Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive S

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What is/can/should be done about people aggressively promoting their own websites and employer's products and websites?

Most of User:GreenReaper's edits (contribs-500) seem to be intended to promote their WikiCities websites[1], [2], [3] [4] and/or their employer[5], including inexact disamb pages[6] (especially given that according to google, "desktop pet" is a common generic term, of which the Stardock version (released yesterday) is but one of many?), but are otherwise completely legit. I think allowing someone to use Wikipedia for personal financial gain is a bad precedent to set, and counter to the spirit of Wikipedia, but I don't know of any written policy that it violates. Ideas? Comments? 17:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The relevant policy is at Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a propaganda machine. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:08, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Where there is a clear basis for my actions: Advertising. Articles about companies and products are fine if they are written in an objective and unbiased style. This has always been my objective. GreenReaper 03:37, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
And Wikipedia:Spam and frequently Wikipedia:External links... These actions are pretty clear cut and an abuse of this project. If you need help undoing his damage, or think a more strong warning is in order, let us know. DreamGuy 02:07, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi there! A fellow contributor dropped me a link to here - I'm surprised you guys didn't yourself. :-) I disagree with your position, but let me explain a bit first:
It's true that a large proportion of my edits on Wikipedia are to do with Stardock. A large proportion of my work life revolves around it, too. However, probably only 1/10th of my wiki contributions are on Wikipedia - the vast majority are at the wikis I founded, Creatures Wiki and WikiFur, both of which have been featured on Wikicities (Creatures was the first featured, and WikiFur is currently featured).
Wikicities is run directly by Wikia, the for-profit "sister company" of the Wikimedia Foundation founded by Jimmy Wales. It is operated on a day-to-day basis by Angela Beesley (User:Angela). All money from ad revenue on the side goes to them. I do not believe they actually make a significant amount from it yet (that is, not enough to even cover costs), but I could be wrong. I am certainly not making a penny from it. No profit goes to me. When I link them, I am interested in increasing the usefulness of articles on both sites by linking to related information.
In fact, I created WikiFur specifically because certain groups on Wikipedia felt that some articles related to the furry fandom were unencyclopediac. As a result, we have created these on another website, and naturally we have our own versions of the articles mentioned above that have remained on Wikipeida - if they were considered important enough for here, they are definitely important enough for us! Where this is the case, and where WikiFur has more or unique information about the topic (because, for example, we have biographical information on the people involved that would be deleted here), I have inserted wikilinks to our articles for those interested in learning more. We also link back to Wikipedia in such cases - in the cases where there is more information at Wikipedia, we tend to link to Wikipedia and not back to ourselves.
According to Google Analytics, Wikipedia is the source of around 10% of our visitors - so obviously people are actually clicking on those links. Moreover, they view an average of five pages after the initial page. Does this not suggest that it is useful to them? I view WikiFur as providing somewhere where people from the fandom can create articles without annoying everyone here who wants to make a general encycloepdia - now, consider, if they cannot find WikiFur, will they not just keep starting articles here? :-)
As for my company, I think Stardock's programs are useful, and I do not see the harm in making such articles. Most of these articles were not started while I was in Stardock's employ, I might add - I started working at the company on July 8th, whereas I have used their programs for the last 5 years (which is why I consider myself one of the best people to write about them). I like to think that the articles I write are of use to the people who come across them, particularly the Object Desktop page and Stardock itself, both of which contain extensive history which is hard to find elsewhere. I have not and do not have any intention of aggressively spamming external links to Stardock into other pages, nor do I feel I have been abusing internal links. Generally only one or two pages are appropriate to link to new pages, and so that's what I do. I invite you to inspect my edits and judge for yourself as to their worth.
Relating to the specific article mentioned - I was more than aware that desktop pet was a generic term. That was why I created it as a disambiguation page, and created the Desktop Pet (Stardock) article for the one I wrote instead, to encourage other additions of desktop pets (and linked it to digital pet, which they might have meant).
But, to sum up - are these articles and links not useful? Do they not provide relevant information to people in an appropriate manner? Are they badly written, or phrased in a biased tone (if so, why not go ahead and correct them? :-). In short, what's the harm? If you have problems with a particular page, I would suggest you discuss them with me either in talk or on the specific page's talk page. I do watch pages I created, so I will be sure to reply and work with you to improve the page. GreenReaper 03:12, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I see no basic problem with the Wikia cross-links, they seem relevant, topical, and reasonably placed in the See Also sections of the articles I looked at. I do think you should tread lightly with respect to Stardock however. As an employee it may be hard for you to hold on to neutrality, and there is a direct profit motive for advertising. For example, you created a template with spaces for the entire Stardock product line, would uninvolved editors regard all those products as encyclopedic? Wikipedia:Autobiography discourages editors from writing about the organizations they are directly connected with. I would suggest you should limit your work in this area to improving those Stardock related articles that already exist and not try to add new articles or introduce Stardock material into additional articles as such actions are likely to be percieved as spamming, even if you do have the best of intentions. Dragons flight 04:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The template is a story in itself — in fact, I created it on the advice of another, as it seemed to them to be a better way to organize the Stardock-related articles than to rely on links in the lead section, which were rather spammy. As you can see from the template, I refrained from adding information on many Stardock products, because I myself felt most of them to be less-deserving of wikification at that time — I included them mostly for completeness, and for future use if deemed appropriate by myself or others.
The Desktop Pet was added because I knew a lot about it and because there were already various articles about other digital pets, but I accept in retrospect that it may have been ill-advised to add it so soon. I still think it's a reasonable article — and a reasonable title, as that is its official name — but I accept others might judge it differently (others: go look for yourselves :-).
I think that perception of my intent is ultimately less important than the actual content of the articles, which is why I've tried to make them ones I would want to see written about any products, trying to avoid puff phrases and include relevant criticism. I'm a geek - I hate those articles that sound like press releases, too! However, I am more than willing to bear the above comments in mind when editing on Wikipedia. I will in particular be careful to ensure that any links from other articles truly improve the original article and aren't there as a means to get more traffic to the Stardock-related pages. My objective is a good article that can be a source of information for other articles, not an ad driving traffic to Stardock; we already have all the traffic we need, anyway, as virtually everyone seems to wants something different from Windows XP's garish blue skin. *grins*
As for new articles: I don't have any that I intend to add now, but I might want to in the future . . . though probably not one day after initial release. I still believe that I'm one of the most qualified editors in resepect to writing them. Is there perhaps some mechanism whereby I can submit Stardock-related articles for review by others, before or after posting? I have always disliked the view that those closely involved with a subject are undesirable as editors, as it discourages people who really are experts on a topic from contributing. After all, anyone can review my information for NPOV (and I encourage them to!), but only I can add it. GreenReaper 05:41, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I see no problem with you editing Stardock articles as long as you stay neutral. A good example here is the Podcast article. This article was edited by a number of people who were mentioned in the article. It only became an issue when Adam Curry started making NPOV edits. As far as I can tell, GreenReaper has made reasonable edits, and the template is fine. Jacoplane 05:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I actually have a major problem with cross-links to Wikifur... The guy himself admits that the entire site was created because he didn;t like the Wikipedia articles and then wants the wikipedia articles to link to his new version... this is about as clear cut an example of WP:FORK violation as there is. Furthermore, he admits that a huge percentage of his traffic is from the Wikipedia link, s he clearly has self-promotional goals as well. To allow the link there would just mean we'd be encouraging anyone with any view that can't get consensus on any article to go off and write their own and link to it. This is clearly bad policy. And the Stardock thing is definitely a no no. DreamGuy 08:30, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you are misrepresenting what I said. WP:FORK is irrelevant, as it is about complete or significant forks using Wikipedia content. Wikipedia:Content forking comes closer to what you're suggesting, but again, it's not really our objective — we use the NPOV policy as well, because it encourages discussion of all sides of an issue. Instead, WikiFur is a place for articles about topics that simply would not be permitted here because they are of local interest to the furry community - things such as biographies of normal members of the furry fandom that would rightly be deleted from Wikipedia, as they are not of general interest or notability, but which are of interest to us. These kind of "local interest" articles form the bulk of our pages, and if you surf the site I think that's fairly clear. It's something like a transwiki-type process, although we don't actually intend to move articles, but provide a place where they can be created and remain.
Rarely (currently ~80 pages of 2427), we do copy existing pages from Wikipedia. Our policy is that if you want to do that you should be willing to immediately add some furry-specific content. When we do copy existing pages, they get WikiFur:Template:Wikipedia put on them for proper attribution. WikiFur is a GFDL site and we welcome copies of our content to Wikipedia as well, where considered appropriate by Wikipedia editors. I have personally deleted several pages on WikiFur that just copied Wikipedia, changing the internal links to those articles to go to Wikipedia instead. Really, the only case I'd be truly happy with that sort of copying would be where the original/main author of the Wikipedia article is a member of the furry community and specifies that they think it's fine to have it at WikiFur too (or add it themselves).
Regardless, these make a relatively small proportion of those articles I link. More commonly, I link articles that are directly related to the Wikipedia article and have been independently created and have significant additional or differing information to the Wikipedia article. For example: Yerf and WikiFur:Yerf, FurryMUCK and WikiFur:FurryMUCK, and especially Babyfur and WikiFur:Babyfur. I would submit that many Wikipedia editors would consider those articles of inappropriate detail/length/tone to be on Wikipedia . . . and yet that they are of use to those that do want more information, and contain links to even more relevant information, such as biographies of the founders. This is what I mean when I say that WikiFur contains articles that could not have been created on Wikipedia — they simply would not have the large body of extra furry fandom information to draw on, because that information is not of general interest. The issue for these is not consensus on content, but consensus on notability. I would submit that the "perfect article" on these furry-related topic cannot exist on Wikipedia, because they require information on people and topics that are not welcome as articles within Wikipedia.
As for the traffic . . . 10% is indeed significant — and we certainly welcome the visitors, as they tend to be those interested in the same objectives as we are — but I'd hardly call it huge. Heck, we get over 1/4 that from just a few articles on Uncyclopedia. :-) We're talking less than 100 visitors/day from Wikipedia, and we give just as many back; probably more, considering almost every articles has some reference to Wikipedia on it, even if it's just a place name or the name of a prominent person outside the fandom. Most of our hits come from personal references on LiveJournal and google hits from random content (typically not the pages linked from Wikipedia), which is how it should be. GreenReaper 17:07, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
So.... we've determined that not only are you a spammer, but that you are unrepetent and long-winded about it.... greattttt.
"I would submit that the "perfect article" on these furry-related topic cannot exist on Wikipedia, because they require information on people and topics that are not welcome as articles within Wikipedia." I would submit that you are clearly a POV pusher unwilling to accept concensus and thus created your own competing project and expect us to drive traffic to you.
I repeat what I said earlier.... this actions are clearly against several major Wikipedia policies and any of your edits doing those kind of behaviors need to be stopped. DreamGuy 17:16, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
We tolerate links to Memory Alpha, Star Wars Wiki, and a number of similar projects that incorporate content judged not suitable for Wikipedia. Even things like Wiktionary and Wikinews more or less fall in that class. What distinction do you see here? Dragons flight 17:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
In my opinion, the links are fine, but they should go under the External links section rather than the See also section, which is more for links within the wikipedia community (in which wiktionary falls). The links are not commercial, and while they are linking to another secondary source, their project's mandate is similar enough to ours that I don't think it's an issue. --Improv 17:39, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The main reason I have tended to put them in See also is that I do feel we are in the same community. As I've said before, the main reason WikiFur's articles are on WikiFur in the first place rather than Wikipedia is that they weren't deemed suitable for this site, just as quotes, dictionary definitions and huge amounts of Star Wars trivia were moved off it. Wikicities are still community projects under the GFDL - they're simply dedicated to particular topics (Wikispecies could easily have been a wikicity, for example). I think the reason they're not in the Foundation is that people are more willing to donate towards projects of interest to a large general audience than to smaller communities, and this lack of revenue is why the ads are there, instead. Note that Wikicities did promote the Wikimedia fundraising drives (at WikiFur we also put it in our sitenotice).
Over at Wikicities, we tend to view Wikipedia (and other wikicities - they are technically separate sites) as just other parts of one big wiki community. Most of the successful wikicities are run by people who have also contributed significantly to Wikipedia and other projects. Wikipedia is simply "the general reference wikicity", and so we link to it and to each other in See also as we're used to doing here. I'm pretty sure I've also seen links to MeatballWiki and WikiWikiWeb in that format (that's where I got the idea to do them in the first place).
I continue to believe that they and other wiki links should be in See also, as I think that more closely matches the category of link, but if others really think that they should go in External links I'd be willing to go along with that. GreenReaper 00:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I do believe that they belong in the "External links" section rather than the "See also" section. Courtland 01:35, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm unrepentant because I honestly believe I'm doing the right thing for the community! :-) Put simply, you will have to convince myself and others that it's not, and I do not think you will be able to do that.
It's been said before that sometimes the best way to add to a wiki is to remove something from it. I feel safe in saying that meticulously detailed information about the furry fandom (or Star Wars, or Neopets, or whatever) over a certain level is disliked by a significant proportion of Wikipedia editors. That is why articles without sufficient notability are removed from Wikipedia, and why others are trimmed down to remove "unimportant" information. I don't necessarily agree with this, but that is how things are.
However, this information obviously is of interest to some people, otherwise WikiFur would not have been the success that it is today. Therefore, if it's not going to be in Wikipedia, it should at least be linked from Wikipedia so that these people can find it when they look for it. This is a compromise that everyone seems willing to live with - separate communities get to expand without restrictions, and Wikipedia gets to reap the rewards of a more managable article base and fewer conflicts over importance (always a contentious term), while retaining the ability to link to more details on topics that do have articles here.
Ultimately, I think it's important to consider why such policies are made: To prevent people artificially inflating the importance of their personal websites. But we are not. The information presented on WikiFur and on other wikicities is highly relevant and of interest to the reader. Wikicities are community sites founded on similar ideals, and are not intended to make a profit for those creating them. Linking to the articles adds rather than detracts from the utility of Wikipedia as a general-purpose encyclopedia. It gives our users a better experience, just as it does when wikicities link to Wikipedia, and that is the prime objective of Wikipedia policy. GreenReaper 00:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I would hope that by your phrasing you're not stating that you will ignore consensus if you are personally not convinced. It is important that, no matter how you interpret goals of the projects, you not violate policies of any of the wikis that you regularly deal with. No matter how the wikicities people view wikipedia, they are expected to act within the spirit and abide by consensus of Wikipedians while editing here. --16:00, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course not. That would be stupid! I can't ignore consensus on the wikis I founded myself, let alone Wikipedia. :-)
I do believe that this is an area which is not fully covered by the policies — which is perfectly understandable, as Wikicities is only a year old and few of its wikis have reached maturity yet — but that if the spirit of the policies is examined, I'm doing the right thing. I think that several Wikicities contain many quality articles that are of use to the people reading the Wikipedia articles, and so should be linked from them. My aim is to convince you of that, too, which is why I've gone into my reasoning in such detail. GreenReaper 17:49, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

At the end of my "ɹop"

In my mind, the second-biggest problem of Wikipedia (behind potential inaccuracy) is a failure to make articles accessible to a general audience. There is perhaps no worse example of this than the policy at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(pronunciation) that only the International Phonetic Alphabet should be used to explain pronunciation, and that all other methods, such as spelling out "pro-nun-see-AE-shun", should be discouraged.

The IPA is undoubtedly the most-accurate form of representing pronunciation, especially when dealing with multiple languages. Its defenders point out that alternatives might not be understood by non-native speakers.

However, I would assume that very few people are used to using IPA. In the U.S., all dictionaries aimed at the general public use a system based on the "phonics" symbols taught to most children at age 6 or so. (For copyright reasons, no two dictionaries use exactly the same set of such symbols.) Only linguists and some language teachers in the U.S. use the IPA. I know IPA use is more widespread in other countries, but I doubt most people on the street in any country could tell you what all the symbols mean.

As a result, trying to understand how something should be pronounced can be quite frustrating. For example, the given pronunciation for Enver Hoxha is ɛnvɛɾ hɔʤa. Now, I have no idea how "ɛ" is supposed to be pronounced. I have to click on IPA and find the little symbol in a chart way down the page. I get to the page on the open-mid front unrounded vowel. The page explains that "ɛ" is pronounced like the "e" in "bed" as pronounced in "GA," that is, "General American." One down. Then I have to find "ɾ" on the IPA page. That links to alveolar tap. The description of the "alveolar tap" in English is not comprehensible to a non-expert, but I read that it's like the "r" in Spanish, which I understand. If I've downloaded the .ogg codec, I hear a guy saying "rah-ah-rah." I've now spent 5 minutes and can still only pronounce the first name. That's hardly how a reference site is supposed to work.

It would be helpful for quick-reference purposes to repeat the pronunciation in a way easier for the common reader to understand. For example, we could use both IPA and phonetic spelling: "IPA: ɛnvɛɾ hɔʤa. Approximate pronunciation: /en-ver haw-jah/, with rolled 'r.'" (The pronunciation given in the article doesn't say which syllable is stressed. If I've botched the pronunciation, that's a case in point as to the weakness of our current system.) This is what's done in the Illinois article, which says, "pronounced /ˌɪ.lɨˈnɔɪ̯/ or 'ill-i-NOY.'" Another option would be to use both IPA and a common American system, as in "en-ver haw-jä." But the official Wikipedia policy calls for the exclusive use of IPA.

I know I am not the only person who has a problem with this. Other people have complained on Talk:International Phonetic Alphabet. Matthew White's WikiWatch blog makes the same point. But unfortunately, the only people who appear to read Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(pronunciation) are, for want of a better term, pronunciation geeks who seem to be too wedded to their craft to countenance any concession to ease of use. My concerns fell on deaf ears in that forum.

I suppose it is bad form to try to round up opponents of IPA exclusivity to take on its backers on the style guide talk page. So what can I do to have the concern addressed?

Mwalcoff 05:07, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

While I agree with your conclusions, and would also point out the limited browser support for the IPA, it is in bad taste to post a detailed argument about a very specific policy to a general forum. I suggest moving most of this back to the talk page and directing interested parties there. Deco 09:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
My apologies; I did not mean to break protocol. I was looking for advice on how I should deal with the situation on the page in question. I did not mean to take the argument here, although it looks like that cat is already out of the bag, unfortunately. Would it be appropriate to put out an RFC directing people to the appropriate talk page? -- Mwalcoff 23:32, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem is this is an international project this like "pro-nun-see-AE-shun" have the problem that I may pronounce the internal bits differently to you. It would certainly appear that I pronunce pronunciation differently to you.Geni 13:42, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
America is not the only country in the world, and there is not a common American format if we wanted one. We would end up with ridiculously long coverage of all possible non-IPA forms if we included them all, and thus it's been decided to go IPA only. I think IPA-only is the right choice. --Improv 13:48, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem with approximate pronunciations is that they are often open to multiple interpretations. For example, "ill-i-NOY" suggests to me that the second syllable is pronounced like "eye". Better pronunciations would perhaps be "illy-NOY" or "il-ih-NOI" or "il-in-NOY" or "ill-er-NOY"... Eugene van der Pijll 14:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I am at present too lazy to write this up at Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals), but a perennial proposal it is. See Wikipedia:Simple pronunciation markup guide, the pages it links to, and especially the extensive arguments the talk pages contain. Executive summary: IPA may have problems, but the other proposals have even more problems, and only IPA's problems are solvable through education. JRM · Talk 17:56, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I sympathize with the original poster's complaint, because I'm an ignorant American who can't "read" IPA at a glance, but I think it's worth pointing out that (as far as I know) IPA is commonly used as the default pronunciation format in dictionaries in other countries, e.g. Britain and Germany. So while this may be a problem for most American readers, it is not such a problem for readers worldwide, and a suggestion to adopt a "common American system" might be viewed as rather parochial. Steve Summit (talk) 19:16, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

It occurs to me that this would be a good application of a hypothetical user-settable or -customizable view filtering feature. Given that IPA is distinct from ASCII and nicely unambiguous, it would be relatively straightforward to transliterate it, on output, to something more to a particular user's liking (e.g. i → ee, ʌ → u, u → oo, ŋ → ng, ʃ → sh, θ → th, ɹ → r, j → y, e → ā, etc). (This would be very similar to the hypothetical way that the "directional" or "curly" quotes “ and ” -- which some people like and some people loathe -- could both be transliterated, at a loathing user's option, to the ordinary nondirectional ASCII " quote mark. Note that the inverse transliterations are next to impossible, which is why having the unambiguous forms in the database is vastly preferable.) Steve Summit (talk) 22:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Not necessarily hypothetical; here's what a David Friedland says at Bug 224:
Overview of what it does: it supports the following new tags: <ipa> <ipa-en> <xsampa> <xsampa-en>. The <ipa> tag takes IPA Unicode input ... and returns 2 <span>s: one containing the IPA Unicode in all numeric entities, and the other containing the equivalent X-SAMPA. The <xsampa> tag takes X-SAMPA input and returns the same <span>s as <ipa>. The -en versions of the tags are identical, except they also return a third <span> containing the phonetics in a "simple English" phonetic format.
Unfortunately, he said that October 2004, so I don't know what happened to it after that. I agree that this would be a great feature. TotoBaggins 00:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Splendid! Thanks for pointing this out. Even if that particular attempt is moribund, I'm delighted to hear that someone has shown the idea to be at least somewhat feasible. I'm also (pleasantly) surprised at the existence of the explicit <ipa> tag, because just today I discovered that my memory was wrong, and that Unicode's IPA support is not as "distinct from ASCII" as I had remembered. (For example, there is no distinct IPA r character, so you can't simply replace all IPA r's in an article with, say, "rr" if you feel that would suggest the "flap" or "trill" better for, say, American readers, because you'd get all the r's. But if you've got the <ipa>...</> tags to only perform the transliteration between, you're fine.) Steve Summit (talk) 03:55, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Such a trasformation preference might solve the issue. In the meantime, while clearly the IPA is the only generally agreed and internationaly standard system for representing pronouncation, it is also clearly not familiar to most wikipedia users. There is also the issue of browser support. I use a very standard setup of IE 6, and I see most of the IPA symbols as unmdifferentiated squsre boxes, so i normally completely ignore any IPA information in any article. I would urge that less formal and less structured means of indicating pronciation be considered acceptable if presented along with the IPA symbology, althogh not if presnted instead of the IPA represntation. DES (talk) 22:47, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

This is just another example of how a dedicated group of peoplpe with specialist knowledge make decisions that just make no bloody sense at all for anything other than extreme niche academic publications. It's absolutely insane that we are "suppposed" to use a pronounciation system nobody understands except for those people who would already know how all the words are pronounced without the guide anyway. It's similarly insane that we are "supposed" to capitalize all animal names because a bunch of bird specialists capitalize the name of birds, or that we are "supposed" to use archaic Icelanic spellings for topics on Norse myths and so forth. These wahoos need to understand that we're writing for the public, not some specialist academic journl that not even academics bother to read. All our guidelines need to follow the guidelines used by real offline dictionaries and encyclopedias if we are to be taken seriously. One of the major flaws with Wikipedia is that it's so big and massive that only specialists vote on niche areas and so we get bizarre nonsensical guidelines. 01:11, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Or we could just ban everything not directly related to the USA, including non-US authors, visitors and so forth. Hell, who needs anything "International" anyway? It's just us snobby eurotrash garbage bins who bother with such things as IPA anyway - us, and nerdy academics in the US. Away with it all! Tailor WP to your average US trailer park! --TVPR 01:27, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Unlike your average UK housing estate, where an understanding and appreciation of IPA is delivered to residents with their mother's milk! Babajobu 02:20, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Good thing I don't go to an encyclopedia to know how to pronounce things, because my standard install of IE doesn't support the IPA symbols and they come out as squares.RJFJR 14:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
On which pages are you seeing IPA symbols misrepresented in IE? According to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (pronunciation), there's a template people are supposed to use when entering IPA text which is supposed to fix the IE display problem. Steve Summit (talk) 20:45, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia cannot indefinitely oblige people with broken browsers, or people unwilling to click on IPA to read up what they need to know. This is the sort of attitude we get on WP:RD a lot. Why do any work when we have the dorks interactively doing it for us. If you want to know the pronunciation of something, and WP gives it in IPA, and you don't know IPA, you can click on bleeding IPA and spend ten minutes there. You'll have got your answer, and you'll have learned something useful on top of that, and next time you'll see something in IPA, you may not have to look it up again. I'm sorry, but an encyclopedia simply isn't for people who are not into learning things. dab () 10:47, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
And I'll take the contrary view. IPA has a purpose and there's nothing wrong with using it, but the way people normally represent pronunciations in English text outside of a dictionary is to use English-like spellings for them. Yes, there are pitfalls: Americans who pronounce "cot" the same as "caught" and transcribe it "kawt", British people who speak nonrhotically and transcribe "Pilates" as "pill-are-teez" with a silent R, and the inability to distinguish the two sounds of "th". But most of the time it can be made to work right and is easier to understand. --Anonymous, 05:40 UTC, December 17, 2005
I agree, but the problem here is that the need for accessibility by average users is in tension with the need to be accurate and maintainable by the people who are doing the maintaining. The current IPA-only pronunciations may be less-than-perfectly-usable, but the alternatives would have serious drawbacks as well. Mandating IPA and "English-like spellings" would tend to double the workload (but see below); switching to "English-like spellings" and discarding IPA would drive away the expert editors who can give us the most accurate pronunciations (but who will only want to do so in IPA).
Fortunately, the very good news posted by TotoBaggins up above indicates a way we could have our cake and eat it too, by entering/maintaining only the technically-accurate IPA pronunciations, but automatically (mechanically, programmatically) displaying "English-like spellings" alongside. The code to do so has evidently been written and tested, but not (yet) released into the live Wikimedia software. I've written to David Friedland to ask him what the status of the new code is. Steve Summit (talk) 13:39, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
(I am not accustomed to being addressed by my real name on Wikipedia, but I will reply here thus, aware of the potential privacy consequences.) The particular solution described in the bug referenced above is decidedly moribund. There was a very small change to the main Wikipedia codebase which was require to implement this, and after being continually rebuffed by the developers to commit that change to the tree, I gave up. Several months later, outcry resulted in that change ultimately getting added to tree after Brion modified it dramatically, but I was left with too sour a taste in my mouth to want to bother working anymore on the project because I didn't have the stomach for going to battle for my feature. They did not see much demand or point to my project and IMHO regarded me as little more than a pest who was trying to get his "pet" project installed on Wikipedia.
If there is enough popular support for something like this, then we should petition the developers to support this kind of feature. At the same time, there should be a discussion of how the feature should work. I had to make several tradeoffs when developing what I did write, and perhaps doing it a different way would be better. If someone else wants to pick up where I left off, he or she is welcome to�—all the necessary files are posted to the bug [7]. Cheers! Nohat 20:42, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:GNAA deletion policy

I've come up with a proposal that is designed to balance the need for review of failed AFDs with the desire for finality. Please see the above page and comment. Firebug 03:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Solution to Vandalism?


Perhaps this has already been suggested, but I didn't find it so I might as well offer it.

I think most of us will agree that some edits are better than others whether in terms of factuality, grammar, spelling, or vandalism. Therefore, I suggest a mechanism to try and address this issue.

Imagine a system of ratings, whereby a user's edits are graded by their peers. With such a system, you could configure your view into Wiki to show the latest post on an article for which the poster's rating exceeds some threshold choosen by the viewer. In this way, you would presumeablely be shielded from vandalism since I imagine any such posts are either anonymous or by a user with a low rating in this proposed system. You might combine the rating a person receives on their posts together with the number of edits they have made to produce a more reliable number. That is a person with only one excellent post would not rate as high as a person with 100 posts that average good by their peers. It might make sense to weight the system such that users with high rankings count more in their opinion of others to avoid robotic vandalism where the robot creates many accounts that rank themselves high.

This might allow us to keep the ability of non-registered users of creating new articles, as such articles would probably be filtered out by the default settings a viewer would normally use.

What do others think?


WilliamKF 01:42, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

The problem with that solution is that most vandals, such as myself, are unconcerned with our reputations, and pretty much carry out most of our vandalism within 20 or 30 minutes of our first edits, we generally expect to be blocked before the end of that period of time, making such a safeguard, useless, the only exception are the long term troll, and pagemove vandal, both are a sorry bunch, who will devote many days, weeks, years to skillfully crafting an identity, only to blow everyone out of the water by going on a vandalism spree, of course the plus side to pagemove vandalism is that it always gets blamed on willy, so you're pretty much off the hook, ideally a well prepared vandal has at least 11 standby user names, should the need arise, now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to create template:penis and insert it on as many user pages as I can find--Ropo 02:00, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

If you want to see why we need help in fighting vandalism, you just saw exhibit A. He announces he's going to do this. And then over the next 15 minutes, he did exactly what he said he was going to do and no one caught him until I noticed that he had hit John Kerry. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:25, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Untrue - I spotted him on the VP and went straight to block the standby user names he mentioned, joined by Titoxd and Pathoschild. W00T! Check out the Ipblocklist, I hit the jackpot! Radiant_>|< 02:41, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

But I fail to see how this would not deal with so-called vandalism? Vandals could continue their pranks to their heart's desire, and other users could see the content they desire. Why you could even imagine that a person's rating varies by the viewer akin to the movie rating system as seen on netflix. A person who likes to see vandalized pages might rank vandals highly and thus see those kinds of edits and block out what to another person is a good edit. For that matter, one could view as vandalism what another views as a good edit. Users could tailor their view to meet their desires. In this way we would avoid one groups so called objective view of what is good from being imposed upon the rest. Each so called group getting their own view of each page. WilliamKF 02:43, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Because there's no such thing as "posts" on a wiki. --Brion 03:06, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
But there are revisions, and you could select the latest revision with a predicted rating that exceeds a threshold you set. Editors would work from latest, viewers need not. WilliamKF

I've proposed a possible mechanism that I believe may greatly reduce vandalism, particularly on popular pages. See: Wikipedia:TimedArticleChangeStabilisationMechanism, it does not rely on voting-voting seems problematic for a number of reasons including collusion, sockpuppet voting, unwieldiness and lack of liveness (i.e. some articles may never be published even if they are perfectly fine just due to lack of voting.) WolfKeeper 00:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I like this idea and feel it is a good advance from our present system. It is similar to what I am proposing, replacing the voting rating by the number of edits rating and how old the edit is. However, I don't think the voting would be problematic. For example, collusion would not work as votes would be weighted by the rating of the voter, so unless the colluders had a good record, their votes would not count. If they did vote a vandal edit high, they would risk their own reputation. Regardless, this proposal is a good step forward and I support it too. WilliamKF

Possible expansion of WP:CSD, R2

WP:CSD R2 provides for speedy deletion of redirects that point into User space from the main article space. Is there some reason why we couldn't/shouldn't expand this to cover all redirects pointing into user space that emerge from other namespaces? → Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 18:18, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Are there any, then? I can't see a reason why not, other than having to stage a ridiculous vote. [[Sam Korn]] 18:33, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? → Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 11:57, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, do it, obvious good idea. JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:22, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Should it be expanded to any cross-namespace redirects, just to cover bases? -GTBacchus(talk) 07:30, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Require registration (log-in) to edit

The problem: A lot of garbage on Wikipedia is inserted into articles by anonymous editors; the overwhelming bulk of blanking, graffiti, and other vandalism is by anonymous editors. In turn, an enormous amount of time is spent by responsible (almost always registered) editors in reverting stuff: this is totally unproductive time, better spent doing something else. And if I'm typical, something worse: after a while, we don't revert or fix minor errors; as a long-time contributor here, I used to revert all that stuff, but now usually don't — there's too much of it, it's discouraging, and I have better things to do, as do we all.

Now the problem is not usually very serious: it just makes Wikipedia look silly, a very iffy source of information (I almost never link to it from my own site), and wastes a lot of everybody's time. But sometimes it becomes something much worse: the current controversy over Wikipedia's article on John Seigenthaler Sr. (q.v., and the Talk page), in which the subject of the article discovered that for several months he'd been obliquely accused of having something to do with two assassinations, is not unique: see this section of the Talk page on John Seigenthaler. Mr. Seigenthaler has gone on national media, quite successfully putting Wikipedia in the same category as wacko Internet stuff, blogs, etc.: even if we are not concerned with libelling people (and one of these days some court is going to award damages), izzis the publicity Wikipedia wants?

The solution is simple. Require registration (log‑in) before you can edit. While there are a few anonymous editors who do contribute usefully, the overwhelming majority of them do not; conversely, there is very little vandalism by registered users. (Not talking about POV issues here, which can't usually be classified as vandalism.)

Registration is easy, free, spamfree. If a registered user is so foolish as to libel someone via Wikipedia, they can be held accountable; protected by the laws governing ISP's (see the Seigenthaler Talk page again) anonymous "users" cannot. Bill 13:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

It would be nice to see statistics on what percentage of anon contribs are vandalism. Nonetheless, requiring all users to contribute would raise the entry barrier, and not only reduce the number of vandalisms, but also reduce the number of positive edits. And remember that many users who starts as anons eventually register - but if they were never allowed to be anons in the first place and had to register for their fist edit, would they?
Nonetheless I think it may be prudent to implement a feature 'protection from anons', allowing admins to protect certain commonly vandalised pages from anon edits. It might prove to be a panacea for Bush page dillema and similar high profile 'often-vandalised-by-anons' pages..--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:28, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I Support Bill's proposal, or at least something incorporating main parts of his recommendation. If the only problem was random vandalism, it could be lived with as the price of having an open wiki. But, we see in the Siegenthaler case and several others [8], really malicious and harmful behavior aimed at specific, living, individuals. I've also seen small companies [9] targeted by anonymous contributors.
Bill's proposal could be criticized from two points of view: First, it will not be positive proof against this kind of behavior, since it will remain very easy to get a practically anonymous user name; second, as Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus suggests, that it will deter new users unnecessarily. As for the second criticism, a compromise is possible along the following lines: permit anonymous users to edit most pages as they do now, but prevent them from creating new pages and from editing pages in certain categories, for example, articles about living people and existing businesses. I like this proposal, b/c it gives new users plenty of space to 'play' within WP and provides a further incentive to register while protecting against the more serious kind of defamation vandalism --FRS 16:04, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

It's been brought up many times: Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals)#Abolish anonymous users. --Interiot 16:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

True, Interiot, it is a perennial proposal, but that shouldn't prevent it being discussed afresh if that is what you're suggesting. Things move on, and people can change their views (as I have on this subject). --A bit iffy 17:36, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The major problems with this suggestion are (a) your contention that the majority of anons do not contribute usefully is clearly false, based on what I've seen looking at recent changes; (b) your suggestion doesn't do anything to combat the problem that's motivating it: users who are willing to construct elaborate libel are likely also to be willing to take the time to register. While requiring registration might stop the people who randomly add "penis" to articles, it's not going to deal with the Seigenthaler situation. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:29, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't like fights, but as for (a) you've inadvertently misrepresented what I said: not that the majority of anons vandalize, but that the majority of vandalism appears to be anons, which is a very different thing. As for (b), requiring registration will deter: it's not the slight time involved in registration, but the knowledge that registration requires their e-mail address, and registered users are thus trackable. This seems to be supported by the fairly clear fact that very little vandalism is by registered users. At any rate, my concern is not so much with the Seigenthaler and other similar messes, but with the day-to‑day parade of graffiti and blanking to be reverted. Bill 17:11, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, when I registered, the email address was optional. I think it still is. Even if we require it (raising the bar for participation significantly!), getting an anonymous one-off email-address is trivial. Thus we would make participation harder for not much gain. On the other hand, I would support a "protection from anonymous", analogous to the current complete protection. Such a feature could be used by an admin if necessary. It would also allow us to get some experience with this topic.--Stephan Schulz 21:51, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The observation that all but a minute fraction of vandalism comes from users who are not logged in is hard to deny to contributors who have accumulated a substantial Watchlist. Without rephrasing it in the form of its converse, that the majority of anons do not contribute usefully— which is not in any way the issue— I agree strongly with Bill Thayer, as a thoroughly anonymous—"Wetman"—contributor myself. Asking a would-be editor to log in first is a simple extra step that would slightly raise the bar, enough to discourage spur-of-the-moment "drive-by" spray-can graffiti, though indeed not enough to thwart any "POV" assertions or the constructing elaborate schemes of any kind, libellous ormerely zany. --Wetman 17:16, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
"While there are a few anonymous editors who do contribute usefully, the overwhelming majority of them do not" certainly seems to imply exactly what I said. Your claim there that the overwhelming majority of anons do not contribute usefully is false, though perhaps this isn't reflective of what you meant to say. Second, an email is not currently required to register an account, so your other point would also require some change to the user-login scheme. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:28, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Most unfortunately, Bill has not presented the case carefully enough. He shouldn't have said "While there are a few anonymous...", and he did get that e-mail thing wrong. However, I believe the case for allowing only registered users to edit is strong in that it will stop almost all vandalism, which takes up a silly amount of good editors' time. (Read more of my views on this at User:A_bit_iffy#Things I really hate about Wikipedia.) --A bit iffy 18:03, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Rereading self) Umm, yes, though I don't quite think it, I did get carried away towards the end of my yammering, and you guys read me better than I do. . . . On the e‑mail thing, I seem to remember having to provide an e‑mail address? Zat gone now? Anyway, my watchlist is about 65% tiny edits, spelling corrections, that kind of thing, often by robots, and almost all the rest is graffiti and blanking: possibly because by temperament I'm not interested in large topics, but track almost all factual articles on small places in Italy, minor Roman stuff, etc. It's a bit like all those soldiers who left their graffiti on the pyramids. Bill 19:09, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
As far as I know, an email address was never required. You could always specify it. I suspect you misremember. --Stephan Schulz 21:05, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I would support limiting new page creations to those who are logged in, perhaps even requiring them to build up a few edits first, like we already do for page moves. It's much harder to deal with bad articles than bad edits. The vast majority of new articles created by anonymous users, that I've seen, could be called "bad". However, bad doesn't mean vandalism. A lot of it is vandalism, but the articles that are CSD and AfD material unintentionally, combined with copyright violations puts the number of bad articles over good. On the other hand, I've seen a much better bad to good ratio for edits. However, this is just my experience and perception, which can be unreliable. It would be good to have some precise numbers about the problem.

Also, while the potential loss of good editors resulting from changes like this is a valid concern, there are consequences to accepting a higher level of bad articles. We may lose editors we already have when they get sick of dealing with the articles. A more significant consequence is the amount of time good editors waste deleting bad articles. How many good articles and edits are don't get made because they are busy nominating or voting them for deletion, or reporting them to copyright problems? I don't know which loss would be greater, but there are definitely consequences to doing nothing.

If we do make a change, we could limit it to a week or a month and collect information on whether it works and whether new editors are lost. -- Kjkolb 18:29, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree that we spend too much energy on deleting new pages that we don't want, but I think this should motivate some changes to our deletion policy rather than to our policy on page creation; see for instance this. Christopher Parham (talk) 18:48, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The fact that the issue of blocking anonymous IP's from editing has come up again and again shows how serious the issue is. Many Wikipedians, perhaps, would support the idea or would seriously consider it. I support the idea of blocking anon IP's. If this current discussion ends up nowhere again I expect that it will be brought up again. How many positive editors would be discouraged from editing by this policy? Well, if it is clearly specified that creating an account does not require disclosing any personal information whatsoever, I don't expect that many will be discouraged. Their User Name can even by a faux number sequence, similar to an IP address, if they like. Alexander 007 01:07, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
If we assume that requiring people to make a username will deter those who would otherwise commit minor vandalism, we'd have to also assume that the extra effort will deter those who would otherwise perform minor positive edits -- spelling, punctuation, correcting dates, removing vandalism, etc., unless anyone has substantial reason to believe that destructive anons would be more deterred than constructive anons. I would expect the added demand to register an account to work both ways. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
How do you feel about the compromise suggested several paragraphs above: "permit anonymous users to edit most pages as they do now, but prevent them from creating new pages and from editing pages in certain categories, for example, articles about living people and existing businesses" My issue is not minor vandalism, but making defamation and invasion of privacy of real people & companies more difficult or risky for those who would use WP for that purpose --FRS 02:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think such a policy about new pages is necessary -- the new pages listing is fairly well patrolled (it's a lot easier to get a handle on than recent changes). Again, I wouldn't want to prevent anonymous users from editing pages in any category because the balance of their contributions is positive; the net effect of such a policy would be damage to Wikipedia. Finally, as I said above, anyone with a serious malicious intent is unlikely to be stopped by the <15 seconds it takes to make an account, so any policy about limiting the rights of anon users is very unlikely to control such serious, malicious editing. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:37, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that the new pages listing is well patrolled. Those of us who edit Islam-related articles are dealing with one user who creates ten or more articles a day, a great many of them ending up on AfD. If someone were patrolling the new pages, someone else would catch abominations like Western scholars and Reports of unusual religious childbirths. Note: I have disagreed with Christopher Parham in the past re new article creation; he seems to me to believe that just about every new article can be salvaged if enough work is put into it. This seems to me to grotesquely over-estimate the number of responsible editors and the amount of time that they can dedicate to salvaging cruft. Zora 22:35, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I only mean that new pages is well-patrolled in the sense that articles that are created as minor vandalism are usually quickly removed, so we don't need to worry much about this sort of addition. Blocking anonymous users from contributing new articles is unlikely to prevent other sorts of 'bad' new articles, whatever the definition; forcing the creation of an account is not much of a barrier. Regarding your specific concerns, it's not clear what those patrolling new pages should do about the articles you link -- clearly they can't be deleted under our existing policy; what would you suggest patrollers do about them? Christopher Parham (talk) 23:14, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd suggest that we need some software changes. One should be able to sort and track new pages by USER, without having to cut and paste new pages to an app on one's own computer and then sorting. We need stats on new article creation -- what's the usual number of new articles created per X edits? -- and a hard-coded limit on the number of new articles any one user can create in a week, or in a month, to be established relative to the average number of new articles. If new article creation were a finite rather than an infinite resource, editors might be more careful about creating breakout articles for one misspelled sentence. Zora 23:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Restricting non-logged in users from editing is a throughly counterproductive idea. The reason most vandalism comes from "anons" is that the people vandalizing don't have to log in. If we required logging in, most of them would. The supporters of this seem to be regularly confused as to what the intended target of such a restriction would be: at first, they often claim it would help with libel or other major damage to the 'pedia - when it is pointed out that such a policy would make the identification, fixing and tracking of such material harder, they switch to the argument that the policy would act as a speed-bump and stop trivial, minor vandalism. When it is pointed out that such vandalism is a minor problem already, and not worth a major policy change with many downsides (less minor good fixes, a great barrier to gradually getting involved with the wiki) they often switch back to a mid-range argument, ignoring the fact that both ends of the argument have been defeated. The reason the proposal keeps coming up is the natural human desire to find scapegoats - "it must be the anons; let's kill 'em!" is a simple and obvious response to the crap-flood which we are, in fact, facing. It is also thoroughly wrong; anon's are not a separate group from logged in users; we're all people; anon's are just people who wish to be less strongly affiliated with the site at this particular time. They are not a separate class that can be blocked as such. It's a bad idea, folks, and one we have rejected many, many times. Pardon the vehemence of my above comment (late at night). JesseW, the juggling janitor 10:36, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Other open source projects typically require providing a valid, verified e-mail address just to be part of the discussion lists; and require actual participation (sending patches that get incorporated into code) before becoming allowed to commit changes unsupervised. My wife (head of her department at a four year college) tells me that Wikipedia is being regarded by Internet savvy academics as an unreliable source, and some are requiring a second source whenever Wikipedia is used as a reference by students. I believe that we should require edits to be by Wiki users who have registed, including a verified active e-mail address.

I cannot see how requiring registration would identification or tracking of malicious or other bad material harder. Having the IP address only makes it much harder - ISPs will not respond to the question of who has an IP address on at a given point in time except to subpoenas and warrants. Having the e-mail address is great. I speak from experience, having had this as a job responsibility.

Sock puppet claims might be a thing of the past. Wrolf 04:35, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Vetting new pages

What about a process in which new pages created by anonymous users are held in a special, non-publically viewable area? Pages living there would have to be approved by an admin (or perhaps by a logged-in user or something in between) before they were made visible to the world via the main namespace. Edits to existing articles would not be affected. This would still allow non-logged in users to create articles, but rob the effectiveness of their efforts: why create a Rob is soooo kool! page if you can't share it with your friends? The downside would be the amount of effort for admins to filter the pages, but that really depends on the number of admins available. Even allowing logged-in users to approve the pages would be a great help, as this would require quite a few steps for your random bored schoolkid to create a page. Conversely, if the "any logged in user" requirement is too low, and the admin requirement is too high, it could be something like "logged-in users who have existed for XXX days and/or have made at least XXX edits." Adjusting those XXXs should allow a large enough pool of willing people so that valid new-anon pages should be visible very shortly after their creation. Articles meeting CSD could be immediately removed by an admin. Turnstep 19:03, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I support this idea. I started editing as an anon; most of my new articles were garbage, but then I got the hang of Wikipedia from doing wiki maintainance on existing articles. Jamie 05:28, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism to existing articles is a more serious problem than new articles

Creating bogus new articles is not good, but someone using wikipedia for research is highly unlikely to even notice a new article with a bogus title. Adding plausible but incorrect material to a biography of Cyrus Vance or Hillary Clinton is a much more serious problem, in terms of the inconvenience to readers, and the harm to wikipedia's reputation (IMHO). I support the proposal (to make users register "login" names on the theory that it will probably cut down vandalism a bit, at a minor cost, recognizing that it will do nothing to discourage the serious vandal. Morris 03:02, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Also see existing articles vandalized more than new ones. I agree that we need to require only logged in users to contribute. Most of the vandalism I see is by ip's. But on the other hand see some by logged in users and when I check their contribs they will have only have registered quite recently (empty user and talk pages).--Dakota t e 20:56, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I think forbidding edits by anonymous users is a very bad idea. While the number of constructive edits by anonymous users may not be that big, I think that most users start anonymously. After a while they are hooked and register (I know that this is true for me). If we disallow anonymous edits, we may well cut off (or at least reduce) the flow of new Wikipedians. --Stephan Schulz 21:48, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the majority of minor fixes to articles (things like spelling, punctuation, and grammar) are done by anons. These are spur-of-the-moment edits by people who are otherwise passive readers. By requiring them to create an account before fixing the problem, we make it much less likely that they'll bother with it. --Carnildo 22:35, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm with Stephan - I would never have edited Wikipedia if there had been a policy against anonymous edits. At first, I didn't want to create an account because I was sure that I was just going to make this one edit... just fix this really egregious spelling error... just correct this totally off-base assertion... and so on. It took months of occasional editing before I was willing to create an account. - AdelaMae (talk - contribs) 03:13, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Every time anyone publishes an article we have to go through this. Not only would blocking anonymous edits drastically inhibit our growth, but it would have little effect on vandals. They would create throwaway accounts to vandalize with. They don't create accounts now only because they don't have to - if they did, they would. If you've seen some of the vandalism I have, you know that many of these people are not casual vandals, they work hard at it, and would happily jump over any hurdles we throw at them. Any attempt to prevent throwaway accounts, such as identity validation, would lead to other undesirable effects and further discourage legitimate users. At least now we can review changes by anons separately, and it helps us to catch a lot of vandalism. Give me anonymous edits, or give me death. Deco 00:15, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the best way to prevent throwaway accounts is not to block them, but to make them less effective for malicious purposes. Let accounts that might be throwaway accounts show up in a manner similar to anonymous users on a filtered view of RC. Getting off the new&suspect users list would take a combination of time and constructive contributions - by the time that a user's gotten enough experience under their belt that they no longer stick out like a sore thumb on RC, they've either contributed enough that they feel that they have a reputation worth protecting, contributed enough that the value of their legitimate contributions outweighs the one or two shots at trying to vandalise that they are likely to get before someone blocks them, or just given up in frustration and gone elsewhere. Triona 10:32, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Is this now policy? As I've noticed I cannot clean up categories today. If anyone can edit, that includes new page creation. You should change the notice on the main page. TO requires registration 19:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think this is a good idea, but it would probably be best to vet all changes, not just article creations. IMHO The criteria for when a change becomes vetted should be a function of the article's visibility (as a function of page views and links to the article - both extremely high profile pages and very low traffic pages can be considered "high-risk" - high profile pages because of their visiblility, low traffic ones because of greater risk that vandalism will go overlooked), the reputation of the person making the edit (as a function of time since account creation and non-malicious edits vs malicious edits), the reputation of those that have checked the edit, and the length of time since the edit was made. The "burden" for approval should gradually go down as time passes. In practical considerations, this should mean that anyone that's been here long enough or contributed enough to demonstrate that they are serious about being an asset to the community would have their edits clear the vetting process automatically or almost automatically, while changes from brand new accounts and anon users would wait just long enough to give someone the chance to look them over. Triona 09:58, 19 December 2005 (UTC) One way to look at the problem of vandalism is that we need to make sure that vandalism is ALWAYS harder than legitimate contributions - Making it easier to revert vandalism than it is to perform it is one way, requiring a sufficient contribution to the project that the would-be vandal actually contributes more than they destroy is another - if we can create a system that achieves that goal without turning off new contributors, the vandals will mostly go elsewhere, and the ones that stick around will have to invest more and more time to be effective. Triona 10:19, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I very much am in agreement. I think my proposal may basically achieve this; see: Wikipedia:TimedArticleChangeStabilisationMechanism WolfKeeper 23:15, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

disappeared contributions

My 'Kwanzaa' contribution has disappeared from the list of my contributions. I can understand why it might be removed or deleted from the 'talk/discussion' pages but not from the personal list. My definition is not science fiction.

On the other hand, my 'Rod of the Seasons' entries can be reduced (by -2), since they are all the same as previously mentioned. >

Arbitration Clause discussion at MediaWiki talk:Edittools

I have proposed at MediaWiki talk:Edittools to add the following to the bottom of that section of the edit page:

By clicking to save the above edit, you agree to the binding resolution of any disputes that arise as a result of your participation in Wikipedia through the dispute resolution processes available here .

As I stated there, I believe that the imposition of an arbitration clause (in the same way that we currently impose the GFDL) would head off some legal threats. I'd like more input from the community in that discussion. Cheers! BDAbramson T 15:54, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

What problem do you think it would solve? No, that's not a rhetorical question. I can see that it might help with the people who contribute material and subsequently try to withdraw "permission" to use it when they discover that they can't control the subsequent editing of it. I don't think it would help with people who think their publicist should have the right to vet anything Wikipedia says about them. I don't think it would help with someone who loses money as a result of inaccurate information he got from Wikipedia and wants WIkipedia to make him whole. And, of course, it would give people a good reason for not trying to fix inaccuracies themselves: ("I was going to remove the nasty remark about me about me, until I realized that if I edited the article I'd be surrendering my legal rights...") Dpbsmith (talk) 19:19, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I've copied your query to MediaWiki talk:Edittools, and made a brief response there. Cheers! BDAbramson T 19:59, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Information about Religion, Christianity forbidden?

I've gotten a severe problem with Zoe over the Wahine Volleyball article. With only one warning, Zoe is threatening to ban me over stating that the Wahine Volleyball team players are mostly Christians due to the nature of the playing scheduel. Can I get some clarification if it's not allowed to mention information about players beliefs? Or was Zoe way out of line in impossing the no Christinaity limitataion?--Masssiveego 06:00, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Is it particularly relevant to understanding the team that they are mostly Christian? Depending on where a team is, there's a good chance it's mostly Christian purely by nature of the population pool it draws from. Can you provide sources to demonstrate the claim that they are mostly Christian? If not, it might be difficult to justify putting what's essentially speculation into an article. In the general case, I don't think information about religion is forbidden on Wikipedia -- this is one of the better places to get information, being an encyclopedia. Religion isn't, however, relevant to every article. --Improv 15:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Only one warning? I've been warning you since you first put the article up. Your edit is constantly being deleted, and not just by me. And why did you feel the need to bring this here instead of discussing it with me? Zoe ( 18:15, 20 December 2005 (UTC))

Please note on my talk page.

Warning number one.

"Please don't reinsert the religious bigotry into the Wahine Volleyball article again. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)"

I reword the edits to state the reason, why this Christianity is prevelant in this team. Just because an edit is deleted, has no signficance in itself, it does not mean it's wrong, I just have to either prove my facts better as there is always the possiblity of human error overlooking the merit of my edits.

Final Warning.. This is your last warning. The next time you vandalize a page, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I consider final warning to be different from first warning, and I read the policy is 3 warnings for vandalism. First warning has no wording of Vandalism, the "final warning" does. The first warning in my interpretation was to say, a requirement for a more NPOV, not a warning that this was vandalism. For zoe To automatically recieve a final vandalism warning was a surprise, a shock, and a problem as I cannot safetly edit the article after that. However I agree I failed to support my facts strongly enough, Ashley Watanabe is a strong Christian, as is virtually the Volleyball team. They ALL are on local television news all the time, in way way or another praising Jesus for their victories. This was the same for the team for the last 5 years as far as I can tell. All 100% christians. This is a significant fact in my opinion that says it's almost an requirement to be Christian to be on this team. The problem is I'm having the problem finding the articles that states exactly that for the last 5 years. However I do have single articles that state Christian beliefs from single players time to time, such as Ashley Watanabe, Susie Boogaard, and Victoria Prince directly attesting to a christian belief, of that they "accepted Jesus". I'm just having a problem going player by player when somebody deleted my bio sheet that I was working on that would had the player by player religous beliefs stated toward the media. However if I'm wrong for putting that kind of information in the article, I would like to know where the policy is and where I can read about it to avoid future mistakes of putting in "bad" information, such as Christianity. --Masssiveego 19:38, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

There is no policy. If I had thought your edits were egregiously bad enough, I would have blocked you the first time. But you seem to be more interested in arguing that somehow being Christian makes you a better volleyball player, intead of explaining why you think it's important to know that the team's members are Christians. What does somebody in a non-religious setting having "accepted Jesus" have to do with anything? It's gratuitous. I'll repeat -- put it back in without some sort of context in which the information is necessary, and you will be blocked. Zoe ( 21:15, 20 December 2005 (UTC))
  • It may be worth including if the entire team makes a big deal of their religious belief and if that is not standard faire for a sports team. If it's to be included, it should be phrased so it's clear that that's unusual for a team. Incidentally, Zoe, it seems unusual to call this vandalism -- it may be of only arguable relevance, but that's a far cry from vandalism. I think it would be a questionable use of admin powers to block for this reason. --Improv 22:02, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
    I agree that it's not proper to treat good-faith edits and vandalism. Vandalism is blanking articles, or typing "OMG BUSH IS GAY LOLERZ!!!". Having a different opinion about what information should go in an article is not vandalism; it is an issue that needs to be addressed on the talk page in question by both parties, not in the edit summaries of mulitiple reversions, and not by means of vandalism notices. Look at Massiveego's edit history, that's no vandal. Even if the edits are grossly POV (about which I have no opinion) that wouldn't constitute vandalism. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:56, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Re-inserting biased material, whether religious or otherwise, is vandalism, and is treated as such. Zoe ( 00:30, 21 December 2005 (UTC))
Not according to Wikipedia:Vandalism.
Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change to content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. The most common type of vandalism is the replacement of existing text with obscenities, page blanking, or the insertion of other wholly irrelevant content.
Any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Apparent bad-faith edits that do not make their bad-faith nature inarguably explicit are not considered vandalism at Wikipedia.
-GTBacchus(talk) 00:36, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Actually, biased material does compromise the NPOV and integrity of the encyclopedia. Repeatedly inserting something after being told not to is not acting in good faith. Radiant_>|< 12:40, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
  • repeatedly inserting bias is not "vandalism", but it is a violation of policy. After sufficient warning, good faith may no longer be assumed, and I suppose the proper term is then "trolling" or "pov-pushing". In clear cases, these editors may be blocked under the disruption clause. Blatant removal of sourced material may also be considered vandalism ("blanking"). Such blocks may be controversial, but they are at the judgement of the admin. They should be posted to WP:AN/I, and if other admins disagree and unblock, the blocking admin should stand down to avoid blocking wars. dab () 12:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Regarding WP:Vandalism, another relevant quote is "NPOV violations: The neutral point of view is a difficult policy for many of us to understand, and even Wikipedia veterans occasionally accidentally introduce material which is non-ideal from an NPOV perspective. Indeed, we are all blinded by our beliefs to a greater or lesser extent. While regrettable, this is not vandalism." Essentially Zoe's *sole* basis for calling this vandalism, is the POV-pushing nature of the edits. Calling this vandalism, is a personal attack. Any future blocking (hopefully none is needed), should be done by a neutral party. Zoe, if a block is justified, you should have no difficulty in getting another admin to do it. We don't let admins prevail in content disputes, just because they have blocking powers. Though not relevant, on the content issue, I do agree this is junk that should have been removed. --Rob 13:44, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

"Vandalism" is not the right word, but Zoe is otherwise correct. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:51, 22 December 2005 (UTC)


I don't understand the need to propose stubs when they could just be made, particularly when it's unclear who they're being proposed to. Do we have to propose articles before they're made? No, of course not. Until I get enough people to delete it, I'm going to WP:IAR in regards to WSS/P unless i'm unsure about a stub, and even then, I still might make it and if users don't like it, it'll be on WP:SFD soon enough. karmafist 23:34, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Did you actually read what was at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Proposals? I don't follow it very closely, but it is not about proposing individual stub articles -- but rather about proposing stub types, stub categories, and stub templates. olderwiser 23:45, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, Bkonrad, you misunderstood me. I'm talking about things that look like this {{Whatever-stub}}, not actual articles. karmafist 01:17, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I see. Like I said, I don't follow it very closely--I suppose the idea is to encourage some sort of order to how stub templates are used. I don't think anyone can really prevent you from creating stub templates--like you say, templates that aren't liked will end up "on WP:SFD soon enough". olderwiser 03:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I agree with you on that, I always more or less figured that page was something of a joke. Generally uncontroversial, easily revertible actions like making a template are exactly where WP:BOLD applies. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:15, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • No it isn't a joke. Many people will more or less automatically propose for deletion any stub type not created throught proper procedures. There are good reasons why stub types should go through this process. 1) It allows the central list of stub types to be kept properly up to date. 2) it helps make sure that stub types are properly created and formatted, since a stub type properly consists of a linked template and a category, and should have proper links to at least one article (defining or explaining the subject of the stub type) and a parent category. 3) It helps keep stub type naming consistant, and the ways in in which stub types are grouped consistant 4) it helps ensure that precendants in such matters are followed. 5) It generally asks for justification for a new stub type in the form of at least 50 exizting stubs or the likely prospect of at least that many that fit the proposed type. Please do NOT create new stub types without proposing them at WP:WSS/P first. DES (talk) 17:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
    • See, this is why it's a joke -- it's a load of instruction creep which effectively exists to make sure that (God forbid) we don't accidentally get any stub templates with less than 50 articles attached, or with a capital letter in the wrong place. Good thing someone is there to act as the first line of defence against the 49-article stub category: it lets me sleep well at night. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:26, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that making stubs is easily reversable, because sorting stubs is easy and fast, a stub category can have a few hundred articles in it in under an hour. but if that category is deleted, no one will want to go through all those articles and put them back into their proper stub category. Smmurphy(Talk) 17:26, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Furthermore, if you actually look at WP:BOLD it only talks about being bold in improving articles. There is no mention of the creation or modification of templates, except in a section warning of things that need extreme caution rather than boldness. Grutness...wha? 14:16, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Seeing as how the entire purpose of stub-sorting is to make stub articles easily findable by those who wish to work in a particular subject area, and seeing as that's the only sense in which stub-sorting is even part of building and encyclopedia, and seeing as how that use of stub categories is basically undermined by inconsistency in the categorization of stubs; I can't see how it makes any sense to ignore WP:WSS/P. If you disagree with them, then you disagree with stub-sorting in the first place. Creating stub templates and categories chaotically will have no helpful effect; we'd be better off with one big {{stub}} category like before. How hard is it to find a reasonably close match on WP:WSS/ST? I sort stubs all the time, and I'm never at such a loss that I just have to create a new template and category to deal with the stubs I'm sorting. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:43, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Exactly as GTBacchus said. Expansion of stub articles is made much easier by having well thought out and sensible stub types for the templates. To Christopher Parham, how exactly is creating a misplaced stub template that could mess up a category of (for example) 200+ stub articles "uncontroversial"? There is a lot of work going on at WP:WSS to ensure stubs are sorted into relevant categories so that they can be expanded by people with the appropriate knowledge. I'd hardly call it a "joke", for the same reasons DES mentions above. It makes a lot more sense to have the proposal procedure, thus cutting out unnecessary sorting out of badly created or unneeded stub templates. Mushintalk 17:58, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

As people before me have said in other words, the whole thought behind proposing a stub before creating it, is to prevent a wildgrowth of barely viable and irrelevant stub templates. In the past, we've had several users who went on template creation sprees. They created dozens of stub templates that went against every format and structure, and which had barely any articles. Some of them were edited and put to use, others were deleted via SFD. One of them even created a {{Hot Jewish Actress-stub}}, which if I recall was BJAODN'ed. That is what the proposal process is trying to prevent. It also helps us to know what other users are doing. Some are involved in sports-related articles, others in geographical or biographical articles. Knowing who is doing what helps us prevent doing things twice. It helps participants know what to focus on and what others are already focussing on. You basically say that if a stub type is reasonable, then why bother proposing it first, right? Let me answer that with a counter-question: if the stub type you want to see created is viable, serious and contributes to wikipedia, then what have you got to fear? We stub sorters are no cannibals ;) Other contributors might point to problems you may have overlooked, because four eyes see more than two, and twenty eyes see more than four. Aecis praatpaal 19:35, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Exactly. That's the whole reason for the proposal and debate process. You want a stub type? If you propose it, we'll happily sort out whether there are a reasonable enough number of stubs for a viable category, consider whether other names are more viable, work out whether there is any way to include related fields, check wheter it overlaps with other categories currently in use, and do the "heavy manual work" of creating the template and category (and ensuring it had a reasonable parent category) and transferring over any stubs to it from other overpopulated categories. We'll also add it to the canonical list of stub types and keep track of how full the category is so that we know if and when it needs to be split further. Compare that to the situation where a new stub type suddenly appears with no warning and no debate, potentially crosses other existing categories, is vaguely or ambiguously worded, has a redlinked category (or none at all), or has a potential population of three stub articles (which could be cleared in an hour by a conscientious editor). Consider also that that happens on average two or three times per day. Prior to putting some form of guidelines in place, it happened far more frequently, but now thankfully most editors involved in stubbing articles come to WP:WSS/P first (which is why the proposals page is now much longer than the discoveries page). The system works fine. It could be improved, sure - name one area of Wikipedia that couldn't. There's no such thing as a perfectly circular wheel, but smoothing it is a far better idea than reinventing it. And riding roughshod over the diligent work of the busiest wikiproject in the place isn't going to improve matters one iota. Grutness...wha? 14:16, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Karmafist, to me saying that stub templates should be proposed first is akin to saying that articles should be proposed first, and we simply don't have that implemented, as that's not really part of the core principles of Wikipedia. You shouldn't delete a stub template simply because it wasn't proposed following some arbitrary procedure, you should evaluate each stub that's created based on it's usefulness, and nothing else. Let's not come down on people simply because they don't follow your particular wishes, there's no guaranteeing someone will even visit that page to even notice that requirement, I first heard about it after I created a new stub and even helpfully added it in to the stub types listing. To me that just smacks of instruction creep. If you get a bad stub template that doesn't work, by all means delete it, and do what you have to do to make it work, but calling for approval for any new stub types is a bit ridiculous. Ëvilphoenix Burn! 17:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I see a difference between asking that new stub types be proposed and asking that new articles be proposed. A new article basically stands on its own; it might link to other articles and be linked from other articles, but it doesn't really affect the wiki around it. A stub type, on the other hand, comes with a category attached to it - there's a fair amount of background infrastructure that is significantly harder to undo than it is to, say, delete a nonsense article.
Another difference is this - if an article is missing, then there's a hole in the wikipedia, and it should be filled. If a stub type doesn't seem to be available - that's no big deal. Why is it ever so important to use a particular stub type that it becomes necessary to throw a wrench into a categorization system that a lot of people are working hard to keep organized? What loss if you have to use a more general stub-type than you like, pending discussion of a more specific type? Seriously, I would like to see that question answered by those who advocate ignoring WP:WSS. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Proposing and discussing stubs before creating them ensures a coordinated and structured progress of a categorization system. As I said above, a central "forum" means that we all know who is doing what, what the formatting and naming conventions are, how non-stub categories are doing things, etc. The goal of this project, like every other wikiproject, is to assist each other in improving this encyclopedia. And as I said as well: what is so bad about proposing stubs? Stub templates involve an infrastructure, so there needs to be some self-restraint on stub creations, to prevent wildgrowth and to keep the load on the servers as low as possible. We stub sorters are not evil, we are not trying to put anyone down in any meaning of the word. Our only goal is to improve Wikipedia. If contributors propose relevant and viable stubs, then they will be approved. Read the proposal archives if you don't believe me. And last but not least: out-of-process creations are never a reason to delete a stub. There are many stubs created out of process out there that are being used normally (you can find most of them on the discoveries page). It is a sidenote, in some cases perhaps a consideration, but it is irrelevant in the actual decision to delete. Aecis praatpaal 19:24, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Agree with karmafist, it shouldn't be necessary to propose a new stub. Fromt he looks of the stub sorting project, it seems they've unilaterally decided to take control over a specific (and fundamental) part of Wikipedia. (I note that WP:SFD was created with a consensus of 12 editors (not that I think SFD is a bad idea, but it's alarming that something so fundamental seems to have been created with so few participants)). I'm curious how many people supported creating WP:WSS/P. —Locke Cole 20:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Only 12 people left comments about it, that is true. But consider this - the proposal was listed at CFD, TFD, and at all the necessary policy proposal pages for a couple of months prior to SFD going online. A large number of people would have known about it proposal, yet there were no comments against it. Surely if anyone had considered it a bad idea at the time, they would have spoken up. None did. Grutness...wha? 05:33, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

"the stub people are basically trolls"

I just asked this on Karmafist's talk page, but he removed it almost immediately, without anwsering. Can anyone else here (since this is where stubs are being discussed, I guess) enlighten me, pelase? I really don't know what he was on about.

Please explain what you meant by the stub people are basically trolls.". Thank you.

Andy Mabbett 20:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

He seems to think that we are trolls because some of his redirects to stub templates have been nominated for deletion. I don't see what trolling has to do with that, because the nominations are in good faith, are not vandalistic and are completely consistent with Wikipedia's deletion policy. He also disagrees with us on the merits of the WikiProject. It may be that he sees our defending the project as "inflammatory" or "disruptive" (from internet troll). Aecis praatpaal 19:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Aecis, if you think making it more difficult to make and put stubs on stub articles is defending the project, you definately have a strange definition of defense. I've learned, particularly from others on this thread, that the best way to get what you want is to just ignore what doesn't make sense and keep on plugging along in good faith (or like some people in the thread, appearing to be in good faith) until what you're ignoring eventually becomes irrelevant. I've probably added about 70 or so of the stubs proposed for deletion by the stub cruft regulars, pretty much at random because there are alot of stub articles having to do with New Hampshire, and I put them on there in rapid succession, there's no need to refer to some arbitrary list that has random guidelines decided in some dark room somewhere.

I was wrong to bother thinking about proposing deletion of any of the stub ownership projects, it's more productive to just help build an encyclopedia instead of stooping down to that level. karmafist 00:13, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

How "good faith" are those stub creations if you deliberately ignore an established, well-thought out and respected procedure (judging from the many people who do propose stubs before creating them) on an important WikiProject that was created according to Wikipedia policy? How "good faith" are those contributions if you deliberately ignore the decisions of this community (I'm talking about Wikipedia, not about the WikiProject) and act as a stray bullet on a rampage? Aecis praatpaal 09:25, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Karmafist, may I point out WP:POINT to you? It explicitly says: "If you wish to change an existing procedure or guideline... do set up a discussion page and try to establish consensus; don't push the existing rule to its limits in attempt to prove it wrong, nor nominate the existing rule for deletion." Would you please keep that in mind, the next time you decide to ignore WP:WSS/P? Aecis praatpaal 23:59, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
WP:WSS/P reeks of m:instruction creep (choice quote: The fundamental fallacy of instruction creep is thinking that people read instructions.). Better to write a short, well-structured document describing "best practices", hope people read it, and maybe make a page where people can announce stubs, after the fact, and discuss them (similar to WP:WSS/D but without the implication that anything that's "discovered" must be bad). I'll also reiterate that, in the case of WP:SFD, 12 people created that. I don't know how many supported creating WP:WSS/P, but if it's at all close to the same 12 who created SFD, I don't think it has much legitimacy. —Locke Cole 09:54, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The WikiProject currently has 117 participants, many of whom are active participants. I don't know the numbers for other WikiProjects, but I don't think it's a bad score. Aecis praatpaal 10:01, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Further comment: One could alternatively accuse you of instruction creepism of WP:OWN (I won't go so far though). We also don't believe that any discovered stub "created out of process" is inherently bad. Look at the discovery page. Many of them are incorporated into the list of stub types. I'll see if I can provide you with any statistics during the weekend. Aecis praatpaal 11:11, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Another comment: I've probably added about 70 or so of the stubs proposed for deletion by the stub cruft regulars, pretty much at random. Pretty much at random is right. I've cleared about half of the templates you added - and they were all to articles far beyond stub length, such as Barrington, New Hampshire. Deliberately adding templates to a whole host of articles where they don't belong - if that had been done by a newbie it would have been tagged as obvious vandalism and they would have been warned, if not blocked. You'd have been one of the ones doing the warning and blocking. There's a limit to how far a person can push WP:POINT. Grutness...wha? 23:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

agree, but it's still a bad idea: propose first It does feel silly to verify and check with everyone to propose a new stub if it's 'obvious' it's appropriate and needed. However, the process is there because it's important to give input and make people think about things they may not have considered. Furthermore, even though you (theoretically :) may always have good ideas for stubs, we can't have a whole bunch of hosers running around creating stubs at will. The process is a bit of a pain, but necessary.

I know I have common sense. I also acknowledge I do screw up sometimes. I suspect you know you have common sense as well. But some people are... not... so... um, blessed? --Kat 09:45, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I think some cogent arguments in favor of cooperating with WP:WSS/P have been made here; particularly by User:EncycloPetey. Just thought I'd drop a link off here. -GTBacchus(talk) 10:15, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposed guideline: Wikipedia:Revert only when necessary

This proposal is intended to be a centralized location for guidelines and suggestions for avoiding reverts. There's been a few "rules" created regarding reverts and this is an attempt to bring them all under one roof. The one line summary of this proposal is "Before you revert an edit, try to find an alternative. Reverts should only be made to maintain the quality of an article." After more editors have reviewed this proposal and it becomes a lot more polished, it hopefully could become a guideline. Please take a look at this proposal and help to edit it into shape. Carbonite | Talk 19:58, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Semi-speedy new unsourced articles

Sorry if this has already been discussed (if so please point me there). I would like to propose the deletion of new unsourced articles, as follows:

  • Create a new speedy delete tag/category, as {{no article source}}
  • This tag would have a narrower scope than {{Not verified}}
  • Use the tag only for new articles created after a set date (e.g. after date of policy implementation).
  • Only use tag if there is not one single external source in article. Disputed/insufficient sources should be dealt with by other existing means
  • The tag specifies the placement date as a paramater
  • The creator of the article must be notified of the issue on their talk page
  • If after 5(?) days of tag placement *and* creator notice, if there's no source given, the article is to be speedy deleted.
  • Such deletes can be undone at anybody's individual request *if* they include in their request a source

This would work much like {{no license}}, {{no source}} does with images. It wouldn't apply to older articles, as we simply have far to many large articles on major topics, with no sources (sadly). But, we can do a better job on a go-forward basis. This proposal requires just one source to be safe. However, articles with indequate/unreliable sources would still be subject to deletion under WP:Verifiability through AFD, as they already are (and in many cases under other existing speedy criteria). This would reduce the work load of AFD participants, as articles would only go to AFD *after* they have a at least one source added. --Rob 19:06, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

  • While this is a reasonable idea in theory, it would be a bad idea in practice since at least 25% of the articles on Wikipedia do not mention a source. Also, five days of tag placement goes against the very idea of speedy deletion - if you find an unsourced article for which you believe a source couldn't be found, drop it on WP:AFD with the comment "unsourced/unverifiable" or thereabouts, and in five days it will be either sourced or gone. Radiant_>|< 22:58, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Note, the old unsourced articles wouldn't be effected, just new ones. Adding 25%+ of new articles to AFD would be impossible (but tagging them would be possible). Also, AFD induced cleanup does nothing to encourage the article's creator to provide sources. Currently, somebody makes an unsourced article, somebody else nominates it for deletion, soembody else sources it, it's kept, and the original creator makes a slew more, just like it. But, if you tell the creator of every unsourced article they're creation will be deleted without a source, you'll find the percentage of such articles drop signficantly. On our edittools window, we're told we must not violate copyright, and must cite sources. So why do we delete copyvios without a vote, but not unsourced articles? --Rob 00:17, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong disagree. We are a community of people with different roles. If the original person wrote the article "out of their head" based on internalized knowledge that they really don't want to be bothered to find and cite, should we delete their work? They're a volunteer and it's useful raw material. Instead, someone who's more into finding and citing sources should do that. Roles.
To be fair, I don't object to placing a template on a page without sources warning that the information has not yet been verified, etc. Just don't eliminate the content altogether. Deco 01:11, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm reasonably sure we already have that template. Radiant_>|< 01:14, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not—I can't think of a better way to discourage new articles and topics and needlessly destroy information. Many people, including myself, have initially written articles based on personal education or a quick read of sources that we've summarized on the fly. If the topic is an appropriate one for Wikipedia, the lack of sources (as well as any unverifiable information) will get corrected over time by the original author or other contributors, and the unsourced template is the appropriate way to draw attention to the article. If the information or the topic itself proves unverifiable, AfD is the appropriate way to delete the article after discussion. The proposed speedy deletion criteria is a solution in search of a problem. Postdlf 01:42, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I interpret the "Save page" message "Content ... must be based on verifiable sources..." to exclude basing something simply on one's personal education (although such education is a great basis for finding verifiable sources, which in turn serve as the basis of an article). I do admit my proposal could "destroy" information. Of course, WP:NOR and WP:V also result in the destruction of information. That's the price of verifiability. Also, I suggest what I'm proposing is consistent specifically with Wikipedia:Verifiability#When to cite sources which says "...if you add any information to an article, you must cite the source of your information.". I don't see where it says you can leave it till later. --Rob 04:44, 23 December 2005 (UTC) Apparently, the policy I'm citing has been changing multiple times a day, and there's no agreed text. So, I honestly don't know what the heck our policy is on verifiability. I thought it (and therefore sources) was a requirement, but maybe not. --Rob 04:48, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Rob, don't worry, it is! Wikipedia:Citing sources is rather schizophrenic though - SlimVirgin says it is only a style guide, yet it contained the bulk of the "why you should add sources" text. So I moved that stuff to it's logical home, Wikipedia:Verifiability. That probably set the cat among the pigeons somewhat :-) Dan100 (Talk) 09:06, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Dangerous precedent at ArbCom

I would like to call your attention to a development at an ongoing ArbCom case, that will set a precedent which could affect all Wikipedians. Fred Bauder has proposed that I be penalized for criticizing the fairness of the proposed decision as it applies to other affected parties [10]. Please note that there were no findings of fact against me; this is a case involving numerous parties, and my involvement was peripheral. I could have kept my mouth shut, and gone on editing with no penalty. However, I found the conduct of the ArbCom in this case to be outrageous, and felt that I should say so in the manner of J'accuse. Others felt the same (see Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_arbitration/Nobs01_and_others/Proposed_decision and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Nobs01 and others/Workshop.) If you are uncomfortable with a precedent being set, that Wikipedians can be penalized merely for criticizing a decision of the ArbCom, the time to speak out would be now.--HK 15:41, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

  • That is, indeed, quite horrifying. I've commented there and asked for an explanation. rspeer 21:58, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • note the passaGE and the apparent lack of insight into any role his own behavior played in the creation and aggravation of the problems which gave rise to this case which makes it sound rather less draconic. Check the background and justification of this (I haven't) before you cry tyrranny. dab () 22:13, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
    • That makes it sound more draconian to me - "it's not because you disagreed with us, it's because you disagreed with us and you were wrong, as determined by us". It still seems that he wouldn't be put on probation if he had stayed silent instead of criticizing the ArbCom, because there were no findings of fact against him. rspeer 22:45, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • HK, I note that you are listed as a 'party' (actually 'Nominal Defendant') on the arbitration and there is text on the evidence page purporting to cite 'misdeeds' on your part. As I understand the situation it seems like the ArbCom was basically giving you a pass until your subsequent actions suggested to them that you (along with others who received identically worded probation notices) intended to continue behaviour that they considered disruptive. I have no idea as to the merits of any of this evidence or such an impression of your actions, but those seem to be the ArbCom's grounds for their action... as opposed to 'merely because you criticized their decision'. Your position seems to be the equivalent of saying, 'that judge only ruled against me because I yelled at him and called his conduct outrageous'... hostile behaviour towards the ArbCom certainly could result in biasing them against you, but is also in and of itself evidence of disruption and lack of good judgement. --CBD 22:39, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
It is true that I was listed as a party. There was quite a conglomeration of editors similarly listed, and the only thing they had in common was that at one time or another they had been involved in edit conflicts with User:Cberlet. In my case, the complaint was limited to three article content disputes from June and December of 2004 [11]; I pointed out that this was a rather flimsy basis for a complaint, and evidently the ArbCom agreed, because there was no finding of fact that referenced me. Regarding the proposed decision, I submit that the strenuous complaints by myself, User:Sam Spade, and User:Rangerdude are well-founded and deserving of scrutiny by the community (the case is fairly complex, as there are may editors and types of alleged misconduct involved.) However, I wouldn't think it appropriate to bring those complaints to the Village pump policy section -- it is the precedent being set, in effect a new policy, that I believe should be discussed on this page: that editors may be sanctioned for speaking out against what they perceive as outrageous conduct by the ArbCom. --HK 03:18, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Fred Bauder also wanted me to shut up and has been abusing ArbCom powers against me also, in a farce of a case where policy and evidence are blithely ignored. "He quits making a big fuss and so do we." [12] I urge fairness and restraint through Wikipedia:User Bill of Rights. (SEWilco 06:29, 19 December 2005 (UTC))
I have taken a look at Wikipedia:User Bill of Rights and I strongly support it. I would urge members of the community to take a look at what has been going on at ArbCom and find appropriate ways of bringing it to the attention of other Wikipedians -- I don't think that this kind of behavior will continue if there is sufficient public scrutiny and discussion. --HK 15:45, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Anybody listed as a party in an arbitration matter is subject to sanction by the ArbCom. This is how things have always worked and how they worked while I was an ArbCom member. --mav 17:40, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
  • What I'm worried about is the precedent that "expressing discontent" with ArbCom is a reason for sanction. HK and Sam Spade should be sanctioned for something they did, not for their opinion of ArbCom. I don't care if the outcome of the case is the same, if the remedies get better reasons behind them. rspeer 19:09, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I have not read the case. However, "expressing discontent" with ArbCom should, in my view, be an absolutely protected right. Now, one can be perhaps penalized for the manner of that expression ... sabotaging user pages, vandalism, etc. should not be protected under the rubric of "expressing discontent". However, the content of the such sentiments must be an absolutely protected right regardless of whether the editor is under review by ArbCom or not. Again, I don't know the details of this specific case; but the general principle should be absolute. Derex 19:20, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
    • From what I can gather, the ArbCom was ruling that certain behaviour was dirsuptive. Parties to the arbitration then argued that this was unjustified and that they had every right to engage in the 'disruptive' behaviour - and did so on the talk page for the proposed decision. I'd be with you 100% that just disagreeing with an ArbCom decision should be protected - a couple weeks back the ArbCom found that a user had been driven off Wikipedia by harassment. I didn't agree with that finding given that the user was, in fact, still here, and did not seem to me to have been particularly harassed. Disagreement is fine. However, claims of bias, claims of 'outrageous conduct', and continuation of the arguments and attitudes the ArbCom was ruling against is more than just disagreement. I'm not a big fan of this whole concept of 'punishment' on Wikipedia in general, but a distinction needs to be made between responses of; 'I respectfully disagree', 'Your decision is outrageous and I will continue to fight for my right to violate it', and 'You #@#%#$% idjits cannot stop me'. --CBD 19:54, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
It is true that the ArbCom was ruling that certain behavior was disruptive. However, that behavior was someone else's, not mine. The proposed ruling penalizes me solely for expressing dissatisfaction with how others were penalized (or not penalized, in the case of User:Cberlet. One of the main bones of contention was a double standard in the ArbCom's treatment of similar misdeeds by different personalities.) --HK 21:55, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
The case was originaly brought as "Nobs01 and others acting in concert", alleging a conspiracy led by nobs who "work as team regarding LaRouche". Nobs01 opening statement alleged this 'conspiracy' was a "provably false", made in bad faith to affect Committee action, and may be an applicable abuse of dispute resolution processes [13]. Nobs01 made no less than three motions to separate the cases, [14][15][16], or publish a finding of fact regarding User:Cberlet's charge regarding a 'conspiracy'. The name of the case has been changed [17], however (a) no finding of fact has been made (b) the abuse of using baseless allegations by User:Cberlet to affect Committee action has proved extremely effective to obscure facts, issues, and evidence presented in the case. On 26 November, Mr. Bauder declared regarding a finding, "The fact that with the exception of Hershelkrustofsky and Cognition, discrete remedies are proposed for each user..." [18]. Now wholesale guilt by association is proposed as a remedy [19], despite the fact Nobs01 did not participate in any recusal requests, and openly declared [20] he AGF with the Committee while awaiting findings.
Nobs01 has not expressed any personal dissatisfaction regarding decisions reached in the case toward himself. Nobs pleaded guilty to a breaching experiment [21], and may harbor misgivings about the entire process, but nobs doesn't have the final say on any of that. Still somewhat of a newbie after 10 months, nobs only comment now is, User:Sam Spade is a candidate against User:Fred Bauder in an election. Fred Bauder has opted to tag Sam Spade with a guilt by association smear User:Cberlet affected through a blatant abuse of proceess. Let the voters decide. nobs 17:05, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
P.S. I'm just an idiot and I don't know how the wikigods work.

HK's closing statement

(from Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Nobs01_and_others)

This ArbCom decision sets a precedent that will have a lasting and highly destructive impact on the entire Wikipedia project. For the first time, to my knowledge, the ArbCom has taken it upon itself to administer penalties against Wikipedia editors with no finding of fact and no explanation.

Since presumably this page will be archived, I will spell it out. In this case, I was the sole respondent that was not mentioned in the Findings of Fact[22]. There was no discussion of any misconduct by myself. I roused the ire of the ArbCom simply by declaring, on the workshop and talk pages, that I felt that the penalties being proposed for the other editors involved were inequitable.

The original wording of the penalty against me tells the story:

  • "15) In view of the dissatisfaction expressed by Herschelkrustofsky with the decisions reached in this case, and the apparent lack of insight into any role his own behavior played in the creation and aggravation of the problems which gave rise to this case, he is placed indefinitely on Wikipedia:Probation."

Then, in an act of cowardly CYA, arbitrator Raul654 simply removed the explanation (edit summary: "removed controversial part" [23]), leaving a penalty with no explanation whatsoever:

Lacking a better explanation, I must conclude one of two things:

  • That I am being penalized for questioning the fairness of the ArbCom. Wikipedians must not countenance an ArbCom that will dole out penalties for the crime of lese majesty.
  • That this and other penalties in this case are simply a malicious expression of disapproval of the POV of the affected parties, in complete defiance of the the NPOV policy, which is heralded by Jimbo Wales as "absolute and non-negotiable". If so, then the ArbCom has abandoned its mandate and simply become just another clique, but one with the power to enforce an institutional POV -- and to stop Wikipedia from becoming a soapbox for propaganda, Wikipedians must prevail upon Jimbo to appoint an ArbCom that will adhere to a much higher ethical standard. --HK 16:05, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
This is at least the third ArbCom case that HK has been involved in resulted in restictions on his editing. He was the principle subject of the first two. It is reasonable to believe that the ArbCom is already familiar enough with his editing to evaluate the current behavior without needing a new finding of fact. Ample evidence was presented for their review. This appears to be a legalistic complaint. -Willmcw 08:20, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
One would think a presumption of innocence would be operative being that (1) the case was brought as "acting in concert" (2) Mr. Bauder declared no less than four times there was no finding of "conspiracy" [24][25][26][27]; (3) that remedy appears to be HK's reward for the honor of being named in the case; (4) Cberlet's opening statment, where [28] false assertions were made (which he admitted too [29]), to affect Committee action through an abuse of process, now becomes an active precedent in the absence of a finding of fact regarding the original veracity of Cberlet's claims. nobs 18:06, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Expansion of CSD A7

I've started a discussion some time ago at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#Expansion of A7 but I suppose the proper procedure would be to add it here to make a it formal policy proposal.

In short, my proposal is to expand CSD A7 to include non-notable groups of people as well as individuals. This would apply to bands, clubs, organizations, couples, families, and any other collections of individuals that do not assert their importance or significance. Discussion has been taking place on the talk page so please add your comments there, but I'll start the voting here. howcheng [ t &#149; c &#149; w &#149; e ] 22:13, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

  1. howcheng [ t &#149; c &#149; w &#149; e ] 22:13, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. Turnstep 22:47, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. Groups of non-notable individuals are inhenently non-notable. Titoxd(?!?) 23:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  4. Although I don't know how much load it will take off AfD, it's a good idea.--Sean|Black 23:30, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  5. That would simply be common sense. In particular bands appear very often on AFD. Radiant_>|< 00:02, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  6. Sounds good as long as it's clear that this still only applies to groups with no remotely plausible assertion of notability (not simply non-notable ones, even if they fall somewhat below, e.g., WP:MUSIC). Also, for the polls are evil crowd, there's been lots of discussion. Now what's wrong with an informal poll to gauge the general consensus among many users? -- SCZenz 00:21, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  7. Support as per previous discussion. --Carnildo 00:58, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  8. Support. It's a very sensible proposal. PJM 17:19, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  9. Support. I'm not sure how useful this will really be — what vanity band article doesn't assert notability of one form or another? — but that's also why I don't think this extension would do any harm. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:34, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    I've seen a few band articles go by that don't even assert existance, much less any sort of notability. --Carnildo 00:12, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  10. Support. This has such widespread community support that I find it odd that some people are insisting on a vote, when merely reading the discussion would show which way the wind blows. But if you insist on counting heads, count mine. Nandesuka 00:16, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  11. Support. Protects Wikipedia from abuse. Susvolans 16:59, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  12. A no-brainer. -Splashtalk 19:31, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  13. Support. -- Kjkolb 19:58, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  14. Support per Titoxd and Carnildo and because it might mean fewer articles in AfD.--Alhutch 00:35, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  15. Support; logical extension of A7, which has been very successful. Though, I think consensus for this is clear enough that we don't really need a poll... --Aquillion 09:40, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  16. Strong support, I nominate 5-6 bands per day for AFD and virtually none are kept. Stifle 00:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  17. Obviously needed. Martin 00:42, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  18. Strongest Support Ever In The Universe Heck, I already use CSD A7 for groups. karmafist 01:14, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  19. Please! Ashibaka tock 04:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  20. Support. Blackcap (talk) (vandalfighters, take a look) 03:16, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  21. Support Jamie 05:22, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  22. Support - common sense abakharev 05:29, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  23. Support. My support does not include politcal groups, not for profit organisations, and similar organisations. I think those types of groups should through the AfD process. Movementarian 04:51, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  24. Support. If breadth is a concern, I'd also support the inclusion of non-notable bands, of which there are approximately umpteen thousand added every day. But I support the broader proposal as well. | Klaw ¡digame! 05:58, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  25. Support - There's so much bandcruft and fangroupcruft these days that this makes perfect sense to me. --Cyde Weys talkcontribs 16:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  26. Strong support This seems like a logical extension of A7; why shouldn't groups and individuals be treated alike? Mike5904 23:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  27. Support obviously. --Victim of signature fascism 15:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  28. Support. It's always been a glaring gap in my opinion. Enochlau 00:41, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  29. Support - Obvious extension of A7. → Ξxtreme Unction {yakłblah} 19:43, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  30. Support. Admins will be smart enough to show discretion when a band or group has become notable. I'd recommend mentioning WP:MUSIC in the wording of the expansion. Harro5 22:45, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  31. SupportLocke Cole 02:11, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  32. Support - Saberwyn - The Zoids Expansion Project 21:09, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
    • If a 'cut down' version is required, I would like to see it include bands and online gaming clans. Saberwyn - The Zoids Expansion Project 22:18, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Poll is now closed.
  1. Oppose. This proposal was rejected by the community originally, and is open to substantial abuse with no oversight. Trollderella 22:14, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Wrong. This has never been proposed to the community, not to mention rejected. It has been discussed in at least four seperate places and there were no serious objections. Radiant_>|< 23:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Actually, it is you who are wrong. This was part of the original CSD proposal, and was rejected. You know it was. Please stop with the misinformation. Trollderella 23:24, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
        • That's a very funny remark from you, but you're definitely wrong. If you'd read through WP:CSD/P, you'd see that there's no proposal that refers to groups of people. If you think otherwise, show us the link. Radiant_>|< 01:17, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. This is too ad-hoc a way to go about changing such a major page Be cautious - SoM 00:24, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    • How do you want it done? There's been discussion forever, and now a broader consensus is being requested on a very public page. Can you suggest something that would be less ad hoc, please? -- SCZenz 01:27, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. Oppose and I actually would rather CSD A7 was not a criterion. I have rescued the odd article from there, Roddy Llewellyn springs to mind, and lost the odd one to before I could rescue it. I wish people would spend more time just sourcing articles and bringing them to an encyclopedic quality rather than willy nilly deleting them because they can't even take the time to google the subject. Surely we haven't got half the articles we should have, and that should be a concern more pressing than worrying about articles we may not need. Steve block talk 20:37, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  4. Oppose - Poorly thought out, and overly broad. This seems like an attempt to delete many things that would surivive an AFD. --Rob 17:38, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    How so? Ashibaka tock 04:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
    The word "groups" of people can mean pretty much anything. I think there's probably consensus for small musical bands, that have been saved by technical rules, and are guarenteed deletion via WP:MUSIC. But, the word "group" of individuals is awfully broad, and could been any organization of any size, of any time, of any degree of formal or legal status. Speedy deletion is only supposed to be designed to handle a subset of articles where's there's a well established consensus to delete. Also, if an article on an individual makes no notable claim, its unlikely there's such a claim to make, but its quite possible a larger well known group of people could be be famous, but the author fails to state they're famous explcitly, as some groups are so famous, one might think it goes without saying (e.g. a famous big city orchestra, a professional sports team, or an article about a famous charity that's attempt to be non-promotional is deemed as not making a notable claim). Oddly, this proposal favors ad-copy (which typically makes claims of notability) over NPOV works (which sticks to the facts, and doesn't boast). --Rob 03:23, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. Existing speedies are sufficient. -- JJay 04:09, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
    Please look at the talk page linked to above. There are a lot of useless articles (such as obvious band vanity) that have to suffer through AfD right now. Ashibaka tock 04:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
    I'm tired of the complete misinterpretation and misuse of existing speedies. We should be talking about rolling those back, not expansion. -- JJay 19:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  6. Oppose as stated -- too broad. I would support a criteria for speedy deletion that: (1) had a new entry (rather than expanding A7) (2) applied only to bands, and (3) had specific objective criteria. For instance: "band has no records and otherwise obviously and clearly meets none of the criteria of WP:MUSIC." Reasons: Bands are 50%+ of the prolbem. On the talk page, most of the discussion is about bands. But your proposal includes all groups. Including just bands would alleviate half or more of the problem, and clear criteria could be used. Other groups are more problematical. This would be a more conservative and incremental approach. If it works, it could be expanded later to include all groups. Herostratus 05:12, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  7. Oppose as stated. This proposal is too broad. A proposal that was limited to non-notable bands, or non-notable groups were all individuals are members of the same nuclear family, then I would be likely to support the proposal. --Allen3 talk 16:27, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  8. Oppose as stated - Overly broadly phrased expansion to the most problematic CSD criterion (cf. Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#CSD A7 and collateral damage). I would support an expansion of A7 to cover bands, which comprise almost all of the potential to fast track obviously problematic speedies. But generally, A7 is really in need of more tightening up, not more expansion. --- Charles Stewart 17:00, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  9. Oppose, I too think this is overly broad. More relevant than the failed 3-C band vanity proposal is proposal 5 about unremarkable clubs. Very often an article about a group of people not asserting notability can be merged. Sometimes it cannot and needs to be deleted, but a speedy rule here is in danger of causing collateral damage. I don't want a rule allowing an article to be speedied if there is a chance that AFD would let it be merged. I would support a separate rule for the narrower category of music bands, those groups alone take up a lot of space on AFD. Sjakkalle (Check!) 11:04, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  10. Oppose. Much too broad. I think A7 is already being misapplied to the serious detriment of the encyclopedia. Allowing one editor to apply his or her own definition of notability to groups without detailed guidance (i.e., instruction creep) is an extremely bad idea. -- DS1953 talk 17:06, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Poll is now closed.
Polls are evil! (And can't we discuss this instead?)
  1. Kim Bruning 00:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. Hey, I started the Polls are Evil page. Stop polling and start healthy discussion. -User:Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 00:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    Funny, because I see a link to a discsussion in the first post in this thread.--Sean|Black 00:11, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    Excellent, so you can continue doing that then. Kim Bruning 01:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    Discussion has been going on since November 3. It seemed there was enough consensus on approving this. If you disagree, you could contribute to the discussion there. howcheng [ t &#149; c &#149; w &#149; e ] 16:53, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    Then it is approved. Go forth and implement! Kim Bruning 16:57, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
    You got reverted, so apparently there was still opposition. Try discuss some more! Kim Bruning 05:20, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  • That's 76% support after three weeks, in a high-visibility place and advertised in many others. Also, several of the oppose-voters object to the wording rather than the spirit. The proposal has obviously met consensus. I'll add it to WP:CSD now; if people have concerns about the wording, please discuss on the CSD talk page. Radiant_>|< 22:02, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Finally! Able to delete non-notable bands! But what about their non-notable recordings or CDs? Can we speedy them too? Banana04131 01:05, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Abrahamic religions

I'm wondering what should be the order used in citing the three Abrahamic religions to achieve NPOV. Should it be in an alphabetical order or by popularity (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), or chronogically (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)? I noticed this issue when my edit in Human has been reverted. Is there a policy related to this issue? Has this idea been discussed before? CG 21:30, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

No, there is no policy, and anyone who claims it's not neutral because of the ordering is a fool. (In other words, use your best judgement) Raul654 21:34, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Delete BJAODN?

Since WP:MFD is something of an isolated backwater, I wanted to let a larger audience know that someone has proposed deleting the current incarnation of WP:BJAODN and presumably would like to see the other pages deleted as well. Dragons flight 17:58, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

  • It was quickly resolved with a speedy keep. -- Jmabel | Talk 02:52, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes, but now we can BJAODN the deletion page :) --Aolanonawanabe 03:00, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Note: I was the one who put that page up for MFD, and unintentional, I never put the entire BJAODN section up for MFD, just a subpage, mistakenly taken by me to be a mirror or fork of BJAODN, as added on it's talk page after the MFD, I do not advocate removing BJAODN from the project. xaosflux Talk/CVU 04:14, 24 December 2005 (UTC)


What is the status of notability on Wikipedia? Does something or someone have to be notable in order to be included here? Wikipedia:Notability says "[t]here is currently no official policy on notability". However, WP:CSD permits the deletion of "non-notable biography". Isn't this contradictory? What is the official position? JoaoRicardotalk 02:24, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

  • WP:CSD is correct. Precedent on our deletion pages gives a strong indication that articles on unremarkable subjects can be and are deleted. Of course what exactly constitutes notability is the subject on much debate (which is what Wikipedia:Notability refers to). See Template:IncGuide for details. Radiant_>|< 02:43, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, JoaoRicardo, it is contradictory. Some biographies get deleted, but it is not because an objective definition of notability is mechanically applied. Rather, it works backwards: you infer a definition of what's not notable and what is by taking note of what's been deleted and what's not been deleted. patsw 05:08, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I've taken this up at wikipedia talk:trivia#Categorisation in "Wikipedia notability criteria"? --Francis Schonken 13:28, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Bayesian filtering - maybe an option?

The Bayesian filters on the Thunderbird email client are amazingly good at sorting out spam from good posts. Is it possible that Wiki could use a similar technique to decide whether a page modification is vandalism or valid content adjustment?

If changes that bona-fide admins delete or revert were flagged as 'spam' and changes that remain in place for days or weeks without being touched were flagged as 'good' - then the filter would theoretically learn the kinds of things that vandals say when they trash a page. Because this is content-based, it does not require that we know who the vandals are - or how they got here - only that the content they contributed was in the 'style' of a typical vandal. Even if a new vandal with a different writing style came along, he/she would rapidly and inadvertently train the filter to recognise subsequent changes in similar style.

This sounds like it would come up with a lot of dangerous 'false positives' - but practical experience with Thunderbird and spam suggest that this is not the case.

Perhaps this kind of control could be mixed in with other measures of vandalism probability (age of account, number of other accounts created from the same IP, number of accepted edits, etc) to push the probability of vandalism way down. --Steve Baker 17:41, 17 December 2005 (CST)

while I can think of a number of posible filters I suspect it would require a fair bit of processing power.Geni 23:54, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I guess that's a resonable concern. I wonder how many vandalisms are reverted each day? (According to the stats page, Wiki is getting 1.7 million edits per month - which is about 0.6 edits per second. It would probably only take a couple of PC's to run a filter on all of them...but I'd only propose running it on larger edits and new pages - that ought to keep the workload down to something a single PC could manage. SteveBaker 03:51, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
It wouldn't work, because there's no similiarity. An email spammer must get their message delivered to millions in order for it to be read by thousands, and "sucker" a few, in order to make much money; and its hard for software to make each of the individual emails look different from the rest. It's not worth the spammers time to customize a single email (after all, if they wrote individual emails, they wouldn't be spammers). However, with vandalism/link-spam its not necessary to make huge numbers of bad edits, but just a few, in places where huge numbers of readers will see them. If one vandal/spam article is deleted, the creator can examine the reasons for the deletion, and re-adjust their strategy accordingly. Each and every article they make is a new unique creation, that's (potentially) "better" then the last. Finally, this approach ignores the fact the worst types of vandalism involve articles that look superficially like legitimate articles, sound entirely plausible, but are in fact hoaxes. As long as artificial intelligence remains artificial, I wouldn't bother. --Rob 00:05, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Just because it wouldn't work against a dedicated expert doesn't mean it won't work against bored kids and typical lazy spammers. 00:10, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
You would mostly be looking to hit background vandalism rather than our more skilled vandles.Geni 01:27, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't understand the distinction between how spammers construct their email versus how vandals attack Wiki pages. A Spammer doesn't customise messages to each recipient - but the vandal doesn't rewrite the page everytime someone reads it either! In reality; in each case the bad guy sits down, writes something and then posts it - whether it's then sent into a million mailboxes or pasted into a Wiki page is neither here nor there. The Bayesian filter doesn't see hundreds of identical postings - it only sees one copy of each Spam. What it actually does is to learns the writing style of 'bad' posts by looking for combinations of words that are statistically more likely in Spam than in useful posts. In order to write something that the filter won't spot, the author has to come closer and closer to realistic content. I suspect that most vandals would quickly lose interest in trying to outwit the filter. SteveBaker 03:51, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Copyright Violation Reversions

I put a question about WP:3RR on the talk page there, but it hasn't gotten much notice so I'm bringing the issue here.

Copyvio policy says to revert copyrighted text in an article to a version without it, but three revert policy excludes only vandalism and vandalism policy doesn't classify copyright violations as vandalism. So it seems like, as the policy currently stands, you should revert copyright violations on sight... but if you do so to the same text four times in 24 hours you should be blocked.

Should we classify copyright violations as vandalism or otherwise exclude them from three revert? This isn't just an idle question - an admin was blocked in relation to this sort of reversion and the situation has now blossomed into an RfC, in part fueled by different opinions of whether reversions of copyright violations should be exempt from 3RR. --CBD 23:54, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It seems logical to exempt reversion of copyright violations from the 3RR policy as a good revision to policy if it is clearly a matter of consensus that the material in question is in violation of copyright. Gray-zone material which status with respect to copyright is not well established or in dispute should not be exempted. I'm not sure how large that gray-zone is but I think it would be best to err on the side of openness and inclusion rather than exclusion and fear of legal retaliation. Courtland 01:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
IMHO restorators of copyvio materials (in the clear cut cases), should be blocked on the spot abakharev 05:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

This appears to be what got User:RickK blocked -- reverting repeated insertion of a copyvio. And due to that block, he left the project. Zoe ( 17:26, 23 December 2005 (UTC))

Posting emailed content disputes

Hi all, I have a policy/guideline/principle question.

In attempting to settle a content dispute (which included charges of Libel), I rewrote an article to what I still feel is quite close to NPOV. In response, one of the disputants (a primary source) emailed me directly, criticizing my technical errors, attacking my presumptions from lack of detail, and other semantic issues.

Seeing as how WP is an open and collaborative project, and as they say "democracies die behind closed doors", I posted the content of this email, full of content complaints as well as a threat of negative publicity, with my responses to the Talk page for the article (currently under protection).

The disputant then responded, upset that I'd posted his email, primarily because his opponents in the matter saw the email and lambasted it on their own web site.

In your opinions... Did I violate policy, guideline, or principle? Or did I do right in upholding the open and collaborative nature of Wikipedia and its content?

Regards, Keith D. Tyler 19:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Technically you should've had the author's permission before publishing it anywhere in wikipedia (including publication on a talk page), so I'd advise you to remove (in fact it should be permanently removed with an admin's revert, so that it even doesn't show up when browsing the "history" of that page).
If you'd have summarized the objections sent to you in your own words, it would've been less a problem.
If there are publications on the topic, look for the reliable ones, and use them for references.
Since the author is a wikipedian, he can decide for himself what he writes on that talk page, and what he doesn't. You can always invite him to participate in that talk under his wiki-identity.
This has nothing to do with wikipedia's openness, only with the degree of openness with which that author wishes to participate in wikipedia (or not). That's his choice, you can't force him. There might be all sorts of reasons why he didn't publish some of the content of that e-mail in wikipedia himself, it's not for you to judge on such reasons. --Francis Schonken 21:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I assume by the "technically" you refer to the copyright issues. Personally I generally feel that posting an email adressed to me to a public forum, with detailed commentary (pont by point responses) is in all probability Fair use, which disposes of the legal issues. If the email did not explicitly request confidentially, (particualrly if it was sent in response to a public discussion) and if there were no obviously confidential matters included (as there do not seem to have been in the matter quoted in the links above) I do not feel it is unethical to do so in proper cases. DES (talk) 21:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • On dear old venerable Usenet, it is considered RUDE to post private emails. Paraphrase yes, quote no. I suggest that the reasons behind that policy apply here, and that the policy should be observed here. Zora 21:31, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I know that, having been a regular USENET poster long before i came here. I disagereed with that, or at lest with the absolute way soem people took the convention. There are reasons for thinkign twice before postign other people's email, but there are IMO well defiend cases where they don't apply. Specifically I feel that email which is 1) in response to a public discussion; 2) a commentary on that discussion; 3) does not contain any plausibly confidential matter; and 4) does not explicitly ask for confidentiallity ought to be fair game. But that is a matter of civility, not of policy, in any case. DES (talk) 21:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, one of the other issues was that the author of the mail was reporting on original research (apparently not published elswhere), which was not usable for wikipedia anyway. So I'd still recommend the "hard revert", but I'm not a sysop. If the author now decides it wasn't meant for publication in this way, it would be best for wikipedia to withdraw it. Permanently. Just politeness - the author of that mail is a wikipedian too. All this: As far as I can see. And no more than: In My Opinion. I'm not a sysop. --Francis Schonken 21:33, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The WP:NOR policy does not apply nearly as strictly to talk pages (where the email was posted) as it does to article pages, IMO. As I understand it, the author of the email conducted research, a report of which ahs been publsihed. The email was givign additional detail clarifing and expandign on the publsihed report, not reporting on new and upublished research. If that is correct (and i may well be mistaken I only read the relevant talk page once) then the content of the email would IMO be a proepr source to use in clarifing what the research did and did not do. In any case, lots of stuff that is not a good basis for adjusting articel content is psoted to talk pages, and it is rarely if ever deleted from the history for that reason. DES (talk) 21:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • No DES, you are mistaken. I was providing Keith Tyler with original information not previously published. I was trying to bring his attention to the many errors of fact and interpretation that he added to the article, but I didn't want to publicly embarrass him. That wish obviously is now moot. Some of the information that he published in Wiki was information that I was and am considering for a future article. That fact that he did this won't prevent me from doing so, but nevertheless, that conduct was clearly wrong. I'm going against my decision not to contribute anymore to Wikipedia by writing this, but I wanted to correct the record as to why I complained to Keith about his publishing my email without even asking me. I am not at all troubled that he made public my opinion of what I think is very bad editing. But I am troubled that a Wiki editor would violate rules of netiquette as well as copyright law by publishing email without permission. By U.S. law, the copyright of letters, including those sent through the Internet, belongs to the author.Askolnick 22:45, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, anyway, it's no longer my problem. I notified of the issue on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Posting emailed content disputes I think the people reading that will be wiser in knowing what to do next than I am. --Francis Schonken 22:11, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

My opinion is that if there was somehting said in email, it is a private conversation, and both parties should agree to having it taken to the Wiki. However, this is just my opinion, so I make sure to explicitly state that all emails to and from me should remain confidential. It seems to have worked so far. --LV (Dark Mark) 22:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

IANAL, but I thought it was established that, like the writer of a letter, the writer of an email retains copyright in it. You don't get to publish someone else'e work just because they emailed it to you, unless they include a GFDL licence (with a c). I believe that, somewhere, User:Angela has a copyrights page in which she explicitly releases her emails to Wikien-l into the public domian, the implication being that hers is the right so to do. If this is the case, then one should not post them on Wiki without the authors' licensing (with an s) under the GFDL. -Splashtalk 23:03, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Emails are indeed copyrighted by their authors, but posting one with a point by point resposne is at least arguiably "critical commentary" sufficient to satisfy a claim of Fair use, as i mentioned above. There can also be claims about implicit permisison in particular cirumstances, but those will not survive an explicit request form the author, in general. Of course, given that an email msg gernally has zero commercial value, a copyright infrigment suit would probably never be filed, and might be dismissed as frivilous if it were, but that does not decrease the theoretical and moral rights of the author, it merely means they are unlikely to be legally enforced. DES (talk) 23:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Anyway, as I said above, I'd rather solve this with politeness than with slapping semi-amateurish legal advise on each other's head. Askolnik is a wikipedia contributor, and I see no reason in scaring him away. Keith is a contributor, and I see no reason to scare him away either. If Askolnik asks to remove, and if Keith sees that permanently delete the contested e-mail's content from that talk page is no threat to the openness of the Wikipedia community (well, do you, Keith?), there's only an admin to be found prepared to do the job. Are there still any other problems I overlooked? --Francis Schonken 23:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  • With all due respect Francis, you missed the boat. Removing the email would in no way be a remedy. This is part of the problem many members of the Wiki community don't seen ti grasp: You cannot unring a bell. That email has now been copied in toto to Museum of Hoaxes and other web sites. And I had hoped to make my point clear: I was not objecting to the release of any information in the email. I was objecting to the editor's violation of my rights and his awful netiquette in publishing my copyrighted material without consent or even warning me. And scare me away it certainly does, because I think this is symptomatic of Wiki's worsening problems. Editing is being done by people who don't have a clue what their doing. And the belief that that shouldn't matter, because the Wiki community will eventually unring misrung bells, is clearly nonsense. Rung bells can never be unrung.Askolnick 17:50, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • No, I don't object to permanent removal. Although, it is worth noting the sender has not actually ever asked that it be removed. I may be in violation of rarely-exercised netiquette, but at the same time, the sender was in violation of multiple sensible requests to use the talk page as the most appropriate route to getting the article improved. - Keith D. Tyler 21:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned if you send an email the polite thing to do is to at least ask you before posting unless of course it's a personal attack or a legal threat or something then there are exceptions to that but etiquette is the only thing that I can see holding people back from posting emails sent regarding Wikipedia issues. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 02:19, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree. If the person wanted everyone to see the content, he could have posted it to a talk page instead. I don't think there's a need to explicitly ask that it not be posted to prevent the receiver from doing so (a need as far as etiquette is concerned, not necessarily legally). However, if the editor is using email improperly, like threatening or harassing another editor, it might warrant the disclosure of the contents. -- Kjkolb 04:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Incidentally, there was a threat of media action. Not quite the same thing as legal action, perhaps, but fairly intimidating in light of recent WP media coverage. The contributor never explained why he chose private email for a matter that was specifically being dealt with publicly. - Keith D. Tyler 21:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
O.K. That does it. I gave Keith Tyler the benefit of the doubt about his intentions and wrote to him privately with a heads up about the errors in his disasterous editing before I publicly critized his many errors and misleading statements. But now he has the chutzpah to claim, "The contributor never explained why he chose private email for a matter that was specifically being dealt with publicly." First of all, I clearly did. I told him that I was no longer going try to correct the false and misleading content of the Natasha Demkina article because I realized it was hopeless. He simply ignored most of the information I provided and rewrote Julio Siqueira's disinformation to make it sound more NPOV (to Siqueira's great delight - you should hear him squealing with delight on the Museum of Hoaxes board about how the Wiki editor sees things his way). Second, there's no reason that I had to explain. Publishing someone's private email online is a clear violation of netiquette -- and if it involves publishing the email in an "encylopedia," then it's also a violation of copyright. What is so outrageous is that this Wiki editor has yet to apologize to me or the the Wiki community. Instead, he keeps trying to justify his actions with weasel words -- such as stating above that he "may have violated rarely-recognized netiquett" (Never mind that most of th people in this thread recognize it quite well!). And then he offers the insanely lame excuse that I had "violated" his "multiple sensible requests to use the talk page as the most appropriate route to getting the article improved," and somehow that justifies his violation of netiquette and copyright law.
I had given up trying to use the talk page to get the article improved because of his incompetence, as well as his failure to do anything to stop Siqueira from using it to repeatedly libel me. In my opinion, Keith Tyler should be the poster child for everything that is wrong with Wikipedia: Refusal to recognize that there should be standards of accuracy; arrogance; an obsession with including all views at the expense of truthfullness, and what many people are most complaining about, gross and reckless disregard for the rights and feelings of others. Just think, he STILL hasn't apologized to the Wiki community or to me. The way he's defending himself, I think he wants an apology from us. Askolnick 01:36, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, if you had the feeling I was missing the boat. I was trying to make you both talk on a normal level again. In all what you say I see only one *practical* point (I mean, in the sense of what wikipedians can do to unblock the situation), that is that you suggest it would be best that Keith apologises. I second that. That would be the best next step, as far as I can see - not continue the high-strung legal talk.
I want to modify my statement about not wanting to lose neither Keith nor Askolnick as contributor to the wikipedia encyclopedia. That modification is inspired by the recent publication in Nature, about which I read yesterday [30]. In a side-box Jimbo Wales comments on attracting scientists to contribute to Wikipedia. William Connolley (a climate researcher at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge) is mentioned. Jimbo's comment ends with

"Connolley has done such amazing work and has had to deal with a fair amount of nonsense."

I want to apologise if I contributed in similar nonsense. Anyway, my modified statement would be something in the sense of not wanting to lose neither Keith nor Askolnick as wikipedia contributors, *especially* not the more scientifically orientated one of the two (which would be Askolnick, as far as I can see) - as researchers on peckish topics already often have to deal with a "fair amount of nonsense" in this encyclopedia, which doesn't help it forward.
Further, still a suggestion to Askolnick: going to e-mail was probably not the best course of action in this case (I know, it's easy to tell afterwards) - in the end we're all "condemned" to this kind of talk and negotiation pages to find stable solutions for improvements of the encyclopedia. So, no, I don't think the Natasha Demkina article is an "irreparable" case. This mentioning of the problems on a Village pump page (and on WP:AN/I) maybe drew the attention of some more people interested in the topic (alas, I'm not), so that there's maybe a possibility of getting out of the two-against-one situation on the Natasha Demkina talk page. --Francis Schonken 08:33, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Francis, I appreciate your opinion and statements, even if I don't completely agree with some of them. First, your concluding sentence shows a fundamental difference in the current Wiki philosophy and in the philosophy of most scientists. The closest approximation of truth is not achieved through democratic process. Science is not democratic. All people may be created equal, but ideas are not. Some kinds of information are more valuable than others, some more truthful, (and some even more unlawful, such as false statements that damage the reputation of others, especially when spoken, published, or broadcast with reckless disregard for the truth). In science, truths are not tentatively arrived at by taking a vote. They're arrived at by choosing the best current explanation that is supported with the greatest weight of evidence. The Nature article aside, if Wikipedia becomes known as a fertile place for pseudoscientists and other anti-science kooks to take their "Schoolboard" battles to, you can forget about scientists diverting time needed to write grant applications in order to contribute here. It adds nothing to their CV and will not advance their careers. And they have enough trouble fighting post-modernist faculty in their own institution. Most scientists realize that they cannot and perhaps should not participate in debates with people who intentionally mislead and deceive in front of an audience that doesn't seem to mind being deceived. First, you usually won't win, and second, it gives the appearance that the theory of evolution and Intelligent Design are scientific theories that need to be taught. Next up to be challenged? The germ theory by "experts" who believe in demon posession (a growing number). Neuroscience-trashing by Scientologist researchers like Tom Cruise? Everybody getting the picture?
Francis, I went to email after I decided no longer to contribute to Wiki as an editor, or to take part in the discussion where I continue to be defamed. I didn't want to contribute any more, but out of appreciation for his efforts (which I thought were at least honest - not so sure about that now), I wrote to thank him and give him a heads up about some very serious mistakes that I plan to come down on in other forums. Had I known what a mess that act of charity would cause I, you know, I would still do it.
As for Keith apologizing, it would have been a pound of cure even yesterday, but forcing one out of him now would be meaningless. He clearly sees no reason to apologize -- and that is an offense far greater than his lapse of netiquette (and disrespect for my copyright).
As for avoiding high strung legal talk, sorry. You may not see it, but there is a big, ugly, smelly, elephant in the Wiki room and not talking about him won't make go away. His name is Defamation and he's not just sniffing for peanuts. By continuing to ignore the problem, Wiki is creating a compelling case that its policies include a "reckless disregard for the truth" -- which is one of the necessary "legs" that must be established in any successful U.S. defamation suit against public figures. Now do we all see the elephant?Askolnick 14:19, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I fail to see the relevance of bringing up the topic of defamation to a discussion about my posting of your email about a public topic. If you want to bring me to Mediation over it, please feel free to do so, I am willing; one of the other AMA members can guide you through the process just as I attempted to guide you through the proper channels of Wikipedia dispute resolution. But this is about my posting your email, not about someone defaming you. I presume, since this is a discussion involving you and me, that you are considering my rewrite to have been to far in the favor of your opponents than you would have desired. To go anywhere with this, you'd have to show that I deliberately attempted to defame you. You are arguably a public figure -- prominent member of a research institution, journalist ("nationally renowned science journalist", your words), winner of numerous journalism awards, former associate editor of JAMA, etc., etc. and even appeared on television. So, as a public figure, to win a libel defamation suit, you would have to prove "actual malice" or "reckless negligence" where there was none. Meanwhile, on a regular basis, you yourself refer to your detractors as "quacks", "crackpots", and "liars", yet you consider my neutral-position rewrite to be defamatory? I'm afraid I don't accept that. - Keith D. Tyler 19:03, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
I'll second the comments that taking private email and posting it to a public forum is, in general, a bad idea. People say things differently in private email than they would in public forums, and they have a legitimate complaint when their choice in that matter is usurped. If you're in a dispute with someone, you want to always take the moral high road, so you don't want to give your opponent any legitimate grounds to criticize your actions. Thus, the private email must remain private. Steve Summit (talk) 04:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the person who posted the e-mail did so in good faith. However, the very fact that the e-mail was used instead of the talk page in the first place should have been taken as an indication that privacy was an issue (whether for the sender or receiver). For this reason it would be prudent to seek permission. However, I simultaneously agree with the notion that all detailed discussion regarding a page should be contained to that article's talk page whenever possible, for the sake of organization and history, and so a concerted effort should be made to obtain this permission. Deco 04:43, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I would agree that it both breaks copyright and policy in Wikipedia:Civility. If you were already having a discussion on a talk page and somebody emails you, it's safe to assume the contents of the email are not for the talk page. I think DES is wrong in claiming fair use, since I don't believe a response to the email counts as critical commentary. Could one reprint the complete text of a novel and justify it as fair use by interspersing commentary on the text throughout? Steve block talk 22:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I feel that it serves a public good to keep these discussions out in the open. It would be too easy for private intimidation to become the norm if people did not feel free to do this. I am not a lawyer, and cannot comment on the legal issues involved in posting the email, but I would similarly post an email without a thought. I suppose I might imagine saying something about fair use or similar if the person sued, but I seriously doubt someone could successfully sue over such a thing (although again IANAL). --Improv 16:04, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, I wasn't expecting such a seeming consensus on my actions as negative. I don't really think that consensus takes the underlying matter into consideration. The whole point of my involvement was to attempt to settle a dispute between two other people. Emailing me privately turned me into a disputant. While I could repeatedly beg for permission to repost emails that shouldn't be sent to a closed party, I think from now on I simply will not respond to an email that attempts to turn an open matter into a closed one. WP article content disputes belong in WP's deliberative spaces, because it is a community project, not a one-on-one project. The email sent to me did not discuss personal matters, but WP ones.

Other than that, I am unthrilled by comments as to who is the more worthwhile editor -- the upset party only started editing on Dec 9 to edit the article in question, and had done so on an anon basis before that; aside from a sprinkling of other edits their contributions have been by and large related to that article. I guess I've learned a lesson here. - Keith D. Tyler 20:53, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Policy on notability within an article.

This question is probably discussed somewhere (or in several different areas) but I have not been able to find it. Plus, I am not exactly sure this is the best place to ask, so please excuse me for both. My question is based on the Festivus article. There is a growing list of references in the real world to this holiday and they are being added to the Festivus#Other_references section. Some seem notable enough to keep (the Festivus Maximus=Super Bowl note), others seem somewhat notable (the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor) and some just seem entirely non-notable and practically unrelated (the Australian non-Christian group seeking to rename Christmas "festive"). I was wondering what constitutes notablitity within an article? What information is pertinent? Obviously this list can and will go on indefinitely if every celebration of Festivus is listed. - Ektar 04:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

This is clearly getting into the realms of trivia. Of course, a case could be made that the entire article is in the realm of trivia, which makes it hard to draw the line. I'd suggest that rather than a raw listing like this, it would be more useful to try to find a citable source or two that discusses the propagation of this holiday into the "real world", and deal with that propagation as a phenomenon, using specific examples only where they serve that narrative. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:25, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Q.v. WP:CITE and WP:V. Also, if an article becomes too long it arguably needs snipping of some of the more irrelevant bits of information (we had articles stating that the local library contained books, which is a big duh). Radiant_>|< 13:29, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Trivia distinguishes relevance/notability of an entire article from relevance/notability of separate statements in an article. There's no "chiseled in stone" solution to be found on that page about trivia, however:
  1. Like other Notability-related guidelines it is in a sort of "perrennial proposed" status. Compare above #Notability.
  2. This proposed guideline regarding "Trivia" doesn't give a hard definition of trivia topics in a text: it rather uses analogies, e.g. the "Guinnes Book of World Records" analogy: not all world records contained in that book are also mentioned in wikipedia: only those that are as well interesting and important. Such definition tries to give rather an "intuitive" insight of where to draw the line. Whether that's a viable approach, I don't know.
--Francis Schonken 16:04, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Don't stuff beans up your nose

I'm interested in getting WP:BEANS raised to guideline status. What level of consensus would be needed for this? Firebug 05:54, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

It doesn't want to be a guideline. It's just sage advice written in a humourous, memorable way. We don't need it as a guideline, and it won't work as one. Imagine the ArbCom trying to determine if an editor should be on BEANS-parole. -Splashtalk 05:58, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, this shouldn't be graduated to being a guideline, despite its being a good read and reasonable advice :) Courtland 03:40, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. We don't need the instruction creep. WP:BEANS is just as effective and useful in its present form as it would be if labelled an official guideline. Dpbsmith (talk) 18:32, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Remove user data and talk pages from database dumps!

(I posted the following on the mailing list earlier today, but have had no reply yet.)

I once registered as a user of Wikipedia, and I know that anything I write there may be copied and re-used according to the GFDL. However, I did not sign up for the Pornopedia, Nazipedia or Spamopedia.

What is written on user pages and user talkpages is also released under the GFDL, and if somebody wants to copy it or quote it, fine (as long as it is attributed)! But there is no reason to automate this process or make it easy for webspammers and other creeps to do so. I do not want my user page to be copied to various Wikipedia mirrors, as happened a while ago with the Nazi copy of Wikipedia. I would be even less happy if I had signed up under my real name. The appearance of a name in such a context may actually be harmful to somebody's reputation.

  1. My first suggestion: just make sure that when the database is copied, user information does not come along with it, including userpages, user talkpages and even the history of a page. I notice from some of the mirrors out there, that the only contributor visible in the history of an article is the last one before the dump, somebody who may just have corrected a typo. As it doesn't give proper attribution in any case, we may just as well get rid of that too. Just make sure the history page of every downloaded article refers back to Wikipedia, where the full history can be found.
  2. Second suggestion: is there any reason why *any* discussion pages need to come with the normal database dump? The nazi 'pedia (which is down now) took these and search-and-replaced "Wikipedia" with its own name everywhere, giving the misleading impression that a lot of Wikipedia users had been active in discussions on a Nazi website. This may be seriously harmful to somebody's reputation if found through a Google search by somebody not familiar with the GFDL and how Wikipedia works. It is probably illegal in some way to do what they did (as Wikipedia will no longer be properly credited) but I just don't see anybody going to court to stop it, and we certainly don't need to facilitate abuse of mirrored discussion pages with consequences for the reputation or privacy of individual users. Again, please replace all discussion pages in the database dump with a very clear and visible link back to Wikipedia, not just the miniscule one down at the bottom of every page. Most downloaders are not going to bother removing that link, as all they want Wikipedia content for is to get Google hits and drive traffic to their websites.
  3. Remove the user namespace from the reach of Google's indexing bots. It should be available to our internal search, but there is no reason it should get hits from Google. Userspace contains all kinds of semi-private conversations and unfinished drafts which are really only of internal use and interest.

I question whether some other type of free but non-commercial license wouldn't be more suitable for user pages, but that may not be realistic for various reasons. But the removal of these pages from the dump really shouldn't require a change in license. It will just force somebody who wants to copy the content to do so manually. The webspammers obviously won't bother with that. Tupsharru 22:32, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

That's what {{userpage}} is for. Conscious 18:07, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
It doesn't help against the search-and-replace of the former Nazipedia, as it will change "wikipedia" to its own name in the {{userpage}} box as well. Tupsharru 18:38, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it does help, at least since I last hacked it. I made some very special anti-search-and-replace changes to it. It doesn't work against some mirrors which ignore templates, but you just have to {{subst:userpage}} to work around it (notice that, if you do it, you should watchlist the template to catch any future hacks to it). --cesarb 19:19, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, that's good to know. Tupsharru 07:18, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm sure there's some utility to separating them, but providing userpages also might make sense, for example, if people want to provide links to more information, or want to feel more tied to the pages they created. I'm not sure, but there may concievably be reasons to keep user pages in the dumps that are in the spirit of GFDL. Personally, I'd like my user page to be in most dumps of the pedia. I suppose offering separate dumps with and without userpages may not be a bad comprimise, although it still doesn't deal with the spirit of the GFDL thing. --Improv 18:14, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
For most re-users, a dump without userpages and so on is probably preferable, as it will be more lightweight. And, as I mentioned above, it seems that the whole history of contributions to an article is only available on Wikipedia anyway. Backup for the purpose of setting up a new Wikipedia with all data intact, in case the Wikimedia Foundation would go bankrupt, can probably be worked out somehow anyway, but it doesn't have to be in the standard database dump spammed all over the web by Wikipedia mirrors. Tupsharru 18:38, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
A number of users (for instance, offline reports generators and some bots) need all pages from all namespaces. If you want yours gone from the dumps, ask for it to be deleted (you can do it unless you've been a vandal or something very important has been discussed on it). --cesarb 19:19, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
The whole history of articles is availible for download its just in a seperate archive for size reasons and many mirrors don't carry it (presumablly for those same size reasons its HUGE). Plugwash 00:59, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

"Complex" copyright violations/plagiarism

In connection with the discussion here [31], I'm impelled to point out that too many users are willing to defend cut-and-pasted text with only cosmetic changes as neither constituting copyright violations nor being plagiarism. A large part of the problem, I suspect, comes from the copyright violation policy page, which is intended to address only a particular, unmistakable sort of violation, but is framed in a way which suggests Wikipedia is not concerned with less overt violations. It should be clear in Wikipedia policy that simply lifting text from another source (or sources) and making cosmetic changes is generally unacceptable Monicasdude 15:36, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposed policy regarding inactive administrators

Please see Wikipedia:Inactive administrators (2005) and indicate whether you support this proposal on the talk page. Thank you. -- Rick Block (talk) 01:07, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposed policy change on Featured Article Candicate reasoning

I am proposing a change to FAC reasoning, eliminating the rule that suggestions that an article should never be frontpaged be ignored. Please come discuss it at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candicates/never_proposal --Improv 19:35, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Following process on Templates for deletion

moved from talk page on December 26. Should be archived a week after 15:00, 22 December 2005 (UTC) (ie, in three days) if no more replies are added. —Cryptic

Who are we? Why are we here? I'm not speaking of the entire project or our grand mission, only of the small group of regulars who work within TfD. What are we doing here?

Each one of us will have a different answer to that question; so to guide us in our efforts, we have a written process. Process should not act as a straitjacket, but as a way for us to agree to respect each other's differing views.

If all of us had the same exact opinion on each template, there would be no need for the Wikipedia:Templates for deletion page -- not in its present form, at any rate. We would each individually mow down templates we found insupportable, and log the deletions. No need for debate, no need for discussion. And since we would all be in perfect agreement, we would have strong justification for refusing to hear appeals from other members of WP.

But it is not so. I think {{widget}} should stay and {{blivet}} should go; El Supremo thinks {widget} should go and {blivet} stay. Sometimes, we can discuss these issues and find a meeting ground. Maybe I can accept some changes to {widget}, with which El Supremo can tolerate its continued presence. But what do we do when after a week of wrangling, I still say "Widgets forever!" and El Supremo grunts, "Blivets or death!" -- what then?

Our process specifies that after seven days on TfD, if consensus is not reached, the nominated template is free to go -- the matter is over. We also say that a template should not be renominated for a month, if then. No good purpose is served by chewing old bones.

Recently, the nominated template {{divbox}} came to the end of its seven-day roasting. There was considerable controversy, a more or less even split of opinions (4 delete to 3 keep), and certainly nothing approaching consensus, or even overwhelming majority. Our process says {divbox} goes free, and that's the end of the matter -- at least, the end for this month. Those determined to keep a dog in the fight may do so on the nominated template's Talk page.

Shortly after I removed the offending listing and carefully began to archive all its debate -- not merely the debate within the TfD workflow, but wherever I could find a scrap of it -- a certain user, without discussion of any kind so far as I know, restored {divbox} to the TfD page and simultaneously juggled the entire contents of the page, including our written process guidelines. Am I the only one in this project who finds this a bit questionable?

"It is also possible that no concensus has been reached. Action: Remove template from this page entirely. Copy the entire discussion to template's Talk page. Remove {{tfd}} tag from template's main page. ("Disputed" subsection deprecated.) Absent concensus, the disputed template is kept."
I have to disclose that it was I who wrote the text of this section, as part of a complete cleanup of the page, including explicit workflow process. The cleanup stood unchallenged througout the recent heated debate over {divbox} -- nobody found it offensive or even felt a need to correct my misspelling of "consensus" -- but now that it permits {divbox} release from jail, it must all be destroyed. (!?)
This process, too, is subject to change -- but have we come to the point where we are permitted to change our guidelines for how we work at the same time as we cite our changes to process as justification for what we do?

If we have come to the point where everything is up for grabs, please let me know, and I will start work on Jimbo's home page, VfD, CfD, RfC, RfA, and all the other pages which manage the way we manage the work we do. If I don't need to discuss any of my changes before making them, then why should I? And if someone disagrees with me, why should I not alter existing process to make his disagreement illegal?

If we have not come to that point, and we still cling to shreds of social fabric, then I ask you to take whatever action you think necessary to hold those shreds together, and allow me to return to the work I do best -- making things that work for us all. Thank you. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 10:54, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)

Apr 7??? Something wonky with this page? Dan100 (Talk) 11:20, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh I see, I've revealed the hidden comment to clarify Dan100 (Talk) 11:24, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Does this article belong here?

The article Tennessee voting example seems to be unique in the sense that it's about an example that was specifically constructed for multiple Wikipedia articles and isn't itself about something that "exists" for encyclopedic description. Should this article be allowed or not? What about in another namespace? -- Dissident (Talk) 13:44, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I once remarked the elaboration of the Tenessee example is a bit quirky for approval voting, see Talk:Approval voting#Elaboration of Tenessee example - the one person replying to that remark (after several weeks, I just saw the reply), didn't even seem to understand my remark. --Francis Schonken 17:17, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
This article seems to be a good illustration of voting systems, and is too large to be merged in to Voting_system. I think it should be renamed to a more generic name, but kept in the main namespace. xaosflux Talk/CVU 17:56, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Good idea. How about effects of different voting systems under similar circumstances? -- Dissident (Talk) 20:25, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Profanity on MFD

Please note that this page, currently marked as a policy page, has been brought to MFD, as MFD is not highly read, I thaught a link here would be approriate. xaosflux Talk/CVU 05:34, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Closed early; invalid listing Dan100 (Talk) 11:15, 27 December 2005 (UTC)