Wikipedia talk:Ten things you may not know about Wikipedia

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Folks - there is a dispute tag on the main page. Does anyone have, currently, a factual dispute with the text ? - Peripitus (Talk) 13:12, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

The points made in the sections "More Contests", "Some Contested Items", "Why Lie", and "What Amount of Falseness?" are all still current. The authors of the text just no longer bother to reply to criticism. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 13:16, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
They are all rather, or very stale. "More Contests" is 8 months old from an IP editor, "Some Contested Items" ran completely off-topic and is months old, "Why Lie" is from a banned editor. "What Amount of Falseness?" is sometimes confused and sometimes on the money but is still last years news. Why the dispute tag now ? Perhaps you can write out the wording you would prefer for which section here, where it can be debated ? - Peripitus (Talk) 13:27, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that they're stale just because there's no ongoing discussion. The points have sufficiently been made. The main problem is the claim that Wikipedia is not a dictatorship when the text itself says that Wales "occasionally acts as final arbiter". I guess that doesn't make him a dictator, it's just the "divine right of founders" or something. Also very funny considering how editors are frequently given the opposite message, "Wikipedia is not a democracy" - but that is not something Wales or Erik want to tell the media (for which this text seems to be intended). Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 13:37, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
BA, I have looked through many of your edits in the past few minutes and been enlightened. You have, here and across many articles, a strong point of view on JW and the founder/co-founder assertion. I'm confused as to how wikipedia can be, ever, a dictatorship. Look at JW's edit history... he is involved in basically nothing that goes on here. A dictatorship requires great layers of bureaucracy between the bottom and the top, which this place lacks. Wikipedia seems to run by about 10,000 active editors with a few thousand who are very active. As for ain't, except for a few places (WP:RfA) where voting is the norm, whoever choses to edit in a place and doesn't get consensus against them, in part runs that place - Peripitus (Talk) 13:55, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
He has all the powers without being ever elected. Just because you think he's relatively hands-off in practice doesn't make him any less of a dictator. It's either a democracy or a dictatorship, there's nothing in between. And I agree it's not a democracy. The term "running a place" where there is no controversy to begin with is meaningless. The whole question of governing arises only where there are disputes that cannot be resolved by consensus but still have to be decided one way or the other. Those disputes exist on Wikipedia, and Wales is the final arbiter of them. That you don't see him being actively involved in much is missing the fact that people are aware of his power and are already anticipating it, following his mere "suggestions" etc. This of course he has deliberately designed that way (along with his refusal to take on a title commensurate with his power), so as to appear as the "respected founder" who has a purely natural authority. But if that were really the case, he would not be afraid of putting himself up for election. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 15:16, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Besides the fact that this entire discourse is a trolling exercise to work up disputes and defame Jimmy Wales in the process, this analysis of Wales's position is patently rubbish. He is as much a dictator as Queen Elizabeth II, who in her domain has the power to dissolve parliament and declare war or peace among other things, also unelected, but is only able to exercise those powers so far as is acceptable to those subject to them—just like Wikipedia. Rather than recite your rant about the state of Wikipedia, put forward a proposed revision to the project page in question or give it a rest. BigBlueFish (talk) 18:16, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Besides your personal attacks, your comparison of Elizabeth II and Wales is ludicrous. It is clear to everyone in Britain today that the queen has zero power to make any controversial political decision of any significance. You might say it is pretty clearly laid down in the (unwritten) constitution that she is just a figurehead, similar to those other European monarchs where the only major difference is that those other countries do have written constitutions where this is spelled out. Any hypothetical powers you may ascribe to her are legal fictions, like so many other outdated traditional positions (e.g. the Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds is not actually stewarding the Chiltern Hundreds). Wales has taken many significant, controversial decisions in a few years; but you can't name a single one Elizabeth has taken in 56 years. If anything, you could compare him to some British monarch of 2-3 centuries ago. As to a proposed revision, for starters I would remove the dictatorship section or retitle it "Wikipedia is not a democracy". Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:18, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Elizabeth gave power to an unelected government (in a hung parliament) in 1974. I am not comparing the two in terms of relative proportion of power, but the constraints on the way the power is used. Neither Jimbo nor Elizabeth are able to use their constitutional powers at their leisure; both have used them in some form. Hence your denial of the existence of anything between democracy and dictatorship is pretty nonsensical. There are plenty of examples on Wikipedia that Jimbo is clearly not happy about, yet allows the community to preside over his own views. This coupled with the fact that a single figure with unilateral constitutional power such as Jimbo or the Queen does not itself make a dictatorship makes your suggestion that Wikipedia is a dictatorship seem pretty nonsensical. BigBlueFish (talk) 00:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
There was not the slightest controversy about her 1974 action. Heath couldn't form a coalition and resigned, and it was perfectly logical that she then appointed Wilson. Elizabeth is not able to use any arbitrary powers you may fictionally ascribe to her, but Jimbo clearly does have dictatorial powers and has used them. Hence Britain is a democracy and Wikipedia is a dictatorship. That Jimbo is not happy about some things but lets them stand does not change the facts. He could technically do almost everything but refrains from some things (like editing his own article) for PR reasons. Real-world dictators don't do everything they'd like to do and could get away with either, since they don't want to be universally hated. A single, unelected figure with arbitrary power is a dictator, and Jimbo is such a person and the queen is not. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:35, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
There are some very eclectic views above. "a democracy or a dictatorship, there's nothing in between" is a false dichotomy type of informal fallacy and appears the foundation of the whole argument. By fallacy I mean that it is a logically incorrect statement, that cannot be supported by argument. Nothing, ever, in human interraction is starkly black or white. Is your beef being slapped by Jimbo for poor editing ? Note that our (possibly crapulent) definition of dictatorship includes the line "dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors" - you must be thinking of another website as that does not, in any way, describe what happens here - Peripitus (Talk) 22:39, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not interested in playing silly semantics with you. You understand the point being made by myself and others very well. Wales is unrestricted by anything except a "constitution" (WMF by-laws) he wrote himself. Ironically, your repeated referral to my edit history contradicts yet another point of the essay, namely that one's arguments are considered on its merits. Instead you're trying to suggest I have some "beef" beyond the plain arguments I make. Just like Danny is being dismissed as a "disgruntled employee" etc. Thing 11 You May Not Know About Wikipedia: It is a Cult. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 00:18, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Not for sale?[edit]

correct me if i'm wrong but didnt jimbo a paycheck for rewriting the article for some corporation or another? (talk) 17:48, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

The above text (two sections up ) has drifted completely off topic. BA can you PLEASE write here the text you think should be on the page. Write your version and we can discuss it - Peripitus (Talk) 23:33, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

For those who missed it, here's the slightly pointy revision made by BA. Outside the ridiculous comments like "spiritual leader" and inaccurate like "where consensus fails" (this is actually far too flattering to the scope of Jimbo's interventions) I couldn't see much that could be construed as an improvement in accuracy besides the fact that the Foundation does sometimes intervene in editorial issues.
This whole "Wikipedia is a dictatorship" thing is still not substantiated. Out of the huge mass of community-generated policy and editorial decisions, of which there are heaps of examples of where Jimbo is actively unhappy with the outcome, is there one administrative action by Jimbo still in effect that you can name which goes against the will of the community, or is even that controversial? BigBlueFish (talk) 14:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Ridiculous? He called himself spiritual leader.[1] Inaccurate? Who do you think is the ultimate arbiter? I'm not saying Jimbo decides all those matters directly, but he keeps a power structure in place that is loyal to him. I already responded above to the argument about things Jimbo is unhappy with. The very presence of Jimbo and other unelected members on the Board is controversial, and things flow from there (just think of the travel budget). Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 15:33, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
The page already makes clear that Jimbo is the ultimate arbiter. It is simply common sense backed up with our experience of other ultimate arbiters that this does not in itself make a dictatorship. The rest of your commentary about Jimbo concerns the WMF, not Wikipedia. I have far less reservation about the suggestion that the WMF is a dictatorship, but this does not mean that Wikipedia is. Would you perhaps be happier with "we do not try [or perhaps aim, etc] to be a dictatorship or any other political system"? This is certainly my experience of the very ethos around the running of Wikipedia, whether or not it always succeeds at its aims, and I thought the general self-defining nature of the page as a whole made it clear that sometimes things do go wrong here.
The spiritual leader comment was new to me but seems pretty unimportant. There are plenty of other self-defining statements by Jimbo such as his userpage which would suggest that this is at worst a mis-speak and at best a tongue-in-cheek joke. In spite of its contextual significance I'm sure it's a favourite of yours to dig up whenever it's most useful in disparaging its author. BigBlueFish (talk) 17:14, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Um, the WMF governs Wikipedia, so it is a dictatorship. And a single unelected ultimate arbiter = a dictator. No, I wouldn't be happier with your suggestion as it only obfuscates the reality. And Jimbo's statement doesn't look like tongue in cheek to me. It is matched by a number of others I could dig up (such as the one where he says that going against any of his decisions is something that is "just not done" around here, or where he says it's "impossible for him to wheel war" etc.). Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:25, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Disputed tag[edit]

I see no reason there should be a disputed tag on this page. In addition, with edits like this, I see no reason why Bramlet Abercrombie should really be involving himself in the discussion at all. It's a fact sheet about Wikipedia. It really, at the end of the day, can't be too controversial. It's simply not possible. So, if there are disputes, they should be brought forward and discussed. But this page is not a battleground for "Jimbo-hating," "Sanger-promoting," or any other type of hidden agendas. If you have broader issues with the running of the Foundation or this project in particular, take those issues to an appropriate forum. But if there are specific issues with the ten points laid out here, we can discuss. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:15, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Your statement only proves that there is a dispute and you're taking a side in it. Why on earth should it be "simply not possible" that the supposed facts on this page are controversial? Any Wikipedia article is also a "fact sheet" about its topic and articles are disputed all the time. I suppose it's also "simply not possible" that some people are trying to push a "Jimbo-promoting" hidden agenda? I, among others, have laid out the issues on this talk page. Discussion has not led to a resolution. So, clearly, there is a dispute. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 00:46, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Your user page, edits, and attitude all suggest you have underlying motives here. Please list your issues here; most of the older issues are months old and were not brought forward by you. You're the one disputing this page. What do you have to say? --MZMcBride (talk) 01:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Can you not read the above sections? And once again, the same irony as with Peripitus above. The very page you're defending says "your arguments will be judged on their merits" and here, instead of engaging my plain arguments, you are trying to make insinuations about my "underlying motives". Yes, obviously I am critical of the way Wikipedia is run - in the same way as you seem to be supportive of it. If that means I have an "underlying motive" so have you. (Also, I'm not the only one disputing this page. Because some complaints are months old doesn't mean they're resolved. They aren't, and they reinforce the need for a dispute tag.) Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 02:15, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Other people aren't adding (or reverting edits that remove) the disputed tag. You are. So speak. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:17, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
So unless someone adds a dispute tag he isn't disputing? This is ridiculous. For my dispute, again, see above. For that of others, see the archives. There can be no dispute about the fact that the page is disputed. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 02:24, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
You're issue is about Wikipedia saying it's not a dictatorship? --MZMcBride (talk) 02:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
That's far from the only problem with the page, but yes, if you want to discuss it you may start there. Or do you prefer to defend the claim that "we speak Banyumasan" (where "we" must be like 0.0000001% of Wikipedians, because if you actually go to the Banyumasan Wikipedia and click on Kaca Liya [random page] a few times, you'll get something like [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]...)? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 02:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

This page is not a place to dispute what Wikipedia should be... it is a partial description of what it is. As MZMcBride has stated, it is clear that you are pushing an agenda; one that is not gaining traction with other editors. How about trying to talk through, on this page, your opinion to try to influence consensus. If we start with your contention on Wikipedia is/is not a dictatorship.

  • How or where is any form of absolute rule enacted here ? - Peripitus (Talk) 03:51, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

As I have stated, it is clear that If I'm pushing an "agenda" so are you. Mine is critical, yours is reflexively defensive about Wikipedia's governance. But here the dispute between us is not about what Wikipedia should be, but whether the "facts" on the page are correct. That I'm not alone in thinking they aren't can be seen from various people's comments in the archives, showing how your "agenda" is not gaining that much traction either. Hence, there's a dispute.

  • The WMF Board has absolute legal control over Wikipedia, and it's not democratically chosen. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 12:52, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

As has the board or directors of millions of entities worldwide...few characterized as a dictatorship. It's been a month now since you added (and repeatedly readded) the tag....and I see no other editor supporting your side. Unless I hear to the contrary I think it is clear that current consensus is for no dispute tag. If you disagree then perhaps taking it to a public forum like Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) will help to resolve this ? - Peripitus (Talk) 11:48, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

You're confused. A dispute tag precisely indicates that there's no consensus about the content. You don't need a consensus for a dispute tag. You need a consensus for a substantive change. Since there is no consensus for my substantive position, I'm not trying to put it in the page. But since there's no consensus for the existing text either (due to my and several others' objections), there needs to be a dispute tag. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 12:17, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Why does this article use external links instead of wikilinks? I was going to change it but a source comment said not to. PhageRules1 (talk) 19:43, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering about this too. I think maybe it's so the page can easily be copied and printed out for using at presentations and such and if they were wikilinks they wouldn't be very helpful to non-Wikipedians. Just a guess though. Sarah 03:35, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Creative Commons[edit]

Shouldn't the licensing section be updated to include the new broader licensing agreement Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported LicenseMercurywoodrose (talk) 01:40, 24 June 2009 (UTC)?

Five Things You Didn't Know About Wikipedia[edit]

Here are another five things you might not know about Wikipedia!

  1. Wikipedia is an easy site to add information you know about in your general knowledge of your hobbies or interests.
  2. Wikipedia might have made-up stuff on it. It isn't a guarantee that all this stuff on the whole website is true.
  3. You can edit on other people's interpretations of a subject.
  4. It was fully launched on the internet on January 15, 2001.
  5. It was initially created to complement the expert-written English Language encyclopedia project "Nupedia." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you proposing adding these to the list? Powers T 13:43, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Good facts. Definitely add them. Muffinzrock (talk) 21:10, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Page Title[edit]

I can't move the page, but if someone can, I think it should be titled "Ten things you might not know," since currently it could read "Ten things you are not allowed to know about Wikipedia (because they are secrets!)" — DroEsperanto (talk) 03:11, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

But that reading wouldn't make sense in context. Powers T 12:50, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

"We're neither a dictatorship nor any other political system"[edit]

What a totally outrageous lie. Admins are the dictators on Wikipedia, indisputably. This should just be removed and the title changed to "Nine things you…" etc. User:Deathgleaner 03:11, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Substituted non-disruptive version of user signature above. Franamax (talk) 23:30, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Sigh, I guess in some sense I understand. Policies, content being removed (even when sourced), etc. But I have to say Wikipedia does a pretty good job on general information and some technical information (however, its hard to read if you're not well-acquainted). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

…you can only add to it[edit]

Only add? What if there is something wrong? We should change, and even completely delete what is false! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

As the page points out, nothing can be completely deleted; we can only add a new revision of the page that doesn't include the false information. Powers T 12:23, 24 September 2009 (UTC)


I'm disapointed true facts also get removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Why some facts get removed? There are only 8 facts now!--水樹美月 (talk) 16:28, 8 August 2012 (UTC)


I am sorry — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotspot123 (talkcontribs) 11:27, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Wikidata and Wikivoyage[edit]

How about adding Wikidata and Wikivoyage to the sister projects section? --LydiaPintscher (talk) 12:48, 14 December 2013 (UTC)