Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions

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The Signpost

This page is for suggesting news to be covered in the next Signpost. We are a newspaper that covers subjects of general interest for our audience of Wikipedia editors. If you'd like guidance on editing for new editors, please inquire at WP:Teahouse. More general questions may be addressed to WP:Help.

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For general discussion, comments or questions regarding The Signpost, please see our feedback page. You can also write a piece yourself! See the submissions desk for details. Or send a news tip by email to our tipmail.

Suggestion by Curb Safe Charmer (2021-07-26)[edit]

The Signpost should write about the very successful AfC backlog drive which has been running in July and has seen the backlog drop from over 4,000 to under 500 as of Monday 26, with five days left to go. Curb Safe Charmer (talk) 14:09, 26 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Oops, just suggested this independently but I'll make it a seconded. Some further information: the Articles for Creation backlog was wiped from 4,000 to exactly 0 during the July 2021 Backlog Drive (ending with a negligible number of drafts). We get several hundred submissions per day and had an ever-rising backlog that peaked above 5,500 in April; the oldest drafts had been unreviewed for over five months, dangerously close to the six month G13 threshold. I can maybe help with writing this up if given some direction. — Bilorv (talk) 15:02, 4 August 2021 (UTC)[]
With the backlog drive now over the number of unreviewed drafts is creeping back up (currently 549) after 15 days, so it would be great if the article could include a call to action for editors with more than 500 edits to become AfC volunteers. Curb Safe Charmer (talk) 11:14, 16 August 2021 (UTC)[]

Suggestion by Johnbod (2021-08-02)[edit]

The Signpost should write about the announcement of the winners of the first Core Contest since 2017. I can do something if you like. Otherwise the enties are summarized here, and the winners given here. Johnbod (talk) 15:22, 2 August 2021 (UTC)[]

Suggestion by Gråbergs Gråa Sång (2021-08-09)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... I'm too lazy to check if this has recently been covered, but I got a small shock when I noticed that pending submissions at Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation was less than 300. Good work deserves aknowledgement. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:42, 9 August 2021 (UTC)[]

And apparantly I'm too lazy to check 2 threads up. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:45, 9 August 2021 (UTC)[]

Suggestion by Ssr (2021-08-16)[edit]

Russian Wikipedians have uncovered an alleged network/farm of alleged paid editors that allegedly edit in favor of Russian authorities (allegedly!), but they were caught by mathematical analysis on alleged coordinated vote for Russian ArbCom—allegedly in a try to "grab power" in Russian Wikipedia. The investigation is in progress, 1st part of report was issued by investigators group. No English information is available now, and I am personally not familiar with the details enough to give good English comments. If you are interested, I can find the people who can. This is an alleged followup to notorious "12 editors" case from 2019 which has good English coverage. --ssr (talk) 09:27, 16 August 2021 (UTC)[]

@Ssr: please email me directly. Smallbones(smalltalk) 13:13, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[]
As one can see on ru:ВП:ДАТАПУЛЬТ there is not only statistical signs of election manipulation, but also there was a list of users from Proekt investigation — this users were in "Datapult" system more than a year ago.
Members of this web brigade voted against liberal candidates and I am one who suffered from them — if their votes were canceled in time, I would be a member of ArbCom. ·Carn·!? 08:32, 21 August 2021 (UTC)[]

Fall of Afghanistan - 2021 Taliban offensive[edit]

What about an entire issue devoted to the Wikipedia (all languages) coverage of the Fall of Afghanistan - 2021 Taliban offensive? — Maile (talk) 22:26, 22 August 2021 (UTC)[]

@Maile66: Almost certainly too late now, but feel free to get something in by tomorrow! On the odd chance I could do it - what should I look for? 1.8 million page views, 339 editors (some concentration in the top few) 1,562 edits, nobody banned yet that I could see, no news coverage of our news coverage yet. So what makes the story? Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:16, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
@Smallbones: A humanitarian crisis in the woks. Well ... going by page views, Wikipedia readers don't seem to deal with this with the same obsession as the nightly news. 2021 Taliban offensive and Withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan (2020–2021) are surprisingly low in views. Turn on the news in the US, and you'd think nothing else was happening in the world. That, and the latest sex or murder scandals. On a historical perspective, it's similar to the Fall of Saigon. But ... maybe not. — Maile (talk) 11:27, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
@Maile66: it's not that the overall story is unimportant. It's mostly about time pressure - we need to have a deadline to coordinate everything here. It's also about why our article is important beyond the general situaton - something like the hook on a DYK. Perhaps the difference in international coverage might be the hook? But if you want to write the story, you might discover the thrill of writing on a deadline! Maybe for a future article you might look at what were the big international stories in the press/TV over the last few years (how to measure this?) and compare it to Wiki pageviews. Smallbones(smalltalk) 12:12, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[]
I know this may some digging, but I found it interesting how editors changed the flag of Afghanistan from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Taliban Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on some other language Wikipedias, for example the Arab Wikipedia equivalent of Template:Diplomatic missions of Afghanistan along with its associated pages show the Taliban flag ar:قالب:سفارات أفغانستان. I will see if I can find some discussions anywhere. ~ Shushugah (he/him • talk) 11:58, 30 August 2021 (UTC)[]

Hong Kong national security Law incident in ZH wikipedia[edit]

EDITED for clarity SYSS Mouse (talk) 12:37, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]


In short:

An investigation report compiled by neutral zh admin Antigng is complete, and was sent to some other local admin, although the report itself will not be made public due to privacy concerns. The screenshot is real and unaltered and Walter Grassroot made false statement.

Specific phase:

  • 截图纯属无中生有,该对话或类似对话实际未于QQ群组发生:本人认为该断言成立的可能性几乎为零(即其成立的可能性可描述为1- 已确认);

The screenshot is fake and that conservation or similar conversation did not happen in QQ group: I believe that the probability of that conjecture is true is almost zero (That the probability of screenshot is real is one - confirmed)

  • 截图基于真实QQ群组对话,但有所篡改,以至于当事用户Walter Grassroot君实际并未发表“举报香港用户至国安”或类似言论:本人认为该断言成立的可能性很小(即其成立的可能性可描述为1- 很可能);

That screenshot is based on conversation in the QQ group is real but is edited and or modified, so much that involved user Walter Grassroot did not in fact made a statement of "Reporting HK user to National Law [authority]" or something similar: I believe the probability of that conjecture is true is very low (That the probability of screenshot is real is one - very likely)

  • 涉事用户Walter Grassroot君未在本案中提供不实信息:本人认为该断言成立的可能性很小,且该种可能性小于b)部分所涉断言成立的可能性;

That involved user Walter Grassroot did not make false statement in this incident: I believe that the probability of that conjecture is true is very low, and that probability is lower than the probability of second point.

In addition, someone told Antigng in private that staff in Wikimedia foundation believe that this incident should be left at local Wikipedia level.

SYSS Mouse (talk) 01:36, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@SYSS Mouse: I have moved your suggestion here. ☆ Bri (talk) 02:30, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Slate article on Wikifunctions & Abstract Wikipedia[edit]

Saw this today:

  • Harrison, Stephen (2021-09-01). "Wikipedia Is Trying to Transcend the Limits of Human Language". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2021-09-01.

Peaceray (talk) 15:44, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@Peaceray: I've added this to the next issue's In the media column as a barebones mention. Feel free to expand! ☆ Bri (talk) 16:35, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Query by DiplomatTesterMan (2021-09-07)[edit]

I have a rough write-up of an article for the "Humour" section. It is around 250 words just now. It is related to current events in a particular country from which a superpower and allies have just pulled out, and it combines this event with a fictional Wikipedia world that has been affected by all this. I would request someone from the editorial team to read it once before I place it as an submission. Who could I email it to? DTM (talk) 14:40, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Please email it to me. I'd like it a bit longer, say 500 words minimum. It is a tough subject - a lot of people won't see anything humorous about Afganistan right now. But if you can make it work, it will likely be great! Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:01, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks. Mailed. DTM (talk) 10:08, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]

In the Media[edit]

From Wired: '"One Woman’s Mission to Rewrite Nazi History on Wikipedia: Ksenia Coffman’s fellow editors have called her a vandal and a McCarthyist. She just wants them to stop glorifying fascists—and start citing better sources." - kosboot (talk) 18:13, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I came here to leave a note about this Wired article to. I fully understand you guys are looking for quality and not quantity in regards to suggestions, but I still thought it worth mentioning. --Dutchy45 (talk) 13:32, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I also had some commentary about this, over here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  15:59, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]

WMF actions regarding users in China[edit]

Several users in mainland China were desysopped and/or globally banned by WMF: m:Office actions/September 2021 statement Rschen7754 18:22, 13 September 2021 (UTC)[]

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2021-07-25/Special report for a prior report.--GZWDer (talk) 16:18, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, we will cover this in as much detail as possible, though I still only know of 2 of the banned. I'd really like to hear from Chinese editors on both sides. If anybody has anything confidential to include on this story that I can otherwise verify please email me directly. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:18, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
See zh:维基百科:互助客栈/其他#WG在qq群威胁其他wiki编辑诉诸法律案 : 8 people globally banned, 12 desysopped. SYSS Mouse (talk) 17:50, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Also [1]. --Rschen7754 18:11, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
As per this post, the 8 globally locked accounts are: 城市酸儒文人挖坑, 蟲蟲飛, 玄客, Walter Grassroot, ArthurLau1997, 尤里的1994, 遊魂 and Techyan. These 12 accounts have their admin/bureaucrat rights from all WMF wikis (not just zh.wp) stripped: Alexander Misel (former CheckUser), Stang, Nbfreeh, Manchiu, 瑞麗江的河水, Hamish, DreamLiner, Lanwi1 (former CheckUser), 霧島聖, Outlookxp, 夢蝶葬花 (also losing zh Wikivoyage and zh Wikiversity admin rights) and WAN233 (also losing classical Chinese wiki admin rights). As early as March 2018, WMF revoked all zh.wp local CheckUser rights due to security concerns,[2] which was why Alexander Misel and Lanwi1 (plus others) lost their CU rights en-masse. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:19, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Striking off 玄客 since it was a mis-identification by the WMF office. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:34, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Current at zh wikipedia: that a proposal to derecognize WMC and to remove all links to WMC from the wiki is in process. And all RfA in zh wiki is suspended for 3 weeks from the bureaucrats. SYSS Mouse (talk) 13:48, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Thanks, readers, for bringing this up. There is a placeholder item at the News and notes feature for the next issue. If you would like to contribute, please contact us at the WP:Newsroom or as he said, contact the Editor in Chief privately. ☆ Bri (talk) 13:55, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks to all. I'm almost sure this will be in Special report (though thr Maryana Iskander story might possibly end up there. There is an open letter to read at [3]. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:18, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
all, it seems that this global ban is also related to an incident in 2017. SYSS Mouse (talk) 14:43, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
For the 2017 incident, see m:Requests_for_comment/Ongoing_issues_at_Chinese_Wikipedia/Previous_discussion.--GZWDer (talk) 16:40, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]


There's a duplicate thread about this at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom#WMF bans and desysops around "infiltration concerns" with Wikimedians of Mainland China.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:53, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

FWIW, the stuff is currently being worked on in Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Next_issue/News_and_notes and Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Next_issue/In_the_media. --Artoria2e5 🌉 12:15, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Let's just use this page to link to sources:

We can use the Newsroom talkpage for questions like "Who can help write this up?"
Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:57, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Suggestion by RekishiEJ (2021-09-16)[edit]

The Signpost should write about... Wikipedia:WikiProject Requested articles RekishiEJ (talk) 20:23, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

In the Media: American Libraries[edit]

Every couple of years American Libraries (the magazine of the American Library Association) has something on Wikipedia. This time it's an encouragement to "Acknowledge Wikipedia in the research process." -- kosboot (talk) 00:59, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Thanks. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:35, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Russian Wiki Conference 2021 (15th)[edit]

Annual Russian Wiki Conference 2021 (15th) is about to begin on Saturday. There are English language materials (by link) and some worldwide guests (remotely). Worth at least mentioning in News or some summary (ends on Sunday). --ssr (talk) 15:11, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Good to see you back. It looks like the conference will be over before we publish. Perhaps the links to the videos might help - but only to a few people if they are all in Russian. Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:52, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I think I can try to gather all the information that may be useful in English for a brief summary in English so there is a little piece for reading in News to be published on 26th. A brief overall explanation based on conference program. Is it OK if I edit directly News and notes? --ssr (talk) 07:16, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • In the meantime one of the Conference participants and the founder of usergroup m:NWR-Hist Niko Bulykin is making another attempt to receive a grant from WMF while WMF is keeping (for unclear reasons) to withhold grants from Russian users while both people at WMF (by their numerous words) and Russians keep being agreed that Russian wikipedians deserve money from WMF. In the past WMF was gladly giving grants to Russians but at some time stopped. More at m:Grants:Project/Rapid/UG NWR-Hist/Aerial photography equipment. --ssr (talk) 16:30, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Is it legal for a Russian to receive money from a foreign non-profit? Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:52, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Smallbones: Is the WMF registered as a foreign agent? Psiĥedelisto (talkcontribs) please always ping! 01:08, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Is legal. Discussed many times, in Russian language at Facebook most recently here with newly-elected Board member Vicki Doronina aka @Victoria:. There is also a brief explanation of this at the top of grant request. I am not directly involved, let's ask directly @Drbug:, WMRU director, @Ctac:, WMRU deputy director, @Красный:, the grant requester. They have ultimate knowledge. --ssr (talk) 05:57, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]
It's most likely legal, except for a persons or legal entities involved into internal Russia's political activity. According to a Russian Federal Law № 272-ФЗ статья 2.1 часть 1 "Political activity does not include activities in the field of science, culture, art, health care, prevention and protection of citizens' health, social services, social support and protection of citizens, protection of motherhood and childhood, social support for disabled people, promotion of a healthy lifestyle, physical culture and sports, protection of flora and fauna, charitable activities". Red wanna talk? 07:19, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Suggestion by Another Believer (2021-09-23)[edit]

If there's a section for ongoing collaborations, a passing mention of Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Backlog elimination drive: Album covers would be appreciated. This is an ongoing effort to reduce a specific backlog (infoboxes lacking album covers), which runs through the end of October. No worries if this does not qualify for mention. Either way, thanks! ---Another Believer (Talk) 15:54, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]

No time or writers for it this month. I do have an idea for a post-backlog drive article next month. Please remind me in about 2 weeks. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:33, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]