I expect to have extremely sketchy access to the Internet for the next week or so. Obviously I will not be very active or present. Anyone trying to block or ban me or something will have to either wait a week or so, or go ahead anyways without me.
If a new driver were encouraged to start without any instruction or preparation, simply getting into the driver's seat and setting off into the traffic as soon as he had worked out how to start the car, he would certainly find the highway an unfriendly place, with people hooting, flashing and yelling at him and police flagging him down and issuing warnings and threats. A Wikipedia newbie is in very much this position, and it is no wonder that many newbies' talk pages contain strings of notices and warnings. Making constructive edits to an encyclopedia is not a simple task.
But, no original research, please. Original research includes editors' personal views, political opinions, and any personal analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position the editor may hold. That is, any facts, opinions, interpretations, definitions, and arguments published by Wikipedia must already have been published by a reliable publication in relation to the topic of the article. See this example for more details.
Be careful not to err too far on the side of not upsetting editors by leaving unsourced information in articles for too long, or at all in the case of information about living people. Jimmy Wales has said of this: "I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons."
Think ahead. Try to imagine whether or not people might doubt what you wrote, or need more information about it. Supporting what is written by referring to clear and reliable sources will add credibility to your contribution.
es, Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone, anyone at all, anyone from your 2-year-old cousin to your 78-year-old Harvard professor has full editorial authority over. Yes, anyone includes that guy who stands on the street corner with the big sign that says, "REPENT!" and it includes that woman who constantly rants and raves in the lunch room about how anyone who believes in God hasn't got a brain, and it includes the teenager with a can of spray paint who just improved your car with an image of his middle finger. It includes the person who can't spell, the person who thinks they are always right, and the person who is always right. It includes people who know what they are talking about and people who don't, and people who can make anything sound good, regardless of the truth or lack thereof in the statement.
Anyone can edit. See a typo? Fix it! Out of date? Not for long! Error? Fix it! Poorly organized? Not once you're done! False info? Remove it! Missing info? Add it! Needs a picture? Take one! Needs a diagram? Draw one! Wrote an article but don't know everything about the subject? Wait a while, someone will add to it. Made a spelling error and didn't notice? It'll get fixed! Anyone can edit, and it's awesome!
Anyone can edit. That guy who improved your car? He just improved your article the same way. Mr. Street Corner and Ms. Lunch Room are having at it on the article about the Second Coming. Your 2-year old cousin replaced the text of General Relativity with "wonnfeo hfor frfhibher frfrufh4 oerv04vr vr fu". And the Harvard professor has had it up to his neck with someone who absolutely demands proof that the moon is not made out of green cheese.
I'd rather have an image from a wikipedian that's not quite as good, than a professional image which we can only use under the very narrow doctrine of fair use. We're not fundamentally about having a really pretty encyclopedia, we're fundamentally about having a free encyclopedia, and in the end that's far more pretty.
magine you're a vegan. Or maybe you are a vegan, in which case you don't have to imagine it. Now imagine you hear about an event coming up in your area billed as The Vegan Potluck Dinner Anyone Can Contribute To. You make up a batch of your favorite couscous salad recipe and go to the dinner.
When you walk in, the first thing you notice on the table is a large platter of fried chicken. You say to the host, "I thought this was a vegan potluck?"
You pick up a bowl, walk resolutely past the chicken, and help yourself to some minestrone. You proclaim it delicious, and the person who made it says, "Thanks! I made it with beef stock, but there's so little meat in there you hardly notice it, do you?"
You quickly put down the minestrone, pick up a plate, and take some corn on the cob. You bite in and discover that it has been coated not with margarine but with real butter. You turn to the host in disbelief and say, "This isn't so little that I don't notice, I noticed instantly! And you can't say butter isn't replaceable with margarine. Why does this corn have butter on it?"
And the host replies, "Well, some people just feel butter is higher-quality than margarine."
So you put down the corn, pick up a clean plate, and head for the desserts. There you see a large chocolate cake. You take a piece, bite into it, and are delighted! You ask the person who made it how he got it so light and fluffy. "I've never managed to get a cake this texture using tofu and soy milk."
As you stand there sputtering in disbelief, the host says, "I know how you feel, but you have to understand: We have two goals at this vegan dinner: to be vegan, and to be a dinner. And those goals sometimes conflict with each other, so we have to find a middle ground between them. Of course we prefer vegan dishes whenever they're practical – did you try the couscous salad someone brought? – but surely you concede it isn't possible to have a really high-quality dinner without any animal products at all."
Finally in exasperation you cry, "What on earth is the matter with you people? What does fear of getting sued have to do with anything? And where did you get the idea that a meal's being vegan is conflict with its being a high-quality dinner? And if you were going to have animal-based foods here, why the hell did you advertise it as a vegan potluck dinner? Vegan means no animal products of any kind! Ever!"
Debates on AfD lack guidance and become very hard to establish consensus.
People make defenses on inadequate rhetorical grounds
Ad hominem defenses: all articles should be judged on their own merits, not on the personalities of the people involved in the discussion, INCLUDING the original nominator.
Bad faith nominations of a deletable article should not be dismissed off hand.
Bad faith nominations of keepable articles can easily establish notability, and are easy to spot and correct
Autobiographical articles can STILL be about notable people. This requires a massive rewrite, not deletion. If the subject is worthy of keeping, in all cases, it should never be deleted.
Notability is related to the SUBJECT, not on the WRITING.
Many articles are created as stubs, with the intent to have them expanded later.
A poorly written article can be written about an inherently notable subject.
An excellently written article can be written about an inherently non-notable subject
Articles often lack references, which come to light during AfD discussions.
Every article is to be judged on its own merit, not in comparison to other articles.
One obvious exception is to largely similar articles covered by established AfD precedents.
The existence of other deleteable articles does not make the article under discussion keepable. People OFTEN cite this as a keep reason: "This other shitty article exists, so mine should be kept too".
The existence of other superficially similar articles that ARE notable is no reason to keep either. People often say "if you delete this article, you should also delete all XXX articles".
Clear notability guidelines can make AFD processes more easy to work through, and can simultaneously improve the article in question. The AFD process should center around the presentation and discussion of EVIDENCE.
People arguing for delete can cite the lack of credible, nontrivial references.
people arguing for keep can provide those references.
With such evidence, or lack thereof, can reduce AfD discussions to moot: Most of AfDs are fraught with the above logical fallacies. These falacies become moot when presented with the evidence. Most editors (if we assume good faith) are capable of making good decisions based on this evidence.
t was a good day. A sunny summer afternoon was blazing, as sunny as it gets, and my colleague Shakib was getting excited about some business pitch or other. I don't remember which one, or if we managed to win it or not. To answer to his bullet-pointedquestionnaire I turned to Google. I was feeling lucky that day, and I typed out - Bandarban - and voila, came up an Wikipedia page.
Trying out some patriotism.
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together...”
he first edit I made was in 5 May 2006 to the article on Bandarban District. I visited the page as a reader, and found that I knew more than the article had. So I expanded it, and largely left it there. Then I found that the the article on Shahbag, a stub back then, was being merged with Dhaka. I started working on article, eventually bringing it up to a featured article status. Working on that article is still the best times of my wikilife. There I met some of the people I consider as my dearest wikifriends - Dwaipayanc, Rama's Arrow, Nichalp, Bakasuprman, and, of course, Ragib, the only Bangladeshi admin back then. Fowler&fowler and Tony1 the great also lent their hands. Later, Ragib and I collaborated in many projects, including fighting Muraad Kahn, a single purpose editor and a sock master.
Shortly thereafter Tarif Ezaz took a drive to elevate the article on Bengali Language Movement, which happened largely in Shahbag, to a featured article status. I became involved. I also became a defender of the Dhaka article when its featured status faced delisting. Many of the articles I created were spin off from these few articles, including Muzharul Islam and Dhaka Club. I was never a major contributor to Bangladesh Liberation War, but I remained a curator for the article and related articles for long.
While working on Shahbag, I found that the area was originally built by the Dhaka Nawab Family. I ended up creating articles for the family and all of the successors. One of the successors played a major role in the History of aviation in Bangladesh. I embarked on that article immediately. It led me to the Biman Bangladesh Airlines article, and AA was in the middle of a major improvement drive. I ended up helping that article to a featured article status and successfully nominate AA for adminship. At one point, I also contributed significantly to Pakistani and Indian aviation articles.
“There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate...”
ne day I found that the article on Jayne Mansfield had too much on her personality and too little on her work. My involvement with that article started with an improvement request made on the talk page. Soon I became the primary editor for that article, and have so far brought it up to a GA status. I created a spin off from that article - Jayne Mansfield in popular culture. It was nominated twice for deletion. I started to improve fast enough to prove that the article has merit. It survived. I kept working on it, and it eventually became a separate Good Article. I also contributed significantly in sourcing media files for these articles. I also created or expanded articles on her kin and her works.
Another day I added a non-free image to the article on Riya Sen. There was an attempt to delete it for insufficient compliance. To increase the compliance quotient a created a more relevant article - Ananthabhadram. The image stayed, and I managed to work both articles up to GA status. Ms. Sen, her mother and sister all being movie stars I was next led to List of Hindi film clans. Later, by the way, I had the image deleted by my own initiative. Here I met Zora (who managed to teach me more about Wikipedia than anyone else), Bollyjeff, Kwamikagami and Dr. Blofeld. They are not exactly friends, but I do have fond memories of all. This also was the article where I met Hurricanehink.
or a brief period I was very active with WikiProject Bangladesh. There, among other things, I started discussing a format and an ideal for Upazila articles. It led me to start working on a random Upazila. I chose Sitakunda Upazila. It is a GA now. I was creating new articles all along to address all the redlinks I made, but for this one I had to create species articles, including Bambusa vulgaris. That in turn led me to the Sundarbans article, which was almost solely about the West Bengal part back then.
At the project User:Armanaziz was very active, working on categorization and assessing, among other things. Exchanges with him led me to work on the two Nobel Peace Award winners of 2006 - Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus. The eventual collaboration lifted both articles to GA status. Him and I also collaborated to defend featured Bangladesh-related articles. Dhaka we could, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Shahbag we couldn't.
I don't even recall how I embarked on the Bikini article. But, so far it is the oldest Wikipedia article I have edited. It now is a good article. In the process I kept spinning out forks like History of the bikini (now another good article), Bikini in popular culture and Bikini variants, along with articles on individual variants and parts.
In 30 July 2008 I had my Wikimedia Global Account. So far I have logged into 66 Wikimedia projects, editing 13 of them. After the English Wikipedia, my home project, the next most contributed project is Wikimedia Commons (of course).
These quotes give insight on how deletionism looks to the external world, for whose people who think that "deleting first, ask questions later" is a way to improve our image.
New York Review of Books: "a lot of good work—verifiable, informative, brain-leapingly strange—is being cast out of this paperless, infinitely expandable accordion folder by people who have a narrow, almost grade-schoolish notion of what sort of curiosity an online encyclopedia will be able to satisfy in the years to come...There are some people on Wikipedia now who are just bullies, who take pleasure in wrecking and mocking peoples' work" The Economist: "The behaviour of Wikipedia's self-appointed deletionist guardians, who excise anything that does not meet their standards, justifying their actions with a blizzard of acronyms, is now known as “wiki-lawyering”. The Guardian: "And then self-promoted leaf-pile guards appeared, doubters and deprecators who would look askance at your proffered handful and shake their heads, saying that your leaves were too crumpled or too slimy or too common, throwing them to the side." The Telegraph "The rise of the deletionists is threatening the hitherto peaceful growth of the world's most popular information source. It's on the discussion pages of articles nominated for deletion that anger creeps in. Policy documents are referred to only by abbreviations...the favourite of the deletionists WP:NOTE (notability)...The notability debate has spread across the discussions like a rash." PC Pro magazine: "For an example of the dark side running out of control, though, check out Wikipedia...It seems Wikipedia has completed the journey by arriving at an online equivalent of the midnight door-knock and the book bonfire" Los Angeles Times"...if even a small number of useful articles are being deleted in the name of keeping Wikipedia clean, isn't that like allowing a few innocent men to hang in favor of a lower crime rate?...Wikipedia's community has become so rushed, so immediatist, that it is not willing to allow embryonic articles even a tiny modicum of time to incubate" The Telegraph:"Wikipedia should delete the deletionists" "Wikipedia: A Quantiative Analysis", PHD: "the Wikipedia community needs to rein in so-called deletionists -- editors who shoot first and ask questions later." [...]
ome time ago, I discovered a link at a user page to a certain website caught my attention. The sharp criticism of Wikipedia that I saw at that webpage didn't surprise me in the least; we are all rather used to the rants against our project and our community that seem to flourish in the web these days. However, there was a particular phrase that caught my attention immediately, and while I really didn't care much about the other accusations, incredibly enough, this one was actually able to hurt me: Wikipedia is not a place for happy people.
No matter how much I try to push this idea out of my mind, every now and then, I find myself thinking about it. Sometimes I gain enough trust in ourselves to push it far to the bottom of my mind. Other moments, like now, I simply can't. While we're all human, and may (and do) give in to anger, bad mood and hurting speech from time to time, I can hardly think that the reason why we all ended up editing this encyclopedia was to unleash our frustration unto others. And if somebody did, well... the choice of a place to do such thing is odd, to say the least.
Since I joined Wikipedia a couple of months ago, I must tell that never, ever, I've felt diminished nor discriminated in any way by another user; yet I know that it is in my personality to choose dialogue and a friendly approach, and that's simply not the way we're all made - it's in our human nature to be different from each other, and that makes none of us any better than the other. However, I did see, and continue to witness almost everyday, the misjudgments, the unfairness, the elitism, the hurting irony that comes from the mouths of brilliant people towards their peers - or worse, against the newcomers who try in good faith to be heard. I have no intention to judge any members of our community - reprehensible as it is, fighting fire with fire is a natural human instinct, and nobody's free of sin. And that's where we all have the chance to make a small, yet decisive difference: Love - or in our case, Wikilove. Just a little bit of it can make a valuable contributor, a great person, a knowledgeable editor reconsider his/her decision of leaving for good after an edit war or a failed RfA. Just 30 seconds of translating that smile and that hug that you wish you could give in person into a simple edit, can make a big change... in the quality of our encyclopedia.
Just an hour ago, I received an email from somebody who basically told me to shove my attempt of cheering him up in a dark and moist place of my anatomy... on St. Valentine's day... the irony! I feel discouraged - how could I possibly feel otherwise? Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you simply want to dismiss any future attempts of sending a kind word, or a smile to someone who's obviously down? That's exactly how I feel now - but I won't do such a thing. I may be down, but I'm not dead - and my heart's alive and well, and I won't let it bleed for long. I do not take the Internet so seriously as to make me cry, so whatever this gentleman's intentions were, I'm sorry - he failed. But as long as I'm a member of Wikipedia, I will believe in Wikilove; and as long as my heart beats, I will continue to believe in Love. Now that, I do take seriously. And no member of our community, no matter how respected he is, will ever dissuade me... because I want to believe that Wikipedia can be a place for happy people. Sharon - Feb. 14, 2006
You are assessed for article repairs. £40 for each GA, £115 for each FA
You have won second place in DYK. Collect £10
It's your wikibirthday. Collect £10 from User:Jimbo Wales(If you're still trying to get your money three years later and discover Jimbo won't return your calls because he's on a yacht somewhere ... well don't say we didn't warn you...)
Discretionary sanctions. Fine £20
Edit warring fine £15
Unblock request accepted. Collect £20
Deletion review in your favour. Collect £10
Pay Arbitration Committee fees of £150
Pay WMF £100
Get out of indef for free. (This admin bit may be kept until needed or sold)
The disclaimer says - "Wikipedia contains many different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers. For example, some articles contain graphical depictions of violence, human anatomy, or sexual acts."
The policy says - "some articles may include images, text or links that are relevant to the topic but that some people find objectionable. Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is an appropriate image, text or link. Beyond that, "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal (or inclusion) of content."
The content guideline says in no unambiguous terms that "A cornerstone of Wikipedia policy is that the project is not censored. Wikipedia editors should not remove material solely because it may be offensive, unpleasant, or unsuitable for some readers."
The MoS explains that "including information about offensive material is part of Wikipedia's encyclopedic mission", though it advises, for example, that "photographs taken in a pornography context would normally be inappropriate for articles about human anatomy".
I guess this gives a clear picture of our stand on "offensive material" (this "our" includes you and I both :D). Please, remember, we refused to remove the images of Prophet Muhammad, though a large number of Muslims were offended very vocally.
Articles I have started or contributed significantly to Featured article/list : Good Article Featured at Did You Know Former featured article Former good article
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I grant non-exclusive permission for the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to relicense my text contributions under any copyleft license that it chooses, provided it maintains the free and open spirit of the GFDL. This permission acknowledges that future licensing needs of the Wikimedia projects may need adapting in unforeseen fashions to facilitate other uses, formats, and locations. It is given for as long as this banner remains.
My image contributions
The sanity of this user has been disputed. Refer to the talk page to discuss this topic.
This user tries to do the right thing. If he makes a mistake, please let him know.