Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-04-03/April Fools
April Fools' jokes abound
For the third straight year, a series of April Fools' jokes created animosity between editors, some of whom felt the jokes were in the spirit of the day, and others who felt that the jokes undermined Wikipedia's mission. Most notably, two administrators faced considerable opposition after their jokes were deemed too disruptive.
Cyde and Drini were both involved in separate April Fools' jokes that were frowned upon by many other users. Cyde was blocked three times during the course of the day. The first two blocks were in response to his addition of randomly-generated userboxes to other users' user pages without their permission. Later in the day, he was blocked for changing the text of MediaWiki:Watchlist from "My watchlist" to "Stalked pages", an action that blocking admin Essjay called "far over the line...Making changes to Mediawiki namespace pages is never something to be done on a whim, and certainly shouldn't be done as a joke."
Drini, meanwhile, was criticized for briefly unprotecting the Main Page, an action that resulted in a minor formatting edit by an IP address before it was re-protected. Users countered, however, that doing so left open the possibility for serious vandalism. David Levy noted "the potential to transform our main page into a hard-core pornography showcase or a racist manifesto." Drini was not blocked for his actions.
- Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/10th GNAA VfD ON WHEELS!, created by Ashibaka (an 11th nomination was created just two days later)
- User:Jimbo Wales changed for over 12 hours
- The addition of a "New messages" bar to Special:Recentchanges by Celestianpower, an edit that remained for 24 minutes.
- Infinite loop changed to a redirect to Endless loop (itself a redirect to infinite loop)
April Fools' jokes caused similar tension in 2005 (see archived story). However, Cyde's block was an April Fools' Day first. It is yet unknown whether any definitive April Fools policy will be developed (an attempt last year failed), though no attempt has yet been made this year.