Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive U

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Proposal to remove the dictum prohibiting the linking of individual years from Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)

The issue of whether to wiki-link individual years (and year-related items, e.g. "18th century", "1980s," etc) has recently come to a head.

On the one hand, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) specifically prohibits linking individual years except in cases of "relevance."

On the other hand, it is nonetheless an enormously common practice which seems to have widespread support among editors.

Bobblewik (talk · contribs) has mass de-linked wikilinked years in literally thousands of articles over the past week or so [1], to the point where he has been blocked by an admin for running an unauthorized bot. [2]

Proponents of this effort claim that these efforts have consensus support. However, it seems plausible that "consensus support" in this case means consensus among the people who regularly read Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) and related pages, which may or may not overlap significantly with the number of people who would otherwise have an opinion on this topic.

Thus I bring the question here, where it might be seen with more eyes.

I see no harm whatsoever in wikilinking individual years (and year-related items), regardless of their specific relevance to the article at hand. Quite the contrary, I feel that such links provide great exploratory benefit for those (like myself) who routinely click on them. I find such links edifying and educational, which seems to be a reasonable goal for an encyclopedia. Since the removal of such linking is being justified by a specific dictum in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) which prohibits such linking, I hereby propose that this prohibition be removed.

All the best.
Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 13:22, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Hear hear. About time someone dealt with this (now, if only someone could mass rollback Bobblewik's contributions for the last month). Ambi 13:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I think everyone agrees that linking dates when relevant or for date preference reasons is absolutely fine. So the issue is linking all dates. I believe that this is bad for a few reasons
  1. Excessive amounts of blue links make the text more difficult to read.
  2. The links are misleading. I know experienced editors don't think they are misleading, but people new to wikipedia often do, I know I did when I was new, and I have seen new users (normally IPs) remove date links and leave an edit summary along the lines of "Links were to wrong page" or similar.
  3. Excessive links to largely irrelevent pages dilutes the overall quality of links in general, making it difficult to know when a link is to a directly relevant article
Thanks. (p.s. Bobblewiki was not using a bot) Martin 13:40, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I quite agree with Martin's comments. The year links are mostly irrelevant. If you want to explore Wikipedia, use the Random article link in the navigation box -- that allows you to wander through articles with about the same degree of relevance from one to the next as the year links. olderwiser 14:12, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I feel that linking all dates (except when they recur in the article) is actually fine and kind of useful. It helps provide even more information when one is on a date page and clicks "what links here" -- finding things to add in that way becomes pretty easy without any centralised effort, and even while overlinking makes things more difficult, I don't think that dates are typically packed together enough for that to be a factor for dates alone. --Improv 14:45, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Martin. 98% of the time, the only thing a year link does is clutter up an article and make it less readable. I think the style guide is correct, and if editors are ignoring it in favor of linking every occurrence of a year, we should work to undo it. Overwikilinking is a bad thing. We shouldn't encourage it. If we really want to wikilink every year, we need a technical solution that allows invisible links so that articles don't look hideously stupid when all words are linked. But until that happens, I strongly oppose this proposal. Nandesuka 14:51, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
What qualifies as "overlinking" is very obviously a matter of personal aesthetic preference. No one is suggesting that every word be linked. A few people are suggesting that linking individual years does not qualify as "overlinking," and does not look "hideously stupid." Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 15:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that all years be linked or only the first mention of a year? It seems that linking the first one is standard practice, and I'm surprised at the opposition. Sometimes people reapply the wikify tag if the years aren't linked. Wikify tags are sometimes even added specifically because a long list of years is unlinked. I don't click on the years and don't think they're very useful, though. I don't care much which way it is, but I think we should be consistent and not link and delink the years over and over again with different editors. I think that the delinking should stop until the issue is decided definitively. -- Kjkolb 15:38, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I personally adhere to the "link once, leave repeat instances in the same article unlinked" philosophy, but that's true for all of my links, not just years and year-related links. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 16:16, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, IMHO, all years could and should be linked on first mention. While I agree it's messy, in an article about 1899 - or something that took place in 1899 - to have "1899" wikilinked on every mention, I think leaving 1899 wikilinked at first, and not on subsequent mentions, looks good. It helps break apart and structure long blocks of texts somewhat, too, especially if there are hardly any wikilinks inside it. I do suppose it comes very much down to personal preference, though, but you've got my take on the situation. I'm very much in favour of getting rid of said dictum.--TVPR 16:00, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
There is a contention that date link clutter is harmful. If so, it is a very marginal harm. On the other hand they do provide an article with context, even if that is a very marginal benefit. On the whole, this seems like a wash to me and so whether or not to keep them should be left to the discretion of the article's contributors. As such, I would be happy to see the explicit "simple months, years, decades and centuries should only be linked if there is a strong reason for doing so" go away. This is especially true as it seems to be encouraging a campaign to systematically remove such links with little regard to whether an article's primary contributors find them useful. Dragons flight 15:54, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I largely agree with Martin, with some qualification. I think that there is more justification in linking to 1917 in an article than to 2004, even if neither link is directly relevant to the article. A link to an older date may be helpful simply to put the event into perspective. Also, the discussion at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) should probably point out that links to dates can be made more relevant by linking to a more narrow subset. For example, linking to [[2004 in music|2004]] in a discussion on an album released in that year makes more sense to me than simply bracketing the date. I think the problem is that a large number of editors routinely link all dates, including ones like [[January]], [[2003]] and every occurrence of a particular year in an article. That makes it questionable whether even links to single years are intentional or just due to some editor's misunderstanding of the function of wiki date formatting. Having said all that, I think that that the current language is a little too restrictive and I would change it as follows: "So unless there is a special some relevance of the date link, there is no need to link it. This is an important point: simple months, years, decades and centuries should only be linked if there is a strong reason for doing so." -- DS1953 talk 16:14, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I support this proposal. In my experience, most dates are "high value" (especially where month and day are included). The first use of all years, decades, and centuries should be linked. The major problem is the "assisted" scripted "AutoWikiBrowser" program that "suggests" removing most of the dates. Folks assume (incorrectly) that the program is accurate and approve the edits without thinking. The program is broken. A recent instance didn't add any links for day mon year or month day, year (both were needed), but unlinked 1947 and 1967 (and many others) for Israel! That's Not Useful! --William Allen Simpson 16:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • This is not a debate about how it is done, please dont confuse the issue. And the program is not broken, it's not even specifically designed for this task as you seem to suggest. Martin 17:34, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I quite like this proposal, but I wonder if the paragraph could also be ammended to reiterate that date links should only be for the first time it shows in an article, and that these are entirely fine if relevent, and that they should ideally link to a subgroup of that date as mentioned earlier. LambaJan 19:12, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think the mass-unlinking of dates in an uncoditional or nearly-unconditional manner is a good idea. Further, I support the idea of clarifying or relaxing the "prohibition" against wikilinking years. The Manual of Style should basically say that not all years need to be linked, but some should because stuff happened then. The details of judgment should be left up to article editors. Demi T/C 19:22, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think that all dates should be links. Many times if you do click, you get totally irrelevent stuff. I'm particularly thinking about a biography where we're talking about how the person was elected on this date in 2002, and did something else in 2003, and ... It really (in my view) clutters things up to have all of the years in blue. I don't object to links if the editor considers them relevent, but the current policy sounds right to me. Morris 19:45, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with the proposal. — Dan | talk 20:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I fully support this proposal, and also, I have yet to see a proper argument for how having wikilinked dates make the page more difficult to read. Could someone who feels this way demonstrate how exactly it makes the page harder to read? Talrias (t | e | c) 20:33, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
One example of an article with too much markup is John Doar (US government official involved in civil rights momement). I know that this is a matter of opinion, but I agree with Nandesuka (below); a lot of the wiki links in that article (including the dates) do not lead the reader to anything related. Morris 22:17, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Not harder to read, but a little distracting. Personally, I don't like wikilinking years, but I've always done as it seems everyone else does :-). I think that makes me neutral...! Dan100 (Talk) 20:43, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd describe it as: a link is an implicit suggestion that the linked page is relevant to what you're reading in more than just a tangential way. Part of editing is deciding what should not be included, as well as decided what should be. Nandesuka 21:44, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose this proposal. I agree with most of martian's comments above, and i intend to continue removing such links. I also strongly suppor the creation of an alternate form of wiki-markup for date preferences, so that all dates could be unliked, except for the very few where a link is actually relevant. DES (talk) 21:56, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Can you clarify your declaration to "continue removing such links?" This seems to be an exceptionally "in your face" statement. Surely there is no harm done in waiting a week or two for this discussion to shake itself out? The wikilinked years will still be there should the consensus clearly indicate that wikilinked years must go. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 12:35, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. -- User:Docu
  • Oppose change to MoS. Linking relevant dates is very desirable; linking all dates is unnecessary and could be considered as introduction of non-encyclopedic content (related to the notion of "lists of otherwise unrelated items"). User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 18:29, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the popular misconception that date linking is essential is an unintended consequence of the date preferences mechanism. We pay a high price for date preferences and very little benefit. We are not eliminating ambiguity because almost all date formats used by editors are unambiguous (e.g. December 25 and 25 December). Furthermore, the date preferences mechanism does not operate for a lot of readers i.e. those without an account, and those with an account but no preference set. I think the current Manual of Style is fine. However, some editors have said that there are some specific and auditable constraints that they would like to add to the Manual. For example, dates in image captions must be linked, or dates of birth and death must be linked, or weekly events must be linked. I oppose such such constraints but if they were in the Manual by consent, I will follow them. Until then, I regard such links as silly. Bobblewik 19:17, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I see many people saying that date linking is harmless and should not, therefore, be prohibited nor unconditionally expunged. I see no one claiming that date linking is essential. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 19:36, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. There's no reason to totally prohibit linking of years, so Support a relaxation of the MoS in this context (also note that it's guideline, always has been, so if I decide to link a few years, it doesn't really matter).--Sean|Black 19:45, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
The current guidlines specifically do not unconditionally prohibit date linking at all, that is a misleading exaggeration. Martin 19:53, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I know that, but Bobblewik seems to think that it does. Like, I said, I don't think it does any harm.--Sean|Black 19:56, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
You misrepresent what I think. Bobblewik 20:19, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Abstain There is no absolute prohibition on linking to years or months, some time ago I thought that linking all years was a good thing, however Bobblewick's aproach to delink months and years on sight is one I agree with at the moment. It is possible tht a less obtrusive linking and displaying mechanism for dates would change my view. Rich Farmbrough. 15:42, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If there is no absolute prohibition against linked years and months, then there is zero justification for Bobblewik and DESeigel going around to articles they otherwise have no interest in merely to delink the dates. Certainly not to thousands of such articles over the course of a week. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 13:07, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I think that's implicit in my discussion, above, but I wanted to be clear. Nandesuka 15:47, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - I'd like to see the MoS changed to suggest when it is appropriate instead of saying "never". I agree that it usually isn't appropriate to link to a year, but didn't like seeing articles I had just authored get visited by the assisted editor. ++Lar: t/c 23:14, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The MoS does say that! Martin 23:22, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Well then I sort of wish that Bobblewik hadn't visited the brand new articles I worked on when he did. Some of the dates links were good ones, in my view. Still support revision of the MoS, and less automated editing of dates till this is clarified. ++Lar: t/c
Oppose making this change to the MoS. There is no blanket prohibition to linking years when relevant. I believe that most of the years I see linked add nothing to understanding the article. I get irritated when someone comes along and links every occurrence of every year in an article I've just finished working on. I also think it's distracting to see years of publication all linked in a discography or bibliography. Now, I don't go looking for year links to unlink, but I do remove them if I notice someone has just linked every year in an article, or if I think the year links are distracting in the context. -- 19:59, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose linking to dates in every article, whether it be on the first occassion or not. Say there is an article on a popular muisc album released in 2004 and 2004 is linked to the article '2004'. What could anyone possibly gain from this link, except perhaps some confusion? In some cases it can help but for the vast majority its pointless and can be confusing. --SaltyWater 00:47, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. First occurrence to be linked, only. User:Noisy | Talk 00:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. This is another thing that editors should take care of on a case by case basis. If too many things are linked in an article, leave the incidental years unlinked. If an average amount of things are linked, either way is fine, leave it how the original writer had it. —siroχo 12:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose; the logic of whether to link something is clear: link only things that are relevant to the article. In most cases, a link to a year links to a page that is largely irrelevant to the context of the article. I support leaving WP:MOSDATE as is, since it reflects this logic (it does not say that linking years is prohibited.) I would however support a slight change of wording (explaining when exactly years should be linked). - Liberatore(T) 16:13, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but be reasonable. Years should be like other articles. Discouraging over-linking is good and should be made clear in the MoS. If an editor thinks that the year article provides some important background for the article that they are working on, however, link to it. Otherwise don't. Jkelly 16:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I oppose changing the MoS. I am convinced that year links are normally useless, and if it weren't for the date preferences thing, it would never have become normal to link them. Stephen Turner (Talk) 17:19, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia is way, way overlinked as it is. I find it extremely annoying to follow a link and find nothing that adds or extends the article I was reading. I used to link individual years myself, simply because it seemed to be the norm, but I never checked policy. I commend Bobblewik for bringing this up. Dpbsmith (talk) 17:43, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all the very good reasons already given. - SoM 18:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Strict support: I do not think MOS needs to be saying "link 'em all" nor "link few." I think that we should link them at the editors' discretion. The question should be "is it useful?" If an editor believes that it is, then we are the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Geogre 19:24, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support I think linking dates to the ' year in subject ' eg [[1987 in music|1987]] in an article related to music, gives the reader a link that provides extra context. --Alf melmac 18:02, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Limited administrators

I have created this policy proposal because of my recent observations about admin and community issues. Increasing vandalism and increasing admin disputes are not good. In any case I just want to let users know I've created this and maybe more discussion can go on there. Basically to summarize: some "limited admins" would have power to delete within 3 days, rollback, and would be encouraged to participate on admin noticeboards and the like. gren グレン ? 13:54, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


The current guidelines for inclusion set the audience at 5,000 (for book or actors alike, it appears.) The feeling is that this is much much too low. There's discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(people)#Total_audience_of_5.2C000_or_more, and even a straw poll. But polls are evil, so don't take part in that. - brenneman(t)(c) 00:11, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

birth_place in infobox

If person was born in a place that back then was in country X, but is now in country Y, what should be written in infobox? A currently geographical place (for instance: Alexandria, Egypt) or historical geographical place (for instance: Alexandria, Roman Empire)? Of course, the article clarifies this matter, the article says that the person was born in Alexandria which, back then, was part of Roman Empire, and is now in Egypt. But, what about infoboxes which should present short but accurate info? Infobox for Pope Adrian VI says "birthplace=Utrecht, Netherlands", and article clarifies that back then it was "Low German-speaking part (whose inhabitants considered themselves to be part of the German nation) of the Holy Roman Empire". On the other case, Nikola Tesla article says "Smiljan, Gospić, Austrian Empire (now Croatia)". To be frank, this sounds a bit funny to me because Austrian Empire does not exist, but I'm not the one to deliver guidelines :-) Therefore I ask, which style of the two should be followed? Currently geographical place or historical geographical place? --Dijxtra 16:22, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

You can not say he was born in a nation or city that did not exist at the time. But you can say something like 'born in Judea (modern day Israel)'. A more modern example would be 'born in Czechoslovakia, in what is now the Czech Republic. --mav 19:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Isn't that too long for a infobox? So, Pope Adrian VI article should be fixed? --Dijxtra 19:38, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
In the case of Adrian, "Netherlands" is defendable as that can be seen as a descriptive term ("Low countries"). However, as Utrecht was more or less an independent state then, a simple "birthplace=Utrecht" suffices for the infobox. Especially because more complete info is given in the article. Note that his place of death was already given as "Rome" only. Eugene van der Pijll 10:56, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I think that including both is a good idea, but if we have to be more brief, saying "historical Czeckoslovakia" would be better than saying Czech Republic (because it establishes the historical context better). --Improv 01:40, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... but, wouldn't it be better to have precise geographical location in infobox, and to establish the context in the article? Do you think that this (what ever we find appropriate in this discussion) should be made into a guideline, to make infoboxes uniform? --Dijxtra 10:59, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Alternatively, wait and see if Template:Infobox Biography survives this TfD vote before struggling with the issue. User:Noisy | Talk 11:40, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Hm, thing is, not all articles use the template explicitly. Nikola Tesla article has just a bunch of code, not the infobox template as such. So I think this matter needs to be discussed and cleared. BTW, hasn't it survived one TfD vote before? Just curious... --Dijxtra 15:59, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it makes the most sense to give the name of the country or place the person was born, with the name it had at the time that person was born, link to a reference for that place, and skip the "present day" add-on. The trouble with all of these "present day", "currently", "modern day", "which is now", etc, type of phrases, is that they all have to be located and changed every time some country changes its name or borders. In my edits in this encyclopedia, I assume it's going to be around and still read, and still useful, 200 years from now (assuming humanity isn't wiped out by some natural or man-made disaster). If it can be written in a way that won't need to be changed later, as opposed to a way that almost certainly will change, then I think it should be. Aumakua 05:28, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, that's why we're here :-) To update wikipedia on change of borders or country names. Which does not happen so often, right? I mean, every current prime minister or president has word "current" in his infobox... --Dijxtra 09:39, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
  • IMO this is a good reason not to use an infobox. this kind of complex situation can be better described in article text than in any infobox. DES (talk) 00:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Don't forget that you can pipe a link. For example [[İstanbul|Constantinople]] (not the best example, because there really is an article called Constantinople, but I'm sure you get the point). - Jmabel | Talk 07:40, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Community Panel proposal - Wikipedia:Community Panel

Recently, I've written a proposal outlining a new decision-making body which I termed the Wikipedia Community Panel, made up of 20 elected representatives of the Wikipedia community. My idea was that it would, amongst other things, replace the arbcom, work on policy and collaborate with the Wikimedia Foundation board, thus providing a better integration between the Wikimedia board and the community and circumventing the current somewhat bureaucratic arrangement of the arbcom. The proposal, which is rather embryonic, is at Wikipedia:Community Panel; I would greatly appreciate feedback on it, and if possible other people interested in the concept to work on it - or, of course, to lay it to rest as a terrible idea! Thank you, --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 23:17, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

shooting first before asking questions (blocks)

I've noticed that several fellow administrators have been blocking accounts without solid evidence of them being vandals. I mean, blocking names like "I will vandalize Wikipedia on wheels" is acceptable. But for accounts with less obvious names (such as "WheelsGoRound324"), I think that it is better to give them the benefit of the doubt. For example, a recent vandal has been defacing Australia-related articles under Australian-themed names. As a result, several administrators have responded by blocking new users with similar-themed names. While the blocks may have been legit, innocent users could have been caught in the crossfire. It is definitely possible that a legit Australian contributor decided to register at the wrong moment.

There is also a similar issue with impostors. For example, we have an administrator named Angela (talk · contribs). However, Angela is a very common given name. Are we going to automatically block all users who have "Angela" in their name?

I don't think that we should be so trigger-happy. Unless the usernames have bad-faith characteristics, we should not block them on sight.

I'd like to hear other users' thoughts on this. --Ixfd64 04:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

  • If you ask me, only offensive usernames should be banned on sight. There's just too much window for error if you do it any other way. -- 14:02, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Blocked users can edit their own talk pages. One who is accidentally blocked can object there. --Wikiacc 20:49, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
  • My User:RefBot got blocked two times without good reason. Blocks were complicated by admins who chose to use blocks despite their being incommunicado. That doesn't seem like good self-administration.
    1. Once (by User:Curps who has no email) within minutes of creation on suspicion of being an impostor, although it had by then copied its definition from the supposed victim (my User:SEWilcoBot) and deleted that section of text from the supposed victim's home page (tinkering with victim's home page seems like an odd way for an impostor to not be noticed). Of course, I had no links yet to RefBot to confirm my ownership because the account's page was still being set up. Blocking admin requested confirmation of ownership, despite having no email address and having triggered the autoblocker which blocked all my normal access. User_talk:SEWilco#Blocked
    2. RefBot got blocked (by User:David Gerard) with a message of "operating it to try to game the AC ruling" and log reason "(username created only to evade arbcom ruling)", both of which the blocker recognizes are not valid reasons because "Conditions are per person, not per username." Gerard apparently left on vacation, leaving the account on indefinite block; which doesn't matter because it's idle during a rewrite and I can use my other accounts until he gets back. User_talk:SEWilco#Blocked_with_poorly_defined_explanation User_talk:SEWilco#RefBot_blocked_erroneously Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive58#User:William_M._Connolley_14
    - (SEWilco 02:28, 11 January 2006 (UTC))
  • By the way, there is currently a large ongoing discussion about a similar issue. You can view the discussion on the talk page of the administrators' noticeboard. --Ixfd64 17:54, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Pages in MediaWiki namespace

I believe that many Wikipedians are not aware of the secret society... the MediaWiki namespace. Even though all these pages are, by default, only editable by Sysops, many of the issues in these pages, including especially MediaWiki talk:Sitenotice, should recieve more attention from users. I invite people to contribute to discussions on these talk pages, which usually affect the site globally though only being discussed by a minority of those who know about them. Thank you. (More admin accountability on changes to the .css pages would be nice too). — Ambush Commander(Talk) 00:11, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

"U.S." and "UK"

I was noticing in the article Filibuster that it uses the spellings "U.S." and "UK" consistently. It seems to me that common U.S. practice is to use "U.S." and "U.K." while common UK practice today is to use "UK" and "US", although there certainly are exceptions both ways; I don't think there are many people anywhere who would mix "U.S." and "UK".

The Wikipedia:Manual of Style (with its subsidiary article on spelling) is generally neutral on the question of British vs. American English, but (1) disapproves of mixing styles within an article. This makes sense. It also says (2) that British spelling should be used for articles on British topics and American spelling for articles on American topics. This also makes sense.

But what about article sections: if one section of a longer article is about American practices and another about British practices, as here? If policy 2 is extended to sections, policy 1 is violated for the article. But if it isn't, then all contributors to one section who are from the relevant country will have to write in the other national version of English, and will likely have trouble getting it right.

On the specific subject of "U.S." or "US", the Manual of Style (3) mandates the form "U.S." because it is useful to have a single form and that is the one most commonly used in that country. It does not say anything, that I can see, about "U.K." or "UK" (or any other acronyms / abbreviations / initialisms commonly written both with and without periods / full stops). If it is argued that the same reasons apply, policy 3 should logically be extended to prefer "UK"; but then this would violate policy 1 in articles like the one in question where both abbreviations are used.

If there is an existing style policy that addresses these conflicting pressures, please point me at it. If not, should there be? For myself, I'd rather see "US" and "UK" everywhere, but as that's already against policy, forget that; I'll just say that I do not advocate any particular choices on the issues raised here; I only suggest that they might be desirable. 01:57, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any problem with continuing with this inconsistency. 04:27, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous bots with no information?

(I've also posted this at Wikipedia talk:Bots) At the moment User: is making robot-like interlink edits, and getting a few wrong, but there is no information on what bot is running in the edit summary. The User page and talk page are empty, so I assume it's a user not-logged in. However is it good policy that robot edits can occur with insufficient information in the edit summary? In this case I want to alert the bot that it's sometimes messing up the interlink order. -Wikibob 14:25, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Something in bot interfaces sometimes causes anon edits by a logged-in bot. If the edits seem to be regular in timing it is more likely to be an anon bot. If the edits have very irregular timing it is more likely the quirk is involved, or a bot with manual approval from a human not trying to process stuff quickly. (SEWilco 03:04, 11 January 2006 (UTC))

So how do you combat PoV-pushers?

I'd like to here from as many people as possible on this - what have people found to be the most successful tactics against users are trying to promote certain points of view within articles over others? Dan100 (Talk) 20:36, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

WOW! You find those quite a bit on most of the religious pages. A particularly long example of one editor pushing a POV is on Talk:Bahá'í Faith. If you go there you'll find 3 or 4 archives worth of discussion and a good example of a learning curve. At first the editors argued and frequently went off topic. Then they started turning to the manual of style for reference. Then, more recently, they started bringing in outside editiors and administrators who's claim to be neutral rests on their belonging to another religion.
These seem to help, and the nice thing about outsiders is they bring a fresh perspective. And if there's a particularly difficult edit to make because of a POV pusher, then it's really nice when the outsider just goes ahead and makes it because they are free of rediculous accusations of underhanded behavior (the ad hominum logical fallacy). LambaJan 22:54, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
It helps a lot to be rigourous about citation oneself, and insist on the same from others. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:54, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps my question is - what do you do when you have been doing that, but they carry on regardless? Dan100 (Talk) 09:39, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Haven't figured that out yet. lol.
Yes, Jmabel. That very much helps.
In that last example, one editor recently asked "Is there anyplace to take this for arbitration?" but nobody followed up on that. It can be very difficult because, as I'm sure you know from your situation, one person can become an army and (best case scenerio) cause the other editors of a topic to be less productive in adding quality articles because they're too busy protecting one part of it from POV. LambaJan 20:29, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I just found a template that may be helpful, depending on your situation: Template:Protected. LambaJan 02:43, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

The template only tells part of the story. Admins can protect pages to prevent editing, but admins are reluctant to protect pages except to allow a cooling off period, because it goes against the "wikispirit". Rich Farmbrough. 15:45, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

The unhelpful answer is that Wikipedia proceeds by "conversion, not coercion" (for the most part) and you must convince the POV pusher. There's no other real way. If they will engage on the talk page (or their own), and if you can get other editors who are obviously not in complete agreement with, sometimes that will convince them. Never just revert, at least not more than once. Rewrite their material, never remove it completely. Respect their point of view; the rewrite may tone it down, may qualify it, may introduce opposing material, but what their main point was should not be obliterated and should still be clearly stated. Find sources FOR them: if they write "George W. Bush is widely regarded as dumb" change that to "Left-wing columnist Molly Ivins wrote 'George W. Bush is not the smartest guy to come along in over 200 years.'" That retains the point that was being made but takes the spin off it by qualifying it as a) an opinion, b) by a non-neutral source. If they've written ten paragraphs of POV in a fifteen-paragraph article, boil it down to a single paragraph. Oh, and do make a point of pointing out the Wikipedia policies on verifiability, neutrality, and citing sources, as many new contributors have not read them, and, believe it or not, if you can get them to read them it sometimes does change their behavior.

The key is to prove to them that they are not confronting a pack of censors determined to obliterate controversial opinions, or anything like that. You must retain their material, but keep it in proportion, etc.

No, it doesn't always work. Dpbsmith (talk) 19:17, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I've been concerned by this for a while now. All our current methods for dealing with POV-pushers are rooted in a basic assumption of good faith. However, this simply does not - and cannot - apply to all POV-pushers. Some people are here specifically for the purpose of pushing their POV, and will resort to any means necessary. Recently, it has been brought to my attention that one particularly prolific POV-pusher may be getting paid to edit wikipedia. How do we deal with cases like that? -- Nikodemos (f.k.a. Mihnea) 09:10, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

WP:WEB recently rewritten

The old inclusion guidelines at WP:WEB (including the old WP:COMIC) were tossed out about a week ago and rewritten entirely, primarily to match up with WP:V but also be less specific (webcomics no longer have their own guidelines). None of the usual participants in the discussion have objected but comments are always welcome. Nifboy 18:23, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be a good idea to add that an article on a web site should itself provide the evidence that the site meets the three proposed criteria. This might save a lot of time on AfD. - Liberatore(T) 19:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Administrator vocabulary: a non-block "block"

Administrators seem to need a new word for an action which is being called a "block" which does not resemble the Wikipedia:Blocking policy meaning of "block". See Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#SEWilco blocked from commenting on William M. Connolley. (SEWilco 04:19, 12 January 2006 (UTC))

Musical Genre Mayham... Any Ideas?

After reading and placing my view in the Goth-punk AFD, I began to think, and search. Wikipedia has thousands of music genres, including such gems as Desert Rock and Stoner Metal, G-Funk and Melodic Death Metal, and those are just out of the Genre project Boxe. Now I might be inherently biased and simplistic, being as the 3100 or so songs on my PC are broken down into 21 Genres (only 3 of which are subgenres of Rock), but this seems like Overkill to me, we have genres that describe 5 bands, or worse, 5 albums! I don't know much about policy pages, so I don't know where to put this, but I think we should adpt some sort of clear Music Genre Policy... before we end up with Post-Grunge Melodic Death Metal Rock describing Coheed and Cambria. Please respond... somewhere (Maybe on the Talk:Music genre page. Thanks Y'all Makenji-san 00:55, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Calm down already

Ok, all you ultra-extreme Wikipedians out there, if you didn't read what I wrote about 4 or 5 posts before, you've sold me already. I agree, in compromise, that, instead of the title of this topic, I will try to destroy articles that are just plot summaries and to consolidate/redirect small, obscure articles about fictional things into bigger ones. Moreover, I never doubted from the beginning that popular fictional universes are important things...the example articles I complained about are about specific plot elements of fictional universes. --Zaorish 14:41, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

..Now if I could just figure out HOW to nominate that bad StarCraft Secret Missions article for deletion...

"United States" or "U.S." in Category titles

NOTE: I've copied this discussion over to Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(categories)#.22United_States.22_or_.22U.S..22_in_Category_titles for continuing discussion with some category experts. Semiconscious · talk 01:16, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I've proposed changing the category title Category:United_States presidential candidates to Category:U.S. presidential candidates (see proposal here). It looks like there's an opinion on the "Categories for deletion" page against changing. That's fine with me. But we need some consistency.

What I'm looking for is a consistent standard for Category titles when the name of the country starts the title. This isn't about Articles, Templates, or content (although it's not unrelated). If you look at Category:U.S. presidential elections you'll see both used.

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories) says to use "United States" when in a list of countries or when using "…of the United States" or "…in the United States." But what I'm talking about is when "United States" starts the category name, such as Category:United States presidential candidates, or the like. Surf around near Category:United States presidential candidates and see what I mean.

Mark Adler (markles) 13:40, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

This debate is done and dusted. Abbreviations are deprecated and converting U.S. to United States in category names is one of the speedy correction criteria on categories for deletion.
There is no reason to have abbreviations in article, category, etc. titles. Avoiding ambiguity is the goal of an encyclopedia, and claiming "everyone knows what 'US' means" (which you are not necessarily doing, but would be the only rational counterargument) is americocentric. I could just as easily say "everyone should understand 'CAR' is the Central African Republic. Semiconscious · talk 10:02, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Semiconscious; this has been clearly hammered out and established already, and the example category is clearly an artifact. Avoid abbreviations. siafu 21:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Semiconscious too. Also note, if you put Category:U.S. presidential elections into a notional Category:Presidential elections by country it immediately becomes part of a list of Presedential elections by country, therefore it should not be abbreviated. Categories are just a technical way of displaying lists. Steve block talk 21:55, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Pokémon Card Game - Copyright

How much of a Pokémon Card can be included. I want to use a picture of the card and its text, to discuss battle strategies on wikibooks. How much can I use? Gerard Foley 01:08, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

IANAL, and you might want to take this up at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Fair use. That said, it will depend heavily on factors like:
  1. How hi-res a picture?
  2. Are you only quoting material relevant to what you are writing?
  3. How large is your derivative work compared to the copyrighted material you are using?

In any event, be extremely clear about acknowledging copyright. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:45, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Here is an example page. Comments? Gerard Foley 02:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Addressing the Hierarchy Trap, an informal proposal

Here's something new. Listen:

Statement of the problem

There are people who are long-timers, excellent and productive editors, and experts in a difficult and import field. These people are very important to Wikipedia.

It goes along with that these people are often the types who do not suffer fools gladly. Some might have a tendency to be a bit crusty, even abrupt, and so forth.

Therefore, these people would make poor administrators.

BUT -- as it stands now, the only way to "rise up" and get formal recognition in Wikipedia is to become an administrator. Recognition of one's value is satisfying for most of us. Nothing wrong with that – it’s healthy, human, and good.

Also, these experienced, valuable people might want to have a strong ability to protect erudite work from people who don't meet their expectations of suitability, which are often high due to their meatspace experience of working with other highly qualified people. (Nothing wrong with that, either.)

Therefore, for one or both of these reasons, some of these people want to become administrators. Some of them are administrators. Which might be a problem.

Obviously, we want administrators to be decisive and effective at protecting the encyclopedia, but I don't think we want my-way-or-the-highway types as administrators. (For one thing, those types often create more problems than they solve. I've seen this in meatspace, and I bet you have too.)

Administrators need emotional intelligence, people skills, communication skills, patience, the ability get things done crisply and efficiently while working through process. Listening, considering, negotiating, deciding, explaining, that sort of thing.

Almost the opposite of the skills that a focused, erudite, scholar who

What to do?

A proposal

Well, in meatspace, they have Management Track and Technical Track, right? I know, I know... meatspace. Still, they have had to deal with issues like this.

Anyway, what about the creation of a new category of user: Senior Editor.

I know I will probably be immediately attacked and consumed by a host of white blood cells for suggesting this, but before I dissolve into a mass of protoplasm let me state the case.

  • Let's face it, there are people who are de facto Senior Editors, and these people de facto get more respect and leeway than new people, like it or not. This is just human and organizational nature.
  • If one is anti-hierarchical or has an anarchist bent, one should welcome the existence of "tribal elders" who have moral but not coercive authority.
  • On the other hand, if one is pro-hierarchical, one should welcome the formal co-option into the hierarchy of major contributors.
  • And if one is just pro-encyclopedia, recognition of people who are major contributors can’t be bad.
  • Step 3: PROFIT!!!So its win-win

So what would it MEAN? I’m not sure.. I can feel the antibodies eating me already, must hurry...

  • Maybe... for starters, they have a little symbol appended to their sig, or something (strictly enforced that no-one else can use). So one knows with whom one is dealing.
  • Maybe... immunity from 3RR enforcement? On articles in area of expertise, anyway?
  • Maybe... I dunno… access to a special board where they can get speedy admin support?
  • Maybe... some limited sysop privileges (if the software supports this), such as partial protection of pages (subject of course to review) or whatever?
  • I dunno... what else?

It should be REAL hard to get this status, harder than getting admin status, with a real vetting process… maybe something like:

  • Minimum one year (maybe should be two years)
  • Some minimum number of edits, such as 2500 or even 5000, but not too high, edit count can be misleading.
  • "Major useful contributor" to articles on... I don’t know what word to use, vacademic topics" or something... I’m just thinking, expert on Medieval Turkish Literature, not expert on Morning Cartoon Shows Of The 1990’s, not that that’s not valuable too, I’m just saying. "Major useful contributor", that could be quantified somehow... lines of text in major articles, I dunno, something…
  • Plus of course voting and all like admins.
  • Plus, after clearing backlog, number admitted to this status should be really low, like just a very few each month…

Urgh… antibodies... I can feel the hate... must... finish... anyway if Senior Editor sounds too pompous it could be Lord High Tutnum or whatever... …urk... glurg... just... a... thought... gahkrggg... Herostratus 17:33, 7 January 2006 (UTC)


  • Your solution to the hierarchy trap is to create a new step in the hierarchy? :) Talrias (t | e | c) 17:45, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
  • My gut instinct was to say no, but that's a shotgun response. I'm like this for most things I haven't thought about, but you've established credibility with your anticipation of opposition. I'll at least offer you the technical side.
This would be easy to difficult to implement: at the very least, you create a new user group that has absolutely no extra permissions. Part of the problem is that getting turned into this "Senior Editor": only Beaurucrats have the ability to grant user groups, and that adds more load on them.
I believe this is the main problem with your proposal: it seeks to grant a title without associated priviledges, and perhaps that is too much trouble just for "reputation". Rollback for certain users would be nice, but I think that got shot down a while ago. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 01:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • An interesting proposal but, within the present system, it seems to offer nothing except for recognition. If the cap fits, the individual becomes an admin. If not, let the editors work quietly (or not, depending on temperament) to protect their "turf". Among the others working in the same field, there will be an informal recognition and peers may rally round if a newcommer disturbs the equilibrium. If you could change the culture here, you would be able to offer limited or full protection for pages that have achieved a maximal standard of accuracy. I suppose a senior editor role might administer this new system, deciding when pages deserve the protection and hearing argument from editors on proposals for amendments or insertions. But the chances of such a system being adopted are remote. David91 05:33, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • In the context of the recent war that started over userboxes, and spread to other theatres of negative interaction, I suggested that several Wikipedians could benefit by reading The Mythical Man Month to understand challenges of learning management of large projects that have lots of objectives, and how many diverse people can get the job done by effectively utilizing the skills of the different contributors, and using communications wisely, to avoid too many people talking at each other ineffectively. Here is another place with participants who could also benefit from this perspective, since I am not convinced there is clear understanding of the hierarchical alternatives. User:AlMac|(talk) 10:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
  • So do we get the exclusive right to wear Imperial purple on state occasions? I don't think the formal idea of a senior editor is all that useful, because expertise is always in a subject-matter area. For example, I'm certainly more qualified than a random editor to write about Yiddish theatre, or Grunge rock, or Jorge Luis Borges, but I'm not particularly qualified to write about fundamental particles or the Norwegian language. I do think that it might be useful to come up with a more formal way of recognizing subject-matter expertise, but I don't see an easy way to do it. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:54, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Yeah, maybe you're right... yes, purple, at Wikigatherings... actually, I was thinking, seriously, of a little graphic that attaches to one's sig... although graphics in sigs are not recommended. Could just be "S.E." or something, but how to police? Also could be (say) "S.E., History", but that's awfully broad, yet probably as narrow as you could easily get... I dunno... I don't really see an easy way to do it, either.Herostratus 06:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • It doesn't look like this going anywhere, and probably it shouldn't... I don't think it would be probably be a great idea to propose a policy like this in a vacuum... perhaps in the context of an overall consideration of the role of "informal moral authority" in the context of a Wiki like this, and whether there ought to be or can be a way for the community to reinforce such informal moral authority... I will consider this at length and perhaps someday get a group together to work up some thoughts on that... thanks to all for your input! Herostratus 19:26, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia as its own source

What is the policy about using Wikipedia itself as a cited source for a Wikipedia article? I vaguely remember reading a policy or guideline that mentions this but I can't for the life of me find it again. Reyk 06:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

For obvious reasons, this isn't allowed. However, other Wikipedia articles may help you find an external source for the info you wish to add, jguk 12:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Re. "For obvious reasons, this isn't allowed." - true, but some nuance:
--Francis Schonken 12:48, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

A list is an article in the main namespace. There are no special rules about lists. Indeed, as lists tend to contain an awful lot of information (namely that each and every entry meets the list inclusion criteria), having direct sources on the list page is very, very important, jguk 12:58, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

With the growing popularity of Wikipedia, such a circular reference may happen by accident, in an indirect way; for instance, if a questionable fact, unsourced, makes it into Wikipedia, people on other sites might start citing it, causing it to spread all over the place and eventually wind up on sites that in turn get cited back here when an editor insists the original mention of the "fact" get a citation. Also, a "Google test" of the notability of someone/something might turn up the various mirror sites of Wikipedia, distorting the result. *Dan T.* 13:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

This is true. I always do google tests with searches that include "-wikipedia" to reduce although not eliminate this effect. DES (talk) 19:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
The List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people uses Wikipedia as a source. Its criteria has been that entries must have reference to their orientation in their biographical articles. That is a logical (and mostly non-controversial) criteria. -Will Beback 22:10, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
But the key in that case, is the bio article contains a reliable 3rd party source (or it better have). That's not us using Wikipedia as a source. That's us moving the location of a source. It's no different then a paper book, which lists its sources on a page other then the one the fact is claimed on. It's not using the "endnotes as the source". It's just putting it on another page, to avoid clutter. --Rob 22:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
See also discussion at Wikipedia talk:Categories, lists, and series boxes#Lists and references --Francis Schonken 08:13, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

The fact of the matter is that realistically, NO ONE (outside of perhaps elemantary school), including within wikipedia, should be citing wikipedia as a source given the nature of how it is written. I find it somewhat distateful when I see it cited in legitamate news sources, considering they could have just as easily used the article to direct their research and cited peer reviewed work instead.

Either way, although citing of wikipedia articles is not appropriate (not only because the articles are written somewhat unverifiably, but also because their contents are subject to change), it speaks highly of our project here when the information between articles is consistent. If two articles present conflicting information, it indicates that someone is not doing their research, namely us. So, feel free to use information you find within the wikipedia, but prepared to find an alternate citation. Shaggorama 10:26, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

...but no beating around the bush: using double square brackets ([[...]]) is not a technique with which to make a Wikipedia article compliant to WP:V/WP:CITE,
even if the article in which you use the double square brackets is a List;
even if the content of the target article (that is the Wikipedia article to which the term between double square brackets directs) is amply supported by external sources cited in that target article.
--Francis Schonken 10:54, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Marking articles for deletion

Can we please make an exeption to the anonymous article creation limitations for the Wikipedia: Articles for deletion page? It's completely ridiculous that you can't even mark an article for deletion without going through articles for creation (not to mention ironic), when you're not actually making a proper article, and all you're effectively doing is editing an existing one by letting people vote on whether or not it should go. --16:21, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I brought this up at Wikipedia talk:Guide to deletion#Anons making nomination (before reading this here). A simple fix is tell anons wishing to make nominations, that they should create an account. It seems there's a higher percent of bad anon nominations, then bad new articles. --Rob 19:13, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Expanded rollback access

This is a very straightforward policy suggestion that would expand rollback access to all non-IP users. It is similar to the recent "Requests for rollback privileges", but I see this as far preferable, in large part because it avoids the creation of a new and unnecessary bureaucracy. Sarge Baldy 22:17, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I think that creating a new talk page for discussion on this issue will have the unfortunate effect of duplicating a lot of discussion, seeing as this idea has been proposed and debated on the RFR talk page - see Wikipedia talk:Requests for rollback privileges#Support concept, oppose procedure. I suggest, if the RFR proposal fails due to this reason, then this policy should be floated. Talrias (t | e | c) 22:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, that makes sense to me. Sarge Baldy 22:57, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

List of people

Why do we have articles that are just list of people Hen-Henz and suchlike? Are the just lists of all people mentioned in Wikipedia? What is their purpose?Skittle 21:06, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

See Talk:List of people by name/Whole list. -- Rick Block (talk) 22:30, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Are policies descriptive or prescriptive?

That is, are policies supposed to be rules that should be followed (even if in general, they aren't), or descriptions of rules that most people do follow. My case in point:

  • Wikipedia:Verifiability: No one follows the standards this page insists upon. It implies that every fact on every page ought to be sourced. No one does this. I doubt more than a dozen pages on the whole Wikipedia are up to this standard. Hence, this is a prescriptive rule: It documents what people should do, rather than what they actually do.

However, other policies seem to attempt to simply describe what most people do do, rather than what they 'should' do. I don't have a particularly good example of this, other than an argument over whether or not wp:auto should take this direction. Any advice, anyone? Stevage 21:04, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Did you mean WP:AUTO ?? ++Lar: t/c 21:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
It's a two-way street. Policies are intended to be prescriptive, but if a policy is not being followed, that's often evidence that it needs to be revised to make it more practical. Some informational pages are descriptive, but the primary purpose of policy in my eyes is to settle disputes: if two people conflict on how to do something, they can often defer to policy for the preferred way. Deco 21:14, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

May I upload a short audio clip from a movie?

In the movie Garden State, one of the characters speaks a phrase which is purported to be in the Klingon language. (See Talk:References_to_Star_Trek#Garden_State.) I do not know Klingon, but am interested in finding out whether the phrase really is Klingon, and if so, what it means. May I upload a 5-second audio clip of the phrase from the movie, and link to it from the aforementioned Talk page, so that someone who understands Klingon may be able to answer the question? --Lph 18:54, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Since this would be for the purpose of analysis and comment and is a very short excerpt of the film, i think it would be acceptable as Fair use. Be sure to tag it as {{fairusein}} or anothe fair use tag. DES (talk) 19:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I suggest it wouldn't be an option. Your intended use is for discussion on a talk page, not in an article (I thought it was Wiki policy to only have fair use media, if used in articles). I think fair use only applies to use of media in an article. Further, I question any fair use of sounds in Wikipedia, with the way thing stand. Images might be fair use, if and only if they're used *inline* within the article. A link to a stand-alone image, wouldn't be fair use, IMO. If you had an audio version of an article, and included a sound sample, I could see the fair use applicability in some cases (but that's not relevant here). --Rob 19:57, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
A link to a sound clip, in an article where it is relevant would IMO need to pass precisely the same tests as a fair use image, no more and no less. There is nothing in the policy that bans fair-use claims on sound recordings. Such a clip might well be linked to from a apragraph in the articel which discusses the passage mentioned. At that point, a link from a talk page would be appropraite, IMO. it is common to find inline links (but not display links) to images used under fair use from talk apges, and AFAIK no policy is violated by doing so. DES (talk) 20:27, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
It sounds like the intended purpose is to conduct original research. We should not be creating analysis or commentary, only summarizing the notable analysis and commentary of others. -Will Beback 20:58, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Consulting knowledgable users, to determine if a claim is accurate, does not sound like original researh to me, or at least it need not be. If anyone responds that the phrase in question is indeed in Klingon that person should cite a source which would allow soemone else to verify this. If a phrase from a docuewmted were posted with the question "Is this in polish" I don't see that that would be "original research", in any meaningful sense. But if there is a question about uploadign the clip to wikipedia, uplaod to a free hosting provideer, adn merely cite the link on an appropriate wikipedia page. This would be undesireable for the article, which ought to be permenant/long-term, but would be good enough for a talk page discussion, IMO. DES (talk) 22:14, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Sources and links to foreign-language material

We're having a tussle at Sheikh Khaz'al over the treatment of a 19th-early 20th century Arab ruler in what is now the Iranian province of Khuzestan. One editor is citing works in Farsi, and adding links to articles in Farsi. I find this extremely frustrating, because I don't read Farsi. The only source I have for this historical figure is an unpublished dissertation (U. of Chicago, 1974) that I ordered via a dissertation order service. I trust my source; the other editor COULD get it, if he wished. He reads English. I'm blocked from his sources. I rather suspect that they're highly biased against Sheikh Khaz'al, but I can't be sure.

I assume that since this is the English Wikipedia, editors should argue from English-language sources. But I'd like to hear if there is some policy on this matter, or some way of resolving arguments re sources in foreign languages. Zora 09:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

There is Wikipedia:Verifiability#Sources in languages other than English that gives some guidance re. the topic you mention. Please report back here (or on the talk page of that guideline) if that isn't enough to get your issue solved. At least the English translation of the Farsi quotes should be added, but that isn't the only recommendation in that guideline. --Francis Schonken 09:37, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Referring to English-language sources for further reading, when they are available and reasonably good, is one thing, but having to rely entirely on English sources would force editors to use outdated and low-quality sources, disregard recent research, and in effect completely disallow writing on many important historical and literary topics. I can understand your problem in this case, but what is needed is not a ban on non-English sources, which would seriously cripple Wikipedia, but competent and trusted reviewers or review committees for various languages to check the references in controversial cases. Tupsharru 10:25, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, folks. The guideline helps. I'm afraid that both I and the other editor have been lax in providing quotes, page numbers, etc. I can make sure that my contributions are meticulously sourced, and ask him to do the same, giving the cites in both Farsi and English. I think this is enough to go forward. Zora 10:31, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Well said, Tupsharru. I volunteer for Dutch and German to check references. Andries 22:16, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Ehum, having apparently come up with the idea (although I would be very surprised if I was really the first person to think about it), I guess I cannot avoid giving a promise to help checking Swedish references. But I have no intention to make it a full-time job, and you will still need somebody else to check my Swedish references... :) Tupsharru 22:49, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)

The new guideline proposal (which I announced here already some time ago) is progressing well, except for Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#"(book)" qualifier outside disambiguation from other Wikipedia articles, for which we're waiting for the WP:RM vote result at:

Talk:The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism (book)#Requested move

This didn't attract really much attention yet, in view of the direction the books naming conventions guideline would take. --Francis Schonken 09:16, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

logically clear contradict policy

fair-use image such as logos, tag describes "by non-profit" and "only for wikipedia" uses...but wikipedia don't allow non-commercial images and only for wikipedia use is contradiction, I think... -- WonYong (talk) 01:13, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Copyright undetermined This is a logo of a corporation, sports team, or other organization, and is protected by copyright and/or trademark. It is believed that the use of low-resolution images of logos to illustrate the corporation, sports team, or organization in question on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. Certain commercial use of this image may also be trademark infringement. See Wikipedia:Fair use and Wikipedia:Logos.

Use of the logo here does not imply endorsement of the organization by Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation, nor does it imply endorsement of Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation by the organization.

{{copyrighted}} - "permission is given for use on Wikipedia only", and does not include third parties.
This image is not licensed under the GFDL. It is under a non-commercial-use only licence.
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For the purposes of Wikipedia, this is a non-free license.

Stop hand.png If this image was uploaded after May 19, 2005, it will soon be deleted without further warning. [4]

Older images with this template will be considered for deletion.

That's right, we don't allow images under those non-free licences. Buuut we do allow very limited use of images which we aren't entitiled to use under their own licences, but which we believe we are entitled to use (theoretically even against the copyright owner's express wishes) under the doctrine of fair use. But for something to be used under fair use on Wikipedia it has to pass some pretty stringent requirements, listed at WP:FAIR. So, for example, you could use a publicity photo of Oprah Winfrey (release by her) to illustrate the Oprah Winfrey article, but you couldn't use it to illustrate dress or millionaire. Note that many other wikipedias, such as the German language one, don't allow fair use images at all (as they feel it carries too many headaches for the project and for those who reuse the wikipedia distributions. Even here fair use is (or really should be) discouraged for all but the barest essentials. The english wikipedia has, unfortunately, been very slack about actually enforcing the fair-use restrictions, and really lots of images tagged as fair use are nothing but copyvios. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:22, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
And an image used on wikipedia as fair use may or may not be similarly usable by a site re-using wikipedia content, depending on the circumstances, hence the language of the template. DES (talk) 01:48, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought that the very idea of wikipedia was that content could be reused without worrying about copyright or licences. For example, one could reuse text and images from a Wikipedia article on a web site, as long as it is released under a GNU license (in the case of a web site, that would be the GFDL, though for say, a piece of software, it would be a different one). -- 16:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Actualy it would have to be the GFDL in every such case, there is no provision for including content under other GNU licneses, unless particular content has been multi-licensed. And yes, that is the ideal, but in the case of images used under fair use the ideal is compromised, as the alternative is often not to have images perfectly legal for wikipedia to use and very useful for our readers. Where to draw the line is a not fully settled issue. Mind you, for most mirrors, if it is legit fair use on wikipedia, it should be legit fair use on the mirror, IMO -- but each reuser must asses such issues individually. DES (talk) 22:05, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Requests for rollback privileges

Hi everyone,

The proposed Wikipedia:Requests for rollback privileges, which would give just the rollback privilege to suitable editors who requested it, has received a great amount of support with very few objections. Because of this, I would like to have it become official policy and procedure. The technical side which would make this possible is currently under development. When it is ready, I believe that there is sufficient consensus for it to be implemented immediately. I'd like to invite everyone to read through the proposed mechanism and the discussion on the talk page and if they have any worries or comments about this proposal to make them! Thanks! Talrias (t | e | c) 16:01, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

A poll, perhaps? — Dan | talk 16:09, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Probably best to get comments first, not that I think the current idea is at all bad, but the talk page has at least a few objections that should probably be hammered out. —Locke Coletc 16:16, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed - most of the discussion on that page is of the "me too" type. The interesting idea of allowing rollbacks by default (maybe perhaps once a threshold of edits has been met) and thus preventing yet more instruction creep has received quite little discussion. Thanks/wangi 16:25, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
A fair comment - this is being discussed at the moment with both pro- and con- arguments being put forwards. If you've got any particular thoughts on this issue please add them! :) Talrias (t | e | c) 21:38, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

NPOV statement

Where did Jimbo originally post his statement about NPOV? Bensaccount 21:24, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

The oldest place I found it is here [5] (the April 16, 2001 version of NeutralPointOfView) --Cam 21:17, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe it was on the Nupedia mailing list, of which no records can be found. [[Sam Korn]] 21:19, 16 January 2006 (UTC)שם ערך#
Access to Nupedia-l archives is available here. --Cam 21:41, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, it's really hard to track this stuff down. I am writing a brief history section for Wikipedia:NPOV, would you mind checking it when I am done? Bensaccount 22:12, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Blocking over fair-use image disputes

The community's input would be appreciated at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Blocking_over_fair-use_image_disputes. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 21:38, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Who's Who?

During a recent AfD I came across an attempt to use one of the many "Who's Who" directories and registries as a proof of notability of an individual, to argue for the inclusion of his biography in Wikipedia. Doing some research I found that, for example :

  • "Man of the Year - 2005, American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, N.C."
... but then found scam reports about this "award": [6], [7], [8]
  • "America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals, 2003-2004"
.. but then read similar scam reports about this "registry": [9]
  • "The Contemporary Who's Who of Professionals"
... but could not find any such thing anywhere, besides mentions alongside of one of the scams above.

In summary, it seems that anybody can get into a "Who's Who" or get a "Man of the Year" award. Listings on these directories includes bowling coaches, gym teachers, undertakers, administrative assistants, landscapers and school nurses. There are more than 100,000 entries in "Who's Who in America.", for example.

It seems that the Who's Who publication's aren't too picky about who gets into their books. John Fox Sullivan, a member of a "Who's Who in America" board of advisors, told Forbes, "The reality is, I don't do anything." So there are a lot of self-nominated people who haven't really accomplished much. Nearly everyone who is nominated gets into the book. Read the Forbes article debunking the whole thing: "The Hall of Lame"

I would suggest adding some wording to Wikipedia:Vanity_guidelines and Wikipedia:Notability (people) to alert the community about this. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 23:23, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

"Who's Who" should also be viewed critically as a source, since it appears to simply print the entry of the submitter without substantial fact-checking. -Will Beback 23:41, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
That is exactly my point. I will try and add some wording to Wikipedia:Notability (people) to reflect this. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:40, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

"Download high resolution version" on fair use images

First of all apologies if this has been discussed before, I could not find it elsewhere. It seems very contrary to me that on certain fair use images, a link with the text "Download high resolution version" should be displayed. This would appear to contradict the fair use image templates, which state "It is believed that the use of low-resolution images' of X...". I therefore propose that the link text on the images be changed to "Download higher resolution version", or a similar message that does not imply that the image is in fact breaking the fair use laws under which it is hosted. Mushintalk 01:05, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

i'd say if a fair use image displays that link it almost certainly means its in violation of our fair use guidelines and should probablly (much as the archivist in me hates to say it) be downscaled and the original removed. Plugwash 01:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
If that's the case then all images displaying that are not actually low-resolution (I'm not sure of the actual definition used for that?) should be downsized as you say. And anyway, for a book cover, DVD cover, etc we don't need higher resolution images, regardless of their legality. Mushintalk 01:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I imagine that (once worse fair-use deviances are resolved) there will probably be a programme converting fair-use images to their screen-ready size, as used in their article. As you say, we don't need higher resolution, and our fair-use claims are strengthened a lot when we're not using or presenting more than we need. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:35, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
How low is low? I think this seems a good idea but we may want to try to pick nice dimensions that scale well (scaling a 250 to a 240 can be icky... picked as an example, why would you actually do that!) multiples of 60 are nice for that. ++Lar: t/c 02:18, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, WP:FAIR says "The amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible" (my emphasis). From that I would argue that if you intended to present a fair-use PR photo of say Evangeline Lilly at 300 pixels wide on the screen, the image stored by wikipedia should be 300 pixels wide. Given that interpretation in mind, I've started cropping the (very few) fairuse images I upload to maximise the utility we get from our few pixels - for example, the image I uploaded for Peter Mullan is dramatically cropped from a larger publicity image. Now I'm not saying that my interpretation of this is policy now, and the legal responsibility of figuring out what is and isn't fair use (supposedly) lies with the uploader (so really it's up to you), but I think a mass downscaling of fairuse images is likely to happen at some point, and I'd recommend "crop intelligently now, lest you be automatically downscaled later". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:48, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Legal issues aside, to say we don't need high-res versions of any image is shortsighted. We're building an encyclopedia, not a website, and those images will have many uses down the line for print versions of Wikipedia, editing, and so on. This is why we have a policy of retaining the highest possible resolution version allowed by law. Deco 06:16, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Besides, even if we don't count the printing, the images used are likely to grow as the next generation of displays gets higher resolution. Remember when 640x480 was common? It is not so long ago. Also, some images capture high-value details - eg. various labels and texts - that are legible only when checking the larger version. And you never know when such detail contains something crucial for somebody. --Shaddack 06:34, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree. If someone decides to make a printed copy of a Wikipedia article (or the entire Wikipedia), using these images continues to be fair use - even if printed at the finest resolution the printer has to offer. Fair use is about the purpose of use, not about the format used to store the material. Wikipedia should make sure that users understand that while Wikipedia's license allows them to copy whole articles, once you start taking only parts of articles, you lose some of the rights - and in particular, you can't take a "fair-use" labeled image out of Wikipedia and do anything which is not "fair use" with it - regardless of the image's resolution. Nyh 08:18, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
So what are the highest possible resolutions allowed by law? (I asked this in my second question). In any case, my original point has been somewhat sidetracked in favour of a discussion on the actual reoslution on images stored by wikipedia. To reiterate my proposal, that "the link text on the images be changed to "Download higher resolution version", or a similar message that does not imply that the image is in fact breaking the fair use laws under which it is hosted". The resolution of the images hosted is of course, as you have pointed out, dependent on the media used and the current standards. But the point is that the current wording of this message is contradictary to the wording of the fair use agreement. Mushintalk 10:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
There is no law placing a particular limit on the resolution of an image used under a fair use claim. Indeed it is not clear that in most or all cases a lower-resolution image will have a batter fair-use claim than a higher-res image will. The reasonign is that a lower-res image is less of a "Replacement for the original" which is an important factor in determing wither a use is fair use, but when a low-res image in fact serves as a replacement the high-res woudl be no more of a violation, and if other factors make the low-res image accceptable, they might also apply to the high-res version. It is very much a case-by-case and so image-by-image matter, as far as the law goes. Wikipedia can, of course, chose to have a policy that places an upper limit on the size or resolution of images used under a fair use claim, but no law currently requires us to do anything of the sort. DES (talk) 20:32, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
This is an accurate assessment, to my knowledge. Deco 03:41, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Retouched pictures

Currently a debate about the use of digital alteration, retouching and photo manipulation is taking place on Wikipedia_talk:Featured_picture_candidates. Are there any Wikipedia policoes which I just cannot find or has this issue simply not been dealt with? In the courde of the discussion I proposed a new template {{RetouchedPicture}} Please check its talk page for a short policy draft.

The template is a rip-off of {{FeaturedPicture}} and similarly puts all tagged pictures in a new category (to be created) listing all retouched pictures. Any comments are appreciated. --Dschwen 12:18, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Commons might be better suited for this kind of labeling. I posted on the commons village pump. --Dschwen 12:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Policy on songs

Is it acceptable to post detailed musical analysis, a lá Symphony_No._9_(Beethoven) (although perhaps even more detail: that link is more of an overview) of songs like Candle_In_The_Wind, or even individual songs on their album pages, perhaps?

I suggest it is acceptable, because of the growing number of people studying popular music students who may have to write similar things on similar pieces.

And I'm also a bit of pedant who thinks that that sort of thing should be on the internet and gets a slight kick out of writing them.

  • Actually musical analysis is exactly what most song articles need. The only problem is that it shouldn't be original research, but if you stick to uncontroversial statements that no musician would disagree with you should be fine. Kappa 00:25, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I'd agree with Kappa but also add that analysis beyond the blindingly obvious and unarguable is acceptable, providing any subjective interpretation is from a cited, knowledgeable source. A statement that begins "von Karajan described Beethoven's 9th Symphony as..." is the sort of thing that could be useful. Reporting on analyses made by reputable music scholars and well-known composers and musicians is preferred over original research and analysis. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Defining vandalism

I would like to get input on discussion of what vandalism is at the end of Wikipedia talk:Vandalism. Two items are when is the removal information vandalism, and whether hoaxes are vandalism. See section Wikipedia talk:Vandalism#Throwing out everything with the bathwater and Wikipedia talk:Vandalism#Propose to list Hoax as example of vandalism. --Rob 22:25, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

What is vandalism? "I know it when I revert it". --Carnildo 01:04, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
From Wikipedia:Vandalism - Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change to content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. What exactly is ambiguous about that? I would say it clearly encompasses hoaxes, and removal of information that's made in bad faith. Of course, we assume good faith, unless the user makes it absolutely beyond question that they're acting in bad faith. Removal of information that a user really feels should not be in an encyclopedia is never vandalism, because that's a good faith edit, though it may be misguided in the extreme. -GTBacchus(talk) 02:50, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Lawfully citing copyrighted images

Why wikipedia need public domain or free use images?

I know that image as quotaion is not needed public domain.

If I make a article, a thesis or a paper, I can quote copyrited images for my articles. It is not copyright infringement. and I need not to allow copyrighter's permission. and I can publish them as GFDL license, also.

but...why wikipedia need "Free license" images for quotation? any other purpose?

All auther, reporter in the world use any copyrited iamges for quotation, freely. why only wikipedia is restricted for quotation? why need a free license image?

I don't understand... -- WonYong (talk) 04:53, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

At wikipedia, iamge "itself" is not important...image "as quitation" is inportant. but... why need image itself free license? -- WonYong (talk) 04:58, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Allow me to contextualize Mr. WonYong's entry. Mr. WonYong is stirring controversy in the korean language wikipedia, claiming that we should disregard GFDL since South Korean copyright law allows for free citation within the realm of non-profit news reporting, criticism, research and education [10] I have been telling him that simultaneous application of South Korean copyright law and GFDL (technically, the application of South Korean copyright law over GFDL) is against Wikipedia's very foundations (and the spirit of the FSF generally), and could get Wikimedia Foundation into trouble, because it would open up Wikipedia's content for illegal subsequent for-profit use locally illegal forms of subsequent for-profit use. However, he ignored various users' warnings, created a Wikipedia namespace document regarding "citations" all on his own, and started uploading a mixture of Fair Use and plain copyright images to the korean language wikipedia. (South Korea has no Fair Use equivalent, thus its use was prohibited in korean language wikipedia by consensus sometime in its beginnings). He also claims that including a copyrighted photography in a wikipedia document is "citing it". Atm we have a lively ongoing debate at the Korean Language Village Pump, sections 13-17. He also posted under section 18 a korean language translation of what he wrote here under the current subsection, which is how I came to know about this. Sooooo basically he wants Wikipedia to stop using GFDL. Go figure. Regards, --Yonghokim 05:44, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
free citation within the realm of non-profit news reporting, criticism, research and education?? non-profit(X) -- WonYong (talk) 06:05, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I'll grant there may exist for-profit news reporting or education. Then I shall point out that GFDL may allow any kind of commercial use as long as it abides by the GFDL, which results illegal under said SK law. --Yonghokim 06:12, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yonghokim, I think you are not "south" english is not good. I worry about your that comment is negative? or positive to me? -- WonYong (talk) 06:15, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
What are the images in question. Zach (Smack Back) Fair use policy 06:19, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
He uploaded en:Image:Doctor-hwang-early2000.PNG at ko:Image:Doctor-hwang-2000.png. WonYong's home-made license tag reads as follows:
This work is a copyrighted photography from a media or similar source about a person, product or event. The act of using this image in a Wikipedia document that describes the person, product or event in question is considered citation according to South Korean copyright law and is considered to not be an infringement to copyright rights. According to the copyright law, no permission from the author is needed for citations. (ko:Template:quote)
--Yonghokim 06:51, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Delete it. Reuters says at "All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world." We do not allow non-commercial images, so it will be deleted. If he uploads, block him. Zach (Smack Back) Fair use policy 06:55, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Korea copyright law allow (image) "citation" (such as US fair use) and reuters legal notirication is not importnat. it is korean copyright law.
"citation by korean copyright law" need 5 element.
1. quoted object has been publiched publicly by someone.
2. to quote fot journal, paper, thesis, education, etc.
3. citation for main content. (citation=main(X))
4. to follow fair custom.
5. notify source
and of course, I can also quote copyrighted image. It is korean fair use. it is the citaion right. -- WonYong (talk) 10:06, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Your interpretation of Fair Use is mistaken. Fair Use allows for use, that is, you can print/use a photograph all by itself, and treat it as an independent object, as long as it abides by Fair Use. As an indicator of this, the US Fair Use has no clause whatsoever that says "the use itself cannot be considerably longer or equal to the original material", because, indeed, you are using the entire original material.
The disputed South Korean Copyright Law Article 25 states that you may cite works, and clause #3, ("citation needs to be smaller in comparison to the original source itself, and also the main text in which the citation is being used"). This is obviously an attempt to define the notion of a citation in its technicality. I can't find it right now, but the equivalent of this in US law or customary law is the practice of allowing verbatim quoting capped at 5% of the original text for academic purposes. (e.g. when you write a scholarly paper)
In korean language, there is another word for "use" (사용), which has a broader connotation - the SK law would have said "사용" if it aimed to be the equivalent of Fair Use. In other words, there is no South Korean equivalent of the Fair Use clause. You claim that uploading a copyrighted image to the korean lang wikipedia and then using it in a GFDL document constitutes "a quotation" of the image in question. I find your understanding to be tragically misoriented. --Yonghokim 16:25, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The Reuters legal notice is very important since they made the damn image. They make their business by selling news photos, and they cannot have people like us taking their photos, putting it on Wikipedia where people can get it for free, instead of buying them from Reuters or the AP. And since this image was made very recently, people are still trying to pay for this image to use in print and television media, so if we apply the US fair use rules, we will fail and this image will be seen as a copyright violation. Zach (Smack Back) Fair use policy 19:16, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

One last post of his to KLVP might shed some light to Mr. WonYong's degree of legal understanding to this whole issue (he's been bugging KLVP for two weeks now on this issue):

(User:WonYong, in response to User:Truelight's question, who had asked if "uploading" an image could really be the equivalent of "citing" it) There is no reason to make a big fuzz about copyright. ... All around the world, citations for the media, even commercial media, is legal and freely allowed. But the korean language wikipedia's copyright policy is so stiff.. and I did my research, and found out that it's actually because no one in the korean lang wikipedia is knowledgeable about copyright law! They know nothing about GFDL! This is outrageous, but understandable because it's got such a small user base. It's against common sense that you can't use the logo of Samsung in an article that describes Samsung Corportation. People rant about GFDL, FAir Use, SK CRL, US CRL but these laws are not related at all to the issue. This is about common sense. No one is actually opposing [usage of copyrighted materials] under a reasonable basis. Now I've got this huge task of making everyone else understand [that GFDL, Fair Use etc have nothing to do with this question]. They are just being stubborn. I mean, at first I thought they actually had grounds for opposing [the usage of copyrighted material] WonYong (talk) 2006년 1월 15일 (일) 15:27 (KST) korean original (see bottom). (all emphases - bold and italics - are Yongho's)

--Yonghokim 06:57, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

This is a discussion that should more properly be contained to the South Korean Wikipedia, but I should note that the Wikipedia servers are located in and so under the legal jurisdiction of the United States and the state of Florida. Their international activities may make them subject to other jurisdictions, but they absolutely must abide by U.S. copyright law. Generally we try to choose policies of what content to accept based on what would be likely to be legally accepted in a large number of nations in which Wikipedia is available - don't imagine that just because the material is written in a South Korean language that it is not available or useful in other nations. Deco 21:53, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia servers are not limited to Florida. They can also be found in Amsterdam and Seoul. Jacoplane 05:48, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
If this is so, that only creates more restrictions on our content, as we have the same content stored and distributed at each location, and so it must obey the laws of all three countries (not to mention any other countries that end up having jurisdiction over us; see LICRA vs. Yahoo!). Deco 06:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedians also can't be certain that the laws of their home jurisdiction, if outside the U.S., would be applied to any potential copyright lawsuit aimed directly at them. The physical location of the servers as well as the nationality of the copyright owner would factor into that determination. There's certainly a risk that a copyright owner could sue a South Korean Wikipedian in the U.S. under U.S. law, and then have that judgment enforced in South Korean courts. I'm not familiar with what conflict of laws principles South Korean law uses, but if you're not either, why risk it? Postdlf 23:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I pointed that why? wikipedia block to "proper quote"? why wiki need free license image to quote? GFDL? it is no proper reason. All authers of the world have a right to quote. (of course image,text, etc) Why wiki block that right? I don't understand. GFDL is no relevant. quote right is all auther's right. only wiki restrict that right. All authers have a right to quote images. It is absolute right. Any restrictions can't to that right. Only wiki resctrict. It is serious problem. -- WonYong (talk) 23:58, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
You said, "All authers of the world have a right to quote. (of course image,text, etc)" That's just not true. FreplySpang (talk) 00:17, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Why? specificully? -- WonYong (talk) 05:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
In the United States, and I believe in all the countries of the Berne Convention, authors who want to publish works that use copyrighted prose (above a certain length), any copyrighted images, or any copyrighted poetry must get permission from the copyright holder. If they do not get this permission, they can be sued. Maybe South Korean copyright law has some kind of exception, I don't know, but United States copyright law certainly does not. FreplySpang (talk) 05:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Concerns over personal attack templates

I am concerned about templates surviving TfD that appear to contrast with established policy. In particular, I feel that these templates are Poisoning the well when it comes for how we treat our fellow wikipedians. There are circumstances where knowing too much about one's neighbours politicises how one deals with them. This is, to an extent, unavoidable in society, but wearing signs of hate as badges on our shoulders takes what is a small problem that we can usually deal with into the realm of being damaging to the community. Already, there have been signs of people refusing to help each other because they are on different ends of a political spectrum -- this seems likely to get worse if this trend continues. Some people cry that this is an attack on their first amendment rights (if they're American, anyhow), but that doesn't apply here because Wikipedia is not the U.S. government -- it is a community that has always self-regulated, and more importantly it is an encyclopedia with a goal of producing encyclopedic content. We have a tradition of respecting a certain amount of autonomy on userpages, but never absolute autonomy. We might imagine, for example, templates with little swastikas saying "this user hates jews". I am not saying that such a thing would be morally equivalent to this template against scientology, but rather that we should aim to minimise that aspect of ourselves, at least on Wikipedia, so we can make a better encyclopedia. The spirit of NPOV does not mean that we cannot have strong views and still be wikipedians, but rather that we should not wear signs of our views like badges, strive not to have our views be immediately obvious in what we edit and how we argue, and fully express ourselves in other places (Myspace? Personal webpage?) where it is more appropriate and less divisive. --Improv 20:29, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I do agree with some of what you've said in principle, but the problem is, there's no way to stop self identification. Even if the templates were deleted, what's to stop someone from adding "I dislike scientology" to the text on their userpage? Or making their own userbox without a template? (I've done that in a few places on my user page). It may be a slight risk to self identify (alienating other editors who disagree with you), but it's a risk we can't stop people from taking. --Bachrach44 16:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


Is there an explanation somewhere in a policy or guideline page on an editor's "right" (for lack of a better term) to remain anonymous? A group of editors, including me, is being attacked by another editor (who has chosen to reveal his true identity) as "cowards" for not providing our real names, credentials, etc. android79 13:52, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Check out the section on Usernames about real names vs. pseudonyms - I think that's what you want. Essentially, you're free to do so, though some people may complain based on personal preference. -- nae'blis (talk) 21:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
How do you know its his true identity? Anyway, that's crazy... I'd never do that. The last thing I need is some disgruntled editor with a gun knocking on my door... Herostratus 06:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Changes on his personal website coincided with comments left on talk pages. Thanks for the tip, Nae'blis. That's not worded as strongly as I had hoped, but it least it's policy. android79 07:03, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Editors should not be expected to share their credentials, because the information put forth should verifiable elsewhere. Shouldn't they? We should not be expected to find search out the bio of an author to determine the veracity of an article. Freekee 04:19, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
First of all, calling another editor a coward is clearly a violation of Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Simply ignore it and try to focus on the substance of the debate itself - not the people in the debate. (My general rule of thumb is to always address the issue rasied and not the person who raised it). Secondly, all personal information that is volunteered is unverifiable, and therefore mostly irrelevant. If I said I was actually an alien who had hacked into NASA's deep space network and was using that to contribute to wikipedia, would you have a way to disprove me? :-) --Bachrach44 16:33, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Making Wikipedia into a reliable source

A published supplement to Wikipedia - a policy suggestion

Whilst Wikipedia articles are being written they are actually "manuscripts". An encyclopedia that is a manuscript is a rather dubious source. I would like to propose the following policy for publishing these manuscripts:

1. That articles are "published" after a review.

These would be articles that a final editorial board has read, reviewed and checked.
The editorial board for each article would be composed of those contributors who make themselves available for the board plus a subject area chairman who is also an administrator to mediate and arbitrate.
All contributors to the article would be informed a month before it is intended to publish an article.
Published articles would contain links to a manuscript section where people can contribute.
It would not be possible to edit published articles.

2. The existing editing framework is used for manuscript development.

3. Published articles would be updated at a maximum rate of monthly but preferrably no more than twice a year. If the edition frequency is kept low the articles will be more stable and become more highly rated as reference sources. It would also limit the work load on the final editorial board. Each update would be given an "edition" number that can be used as a reference in other publications and the world at large. These controls might raise the status of the articles and make them into reliable sources for academic work.

4. The main page of Wikipedia links most prominently to published articles and Wikipedia search goes to published articles.

5. Initially all existing articles are published without warning (to prevent ferocious edit disputes!).

6. It would be reasonable for a small number of articles such as current news to be editable even though published. Perhaps an "editable" section of the published text could be used.

7. So that users know whether search results in google etc. are for manuscipt or published articles the manuscripts should be marked "Manuscript: draft not yet authorised for publication".

loxley 12:01, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Not a new idea. Look at Wikipedia:Stable versions. Tupsharru 15:36, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't realise this was "in process". I will move over there for further discussion. loxley 19:01, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I submit that this concept is perhaps based on a flawed assumption? Based on a random sample of complete-looking articles, Nature places wikipedia and britannica in the same ballpark re: article quality. (though britannica currently does have a slight lead) Kim Bruning 12:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Nature only looked at articles in the natural sciences. In humanities and social sciences, the standard of Wikipedia is often far from acceptable (with some notable exceptions, where we have particularly competent and dedicated writers). Tupsharru 15:36, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia's science, maths and IT articles are for the most part... superb (exceptions arise when the topics are referenced in popular culture but that's somewhat rare). As indicated above, WP falls on its knees in the social sciences, especially biographies and popular history topics. The problem is severe and likely won't go away without some form of internal peer review and a tightening of academic standards. I'd go so far as to suggest that articles in the social sciences/cultural domain should be vetted differently within Wikipedia. Wyss 16:45, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
There is another problem that I also had in mind as well as article quality. If Wikipedia is to be quoted by other publications there is a requirement for the quoted text to be stable. Article quality would also be improved with periodic releases. I would stress that I do not consider Wikipedia to be inferior, the proposal is to make it very superior. It would also stop tiresome edit wars because the editors would have to agree for publication. loxley 12:20, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Weeeeellll...I'm not sure that it would stop tiresome edit wars so neatly; it would just ensure that those wars were particularly violent before the 'final' version was released. (Or continuous warfare might just prevent the release of some articles.)
With respect to quotation of Wikipedia, there's no need for our text to be fixed for us to be quotable. Standard practice in citing a web source is to include the date the web page was accessed; the article content from that date is available in the article history for verification. Alternatively, using the permanent link link from the navigator bar on the left side of the page gives a link directly to a static version of the page; quoting a passage from that link will always work.
For that matter, I'm not sure who would be quoting passages from Wikipedia in the first place. Any academic writer past grade school should be quoting primary sources where appropriate and using a general-purpose encyclopedia for background information only. The newsmedia will muck up quotations anyway and have always played somewhat fast and loose with citation. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 12:51, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
What I am suggesting is that the chairman of the final editorial board would have the casting vote before publication so that edit wars would indeed end.
What you suggest about citation looks very different to the naive reader - most of these would probably have no idea how to access the history of an article to get to a version at a particular date. A handful of "editions" is much easier to handle than a chaotic history.
The real difference from what we have at present is that every article will have been reviewed and have relative stability. The biggest advantages are higher quality, focussing the attention of the editors on delivering a good product, and a clear reference that can be cited. It would make contributors focus on the idea of an encyclopedia for actual readers. It would turn something good into something excellent.
If the editorial board is the contributors there will have been no change in the freedom allowed. loxley 13:06, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I think I wasn't clear myself that what I am suggesting is a published supplement to Wikipedia, not a replacement. The manuscript version would still be online and accessible. I have changed the subheading of this suggestion to make this clear. loxley 13:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

In fact this suggestion could be implemented by simply marking the approved version of the article with something like a "__NOEDIT__" tag and allowing search engines access to that particular article as well as more recent manuscript copies. Manuscript copies could always contain the text DRAFT - SEE PUBLISHED VERSION on the first line with a link to the last published version. Published copies would contain the link EDIT THIS ARTICLE on the first line with a link back to the manuscript.

The suggestion would end edit disputes because the admin chairperson would hold the casting vote for what is to be included in the published version (they would arbitrate and mediate). This suggestion would also solve the problem of vandalism and the problem of anonymous IP's.loxley 15:20, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

  • My $0.02: this sounds a bit like how Wikipedia started out, when they managed to publish 24 articles in 3½ years. Seriously, I think this is too restrictive; I think that if people have to wait 6 months, or even 1 month, to see their contribution made publically available, they just won't bother.
    • The idea that monthly updates will make articles "more highly rated as reference sources" doesn't work for me; there are many articles on Wikipedia today which are crap, but which will be much better this time next week — or even this time tomorrow. The proposal would slow that process of improvement down considerably.
    • Edition numbers are a nice idea, but would in practice change fast enough to be useless. Can you imagine everyone on the net checking their Wikipedia references one a month to see if there's a better edition available? And if they don't, then people will follow links into Wikipedia only to find obsolete versions of articles — what will that do to our rating? — Johan the Ghost seance 12:42, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
You made some interesting points, I'll answer these in turn:
Nupedia used academics. Wikipedia gets its huge input from the public at large. Contributors would still be able to see their input immediately but it would be flagged as a manuscript - which is what it is.
Periodic updates would focus the attention of editors on the process of publishing for outside readers.
Edition numbers on each article would only change as often as the article is published. Once every six months or so would be best.
I think I wasn't clear myself that what I am suggesting is a published supplement to Wikipedia, not a replacement. The manuscript version would still be online and accessible. I have changed the subheading of this suggestion to make this clear - thanks. loxley 13:42, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
So like a "stable version" and a "bleeding-edge version". It's an interesting idea, and I agree that what you're proposing isn't as stifling as Nupedia, but I still have my doubts over whether the "stable version" would actually be better. Most of the changes to the manuscript are either improvements, or get reverted pretty darned quick. And we have the "featured article" process, which I think achieves a lot of what you're after, except that the featured articles have all been approved as being up to a specific standard — it's true, though, that they represent a small subset of the whole work, whereas your proposed published version would be complete. True there's no edit blocking on FAs, but they're basically all monitored, and any detrimental changes should be reverted quick, whereas improvements are widely available at once. So, my personal opinion is that we'd gain more with anti-vandalism measures than this. — Johan the Ghost seance 14:58, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
In fact the suggestion could be implemented by simply marking the approved version of the article with something like a "__NOEDIT__" tag and allowing search engines access to that particular article as well as more recent manuscript copies. Manuscript copies could always contain the text DRAFT - SEE PUBLISHED VERSION on the first line with a link to the last published version. Published copies would contain the link EDIT THIS ARTICLE on the first line with a link back to the manuscript.
The object of the exercise would be for the article's contributors and one admin person to drive each article towards a readable, checked copy every 6 months or year. The admin chairperson would hold the casting vote in edit disputes and so prevent a lot of the faffing around in Wikipedia. The process might be requested by any contributor and scheduled by the chairperson for a given 2 week period. The chairperson would judge how frequently publishing should occur. Each published version would have an edition number and previous editions could be accessed through a "previous editions" tab in place of a history tab when viewing the published version.
I agree that we also need some anti-vandalism measures. However, this would actually be a foolproof anti-vandalism measure as well as a solution to the problem of anonymous IP's. loxley 15:33, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
It would be an excellent anti-vandalism measure in terms of the perceived quality of Wikipedia, from the point of view of people looking at the published version; but it wouldn't address one of the main problems of vandalism, which is the amount of work people have to put in to monitoring and reverting it (because it would still be happening in the manuscript). — Johan the Ghost seance 16:43, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's try to keep discussion of this idea at Wikipedia talk:Stable versions, where several contributors have spent many weeks settling on a suitable process. The argument for the idea is not that the freely editable version can never be high quality, but that it cannot be guaranteed to have high quality at any instant due both to brief vandalism and evolving/incomplete content. Any such version would be purely supplementary and on equal footing with the editable version. Deco 19:18, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Admin accountability poll

This is a gauge of community opinion on admin accountability, RFA, power abuse, and deopping. Not a policy proposal. Opinions welcome. Radiant_>|< 18:28, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Please note that additional questions have been added to this straw poll, if you went and visited it early. -- nae'blis (talk) 23:26, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Sports teams that have moved with multiple articles

Recently I have come across a number of sports teams articles. A number of teams have changed cities over the years, with some having separate articles per city and others having each city in the same article. Some like the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants (baseball) just redirect to the modern day team name Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, etc. Others like the Minnesota North Stars, Montreal Expos and Hartford Whalers have their own article with a mention of the new team name in the lead. Furthermore, the Anaheim Angels article mentions the current naming dispute and then has an link to the real team article (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). There are many more example too, that fit in either of the first two examples. Has a consensus been reached? In many of these articles, there is at least some discussion, and often heavy debate about if the articles being merged together or not. If there hasn't been a consensus, maybe it is time to set up a guideline so people have an idea on how this should be handled. I have my own beliefs as to which format I'd like to see it in, but more importantly, I'd like to see a uniform standard with regards to multiple sports page articles for the same team. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 00:41, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

And Decatur Staleys redirects to Chicago Bears... -- DS1953 talk 19:14, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Its not just sport teams, it also affects US broadcast articles and many other establishments. I think that both options are correct in certain cases. Many editors have wanted to merge America West Airlines out of existence since the corporate merger was announced. The fact that the airline will continue flying into 2007 does not seem to matter. Vegaswikian 18:50, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I do think sports teams are a little different than corporate mergers, since in the former case they carry with them the history and usually the team name (except for the city delimiter). In corporate mergers, the sense of the old company is often gone entirely. With the conversion of Marshall Field's into Macy's by Federated Department Stores, it would seem almost silly to redirect someone looking for information on Marshall Field's to an article on Macy's. Once the name is gone from a going business, someone looking for Marshall Field's is clearly looking for information on Field's, not Macy's. That is probably less true in sports teams where it is a continuous history of one organization rather than an amalgamation of separate histories lost in a larger entity. -- DS1953 talk 19:14, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that is exactly the problem I have with this. The teams usually are still owned by the same person, have all of the same players and quite often keep the same team mascott, the only change being the city they play in. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 22:07, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
A general discussion like that was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the link! I guess this issue is closed (for now, I am sure it will come up again sometime in the future). --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 03:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Removing red links

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this: I occasionally come across red links which are removed without apparent reason (as in [11] - just the latest example, not trying to single out this particular editor). Is there a policy for this, or is it just that people don't like red? I was under the impression that red links are one of the strengths of Wikipedia, and occasioanlly added them (usually with the summary: "term needs definition" or so). Common Man 16:41, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I've encountered this problem too (e.g. [12]—also not singling out anyone, just the first one that came to mind). There's no firm policy on this; generally what to link and what not to link are left to editorial discretion, and generally that works pretty well—but sometimes, yes, people make mistakes and delink relevant topics. I try to remove red links to obviously inappropriate titles that will never be articles; otherwise I leave them alone.
Nice example - it shows which treasures can be hidden behind a red link. Common Man 17:27, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Build the web, Wikipedia:Make only links relevant to the context, and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links) provide some guidance. —Charles P.  (Mirv) 17:00, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Red links that point to an article which should be in Wikipedia should always stay. In other words, if a link would be relevant to the context if an article existed AND it is reasonably likely that an article will exist at some point, the link should stay. I would give as as example all of the red links at the article on Lou Henson. The red links are primarily to NBA players, each of whom is likely to have an article at some point. Those red links should not be removed. -- DS1953 talk 17:20, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you for your replies. So, why do people remove them? All I could find in the policy is "An article may be considered overlinked if ... more than 10% of the links are to articles that don't exist" (which would apply to the Lou Henson article, BTW). Common Man 17:27, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't mind redlinks so much in lists, but they can be somewhat distracting in an article. I usually don't make redlinks in articles unless two things are true and almost everyone would agree that they are true. First, that we should definitely have an article on the subject (something covered in other encyclopedias would be a good example). Second, that the article is likely be written relatively soon (within a year or so). Some articles would be almost entirely redlinks if only the first rule were followed. I also consider whether someone is likely to make a new article on it because of a redlink. I'd say that's probably more likely on a list or in a popular article. Also, if many redlinks meet the criteria, I would only keep only the most notable ones. This is for redlinks I make. I don't like to remove redlinks that other people make, but I will do it if it is very unlikely that we'll ever have an article on the subject or if the article is full of redlinks. (I wrote this before your reply) -- Kjkolb 17:38, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Interesting. So you have a much stricter criterion. Why? Common Man 17:45, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Personal preference, I guess. I just find them somewhat ugly, especially in large numbers, so I try to use them only when there is a benefit. Also, as I said, I'm not as strict when it comes to removing links that others have made. -- Kjkolb 19:15, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Since no real "remover" has spoke up yet, I'll have to keep asking you - sorry. At least you seem to agree with their criterion for what's desirable. So why do you find them ugly? Because you dislike the color red, or because you dislike unfinished things? Common Man 19:31, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Red text really jumps out when it is on a page with a white background, black text and some blue text. I think it's more noticeable than bold. I think it makes the text harder to read because it is so effective at getting your attention. So, the color of the links is probably the biggest factor for me. I would not want terms that have articles to show up red instead of blue, either.
If I were to change the color, I'd make them appear the same color that external links now have. External links could be changed to a different color (not red, maybe light to medium green), or left the same since there is an arrow on external links to differentiate them. However, I would still want to limit the "red" links to just what is necessary because it's also harder to read when just about every word is linked. Maybe I just have sensitive eyes. -- Kjkolb 19:59, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, that can be helped! Go to, click on Misc and uncheck "Format broken links like this" Common Man 20:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I think a difficult issue for redlinks is the ambiguous names. Often what happens is somebody makes a link to something very generic. Then, somebody comes along and makes a new article, with the same name, but for an unrelated topic, and doesn't check the backlinks, creating a false association. Many people blindly make slews of redlinks for lists of names. For instance, they'll link every credited name in a movie. So, somebody makes a bio for another actor with the same name, and it doesn't occur to anybody it was a mistake. Often, people will try to avoid this problem by "pre-disambiguating" the name, so they'll say Some Person (actor), but even that fails, because other redlinks will exist, for the same person, but with different qualifiers used in the name (maybe Some Person (American) is the same as Some Person (actor)). It all creates quite a mess. I recently saw where somebody qualified an article title with "CFL", not considering that two people with the same name played in the CFL. So, I'm somewhat negative on many redlinks. The mere fact an aricle is warranted for a topic, is not by itself grounds for a redlink. But, if an aritcle is warranted, and the article name is predictable, then a redlink may be called for.

As to why people remove them. I can't speak for others, but sometimes if I find an article had a serious problem of incorrect association caused be excessive blind linking in the past, and I see there are still a slew of extra redlinks, that will cause the same problem in the future, I might just remove those redlinks, as a preventative measure. --Rob 17:47, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I see the problems you're describing, but I disagree with your conclusion that they are a reason to avoid red links. Yes, "it all creates quite a mess" - but this is exactly the sort of mess an encyclopedia is supposed to resolve! If we dodge this problem then we're failing at the heart of our mission!
Oh, BTW, if I were to put my criterion as concisely as Kjkolb it would be like this:
Terms deserve red links if:
  1. they are relevant within an article and
  2. their meaning is not obvious
This is independent of the decision if a term merits an article or not because that decision is better left to the people who know the term. If they decide to replace the link with a short definition then I'm perfectly happy. Common Man 18:13, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Forgot to add: I usually only add red links when I don't know a term. If I do know a term then I'll make sure that it's at least briefly described somewhere and link there instead. (E.g. in the example of the two people with the same name who played in the CFL I'd create a stub that clarified this ambiguity. Unfortunately, this may clash with the perception that there are already too many stubs on WP.) Common Man 18:17, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it boils down to idealism versus pragmatism. Ideally all red links will one day have an article, but pragmatically to create a useable encylopedia today red links should be limited to a small number per page, in my opinion. Andycjp Jan 24 (The most depressing day of the year, according to a UK psychologist) 2006

Strange bibliography

Can someone have a look in Foiba? There is a strange bibliography. Is it correct to analyze the political membership or the ideology of an author (particularly if these are supposed)? In Italy and for italian people this is ILLEGAL! in Italy there is a law about the privacy that specify who anybody can declare the ideology or the political membership if this is supposed. I would let you this information before my modification to restore a normal bibliography. --Ilario 13:31, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

It was me that wrote that bybliography that way, after seeing many neo-fascist publications intermingled with other historical research. Some authors can be traced to extreme-right environments, which have been very vocal in the issue, and are therefore likely to be biased. I wanted that to be clear to a reader, without censoring any reference. It is furthermore patently false that there is any law in Italy (nor relevant since the servers are in the US, to my best knowledge) that prohibits to evaluate the political stance of the authors of references; even if it were a privacy breach (which it is not), a link is provided for each allegation to the material I based my conclusions on: according to Italian law, only the first "squealer" is punishable. --Orzetto 16:01, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
This does not seem to be standard practice on Wiki, and I would suggest that labelling authors as having a particular POV is NPOV. The better route is to include a separate element within the body of the text evaluating the source material in a way that meets the NPOV standard. Balanced critique is fine but this looks like an editor who simply has a problem with the politics of those authors. David91 07:18, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
(Sorry for indenting on your behalf ;-) The theme of "Foibe" has been a very hot topic in Italy for the extreme right. This produced a lot of propaganda material, and my effort was to "sort out" what was propaganda from the rest. I would like to stress that I did not label as "filo-fascist" all those books that are more denouncing of the Foibe, such as Sgorlon's or Bartoli's, but only those that could immediately be traced to the extreme right (such as Settimo Sigillo publishing, authors engaged in hardline fascist political parties, or with a war-crime record in those areas).
Personally I think I have seen a number of reference sections structured as "Sources in favor of X", "Sources biased against Y" and so on. If I understand you correctly, you would prefer not to place these sources in a "ghetto", and maintain a short critique beside the reference. Like:
The truth about Mickey Mouse, by Donald Duck. Donald Duck is considered to bear a significant grudge to Mickey Mouse, and his paper may be biased. He presented no references for his claims. His main argument is that M. Mouse may bring back the Bubonic plague.
(I would also add links to back up the claims in the critique, of course).
Re-reading your entry I think I misunderstood—You would prefer a section on "source credibility" or "POV of available sources"? Anyway, if you feel like editing the article in a way you think would be better to maintain users informed on what they read and the article NPOV, you are very welcome. --Orzetto 18:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
My question is simple... If a book is POV it MUST BE CANCELLED. If I mark a book with my PERSONAL OPINION I AM MORE POV THAN BOOK. Ask to my question with a simple answer. --Ilario 21:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
If a book is POV it should not be removed, or someone will come later on and add it back again, passing it (possibly in perfectly good faith) that it is NPOV. Removing information, any information, is bad practice. Wikipedia is supposed to be NPOV, not its sources. If the sources are (very likely to be) biased, this should be noted. Wikipedia's criterion is verifiability, not truth.
I would also note that Ilario has been widely abusing of his administrator status on the Italian Wikipedia at the same article, where he has blocked the article for two weeks with the pretext of "vandalism" or "edit wars" that never were there, and has acted effectively as a censor. In stark contrast, he has done almost nothing on the English one (except for placing a POVcheck tag), where he is not an administrator. --Orzetto 21:18, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

copyright and other encyclopedias

Would it be considered a copyright violation to create lists of all the articles that exist in a given encyclopedia which are not present on Wikipedia? Specifically, I'd like to start making a list of missing scientists using the Dictionary of Scientific Biography, but I'm not sure if the selection of included scientists itself (which certainly took a lot of effort and consideration) is covered under the copyright of that work.--ragesoss 20:48, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Ask at WP:MEA who have been doing similar things with other encyclopaedias. I think the general consensus was that if you mess abut with it, possibly combining it with another list or something then it's probably ok. --Cherry blossom tree 22:08, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
The answer to your question is yes, the selection of such items does fall under their copyright. Hence, creating a list of scientists from compilation X that are not in Wikipedia is generally a copyright violation. Such lists have been created and deleted in the past. However, there is no reason you can't create a list of missing scientists. To do so legally you should draw on multiple sources and preferably not include all the entries from any one source. As Cherry blossom tree says, WP:MEA is the place for work like this. Dragons flight 22:25, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Wrong submissions

I noticed at the page listed "List of Saturday Night Live hosts and musical guests", that people keep on adding wrong info to the list. Many are based on rumors and probably personal wants, and are doubtful to be true. What should I do?

-- 20:43, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Simple, remove the names if you confirm they don't belong. If you're unsure of a name belonging, say something first on Talk:List of Saturday Night Live hosts and musical guests. Also, be sure to mention the source used to verify names in the article (I assume imdb would work ok). The obligation is on those adding the name to verify it. Unverified info should be removed, and you're welcome to do so, if that's the case (once confident it can't be verified). --Rob 21:00, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for descriptions of magic methods

A lot of heated arguments seem to turn up when magic methods are described, and it seems that it seldom is resolved in a good way. Why not rely on the industry standard so those conflicts can be avoided? I've put together a proposal here: Policy for magic methods --TStone 17:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

RFC Enforcement

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Enforcement is a proposal for simple injunctions against lesser disruptions, that do not reach the level of the ArbCom. Please take a look and comment on the talk page. Radiant_>|< 13:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

m:9/11 wiki move proposal

Feel free to vote there --Cool CatTalk|@ 13:26, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Open proxy policy

Wikipedia appears to have a policy of blocking edits from open proxies; see, for example, {{Template:openproxy}}. However, is that policy officially documented anywhere? I couldn't find any official "no open proxies" rule in the Wikipedia namespace; perhaps someone could write one? --EngineerScotty 18:26, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


Hi there. The AFD/DRV debate about Aetherometry inspired me to try and hack together some proposed guidelines about the inclusion of articles about fringe theories in Wikipedia. At the moment the page is at WP:FRINGE for lack of a better name. Suggestions are desired, I have no stake in this one way or the other, but want to come up with some sensible metrics for deciding how notability should be decided in these instances. --Fastfission 17:58, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

We already have Category:Pseudoscience. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:53, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Why can't we be like the other Wikipedias?

I've always been rather skeptical about the article creation restrictions (especially the ones that actually apply to registered users that have been registered under X days), but having recently realized that the English Wikipedia is the only one with these rather controversial restrictions, I'm starting to question whether it would be a good idea to remove these restrictions.

The strangest thing for me, is that the restrictions on creating new articles were actually introduces after someone vandalized an existing article. I'm sorry, but this makes no sense to me at all, especially since creating an account actually makes it harder to trace a vandal than if they simply use their IP address.

Please can someone reconsider this policy, I'm sure many would appreciate it. -- 22:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

There is considerable opposition to this policy, but Jimbo is our benevolent dictator, and if he wants to try a disruptive experiment, well, he can. I'm sure the statistics will in the end demonstrate its ineffectiveness. (someone is measuring this stuff, right?) Deco 23:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I was given the impression by another post on this topic that this restriction was just imposed by some sysop. As far as I was concerned it doesn't even have a page, so I've always wondered if this could really be called policy. -- 23:46, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Jimbo is our benevolent dictator and this was enacted directly at his behest. Plenty of internet news media covered that. Wikipedia:Signpost from the appropriate week might be your best bet to get info on it. - Taxman Talk 23:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I think deep down we all know this is just another step in the direction of eliminating anonymous editing, all we need is another high profile vandalism which causes Jimbo to have another change of heart. Martin 23:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Or we can just jump ahead to the ultimate fate: all users will be be forced to apply for editing privileges, subject to background checks. Sarge Baldy 16:42, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Try doing new pages patrol at 1AM UTC without the restriction on. There are so many new pages that it gets impossible to check existing articles for vandalism. [[Sam Korn]] 23:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I've done exactly that on multiple occasions, and about 50% of new articles were vandalism (which I deleted) while the others were not. Deco 00:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
We are losing 50% valid new articles (by anons) due to the restriction? Kim Bruning 02:11, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Somewhat less - some of them create accounts and then create articles. I have no idea how to estimate this, but I consider it a net loss. Deco 02:56, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
No, nothing near that. I'd say 30% were valid topics, but half of those were of such poor quality that there was nothing (repeat, nothing) salvageable. [[Sam Korn]] 13:40, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Can we make a faq about this to avoid discussing this every other week? The rationale was to try and reduce the nonsense article creations, so RC patrollers would have more time on their hands to spot and revert vandalism to existing articles, so yes, there is a connection. This is about manhours wasted by good editors forced to revert crap rather than editing themselves. Difficult to estimate a net loss, or net gain here, but if you're an anon and find an article that needs creating, and you walk away because you can't be bothered to spend 30 seconds registring, it is highly unlikely that your contribution would have been worthwile in the first place. dab () 13:52, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, that's fine, but can you make it like that for the other Wikipedias, too? If it's a policy, it should be applied universally. -- 16:06, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Why? Each project has different needs. The English Wikipedia attracts far more vandalism than the others and so this policy is (arguably) needed here whereas on other smaller Wikipedias it wouldn't be necessary. --Cherry blossom tree 16:19, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
There are huge differences betweneen en wikipedia and the others. For exapmple in en wikipedia you have 500 changes in 9 minutes (checked 1pm UTC) while czech wikipedia (with 25000 articles) only has 500 changes in 4 hours and 40 minutes. You need different rules.--Jan Smolik 12:51, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


Multiposted material removed. See Commons:Village_pump#ALLOW_COPYRIGHTED_IMAGES.21.21.

Wrong Submissions, continued

I deleted the unconfirmed info earlier, but it was replaced. What should I do? -- 06:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea what you're talking about, but I assume it's some kind of content verifiability dispute in some article. Delete it again, encouraging the person to discuss it on the talk page. Seek a consensus. If they won't discuss it, the three-revert rule will eventually stop them (or if it doesn't, intervention by the people who enforce that rule or page protection or something). Deco 06:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Supreme Court of Wikipedia

self-exclamatory. So what do you think? WikieZach 00:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it's not self-exclamatory. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 01:13, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Seris of nine judges nominated by Jimbo, passed by the people, are a higher Mediation Board. Arb Com. is being overworked, we need to releve pressure by having an extra place of last resort. Wikipedia: Supreme Court of Wikipedia WikieZach 04:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
What would this do that the ArbCom doesn't already do? --Carnildo 05:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Give an additional place for the wikilawyering people who already lost an arbcom decision to try to drag things out to prevent sanctions againt them... i.e. a bad idea. DreamGuy 11:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with DreamGuy - bad idea. Wikipedia is not a judiciary. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:45, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I haven't heard it exclaim anything, self or otherwise. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I dunno, I heard it squeak a little bit in embarassment. BTW, Anyone know more about that new image on the talk page? Seems to be from some Turkish website, the uploader gave it an obsolete PD tag but how does one verify it's really PD? ++Lar: t/c 22:34, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I think all Wikilaywers should send their overly verbose appeals to the ever-patient listener, /dev/null. Radiant_>|< 23:47, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Providing basic background information about living people: maintenance problem

I have a question whether it is wise to provide basic background information when e.g. attributing an opinions to living persons. The problem is that this basic background information can become obsolete quickly. For example a person may be a professor in a university X as of 2006 and the next year s/he is retired. See e.g my edit here [13] So providing basic background information may lead a maintenance problem in Wikipedia. Any comments? Andries 13:55, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

A good convention is to avoid time-sensitive language. For example, we might say "John Doe is best known for his work as a professor at the University of Maryland", or referring to the "2000 census population" rather than simply "the population". A common tactic you'll see is to use "As of XXXX", as in "As of 2006, John Doe is a professor at the University of Maryland". Deco 20:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Warning boxes are getting out of hand

Recently, we're seeing more and more "warning boxes" on articles telling us that an article is biased, incomplete, needs cleanup, doesn't cite references and other things like that. Unlike the "stub" template in the old days, which came at the bottom of the page and was relatively unobtrusive, these new templates are flashy, colorful, and the reader cannot miss them. Is this really wise?

Just as an example, take a look at Joss Stone, a "Random Article" I just came across. For three months now, everyone that comes to this article gets a "this article does not cite its references or sources" message right in the face. Why? How is this article different from the 90% of the Wikipedia articles which don't cite sources, or from other encyclopedias which don't cite sources? Are some of the facts listed on this page accused of being false? which facts? why? This big-shiny warning sign doesn't explain any of this to the reader; The talk page doesn't explain which citations are missing. Any reader getting to this article will seriously doubt all its content, even if just a single fact is questionable. And for three months, people have been editing that page but nobody dared remove that sign, in case it's there for an important reason (which again, nobody knows).

And this is unfortunately not a single example. I see this situation more and more. People going to articles which are not worse than the average wikipedia article, and sticking a "cleanup" tag on them, which often causes people to avoid reading and editing this "unclean" page, instead of what this tag intented them to do (and again, hardly anyone dares remove those tags). People come to a page on a controversial issue of figure that has been running find for a few years (with various arguments cropping now and again on the talk page) - and stick a "NPOV" tag on that page, when in fact nothing has changed. And again, people are afraid to remove those tags, in fear of being blaimed of hiding controversy instead of fixing them. So important articles get that big shiny colorful warning message on top of them, basically telling all readers "don't trust the crap written here. Wikipedia is crap - go find a better encyclopedia". I don't understand why we're insisting to send this message to our readers.

I think that the vast majority of these warning messages should appear on the talk page, if anywhere, not on the article. They *should* be followed by rationale and discussion. If messages appear on the articles, they should be like those stub messages: small, unobtrusive and at the bottom of articles.

Nyh 23:18, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

My personal rule of thumb is that any "good" article (e.g. Joss Stone) should not have any of these kind of templates for the reasons you give, any concerns should be made on the talk page. However "bad" articles (e.g. pretty much every article in Category:Articles that need to be wikified) should definately be tagged for 2 extremely important reasons; (1) So visitors to Wikipedia don't think they are the accepted standard (2) The articles can then be very easily found and improved to the state of a "good" article. Martin 23:29, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
There simply aren't enough people going to these articles and fixing them. And even fewer people who give articles the loving attention they need to grow. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 00:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that there aren't enough people fixing them, but at least they eventually get fixed/expanded/deleted, if they are not tagged they just float around forever never being improved (after a recent datadump trawl I identifed 1000s of articles that were months old and ranged from simply terrible to speedy deletes to copyvios). Martin 00:31, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Do people actually rewrite articles because they've seen them on lists?Freekee 04:13, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes! admittedly I havent much recently, but I used to work through the wikify category and deadend pages all the time. Martin 09:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
People going to articles which are not worse than the average wikipedia article, and sticking a "cleanup" tag on them This isn't an argument to stop using tags, it's an argument that the average Wikipedia article needs to be cleaned up. Instead of complaining about the tag, fix the page. If you don't want to fix the page, stop whining about it. DreamGuy 03:33, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
You completely missed my argument. First of all, I am fixing pages all the time, but I don't need a big shiny message box on the top to tell me that a page sucks, I can see it for myself. Secondly, much of the time, it isn't at all clear why this tag is there, and after which fix am I "supposed" or "allowed" to remove it (after I correct one false fact, did I get rid of the dispute or not? How should I know that if the person who put the tag didn't bother to explain is action? After what amount of editing can I call the article "clean"? and so on). Lastly, tags and categories are indeed great for having a way to find pages to work on, and I gave a good example: the stub categories. But, I don't see why these messages need to be so obtrusive - large, colorful and on the top of pages, or why they can't be moved to the talk page (which perspective editors will view anyway). Nyh 08:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I get an article off the cleanup list on a regular basis. Comanche was one. Golden Earring was one. Neither is FA material, but neither is embarrasing (and they were.) I did neither by myself - others helped, usually because they saw the article on cleanup also. I am currently trying hard to motivate myself to do Guiding Light - feel free to come help, there is a sandbox. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:48, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Another example I ran across by random: Development stage is a relatively good article. Someone wrote a very short and unnecessary article Release to manufacturing, and it has been suggested (3 weeks ago) to merge them both. This is all great, but my complaint is: why is the merge suggestion so prominent on the top of the good Development stage article? Wouldn't it have been enough to have a small notice on the bottom of the page? Wouldn't it have been even better if the notice was on the talk page? In fact, the notice already links to the talk page, but as you'll notice the talk page doesn't mention this merge suggestion at all. Unfortunately, again, this is not an isolated example. I see these messages abused all the time. Nyh 09:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with you, Nyh. I find it irritating that people will slap cleanup notices on any half-decent article, and then not even raise their concerns on the Talk page. You'd think the least they could do would be explain what they saw the problems as, if they couldn't fix it themselves. I find the solution is... be bold and remove the cleanup notice, inviting anyone who still has a problem to explain on the Talk page. It nearly never happens. pfctdayelise 03:00, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

In the case of tags without further comment, the right thing to do is either: fix the problem; provide a comment explaining the problem; or remove the tag. Unless the tag itself says something you don't understand, if there is no further comment, and you can't see the problem - remove the tag. That's the right thing to do, don't be embarassed! If there is further comment, follow the same procedure - except read and try to understand the text, as well as the text in the tag, as above. If someone wants to put this into a policy page somewhere, please do. JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

And actually, this VP topic is encouraging me to go through one of the cleanup cats, and fix some stuff - so there... ;-) JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:34, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


The use of this within articles and templates needs to be carefully done. It (not unreasonably) appears to convert whatever it is within into a "Table of contents". However, since it is possible in 'user preferences' to turn off tables of content, it means whatever is flagged this way gets turned off. Therefore this tag must never be used on anything that is the body text of an article, only on things which genuinely are content tables. I have recently come across and had to remove id=toc from Lists of people by name (one of the sub headers) otherwise I got comepletely empty pages and from the Wheel of Time book sereis where the list of books went missing. -- SGBailey 07:52, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Good point. Perhaps we should periodically search the dump for such misuses. Deco 08:43, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I originally introduced this misuse and very quickly regretted it, but then it started to proliferate because everyone was copying it from my templates, and then from their templates, etc. I'm sorry about that. — Please use class=toccolours instead. — Timwi 13:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Ignore all rules

WP:IAR has turned into a long policy gob for reasons that I only partially understand. The main issues are:

  • IAR is an awful title for the concept it expresses, and it should have been changed long ago.
  • There is claimed to be an "IAR cult" which religiously believes that rules are made to be broken. More generally, there definitely are people who misuse IAR because of what it appears to state.
  • The current IAR page is mainly explaining that you cannot, in fact, ignore all rules.
  • IAR is very important to Wikipedia and does not deserve to be in its current state (IMHO).

I proposed a general solution on the talk page:

  1. Rewrite IAR, as shown here: Wikipedia:Ignore all rules/temp
  2. For the user guideline (stated in the Five Pillars, essentially the heart of IAR), link to Wikipedia:Wikipedia has too many rules which I have written.
  3. For the policy statement (intended to defuse the IAR cult) move the current page to Wikipedia:Product over process.

The talk page is generally a mess. I haven't gained consensus for this just by attracting the passersby, so please comment either here or there. Ashibaka tock 01:32, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Ignore all rules can be very subtle to employ. I'm not sure about your changes. It might make it hard to employ ignore all rules correctly when it's actually needed. (which unfortunately still all too often. :-/ ). In fact, that's a common problem when trying to write guidelines upfront, instead of letting them work themselves out naturally. Hmmm. Kim Bruning 02:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

As a general rule if you are in a situtation where you are worried about exact wording of IARs you should not be ignoreing rules.Geni 02:14, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
The current page (which discusses when breaking rules is acceptable) would be preserved, except it would be moved to a new name, where it might even evolve into an official policy instead of an "important page" since it won't have to talk about literally ignoring all rules anymore. That would be nice, eh? Ashibaka tock 02:21, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, and the risks are far outweighed by the short-term benefits: let's fill in the cracks as the need arises. We can move the existing policy to Wikipedia:Jurisprudence constante --- Charles Stewart 02:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

If nobody else has anything to say I would like to ask an admin to make the two moves described above... Ashibaka tock Save our rectangular corners! 02:13, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I definitely think a clarification has been needed for a long time. This is a step in the right direction, in my opinion. Superm401 | Talk 03:19, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
  • IAR has turned into an excuse for admins to ignore consensus and skip out on process. They are speedily deleting first and then listing on DRV later claiming IAR. This needs to stop now.--God of War 02:48, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree that IAR means don't let rules stand in the way of (what you perceive to be) the "right thing". I like the version in Wikipedia:Ignore all rules/temp because it seems to be the flip-side of Don't Bite the Newcomer. This version is essentially a committment to newcomers that they won't be bitten, (alas not always true) but does not give those who know better license to do as they please. --BostonMA 03:41, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I see Ignore All Rules as just our defense from feeling like drones in a bureaucracy. I hardly see it meant as absolving the responsibility of editors, and frankly quite often common sense is a better guide than policy. This project would become intolerable for me if all rules were strictly enforced at all times. Sarge Baldy 16:52, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I tend to read worthy thoughts into all these comments, however, I think the ignore all rules mantra was useful in the past but is now an impedement to scholarly standards. I think the rules should be well-written enough to be followed by everyone. Wikipedia's leadership and community now has years of experience and I think its time to start putting that to meed. Wyss 16:57, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

We got this far using Ignore All Rules as one of our basic stratagems, which got us to our current scholarly standards; but now suddenly abandoning it is what will improve our scholarly standards because... ?
One of the key reasons Ignore all rules has always been there so that scholars can just write what the fsck they know about a subject without getting harrassed by angsty rule-seeking teenagers (to name a group). :-)
The other reason we have ignore all rules is becuase the wiki seems to change almost from day to day. It's very hard to keep track of the ruleset-du-jour.
A final reason for having ignore all rules is because wikipedia is growing and changing day to day, and we need to deal with outside-context-ish problems Kim Bruning 17:44, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Again, all these points have their strengths and I totally heed your vast experience. However, while Wikipedia's scholarship in the sciences, maths and IT is high and more than helpful, its scholarship in the social sciences can be dismal (or at least very uneven, to a level which harms scholarly thought in the world). I mean, ignore all rules does seem to work in some areas but not in others. So I still have an opinion that if the rules were written in a certain, scalable way, there would be little need to break them and plenty of protection from the teenaged mob. Wyss 18:09, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I think to some extent if people are contributing globs of information, it doesn't ultimately matter whether, for example, it pushes the article into a POV (such as by focusing on a specific aspect and pushing the balance), because once the information is available it can be sorted out more properly by other editors. To take an eventualist standpoint, the rules are only partially necessary because the project is self-correcting. I contribute to social science articles and I can understand the criticism of the policy in relation to it (although I think it's more an issue of a lack of compotent editors to these topics than an intentional application of "ignore all rules"). I actually think "IAR" is especially important with regard to these articles, because they are the ones people are most afraid of contributing to (since, for instance, most information is abstract and there are no clear "facts"). I suppose I would agree that some rules are always necessary (i.e. no original research, vanity pages, etc) while most are not. Sarge Baldy 21:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Your point about "IAR" as a check against incompetent authors in the social sciences (a very real problem) is interesting and probably accurate. In my experience, however, it's less effective with trolls and salesmen. For them, I think the only protection is a clear sourcing policy and rigid enforcement of it. Hopefully, Wikipedia's leadership will come to understand the importance of high scholarly sourcing standards in this sort of article too. Wyss 21:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

All wikipedia policy is currently a mess. So the last rule we should mess with is Ignore All Rules for now. (Without it, wikipedia would instantly grind to a halt ;-)) Kim Bruning 03:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Font sizes: bigger and smaller

Is there any styleguide guidance on when to change font sizes? Some articles have notes and links with size=75% but most don't. patsw 04:22, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you point to these? People shouldn't be changing font sizes. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:32, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I see this often in featured articles... (e.g. Planetary habitability, which has smaller fonts for "Notes" and "References"). I think people often follow such practices used by featured articles, but not aware of any specific style guidelines on this. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 16:36, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I copied this question to Wikipedia_talk:What_is_a_featured_article#Font_size_in_references.2Fnotes_sections. People who review featured article candidates might have a better idea where this practice comes from. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 16:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

The Manual of Style says:

Formatting issues such as font size, blank space and color are issues for the Wikipedia site-wide style sheet and should not be dealt with in articles except in special cases.

Wikipedia:Footnotes insists that only special templates (which incorporate CSS) should be used for notes. The "How to cite sources" guideline doesn't mention any special formatting and none of its examples use it. In other words, I'd say all existing policy discourages such usage. —Wahoofive (talk) 21:09, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Wrong Submissions, part 3

In one article, I had to delete some unverified information that was also unlikely to occur. However, people keep on placing false information into the article. This is the third instance, what should I do? --WikiPlayer 21:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Get some outside opinions, e.g. at WP:3O or the "assistance" section of the village pump, and please tell us what article you're actually talking about. Radiant_>|< 23:44, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Will this work if say, the submissions are done by more than one person? --WikiPlayer 00:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

  • The three revert rule doesn't protect against colluding vandals (or a group of well-meaning opposers), but I'd advise you to bring it up on the talk page, encourage the other users to enter discussion, and seek out some more interested users for comment. You may discover they had a good source for the info after all. Deco 01:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I doubt that anybody would look at the TALK page. It hasn't been used in almost a year. So far, I have found one entry that was absolutely false, and several that are extremely unlikely. --WikiPlayer 02:24, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Since the article is being actively edited, most likely any comment you put on the talk page would be responded to. Why not try? —Wahoofive (talk) 21:03, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, that's not the right page, but I see your point. I'll try it. --WikiPlayer 22:22, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Dealing with images with no license/copyright info

Would it be possible to add a policy where the image uploader is notified of any lack of information so that they can have the opportunity to add it, rather than just deleting the picture and leaving the articles that use it pointing to a dead link? Thanks, --Rebroad 15:43, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Okay, three things:
  1. It is already our policy to notify anyone whose image is nominated for deletion on their talk page, and using a tag on the image description page in case they're watching it.
  2. It is already our policy (as far as I remember) to leave a tag on unsourced images for a while requesting more information.
  3. It is definitely already our policy to orphan images before deleting them.
Deco 19:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
This may be policy, but this has definitely not happened in many cases. I had two images deleted recently, and was not notified about either. I only found out when I visited the articles in which they were used. Neither was orphaned before deletion either. Mushintalk 20:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I suspect that a lot of uploaders aren't notified simply because most uploaders never respond to being notified. Alr 01:55, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Mushin: to help prevent this in the future, I advise you to keep all images you've uploaded on your watchlist. They may forget the talk page note, but they'll never forget the IFD tag (the people on IFD would notice). Deco 01:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately once you get a decently large watchlist your standard watchlist view drops to a measly 12 hours making it extremely easy to miss stuff Plugwash 02:11, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I've got a bot (User:OrphanBot) running to try to fix this. If the image is in Category:Images with unknown source, Category:Images with unknown copyright status, or Category:Uploader unsure of copyright status, the bot will notify the uploader and, if the image is more than six days old, will remove it from any articles it's in. Of course, this all depends on getting the backlogs in those categories down to the point that the bot can get to the images before the seven-day limit is up and the images get deleted. --Carnildo 07:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Would it be possible to have the bot put a message on the articles talk page also, so others users can fix the problem? Also, perhaps it should remove the image from the article a couple days earlier (say 3 days), as that's an effective way of getting people to "pay attention" before its almost to late to save the image (by finding needed source info). --Rob 08:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
It's already sticking an HTML comment in the article text and notifying the uploader. Do you really think that adding a comment to the talk page will help? As for earlier removal, I'm trying to strike a balance between the people who want the image removed immediately, and those who don't want the images removed until after deletion. --Carnildo 08:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Replying on the page where talk was initiated, or on the page of the initiator

I have seen various practices for replying to comments on user talk pages. Some reply on the page where talk was initiated, some reply on the talk page of the initiator, some have statements on their pages regarding how they will act, and some request specific actions while initiating talk. Certain discussions are indeed touchy, and shifting questions and answers between two pages may help masking the touchy stuff. However, I have seen several examples of discussions being misunderstood (by third parties, that is) because the threads are divided, where one or the other editor's comments may seem totally out of place. This may affect not only subsequent editing but also voting. I wonder if the semi-privacy of divided talk outweighs the disadvantages. Could this issue be mentioned in some policy regarding user page editing or wikiquette? Even if the guideline would allow any practice, I'd feel easier at mind. --Eddi (Talk) 10:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I hate trying to follow discussions where people replied on different pages, so that you only see one side of a conversation in any one place. I wish conversations would stay in one place instead of being spread all over. *Dan T.* 18:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm one of those with a statement. I reply to folks on my talk page that initiate on my talk page. I watch any page (for a week or so) where I initiate. When folks mistakenly reply on my talk page, I copy and paste their response back on their talk page, and reply there. I wish there was a bit more of this guideline in Wikipedia:Talk page#How to keep a two-way conversation readable, but that's what I follow.
I recommend (that's what I do) you to reply on the user you're talking to talk page (it's more polite), but always copy his and your replies to your and his page so you would have a consistent and understandable discussion. CG 19:23, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I reply on both, and then continue the discussion on whichever page the other person replies on. --Carnildo 07:05, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Will the real policy please stand up?

Just fyi:

recently marked as wikipedia humor

Can people find other such policy craziness?

Kim Bruning 18:43, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Be bold in updating craziness. [[Sam Korn]] 20:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what your point is? Consensus = policy because it's a founding principle. AGF/POINT = guidelines because they're not that clear-cut as most policy. 5P is a description, hence essay. WP:ENC is a restatement of policy, and as such is policy, but it's worded in a humourous way. Any questions? And please be clear rather than gnostic, eschew obfuscation. Radiant_>|< 22:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Consensus is marked as not policy. Assume good faith and Don't disrupt to illustrate a point have lead to Arbitration committee bans (as opposed to say, userboxes or Categories for speedy deletion). If you mess up on the 5 pillars you won't be around for long. There's something odd going on here. Kim Bruning 01:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      • Well, the true craziness is that most people don't know what the difference is between a policy and a guideline, and yet many people assume that there is some sort of difference, leading to bureaucratizing remarks such as "you cannot just turn this into policy without a wikiwide vote on it". My personal rule of thumb (and mind you, I'm probably responsible for classifying at least half of them) would be that all founding principles are policy, as well as any rule that defines our process or process pages, as well as anything that, when breached, gets you in trouble almost instantly. For instance, while assuming bad faith is a patently bad idea, many people do it without getting in any kind of trouble - unless they start making personal attacks and are blocked for that. Most corollaries of the above are easier classified as guidelines (or, of course, merged). There's scant policy pages that don't belong - WP:DVAIN is doubtful, and WP:HAR is mainly a corollary of WP:CIV.
      • I should also point out that there's too many pages that attempt to simply restate all basic policies - that includes WP:5P, WP:8W, WP:ENC and probably others. Redundancy is not particularly useful. Radiant_>|< 11:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
        • And you guys are violating WP:WOTTA now, so hardly anyone gets what you're saying. But wotta is *humor* right? So no problem. *sigh* Kim Bruning 20:55, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Request for Merger

I have a question about proposing merging pages. How long should this be left open? I noticed one that has been open for 7 months. Isn't this way too long? Thanks... Davidpdx 15:32, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I have worked on some 30+ mergers, and imo, a week's notice should suffice after initiating the discussion, especially, if there is no opposition or more importantly, no discussion apart from yours. I always specify that I would complete the merge after a week if I do not hear any objections. Whenever there is opposition, upto a month could be provided - after that, a decision needs to be taken by the editors involved. --Gurubrahma 15:46, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Some time ago I had a similar problem, and found no page specifying how long one should wait before doing a proposed merge (or split). I think that most editors wait from a couple of days to some weeks, but having some precise statement about that somewhere could be useful. - Liberatore(T) 15:51, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I guess it depends how WP:BOLD you're feeling, but one to two weeks would seem reasonable to me. It is difficult to give a hard and fast rule, as some articles have much lower traffic than others. Physchim62 (talk) 16:07, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
A week? The one or two I did, I gave it a day. Put notices on the talk pages of the people that looked like recent editors from the histories and then, when no one said anything (in one case) or everyone said go for it (in the others) just did it. Merging can be undone (although it's a hassle, it's not THAT bad...) since the histories are still there. Is a day too short for small closely related low traffic technical articles? if so... Ooops! ++Lar: t/c 20:30, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Generally, if you get no response in a week, it's fair game regardless. On high traffic articles this should never happen. If you get a couple positive responses from regular contributors, that should be enough (it can always be moved back if new dissent appears). If an article is "abandoned" (no edits in months), I'd just leave a message, go ahead and do it, and see if anybody cares. Deco 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses everyone. Davidpdx 13:32, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Policy trifecta now entirely controversial

The policy trifecta , consisting of neutral point of view, ignore all rules, and don't be a dick is now entirely under fire from all sides, but especially from newer editors. :-)

The original writers are mostly doing foundation work now, so they're too busy to defend or explain their position on any of these rules.

As these policies have long been thought the cornerstone of wikipedia, I am beginning to doubt if simply rewriting these will actually have any meaning. (That is, won't people just keep following them anyway, or else we would have no wikipedia altogether?)

Anyway, it would be nice if people would look into this some more.

Kim Bruning 21:06, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it is inevitable that as the number of editor grows, editable policy docuents enter a state of continuous flux. As a recently arrived editor, I have found the WP policy and guideline documents to be very helpful, despite somewhat chaotic organization and a mild case of endemic inconsistency. Even if there is a lot of tug-of-rope editing and reverting going on (which I haven't really dug into the edit histories and talk pages to discover in most cases), these articles still seem to be useful and relevant, and I imagine they will continue to be. Perhaps being "under fire from all sides" will lead policy statements to become as resilient, flexible, and strong as possible? [[User:Ben Kidw ell|Ben Kidwell]] 21:40, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Let's hope so. They're important policies, so it'd be useful if people looked in, helped out, and thought really hard... :-) Kim Bruning 22:19, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that policies need to be continually revised not only to address previously nonexistent situations, but to better suit the modern body of contributors. Nevertheless, founding principles like NPOV function as design goals for every article and are at this point essentially irrevocable except by forking - there's already one fork of Wikipedia based on disagreement over this policy. Deco 09:39, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, consider forking to MAINTAIN your view of NPOV in the near future then. Pay attention please. :-P Kim Bruning 09:53, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, my point is that it seems like the only way to actually change policies like NPOV is to drastically update every article, which is infeasible. Any meaningful change to the policy cannot be implemented. I think a lot of the discussion about these foundational principles isn't about changing what they mean but about spelling out details that were before implicit or vague. I hope anyway. Deco 09:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Less hoping, more helping. Kim Bruning 10:01, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
If I haven't already made myself clear, I don't think there is a significant danger that these founding principles will be undermined by the current edits that they are undergoing. They're intended for clarification and they're not yet settled. Deco 10:04, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Good luck thinking. Don't be a dick got moved to meta, ignore all rules is under threat of deprecation. I'm sure NPOV will be clarified in a similar fashion :-) Kim Bruning 10:08, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, to be honest I've only participated in the IAR discussion, and there doesn't seem to be any consensus for change there - the straw poll alone (without even looking at the various reverted conversions to redirects and moves and disagreements over rewrites) seems to indicate that nobody seems to agree on anything about IAR. It's important to be flexible, but I think consensus incorporating old blood will control drastic changes. I have no idea what the motivation was for moving DICK to meta. Deco 10:17, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Re: Ignore all rules, you missed Wikipedia:Process is Important. If you view the talk page, you will see that this page is intended to replace ignore all rules. Kim Bruning 10:21, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
actually you are incorrect there. Wikipedia:Process is Important is NOT intended to replace WP:IAR and it says so explictly. it is intended to explain the reason that I and soem other users dislike and diapprove of IAR, and I ahve said that I want IAR deleted or tqagged as rejected, but others who support Wikipedia:Process is Important do not agree with that opnion. More importantly, Wikipedia:Process is Important is intended to expalin why I and those who agree feel that actions taken outside of process (soemtimes but not always under the auspiceies of IAR) are in most cases bad ideas, and in the long run harmful to the encyclopedia. It is a set of principles and arguements, not a policy or policy proposal. If everyone on wikipedia ageed with them, IAR would cease to be a major force, i think, but I don't think you need worry about that any time soon. DES (talk) 22:45, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I think you may be overstating the danger a little bit. For instance, the deprecation of WP:IAR was raised by one lone editor and garnered only brief discussion. I hadn't been aware of Wikipedia:Process is Important, which in my personal opinion is dangerous, but it's just a Wikipedia essay. --Nick Boalch ?!? 10:48, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
The project namespace is a mess due to user apathy. People refuse to participate in discussions, thus even key policies get warped beyond recognition. Kim Bruning 10:55, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • That's a pretty POV statement, considering that you're complaining about NPOV being in danger. Perhaps you could point to some concrete examples of POV articles, than we might have a better understanding of what the problem is? - brenneman(t)(c) 11:33, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Kim. I know you make a habit of rather inflamatory statements(evidence provided on request), but this one just cries out for evidence - "key policies get warped beyond recognition"? Which ones? Are you talking about IAR? IAR is fundamentally self-controdictory; it can't be written down; therefore it can't be "warped beyond recognition". Are you talking about WP:NPOV? I just did a detailed analysis of all the changes in that page since March 2005(look on the talk page); it has been changed, but hardly "warped beyond recognition". Please give more details. JesseW, the juggling janitor 20:20, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
    Thanks for the compliment. I've been practicing my inflammatory statements really hard! ;-) Well, see the topic which says "policy trifecta now entirely controversial". I shall repeat myself for your benifit: WP:DICK is off-wiki, WP:IAR did seem to have a fairly stable version for a couple of years there (but now does not, despite whatever way you seem to want to put it), and now people on the talk page of WP:NPOV are discussing a total rewrite. Kim Bruning 21:16, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
  • (leftify) No, I'd say that statement is entirely mistaken.
    1. WP:IAR has never been policy per se, I thought that was the whole point. Problem is (1) it's untenable in larger society (meatball:CommunityMayNotScale) and (2) people have been abusing it, to breaking point (which has led to the rise of WP:PI, which is also sometimes abused the other direction).
    2. If you check the history, WP:DICK has been on META for about a year now. I'm not sure if WP:NPOV is really in as much danger as you claim.
    3. And finally, WP:TRI is not any kind of founding principle since it was written last april.
  • Radiant_>|< 21:41, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
The trifecta was a summary of the state of the wikicommunity at that point in time, duh. So the community appears to be changing.
The whole community may not scale concept is utterly bogus. I've done some numbers and it's scaling spectacularly well. Drop by my user page for details. :-) Kim Bruning 22:23, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
That takes a long answer or none. Maybe we should chat on irc about this sometime. :-) Kim Bruning 22:37, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Tutorial: how to circumvent guidelines & consensus-building

See: Talk:List of Polish monarchs#Aftermath

I'm presently a bit discouraged by ethnic/nationalistic cabals driving home a firm grip on page naming, scorning wikipedia's general guidelines & policies.

The example above is about how a subset of Polish wikipedians were successful; as we all know the Icelandic subset is not less successful, for example presently holding back the adoption of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (thorn).

In a funny way, this connects to the problems mentioned above by Kim: the same people that are successful in bending the guidelines at the outskirts of the project namespace (the "thorn" & "Polish Rulers" Naming Conventions are definitely outskirts), often as easily engage in modifying general guidelines, example Wikipedia talk:Ignore all rules#Change proposal --Francis Schonken 15:52, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I find it interesting, that when I listed the page on various noticeboards, RfC, W:Naming convention sections and talk pages, almost nobody came to debate this. But months after first proposal, after we finally gave up on attracting more opinions and started moving the pages, suddenly the case is reopened and people who invested hours into doing the research, making the proposal and such are accussed of being a nationalist, POV-pushing cabal :( --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:05, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi Piotrus, don't worry too much about the name-calling - in fact I had to say the same to your opponents here --Francis Schonken 17:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Funny thing is, his opponent (i.e. me) never actually called him these names. Piotrus is merely claiming this in order to make out that he is being victimized (defense being, as the old saying goes, the best form of attack ;) ). He claimed this on another page too, I asked him to point to an example and, funny thing this, he never did. Others have used these terms for him, but not me; of course, not having done it doesn't mean I disagree with these. On the other hand, I have a growing number of examples where he did indulge in name calling, and I'll be more than happy to post links should Piotrus desire it. :)- Calgacus 18:13, 29 January 2006 (UTC)