Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive X

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How about: Sectioning off of/possible banning of Fictional Universe articles

Information is, in general, good. But not all of it is really valuable.

And I, like many people, enjoy some computer/video games/science fiction/fantasy stories/worlds. But think about this: How much do articles like "Star Forge," "Luccia," or "Sarah Kerrigan" really add to our knowledge of the world?

I propose that there should be a separate "Fictional Universes" wiki. We know that games/movies like Star Wars, Final Fantasy and Lord of the Rings have influenced world pop culture, and that they often have huge amounts of detail, but with the goal of Wikipedia being useful knowledge, too much information about those things begins to seem frivolous.

Put another way, I don't think Wikipedia needs to be a competitor to Gamefaqs, or, or

I just think that Wikipedia, assuming it is an encyclopedia, might be best limited to at least real information about completely real things.

Please criticize/respond. --Zaorish 21:53, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I am strongly opposed to this idea. First of all, we are an encyclopedia- and, as such, we need to contain encyclopediac information. Time and the Rani is perfectly encyclopediac. Second, anything that factions Wikipedia, as a community or an encylcopedia is a very, very, bad thing. So, again, I'm strongly opposed to this idea.--Sean|Black 22:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I support the idea to move this to a separate wiki. The information should not be lost, but it would be excellent to move it elsewhere. --Improv 22:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Ummm no. Mememory alpha is worrying enough. The articles are not doing any harm and tend to be fairly accuret. As long as thier minor characters lists don't suddenly tern into lots of stubs I don't see a problem.Geni 23:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I tend to adopt a mergist approach to these -- fewer larger articels are better than more smaller articles, particualrly stubs. I especially oppose the creation of stubs for minor fictional characters, adn will merge these with the appropriate article on the larger work. But fictional works are often of significant cultural importance and there is no simple way to draw the line between thsoe that are and those that are not. I do wish WP:FICT was more rigourously followed, however. DES (talk) 23:08, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Where would Sherlock Holmes, Horatio Hornblower, Elizabeth Bennet, Tarzan, and Sam Spade go? Dsmdgold 23:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I hate to discount you so lightly, but this is a perennial proposal and the subject of endless contention. See Wikipedia:Fancruft for example. This isn't changing overnight, and I personally favour the status quo. My policy is, if I see a topic about a fictional entity that is too obscure, I merge it with related entities into a summary/list article such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time characters. For what it's worth, I think Sarah Kerrigan is an excellent article consolidating plot information from diverse primary sources across many games (perhaps overdoing it a bit on the links). She may not be as notable as Link or Mario, but I hate to see good content obliterated. Deco 23:18, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

There is no problem with covering the subject matter of fictional characters on Wikipedia. The problem is instead how they are covered. It is mostly done with very little context—no attempt to firmly tie everything that is said to be true about the character to the works of fiction in which they are depicted. See Radioactive_Man_(Marvel_Comics) for an example of this flaw; excepting the word "fictional" in the intro sentence and the infobox details, the article is written as if the subject were real. No reference is made in the article text to a single writer, artist, or even comic book issue or title. See also the "character history" of Spider-Man, which starts with summarizing a plot about his parents having been spies that was not written until after over thirty years of publication history. These articles merely paraphrase fiction rather than describe it, and appear to be written from a fan perspective rather than a cultural historian.

Compare those with Captain Marvel, a recent featured article, or Superman. Both summarize the history of the characters in the real world, revealing the "facts" of fiction according to that framework. We need a very clear set of guidelines to make sure all articles about fictional characters are written in this manner. Postdlf 23:44, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Sure, that's a problem, but that's what {{sofixit}} is for.--Sean|Black 23:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I think both fiction-oriented and real-world-oriented presentation orders are each appropriate in different circumstances, sometimes both in one article. Summarization of the plot of a fictional work in chronological order is an integral part of many articles on books, movies, and other fictional works. On the other hand, an article should never exclusively summarize the fiction, but should also talk about the entity's history, practical aspects of its creation (e.g. influence on gameplay), and cultural impact. Deco 23:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I just think that Wikipedia, assuming it is an encyclopedia, might be best limited to at least real information about completely real things. Someone better tell Brittanica that their article on Hamlet ain't encyclopedic. And I can't wait for the deletion wheel war on Jesus. android79 23:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Re: the interest in "fiction-oriented" presentation, I think the chronology we should be most concerned with is real-world. A story written later but "taking place" earlier should be described as such, but the publication order should dictate the structure of the article; fictional canons are not our concern, but instead how the character has been used at different times. A true history of the character will only get obscured if the present bleeds into the past. Why should a recent story lead the info given about a character that has a much older body of work depicting him? Summarizing the plot in an article about a book is necessary and appropriate. But in an article about a murder mystery novel, for example, you wouldn't start the summary by describing who done it and how even though the murder is what happens first in fictional chronology, if the book reveals the murderer's identity last. The order in which things are revealed to the audience, whether within one work or across a series, is of utmost importance.
But the lack of real-world context is not only a problem of academic integrity, but an issue of copyright infringement. Both of the major comic book companies, as well as the Star Wars, Star Trek, and other sci-fi franchises have officially published numerous encyclopedia-style books about their characters and associated fictional universes. I suspect that many of the cruftiest, context-less articles are mere paraphrases of these (or of video game manuals, role-playing games, etc.). Even those that aren't are still doing more than merely reporting facts—they are simply summarizing fiction without transforming it or adding new information to it. This arguably makes these articles mere derivative works of the original fiction.
This is a systemic problem probably because the ones most driven to write about certain fictional characters are fans who are mostly concerned with "knowing" the complete and "true" story of the fictional universe. We need a guideline page (something like Wikipedia:Writing about fictional characters) that sets out the principles I've described above, with an accompanying template that will label and categorize an article about fictional characters as lacking that context (the trick is finding the right concise language). We have Template:Fiction, but it needs to be made clear that inserting a "this character is fictional" disclaimer in the introductory sentence of a ten paragraph article is not enough. I lack the time to solve this problem on my own, but I will definitely assist anyone else who wishes to contribute to solving it. Postdlf 00:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I would favor soemthing of the sort Postdif suggests here. DES (talk) 00:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
User:Uncle G/Describe this universe might be a worthwhile starting point. —Charles P. (Mirv) 14:34, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the examples of good and bad writing that Uncle G used make it clear that he's getting at the same point that I am. Postdlf 15:32, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
We do have the ability to create interwiki links to many, many other wiki projects, like those over at Wikicities (I'd like to see these become more transparent, but excepting MΑ and Wookiepedia, there's not much completeness over there). I'd like to see some of the cruft trimmed, true (and am working on it with The Wheel of Time series), but if it helps our regular editors to do a [Star Wars]] article or three before jumping back into quantum physics, it does little harm. -- nae'blis (talk) 00:53, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow, I'm impressed that this 'perennial proposal' caused so much controversy. Looking over the responses, it seems that Consolidation of those articles might be best--ie, an article about "Star Wars," then maybe an article on "Minor Star Wars Characters" and not an article about every single Jedi and their favorite ice cream flavor. In the future I'll try to generally put this into practice, by suggesting merges.

It's true, assuming Wikipedia has unlimited space, then articles about fictional universes could/should indeed be unlimited, because there is no harm in posting them. I was just taking into account the fact that Wikipedia is nonprofit and that more space/server power costs significant amounts of money.

And obviously Jesus and Sherlock Holmes are more important than something like Star Forge. Your argument, friends android and Dsmdgold, is something called reductio ad absurdum.

Postdlf: Your idea on a new fictional character template could be valuable, to put fictional concepts/characters in their cultural context before delving into obscure details.

And thank you all for your (generally) well-reasoned responses. ; 3 --Zaorish 14:26, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm checking back. I found this article: StarCraft Secret Missions. It's literally a /verbatim/ transcript of a few levels from a computer game. I personally would move to delete it. Any objections? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
What an awful article. The text forgets that it's describing a video game and instead tells a story. I can't even tell who the player is supposed to be, what the player controls, what events are mere contingencies, or what events are actually experienced in game play versus read about or seen in movies. This is not an article. Postdlf 15:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose such an idea. Fictional universes are an important part of our culture. I would possibly support the merge/removal of fictional stubs, but content which can make a decent article should be kept. -- Astrokey44|talk 15:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
    • I agree. Wikipedia is not paper and to make restrictions of this sort on content would, IMO, open the door for further content restrictions to the point where Wikipedia will become nothing but a bunch of articles on nuclear physics and Shakespeare (and even then, banning an article on, say Mr. Spock means you'd have to ban articles on Shakespeare's characters, right?) and that's not what this place is about. I've already seen some people grumbling about banning articles based on film and TV shows, for example. I've nothing against guidelines, but creating a separate wiki for this would be a mistake. The priority should be on improving articles if substandard ones arise. 23skidoo 15:27, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Two points:
    1. Wikipedia is not infinite, but we are specifically advised by WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia not to worry about space limitations. Our concern should always be only on the encyclopedic nature of the topic and the quality of the article.
    2. I think the real problem is not so much that there are all these fictional-universe articles, it's that so many Wikipedia editors lavish so much attention on them rather than the more mundane topics like "Gary, Indiana" or "Container Security Initiative". But there are many dimensions of perceived imbalance in Wikipedia, like "not enough people articles" or "too many stubs" or "not enough cleanup being done" or "too much focus on the manual of style". We must remember that the whole project operates on the assumption that a worldwide community of freelance editors will eventually get around to working on any perceived deficiencies — and do them justice as well. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:33, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
      • As a sub-point to this one, I thought I should mention that although Wikipedia's space is unlimited a lot of people still think that the effort spent on editing stuff is zero-sum - ie, that if someone spends an hour working on a Star Trek article, then that's an hour they didn't spend working on something of "real importance." I think this is not the case, personally, and eliminating the "unimportant" articles would have the opposite effect; people who come here to tinker around with Star Trek articles and every once in a while toss something useful into one of the real science articles would just leave altogether. They almost certainly wouldn't turn all the energy they spend refining articles on their favourite fictions toward topics they aren't interested in, these are all volunteers here. Bryan 16:18, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Strongly Oppose this idea, but also empathise. I think a compromise is good. A lot of Fictional Universe articles and all their linked sub-articles have too many sub-articles. For instance, you probably don't need a sub-article for a character that appeared once on a show. Or in Stargate Atlantis, for instance, you probably don't need an article for the minor few-episodes character Bob (Wraith). So scrap the stubs and unneeded articles, but certainly keep the main bulk. Fiction like Stargate, Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and so on are massive cultural influences and have shaped both our history and television/cinema's history. And to be honest, I feel that most of the articles under these are concise whilst being detailed, informative, without POV or fancruft, and ultimately also useful. -- Alfakim --  talk  16:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
This proposal is hopelessly bad, IMO. But if it does make any progress towards being implemented, by some chance, I insist that we also include sports-related articles under its umbrella. There are thousands of articles in Wikipedia about trivial unimportant sportsmen who play trivial unimportant games that have nothing to do with curing cancer or military battles or whatever it is that're supposed to be "serious" subjects. Since I have no interest in sport, there's obviously no value in having articles about it and it's just a waste of everyone's time writing them. (The preceeding opinion is only a semi-parody :) Bryan 16:18, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. Templates are always a good idea, though. --Happylobster 18:07, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow, deja vu all over again.  :) I well remember the contretemps at Talk:Mithril, lo these over three years ago.  :) User:Zoe|(talk) 19:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Ultra-extreme oppose This is an incredably bad idea. Here is why:
    • Some articles provide practical information, like where to watch TV shows, or backround info to unconfuse new fans. An example of this is: List of Stargate SG-1 episodes
    • Many fictional articles are about classics and are naturaly part of history.
    • Many are so largely know, like Harry Potter that it would be stupid not to have an article on them.
    • Fictional articles on video games act as a guide for players to do better in the game.
    • The whole reason I contribute to wikipedia is that wikipedias vision is having all of humankinds knowlage in one place is an achiveable goal, which I try to work towards. If we start exporting info, this goal will be lost, and many users who follow this vision will stop contributing. Tobyk777 01:52, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I disagree with the idea that we should delete articles on fictional places / concepts / characters &c. I do however agree that it should be clear in the opening paragraph that the subject is fictional and what particular fictional universe it relates to. As for having lots of stub articles, surely this was why the Wikipedia:Fiction guideline was written? -- Lochaber 15:00, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I generally agree with what User:Sean Black said above. Articles on fiction need to be presented in that context. They exist in a fictional universe but were created by someone real and the article needs to convey that connection to reality. These fiction articles on popular culture draw in a lot of potential editors who can (theoretically) practice their wiki-skills on these and satisfy their fanboy urges before moving on to real-world articles. Also, as User:Nae'blis mentioned above there are wikis dedicated to each show, like Wookieepedia and StargateWiki. --maclean25 05:04, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

As part of this (perennial) discussion, I'd just like to briefly discuss a retort to the classic Wikipedia is Not Paper argument. It is true that we have an unlimited capacity for topics, and I frankly don't buy the "articles use resources" argument (the total sum of all articles ever deleted is unlikely to exceed a few megabytes in disk space and network bandwidth). However, topics on obscure fictional entities can be disruptive for several reasons:

  • Each article must independently establish the context of the universe, leading to a great deal of redundant content which is difficult to maintain.
  • These articles can be very difficult to expand. In the real world we can always derive new information about real people, places, and things. In fiction, we know only what the creator tells us; if a character appears in only one chapter of a book, it's quite unlikely that after proper summarization we'll be able to say more than a paragraph about the character, ever. Articles this short are not particularly useful, spending more time establishing context than describing the subject.
  • Attempting to learn about the universe as a whole involves a difficult, unorganized navigation between many small articles, each different in its style and assumptions, that can frustrate readers.

This is why I recommend that groups of related articles about obscure fictional entities be merged into a single summary or list article, or into a "parent" article: the context need only be established once, all together they have enough detail to fill out an article, relationships can be established between entities by direct reference instead of cumbersome links, and the order of presentation can be controlled for maximum brevity and clarity. In fact, I recommend this approach for any group of strongly related small articles - if one of them later outgrows the list article, it can easily be moved back out, as occurred for example with Agahnim. Deco 05:21, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I like the idea of using sub-pages, e.g., Stargate/Daniel Jackson instead of Daniel Jackson, and having big colorful templates at the top of all the fiction-based articles clearly indicating that they are fiction-based with the name of the source work (book, show, etc.) and genre, to aid the many clueless wikisurfers out there. James S. 10:59, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Subpages in the main namespace were deprecated long ago, and with good cause. Should Daniel Jackson be a subpage of Stargate, or a subpage of Fictional character, or a subpage of Michael Shanks? As a subpage it can only be under one of these, and I hate to imagine the many pointless and time-consuming arguments all over Wikipedia about which articles should be subpages of which other articles. This is the sort of thing that categories are for instead. Bryan 20:59, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose: I've heard this argument many times and I always have a few unanswered questions.
    • I never understand why people want to move this information to other wikis. Why not have it here? It still uses 'resources' if it is hosted on a separate wiki. Considering how articles should have their sources cited, most of the information that is available on Wikipedia is indeed available elsewhere. Instead of having a (mostly) pointless article about Still Sick... Urine Trouble (which was the first article forthcoming from the Random Article link), why not just tell our browsers to go to another site? Is that not what hosting on another wiki would do? I thought that one of the goals of Wikipedia was to consolidate knowledge so that people do not have to search around on multiple websites.
    • If you do move such information to another wiki, what's to stop users from recreating the articles? Would a "crime" that be treated as innocent ignorance (we do, after all, encourage new users to try the wiki out) or as something more serious, like vandalism? I'm sure those editors will want to return after they receive a friendly warning not to edit "like that" again.
    • As well, I've never understood why fictional information is targeted. Why not also move everything that is mathematical to another math-related wiki, as Bryan has said? Or sports? Where do we stop? Where do we draw the line? Before we can decide exactly what constitutes "irrelevant and over-obsessive fancruft" and what is "actual fact belonging in an encyclopedia", we should not remove anything.
    • I’m also worried about estranging users by moving/removing information. Certainly there are those who only contribute to fiction-based articles such as these, but others help out in other areas as well. I'm proof of that, for I've touched up a Jedi article or two while also restructuring the ringette article at the same time (not yet done, btw). What message are we sending to potential editors if the "global encyclopedia" does not allow information of one of their many preferred subjects?
    • However, I do have to agree with what others have said before me about quality. There are certainly articles that are unwikied, unclear and unintelligent. Every article that fits that description should be deleted. Some articles do not have enough information to justify their existence and that is the nature of fiction: we can only document what the creator gives us. I still would like to see articles of high quality created and maintained, and some of these fiction-based stubs have merit. While a few/some/most articles should definitely be merged and combined, others have potential and should be expanded upon, not banned. Maybe we cansystematically check every What Links Here section as potential critera for what can be merged? Take the HoloNet article, for example (a Star Wars one; I followed links for a stub, trolling for an example to use here). I initially thought that it could be merged into a larger article, but with twelve "real" (i.e. non-user) articles citing it, I don't think that moving it/removing it would be a simple task, especially if you consider all the articles that a major sweep would entail.
    • In short, I don't see the point of moving/removing articles resulting from fictional universes. Moving them still uses resources, while removing them detracts from Wikipedia's main goals. Both need clear and precise guidelines; else, everything will eventually be sectioned off into other wikis or even deleted entirely. And both moving to another wiki or deletion will alienate editors who bear knowledge; a precious commodity. I vote that we keep all articles derived from fictional universes. –Aeolien 04:39, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Seriously Very Strongly Absolutely Agree and am Willing to Killl People to Make it Happen. I say we get rid of all the fictitious crap in Wikipedia. Dumb fictitious stories and twerps who write nothing but crap they make up, based only some-what on the truth. Who needs any of it? I know I could've done without it during my life-time... *ahem* Sorry, the urge to comment was overwhelming. Heavy dose of sarcasm. 08:51, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose: Many have rebutted the motion in general terms, Let me answer the direct question asked by the original poster of this topic.
How much do articles like "Star Forge," "Luccia," or "Sarah Kerrigan" really add to our knowledge of the world?
    • When I hear or read one of these terms and I have no idea what it is, so I look them up in wikipedia. It tells me first off that they are Fictional devices or characters. The some basics about them so I can understand the reference to the character location or item without having read the original fiction. If I am then interested in this particular fiction it then gives me the reference (i.e. the original books/games/movies/etc) where I can see/learn experinece more about this fictional item/character and/or location.
    • It is true that anyone particular article on a fictional thing is not likely to be relevent to any particular person. But by the same token almost all articles on fictional things will be relevant to some person at some point when they come across something which they may or may not realise is a reference to a fictional thing.
Waza 04:08, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
This is the worst idea ever strongly oppose -- Truth is, we don't even know if Moses is real -- should we get rid of the article? After all, he's probably just a character in some really old book. What about god? Just because these ideas may be fictional doesn't mean they shouldn't be included. Same goes for all of these other notable works of fiction as well -- I love that Wikipedia has an article on chewbacca and pikachu. -Quasipalm 04:59, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

STRONGLY OPPOSE for reasons stated above. The Wookieepedian 01:07, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

STRONGLY AGREE I have seen poets, authors, socially relevant people, events and historical articles, all deleted in this Wikipedia, all while Pokemon and other such articles survive? No doubt Pokemon (and Star Wars) are of interest to people, but you have to wonder what their roll is here. Take Star Wars for example, Star Wars was socially significant in the 70’s, 80’s and made a comeback in the 90’s. But in the big picture of humanity (and Wikipedia), it merits recognition in its proper context. It does not merit having every bit of its minutia trivia recorded here, and there has to be some limit. A separate Wikipedia (with reasonable policies) for subjects like this would enable those interested in recording the minutia of perhaps socially interesting but not socially significant things would have that forum. When Pokemon is displacing real life people and events, our priorities have become skewed. (Incidentally, I LOVE LOTR, however would count it in the same category as Star Wars. Interesting, worthy of note perhaps, but should not consume, monopolize or displace more relevant articles. LinuxDude 08:05, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

STRONGLY GROK like I get really tired of seeing the fictional stuff when I plunk Random Article, and I would LOVE to have a choice, a check box, where I could tune my Randoms (this idea could be expanded further) ... And would anybody really mind having a different color background on ALL of the fictional stuff? (let's argue about the color for a few weeks, but would you believe "#CCFFFF" light cyan? ;Bear 02:00, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Whilst I agree in principle with the concept of readily identifying articles about fictional things, this is a slippery slope because there will then be lots of argument over what is fictional. This will include almost all religious articles. And where does a technical article about, say, a fictional film film go? (BTW1, I think the fictional artciles should be in the main wiki, but fewer larger ones is best.) -- SGBailey 08:22, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Wait a minute, I sort of get what you're saying, Bear, but what's that grok word mean? I know, I'll look it up on the Wikipedia. Hmmm, "...was coined by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein in his novel Stranger in a Strange Land, where it is part of the fictional Martian language..." Oops, it's about fiction. I better go and nominate it for deletion now. Anville 15:00, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
A word can be sourced from fiction and yet become part of real-life usage. Grok is one such, muggle another. (If you don't consider muggle to be a valid word as you consider wizrads to be fictional, then try Geo-muggle which relates to Geocaching. -- SGBailey 08:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Conditionally Oppose: I see Zaorish's point, however the hundreds of hours already put into such articles would seriously discourage those people to come back and contribute elsewhere. I agree however that these articles need to be tightened. Stubs should be avoided and, when found, quickly merged with the appropriate main or more substansive article. Lady Aleena | Talk 09:15, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Meh-style conditional support. Yes, the argument to compile all human knowledge at Wikipedia is a good one, but a list of every television episode of shows like Dilbert and Stargate SG-1 isn't helpful to achieving this goal. Maybe start another Wiki, call it something like "WikiSeries," and transwiki all of those articles there. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule (Memory Alpha being a good example) where the wiki's contents make it near manditory to keep lists of that sort of thing, and synopses and all that, but Wikipedia should not be TV Guide. Cernen Xanthine Katrena 04:15, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose The effects fiction has on reality has been well documented such as Star Trek communicators, making way for the cell phones. --Masssiveego 18:02, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Agree A project such as Wikiseries exists. It focus only on TV series. I think it's a good idea to have a short article on Wikipedia, and an interwiki link on a more specialized Wiki such as (build by a TV series fan, only a french speaking version). This TV wiki needs some help yet. Anonymous guy 14:00 GMT+1 2 February 2006.

Oppose According to the sister wiki Wiktionary, an encyclopedia is supposed to be comprehensive[[1]]. That means everything is fair game. Part of the allure of Wikipedia is that you can theoretically enter just about anything and find something on the topic...and if not, you can write about it! Applejuicefool 22:05, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose Many people spent hours of work only to create articles about ficitonal people, technology, episodes of a series, etc. If we would get rid of them, many people would be angry for doing so much work for nothing. Also I think as an encyclopedia Wikipedia doesn't have any borders about which should be added or not. And as mentioned above what is fictional and what not. The borders are too fuzzy. Diabound00 16:44, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Strongly oppose this idea. Fictional universes doesn't mean that they're unencyclopedic. If one is against the creation of an article, a compromise definitely could be reached. As of writing there's nothing wrong with the inclusion of the above mentioned universes. --Andylkl [ talk! | c ] 10:22, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Strongly oppose again for reasons that have already been cited. Wikipedia is unique as an encyclopedia that can truly be kept completely updated through collaboration from users worldwide. There is now harm in having fictional characters listed here because most people will be searching for specific articles anyway and so will not ordinarily encounter them unless they are looking for them. I agree however that there needs to be proper NPOV maintained to avoid fans from changing these articles into little more than resounding endorsements of their favourite shows/books etc.! Chrisblore 23:12, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose. While I largely detest articles that treat fictional characters or objects as real, and while some of these articles are often subject to a lot of POV by fans, many are still of good quality and are well-researched. Perhaps the articles in question could do with a quick NPOV lookover from time to time from neutral editors, as long as those doing the checking are aware that they are likely to get quite knocked around by the fanboys doing regular edits on these articles and who won't take any criticism of their favorite character :-) Jamyskis Whisper, Contribs Germany 09:25, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Strongest possible oppose. Wikipedia is not paper. There's no reason to fork our content or delete articles about fictional things as long as those fictional things are named as such early in the article. The best reason I've seen for putting the brakes on fiction is that someone clicking on "random article" may get the wrong idea when all they get are articles on Pokemon. But that's not a compelling argument in my opinion. Let the fans have their fun, too. — BrianSmithson 18:12, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Articles on fictional subjects seem to make up about 2.5% of Wikipedia, with the articles split about evenly between biographies of fictional characters, and articles about other fictional subjects. --Carnildo 06:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose Per all the above reasons, although we do need more uniform rules about what constitutes cruft. JoshuaZ 22:09, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

OPPOSE: This is a bad idea. Wikipedia is a great resource for "fictonal universes" and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be. We would lose thousands of editors if we banned such articles. I think Wikipedia should cover the full spectrum of human knowledge because that's one of Wikipedia's strengths! You can find information about virtually everything here. SpNeo 14:28, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose, but I completely understand and have major concerns with the present order. I do believe that we should include as much (accurate and sourced) information on the WP as possible, and I don't believe it hurts anything to include these articles. My concern is that, first, we promote bias by covering certain issues in a deeper, better way than others. I think it's great that The Secret of NIMH has a good, long article; I just find it difficult to believe that it is more worthy than the National Institute of Mental Health (the real NIMH) itself. Second, I think that deleting articles because of concerns with notability is one of the really unfair aspects of the way Wikipedia is handled. It's baffling to me to see real people's articles deleted because of notability issues when, say, Greedo gets to keep his article. So I don't like some of the issues surrounding this, but I do think the articles should stay, so oppose. Freddie deBoer 05:59, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose. Eliminating these entries would make sense only if they were crowding out more serious articles, but that would only be the case if Wikipedia's resources and file space were strictly limited. Effectively, they are not. RGTraynor 19:51, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Add them to the notability guideline I agree with Postdlf who said articles in question" appear to be written from a fan perspective rather than a cultural historian." (BTW- Why doesn't this make them POV?) In any case, why not just make a guideline that individual details and characters are non-notable unless there is a body of knowledge about them (similarly to bands). Then they would be on-topic for discussion on a notable game's page, but not on their own. Of course, you'd have to cash out body of knowledge, but it works for bands, why not for game characters and bit parts in TV shows? Even if it wasn't perfect it would improve the current state of affairs.

Gaming the system?? - Vandalism by registered users

I am not able to find the exact links right now, but admins are advised against blocking registered users if some of the edits are vandalism and some are genuine. However, I believe that some people are gaming the system. In the last 2 days, I have come across a couple of users whose first edits are genuine. Later, one of them started adding fake porn pics of Indian actresses to several articles and was blocked temporarily. Another user has been re-creating articles that have been speedily deleted and has been committing large scale vandalism to unrelated articles by attacking Tony Blair. I believe that such users should be blocked after being warned, despite their previous edits being genuine, especially since they seem to know the system and hence, game it. --Gurubrahma 17:16, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I have seen this too. Another technique I have noticed of late is registered users who "sandwich" vandalism edits in-between legitimate edits to the same article, often minor ones. For instance, they will fix some wording in one section of the article, add a vandalism to another, then fix a punctuation error back in the first place. If you're just watching diffs and not using the complete edit history, you will miss the vandalism completely. I'd recommend that anyone who's in the habit of checking last-edit in their watchlist start checking history instead. --TreyHarris 17:37, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Some people treat really good editors who get into edit wars worse than that. My policy is that I will warn and if you're not listening then you're banned. — Ilyanep (Talk) 21:37, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

User's 'personal vision' regarding Wikipedia

I am concerned about the intention of User:Azamat_Abdoullaev to contribute to Wikipedia in the spirt of its principles, particularly NPOV and no original research and wonder whether policies should be discussed with the user. On the user's page, among other things, the following is stated:

  • Being a comprehensive directory of world things, the USECS may serve as the skeleton construction for all sorts of general encyclopedias as Wikipedia or Britannica.
  • My vision of Wikipedia is a rationally (ontologically) structured open eclectic system of world knowledge proportionally presenting all significant ideas, perspectives and systems of human learning.

USECS is claimed as the user's creation. Pages about the user Azamat_Abdoullaev and USECS have been nominated as AfD (as well as original research in the case of the latter). The user has made changes to quantity and cites 2. Quantity Classification, USECS (Universal Standard Entity Classification Systems), which is a system the user claims to have created (see user page), with a link [2] to what is apparently the user's commercial page. Besides whether it is commercially motivated, the link has no clear relevance. User:Azamat_Abdoullaev has also attempted to make sweeping changes to ontology which were reverted. In attempting to make these changes, the same link [3] was again included. Some of the changes to quantity have value in my view, don't get me wrong. However, that the user claims: "USECS may serve as the skeleton construction for all sorts of general encyclopedias as Wikipedia or Britannica" sets alarm bells ringing for me. Should this be referred for proper discussion in the context of Wikipedia official policies? Cheers. Holon 06:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

They might just be speaking figuratively, but Wikipedia is not an ontology. No original research is the main policy that applies here. Other than that, just keep an eye on them - I don't think we should be blocking anybody as long as they have a chance of turning themselves around. Deco 06:31, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  • User has yet to discuss a single edit at ontology, keeps re-inserting the same, mostly incomprehensible or badly translated, text - so far all under 3 different IDs.--JimWae 07:35, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Data and tables

At the moment I am looking for the specific sizes of standard structural steel, there are many handbooks on the subject but I don't have one at the moment.

It occurs to me that there are many such standard raw sizes, math formulas, traditional medicinal formulas, and I suppose endless other sets of facts that it would be very useful to have a single source regardless of the nature of the facts.

I am aware that some published tables have copyright issues, but many are identacle data so the copyright holding is shaky at best. Many tables etc are math or historical basis that time has not changed.

I cannot think that I am the first to think of this, but cannot find anything in steel that fits what I am looking for, so perhaps a more general tables and data search term might be a path to such info.

Also much of the copyrighted info in such tables is more for protection of outright copy by competitors, and the donation of the tables to Wiki would cite them as the source so be a kind of advertizing as the place for standards, and incourage them to publish their tables. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dragonwlkr (talkcontribs)

I don't think tables e.g., from AISC Manual of Steel Construction, ISBN 1564240002, belong in Wikipedia, but WP:NOT seems unclear on this matter. "Complete copies of primary sources (but not mathematical tables, astronomical tables, or source code) should go into Wikisource." It would seem to not be in the spirit of Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources. Abramowitz and Stegun is public domain but not incorporated into Wikipedia. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:01, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Marina District, San Francisco, California and WP:3RR

In reverting a clearly POV, unencylopedia essay on stereotypes associated with this neighborhood [4], I find myself flirting with the 3RR threshold on this article. My question is this; I know that 3RR does not apply to vandalism reverts. Does it still apply to reverts of obvious violations of POV, etc? There have already been several different anon IPs that have reverted the decidedly unencyclopedia/attack section of the aformentioned article, and I predict that it will soon be reverted again. So what can I do the next time this needs to be reverted? Would I need to file an RfC to avoid the 3RR rule? OhNoitsJamieTalk 22:58, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

There's no exception for "obvious violations of POV, etc." because that is a loophole through which one could drive a truck cargo plane. A big cargo plane. If you find yourself in this sort of situation it's best to call for reinforcements (the admin noticeboard is a popular place to do this). If the material is really that bad, as the stuff you've been reverting is, then help—additional people to revert, an administrator to protect, or (hah!) a cool-headed editor who can discuss things calmly and/or edit the material into respectable shape—will usually be forthcoming. —Charles P._(Mirv) 00:54, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Great suggestions (and points)....I wasn't sure if this sort of thing was appropriate for the admin noticeboard, but now I know. Regarding the last point about editing the material into respectable shape...I'm not sure if there is anything salvageable from the essay (while it's reasonably well-written and probably entertaining to some folks who live in that area, it's not much more than a scathing critique). OhNoitsJamieTalk 01:01, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if there is anything salvageable from the essay—neither am I, hence the "hah!". :) Covering stereotypes in proper encyclopedic fashion is difficult, especially in the case of highly-localized stereotypes like this one. (Reliable sources for widespread and pervasive stereotypes, OTOH, are a bit easier to find [5].) —Charles P._(Mirv) 01:20, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Reverting anonymous users with changing IP addresses

I believe I read somewhere that it is acceptable to revert an edit mmore than 3 times if the user is evading a block. Is that true? We have a problem with a persistant vandal/troll at Gorilla who's IP address changes every few minutes, so even though his previous IP address was blocked for 24 hours he can continue to cause trouble. --Martyman-(talk) 23:56, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

In this case, there may well be more than one (anonymous) individuals reverting the article. It's likely that someone recently posted a message on a blog or webforum saying, "those jerks are trying to remove that funny Marina Girl section from Wikipedia!" The "Marina Girl" section certainly has it's fans, but those fans don't seem to care that it's entirely unencyclopedic. OhNoitsJamieTalk 00:09, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, according to Wikipedia:Three-revert rule this does not apply to reverting simple vandalism or "banned users" (no mention of blocked users). I am still not sure if it is valid in this case where many of the edits the user is making are personal attacks (leading to them being blocked) but the ones on the aritcle page are not overtly outright vandalism. Any suggestions. --Martyman-(talk) 00:07, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe just ask to sprotect the article for a while? abakharev 01:17, 15 February 2006 (UTC)


My theory is that it's never necessary for me to revert an article more than once. If the article is vandalized, skewed, or biased; or bad content is otherwise restored then somebody else will fix it -- if I'm the only editor who thinks it's a problem, maybe it's not. John Reid 23:08, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

new policy Wikipedia:Censorship

I have proposed a new policy at Wikipedia:Censorship. I want to get this solved once and for all. Gerard Foley 16:54, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Admins yanking {{afd}} tags before discussion begins; is this legit?

Earlier this evening, Werdna648 attempted to nominate Criticism of Wikipedia for an AfD. This article has been nominated four times before, and Werdna648 apparently was unaware that as a result, he needed to use the {{afdx}} tag instead of {{afd1}}. As a result, the tag linked to this closed two-month-old AfD, and it was this closed debate that he mistakenly added to Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Log/2006_February_20. I went in and rm'ed that, but when I went over to the Criticism of Wikipedia article to see who'd made this mistake (with the intention of helping to set it up as a proper fifth nomination), I discovered that SlimVirgin had simply yanked the {{afd1}} tag less than ten minutes after Werdna648 had added it, and proceeded to edit the page as if it had never been nominated. So I have three questions: Is this legit? And if so, what policy am I unaware of here? And regardless, shouldn't SlimVirgin, as an admin, at least have gone over to today's AfD log and dealt with the AfD discussion accordingly? --Aaron 07:59, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Well I think a fifth nomination in just over two months is highly disruptive behaviour, so yes, SlimVirgin was quite within her rights to remove the afd tag. In any case, she was perfectly entitled to edit the article whether it was on AfD or not. Physchim62 (talk) 08:07, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I did not question her right to edit an article that is currently the subject of an AfD debate. --Aaron 08:17, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
These two old policy discussions show the strength of feeling that repeated nomination of articles in a short time period is generally a Bad Thing [6], [7]. Physchim62 (talk) 08:23, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Okay, those make sense. Thanks, Physchim62. --Aaron 17:03, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Primary, secondary and partisan sources and anarchism

At Talk:Anarchism there is a discussion regarding whether the Anarchist FAQ hosted by is a primary or secondary source, is a partisan source and is a reliable source to support the argument [that opponents of anarcho-capitalism think] "that the relationship between workers and employers is a form of authority" and "that such relationships are not fully consensual, but coercive in nature (for example wage slavery) and that it is essential to anarchism for them to be abolished."

People with a good grasp of sourcing are especially welcome to help pick a path through this issue, but all comments are warmly welcomed to build consensus on the application of WP:V and WP:RS. Steve block talk 22:35, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Generally speaking, sources don't have to be either correct, reliable, or even unbiased, as long as they are cited in a way that does not present them as possessing these qualities. For example: "The National Enquirer, a periodical known for its outrageous fabricated articles, claimed that the baby was a space alien." Reliable sources are usually more useful though. Deco 00:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Users outside the USA will not realize what American supermarket tabloids are like, so it would be highly misleading to cite one of these as a relaible source. Rjensen 01:27, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
My point exactly. If a source is unreliable, cite is as an unreliable source, such as in my example above (assuming of course that it's still somehow useful). Deco 02:37, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Dab citations

IDB is a long list of many terms that share this acronym. Most are redlinked (which I suppose is another topic). One of these is perhaps a bit too tasteless to share here; those who want to can go look. (That's also another topic; it doesn't affect my point).

This particular elaboration of the acronym gave credit, if you will, to Tweak3d. I rm that credit as it seemed self-serving and perhaps simply untrue -- who can say? Lo, the credit has returned, along with the citation I demanded. The wiki markup is defective but if you copy it out it does point to a fair source.

My question has nothing to do with the question of whether the term should be included in the list, whether Tweak3d is truly responsible for it, or if the source is reliable. Let's assume all that.

Question: Where should such credits -- and the citations that back them up -- go? I don't think the list is the right place for it. John Reid 09:28, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

If it is not a neologism, it's still no more than a dicdef, and belongs in Wiktionary, if any where at all. I would say remove it from Wikipedia and let the Wiktionary people decide if they want it. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk)
If it isn't even mentioned on the page to which it is supposedly disambiguating, how exactly is it helping the user? If this is important information it should be on the target page, not just on the disambiguation page. In this case it might even make more sense to disambiguate to the Tweak3d. (And all those redlinks should be tossed.) Ewlyahoocom 13:25, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
If there isn't an article on the term, it probably isn't necessary to include it on the disambig page (with some exceptions). If there is an article, put the citation there. Superm401 - Talk 03:29, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Userspace templates

Is there a policy about articles in the main namespace using templates from userspace? Specifically I'm looking at User:Thelb4/doctor-serials-cat. --Pascal666 08:56, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about any policy, but it's obvious they shouldn't. Simply move the template to the Template namespace and edit the places where it's transcluded to point to the new location. --cesarb 14:29, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
It's a cross-namespace link, and therefore unacceptable. Superm401 - Talk 03:10, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Succession Boxes

Question: Is it Wikipedia policy for seccession boxes to be at the bottom of a page. Every one I've ever seen was at the bottom. However, I have recently encounted a user [8] who insists on putting them in the middle of the article. I disagree with this practice, since it breaks up the article and is inconsistent with 99% of other articles. Comments on this would be appreciated. --JW1805 (Talk) 03:54, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Am I the only one thinking "What the hell is a seccession box?" Deco 04:04, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
It's the thing at the bottom of articles about office-holders that has "Preceded by", "Succeeded by". They can be simple, like at Simon Snyder, or monstrously complex, like at Neville Chamberlain --JW1805 (Talk) 04:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Ohh, a succession box. Gotcha. Well, by convention they're at the bottom, yes. I'd be quite surprised to see them at the top. Deco 04:18, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
    • It's generally spelled "succession box." I am the "user" referenced above and I try to place them at the end of the verbal portion of the article, where it it breaks up nothing, but before other references, tables, and templates. It is there because that is near the portion of the article which it is intended to illustrate, and because it would be completely lost at the bottom of the page where it would not help the reader at all. This is no different visually and organizationally than placing an image at a particular place. Graphics should go where they make the most sense to understanding the content of the article and where they work the best visually. Doing anything "because its always been done that way," is the worst possible reason. stilltim 04:39, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
      • This doesn't seem like a terrible idea, but I would seek consensus for it. If you do end up doing it, make sure you do it everywhere - inconsistency is worse than either approach by itself. You might start at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style. Deco 04:40, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
      • I don't think the reason is "because its always been done that way". Some articles have several templates and extremely long succession boxes. Putting them all in the middle is just not practical. Putting some in the middle and some at the bottom is just not consistent. Having succession boxes at the bottom of every office holder article except for those from Delaware makes the least sense of all. Templates are not part of the text of an article. References and See Also sections are. The article shouldn't be broken up by potentially large templates. --JW1805 (Talk) 21:14, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Personally, I think the boxes don't fit in the regular flow of the article -- our tradition of putting them at the end facilitates easy movement from one person to their predecessor/successor. I would not recommend putting them in the middle of content. --Improv 13:55, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
IMO since they contain, in effect, very little information about the subject of the article they belong at the verymost bottom, where they offer the least disruption (and when the reader has gotten there, perhaps the most interest). I find them very helpful, at the bottom of a page. Wyss 03:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)


Another new one. Figure i'd put a link here. Karmafist 06:56, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


--Sean Black (talk) 05:07, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


Regarding Wikipedia:Copyrights#Linking to copyrighted works (and, indirectly, WP:EL#Maybe OK to add), would a site with one alleged copyright infringing download (out of hundreds of other seemingly legitimate/legal downloads) disqualify a site from being linked to? (Note that the link would be to the main page of the site; the page with the allegedly copyright infringing download is a subpage out of hundreds of other subpages). —Locke Coletc 01:30, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Please, see the reasonable effort that has been tried for the scope of this issue on the PhpBB talk page. — Dzonatas 02:28, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Publication and Visual Art

I have read in WP:PD#Published_vs._unpublished_works that “It is unclear how to interpret the Berne Convention's phrasing on art exhibitions and building construction. How else could one "publish" such works if not by exhibiting or building them?” Dose this mean that users at Wikipedia can assume such a work to be published on completion?

I have recently noticed this image tag:

Is this tag only applicable when an image has been made available in some mass format (such as a book or magazine) before 1923? Justin Foote 21:47, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Here is my understanding under U.S. law:
  1. Architecture. Photographs of buildings may be taken without permission; the architect's copyright only prevents people from copying the building plans themselves, or building another building like it from those plans. So publication is irrelevant unless you're looking to make your own building...
  2. Art. Public exhibition alone is not enough to count as a "publication," but paintings are rarely exhibited without also being reproduced in photographs in accompanying catalogs, press reports, etc. Even 19th century paintings were typically reproduced for a consumer market in engravings. If copies have been distributed to the public, or an offer has been made to the public to make copies (as in a photographer soliciting sales of prints made on demand), it has been "published." If it stayed in the painter's studio his whole life, it wasn't published.
  3. Unpublished works. Any unpublished work by an artist who died more than 70 years ago is in the public domain. If the artist was anonymous, the work was done for hire (corporate authorship), or the date of death of the artist is unknown, then it is in the public domain if created prior to 1886.
I don't know how the Berne Convention differs from these provisions, if at all. Postdlf 23:04, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
In any case, the Berne Convention is not directly enforceable in the United States (Section 2, Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988). Physchim62 (talk) 08:09, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

== applied to anyone who complains about their ip range being blindly blocked for 75 minutes?-- 19:31, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:3D Illustrations

Subject proposed guideline has been under discussion for some time (with wide notice having been given here, and on many related articles and editor talk pages in late January) and seems to have general consensus as being suitable among almost all editors involved. The recommendations discussed on the talk page have been carried out with respect to the images in question. Therefore, in accordance with Wikipedia:How to create policy, I have moved it from a proposed guideline to a guideline. Comments of course are still welcome. ++Lar: t/c 22:49, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Blind reverting of I.P. address edits

I have recently come across a couple of cases where a non-registered user made some useful edits, and was immediately reverted because he shared the same I.P. as a user who has caused trouble in the past. The two specific cases were by User: and User: User: correctly categorized some uncotegorized categories, but was reverted, I then restored the categorizations. User: also attempted to do some categorizing, but was reverted. In this case the categories in question were categorized under Category:Wikipedians by stuff which is being emptied, but I still believe User: acted in good faith.

We need to stop blindly reverting these edits. Check what they changed first. If it's vandalism, then revert, but keep the good edits. CG janitor 06:45, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps Template:Sharedip or Template:ISP would help? --Pascal666 09:04, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
If the person reverting the edits can't be bothered to check what changes were made, I don't think they'll look at the user page to see those templates. CG janitor 16:19, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

== AOL range blocks of almost 2 hours?

How is categorizing wikipedians by sexuality helpful?

How does "Category:Wikipedians by sexuality" make any sense as a positive thing rather than a net negative thing in terms of writing an encyclopedia. Sexuality is positive. But we are here to create an encyclopedia. Provide a link to anywhere else and deal with nonencyclopedic good stuff there. WAS 4.250 04:04, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Secret of Wikipedia #4: Half of all Wikipedia users want it to be a blog. Their blog. Wyss 04:05, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Look and listen. That's why.  ;-) Just stay out of any namespace that you dislike. Use the WP for your own enjoyment and don't let the rest bother you. You can't control nearly one million registered users so, if you want to sleep at night then carve your own comfortable place here and enjoy! hydnjo talk 04:49, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not an anarchy. If you don't like that, don't come here. --Improv 06:20, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
As surprizing as you might find it, complex analysis of wikipedia - it's philosophy, and in practice, wikipedia is a sort of anarchy. I am not saying I support it or condemn it but it's just the way it is. --UVnet 15:10, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposed wheel warring policy

The Proposed wheel warring policy is currently undergoing a straw poll, please read over the proposals and leave comments there, not here. The poll will last one week. —Locke Coletc 02:25, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Verifiable Resources for Unsigned Artists

I need some help when it comes to reliable resources for writing about unsigned musicians. I an in the process of collecting info about local musicians here in Jackson, Wyoming, so that they can be posted here.

In the Jackson area, not enough verifiable resources exists. We only have a few newspapers, and maybee a few websites that we are on. Please tell me if these are reliable resources for writing Wikipedia articles:

  • The DJ List
  • Myspace
  • Soundpost
  • Jackson Hole News and Guide
  • Planet Jackson Hole

Thank you so much.

What are all of these sources? I know what Myspace is – it's definitely not a reliable source – but I have no clue about the others. Unsigned musicians are going to have a tough time meeting any of the generally-accepted criteria for inclusion for musicians. android79 23:41, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

As mentioned above, WP:MUSIC is the stick we use to measure bands, and the ones that usually apply to indie bands are
  1. Has released two or more albums on a major label or one of the more important indie labels (i.e. an independent label with a history of more than a few years and a roster of performers, many of which are notable).
  2. Has been prominently featured in any major music media.
  3. Contains at least one member who was once a part of or later joined a band that is otherwise extremely notable; note that it is often most appropriate to use redirects in place of articles on side projects, early bands and such.
Besides that, there's also the criterion of "national tour." If you went on an interstate tour (usually about 4 or more, but that's open to interpretation) in the US, that (to most) constitutes notability. A lot of bands wind up as speedy deletes and on Articles for Deletion, so be sure to reference the important points when you create articles. RasputinAXP talk contribs 23:50, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

The key for any non noteable wishing to become noteable is do whatever it takes to get press coverage. Once you are infamous, your otherwise not noteworthy events (band playing) become noteworthy (by newspapers, etc.) That's one reason why stars get in so many scandles. It pays. This general principle of doing anything to get noticed, then selling yourself once everyone is looking, is older than mankind. Once considered noteable by the press, getting in Wikipedia is trivial. WAS 4.250 00:24, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

So what does one do when no "verifiable" statement of the obvious exists?

Just reading over Talk:Jonathan_Sarfati, in which a few I assume well-meaning editors are embroiled in a dispute with somebody who is allegedly Sarfati's spouse, and a couple of IP addresses that are suspiciously similar.

The core of the dispute is that the article says that "some critics" dismiss Safarti's self-description of "scientist" as his field of study has nothing to do with Young Earth Creationism, the area in which he is best known.

The standing and oft-recurring complaint is that "some critics" and "supporters" are weasel words, as (I assume) nobody in any noted scientific journals has actually summarized this view of Safati in print.

I have nothing to do with Safati, or the debate. Frankly, I just like to read heavily-disputed Talk pages because you often find interesting contortions of logic and some compelling arguments for or against subjects I don't think much about. But this brings up an interesting problem: what if something that should be general knowledge is disputed as general knowledge, and isn't directly 'verifiable?'

This is a good case in point, but it's not hard to come up with others or compelling hypotheticals. If nobody has ever actually decried a crank or a charlatan in print because it's "too easy" or not worth the time, how can one establish that this person really is (as is obvious) a crank or charlatan according to Wikipedia regulations?

Please note that I'm not saying Sarfati is necessarily a crank or charlatan, just extrapolating this to negative conclusions. If nobody has ever taken the time to disprove a particular scientific theory (say, Flat-Earth theory) in a reputable journal, can it be "understood" by Wikipedia that the earth is not in fact flat? Or is Wikipedia bound to insist the earth is flat until somebody can source an authoritative reference that says otherwise?

More or less idle speculation on a slow Friday, but it does seem to be a soft point in the system. The Sarfati chat illustrates the problem more aptly than I ever could. MattShepherd 18:07, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if this applies to Sarfati (who is this guy?) but to find counter-arguments there is no need to find someone in the press that actually calls Sarfati or whoever a charlatan. Instead you find respected "round-earthists" such as Gallileo for example and include their POV mentioning their relative respectablity to the charlatan in question. And the charlatanism becomes obvious. -- Michalis Famelis 18:16, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Badly phrased above -- it's not broad-strokes stuff I'm worried about, that was a bad example. Again, the Sarfati page is a fascinating illustration of what I'm getting at. MattShepherd 18:22, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, we did find an authorative reference that called the Earth an oblate spheroid... Shimgray | talk | 18:17, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh, no doubt. I was just pulling an example out of my butt. MattShepherd 18:22, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm stating the obvious here, but no side of a POV dispute can include text that is not verifiable, as you say. As long as there is no authorative reference, a person can not claim: (a) someone is a scientist, (b) the Earth is flat, or (c) anything else. Although, we are currently handling "obvious facts" rather permissively, the policies we have are pretty clear. Awolf002 18:29, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

You can assert something untl it is questioned; then you have to back it up (logic, refer to sources in a related article where the issue is dealt with more thouroughly, or supply a source for this article) or delete it. Nothing, not the meanings of words or "the sky is blue" is beyond questioning ("how about at night?"). Too many false beliefs have passed for "obviously true" in the history of man. That's obviously true, right?  ;) WAS 4.250 20:32, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't delete something until it is disproven, or at least a consensus exists to remove it. StuRat 20:47, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
My take is, "I wouldn't include something until it is verified." Wyss 21:44, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Even if the statement in question is violating WP:V? That does not sound like good judgement to me. Awolf002 21:15, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
In my experience people sometimes assert something until it is questioned, and then legally mandate it as a way of making the awkward questions go away :-) Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] 20:42, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

If an assertion does not meet Wikipedia:Verifiability, it should not be asserted in a Wikipedia article. Full stop. If the assertion in question is "obvious", then it doesn't need to be stated. If you mean it's obvious from context to those who have researched the issue, distill enough of the research into the article to make it obvious to readers too. In the example given, state that Sarfatti is a self-described scientist, point out whether or not he has any academic degrees to back that up, and leave the inferences to the reader. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 21:22, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes. Assertions must be verifiable. Published assertions which are not verifiable (for example, not supported by the documented historical record or peer reviewed publication) should not be inserted in an article. Wyss 21:43, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

This whole debate raises an interesting question in general. Another related case is in Electric Universe concept, where there is a debate over what constitutes obvious and verifiable information. In that case, advocates of a fringe theory made specific predictions about the behavior of a comet when impacted by a spacecraft. At least two of those predictions seem to be so direct and transparent that they are verifiable simply by looking at the publicity images released by NASA. The advocates in question assert that it is wrong to include any conclusion based on the pictures, until it has been published in the scientific literature -- even though the predictions in question are so fringe-y that they are not likely to be addressed directly by any scientific publication. (Disclaimer: I wrote the disputed section, and I'm not defending either point of view here -- just drawing attention to the debate). That is a peculiar edge case -- what constitutes verifiability? zowie 21:58, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Wow! What actually is verifiable in this article?? Was any source checked to be reliable? This looks like a problem article (as Aetherometry was) to me. Awolf002 22:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
This seems to be Wikipedia's way of dealing with unverifiable or non-peer reviewed stuff: Give it a separate article and let the cranks fiddle where they do least harm. In principle I don't support this unwritten policy, in practice I wontedly ignore such articles altogether. These articles could be justified as debunking platforms, though. Wyss 22:25, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
All I can say is, you should'a seen it before... As a sort of exercise in roots of the scientific method, I let myself get embroiled in helping to change the article from a byzantine mess of advocacy to a more or less even-handed exposition and debunking, and even wrote the first draft of the Tempel-1 section; but that was my first such experience and I now realize that feeding the cranks is an endless proposition. That in itself is sort of a problem (but maybe off topic for verifiability...) zowie 23:16, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Should "Trivia" be a valid sub heading for Wikipedia Articles?

This section copied to Wikipedia talk:Trivia 16:35, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

In the course of my browsing today, I chanced upon the Moonlight Sonata article, about Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C#m, which contains (inter alia) the following pieces of information, under the sub heading "Trivia":

  • Brazilian heavy metal band Viper made a version of the "Moonlight" Sonata with lyrics in their 1989 album Theatre of Fate.
  • The first movement of the "Moonlight" Sonata figures in the first Resident Evil video game
  • The videogame "Earthworm Jim 2" uses the complete first movement of the "Moonlight" Sonata as background music
  • The videogame Jet Set Willy plays a small portion of the "Moonlight" Sonata during the introduction sequence
  • A rendition of the Sonata, performed by Alan Wilder, is included as a B-side on Depeche Mode's single Little 15.
  • A variation of this song is also on the first track of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Beethoven's Last Night album.
  • Yannis Ritsos has written a poem called Moonlight Sonata.
  • The musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown features a song that uses the tune to Moonlight Sonata
  • Bass player Stuart Hamm made a version of the "Moonlight" Sonata in his album Radio Free Albemuth using a two-hand tapping technique. He performed his rendition of the Sonata at a live concert with guitarist Joe Satriani in 2002 ("Joe Satriani - Live In San Francisco").

This is utter dreck which I have deleted with satisfaction, but it raises in my mind a bigger question: why does Wikipedia tolerate a "Trivia" subheading in articles at all? By definition, trivia is unimportant, non notable material. Is there not be a guideline saying "please don't include pointless trivia"? If there isn't, shouldn't there be? ElectricRay 00:27, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I see "Trivia" or "Other information" sections as a group of small but interesting pieces of information that have not yet been expanded into complete sections. I don't think "completed" articles should necessarily have them, but they're a handy mechanism for corraling away little bits of info that need future expansion. Deco 00:32, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
...or just make a new page Moonlight Sonata in market-driven culture, pack plastic recycling bags with the content and eject it into deep space, retaining a subheading Main article: Moonlight Sonata in market-driven culture and the wording "The Moonlight Sonata's familiarity has generated many trivial references in market-driven culture." --Wetman 00:36, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I can't tell, Ray, whether your objection is to the content, or just the heading. If the latter, I agree; just change it to something more suitable, such as Quotations in popular culture. If it's the content, address it on that article's talk page (or boldly remove it); our policies already address such things. Still, the fact that the theme is recognizable enough (even in our post-musically-literate society) to be so often used in pop culture is a significant piece of information about this composition, even if the entire list is overkill. —Wahoofive (talk) 01:05, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Eww Eww Eww. Incorporate the info into the article somehow or I will come after you with a vengeance for making such headings. Even a different heading such as Uses... or Mentions in Popular Culture as is said above. If they're not all related to each other, then find a way to incorporate the info into the article. (Have you noticed yet that I hate these trivia sections?) — Ilyanep (Talk) 01:14, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Similar things were discussed at wikipedia talk:trivia - I'll move this discussion there too, when it's finished. --Francis Schonken 07:57, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I hate these. I hate them. I HATE THEM. Look at the last 50 edits to Marduk (as of this post): almost all of them are additions of such valuable gems as "In Namco's PS2 game Tekken 4, one of the playable characters is named Craig Marduk" and "In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Evangelion pilots are chosen by a mysterious organization called the "Marduk Institute." The Institute is actually a front for SEELE, who are in possession of secret dead sea scrolls that fortell the fate of humanity and the end of the world.". Drivel, written by teenage boys, which has only the slightest tangential relevance to the topic of the article.

Look at the article right now. The crap now fills half of it—in spite of User:A Man In Black's valiant (but doomed) excision of the previous junk not three months ago—and it's only going to grow.

Okay, finished ranting. User:Wetman's suggested solution is the right one; the kiddies can scribble to their heart's content, and people who want to read about classical music or Mesopotamian mythology aren't distracted by poorly-written irrelevancies. —Charles P._(Mirv) 08:23, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Wetman's suggested solution is an excellent one, but for the fact that those opposed to "elitism" (etc.) would object to it. Yes, this trivia is dreary, as are "References in popular culture", which I've seen somewhere. How about the solution of a link from the (very shaky) article on Citizen Kane to "List of references to Citizen Kane in other work"? Failing that, a "Trivia" section is a good idea, given that WP is editable by all, and that thousands of earnest teenagers (of all ages) take this stuff seriously and will insist on sticking it somewhere. Better that it's labeled "trivia" than for it to muck up substantive sections of an article. And of course if some item within it is not trivial, people are free to move this item elsewhere, while leaving all the "Simpsons" references (etc etc etc) as they are. -- Hoary 08:53, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

All very good suggestions. Wetman, I have done as you suggested on the Marduk article - see now References to Marduk in Popular Culture and when I get a moment I will do the same for LVB. Hoary, I sort of see your point, but think there's a fine distinction between elitism and plain irrelevance - it would be equally irrelevant to the topic of Mesopotamian mythological figure - and deserving of jettison to the black expanses of deep space - that there was a character named Marduk in the Book of Kells.ElectricRay 09:13, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I couldn't agree more with Deco ElectricRay; I can't really go along with Wetman's idea, though. It would solve part of the problem, but another part of the problem is that trivia sections trivialise Wikipedia; making separate articles for them will do pretty much the same. Just delete them all. If something's trivial, then it doesn't belong in the article; if it belongs in the article, then it can't be trivial, and should fit into the appropriate place in the main text.
How about starting up "Trivipedia" for all the teenagers out there who add this rubbish? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:24, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Funny that you say you couldn't agree more with me, yet I disagree very strongly with you. I think it's fine to have these sections around and that they will, in time, develop into more integrated and expanded content. I might remove them from a published or stable version, but not from any working article. Your generalization about teenagers and proposed project are also offensive to the well-meaning contributors who add this content. Deco 22:47, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I was too hasty in tracing the writer of the original comment (aided by the absence of a space between comments). I've corrected it. Oh, and it wasn't my generalisation, though I repeated it, and pretty well stand by it. There are too many train-spotters here, and people who know (and care) about nothing other than the trivia of celebrities and popular culture. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
and its comments like that which keep wikipedia as the pile of shit it currently is (and is generally perceived as). those "well-meaning contributors" are dumb-ass schoolboys who play videogames all day, indulging them simply creates more cruft articles about Klingon etc that makes wikipedia = trivipedia already. gotta be harsh. KILL ALL CRUFT.
Although these trivia sections should be thoroughly cleaned of cruft (and wontedly have far too many references to cover songs and other knock-offs generally unrelated to the topic), they provide a helpful way to give the reader bits of additional, characterizing information which might otherwise bog down the article's main narrative. I'm strongly in favour of trivia sections in biographical, film and music articles. I mean, what better way to fluidly let the reader know Frances Farmer let the studio shave her eyebrows off in 1936 but had rebelliously grown them back... and untrimmed... by 1937. This would seem, uhm, trivial to mention in the main text but adds context, depth and interest to the subject. Wyss 23:55, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Cruft should be stamped out. If something has had a genuine impact on popular culture, a sub-article should be created if not a sub-section (see, i.e. Nuclear weapons in popular culture, which grew out of just such a crufty-subsection). --Fastfission 20:09, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I've been having the same sorts of problems all over the place. Lilith, Chimera, Dragon, Dracula, Behemoth, Jack the Ripper, Werewolf, etc. etc. keep getting filled up with all sorts of trivial references to video games, anime, roleplaying game supplements, one off mentions in tv shows, incidental one off lyriucs in songs, etc. I remove this dreck constantly every day. One of the major problems is that it's difficult to have real consensus to remove them because so many kiddies all get together to try to claim that info is vitally important. "Castlevania is the most well known and important video game series of them all, so I am going to list all the details here." etc. About the only way I've been able to have any lasting sanity is to create Werewolves in fiction, Jack the Ripper fiction, liberally move the crap to disambiguation pages and then just give up on trying to keep the cruft out of that offshoot article. It's like segregation or something. Whenever someone puts crap in the main one I suggest the offshoot, and then the offshoot is total crap but oh well. I personally think Trivia headings should just not be used, and that it's very, very clear that trivial mentions... some character named after some mythical character, one off appearances in comic books, D&D or other RPG adapting something, Magic the Gathering card, Pokemon character, etc... do not belong in the main articles unless those articles are specifically about that fictioncruft and not the main topic. We desperately need stronger policy on this, and maybe, I don't know, something to make it more clear that this is supposed to be an ENCYCLOPEDIA and not just long fanlists of every silly trivial fictional reference you can think of. DreamGuy 22:01, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I think that trivia helps pique the reader's interest. As for relevance, the word encyclopedia comes from the Greek words enkyklios paideia, meaning "general education," or "well-rounded education." Thus, in Wikipedia--the largest encyclopedia ever created--any knowledge can be included. Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged defines an encyclopedia as "a work that treats comprehensively all the various branches of knowledge and that is usually composed of individual articles arranged alphabetically". Stroll by a library reference section and you will find encyclopedias of agriculture, of computing, of slang, and so on. The inclusion of trivia shows just how much encyclopedic Wikipedia is. Besides, deleting trivia will turn off many contributors from adding other information to Wikipedia and possibly turn to vandalism. Further, many of the users who add trivia are younger. If we alienate them, we destroy our future.
    --Primetime 22:43, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of young people adding real encyclopedic content here. Alienating the bad contributors to keep the good contributors is a GOOD thing. Some people just are not cut out to write encyclopedias. This shouldn't be controversial, it just is. If their only contributions are to say that some pokemon character kind of looks like Pazuzu if you squint real hard, let the alienation proceed unfettered so we don't destroy our future by having the clueless kiddies running the show while knowledgable editors get alienated. I know I don't like having to play janitor to a bunch of people whose only experience in the world is videogames and anime who think articles on other topics can be improved with the latest kewl thing they saw. I'm here to write an encyclopedia. DreamGuy 17:42, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If you want a trivia encyclopaedia, there's a far bigger one than Wikipedia - it's called Google. If some method of differentiation between trivia and useful information can't be imposed, we may as well give up on wikipedia and just use Google. It's a line call whether that's a better idea already. Now it's a sociological fact that anime heads will keep adding this stuff - it's not irrelevant to them - so the answer is to give them their outlet - a "references in popular culture" page which is referenced by, but doesn't form part of, a main article achieves that very neatly. Xbox nuts are not alienated, the page isn't disrupted - that sounds to me like a workable compromise. That's certainly the approach I'm going to take from now on. ElectricRay 23:17, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
That sounds like it would make them very difficult to find. I don't think trivia authors would be too keen on that idea. I admit, though, that it is better than just deleting the information. --Primetime 08:56, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
maybe i didn't explain it properly: there would be a link on the page from the main article - very easy to find. see, for example, Marduk. ElectricRay 09:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't we distinguish between trivia that actually relate to the subject of the article, and trivia connected with persons or entities that just happen to have the same name? Many of the points in Marduk in popular culture don't relate to Marduk (that is the subject of the Marduk article) at all, they relate to fictional characters that just happen to have the same name, so they should surely go to a disambiguation page? --rossb 15:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Many are expressing views I agree with, in effect, trivia's fine if it relates directly and helpfully to the subject, but the trivia sections are often used for content which is no better than link spam. Perhaps references in popular culture "see also" pages would give the cruft (cartoon characters who play Beethoven and so on) a home. Wyss 15:50, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • except that trivia is, by definition, trivial. If it's worthy of inclusion, is it "trivia"? ElectricRay 18:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • rossb, that was exactly what I was coming here to say. There is a distinction between material that really is important enough to a topic and just hasn't been integrated yet and that which isn't important to the topic. For example the WWII article doesn't need a trivia section remarking that it was referenced in X anime show. That's an extreme example, but not far off what is going on. Pop culture trivia or other things that aren't demonstrably important to the given topic should not be on the page, they should instead be in that pop culture topic's specific page. That makes it really easy to include important information in the right place. - Taxman Talk 16:34, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Here's my take, illustrated with two examples (though these are not editing suggestions for the LvB article):

"Helpful trivia":

  • During the advanced stages of his deafness, while composing Beethoven aided his hearing by placing the end of a wooden pencil directly on the soundboard of his piano, then pressed his forehead directly on the other end and struck the keys. Sympathetic vibration transmitted the sounds of the notes through the bones of his skull directly to his inner hear.

"Unhelpful trivia"

  • A retrogade chord progression based on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata was used as the basis for a Beatles song by John Lennon. Wyss 14:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Trivia as a category does not belong. It means "unimportant" and suggests a waste of time. If soemthing is important then say so. Rjensen 16:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I do disagree with your interpretation of the working definition of trivia, however I continue to assert that there is a difference between informative trivia and spam-like cruft. Wyss 17:00, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that trivia sections should be blamed on teenage boys. For example, the Richard Stallman article has a sizeable trivia section, and I doubt that many teenagers are really into him, as the oldest current teenagers were only born in the late 1980s (the youngest about 1992-1993). Also, most teenagers have probably never heard of Amiga. Adding trivia is probably more related to interest in the topic than age or sex. -- Kjkolb 17:34, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

One quarter of Gorilla article is taken by "popular culture" references, most of them bellow even trivial value. I suggest to always create leaf article when the amount of trivias reaches certain level. Since it is practically impossible to get rid of trivia at least they can be moved away from more serious encyclopedic stuff. Pavel Vozenilek 03:53, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Call the section Other notable facts and include only "helpful trivia". Delete the 'cruft and "useless trivia" or splice it out into a side article referenced by the main one. MPS 04:28, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that it may be hard to distinguish notable from cruft: most of the trivias come from very current American pop culture/games but some established memes or references from other cultures may be valuable. Having leaf page would be Second Best solution - main articles will stay clean, kids will have safe place to play and possible edit wars over trivia won't pollute the main article (this is real pain). Trivial pages may be linked together so checking them all at once would be easy. Pavel Vozenilek 14:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Is this sort of thing really so bad? I'm glad to see evidence that Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata still has an influence on popular culture. Plenty of Wikipedia editors heard their first notes of Wagner by watching Apocalypse Now. Popular references to Joan of Arc didn't get dumped from the page. They inspired me to translate lists of sculptures and paintings from French. The video games, manga, and television shows now have their own section at the bottom of a branching page about artistic representations of Joan of Arc. If this gets young people interested in history, if it leads them to George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare, then I'm all for it. Durova 23:12, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Category:Drugs cheats in sport

I have a problem with the word "cheats" in the name of this category Category:Drugs cheats in sport and its subcategories. Some people who have been disqualified for doping (and are listed under this category or its subcategory, such as Olga Pyleva) were not cheats at all but alledgedly accidental victims of ingestion of a banned chemical.

At the top of the category page it is stated that such people may be listed in this category ("and/or 2. Publicly admitted such use.") -- note the "or": they may have *not* admitted such use.

Also, if anything, it should be "Drug cheats" not "Drugs cheats".

Could we change the category name(s) to something more NPOV like Category:Doping cases in sport? If so, could someone carry out this renaming? -- Mareklug talk 15:40, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

This was previously discussed at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Category:Drugs cheats in athletics in 2004, where it was inexplicably left as "unresolved" despite what appears to be a consensus in favor of deleting the category outright. I'm still perplexed by the phrase "drugs cheats." Because of the inability to frame a concise category title that functions as an objective and clear classification, this is the kind of grouping that's better maintained as an annotated list. It should be listed again on CFD. Postdlf 15:47, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, in the current form the cat name may even be subject to libel. You should renominate it on CFD for renaming the section. --Gurubrahma 16:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I put it on WP:CFD#Category:Drugs cheats in sport, proposing to rename it to "Doping cases in sport", mentioning this discussion and the fact that it was considered for deletion. -- Mareklug talk 20:27, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Daily premier anonymity

I'm sure if this feature described here ever gets implemented that this section title won't be used for it. The idea sparked above with the suggestions to divert or prevent edit wars and the users' desire to stay anonymous.

  • When you see any entry for a change made, the user's name or IP address is not shown in that entry. After you make an edit to the page that was changed, you then get to see who edited it in the entry, but that view is only available for a day from your last change.

This would encourage people to focus on quality of content rather than who made the content. The would also apply for administrators. Only stewards and bureaucrats can see who made the change at anytime.

For example, if you have not edited a page and you view its history, you would see something like:

  • (cur) (last) 13:31, 4 March 2006 (good q!)
  • (cur) (last) 13:12, 4 March 2006 (→1RR instead of 3RR for not logged users ?)
  • (cur) (last) 13:12, 4 March 2006 (→1RR instead of 3RR for not logged users ?)
  • (cur) (last) 13:08, 4 March 2006 (→1RR instead of 3RR for not logged users ?)
  • (cur) (last) 13:07, 4 March 2006 (Hmm, everyone should do it anyway :))

The watchlist would look something like:

  • (diff) (hist) . . Computer system; 06:31 . . (→See also)
  • (diff) (hist) . . Wikipedia talk:Stable versions; 03:39 . . (→Semi-automation - recent stable version detector)
  • (diff) (hist) . . m Computer programming; 02:04 . . (→Software development - bypass disambig)
  • (diff) (hist) . . Computer security audit; 01:01 . .

Recent changes would look something like:

  • (diff) (hist) . . Fiscal conservatism; 14:33 . . (→Notable Fiscal Conservatives)
  • (diff) (hist) . . End of the Spear; 14:33 . . (replacing deprecated {{web reference}} with {{cite web}} using AWB)
  • (User creation log); 14:33 . . Lettaylor (Talk) (New user (Talk | contribs | block))
  • (diff) (hist) . . Talk:Dogon people; 14:33 . . (→Completely by Robert Temple? - Re)

As you see, there is no significance to who made the changes in the above views. This does not prevent somebody that reverts vandalism to track down who made the vandalism, as, once the vandalism is reverted the users name is then seen as we common know. Anything further vandalism by that user can be tracked down as usual.

Of course, if anybody signs their name, who made the entry is always revealed. If we want a feature to doublecheck if the tildes were used to sign (in case somebody forges a name), an extra flag on the change entries could be made to denote that.

Some worry that I don't spend enough time in article space, but I also am a developer of a wiki.

Can I get some feedback for this kind of policy that is really more technological? — Dzonatas 14:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The method I use for spotting vandalism is to look down recent changes for a change which (a) has no change log and (b) comes from an IP address. Obviously, that combination does not in any way imply that vandalism has taken place, but it does correlate. So, I guess what I'm sugegsting is that anonymised reports should state whether the user was logged on or an IP address. Nick Levine 14:53, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm concerned that such a flag might cause differences between edits of those logged in and not. If the flag showed only on the Recent changes report, it might not be much of a concern. — Dzonatas 16:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not really sure I understand all that your proposal entails. But I very much rely upon seeing WHO made a change in determining whether I want to take a closer look at it. I've come to trust many users and don't bother to scrutinize their edits (unless it is to see whether they've added something of interest). But when an anon IP or a user I don't recongnize (especially red-linked names) make an edit to a page on my watchlist, I usually examine these more carefully. If this user information were no longer available, it would make my watchlist virtually useless. I guess I don't even really understand why you might even consider something like this a good idea. olderwiser 17:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
If this were implemented, how would attribution of edits be maintained? Some editors edit under multiple copyright schemes, e.g. if someone releases all of their edits to PD, how would you know what 'their' edits are? xaosflux Talk/CVU 17:52, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict edit) I was asked to expand on this, This proposal seems to go against the GFDL requirements for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work and other sections related to histories. GFDL applies to all works on here, but some contributors also edit under multiple licenses such as Public Domain, but in order for these contributions to be usable under these licenses, they must be identifiable. A hybrid of both of these solutions could be that users would have to choose to be identified when they want to, and have attribution accordingly.
In another view, having the ability to find a users contributions is highly useful when dealing with vandals, rfc's, arbcom cases etc, although you suggest having this info available to 'crats, 'crats don't generalyl open arbcom cases, and not being able to identify a problematic contirbutor could lease to other issues. xaosflux Talk/CVU 20:26, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
As for the GFDL, I did research it and found that attribution does not need to be directly linked to each modification. The current histort page indirectly creates such attribution. The GFDL actually just wants a list of authors, so a link at the bottom of the web page, "Authors," that brings up that list complies to the GFDL. That hybrid option is a good solution for multiple licenses. — Dzonatas 20:42, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I strongly oppose any scheme to anonymize edits, as fundamentally bad for the Wikipedia editing process. Those who choose to edit under an account should be able to be held accountable to those edits - and also should be able to take pride of creation in saying "hey, look at all my contributions to this Featured Article." FCYTravis 20:24, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not meant to keep everybody completely anonymous. There are still ways to reveal identities, but they become not so obvious to the casual reader. As for implementation, the first step would be to provide such anonymity as an user preference. The user would be able to set if they see or do not see identities. This doesn't force anonymous edits. I doubt the "User contributions" link on the user pages need any anonymity. — Dzonatas 20:46, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Ultimate authority for other language wikis?

I just read with interest about the controversy, the wheel warring, the suspensions, and the eventual actions of the ArbCom that took place in early February over the matter of some userboxes Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-02-06/Userbox warring, Wikipedia:Deletion review/Userbox debates, and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pedophilia userbox wheel war. I do not want to discuss those events. I want to discuss the matter of the ultimate authority for other wikis.

The ArbCom when ruling on that dispute, mentioned among the principles that it had agreed on and that it considered when coming up with its "findings of fact," that "Jimbo Wales has ultimate authority on Wikimedia projects, as a foundation issue that is beyond debate." I am fine and I agree with this. However here is my question: what about the other wikis? Who is the ultimate authority on the projects in French, Spanish, Thai, Korean, etc, etc.? Are those wikis left to fend for themselves and sort out things alone? Suppose a situation similar to that of the userbox above happens in another wiki, and the end result is very diffeent than the one here; say they end up allowing that kind of userbox to stay and they don't delete it. Is there a way to escalate the issue from one of those wikis to this one, the english one -which by virtue of being the mother wiki, the first one ever, I assume would also have ultimate authority over the other ones. If this is correct, how are things escalated? BTW, I do not know of any issue that would warrant such action. I ask just as the result of intellectual curiosity. Thanks. Anagnorisis 05:05, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo is also the ultimate authority on them. Since to be created, they had to interact with the English-speaking staff of Wikimedia and Meta, there is very likely an English-speaking ombudsman to translate for him in the rare case this is needed. However, since every Wikipedia is different and has different rules, this may not be an issue on them. The German, Polish, etc. Wikipediae administrations may not have a problem with userboxes, or have certainly not had the nasty fight over them. --Golbez 06:19, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I am using the userboxes was only an example. Not an example to be considered specifically: like discussing they having userboxes or not. When and how it is appropriate to escalate issues and bring them here? Say there is a serious dispute, in one of those wikis, can I bring it to the ArbCom here? Under what conditions? --Anagnorisis 06:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
So far as I know, the ArbCom only has jurisdiction over the English Wikipedia. Other Wikipediae large enough have their own ArbComs, created as needed, I think. --Golbez 06:49, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Does that mean that the buck stops at those other languages ArbCom? Then that would mean the english Wiki cannot overturn a decission at another Wiki if it is found extreme by the members of this one? Intersting. --Anagnorisis 07:29, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
The English Wikipedia has no jurisdiction over other language Wikipediae, period. Only Wikimedia does, and so far as I know, the only universal guideline is to maintain NPOV. --Golbez 07:57, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Ok. Understood. So I guess it would then be to Wikimedia to resolve very extreme things. Yes, I have noticed that different wikies have different policies. Some things, like copyright issues (what is allowed in one is not on another), differ a lot from one wiki to another which can be annoying at times -but that is another topic. Thanks for the info. Cheers. --Anagnorisis 08:02, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
The only requirement for copyrights is, I believe, that they conform to US/Florida law, since that is where the servers and foundation are located. However, some (particularly the Japanese Wikipedia) have chosen a stricter standard, in ja's case, to conform to Japanese copyright law, just to protect those who work on the pedia. Fair use, for example, is not allowed on ja, I don't believe. --Golbez 18:36, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Why concealing user contributions to deleted pages? (2)

This new question got archived, so I'll repost it:

You say you've forbidden us to see deleted edits in articles' histrories, because users write foul stuff in the edit summaries.

But, if I go ahead and register User:Joe Smith rapes baby donkeys, won't it dangle forever on the block log? Or will you deny everyone access to the block log from now on? --tyomitch 15:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Aside from this concern, the concealing policy has one very, very damaging effect: it takes the deletion notices, especially speedy deletions, off user watchlists. There are overaggressive editors and admins whacking valid articles with speedy and prod tags, and editors who are interested in the subjects and could easily improve the articles given a chance -- but not everybody makes daily visits to Wikipedia. For speedy tagging, it's even worse; an article can vanish almost tracelessly in 15 minutes. Monicasdude 15:56, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that user contributions for deleted pages should not be concealed. Perhaps non-admin user edit comments can be auto-deleted? I think concealing this does more harm than good. -- Y Ynhockey || Talk Y 21:41, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, so out of those who chose to express their opinion above, there is a clear consensus.

Admins! Please give us back our deleted histories! Their concealment won't stop calumniators, but it does bring us confusion and fret. --tyomitch 19:11, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok, the nomic is over

All those playing nomic with wikipedia guidelines are hereby informed that they have won. All those playing calvinball, you too, you've won. Congratulations. Now get the heck out of here so we can get back to writing an encyclopedia.

The current wikipedia process is so darn acidic that even experienced mediators who have seen it all have left. This includes people like Nicholas Turnbull and Redwolf24. Only experienced usenetters hold on for longer periods of time, and now even they are getting quesy.

People with established wikireputations get pounded on and driven off by people who are CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY not here to write an encyclopedia.

I've seen featured article writers quit, I have seen them walk out of wikimeets.

And I am telling you now. This has gone too far. The buck stops here.

Who's with me?

Kim Bruning 13:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

When Wikipedia was a few people, the people were mostly quality. Large groups of people with easy access will invariably have a small group creating a lot of trouble. It seems to be the nature of mankind. Requiring registration would help (my opinion) but would not reduce Wikipedia quality. As Wikipedia grows larger and more popular, the problem will grow worse because beanbrains will disrupt and disperse honest efforts. In societies, police are established, on Wikipedia, (my opinion) we are going to need registration and dedicated policing-type people because there are people who know with certainty that knowledge should be destroyed. Terryeo 15:41, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
This is neither support nor opposition; I'm sick of the terms. This is to state, here and now; that those who are here to write a free content encyclopaedia will always have my firm support. And that's the short and tall of it. Rob Church (talk) 13:48, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Relax a little :) Forget about the policy pages for a while. Forget about all the litigation and silly arguing going on and go back to editing articles for a while. Last month mainspace edits were 2% of your contributions - make Wikipedia space edits 2% of your contributions and your wiki-health will improve! :) Haukur 14:02, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
There's no point if I'm going to have to fight every step of the way anyway. It's gotten trickier and trickier to even get people to recognise that maybe there's such a thing as an encyclopedia out there. "Policy" trumps encyclopedia every time, and good editors leave in disgust. Note how "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia" is considered funny by some people around here. Fine, laugh, but then apply it, dang you! :-) Kim Bruning 14:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
It's kind of hard to ignore the policy pages with so many editors, on the one hand, trying to change the rules so they can insert their POV edits, and other editors, on the other hand, wanting to tie WP up in increasingly complex rules. And then there are the trolls filling up the talk pages. I try to ignore them, but I still feel I have to stay aware and not let them slip in changes that no one else has agreed to. I try to support anything that advances WP in conformance with the three content-guiding policies. I try to oppose anything that detracts from that. I agree with Robchurch that we are here to write an encyclopedia, and I get impatient with the obstacles. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 14:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
There's something to that - while you look away someone changes the rules :) Instruction creep is rampant. Just yesterday the following proposals were upgraded to guidelines (since downgraded again):
This is a well-intentioned effort to split up a thorny problem but it's awfully complicated. Basically: "Use diacritics in names if some complicated criteria are fullfilled. Unless it's a Czech or Swedish person in which case you should definitely use diacritics. Unless it's a hockey player in which case you definitely shouldn't." Haukur 15:06, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Nothing that a little editing won't fix! Let's apply the well-practised rule from poetry that removing the last line of the poem improves the poem. Indeed, applying this rule recursively is essential to producing good poetry. Having said that, I propose the following improvement: "Use diacritics." Hope this helps. -- Mareklug talk 17:47, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Speaking as a member of WP:HOCKEY, we didn't push Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey) as anything but an internal project guideline. It was elevated (not by a project member) because we were finding articles we'd started all of a sudden winding up as redirects with diacritic markings and generally impinging on our carefully-tread order. Naming conventions for Czech, Swedish, Finnish etc were all created by the same user who created WP:Naming (hockey) as an attempt to make us all use diacritics when we create articles about people from those countries, and as a statement that "it's going to happen anyway despite your wishes, so deal with it."  RasputinAXP  c Gadsden flag large.png 17:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Err, I think I'm with you, Kim, but I'm not really sure what you're talking about... android79 14:39, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok, the nomic is over. However, there is still a focus. I also wanted to leave, but I do continue to have a focus on article validation for accreditation purposes and how to implement the ideas. That focus does infringe upon matters that affect mainstream articles. Further, in the words that started article validation: 07:45, 6 June 2004 "Some potential expert editors refuse to edit, because they think their content will be damaged by vandals or non-experts. Providing a checking service might help them feeling more confident with the process." I've put a lot of time in on work within a small range of articles. I hate to see valid contributions by any editor lost so easily, and for those editors to be discouraged that they would leave or be banned. I hate to see Wikipedia become "the encyclopedia of the sum of human knowledge minus one". — Dzonatas 15:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I would like to propose a new rule that Wikipedia editors not be allowed to give up on the project out of frustration unless there is a clear consensus for that editor being allowed to leave. Also, I would like to nominate the Wikipedia: namespace for deletion on the grounds that it is disruptive. -Silence 15:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm am sorry, but if you want to nominate that for deletion, you have to do so in triplicate and notify all one million contributors of the change on their talk page. You also need to hold a discussion, an unofficial poll, an official poll, a vote, and a tea party before the motion can be carried. Don't forget to notify the village pump, the announcements page, the community portal, Wikizine, The Signpost, all 28 IRC channels, the Arbitration Committee, the Mediation Committee, the Mediation Cabal, Esperanza and BJAODN before starting any discussion. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 17:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Ooh, for the tea party, can we invite everyone over for a Boston tea party?, everyone can come dressed as indians! Kim Bruning 18:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't that be dressed as indigenous peoples of North America of the Eastern Woodlands culture?
I think I will just stick a feather in my cap and call it macaroni. But I will point out that the easiest way around all those rules and regulations is simply to perform a military coup. Do you think a bunch of computer geeks are going to protest if you bust into the Wikipedia server room with a machine gun? —Mike 03:31, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I am with you, Kim. But do you have any plan to "stop the buck", as it were? DanielDemaret 21:54, 4 March 2006 (UTC)


It seems to me that Wikipedia policies or guidelines should include a discussion of how criticisms of topics fits into the Wikipedia articles about those topics. For exmaple Igor Stravinsky contain's a "Criticism" section while the criticisms of Country music where removed from that article and, presumably, some articles have criticism in each appropriate section (hypothetically, criticisms of Stravinsky's rhythmic prodedures could go in the "Rhythmic procedures" section of his article). Anyone else feel this need? Anythoughts on a guideline?

There is Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Article structures which can imply a view - maybe, after all the transformations that section underwent, it's no longer at the best place, which is now at the end of an elaborate guideline that was supposed to be about "words", not about "structures" - and it is about how to present criticism in a wikipedia article. --Francis Schonken 12:43, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Citing Wikipedia as a method of searching

Hello, I was wondering of someone could help me. I am involved in publishing a book and Wikipedia has been listed as a method of searching not as a source per se. To make it very easy to understand, basically all that was mentioned is the website URL. That's it.

Is this worthy of being listed somewhere on Wikipedia in terms of listing it as a source that was used? I'm just curious. Davidpdx 08:44, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you may consider listing your book at Wikipedia:Wikipedia as a book source and possibly at Wikipedia:Wikipedia as an academic source. AxelBoldt 17:26, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Censorship poll

Express your opinion about Wikipedia:Censorship at Wikipedia_talk:Censorship#Poll. Gerard Foley 02:20, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Putting redirects in categories

Is there a policy on putting redirect pages into categories?

Looking at Category:Invasive species, I was surprised that Cane Toad wasn't there. The article is there but under Giant Neotropical Toad which is the redirect from Cane Toad. I've added the category to the redirect but wondered if this is generally thought to be a good thing.

I can see some advantages (users are more likely to find the article they are looking for or spot one that is of interest) but also problems (big categories will become even bigger if the same article appears multiple times with different titles). --Cavrdg 17:24, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I like the idea of having redirects in categories (only where appropriate, though). For example, (sorry I can't recall the specifics off hand), some townships in Michigan have incorporated as cities (sometimes with a completely different name from the city). The old township name generally would not merit an article of its own, but merely redirect to the city. But I think it would make sense to categorize the redirect as Category:Defunct townships in Michigan. It certainly would not be appropriate to apply that category to the city article. olderwiser 18:30, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
This seems a bit like deliberately not avoiding a redirect. -Splashtalk 22:36, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, in the particular case above with the toad names, I think it probably should not be categorized -- Cane Toad appears to be only one of several alternative names. Since Giant Neotropical Toad is already in Category:Invasive species, I don't think it is appropriate for the alternative names to be in the same category as well. Now, *IF* there were subcategories like "Invasive species in X" *AND* this creature were known exclusively by an alternative name in that place, then it *MIGHT* make sense to include the alternative name redirect in the subcat -- but that doesn't appear to apply in this case. olderwiser 16:28, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Revolution within the form

For a long time at Wikipedia, I have been trying to restore "the old meanings" of words. I understand this concept (of "revolution within the form") and how it affects knowledge and learning. This concept is very important for understanding modern culture and society and how we got here. (This is very connected to Antonio Gramsci's Transformation of culture)

This is a danger to all knowledge and encyclopaediests who categorize and set down knowledge. Is what passes for knowledge really "revolutionized" meaning? And yet where is the congnization of this concept and an understanding of this? What is the response of Wikipedia to this? Do they even have one or do they actually participate in this "Revolution within the form"?

Let us look at some examples: Effeminacy and the Classical definition of effeminacy. That the word "effeminate" has undergone a change in meaning From something to be avoided as it is a *****character trait or vice**** to where it is an approved character trait of the gay community and "defined" as something as a "gender role" and tied to homosexual behavior. I consider this a "reading back" into history, modern understandings that was not at all the case for the ancients. For 1800 years the Christian Church in use of the word "malakos" has always translated and understood the word to be "effeminate" with NO sexual conotations. Now, all of a sudden, the word has now been translated as "boy prostitute" and is simply not right. The word "malakos" has undergone a "Revolution within the form".

Another example is the term Republic and the Classical Republic. Here the word has been transformed from it's original meaning to something else. And yet, Wikipedia teaches the "revolutionized" definition. Where is the Old meaning??? And then a seperate article on "mixed government" and "classical republic", shouldn't they be combined? And where is the old meaning in the Wikipedian "Classical republic"? Where is the discussion of governments as such. As of now all the articles pertaining to Republic all slant toward the modern "revolutionized" meaning on Wikipedia.

Is this the purpose of an encyclopaedia??? Do you not acknowledge the fact that people do purposely change the old things to bring about a revolution in society? What is the response to Revolution within the form?WHEELER 16:07, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem here is that the concept (which exists, and appears to be very much what Orwell was talking about with Newspeak) is bieng conflated with the term, which appears to be a neologism with strictly limited currency. I am sure that if you ask the closing admin (whoever it might be) to userfy it, you could wth some thought fix that problem, possibly within newspeak, but as it stands there is little evidence that this term has been used outside of the single cited source, and that is what is likely to get the article deleted. If it is deleted and not userfied drop by my talk page and I'll rescue it to your user space for you. Just zis Guy you know? 17:54, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment but I think Orwell's "double speak" is not the same level as "Revolution within the form". "Double speak" is an element of propaganda. It is similar to disimultude; for example, it talks about adjectives of war to be used as a means of peace. Double speak doesn't seek to redefine and reorder whole forms of government or the meaning of concepts. "Revolution within the form" existed well before "Double speak", it has greater historical provenance, and it is the great thinkers Aristotle and Machiavelli, one who exposes it and the other who uses the technique, that give it an impact and greater use. "Double speak" was created by one author, "Revolution within the form" is a technique observed in classical Greece and used by Machiavelli and Fabians and Gramsci democractic socialists. Revolution within the form is much more insidious because it seeks to fundamentally change one object for another.
It is how humanism advanced its agenda under the cover of old words. "Double Speak" is not a revolutionary strategy but a tool of propaganda. "Double Speak" is a sleight of hand technique. "Revolution within the form" is much more evil and corrupting. Furthermore it speaks to the human character of tradition and how this human character is manipulated for revolutionary purposes.
Well, it has been pointed out and it has received attention. It is there and now you are aware of the situation irregardless if it succeeds or fails as an article. In this post here, I want to bring it to the attention of Wikipedians because you are in the business of building an encyclopaedia---You need to be aware how information is manipulated to further revolution. I think it a very important subject for encyclopaedia builders, editors and contributors to be aware of. Anyway, It is on Wikinfo. I have it there and will probably transfer it to the talk pages of Joe Sobran Garet Garrett, republic and the JBS page.WHEELER 20:39, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy on copying and pasting non-copyrighted information

I know that using copyrighted text, like copyrighted anything, is against the rules- but what if you find a website that isn't copyrighted, and it has the info you need: can you copy the text and paste it here unchanged? Andrewdt85 09:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

It would have to be explicitly non-copyrighted/public domain - all material in American law is considered copyrighted when published, it needs no notice. --Golbez 09:21, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Products of the United States government generally are not copyrighted, however, and I have copied from U.S. Coast Guard sites a couple of times with only minimal editing. And, of course, anything on which copywrite has expired, such as the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, is fair game. But, these are well defined and very explicit exceptions, and you cannot assume something is in the public domain simply because no copyright notice is visible. And even some material produced by the U.S. government is copyrighted, so always check the status. Oh, and if you do copy public domain material, make it clear in the References section that you have done so (see {{1911}}, for example). -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:03, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, unless it's common knowledge or you yourself are the source of the information, add a footnote to the site/book/etc. you got the information from, even if you changed the wording and all that. Amina 01:39, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey) - Should Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey) become a naming conventions guideline? --Francis Schonken 17:38, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

No. And neither should any other existing proposed guidelines concerning the use of diacritics. Diacritics should be used, period. Just as words should be correctly spelled, etc. There is no need for such guidelines. -- Mareklug talk 17:57, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Diacritics should be used, period. That sounds a lot like a guideline to me. android79 18:46, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
A guideline? The formulation proposed by Mareklug is policy stuff. No problem: Wikipedia:Naming policy (diacritics) --Francis Schonken 20:12, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I hope you're just being silly. android79 20:20, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
If Mareklug is convinced that is the rule we should abide by, I'm convinced (s)he'll show us it is based on consensus. No unwritten rules, please! --Francis Schonken 20:25, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Err... okay... let's not make our points in this manner, eh? android79 20:28, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I maybe did (the point thing I mean), for which I apologise. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics) was the seriously meant proposal. But it started to attract "point" people. So here's my proposal: why don't you have a look at that proposal, and see for yourself whether it's any better than Mareklug's rule. Anyway, the Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey) RfC has been concluded. --Francis Schonken 00:17, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't know whether we have consensus to always use diacritics or not, but I'm certain we can establish the consensus for hockey player biographies to follow the same naming convention as other biographies. Zocky | picture popups 03:28, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I researched a bit, and this is truly preposterous. We have Jaroslav Hašek and Dominik Hasek although both of them have the same last name. The fact that somebody plays hockey has nothing to do with their name. Zocky | picture popups 03:36, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Mareklug says Diacritics should be used, period, and I say "Diacritics should not be used, full stop." (just semi-joking). This topic has been done to death at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English) with two views on the subject almost as polarised as that in the first sentence I just wrote. Francis Schonken's attempt is to try to solve the problem is to salami slice it, and although I give him credit for trying, I think the whole approach is floored. The reason for this is that we will end up with dozens and dozens of small guidelines for specific areas and they will be in conflict with each other (as does the proposed guideline Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Czech) (another of Francis's new proposed guidelines)). We would need to maintain a matrix of guidelines with weightings just to work out what the Wikipedia guideline for naming a particular page was.

At the moment the consensus (or lack of it) for naming pages with or without diacritics is kept in one place WP:UE, (There are a couple of exceptions to no agreed rule about diacritics, but they are both academic areas where a good case has been argued for having a rule and they are not going to overlap into other areas). If there is a dispute over a page name then as often as not it ends up on WP:RM and can be considered on a case by case basis. It is not perfect but given the size Wikipedia, it seems to work reasonably well as a compromise between the two views over names with diacritics.--Philip Baird Shearer 18:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

You wrote There are a couple of exceptions to no agreed rule about diacritics, but they are both academic areas where a good case has been argued for having a rule and they are not going to overlap into other areas - would you mind mentioning which areas/conventions you're referring to? I'd be interested. I found Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Ireland-related articles): I take it that you don't define every Ireland-related article with an Irish title to be by definition about an academic topic, so probably you alluded to something else (which I missed thus far). --Francis Schonken 11:47, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy on quoting sources in articles

Is there any particular way that you usually quote someone in an article? I just said

According to author ---- ----: "-------"

Is this right? Andrewdt85 09:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Anyone? Andrewdt85 18:08, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

What you are doing is as correct as most other possibilities such as X said "---", and the one selected is primarily a matter of style. The things to keep in mind when quoting someone is to provide an appropriate citation to satisfy the requirements of Wikipedia:Verifiability, and to avoid implying some type of bias with the words chosen as per Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Words which can advance a point of view. --Allen3 talk 18:29, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Infoboxes as Corporate Branding

Aaron suggested that I raise my concern about Infoboxes here. The original discussion can be found here. I believe Infoboxes have the effect of corporate advertising. They look like magazine ads, especially when the corporate logo is placed at the top. Also placing a box around particular facts privileges them by drawing attention of the eye: the current Infobox template does not include facts that would be of interest to labor (OSHA violations) or small investors (SEC violations, class action suits, etc.). These infoboxes currently cannot be removed without risk of Admin blocking because the people who place them (in the case I'm involved with, a corporate employee) can appeal to "policy" and "precedent". Does the Encyclopedia Britannica feature corporate logos? Using infoboxes to extend a corporation's brand campaign amounts to using Wikipedia for free advertising. I think the promotional aspect would be instantly recognized if a person posted their picture on an article with a list that highlighted laudatory facts. If infoboxes cannot be outright discouraged, it should at least be legal for a dissenting editor to remove them. --Pansophia 23:38, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I disagree that infoboxes look like advertising, for one thing all company infoboxes contain the same basic factual information. Items like OSHA, SEC violations, if relevent, can be added in the company specific article, but I don't see any valid reason for a dissenting editor to remove verifible, factual information. There is no field in the infobox for "laudatory facts". Facts are facts. However, if the fields are filled in with more than just the information (e.g. "Revenue $xm, (best in the industy") then the field info should be corrected, but the infobox should remain. MartinRe 00:09, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with MartinRe. -- Kjkolb 02:05, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Let's not withhold information from readers out of fear that we "look like" something we're not. Clearly our infoboxes are not ads, as long as they present the same information for each company in the same way. As I've said before, I believe your real complaint is that our infoboxes are promoting capitalism. This isn't true, unless you think our movie articles are promoting moviegoing and our sports articles are promoting sports events. Rhobite 22:17, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify my position, I'm not against capitalism. I'm against various abuses fostered by capitalism and very much for ethical capitalism. I am against corporate propaganda - especially when businesses exploit free media. Infoboxes propogate brands because the information is a) highlighted in a special, prominent box, and b) conveyed through a visual cue. The top right placement of the Infobox is the most desirable position and displaces any other image that could be placed there. I also disagree that "facts are facts" as far as Infoboxes are concerned: the selection of facts favors corporate interests. --Pansophia 01:28, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Is this the most appropriate place for this? If the purpose is general discussion about "Infoboxes as Corporate Branding", then probably. But if the purpose is the specific removal or addition of fields to the Template:Infobox Company, then proposals for such removal/additions belong at Template talk:Infobox Company. Furthermore, the use of logos on Wikipedia, such as in Wikipedia:Templates, is guidelined by the contents of Wikipedia:Logos. If the purpose is to change policy guidelines regarding the use of logos on Wikipedia, then such a proposal belongs at Wikipedia talk:Logos. Kurieeto 19:36, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it belongs here at least in part, since an admin threatened to block me for editing out an infobox. The justification is that these infoboxes are "policy", and they therefore can't be challenged by editors. This is a really disturbing position since it basically puts permanent protection on something that looks like an ad. --Pansophia 19:19, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Fair use (yet again)

The image illustrating Hobart Freeman was uploaded as a fair use image, but wouldn't the fair use only apply if the image were illustrating an article about the book whose cover art the image came from? Illustrating the article about the person would seem to be a violation of the fair use doctrine. User:Zoe|(talk) 18:21, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Hm. The image description page says it's the author image from the back of the book cover, so I'd say it's an okay fair use image, but {{bookcover}} is the wrong image tag (since a book front cover is a graphical design and not just a photograph in most cases). It should use {{fairusein}} plus a good rationale. IANAL-- grm_wnr Esc 19:14, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
if the same image is really on all his books you could probably fairly tag it promo (or explain that it is a promo image using fairusein). Arniep 01:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to jump on this train and ask a similar/related question. Stills from films and other footage - fair use allows us to use a still frame to illustrate the film/character it shows, but what about the actor? Is this pushing it too far? Example - whilst thinking about getting a new lead image for Eric Clapton's page, I thought it might be an idea to use a screen capture from Tommy, but thought it wouldn't be covered by fair use as the page has very little to do with the film. Any thoughts? - MightyMoose22 00:42, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

A film still would be appropriate if it is placed close to some halfway detailed discussion of the role or film in question - e.g., just a mention in a list of appearances wouldn't cut it, in my opinion, and neither would using it somewhere else in the article. Since the lead of the Clapton article does not mention Tommy (and probably shouldn't, since it's hardly one of the things Clapton's most famous for), I'd not use a film still there - in fact, a fair use/promotional (as is used now - I can't see what's wrong with it, by the way, except that the image information is somewhat lacking) or even free image of a person of Clapton's caliber shouldn't be too hard to come by. -- grm_wnr Esc 23:05, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I thought. That's why I didn't suggest it, I was just curious in retrospect. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a plethora of free/promo Clapton images out there, I just have no idea how to identify them myself. I tried Googling Clapton promotional and various similar image searches, but didn't find anything particularly good that wasn't too similar to Image:Eclapton_cardiff.jpg. (see here for what we were/are looking for). - MightyMoose22 18:49, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I removed these two images Image:Claptonprofile.jpg, Image:Claptonsixties.jpg as we have two similar free images so we don't really have a good fair use argument, plus the fact that the images don't have info on the copyright holder or original source. Arniep 01:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

is there a word for this?

is there an accepted wikipedia word or term for when someone (whether it be a corporation, an employee or the person himself) who watches over their own article and immediately deleted any derrogatory or negative things about them on. what has been done to combat this, which will only get worse in the future.

also, same thing, only and interested party writes the bulk of the article.


Sparsefarce 23:22, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

WP:AUTO. -Splashtalk 23:24, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

that helps, but what about if it's a peon at a major corporation that changes the article? would it still be referred to as autobiography?

Sparsefarce 23:27, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

found one... POV-pushing? but is this an official term?

Sparsefarce 23:35, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

See also WP:OWN. FreplySpang (talk) 23:36, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I guess you're referring to MC Hammer? I'd say it's more likely that there's a rabid fan out there somewhere removing anything critical rather than MC Hammer himself or one of his employees. Lots of fans feel a lot of ownership over their beloved's pages. · Katefan0(scribble)/poll 23:41, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I just replaced a bunch of unflattering text in that article that had been removed, and blocked the IP that had been doing it for a week. Its only edits were to the Hammer article. Postdlf 23:48, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Is restoring my own comments on discussion page a violation of 3RR

If somebody is deleting my own comments from discussion page, will I break 3RR for restoring them more then 3times ? --Molobo 20:35, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Based on the reasoning I'm seeing, yes, since you initially deleted someone else's comments. The general rule is: If you have to ASK if something violates 3RR, it does, and seek other resolution methods now. 3RR is not an allowance, it is a guideline. --Golbez 20:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Putting tags without explanation and refusing to discuss them

What is the policy if some user puts a disputed tag on regular basis yet refuses to state reasons for doing and refuses discussion ? Is removal of such a tag after a time considered vandalism ? --Molobo 13:01, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

If it's one of those like {{NPOV}} which say "Please see the discussion on the talk page", and there's no discussion on the talk page about it (the discussion does not need to be started by the same user, so be careful), the tag is bogus and can be removed. On other cases, it's less clear (the tag might be or not bogus); however, the removal would probably be considered a content dispute, and not vandalism. --cesarb 16:02, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I have experience of the converse problem. Fairly recently, I put up two tags together with explanations of the reasons on the talk pages, only to find both tags removed immediately by "guardians" of the page, outraged that anyone should criticise "their" page with one stating, "You're coming across very confrontational and arrogant, some consider that to be uncivil. I will try to assume good faith, but you'll have to stop acting like you hold a monopoly on what is or isn't. I'm removing the clean up tag, I think it's unwarranted." simply because I listed some of what I thought was wrong with the page. With some people, you just cannot win. David91 16:24, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Regarding links and double links

What is Wikipedia's policy on double links besides "don't use them?" If there is an image linking to an internal page on Wikipedia, and the same internal page is linked to within the image, what is the policy? Delete one link, and not the other? Keep both links? Thanks for your time. — Ian Manka Talk to me‼ 03:28, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Solved on #wikipedia. Thanks anyway! — Ian Manka Talk to me‼ 03:33, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

List of (religion) (profession)

Is there a policy on articles titled "List of (religion) (profession)"? List of Muslim athletes was previously deleted by AfD, the main reason being that those who contributed to the AfD discussion agreed that "the faith of none of those people had an influence on their chosen profession". However, this article has recently gone through a few cycles of recreation/deletion and I feel that it is kind of unfair to delete this for the above reason when we have articles like List of Jewish American athletes and List of Catholic American entertainers (amongst many others). If there is no policy, is it worthwhile having a discussion as to whether to keep/delete all such articles rather than subjecting them to AfD on a piecemeal basis? (note that I write this as the admin who deleted List of Muslim athletes following its AfD rather than as a contributor to any of the above articles) JeremyA 02:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

IIRC, [[List of Catholic American entertainers]] has been up for AfD in the past, and kept. As yoy imply, you can't look to Afd for any consistency on application of policy or precedent. As for clarufying the policy, Isuspect it will be impossible to get a consensus. Too many editors vote for what they like, rather than for consistency and the best interests of Wikipedia. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:38, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Vandalism of featured articles

It seems that any article featured on the main page is an immediate target for vandalism. Why don't we have a policy to semi-protect the articles before they are featured on the main page. it would save editors a lot of time from reverting the continual stream of vandalism from random IP anons. David D. (Talk) 20:09, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Amongst other reasons, because quite a few of these makes substantial corrections of typos and grammar stuff that Wikiepdians themselves wouldn't spot, as they wouldn't read through a Featured aArticle just because it's being featured on the Main page. Circeus 20:13, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, now I can see how the benefits might out weigh the random vandalism, thanks for the input. David D. (Talk) 20:14, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
How did an article get to be featured if it is so obviously littered with typos and grammar stuff. If a page is being held up as the best that Wiki can produce, how come no-one with a brain has proof read it? David91 03:04, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

The Wikipedia policy on Nazism

All vandalism is serious, but I may consider nazi-type vanadism super serious. If I came across it *anywhere* on wikipedia, I would get a consensus to block the relevant user(s) for up to three years. Nazism is racist and should not be tolerated on wikipedia. This includes adding any Nazi type greating or images to articles (or even discussions and user pages) where they do not make it more informative.Myrtone (the strict Australian wikipedian)(talk)

What makes Nazi-type vandalism any different from any other sort of personal/collective attack? --Carnildo 20:53, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) I disagree with that. Nazi-type vandalism isn't in general done by nazis, but by bored teenagers, etc. The actual content of the vandalism is irrelevant. The seriousness of vandalism is related to the frequency of it, and the amount of removed or added text. The length of blocks should reflect that; not the content. So I would support long blocks for vandal bots; and standard policy should apply to nazi vandals. Eugene van der Pijll 20:56, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
There are far too many categories of offensive edits to single out "Nazi" vandalism for special treatment. I can think of many utterances more objectionable than the display of a swastika or declaration of the superiority of the so-called Aryan. I agree in spirit that vandalism containing inflammatory content is theoretically a greater offense than that consisting merely of "woot woot"; but a much greater danger is calculated vandalism in which, say, dates and names are subtly altered.
All vandalism is wrong; I would be happy if any vandal were blocked forever from further editing. But anon IP editors are, truly, anonymous; blocking the IP may block legitimate users. And -- for those who believe in the potential for redemption in the human heart -- it is always possible that a registered vandal may reform, given patience and understanding as well as a firm hand. Given these considerations, the current policy on vandal blocking is about the best. John Reid 21:56, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
"If I came across it *anywhere* on wikipedia, I would get a consensus to block the relevant user(s) for up to three years." - Strange and arbitrary timelimit. Might as well just permaban someone if you're going to go for such an excessive length of time, as it's easy enough to dodge bans for most users; computer cafes and libraries are everywhere these days. Permabans don't force admins to keep track of an ISP for years, either.
"Nazism is racist and should not be tolerated on wikipedia." - Faulty logic. You seem to be basing this logic more on kneejerk reaction to buzzwords like "nazism" and "racism" and thus on appeals to emotion than on solid reasoning; if nazism only needs to be blocked because it's racism, why not just block all racism? What makes nazi imagery more tolerable than KKK imagery, for example? The problem here is that outlawing a single random thing puts Wikipedia into a bad position where it's clearly guilty of hypocrisy for arbitrarily singling out one group while ignoring countless other groups that share a near-identical ideology and are in many cases even more influential and significant in today's world than some ridiculous gang that reached its peak over 50 years ago. It can also lead to a slippery slope where more and more other groups are also outlawed from Wikipedia and vandalism using their imagery is made especially intolerable (as though we tolerated any form of vandalism to begin with?), leading to a climate of fear and oppression on Wikipedia where people are scared to say what they think in case they'll be banned for it by admins who judge them to be too similar to one of the arbitrarily-banned groups. All vandalism is vandalism and should be dealt with as such, without trying to turn Wikipedia into an instrument for morality or for judging the wicked and rewarding the good. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a nazi-fighting social reform machine; the reason arbitrary insertion of Nazi propaganda is bad for Wikipedia is the same reason arbitrary insertion of any type of propaganda is bad for Wikipedia: it dilutes Wikipedia's encyclopedic value, accuracy, and reliability. Not because a certain type of propaganda is more or less "evil" than any other; whether it is or not is of no concern to us. It is of concern to every individual human being on the planet, not to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia.
"This includes adding any Nazi type greating or images to articles (or even discussions and user pages) where they do not make it more informative." - Looks like I'd have to be the first person you banned, then, for being wicked and hateful enough to make a philosophical statement about the nature of images and of humans ascribing good or evil to them. Fire away. After all, everyone knows that the best way to fight intolerance is to be intolerant! (Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird.) -Silence 22:17, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I just ran a db query on stuff that is reported to be Nazi vandalism and looking at the times I think 90% of it is done by high school kids who get a cheap thrill out of it, stupid but most of it is pretty easy to clean up, heck, its even automated cleanup as my bot catches most of it. I'm going to add a report in the system to report Nazi vandalism for block considerations. -- Tawker 22:26, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Please clarify what you mean when you consider nazism? Again we approach this from a neutral point of view, if it's vandalism it's still vandalism. The person will be banned regardless of content for vandalism. From what I reading you seem to intent that we should punish vandals that use nazi or race hate phrases harder. If so I must disagree in that a 3 year block for a racism is too much, and is Wikipedia forcing a point of view of non-racism. For instance, if a person is writing a article on Adolf Hitler, and think his view of white purity is a good thing, we merely delete the article under the NPOV guidelines already in place. Any additional changes just for racism would be too overreaching, as well as value imposing, which is counter to Wikipedia belief in good faith guideline. --Masssiveego 23:46, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that standard policies should apply. It is inappropriate to single out particular types of vandalism for special opprobrium as it would be the first step towards Wikipedia adopting an editorial political stance. Nathcer 23:48, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

"If so I must disagree in that a 3 year block for a racism is too much, and is Wikipedia forcing a point of view of non-racism." Isn't a non-racism POV a good thing, such a POV is fair and just. This is what I was bought up with (here in Australia). It seems to me that American scociety (Wikipedia statred in the USA and its policies seem to have originarted there) does have a general non-racist POV in comparison to say, Australia (Australia is not the racist country it was in the 1950s, the "white Australia" era, today Australia is multicultural and very tollerant). I would also be interested to know how, say, Canada compares to the US on the matter.Myrtone (the strict Australian wikipedian)(talk)

Cory Doctorow and the 'Autobiography' Guideline

I find it a bit disturbing that blogger Cory Doctorow's sole contributions to Wikipedia are to edit the hell out of his own biography and that of his blog. Is the fact that the Wikipedia:Auto-biography guideline is a guideline and not policy mean that this is acceptable? — WCityMike (T | C) 19:00, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm a fan of Cory's work (both his blog and his novels) so I'm a bit biased. Take this with a grain of salt, I suppose.
His edits to Boing Boing are pretty much above-the-board, with a detailed explanation either in edit summaries or on the talk page.
His edits to Cory Doctorow seem to be okay, though there may be a little bit of original research in there, regarding the meaning of an Amazon sales rank. There's also one meaningless personal detail about his hair (that he clarified, but did not add originally) that probably ought to go. He seems to be conscientiously editing the article on himself. I don't think it'll be a problem as long as there are neutral third parties keeping an eye on things. android79 19:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
The issue is not of "conscientiously editing the article". The issue is that editing one's article is strongly discouraged:
Avoid writing or editing articles about yourself, since we all find objectivity especially difficult when we ourselves are concerned. Such articles frequently violate neutrality, verifiability, and notability guidelines. Contribute on the talk page instead. Feel free to correct mistaken or out-of-date facts about yourself.
... for very obvious reasons. ≈ jossi ≈ t@
Yes, strongly discouraged. Not verboten. Did you even examine his edits? They're mostly of the "feel free to correct mistaken or out-of-date facts about yourself" variety. android79 20:02, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we need to flat out prohibit subjects from editing articles about themselves. We should (and do) strongly encourage people to avoid it if there's even a hint that they're doing so improperly, but we don't need to be absolute about it. — Matt Crypto 00:02, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Admin 0RR proposal

A proposed policy limiting the authority of administrators to reverse one another is currently under discussion. Please take a moment to review and discuss the proposed policy. Kelly Martin (talk) 12:18, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

The use of English in Wikipaedia

Why is there not a clear provision (that is to say a named moderator or a moderating committee) in The Wikipaedia organisation to ensure that all material published as the agreed substance of this encyclopaedia is written grammatically (at the least) and also - if possible - in a respectable style?

One good reason for having this safeguard is that technical advice simply cannot be trusted if the writer or speaker is not completely literate.

Someone who cannot in any event write grammatically surely cannot be relied upon to communicate accurately and economically the specifics of the topic in which he claims knowledge. Well-educated people know this and disregard professional or technical advice and comment from people who can only convey it in dubious or defective language.

Literacy - or the lack of it - is a direct and immediate indicator of the quality of the communication.

For example: we have seen in these pages the adjective "NOMIC" used as if it were a noun; we have seen "LAY" used where "LIE" was obviously intended; we have seen the noun "QUALITY" used as if it were an adjective of praise, and meaning "superior" or "excellent quality".

People whose knowledge of English does not enable them to distinguish between the two separate verbs "TO LAY" and "TO LIE" are not yet ready to edit directly Wikipaedia pages and should submit their words to a suitably-educated moderator.

Solecisms that may pass in informal conversation are not acceptable in an encyclopaedia.

Kirkby Stephen, e-mail:

I'm sorry to hear that you have difficulty comprehending the language on this discussion page. We will try to do better. Additionally, can I refer you to the page Prescription and description? Cheers, Ziggurat 08:22, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Why not? Oh, for various reasons. Just one of them is that most potential suitably-educated moderators would find the designated job of ensuring what you term "grammaticality" to be extremely onerous. I'd like to think that I for one am suitably educated and am literate in English, but I wouldn't take that job unless I were paid -- and paid a lot.
Incidentally, I find your comment rather odd in various ways. First, if "lay" is used where "lie" is obviously intended, this is not a grammatical but a lexical error; secondly, if this mistake is obvious then it is hard to see how it could be misleading; thirdly, no matter how little you may like to see "quality" used as a prenominal adjective (and I don't like it much myself), this use is well established; and fourthly, the good pedant would note that "Wikipedia" is so spelled. Anyway, you are very welcome to switch "lay" to "lie" where appropriate, and so forth. Before you start, however, you may consider obtaining a username.
In the meantime, while I too am irritated by poor English, I'm much more worried about errors of fact and bias -- Hoary 08:25, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
You say, "Literacy - or the lack of it - is a direct and immediate indicator of the quality of the communication". Not always. A counterexample is your highly literate post. Please don't troll. — Matt Crypto 13:29, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, mostly literate, anyway. You failed to spell "Wikipedia" correctly, for example. — Matt Crypto 13:31, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Nomic is a noun when it is used to describe the rule-changing game that is so named. *Dan T.* 13:31, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
We have large numbers of editors for whom English is not their first language. Although they are in general well able to make themselves understood, their edits are, at times, less than grammatical. It doesn't mean their contributions are invalid, we just clean up after them as we can. And I've seen posts from lots of people from outside of North America who claim that American English is ungrammatical. Do you propose to ban us from editing in our native language? User:Zoe|(talk) 17:05, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at "Kirkby Stephens"'s email address, and then decide for yourself if you want to continue feeding the troll. android79 17:16, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia works because it has low barriers to entry. We then have to deal with the consequence that some edits are low quality. That can't be reversed without impeding Wikipedia's growth massively. Nathcer 23:51, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

against any deletion / erasing policy

I'm stunned on how far we can forget the primary goals when we get immersed into a good project. I've done this several times myself, caught myself going too far into a way because it sounds and look right, but I'm just forgetting what I was supposed to do in that project at first.

I feel like all wikimedia foundation projects are going that way today, specially when considering how difficult it might be to realize that deleting an article is just totally against any of the primary goals. And it happens for obvious reasons: there's no space for every single little thing.

Is that true?

The way wikipedia is done comes to avoid ambiguity in a very logical and simple way: there's a limit of characters, so all that's needed to do to keep it within the limits is calculating how much hardware space is needed to a certain number of total characters for any article. That will bring the theoretically infinite number to a real amount that we can deal with.

The vote for deletion attacks me so deeply in what I believe it's better for this community that I get even disturbed, so I might say things I don't want to, but the idea is just proposing to change the way articles get deleted. There are several things that could be done.

Please, refer to my user page to read the rest. I'm not sure where to put this suggestion, and getting tired of rewriting it. :D


--Cacumer 01:30, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. See also User:Simetrical#Notability. Of course, we still need to delete stuff that's totally worthless to our goals, like patent nonsense or unverifiable info, but more than the very slightest notability requirements specifically are completely unnecessary and nothing but destructive. Unfortunately, the two of us are in a distinct minority. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:49, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy proposal: Main Page on April Fool's Day

Please read the following proposal: Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page

With the approach of April Fool's Day, I'd like to propose how we present the Main Page to readers on this day. To sum up, I'd like us to make the Main Page as factual as possible, but with unusual facts and articles to convince readers that we are pulling their leg on April Fool's Day. However, the joke's on them: we are actually presenting the truth, not a bunch of jokes! I'd appreciate any comments you would have at Wikipedia talk:April Fool's Main Page. --Deathphoenix ʕ 22:10, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I love the idea, and fully support it. It will send an undeniable message out there: there are articles in WP that you cannot find anywhere else. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 22:16, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I like the absurd silliness, too, but this is a great idea. — Omegatron 22:46, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Great idea! android79 22:59, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh this is a delicious idea! KillerChihuahua?!? 23:00, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a fine idea to me. -- DS1953 talk 23:05, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I am against this (on that day). April Fool's Day is limited to only a few countries. However, Wikipedia is (supposed) to be universal, regardless of the language in which it is written. I think the only reason we see this proposal in this wikipedia -as opposed to wikis in other languages- is due to the ǀSystemic bias of Wikipedia. And this being something for which there is an ongoing project: Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias open tasks. If we are to do something for April Fool's Day on that day, then something similar should/could be done for similar days in non Anglo-Saxon cultures, like December 28, which is the day many Spanish speaking countries have a day similar to April Fool's. And I am sure a similar day exists in other cultures. Anagnorisis 23:13, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
But it won't be Systemic Bias, because the proposal is not to put any jokes on the main page (which would be in keeping with April Fool's day), but simply to put some lesser-known facts than usual on the main page. Only the people familiar with April Fool's day will be the people who make make the unfactual inferences. --Rebroad 17:52, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
The solution to systematic bias is not to stop doing things that from one culture or region but to do more from others. If there is another holiday/event that we could do somthing for then we should organize that as well. BrokenSegue 23:19, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
A little of both. If you keep doing mostly one (just because) that is the one you know about, you end up sending a certain message. Sometimes, then it helps to tone it down. Helping reenforce that bias helps some "different" people stay away and feel shy about proposing other things. Now, given that you propose to include things about other cultures, what about also having April Fool's day share honors with Republic Day from Iran which is also celebrated on April 1st, and also with Cyprus that celebrates its National Day? But before we get to that day, as you suggest we may do something for other dates. Say we do something in honor of "World Day for Water" which is an international celebration on March 22. We have also the "International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination" [9] which is celebrated every March 21st (but it will compete with Ostara-Spring Equinox (which is a very important day for Druids, pagans and the like). March 20 is also "World Frog Day" which I am sure is very important to frog lovers. I am sure there are plenty more we can find. Yes, this thing of systemic bias is a bitch, and no easy solution without one having to start going back on things one likes -which is no solution at all. Yes, yo do have a valid point. However .... :-) Anagnorisis 23:45, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Good ideas. Sounds like someone needs to start the "The Special Occasions Wikiproject" or somthing to organize special main page displays (Get Water featured, etc.). BrokenSegue 23:53, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Is there a general proposal to modify the Main Page on every day which is special, e.g. for the major religious and national holidays, when items relevant to Hindus, Moslems, Buddists, etc. and to Independence Day can be highlighted. Or are we only going to honour the silly season when it becomes more socially acceptable to try to deceive people. David91 03:00, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
No, my proposal is only for April Fool's. Wikipedia has historically undergone a lot of vandalism in a variety of pages, all under the title of "pranks". This proposal is meant to address that one specific case. I'd rather not see Wikipedia face even more vandalism than normal on that day. I'd say that's more important than honouring the silly season when it becomes more socially acceptable to try to deceive people. --Deathphoenix ʕ 05:48, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
But why would this holiday (if it can be called so) get a special treatment over the others? I am fine then if we also do something special in the sane cover page on "World Day for Water," "International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination," "World Frog Day" and also for the upcoming spring equinox. Anagnorisis 05:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
At a time when the issue of vandalism is of increasing significance, it seems in poor taste to try to outprank the pranksters. All the inclusion of silly but true information on the main page will achieve is to offer some degree of legitimacy to those who wish to place non-notable information in other articles and/or provoke more determined reponses from the pranksters. Although I acknowledge that serious media institutions do engage in this nonsensical activity, modifying the main page seems an extreme act and sets a precedent for modifying the main page to relect other internationally significant events. I therefore propose to use this proposal as a precedent to make relevant modifications to the main page to highlight Labour Day/May Day to honour all those who are employed around the world (including those of us who work on Wiki). Unless, of course, you think that is not justified? David91 06:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Let's just put Wet blanket (I can't believe this page doesn't exist!) up on the main page and be done with it. Ewlyahoocom 06:54, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for agreeing that the main page should set the tone of Wikipedia as a serious attempt to provide reliable information to users. If editors wish to introduce more frivolous information elsewhere, we can deal with that on its merits as and when it appears. David91 08:03, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Response in Wikipedia talk:April Fool's Main Page. --Deathphoenix ʕ 12:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
also responded to there, in depth, but I think it's important to point out here that I feel David91 is presenting a false dichotomy here. The alternative is not between THIS proposal and no pranking at all (unenforcable... I mean, think about it) Rather, it is between this proposal and uncontrolled/unchanneled pranking. In my view David91 has not adequately addressed that point. Further discussion perhaps should be taken to the page. ++Lar: t/c 13:09, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Ironically, David91 has presented no false dichotomy whatsoever (he didn't say "between THIS proposal and no pranking at all", all he said was that Wikipedia shouldn't endorse the spread of frivolous information or April Fool's Day pranking just for the hell of it), whereas you, Lar, have created a false dichotomy: "it is between this proposal and uncontrolled/unchanneled pranking". This dichotomy is false because (1) it assumes that if we don't use this proposal, pranking will be "uncontrolled/unchanneled", when in fact there will be plenty of pranking and disorder either way, and in fact it's incredibly likely (I'd say close to 100%) that using a proposal like this would cause many times more pranking than it would prevent, because it would remind so many more readers about April Fool's Day and that this is the day for mischief-making, and implicitly endorse such mischief by playfully fucking up the main page and including technically true, but highly misleading (see the example given on this policy's main page utilizing an out-of-context photograph and poorly-explained event), information, and (2) it assumes that if we do use this proposal, pranking won't be "uncontrolled/unchanneled", which doesn't make any sense whatsoever: having a joke on the main page doesn't make pranking "controlled" or "channeled" (and I don't see how it would be a good thing to "channel" pranking anyway, even were it possible), it just references pranking and is itself a "prank" of sorts, designed to mislead and confuse our readers (which will lead to a lot of complaints and bad press for Wikipedia, and will probably give Wikipedia vandalism a huge boost while upsetting a lot of Wikipedia's hard-working and dedicated editors in that it makes Wikipedia itself look like a big, dumb joke, little better than Uncyclopedia). If you really want to "control" pranking, toughen up and enlarge the counter-vandalism groups on Wikipedia so they can more effectively and speedily combat it. If you really want to "channel" vandalism (and channel it somewhere it won't cause harm, rather than doing the exact opposite and channeling obscure and trivial vandalism into a main-page fiasco), provide users with better ways to express their jokes, like their Userpages and Uncyclopedia. Rather than countering David91's worries with an even-handed, accurate assessment of the available options here, you've just fabricated a more inaccurate analysis. The option is between having misleading and obscure information on the website in order to trick our foolish readers into thinking Wikipedia is making nonsense up when it's really just taking information out of context and presenting it in a misinforming way (rather than letting our foolish readers continue thinking Wikipedia is a reliable source of significant information on April 1st), and between just leaving it the same as any other day, and it's just that simple; it is not a choice of whether or not to "channel" or "control" April Fool's Day pranking by having the main-page endorse and satirize it. (Also, I do wonder at what you'll do if this proposal goes through and something important happens in the news on April 1st. I'd find it amusing if we had the entire main page covered with ridiculous noninformation and then had to include info in the upper-left corner about some terrorist bombing or rockslide that killed a bunch of people. Yeah, the main page is a great place for an April Fool's Joke... simply perfect...)
But the real reason it's a bad idea, besides that it probably wouldn't be very funny at all, is that we should have crazy and inexplicable facts on the main page every day, not just one day out of the year. We shouldn't have to save up weird-ass "did you know"s or FAs for a single day; if it's interesting and noteworthy, put it up there on August 7th or February 22nd! It doesn't matter! -Silence 13:45, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
So what do you think we should do for April 1, 2006? The same as for April 1, 2005, where the featured article was something like Nintendo 64 and we had a news article about Encyclopedia Britannica taking over Wikipedia linked from the Main Page? (I thought the article was pretty funny, just not sure if it was appropriate to link from the Main Page) --Deathphoenix ʕ 16:57, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand why we have to do anything on April 1st. How will it benefit Wikipedia or improve its reputation to turn the main-page into an elaborate joke for one day of the year? How will it benefit our readers or better inform them to try to trick them, just because we can? There's a whole wide world out there to play pranks in; why does Wikipedia's main page have to participate as well? There are very few potential benefits and significant potential risks, and every joke we could make with the main page would be better-made elsewhere, such as on Uncyclopedia or at least a Wikipedia:-space page (so we'd at least only be pranking Wikipeida's editors, not its readers). Why this bizarre compulsion to make the entire universe adhere to a specific holiday of a specific culture? We don't put Christmas decorations on Wikipedia on December 25th, change the default background color to a festive green for St. Patrick's Day, or put fireworks in the "Wikipedia" logo on random countries' independence days; we're an encyclopedia. -Silence 15:38, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Well said! I agree. I tried to drive the same point, with my other silly suggestions. However, I am not as eloquent as brother Silence. I certainly find disturbing that 'compulsion' (as Silence calls it) many have here trying make the whole world adhere and follow one culture, theirs. Anagnorisis 23:24, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
If we're an encyclopedia, what's wrong with showcasing some of our unusual, but good articles? Like it or not, unusual articles are a part of Wikipedia. Take a look at exploding whale. It's a featured article. --Deathphoenix ʕ 02:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
As a separate issue, I draw attention to the timezone problem. Arbitrarily picking any one set of twenty-four hours from around the world means that the main page will be displayed before the day or after the day depending on where the viewer is located. Thus, the screen will be read by those not expecting an April Fool because it is not the 1st April where they are. The alternative would be running the main page for a sufficient period to cover the 24 hours constituting the 1st April in everyone's timezones. I hope that this proposal will be rejected. If those who control Wikipedia wish to risk the Wiki's reputation and allow it, then I hope that this foolishness will only be on display for the 24 hours in whichever timezone is selected and that there is some mechanism to show how that time is elapsing, e.g. by having a clock show date and time in a prominent position on the page. David91 15:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

(There seems to be a lot of conversation on policy here. Would there be any objections if I moved this to the talk page for the policy, or would you prefer to continue the conversation here, and I'll move it later?) Please read my response in Wikipedia talk:April Fool's Main Page. --Deathphoenix ʕ 16:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Since it directly affects Wiki's reputation, this would seem to be the obvious place but, as a mere footsoldier here, I have had my say on the issue and will leave it to my Wiki elders and betters to ruminate further wherever they wish. David91 02:42, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Why not just try to get April Fool's Day featured by April 1, and put it on the main page? We could do that for other holidays, too. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:08, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

That's been proposed before, and I don't know if it's a good enough showcase.

Limit proposal to just a featured article

Okay, now I'm hearing from the people who are pretty extreme on the other side, that Wikipedia should be completely formal and do nothing for April Fool's at all. I seriously doubt that's going to happen, but how about a bit of a compromise. How about we can the whole proposal and just bring up an unusual article to featured article status? THere;s nothing "against policy" with that. smurray had a good suggestion: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. That is a normal article, except for the name. --Deathphoenix ʕ 13:12, 9 March 2006 (UTC)