Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive7

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This is the archive for April Fools Day 2005 talk

April Fool's Day featured article

I'm posting this here because it's where most of the featured article junkies will see it. Several people have asked what I intend to do about the featured article for April 1 (April Fool's day). Here's the deal - I'll go with whatever you guys decide, but I have only one stipulation - whatever article you pick must first pass the FAC, just like any other daily featured article (and because a featured article needs to be factually accuarate, this means no made up articles). You might want to cull wikipedia:unusual articles for ideas. We'll take it to a vote few days before April Fools. →Raul654 07:55, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)

  • I personally would love to see Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 done as a FA, but it is nowhere near Featured Article status. Perhaps we can run a collaboration of some sort to get this thing up to status before April 1? →mathx314(talk)(email) 16:26, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't mind seeing Bronx cheer or lighting farts moved to FAC. After all, we do need a bit of class around here. – ClockworkSoul 16:31, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Boy, there are a ton of subjects that could be FA-worthy. A few that come to mind for me right away include Ig Nobel Prize, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Lake Wobegon, but the majority of the articles I glance at don't meet even the most basic criteria that we've been using (references and images). I'll either find or spiff up something soon... slambo 17:08, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest Xenu, but it's already been on the main page... - Fredrik | talk 17:09, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Spork has a bit of potential, but can use some work. – ClockworkSoul 17:39, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    I was just adding a suggestion for this when I ran into an edit conflict here. Something about "great minds..." B-) slambo 17:39, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
     :D It's a somewhat goofy article, but its true benefits are the start of a history, and some decent images. Its primed for completion, I think. – ClockworkSoul 17:46, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    I've done a copyedit of this and expanded the patents info. We need to fixup the references. Anyone up for it? - Ta bu shi da yu 00:51, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I think the goal here is to come up with an article that at first appears to be patent nonsense (i.e. an article that by title, picture, or glance at the opening paragraph, appears to be a hoax similar to the fake news perpetrated on April Fool's by newspapers, TV, etc), but is actually a real (and really good) article. A brief look at the unusual articles section suggests Five-second rule, Joshua A. Norton, or the Boston Molasses Disaster (where one person already has asked if it's fictional on the talk page). The idea is to pull a fast one on people by making it look like we're obviously perpetrating a hoax, but then actually have a real article on a real topic. Bantman 19:31, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
    • Joshua A. Norton is already a featured article and was on the main page. →Raul654 19:40, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
      • Yes, I didn't mean to suggest any article in particular, just provid examples of the spirit I think we should aim for. Bantman 21:49, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
        • That said, I do like Boston Molasses Disaster, and while short, it could easily be brought to Featured status by April first. --Andrew 00:03, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)
    • I support Boston Molasses Disaster. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so true. Johnleemk | Talk 11:13, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I too would support Boston Molasses Disaster. Sad, yet hilariously true. – ClockworkSoul 17:16, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Well I am glad that many of you find the disaster so hilarious, but clearly it is not going to be the joke FA. That would be in horrendously poor taste. Pcb21| Pete 10:24, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I'd be for one of the biggest media hoaxes ever, San Serriffe, if it can be brought to FA status. Kiand 21:56, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Maybe something like my (well, largely my work) article on the Hodags? Or any of the other fictional national animals, for that matter. Especially Drop Bear, Wild Haggis, or Jackalope. -- John Owens (talk) 22:02, 2005 Mar 12 (UTC)
    • Wild haggis would be brilliant if it could be raised to featured article status! – ClockworkSoul 23:24, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I think George Psalmanazar, the poor Frenchman who successfully impersonated a prince of "Formosa" in 18th-century London, could make quite an interesting and unusual article. Almost his entire adult life was one extremely elaborate hoax, which was incredibly believed by many respected people in Europe. And moreover, the story actually illustrates something historically important about Orientalism and Western perceptions of "the East". I have a good book on him, which reproduces many of his fanciful and rather entertaining illustrations of his "native land". Does anyone want to collaborate?--Pharos 22:04, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Probably not unusal enough, but Benjamin Thompson is fascinating (our article does not do him justice - see the second external link - participant in the American Revolutionary War on both sides, scourge of beggars in Bavaria, Count Rumford of the Holy Roman Empire, married Lavoisier's widow, and inventor of a coffee pot and a form of central heating). -- ALoan (Talk) 01:58, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • My personal preference would be to simply choose an article at random through some sort of system. I don't believe we should specifically choose an article because it's "silly" or whatever. Wikipedia is not a joke site, and we are not supposed to be culturally biased. Everyking 12:39, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Because there's nothing like some good toilet humour on April Fool's Day, I'd like to propose Japanese toilet. It is a featured article already, it's very comprehensive, interesting, and (unintentionally?) funny. The intro section might need a bit of expansion, but that's about it. It's a splash! --Plek 13:56, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • To make that an April Fool's article would be making fun of Japanese people. Everyking 15:27, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Indeed. Why not make urinal an April Fool's Day article? – ClockworkSoul 17:16, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Hmmm. You may be right. Although it was not my intention to poke fun at the Japanese, and the article itself most definitely doesn't do that, either; it may be perceived as such. Having said that, most articles named so far could be seen to make fun of at least somebody when used (Swedes, Bostonians, Scientologists, Ed Wood, fast food restaurant workers, Scots, etcetera). --Plek 17:30, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Well, yes and no. Using the Japanese toilet article would be to make fun of how the Japanese culture performs a basic biological act, in effect suggesting that the way they do it is odd or somehow "wrong", and that way Westerners do it is "right". If we choose an article that makes fun of somebody, it would be a relatively small group of people that did something that was, intentionally or otherwise, genuinely odd or bizarre, and not merely the way a particular culture takes a crap. – ClockworkSoul 18:56, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Isn't this missing the whole point; a good April Fool's hoax would be a believable article that is not true, like the BBC Swiss spaghetti harvest classic? Filiocht 09:12, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)
    • But that's just what people would be expecting! Fooling people into disbelieving the truth is the logical step forward. Besides, Swiss spaghetti trees are real. --iMb~Mw 09:31, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • It's true. When I was in college, I used to grow my own spaghetti in my dorm room closet (until I got busted). – ClockworkSoul 13:05, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • First preference, a perfectly factual article that sounds like a hoax, and Boston molasses disaster would do if nothing better comes up. An article about a hoaxster would be OK, too. Frank Abagnale comes to mind but the article isn't great and is too much based on his autobiography. Joseph Pujol, Le Pétomane (How would you translate that? The Fartmaster? The Fartster?) combines a toilet humor element with the not-a-hoax-fooled-ya element. Dpbsmith (talk) 13:17, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Boston molasses disaster is great (though it will need to be retitled before it can be featured). Another possibility is Lake Peigneur, though that's much farther away from feature quality. Gdr 23:37, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)
  • There's a problem I see here. I already voiced my opposition to the general idea because I think it's culture-biased and frivilous, but let me raise another point: if people see what they think is a silly article on the main page on April 1, might they assume it is fake simply because of the circumstances? It's expecting a lot to imagine you'll put some silly looking and obscure article up there and people will read and investigate and realize: Wow, so it's true after all! I figure a lot of people would just think: Damn, that's lame, this sure ain't no Britannica. Everyking 00:48, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I would recommend that the References section is particularly important for the chosen article. You make a valid point, but we don't want to be the same as the prudish pedias! violet/riga (t) 08:41, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I hereby nominate Spam (electronic) (already an FA) for April 1st... we can use a photo of a CAN of SPAM... and literally SPAM the mainpage.... SPAM in current events, SPAM in DYK... etc...  ALKIVARRadioactive.svg 14:25, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hormel has officially requested (see paragraph 3) that images of their meat product not be used and that the word "spam" should be typed in all lower case letters when referring to electronic spam. slambo 14:05, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
So the DYK is about the product, and the FA is electronic spam. --SPUI (talk) 14:31, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Slambo is right here - we should not be using pictures of a product of a totally different nature to discuss electronic spamming. The current one found on electronic spam isnt very good either. Someone more creative than I should come up with something better. →Raul654 16:24, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
After looking at the (quite long) article, one other problem with using Spam (electronic) is that it doesn't have a References section. Many other FACs have been shot down for a lack of references; it would be bad form to go back on that now. slambo 17:03, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

What's the point? (April Fool's Day article)

What's the point of doing something different for April Fool's Day if it isn't an April Fool's Day joke? Simply posting an article that might pass for humorous as a featured article (when it is in fact a featured article) is just disguising it as something valid for April Fool's Day. I'd propose something like Wikipedia:Sandbox (idea originally suggested by cimon), since it's not a Featured Article and is probably the only lasting article which is least likely to come anywhere near being allowed FA status. At least this would pass for an April Fool's Day joke, and not look like the Wikipedia community compromised with some strict, rule-hungry individuals. It's like making "Casual Friday at the office" the day when you can loosen your tie. -- BRIAN0918  17:05, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It would be easiest just to go with the suggestion that's already in situ, jguk 19:21, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Weak. -- BRIAN0918  21:12, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
User:jguk is referring to the article that was in situ a few hours ago, for 1 April in the FAC almanac, which was European toilet paper holder. The link now points instead to the Sandbox, and jguk's suggestion doesn't even appear in the History. I don't exactly understand how that came about. It makes it hard to tell which alternative Brian0918 is referring to, naturally. Bishonen | Talk 22:44, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Since Raul's dead set against having a hoax article on 1 April (I don't understand why as many eminent broadcasters, newspapers and journals have hoax articles then), we might as well go for a humdrum serious article, jguk 06:38, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Agree with brian, why bother if it's not a hoax? That's entirely pointless. So Raul doesn't want one. I guess there are two possibilities: Either it will be business as usual, with any old FA on the main page, or we vote Raul's position down, saying that we do want a hoax article. I'm not fanatical about it, but I'd certainly vote for the hoax. dab () 15:32, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I also agree. Where's the "fool" in April Fools, if there's no fooling? I enthusiastically support European toilet paper holder. olderwiser 02:07, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

April fools day vote

Make your nominations for the April fools day article here. It will be a straight support vote (similiar to the COTW) - vote for all articles you want to see on the main page for April fools day. This poll will close on March 30 (4 days from now) so don't dilly-dally. →Raul654 22:18, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

Brian Close

As Eric Morecambe noted, you can tell when the cricket season has started by the sound of leather hitting Brian Close - jguk 06:33, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  1. jguk 06:33, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Due to his contemporaries calling him a dunce - Allen3 14:22, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

  1. Allen3 14:22, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
  2. Geogre 00:34, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC) And he really was a fool, and didn't care about it, either.

No special article

Leave it up to Raul's judgment to pick a standard article, without any particular accounting for it being April Fools' Day (is this a valid option? consider it like an "against all" option in a vote...there should be some way to reject the general idea of giving special preference for a certain day in a certain culture, especially when that day is associated with the decidedly unencyclopedic notion of playing jokes on people). (Note - this is fine by me - →Raul654 08:33, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC))

  1. Everyking 07:19, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  2. Vaoverland 09:07, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)
  3. Smoddy (tgeck) 16:49, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  4. 119 19:43, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  5. Do try to pick an FA that is a bit off the wall and/or funny. Too bad exploding whale was already on the Main Page - that would have been perfect. --mav 21:51, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  6. The other candidates don't strike me like Spork, but that's not even an FA yet, so I vote here. slambo 16:06, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC) — after considering later comments and newer candidates, my vote remains here. slambo 13:58, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  7. Consider my nomination of Goomba to be a suggesiton. -- Cyrius| 03:38, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  8. →Raul654 03:41, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC) - Compared to the other suggestions...
  9. I see no reason not to dust off exploding whale and use it again. — Dan | Talk 03:43, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  10. Evil MonkeyHello 03:46, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  11. KingTT 06:26, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  12. silsor 06:30, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  13. Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 07:14, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  14. Not to ruin everybody's fun but we are an encyclopedia. Go put your energy into playing practical jokes on your family/friends/coworkers if you like. - Taxman 15:17, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  15. Lacking a suitable alternative, let's wait til next year and start thinking about it a little earlier. Reporting patently false news items is a luxury of inherently credible organizations, a mantle we have not yet assumed. Let's not impede our progress toward having enough credibility to pull off a hoax someday. A silly but real article is really the only way to go at this time, but we just don't have it this year. - Bantman 19:06, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't think that this is true - as mentioned elsewhere, anyone that pounces on Wikipedia's credibility for putting up a blatently false page for just one day will be pounced on more for having no sense of humour. And there is no reason to have to be credible in order to do an April Fool's day joke. This site shows a number of fools jokes that aren't by groups as well known, and perhaps not as credible as Wikipedia. The use of an April Fools day joke was publicity for those groups - something I don't think wikipedia shys from - Estel (talk) 19:50, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
      • Consider the idea of a tabloid like the National Enquirer running a hoax article on April 1 -- it's inane because "900 lb. baby fends off alien invaders" could just as well be their real front page story from March 31 or April 2. Similarly, if someone comes to WP for the first time on April 1 and sees a hoax article up front, that might reinforce pre-existing notions of a lack of credibility, rather than be apparent as the hoax it is intended as. Then we've lost that reader (and potential editor) forever. A hoax of this type should have only one of two possible outcomes in the minds of readers (as it does for the BBC, New York Times, and other reputable sources) -- "Wow, is it true??" or "That's obviously a hoax." The fact that, even for a small minority of potential WP users, the third outcome of "That's what you get when you let any joe schmoe edit an encyclopedia" might exist, makes a hoax article on the front page detrimental to WP. Maybe in the future that third outcome will be reasonably uncommon enough to go ahead with a hoax FA, but for now we have enough issues with credibility as it is. To suggest otherwise is being very WP-centrist and blind to the serious (and as yet, largely inadequately addressed) challenges against WP's claim of credibility. - Bantman 00:00, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
        • The above nicely summarizes the reasons not to run a hoax article, I think. I'll note that these same arguments work in favor of the "faux-hoax" idea presented some time ago, but that seems to have gotten lost in the current process of voting on which hoax (or no hoax) to run. I quite liked the article on the kid with the bizarre name as one that, though it appeared to be a hoax was actually real (I suppose Exploding whale falls into the same category, though it's been featured before, as does the molasses thing (which seems to me to have happened long ago enough to be harmless). And, let's face it, only a tiny fraction of readers are going to fall for a hoax article on 4/1 for more than an instant; therefore such a faux-hoax article manages to "play a trick" on a much larger percentage of readers without compromising encyclopedic integrity. Jgm 01:23, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  1. Geni 06:31, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

European toilet paper holder

It really is an inspired bit of work. If there's a worry that people will take it seriously, then a note indicating it's a spoof could be added at the top. All publicity is good publicity, and it is an example of the very best of Wittypedia.

I'm vetoing this one because it doesn't meet the 1 criteria I set out - that it be a real article that has passed through the FAC. →Raul654 00:07, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
Raul, a Fool's Day article shouldn't pass through FAC, being a hoax. It would mean FAC is broken. We can of course 'hoaxify' any FA on March 31st, and fix it again on April 2nd. dab () 15:42, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Being a hoax I will back up Raul in removing this if it finds its way onto the Main Page. --mav
I agree with Raul and Mav in the strongest possible terms—we are in the business of providing information, not playing silly games, especially not when those silly games would directly contradict the goal of providing information. Everyking 17:28, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ermm, aren't hoaxes the central essence of April Fool's Day? Pcb21| Pete 18:03, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There is a difference between taking ourselves seriously and taking our legitimacy seriously. silsor 03:23, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
Re: Mav's remark: please let's talk about this before making it into an undebatable opposition. As for Everyking's remark (which seems to be the spirit of Raul's objection as well) — yeah, but isn't that the whole point of April Fool's day? I mean, every serious news medium can say exactly what you're saying here, yet most don't see any problem in making an exception on April Fool's day. To repeat the question posed by others below: why should Wikipedia take itself more seriously than serious news papers? mark 18:09, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
as Mark says, why are we even voting here, if we don't want to hoax (like many respectable newspapers)? Maybe that should have been voted on (rather than vetoed. I don't like this "over my dead body" attitude at all. Everybody here (short of Jimbo Wales, I suppose) may be overruled ). That said, if "the powers" veto, let's have no FDFA, then. It's not the end of the world. dab () 18:38, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a newspaper. Point me to a single case - just one - of a respected encyclopedia such as Britannica or Encarta letting their hair down on April Fools Day and I will not block hoax efforts. Otherwise I will treat this like vandalism and act accordingly. Good day. --mav 01:48, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
good day mav. maybe you care to point me to a single respected encyclopedia with an "In the News" section? A "Random Page" function? A "Community Portal"? No? Well, I thought we were clear that the Main Page is a special case, and not a regular encyclopedia article about Main Pages? dab () 06:29, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Would that lead to a 3RR contravention and a ban...? violet/riga (t) 11:08, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
mav -- Point me to a single case - just one - of a respected encyclopedia such as Britannica or Encarta (who respects Encarta, btw?) letting any old person edit their articles online, and I will concede your point. Wikipedia is different from those projects in one important respect: we are a community, and this type of thing builds the community, and can do no harm. Have a good day. — Matt Crypto 12:58, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Those are still encyclopedias. --mav
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia first and foremost. No encyclopedia should intentionally mislead people. The fact that the community wants this is irrelevant since the only purpose for the community is to create the encyclopedia. Cases where the community goes astray of that goal can and should be stopped by sane individuals. --mav
Well, I don't appreciate your implication about "sanity". I also don't think it's right for you to suggest that, should this go ahead, you will revert it and treat it as vandalism, regardless of consensus. Argue your case, of course, but please remember that you do not have veto power (although Raul might, I suppose). Regarding your argument that an encyclopedia shouldn't intentionally mislead people; well, I don't see the harm in making an infinitesimal exception for an April Fool's joke. What harm do you see as a result? Are you arguing the "PR disaster" line? Surely not. News outlets have a similar mission of not "intentionally misleading people". But everyone accepts, and enjoys, April Fool's jokes from that medium. — Matt Crypto 23:07, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with Matt Crypto. Moreover, it's not even correct to call what is being proposed "misleading," since, if it contains links to nihilartikel etc. then it won't mislead anybody. Hydriotaphia 14:57, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
Comment - although its rather funny, I should point out that this article contains several FairUse images, which probably don't count as FairUse on a hoax article. -- Solipsist 19:01, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Let's say we pick a "legitimate" article that's "kinda funny" for April 1. I think many people will think it's actually a joke, which will do as much or more harm to our "credibility" as having an actual joke. Demi T/C 18:30, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
One that just popped into my watchlist (in the edit summary for an article on my list) is Society for the Prevention of Calling Sleeping Car Porters George. It's a real labor organization that existed in the US and featured some rather prominent members. It sounds ridiculous, and it's nowhere near featured status, but it would help raise awareness of a real social issue. slambo 18:46, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  1. Worldtraveller 22:22, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  2. Pcb21| Pete 00:20, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC). Disagree with Raul, the discussion above shows that that "1 criteria" is enough to stop any good April 1 prank, and there is demand in the community for something a bit funkier.
  3. Geogre 05:09, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC) Look, newspapers, even serious ones, print hoaxes on April 1. The fry of petty radio and TV news do so, too. I think it shows that we are serious and stuff that we can be fun on a single day, although that day would have to be defined by UTC, of course. I think we should only go with something lesser if we really, really, really, really aren't going to have a hoax, and I'd rather have an outright hoax than a lame article or an article about something like the drop bear or jackalope that's a "funny." That's just me, though.
    Look - Wikipedia is not a newsource so your analogy is invalid. --mav 02:11, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    No, but the main page is a media presentation. The main page is not Wikipedia. The encyclopedia lives within, and the front page is the cover. Substituting a picture of Alfred E. Newman for that of Socrates for April 1 is just good fun. By the way, name another online encyclopedia of our popularity, and then we can be asked to cast about for examples of those that have put on a party hat for the day. Geogre 03:22, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  4. Despite having a lot of respect for Raul… does he really get a veto? Is it required that we be more serious than major TV networks, newspapers, etc.? -- Jmabel | Talk 05:53, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
    Name a single respected encyclopedia that has done this. --mav 02:11, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    Name a single respected encyclopedia (other than Wikipedia) that has a live version, whose website is more than just acess to their static published edition. - Mark 06:26, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  5. This article is painfully funny. Do it. Override the veto! Sic semper tyrannis! --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:00, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  6. If there's any way we can throw this one on the main page, we should. We can take ourselves less than seriously for at least one day, and the spoof article is something close to brilliant. -- Seth Ilys 14:21, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  7. What they said. This is the perfect candidate for the first of April. mark 15:01, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  8. born to be FDFA (Fool's Day FA). dab () 15:40, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  9. Ah, this is brilliant, despite not being FA. This is the article Urinal could have been... Fawcett5 16:25, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  10. I agree - we can afford to lighten up for one day, and it is a very good hoax article... -- ChrisO 16:56, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  11. Agree with all of the above. dbenbenn | talk 17:14, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  12. Support - could have fooled me JoJan 17:36, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  13. Good toilet humour, though I think it should be noted as a hoax at the top of the main article. violet/riga (t) 18:18, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  14. Hilarious. - Mark 06:26, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  15. Funny. Raul sux. Mav's OK though. Node 06:41, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  16. Magnificently executed. I don't think we've ever had a joke article that was feature-worthy before this one; it would fulfill every FA criterion if it were true. As has been noted elsewhere, there is an esteemed tradition of formal, serious publications running serious-looking April Fools' jokes. +sj + 07:59, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  17. Oh, come on, let's! Even the freakin' BBC does April Fools jokes. Just because we're amateur encyclopedia editors, doesn't mean we have to be humourless drones ;- — Matt Crypto 10:52, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  18. I support this article! Good candidate! :P --Andylkl (talk) 12:30, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  19. Definitely. Warofdreams 13:38, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  20. Support on condition that the template be labeled for the day as "Today's featured nihilartikel", as suggested by BanyanTree below. "Article" should be moved out of user space for that day and that day only. --Michael Snow 18:12, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    Or we could move it straight to BJAODN straight after April 1. =) --Andylkl (talk) 09:04, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
  21. Funny, with no harm - Estel (talk) 18:51, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  22. This is a marvelous bit of fun. There's nothing wrong with that. I agree that its status as a hoax should be indicated at the top of the page, though. Hydriotaphia 19:31, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  23. Whenever a person or organisation has no sense of humour it is a very dangerous sign. ChrisG 21:08, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  24. This is harmless fun. Don't be a bore, Raul. Peter Isotalo 22:21, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  25. This is an excellent April Fools Day article. If Scientific American can publish a hoax article on precolombian Americans making computers out of rope, we can certainly have our fun. Let's remove the stick. Demi T/C 23:42, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
  26. Support and I agree with Filiocht's point below. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 23:57, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
  27. Meelar (talk) 02:12, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
  28. Enthusiastically support. This is brilliant as an April Fool's Day feature. olderwiser 02:15, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
  29. Support. I think because we are an Encylopedia which changes and evolves by the day, we ought to embrace the April Fool's Day tradition. The article should be signalled as a hoax by some subtle method (I liked Jpgordon's suggestion). Sandover 08:00, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  30. Support. I'm somewhat hesitant making this vote considering the vehemence of some of the debate that it's sparked, but I decided in the end that I should vote in accordance with what I would have without the controversy and let the chips fall where they may. Plenty of "serious" news sources have April Fool articles, this is one of the last things we should be worried about as far as Wikipedia's reputation is concerned. Besides, there's an indication at the bottom now that this isn't a "real" article. Bryan 08:10, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  31. I resolved not to be active on Wikipedia, but I suppose I can make an exception. I support, regardless of the controversy. I would not oppose adding a notice to the top of the page mentioning that it is a hoax, though, even though it kind of defeats the purpose of pulling a prank. Besides, I feel that if Britannica does laugh at us, the joke will be on them — the public relates better to touches of humanity than staid academicism. Johnleemk | Talk 09:54, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  32. This veto business is silly. Raul is not privileged. 119 21:08, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm not voting, because of my involvement in the article, but I do want to make a general poinf: this decision belongs to the community and nobody has a veto. Some of the language used by potential vetoers above goes beyond the bounds of the Wiki spirit, IMHO. Filiocht | Talk 07:22, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
People don't want the article on the main page because it is a potential PR disaster. Imagine, a week from now, when the Britannica guy writes his third anti-Wikipedia article, and points out that you can't trust wikipedia because it runs fake articles on the main page. →Raul654 07:26, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
15 for and 4 objectors: people do want it, Raul, even if you do not. To quote John Adams on tyranny (writing to Thomas Jefferson): You fear the one, I the few. Any attempt at imposing a veto would, to say the very least, run contrary to the Wiki way. If I may be allowed to say so, I feel that my own efforts here have always been to help build a respected encyclopaedia, one that can hold its own in any company, but even the most respected of institutions needs to let its hair down from time to time. Lighten up, lads! Filiocht | Talk 08:02, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
Maybe there is something of a culture clash here, but where I come from that would make him look daft, not us. I think some simple way of making the hoax easy to spot (like piping links to April Fools Day for example) would relieve us of any of those sort of issues. Pcb21| Pete 07:43, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree totally with Pete. Anyone humourless enough to use this as a reason to bash WP will be mercilessly skewered by far cleverer and better-spoken bloggers and reporters; more likely to be a free-PR boon for us. +sj + 07:59, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Like Filiocht, I have refrained from voting because of my involvement in the creation. There is a strong clue to the April Fool relationship in the opening section. Making such a clue too overt destroys the joke, however. A hoax is not funny if it does not fool the reader briefly. A clear warning that the piece is foolish reduces it to self-regarding cleverness instead of the shared delight that was intended. --Theo (Talk) 09:16, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't see how this could possibly be contorted into a "PR disaster". Everybody admits that there are factual errors in WP, and we're trying our best to remove them. A deliberate hoax on April's Fool is not one of them. It may make us look childish, but only to very stern, grey-bearded academics. It will not impinge on how our accuracy is perceived. I would be more into placing minor hoaxes on ITN, and not so much into featuring an (obvious) nonsense article, so I am mainly opposing the "vetoing" talk above, I don't feel terribly strongly about the issue itself. dab () 09:52, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The BBC are still proud of their spaghetti hoax, almost 40 years later ([1]). It doesn't seem to have harmed the enormous respect and trust the public has in BBC news reporting. Taco Bell apparently saw dramatically increased sales after they claimed to have bought the Liberty Bell with a view to moving it to California, to the outrage of the public ([2]). PR disaster? I honestly believe it would in fact be a major PR victory. Worldtraveller 11:57, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
For those concerned it might be taken seriously: why not simply add a line at the bottom pointing out that it is a Nihilartikel? -- Viajero 13:30, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Comment: If it is used, replacing the text "Today's featured article" with "Today's featured nihilartikel" might be an appropriately sly way to tell people outright that it is a hoax, without actually telling them that it is a hoax. - BanyanTree 15:02, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Comment::: Actually, subtle but obvious: Today's featured article. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 20:38, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I like this idea! mark 09:09, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
At present, there is a "see also" to nihilartikel and one of the early images has a cryptic (not to say acronymic) caption. If the main page referred to the "Today's featured article:" I don't think we would go too far wrong. Like others, I'm a contributor so I won't vote (although I think this is by far the best, of course :-). -- ALoan (Talk) 11:19, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • comment — I think now would be the time to concede that the ETPH cannot be vetoed ;o) btw, did anyone point out that the article's authors maintain that it is almost entirely factual? dab () 21:38, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Personally, I would not believe a word that the article's authors said or wrote. --Theo (Talk) 21:53, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
About anything. --Theo (Talk) 21:56, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I think you would, you're just having us on. Filiocht | Talk 07:28, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support - This is a fine example of a WP article, the only difference being that it is a fake. It exhibits quality writing and organization, and April Fools Day jokes are not only tolerated but even expected of many otherwise serious publications. Vetoing is silly - this is supposed to be a community of equals. -- Phyzome is Tim McCormack 20:13, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)


It pretty much speaks for itself. The topic is so incredibly silly that no one will believe that it's on the main page as anything other than a joke.

  1. Cyrius|
  2. ideal for Wikipedia self-irony -- 500'000 articles! (about half of them about minor Nintendo characters) dab () 15:40, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  3. Ditto. -- Shauri 18:37, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  4. Object - sends the wrong message, just think of the gamecruft this would spawn. Fawcett5 03:27, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  5. Since our votes above are being vetoed, I'm casting mine again for an alternate choice. --Michael Snow 17:37, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"spawn"? like there is any gamecruft topic without its own FA left, by now :oP dab ()

Time Cube

DUMBASS ACADEMIC BASTARDS BLOCK TIME CUBE DEBATE BECAUSE OF EVIL WORD LEARNING[3]. Vote for nature's harmonic simultaneous 4-day, the only thing that can save humanity from self-destruction.

  1. Ryanaxp 05:42, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
  2. My description was: "Let's enlighten Wikipedia users with Cubic truth! You can also vote for Time Cube at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates.". I would like to know why Raul654 reverted my edit. 05:50, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)


A rather serious look at what many would consider an unserious topic. An April Fools double-fake, an anti-April Fools that demonstrates the real scholarship that can go into a silly-sounding topic in an encyclopedia edited by volunteers. Read this featured article and see what I mean. And look at the picture, a great image for the main page as the perfect counterpoint to the article's intellectual content.

  1. Pharos 04:05, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Any joke, sillier is better

This subsection of the April Fool's vote stands in direct opposition to "No special article" and should be counted as support for any silly article.

  1. "Laughter is the best medicine." As a community, we desperately need to regain the ability to laugh at ourselves. Looks to me like like the vote is on presenting real articles that have some sort of humorous cant to them -- this doesn't go far enough, but I'd support it. I'd rather see a completely fabricated article, maybe a kitbash of Roswell and Flat Earth. Howabout screwing up all the CSS files, so all the pages display red text on black? And every single page loads up an audio file: the theme from Dragnet?
The more outrageous the joke, the better for us all, and in the end, for our readers. — Xiong (talk) 13:59, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
As for 'real articles that have some sort of humorous cant to them' as opposed to 'completely fabricated articles' — did you check out the fourth suggestion? I think it's worthy of your vote. mark 14:43, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Vote is moot, and I'm reasonably pleased. Next year, let's revive the (Detroit) Fifth Estate's outrageous, classic 1 Apr Detroit Free Press spoof front page: "Christ's Body Found!" — Xiong (talk) 08:21, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)

Extreme ironing

This poll is closed, so you can't vote. Nobody said anything about not being able to add new candidates, though. So I'd like us to get this article to FA and run it for next year.

  • Objection 1: it's not a hoax. Wrong. It's a meta-hoax. If we put this on the main page, everybody is going to assume this is a hoax. I mean, come on, extreme ironing? Even after checking references, doubt will remain. How much trouble did we put into this?
  • Objection 2: I'm being an ass by saying this now instead of next year. I never said I wasn't, but that has nothing to do with the basic idea.
  • Objection 3: Wikipedians won't fall for it. Worse, the general public won't fall for it because it'll be well known by next year. Errr.... You're right. See objection 2.

I haven't voted because I'm totally on the fence on this one. On the one hand I agree than an April Fool's joke should be funny. It should be unexpected. It should actively try to deceive. If you can't accept that, than just accept that April Fool's has no place on Wikipedia in your opinion. All the people who aren't completely boring clods that think people will stop believing in Wikipedia like they'll stop believing in Santa Claus if they find out it lied to them will disagree, but it is your opinion. Just don't go put up weak rubbish like "a slightly unusual featured article". Forget that. You need something way out there or you shouldn't bother. The only thing worse than someone with no sense of humor is someone with a lousy sense of humor. Hell, go put up A Tale of a Tub again and watch people desperately searching for the punchline, until it dawns that Wikipedia is above such matters.

On the flip side, though, the problem with "European toilet paper holder" is that it's not good enough. It's too clever. It goes too far. The best April Fool's gags are both plausible and utterly stupid if you really stop to think about them, and will sucker in a lot of people—San Serriffe, the spaghetti trees, the Taco Liberty Bell. Will the toilet paper holder do likewise? No. There's too much outrageous material in there to lead people by the nose for long. Never mind the references, people will never get there. Restraint is too hard when you've got a group of people vying to put the best joke in. Collaborative humor is very hard to do—I have nothing but respect for those who've tried it, but I think it overshot the mark. Don't stop trying, though. :-)

I understand this matter is still being hotly debated on the mailing list, and even our benevolent God-King is wavering in the matter. Let's just say that I, and I think many others, would agree that if there is to be someone issuing a veto, it would have to be Jimbo, not mav or Raul, although they're of course free to throw around their sizeable goodwill in convincing him. The poll above shows more support for ETPH than for not doing anything special, but it's by no means a clear-cut issue, and there is no consensus possible between these exclusive options.

April Fool's day. It's no laughing matter. You've read it, you can't un-read it! You could delete it. Please don't delete it. JRM 00:16, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)

ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT. As I have said several times, this poll was a ghastly mistake that I will not be repeating next year. →Raul654 00:33, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
Since you're not very specific, I'll have to assume you disagreed with everything I said. I don't think this poll was such a big mistake. That it didn't do what you wanted it to do doesn't make it worthless. JRM 07:38, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)
In the future, how about informing us about which polls will be respected and which ones that are just for show? That way we won't waste time and argumentation expressing our opinions about something that is already decided. Peter Isotalo 10:44, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
This was the first - and as far as I'm concerned, last - poll of this nature. The purpose was to encourage people to write featured articles. It failed misreably. I has managed to create a huge fight over a trivial issue. I don't know about you, but most people would define that kind of idiocy as failure. →Raul654 01:00, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)
Honestly, this is going to be my last word on the entire topic, but— you were actually creating a poll to encourage people to do something? Surely you have more experience than that. Polls are meant to establish final agreement over well-accepted, consensus-argued set of alternatives/options. I know it often doesn't work out that way, but AFAIK it never is the case that a poll encourages people to do things other than vote on what's there. If you're "lucky", you'll get a set of unsolicited "rider bills", but that's it. We have other means of encouraging featured articles, and of all those, a poll surely isn't it. JRM 01:51, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)

4/1/2005 article schedule - not ETPH

First of all, let me again express my regret at ever suggesting this poll. I did it to encourage people to write featured articles on unusual topics, but I can see that this part of my idea was virtually (if not totally) ignored by all concerned. Instead, it led to this senseless bruhaha, which if it turns into an edit war, is more likely than not to end up on BJAODL. The whole idea was a ghastly mistake, which I will not be making again anytime soon.

I've scheduled Nintendo Entertainment System for the April Fools day FA. It is (IMHO) a very good article, and I think it's a 'fun' article, per Mav's request. There were many good reasons stated above why we shouldn't go with ETPH. I asked on the mailing list for Jimbo's thoughts, and his reply decided it for me. He proposed having an alternate joke main page, and said that In this way, we get to have a little fun with the holiday, but we also don't abandon our seriousness for the day. This echoes the above sentiments that we're not fark and we're not slashdot -- credibility matters to us.

So please, don't revert it - that would just be lame. →Raul654 01:42, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

Oh come on, why not Goomba? It's probably the silliest FA we have that hasn't already been featured, and there will never be a more appropriate time to put it on Main Page. -- Cyrius| 02:38, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If we're going in this vein, I have to agree with Cyrius that Goomba itself is considerably sillier than the NES. On April 1, the NES could almost look respectable. Might as well fully embrace our unBrittanicaness one day of the year.--Pharos 04:59, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Echo the above. If we're not going to do a spoof, which would be the usual thing for April Fools' Day, then picking a fun and quirky article is okay. But by the standards of articles that have been on the Main Page in the past (e.g., Exploding whale, Pet skunk, Emperor Norton I, Holy Prepuce, London congestion charge), using NES is an exceedingly lame choice. I venture that most readers will not even have a clue that the choice is meant to have any relationship to the day, and what's the good of a joke that nobody gets? Goomba would be over-the-top enough that people would be much more likely to grasp the connection. --Michael Snow 17:31, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Off the top of the real Main Page it would be neat to have:

Don't Panic!
Visit the new and improved version of this page.

The hoax Main Page would be at Wikipedia:April 1, 2005 and any hoax "article" would be at Wikipedia:April 1, 2005/Foo with 'foo' being the name of the article. -- mav 04:32, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The BBC's h2g2 might not appreciate that so much. -- Cyrius| 04:51, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It is a literary reference, not a trademark. Also, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. --mav 05:02, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The real issue is that it's such an obvious nerd joke. -- Cyrius| 05:54, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Seems strange to me that you didn't want the featured article on the main page to be a hoax, but you don't mind that there is a large joking title (unprofessional that wouldn't be found in EB...) on the top of the main page. But that does seem a good idea - would it appear beneath the current boilerplate? Wikipedia:April 1, 2005 would need to be started quite soon however (could this fake main page be allowed to have ETPH as a featured article?) - Estel (talk) 07:48, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

Frankly, I'm baffled by the plain sillyness of this newest plans. Please, let's try to be a real encyclopedia by playing of some real clever or sophisticated jokes, or let's do nothing — in any case, let's not lower ourself to some nerdy joke, giving people a link to 'what we would like to have them fooled with', or confirm our 'only game-cruft' image. It's all, or nothing at all. mark 09:48, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I refuse to be annoyed by something that is supposed to be fun. But Raul654, you seriously have to reconsider what a wiki is, and what your position is. We don't want no benevolent dictators. So your idea was ignored. Tough, it happens to countless editors, all the time. But of course, if it happens that your idea is ignored, it's all senseless bruhaha. Consensus and democracy is all very well, as long as it results in you having your way, but woe to the community if decides "wrongly". This is not the first time I sense this sort of attitude here, and frankly, I have no respect for it at all. Sure, you put a lot of effort into FA, so it is only right that your voice be heard and respected. But this sort of disregard for the hoi polloi daring to disagree with you sure doesn't add to your prestige, or your credibility. I don't care in the least about tomorrow's FA now, feature Banausos for all I care, or Patrician. But don't call us lame. I know lame. Ignoring poll outcomes is lame. Being paralyzed by the fear of the Britannica guy's venomous sarcasm for us having a nihilartikel on April 1st (like everybody else on the bloody internet) is lame. dab () 10:23, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree with dab. I'm getting the impression that Raul is somewhat abusing the authority and trust given to him by the community. No one likes being "vetoed" with fairly limited and clearly questionable argumentation and then being labeled as "lame", and especially not when so many people have actually voiced their criticism. You're not being the least bit diplomatic about this, Raul.
And I second mark's idea. Either we have a proper April Fool's joke or none at all. Peter Isotalo 10:36, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
I also agree with dab, only more so. Raul, this is frankly unacceptable behaviour. Filiocht | Talk 11:58, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
I was one of those who criticized Raul for too quickly vetoing the ETPH idea originally. However I have to say criticism is less valid now. Raul is right, we would be a bunch of fools to have an edit war over this on the day itself (now in New Zealand!), and recognising that his own view was at variance with much of the community, he got Jimbo's input, who is a "court of last resort" in a situation like this where we can't satisfy everyone and time is too tight to work a full consensus out. What else was Raul supposed to do? Pcb21| Pete 13:41, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Next year, we start talking about this in January ;-). Pcb21| Pete 13:41, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
We did start talking about this in January. Or did you think people only came up with the ETPH idea last week? --Michael Snow 17:14, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Oh my goodness, I only got involved when Raul brought the discussion to this page a mere month ago. All this should make a fine contribution to Wikipedia:You couldn't make it up... but we really debated this for $TIME_PERIOD. Pcb21| Pete 22:00, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The fundamental difference of opinion I see here is that people who want ETPH as the FA want to laugh at the readers. -- Cyrius| 13:25, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
not at all. this doesn't even qualify as a proper hoax. I would just like other users to experience the same pleasure I had when first finding this article. It is, in fact, a parody of an encyclopedia article, so what we are making fun of, if we want to call it that, is the concept of an encyclopedia. But in an intelligent and loving way. dab () 16:19, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That makes absolutely no sense to me, probably because I got nothing out of reading the article other than a sense of mild confusion. -- Cyrius| 17:38, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Nintendo is a "fun" article? It's an entirely predictable article that shows the rather boring user base that floods the encyclopedia with breathless articles on hobbies. The people who have been supporting the toilet paper holder have hardly been trolls. We're the usual Featured Article folks, academics, admins, and constant editors. It's not a curio from history, but a literate hoax. If it seems to be laughing at the reader, I think that's to underestimate the reader vastly. I enjoy going to serious sites to see their hoaxes on April 1. The more august and serious the place, the better the hoax I expect. We, though, will confirm the world's impression of us as teenagers with more time than learning by running Nintendo, which will surely do wonders to help us recruit more contributions on game cartridges -- something we surely need. Geogre 19:33, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Devoting an FA to Nintendo is exactly the kind of thing that diminishes our credibility, far more than a satire would. Our EB friend will certainly latch onto this as an example of how lame Wikipedia is; how populated with fanboys who aren't serious scholars, etc. The criticism is far more damaging to us exactly because we aren't joking. Demi T/C 00:00, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)


Having unwittingly started a constitutional crisis by nominating ETPH for AFDFA, I'm troubled by what's happened in the ensuing discussion.

  1. A considerable majority of users wanted ETPH on the main page, but were overruled. Is not consensus one of the most important principles here?
  2. Is choosing the article to be featured each day a task delegated to an individual by the community, or a position of responsibility over the community held by an individual?
  3. Nothing in Jimmy Wales' e-mail on the subject indicated that ETPH was definitely to be rejected from the main page, but that seems to be the way it was interpreted. The alternative plan contained in that e-mail, on the other hand, seems to have been roundly ignored.
  4. One user seems to have arrogated the responsibility to decide on a narrow definition of what the community is for, and to unilaterally override the community's wishes if he decides it is necessary. I think that's very unhealthy.
  5. There have been suggestions that somehow people are trying to undermine the goals of the project by supporting the idea of a spoof on April Fool's Day. Look at the list of people supporting the idea, they include some of the most prolific and respected editors.

Generally, I'm troubled by the appearance that some users have greater weight on some issues than other users. That appearance is much more damaging to the project, it seems to me, than an obvious spoof on the main page. Maybe the joke's on me for taking all this too seriously. Worldtraveller 11:21, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Consensus cannot override our basic principles and mission. If there was a consensus to turn Wikipedia into something other than a respected encyclopedia, then that can and should be over-ruled by sane individuals. --mav 23:17, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Our "basic principles and mission" were laid down by Jimmy Wales. He may over-rule, sane or not. Anyone else is free to appeal to "sanity", but in doing so they should realize that what is "sane" to one is "my way or the highway" to others. A rule of "sane individuals" sounds like just any other oligarchy to me. I'll take my chances with a benevolent dictator instead, thank you very much. "Rule" here is based on respect and trust, not on any self-proclaimed understanding of Wikipedia's true nature. I think I'm not exaggerating when I say you are one of the most respected and trusted members of Wikipedia, Daniel, but implying however subtly that those who disagree with your assessments are not "sane" is something no amount of trust and respect can validate.
And all this over April Fool's. I am an idiot. JRM 23:30, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)
No-one was trying to turn Wikipedia into anything other than a repected encyclopaedia, or corrupt any basic principles and missions. Self-appointed 'sane' individuals are dangerous, I think, especially when as JRM says we have a constitutional monarch type figure to safeguard these things without the need for others to act as policemen. Worldtraveller 23:56, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This is the second time you've made this somewhat offensive insinuation about "sanity" — please don't. Regardless of whether April Foolery was a good idea, I'm a little concerned that you think it's appropriate to ignore consensus based one's own personal interpretation of Wikipedia's overarching "mission". On the same principle, some users could do a lot of damage. Imagine: "that sentence is POV...I'll remove it despite consensus because NPOV is a basic Wikipedia principle!" Sure, NPOV is a core Wikipedia principle, but it's likely, if there's consensus, that this example user is incorrect in his evaluation of the sentence. — Matt Crypto 00:03, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Plurality does not a consensus make. And you've been here more than long enough that no one should have to tell you that. →Raul654 00:17, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)
Eh? I don't believe I've argued or implied otherwise. — Matt Crypto 00:46, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, despite the light-hearted context, I think all your points are quite valid and probably merit some further contemplation. — Matt Crypto 11:40, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As I said above: You fear the one, I the few. This is indeed a black day for Wikipedia, when the views of a small, self-elected claque ride roughshod over a fairly clear consensus. If this is the way things are going, I, for one, will be reconsidering my level of committment to the project. Filiocht | Talk 11:50, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a serious project with a serious goal. Not a plaything of the community. --mav 23:18, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
On the article: ETPH is only a spoof, and noone is going to die if it is not on the front page. I read Jimbo's e-mail as being somewhat equivocal - it certainly doesn't say in definitive terms that that ETPH must not be on the front page - leaving us somewhat in the position after his ex cathedra pronouncement on the autofellatio image, where the image cannot be shown in the one place (if any) where it belongs, but hangs around to be used by vandals.
If ETPH going to be ignored (not that I think it should be - I think it is funny, and I don't see how it could harm our credibility to have a spoof article on the front page for one day) then the clear consensus is for no special article, and Nintendo Entertainment System satisfies that criterion in spades.
On the constitutional point: clearly Jimbo can do what he likes with "his" encyclopedia while he is paying a significant part of the bills. The arbitrators seem to be doing a good job, and perhaps in time we won't need a benign dictator above our court of appeal.
Finally, I have great respect for the effort that Raul654 devotes to the project: he does a great job in choosing the front-page featured articles and managing Wikipedia:Featured article candidates, and he was chosen by acclamation as the featured article "director" for good reasons. Nevertheless, I don't see how that position gives him a veto where there is a pretty clear community consensus, and I think he is wrong on this one.
All that said, we have already spent far too much time and energy on this debate about something that is, at the end of the day, entirely trivial and ephemeral. As Worldtraveller says, the joke is surely on us for taking this all too seriously. Time to move on. -- ALoan (Talk) 13:45, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Regardless of the triviality (or not) of the issue of what to put on the main page tomorrow, the outcome of this debate is quite unacceptable, and quite disturbing.
Some were afraid of the EB critics if a fake article was run. Well, what about the critics who say the few dictate what happens on Wikipedia? The "Cabal"? Today their criticisms, though not quite matching the exact situation, have indeed been proved to have a secure basis in reality.
This "veto" business is disgraceful.
I have no doubt that fellow sysops will, as I am, be loath to "disrupt" Wikipedia by changing the TFA template for fear of causing trouble. That in itself is not right. Wikipedia is a wiki, and though some may disagree with such changing of the front page content (which is after all not an article, but a presentation to the random visitor), such a change should not be cause for lynching unless changes were made with malicious intent, or further edit warring was participated in.
zoney talk 15:50, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(Zoney: see the following section)
I see nothing wrong with Raul's decision; I'm all in favor of democratic principles myself, but there are certain points, such as the basic encyclopedic, informative nature of the project, that really shouldn't be subject to a vote, even for one day. And besides, have we forgotten that we are supposed to be global in scope? What is it with the in-jokes? I mean, the article isn't even funny (when I first saw it my reaction was "...huh? is this a joke or something? I don't get it", not "ha ha that's hilarious, toliet paper holders, imagine!"), and lots of people wouldn't get the joke and would be fooled, even if they were aware of April Fools Day and were conscious of it that day. Everyking 15:59, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Wikipedia fundamentally exists to write an encyclopedia. Lying to people so we can laugh at them for believing us is at odds with that. -- Cyrius| 16:56, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Raul is basically in the right; this isn't democracy, it's an encyclopedia, and not much good comes out of calling patent nonsense a featured article. I personally regret not having the time to write a good comprehensive oddball article on Georges Psalmanazar as I had intended; hopefully we can all focus ourselves on just writing 'interesting' factual articles for next year.--Pharos 17:24, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is only "not a democracy" when trolls or vandals overrun a vote in an effort to derail the encyclopedia. It is still a consensus-based community as much of the time as possible; including when it comes to decisions like this. The long-time editors in favor of a little joke wouldn't support it if they thought this were bad for the project as a whole. +sj +

On the basis that even (most of) those strenuously for using ETPH on the front page are resigned to the inevitability of it not being allowed (whether rightly for the good of the Encyclopedia or wrongly against the wishes of the community), should the reportedly lame April Fools day article be actually started in order that it can go live at least by the early hours of UTC? It has a huge probability of seeming exceptionally lame, but it can be worthwhile seeing if the community can come up with a work of comic genius within the next few hours - and to be honest, I'd rather see this (evidence that there is a sense of humour permitted on this server) than nothing whatsoever. - Estel (talk) 17:08, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

(I'm moving my comment from above down here, as this conversation is moving too quickly... it belongs here now.) Let's not convict Raul of a crime he didn't commit. Summarizing the results on this page, we had 32 votes for a joke article, 16 for no special article, and 11 total for various "real but somehow amusing" articles. In my book that's a 32 joke / 27 no joke final tally, which is nowhere near a consensus -- in fact, barely a simple majority. In this time-constrained situation, as the standing de facto ruler of FA-dom, Raul is perfectly justified in making any decision he wants, as the community has offered no clear guidance. His deferral to Jimbo (despite my aversion to the cult of the God-King) was an acceptable decision on his part, and even a noble effort to create consensus where there was none. The only thing Raul is guilty of is a bad misjudgment of the community's general sentiment; as they say, don't ask a question you don't know the answer to. - Bantman 18:14, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

Is choosing the featured article is a position of responsibility over the community or a responsibility delegated by the community? If the latter, then Raul is certainly not perfectly justified in making any decision he wants. Deferring to Jimbo, I'm sure, is acceptable to all, I certainly wouldn't argue with that, but Jimbo's mail did not justify the ensuing decision. Worldtraveller 19:55, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
When there is no consensus, as I contend there is not, the status quo must continue. Raul doing whatever he wants in managing the FAs is the status quo. We all acknowledge that his role is a delegated responsibility, not a position of power, and if his role is to be questioned, that is valid (although I would hate to see him removed over such a petty thing as this). But to suggest that he should abandon his traditional role without community consensus -- without cear direction given him -- is anarchic. - Bantman 20:07, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
I do see your point that the degree of consensus here could be seen differently by different people. Things certainly ended up more anarchic in the end than I'm sure most people wanted. I certainly wouldn't for a moment suggest that Raul be removed over anything as ultimately trivial as this, I just was concerned that the views of many were seemingly being ignored in favour of the views of a few. Anyway, I am sure there is now a strong consensus that enough's been said on this now, so no more from me on any of this! Back to working on my next featured article candidate. Worldtraveller 23:56, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Featured Article blurb for ETPH

Let's do something productive instead of just arguing: can someone draft a blurb for ETPH here? Its "Recently featured:" list and the three links in the lower-right should be modified so that they link to more... appropriate places. Then at least we can discuss what we want to do with it more concretely.

Someone should also create a "Featured Article for April 1, 2005" banner template that we could stick at the top and bottom of the article... and ETPH itself could use a more extensive "See also" section. +sj + 18:56, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)