a developer. The fact of being admin is, I think, only customary, as I don't think it's required to be on the BAG. Also, I have to point out that this process isn't highly bureaucratic: usually it's quite quick.

About the "same task" issue: I don't think that this is the proper page, maybe it's better to discuss it in the talk page of the Bot request for approval, anyway, as I have pointed out in the discussion about your bot, 40 edits/minutes, it's really fast. For a non essential task, this edit rate isn't allowed. Also, two bots that do the same thing, which at 5 edits per minute can be done in no more that twenty minutes, aren't necessary.

Community involvement in the process is always welcome. If you can show me where community involvement wasn't welcomed, I will really appreciate, as I never spotted such a case. BTW, I'm not a BAG member ;-)Snowolf (talk) CON COI - 12:41, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for that comment, I think it's spot on. Let me add that BAG also includes 3 active AWB developers, and the tool being used for the manual assessments was written by me (with hundreds of hours of my personal time being given gratis). On top of this we are all admins, and, I believe, all trusted members of the community. I can say with the utmost confidence that we are not only technically knowledgeable as a group but also experienced and dedicated Wikipedians with one common interest: the betterment of Wikipedia. If I ever personally exhibit any behaviour which isn't compatible with this claim (apart from my lighthearted clowning around of course :)) I'd like to be advised of it immediately. --kingboyk 13:24, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
And a side note I was elected to BAG before I was a admin, adminship is not required to become BAG. To become BAG you just have to know bots and the bot approval process. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 15:45, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Refactored somewhat. --kingboyk 13:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to propose some reforms that will address some of our concerns about BAG. I seriously hope that these will be strongly considered, as this is a compromise between leaving the existing BAG as it is and deleting it. I'm going to propose most of them here and see where the discussion leads.

  1. BAG nominations are to be made more public than they currently are. A talk page of a subpage is not sufficient. Possibly at the bottom of the Requests for approvals page? Or somewhere with more visibility. Also, high profile links such as watchlists (MediaWiki namespace) and Signpost mentions are recommended.
  2. 25 editors must weigh in on each nomination. (to ensure higher visibility has been attained).
  3. Each year, BAG members must be reaffirmed. (Weed inactives, and for active members, if what you say about their general approval is true, it should not be a problem). This does not need the 25 editor requirement.
  4. An appeals system. The first time, it will be BAG: if need be, with the person making the decision recused (if there was only one in particular). The second time, potentially ArbCom.
  5. BAG is strongly encouraged to work with consensus whenever possible. If the request does not follow BOT policy, then a BAG member should work with the editor to conform the request to both BOT policy and to the desires of the affected editors (for example, any WikiProjects).
  6. A majority of BAG members need to be consulted with each decision, unless it is a straightforward addition of a task that is being approved- even if this contact is through an off-wiki medium (IRC or email for example).

--Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 22:21, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Forgive me, but I must have missed the community outcry to your complaints about BAG. Where was it again? I'm quite amused at your "this or deletion" ultimatum, and invite you to send the bot approval pages to WP:MFD. --kingboyk 22:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
A number of the BAG have made their positions clear here, through comments of varying lengths. Posting demands gets us nowhere, and I would like to see that you respond to the enquiries above before making them (for example, Eagle 101 has made a comment, the answer to which many of us are awaiting a response). I have yet to see anyone other than Vishwin60 supporting your viewpoint, and in fact a far greater proportion of the community has re-iterated BAG's points to you. Please, read the comments above and take them in. Then, take a step back and think for a while, and look back at the requests and other relevant discussion. Then, do the courtesy of responding to the well-thought-out comments above. This is becoming a charade, possibly worthy of some unfunny BJAODN archive :) Martinp23 22:37, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
"I can say with the utmost confidence that we are not only technically knowledgeable as a group but also experienced and dedicated Wikipedians with one common interest: the betterment of Wikipedia. If I ever personally exhibit any behaviour which isn't compatible with this claim (apart from my lighthearted clowning around of course :)) I'd like to be advised of it immediately." I cannot see how these requests are not for the betterment of Wikipedia. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 22:42, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I think that's been explained enough times already. If you want to make any fresh applications - ensuring that the tasks you request have community consent - feel free. We'll consider them without prejudice and without bias and hopefully in a timely fashion. If you wish to nominate the BAG pages for deletion, feel free. If you wish to complain about us more formally (bearing in mind that you didn't exactly hear the retorts of an outraged community when you complained here), feel free. But, for now, I think we've explained the position enough and the folks on this page are probably getting sick of hearing about it. --kingboyk 22:57, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

More explanation to come later, but this has been resolved on IRC. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 02:19, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Indeed it has. I spent a few hours on IRC explaining why the BAG acted as they did in the cases explained above, and the dispute was eventually resolved. As in all Wikipedia (and most real life) disputes, communication breakdown was the ultimate cause, but as the discussion on IRC has shown, communication in good faith at any stage of a dispute can work wonders. Thanks, Martinp23 13:33, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Are Info Boxes mandatory?

I see that info boxes can be helpful in many situations. However, in some cases, I find them redundant and too much like "lists". In the case of theatrical plays, for example, some editors are insisting on listing all or many of the characters in a play, or every producer of a movie (which can be quite a few these days). I also feel that the over use of these boxes gives a feeling of dumbing down of an article - sort of like using cliff notes to write a report instead of reading the whole article. Listing all the scene locations for many plays would be equally cumbersome. In fact, for the most part, all the information in these boxes is typically found in the first paragraph or two of the article itself. Isn't this redundant? Are not these just more lists that duplicate the information in the articles? Are these boxes mandatory for plays and musicals? I am concerned that we are turning some articles from encyclopedia entries into USA TODAY stories with these little boxes that make it easier to avoid actually learning about the subject, as opposed to simply getting a few quick facts.Smatprt 03:42, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

No, the use of infoboxes is not required. Discussion on the talk page of the article can be used to resolve disputes over their inclusion. Christopher Parham (talk) 19:30, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Should infoboxes be discouraged? --Kim Bruning 19:36, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so. the problem is that many people and especially more novice editors simply don't understand infoboxes enough. For instance that fact that Infobox Television has a "cast" option does not mean that everyone that ever appeared in the show needs to be tossed into that. Another problem is often that if the cast gets very complicated (something like Lost (TV series) for instance), the infobox can simply not do it justice. It is common to link to a "page section" that lists the information in a proper way in that case, but many people simply don't understand that. It's problematic at times, but it's a "cleanup" task like any other in Wikipedia, so I don't see it as much of a problem. --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 19:48, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a similar discussion going on at [[4]]. I am glad that info boxes are not required, as some of the problems raised by TheDJ are certtainly prevalent in the plays of Shakespeare. Presently out of 40+ plays and poems of Shakespeare, only 3 have info boxes, and in every case they simply do not do justice to the work. Shakespeare's plays have massive character lists, multiple locations, and there is very little agreement on dating, sources, influences, etc. I think the works of Shakespeare are ill served by an info box and I would support not having them. It's a case of the works being too complex t bol down to a list of facts that are often contentious.Smatprt 03:02, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Many info boxes are far too big in relation to the text. I find that they often create a lot of white space, giving a poor impression of Wikipedia's presentation. On the other hand, in some articles that have more content, there is an infobox, a logo, and a content table at the top of the article, all competing for priority, and the result is very messy presentation. Aviara 21:08, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

In Visual arts articles, infoboxes are a positive menace. They are often added by people who don't know much about the area & think this is an easy thing to do. The information is often wrong, or off point, and any number of 19th century artist articles have the good picture that should be the lead pic displaced by a sprawling infobox with a dull whiskery photo. For very recent examples of what happens when info-boxes and templates come together, look at the truly horrible current versions of Philip the Good, Charles the Bold & other Dukes of Burgundy. Johnbod 01:27, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
It's gotta depend on the subject matter. If you look at articles on the elements (Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, etc) - the absolutely standardized info box is a godsend - it means you can compare elements with ease - and in utterly ensures that all articles about elements have all of the data that the Wikiproject for Elements has specified that they should have. There are other cases where they are clearly inappropriate - and grey areas in between. What is required is that subject matter experts (typically in a related Wikiproject) should put sensible restrictions on what goes into the article. So instead of a "Cast" field for TV shows - have a "Principle Cast" field and have the rule that only people whose names appear all by themselves in the credits get a mention (or whatever the guideline is). SteveBaker 01:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

"Section Twenty-one of..."

There is a series of articles with titles like Section Twenty-one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The capitalization "Twenty-one" rather than "Twenty-One" is an antique style, and in any case the normal use in any legal context would be "Section 21". Is there any policy or style-guide reason that supports the present titling style for these articles? 01:17, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions would probably be the place to start. --YbborTalkSurvey! 02:18, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, well, I was hoping someone would be familiar enough to point me to the right section if there is one. I've just browsed a number of sections and not found anything directly relevant. 04:50, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, there doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates) gives examples that seem to indicate you would use numbers, but there doesn't seem to be a single line you can quote. The best single line to note is at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Numbers_in_word: "Proper names and formal numerical designations should instead comply with common usage." Apologies for not being more clear originally. --YbborTalkSurvey! 18:43, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. 21:56, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

SVG problem

hi, I don't know where to ask about my svg promlem, so I hope to be allowed to ask in here. well, I created my first SVG image Image:Pixel aspect ratio pixelseitenverhaeltnis ntsc480p pal576p hdtv720p hdtv1080p uhdv4320p by hdtvtotal com.svg and uploaded it into the commons, but in there, it doesn't look like I created it and like it looks onmy pc. what went wrong and how can I change it? thx in advance! --Andreas -horn- Hornig 11:22, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Moving and answering at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). Fut.Perf. 11:29, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Lists of names

Right now, lists of names appear in three contexts:

  1. The List of people by name.
  2. Articles dedicated to names. These vary dramatically in quality: I cite Hayley as a very good example, and Allawi as a very bad one.
  3. Disambiguation pages, such as Adamson (disambiguation) (good) and Alder (disambiguation) (better).

This triplicity of formats scatters our efforts and confuses editors (such as yours truly) who are trying to clean up pages with lists of names. I think we need a policy to specify what to do with lists of names. In particular, I think we should either officially endorse LoPbN or remove it once and for all. --Smack (talk) 18:27, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree that LoPbN should be the only name list or not exist at all. (BTW, would you mind editing your own entry above to display the names of the pages you link? Hayley instead of this, and likewise for Allawi, Adamson (disambiguation), Alder (disambiguation)?) But I do think that a policy statement on the acceptability of pages or sections listing people by their given name, surname, or middle name might ease some churn. A list of people named John would be difficult, whereas a list of people named Banana would be manageable (Banana (disambiguation)#People with the name Banana). Some questions that would need to be discussed:
  1. Should surnames be treated differently than given names
  2. When to lump the name holders on dab pages (Banana (disambiguation))
  3. When to make name pages (Adam (name)) separate from dabs (Adam (disambiguation))
  4. When to make separate pages for given-name and surname holders (Arthur and Arthur (surname) - and the disambiguation info should really be pulled out into Arthur (disambiguation) instead of Arthur IMO; I'll get to that soon)
  5. Whether any of these options should be used in favor of lists like List of people named Daniel, List of people with the first name Julie, or Famous people with the surname Smith
  6. How (if at all) this affects people who are at least commonly known by a single name (Adriano, Cher, Adam, Hitler, The Rock))
Some links to prior and current discussions:
I'm sure there are more; the discussion surfaces frequently. These aren't truly disambiguation pages -- they don't disambiguate articles that would otherwise have the same title. No article on Julie Andrews would have been titled Julie, for example. The list of names (by given or surname) appear to me to go counter to WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a directory, but mine was the minority opinion in the discussions I was part of.-- JHunterJ 00:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Links clarified per request. --Smack (talk) 05:01, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Family names are usually redirects (and hence disambiguations when there is more than one article to redirect to) because people commonly are known solely by their family name. Given names are only redirects in the cases where the person is commonly known solely by xyr given name. Uncle G 15:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. People are referred to by their last name in the stylistic pursuit of brevity, after they've been introduced in a work with their common (full) name. There are exceptions (like Patton; the general is commonly known by his last name only), but, for example, no article about Kurt Vonnegut would introduce him as Vonnegut. Lists of people by surname are not disambiguations any more than lists of cities in Canada are; there is no danger of multiple items in the list having the same title. -- JHunterJ 15:50, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Wrong to disagree, really? This is a discussion, not a place for only those voices that agree. The people link in that supposed dab all have articles that use their full names in their titles, so those support my statement. Note that I am not saying the Poincaré article should not be there; I'm saying that it should be an article about the surname, and a valid link target. If consensus says that surname articles can include directories of name-holders (and consensus has so far), the all of that information should remain. But there is a real difference between a "dab" of Poincaré where none of the articles listed would have had the title "Poincaré" and John Smith, where the individuals listed could have had articles entitled "John Smith". Also, please don't change other users' indentation style needlessly on talk pages.-- JHunterJ 18:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Following up to myself, editors discussing issues with deletion are not necessarily "up" on disambiguation policy (as reflected in the "names and surnames" discussion above). The discussion there doesn't change WP:D or WP:MOSDAB, and where it disagrees with those guidelines, the dab guidelines should still be observed. (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/In specie had a similar problem, advocating moving a dictionary definition article to a dab page.) -- JHunterJ 12:26, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Getting back to Smack's original policy question, I favour LoPbN, because I believe it is a better system for dealing with names with multiple possible spellings - such as Shepherd, Shephard, Sheppard etc. I agree with JHunterJ - I think articles which just consist of lists of names go counter to WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a directory. I note that List of people with the first name Julie has now been deleted.

Having said that, I think the first priority is to move lists of people off disambiguation pages where the title of the page is only part of the person's name. Sutton (disambiguation) is a good example of a long page which would be improved by being simplified in this way. Sutton (surname) would not be a disambiguation page. It should be tagged {{tl:Surname}}, not {{tl:disambig}}. (I wouldn't change Banana however - I think fewer than, say, five entries don't justify a separate page.)

I would then favour merging lists from surname pages into LoPbN. I propose this two stage approach because I hope it will make it easier to get consensus one step at a time.

To tackle some of the issues raised by JHunterJ: I think we should encourage the creation of pages such as Adam (name) to hold information on the derivation, historical/geographical occurrence of the name, etc. We only need one page, for the use of the name as a first name and as a surname, now that List of people with the first name Julie has been deleted. CarolGray 10:31, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I must say I don't see the problem here: since an article on the name itself (derivation, meaning etc) is likely to be quite short, why not start an article on "anyname" by first defining/discussing it and then listing those who have it? This avoids having two articles "anyname" and "lopw anyname". It also means that a reader looking for "Derek whathisname? You know that bloke in Coronation Street ..." will find him where he is most likely to look, at Derek. Whether you call this a dab is not too important to me but I believe such articles are potentially useful ... though I agree they are time-consuming to set up (but not to maintain once created). Abtract 21:44, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • And the problem is that not all editors agree that "anyname" should include the lists; before it was deleted, the List of people with the first name Julie was split from the Julie article -- since there is no separate policy on name lists, those editors often fall back upon WP:NOT#DIR (which is my inclination as well). As for being dabs, dabs should not be link targets, while articles "defining/discussing" anything are valid link targets. Dabs should not define or discuss anything, but rather quickly and quietly get the reader to the page she should have been on. -- JHunterJ 11:08, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Contributory copyright infringement

Hi. There is a discussion about linking to sites that list file information on illegal files for the purpose of assisting file sharing. The discussion is here: Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#Linking to sites that list illegal files--GunnarRene 20:23, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Not sure if this is original research

Recently, an editor added a couple of facts to the article about Happy Chandler, namely, that he was, for a time, the Most Senior Living U.S. Senator and that he was the last surviving U.S. Senator from the 1930s. Although I have no doubt as to the truth of these claims, they were added without sources, and since I plan to finish expanding the article and nominate it for GA soon, I asked him for a cite. He responded:

Technically, I have no source for the information about Chandler. It is not original research however because I looked through the wiki page of every Senator in U.S. history in order to ascertain this. It is simply existing knowledge in a new classified form.

Does this require a cite or not? Is the editor right that it does not qualify as original research? I unfortunately have not been able to easily locate a cite, which would, of course, render the discussion a moot point. Acdixon 14:16, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a reliable source for creating wikipedia articles, see WP:RS. This absolutely is material that requires it be verifiable/attributable. Whether it requires a citation is a matter of judgement, but always better to find a valid source and then decide that the source doesn't need to be cited than to start without a valid source. GRBerry 15:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, what if the following external link were cited? [5] While it doesn't explicitly state that Chandler was the last surviving senator from the 1930s, if one were so inclined (and apparently the above-quoted editor was) one could look at the death dates for every senator in the 1930s (only requires 10 searches) and find that Chandler was the last surviving senator. This stands on the border of OR and compilation. Is this a sufficient citation? Acdixon 18:34, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
The website is a .gov website, which one would hope would be credible. That would still be somewhat borderline though. Its not like interpreting literature or something that requires a lot of knowledge, one would just need a very basic knowledge of dates. I would say for GA, where one just needs a citation it would be fine. If the article was trying for FA though, I would say to look a little harder. I can't imagine that nothing would say that. Remember, If the rules prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them I wouldn't try to use that as an argument for an FAC though :) Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 19:52, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll take that under advisement. :) I'd be glad to hear others weigh in on your comments as well. It seems a little silly to me to fail an otherwise good or featured article because someone hasn't bothered to write down this easily verified piece of information in a published source. As you say, it's not like it's subjective. Acdixon 20:15, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Multiple page articles

I dont know if this has been discussed before. But, I have felt on some articles that one page is just not enough. I propose that if needed, in special cases or even by default, I dont see any reason why articles cant run into multiple pages, atleast two pages. I know that there are guidelines about article size, but I feel that it should be relaxed aleast in special cases. 'Special cases' should definitely include pages about countries like say India, China, USA etc.,. This is because there's always so much to write about a country and even if you strictly adhere to WP:SS its not always possible to cover everything. The India talk page sees discussion/arguments/fights almost every day on this count. All that we need in such cases is to replace the "article" tab with two tabs - "page1" and "page2". And in select cases, I feel we should also explore having a "gallery" page for pics. Again, all these, I propose only for "select" articles, which will be chosen at the discretion of the community. Sarvagnya 16:33, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

With an online medium we give the user the opportunity to digest core topics while allowing him/her to click to a more dedicated article. WP:SS is appropriate enough. =Nichalp «Talk»= 16:44, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Articles about countries already run over many pages. Your example India for example, spreads out into Government of India, Politics of India, Foreign relations of India, and many others. Of course one page is not enough to cover everything about a country. --Stormie 01:44, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Limiting the use of WMF logos in article space

Wikimedia logos are unfree. They are copyrighted and trademarked by the Foundation (e.g. Category:CopyrightByWikimedia). The Foundation believes strictly controlling these images is necessary to their ability to manage the brand. Various efforts over ~2 years have requested that the Foundation either adopt some form of m:Logo and trademark policy or otherwise providing licensing that would make the logos free. But Anthere, chair of the WMF Board, has made clear, "the Foundation will not put the logos under a free licence" [6].

As a result there are no officially approved uses of WMF logos in Wikipedia except for the main logo at the upper left. Most everyone assumes that the WMF tolerates the use of the logos within Wikipedia (of which they are doubtlessly aware), and that there is unlikely to be any real legal conflict about anything used within Wikipedia. What is far less clear is what happens for reusers. Reusers do not have any rights to Wikimedia logos and Foundation has said there are classes of sites that they would have real concern about if they were using Wikimedia logos.

In the interest of creating an encyclopedia that is truly free, and makes reuse as easy as possible, I would like to advocate eliminating the incidental and decorative uses of Wikimedia logos within article space. For example, by removing the logo from Template:Commons. The text on the template already identifies the target, so the logo adds little, while coming at the cost of embedding unfree content with potential unexpected legal landmines within our otherwise free content.

I realize removing the logos, which are used extensively through our sister project templates, would be controversial for some, but I think it is right thing to do in light of our commitment to free content and the regrettable unwillingness of the Foundation to provide any other protection for reusers. Dragons flight 21:39, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, couldn't we just do imagemap (click on the image to take you to the commons gallery, as opposed to going to the image description page) on those images so that reusers don't get easy access to the image?  V60 干什么? · VDemolitions 21:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm thinking about people interested in working from the database dumps to create mirrors and forks rather than people copying images one at a time. Dragons flight 21:52, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I recently tried to address this issue, and got 0 cooperation here. I obstain from any further actions myself, but I agree with you, and you have my personal full support. --TheDJ (talkcontribsWikiProject Television) 12:45, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Those templates are defacto part of the interface thus I would not suggest removeing the images from them. However removeing them from all talk page templates should be on the to do list.Geni 00:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Huh? I don't understand the reasoning behind the first sentence? Dragons flight 00:38, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
They perfom much the same function that are interlang links do are are not soemthing people will be wanting to use on their local coppies in any case. While I would like ot see all unessacery uses got rid of that is one I do not view as unessacery.Geni 13:54, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The box, text, and links are certainly important and should be kept, but I don't see that logos as adding much to that. It is not obvious to me that someone would otherwise want to remove those boxes any more than they would want to remove any other external links. They are there only to desingate a special kind of external content. Dragons flight 17:34, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
In follow-up, I got an emailed response from Anthere saying that they wouldn't even consider working towards a Logo use policy until a replacement for Brad Patrick (the resigned legal counsel for WMF) is hired. (If I had to guess, that may not happen till after a new executive director is found, and that search is likely to take months.) She also agreed in general terms that keeping articles free of limitations is one our most important tasks. Dragons flight 00:38, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
so then we remove them.Geni 23:21, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Excerpting from, and linking to, online news articles

I am looking for information and tips about excerpting from, and creating footnote links to, online news articles. The information here:

Wikipedia:Fair_use#Text helpful, but it seems very incomplete.

There are a number of different aspects to this question — policy, copyright law, technical, etc.

The intro to the above page states that:

An editor uploading copyrighted material to Wikipedia must provide a detailed "fair use" rationale ...

That's intended for images, but i'm not certain if it should apply to excerpted text. Is it advisable to include a rationale for fair use inclusion of text excerpts on the TALK page?

Certainly, fair use allows for excerpts from news articles. Must they be labeled as excerpts? Or is it considered obvious that a few sentences, separated bye ellipses, are excerpts rather than full quoted text?

Wikipedia:Fair_use#Text states that,

All copyrighted text must be attributed.

Is attribution acceptable within the introductory paragraph or a footnote, or must it be included in parentheses following the excerpt, as shown? Does it matter, so long as the information is presented in a reasonable style?

Are there any requirements beyond what is provided to identify the original article? Web link, name of website, newspaper, date, etc. all seem appropriate. If it is an AP story, is there anything additional that is necessary beyond mentioning that fact?

And finally the technical question, what is the best way to handle the expiration of these news stories? On some news websites the originals disappear in a few weeks, and sometimes they are archived with a fee for retrieval. The verifiability issue is impacted by technology, policy, fees imposed, etc. If anyone has explored these questions, i don't know where to look.

thanks, Richard Myers 23:41, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

  • You shouldn't be excerpting the stories, unless it's absolutely necessary, such as a case where the wording used in the story itself is notable or particularly important. Our goal is to create free content of our own, not create a copyright minefield full of unnecessary excerpts from unfree material. Your copied excerpt doesn't improve verifiability, because it could just as well have been forged or incorrect as the summary of its information you write in your own words; someone would still have to go through the hassle/fee of retrieval to verify its accuracy. What you should include is 1. the information from the story (not its text verbatim) and 2. a proper citation with as much information as will help anyone else find the story again (title, author, publisher, date, etc.). Then anyone with a lexisnexis subscription, for example, or timesselect membership (both of which are fairly easily available, if not free through a library or college) can verify the information, and we're completely in the clear copyright wise. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 09:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for the response. The articles that i've written are about 95-98 percent what you've suggested. I'm looking for guidance on the exception.
I am somewhat concerned, now, that i may occasionally use the exception when i don't really need to, and i'll take a look at that. But i would still appreciate guidance on the specific issues that i've brought up. thanks, Richard Myers 13:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Copyright clarification question

The article on the Council on American-Islamic Relations has had major problems with copying text from copyrighted articles. Is removing the copyrighted material enough, or do you need to revert to before the copyrighted material was inserted? I've summarized some of the copyright issues in the talk page. I'd appreciate the help of someone who has done a major amount of copyright work on wikipedia. Thanks, Andjam 00:00, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

RFC at WP:FRINGE - does the guideline have consensus?

The status of the WP:FRINGE guideline has been questioned. It has been suggested that an RFC/straw poll could help determine if the guideline has community consensus or not. Please comment at Wikipedia talk:Fringe theories#RFC - Does this guideline have consensus?. Blueboar 12:28, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


We need a standard for adding references into articles. It should be
a) Jimbo is the founder of wikipedia.<ref></ref>

which produces:

Jimbo is the founder of wikipedia.[2]
or b)
Jimbo is the founder of wikipedia<ref></ref>.

which produces:

Jimbo is the founder of wikipedia[3].
Should the citation go before or after the period? I think it should go after because it makes the sentence look cleaner. This isn't in the Manual of Style so I bought it here.
Thanks! WǐkǐɧérṃǐťTalk to me or learn something new! 23:01, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

You will find this covered in WP:CITE. DES (talk) 23:02, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you! WǐkǐɧérṃǐťTalk to me or learn something new! 23:05, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^ of the term
  2. ^
  3. ^