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Proposal to add suicidal disclaimer at Suicide[edit]

This has been rejected before but I would like to raise this point again. Viewers of Wikipedia who are suicidal are more likely to search the Suicide Article than any other articles and as they read more info on suicide they may look at methods to commit suicide that are on the article and may actually replicate it.

I’ve seen many disclaimer that were added on top of the suicide article then they were deleted as there was a page on Wikipedia that tells Wikipedians how they respond to suicide threats from wikipedians. However most of the suicidal viewers are probably not wikipedians, they’re just random visitors of Wikipedia who just went to the suicide article to find out methods to attempt suicide.

Just by adding a disclaimer and redirecting them to the suicide crisis line on the top may just help them get out of that thought of committing suicide. So I’m proposing that we should add that disclaimer on the Suicide Wikipedia article just so we can prevent people committing suicide as a result of viewing that page. I also propose to add the same disclaimer on the Suicide Methods so they don’t replicate any sort of suicide attempts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by OfficialNeon (talkcontribs) 23:42, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

I'm broadly in favor of adding the top most visible and respectable national or international suicide prevention resources to the external links section. I proposed something similar years ago for the article for Rape and it was fairly broadly opposed. So I don't expect it will get consensus, but I'm still in favor of it. We're only one of the most popular websites in the world and all. GMGtalk 00:05, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: I don't see anything wrong with adding such a disclaimer if you ask me. We're here to present facts, not encourage or condone any method of self-harm as what the suicide methods article may seem to imply, even if our job here is not to provide advice for things. Second, there's a similar disclaimer on articles like WikiLeaks telling people that Wikimedia has no affiliation with the site despite the name. TV Tropes, while more informal and less factually reliable, does take suicide seriously, and would go to lengths to advise suicidal individuals to seek help. Not that we'd add suicide counseling advice on each and every article though, but a general piece of advice to dissuade and comfort those who are depressed shouldn't hurt. As mentioned in the talk page, "the importance of harm reduction outweighs the importance of policies like WP:NPOV that might guide us under normal circumstances to leave out such a hat note." Blake Gripling (talk) 03:01, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Can we do a hatnote that is geographically targeted by IP address? If so that would seem sensible and responsible to me. ϢereSpielChequers 09:08, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
@WereSpielChequers: that's not very feasible; if we did want to put something on these pages, perhaps a hatnote linking to Crisis hotlines. — xaosflux Talk 14:38, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
As mentioned in previous discussions on this topic, what would be preferred is instead a wikilink to List of suicide crisis lines. MPS1992 (talk) 15:28, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
If we can do geo targeted watchlist notices we can certainly do this, maybe with a little programming. The vast majority of IP addresses can be linked to a country, so those countries where we do have a crisis line we could put a hatnote. ϢereSpielChequers 21:18, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I would suggest that whatever is selected look as neutral and as part of the encyclopedia as possible. Flashing lights and "NO, DON'T DO IT" would frighten the reader away. A hatnote, whether geographically targeted or no, puts the opportunity before the reader.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:46, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
+1.
I'd support something along these lines, which guides an interested reader who inadvertently arrives at Suicide while searching for help on the subject, while not being flashy or condescending towards the general reader. Abecedare (talk) 23:12, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
That example strikes me as appropriate and fitting with the style of Wikipedia. Particularly if the assertion that people looking for such information reach the general article is true; I have no evidence either way on that point, and benefit of the doubt here seems reasonable. Anomie 00:19, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, when I search "how to commit suicide" the third result is Suicide methods. GMGtalk 01:05, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
We don't do disclaimers in articles and we also don't disguise them as bad hatnotes. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 13:42, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Templates such as 'unsourced' may have been intended as editorial calls to action, but they also caution readers to take the contents of a page with a pinch of salt. Wikipedia does disclaimers, it just doesn't usually call them that. Richard Nevell (talk) 14:14, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
@Richard Nevell: WP:NODISCLAIMERS, which I linked to, explains why cleanup templates are one of very few exceptions to this rule. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 19:03, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, which should be a sign that asserting "We don't do disclaimers in articles" might oversimplify things when some nuance is in order. Richard Nevell (talk) 19:50, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
afaIk, this would be better done with an extension, a script instead of a template. viztor 02:58, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
"Dynamic" content in articles break caching, indexing, and possibly other services that rely on us. Keeping in mind the "readers first" line of thinking, lets not break things with any sort of assumption about "where you are" when displaying article content. Anomie's example of leading readers of the encyclopedia to an article about support is pretty good and doesn't try to guess which thing you should see. — xaosflux Talk 04:48, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Credit where it's due: The idea was Abecedare's, I just liked it. Anomie 11:22, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - Certainly I see nothing wrong with something along these lines. While a geo-specified method would be nice, I'm concerned that cases where it was inaccurate would make it less helpful than a generic answer and link Nosebagbear (talk) 12:58, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Thinking about this more, I don't really like putting a non-content banner of some sort on this page - the crisis lines are already linked at the bottom of the page. I suppose possibly a hatnote to the actual article on Suicide crisis might be editorially acceptable - as readers may actually be looking for that subject. — xaosflux Talk 14:37, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm against this idea although the sentiment behind the proposal is a good one. Two reasons: 1. People find this article through Google, Google already includes crisis information and local hotlines. 2. There's not really any good evidence that suggests crisis hotlines are actually helpful at preventing or limiting self harm.[1] --188.250.220.217 (talk) 21:22, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd support a hatnote to that effect, but not a banner. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 23:33, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose per WP:NOTADVICE. That's not the purpose of Wikipedia. However, there is nothing wrong with either having a section in the article about suicide prevention services, or if appropriate, a link to an expanded article about it. Banana Republic (talk) 01:34, 22 July 2019 (UTC) Changed my mind after seeing the hatnote at Governor of New York. Hatnotes need not be purely for disambiguation. Similar to the hatnote at Governor of New York saying For a list, see List of Governors of New York, I could support a hatnote saying something similar to the hatnote proposed by andritolion who suggested If you're considering suicide, please visit List of suicide crisis lines , but I would suggest something less explicit, such as "For suicide prevention, see List of suicide crisis lines". Banana Republic (talk) 17:03, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
Opposed "Don't do heroin" or "If raped call" is simply not our purpose....that said external links to help groups would be OK in my view.--Moxy 🍁 01:47, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
Comment - And yet we have this policy page. Some things need not be didactic imho, but I guess it's all up to consensus. What I believe in is that we shouldn't just let suicidal people come in to the pages in question and carry out some form of self-harm as described there. Blake Gripling (talk) 02:04, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
WP:SUICIDE is unrelated to this proposal, and is certainly not an endorsement of this proposal. Banana Republic (talk) 02:13, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No disclaimers on articles. --Yair rand (talk) 04:21, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See guideline Wikipedia:NODISCLAIMERS. While I think this is a serious issue and I have sympathy with the intentions behind it, I do not think it is the job of the Wikipedia to give advice or tell people what to do or think. --Hecato (talk) 07:42, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. There's nothing wrong with a quick note on the page. As others have noted, we have disclaimers on some pages. They're usually in the form of a short hatnote. A quick one-line hatnote, along the lines of "If you're considering suicide, please visit List of suicide crisis lines" should be enough to help people that may be considering suicide, and not significantly detract from the purpose of Wikipedia. I believe that Wikipedia's goal is to help as many people as possible learn as much as they can, and to encourage people to help others. I'd be willing to bet that there have been at least one person that has committed suicide and has read the Suicide article beforehand, and could have been helped with just a little compassion and just a single line that tells them that there is someone out there that cares. If we can save just one life, the policies don't matter. Just my 2 cents. andritolion (talk) 07:55, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I would question the effectiveness of such disclaimers. The Hellenic Army has in recent years created its own suicide line, trying to reduce its chronic issues with drafted soldiers committing suicide. It has not done much to reduce the reasons for suicide, such as the poverty of the soldiers (the monthly payment for a Greek soldier in 2019 is 8.70 euros, equivalent to 9.76 American dollars), the isolation of soldiers from their families and friends, or the lack of treatment for their health problems The suicide rate in Greece (526 suicides per average year) has increased in recent years, despite the availability of suicide lines. Dimadick (talk) 10:04, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
    @Dimadick: I'm not an expert on the subject so wouldn't wish to comment on the efficacy of disclaimers. Perhaps it would be worth asking an organisation such as the Samaritans who would know more about this sort of thing for their views? Richard Nevell (talk) 18:28, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
    I don't think that asking an organisation such as the Samaritans would be helpful. I have no doubt that their volunteers have the best interests of suicidal people at their hearts, but they are not the best people to judge their own effectiveness. It is best for us to follow robust independent academic research. I haven't looked into such research, so it may or may not conclude that suicide helplines are effective, but any decision should be based on such research rather than on anecdotal evidence or intuition, which seems to be all that has been offered in this discussion. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:42, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support a hat note link to List of Suicide crisis lines. Wikipedia exists in the real world and a meta study of suicide prevention suggested that we don't know if these lines are effective or not. But it also appears its not harmful. And the inclusion of a single hatnote is not harmful to Wikipedia. So this low cost way is not harmful and might beneficial to our readers. Further, suicide ideation is inherently different from drug addiction and so those analogies just don't hold water for me. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:13, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • We should not simply reject this on the basis of WP:NODISCLAIMERS. That is a guideline that was created by Wikipedia editors, and we can choose as Wikipedia editors to make an exception in this case. There is no ancient wisdom that was possessed by those who wrote the guideline but not by us. I do, however, have strong doubts as to whether it will actually achieve anything. As well as the issue of whether crisis lines actually prevent suicide, there is also the issue of whether telling someone about such lines actually leads to people using them when they wouldn't otherwise have done so. It is just possible that such directions could cause active harm. Any decision about this should ideally be based on robust academic research, rather than the gut feeling that we should do something. When it comes to human psychology intuition is often wrong. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:11, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I am meh with regards to a note of the form For agencies offering couselling about the subject see..., which is (or, at least disguised as) a navigational aid. But I'm strongly opposed to any hatnote of the form If you’re thinking about suicide, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. See... that directly addresses the reader and offers them life-advice; that goes against WP:ENC (fwiw, see also EB's article on suicide).
More broadly, my main two concerns regarding adding any hatnote are (1) the slippery-slope argument that Moxy has alluded to (where do we stop offering links to "helpful" resources: mental traumas, mental disorders, physical diseases, natural disasters, general trigger warnings ...?) and (2) the ineffectiveness argument mentioned by Dimadick (would the hatnote do anything except make us feel good about ourselves for doing something?). I'd like to see some thought-out arguments against those objections before I can support making an exception to WP:NODISCLAIMERS. Abecedare (talk) 16:20, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I would support Abecedare's example text here [2], since that is a genuine navigational aid to something related that people could be looking for. But anything more aggressive than that shouldn't be added to the article without some evidence that it might actually help. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 21:43, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose First of all the best avaliable evidence does not show a benefit in decreasing the risk of suicide. Here we have a 2016 review article in Lancet Psychiatry that says hotlines are of unclear benefit.[3] There are things we know that do work such as removing guns and other easily methods of suicide from the home. So if we are going to put a hatnote on the page it should contain advice that is better supported. Second why was this raised here on July 19th without notifying the talk page of suicide? This discussion has occurred lots of times there. For those who support this what is the evidence of benefit? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:44, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
    Here is the full reference Zalsman, G; Hawton, K; Wasserman, D; van Heeringen, K; Arensman, E; Sarchiapone, M; Carli, V; Höschl, C; Barzilay, R; Balazs, J; Purebl, G; Kahn, JP; Sáiz, PA; Lipsicas, CB; Bobes, J; Cozman, D; Hegerl, U; Zohar, J (July 2016). "Suicide prevention strategies revisited: 10-year systematic review". The Lancet. Psychiatry. 3 (7): 646–59. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30030-X. PMID 27289303.
    I would support linking to helplines and ignoring all rules if there was evidence that such help lines work. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:56, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
    Should we have a hatnote which recommends that people remove potential methods of suicide from the environment of those who are suicidal? At least that is known to be effective. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:57, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Hi all. I’m one of the lawyers at the Wikimedia Foundation, and I work in particular on issues related to threats of harm and similar risks. We’ve had a number of cases where people working on Wikipedia have contacted us because of threats of suicide to provide help for them, and one of my colleagues flagged this discussion to me. I think this is an important issue and I hope I can be helpful by sharing some sources that we’ve looked at and offering my thoughts on the matter based on what I’ve seen in dealing with suicide-related topics on Wikipedia.
I support a community addition of a message at the top that lets people reading the article know about resources that might be available to them if they’re considering suicide. It’s likely that a significant share of the population that looks into topics like suicide and suicide methods are doing so because they are considering suicide. I and a number of my colleagues believe that links to resources for seeking help do lead to saving lives, and a couple of the sources cited below provide some information on how these sorts of resource links have worked.
I would also note that as a matter of best practices, other online platforms that host user contributions, as well as a number of organizations that work to prevent suicide, recommend banners or similar notices to assist people. While Wikipedia is not quite like any other website, I think the way that people use it to search for information about difficult topics means that can be helpful to apply these best practices for suicide-related topics.
Wikipedia articles also appear prominently in search results related to suicide. I’ve linked a couple examples below: about 5,000 thousand people a day view the Wikipedia article on suicide, and 9,000 a day view the suicide methods article. So, changes that might have a small statistical effect can have a significant impact in practice.
Studies
Pageviews:
Industry and help group recommendation pages
-Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 06:58, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Would this put the WMF in a position where they may be liable for directing thousands of people to a third party for advice? Any liability issues per Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act? We currently say Wikipedia:Medical disclaimer " Nothing on Wikipedia.org or included as part of any project of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine." Wikipedia:General disclaimer "If you need specific advice (for example, medical, legal, financial or risk management), please seek a professional who is licensed or knowledgeable in that area."--Moxy 🍁 07:14, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't see a link to helpful resources as a source of liability for the WMF, even if we were seen as the publisher (which we probably would not be if the community put up a banner). It's an attempt to be helpful to people, in line with the way many websites show information about the topic of suicide, and recommended by specialists who work on the issue. Imo, it's a positive thing if Wikipedia takes into account situations where certain information can harm some readers and offers other information that can help mitigate that harm. And I think suicide is a sensitive and unique enough topic that it would be a good place for a special exception to the general rules discouraging banners. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 07:44, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Nitpick: It’s likely that a significant share of the population that looks into topics like suicide and suicide methods are doing so because they are considering suicide. reeks of the base rate fallacy (very few people are considering suicide, so even though the proportion of such people among readers of the suicide page is higher than in the general population, it may still be very low). TigraanClick here to contact me 15:54, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Opppose Seriously, how many times have we gone over that we haveno disclaimers in articles? I understand that it may help people, but that's not what Wikipedia is designed to do. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 07:29, 23 July 2019 (UTC) Everyone here has convinced me.... I weakly Support a proposal like the one described in the section below referring to suicide prevention. It retains NPOV while still giving users access to resources which may help them. It also is possible that someone who typed in "suicide" is looking for "suicide prevention", so I think it's okay. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 01:20, 31 July 2019 (UTC) Want to clarify that I oppose this proposal, but support the alternate. Do not count me as support.-- Rockstonetalk to me! 21:20, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
    NODISCLAIMERS is a guideline rather than a policy, which means we can use our discretion. If it may help people, perhaps we should do it? Richard Nevell (talk) 07:39, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
    I mean, there are plenty of things which could help people that we don't do. Trigger warnings in articles involving traumatic things could help people, but we don't do that. What about a rape crisis hatnote for the article on rape? Or a hatnote for the article on homicide telling people not to do it? Censoring images could help people too, after all, an image of suicide could cause people to become more suicidal, and a disturbing image could haunt someone for a lifetime. Where does it end? Rockstonetalk to me! 07:55, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
    Comment If we DID have some type of disclaimer, I'd be OK with it being something like:
But that's about the extent that I think it should go. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 17:48, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not concerned by slipper slope arguments, and rarely am, for the reasons at slippery slope. Notably, this quote from an intro logic text book: The strength of the argument depends on two factors. The first is the strength of each link in the causal chain; the argument cannot be stronger than its weakest link. The second is the number of links; the more links there are, the more likely it is that other factors could alter the consequences. It's not particularly clear that if we add a hatnote we will be required or even strongly compelled to add similar notes to similar articles; there's not a strong link between each event in the slippery slope. The number of decisions required to reach the bottom of our slope is conceptually very large, we won't devolve into hatnoting The Sorrows of Young Werther with links to mental health resources in one or two steps, and likely never will, because we have WP:COMMONSENSE that people in crisis are most likely going to read suicide and suicide methods not some random other page. Such hatnotes are unlikely to be useful on other topics like mental illness in general or even rape because while similarly weighty, they are not nearly as time sensitive nor do we have particularly well developed encyclopedic content to which we can redirect a reader (we don't have a List of doctors in your area and services for survivors of sexual assault are incredibly variable between jurisdictions). Wug·a·po·des​ 21:05, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
You say that none of the five standard disclaimers cover the disclaimer being proposed here, that's not true. It literally says in the risk disclaimer that Many articles contain frank discussion of controversial topics of which suicide is a controversial topic and falls under that category. Wikipedia is not meant to help people, Wikipedia is meant to be an encyclopedia. Whether or not that encyclopedia helps people is completely irrelevant. It is a collection of encyclopedic content, while this proposed hatnote is not encyclopedic at all. You will not see other encyclopedias linking to such resources or providing a disclaimer. I strongly oppose adding a disclaimer to the topic of this article, especially as a hatnote. In all honesty, if we have to add any type of disclaimer, it would be better as a banner which does not impede the encyclopedic content of the page, and one which could be minimized.
The slippery slope argument is not a fallacy, because it is not a stretch to imagine that other controversial topics may require such a hatnote. For example, the article on mass shootings is one such article that I almost certainly forsee having a hatnote if this proposal comes to pass, because this too is a form of suicide. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 21:35, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I sincerely doubt that suicide was meant to fall under "frank discussions of controversial topics" because if asked to name 10 "controversial topics", few, if anyone, would have suicide on that list. We've had more controversy over infobox colors. Further, the hatnote isn't warning people about content, it's directing them to other pages they may in fact be looking for. Wikipedia is not meant to help people, Wikipedia is meant to be an encyclopedia this is what I mean by absurd; what do you think is the purpose of an encyclopedia? If a reader comes here looking for information and they don't find it, is that a success to you because we didn't help them find the information they were looking for? We consider what is helpful for readers constantly because that's how any good publication makes editorial decisions. We care about helping our readers find information, so linking them to encyclopedic articles we already have is not some wildly unencyclopedic thing to do.
the article on mass shootings is one such article that I almost certainly forsee having a hatnote if this proposal comes to pass This is also absurd. "Because it is a form of suicide" is not a sufficiently strong link for the reasons I gave above. Lots of things are forms of suicide; fire is a form of suicide but I doubt we'll put a warning there because there is no sensible reason why someone looking for List of suicide crisis lines would wind up at fire (or mass shootings), but there is a completely obvious reason why someone looking for that article would wind up at suicide or suicide methods. If you legitimately think the next logical step is putting hatnotes on things simply because [it] too is a form of suicide, then I really can't help you because that sounds patently absurd. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:34, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
It is in fact true that our common goal is building an encyclopedia, not helping people. If someone thinks building a free comprehensive neutral encyclopedia would help people, and they like helping people and therefore want to participate, they're welcome here. If someone thinks that improving such an encyclopedia will harm people, and wants to harm people and so wants to participate in a helpful manner, they're welcome too. If someone wants to help people and thinks helping people will be accomplished by wrecking the encyclopedia, they're not welcome to do that. And of course, some people are just here to have fun, or improve the world (according to their worldview), or think of information or freedom as an end-goal, and they're also welcome to helpfully contribute. I realize this isn't super motivational to those of us who are here to help people, but what can you do... --Yair rand (talk) 22:57, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
There is a substantial difference between what my purpose as an editor is (building an encyclopedia) and what the purpose of an encyclopedia is (providing readers with information). Compare the difference between WP:HERE and WP:PURPOSE, the latter of which explicitly says Wikipedia's purpose is to benefit readers. Wug·a·po·des​ 23:16, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • If a reader comes here looking for information and they don't find it, is that a success to you because we didn't help them find the information they were looking for?: It entirely depends on what information the reader is looking to find, for example if a reader is looking for information on how to do something, then they should not expect to find it here, similarly if a reader is looking for advice, then they're in the wrong place. In both cases, failure to find this information is a success to me, because advice and how to guides are both not the purpose of this project. Wikipedia is not a collection of information, even if cited, it is only a collection of information which is of an encyclopedic nature. Finding any particular set of information is not the purpose of Wikipedia. So no, not all information that a reader might be seeking should be found here and in many cases failure to find it is a success. To the extent that we do care about helping our readers find information, we use the "see also" section of articles. I would not be opposed (in fact, I'd strongly support) references to suicide hotlines and resources in the "see also" section of the page (which we don't have right now). -- Rockstonetalk to me! 23:25, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I am glad that you seem to be entertaining the idea that the purpose of an encyclopedia is to benefit readers. You're right that the purpose of an encyclopedia is not to contain everything, but we do help find them find encyclopedic information (because we are an encyclopedia after all). Moving on, we in fact, do have encyclopedic coverage of these topics, like List of suicide crisis lines which I have linked above many times, and we do place navigational aids, called WP:HATNOTES, at the top of pages: Hatnotes are short notes placed at the very top of an article or a section, like a hat is placed on the very top of a head....Their purpose is to help readers locate a different article if the one they are at is not the one they're looking for. Wug·a·po·des​ 23:41, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I am aware of the purpose of hatnotes, however they are for things which reasonably could require disambiguation. Very few people looking for list of suicide crisis lines will end up in suicide instead, and very few people looking for suicide will not see a disclaimer before getting there. All the major search engines provide one. Someone who types suicide into Wikipedia is wanting an article on suicide, not information about crisis hotlines. It's not helpful. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 01:54, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
There are plenty of links from the suicide article to suicide crisis lines article. A hatnote is undue weight for something that is of unclear benefit. I could support an "ignore all rules" if there was evidence of benefit. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:57, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
The World Health Organization guidance for media professionals reporting on suicide recommends that information regarding crisis lines be included in media reports. While I appreciate you're much more able to evaluate primary sources than I am, the best evidence I have is that the professionals who compiled the World Health Organization's guidance believe it is helpful enough to recommend that journalists always include them in reports. As for whether it is undue or an unlikely alternative target, I weight the costs and benefits differently. Wug·a·po·des​ 07:40, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Was not a primary source I was quoting but a review of the topic in question published by the Lancet. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:17, 30 July 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The WHO document says "Information about support resources should be provided at the end of all stories about suicide. The specific resources should include suicide prevention centres, crisis helplines, other health and welfare professionals..." A few things, our article on suicide is not a "story" about an individual who committed suicide. We do already link to Crisis hotlines 4 times in that article which provides a list of numbers. [User:Wugapodes]] was that the passage you were referring too? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:23, 30 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Oppose per Doc James. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 15:58, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Doc J. --Izno (talk) 23:03, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I support but I also have some requests. We in the Wikimedia community have values and rules. We do not make exceptions lightly. We do have a process for exceptions, and it typically involves making a case and sorting some documentation. This issue of a suicide notice is not just an English Wikipedia issue, but an issue for all languages of Wikipedias and for our platform as a model for behavior in online spaces in general. This proposal is fairly disorganized to this point. Considering the seriousness of the issue and that putting a notice on a page is an exceptional and unusual thing to do which will have major and unpredictable consequences, I advocate to raise this issue from a casual discussion to a moderately organized discussion. I do not think this is so contentious that we need to invest the resources to make the best case and documentation that we can, but I do think that the issue merits some moderate amount of documentation. To implement this with the documentation we have now seems likely to cause various problems and we should mitigate that with some advance planning in the Wikimedia community. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:35, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
    The English Wikipedia does not make decisions for other Wikipedias, and the different projects don't make content decisions like this collectively. --Yair rand (talk) 19:00, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: this is primarily an editorial decision, so each project will have their own discretion on this, it would take an office action if they wanted to force disclaimers or other banners on articles based on their content - something I'd expect large projects (like here) to have major resistance too. — xaosflux Talk 22:17, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
    English Wikipedia makes decisions with authority over government process about what information citizens can and cannot access. I know we have been doing this for about 20 years but our having this media influence is still a new and unusual power to wield. With English Wikipedia outranking most governments it also has overbearing influence on what other language Wikipedias do, especially in matters of global citizenship like this one. I recognize the idealism of having a community run process for every language Wikipedia community, and I do respect any organized attempts by other languages and Wikimedia projects to assert their own rules. When communities do not organize then all kinds of global defaults come to them. For various reasons this discussion here and now seems unusual to me for being more likely than most other discussions here to be a pilot for global change in Wikimedia projects and to present to every other online platform. If the wiki community decides that notices like this are useful then we have respect and standing to tell everyone else in the world that this is the norm. I could be mistaken, and what I am describing may not be the stakes, but my intuition is that this is a situation where English Wikipedia has power to issue a global cultural mandate. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:58, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support If we can save one life with a brief blurb at the top, it's worth it. I'm personally familiar with people who have used the hotlines, and they have been beneficial. Really don't understand the opposition here - if you're not suicidal, it doesn't impact you, and if you are, there's a chance it could help. SportingFlyer T·C 22:06, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
  • It does impact people who are not suicidal, as it suddenly makes Wikipedia appear no longer neutral. There are plenty of things that "could help" that we don't do. Like I said earlier, having a link to rape crisis hotlines on the rape article "could help" as well, but we don't do that. For what it is worth, I agree with User:Bluerasberry that we should attempt to get wider community input, particularly because adding such a disclaimer will be disruptive. -- Rockstonetalk to me! 21:04, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support a hat-note to article about suicide prevention. Meh about hotlines per Menon, Vikas; Subramanian, Karthick; Selvakumar, Nivedhitha; Kattimani, Shivanand (2018). "Suicide prevention strategies: An overview of current evidence and best practice elements". International Journal of Advanced Medical and Health Research. 5 (2): 43. doi:10.4103/IJAMR.IJAMR_71_18. ISSN 2349-4220.. WBGconverse 05:33, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    • That is a ... questionable journal. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:36, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose No. This sets a bad precedent for allowing similar disclaimers on articles. Plus, as Doc James points out, it is dubious whether these disclaimers or hatnotes have any real impact. Let us please stick absolutely to the principles of having no advocacy or censorship. SD0001 (talk) 09:22, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Sadly, I don't believe it to be within our remit to do this, whether hat-note, banner, or message. Moreover, even if the slippery slope argument were to be ignored (which would be a mistake, in my view), the research, as pointed out by Doc James, doesn't exactly support the impact of any method. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 15:15, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support As Doc James now supports something similar and it seems some of the opposes misunderstood, the issue Doc James raised was whether hotlines provide measured benefit. But there is no doubt in the literature that intervention is basically the only thing that can do anything to prevent. It makes good sense to do something like this and is fully in keeping with Wikipedia's mission to inform. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:22, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as reasonable given Jrogers' arguments. ɱ (talk) 15:51, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as per the above arguments. From an Australian perspective our media guidelines state and provide information about where to get help --[E.3][chat2][me] 12:32, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
My other arguments from the other RFC Whilst we're here to make an encyclopaedia, and the link to suicide crisis lines is arguably unencyclopedic from this article, this is definitely an ethically challenging area. I would strongly support for this article inclusion, especially as Wikipedia is not censored and the suicide methods article may have obvious unintended consequences. Also I note that WP:IAR is improving or maintaining Wikipedia with no mention of Wikipedia being an encyclopaedia. Inclusion clearly violates even WP:HERE and everything else, but in this page I think all are overridden. and also re: evidence I think its one of those areas of medicine that will never really have good evidence. If evidence is shown in one study, worldwide generalisability is poor. Theres little evidence in risk assessment for suicide as well. It is common practice to link to crisis lines, despite the lack of evidence, I think we should do the same. --[E.3][chat2][me]
  • Support per Jrogers. Jake Wartenberg (talk) 03:44, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose' this particular proposal. There is no point in linking to any particular site, especially one of doubtful efficacy. the argument "It is the only thing that can possibly work" is in defiance of WP:V. and WP:OR and WP:MEDRS. We shouldn't be sending people o places where here is no evidence of effectiveness. "This is a problem. Something must be done. This claims to be some thing. We must do it. The discussions at the other location, mentioned below, make much more sense. DGG ( talk ) 06:37, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support We use disclaimers on talk pages, what's the harm in including one right at the forefront of the main article? Especially when it isn't there to clutter but potentially could help someone. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 15:02, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  1. Support It's a sensible action and I think the case can be reasonably made that it 'makes the encyclopedia better'. Also support the more conservative compromise wording proposal below that is more within wikipedia norms. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 03:51, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose on the same grounds as at the very similar RFC here. Gimubrc (talk) 14:13, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support seems an obvious necessity to help those in need, one article in the Lancet is not enough to dissuade Atlantic306 (talk) 20:45, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
    • User:Atlantic306 this is a review, not one article. Do you have reviews that say these numbers are useful? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:28, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Hi, haven't seen anything negative reported about them in the UK. The biggest ones here The Samaritans, and Childline get a good press and have a good reputation Atlantic306 (talk) 15:12, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment the proposal is a little vague. How should the notice ('disclaimer') appear and what, specifically, should it say? The lead section of Suicide doesn't mention prevention at all. Perhaps one way forward is to add a paragraph at the end of it introducing the idea of suicide prevention, noting some of the key organisations that support it and linking to relevant Wikipedia articles. Adding direct links to e.g. hotlines would be a well-meant departure from the usual Wikipedia style. I support the idea behind it, I'm just wondering what the best way of achieving the goal is.
I also think that objections based on WP:NODISCLAIMERS are misguided. That guideline frames itself as being about swearing, 'adult content' and spoilers. A notice of some form aimed at preventing readers' own suicide, on a page explicitly about suicide, is a long way away from that kind of sensitivity concern. Doc James's opposition is different, but I would ask it the other way around - is there evidence that pointing people towards services intended to help is harmful? "Unclear benefit" doesn't strike me as a good reason not to try something. I've supported the Doc's proposal below separately. › Mortee talk 01:06, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference. I don't have access to the full paper and the abstract balances "occasionally unacceptable responses occur" against "some lives may have been saved". The eleven calls in your first quote sound terrible, though out of 2,611 calls monitored that's 0.42%, and in those cases attempts were already in progress. Clearly policy around guns, drugs and mental health are far more important, but those are out of our hands. I'm still ambivalent about the idea of a hatnote and haven't !voted on it. Mentioning suicide prevention in the lead one way or another may be less contentious and also worthwhile. › Mortee talk 13:09, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support It may coincide with some of our policies, but we are talking about life and death here. If we can add a small sentence or disclaimer, it could save lives. Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 17:38, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I think Jrogers lays out a strong case, and others have already made the point that this is absolutely an appropriate place to diverge from general practice on the encyclopedia. Ralbegen (talk) 21:46, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Most convinced by Jrogers' reminder that linking to relevant mental health resources (whatever they may be) is already standard journalistic practice and recommended by the WHO. Note should be brief and as neutral as possible. ─ ReconditeRodent « talk · contribs » 01:40, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes! Yes! Let's Do This! I have a collection of notices ready for articles on ADDICTION of {name any} DRUG; the consequences of ABORTION; problems with PROMISCUITY; the dangers of using TRAFFIC CIRCLES; why one shouldn't ICE FISH, and more. Text me for the exhaustive list!!! GenQuest "Talk to Me" 03:20, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support a short hatnote to point to meta:Mental health resources. Not one linking to other on-wiki articles. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:51, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Oppose A static notice at the top of the page is unlikely to change anyone's mind about suicide if they are actively thinking about doing so. Furthermore even if it was added to this article and not others (such as Hanging (don't hang yourself), Murder (Murdering people is wrong), or any illegal drugs) would this not put the WMF/Wikipedia in a tricky legal situation? Sakura CarteletTalk 21:22, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Sounds reasonable. Already standard practice elsehere. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:58, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons stated by Hawkeye7. Mgasparin (talk) 08:11, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Per Wikipedia:No disclaimers in articles. Great humanitarian cause with unintended consequences. Alternative proposal is a better choice. See "Discussion" subsection below. Otr500 (talk) 12:26, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Readers considering suicide may coming to Wikipedia for an objective treatment of the topic of suicide, which the article suicide does a decent job of. The reader's perception is immediately damaged by the impression of an agenda. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 22:58, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - Which is more important, an article that follows content guidelines to the letter or a person's life? - ZLEA T\C 21:02, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:NODISCLAIMER. Though if there is to be a change then I'd much rather use Rockstone35's alternative proposal below. SkyWarrior 01:25, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: It's not unheard of for encyclopedias to contain disclaimers around this topic. For example, The Canadian Encyclopedia has the disclamer This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences. Given the seriousness of the topic, some sort of trigger warning or redirect to help is appropriate.4meter4 (talk) 21:41, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal[edit]

Link to the general topic of suicide prevention rather than one specifically and poorly supported measure. Something like

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:02, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Per User:Banana Republic I could support something along the lines of If you're considering suicide, please visit suicide prevention. This would prevent us from giving undue weight to crises hotlines when other methods have better support. That article will need improvement but happy to work on that. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:35, 30 July 2019 (UTC)

I didn't suggest that. I quoted andritolion, who did suggest that. I suggested "For suicide prevention, see ...." whatever the appropriate article would be. I wanted to de-personalize the hatnote, to make it more neutral. In general, the word "you" should not appear in the article space. Banana Republic (talk) 21:51, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
How about something like:
?-- Rockstonetalk to me! 21:54, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
An even better idea than what I proposed. Banana Republic (talk) 22:35, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, I would support something like that. This would retain NPOV while giving users who are suicidal the opportunity to read an article that may help them without being preachy or breaking encyclopedic standards. I've changed my Oppose to a weak Support above.-- Rockstonetalk to me! 01:23, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
Sure would support User:Rockstone35 proposal. Have adjusted mine to reflect it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:02, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Good compromise. Wug·a·po·des​ 18:28, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Weak Support Whilst I support either hatnote in principle, I dont understand the argument based on weak evidence for crisis lines (this type of evidence is extremely difficult to develop in medicine, and will always have poor generalisability worldwide). Heres some weak, narrative review evidence, noting the Lancet paper already commented on.

Several studies have documented specific caller benefits during and after crisis line contact. These include:

  1. Changes in the callers’ crisis state or suicidality during the call;
  2. Resourcing for improved crisis management such as the development of action
  3. plans and the provision of referrals and
  4. Flow-on benefits after the call, as assessed in caller follow-up.

Overall, these studies provide promising, if preliminary, evidence that the participating crisis lines did deliver outcomes consistent with their goals of providing crisis support and reducing immediate risk of suicide. They also demonstrate how research can identify areas that need addressing to increase helper competencies and enable service improvement.

Furthermore, if you extend the paucity of evidence argument I have not heard of any evidence to link a suicidal person to how society manages suicidal intervention and prevention (linking suicidal people to help appears to be to be the main thought behind the WP:IAR in this proposal). If that suicidal person doesn't have access to those preventative measures, such as being in a remote area or low income nation, it could in my limited opinion could also have unintended consequences as well and I would strongly suggest a suicidal prevention expert's input here. I certainly prefer weak evidence and expert opinion/common practice (ie. to crisis lines) to what might have no evidence. Also if this second hatnote has consensus suicide prevention and suicide intervention needs a far more global viewpoint / rewrite. --[E.3][chat2][me] 19:26, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Support as reasonable compromise within existing norms. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 03:42, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support without prejudice to the original proposal. Having a more prominent link like this to the topic of prevention seems a practical and unobtrusive way to redirect those readers who might be in need of exploring the topic. › Mortee talk 00:46, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: Article specific and not a well meaning attempted guideline or policy change. See "Discussion" section below. Otr500 (talk) 12:26, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Related RFC[edit]

I have started an RFC at: Talk:Suicide methods#RFC: Hatnote at top. I have not been following this one as much, but users here may be interested in it. –MJLTalk 19:00, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Study the effect of linking to a crises number[edit]

Would support the idea of linking to a crises number as part of a research trial. With respect to study design we could look at having "crises numbers" present in odd months one year and even months the next. This would allow the comparison between the same months between the two years. We could have the number present to all IPs from the UK. The primary end point would be change in suicides in each pair of months in the UK, with secondary outcomes being total calls to the crises hotline we are linking. This would move knowledge on this topic forwards. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:41, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't think the encylopedia should be a mechanism for an external social experiment. (c.f. Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_laboratory) — xaosflux Talk 13:33, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
Additionally, I don't think we should display different article content to readers based on their IP address. — xaosflux Talk 13:34, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
Support but prefer a larger sample size. The UK has about 5,000 people dying by suicide a year, of which only so many will be visiting Wikipedia during their crisis. Presenting a specific number in the hatnote would make it less neutral but (as you say) give us a clear secondary measure. WP:NOTLAB doesn't preclude the idea, especially if we're just trying measure the efficacy of the note and not helplines in general. ─ ReconditeRodent « talk · contribs » 02:06, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

While from a humanitarian point of view this is an admirable suggestion, even supported by one or more WMF lawyers, but as mentioned there could certainly be unintended consequences. Some editors may apparently rarely be concerned with a Slippery slope argument, but it is prudent to consider what might happen after opening a can of worms. The guideline Wikipedia:No disclaimers in articles would be rescinded. This means that a well intended editor, possibly an advocate for not smoking, would have arguments (of course not WP:OTHERSTUFF) for placing a warning or health advisory disclaimer or hatnote on Cigarette. Other examples are offered by Sakura Cartelet and we can certainly request an expanded list from GenQuest.
Concerns about WMF legal liability were rebutted by one of their lawyers (Jrogers (WMF) stating that if the "community" were to implement this type of change it would mitigate WMF legal concerns. I can not imagine providing a "disclaimer" would result in litigation. However, this is not actually about placing a disclaimer but a notice or banner to potentially aid in suicide prevention. This is a very noble "cause". There are literally thousands of individuals and organizations that would be interested in using "banners" for humanitarian efforts, warnings, or as potential aids for some cause.
Then we have the battle that would ensue should a majority here decide to implement this. As a "proposal" we could provide consensus to implement a guideline change but when the dust settles this will not be just about a template, banner, or hatnote on Suicide. It will not take long before an editor with good intentions will decide Murder, Mass shooting, Massacre and other violence related articles need such a banner. We will then gain a sub-project so that all such articles could be covered.
Is this far-fetched? Not even close, but merely a matter of time, and why the slippery slope thought should be at least considered.
The best option from an editorial point of view would be Alternative proposal above. This would not entail changing established long-standing consensus, opening more than one can of worms, and provide a solution that would reflect article consensus on inclusion and be more encyclopedic. A problem is many that might support this, over the original proposal, already !voting, may not watch this page. Otr500 (talk) 12:26, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

RFC: Block edits that contain a VisualEditor bug[edit]

VisualEditor has a particularly devilish bug that is snagging newbies and experts alike, and impacting a dozen+ articles a day.

Example diff from See of Tyre

Note the <sup>[[Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tyre#cite%20note-FOOTNOTEHamilton2016409-13|[13]]]</sup>. This should be cite #13 from the article Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tyre as of the date the revision at See of Tyre was made. When the editor copy-pasted the citation in non-edit mode, it got transformed into this garbage string. Another interpreted available here.

A couple things about this bug:

  • It is unknown when the VE team will fix this bug.
  • It impacts not only citations: example cleanup edit
  • A log of cases is available here
  • I wrote a bot vebug bot to "fix" these cases as seen here.
  • The bot is not fail-proof or fully automatic, there are ways for things to go wrong due to subtle complexities with revision histories, syntax of the bug, technical limitations of determining a citation by its number, etc. Thus the bot leaves a {{verify source}} with inline instructions for editors to manual check/fix the cite. It moves the process forward, but is not a total resolution. Only manual work can fully verify.

Proposal: The RfC is to establish consensus for a new Edit filter to block further edits containing the bug. The block will contain a message instructing editors not to copy-paste wikitext text unless in edit-mode due to a bug in VisualEditor. -- GreenC 23:58, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • Support as nom and seed survey section. -- GreenC 23:58, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as a gnome who has to clean up this stuff. It is not the editors' fault that they are doing something permissible using a tool that is still in beta, but we need a way to prevent this junk from breaking articles, along with a friendly error message explaining the current workaround.
    • Comment: If this RFC succeeds, I would love to see this sort of thing applied to other long-standing Visual Editor bugs that cause work for gnomes. I'm thinking of T162291 and T174303, both over two years old with no apparent movement toward a fix. – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:51, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Blocking this specific bug is a good idea because it results in a loss of information. That is not the case for the bugs you linked and thus blocking them would not be a good idea. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:01, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Permitting edits that can result in data corruption is not a good thing. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:01, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Iffy... there's a bot in the works to fix those... if the bot is speedy enough, I'm not sure it's worth blocking people from making edits that are bugged through not fault of theirs. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I wrote the bot. The bot does triage but the cites are not "fixed", they still need manual intervention to verify. It turns a big mess into a little mess. This problem is not 100% fixable by bot. And the bot requires manual work as there are things it can't resolve at all. The block will instruct users what to do there won't be much lost. More lost by not blocking. -- GreenC 02:07, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I remember seeing pages with refs like that and I thought they were made manually with <sup>...</sup> tags by newbie editors. Since such changes are always not desirable, then it's sensible to use Edit filter to disallow them. – Ammarpad (talk) 06:53, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Only if we also block all syntax errors made by humans. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:38, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment it looks like the filter is unnecessary as the bug is claimed to be fixed, see below. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:26, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Some still getting through [4][5] let's wait a bit before closing this RfC, not sure yet. They could be copy-pasted from old diffs or user/draft space, or some other way. -- GreenC 14:12, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oops missed the comment about the fix. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:32, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Restored my support per the issues I mentioned below. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:41, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Yes good idea. People are copy and pasting from the wrong spot. This would save me from having to explain that they cannot do that as it simple does not work when they are not in edit mode. Can the edit filter explain what they need to do? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:08, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - But not outright block edits that introduce the bug. Let the editor fix the bug using a variant of source editor, similar to how edit conflicts are resolved. - ZLEA T\C 21:10, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: The content comes first. Using a cute and convenient editor rather than a more complicated one is very optional. This is one of those cart and horse, tail and dog matters.  — AReaderOutThatawayt/c 23:37, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • @GreenC: do you have a specific RegEx that you would want to trigger an EF on for this? — xaosflux Talk 01:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • #cite%20note- is the string that is common among all the variations of the bug. I requested the log filter be adjusted for only this string, so we can see if there are false positives. If there are, some ideas how to narrow it down with a much more complex set of possibilities based on what the bot is discovering. Some examples:
  • <sup>[[User:Claudia Diaz2/sandbox#cite%20note-5|[6]]<nowiki>]</nowiki>
  • [[Politics of Venezuela#cite%20note-19|<sup>[1</sup>]]
  • <sup>[[User:Claudia Diaz2/sandbox#cite%20note-5|<nowiki>6]]]</nowiki>
  • [[2017 Women's March#cite%20note-FT%20100%2C000-13|<span>[13]</span>]]
There are many more variations. The sup's might be span's, etc. -- GreenC 01:43, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

"It is unknown when the VE team will fix this bug". Can someone link to the bug report please ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:39, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

This issue was first raised in 2016 and was fixed within 3 days. As TheDJ points out, before stating "It is unknown when the VE team will fix this bug." it might help to tell us about the problem first ;) Anyway it seems this regressed recently during a refactor, and has now been fixed again. The fix should be deployed next Thursday is now deployed. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Now deployed early. Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 17:50, 4 September 2019 (UTC))
Thank you. I was given the impression this bug was known and people were manually fixing the errors until it got fixed and that it was a long-standing issue. That it might never get fixed. Probably a cognitive merger with the 2016 event and those mangled cites from 2016 never got repaired. I'm glad you have nullified the need for this RfC, I will keep it open for a little longer while the edit filter log verifies no more problems. -- GreenC 05:50, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
404 error

I just tested this. I copied the same paragraph from Wikipedia as I did for my original demonstration of this issue at User:Rhododendrites/sandbox and User:Rhododendrites/sandbox1. This time I copied the same paragraph into User:Rhododendrites/sandbox2, but when I went to save it popped up HTTP 404, with only a button to dismiss... This obviously means the problematic text isn't added, but I can't imagine this is the intended behavior. It seems like the intended behavior is that it simply strips out those broken references. That doesn't seem ideal either. That just leaves people wondering where their refs went. This seems common enough that an edit filter may still be useful to say "hey, it looks like you weren't in edit mode when you copied this text". — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:36, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

I can't reproduce this error, is this happening repeatedly and reliably for you? That error could be caused by a number of unrelated issues... ESanders (WMF) (talk) 14:32, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
ESanders (WMF), it is still happening though under what conditions unknown. Perhaps copy-paste between tabs (in certain browsers), or between different language wikis, or copy from an old revision screen, close that screen and paste into a new screen. Just guessing. -- GreenC 01:22, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Most of the diffs in that list are unrelated to the bug. There is maybe one per day that is, but is most likely people using code cached from last week. Using old revisions or separate tabs shouldn't be a problem, and I've tested in FF, Chrome, IE11 and copying between those. Let's just wait another week and see if there are still new cases. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 11:12, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
ESanders (WMF): The bug is still happening. [6] -- GreenC 04:51, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Require consensus BEFORE creating a new portal[edit]

Lots of portals getting deleted now. Not that long ago Portal: namespace was almost totally deprecated. Should we start requiring consensus first before a new portal is added? Might reduce the number of portals that get abandoned down the road. 88.111.213.55 (talk) 22:18, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I believe that this has already been discussed before several times, without results. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 23:09, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Ah right, fair enough. :) Thanks. 88.111.213.55 (talk) 23:10, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
WP:BEBOLD ...the community does not consider any namespace special.--02:02, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Is it easier to create a portal than creating a page? Hyperbolick (talk) 15:48, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • No need. Portals will be dead in a few months at the current rate of deletion. Bermicourt (talk) 20:07, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Given the massive number of portals created by a lone enthusiast and then abandoned for a decade, I strongly support some prior approval mechanism. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 06:43, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this per WP:CREEP; this is a today solution in search of a yesterday problem. The RfC prohibiting mass creation is still in place, and I count only one current portal that has been (re)created in the last 7 months, Portal:Climbing; all (again, by my count) the other attempts have been handled quite effectively either at MfD or CSD. I don't expect any other surviving portals to be created in the foreseeable future, as no one is interested in doing so. UnitedStatesian (talk) 06:54, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now but revisit if and when a significant number of bad portals are actually created. I wouldn't say that Portal: namespace was almost totally deprecatedconsensus was against deprecation – but please see the #Proposal to delete Portal space below. Certes (talk) 08:03, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Granular privileges on Wikipedia[edit]

(non-admin closure) per WP:SNOW, there is no consensus developing to do this, and no details on how it could possibly operate across millions of editors. UnitedStatesian (talk) 07:11, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Rather than having 2 types of user, non-admin and admin, can Wikipedia be moved to a ratings system (a bit like a credit score) where users gain or lose points based on credits received from other users (whose influence also varies based on their credit)? The site owners would be the "seed creditors" (or "credit creators") and the system would simply just work with the right algorithm. Instead of page protections, it could be such that only users with sufficient credit can edit a page, and those with insufficient credit can only suggest changes (that those with credit can approve or reject). Rebroad (talk) 15:39, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

That would move Wikipedia away from being "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit". Wikipedia does not have "site owners". 331dot (talk) 15:45, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Seems we kind of have this already. Different protection levels, arbitrated restrictions imposed in resolving conflicts, things like that. Hyperbolick (talk) 15:47, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Probably not. On other websites where such a system was used ("Karma" as it is often called) they've ended up with cliques of popular users that then ended up being troublemakers and groups of outcast users that didn't deserve it. It's too easy to game such a system and at RfA you are at least required to provide a rationale and convince a bureaucrat to consider it. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:47, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
they've ended up with cliques of popular users that then ended up being troublemakers and groups of outcast users that didn't deserve it To hear the world tell it at times, that's us too. :) --Izno (talk) 16:56, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Jo-Jo Eumerus, yeah here we totally don't have that.... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:55, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
In addition to the above, there is not "two types of users" to begin with. There are several types of user access levels both below and above administrator, several user access levels that are in an entirely different "space" all together, and yet more user rights that exist elsewhere on sister projects that don't exist here at all. GMGtalk 15:51, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
And individuals aren't just vetted on trustworthiness, but specific technical ability for a role - so a general "karma" wouldn't work - plus the other issues enumerated above. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:54, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
@Rebroad: Your questions/comments don't really seem like they are ready for a formal proposal. The WP:Teahouse or the idea village pump might be better places to get answers first. --Izno (talk) 16:56, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the idea pump is probably best. You'll need to discuss how to gain and lose points, and what kind of privileges should be automatic. Some analysis of other systems (for example, that of Stack Exchange) would help. —Kusma (t·c) 09:39, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
This doesn't seem like a particularly good idea, IMO; please see a list of perennial proposals to see why. Among other things, various "partial-admin" processes have been floated over the years but are too complicated and needless, and "automatic adminships" run afoul of WMF Legal's requirement that admins have the explicit trust of the community. I suggest that this be closed as-is, without prejudice to further development in the idea lab. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 16:22, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Another thing that just came to my mind, such a system prioritizes the opinions of other users, which is fine in a webforum I guess but not on an encyclopedia where the users are merely here to maintain it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jo-Jo Eumerus (talkcontribs) 16:29, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Oppose The current systems works fine just as they are. This proposal is all over the board, and flies against several core principles. Move to close. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 22:48, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Nope Firstly popularity ≠ competence and another problem is that employees of the "site owners" (the Wikimedia Foundation) are not allowed to edit article content, so they have no competence to evaluate the editorial competence of Wikipedians. The WMF runs the servers and sets a few basic rules, everything else is done by the community of editors. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:27, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I like the idea, Every time an editor tells someone to f off I'll give them a token ..... Sounds a great idea. –Davey2010Talk 20:46, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)[edit]

We couldn't even convince enough people here to support speaking out against the EU copyright proposal, which really did have potential effect on Wikipedia. There's no way this is going to go anywhere. Anomie 11:06, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

President Donald Trump, a self-confessed Luddite and a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has started taking steps to replace the U.S. Navy's Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System with old-fashioned steam-powered catapults. It's worth nothing that back in May 2017, Trump told Time magazine he had directed the Navy to abandon EMALS and go back to steam. The reprecussions of EMALS being reverted back to steam could be very costly and significant to other technologies such as the Internet, especially Wikipedia.

The Wikimedia Foundation has concerned that this move could led to similar moves against technology, and could hamper Wikipedia itself. They recognize that ruining an innovation such as EMALS could potentially lead to equipment that makes Wikipedia possible being reverted to pre-computer times. Moreover, Wikipedia would have to need a lot of people to run the site without the use of computers and other forms of modern technology that makes Wikipedia possible.

When the U.S. bill “The Stop Online Piracy Act” or “SOPA” threatened Wikipedia’s future by encouraging ISPs to block websites containing even small amounts of copyrighted material, the Wikipedia community, in this very forum, decided to “black out” its site for a day, alerting visitors to the legislative threat and inviting them to contact elected officials. See Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative.

As a result, nearly unprecedented numbers of people did so, and the legislation stalled. Yet, we didn't take action to save net neutrality. The President's proposed order to replace the EMALS with steam is costly and—like SOPA—these could be averted by a large number of calls to Congress, but it should be done elsewhere.

Should the Wikipedia community do *something* to save EMALS and oppose the return of steam catapults, short of Wikipedia being involved in assuming a political stance over anything by taking action, and of course without disruption?


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal to delete Portal space[edit]

  • (Added the RfC template above, as this is a major proposal that deserves greater community attention) North America1000 06:46, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Following the community discussion on portals which ended in May 2018 with "a strong consensus against deleting or even deprecating portals at this time", there was initially a surge in new portals resulting from mass creation using new automated tools. This wave of enthusiasm which saw a huge expansion of several hundred semi-automated portals was then countered by mass deletion, for example here and here. Having more or less restored the status quo, however, portals continue to be deleted at a rate - currently about 100 per month - that means within a year they will cease to exist or there will be so few that it will be pointless maintaining portal space. I personally am very much in favour of quality portals with several purposes: as navigation aids, as a showcase for broad topics, as an instant overview of a topic and as a tool for project editors to expand and improve coverage. However, it is now clear that the community is either unable or unwilling to defend its consensus - partly because there is a small band of determined editors working their way through all the portals, whereas each portal is usually only defended by one or two editors working on that topic. So it would save all involved editors a lot of time if we just agreed to scrap portals and portal space rather than continue the present process with those editors who see no value in portals having to put them one-by-one for deletion while those in favour of keeping them continue to waste time trying to defend them. Bermicourt (talk) 20:35, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Comment I think 3 portals (which are not really portals in the sense of being subject-area specific) should be exempt from this discussion: Portal:Contents, Portal:Current events and Portal:Featured content. There is no consensus whatsoever to delete them, and whether the portalspace remains with only these three, or they are moved elsewhere, this discussion should be limited to what happens to the subject-area portals. UnitedStatesian (talk) 20:50, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Rate of deletion doesn't imply continuation to extermination. Hyperbolick (talk) 21:05, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Actually, @UnitedStatesian, it doesn't, because portals are not a living species. They have a minimum viable population of one.
If and when portals do become biological entities and start reproducing each other, then you will be right. But I think we probably have a little time to go before Portal:Latvia runs off to make babies with Portal:East Timor. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:59, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment To add some context to this. Around 100 Portals get deleted every month. Currently there are 42 Portals listed at the Miscellany for deletion page. If you take some time and take a closer look then you will notice the same 2 or 3 users consistently vote delete on all of these. Basically unopposed. The archives of the previous months will show the same picture. There is a pretty small-scale consensus going on of users who decided to delete most of the portal space. When I asked one of those users what their endgame is, they told me they wanted to delete at least 93.8% of the portal space, or 848 portals of the 904 remaining ones in July 2019, which they picked based on pageview numbers. So I can see why there is a demand for a wider scale consensus. If that is what the community wants, then so be it. But this should not be decided by poorly attended mass-MfDs. --Hecato (talk) 21:51, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Low-hanging fruit, no? Hyperbolick (talk) 22:01, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Most of the tree, I'd say. --Hecato (talk) 22:10, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
        • To some degree the low attendance of MfDs is a pretty potent indicator that there's not a lot of broad interest in keeping those portals around, let alone maintaining them for usefulness. Wikipedia's allowed to—and should!—try things, make mistakes, and be willing to say something was a failure; at least from the metric of user usefulness, most portals seem to fit that criteria. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 17:02, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    The 2018 RfC stated that there were 1500 portals, which sounds about right. 660 portals survive today. Recent deletion counts by month: June 244, July 289, August 205, September (up to 19th) 189. Certes (talk) 23:43, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
  • It is shamefully disruptive that Hecato chooses yet again to misrepresent my comments.
I well remember that conversation with Hecato, tho unfortunately I can't locate it now. What I actually wrote was I believe the point of viability for portals to be somewhere around 100 pageviews per day. Hecato translated that into (I think 6.2%) of all portals, to which I promptly replied that I was setting a quality threshold not a number-of-portals target. Yet here Hecato has chosen here to cite a whole set of numbers which I never claimed and explicitly did not endorse.
Hecato has chosen to repeatedly misrepresent me. I cannot know for certain whether Hecato acts out of stupidity or malice or dishonesty, but it has been a recurring part of Hecato's conduct since only a few days after they joined wp a few months ago, and it's highly disruptive.
It's also tedious to have to assert yet again that the process of removing abandoned junk portals is housekeeping conducted without an end goal; it will stop when we cease to find abandoned junk portals. It's horribly time-consuming, and I wish it had finished long ago. I have my own views on the long-term future of portals, and have never sought to hide them, but I !vote in MFD on stated quality grounds I do not and never will try to use MFD to reach some quota of portals. That too I have set that out many times in discussions of which Hecato has been a part, and its repetition by Hecato is again a product of some sort of stupidity or malice or dishonesty. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 08:28, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Are these your own statistics or not? Did you not explain the implications of your plan in that very discussion? --Hecato (talk) 09:20, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Hecato, can you actually read English? I listed there four different options as potential proposals. You have cherrypicked one of the 4 options, and falsely asserted that it was my goal. In fact, I didn't set any of them as my goal; I opened a discussion about them, and when none of the ideas got support, I didn't pursue it.
You have a persistent and destructive habit on leaping on fragments of text, misunderstanding them, conflating them with something else, and then misrepresenting them to use as a weapon. This is not collegial conduct. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:37, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Hecato is right. There is a small band of determined editors who have adopted the tactic of destroying portals in detail because, individually, there will only be one or two project editors who are alerted to the MfD but that is rarely enough to overturn deletion. It's a clever tactic which has proven highly successful, but flies in the face of the community consensus not to delete or deprecate portals. That's uncollegial. Bermicourt (talk) 07:28, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • You confirmed above that you wanted to delete at least all portals with less than 100 daily pageviews. And you yourself created a comprehensive analyses of all the consequences that entails (deletion of 93.8%, 848 out of 904 portals in July 2019) as linked above. I assume you did not suffer under amnesia at any point in the last few months. --Hecato (talk) 11:39, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
To everyone: please, let's avoid the personal commentary. And there's no need to reply to this post, particularly to go over what others are doing now and in the past. Rest assured, I am aware. isaacl (talk) 16:19, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Hecato:. Stop switching the target. Your post above is about something which you claim you were told in July, and it's a fabrication.
You claimed above above that I told you in July they wanted to delete at least 93.8% of the portal space, or 848 portals of the 904 remaining ones in July 2019, which they picked based on pageview numbers. That is a lie, because I told you no such thing. The link you posted does not support the claim you made, and you weren't even part of that conversation ... so the idea that I told any part of that to you is another lie.
It's long past time for you to stop telling lies, and to stop doubling down on them when caught out. Wikipedia is a collaborative project, and your alt-fact propaganda tactics of doubling down on lies have no place here. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:59, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
So it's true, but you did not tell me about it? --Hecato (talk) 10:04, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Support - but leave Portal:Contents alone. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 23:48, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

  • The tail end of the ~2000 portals was easy to criticize. The tail end should be all deleted (or archived with prejudice), and that has been happening, with speed and momentum.
Even if 99% should be deleted, or deprecated and archived, it is a long way from agreeing that the top portals should go.
Consider them:

Top Portals.

#1 Main Page: Already in mainspace.
#2 Wikipedia:Community portal: Already in projectspace, and is a Portal To the Community, not for browsing articles.
#3 Portal:Contents redirects --> Portal:Contents/Portals: An unloved neglected start quality page. Look at https://xtools.wmflabs.org/articleinfo/en.wikipedia.org/Portal:Contents/Portals#Year counts
Collectively unloved neglected good idea. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:00, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Main Page linked portals (alphabetical):

M#1 Portal:Arts
M#2 Portal:Biography
M#3 Portal:Geography
M#4 Portal:History
M#5 Portal:Mathematics
M#6 Portal:Science
M#7 Portal:Society
M#8 Portal:Technology
These eight mainpage-linked portals were chosen to be linked from the top of the mainpage for a good reason: They represent the broad subject areas of all articles. They appear intended to provide for top end browsing of the encyclopedia. I think they should be kept for that purpose, although they are currently not serving that purpose well.

I propose:

  1. Keep the Main page in mainspace.
  2. Keep #2 as not an article portal, is already in the right namespace, and its title is OK.
  3. Archive #3. A good idea, but never developed. It should be re-deployed only following a redevelopment of the main page linked portals M#1-8
  4. M#1-8. Move to mainspace, wind back linking to projectspace, only have projectspace linking in side frames. Possibly, these mainpagelinked portals could be merged to their parent articles. Possibly they could be moved to Arts (portal), for example. Whatever, a redevelopment is required. I think that they need to: (1) provide for comprehensive browsing to all articles; (2) match many of the principles of the category system.
Outlines
WP:Outlines are another attempt at facilitating comprehensive browsing, part-developed by much the same set of editors as for portals. They need to be in the conversation as well, whether merged into mainspace portals, or deleted.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:20, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: I think your #3 above is not correct. Portal:Contents is its own page, not a redirect. It has many subpages/transclusions, but it does stand on its own. Its subpage Portal:Contents/Portals should be a M#9 in your list above, since that is what is the ninth portal link at the top of the main page. UnitedStatesian (talk) 03:38, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes. It looks like I got that wrong. In any case, Portal:Contents and it’s subpages are a good idea, but are thoroughly neglected, undeveloped. I don’t think Portal:Contents belongs in the set of eight broad subject area portals M#1-8. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:57, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Just to comment on some of the above, I would not be particularly opposed to relocation of portals on the more important topics to another mainspace, possibly project space, or article space if artfully done. bd2412 T 02:44, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary subsection break 1[edit]

  • Oppose Users above may not have used portals, but I seek them out as a vital resource - the upper-level ones, admittedly. They function well where Overviews are lacking, and are a useful hub for those editors who have a primary focus on that topic. In theory, there is good reason to have a portal for every WikiProject, but I would say that could get too excessive where there are projects based for more niche things that exist because of a lot of interest. Kingsif (talk) 01:31, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
User:Kingsif. You appear to saying things that resonate with what I have been thinking.
(a) Upper level portals have value, or at least, a reader expects them to have value an sometimes tries to use them
(b) "Overviews are lacking". Broadly stated, absolutely. Article ledes provide good article overviews, but at a higher level they are lacking. Portals I thought were an attempt, but they fail, and WP:Outlines were kind of a skeleton of an idea in that direction but no more.
(c) I have sugested many times, but gaining zero traction from anoyone else, that many of the fair portals, maybe ~100 below the top portals, would be better suited in projectspace, within their WikiProject, becuase currently they seem mostly driven by editors to motivate other editors to do editing.
Can you comment on any of my ideas. I would like to see reform and redevelopment with better defined purposes, I think Portals suffer from a lack of stated objective, and I am not sure that NameSpace deletion is the road to get there. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:56, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Absolutely, I think we have generally the same ideas. I am not opposed to reform, some portals do seem dead or linked to very closed topics, and some are already so well integrated into projects that they may as well be in there - but these should be much wider discussions, it's a small group of editors who have cleared out the unmaintained portals rather than try to improve them, with WP:Portal discussions... something else. The discussion should at least be expanded to have more options than "delete all" or "do nothing", I feel, and some of your suggestions help in that direction. Kingsif (talk) 02:09, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support something like this. I would prefer to keep some portals, maybe just the top three as suggested by UnitedStatesian, maybe also keep the 8 portals linked from the mainpage, and maybe even keep about 50–100 portals (roughly corresponding to WP:Vital articles/Level/2.
I have been one of the main drivers of portal deletion over the last six months, and I have repeatedly been astonished to find how many really bad portals there are. Ever time I thought we were nearing the end of deleting the junk, dozens more would be found. I don't know how many more portals there are which clearly fail POG, but beyond them there are hundreds more like Portal:Ireland: not broken, not on a too narrow topic, maybe lightly maintained ... but still not v helpful. So they languish with poor readership and poor design and no editor willing to devote much time to them.
The pageview stats for all portals are grim. Only 53 out of 639 exceed 100 pageviews per day, and only 18 exceed 200 views/day. Only the portals linked from the mainpage exceed 1000 per day, and even their numbers are grim, because the mainpage averages about 16 million hits per day.
It's very clear that portals as a whole have failed. After 14 years, they simply have not attracted enough readers to justify all the overheads of maintaining the portals, and maintaining over 7 million links to portals. This is unsurprising, because maintaining portals is a lot of work, which few editors want to do ... and because the design of most portals varies between dire, abysmal, atrocious, and disgraceful. Most of them are variants of extreme usability failure, making it slow and hard to get access to a risibly limited and poorly-chosen subset of a topic area's content.
After 14 years, the dwindling crew of portal fans have no remotely credible ideas of how to make portals work. Instead they moan about deletion, and try to wikilawyer their way against the deletion of even abandoned junk with almost no readers.
Portal:Contents has clear value as a rough higher-level sitemap. But the rest of them suffer from the same problem as the dominant 1990s web-portals: their niche held in the absence of better alternatives, but they were killed by the new technologies of powerful search (Google) and massive cross-linking (thanks to content management systems). Wikipedia has both of those, and is especially good at cross-linking. So the demand for portals is low, and the supply-side is starved: few active editors, v limited software, and a small editor base without any of the exceptional talent needed to make a breakthrough.
So I'm not picky about this. Some big cutback would be a huge improvement, and I;ll go with whatever we can get. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 07:45, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the total deletion of Portal namespace. There are three portals with millions of yearly viewers (Portal:Current events, Portal:Contents and Portal:Featured content), and fourteen portals with over 100,000 yearly views. I think anything over 10,000 is significant enough to keep 'not automatically delete', which includes around 240 of the current 640 portals. So total annihilation is premature. That said, there are many remaining portals that appear unattended to in any fashion. Mr rnddude (talk) 08:14, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Mr rnddude: 10,000 views per year sounds a lot, but it is only ~27 views per day. (It's easy to forget the scale of Wikipedia; the main page got 5.87 billion pageviews in the last year). But sadly the rot extends way beyond the 27/day mark. The community's ability/willingness to sustain portals which don't fail POG's very basic minimum requirements is low, and there many portals with much higher pageviews than that which are in v poor shape. (Recent notable examples include MFD:P:Education, MFD:P:Asia, MFD:P:Olympic Games) I view those as worse than the almost-unviewed junk, because so many more readers are having their time wasted. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 08:56, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
BrownHairedGirl - Considered broadly, 27 views per day is not insignificant. Assuming article views are evenly distributed across en.wiki's 5.9 million articles, and that there are 5.87 billion views* a year, then on average each article is receiving 5,870,000,000 / 5,900,000 = 995 views per year, or 995 / 365 = 2.72 views per day. That's 1/10th of what any of those 240 portals are receiving. Of course, in reality, some articles are receiving thousands of views per day, and some are visited once in a blue moon. Moreover, not every main page view translates to an article space view, and any single main page view can result in 100 different article views (via bluelinks for example) so this quick math is less than perfect. I understand that some/many portals that meet this threshold are in very poor condition/abandoned. My 10,000 page views per year is a bar for "don't automatically delete", not for "automatically keep".
*I'm assuming that each article view takes place from the main page search bar, though this is not the case. Mr rnddude (talk) 10:08, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Mr rnddude: its not only not the case ... it's so far from the case that it makes your calculation irrelevant.
The comparison with the whole set of articles is also misplaced. Portals are supposed to be "enhanced main pages" for a whole topic area, so the correct comparator is the head article for the topic. In nearly all cases that I have examined, the head article gets between 100 and 2,000 times more views that the portal. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:06, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Most of the 1500 portals which existed last year have now been deleted. A mass creation which added portals with narrow scope was swiftly undone. Although I disagreed with some deletions, they were selected carefully, leaving the better portals in place. We have also developed tools. Templates can now transclude excerpts from the current version of an article rather than creating a fork which becomes outdated. The consequent reduction in text allows an entire portal to fit on one or a few pages rather than sprawling over dozens of forgotten subpages. These changes leave the namespace in far better shape than it was when the previous RfC found consensus to keep it. Whilst WP:ENDPORTALS did not exempt every single portal from deletion, the clear implication was that the namespace should remain of significant size. The reduction to 660, with 30 more currently at MfD, is already a major compromise; keeping only three, eight or even 100 of the 1500 portals would be not in the spirit of last year's agreement.
    Page view counts say more about the visibility of portals than their quality. A wonderful portal will get as few first-time visitors as a dire one. Articles are suggested in the search box and those on subjects broad enough to merit a portal will have hundreds if not thousands of incoming wikilinks. Portals are excluded from search results and, except for the few featured on the main page, tend to have fewer incoming links. Certes (talk) 08:43, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Certes is engaged in some rewriting of history.
When speedy deletion of the portalspam was considered, it was Certes who memorably described that process as a war on portals.
Also, Certes description of ENDPORTALS misrepresents the discussion (yet again). ENDPORTALS was a binary proposal to delete all portals, or have no mass deletion. No compromise was on the table. The result was a rejection of the proposal to delete all portals, and there was no implication either way of the resulting size of the set. (That's why TTH and his fellow-spammers interpreted the RFC as a license to spam away).
Additionally, so much has happened in portalspace since ENDPORTALS closed 18 months ago, that is likely that consensus has changed. Six months of detailed, one-by-one MFD analysis of the dire state of most portals has been an eyeopener for many. It's time for a new multi-option RFC to establish where consensus actually stands, and not try reading the entrails of an RFC which is now effectively ancient history. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 09:10, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree that ENDPORTALS was a binary proposal to delete all portals, or have no mass deletion. No compromise was on the table. The result was a rejection of the proposal to delete all portals. And yet a mass deletion of over 800 existing portals (plus the new ones) has taken place and another mass deletion is proposed now. Consensus can change, and this discussion may reach a different conclusion, but my comments above represent the previous discussion fairly. Certes (talk) 09:33, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Certes - regarding your statement that "Portals ... have few incoming links". Can you clarify (or strike) that? I've just looked at Portal:Lincolnshire and it's got inlinks from thousands of pages. DexDor (talk) 11:45, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that portal is exceptionally well linked, with nearly half as many incoming wikilinks as its article. Other portals have far fewer links: Lancashire's link ratio, for example, is 1:25. Also, although not the case for Lincolnshire, links to portals are often hidden within a collapsed template. I've modified my comment. Certes (talk) 12:58, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I disagree, there is no evidence of the links/pageviews relationship, for example P:NUDE is linked in only 60 articles and is among the 50 most viewed portals.Guilherme Burn (talk) 13:30, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Guilherme Burn is correct. In the last few months, I have cleaned up the backlinks to all the deleted portals (those created through portals templates are listed in Category:Portal templates with redlinked portals plus subcats), and I have found no correlation between portal views and number of backlinks. There have been portals with abysmally low views but several thousand links from articles; others with much higher views but only a few dozen links.
Note that link counting needs a lot of caution. I assume that links have different value according to which namespace they are in, and how prominently they are displayed. For example, a category page has much lower views than an article; but OTOH the categ displays the link prominently on the top right of the page, whereas the article may display it within a collapsed navbox.
Through my work developing {{yearInCountryPortalBox}}, I created literally hundreds of thousands of links to Portal:Years, country portals and decade portals. Yet Portal:Years languished with trivial pageviews until it was deleted, and so do many country portals.
So if editors want to drive up portal readership, there will need to be some research. There has been far too much assertion of assumptions as if they are proven, whereas the data doesn't support the assumed correlations. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) --17:21, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
It is also inaccurate for you describe WP:ENDPORTALS as an "agreement;" in fact the closer specifically wrote "no consensus." And then what happened? Yes, some tools were developed (thank you for that), but instead of being used to improve what we had, the tools were then used to take portal space in a wildly different direction, contrary to community consensus. And the result was a disaster. And the tools development stopped, in a very incomplete state; many create Lua errors, require advanced knowledge of Lua code, and work only in limited circumstances (I'll spare describing the result in Portal:Beavers). So the fever dream of a fully automated portalspace, which was pitched during WP:ENDPORTALS, is so far off in the future that we are effectively back where we were. UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:01, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
The close reads: There exists a strong consensus against deleting or even deprecating portals at this time. Certes (talk) 13:05, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
My bad, that part struck. UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:22, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Three out of 660 portals currently show Lua errors. This is because the pages are too complex. A technical solution is actively being developed but requires a bot which is awaiting approval. All portals also run through the linter tool with no warnings. There have been other errors in the past, but their absence shows that the tools are being actively developed despite the constant discouragement. Certes (talk) 13:59, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
But that development is happening in the dark, which is the same problem as before. Where are the notifications of what is going on, to Wikipedia:Wikiproject Portals or the portal maintainers who are putting in effort? Or is the plan just to dump these into the portalspace with no warning, again? UnitedStatesian (talk) 14:13, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
There are a couple of enhancement announcements from last week here and here. Discussions usually take place on that page too, though those particular releases implement features requested on my own talk page. Lua errors from pages being too complex are discussed here but a solution has not yet been announced as it will not work without the nascent bot. Certes (talk) 14:55, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Certes:I agree that wonderful tools were created, I am a fan of the single-page layout, but their use has been reverted on a number of occasions in a dictatorial manner, has not reached the portals with many pageviews and new created portals continue to use the flawed example of the subpages forks. What is your opinion about this?Guilherme Burn (talk) 13:18, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Even some editors who nominate portals for deletion agree that properly used excerpt templates are an improvement on stale forks, though some have complained that (per WP:LEADCITE and established practice on the Main Page) they omit references etc. Reversions have generally been justified as the portal being redundant because the list of articles displayed in one of its sections matches an existing category or template. In many cases our improvements only served to attract attention to the portal, which was subsequently deleted on the grounds that the version which we had replaced was of low quality and outdated. There is plenty of scope for deploying the tools in established portals without spoiling their character, but I cannot sensibly encourage anyone to invest their time in such work until the portals' future is clearer. Certes (talk) 13:50, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Certes: I am not aware of any case of the use of excerpt templates being reverted because the list of articles displayed in one of its sections matches an existing category or template. (There may have been a few where the whole portal was a cat/navbox clone, but I don't recall any). Please identify the portals you are talking about, because the creation of portals in the way you describe is a sneaky trick which should be stopped.
I am aware of about a dozen portals being deleted by consensus because they were new creations which used the embedded list technique to simply copy a category or a navbox, since I nominated most of them for MFD. Examples include MFD:Portal:Drawing, MFD:Portal:Volume, MFD:Portal:Electricity, MFD:Portal:Julius Caesar, MFD:Portal:Habitats, and MFD:Portal:Shipwrecks.
I really really hope that Certs clears this up, because after so many MFDs, it is very very very clear that the community has consistently and overwhelmingly rejected the creation of portals which simply clone the content set of another navigational device and present it in the bloated form of a portal, because that redundancy adds no value for readers. It appears to me that Certes's post above is a rejection of that consensus, so I hope that Certes will lose no time in clarifying that they are not seeking to subvert or evade the consensus that a portal cloned from a category or navbox is redundant. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:30, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Many examples have since been deleted. One still in place is Portal:Culture, which you reverted with the summary Restore last curated version, reverting conversion to automated redundant navbox-fork (TW). I see that you have replied to my comment at its MfD with the summary Certes making stuff up, so perhaps we will have to agree to differ on this point. Certes (talk) 00:38, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion of portal space, working for active portals Germany and Opera. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:15, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary subsection break 2[edit]

  • Support (deletion of portal namespace after moving a few pages to other namespaces). The costs of portals (luring some readers to poor pages, editor time spent creating/updating/discussing them, extra complexity added to Wp etc) outweighs any benefit they provide - of the OP's 4 points about the purpose of a portal the first 3 are what the corresponding article does (generally better than a portal) and the 4th is what the corresponding wikiproject should do. DexDor (talk) 11:57, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - I like portals, but let's go to some points that demonstrate the death of the portals.
#1 Wikiprojects have abandoned the portals, several portals of active wikiprojects have been deleted without any objection from wikiprojects, while other portals are abandoned even with active wikiprojects.
#2 There is no relationship between pageviews and the quality of portals, or pageviews and the amount of backlinks to portals.
#3 In over a decade of namespace no solid guideline has been created, no logical organization, and not even portals have been correctly categorized.Guilherme Burn (talk) 12:03, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: There is no other suitable namespace for well-maintained portals such as Portal:Opera. Perhaps they just need rebranding. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs 13:24, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    Adam Cuerden, well, back before 2005, all portals were subpages of Wikipedia:Wikiportal, see User:Portal namespace initialisation script and its contributions. —Kusma (t·c) 14:11, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • @Kusma: I doubt that a deletion of the namespace would do a very good job at keeping what is, after all, at the least an important part of Wikipedia's history. Even if we shut down the creation of new portals, deleting years of hard work seems arbitrary, unnecessary, and rude. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs 17:38, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
      Adam Cuerden, indeed. Portals do very little harm (even if they have little use), and deleting them is a great way to show editors that their hard work is not appreciated. So I don't understand why it is so popular. —Kusma (t·c) 19:34, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Deletion of abandoned junk portals is popular because most editors can see luring readers to sets of abandoned, outdated, unscrutinised content forks surrounded by fake or stale DYKs plus stale news labelled as if it was current is a waste of the time of our readers, and a blot on Wikipedia's hard-won reputation. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:37, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are very valid and good reasons to use Portals for broad topics, but from this mass creation incident, which created portals on a number of very narrow topics, we really need to have a process to approve the creation of new portals in the future, so that only those deemed sufficiently broad and appropriate are in play. --Masem (t) 13:40, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    Masem, currently the question is more how to keep and improve portals on broad topics... Portal:Culture is at MFD right now (obviously a super broad topic), and from past experience I can tell you that fixing issues with portals during MFD is frowned upon (some people have been accused of "bad faith drive-by updating" or similar), so I won't touch it for my own sanity. We don't just need rules that justify deletion or harm creation, we also need some rules against deletion. —Kusma (t·c) 14:09, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - Not this again.... not all portals are in the same boat here, doing this would go around consensus on AfDs that were kept. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:41, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written (and note that Bermicourt who originated this section is the creator of many portal, and many of those were deleted, and may be voicing their understandable frustration with the whole process here). There are numerous problems with portal space, the main is that there is no agreement what it is for and what any particular portal should do. In the past, this has meant that many portals got created, and having portals about major topics (like every country on Earth) was considered normal. In the last year, the old style guideline page WP:POG has been re-interpreted as a policy page that explains what portals should be like, and a particular interpretation of that page (I understand it as "portals must be about a wide topic including quality articles, must be maintained regularly, and have a nontrivial amount of pageviews") has become a popular deletion reason. Well, the only portals that get a significant amount of pageviews are those linked from the Main Page, so if pageviews are deemed important, all portals are doomed, even the well-maintained ones. In the current atmosphere, maintaining portals isn't a lot of fun, as you never know whether your portal will be nominated for deletion based on low page views soon, so people are stopping to do it, a self-reinforcing vicious circle very much against the spirit of Wikipedia to fix problems instead of deleting everything that is not perfect. In any case, if there is consensus that portals shouldn't be shown to readers, simply removing all portal links from mainspace would do the trick, and would allow the maintained portals to continue existing as tools and showcases for editors, linked only from talk pages and Wikipedia space. There is little need to delete old meta pages, even if they are useless, unless they are actively harmful, and I think the dangers of portal space have been rather exaggerated. In any case, anyone who opposes the deletion of all portals at once should show up at MfD every now and then to avoid deletion of all portals one by one. —Kusma (t·c) 13:44, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Kusma: any editor is welcome to participate in any XFD. But you are blatantly AGFing that the deletion of abandoned junk portals has an ulterior motive, and I hope you will retract that. You seem to be trying to votestack by recruiting editors with a particular POV, which is highly disruptive conduct. I hope that you will amend your comment to remind editors that !votes should weigh policy and guideline against the evidence of the nature of the portal under discussion. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:44, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    BrownHairedGirl, you'll have to help me out and explain to me which ulterior motive I am ascribing and to whom so I know which statement you would like me to retract. As for policy-based voting in portal MfDs, well, in my view, we simply do not have any robust policies that are specifically about portals, which is part of the reason the whole process is so frustrating. You may disagree with that, just like I disagree with your description of my comment as being "highly disruptive conduct", which is a completely unnecessary personal attack. —Kusma (t·c) 19:43, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Kusma:, I'm pretty sure that you know the answer to all those questions. As to guidelines, we have WP:POG, which has been accepted as the framework for about 800 MFDs now. I am surprised that you missed that.
WP:VOTESTACKING is highly disruptive conduct. Do I need to explain why? If you don't like being criticised for it, then don't do it.
The ulterior motive you are ascribing is to editors who nominate quality portals at MFD. You are presupposing that their aim is to use MFD to one-by-one delete all portals, rather than the stated reason of poor quality of individual portals.
I have no objection to any deleted portal being moved to WP:REFUNDed to project space, and I have never seen any objection to it. I think that in nearly every case a set of a dozen decade-old content forks is thoroughly useless to editors .. but if someone wants to memorialise them, I don't see it doing any harm so long as they stay firmly in project space. Most of them contain woefully outdated text, which is not checked for errors, and it does harm readers and Wikipedia to continue to lure readers to such junk. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:32, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
BrownHairedGirl, I honestly didn't know the answers to my questions, which is why I asked them. I am not convinced that portal MFDs are truly only about the lack of quality in outdated portals, as I have seen attempts to fix the quality issues during MFDs being dismissed and the portal ending up deleted anyway. My suggestion to come to MFD every now and then is as visible to portal lovers as it is to portal haters, which I also invite to come to MFD so consensus can become clearer. WP:POG was not written to be a guideline about which portals to keep and which to delete, but as a guide how to write a portal (originally as a Manual of Style page for portals). I agree that a rough consensus has emerged at MFD that is that portals need to be about a broad subject, be maintained (but what exactly that means isn't clear), and should have some readers. But I disagree that this is what any written guidelines say, and have tried to update the guidelines to reflect the MFD results. On the whole, portals are probably not worth the amount of debate that we have about them, and I wouldn't be terribly sad if we end up merging them all with a relevant wikiproject, as long as we can keep on linking to them from the talk page banners, if that finally results in peace on this front. —Kusma (t·c) 21:15, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - This is going to need its own page again if we are discussing the matter again as it will impact the whole community. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:13, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Don’t overstate the situation - the reality is that the vast majority of editors do not give a flying flamingo about portals, one way or the other. Indeed most editors probably don’t even know what a portal is. Whether we keep some or delete them all, the decision will impact a very small part of the community. Blueboar (talk) 15:02, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
This isn't true per the long and lengthy discussion we had last time. This needs to be advertised as a major thing as portals are linked on hundreds of thousands of pages. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:15, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Knowledgekid, and if it may result in the removal of a namespace or 90% of its pages then we should really advertise it more widely. Certes (talk) 15:05, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose total deletion; we should keep some small number of portals for our broadest and most vital topics. bd2412 T 14:47, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Portals provide a place to collate articles, topics,and items of concern that might be highly useful to whatever subset of editors might be useful for editing that topic. For editors interested in a a specific country or locality, we have portals like Relief Map of Caribbean.png Caribbean portal, Flag of Italy.svg Italy portal, Flag of Tuvalu.svg Tuvalu portal, Flag of the United States.svg United States portal, PrefSymbol-Tokyo.svg Tokyo portal. for editors interested in highly relevant topics in, e.g., the natural world, we have portals like Earth Day Flag.png Ecology portal, Aegopodium podagraria1 ies.jpg Environment portal, Issoria lathonia.jpg Biology portal, Drinking water.jpg Water portal, etc. do we need to get rid of them? really? how are they any less helpful than the WikiProjects for those topics? I actually find Portals much more helpful than Wikiprojects, as a centralized place for viewing current articles, topics etc, relating to a particular topic. --Sm8900 (talk) 16:42, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Wikiprojects and Portals are two very different things; the former is editor-facing, designed to aid collaboration and organization; the latter is (ostensibly) a reader-facing system. The problem is that few internet users use portals in general (we are very much in a post-Google world) and the question becomes one of how much they are "worth" versus how much they "cost". Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 17:15, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Deleting portals is not improving the wiki. Benjamin (talk) 17:21, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose complete deletion of portals. I would be prepared to support getting rid of most of the ones we have currently, but I think we should keep some:
  • Very high level topics, such as the portals linked on the main page and some others.
  • Portals which don't correspond to articles, such as Portal:Contents, Portal:Featured content, Portal:Current events.
  • I think there is also a role for portals as showcases for collections of very high quality content, e.g. Portal:Battleships. We don't have anything else which shows them off in quite the same way.
The average portal though is little used and doesn't serve a useful purpose. People simply don't look at them. Hut 8.5 18:04, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Question - What is the difference between categorization and portals? What do portals do that isn’t done by cats? Blueboar (talk) 19:53, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • @Blueboar: A good portal links to a curated set of high-quality articles and images around a topic, putting them in context and previewing them. They're pften based around Wikipedia's main page, with TFA, PotD, and other sections as are relevant to the topic, letting readers find high-quality content, as the main page does, but more specialised. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs 20:23, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Re "links to a curated set of high-quality articles ... around a topic" - the vast majority of portals have come nowhere near that aspiration. The reality is usually that the portal creator (without any discussion or explanation) picks a few articles (sometimes just one article, sometimes low quality articles, sometimes off-topic articles) and then no-one else ever expands/updates/corrects the set (except, in some cases when an article is deleted). "putting them in context and previewing them" is hardly an accurate description either. DexDor (talk) 21:07, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
DexDor, let us just assume Adam Cuerden is talking about Portal:Opera, which is one of the best portals we have, and about one of the topics most suitable for being shown in portal style, a really impressive work. —Kusma (t·c) 21:23, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@DexDor and Kusma: As someone who has made and helped to make portals before, in the period they were being made, that was always the goal. I'd imagine most of the former featured portals (if they hadn't gotten overwritten in the bot creation of portals - the overwriting of formerly good portals with automatically created ones has definitely pulled down the quality) had that goal. Portal:Opera is an excellent example of what Featured portals, and thus all portals, tried to be. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs 00:02, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
So I've had a look at Portal:Opera and still don't see how claims like "putting [articles] in context" can be supported.  That portal shows a list of "Stubs needing expansion" that has not been updated for over 10 years; either editors are not expanding those stubs or not updating the list. Now, I wouldn't argue that that means that Portal:Opera (in isolation) should be deleted, but it does demonstrate how even "good" portals are more about show than about actually being used. DexDor (talk) 06:08, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Oops. Struck per comment below. DexDor (talk) 16:15, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
DexDor, the list of "Stubs needing expansion" on Portal:Opera does not require updating. The links are to categories which are updated immediately when a stub tag is added or removed from an article. They do not link to manually compiled lists. In fact, none of the tasks listed in "Things you can do" require manual maintenance. The only manual maintenance we do is adding new FAs, FPs, GAs, and DYKs when they reach that status. Voceditenore (talk) 14:53, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I also took a look at Portal:Opera, and I also strongly disagree with Adam Cuerden. It's not broken and not full of redlinks, and has a few more articles than most of the bad portals, but that's about it.
As to it being an excellent example of what Featured portals, and thus all portals, tried to be ... heaven help us.
Take a look at WP:Featured portal candidates/Portal:Opera. That's a round of morale boosting in a pub chat, not assessment. There is no structured checking of listed points of evaluation, no measurable criteria, nothing. Just some discussion of the length of excerpts, and lots of air-kissing like "great and lovely portal" and "well built and beautiful portal".
As to "putting [articles] in context", that's nonsense. It just shows lead excerpts one at time, with no indication of why they were chosen, and not even a visible list of other titles. The purge-page-for-new-random-selection thing is such an extreme usability fail that it would laughable if it wasn't for the fact that some editors think this is an acceptable way of presenting a list. Sure, that's the std structure portal, but bluntly, it's a completely crap structure which has persisted only because portals were long ago abandoned by most editors, becoming the playground of a small set of editors who adopted uncritical groupthink, and who resent outsiders who try to inject some reality.
So it's wholly unsurprising that the portal got only 24 daily pageviews in the first half of 2019, while the head article averaged 1,438. Reader's don't waste their time on pages like that, which in practice exist only as hobby pages for a few editors. The head article does a vastly better job of navigation and showcasing.
As to the overwriting of formerly good portals with automatically created ones, the last such automation of a pre-existing portal was reverted in May. Many editors were involved, and I personally used a set of tools to identify and eliminate every last such automation. On reversion, it was clear why they had been automated: most of them were abandoned junk, and huge numbers were subsequently deleted. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:33, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Just a note about a couple of assertions made above:
1. Concerning the Featured Portal candidate process, i.e. There is no structured checking of listed points of evaluation, no measurable criteria, nothing. The participants in the Portal:Opera discussion were measuring the portal against Wikipedia:Featured portal criteria. If they found any aspect which did not match those criteria, they mentioned it in the discussion. If not, they did not. I suppose they could have explicitly added "Meets all the Featured portal criteria", but that was implicit in the discussion
2. Concerning Portal:Opera having not even a visible list of other titles. At the bottom of each section on the left-hand side is a link More X which takes the reader to the complete list of articles, pictures, sounds, etc. in that section. For example, More featured pictures takes you to the complete list of pictures included in the portal which states at the top the criteria for inclusion. More selected articles takes the reader to the complete list of selected articles, which again states the criteria for selection at the top.
Voceditenore (talk) 06:00, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
There's a good point about what would attract a reader to visit a portal. The quality of one isolated portal isn't a draw for an initial visit, because the reader doesn't know its quality beforehand (although it will influence revisits). The collective quality of portals, however, will affect whether or not readers will choose to follow a link to a portal, since they will extrapolate from their past experiences with other portals. Wikipedia would be a lot less successful, for instance, if nearly all of its articles were stubs. So although there is no deadline to improve any page, there is a practical consideration in trying to establish a baseline median level of quality that is sufficiently high to attract readers to visit other portals. isaacl (talk) 16:29, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
P.S. Blueboar might like to also consider pages such as Index of United States-related articles which are more of a fork of categorization (and, incidentally, were often created by the same editors who created portals). DexDor (talk) 21:15, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Portals are the best venue for active WikiProjects to display their work as a project. My experience with Portal:Opera with WP:WikiProject Opera is that it is a space that builds camaraderie, community, inspiration, and motivation (especially in generating better and more content) within our particular group. The encyclopedia benefits from portals, and I can see no value in deleting them.4meter4 (talk) 21:27, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Where the purpose is for displaying WikiProject work, they should be located as a WikiProject subpage. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:29, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support deleting portal space which actually isn't the same thing as deleting all portals. It doesn't need a separate namespace. I support deleting almost all portals, too, along the lines of SmokeyJoe's proposal above. Levivich 01:18, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Over 850 portals (over 50% of the pre-TTH spam portals) have already been deleted for being abandoned failures of WP:POG. My experience at hundreds of portal MfD's that closed as delete is that nearly all portals are abandoned relics of past editors' momentary enthusiasm, and that there is 15 years of hard evidence that by any sane metric, the Portals Project has been a complete disaster. Very few portals have even a single maintainer (and POG requires multiple maintainers), let alone large numbers of readers, at least 20 articles, or WikiProject involvement. Why force editors to waste their time going through the rest one by one when it's clear as day that portals are a failed solution in search of a problem?
Head articles, with vastly higher readership and quality then their associated portals, and their very common rich and versatile navboxes are all we need on Wikipedia. It's time to end this farce, and the disgrace that a brilliant editor like @BrownHairedGirl has spent over a thousand hours cleaning up the sewage in Portal space only to realize that there is no bottom to the barrel. This is just what Portal space is. I don't oppose the top 10 portals being moved elsewhere, but the rest of Portal space should be deleted. Newshunter12 (talk) 21:03, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Newshunter12, Why force editors to waste their time going through the rest one by one when it's clear as day that portals are a failed solution in search of a problem? First of all, most of the remaining portals are a lot better than those that have already been deleted, so we could also just keep all of the rest and not do any further MFDs, and we certainly shouldn't use the fact that worse pages exist to delete something like Portal:Opera.
If anybody forces you to go through the list of portals one by one, they should be told off. Participating in portal MFDs is a volunteer activity, just like maintaining portals is. I also would like to remind you that WP:IWORKEDSOHARD is not only not a valid reason to keep articles, it is also not a valid reason to delete entire namespaces.
Portals duplicate some functions of some other navigational aids, and duplicate some functions of WikiProjects. Their viewership is fairly low, just like the number of pageviews of many other navigational pages (outlines, categories) or of Wikiprojects is low. That is not necessarily a problem, as long as the viewers that are there get something good.
And there is one other aspect: It is a disgrace how brilliant editors like, say, User:Juliancolton are treated with disrespect just because they have created a portal in the past and no longer update it. —Kusma (t·c) 13:02, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose The original proposal starts from a somewhat holier-than-thou perspective that the existence of portals is objectionable and that they must be eradicated because "editors who see no value in portals" have to keep putting them up for deletion. What one person finds useless, others may find highly useful and a wholesale deletion for the convenience of a few who find them troubling seems unwarranted. The enthusiastic drive for an automated process of portal creation some months back certainly led to creation of a crop of portals that were of narrow interest and of, possibly, minor value; however, that does not invalidate a portal's value as a jumping-off point for users interested in a topic to find other articles in the same subject area. A good portal, such as Portal:Opera or Portal:London transport, gives a curated collection of information that is not otherwise easily accessed. Suggestions that a portal's daily pageviews is an indication of their value is risible; to assume that something that is little read is of no value is flawed. On that basis, substantial parts of Wikipedia could be deleted including large numbers of featured and good articles. Should we then start deleting obscure featured articles such as Wage reform in the Soviet Union, 1956–1962 (37 page views per day), 1860 Boden Professor of Sanskrit election (18 page views per day) or The Boat Race 1993 (12 page views per day).--DavidCane (talk) 14:38, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Alt-Proposal 1 to total deletion of Portal space[edit]

Proposal withdrawn by proposer - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:34, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Pinging all editors who have participated in this discussion so far: @Bermicourt @UnitedStatesian @Hyperbolick @BrownHairedGirl @Hecato @David Fuchs @Certes @cobaltcigs @CodeLyoko @Mark Schierbecker @SmokeyJoe @Kingsif @Mr rnddude @DexDor @Guilherme Burn @Adam Cuerden @Kusma @Masem @Knowledgekid87 @Blueboar @BD2412 @Sm8900 @Benjamin @Hut 8.5 @4meter4

Since there seems to be overwhelming agreement among editors that the vast majority of existing portals are useless, I'm proposing a clearer deletion cut off to move the discussion along. My proposal is this: All currently existing portals be deleted, except for the top 75 portals in views from January 1 to September 1 2019. This will eliminate the vast majority of the abandoned/unused portals in existence today, and give the highest viewed portals the chance for individual evaluations or new maintenance plans to be crafted, as has already been happening at MfD for many months. Any of the deleted portals, such as Portal:Opera, may be moved to project space upon request (or before deletion) for use by editors, but with the understanding that they may not be returned to portal space. This is not meant to be a complete re-hash of the above discussion, but to advance that discussion to the next stage, so please try to keep brevity in mind when replying either way, so that it is easier to ascertain baseline support. I obviously Support this proposal per my reasoning at over 200 portal MfD's. Newshunter12 (talk) 22:54, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Struck this side proposal of mine since it's clear the community doesn't want it and it's serving only as a distraction to the above discussion. I removed the RfC tag as this was never meant to be an RfC of its own, just a next-step continuation of the above discussion. Newshunter12 (talk) 09:06, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd learn toward keeping more, rather than fewer, and would prefer moving to project space over deletion. Benjamin (talk) 22:56, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Agree with moving over. In fact, would undelete all recently deleted portals with history (ie more than one editor doing real work on it) and move those to some space for historical preservation. Hyperbolick (talk) 23:05, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
      • @Hyperbolick Your getting into contentious new ideas here and above. Please stay focused on the proposal I put forward and strike your new proposals. @Benjamin Six months of MfD and over 850 deleted abandoned/low view portals with no end in sight speaks to how few topics can sustain a quality portal. Newshunter12 (talk) 23:32, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Count my counterproposal as an oppose like those below, then, as I wouldn’t delete important portals over pageviews. Hyperbolick (talk) 23:46, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
          • Sigh. @Hyperbolick, you are presently voting twice now in this section (keep! and oppose!). Please strike one, as you only get one vote. Portals with low page views are overwhelmingly abandoned crud by a huge margin, as six months of MfD has shown. Newshunter12 (talk) 00:03, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Just because a portal isn't viewed frequently, doesn't mean the portal itself isn't maintained well or isn't active. Portal:Opera is a perfect example of this. I am not in favor of a mass deletion which throws out babies with the bathwater. Deletions should be remain an individual process of consideration.4meter4 (talk) 23:36, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@4meter4 Portals with any maintainers in years are few and far between, as six months of MfD has shown. Newshunter12 (talk) 00:03, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
If cut to the important ones (by true significance, not arbitrary views) those who do portals will gravitate to what remains. And merge all the lesser subjects up, in the process. Hyperbolick (talk) 00:58, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I doubt that assumption is accurate. In my experience, editors contribute usually in a few areas of interest, and gravitate to those portals associated with their interests. I spend most of my time writing on operas and opera singers because that's my interest and I spend most of my time working in two wikiprojects related to that topic. If the opera portal goes, even though it is highly active, I will not get involved with another portal because I am only interested in contributing in that one area. As for MFD, keep at it one portal at a time. There's no need for expediency. Be respectful of good work and editor's contributions by taking time to evaluate them individually. If the work is overwhelming maybe you need a wikibreak.4meter4 (talk) 01:11, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I see no such overwhelming agreement, nor support for deleting an arbitrary quota of 95% of portals. Certes (talk) 23:41, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Certes You're apparently incapable of basic math. This would eliminate less than 90% of existing portals and six months of MfD and 850 deleted portals (over 50% of the pre-TTH portals) speaks to how few portals actually have any merit. Newshunter12 (talk) 00:03, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the arithmetic lesson. I was referring to the 1500 portals which existed at the start of the cull. Certes (talk) 00:16, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose No, consensus seemed to be shifting to "let's not make any arbitrary deletions". In fact, I think many agree that this suggestion to even consider throwing out an entire namespace that has a very active project and useful pages that are well-maintained is a bad idea and spearheaded by users who don't particularly contribute to those upkeep efforts. Kingsif (talk) 23:45, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
@Kingsif Over 850 portals (over 50% of the pre-TTH portals) have already been deleted for being complete crud. Why force editors to waste their time going through the rest one by one? Newshunter12 (talk) 00:03, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
The suggestion, pick an arbitrary number or the entire space to delete, based entirely on quality then views, could effectively be compared to "let's delete a random selection of stubs" (or all stubs). Sound like a good idea? No, we can go through them if we must but if you find that too tedious, I think keep all is a better option than delete all. Kingsif (talk) 03:40, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose This WP:TNT-like approach to clean out Portal space makes no sense and is not how we do things on WP. Each portal must be evaluated case-by-case. --Masem (t) 01:20, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – page views probably aren't the best way to draw the line, but I support it nonetheless, as we'll end up in the same place anyhow. I also support Hyperbolick's counterproposal above. Again, Vital 100 is probably not the best place to draw the line, but still better than what we have now. No matter what we do, we're going to end up at the same place: about 10 portals, the community portal and the main page ones. Whether we get there en masse or one-by-one, whether we draw lines using pageviews or Vital Topics, the method will only affect how much of our time we take up on the journey; the destination is the same. Levivich 01:24, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose page views aren't a good metric to use by themselves and we should be considering these on a case-by-case basis rather than using an arbitrary cutoff. I would suggest a good next step would be to draw up some proposals for criteria we can use to determine whether a topic should have a portal or not, since it doesn't look like getting rid of all of them is going to pass. Hut 8.5 10:06, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Why on earth would we base it on views, and not quality? And, even if we accepted that (which we shouldn't), why have a pre-determined, arbitrary number of portals, with the other thousands of portals deleted without the possibility of appeal, and likely without any people maintaining them ever being aware of this discussion? And why 75 portals to survive? We don't even know how many page views the 75th highest portal has, nor the 20th, nor the 76th, nor the 120th, nor the 1000th because the proposal is entirely arbitrary and not based on any relevant counts or research. This is an appalling idea, and doesn't feel like a well-thought out proposal to improve the encyclopedia, it only seems to work if the logic is "Let's delete all as many as possible of the portals," because why else have an arbitrary cutoff for the number allowed to survive? We do have a problem evaluating portals: The mass portal creation of a while back also involved editing over what used to be featured portals, and there's enough pieces to portals that it can be very hard to properly revert everything, since you may need to revert dozens or hundreds of pages to get everything to how it was, instead of having bot-generated content for at least some of it. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs 11:34, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose as per User:Adam Cuerden. Quality and utility should be what we base our judgements on. Not pageviews. We are not some kind of clickbait website. Pageviews on their own do not demonstrate anything, besides maybe poor linking. Link something on the frontpage and it will have tens of thousands of clicks, even if it is empty page with no utility whatsoever. Similarly the best portal in the world will not get any clicks if readers are not aware that it exists. --Hecato (talk) 11:50, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
    How does one measure "utility", if not by page views? Levivich 17:00, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
    Pageviews are not used at all in assessing WP:VITAL. Would guess, has some thought to utility of having such articles. Hyperbolick (talk) 21:34, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Levivich: I like User:Hyperbolick's answer. To add to that: Let's (for the sake of the argument) agree the purpose of portals is (1) to introduce users to the most important topics in a topic area, plus (2) showcase high quality content, plus (3) advertise WikiProjects and other related Wikimedia. The utility of a portal is then defined as its ability to fulfill these purposes. And if we need to quantify utility, then we get a consensus.
How do we decide which articles should be picked in (1)? Initially bold editor discretion and when people disagree, educated consensus. For an editor with an interest in a topic it should not be too hard to select the most important articles for a topic area, but WikiProjects also offer importance ratings of articles in their scope. Both utility and how well content is presented can then be part of a quality assessment.
I think the strong dislike for portals from parts of the community is due to many portals being poorly implemented when it comes to point (1) and a general lack of quality in presentation. Points (2) and (3) are nice and all, but if I go to a portal about biology as a regular reader, then I want to get a quick interactive and visually attractive introduction to the most important articles in the topic area of biology, not look at a bunch of A-class articles about obscure microbes, even if they are really well written. --Hecato (talk) 12:05, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
I think all of (1) (2) & (3) are desirable, but they do not mix well. For (1), the parent article does the job best. For (2), a WP:Category intersection of Category:Wikipedia featured articles and your desired topic category tree would be wonderful, but nothing currently serves well. For (3), one should enter through the Community Portal. Cross namespace linking out of mainspace is discouraged for good reason. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:34, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
@Hecato: Thank you. Hyperbolick (talk) 14:11, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • strong oppose. Lack of page views is not a reason to discard portals. Sm8900 (talk) 03:58, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: Portals are useful tools for navigation on broad topics of interest. The entire proposition of deleting portals to save editor’s time is misguided. If saving editor time is the priority that would imply we should consider deleting the entire Wikipedia. The advocates against portal are repeatedly failing to appreciate that there are significant number of users who use Portals, care about them and are ready to work on improving them. There can be a criteria for establishing notability / importance of a topic area for creating / keeping a portal and a certain quality benchmark before reaching which portals can be mandated to flag a “Draft” status. But getting rid of the portals altogether would be counterproductive and a serios blow to the appeal of Wikipedia. Arman (Talk) 10:35, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Useful? How? How is a portal useful for navigation? They seem to feature a pseudo-random selection of articles liked by the portal creator, no attempts at enabling comprehensive navigation, and include a lot of cross namespace linking.
You miss most of the rationale, it is little about saving editors time, and more about removing a reader disservice.
Virtually no one uses portals. Looking at pageviews, from mainpage to mainpage linked portals, and secondary linked portals, it is like a thousand-fold attrition each time. Pageviews in the single digits are probably web crawlers and Wikipedia bots.
Your notion of “notability” and portals shows a poor understand of both notability and portals. Notability has nothing to do with a portal. Notability is for articles. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:00, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Useful for navigation: in the same way the main page is useful for navigation. The characterization that you make can apply to main page as well.
Rationale: Please refer to the last line of Bermicourt's opening of this debate: "So it would save all involved editors a lot of time if we just agreed to scrap portals and portal space rather than continue the present process with those editors who see no value in portals having to put them one-by-one for deletion while those in favour of keeping them continue to waste time trying to defend them."
Page-view count is not a criteria to keep pages/material on wikipedia, nor is it a measure of usefulness. If it were, it would import bias. Only popular topics would remain. Portals are useful to editors who focus on specific subject areas - they may be few in number but their enthusiasm and contributions are immensely valuable for wikipedia.
I used the term "Notability / importance" to imply a measure parallel to notability measure of articles. Portals should meet a high threshold of notability / importance / breadth than articles and hence community can decide on such a criteria which I would support. Also, I would refrain from challanging other users "understanding" because it may be against WP:Civility. Arman (Talk) 11:25, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
You don’t go to the main page for navigation. It may be ok for browsing, but browsing is wandering, not navigation. The portals replicated the main page style of pseudo random interesting links, enticements to wander, not navigate. I think the fundamental flaw is that portals were supposed to be for navigation purposes, but they don’t meet that purpose.
Yeah, Bermicourt's rationale is not the one I would have used.
Portals are useful to editors who focus on specific subject areas. YES! That’s why they should be moved into their associated WikiProjects, they are for interested editors, not readers. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:35, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal to move pronoun preference to Basic info[edit]

In User Preferences, there is no reason or logic for including the preferred pronoun selection in the Internationalisation section of the Preferences input form.

  • It has nothing to do with internationalisation, so shouldn't be placed there.
  • No one will look for it there.
  • It is considered "basic information" on almost every web platform that offers this choice.

The setting should be moved to section Basic Information. Mathglot (talk) 20:42, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Well in English language is not really relevant, as these pronouns are not generated automatically by the software, or conjugation required on the adjectives, verbs etc. But on some other languages it is important. For example grammatical gender does not affect the term "user" in English. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:21, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@Mathglot: The order of the layout in Special:Preferences is not something that we can control here on the English Wikipedia, and I strongly doubt there would be any support to make per-project ordering customization. As such, it would be a mediawiki change, and you can request it at Wikipedia:Bug reports and feature requests. I don't think it would get much pushback to move it up a few lines. — xaosflux Talk 22:40, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux:, thanks for the tip!. Mathglot (talk) 23:07, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't find any of your points convincing.
  • It does have everything to do with internationalization, in that the preference exists for and is used specifically by the code generating localized test based on the selected language.
  • {{citation needed}} Particularly since it's directly under the "basic info" section in the same "user profile" tab, it seems pretty easy to find.
  • Do those other platforms actually have a preference solely for grammatical gender, or is their "basic info" collecting gender (and anything else they can justify) to compile demographic information for marketing purposes?
I find the third bullet a particularly important distinction. Anomie 12:09, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
I will say, having it under "Internationalization" because it's not used in English seems really Anglocentric. So, for the users in languages with grammatical gender, they have to go to internationalization settings to make the language they're editing in work? If it's basic for any language group, it should probably be under basic info, so they can find it. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.9% of all FPs 12:10, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
As an aside, I think it's more influenced by computer programming than English. Everything having to do with the framework for customizing the user interface for specific markets is called "internationalization", and actually plugging in the details for a specific market is called "localization". Of course, that doesn't mean Wikipedia has to follow the same convention. isaacl (talk) 16:14, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
@Adam Cuerden: You indented your reply as if in reply to me, but I did not say that. "Localized text" includes text in English. And while English doesn't often need it, it can still be used for messages like MediaWiki:abusefilter-reautoconfirm-none and MediaWiki:notification-header-mention-agent-talkpage. But that (the fact that it's used in English too) doesn't change the fact that it's intended and used for i18n/l10n, it's not intended as "basic information" about a user. Anomie 17:21, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Isaacl has it exactly right, imho; it's influenced by computer programming. This is a common failure of UX design, that of wording or placement to suit programmers rather than users. Who is the Special:Preferences page even for? Nobody in the RW knows what I18n/L10n is other than programmers, and not even all of them. (I know, because I've been involved with them and the topic since before it had a name.) We are talking about the Preferences page: that is where Users go to set their preferences. There isn't one Wikipedia user in ten thousand, that goes to their Preferences page thinking about how they might want their MediaWiki:abusefilter-reautoconfirm-none messages to render. From one end of the internet to the other, the gender field on "Settings" or "Preferences" pages is about you⁠—the user⁠—it is not there to make things easy for IT or the back office folks.
It's also untrue that it is "not used in English". In fact, the field is used by users themselves: for one thing, by using the series of templates ({{they}}, {{them}}, {{their}}, etc.) so that users may appropriately gender other users when using pronouns on Talk pages. The place where a normal user will look for that input field, is under 'Basic info'. If the input form is shared by employees of WMF who think of it as an i18n/L10n issue, then they should privilege normal users' expectations, not their own, when conceiving of the proper design for the input form. Mathglot (talk) 01:22, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
On the other hand, we should also avoid confusing people into thinking a preference about grammatical gender is somehow about gender identity in general, which seems to have happened many times over the years (including here). I note that gerrit:30756 specifically moved it out of "basic info" in 2012 (and reworded it to more clearly ask about grammar) for that very reason. IMO that outweighs unsupported assertions about what "normal users" might expect. Anomie 12:33, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Controversial Working Group Recommendations[edit]

The 2nd generation of working group recommendations has been released on for consultation on meta. Each WG has around 10 recommendations, but I've attempted to include the most key and/or controversial one of each group below. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:34, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

The include draft recommendations on:

  • Unified Code of Conduct across all projects
  • Limits on holding multiple positions/term limits
  • Decentralising technical development
  • Broader and most co-ordinated advocacy
  • Restructuring of Wikimedia resource allocation and creation of thematic hubs
  • Use of revenue-creating Wikimedia API/paid wiki services/alternate revenue streams
  • Governance and restructuring of Wikimedia movement organisations
Advocacy, thematic hubs and money-making amongst them. Clear suggestion to politicise etc the movement. This will be fun. - Sitush (talk) 16:51, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I expect quite a battle over the recommendation to change notability and reliability standards. Very controversial. Blueboar (talk) 16:59, 21 September 2019 (UTC)