Wikipedia talk:Reference desk

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Posts by indeffed User:Neptunekh, User:Venustar84[edit]

I have removed a post that was previously closed re transgender medical advice. See the recent histories of the indeffed User:Neptunekh and User:Venustar84 who have been found to be block evading sock puppets. The poster here geolocates the Vancouver, BC< the user's home ground, and follows all the same habits, regarding medical advice, mental health, and trans issues. The user has dozens of socks as well as IP addresses, and has been repeatedly been blocked and had her edits deleted for such things as threats of self harm. These edits should be removed on sight. μηδείς (talk) 01:26, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Has a sock-puppet investigation been requested into the use of the block-evading IPs? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:02, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Robert McClenon, one was. You can see the results in the block archive for Neptunekh. Unfortunately, once Jayron32 took the helpful step of blocking the most recent active socks, as they were being disruptive during the SPI, the checkuser closed the case as moot, leaving any dormant socks remain fallow. μηδείς (talk) 17:09, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
If the socks have been reported, at least the socks have been reported. If they are IPs, then they will change anyway, and IPs are not long-term blocked unless they are open proxies. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:33, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but this user has a very long history of multiple registered accounts. Next time, rather than be stupid and ask Jayron32 to actually do something helpful, we'll have to pay the troll toll, and wait for the SPI to finish before stanching any disruption. I am not expecting any action right now; his thread is only here as a heads-up and so that if there are any other deletions needed soon I can simply say "see talk". μηδείς (talk) 18:07, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Didn't bother to read this well until the discussion below but now that I did I'm really confused here. If you believe there to be sleepers, why didn't you just say so in the SPI? A CU would surely still run a check if there was any real reason to think there might be sleepers. Personally, I can't actually recall any reason to think that the editor concerned would have any real sleepers. They did seem to use multiple accounts, but mostly they seemed to use the accounts soon after registration. Sometimes they use an account then abandoned it and they may have come back to it, but these aren't really sleepers, and often this often happened many months later so the logs would surely be gone. I also can't recall there being good evidence they were trolling, and the SPI and what lead to their block also doesn't provide much evidence for trolling. Of course, if there was no evidence for sleepers, but already sufficient evidence that the accounts were all socks, then no CU would have been run any way, regardless of who actually did the blocking of the socks. Ultimately admins should be commended for blocking socks, not castigated. Nil Einne (talk) 19:59, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Even more confused now. Looking more carefully at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Neptunekh/Archive suggests CUs were run in both cases.

A completely different editor at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Bowei Huang 2/Archive was blocked without a CU. Bowei Huang 2 also seems to have lots of accounts and since they also mess around in articles, it's possible there were accounts that hadn't yet been identified and Jayron32 did recommend a check for sleepers or other accounts, so it's possible some were missed there which would be unfortunate, but you still can't fault Jayron32 for doing what any admin should do namely blocking any socks where the behaviour evidence was clear.

I'm not even sure whether I'd criticise the CU. It was likely a fair judgement call as it looks like in most recent cases no sleepers were found when a CU was run, not that a CU was done in many cases anyway.

I think there are are more socks then listed there, often we didn't bother a SPI but I'm not particularly aware of any recent cases where an account could have been identified but wasn't, not that I look much in to that sort of thing.

The good/bad thing is that despite BWH bothering the encyclopaedia proper, they usually seem to make it to the RD with their accounts soon and recognisable enough to be blocked. And despite being persistent enough to be annoying, they don't tend to have an army of socks, instead just a small number which we usually identify.

Nil Einne (talk) 20:30, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

In fact it's now looking like User:Desklin is a sock of Bowei Huang 2. But the account was created on July 30th [1]. Running a checkuser on the circa 24 July would not have detected this account. Nil Einne (talk) 13:14, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Return of User:Bowei Huang 2 sock[edit]

Once again, this is serving no purpose at all other than to feed those who dwell below bridges. Time we all learnt, once again, a lesson about internet trolling. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:20, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There are currently several questions by the new account Desklin including the question "Was Australia in 1900 a rich country? If so, then why was life expectancy only 55 years?"

This focus on Australia, round numbered years, GDP and life expectancy exactly follows the modus operandi of user Bowei Huang 2 whose last sock Nineguy was indeffed in July by Jayron32. See the sock investiagtions

For Nineguys' question on Australian mortality in 1900, see 22 these July posts.

Note, of course the blocking and the creation of Desklin overlap, and Desklin's first edits were repeatedly to create and blank his own userpage, two other odd coincidences. I suggest at the very least we not feed this further. μηδείς (talk) 01:46, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree this is almost definitely a Bowei Huang 2 sock, I've been treating them as such since I noticed their EU question and then checked their history. However it isn't true there's an overlap between the blocking and the creation. The creation happened a few days after the blocking (i.e. proceeded the block), as is common with socks. In particular, as I said above, the creation happened on 30th July. The blocking happened on 22nd July. This distinction is important because the CU request was also unsurprisingly around then, so any CU would likely have happened perhaps 24 or 25th at the latest, unless CUs got very busy. So any assumption a CU would have prevented this would most likely be incorrect. Nil Einne (talk) 01:56, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Are any of our regulars checkusers? μηδείς (talk) 02:00, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Well spotted, Medeis. I concur that this is Bowei back. AlexTiefling (talk) 09:46, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Those questions are both completely valid, and IMO very interesting. Yet you remove them, because you are convinced that the person was banned on another account? Good job disrupting the desks. And before you quibble, you have prevented me, the user, and perhaps many others from sharing references on an important issue. That is disruptive. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:42, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
There's no harm preventing the editor from sharing references since they're forbidden from editing wikipedia, as a result of their own actions over I think about 7+ years now. They've been given multiple chances, including one in 2012 after being indef, but failed to change their behaviour sufficiently to keep the privilige of editing anywhere on wikipedia, which includes the its RD. Nil Einne (talk) 15:04, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, longstanding Wikipedia policy is that a banned person must apply to have their ban revoked before we allow them back. Sliding back in the back door and "being good" is not sufficient. WP:SO has been offered, and Bowei is well aware of it. He chooses not to follow it. --Jayron32 16:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
So you all agree that the questions linked above (and here [2]) are disruptive? Or are you just all so sure that this question:
"Why do America, Australia and Canada have larger environmental impact, higher carbon dioxide emissions per capita and higher energy use per capita than Europe and Japan?"
-- can only have been asked by one specific banned user? Will I be deleted if I ask a question about CO2 emissions in USA vs. Europe if I fail to sign in? Can no IP ever ask about AU and environment, for fear of being seen as a 7-year old banned user? SemanticMantis (talk) 16:30, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with the question. The person known by the alias "Bowei Huang 2" is not allowed to edit Wikipedia full stop. That means they are not allowed to enter keystrokes and have those keystrokes recorded anywhere within the en.wikipedia domain for any reason. We don't assess the quality of a banned person's edits before deciding if their ban is still active. That puts the cart before the horse. They must be unbanned before we'll consider the quality of their edits. Until they are unbanned, they are not allowed to edit. This is true even if the person doesn't create an account, and instead edits just with their IP address.--Jayron32 17:53, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for clarifying: this is literally personal - you and the others are taking an action against a person, or at least a perceived person, for their past wrong doings. But I still have no idea how you seem so sure this post is from that person. Talk about carts and horses! You act as though the IP user signed "Bowei Huang 2" to the post. Again, many people might want to know more about CO2 emissions around the world. Count me as one of them. Is that so uncommon that it can be used as unique ID? Do you not care about false positives in your banned-user heuristic? I won't make WP:POINTY edits, but I do fear that I could get deleted if I posted questions when not signed in, merely because they reminded somebody of someone else. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:13, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
It isn't as simple as "Anyone who posts about CO2 emissions." The user in question has tells in terms of editing patterns, styles of communication, etc. There's a plethora of data points we use. By your logic, all bans are unenforcable, as all anyone has to do to avoid a ban is create a new account, and then you can just say "We can't prove it's them, it could all be a coincidence". Why even bother banning anyone, for any reason, since under your logic, there is no way anyone could ever be proven to be the banned user. --Jayron32 18:25, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I can understand removal based on subjective ID criteria when the the edits in question are disruptive. But you seem to agree that the content of the posts is fine. I don't see how removal in this case is helping WP in general or the Ref desk in particular. Whatever, you gotta do what you gotta do, and I will continue to question actions that I see as unnecessary and disruptive, including removals like these. If you want to remove harmless questions because you think they were posted by some guy who did us wrong, I guess I can't stop you. Maybe you all are highly trained in prosody, concordance, stylistics, and other forensic linguistics techniques that can be used for author identification, but I'm still skeptical of the general certainty that surrounds these claims of putative identity. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Two things 1) Bowei can start editing again as soon as he is unbanned. He knows how to do that. If he chooses not to be unbanned, he can go away. The ban was placed for a reason, and the ban needs to be unplaced. Users, for very good reasons, are not allowed to simply ignore a ban or a block and simply go about their business. 2) This is not the venue to discuss Wikipedia's banning policy. You are not going to get the community to overturn it here. Your argument amounts to "There is no means to enforce bans against people who change their initial accounts or edit anonymously". If that is your argument, and for that reason YOU believe that no ban should ever be enforced against such accounts or IPs, then YOU need to get the community to agree to that. WT:BAN would be the appropriate venue to argue for it, and WP:VPP is where you would advertise such a discussion. Unless and until Wikipedia policy says "Bans are only in effect unless the person banned does something good." or "Bans cannot be enforced against new accounts or IP addresses", your arguments mean nothing here, and less in this specific instance. Currently, the policy at WP:BAN reads, and I quote: "An editor who is site-banned is forbidden from making any edit, anywhere on Wikipedia, via any account or as an unregistered user, under any and all circumstances." Also the section titled "Bans apply to all editing, good or bad" from that policy page elaborates more. Also from the same policy page, regarding the enforcement of the ban "If the banned editor creates sock puppet accounts to evade the ban, these usually will be blocked as well. When evasion is a problem, the IP address of a banned editor who edits from a static IP address may also be blocked for the duration of the ban. If a banned editor evades the ban from a range of addresses, short-term IP blocks may be used. " Please understand, SemanticMantis, that my explaining this to you is merely a courtesy to educate you where you appear to be mistaken. This is not an invitation to debate the merits of the banning policy in this forum. I do not have the power to unilaterally change the policy, solely on YOUR singular dislike of it. If you want Wikipedia's banning policy to be overturned, I informed you above of how to do so. If you believe that the banning policy has been incorrectly applied here, WP:AN exists for the purpose of such discussions. Demanding, on this particular page, that we stop following Wikipedia policy or change it is counterproductive. --Jayron32 19:44, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I know I can't change any WP policy by myself, and certainly not here. I'm just discussing ref desk actions on the ref desk talk page, which I thought was what it was here for. You still seem to be working under the assumption that the ID as banned user is 100% correct, but I don't know if I can change that either. Thanks for the info and links, though I don't think I can be mistaken on my own opinion. I made no claims about any policy, I only said what I thought, and certainly made no demands of anyone. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
The alleged quality of a given edit is irrelevant. Anything posted by a banned user is subject to removal. "Anyone is free to revert any edits made in defiance of a ban."Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:46, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, my contention is primarily the grounds on which and the apparent certainty with which the identification is claimed. Do you want to explain in detail why you are so certain that the two posts I am discussing are from a specific banned user? Because I don't think the given reasons ("This focus on Australia, round numbered years, GDP and life expectancy") stands up under any scrutiny, and doesn't even really apply to the questions I'm discussing. Otherwise I think I'm done registering my dissent. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
You need to extend more good faith to your fellow well-seasoned editors, especially admins who've had to deal with Bowei over and over again. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I do extend good faith to Jayron and Medeis, and all the others participating in the thread. I don't think they are trying to deceive or misrepresent anything, I think they are acting in good faith, as am I- I'm merely having a civil discussion. What you seem be asking is not about AGF, but rather that I trust their judgment, even though very little supporting evidence has been presented. That sort of trust must be earned. I do generally trust Jayron's judgment, and I do acknowledge that several people have now agreed that the IP is likely a banned user, but nobody has yet explained why they are so sure, and moreover seem to be getting defensive, prickly and put words in my mouth when I ask them to explain. Sorry, I should probably take a 48 hour wikibreak :) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:14, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
They've already said too much, running the risk not only of feeding the troll, but also of tipping him off as to how he can be recognized. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:16, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Once again we descend to the "not helpful" standards here. Just take each question on its merits. If you believe a sock is involved, take it to AIV, SPI or ANI, but don't dwell on it here forever, you're doing, once again, what the trolls want you to do. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:16, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

I heartily agree with your second sentence, that is why I am discussing the issue with others. Would it be custom to note the suspected edits at SPI before removal, or after? SemanticMantis (talk) 18:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
If it passes the WP:DUCK test then just go for it. Banned or indef blocked editors cannot and should not be allowed to post anything, even if it's deemed by some as "helpful" I'm afraid. That's why God invented WP:RBI. Or at least some of his Minions did. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:24, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Removed thread about Hillary Clinton email controversy[edit]

Diff. There's nothing wrong in principle with a thread on this subject, but here the question and the only significant reply were apparent WP:BLP violations, so I thought it would be better to kill the whole thing. -- BenRG (talk) 02:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Better to be safe. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:08, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree, I was tempted to remove it myself, we don't need speculation on motives. 02:40, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm tempted to remove that entire article. Astounding what election cycles do to things. But if the secondary coverage says it's a mountain, I guess it can't be a total molehill. It'll be naturally half that size or less in two years, though. No rush. The question was more urgent, despite my partially unfounded speculation that Clinton is only a "living person" in the RoboCop sense. That's not to say she wasn't born human, or that cyborgs can't understand sorrow or that any of this means she can't be a great President.
May the best whoever win, and may Wikipedia then return to a simpler time! InedibleHulk (talk) 22:53, August 21, 2015 (UTC)
And if we can't find "the best", we can settle for Clinton or Trump. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:12, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
Trump's just running for the publicity, he's not actually going to the White House. That'd be career suicide. And it wouldn't just be bad for his business. Since the last donkey and elephant show, the US editorials have gone full steam ahead building fat cats as the enemy of the common man, and women as the last great minority on the verge of the American Dream (discounting Hispanics, if you will). Clear hero, clearer villain.
A great leader knows that if you want people to buy your crap, you need to send them home happy. I don't presume to know who runs the election, but if they've gotten that far, they certainly understand how badly a President Trump would bomb, after the initial pop. Like Abe Simpson said, "Quit your daydreaming, melonhead!" InedibleHulk (talk) 00:30, August 22, 2015 (UTC)


Friends, view the following i.e

This time I also got this i.e.

I hope both works for you guys, or can find a workaround to it; it doesn't work on mine btw. Teach us/me if you guys can how to get all the games from it...


Space Ghost (talk) 18:45, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

They're dead, Mister Mo.
Also, all seemingly pirated games. Wikipedia frowns on linking to those, and what does it have to do with the Ref Desk? Slap on the wrist! InedibleHulk (talk) 21:06, August 26, 2015 (UTC)
Well, I'm trying to contribute Smile-tpvgames.gif more than just 'questions' SMocking.gif for WP Community members... I tried 'advising', did not go well Face-confused.svg So I thought, since you guys are always here, always helping, since I don't have no friends, since I'm always here too, since you guys always help me, since so many other reasons (that I can't think of right now, I thought I would get/do/contribute for you all...
Anyway, I won't anymore... Thanks for notifying... Cheers.
Space Ghost (talk) 19:44, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I didn't say you had to stop, just that Wikipedia frowns on it.
Personally, I only play games I'm confident I'll like, and don't mind paying for something I'd like. On the other hand, much of the stuff I read, watch and listen to is overpriced crap, so I have to thoroughly sample it before buying. I've always wanted a tunnel into a department store so I could live there at night, but I don't want people downloading the security footage for free on YouTube. You can't dig tunnels through the Internet (this doesn't count), but one day, you may come in handy with those cameras.
Potential handiness is the deepest foundation of all friendships and communities worldwide, online or off. An honest bargain of a TV show told me so. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:44, August 28, 2015 (UTC)
And if $19.99 US seems too steep a price, just listen to Convincing John and all your troubles will be gone! InedibleHulk (talk) 05:49, August 28, 2015 (UTC)
Face-grin.svg Okay! Face-smile.svg -- Space Ghost (talk) 18:13, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Bowei Huang 2 again[edit]

Ok, enough again, WP:RBI, WP:DNFTT apply. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:20, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I have removed one question and hatted another by the same user asking "why" per capita geopolitical questions with implied political and religious POV's from IP's geolocating to NSW. See above if you are not familiar with the case. μηδείς (talk) 17:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Concur based on strong correlation of evidence. --Jayron32 19:49, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I suspect this kind of notification can be handled via decent edit summaries, otherwise we'll get a new section here every day now that this troll is back and using new and different IPs etc. The less we feed, the less we hear. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Aye. This guy's been famous for a while here, and the only reason I don't fully understand why is that these chronicles of him look too long and winding to read. Maybe we should summarize his epic troll journey for human contact in a desolate wilderness into easily digestible bullet points and frame it in gold like a FAQ at the top of this page, for future, less-patient generations. That'd teach him not to rock the damn boat! InedibleHulk (talk) 03:16, August 28, 2015 (UTC)
Message to the poster who is being putatively identified as Bowei - if you are indeed Bowei, and if you are reading this - just say you're sorry and beg forgiveness or whatever it is you have to do to get unbanned. If you are not Bowei, then you can skip the other nonsense and just get an account. Once you have a valid account, then we can provide references on your questions about environmental impacts of various countries, causes, consequences, etc. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:09, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
It's definitely the Bowei Huang M.O. and he's apologized before but it was a lie. He's purely a troll. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:07, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Also, three years ago, he promised never to evade blocks again. One question: Is he actually banned, or only indef'd? Because if he's banned, that section should be deleted, not hatted. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:11, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I entirely agree with TRM's sentiment above, but I hatted the question with the lengthy responses and posted my explanation here because I know from experience this action by me will draw howls of protest from some. There's no way to link to a specific discussion in an edit summary, or I'd do just that. I urge The Rambling Man (or anyone else) to close this thread now just as he did above. μηδείς (talk) 02:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
In the event an indefinitely blocked editor has continued to be disruptive and no administrator is willing to unblock, they are considered de facto banned. In other words, an indefblocked user is not banned so long as they obey their block and stop being disruptive. All indef blocks become automatic bans once the user who is so blocked ignores it repeatedly to continue the same problems that got them blocked. So, he's banned. --Jayron32 02:44, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Tip: Ask new users here to contribute to articles[edit]

Guy Macon just answered my question and added "We could really use your help in rewriting our page at [the topic you were asking about]. It needs some help from someone familiar with [the topic].". That is a great idea to rope in new users. As for myself, I'm already an active editor and only created this account for some anonymity, so I'm not planning on using it much for editing. But I hope that more people will keep that idea in mind when answering a new user's question. Maybe some do it already on the user's talk page, which may be a better place, but posting it here has the advantage that it's visible to other regulars, and can thus inspire them. AnonymousUserAugust2015 (talk) 18:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm all for it. See also Wikipedia:WikiProject_Reference_Desk_Article_Collaboration, and feel free to use the included templates. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:09, 28 August 2015 (UTC)