Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 90

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Page Rating

I suggest the Wikipedia Page Rating procedure (1) to include an option such as (content is) "BIASED"/ "FALSE"/ entirely "NOT Trustworthy"; OR to start counting from ZERO instead of ONE; (2) to use (statistical) moving averages, discarding evalulations/ ratings which are +1 yr old; AND/OR (3) to include a flag which an editor could activate to signal "Major change done" which in turn would ignite an object (robot) to automatically re-start the counting/ averaging procedure from ZERO (to reflect new/ current content value). Dhyan

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We're actually moving to a text-based feedback system; see Version 5 :). Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to ban instant blocking for established editors unless a warning has been validated issued first

Failed indeed, as Beeblebrox already laid out: no consensus to support any of the proposals. There is some agreement that a warning of some kind probably ought to be given, but no change in policy or guideline was agreed upon. Likewise, there is some agreement that editors, especially seasoned editors, ought to know what they're doing that might get them blocked. Drmies (talk) 03:03, 22 July 2012 (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.

A big problem on wikipedia I see is trigger happy admins who are happy to block editors because its the easiest solution. Most of the time if the editor is an established one they will have some credibiliy and intelligence as an editor to take heed of a warning rather than be fully blocked instantly. I've had it done to me in past years where I've called somebody something or been in an edit war and no occasion did the blocking admin issue me a warning. The timing of the blocks too I recall as totally inappropriate given that the heat had died down and I'd moved onto to editing something else. In my experience 90% of the blocking of regulars without warnings could have been avoided if they were cautioned initially.If established editors were not permitted to be instantly blocked over something without a warning then a lot of the problems wouldn't happen as indeed the ill-feeling between admins and editors in the aftermath.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:48, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Support but ... Personally, I believe warning is as useful a tool as blocking - and I've used it to great effect a number of times. I agree that 90% of instant blocks of regulars could have been avoided with a warning. However, I think there needs to be some more thought given to this. What counts as a regular? What counts as a warning? I'd rather not see templates given just to fulfill a bureaucratic need. I don't know if it'd work. WormTT(talk) 13:56, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Some editors violate 3RR actually without realizing it. I strongly suggest that if an established editor has violated something which is blockable they are given one warning that they will be blocked if they do it again. 90% of established editors would stop, I'm sure of that. And once its died down are likely to continue with constructive editing and be urged to discuss the issue on the talk page. Blocking them really solves nothing and mostly humiliates them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:59, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I've dealt with 3RR about half a dozen times, and never had to block. I've only had to protect once or twice. I'm not the most active of admins, but in my experience, editors stop when they're told to. I do agree that the block is unnecessary and only serves to humiliate. In fact, I'd even support removing "blocking regulars" from admins all together (I'd need to see some stats), someone then needs to have that role, I'd suggest 'crats if we had more... WormTT(talk) 14:07, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    The editors who don't even know about the 3RR constraint are excluded from this proposal, which only protects those who ought to know better. Unless this proposal is a mechanism of giving extra chances to people who've made lots of problematic edits in their rush to climb a ladder, I suspect the proposal is the wrong way round. bobrayner (talk) 16:28, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support in spirit I will say that I completely and totally agree with the spirit of this proposal. I am not sure how this could be enforced, or where we would draw the line on "established", or how we can determine when an exception is warranted, however. I recently had to block an established editor rather abruptly but it was literally for their own good. This is a complicated thing sometimes, but more often it is not. I find that many admins, in the best of faith, are too quick to block established editors when a stern warning would be more effective and less drama producing. Often an editer simply thinks they are 3RR exempt when they are not, so their faith is good even if their understanding of the situation is not. I'm not sure if a policy or simply education is the answer, but it would benefit us all if everyone adopted the spirit of what the good Doctor is proposing. I am open to hear any ideas along this line. Dennis Brown - © 14:01, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The spirit is good but the flesh is weak. For example, a drunken editor on a tear can't be expected to notice or care about a yellow message when they edit, but if they are rapidly vandalising need to be blocked at once. Yes, we shouldn't block an experienced editor who has violated 3RR without a warning. But maybe if they are at 10RR and it clearly isn't vandalism or a BLP issue? I can't see a ban, but we can add something perhaps to policy if it isn't already there. Dougweller (talk) 14:06, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    If they are rapidly vandalising or doing something which is potneitally liable or whatever then yes, but how many established editors are likely to go on a mass vandalising spree like a madman? I say established editors should be given 1 warning whether its an "uncivil" comment, 3RR or whatever and if they persist after the warning then they can be blocked. Almost always the block is not the ideal solution to the problem and most intelligent editors would take heed of the warning to avoid being blocked.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:11, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    But you are proposing a ban, and presumably if I did block the rare established editor on a spree without warning I'd be blocked myself, right? And of course presumably with no warning, as I'm not likely to have a 2nd editor like that come to my attention. Dougweller (talk) 15:05, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think there is no situation where a block before communication is bad (for established editors). Most admins already know to use discretion when blocking, and established editors already do get more courtesy leeway/benefit of the doubt/communication before blocks are resorted to, and that's all that's appropriate. If an admin disregards that, he gets a talking to (or gets downright slammed, rightly, even though perhaps some slip by). I don't think this is a big problem that warrants some blanket change to policy. Equazcion (talk) 14:17, 13 Jun 2012 (UTC)
    Is that an intended double negative? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:37, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I think it's a triple but yeah :) Pretty confusing now that I take another look at it. In other words, I think there are times when established editors should be blocked without warning. Equazcion (talk) 15:46, 13 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I was recently reminded of what the Reinforcement article tells us: "As Skinner discussed, positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior. He maintained that punishment was not simply the opposite of positive reinforcement; positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification, whereas punishment changes behavior only temporarily and presents many detrimental side effects." I realise that a warning is not really "positive reinforcement" and I know that editors are not (always) just "rats in an administrator's Skinner box". But this advice still seems to apply here. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:21, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is actually completely backwards. A newbie editor that makes mistakes can reasonably expect some coddling and forbearance. An established editor can be expected to know what's expected of him.—Kww(talk) 15:25, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    You know very well though that at times editing can becoming heated and established editors might step over the line in a dispute. In such cases, is it not more productive to give them a warning and tell them to cool off instead of blocking them for a few days when the dispute by then may have long been discussed and sorted? Wouldn't it be best to issue a warnings and prompt the editor to take a short break and return and discuss articles issues on the talk page? A block as such often seems a little harsh.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:31, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: One of my biggest concerns is that the current proposal is much too vague and WTT outlined some of the problems nicely. In fact, WP:Established users redirects to being autoconfirmed. I highly doubt that people would consider an account with 10 edits and 3 days old an "established user". Elockid (Talk) 15:27, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    An established editor, somebody with over 10,000 edits and 2 years experience?♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:27, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Uh oh, that counts me out! 13,000 edits and experience since February! TAP 16:37, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think there should be more use of very short term blocks like an hour or half an hour. Basically why shouldn't an established editor stit still for five minutes and not talk if they have engaged in a poersonal attack or suchlike? Dmcq (talk) 15:34, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    That's a fair comment. But all admins currently seem to have free rein. I was disappointed to see recently a very established editor blocked, without any admin warning, for unwitting breaking 3RR and being uncivil, for 60 hours. This seemed to me prety excessive and overly punitive. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:04, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a guideline. As part of a community of editors, administrators need to use common sense, and talking is more effective than blocking. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia. The idea of blocking an one of the most distinguished editors---who was protecting a featured article (about perhaps the best selling and most critically praised rock album of the late 20th century)---was bad from start to finish. A comment, like "let me protect the page, or remind you that you can call for an uninvolved administrator with a template or at ANI. Please don't edit war, but let the community help..." would have been appropriate. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 15:48, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - reason is self evident. How dare anyone think they can just "block" anyone without proper recourse! Mugginsx (talk) 16:28, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose established editors should know behavioral expectations, so there is less of a reason to warn them. Which is not to say that best practice is not to try to find a non-blocking solution to every problem, but we already give "established" users too much leash to disrupt the community, and newbies too little chance to learn their way around. It should be the other way around. Which is not to say that I think we shouldn't warn people before they are blocked, but this doesn't need to be enshrined in a policy. Yes we should deal with things without blocking. But when blocks are needed, there doesn't need to be forms filled out in triplicate and notarized before action is taken. --Jayron32 16:33, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: It is difficult to formulate a policy that could cover all possible situations, but it is important for administrators to remember that blocking of good-faith editors is a serious matter. We are "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit"; for a blocked user, we are "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit—except you." Of course there are times when blocks are necessary, even of good-faith, normally well-behaved editors, but it should never be a first resort, and when there is a serious choice to be made between warning and blocking, in my view warning will usually be the better call, especially for a first or isolated infraction. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:35, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - admins are expected to have the discretion to deal with behavior that is not conducive to building an encyclopedia. While warning is usually better, the ability to shut things down immediately is an important tool in the box.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:42, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    The tool still applies after the editor has been warned though... A warning first and if they still persist then block.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:02, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Sarek, would you try to formulate a policy that would preserve the "important tool" and provide firm guidance, please?Kiefer.Wolfowitz 17:01, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Already been done. See Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:47, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Sarek, blocking experienced editors without any warning is not conducive to building an encyclopedia. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:10, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Depends on the situation. There's no way we can make such a blanket statement; and as Doug points out below, this isn't just about warning, but some sort of "validation" too. That smells to me like discussion and consensus, which I don't think would be a good idea. Equazcion (talk) 18:11, 13 Jun 2012 (UTC)
*Support We all make mistakes sometimes.--Deathlaser (talk) 17:33, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Question Do any of the people who support this know what "has been validated first" means? It means more than 'given', but I have no idea what it means. And as I've said, what do you do if an Admin does block someone without a 'validated' warning? If we pass this ban, we automatically block that Admin. Warning them would be pointless. If we want a guideline, let's propose one at the proper place. IF we want a ban, we need one that is a lot clearer than this one. Dougweller (talk) 17:41, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Established editors are just as capable of behaviour that is disruptive, damaging or otherwise worthy of admin action as new editors or IP editors. There is no reason why they should get preferential treatment. This proposal will tend to bite new editors as they will see themselves as being treated as worthless second class citizens while established editors get to abuse and disrupt without consequence. This appears to be yet another proposal to enable long term "vested" abusive editors. As Kww and Jayron32 said, experienced editors should know better. They should be held to higher standards.Nigel Ish (talk) 18:03, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think that Dr. Blofeld is suggesting that any editors should "get to abuse and disrupt without consequence." And I don't see why new editors should not also benefit from warnings before blocks. Wikipedia is, after all, the encyclopedia that anyone can vandalise - it's just that, in my experience, more vandalism is inflicted by IP editors than by registered ones. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:12, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Exactly, and new editors anyway if they vandalise always get multiple warnings. But if an experienced editor is stepping out of line why is one warning such a demand? If you tell an established editor to stop or else they'll be blocked the likelihood is they will. Should they persist, then block and then you can say they were warned. It seems silly to be to block editors for days over something which could be avoided and better discussed on a tlak page after a warning has been given.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:31, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Why should an established editor get an extra warning being established they should know what actions lead to a block, could possibly see a reason if editor has no previous blocks but I'm sure that admins look at each case before they block. Mo ainm~Talk 18:19, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, an excellent case if an editor has had no previous blocks - Your response should be *Qualified support. Sometimes editors aren't just mindlessly reverting, but are unhappy with an unsatisfactory MOS guideline, aren't they? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:52, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What is needed here is common sense, not more bureaucracy. Our admins have already gone through RFA and hopefully have the presence of mind to make good decisions about the use or non-use of warnings. A policy like this does not prevent bad blocks, and is an invitation to wikilawyering. szyslak (t) 18:28, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Strange perception. The idea was quite the opposite and I see heavy handed admins who block anybody without giving anybody a chance just what you say.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:34, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I doubt the scenario you're describing happens too often. And when it does, it should be dealt with appropriately. I never said bad blocks don't happen, or that admins shouldn't be held responsible for them. In most cases, people should be warned before a block. In most cases, a block without a warning is a bad block. Yet there are some circumstances where a warning is undesirable: a compromised admin account, for example. If someone uses an admin account to go on a rampage, it's an emergency with no room for delay. Other circumstances that require an immediate block include threats of physical harm, attempts to cause real-world harm to a user, etc. szyslak (t) 02:04, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I definitly support that. It would make administrators who are a bit trigger happy or just want to protect their own interests in discussions too think again before blocking any new users.--BabbaQ (talk) 18:32, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - If you can't persuade an editor who has years of constructive contribution that they are wrong about something, then it just might be that they are right. I believe that any experienced editor here has earned the right to have issues discussed first, and admins have little justification for not discussing extensively before blocking. Ritual humiliation of adults went out with the stocks in real life, and it's time the same was adopted here. --RexxS (talk) 19:45, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I agree with the submitter. Far too often people jump straight to a block when a warning would do. They don't even bother to ask they just block. It shouldn't be that way. This doesn't stop them from blocking the established user but it might cause them too slow down and take a minute to find out whats going on first. Additionally, just because some of us aren't admins doesn't mean we should be treated like second class editors and all too often thats what happens. Kumioko (talk) 19:56, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for creating way too much of a bureaucratic mess. While admins should probably warn an editor about behavior before blocking them, codifying that practice is unnecessary. What defines an established editor? What defines a warning? I could picture the AN/I threads now of people complaining about blocks placed on them because they weren't properly warned. It should be pointed out, too, that most "established" users are probably already aware of the behaviors they're doing that may be problematic and would lead to a block. In addition, there do exist cases, such as a compromised account, where blocking first and warning afterwards is the better solution. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 20:31, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    As a percentage, how many accounts are compromised? "If you revert once more you will be blocked" - is that clear enough? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:45, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Not many accounts are compromised, I'd hope, but they have been in the past. And perhaps that is a clear enough warning specifically, but there's plenty of room for people to wikilawyer about other wordings that may not be as clear. And in addition, you haven't address my largest concern: that established editors would already be aware of behaviors that would lead to them being blocked. I'd assume the "established editor" is aware of 3RR, for instance. They should know that if they revert four or more times in a day, that may get them blocked (and they really probably should be, really). I don't see how requiring admins to warn them first for what they should already have been blocked for helps in that situation if they're already aware of the problem. And if they aren't aware of 3RR, then they probably aren't "established", which defeats the purpose of this proposal. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 20:52, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    The proposal here does not mention 3RRR? There seem to quite a large number of unwarned blocks that are made in the greyer areas of "edit warring", "incivity", "POV", and so on. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:27, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Often enough to give one pause. I remeber a series of admin accounts getting hacked a few years ago. I believe that the person doing it rather POINTily logged into one after another to post a note at ANI saying the account had been compromised and needed to be de-sysopped ASAP. It seemed like a lot of accounts were hacked. And now imagine that it's a spammer instead of someone who wanted to fuss about password security. IMO sometimes (rarely) it really is better to block first and ask questions later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:04, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think we can answer this question without an actual percentage. To base a blanket policy on the actions of the most devious vandals does little to encourage established and committed editors to maintain a "clean sheet" of no blocks. Shoot first and ask later - a few mistaken fatalities won't matter? Whatareyouthinking. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:27, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

The heading of this proposal seems to be confusing a few editors and should be re-presented with a simplier statement. Some good faith editors are arguing for but actually voting against, and arguing against, but actually voting for. Check it out. Mugginsx (talk) 20:19, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose - Established editors should already know the rules, and therefore don't need a warning. If an editor knows that they can be disruptive every once in awhile and all they'll get is a warning, then some of them will take advantage of that. It's really not that hard to avoid a block. I've been here over 5 years and haven't had a single one, and I typically don't have to try very hard. Just be a civilized human being and you won't have to worry about it. -Scottywong| gab _ 21:13, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Imagine you reverted an editor three times for adding poorly written misinformation to an article you had written. An admin imposes a a week block for you for 3RR. You've neither been uncivilized or offended anybody and reverted because you viewed he editor as a nuisance and you were surely right. Would you be miffed with the block and think it inappropriate? Wouldn't it have been better if an admin had said you've violated 3RR please stop and take to the talk page?♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:11, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I would find the block inappropriate for various reasons in that case. First, because a 3RR violation requires 4 reverts, not 3. Second, because a 1-week block for the first violation of 3RR is excessively long. Third, because there is an exemption to 3RR for vandalism (which would arguably include introducing blatant misinformation into an article). See, I'm an established editor, I know the rules, and I'm smart enough to never go over 3RR in any situation where 3RR applies. If I did exceed 3RR in a situation where 3RR applies, I would have no recourse but to accept a block of an appropriate duration. -Scottywong| spout _ 22:38, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    You could appeal. You could resign. You could bear a lasting grudge. Or maybe all three. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:43, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    My point is that if I know the rules, and still choose to break them, then I'm not going to whine when I get the consequences. Blocking an editor who has never even heard about 3RR before is a different story, and in that case some leniency is probably desirable, but that's not the situation this proposal is about. -Scottywong| soliloquize _ 22:48, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    But this proposal does not mention 3RR? How does an administrator determine, before a block, if a particular editor "has never even heard about 3RR before" or not? I'd be very surprised if you, personally, did not know all the rules - but that's not the situation this proposal is about. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:53, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I would argue that we show more tolerance for those who have contributed many thousands of quality edits, not less. We warn, then we block, when we can. That we would be willing to be more gruff to those that have given so much is a real problem. That this seems acceptable to some is greatly disturbing to me. As I'm not a great author, I have immense respect for those that are. Without good editors, everything else we do here is meaningless. Dennis Brown - © 23:03, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    Wholeheartedly disagree. Rules exist for a reason. If you are reasonably sure that someone is aware of a rule and chooses to break it anyway, then they deserve what's coming to them. (Determining whether someone is aware of a rule is another story, but is generally more straightforward than it sounds.) Having an excessive edit count doesn't (and shouldn't) change the application of policy. That kind of attitude facilitates that type of editor who thinks they are "above the law" because they are prolific content contributors. Policies like 3RR apply to everyone, including me, and including a guy who craps out a FA every day before breakfast. Content creators are important, no doubt, but so is maintaining a civilized and non-disruptive environment in which everyone can work. -Scottywong| speak _ 23:27, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    No one is talking about letting established editors get away with bad behavior, only that they deserve to at least be warned before they are blocked. That is the respect that you would expect after devoting much of your free time to a project. To be so rigid in our minds, to always draw the line in the sand behind the editor instead of in front of them, isn't conducive to keeping quality editors here. I do the same thing to new editors, always try to warn before I block in the event of good faith mistakes. I will certainly not show an established and respected editor less respect, less patience than I would show a new editor, and to do so punishes contribution. I try to show them both a degree of flexibility and a willingness to not simply read policy and react like a machine, but instead as a fellow, compassionate human being whose goal is building an encyclopedia in a corroborative fashion. And I would consider our roles as admin as a much less important than those who create a great deal of content. We are the janitors who are here to serve rather than rule, a role we both accepted freely. Readers (the most important of all Wikipedians) use Wikipedia because of the great articles, not the great admins. Dennis Brown - © 00:08, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    No one is talking about letting established editors get away with bad behavior, only that they deserve to at least be warned before they are blocked.
    ...thereby giving them license to squeeze in as much misconduct as they can before being warned (or until "a warning has been validated", whatever that means).
    That is the respect that you would expect after devoting much of your free time to a project.
    All users acting in good faith deserve respect. "Somebody with over 10,000 edits and 2 years experience" isn't entitled to special deference.
    And respect is a two-way street. Why, in your view, should an experienced editor committing gross personal attacks (e.g. "You're a fucking cunt. I hope you get cancer and die, you anal rapist pedophile.") receive a warning? What respect is he/she exhibiting?
    To be so rigid in our minds, to always draw the line in the sand behind the editor instead of in front of them, isn't conducive to keeping quality editors here.
    This is a proposal to create a rigid rule — one preventing "established" users from being blocked without warning, no matter what. —David Levy 15:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Which is why I support in spirit. What matters most, is that this discussion is taking place to begin with. I don't expect an actual ban is going to be put in place, and I doubt the good Doctor does either. I think it raises the issue and makes it obvious that we need to review our methods and current guidelines to encourage that admins use better judgement when dispensing blocks, and not simply block because someone has crossed some imaginary line. And it is imaginary, as no two 3RR situations are the same. I find the whole situation as amusing as it is informative. We admins should take ourselves and our "powers" much less serious, and likely use those powers much less often. Dennis Brown - © 15:43, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    As I've noted, I support efforts to ensure that excessive blocking not occur. I oppose this proposal to prohibit all immediate blocks of "established" users indiscriminately. —David Levy 15:58, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I'd go for totally the opposite approach and not even require warnings for new users before giving a short block of half an hour. If they've got into edit warring then a short block without warning is I think better than all this warning business. If you drive a car and crash you crash, there is none of this warning first time you crash business. Action and a small reaction the first time is I believe appropriate. Not all this stuff about warnings and complaints to the nth degree. Just get it over and done, possibly practically everyone will have a small block eventually and there will be no great stigma attached, just people will learn to avoid what leads to it. Dmcq (talk) 16:05, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    On rules exist for a reason. No they don't. Wikipedia doesn't have firm rules. This is so fundamental to the way we work that it needs to be repeated. Wikipedia does not have firm rules. Think about that for a moment, in this context - There should not be a "firm rule" that if you are trying to improve the encyclopedia, you can be blocked without warning. It's that simple. If you want the rigidity of rules, go into law enforcement or go into the army, go into any number of real world places. Wikipedia is based on a number of concept - freedom of information, writing by co-operation, anyone can edit, there are no rules! WormTT(talk) 08:30, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    If you actually read the no firm rules policy you will see that it has nothing to do with the right of administrators to arbitrarily attack editors. The policy applies to editors who are "improving or maintaining Wikipedia". In fact, contrary to what Worm says, there is a firm defacto rule that "if you are trying to improve the encyclopedia, you can be blocked without warning." This leaves the current administration system in a position where it can perpetrate gross abuses. However satisfying it may be, administrators should not have the power to block and punish established content editors on a whim. No civilized country allows its officials such powers, from Kings to lowly bureaucrats, and neither should Wikipedia. That is why countries have constitutions, to stop the unbridled exercise of arbitrary power. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:18, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    That's what I was trying to point out - I don't agree with a "firm" 3RR rule, it goes against the very ethos of the encyclopedia. I'm not talking about "gross abuses" or "power" or "punishment", I'm talking about the very idea that we have a blanket rule. IAR means "every situation should be evaluated on it's own merits" or rather "use common sense". Yes, there's better ways to handle things than a revert war. Yes, we want to stop revert wars. No, we should not automatically block people who are in a revert war. WormTT(talk) 09:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    How was what you were trying to point out the same as my position? Many administrators have no real experience with adding content, some are even schoolboys and schoolgirls. Others have just done relatively mechanical stuff like patrolling new articles. They are in no position to "evaluate" highly experienced long term editors using their "common sense", yet that is the power they are given. "Common sense" has no value unless it is based on relevant experience. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:41, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    However satisfying it may be, administrators should not have the power to block and punish established content editors on a whim.
    "Blocks are used to prevent damage or disruption to Wikipedia, not to punish users." Administrators are technically capable of blocking any user at any time, but the rules don't permit us to do so "on a whim". Inappropriate blocks are routinely challenged and lifted, with de-adminship occurring in cases of clear abuse. —David Levy 15:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    It is now utterly demeaning for dedicated editors trying to contribute to Wikipedia. There are no clear guidelines for "edit waring". Serious editors can be blocked out of the blue, with no warning, and no criteria required by the guidelines apart from some mystical "common sense" that administrators are suppose to possess. When an aggressive Randy-style editor insists on his version, editors are in peril should they contest it. Those messes should be left to stand as monuments to the stupidity of this dysfunctional administrative system. And you are just trying to be humorous, aren't you, when you quote the absurd "Blocks are used to prevent damage or disruption to Wikipedia, not to punish users"? --Epipelagic (talk) 20:09, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    No, I'm not. I'm quoting the blocking policy as written. I don't assert that it's followed 100% of the time. Please refrain from misrepresenting opposition to the proposed solution as an assertion that no problems exist. —David Levy 21:04, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    On "rules exist for a reason". No they don't. Wikipedia doesn't have firm rules.
    That's a misinterpretation of IAR. We set aside rules when following them prevents us from improving or maintaining Wikipedia. This doesn't mean that the rules don't exist for a reason.
    Wikipedia does not have firm rules. Think about that for a moment, in this context - There should not be a "firm rule" that if you are trying to improve the encyclopedia, you can be blocked without warning. It's that simple.
    This is a proposal to create a firm rule that "somebody with over 10,000 edits and 2 years experience" mustn't be blocked "unless a warning has been validated first", no matter what. So he/she would have license to squeeze in as much misconduct as possible until the warning is "validated" (whatever that means). —David Levy 15:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I disagree that it's a misinterpretation of IAR. It's perhaps the next logical step in IAR, and focuses on the philosophy behind IAR, along with the philosophy of what a rule is, but not a misinterpretation. I'm not suggesting people go round breaking 3RR - I'm suggesting that if a person is edit warring (as opposed to reverting), they should be blocked. There is a difference between reverting and edit warring, and you have to look at the situation to see it - and what's more a warning can help show the difference between the two. What's more, I don't see the proposal is to create a 'firm rule'. It's there to suggest the most appropriate course of action. Let's have some common sense here - if it's clear that the misconduct were to carry on after a warning, then it's appropriate to block. If it's not, why not try the warning? WormTT(talk) 15:34, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I disagree that it's a misinterpretation of IAR. It's perhaps the next logical step in IAR, and focuses on the philosophy behind IAR, along with the philosophy of what a rule is, but not a misinterpretation.
    The philosophy behind IAR is that the rules do exist for a reason — to improve and maintain Wikipedia — so when the opposite occurs, they should be set aside.
    What's more, I don't see the proposal is to create a 'firm rule'. It's there to suggest the most appropriate course of action.
    This is a proposal to establish an outright "ban", not merely a piece of advice (an alternative that's been suggested).
    Let's have some common sense here
    The current rules permit the application of common sense. If it's obvious that someone is knowingly and intentionally engaging in gross misconduct, he/she can be blocked immediately. Otherwise, a warning is appropriate. In the latter scenario, if an administrator jumps straight to a block instead of issuing a warning, that's a problem for us to address. The solution isn't to prohibit all immediate blocks of "established" users indiscriminately. —David Levy 15:58, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I have been on Wikipedia since 2008 and I am willing to bet that there are few people here that have never said or did something for which they did not need a gentle reminder, advisement or maybe even a warning. This talk about "what experienced editors should know" is beginning to sound a little silly to another experienced editor. Some need to be more charitable and not so quick to judge "what experienced editors should know" because another experienced editor may just know better. I have experienced many kind, considerate and intelligent administrators who have guided me from the beginning without judging me. I wish more than just two of them were here to read some of these comments. Mugginsx (talk) 22:25, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, blanket prohibitions like these do more harm than good. I have no problem with a suggestion in the blocking policy that warnings may be just as effective as blocks, especially when dealing with editors who have been around a bit, but I wouldn't just blanket-prohibit it. If an established editor has already been blocked three times for 3RR coupled with incivility, and I'm reading through the report of their fourth time around, I'm probably not going to figure yet another iteration of "Hey, you really shouldn't do that" is going to do the trick. If they've never violated 3RR, and went over without being unduly disruptive, I certainly am likely to try "Hey, you already could've been blocked for that, and if you revert one more time you will be. Please take it to the talk page.", and have found that to very often be effective in such a scenario. It's something to be decided case by case. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:01, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, rule creep. Common sense says you give any editor the courtesy of warning them before you block them, unless it's something so blatant (e.g., rapid-fire vandalism, done at a pace of multiple edits per minute) that you have to block first—and even then, in the case of an established editor, it's probably a message like "Hey, did your AWB misfire or something go awry on your computer? I've blocked your account because of all the edits; when you get it fixed, drop a message, and any administrator can unblock you" instead of a template. And if it really is a problem of trigger-happy admins giving unjust blocks without warnings, there are two templates that can be used: {{unblock}} by the blocked user, and then {{trout}} by the reviewing admin on the blocking admin's talk page :) . —C.Fred (talk) 23:51, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
    I agree, the problem though is just that; many administrators don't have common sense and love to brandish their power by blocking decent editors over minor disputes without so much as a single warning. If all administrators on wikipedia always made appropriate decisions such a rule wouldn't need to exist.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:26, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As with many above, policy creep. Certainly we should be encouraging all admins to be a little more careful with the block button where warnings will suffice, but this proposal is unnecessary. Under current practice, such a block usually ends up at ANI where drama ensues and the block is often overturned. Under this rule, such a block would.... end up at ANI where drama will ensue and the block will often be overturned. Resolute 23:57, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Senseless - admins who want to block at will will continue to do so since there is no way to enforce any such rule. No-one will ever get de-sysopped, anything else will be laughed at: "I block whenever the fuck I want, and there's nothing anyone can do" Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:02, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose rule creep and you can't legislate common sense. Admins who repeatedly show poor judgement need to not be admins, not have more rules to argue about. Nobody Ent 01:13, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I understand the underlying concern, but this overreaches. If certain admins are too fast on the trigger, let's deal with that. There's no need for more bureaucracy, let alone in the form of a blanket rule that prevents good blocks along with bad ones.
    There are plenty of scenarios in which immediate blocks are appropriate, especially for experienced users (example: gross personal attacks, such as "You're a fucking cunt. I hope you get cancer and die, you anal rapist pedophile."). Not only would the proposed rule require us to warn "established" users not to engage in such behavior (which obviously is unnecessary), but it would essentially give them license to do it until warned.
    I'm reminded of 1 April 2008, when an administrator decided to insert an April Fools' Day prank into MediaWiki:Tagline. When that was reverted, a different admin inserted another joke. When that was reverted, the same administrator inserted yet another joke. When that was reverted, he lashed out by replacing the tagline with a personal attack on the reverters: "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia administer [sic] by people with a stick up their lavender passageway". At this point, I blocked him for twelve hours (the remainder of the day) to prevent further disruption. Thirty-eight minutes later, the block was lifted, without consultation or discussion, on the basis that no warning was issued. Apparently, it was unreasonable to expect an administrator to know better than to repeatedly vandalise literally every page on the site, including with a vulgar personal attack. I should have warned him against such behavior. ("Excuse me, kind sir. Please refrain from abusing the community's trust by vandalising literally every page on the site, including with vulgar personal attacks. Cheers!").
    This is the sort of nonsense that the proposed rule would encourage. —David Levy 03:05, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The wide variety of admin responses here shows the utter cluelessness of Wikipedia overall concerning editor retention. See User:Timeshifter/More articles and less editors. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:14, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – I have been persuaded by the arguments of administrators that what Wikipedia is really about is the dignity and sanctity of administrators. It is quite wrong for content editors to think they should be able to work here with dignity. For this reason, I oppose this proposal. There is no way administrators can achieve total control of Wikipedia until they have driven off the last of the able content contributors. Administrators are making great strides in this direction, and any attempt to hold them to a code of conduct, or to hold them responsible in any way, will only hinder this progress. As we can see above, administrators as a group agree there is no problem at all with administrators. --Epipelagic (talk) 06:56, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Thanks for your support. ;) I think this quote from your user page works well for the shrinking editor pool: "...imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in - an interesting hole I find myself in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise." - Douglas Adams, 1998. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:43, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Did you read my response? The proposed rule would enable administrators (and other "established" editors) to get away with far more misconduct.
    If some admins are blocking users inappropriately, the problem should be addressed, but there's no need to throw out the baby with the bath water. —David Levy 15:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. As this would affect editing on Wikipedia in a major way, I listed it on WP:CENT. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:36, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Comment Next time you list something there, please use the actual wording of the proposal, not your interpretation. I've edited it so it is the same wording as the proposal. Dougweller (talk) 09:29, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I read several of Blofeld's comments in this thread, and it looks like he is referring to warnings by admins, and not warnings from other editors. Many editors give worthless "warnings" frequently. --Timeshifter (talk) 09:52, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    As I said, when we list proposals we should not interpret them but list them exactly - otherwise people might miss the actual section heading and be discussing something different - and you also left out 'validate'. I don't see this passing in this form, but if it did we'd then have to figure out what that meant. Let's discuss either the proposal as actually worded, or someone can suggest a revised proposal. Dougweller (talk) 12:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Partially support Whilst established editors (for convenience's sake I'd define "established" as 50+ edits to a minimum of three separate pages) should indeed know what they're doing, it's not overly difficult to accidentally violate 3RR, especially using automated tools like Twinkle. Actually vandalising a page is a different matter, however, and isn't anything like as excusable. As such, I support this proposal inasmuch as it is restricted to 3RR/edit warring: established editors should not be blocked for edit warring without receiving at least one talkpage warning (from an admin or another editor), but it should still be possible to issue a block for other reasons (vandalism, personal attacks, legal threats etc.) without warning if an admin feels it's necessary. Yunshui  08:58, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    That sounds very sensible. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:22, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, it does. I'd rarely if ever block an established editor for exceeding 3RR without a warning (although maybe if they were at 6RR and had just warned someone for 3RR, or had a long block record, I might make an exception). But this is what WP:AGF is about surely? Dougweller (talk) 12:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose the main purpose of a warning is to let someone know that there is a rule against what they are doing. Experienced editors will (in most cases) be aware of the existence of that rule, and so the main reason behind a warning is not applicable. Our problem is, if anything, the other way round, in that there are experienced editors who are effectively "above the law" and cannot be blocked for any reason because lots of people will make noise on their behalf. That's not to say that warning experienced editors is always unnecessary, but it does argue against a blanket rule. Hut 8.5 09:05, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. This proposal is currently vague, and I do not entirely understand "unless a warning has been validated first" (emphasis added). And I have seen scenarios where a user breaking the 3RR is not warned on the user talk page per se, but rather the "warning" is posted on talk page of the disputed article – usually when one of the non-admins in the dispute responds to the other side like, "If you don't stop, I'll report you for breaking the 3RR rule". "Warnings" about BLP and NPOV violations may also be obviously discussed on the content debates on the article talk pages too. In other words, the established user should may already be aware he is violating the rules when participating in these sort of article talk pages discussions. Zzyzx11 (talk) 09:24, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - The last thing this place needs is more rules. What it actually needs is more common sense and more equality. For instance, some above have mentioned that "rules are rules" and that people who disobey those rules deserve what they get. So when will administrators who disobey simple rules like "blocks are designed to be preventative, not punitive" get what they deserve? Everyone knows the answer - they'll never get what they deserve, because their admin friends are too busy slapping eachother on the back. Parrot of Doom 09:27, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I agree, but common sense should be exercised by editors too and know that edit warring repeatedly, even if they believe they are right, is not the appropriate solution to a problem. If content is disputed and seen as bunk, then the editor should be approached and convinced to stop. Above all I'm sick of the whining about admins, and misconduct on their behalf, and the "cowboy" admins on wikipedia. They most certainly have a point as editors should not be blocked for 3RR, but it wastes a whole lot of time moaning about them everytime something like that happens which if a simple wanring rule existed it might prevent a lot of the angst generated towards admins when decent editors get the cuffs slapped on them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:03, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Don't fuck around and you won't get blocked, simple. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 10:29, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh that's really good; anyone who was ever blocked, was "fucking around". Ihardlythinkso (talk) 03:32, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This would just make it harder to deal with long-term problematic editors, such as civil POV-pushers or inept rote-editors, who are a greater problem for the encyclopædia than the blatant vandals. If you don't want to get blocked for edit-warring, the best solution is to take your finger off the revert button; if you don't want to get blocked for making thousands of crappy edits, the best solution is to stop making crappy edits; and so on. If this rule is meant to stop admins blocking people without a good reason at all, then the admin's already breaking rules and adding another one (which privileges established editors at the expense of newbies) isn't going to help. bobrayner (talk) 10:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Let us worship at the feet of admins, the judge and jury of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a U.S.-based culture. As such it follows the history of U.S. jurisprudence where a country with around 5% of world population has around 24 to 25% of the world's prisoners. Look it up. See also: The Innocence Project - Understand the Causes: Bad Lawyering. The system is stacked against defendants. Wikipedia is even worse. Not even a warning, much less a defence. WP:Edit warring is a totally arbitrary policy, and more so lately. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:56, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Impressive. Perhaps what we really need is some kind of new holding category where blocked editors wait, sometimes for years, to be humanely "put out or their 3RR misery." We poor feeble UK editors can enjoy only this Second Amendment. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support as a principle, strong oppose as a rule. It should rarely be really necessary to unilaterally block an established contributor without adequate warning or prior community discussion; and if at all possible warning should be attempted and AGF applied. But the proposed rule merely opens up large cans of wikilawyering worms. The concept can be phrased as guidance to admins, without creating new fodder for wikilawyering. Rd232 talk 12:04, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Good idea, make the spirit of this part of our blocking policy - note it already says "In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking." which I think already covers this. Dougweller (talk) 12:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Would definitely support a guideline or advisory "have you tried warning the editor first? Blocks without warning should be reserved for situations where there is significant immediate disruption, particularly if the editor has had previous blocks for this behaviour. In other situations, a strong warning from an administrator may be sufficient to halt problematic behaviour, particularly from experienced editors who are more likely to stop when faced with the threat of a block." Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:41, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a principle - established or not, a user should not be blocked without at least one warning. Even vandals get one (generally four) warning(s) before getting blocked. EngineerFromVega 13:55, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Why, in your view, is "at least one warning" always called for? An experienced editor already knows that certain behavior is prohibited. If he/she commits a gross personal attack (e.g. "You're a fucking cunt. I hope you get cancer and die, you anal rapist pedophile."), what will a "one warning" requirement accomplish (apart from giving license to engage in misconduct without the risk of being blocked, provided that it doesn't continue beyond the warning)? —David Levy 15:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I was thinking in regards to rather less serious activities like 3RR or minor sniping.. Perhaps the rule should just apply to 3RR, that an editor should be warned first?♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:30, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    That's very different from (and far more sensible than) the blanket rule that you've proposed. —David Levy 15:58, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    If anything, experienced editors should be more familiar with en.wikipedia norms; it's the newbies who most deserve a warning, so this proposal is back-to-front. A warning shouldn't become a get-out-of-jail-free card, or a privilege (like one more revert on top of 3RR) to be enjoyed by those who ought to know better; a warning is an explanation that somebody's violated community norms and that might lead to trouble. Surely, if anybody should be automatically entitled to that, it's inexperienced editors. bobrayner (talk) 16:22, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I assumed that this proposal is not intended for blocks because of gross personal attacks. My support was for general cases of blocks, which I believe is the primary motive of this proposal. EngineerFromVega 03:35, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Please define "general cases of blocks". The proposal, as worded, would "ban instant blocking for established editors unless a warning has been issued"; "established editors [are] not permitted to be instantly blocked over something without a warning". No limits or exceptions are placed on "something", and Dr. Blofeld even cited an instance "where [he] called somebody something". —David Levy 16:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    While I do not disagree with your reasoning, my view is that Wikipedia doesn't have firm or binding rules. We do not need to list each and every loophole or exception and we do not need to set our laws or rules in stone. For the 'gross personal attacks' kind of blocks that you have described above, we always have the WP:IAR to make an exception. EngineerFromVega 06:15, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    We don't intentionally create rules whose wording fails to properly address directly relevant situations that commonly arise.
    "Exceptions" should be exceptional. Treating valid reasons to block established editors without warning as "exceptions" is analogous to claiming that "all apples are red, apart from exceptions that we need not bother mentioning".
    Applications of IAR in the manner that you describe would be controversial, simply because there's no apparent reason to believe that the rule, as worded, isn't intended to cover all types of behavior (including personal attacks, vandalism and legal threats). —David Levy 20:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Too much potential for accusations of dual standards, for example, two editors are revert warring on Example, User:X is an established editor, and User:Y is not so established. Result: User:Y gets blocked, and User:X gets warned. We shouldn't be making arbitrary tiers of editors to which different rules would apply. We should block without warning only where there is potential for immediate disruption, regardless of the status of the editor. Quasihuman (talk • contribs) 14:54, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    That's an excellent point. I hadn't considered such a scenario. —David Levy 15:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    "We shouldn't be making arbitrary tiers of editors to which different rules would apply." - but that situation already exists. Everyone knows it. Parrot of Doom 20:25, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Not sure it's truely "arbitrary". But I think everyone would agree that current admin behaviour could be described as "inconsistent" at best? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per many good comments above. All animals are equal, but some should be "more equal" than others? No. - jc37 16:52, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Certainly not. There is far too much tolerance for habitually disruptive and uncollegial editors, not too little.  Sandstein  17:10, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    This thread is not about about "habitually disruptive and uncollegial editors", as you claim Sandstein. One of the major problems with the current system is that when issues are raised about the unjust treatment of content editors, many administrators see only "habitually disruptive and uncollegial editors". In fact, this thread is more about serious editors who actually write the encyclopedia, like Dr. Blofeld who started the thread. These editors now try to work in an unnecessarily fraught and perilous environment, where the only people who receive gratification are blocking administrators. As usual, entrenched administrators rush to crush dissent, and any thread like this fails to bring about rational change. Has anyone done the statistics on this thread, the support/oppose ratio of administrators compared to content contributors? As usual, serious content contributors tend to stay away from doomed proceedings like these, and the administrative corp have them in a death grip. --Epipelagic (talk) 20:41, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    You're misrepresenting the opposition. Several of us have explicitly expressed support for efforts to counter excessive blocking. We simply believe that the proposed blanket rule would cause major problems and therefore isn't a good solution. You're entitled to disagree, and I won't imply that this makes you irrational. —David Levy 21:04, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I'm talking about the net effect of administrator attitudes and defensiveness. Most administrators are fine, though many good administrators become unnecessarily defensive when issue about the unjust treatment of content editors comes up. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:46, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    You explicitly referred to the opposition expressed in "this thread" and "any thread like this". You've characterized it unfairly, as no one here seeks to "crush dissent" or promote a hostile editing environment. We simply disagree that the proposed rule is appropriate. —David Levy 22:02, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a rule of thumb; oppose as a hard and fast rule. There are (rare) situations when even an established user needs to be blocked without a warning; consider the case of User:Wonderfool and his administrative rampage. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 17:21, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose unneeded rule creep, which would just be (quite rightly) ignored anyway. Besides, at its heart this just plain doesn't make any sense--if anything, established users are more likely to already know the rules and would have less to learn from a warning. Besides, current practice is to not template the regulars for good reason. It's kind of insulting to pretend someone with 10,000 edits hasn't heard of 3RR yet. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 19:14, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What defines an "established editor"? They are not exactly board certified. Who certifies that they will never have a psychotic break? When an admin sees something happening that should be blocked on sight, they should do just that. It's not as if there is no avenue for appealing a block. ~ Ningauble (talk) 19:57, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Mmm. Perhaps I ought to have added for edit warring on the end of this proposal. I might have known most here would take worse case scenario.. This proposal was basically to stop established decent editors being blocked for three reverts on an article removing additions they feel are very inappropriate without at least being warned once to stop.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:20, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, I don't attribute to you some of the suggestions being made here. I think that you are right on this, that we shouldn't block in the sort of case you mention above without a warning. Unfortunately the wording wasn't clear and people are also using this as some way of righting what they see are wrongs. Although my own perception and experience (and of course I'm an Admin so I guess it doesn't count), is that good editors leave because of personal attacks, edit-warring and pov editing, not because of Administrators. Dougweller (talk) 21:11, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, but... I think instead of a ban of the behavior in question, a guideline should be made for admins, as sometimes, a block is needed immediately (e.g., when an editor goes on a vandalism spree). However, most editors who have a significant body of good faith contributions wouldn't vandalize Wikipedia; rather, this guideline would apply when the editor in question violates a rule that is significantly more minor than clear-cut vandalism (e.g., WP:NPA, WP:3RR, etc.).—Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 20:32, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Administrators who use their mop inappropriately need to be dealt with directly, not constrained by a rule (whether policy or guideline) which will cause good administrators to have to watch their back when someone really does need to be blocked without warning. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 20:37, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Support - What the heck does 'validating a warning' mean? If it said 'issue a warning' it would make sense, but I have no idea what 'validating a warning' means. Kaldari (talk) 00:35, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Changed, but do you have to be so damn obnoxious with your comment?♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:16, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    How was Kaldari's question "obnoxious"? Several of us expressed confusion regarding the meaning of "validated", which you ignored. —David Levy 16:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support in principle. I think this is too impractical to work, but I strongly support the principle. We have a large number of very well experienced content contributors who really know what they are doing - each one of them is worth far more to the project than any admin. These people care passionately about the project, and we will occasionally see one of them breaking 3RR (or whatever), but not in any malicious or ignorant way. In the recent example, such a contributor was blocked and had rollback rights removed, for trying to do the right thing, just in the wrong way. In such a case, an admin should not be thinking "How can I punish this rule-breaker?", but "How can I help them achieve what they want in the right way?" So even a warning is often not what is needed - what was needed here was simply a protection of the article and a "How can I help?" approach to the editor involved. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:25, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Finally somebody after all the opposes! who acknowledges the problem. As I say this is not a proposal to allow regulars to get away with mischief but for exactly the reason Boing! says, for passionate editors who might get into warring and tiffs for a valid reason and then find themselves blocked without so much as a caution to stop and to discuss the dispute on a talk page instead,. A warning should be given for 3RR if not anything else. If an editor is blocked for at least 3 days because of that then potentially we are missing out on their productive edits. See my revised proposal below allDr. Blofeld 11:34, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Several of us have acknowledged the problem (while disagreeing with the proposed solution). Did you stop reading our comments after you saw the word "oppose"? If so, that would explain why you never clarified the meaning of "validated". —David Levy 16:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Boing! said Zebedee has it exactly right, but I think a fundamental problem is that the 3RR policy as current constituted has no moral compass. And that in turn is a symptom of a deeper Wikipedia malaise, the widespread notion that disputes are always bad and to be avoided at all costs. Malleus Fatuorum 12:17, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Yeah the blocking admin often takes no consideration as to actually why that editor is engaged in a dispute and that they might actually be acting in good faith..♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:54, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    You didn't even mention "good faith" in the above proposal. As worded, vandalism is covered too (provided that an "established" editor commits it). —David Levy 16:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    That doesn't really make Dr. B's suggestion any less valid. Your defence of the current situation is technically very accurate. But you seem oblivious to the way that many editors actually feel about it when they are on the receiving end. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:26, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    That doesn't really make Dr. B's suggestion any less valid.
    Agreed. I'm explaining why it doesn't jibe with his original proposal. (I've supported his revised version.)
    Your defence of the current situation is technically very accurate.
    Again, I'm not defending the current situation. I've explicitly acknowledged that a problem exists, but I disagree with the solution proposed above.
    But you seem oblivious to the way that many editors actually feel about it when they are on the receiving end.
    On what do you base this assertion? —David Levy 01:03, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Per above reasoning; established editors should not receive any special treatment, nor should non-established editors be treated in a manner worse than that of established editors. Established editors may gain other privileges, such as rollback rights and adminship, but not special privileges to get away with crime. On Wikipedia, there are no get out of jail free cards. All editors should be treated fairly and equally. Allowing established editors to get away with wrongdoings constitutes discrimination. (talk) 00:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm on the fence. I can certainly see situations in which this would be a good thing - if a new user, who has no reason to have heard of 3RR because they've been told to be bold and not spend ages reading policy - thinks that they are defending a page 'under attack' (it may not be, but that could be the perception), to block them for 3RR without warning seems very bitey. On the other hand, there are users who should know about 3RR for whom we do not want to legitimise edit warring up to 3RR, or provide an opportunity to game the system. My feeling is that an administrator should be able to use their discretion when dealing with new users and be able to be more lenient to newer users where necessary. Thus, I think I lean to oppose, though would welcome further guidance for administrators about dealing with new users who get involved in edit wars. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 14:57, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose only because of the limitation to established editors. The only reason to block is if somebody defies a warning, or there's acute danger, (or unless its obvious that the warning, is going to be defied, as can happen with a troll, or an editor clearly trying to use WP for the wrong purpose.) Looking at blocks here, I judge 90% of them unnecessary. DGG ( talk ) 19:04, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I believe (and observe) that a cooling off period enforced by a short block is actually very productive in removing people from the heat of the arguement and allowing them to gainsome persepective. I think we need more short(er) blocks, not fewer. Stuartyeates (talk) 21:48, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support For anything except obvious vandalism, compromised sysop account, etc. A block log is forever, and as far as I can recall, only one (Giano's) has ever been redacted.--Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 13:12, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support (and support stronger statement of same, per DGG). An automated warning, as suggested below, for exact-match 3RR might also be a useful idea. – SJ + 13:25, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Alternate proposal

  • Alternate proposal: The relevant policies and guidelines should be edited to stress that a warning should usually preceed a block for an editor who appears to be acting in good faith, except in extreme situations, or where there is history of prior infractions such that the editor was clearly on notice that his or her conduct would be considered blockable. Such a warning should clearly advise the editor of what he or she did that was problematic, why it was problematic, and that he or she is in danger of being blocked if the problematic action is repeated.
    • Advantages of this alternative:
  1. Avoids the distinction between "experienced" and "inexperienced" editors, which creates problems of line-drawing as well as potential unfairness.
  2. Emphasizes the general rule, but also the most common reasons for exceptions to it.
  3. Provides fair warning both to inexperienced editors who may violate the rules inadvertently, as well as experienced editors who may violate the rules equally inadvertently, or because of a temporary loss of perspective.
This is just thinking out loud; I am sure there will be improvements on my thoughts and the wording. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:07, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Coment: This seems like an accurate description of how things are supposed to work now. If that's unclear to some administrators, I see no harm in spelling it out as written above. —David Levy 21:13, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Anything that can be used to persuade admins to exercise a bit more restraint and also discourages binary thinking is a step in the right direction. Dennis Brown - © 21:26, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • The blocking policy does already contain language of this type: Before a block is imposed, efforts should be made to educate the user about Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and to warn them when their behavior conflicts with these ... In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking. Hut 8.5 21:26, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We already have too many of Randy's enablers around the place forever excusing things. They just consider that some twit might be convinced to become a greaat editor without considering the damage done by dissuading good editors from contributing. What we need is straight action starting with half hour blocks starting from the very start of editors' careers. Why should anyone think that keeping on reverting is a good idea and is constructive and collaborative? People don't need to be told that and a small delay will get the message through much quicker. Dmcq (talk) 23:38, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    Would it not be more constructive to advise them to actually stop and starting discussing the issue with the editor on the talk page first? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 23:55, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
    I'm not saying we should not tell them the reason for a block, of course they should be told why! Dmcq (talk) 05:58, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose again, same issues as last time. And I largely agree with Dmcq: one of Wikipedia's biggest long-term problems is that so many of our policies enable, support, and even encourage vandals, spammers, and edit warriors while stripping rights and abilities from anyone who dares to stand up to them. At some point, enough is enough. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 01:48, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: So basically you're proposing what's already site policy? I'm confused as to how this is any different. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 03:54, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support either this or previous one There are too many sysops who don't understand what being a sysop consist of, and too many who believe that being that makes them someone special who can do whatever they like. Anything what makes them use the mop in a proper way is a good idea. Petrb (talk) 13:19, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support either as too often a "revert" gets counted which is not a "revert" by the Wikipedia definition (that is, removing another editor's addition, or adding what another editor has removed) so even attempts at "compromise" wording get slammed - which is rather contrary to the very consept of "compromise." Blocks as punishment are too common at this point, and this is a long-term problem on Wikipedia. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:04, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Certainly a warning "should usually" precede the blocking of an editor who appears to be acting in good faith. It is very easy to warn, either via a revert and automated template for new editors/IPs, or a polite message to more established editors. I sometimes see vandalism only accounts inserting "I like pie" or some nonsense in numerous articles, and I see admins blocking them without warning. These cases do not show up at ANI. If an "established editor" gets blocked, even with warnings, and there is any hint that the edits were in good faith, or that the blocker is involved in a content dispute, or that there is a past history of conflict between the blocker and blocked, or that the block is not called for, the matter typically comes promptly to ANI, and the block often gets undone and the blocking admin scolded. If some established editor appears to be out of control (too much merlot, some emotional crisis, or just fighting mad over some issue he feels strongly about) and is in an edit war, or is threatening other editors, or raving obscenely in talk page messages or edit summaries, then a preventive block is required and appropriate. Even then I cannot see why a "calm down" message couldn't preceded the block. I expect to see a blockable offense after a warning, before a block is appropriate, other than for clear vandalism (a new account inserting racist diatribes into articles, for instance). Sadly, a templated or drafted message usually just results in more angry outbursts ("Who are you to instruct ME? I have many more edits than you and have created X articles!"). But even a (likely to be rejected) warning is needed, or the blocking admin is likely to be pilloried at ANI by today's practice. Edison (talk) 19:06, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Unnecessary per Hut 8.5. The exact phrasing can be discussed at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy; there's no need to put it to a formal vote. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 18:07, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose so called "established editors" should already know that edit warring and so forth is wrong. For example, a few months ago I blocked another admin who had misused his tools, blocking another user he was involved in a dispute with. I gave no warning because any administrator knows not to use their tools to gain an advantage in a content dispute. This is something the community has made very explicit and any established user knows about WP:INVOLVED. Should I have sat on my hands and just left this abusive admin a nice note telling him not to do the thing he knew he wasn't supposed to do? I don't think that is the right approach at all. Of course there are cases where an admin is trigger happy and blocks prematurely. There are also cases where uses with the right friends become unblockable. This isn't the right fix for wither of those problems. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:05, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I've been blocked without warning, and I'm here to tell you, it mightily pissed me off. It also took far too much time and effort to get it overturned, because admins have tenure and immunity from consequence. I mean, what we really need is a functioning community desysopping mechanism, which would make this unnecessary, but until we can form a rampaging lynch mob and get the damn fools in our admin corps desysopped, the community has to exercise strict and rigid control over their powers.—S Marshall T/C 10:50, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose again with the above language about what "established editors" should already know. It is hypocritical. Mugginsx (talk) 14:30, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as common sense, something of which many of our trigger-happy admins need a liberal dose. Joefromrandb (talk) 19:47, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support This makes much more sense and should work well in the long run. Jesse V. (talk) 21:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Something else to consider

Blocks are meant to be preventative and not punitive, so why do they vary in length depending on the severity of the supposed 'offence'? This makes a complete nonsense of the 'preventative not punitive' mantra as they clearly are being used as a punishment. All initial blocks, other than those for obvious vandalism, should be the same length - I would suggest something like 5 hours but that's open to discussion - with a warning to say that if the disruption continues a longer block will be imposed. This would give both sides in a dispute time to calm down and reflect on their actions without humiliating them and potentially driving them away from the project. Richerman (talk) 08:23, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I would say educative rather than preventive or punitive. I think 5 hours is too long for that. That is why I'd go for something like half an hour for educative effect. Dmcq (talk) 08:34, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
That block lengths vary by offence does not mean that they are punitive. The probability of the blocked user repeating the same behaviour and the potential damage to the encyclopedia if the behaviour were to recurr both mean that block lengths will have to vary in order to prevent disruptive behaviour. For instance an account which has done nothing but nasty BLP vandalism will have the first block set to indefinite, not to punish the user but to reflect the fact that the user will almost certainly reoffend and that we can't risk having that kind of material around. Blocks can also be used as a deterrent, which again justifies the use of varying block lengths. There are plenty of reasons why we block accounts indefinitely for first offence other than vandalism: spam or other promotion, legal threats, sockpuppetry, unapproved bots, compromised accounts, harassment, severe copyright violations, inappropriate usernames, etc. Hut 8.5 09:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure all those are valid and useful cases. But I think the kind of situation Dr. Blofeld was trying to address was where two established editors genuinely disgaree about content (or even just emphasis) and one of them, possibly inadvertently, gets to 3RR (with or without a bit of intemperate langauge in the edit summaries on either side). How is it right to slap a 60 hour block on just one party, without first trying to encourage a step back to more reasonable dialogue? Yes, a half-hour block, as a first step, might act as a kind of warning. But I supsect many establshed editors would still feel agrieved that they had had a "clean sheet" of no blocks spolit by what they saw as a mistake. And for some editirs I genuinely suspect that a block is very counter-productive, as they feel - "now I've been blocked once, what the hell, I won't even try to tread carefully next time". Martinevans123 (talk) 10:13, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I'd already mentioned vandalism and indefinite blocks for the reasons mentioned above would be an obvious exception, but there is no way you can predict if disruptive behaviour is likely to recur, so a short block to begin with followed by longer blocks where necessary would still be a deterrent. We're already supposed to give a number of warnings for vandalism before a block is used, so why should people who are editing in good faith but have got into an argument and lost their temper be treated more harshly than vandals? And yes, that's exactly the sort of case that brought me here in the first place. A simple warning would often be quite sufficient. Richerman (talk) 10:23, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Of course you can say something about whether disruptive behaviour is likely to resume. An account with some constructive contributions followed by a vandalism spree is more likely to contribute constructively in the future than an account which has only ever been used for vandalism. Hence the latter would get an indefinite block while the former probably wouldn't. Short blocks would have a deterrent effect, yes, but some offences are more serious than others and hence require more deterrent effect. A hard-and-fast rule that "the first block should always be X hours" would be meaningless if we had to add a list of exceptions as long as the one above. In cases of edit warring or incivility the first block applied will be short under current practice anyway (not as short as 5 hours though). So-called "cool-down blocks" aren't allowed because getting blocked usually makes people angrier. Hut 8.5 11:02, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, CDB says: "Blocks intended solely to "cool down" an angry user should not be used, as they often have the opposite effect. However, an angry user who is also being disruptive can be blocked to prevent further disruption." That looks to me to be rather self-contradictory and self-defeating. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:12, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so. An angry user cannot be blocked because they are angry. On the other hand an angry user who is being disruptive can be blocked for disruption in the same way as any other disruptive editor. Whether or not the user is angry makes no difference to whether they can be blocked. Hut 8.5 11:25, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps that's just redundancy, then. "An angry user cannot be blocked just because they are angry" - well, yes, because administrators are not mind-readers. Does an angry user put a polite little message on a talk page saying "I'm angry". More often he tends to be disruptive, to prove a point, because he's angry. Administrators tend to act purely on behaviour. They might examine motives after the event. But what's the typical response when the user says "I'm sorry, I was angry" - something along the lines of "That makes no difference, rules apply to everyone!" etc etc. Anger and frustration are almost never taken as mitigations, more often they are taken as a deeper admission of guilt. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:38, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
The last sentence of the section is a bit redundant, yes, and I suspect it was added because someone misinterpreted the section to mean that angry users shouldn't be blocked. The point of the rule against cool-down blocks isn't to stop admins from making judgements about someone's emotional state but to ensure that they don't try to use blocks to change that emotional state. Hut 8.5 13:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Well that does makes some sense. But such guidelines still seem to be bolstering the over-simple administrator choice of "do I block or not block", described by another contributor here as "binary thinking." In the flow diagram of "how-to-deal-with-3RR", shouldn't that be the lowest and last resort decision box? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:41, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely blocks make an editor angrier.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:38, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
This is why 1 hour blocks are not likely to be effective if used regularly. We shouldn't use blocks simply to allow for a "cool down" period, per policy, but they have to be long enough to prevent disruption and yes, long enough that you know the editor will have cooled down and had time enough to reevaluate their actions. When a block is fully warranted, doing too short of a block will lead to more problems as it will lead to the (understandably) upset editor taking retribution or acting out in some way. There are times when these very short blocks are fine, but those times are a bit rare. We have to remember that the on the other side of that name we just blocked, is a normal human being, with normal emotions and motivations. The fact that a block does make an editor angry is just one more reason they shouldn't be used unless other less drastic options are certain to be ineffective. Dennis Brown - © 14:41, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Twelve-second blocks are even less likely to do anything other than inflame an editor, yet I was once subjected to one. There's very little point in having rules or policies when they're so widely ignored by those nominally charged with their enforcement. Malleus Fatuorum 14:48, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
12 second blocks would seem to fall under WP:POINT. To issue blocks and consider them as "no big deal" is rather cavalier and narrow minded, in my opinion. I've yet to be blocked, but can't imagine I would feel any less angry or violated. Dennis Brown - © 15:52, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I have frequently argued that all blocks, except of IPs, should in principle be indefinite in duration. That is the only way to ensure that they last exactly as long as is required, in the judgment of administrators or the community, to ensure prevention of the conduct for which they were instituted.  Sandstein  15:21, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    The potential abuses of this sends shivers up my spine. This would be too easy to abuse, as a way to silence dissent. Dennis Brown - © 15:52, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Goodness me, Sandstein. Are you considering RfA? Or are you just preparing to finish writing this encyclopedia single-handed? That rock looks quite heavy... Martinevans123 (talk) 16:18, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Silencing dissent is of course Sandstein's intent, and I don't doubt that his proposal would achieve that. Malleus Fatuorum 16:24, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    WOW - Amazing. Chedzilla (talk) 18:14, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    This is a prime example of why there needs to be some code to bridle the power of administrators on Wikipedia and hold them to some account when they are abusive. Like anywhere else in the civilized world, where proper procedures are set up to ensure there are retraints on the abuse of power, it is not the administrators themselves who should be determining what these procedures should be. On Wikipedia, the de facto position is that the administrators themselves set the terms on how they reign. They even allow themselves to reign indefinitely, like kings and tyrants from the past, with no automatic limit placed on their term. You can see on this thread, as always happens on threads like this, how administrators flock to drown views that might limit their powers. They endlessly intone the administrator mantra, that "block are "preventative and not punitive", but that does not alter the reality. The present system is unnecessarily punitive and demeaning to the editors who try to actually write the encyclopedia. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    As if our admin corps weren't "the editors who try to actually write the encyclopedia". SlimVirgin's an admin: do you have as many FAs to your credit as she does? Raul654 is an admin: have you done as much "to actually write the encyclopedia" as he has? Casliber's got 11 WP:FOUR awards, and he's an admin: how many do you have?
    We need to get away from this erroneous and oversimplified dichotomy. It's not "us versus them" or "content creators versus admins". The range of activities that people choose to engage in on the English Wikipedia are far more complicated than you're making it out to be. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    That's not a grumpy reply at all. That's a very valid point. Some admins, like the ones you have named, are a credit to the project and (somehow) manage to combine excellent high-quality contributions with sensible administration. But other admins are less succesful and may often be perceived to be interested only in blind rule-following. Other admins are so good that one is glad they don't waste their time editing articles! But all this does not, I feel, make Dr. B's suggestion any less useful. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    This is a prime example of why there needs to be some code to bridle the power of administrators on Wikipedia and hold them to some account when they are abusive.
    Administrators are bound by rules and held accountable when guilty of abuse, sometimes even facing de-adminship.
    On Wikipedia, the de facto position is that the administrators themselves set the terms on how they reign. They even allow themselves to reign indefinitely, like kings and tyrants from the past, with no automatic limit placed on their term.
    Administrators neither "reign" nor "set the terms" of adminship or anything else.
    You can see on this thread, as always happens on threads like this, how administrators flock to drown views that might limit their powers.
    You're still misrepresenting the opposition, as noted above. Again, several of us have explicitly expressed support for efforts to counter excessive blocking, but you believe that disagreement with your preferred approach constitutes "rush[ing] to crush dissent" and "flock[ing] to drown views". —David Levy 22:41, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    I tend to agree with Epipelagic. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:00, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Would you care to elaborate or address my comments? —David Levy 23:08, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Alas no, I would not care to. I would agree that a simple dichotomy is far too simplistic. But the fact that many editors still think in these terms is proof enough that the current situation should be improved. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:15, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Alas no, I would not care to.
    That's your prerogative, but I'm unable to even determine where the disagreement lies, let alone address it.
    I would agree that a simple dichotomy is far too simplistic.
    That appears to relate to WhatamIdoing's comments, not mine.
    But the fact that many editors still think in these terms is proof enough that the current situation should be improved.
    You quoted my reference to "several of us" in your edit sumamry. I was referring to opponents of the proposal, not administrators. If you knew me better, you'd realize that I staunchly oppose preferential treatment of admins and go out of my way to avoid receiving it. David Levy 01:03, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    1. I wasn't looking for you to address anything. 2. Yes it does, but I thought you might agree with that. 3. That's a very laudable individual stance to take. But many editors think in terms of "us and them" for some reason - why do you think that is? In cases of inadvertent 3RR, maybe the focus should be moved away from one of "educating the editor" to one of "protecting the article"? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    I wasn't looking for you to address anything.
    That was my objective. I typed a multi-part reply to Epipelagic, to which you responded with "I tend to agree with Epipelagic." This was (and is) frustrating, as it's the equivalent of "Nope, you're wrong." That's why I invited you to elaborate.
    That's a very laudable individual stance to take. But many editors think in terms of "us and them" for some reason - why do you think that is?
    I'm sure that there are multiple reasons, including a mistaken belief that administrators are "in charge", differences in tasks carried out, and outright abuse of the administrative tools. —David Levy 09:52, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    1. Sorry you didn't meet your very analytical adversarial objective. I'm not saying "you're wrong", I'm just saying that Epipelagic's comments sound closer to my personal experience than do yours. 2. Yes, I'm sure all those reasons contribute, but particularly that last one. Apologies for my mistaken belief, but administrators have always seemed to me to be very much "in charge". Martinevans123 (talk) 10:07, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    Sorry you didn't meet your very analytical adversarial objective.
    My concern pertains to communication, not opposition.
    I'm not saying "you're wrong", I'm just saying that Epipelagic's comments sound closer to my personal experience than do yours.
    Which comments do? Many things were written. Are you saying that there's no "code to bridle the power of administrators on Wikipedia and hold them to some account when they are abusive"? That "administrators themselves set the terms on how they reign" and "allow themselves to reign indefinitely, like kings and tyrants from the past"? That opposition to Dr. Blofeld's original proposal constitutes "rush[ing] to crush dissent" and "flock[ing] to drown views"? Some combination or all of the above? I have no idea.
    Apologies for my mistaken belief, but administrators have always seemed to me to be very much "in charge".
    We aren't meant to be. I'm sorry that some admins behave as though they are. —David Levy 14:22, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    It seems I have to keep apologising, David, for not answering all of your questions. Yes, some adminisrators (too many) appear to act as if they are like "kings and tyrants from the past", i.e. both judge and jury. I think the question of fixed terms for admins is a little off topic, but I can well understand why Epipelagic sees it as germain. Next witness, your honour? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    I'm sorry that my responses are coming across in that light. I seek neither to place you on trial nor to elicit apologies. I sincerely thank you for elaborating.
    I agree that some administrators behave that way, unfortunately. This is very different from Epipelagic's claim that admins have codified such a setup.
    If the community decides that it wants "term limits", administrators possess no authority to determine otherwise. Any attempt to overrule consensus would be met with great opposition from ethical admins, irrespective of our personal opinions on the matter. —David Levy 15:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    Blindly repeating over and over that there is no issue with the administration system because there are some good administrators or that some administrators are good content editors has got nothing to do with what I have been saying. This too, always come up on threads like this one as a way of neutralising any critical comment. To repeat, as I always have to on threads like this, and have already said above, most administrators are not problematic. Many of them are good administrators. Some of them are fine content editors. But none of that has anything to do with the points I have been making. I'm talking about systemic weaknesses in the administration system which leave it open to abuse by bad administrators. I get tired of the way administrators and their retinues endless wear away my position by misrepresenting it to mean something entirely different. There is nothing in that position to suggest that you, David, are not an exemplary administrator. Stop being so defensive, and stop endlessly misrepresenting what I say. --Epipelagic (talk) 23:49, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Blindly repeating over and over that there is no issue with the administration system
    Again, I acknowledge that administrative abuse occurs. Heck, I've experienced it first-hand, so I know how upsetting it is and how easily it can drive away contributors. I've condemned such behavior since before I became an admin, and I've expressed my support for efforts to combat it (in this discussion and others). I oppose Dr. Blofeld's original proposal, which I don't believe is a good solution to the problem. I do not deny that said problem exists.
    because there are some good administrators or that some administrators are good content editors has got nothing to do with what I have been saying.
    You appear to have confused my comments with those of WhatamIdoing.
    Stop being so defensive, and stop endlessly misrepresenting what I say.
    Ditto. —David Levy 01:03, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • It's very rare that I block an account for a fixed period of time. I usually block until they agree to stop doing whatever it was that I blocked them for. That can happen in a few minutes, a few days, or never. The safeguard in the system is that I am not able to deny an unblock request for a block that I placed: if I were to block someone abusively, another admin would handle the unblock request. So far, I've only been overridden once, which I take as a sign that my judgement corresponds to that of other admins.—Kww(talk) 19:11, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    I don't know you well enough to argue your points, you may be the pinnacle of good faith in blocking for all I know, so for now I will just assume this is true. However, relying on other admins to act as a check and balance is a fools game. I would say you shouldn't read too much into another admin's reluctance to undo your actions, and instead rely on your own common sense and institute only blocks that make sense, for time periods that make sense. The "code of silence" is sometimes deafening around here. Even good admins are very reluctant to question the actions of a fellow admin, as this reluctance is built into the system, via WP:WHEELWAR. I know that I am not hesitant to ask question and haven't received the warmest reception when I do. I don't want to punish admins, I simply want to change their minds in how they view blocking, particularly with "known editors". Dennis Brown - © 00:07, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    @KWW - ya know, for the most part I do think well of what you've done in many respects Kww. But when you say I usually block until they agree to stop doing whatever it was that I blocked them for. - I have to ask you: Do you understand how that sounds? It comes across as some "holier than thou" bullshit. Like just because someone managed to play the RfA popularity contest with a "win" means that their own view has more value than any other editor here. You block until they bow down and show reverence to the almighty "admin" buttons? WTF? It's exactly that type of attitude that makes me ashamed of being part of an "admin. group". "Admin." should be a position that offers HELP to editors ... not some bullshit "I haz powerz" crap. As far as nobody "unblocking" .. well Sandstein is a prime example as to why that's simply not acceptable on this site. Time and again I've seen cases brought to Arbcom because an admin. "unblocked" - and the admin. gets the ever lovin crap beat out of him for it. Sure - there's folks that just aren't cut out to edit in this environment; but I have to wonder if the environment changed then how much more quality editing could be achieved. Pride in not having indef. blocks undone? Really? Amazing. Chedzilla (talk) 05:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Revised proposal:Proposal to ban instant blocking for all editors over 3RR unless a warning has been issued first

Essentially this proposal was supposed to be for editors who might be engaging in 3RR or minor tiffs which "break the rules" but they were doing what they thought was right and are punished for believing they are protecting the encyclopedia and being passionate about the content. In many cases even established editors in the heat of moment will not think about 3RR or realise they've hit it. I can see looking at my proposal now how many editors think it is a proposal to let established editors get away with murder by the concept of banning instant blocking for all cases however extreme like calling somebody a child ass jockey or whatever. What I propose then is that unless a gross personal attack has been said during a 3RR I propose that after 3RR the editor is given one warning to STOP edit warring and discuss the article issue on the talk page and inform them that if they revert again they will be blocked for 24 hours or whatever. Because some editors who are passionate about the content and believe they are acting in good faith might get carried away because they care and end up being punished for something so avoidable. It would be more constructive to inform them to discuss the dispute on the article talk page than block them and effectively stop the editors from solving the problem. In such a proposal, if an editor has said something grossly uncivil during the warring then an instant block would still apply but if it is simply an edit dispute then a warning must be given to the offending individuals?♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. Some people think this is policy already, but others think that admins can, even should block for 3rr breaches without warning. Clarification that 3RR breaches are not best handled by going straight to a block would be useful. ϢereSpielChequers 12:15, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I came across this discussion because it was discussed on one of the talk pages that I watch.I have had two brushes with the law around here and both experiences left me with the impression that there are plenty of admins who are puffed up with self-importance but very short on common sense. One sees this same sort of mentality in the business world and in government. I should not have been surprised to find it here as well, though I was. My second offense resulted in a Wikipedia ban for edit warring. My rollback function was revoked as well. See here #134 [1] These two experiences (and a few others) have completely changed my perception of Wikipedia. I used to really enjoy editing and frequently urged my friends to become editors as well. I've tried to get those good feelings about Wikipedia back but have not been able. I find myself editing less and less and I think of dropping out from time to time. Gandydancer (talk) 13:05, 15 June 2012 (UTC) I tried twice to place my comments in the above earlier discussion but it appeared in this section) Gandydancer (talk) 13:25, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    "plenty of admins who are puffed up with self-importance but very short on common sense" . You sir have summed up the problem perfectly.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:58, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    The thing you pointed at showed you weighing into the abortion debate and telling everyone they were stupid and you got stuck at ArbCom with a load of others. Their remedy was ' Gandydancer is advised to subdue the tone of comments in heated discussions.' I guess there must have been more to the business as you talk about a ban above. Dmcq (talk) 14:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Please see "#134 February 2012' on my talk page, not the abortion issue. BTW, not only did I not tell everyone at ArbCom that they were stupid, I was not even aware that I was being discussed. Gandydancer (talk) 14:45, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    The abortion issue was the one your link pointed at, I see now that your #134 is an index into the current contents list. I think a block was right but was too long in that case, as I said above I would prefer more easily dished out blocks of a far shorter time like half an hour or an hour for things like that only escalating if the initial block isn't effective. Dmcq (talk) 15:12, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. At best, this is redundant to existing site policy. At worst, it essentially transforms 3RR into 4RR, and allows editors who believe they are Right™ to get away with reverting once more per day because they must be warned first, which makes it harder for admins to attempt to keep page stability. And, again, it's not something that should be decided universally. In particularly severe edit wars (where reverting is happening within minutes of each other), it's usually better to preventatively block all participants and/or protect the page so as not to continue wasting people's time rather than feebly leave notes on people's talk pages kindly asking them to stop. And again, instruction creep. It's pointlessly bureaucratic. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 14:44, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. If the page in question has been protected there is absolutely no reason to block editors unless they are causing disruption elsewhere. Richerman (talk) 15:14, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Some examples Recently I found an editor giving another editor an edit-warring warning. Does that mean that the first editor still needs a warning? Do editors who have been blocked for 3RR violations need warnings (let's assume the block or blocks to be recent). Do editors warned yesterday need a warning today? Again, I think this should be in the blocking guidelines but an absolute prohibition is inflexible. Would this apply to editors making reversions across multiple articles more than once a minute via bot, software or just plain fast? Dougweller (talk) 16:13, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. Our longstanding practice is to ensure that someone is familiar with the three-revert rule (evidenced by a past warning, acknowledgement or block) before blocking him/her for violating it.
    I understand that in the heat of the moment, someone might forget about the rule or lose track of how many times he/she has reverted. However, three reversions is not an entitlement, nor is edit warring appropriate until that number is hit. So I'm reluctant to validate such behavior, which any established editor knows is disruptive, on a technicality.
    At the same time, I realize that even the best editors make mistakes, and swooping in to block them can be counterproductive, particularly if they would have ceased the disruption if warned.
    So I support this proposal, provided that any warning about the edit warring in question — even if issued before a three-revert rule violation occurs, and even if the three-revert rule isn't mentioned — fulfills the criterion. (Otherwise, Elektrik Shoos is correct that this "essentially transforms 3RR into 4RR".) And of course, if an editor warns his/her opponent against edit warring (as in the instance cited by Dougweller), both parties obviously are on notice. —David Levy 16:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support A thoughtful refinement of a good idea. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:00, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Question I may be misinterpreting things here, but does the wiki software warn users before they go over the 3RR limit after reverting? It sounds like it's up to users to moderate their edits so that they don't. That seems silly, though, since a "you might be blocked for this" confirmation window would make too much sense not to be there already. Sazea (talk) 17:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    I'm not aware of a MediaWiki feature capable of detecting that a particular edit constitutes a reversion, and I doubt that such an addition is even feasible (given the fact that a reversion needn't entail the restoration of the precise text used previously).
    Also keep in mind that we're discussing an English Wikipedia policy, not a rule applicable to every wiki using the MediaWiki software. (There probably is sufficient demand for such an extension, provided that it be made customizable, but I want to make the situation clear.) —David Levy 17:52, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    I wasn't sure of how technical feasibility it would be, and likely not for all possible types of revisions that an admin could catch. Comparing every comma-delimited set for every page would probably bog down the servers a lot. It might be able to catch the simplest reversions, such as to a previous page version, but that may bring forward more problems. Thanks for indulging my curiosity. Sazea (talk) 18:11, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Indeed, it might be possible to automatically identify (and warn against) exact reversions to previous page revisions, but this would reinforce the common misconception that other types of reversion (such as restoring/removing only some content or reinstating disputed material with slightly different wording) don't count. —David Levy 18:53, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per David Levy, sort of, whose support was conditional enough to basically convince me to oppose. I'll go further than what he said though. I don't think a warning needs to be given at all once 3RR is crossed, only because it would become too easy to game. What if a warning is issued, 3RR broken, then a week later 3RR is broken again by the same editor? Do we need another warning in order to block them? How about a month later? If a block is issued without warning that second time, will the editor be entitled to request an unblock because they weren't warned again and can claim they made another "mistake"? How long shall we say is little enough time between warnings that we can say it's obvious they should've known? Will admins need to research when the last warning was given? The point of having a bright line rule is to avoid having to consider these questions. Established editors will be aware of 3RR, and if they make a mistake, they can acknowledge it in their unblock request. These blocks are not so terrible that they need to be avoided at the expense that would come as a result. Equazcion (talk) 17:39, 15 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as an absolute rule, since there will always be situations in which an editor unquestionably knew they were violating 3RR and making warnings mandatory will be pointless bureaucracy. It would be reasonable to encourage admins to warn rather than block immediately in situations where a warning would be adequate though. Hut 8.5 17:51, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Admins are already encouraged to warn rather than block immediately but that clearly isn't happening. And as for "These blocks are not so terrible", I despair really. A block goes onto an editor's record and stays there forever more. Richerman (talk) 18:04, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I've got 4 blocks in my log. 3 were overturned as unjunstified. I've never viewed it as a "rap sheet" that held me back from anything (I was assigned autopatroller, rollbacker, and autoreviewer rights after all of them). People who view it that way are doing so due to their own misconceptions. It does suck to get blocked, but making "I didn't know because no one told me" a valid defense is asking for much more trouble than it's worth. What's actually being proposed here is not "make warnings mandatory". It's "make 3RR no longer a bright-line rule". To consider doing that, we have to talk about why it is a bright-line rule to begin with. Equazcion (talk) 18:14, 15 Jun 2012 (UTC)
    Perhaps battle honours for some? But did any of yours involve 3RR? If those three were overturned, do you think they would have been better avoided altogether? Martinevans123 (talk) 18:44, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, one did involve 3RR (you can see that in my log). Of course it would've been better (for me) if I hadn't gotten blocked altogether -- I'm not claiming blocks are like a kitten massage. Nevertheless, erroneous ones don't constitute a permanent tarnish that must be avoided at all costs. Equazcion (talk) 19:57, 15 Jun 2012 (UTC)
    Well, you are judging with the benefit of hindsight. But only you can say if those blocks did more good than harm, or if they just a waste of time. I guess one's view can depend a lot on ones perspective? For some editors perhaps, with enough practice, blocks just fall like water off a duck's back. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:12, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
    Most of my blocks were a waste of time (although that particular 3RR block called attention to a larger issue). What would be an even bigger waste of time would be to add bureaucracy to 3RR. We're faced with two imperfect choices here, and I don't think removing the bright line from 3RR is the way to go. Equazcion (talk) 20:20, 15 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This one is even sillier than the previous two: there's absolutely no chance that an established user is unaware of 3RR. In the very rare case where one absolutely positively MUST get that 4th revert in and the fate of the whole world depends on it, there's all sorts of existing ways users can seek help. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 20:58, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm amazed at the certainly of those who aren't admins when it comes to blocking others. We forget that on the other side of those silly little ornate and colored signatures, there are real people who often are trying to protect quality articles from people who are either mistaken, ignorant, or simply warring for their own jollies. To flatly say that anyone that makes a 4th revert should automatically be blocked without any consideration or conversation, and that this is acceptable, well I'm glad you aren't admins, and I don't suggest you run any time soon. Even if you don't agree with the letter of the proposals, how you can disagree with the spirit of it is beyond me. I'm glad I've not become so callous, so narrow minded and hateful in my old age, that I would draw a line in the sand so that didn't even consider the circumstances when making a decision as drastic as blocking someone. Perhaps it isn't a big deal to you, but to many people, particularly those of us who have never been blocked, it is a big deal. As an admin, I would hope I lose interest in Wikipedia and leave before I became so insensitive to view blocking an experienced editor as "no big deal". Dennis Brown - © 00:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    "To flatly say that anyone that makes a 4th revert should automatically be blocked without any consideration or conversation" -- That's not what I said, at least. No one's saying admins shouldn't use their own discretion, and in my experience they already do; I'm furthermore all for their continued use of it in such situations. I'd even be amenable to an addition to the 3RR guideline mentioning this. The proposal, though, is for a blanket ban on 3RR blocks that weren't preceded with warnings. Semantically this could be interpreted as agreeing with the spirit; I don't know, and doubt it matters. Equazcion (talk) 00:41, 16 Jun 2012 (UTC)
    Wrong, wrong, wrong Dennis. The block callous remarks above were made by administrators. --Epipelagic (talk) 00:44, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    Then I will stand corrected on that one point. Please note that not all administrators share that same view. What is more sad, had I expressed this view before my RfA, I likely wouldn't be be standing here as an administrator. And EQ, I think you and others are taking the proposal too literal. I myself haven't supported any actual ban, although I've made it clear that I support the intent of the proposal. I would note that I've never been blocked, which likely isn't a shock since I usually try to be quite civil even when blunt, but I understand how others wouldn't see it is "no big deal". To me, it would be a big deal. Dennis Brown - © 01:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think I'm taking it too literally. The proposal is for a policy change that I oppose ("ban instant blocking for all editors over 3RR unless a warning has been issued first"). The intent behind it is, as I believe and have described, already served by the status quo. In my experience many fourth reverts don't trigger a block in and of themselves, due to discretion. If we're talking about a mere note in the 3RR guideline clarifying that this is what should happen? Maybe, depending on its wording. I have a feeling many opposers here would be more open to something like that.Equazcion (talk) 01:49, 16 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. When you have a case like Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive560#Lamest edit war ever?, I fail to see what a warning would accomplish. (Yes, that case involves some kid having fun by using two socks to edit war with each other, but the point is that someone at 48RR shouldn't need a warning to be blocked.) T. Canens (talk) 01:15, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, if an editor is routinely going up to the 3RR limit because they are "passionate about the content", they're trying to own articles. That's very problematic behavior, and may require a hard stop being put up to it even if they never technically violate 3RR—which would be impossible if they must get a separate "warning" every time they do it. Electric fence, not entitlement. Established editors should know that edit warring is not the way we settle disputes. That being said, a warning certainly is worth a try the first time the editor is found engaging in such behavior, but after that, they're clearly on notice that reverting rather than discussing is unacceptable. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:30, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – Well, as always, the usual snow of opposes by administrator has now happened, and this thread will go the same way as all other attempts to get the administrator corp to look at themselves. Almost no non-admin content editors participated here, a reflection of the fear level and escalating administrative tyranny on Wikipedia, which seems to be running along the same path as Animal Farm. Some prevailing administrator contempt towards content contributors has been well expressed by Sandstein (all blocks, except of IPs, should in principle be indefinite in duration) and Scottywong (policies like 3RR apply to everyone... including a guy who craps out a FA every day before breakfast). --Epipelagic (talk) 02:40, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
As an Administrator who spends quite a bit of time on content contribution I strongly object towards this suggestion that Administrators are not content contributors. This is simply not true. Bash administrators all you want, but don't accuse us as a group of not contributing to the content of Wikipedia. Dougweller (talk) 08:20, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I apologise for having missed that. There's a lot to read here and I was working only on your post above. To me it separates out content contributors from Administrators, which is what I was responding to. I also don't believe that Administrators, either as a group or even a small minority, have contempt for non-Administrators (which is what I presume you meant by 'content contributors'. Dougweller (talk) 10:57, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't see contempt so much, but I often see a lack of empathy and sometimes a cavalier attitude about blocks being "no big deal", when it fact, it is a big deal to those on the other side of the block. We block so many people for very good reasons, vandals, spammers, trolls, that some forget that a good faith editor being lumped into the same group so quickly is frustrating, at the very least. I don't want to see more rules, actually, I want to see awareness of the problem and persuade admins to use other methods first, and blocks as the last resort. Too often it is the first because it only takes a couple of clicks once an editor passes the imaginary line. Dennis Brown - © 12:47, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Epipelagic. So you support the revised proposal? --Timeshifter (talk) 11:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't support the proposals. The problems are systemic, and won't go away just because we bandage them with more rules or guidelines. Look at how ineffective the mantra "blocks are preventative and not punitive" is. I support Dennis's call for more awareness in the community, but I doubt that can be made real. Not one participant in this thread has raised the real issue, which is how the administration structure needs to change (I seem to remember you and I have been here before on this one, Timeshifter) --Epipelagic (talk) 15:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, unless the user was not evidently familiar of 3RR. 3RR is just the bright line. Warnings do not need to be posted for everything though they are seen as good faith efforts to stop the editwar. --lTopGunl (talk) 02:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The utter cluelessness of some fanboy admins in full groupthink mode needs to be checked. See User:Timeshifter/More articles and less editors. Due to its vagueness and arbitrariness WP:Edit warring is almost diabolically efficient in driving away active editors. It is inevitable that active editors will arrive at content disputes one after another especially as they edit more and more controversial topics. After a few arbitrary clueless rulings (it happens often) by admins wielding WP:Edit warring even the most thick-skinned active editors oftentimes throw in the towel, and stop editing articles regularly. Why bother? Admin power corrupts, WP:Edit warring corrupts absolutely. It is the perfect tool for rude admins who enjoy the fanboy cheers of their fellow clique of admins. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:10, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
It is the lack of some sort of resoluton of content disputes or at least a way of calming them down that is the main problem, and editors continuing warring and causing disruption is a real problem there. Why on earth should making it even harder to have a calm atmosphere make things better? You're talking as if it was the admins causing trouble. It is people continually stripping away admin powers and leaving only ArbCom to deal with everything that is the problem. If people edit war they should be sat on the naughty step for half an hour without any warning. Dmcq (talk) 13:20, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Here's my other big problem with unwarned blocks for 3RR. Most wars I've read about involve two sides. Yet in 3RR disputes, it's usually whoever gets there first, regardless of the start point, you gets punished (sorry, "prevented"). The system we have seems to victimise the side with the fewer combatants, since they are likely to get to 3RR first. If it's one ediotr against a clique, it's very easy for one side to share reverts around, isnt it? The wiki naughty step seems to be especially built for one. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:43, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't fee stripped of any powers, and if I thought a half hour block would serve the goal of creating peace then I would do it. I'm pretty bold when it comes to creatively applying sanctions, I've been told. However, I think you overestimate the utility of short blocks. Maybe it would work for you, but half of people would simply be livid and it would cause more problems than the original issue. It is about understanding human nature here, and universally, people get pissed off when they get blocked, and on average, that anger doesn't dissipate in 30 minutes. That you might be the exception is reason enough that you can't use your feelings in crafting a policy for everyone else, and instead must consider the likely reaction from others. And Martinevans123's point is valid, it is the main reason I hate to get into a blocking situation with warring, as you end up accidentally favoring one side or the other. This is also problematic with full protection on articles. Dennis Brown - © 13:46, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
People get livid mainly because they think things are not fair, if they saw it being done all over the place as a straight consequences of actions they would not be so annoyed but what they see is obvious vandals being pussyfooted around and encouraged to become good editors with no sanctions being applied whereas established editors are told they should know better. Well established editors should know better - but that is no excuse for not applying behaviour modification to new editors. What problems are caused by livid editors anyway? if they are not civil or cause disruption to articles then they should be blocked for longer. Dmcq (talk) 14:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
"Behaviour modification"? You should read my earlier comment about Skinner's advice. But that's treating editors as if they were just rats in a maze (isn't it)? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:17, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Of course they think it isn't fair. There is never a block where the person thinks it is fair, at that time. Again, this is human nature. Of course they are livid, everyone, EVERYONE is when they are blocked and the block must be long enough to allow them to reconsider the reasons they were blocked. That is the only way you can insure the block is solely to prevent disruption. You can't make people think like you do, you have to accept that we are all different, and you use blocks in a way that will get the job done. Most of the time when it comes to content disputes, blocks are not the answer anyway. People will get into heated arguments, they are human after all, and sometimes revert too much. I don't mean regularly, I'm talking singular events. To think that some of us are immune to this is putting ourselves on a pedestal, likely without justification. I've never been blocked, but I have probably broken 3RR in my early days and it didn't break Wikipedia that I wasn't blocked. Seriously, no one is perfect and expecting so much is damaging to the normal give and take of discussion. You can't play nanny with adult editors and be so rigid about the rules, not if you want to actually build an encyclopedia. Not every author is the pinnacle of civility, so if you filter out all but the most civil, you just threw out 80% of the best authors we have here. Not smart. Dennis Brown - © 14:46, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Dmcq. You are an example of the type of admin I am talking about. You really don't get it. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not an admin. I'm saying how I would hope admins would behave. And as to rats exactly where do people get the idea that what applies to rats does not apply to people? What I talk about is what is shown to work not what people imagine should work. Dmcq (talk) 14:38, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Then you need to look more carefully at what Skinner said about positive and negative reinforcement! Martinevans123 (talk) 14:51, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm perfectly aware of the better effect of positive reinforcement but fail to see the applicability. Are you saying we should apply positive reinforcement to behaviour that is unwanted? The usual thing is that positive reinforcement pointing the way to better behaviour applied in conjunction with the negative reinforcement is better than pure negative reinforcement without the pointer. Also the negative reinforcement should not be disproportionate - that's why I would go for only a short period for a block to start with together with the positive reinforcement that it is then over and done with and they can then contribute okay again without dwelling on the business or anything like that. Explaining the reasons too much is not a good idea just do a reasonable outline and then get it over and done with. People are better getting the negative reinforcement and then being over it rather than going on and on with discussions and having it hang around - that just creates a bad atmosphere. Dmcq (talk) 17:38, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

The reason why this was proposed though was precisely because that's not how a lot of admins behave. They lack basic common sense and feel happy to fire the trigger without so much as a warning which might put an end to any nonsense more efffectively than blocking people which leads to further ill feeling, a lot of which will be long lasting and old grudges will continue to resurface in the future. Never mind, this clearly doesn't stand a chance of ever being made a rule. The solution maybe to start an admin training academy in which the first lesson teaches common sense. A lot of admins are fair minded and very decent people on here, but I'd be lying if I didn't think some admins like having the ability to play cop and block people without so much as a warning.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

For straightforward things straightforward remedies that are applied consistently and fairly to everyone would be far easier to understand than trying to teach 'common sense'. There is no common standard of common sense, there is no agreed idea of what is important, the encyclopaedia or being fair to editors. And there is no agreement on even then on what is the best way of achieving whatever people think is important. Dmcq (talk) 17:38, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I hear that, but not every problem can or should be solved by adding policies (WP:CREEP). I had suggested adding a note to 3RR, not to change the policy, but to note that admins can use their discretion, and that fourth reverts don't absolutely require a block in all situations. Equazcion (talk) 17:47, 16 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • Again: Support as a rule of thumb, oppose as a hard and fast rule. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 18:13, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support (in addition to the first proposal), Most of the blocking here is unnecessary, In 4 years I have found it very rarely necessary to block: almost always a proper personally directed personally written warning is sufficient. The only reason to block is if somebody defies a warning, or there's acute danger. Our current way of handling edit warring is in my opinion absurd: we let it go on without doing anything about it until it becomes a real problem, and then give a harsh penalty. It's like not enforcing the speed limit till the 4th infraction, and then putting the driver in jail. Normally, which of the parties gets blocked in an edit war is determined not by responsibility for it, but on who happens to go first in he chain of events. We give up on being reasonable, because it's too hard to determine, and just punish whomever we see first. It's the actions of children playing at being judges. DGG ( talk ) 18:47, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Exactly, the warring will go on in the heat of the moment and then suddenly they find themselves blocked for days when all that would do is a simple "you've violated 3RR now, please stop and discuss the issue on the talk page or face a block" and in most circumstances would work. @Dmcq. Some admins treat editors like this.... (irrelevant to the discussion about blocking)♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

And the fix is to have more standardization, not trying to educate in 'common sense'. And as I said I'd advise having a half hour block applied as standard with escalation if they don't get the message. It isn't as though 3RR is something unusual, what is weird is having such arbitrary handling of it. Dmcq (talk) 23:57, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – If 3RR is such a problem as noted above, then perhaps we need to reassess the effectiveness of the three-revert rule and possibly get rid of it? I mean, if it cannot be consistently enforced, then why have it? --MuZemike 21:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Roughly as per DGG. While such a rule may, on occasion, end up as a pointless exercise in bureaucratic point, the damage from excessive blocking is more pernicious. I support David Levy's specific reading of this proposal. Notification isn't always a matter of communicating a policy someone doesn't know, it's a reminder when the passion of the moment gets in the way. As truly disruptive acts (beyond edit warring) would still be more immediately actionable, so I doubt this proposal will do much harm, and it probably will do a bit of good. --j⚛e deckertalk 22:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Oppose This is just a license for tenditious editing and intentional edit warring, with oddles of wikilawering to slip away from any consequcnes. What is actually needed is stronger, more consistent Admins who are prepared to block and to not revert other blocks, and to slap down the cheerrleaders that enable bad editors and wikidrama, and do there best to undermine all and any admin action.Nigel Ish (talk) 00:12, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Comment – Under the present way of doing things, there will always be that group who want to be admins so they can block and otherwise inflict pain on others, and another group who are aficionados of pain inflicted on themselves, and would enjoy administration from the former group. Why not give both groups what they want? Editors who belong to the second group will have the option to declare their preference. Editors who belong to first group can also optionally identify themselves, at which point they will automatically become administrators, and allowed to administrate to the declared members of the second group. The rest of us can then get on and build the encyclopedia. --Epipelagic (talk) 01:50, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Epi, do you think, given how clear it is that you think there's a problem, that providing examples and discussing it rationally might be more constructive than this constant sniping? If anyone were really out to get you, you'd be blocked on the basis of your conduct at this discussion alone, and you're not, nor, unless you really cross the line, are you likely to be. From the number of websites I've been both user and admin on, this is one of the most tolerant I've ever seen in general, and far and away the most tolerant of those users who criticize the site administration. It's clear you're frustrated, and maybe you just want to blow off steam, but if you want to actually fix the problem that you seem so certain exists, there are much better ways than to compare administrators to sadists. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:03, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
It is easy to provide examples and constructive solutions. Of course I would do that (yet again) if these boards were open to "discussing it rationally". But there is never a rational response, just bulldozing by horrified opponents of the needed changes. I'm only commenting from the sidelines because I feel jaded and demotivated by the dysfunctional climate here, and am seriously considering whether there is any point continuing. At the core of Wikipedia is a huge amount of competent work offered at no charge by committed and mature editors who contribute material that in the real world would cost a huge sum to develop. How many other sites like this have you found on the web where even the best editors are slapped around as though they are third-class citizens or children? Do you seriously think it has got to the stage where there is not even any point in commenting ("sniping") from the sidelines? --Epipelagic (talk) 01:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm against this proposal, but it has nothing to do with being a glutton for punishment (if it did my block log would be much longer). A lot of people complain about getting blocked for things I often want to do but hold back from. A fourth revert, tossing an insult into an argument, a pointy action. I restrain myself because I value the fact that everyone overall is restrained from those things here too, which overall makes this place conducive to maintaining an encyclopedia. Any venue that hopes to maintain a somewhat civil, professional working environment needs to have rules that go against what the average human might feel compelled to do at some time or another. Does it suck to get blocked? You bet. Maybe things have to suck sometimes for some individuals who violate rules, even if their intentions weren't evil, in the interest of maintaining the environment the rules are intended to uphold. Of course, some people choose to spit on the rules and take advantage of everyone else's restraint, but that's a discussion for another time. Are some admins unnecessarily harsh in enforcing the rules? Sometimes, and they get chewed out for it. The system isn't perfect, but if you think you can make it that way, you'll be adding rules til this place needs lawyers to interpret them. Dr. Blofeld's example doesn't persuade me that this proposal needs more consideration, because it's an example of a person offering an opinion of another person -- a low opinion; and maybe it was deserved, or maybe not, I don't know, and it doesn't have anything to do with this, nor does it show how admins need more rules. Rant complete. Equazcion (talk) 04:07, 17 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • Support with the caveat that admins should be given a reasonable amount of latitude to determine whether a 3rr violator has been adequately warned. If the editor has not been edit warring recently, and does not have an extensive track record of edit warring, they should receive a warning about the specific edit war before blocking. If they are gaming the warning rule, or have a running edit warring problem and are clearly on notice as to the problem a warning specific to the current war should not be required. Issuing a warning to another editor about a war one is involved with should count as a warning to both parties. Monty845 06:56, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support but I would have give strong support for the original proposal. Having been around here for over eight years I firmly place myself in the contributing editor camp and while respecting you guys who are administrators, I do see that administrators collectively fail to respect long-term contributing editors. This is an issue of respect. It is depressing to read the contents of the -oppose- posts above who using the language of Star Wars and are demanding the right to continue to collect scalps. "Hey, Jodi I have just zapped User:Clinton, 11 years of experience and 25 thousand edits. Wow. How many points do I get for that? And guess what I did him on a 3 revert, while he was correcting the spelling of an IP- how trivial, I reckon that must triple my points"--ClemRutter (talk) 09:16, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Fanboys and groupthink. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:54, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • This is just vested contributor nonsense. You edit war and break 3RR then you are liable to a block although I would agree that admins should consider whether a warning or page protection would be better served than a block before reaching for the button. Spartaz Humbug! 09:20, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support editors break the 3RRrule in the heat of a disagreement. They should be given a warning for the FIRST time they do it. After that they have been duly warned. It seems to me that most good administrators have followed that rule for years and it has worked well. All of this talk about behavior modification, and experienced editors should know better, it is really laughable and even hypocritcal for some, as my memory serves me well. Follow the advice of the experienced administrators in good standing. They know what they are talking about and have helped shape some of the best editors here in many cases through their knowledge, skill and patience. Perhaps the others just do not have the temperament to be an administrator. I know I wouldn't.Mugginsx (talk) 11:48, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
How do you measure what is best? How do we know that what the ones in good standing are doing is effective? And effective at what? Being good politicians and popular? What you have put in are weasel words with no basis. Dmcq (talk) 12:05, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Good administrators are known by their actions and their length as successful administrators. They are well liked, even by those they have warned. They are not self-obsessed by their power. They do not "gang-up". They give good advice without being abusive. Some are right here. They are self-evident and they generally know who they are. No map need be drawn.Mugginsx (talk) 12:19, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid that sounds to me like a good admin is one who is liked by disruptive people. You have put in no consideration about the effect on the people who aren't causing trouble or about improving an article never mind how one would know what those effects are. Sometimes obvious is obvious but I hardly think one should invoke obvious in a discussion where there is considerable disagreement. Dmcq (talk) 15:20, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing Clintonesque in my words - those that follow the rules and do not get caught up in themselves and their power and abuse it - are good administrators, those that do not, are not. Final word, too busy to converse. Have it whatever way you wish. You will anyway.Mugginsx (talk) 18:06, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
"You will anyway"? Marvelous. Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry said it best. Dmcq (talk) 21:43, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support with a caveat for situations such as Wonderfool. Perhaps we could say "except for emergencies"? Nyttend backup (talk) 18:42, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - If someone is in the middle of revert warring with several other editors, there are times where a single block rather than protecting the page is the better solution. This proposal has the potential effect of suggesting that admins shouldn't deal with disruption. This is a case-by-case basis kind of thing. And so some overall rule like this will likely end up getting ignored. I'm not saying that I think warnings are bad in every case, but there are times where warnings are pointless. And this also will likely just lead to wikilawyering nonsense as well. "But he didn't warn me I'd be blocked for making that 9th revert in 12 minutes". - jc37 19:51, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't think this is the right move to try to get rid of edit wars. I don't want a newbie's giving the reason "I didn't know I didn't get warned" for an unblock and then get unblocked. JayJayTalk to me 00:22, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: There is little need to bifurcate the reasons for blocks in this way - one set of blocks for which a warning is required and another set for which a warning is not required. Except for a small subset of blocks over gross violation of WP:NPA, WP:CIVIL, etc., an editor, established or not, should not be blocked without a warning first. For this reason, I've supported the original proposal. EngineerFromVega 06:29, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
The very reason this was proposed s because editors are getting blocked without warnings over minor disputes over content. No it shouldn't happen and a rule needn't have to be made if admins used common sense. But this is sadly not the case. See the history of Dark Side of the Moon.♦ Dr. Blofeld
I understand. But then it is a case of behavior, not rules or policies, which should be handled differently. Additional rules will not result in an improved behavior. EngineerFromVega 15:51, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Am I correct in that you are siting this history as defense for this proposal. A quick review of just the history page shows two editors that should be blocked without even reviewing their edits for behaviour on Jun 12, User:Parrot of Doom and User:Julzes - I don't care what the content dispute is. --Trödel 21:13, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
EngineerFromVega. So you support this, but you prefer that it be more broadly applied beyond 3RR. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:20, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes. We should not isolate 3RR as a special case. EngineerFromVega 15:51, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  1. Strong Support I believe that any editor, no matter how established, should be warned at least once before being blocked (twice is better). Electriccatfish2 (talk) 00:23, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I believe a very similar effect could be achieve by having bot(s) issue warnings for potentially 3RR violations, this could be done very fast and hopefully nip more edit wars in the bud. Stuartyeates (talk) 01:21, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
    I think your suggestion deserves greater consiedration. Indeed automatic blocking of exact-match 3RR might break the current damaging "blame culture" of rapid block/ refuse to block. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:06, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is entirely the opposite of how things should work; allowing instant blocking of newbies, but requiring admins to jump through hoops for the very users who should know better? No. Ironholds (talk) 13:53, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
You're somehow misunderstanding what this actually is. Nobody said anything about treating newbies more harshly and bending over backwards for established editors. Its simply a proposal to make admins at least consider warning editors engaged in an edit dispute before imposing an instant block.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:42, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose All above proposals. The proposal admits that this applies to users who know the rules, but are engaging in an edit war or other inappropriate behavior, and to remind them to use the talk page. If the blocking admin did not use good discretion in applying the block to exceptional behavior an unblock request would succeed, and often does succeed with the blocking admin's blessing. Established users should know better than to knowingly engage in an edit war, and if the encyclopedia's reputation or content they feel passionately about needs to be restored - to seek a broader audience that will support their position (and if the community doesn't support their version of the language - take a good look at their own position. --Trödel 20:58, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I've never seen any evidence that this is actually a significant issue, and none is presented as part of the proposal. The same rules apply to established editors as new editors, and few established editors ever engage in sustained edit warring anyway as this is obviously a dumb idea and is easily avoided. Admins already have discretion in deciding whether a 3RR violation should result in a block, and this is frequently used. Nick-D (talk) 11:31, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
One would think it stating the obvious that wikipedia has a problem with trigger happy admins who will happily block first and ask questions later.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:33, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I have seen this happen; trigger happy admins that shoot and ask questions later if at all do exist. Per User:Piotrus/Morsels_of_wikiwisdom#When_to_use_the_banhammer_-_and_when_not_to:_a_simple_math, admins need to think more before they block editors. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:53, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Definitely better to warn first, then block if the war continues. --Nathan2055talk - contribs 16:13, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  • No Comment. I have nothing to add to this discussion. Herostratus (talk) 04:33, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment; my problem with this is that, in some instances, people are causing active harm by edit warring things into articles. For examples, search anything in the AN3 archives for ... reported by User:Sitush; you'll notice a common thread. Sometimes using 3RR blocks to short-circuit someone trying to foist their commentary or their pet revisionist theory into an article are very effective, and completely banning admins from doing that assumes that 1. we don't have any capacity to use our discretion, which would run counter to many systems on this site (not the least of which are closing RfCs and XfDs or enforcing discretionary sanctions) and 2. that it's always necessary and/or beneficial to expend energy on warning people. Spend some time watching over areas under ARBMAC, ARBPIA, or Indian castes, and you'll find that some people should just be blocked. I understand the problem this is trying to address, but it has a very real chance of creating much larger ones. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:22, 6 July 2012 (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.

Invention country of orgin

Should an invention's country of origin be the inventor's birthplace, the place of the invention, or both? Sandcherry (talk) 03:12, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

This is a regular issue, but it has arisen most recently in relation to Belgium. Please see Category:Belgian inventions, Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Category:Belgian_inventions, Talk:Bakelite#Invention_country_of_origin as well.
It has also come up in relation to New Zealand, [2] Andy Dingley (talk) 11:40, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest to use as categorization whatever is used in reliable sources. If sources universally claim that something is a Belgian invention, label it as such. If there are only statements "was invented by this Belgian-born person", do not categorize it by country. —Kusma (t·c) 11:51, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like an excellent recipe for warfare, cf. Forget Edison: This is How History's Greatest Inventions Really Happened and other such analysis. Methinks the concept of "invention" is somewhat overblown and dumbed down. Let's not get on that bandwagon. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:59, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure precisely what Kusma means here.
This is an awkward area. It's that grey area that requires inferencing from RS, without straying into OR. Very few references will come right out and say "The Frobosticator was a Belgian invention". Where they do this, it's more commonly for the relatively narrow inventions, not something as broad as the internal combustion engine. If we look at land yachts, we get very clear RS that say "A land yacht was invented in Belgium by foo on date". We can accept that within the meaning for invention of "This person made some personally novel, creative step of innovation". However that doesn't negate their invention (unknown to foo) some centuries earlier in China, which is also well sourced. We have a plethora of good sources that say things like this (with that narrow personal scope to "invention"), but it's a mistake to extrapolate from these to expand the invention's scope to being the first ever, which is mostly what's happening here.
I agree that we have to be based on RS. However that still has room for variable intepretations: taking a sourced claim for the land yachts would double categorize them. Is that what we want? Do we simply take two inventions so separate to both be "inventions"? Or do we take the strictest interpretation (as I read your comment literally) where almost nothing is going to be categorized in this way, because there are very few RS (and even fewer uncontested RS that can't be shown to contradict others) that state forthrightly, "This was a Belgian invention". Andy Dingley (talk) 12:07, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
That is what I am suggesting. This probably won't create a very useful or complete category, but I prefer it to making up an ad hoc rule. A list of Belgian inventions (that can be annotated) will probably be more useful than a category and it will be easier to make it conform to WP:NPOV and WP:V. An alternative is to be as inclusive as possible, and label anything invented in Belgium, by a Belgian-born, or funded by Belgians as a "Belgian invention". It has been some time since I had a feel for our category system, so I don't really know what fits it better at the moment. As an example, categories for Nicolaus Copernicus list him as both Polish and German instead of neither. From a navigational point of view, that is probably most useful. From an "attach only widely accepted and correct labels" point of view, it is a bit questionable. —Kusma (t·c) 12:41, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
This is the 4th place this issue is being talked about, it being dragged away from places someone who's actually Belgian is looking.I'm not going to argue for rain or sunshine allover again , but take a minute to check the inventions of countries with inventions who are there at the moment. It will take some time , but will undoubtedly settle the argument. Look at all inventions which have 2 or more countries listed and try and extrapolate a rule from there. Also , whatever gets decided will have to be retroactively applied. (talk) 07:34, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

OK, let's consider the options:

A. List only the inventor's birth country
Pros - easy to verify, recognizes inventor's birth country
Con - could be perceived as a slight to the place (country) of the invention?
B. List only the place of the invention
Pros - easy to verify, recognizes place of the invention
Con - could be perceived as a slight to the inventor's birth country?
C. List both inventor's birth country and place of the invention
Pros - easy to verify, recognizes both inventor's birth country and place of the invention
Con - violates "only widely accepted and correct labels" rule
D. List neither inventor's birth country nor place of the invention (i.e. scrap the "Country Invention" category)
Pro - easy to administer!
Con - could be perceived as a slight to both the inventor's birth country and countries' place of the invention
E. List inventor's birth country or place of the invention based on generally accepted facts
Pro - complies with using "only widely accepted and correct labels"
Con - not always easy to verify, generates controversy (like the catalyst for this discussion!)
F. Replace "Country Invention" categories (such as French Invention) with categories such as "Invented By a Frenchman", "Invented in France" and "Invented by a French company" ("replacing inventions by country" with categories that aren't open to interpretation or debate. Whatever they may be)
Pros - more accurate, easy to verify
Cons - ??
G. Same as Option F except add additional categories like "Invented by a member of a religious faith" or "Invented by a particular gender"
Pros - more accurate, easy to verify
Cons - ??

I think Option E is more in line with Wikipedia's practices; however, Option C may be more practical due, in part, to the nationalistic (no slight intended) views of some contributors. Sandcherry (talk) 19:29, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

This is too simplistic. There's a world of difference between someone inventing something whist on vacation , inventing something whist still being an American but working abroad on his project (having easier access to the materials his invention is made of for example) , Then still being an American but having moved to Mexico on a open ended basis . And lastly having taken the nationality of the country he moved to. Taking belgium as an example , it's hard to take a 2 hour drive and not end up in another country. If you stand in the middle you can see about 5 countries around you on a clear day. This is also too big to be a matter for a few people to decide upon. Are you going to take it upon yourself to start chopping up other people's work ? I would say , start by examining the multi country cases case by case in _depth_ , then list them specifically , invention per invention , then adding potential issues. Also there are a whole lot more aspects to it than birthplace and place of invention. Just to add one , there's the aspect of what counts as the invention .. Edison made the modern long lasting lightbulb , but it was based on Joseph Swan's work. Wikipedia gave that one a nice curve ball . Vice versa there's Edward De Smedt who made what is today's asphalt , but the only invention mentioned is tar-macadam (as Scottish) . Which counts , the final usable version ? the first prototype ? the guy that turns in the patent ? The person that gets the most praise ? The guy that's the biggest self important windbag ? There are good examples for all of these. There are more aspects than these. (talk) 19:59, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Something that has the least room for personal interpretation would be the best solution IMO. "Category:Invented By a Frenchman" Where the line should be drawn at the actual nationality someone has at the time he invents the thing. "Category:Invented In Hungary" and _only_ for inventions by undetermined people "Category:Invented By an Australian company" . The whole question about , "how relevant is this information really" still remains. From what I gather , the Belgian category was empty 2 weeks ago , and this whole discussion started from the fast some Belgian guy found it looked embarrassing his country didn't have anything listed. Having a team of people from multiple countries would just add multiple entries for the first category. It being something they had to drag around to develop , multiples of the second , and if research departments of certain companies who don't wish to disclose the people who did it work together , multiples of the third. All this to say , IF , and this is a big IF ... Something which involves work is to be done , redesigning the inventions category , it has to be done right this time. (talk) 20:09, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting a variant of Option F. It has its pros and cons like the other options. Sandcherry (talk) 20:46, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry but no , you unilaterally stamp "confusing" on F . which what I've written inherently isn't. I am proposing that whatever gets decided it leaves no room for misunderstanding or interpretation else how it is now shouldn't be changed. Sorry to point it out sir but your pros and cons are biased , and as I said your points are limited mostly to only aspects of origin and location. What I proposed is as well so it would need working on. See my "initial vs final version which gets the credit" example. (talk) 11:16, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I replaced Option F with your proposal (as I understand it), added the pros, and leave it to you to add unbiased cons.Sandcherry (talk) 04:00, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

If reliable sources in the history of science, engineering, technology etc. do not mention the nationality of an inventor, then why are we associating nationality with an invention—this reeks of OR. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:06, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I personally agree the whole "American Invention" etc etc concept stinks of high heaven , nevertheless it _IS_ there. Ideally it should just be scrapped like so much hot air. Keeping it as it is now , precedents and rules of conduct need to be extrapolated from what is there atm . As a third option I see changing the way this whole fiasco is to be done , replacing it by something 100% verifiable using more categories that are less prone to interpretation. To me these 3 are the only options we have and this is the order of what I personally would prefer as well.. 1) Scrap the whole thing , 2) Extrapolate rules from how it is now , 3) Redo the way it is done in a way that leaves out interpretation. It being there I can understand people wanting to add entries for their country .. But ultimately , as it is now , the amount of actual information it adds to wikipedia is very small. If there is to be a petition / rally , etc to get this whole "pissing contest" removed I'm in (talk) 07:12, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Allowing only personal relations between invention/inventor would be another sane option . The actual relevant information would still be present and just as easy to find. I don't see how a whole geographical area can feel entitled when it comes to the work of an individual . The concept is laughable at best. Allowing a person to be linked to a specific invention or discovery on his page in a specific verifiable way with as much detailed data as possible, then mentioning - if needed - that person again on the invention's page again with as much detailed information as possible . Avoiding anything that stimulates regionalistic chauvinism. Phoenixxl (talk) 07:55, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I think we are overlooking a significant opportunity here . The possibility of adding Black inventions , White inventions , Jewish inventions , Muslim inventions and Christian inventions to the mix. Being a Jew myself I know I appreciate the fact I'm Jewish more than the country I happen to be living in. If I ever invent something I'd like it to reflect that. (talk) 09:57, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. And then there are the dexterous versus sinister inventions. Really, there's no limit but the paucity of our imagination to the opportunity open to us to ascribe bogus attributes to inventions. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:50, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

How about a preliminary indication of support for a specific option and the supporting rational? I will start:

Option D - inventions are by an inventor or a group of inventors, not a country; simple to administer Sandcherry (talk) 00:03, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Countries don't invent anything. Scrap the whole concept. Relevant information is still available. IE on the Edison page we can see which nationality he was . that should be more than enough.

Countries don't invent things --> SCRAP THE CATEGORY (talk) 16:19, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Option D - removing of all such categories - seems to be the most reasonable. Categories are for "binary" things only - it must be very easy, almost trivial, to tell if any article should go to any given category. If it isn't - or if we would need some sort of qualification - the category should be removed and we should probably use a list (in a table form, with a note column) instead. It's a simple application of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view: we do not write anything that is debatable, but try to find some (almost) universally approved "proxy" instead. And the problems with "invented by nationality" categories are even more numerous than for other "invented by" categories: not only it is hard to tell what counts as an invention (for example, does Windows 7 count?), who counts as an inventor of something (is Radio an Italian invention or a Russian invention? Can such a question be answered without taking sides on the question "Who is a real inventor of radio?"), but it is also hard to tell what counts as a country and which country should be used. The disadvantage given - "could be perceived as a slight to both the inventor's birth country and countries' place of the invention" seems to be a little questionable. It would seem to be perceived to be "a slight" when some countries or inventions end up treated unequally - and that is going to be the case with any other option. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:13, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Option D - but with the added caution that whoever does the actual editing makes sure no information gets lost. IE: If the only link to where an invention comes from is the category that gets scrapped , at least a mention of the people - as complete as possible , especially for inventions that were made independently in multiple places- who were involved should be mentioned. Failing that , option F which means making new categories which aren't open to interpretation or debate and replacing "invention by country" by those.Phoenixxl (talk) 02:51, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Since Option D is the unanimous choice, I propose the inventor's nationality and/or location of the invention be included (as appropriate) in the body of the article. This should address Phoenixxl's concerns. The invention's country of origin category can then be safely removed as in Bakelite. Sandcherry (talk) 04:01, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Now for the rest of wikipedia ... (talk) 10:22, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
One small step for a Leo Baekeland and Bakelite, one giant leap for Wikipedia. Or not... Sandcherry (talk)

Viewing article quality from a category page

From time to time, it would be convenient for me to be able to browse a category and see which articles in it are of reasonably good quality, perhaps by using icons like Monobook-bullet-ga.png and Monobook-bullet-star.png in the category listing. Does anyone else think this would be interesting? Can it be done through a user preference or would it require a mediawiki developer? Kilopi (talk) 00:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

It will require a gadget. Ruslik_Zero 18:48, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
We have nearly four million articles. Of those, about 20,000 are GA or FA, representing 0.5%. That means out of a category page with 200 articles, on average only one will have a GA or FA rating. Is that what you're looking to see? Regards, RJH (talk) 22:45, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The metadata script at User:Pyrospirit/metadata used to cover this - see User:Pyrospirit/metadata/assesslinks.js- and it was surprisingly helpful for skimming categories. However, it no longer works - the main script (and associated gadget), colouring article titles, is fine, but the assess-links script hasn't been working for a couple of years. That said, this means it should be solvable - it's been done before, and there's no reason it can't be done again if you can find a js coder! Andrew Gray (talk) 15:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Andrew, that's pretty close to what I'm looking for ... or rather it would be if the assesslinks script worked. I'll look at it more closely later. Kilopi (talk) 21:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
From vague memory, it stopped working sometime in late 2010/early 2011. This may be an effect of the MediaWiki 1.17 rollout in February 2011, but I didn't note it well enough at the time to be sure! If you do manage to resurrect it, I'd love to hear about it. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
If made to work, it would presumably be helpful to find some way of representing other assessment data (stub, start-class, etc). Rd232 talk 01:54, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Pyrospirit's script handled all classes - the trick seems to be to do it with colouring rather than icons, though it's a bit less accessible. There's been a few similar scripts in the past to highlight links specifically to stubs or redirects. Andrew Gray (talk) 10:07, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

I made a script request here. Voxii (talk) 00:27, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

RfC for CVU and committed Vandal Fighters

Dedicated vandal fighters and members of the Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit are encouraged to participate in this RfC on whether a bot should notify users on elevated vandalism.—cyberpower ChatOnline 22:18, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Moderators (redux)

Coming out of Jc37's proposal for a Moderator user group, which attracted a lot of support, I'm making a proposal along the same lines in an attempt to see if agreement can be reached. (Alternatively, my development of the proposal may be so bad that it satisfies no-one.)

In essence, the proposal this time is to create a Moderator user group that are coequals to Administrators but with a sub-set of tools focused on content-development (as opposed to user/site management). The idea, like Jc37's proposal, is to create a user group that (while objectively the same as admins) may be subjectively more inviting for some users to join than the current Administrator user group for one reason or another. Thus, the number of trusted users with access to core administrator tool for tasks like XfD, editing protected templates, etc. may be increased (which is a good thing).

The proposal is to trial the user group for 12 months on the basis of 'what harm can it do' while we test the hypothesis.

The proposal is here: User:Rannpháirtí anaithnid/Moderators. --RA (talk) 23:30, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Where's the RfC to invite commenting?—cyberpower ChatOnline 23:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I think it's still a work in progress, and they're inviting comment first. - jc37 23:57, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Please comment on the associated talk page to save space here. --RA (talk) 00:13, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I finished reading it and I'm opposed to it. The requirements to obtain this right is way too high. It makes this right extremely redundant. Why go through the RfA process, face the same level of scrutiny as an admin candidate to obtain a right that allows you to only do 20% of what the admin right does? If there was an RfM process that had less strict criteria for evaluation, I would support this proposal.—cyberpower ChatOnline 00:45, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
That's the same reason I opposed Jc37's proposal. And I stick with it. How I've tried to answer it is by leaving the option open: a Moderator could become a Administrator at any time simply by asking a Bureaucrat to change their user group. Consequently, a Moderator would not only "obtain a right that allows you to only do 20% of what the admin", they would also obtain the right activate the other 80% at any time of their choosing.
I know that's objectively meaningless, and it doesn't do anything to "fix" RfA, but I do find Jc37's argument compelling when he says that some editors may find the "Moderator" role more inviting that "Administrator". I too have heard some exceptional editors saying they just wouldn't draw the (post RfA) hassle of adminship on themselves, don't want access to the user/site management tools, etc.. Yet often the same editors actually rely on admins to complete day-to-day tasks (like deleting files, or editing protected templates) on their behalf! It's a waste!
So the difference is merely one of preference and choice. You get the same stuff (or at least an option on the same stuff) but you can go about your daily business without having to bear the title "Administrator" or have access to a lot of tools you don't want. How many people that title or those tools put off, I don't know, but I think it's worth testing the hypothesis for a year since it can't do any great harm. If it drew in just 1 in 10 more then it would be a 10% rise in folk with admin tools. --RA (talk) 01:01, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
As of this time stamp, there are non-insignificant substantive differences between this and my previous proposal.
(noting that I supported the 1 year trial period as well).
So as it currently stands, I would actually be forced to oppose this. - jc37 01:10, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I propose we have an RfM process. It is less strict than an RfA and if they pass, they become a moderator. If they wish to become an administrator, they will have to go through an RfA process. If they are an administrator who wish, for whatever reason, to become a moderator, they ask a bureaucrat to move them to that group.—cyberpower ChatOnline 02:20, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Based on statements from the Wikimedia Foundation, such a package could not include the ability to delete and undelete pages. (I realize that you're aware of this; I'm mentioning it for others' benefit.) —David Levy 04:10, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
As I noted in the previous discussion, I don't object to the technical creation of such a package. But given the interchangeability with adminship, I would support a proposal along these lines only if no distinction were drawn at RfA. (I realize that this proposal calls for the same criteria to be used. I mean that candidates shouldn't even be asked to specify whether they intend to accept the full set of admin tools or the abbreviated set contained in the proposed package; they should simply indicate their preferences upon their requests' success). —David Levy 04:10, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree too. I've changed the wording so that it explicitly says, "Requests to join the Moderators user group would be through a standard RfA,..." However, I don't see a practical way to make it entirely "blind". In a practical sense, you couldn't stop people from asking an applicant if they will opt to become an Admin or a Mod? It's a fair question too as it would give an understanding of the person's motivation and the areas they intended to work in.
I'm thoroughly open to suggestions for how to make it "blind", though. Any suggestions/ideas? --RA (talk) 08:35, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
No, I agree. Candidates are routinely asked about the tasks on which they intend to focus, so there's no reason to prevent it (or practical means of accomplishing such a thing).
As I should have been clearer in stating, I only mean that we shouldn't divide RfA into separate sections or formally label the requests differently (given the fact that a successful candidate could choose to switch from one designation to the other). —David Levy 13:44, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reasons I've opposed every proposal and RfC to unbundle the tools: it does not address the reason why we have a dearth of candidates for RfA, and additionally that the WMF have insisted that the accord of any of the admin tools should be made through a similar process as for RfA. This would simply duplicate the number of venues for the very problems that have reduced RfA to its current state. Furthermore, the very use of the word moderator would lure less mature editors into the belief that Wikipedia is some sort of run-of-the-mill web forum or SN site. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:42, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

my villege information is not available in, so i am providing my villege information,please update it

Climate: Aleeti Ramaiah Pally has a hot summers from late February to early June, the monsoon season from late June to early October and a pleasant winter from late October to early February. In the evenings and mornings the climate is generally cooler because heavy forest nearby this village. Aleeti Ramaiah Pally is almost 100 km for away from warangal (District headquarters) and 220 km away from Hyderabad. Income Source: Aleeti Ramaiah Pally’s economy is predominantly agricultural. This is a rice-growing region and most farmers grow rice for both subsistence and the commerce. Cotton and Mirchi(Chilly) has also been a major cash crop since the early 1990s; however the cotton sector has been troubled in recent years. In addition to this,one of stream/rivulet is called Chali vagu very attractive place nearby Aleeti Ramaiah Pally villege and major water resource for all the crops. Culture Telugu is the language spoken by the majority in Aleeti Ramaiah Pally. Both traditional attire like Saree and Dhoti and modern dress styles are worn. Festivals Major Hindu festivals such as Bathukamma festival, Dassera, Deepavali, Sankranti are celebrated here. Bathukamma festival is very famous here and celebrated by the women worshipping the goddess for nine days with various flowers. In addition, other villege mogullapelli hosts the Sammakka-Saralamma Jatara or congregation. Every two years (bi-annually), approximately 2 Lacks people converge for over three days around the small village of Mulkala pelli and its adjacent stream/rivulet, ChaliVagu, 5 km from Aleeti Ramaiah Pally village. This fair is said to be the largest repeating aggregation of tribal communities in the whole world and commemorates the valiant fight put up by a mother-daughter combination (Samakka and Sarakka) with the reigning Kakatiya king over an unjust law. Bonalu and Bathukamma festivals, symbolic of the Telangana region are also celebrated here (Bathukamma is celebrated particularly by women) with gusto. Tourist places Pochamm Temple in Aleeti Ramaiah pally, this temple has almost 100 years history, great ness of this temple is every 5 yrs all the people in the villege celebrate “pochamma panduga” in the same day. Lord Hanuman temple in Aleeti Ramaiah pally,most of the people wear “Lord hanuman mala” in early March. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vijender60 (talkcontribs) 21:04, 7 July 2012

Did you know you can start an article on your village by yourself, using the article wizard? Go ahead, be bold, and start editing! David1217 What I've done 20:11, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
To get you started, I have created an article on Aleeti Ramaiah Pally for you. Welcome to Wikipedia — and good luck in your contributions! --RA (talk) 22:56, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I'll keep an eye on it; I somehow suspect I'll end up indefinitely semiprotecting it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:16, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
On a similar note: not to offend southern Asian editors (we have some great ones) but many people from the Indian subcontinent seem to practice their (poor) English on Wikipedia. What do they write about? Their communities. So we end up with a ton of extremely poorly written articles on southern Asian communities. I haven't seen this with other parts of the world, for some reason. David1217 What I've done 02:24, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Hence my earlier comment. For further reading on this problem, see WP:IEP; I suppose it's slightly better for it to be here, where we can generally clean up their copyvios as opposed to the south Asian language wikis which don't do anything about it, but it's a real pain. And when they're not copyvios, they're incoherent; see the history of Malhoo for a demonstrative example. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:32, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Yep. I try to clean up the grammar and spelling of the articles, but I don't even touch verifiability problems. I'm tempted to just ignore southern Asian articles altogether. David1217 What I've done 02:38, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Most editors say something to that effect, and the percentage goes up among admins. I'm one who runs head-on into a lot of it, and experience has taught me that it requires a very strange sense of humor. I personally find much of it very amusing, but I know most people get annoyed with it (and I don't begrudge anyone that), so those of us willing to do it often feel swamped. Help is always eagerly accepted, but where isn't it on Wikipedia? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:46, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I tend not to worry overmuch about citations in such articles but I do like to see a couple even if they don't cover all the facts, so I would encourage Vijender60 to try and find some books or reasonably authoritative looking pages on the web with more than just a couple of sentences about the place before doing too much writing. ps. if you can get one good photo of something associated with the place that is good too. Dmcq (talk) 11:54, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Primary Section for Children

I believe Wikipedia is a monolithic encyclopedia. I believe it would be very useful to have a separate section for primary children (Grades 1 to say 5) with articles that interest them in simple prose. I could let my 6 year old child to play in such a sandbox with peace of mind. Currently I feel Wikipedia is not usable for my 6 year old. Santonathan (talk) 14:48, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Might I suggest Simple English Wikipedia? (It is very unlikely that will ever split or section off material based on reading comprehension range, hence while SEW was made...) --MASEM (t) 14:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not usable for my 6 year old -- nor is it supposed to be. It's a comprehensive encyclopedia. At minimum, that means high school level. To use the old standby, I doubt Britannica is useable for your 6 year old either. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:13, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
My immediate reaction was similar to the two above, which you're going to find is commonplace when any new and different suggestion is made. But upon further reflection, it's actually not a bad idea -- a Wikipedia children's edition. It would certainly make parental filtering easier: simply block Wikipedia but allow the children's area. It could be as simple as mirroring selected articles from the Simple English project into a new subdomain. Equazcion (talk) 17:46, 7 Jul 2012 (UTC)
See also strategy:Proposal:Wikipedia exclusively for Kids, strategy:Proposal:Proposal:Wiki for kids, meta:Wikikids and meta:Wikijunior. Helder 14:51, 8 July 2012 (UTC) Nanonic (talk) 17:22, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

I had the following additional comment. Book (encyclopedia/dictionary/thesaurus) titles are available in the market. e.g. of such titles are Books published by Priddy Books, US(?), The Children's Picture Encyclopedia published by Parragon, UK. I'm not endorsing any of these books but my dream/proposal is for wikipedia to start an endeavour to manufacture the mother of such mentioned titles for small children. Santonathan (talk) 03:41, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Split log entries' "action" and "target" to reduce the amount of info that has to be RevDeled

There is currently something of a problem when RevDeling e.g. block logs pertaining to offensive usernames where, if you do so, you necessarily also have to redact the terms of the block ("Delete action and target" is the option you are given at Special:RevisionDelete), when this latter information does not actually have to be hidden from the public. For example, block log entries currently typically look like this:

... where the double vertical lines (‖) are not actually present in log entries themselves, but here signify the break between the "editor's username/IP", "action and target", and "edit summary" fields, as listed at Special:RevisionDelete.

Now, if Example (talk | contribs) is actually an offensive username that you wish to redact, at present your only option is to select the "action and target" field, as I have indicated above, leaving the log entry looking like this to non-Admins:

However, in the interests of leaving as much information publically visible as possible, I think it would be better to be able to tick "action" and "target" separately, leaving partially redacted logs looking like this:

  • 17:47, 8 July 2012 (UTC) It Is Me Here (talk | contribs) ‖ blocked ‖ (log action removed) ‖ (account creation blocked) with an expiry time of indefinite ‖ ({{UsernameHardBlocked}})

... where the second and fourth sections of the above mock-up would both, in fact, be part of the "action" field.

It Is Me Here t / c 17:47, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

The "action and target" that is being hidden is one message, blocklogentry (or unblocklogentry, or reblock-logentry, or protectedarticle, or rightslogentry, or uploadedimage, etc). In order to hide the individual pieces, Special:Revisiondelete would have to be able to sensibly present the ability to hide the individual parameters to the log entry. Anomie 18:57, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

travel guide

A proposal for a Wikimedia Foundation-run, wiki-based travel guide is currently discussed in an RfC, started by admins from the WikiTravel and WikiVoyage projects. Please comment there. – SJ + 20:03, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Per page IP-rangeblocking

Per recent discussion at WT:MILHIST, there seems to be a need to block certain IP ranges from editing certain articles. This would allow editing to other articles from those IP ranges, but not the select articles so marked.

This would be a finer degree of IP rangeblocking than the global edit block of current IP rangeblocking. Since certain IP ranges are associated with insertion of hoax-ey material on certain articles, but other users from those same ranges perform good edits on other articles, it would be better to restrict access to certain articles from certain IP addresses, instead of all articles from those IP addresses.

In effect, every page would receive a deny list, with IP ranges that get added and removed from it. The software would check if a deny list page exists for the page where an edit is being requested. It would then check if the IP address of the person requesting edit access is in one of the listed ranges, and if so, would deny edit access. (This is a conceptual model, how it gets implemented may be very different)

-- (talk) 06:30, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

This is already possible with the WP:Edit filter, although I understand it's relatively costly in terms of server resources, so it's only used in rather severe circumstances. Fut.Perf. 06:41, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
I would strongly support's proposal, and I suspect other Milhist editors would do so too. We are discovering significant amounts of hoaxes and imaginary data in a current clear-out of lesser watched countries' militaries. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:17, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I would support this, but I don't know if developers want to do it. An edit filter implementation would not be very practical.--Jasper Deng (talk) 02:59, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I suspect an per-page IP range could potentially be useful for anti-vandalism bots, perhaps by applying a lower sensitivity filter criteria. (I.e. there'd be less concern about false positives.) Regards, RJH (talk) 20:29, 9 July 2012 (UTC)


how about an e-reader specifically for wikipedia w 3g capability. something like the kindle keyboard 3g but with a hobbled browser. so anywhere you can look up wikipedia wikitionary and wikitexts. mebbe a cut paste and email to record findings with. 70 bones w/free 3g? mebbe even contracted through amazon? your goal? to make ten bucks per reader to keep wikipedia free. amazon would probably be sympathetic financially as they have search wikipedia on their kindles. (talk) 11:22, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

"ten bucks per reader to keep wikipedia free [sic]" doesn't make much sense to me. Στc. 03:36, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

A daily article for improvement

I am proposing that a project be created to focus on improving one specific article each day. The articles could be chosen through a nomination process, with only stubs and articles with clean-up notices being eligible. The daily article could be mentioned in prominent places, perhaps even including the main page. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 17:19, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Sure, theoretically they can improve any article they wish to improve. However, having a specific project (and not necessarily a WikiProject either) that promotes specific articles in need of work will help draw attention to these articles and hopefully improve them. It's true that the articles can be improved at any time, but if an article has been a stub for a couple years, I doubt that it is likely someone will jump in and start working on it. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 19:48, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I think the point is to have several people work on the same article (that is probably more fun that just working alone all the time). —Kusma (t·c) 19:53, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, exactly. I don't know if a WikiProject is really the right format for this or not. After all, I believe the Motto of the Day is not a WikiProject. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 19:57, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
If this is to promote collaboration to achieve some specific goal (like say bring article XY to GA status, de-orphan article XY, copy-edit article XY, general-cleanup article XY etc), then I am all for it. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:00, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is basically the idea. I'm trying to determine how much support there is for this idea. Is there a better way to find out? AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:03, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I guess you should first have a look at Wikipedia:Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive and Wikipedia:Collaboration of the week - two similar projects that do not seem to be very active... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:06, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I like the idea. But perhaps you should have started this at WP:Village pump (idea lab) first? I personally would like to see the details of this proposal worked out before voting "Support". Please note that this is not meant to discourage the original proposer. I am willing to help develop this idea, just think that it should be at VPI at this stage instead of here. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:11, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
But since we are here already, I think we can also work out the details here via sub-threads (eg level 3 heading). No need to start discussion in two places. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:14, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Ok. Shall I do that now, finishing out the proposal before asking for support? AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:20, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Even without the details the idea behind of such a process appeals to me. The way I think you should approach this is looking at the past similar collaborations processes and try to break down what they did (that we know failed) so you don't tread the same ground. Probably most important is the wheres and hows of the way they were advertized because that has to be a key part of why they were not successful.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 20:30, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. I have posted the details below and would appreciate input on good places to advertise. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:35, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── One suggestion is that the "politics" of the project should not begin to interfere with the main purpose, which is improving articles. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:48, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

While I don't want to sound like a Debbie Downer, difficulties in preventing the "politics" of the project from interfering with the improvement process is basically what brought down WP:COTW. Basic human nature is such that it is much easier finding people desiring to nominate articles to be improved than it is to find and keep people willing and able to track down sources and perform the work needed to actually produce improved articles. As a result, improvement projects have historically suffered from "too many chiefs and not enough Indians". This in turn promotes burn out among the core group performing the bulk of the work as the articles they wish to see improved are out voted during the selection process by others who claim they will help work on the articles they supported but who can never seem to be around when time to do the work arrives. I wish you luck if you are still interested in building a new improvement project and will be interested in seeing if you can find a solution to the problem that has brought down previous improvement projects. --Allen3 talk 22:53, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
You make a good point. However, I think it is worth another try. Hopefully, some people will have learned from the first time. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 23:01, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Daily is too fast, especially in the early days. You'd need a huge posse of editors to make radical improvements to an article every day, and people wouldn't have the time to retrieve library books and read them for that day's article. Also editors who only edit for a couple of hours a week might feel excluded. I'd suggest relaunching Wikipedia:Collaboration of the week and consider a more frequent cycle when you are getting to GA standard in the first half of the week (you could even launch it as collaboration of the month and compress the cycle as and when you get to FA standard earlier). As for the problems of people picking topics without doing the work, why not give the honour of picking the next article to whoever added the most referenced content to the last topic. ϢereSpielChequers 13:42, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Allen3, you bring up someting that rings very true - especially (I've noticed) in AFD discussions. Almost everyone is totally cool with bringing in their 2 cents on an article, but hardly anyone is actually willing to go out, collect the sources and actually edit the article to make it better. Many say that it is not their duty... that those who "work" at afd's only purpose is to vote on articles. I beg to differ. AFD's dicsussionning should only be "that other thing" that is done in the meantime while we help improve an article. Well anyways, the point I'm making is that this slacktivist attitude is absolutely everywhere, and it is a massive shame, and we should really try to overcome it in all areas of Wikipedia, including this awesome one that you're proposing here :D--Coin945 (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
AFD is a special case, I wouldn't necessarily extrapolate from it. AFD has long had a problem with people who judge topics on the current state of the article rather than the notability of the topic and think they can nominate articles for deletion on an improve it or it dies basis. Of course nobody minds when articles are nominated that fail the GNG or that need specialist paywalled sources to rescue them. But it is timewasting when people nominate articles and start AFD discussions in the expectation that someone else will google them and add some sources. Hence I suspect some editors there concentrate on pointing nominators to WP:NOTCLEANUP as improving easily sourced articles at AFD risks encouraging people to treat AFD as cleanup. ϢereSpielChequers 20:43, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Details of proposal

The project would be maintained by a group of members who would nominate articles and review the nominations. After an article was successfully nominated, it would be placed on a schedule and given a particular day during which to be improved. Ideally, the article of the day would be given mention in prominent places. I am interested to hear suggestions on what pages would be good choices. Of course, on a particular article's day for improvement, a notice should be left on the talk pages of related WikiProjects. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:35, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Here are some of my own ideas for advertising: 1) As I believe a prior similar project at least tried to do, a watchlist notice is a good idea. 2) Finding a place on the main page and perhaps on the Wikipedia sidebar to link to the project would be very effective. 3) As I mentioned already, placing notices on related WikiProject talk pages. This could help recruit new members. 4) Invite users who seem to be very experienced in improving articles. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:43, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Thanks, AS, for this description, much appreciated :). I have two ideas for places to mention those articles, which I describe below.
  • Comment I think it's a bad idea to have any human decide on the articles. I think it would be better if a bot randomly generated 10 articles based on 1) age-since-last-edit 2) lack of sources, and 3) number of page hits. I think it would be great if you could somehow use this project to attack problems like Insurance and other high traffic core articles, not the AFD queue. Ideally, the improvers should be able to jump in and jump out without any complicated procedures, and improvements should be easy to add, without needing to learn Wiki syntax. Similarly, anyone can do the organization stuff (purge the queue, run the bot), all the way up to the start moment, etc. That way there can be no politicking beforehand. Jane (talk) 18:07, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Implementation proposal

We could create a new section at the Main page, something like Today's article for improvement and perhaps also a separate page that could contain the article for that day and discussion for that nomination. For example something like

Todays article for improvement is Article name
Comments by nominator: I think this article needs blablabla
-- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:53, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
That sounds good. However, there will need to a project page, something like Wikipedia:Today's Article for Improvement. Should that be started now, or are there reasons to wait? AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 20:58, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I Support creating such a page. I just think we need to establish consensus before we implement anything like that and work out the details. So perhaps we should see what other people have to say. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:14, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay. I will set up a place for discussion, then. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 21:19, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Do you think I should move the discussion from above to the section below? AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 21:20, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Pending the details I would support such a thing being on the main page. However, changes to the main page are notoriously difficult. I think maybe after some of the details are worked out, a discussion should take place at Talk:Main Page and be advertized through {{Cent}} and maybe through a site notice, focused just on the logistics of, and to gain consensus on, a main page appearance. Meanwhile, I've been trying to figure out why all the past "collaboration of the X" have failed. Most were Wikiprojects, not sitewide, but there was Wikipedia:Collaboration of the week and collaboration of the month which now redirects to Wikipedia:Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive, also dead. I haven't found much on why they died but I think they were a side result of the death of Esperanza. I'm wondering if there's some way to get around the tons of edit conflicts that we can expect when we do one of these but I can't think of anything other than to make the time period longer, maybe 72 hours. Also, I really think we should have a rule that only edits with reliable sources included for new information additions are allowed and that we need a good template for an edit notice describing such rules and other instructions to be added to the article that is being improved (and G6'ed afterwards). Last, as much as I dislike the overuse (in my opinion) of wikilove, watering down accomplishments, we might get a good response out of some type of incentivizing reward system for really good edits associated with this.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:27, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Good points. If this project is (as I hope) started up, I will appreciate any help I can get in creating policy and filling in the details. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 23:36, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I've started a process page at Wikipedia:Today's article for improvement (as opposed to the title case name higher on this page, per our standard naming conventions). I placed an opening paragraph there but as you can see this is the barest start of a start. Edit as you see fit.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:43, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. This is just the first step, but it's a big one. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 00:54, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
At Wikipedia:Today's article for improvement/main page placement I've mocked up a main page for this project to play with how the section would appear, and have taken a stab at adding a section for this in a prominent form right next to "Welcome to Wikipedia". Please take a look. I would need help from people better at the coding for the spacing. I also have an idea for a less prominent main page appearance, but it's good to have something concrete to start with rather than discussing vapor.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:56, 12 July 2012 (UTC)


  • The main page is for showing off some of our better work, it isn't appropriate for a needs improvement section any more than it is for an uncategorised or orphan article of the day. That said, if this gets off the ground it might be an idea to broaden the DYK section from "new, or five times expanded" to "new, or the referenced prose is five times expanded". However if you get this off the ground I would have hoped that the existing FA process would be the best way to get such articles on the main page. ϢereSpielChequers 13:30, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Why not? Why "isn't [it] appropriate for a needs improvement section [or] an uncategorised or orphan article of the day [section]" on the main page?. Why can't the main page have sections on the "articles of the week" to be improved/copyedited/created etc.?? Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia.. not the "perfect" or "complete" one. Our main page should encourage people to get to work, not to show off our best work. Wikipedia isn't for reading. It's for creating. We can't help it if people reading our unfinished project is a sideffect of our work. I say this proposal and others like it (for example my "100 articles of the week" proposal) are great ideas, and we should def have sections on our main page dedicated to it, just like in all our Wikiproject "to do" templates - listing a few of each to get us started. Even if i decide one day to create a few article, most of the time is spent scouting out articles that i might be interested through the numerous lists upon lists of redlinks in various wikiprojects. Having a concrete path narrows my focus, and lets me know exactly what i need to do to get the job done - the overwhelming choice that reveals how much work is left to be done is eliminated. Stuff like this is good. And useful. And I fully support it.--Coin945 (talk) 14:34, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Well that would be a very different sort of main page. Maybe it would work and maybe we could recruit a bunch of main page readers that way to improve articles. But space on the main page is limited and precious, so if you want to do this you will get arguments from those content creators whose work is currently displayed there. Also I'd suggest looking at the edit history of some FAs on the day they are on the mainpage. FAs certainly do get a lot of extra edits on the day they are on the main page, but the usual quality is not promising. My suggestion would be that you relaunch the collaboration of the week and then try and publicise it through the usual ways of contacting editors such as a signpost article. Another thing to remember is that we already have various schemes for collaborative improvement but with a particular focus. For example Wikipedia:Database reports/Living people on EN wiki who are dead on other wikis which over the last couple of years has resulted in improvements, albeit usually fairly minor improvements, to thousands of articles. ϢereSpielChequers 20:21, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I have just come off the WP:Teylers writing challenge,and it was fun, but difficult to keep track of. For soemthing like what you propose to be a success, I think it needs to be totally transparent and a game element is necessary; for example, give a link on the Main page to the "current improvement sprint", and give participants 72 hours to improve articles on that page (let's say that page has 10 articles from various core categories), and then at the end of the 72 hours the article nominators will need to assess. The "most improved" is the one with the highest assessment, and those contributors 'win' the sprint. The benefit is 1) short term sprints work best for new users, because they can oversee the whole process and 2) less edit conflicts because spread over more articles. To entice users to enter the sprint, a dashboard needs to be implemented, so everyone can see 1) the current assessment, the number of bytes, the number of unique sources used, the number of articles linking back to the article, and so forth. I think you first need to build it and test it out with about a 100 veteran users first (maybe a week long sprint announced on Signpost?). My 2c, Jane (talk) 16:18, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
        • No it wouldn't be a "different sort of main page". Most of the main page is dedicated to featured content already written and that will not change. We're not going to have a large blocked off square section for this (obviously) like we do for the FA, featured picture, etc. – it would be a link in some form, with some accompanying text. Indeed, text on the main page is limited and precious, but we are the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit" but have very little on the main page that describes or invites people to join and do that editing and I think this, a concrete and discrete "you can help here" process, is a good doorway for that to be included. As noted above, I've mocked up a place to play with how this might appear at Wikipedia:Today's article for improvement/main page placement.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:09, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Credo Reference Survey (your opinion requested)

Sorry if this isn't exactly a proposal. It should benefit the community, so kindly afford me a little leeway.

Credo Reference, who generously donated 400 free Credo 250 research accounts to Wikipedia editors over the past two years, has offered to expand the program to include 100 additional reference resources. Credo wants Wikipedia editors to select which resources they want most. So, we put together a quick survey to do that:

At this time only the initial 400 editors have accounts, but even if you do not have an account, you still might want to weigh in on which resources would be most valuable for the community (for example, through WikiProject Resource Exchange). If you have any questions, you can leave me a note on my talk page or email me at Cheers! Ocaasi t | c 20:33, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Allow unregistered users to create pages in userspace

There is a clear consensus against this proposal. Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 06:38, 13 July 2012 (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.

Some unregistered users who are regular contributors have been known to have userpages and userspaces (such as myself). I probably won't be able to create an account anytime soon, and I find it inconvenient to create userspace pages in the talkspace and then have them moved to my userspace, forcing me to rely on autoconfirmed users who have lives. I think it would be great if there was a new permission called "createuser" that unregs had. (talk) 16:12, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Support I agree that there are regular contributors contributing under an IP rather than an account. We should make Wikipedia as positive an experience for them as we can. The only thing that needs to be addressed in my opinion might be the following: For users contributing from a dynamic IP, how they will be able to find their userpages and user sub-pages again, once their address changed, if they forgot under which IP they contributed before the change (the same might apply if an IP contributor changes location, ie. contributing from home, from school, from mobile device etc.). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 17:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • There's already an Articles for creation process to allow unregistered users to create article drafts. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 19:58, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Query I don't have any problem with this in theory, and Toshio is correct that we have a number of awesome and deeply experienced IP contributors (and a good number of excellent contributions from drive-by IPs as well. However, a question: I'm a little confused as to how creating an account should be anything but a trivial hurdle. Maybe it's been too long since I've done so, could someone lend me a cup of WP:CLUE on the subject? --j⚛e deckertalk 22:08, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    • For personal reasons, I can't create an account until I'm 18. (talk) 01:31, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • I must admit I'm curious as to what reasons would allow you to edit Wikipedia but not to create an account, but I don't expect an answer since it's probably too personal to discuss publicly. Anomie 02:33, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean? Why do you think you can't create an account until you are 18? Note that you do not have to give any personal information about yourself at all. You can create an account under a completely made up name so no connection to your real identity would be possible. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 11:55, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
The editor said "personal reasons", not technical reasons. It could be a disciplinary sanction agreed with parents or school, or a personal rule of the owner of a computer that he borrows… I'm only guessing. We do not need to know. – Fayenatic London 20:29, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, I didn't mean to press into someone's privacy, I just figured I was missing something obvious. Cheers, --j⚛e deckertalk 15:26, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - With all due respect to the maybe 10% of IP editors who are serious, as opposed to the probably 50% who are outright vandals or blatantly unhelpful content changers, we should be mandating registration, not making it easier for unregistered users to edit. Carrite (talk) 23:10, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Um... More than 75% of IPs are not vandals. (talk) 01:31, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Point understood: I'm an avid good faith contributor and have been involved since 2008, and even had an account before but do not use it since I am quite retired. If I wish to create an article, or if you wish to create an article, you may do so via Wikipedia's articles for creation process. After the Seigenthaler incident, unregistered users may not create articles or certain pages. (talk) 19:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC), last modified 19:33, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Carrite. The main reason IP page creation was discarded in the first place was because of ridiculous amounts of spam, libel, nonsense, and "jgkjgffjh" type pages. This is still a problem, of course, but would be infinitely worse with IP-created pages. Opening the floodgates would be an enormous step back and would arguably even be worse as material in user space would be harder to police than in mainspace. Besides, IP use of userspace is limited because IPs aren't always the same person. You wouldn't want someone else's racist vitriol or political rants in 'your' user space just because they're on the same ISP. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 02:04, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Only because someone editing without an account doesn't really have a userspace in which to create pages. Sure, there is a "userspace" for the IP address they are using, but the editor could be assigned a new IP (and the old IP reassigned to a different editor) at any time. Anomie 02:33, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per all the above. The proper solution for the inconvenience of IP editing is registration. If there is a good argument against this I should like to hear it. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:34, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
What is the benefit of forcing users to create an account in order to create user subpages? What harm would it cause if IP users were able to create subpages in that IPs userspace? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:39, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Here we go. First, a lot of IP editors are outright vandals. A lot make two or three edits and then nothing again. A lot make two or three edits and then their IP address changes. Most Internet Service Provides assign and retire IP addresses as needed and very few IP editors can count on having the same IP address every time you log in. It is more this technical issue than anything against IP editors. If more IP users had a consistent address, I would be all for it, but this is not the case. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 12:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Anomie, there is too much of a difficulty due to dynamic ip's. Ryan Vesey Review me! 20:44, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • On a related note, there's a technical problem with this: the rollout of IPv6 is happening. Your static IP address will, at some point, be changed from to one of the new ones, which means your user "name" will change. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:19, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose due to dynamic IPs and users requesting IP moves/redirects: The creation of IP-named subpages would generate a whole bureacracy, to resolve complex issues, for people confused by dynamic IPs changing when they logged out after several hours/days, and asking, "Where did my IP subpages go?" and requesting instant moves, or, "Could my major subpages all have multiple redirect titles from 500 range-related IP addresses?" all pointing to the same set of subpages, regardless of dynamic IPs, etc. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:53, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Few IP people actually want to do this, so they can ask someone else to do it. I could easily manage one a week if I was aked on my talk page. The criterion would be that the person was long term on that IP number. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:01, 6 July 2012 (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.

Pipe trick behaviour

If the pipe trick is used like this: [[epoch (astronomy)|]]s, it produces [[epoch (astronomy)|epoch]]s. I suggest that it produces [[epoch (astronomy)|epochs]] instead. I find this a bit easier to read. Iceblock (talk) 12:56, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Do you mean whenever it is followed by an 's' then a non-letter character? Regards, RJH (talk) 17:03, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
For me, [[epoch (astronomy)|]]s renders as [[epoch (astronomy)|]]s with the terminal s blended in the link. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:30, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I think the proposal is for [[A (B)|]]Z to be rendered as [[A (B)|AZ]] (parses as AZ) rather than [[A (B)|A]]Z (parses as AZ). It's not just easier to read but the link includes the extension. Jojalozzo 17:57, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I suggest making this proposal on Help Talk:pipe trick. Jojalozzo 18:08, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Log of sources of poor paid advocacy editing

That a log will be kept in WP space of serious administrative action taken against paid editors, noting (where demonstrable) the employer, contractor, advocacy body or any other such body associated with hiring the paid editor who performed poorly.

In relation to this AN/I thread of 8 July 2012 it was noted that systematic poor behaviour can on occasion be associated with paid editors originating from a common source. Wikipedia reacts poorly to collusion off site, and to off site collusion with the intention or actuality of damaging the encyclopaedic project. In the case of paid editors who behave poorly to the point of serious administrative action being taken against them, it would be useful to track if these paid editors come from a common source. It would be useful to log this activity to determine if community action may be required against specific sources of poorly behaving editors in the area of paid editing.

I commend this proposal to establish such a log to you, chiefly in terms of providing coherent information regarding administrative actions taken against poorly behaving paid editors, allowing the community to better and more coherently consider the problem of poorly behaving paid editors.

Support as proposer. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:15, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Support as it seems a quite reasonable way to reduce un-helpful paid editing. AutomaticStrikeout (talk) 17:08, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support As per Fifelfoo.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 20:21, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: if the purpose of this is to gather info about how and from where poor paid-editor editing happens, there ought to be a counterpart page to record how and from where good paid-editor editing happens, because that's also useful information for researching how and whether paid editing has value - though in either case, keeping it in WP space seems really weird to me. If, on the other hand, the purpose is to name-and-shame bad paid editors or their employers, or gather evidence favoring one side of the paid-editing divide...while I understand the impulse, that's not what we do here and it shouldn't be happening. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:19, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
    "serious administrative action" is the line for recording, so that's pretty much blocks and bans. As noted, the purpose is to identify off-site collusion. The purpose isn't related to whether paid editing has value (a job for the sociologists, or more particularly political economists), but to determine whether site "X" colludes to degrade the encyclopaedia. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:26, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Seems less than half baked, to me. First, do we do the imperative on wikipedia? Who exactly is being commanded to maintain such a list? What will you do with the information? How will you draw conclusions. Suppose you find a number of poor instances arising out of eLance ... you have a numerator. What exactly is your denominator? How do you know the ratio of good to bad articles from such a locus? And given the nature of eLance, what predictive quality would your stats yield? To what extent is the next eLance commission independent of the last? Does not the problem lie with the editor, and not the marketplace? By all means collect data, let us know if it yields meaningful results. Then we might be in a position to reconvene to discuss your suggestion. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:43, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
    Proposals ought to be put in the imperative, otherwise they're not actually a suggestion for action. Many editors believe that the problem specifically exists with the marketplace—but that is a side issue from the immediate point. We log some administrator actions, such as community sanction results, yet don't keep a log of praise for editors editing (for example) in Indian sub-group topics. Fifelfoo (talk) 23:02, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
That's a more than inadequate answer to my criticisms. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:05, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Fluffernutter's comment seems reasonable to me. What is our goal here? If our goal is to track the impact that certain communities have on WP, then we would need to be tracking good and bad edits from those sites. For example, there may be more crimes committed in Asia than in Australia, but that's because Asia is a lot bigger, and more of everything probably happens there. We won't have any meaningful stats unless we can examine the whole issue, and generate percentages, even if they are rough. Obviously, I have no objection to anyone keeping an off-site log of these events, but if we're going to make an "official" log, and extrapolate from that data, then we should be logging something which is actually meaningful to extrapolate from. If our goal isn't to track the impact that various communities have on our site, then please explain what it is.   — Jess· Δ 22:45, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
    Your contribution phrases this as if we weigh the contributions of a site against a feather. We don't: off-site collusion is a serious disruption of consensus. Off-site collusion which has the impact of degrading the quality of the encyclopaedia is a bad and harm regardless of "good works done." I'd suggest the EEML case at ARBCOM as an example—not all work done by EEML editors was negative, most EEML editors are now highly productive contributors to the very topic that was colluded upon. But the collusion itself was problematic due to its impact on consensus. And EEML editors did it from love of the encyclopaedia, not for external interests. Fifelfoo (talk) 23:02, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to have to second Tagishsimon's comment above. You don't appear to have understood the problem. Trying to draw any conclusions from the data you're proposing we collect would be inappropriate because we would only have one raw number, and no context for that number. It would be similar to realizing that more than a million crimes occur every day in the rest of the country, but only 1 crime a day occurs in your small town, and so deciding the rest of the country must be a million times more corrupt. In reality, one crime a day in a small town is probably quite a bit, and your town is probably more corrupt than the rest of the country. We'd never realize that without the proper data to put what we know in the proper context. You're (presumably) proposing we draw conclusions from insufficient data. That's a bad idea. You can log stats all you'd like, but you should log the right stats.   — Jess· Δ 17:00, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
And BTW, I haven't yet seen anyone suggest we're talking about off-site collusion. For elance, at least, we're talking about one editor, not any cooperative group.   — Jess· Δ 17:03, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Less than a half-baked proposal. Should Fifelfoo wish to compile this data, that's of course fine. But until he/she is able to articulate - in particular - the way in which denominators would be supplied to enable use to be made of numerator data, then the initiative it fatuous and likely to be misleading. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:40, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Tagishsimon, Fluffernutter, and Mann_jess. This is a noble concept laced with good intention, but we already have courses of action by which to deal with negative paid editing. This proposal would yield inconclusive data from which it is suggested we... draw conclusions? Impossible to execute upon in good faith. --IShadowed 14:38, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Comment: At the root of this proposal is really a question: How can Wikipedia protect itself from clearly disruptive paid editing that undermines Wikipedia and gives everyone a headache?

I agree the proposal has some practical boundaries. We can't realistically collect the data and if we do the benefits of the data will only tell us things we already know without equipping anyone to prevent it.

However, there is a need to discuss how to proactively prevent overtly bad behavior before it occurs instead of playing a game of whack-a-mole afterwards. In the past, humiliation has always been the venue for this, but it has never been a perfect system or one the Wikipedia community has taken a role in.

It would be good to start with a brainstorm of different approaches to the problem or even just establish key facts and objectives everyone can get behind. I'm not sure this specific item is it, but there is a need for a pro-active community effort to stem the tide of disruptive editing. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 20:53, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Objective: Make a substantial and meaningful reduction in unethical COI edits that are overtly disruptive to Wikipedia's goals
Qualifier: Without proclaiming all paid edits are bad and while directing companies to ways they can be helpful/ethical
Rational: We have to put an end to this game of whack-a-mole.
Possible tools: Public humiliation, higher content standards, PAIDWATCH investigations, stronger administrative actions, banning paid editors by source, other ideas

UK/Commonwealth monarchy update templates

I haven't found this proposal, please point me to it if already discussed.

Wikipedia has a great many articles to do with the UK and Commonwealth which make references to the monarch by name or pronoun, all of which will go out of date when the monarch changes, requiring thousands of articles to be updated. In particular, even articles without personal names have things like "On Her Majesty's Service".

It might be a good idea to have some general mechanism to update all articles automatically; I don't know the best way to do this; the following is discussion of the concept, I doubt the implementation I suggest is the best. There would be a master template which, when changed, would change the results returned by all the following templates (or each individual template could be changed, not much to do). I'm not usre of the exact wording of the templates, "UK monarchy" will stir the passions of those who point out that other countries are involved, maybe a mention of Commonwealth realms is better, but long.

There could be a set of templates, updated when necessary, maybe like:

  • {{UK monarchy|His}} and {{UK monarchy|Her}} are identical, both return either "His" or "Her"
  • {{UK monarchy|his}} and {{UK monarchy|her}} are identical, both return either "his" or "her"
  • {{UK monarchy|KingOrQueenCaps}} returns either "King" or "Queen"
  • {{UK monarchy|Name}} returns "Elizabeth II" or "Charles III"
  • {{UK monarchy|TitleAndName}} returns "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II" or "His Majesty King Charles III"
  • {{UK monarchy|ArticleName}} returns "Elizabeth II" or "Charles III"

Note that {{UK monarchy|His}} and {{UK monarchy|Her}} are exactly the same, perhaps better, perhaps not, than a single {{UK monarchy|HisOrHer}}.

Exactly what is needed needs thought and discussion.

Then in British Army#Oath of allegiance

I, [soldier's name], swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to {{UK monarchy|TitleAndName}} {{UK monarchy|his}} heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend {{UK monarchy|His}} Majesty, {{UK monarchy|his}} heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of {{UK monarchy|His}} Majesty, {{UK monarchy|his}} heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.

This text would render as at present, but would be updated as soon as the templates were updated.

I, [soldier's name], swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.

This is particularly for UK/Commonwealth realms as a huge number of institutions refer to Her or His Majesty, but might be useful for other countries, where the name and sex, or personal pronouns, could be updated:

The US President (currently {{POTUS|Name}}) has the nucleear code. {{POTUS|He}}) must give the order...

Pol098 (talk) 10:17, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

  • I am not a big fan of having templates that display some text in the article body. They make it more difficult to edit especially for newbies. It is normal that lots of articles need to be updated when a head of state changes; it is rare enough that we don't need templates to do it automatically. —Kusma (t·c) 10:22, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Good point. I'll leave the suggestion in place, but I don't suppose it'll be favoured.

      While I'm at it, would it be useful to have categories like "Articles needing update when head of state of Xyz changes" (maybe they already exist?)? I suppose this could lead to category overload: "Articles to be changed when head of maths of Abc High School changes". Pol098 (talk) 10:34, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
      • That kind of (hidden) categories could be quite useful (and much less intrusive). Your idea reminds me a bit of things like Wikipedia:As of and the related Category:Wikipedia articles in need of updating. —Kusma (t·c) 12:06, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
        • I like the idea of a hidden cat, but not the template. Yes, there are a lot of articles that would need updating, but being that said updates will, in all probability, be decades apart, it doesn't seem like that big a deal. Heck, a bot could probably do a lot of it.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 19:10, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Black Tobacco

Need an article on Black Tobacco.

Request at WP:RA or create it yourself at WP:AfC. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 02:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Blonde Tobacco

Need an article on Blonde Tobacco.

Request at WP:RA or create it yourself at WP:AfC. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 02:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Urine Reading in Chile

Need an article on Urine Reading in Chile.

Request at WP:RA or create it yourself at WP:AfC. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 02:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at WT:BABEL#Revising Babel templates according to IELTS scale

You are invited to join the discussion at WT:BABEL#Revising Babel templates according to IELTS scale. —Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 19:34, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Gamified Wikipedia

I had an idea that I feel would be well suited for a Wikimedia project. The idea is basically to create a immersive game-like experience of data on wikipedia. Or, in other words, to provide a spatial and temporal map of wikipedia content.

Here is a short overview:

Imagine that you can go through time and locations on Earth. For every time period and location, ordinary people or famous historical figures can be "met" (e.g. Joan of Arc). "Talking" with them produces quotes from original sources.

Also, at any given time or place, there are historical events - each event is significant for a given number of people (event's "magnitude"). Examples include wars, rebellions, weddings, scientific discoveries, political upheavals and similar. People could talk about events: "Did you hear about the Second Punic war? Hannibal attacked Saguntum in Hispania!". And all events and characters could be links to wikipedia content.

Wikipedia already hosts all the necessary data in semi-structured form, and the available time period could expand back in time as the project develops.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Ilija_Pavlic (talkcontribs)

We're already an MMORPG. As Wikipedia is constantly changing and not stable, I'm not sure it would be an appropriate basis for another game. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:15, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Bojemoi, NO! How many billions of dollars are you willing to donate, Ilija, in order to set up such a game and keep it going? This is not how an encyclopedia works. (There is nothing in our licensing, however, to prevent some deep-pockets third party from doing something like this, if they wanted to spend the money.) --Orange Mike | Talk 20:31, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Machine translation

I am concerned about this all-too-frequent message at the top of many articles which need expansion:

"Don't speak German? Click here to read a machine-translated version of the German article."

My experience is that this is an invitation to chaos. Machine translations are just not good enough, and this very positive statement encourages people who don't know any better, but are interested in the topic, to simply insert the machine translation and then try to smooth out the English text a bit without knowing what the source text means, and making everything from serious to hilarious mistakes in the process, sentence after sentence. What is the use of that?

I have tried to repair one or two of these messes, but the errors are so blatant and extensive that it was much more efficient to freshly translate the source text. I would hate to think that there are more of these incomprehensible entries being generated in this encyclopedia, creating much more trouble than they are worth, and damaging Wikipedia's reputation.

Can this message, which I am sure is mean as a helpful suggestion, be somewhat elaborated? Something like:

"Don't speak German? Click here to read a machine-translated version of the German article to give you some ideas about what might be included, but do not simply insert the machine translation since both its accuracy and its readability will not be acceptable."

Of course, the issue does not just relate to German texts, but that's the area I am especially involved in. Thanks in advance for any ideas on this subject you are able to give in due course to this concern.

--Remotelysensed (talk) 10:47, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Would you point us at one or two of the said articles? A quick search for "Don't speak German" finds nothing. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:57, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Expand German may help. Anomie 11:01, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Exactly what I sought, thanks. Remotelysensed, did you spot that the ExpandGerman template box expands to include advice such as "Google's machine translation is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into English Wikipedia." Two possibilities: you're not satisfied with that wording; you're not satisfied that the wording is normally hidden? --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:11, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Suggestions can be made at Template talk:Expand language. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:22, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

IMHO machine translations should never be posted to the article page. Like any other content that is not ready for publication, it can be placed on the talk page where it can either be discussed or cleaned up by those who can, or take its fate at AfT and risk being procedurally deleted. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:32, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm generally quite ruthless in removing machine translated content, but sadly there are even experienced users who think it's acceptable--Jac16888 Talk 22:36, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
why are your ruthless in removing it, rather than energetic in improving it? Or are you removing translations from languages which you do not yourself understand? Many articles in all of the Wikipedias are quite routine,; in particular, some geographical articles, or those on athletes & politicians, that I've done have been so utterly routine that I could perfectly well have done them from a machine translation without the least understanding of the knowledge -- if I know how to write in the subject area in English. (Some articles , of course, rely on a good understanding of the language --articles on historical or literary or many scientific topics.) But more to the point, the machine translations are much more likely to be uninformative or perhaps incomprehensible than actually misleading. The worst examples I have seen are either where a word is translated that clearly does not apply to the subject domain in question & without knowledge of the vocabulary of the source language one would not be able to tell what was intended, or where the machine's confusion of tenses leaves the actual sequence of events unclear to the extent it cannot be made unambiguous without knowing the grammar of the source language. DGG ( talk ) 23:13, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
If those are the worst examples you've seen then apparently you're not looking in the right places. Category:Wikipedia articles needing cleanup after translation is a list of about 400 machine translated articles, many of which are virtually incomprehensible, the only reason it's not much much larger is because I tidy the ones I can and stub the ones I can't. A few examples, Honda E07A engine, the history section of [3] before I removed it, [4], [5], Leonardo Bruno dos Santos Silva, [6], [7], [8], Loser Man and [9] is probably enough for now. The point is that in almost all of these cases the articles are better off as stubs that can be expanded (and in many cases quickly are) than tidied, since tidying the majority of these means re-translating, which often requires a tremendous amount of work, such as with this which didn't happen til over a year after you attempted it--Jac16888 Talk 12:15, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
I can only echo the point that in general the machine translations are useless. For example, see Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 35#Was he a real person? - a misunderstanding that started from someone trying to make sense of such translation... Yes, it might not be that laughable with other languages, but such translations cannot be trusted. And they are also hard to correct, unless someone is able to make a good translation from scratch - in which case the machine translation is still useless. And I suspect that you also notice that, if you can tell that something hasn't been translated by a human...
It also seems wrong to encourage translations by someone who does not have a sufficiently good understanding of language being translated from, language being translated to and the subject matter.
In short, we should keep the text (the image, the article etc.) if it is better than nothing. But machine translation is worse than nothing. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:46, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
As cleaning up a machine "translation" is hard work, requires a competent translator, and is far less fun than actually translating the page from scratch, it is my experience that posting a machine "translation" is a very efficient way to prevent Wikipedia from obtaining a decent article soon. In short, machine "translations" should be reverted on sight or speedily deleted, and if there is no consensus to do that, at the very least they need to be discouraged as much as possible. —Kusma (t·c) 19:12, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

I found the feature very helpful. There was an article on an Italian opera that was a stub on the English Wikipedia, but there was tag leading to substantial article the Italian Wikipedia. I don't speak Italian at all but the machine translation was sufficient for me to glean several important facts that I rewrote in better English and added. Without the tag I would never have thought to look on the Italian version. My $0.02. Woz2 (talk) 16:01, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

This discussion has gone off-topic a bit, no? Template_talk:Expand_language#Google.27s_machine_translation_is_a_useful_starting_point_for_translations... is back on course, perhaps. Rd232 talk 01:02, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Docent proposal

We are not just an encyclopedia. We need to be more proactive, but in a way that is in keeping with the core principles of Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia. We have a help desk that many people use, but you have to be willing to use it. You have administrators that are there for many reasons, but mainly function when needed in specific areas for the most part and are authority. So I propose a new type of volunteer. A Wikipedia Docent. This person may have some priviledges (if needed and as determined) but would mainly function as a assistance to editors. They could be specific to area or subjects (pulled from these editors) to act as specialists on the encyclopedia to assist with usability, functionality, direction to specific policy, or just a real person to ask questions and be asked questions when needed. A docent can help with tasks on Wikipedia as well as round up task forces and organize. Good way to help retain editors.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:38, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I can already see a new wiki-phrase coming out of this new breed of editor: "What's up, doc...?" :D --Coin945 (talk)
Well if we need a title for that task, then that's as good as any. Regards, RJH (talk) 04:27, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
It has been in use on Wikitravel for some time. Could be useful.
  • Are you proposing this as a purely voluntary function, or one which must be approved by some part of the community?
  • Would there be some prerequisite for the function in terms of edits, background, qualification etc. or could any user appoint themself as a docent?
  • I would suggest that a docent should be a member of a relevant Wikiproject and supported by consensus of the project members, but quite open to other suggestions. We would need some way of preventing POV pushers appointing themselves. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:29, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I was thinking this could be something that editors nominate like admin, and could well be something done within projects (sounds like a good way to establish admin as well frankly, through projects that is). Or could be an entire new form or level of editor assistance, even with it's own notice board. I would see these Docents as having rollback and other tools (perhaps review status if that ever resurfaces) but not block or ban ability, but more like DRN where editors go with problems or questions or guidance needs. A docent could help with new editors find the right tools and be allowed to step into a dipute if needed or take some proactive measures on articles where needed with whatever tools can be provided. A docent would be something perjaps to be listed on a talkpage, so having this as a project task seems reasonable. The Docent could be listed on the Project Banner/banner shell. Somewhere visible on the talk page, project page and perhaps on the article itself as a catagory (articles with Docents..or something like that).--Amadscientist (talk) 19:38, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that additional user groups/user rights are exactly what the community wants right now. For some reason, such user groups appear to have a tendency to attract the very opposite of what is required: mature, experienced editors. We've seen this even with Ambassadors. IMHO, more emphasis should be placed on rationalising the number of noticeboards and help desks, improving their performance, and helping new users to find them more easily. The topic was presented and discussed at Wikimania. -Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:59, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Deleting pages

Why don't allow registered users the right to delete pages in their own user space ? Xentram (talk) 01:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

You can request the deletion of any page in your own userspace using the tag {{db-self}}. Full information on speedy deletion can be found at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion. Deletions within one's own user space are considered valid under criteria G7. Once you tag a page in that way, an administrator will be by shortly (usually anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours) to delete the page. --Jayron32 01:41, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
It would be too easy for editors to abuse the ability to delete in their own user space to delete content they are not supposed to be able to delete. Going through CSD allows an admin to check for that sort of thing. Monty845 01:45, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Say for example how it can be abused? It's quite clear that all contents on user space must have been created by user.So, he/she has right to decide whether keep it or delete it.Xentram (talk) 01:47, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
I can see both sides of the argument to this suggestion. A user has the right to delete content from their own talk page/main user page if they wish. So really that aspect should follow through to deleting pages within their own user space. However, I can see the flip side of it too. A user could also get over zealous and just go on a user space deleting-rampage, which in all honesty isn't productive for the main encyclopaedia project. We could end up with people just creating/deleting pages out of boredom instead of concentrating on article collaborations. The only way around it that I can think of, would be to just give the option to delete pages in their own userspace and nothing else. But that tool could also come with sanctions for misuse too, similar to that for Twinkle users. Wesley Mouse 01:54, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
It would be trivial to abuse: move some page to one's userspace; delete page. — Coren (talk) 01:57, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Surely the system can identify pages that were created by the editor, as distinct from moved by the editor? (I see that this is true but rejected as "hacky". I also see and support the more limited extension - allow deletion if you are the only contributor.)--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:39, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

User warnings

In some cases, {{blp1}} is useful for warning those who engage in blatant violations of BLP policies. For those who continue, you then use {{blp2}}, and the blocking admin would use {{blp3}}. That warning series is not recognized by Huggle. Other templates, such as {{blank}} are useful in some scenarios. These are all in Category:TestTemplates, which would be useful to “import” for standard use. Is there any possibility that this can be considered? (talk) 21:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

What do these templates do that the {{uw-defamatory1}} and {{uw-delete1}} sequence of warnings don't do? —C.Fred (talk) 22:07, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
The TestTemplates have a purpose. The one for defamation is a “3im” template, if you will, for blatant defamation, which only allows two warnings. These templates are useful, and at least I use them. The {{blank}} template is much more informative, and has at least some purpose and use. If you don't agree, then, perhaps, these templates should be nominated for deletion? (talk) 01:21, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Categorization and parent entity merger

We have a category merge discussion going on at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2012 July 21#Category:Boston State College alumni concerning a college which was eventually merged into another school. I am being told that there is an existing consensus to merge all alumni into the most recent successor school. This, I think, is ill-advised. The problem, in the end, is that the people to be recategorized are not alumni of the successor institution, which was already in existence at the time they graduated from a different school. In other similar situations, we may or may not follow this convention. For example, the subcategories of Category:Locomotives by railway are organized by the name of railroad at time of operation, not by ultimate successor.

I can see some logic to piling everything together when an entity simply changes its name. When entities merge, however, I would hold that, as a rule, they need to be treated as separate, and categories divided by entity should respect that separation (though I might be argued into making the subsumed entity a subcategory). Mangoe (talk) 02:01, 23 July 2012 (UTC)