Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-10-23/SPV

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Volume 2, Issue 43 23 October 2006 About the Signpost

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Report from the Finnish Wikipedia News and notes: Donation currencies added, milestones
In the news Features and admins
The Report on Lengthy Litigation

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Report from the Finnish Wikipedia

By MikkoM, Jannex, Samulili, Ism, Myrtti, Tbone and Hasdrubal, 23 October 2006

Status and community news

As of October 18, 2006, the Finnish Wikipedia has 82,938 articles, of which 84 articles belong to Suositellut sivut (the equivalent of featured articles). There is no equivalent of "good articles" on the Finnish Wikipedia. The ever-increasing article count has surpassed those of printed Finnish encyclopedias. When the Finnish Wikipedia reached 50,000 articles on February 21, 2006, a pool was set up to guess the date when 100,000 articles will be reached. The median guess date is January 26, 2007.

There are 34,867 registered users, 33 active administrators (1 in 1,056), 3 active bureaucrats and 4 CheckUsers. Judging by the number of votes cast in the most crucial decisions, the number of the most active users lies a little below 100. On the IRC channel, there are typically over 60 nicks online at the same time.


The Finnish Wikipedia has been increasingly featured in the media, mainly in the print media and on the radio. The monthly supplement of the largest Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat published recently a rather large article on the Finnish Wikipedia and interviewed ten users. Nearly all newspapers published by Student Unions have also written about Wikipedia.

Policy overview

The Finnish Wikipedia processes are heavily based on pure voting, though discussion and consensus decision-making are in general favoured and encouraged in policy issues. Article deletion requires 70 per cent support, undeletion, featured article selection and adminship 80 per cent. Naming policy is based on individual community-approved dictionaries; approval and conflict resolution is accomplished by a vote.

Use of userboxes that sparked so much controversy in the English and some other Wikipedia's language versions is regulated in the Finnish Wikipedia so that only project-related userboxes are permitted.

Image policy

Fair use images are allowed whenever the image is integral to the article and no free alternatives can be obtained. Usually such images fall into predefined categories, such as logos and album covers. This strict policy is based on Finnish copyright law, and forbids, for example, fair use images of celebrities. It is strongly recommended that images are uploaded to the Commons.

Blocking policy

The blocking policy of the project is quite liberal, and can be summarized by a phrase: "usually less than 30 days". As the Finnish Wikipedia has no Arbitration Committee, the responsibility of enforcing the integrity of the project lies in the hands of individual administrators. As such, it is worthwhile to mention that accusations of administrator abuse are rather rare and usually judged by the community to be without merit.

Recent controversies

The naming policy of towns that are not part of Finland but where Finnish or Finno-Ugric languages are spoken or have been spoken, has been under fierce debate. As Finland has a complex history with Sweden and Russia, the question of which names to use arouses strong feelings, sometimes resulting in blocks and article protections.

Notability and its relation to the deletion process perpetually raises opposition. Current policy says that obvious non-notability is a criterion for a speedy deletion, and most Votes For Deletion are based on the concept of notability. A proposition to get rid of the notability requirement was summarily dismissed.

The meaning of administratorship has recently been under discussion. A policy of removing the privileges of inactive administrators was approved. There is much disagreement about the number of edits one should have before applying, and also about how many administrators the project really needs. In addition, the existence of the infamous "Administrator Cabal" has been occasionally conjectured.

In the past, some of the more memorable controversies have included: a lengthy discussion on the correct spelling of pizza (fi:pizza) in Finnish (which, as it turned out, is "pizza" instead of "pitsa"), and a near-legendary debate on whether to use the en dash or the em dash in the Finnish Wikipedia.

Remarkable photos

The Finnish Wikipedia does not select featured pictures, but our users have taken some photos which are featured on Commons.

News and notes

By Flcelloguy, October 23, 2006

Donation currencies added

Fundraising committee member and former Chief Financial Officer Daniel Mayer announced the addition of 10 new currencies to the list of currencies accepted in the PayPal donation box for the Wikimedia Foundation. The new currencies, ranging from Hong Kong dollars to Polish złotys, brings the total number of currencies accepted to 16.


Chief Technical Officer Brion Vibber announced the creation of four new Wikis this week: the Spanish Wikiversity, Bosnian Wikinews, Tajik Wikibooks, and the Macedonian Wikisource. In addition, the Wikimania 2007 wiki, designed for Wikimania 2007 Taipei, was also created. The Taipei bidding team, following the creation of the wiki, which will serve as the place for planning and coordination, also released the first Team Bulletin on Sunday. The regular updates will serve to inform interested Wikimedians of news, announcements, and the progress of the planning for Wikimedia 2007.


Wikipedia in the news

By Trödel, October 23, 2006

China's partial block removal

Coverage continues of China's partial block removal (See last week's Signpost article). The Globe and Mail provides coverage including an explanation of how China's "blocking is not uniform across the country." International Freedom of Expression Exchange ("IFEX") noted that "RSF took the opportunity to hail the courage of the people in charge of Wikipedia who ... refused to yield to the Chinese government's censorship requests." The Australian subsidiary, Australian IT, provided similar coverage quoting Andrew Lih and RSF.

Citizendium coverage expands - compared to Wikipedia

Wikipedia continues to be covered as part of the launch of Citizendium. Coverage of Citizendium has accelerated with this week's coverage represented by the following articles:

Wikipedia as a source

Other items

Features and admins

By Ian Manka, 23 October 2006


Twelve users were granted admin status via the Requests for Adminship process this week: Physicq210 (nom), Coredesat (nom), Durova (nom), Atlant (nom), Ginkgo100 (nom), Melchoir (nom), TKD (nom), Trödel (nom), Plange (nom), Khoikhoi (nom), Deepujoseph (nom) and Betacommand (nom).

Of the users granted admin status last week, six were granted with unanimous or near-unanimous support. TKD was unanimously supported by 38 users. Coredesat, Durova, Melchoir, Trödel and Plange each had near-unanimous support, each with one "neutral" comment. The support counts for each of these users are as follows: Coredesat (75), Durova (80), Melchoir (73), Trödel (54) and Plange (61).

Also, Khoikhoi joined the ranks of WP:100, the 51st RfA to do so. Khoikhoi ranks 13th on the list with 136 supports.

Featured content

Four articles were promoted to featured status last week: John W. Johnston (nom), Gliding (nom), Edward III of England (nom) and 1933 Atlantic hurricane season (nom).

Four articles were de-featured last week: Miles Davis, History of the Netherlands, Ackermann function and Turquoise. The Miles Davis article marks the 250th article to be de-featured.

No portals reached featured status last week.

Two lists were featured last week: List of inhabited islands of Croatia and FIFA World Cup hat-tricks.

The following featured articles were displayed last week on the Main Page as Today's featured article: Chola dynasty, Georg Forster, Al-Kateb v Godwin, Nirvana, History of the Philippines, Vivien Leigh and Procellariidae.

The following featured pictures were displayed last week on the Main Page as picture of the day: Special theory of relativity, Cart, Swan Goose, Havasu Falls, Pangong Tso, Apa Tani and Dorothea Lange.

Six pictures were featured last week:

The Report On Lengthy Litigation

By David Mestel, 23 October 2006

The Arbitration Committee opened three cases this week, and closed five cases.

Closed cases

  • Kosovo: A case involving the actions of editors on Kosovo, particularly the political status of Kosovo. A temporary injunction has been passed allowing any uninvolved administrator to ban any of the named users from the page. PerfectStorm/C-c-c-c and Bormalagurski were banned for one year, Dardanv for one month, Hipi Zhdripi limited to one account, Kosovo-related articles placed on article probation, and various Kosovo-related article bans, probations, revert paroles and warnings imposed.
  • MONGO: A case involving the actions of MONGO, rootology, and others. The case centers around Encyclopædia Dramatica, and an article posted on the website portraying MONGO in a negative light. PrivateEditor and Rootology were banned indefinitely, and all links to Encyclopedia Dramatica were banned from Wikipedia.
  • Marudubshinki: A case involving the actions of Marudubshinki. Hesperian, Moondyne and others allege that Marudubshinki has operated an unauthorised bot, and misused his sysop powers by unblocking himself and allowing his bot to delete pages. Marudubshinki was desysopped and barred from using a bot.
  • Ackoz: A case involving the actions and community ban of Ackoz, and his later account, Azmoc. The user previously contributed to Wikipedia under the name Ackoz. He admits to "some trolling" after a three-day block, which led to his ban. However, he has stated that were he unbanned, he would cease his disruptive behaviour, and would be prepared to undergo mentorship. He was unblocked and placed on probation.

New cases

  • Gundagai editors: A case involving the actions of several anon IPs (possibly operated by one person), on Gundagai-related pages.
  • Ulritz: A case involving the actions of Ulritz and Rex. Rex alleges that Ulritz has engaged in a variety of disruptive behaviour, and shows a strong German nationalist bias. Various other editors allege that Rex has also engaged in a certain amount of disruption, and shows a certain Dutch nationalist bias.

Evidence phase

Voting phase

  • Rachel Marsden: A case involving the actions of Arthur Ellis, Rachel Marsden, Bucketsofg and others on the Rachel Marsden page. Marsden and Ellis allege that the page contains inaccurate and libellous material, and that this has been protected on the page by various admins. In response, others allege that Ellis has engaged in edit warring on the page. Fred Bauder has proposed remedies banning Arthur Ellis for one day, permitting articles relating to Rachel Marsden to be stubbified, as well as other measures.
  • GreekWarrior: GreekWarrior, an admitted Greek nationalist extremist, received a community ban for "repeated, blatant ethnic insults and hate speech", but, owing to what Tony Sidaway described as his "great willingness to contribute", has asked that it be lifted or restricted to a finite period. Dmcdevit proposed a remedy suspending GreekWarrior's ban, but this was opposed by Fred Bauder, who made a counter-remedy, that the ban be replaced by three months probation.
  • Vivaldi: A case involving the actions of Vivaldi on Jack Hyles and related articles. Arbustoo alleges that Vivaldi has removed "cited criticism" from the article, as well as harassment, incivility and edit warring. However, an anon IP, accuses Arbustoo of removing comments from AfDs. Remedies proposed by Fred Bauder, and not yet voted on by other arbitrators, would place various articles edited by Vivaldi and Arbustoo on article probation, with the intention of removing poorly sourced material, and warn both contributors against edit-warring.
  • Kven: A case involving the actions of Kven-user, the name given to Art Dominique and sockpuppets on the Kven article. Fred Bauder has proposed remedies, supported by Dmcdevit, limiting Kven-user to one account and placing him on probation.

Motion to close

  • Giano: A case involving the actions of Giano, Tony Sidaway and others, in which Sidaway blocked Giano for making "inflammatory" comments regarding the behaviour of the ArbCom and the Wikimedia Foundation. The block was subsequently overturned after discussion on WP:AN/I. If closed, remedies would come into effect formalising the relinquishing of sysop access by former clerk Tony Sidaway and former arbitrator Kelly Martin, but thanking her for her "long and honourable service", as well as one banning John Reid for one week, and a remedy reminding Jdforrester "to maintain decorum appropriate for an arbitrator". These proposals have the support of four to six arbitrators.
  • Pat8722: A case involving the actions of Pat8722. BorgHunter has accused Pat8722 of edit-warring. Pat8722 has requested that the ArbCom stay the case while he pursues 6 pro se cases in the American courts, and has agreed not to edit Wikipedia in the interim. If closed, Pat8722 would be placed on probation for one year from when he returns to Wikipedia. A motion establishing the principle of a continuance, and extending it to Pat8722 was proposed by Fred Bauder, but was defeated.