User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 235

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Jimmy, are you being Orwellian again?

RT - far from my favorite source reports that:

"The Orwellian browser plugin NewsGuard, which purports to judge the trustworthiness of media outlets, has appointed Wikipedia’s founder to its board, proving that even neoliberal thought police have a sense of humor."

Any comment? It probably won't make The Signpost since there is no reliable source, but I've always wondered how people react after being called "Orwellian" and "neoliberal thought police". Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:25, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

We have a reliable source[1], and a Wikipedia article on NewsGuard. He'll be accompanied by a "Prime Minster",[2] which implies strongly that the plugin does not also verify spelling. --GRuban (talk) 18:39, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
Geez, this looks almost too good to be true. Will it replace WP:RSN? Seriously, can it rate all the semi- or completely-phony sources used in all the business ads we get submitted as articles? Should we include it in WP:N?
I'd suggest asking them to give it away for free to all Wikipedia editors, but it looks like they already do it. Just install it into your browser (I'm always a bit leery of this). Has anybody tried this with Wikipedia? Can you just go to the reference section of a cryptocurrency article and just point to the links and separate the wheat from the chaff? Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:37, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
I've been using the plugin for a while - it's good. Perhaps this rating of explains their animosity. Some may find this video by the author of this RT piece to be informative as to the quality of the analysis. I'm being polite.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:15, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
I think its cool that you're taking this on. One helluva challenge. Nocturnalnow (talk) 23:26, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
I wonder if any independent reviews have been done to assess the success of the Russian efforts to build "one of the world's biggest interactive, free-access, constantly updated compendiums of general knowledge" that "will be like Wikipedia, only much better." Зенитная Самоходная Установка (talk) 00:03, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
The real test is whether the Duma allows it to have an article on bongs. (talk) 01:08, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Just wow. So often people mock the "slippery slope" argument. But in two decades I have watched as Britain sunk from an initial apparent 'feel-good' campaign of British providers trying to block access to child porn, to having BAE Aerospace making black boxes to watch everything their subjects download, to having people deathly afraid to view 'extremist' ideas, to (now) having to formally register their willingness to look at unapproved news with a system that doubtless will note the disloyalty for future generations. There is not one speck of exaggeration in 'slippery slope' arguments!
While I would ordinarily consider the idea that links to the Russian or Iranian government could make media suspicious, the quality of reporting I am seeing now from the "free press" is so low that I can give no credence to the claim that such censorware would exclude 'unreliable' sources. If you wanted to see, for example, that there was a petition[3] to free Ola Bini, who was arrested at the same time as Julian Assange, by some appearances for his work on software (Off-the-Record Messaging) to allow private communication that might include, say, a conversation that turned out to be to the detriment of a professional political traitor ... well, you would have two choices. Either you can read his girlfriend's Twitter feed, or from one of the fairly large number of organizations that signed on to it, you can read Sputnik News.[4] You're not going to find it in a reliable news source, at least not one indexed by or (Well, OK, there's NewsClick from India,[5] but I bet the censorware would make them disappear too) What does that tell you? Wnt (talk) 04:37, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Re: "There is not one speck of exaggeration in 'slippery slope' arguments!" That is incorrect.
Slippery slope arguments falsely assume that one thing must lead to another. They begin by suggesting that if we do one thing then that will lead to another, and before we know it we’ll be doing something that we don’t want to do. They conclude that we therefore shouldn’t do the first thing.
The fact that the predicted bad outcome happens in one case doesn't prove that slippery slope arguments are valid. "They told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we'd be at war in Vietnam within a year. Sure enough, I voted for Goldwater and now a year later we're at war in Vietnam".
Sometimes there actually is a slippery slope, but in all such cases there is evidence supporting each of the causal links between the first thing and the last. "If you throw that lit cigarette out your can window into that that dry grass, it will start a wildfire". "As a recovering alcoholic, I know from experience that if I take a single drink I will end up passed out in the gutter".
And sometimes the slippery slope argument is bullshit. "If we allow gays to marry, we will end up allowing people to marry their dogs". "Smoking marijuana inevitably leads to crystal meth addiction". "If we outlaw pipe bombs, one day the jackbooted thugs will take away our butter knives".
The problem with most such arguments is that it is usually possible to do the first thing that they mention without going on to do the other things. The way to present a valid slippery slope argument is to provide a good argument for each step being inevitable. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:43, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Some of this is getting too aggressive to be productive --Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:22, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
I stand by my statement. Accepting any censorship does lead to accepting all censorship, because there is no valid position that can say censor this but not that. For example, New Zealand's sole founding father, Brenton Tarrant, convinced their Chief Censor to ban reading a manifesto because it condoned violence. There is no possible way -- short of a reversal on the first issue -- that this will not lead to a ban in New Zealand on reading certain hadith documents if not the Quran itself based on "the same reasoning", with a similar 14-year prison term to be applied for it. It is simply not stable to tell people that they can read one philosophy and not another, because sooner or later (probably sooner) there is going to be some clever troll (I'd be proud to do it myself if I had the wit and diligence) who will produce a document that is half hadith and half Tarrant manifesto and make the censor rule on it. Wnt (talk) 16:59, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Bullshit. You can "stand by your statement" all you want, but your claims are demonstrably untrue. Your general claim (that slippery slope is always a valid argument) is easily proven to be false. The US has outlawed pipe bombs, and they have not taken away our butter knives. Your specific claim (that accepting any censorship always leads to accepting all censorship) is also easily proven to be false. Wikipedia does censor material covered by Wikipedia:Harassment#Posting of personal information and Wikipedia:Copyright violations. but does not censor Bomb-making instructions on the Internet, Xenu, or Wet T-shirt contest. The US government censors the publication of classified military secrets, but does not censor criticism of Donald Trump or (as desirable as that might be) censor public showings of Battlefield Earth.
You are severely weakening your argument by making claims that are demonstrably untrue. Do you really need to tell obvious lies to support your positions? --Guy Macon (talk) 18:02, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
What has happened is that our whole model of crime control has shifted toward incapacitation, which involves feeding as much data as possible into a computer and having it determine people's likelihood of committing crimes, so they can be subjected to the amount and kind of monitoring and restriction needed to adequately mitigate those risks. This is a departure from the old models of retribution (where you would be punished for crime you'd already committed) or rehabilitation (where the goal was to turn the bad into good).
The question arises, what are acceptable levels of crime risk, and what are acceptable costs of getting the risk down to that level? This is one of the oldest questions. The Fourth Amendment is one of the most-litigated passages of the U.S. Constitution because it's all about the balance between solving crimes by rifling through people's homes for evidence, and leaving people free from having their homes arbitrarily rifled through. We could probably find quite a lot of illegal drugs, guns, porn, etc. if we rifled through everyone's homes.
Machine learning has reached a point where it can predict with nearly 50 percent or 84 percent accuracy whether you're going to try to kill yourself. Why stop there, though; why not also take a look at your Internet browsing habits and see whether the stuff you're saying and doing online is correlated with a risk of committing various crimes? It would be so easy, with the cooperation of the Internet companies, to just feed all that data into an algorithm and see what conclusions it might reach.
Maybe at some point, these crime prediction methods will become reliable enough that courts will deem the algorithms' results clear and convincing evidence to support an involuntary commitment. Perhaps your unpopular opinions hinder your integration to society (aka "cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty"); that could be the basis of a mental illness diagnosis. Of course, if they can catch you spitting on the sidewalk, that gives them even more of an excuse to look at your history and characteristics and make an argument based on those risk factors that you need to be locked up for the protection of the public.
We already see that in the family and criminal courts, legal battles are not so much about dueling lawyers anymore, as dueling psychologists arguing about the likelihood that the defendant will do something harmful, dangerous, or criminal in the future, based on what's known about him and about what he's said and done in the past, and what the algorithms that the academics have devised say that implies about his risk level. Look at, for instance, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory; what is it, but several hundred questions, many of them seemingly innocuous, that researchers say can be used to support accurate mental illness diagnoses? Зенитная Самоходная Установка (talk) 05:14, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Just to clarify my own view here, in case anyone is wondering, although most of you know me well enough to have a really good idea what I might think: I think that independent journalistic tools with a transparent process that allows readers of news sites to get clear information about the quality standards and practices of news sites is a great idea. And I think that partnering with ISPs to offer the tool to users is a great idea. I don't think anything about any of that raises any questions of 'censorship' so, even after review, I don't really grasp how the conversation got onto that. I would oppose using any such ratings to actually have mandatory blocking of sites of low quality. Indeed, I think that a good way to prevent legislative or public policy calls for "banning fake news sites" (a very dangerous precedent that I do think would raise questions about 'slippery slopes') is to have voluntary efforts to sideline them now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:22, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
What deeply alarmed me about the Guardian story was this section:

Its co-founders Steve Brill and Gordon Crovitz told the Guardian they were in talks with major British broadband providers to build NewsGuard into their services. Under this plan individuals attempting to access a news site deemed to be untrustworthy by the company would be met with a warning page served by their internet service provider, with customers able to turn the setting on or off in a similar manner to blocks on pornography websites.

Note that this is not a voluntary measure taken by some user deathly afraid of reading a bogus news story. This is something imposed by internet providers, who may provide a loophole, which may not impose worrisome terms and conditions, or give lurid warnings about the dangers of inadvertently reading extremist material. Meanwhile, the fact that someone made the decision to view the not-quite-banned material will inevitably be logged, and it seems like a reasonable concern for them to be afraid it will be used against them. It is already recognized that Britain has a climate of fear in which people are at risk because of "not criminal" behavior. There is a great deal of Internet censorship in the United Kingdom (which notes that the monitoring cannot be opted out of, even if a not-banned item is viewed) and specifically it is unsafe to do online research according to formal policy advice to students! So if a reader of Arab descent were to bypass the filter and happen onto a PressTV story (and there are many online), will he be charged with accessing 'extremist' viewpoints, or even with supporting terrorism, given the ever-expanding definition of the offense? To me this looks unequivocally to have moved beyond a "tool" and squarely into the column of censorship imposed on the would-be reader. Which would not be inconsistent with reports that the UK is proposing systematic open-ended censorship criminalizing internet providers that fail to deny access to "disinformation", among other things. [6] Wnt (talk) 21:12, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
I have the exact same concerns in general, but I've also come to the opinion that what the world needs now is more involvement by smart and reasonably objective people of good will in every aspect of society, especially those aspects which are the most challenging and even worrisome. If more of us Wikipedians get involved in administrative aspects of our societies we'd all be better I like the fact that Jimbo is and has been leading the way in that regard, and I really, really hope its motivating to our younger generations who really need to get off their asses. Nocturnalnow (talk) 00:40, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I think this is beneath Jimmy Wales. He founded the flagship of free culture, the living demonstration that people can be allowed to speak with one another and work together to make a better product than all the corporations that tried to do the same thing. And it looks like our Commodore has come back with a Kapo uniform, telling us we have to voluntarily cooperate 'to prevent legislative or public policy calls for "banning fake news sites"'. Is the currency of free speech really that weak nowadays? Did we really build the whole Internet just to hand it over to a few cash-hungry privacy-violating corporations to put under their domination provided they act as the satraps of oppressive writers of Snoopers' Charters? When was this war we are supposed to have lost? Why didn't we use nukes, like our ancestors would have to prevent Russians from violating their fundamental freedoms? Jimmy Wales' name is worth more than all those British government creeps and whatever goodwill can be got by doing what they want, which I bet is less than nil anyway. Wnt (talk) 01:28, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
I think I'd be better informed about your views if you spoke in a less poetic way. What, precisely, are you recommending that I do here?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:50, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, since you already are in this position, I'm thinking the best approach for now may be to use it productively for a certain length of time. At first glance, I would think:
  1. Oppose server-side ratings and stick with plug-ins only. If you can't do that, then make server-side ratings opt-in rather than opt-out. If you can't do that, say opting out should be easy and without signing any new statement about terms and conditions.
  2. The main page for the app says "(Note: We do not collect any personal data of any kind from those using our extension.)" Find out from the inside if that is really true -- too often a statement like that means that a company has detailed records with your IP address and the serial number for your hard drive, but that's not "personal" until you get hauled into court over it.
  3. The company should not end up holding its own records of which sites and stories the users read (though I know there are already a lot of copies of those anyway); more importantly, it must not be allowed to generate personal data by recording or inferring when users opted to click through to a low-rated page.
  4. Bias in the company's ratings needs to be addressed at the individual level. Notably, consider the ratings scheme versus the results for Wikileaks. As vigorously protested by its operators, [7] the site has never had to retract a false story, yet it gets a red X for failing to correct misinformation, which suggests an unfair rating. I would say that they also must be unfairly down-rated, at least, where "treating the difference between news and opinion responsibly" is concerned.
  5. Systemic bias in ratings should also be addressed. (I don't run the app so I may be missing something, and I haven't seen specific numbers on the ratings, so I'm making inferences here) The Newsguard criteria appear poised to favor commercial "mainstream" sites -- Wikileaks as an example, getting an "N/A" for labeling advertising because they don't have advertising, while any green-rated site (Fox News) for example) presumably gets an 11% boost to its rating as long as they do this simple, easy thing that they are often legally required to do anyway. The criteria on author biographies and site ownership are also likely in that category as I assume it is interpreted (saying that a corporate site is owned by stockholders would presumably be enough, yet who are those stockholders and what are their interests? What other interests do their CEOs have and what side deals do they make?)
  6. Ask the site to act in such a way that it would deserve a 100% rating.
  7. When the company's actions (e.g. server side abuses) or your observation merits it, you have the option of a high-profile resignation, especially if others do it at the same time. I don't think this position is worthy of you for the long term. Wnt (talk) 12:15, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
A response to the above by the original poster of this thread was reverted by User:Winged Blades of Godric using rollback. I don't know why. He cited a MintPress News story [8] and a Twitter posting (which was their source) which boils down to this post by R.Hill displaying a picture which appears to show the app making a connection (for example) to when the user wanted to browse Wikileaks. This would reveal the user's interest in visiting the site, IP address, and user-agent string, though I don't see a statement there that the site would know whether he chose to visit. I do know that Wikipedia has relied on the idea that the choice of URL to visit within a site is now supposed to be encrypted, so that the NSA would not directly have a plaintext record of the request in transit, though it would be considered "envelope information" (e.g.) not subject to warrant and I don't feel optimistic it would be truly secure against them either in transit or at the far end. Obviously a server-side installation of Newsguard would be impossible to informally audit in this fashion. MintPressNews had previously editorialized against the app, and the makeup of the board (Tom Ridge) played prominently in that. [9] There are, of course, no neutral news outlets regarding this topic because they all have a direct financial interest one way or the other, but this is a starting point for research. Wnt (talk) 23:07, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
I think I've said it before here, the core of the problem is lack of education. The general public knows a lot more about how the legal system functions compared to how one obtains solid results in science. If someone's conviction is upheld on appeal then the general public knows that this implies that there have been many independent reviews of the facts of the case and the conclusion that the defendant is guilty is quite solid. People can still have doubts, but that requires a lot of explanation why that may be the case, people will be extremely skeptical about any such claims.
But if we consider some solid scientific result that has been reproduced independently many times and there are a large number of secondary review articles, then because the public doesn't know how science works in practice, people can be easily be made to believe that the solid scientific result is flawed. And while in a legal case people who doubt the outcome would ultimately still want the legal system to resolve the case, in case of the scientific result, the people who doubt it tend to take the argument why it is flawed on some blog or social media platform as an official debunking.
This is then why anti-vaxxers, climate skeptics etc. have such a big impact. The news media cannot deal with this problem all that well, because trying to correct for the problem would mean editorializing the news and it would make the news media look like being biased to people who are inclined to believe the junk science stories. Count Iblis (talk) 11:46, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Documentation of funding

Hey, long-time reader in Miami-Dade here. its been some time since the December 2014 collection of $500,000 in funds from the United Arab Emirates, which you pledged to the Jimmy Wales Foundation. And its also been some time since the mid-2017 collection of €385,000 from the Google DNI, another $50,000 from ESV, plus the undocumented sums of small donations made by over 10,000 small supporters, plus who knows how much matched by Craig Newmark's pledge of $100,000, all of these sources were to be in support of WikiTribune.

If we look to see how that money has been allocated (that means "spent"), there is no public declaration of how Jimmy Wales Foundation spends its money, or if even the $500,000 UAE prize was donated to it. And the 08 January 2019 filing of an unaudited report "FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 APRIL 2018" at WikiTribune seems to show net liability of £110,527, with no obvious sign of the (cash positive) grant money from Google, or the pledge from ESV, or any of the donations received from the thousands of small donors, or the matching pledge from Newmark. Since you laid off nearly all of the reporters at WikiTribune, I'm wondering where is the account of how much they cost before being let go, so that we can see how much longer WikiTribune can operate with mostly a volunteer force of editors.

Are you able to clearly announce here how much of the $500,000 prize from the UAE has been spent thus far, and how much of that was toward earnest human rights activity, versus how much was paid presumably to Orit Kopel and/or to Jimmy Wales as "expenses" or salary? And similarly, are you able to clearly announce here how much of the (at least) $600,000 that funded WikiTribune was spent on reporter staff and on website development, and how much was presumably paid to Orit Kopel and/or to Jimmy Wales as "expenses" or salary? Or, do you keep these expenditure numbers private? In my opinion, the people who donated to at least the latter project have some right to hear publicly about how their money was being spent, but I respect if you hold on to a different viewpoint. - (talk) 20:31, 27 April 2019 (UTC)

You seem to be conflating two very different things here - my work around freedom of expression centered on the Jimmy Wales Foundation and my work on the WikiTribune pilot project. Let's discuss them separately. But before we do, I'd like some reassurance that this is a conversation being held in good faith, because much of what you write seems to be aggressive for no reason. Let me point out just one example: Orit Kopel's salary for the Jimmy Wales foundation has been money spend on human rights - she's a human rights lawyer. As for me, I take zero salary from either organization, and zero personal expenses. Indeed, with WikiTribune the loss reported in our public filing has been covered by me personally and represents almost entirely spending on developers and journalists with minimal amounts for servers, hardware (laptops for journalists), office rent, etc.
As to the potential longevity for WikiTribune - we aren't going anywhere. I continue to invest my personal money into the project and have no plans to stop in the near future. We are rolling out some major experimental software changes soon. It's a startup, it's a pilot project, and I expect that we will continue to experiment with different approaches as we learn.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:03, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, all in good faith. It sounds like there is no plan or obligation to publicly declare the financial outlays of the Jimmy Wales Foundation, which is totally fine. Simple and seperate questions, then.. .. .. Which victims of human rights has the human rights lawyer legally represented on behalf of the Jimmy Wales Foundation, and how much did their counsel cost? And (seperately), according to public announcements by WikiTribune it appears that there should be at least £460,000 in revenue shortly after the launch of the project but the only public filing shows a loss of £110,527, with no significant line-items to document the much larger offsetting revenues. Why haven't the revenues been publicly documented in a way that makes the balance sheet look more balanced? maybe I just don't understand UK financial reports e.g. what is "THE PERIOD" duration in a report "FOR THE PERIOD ENDING 30 APRIL 2018"? you re not needed to respond if some reader here knows the answers. - (talk) 11:19, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
At the moment I'm only able to lay my hands on a draft of the statutory accounts which may have been slightly modified before filing. For the relevant year, revenue was just over £900k, journalist and related costs were just over £360k, development costs just under £400k, and a variety of other costs such as rent, computers, advertising, legal and professional, insurance took the total costs to just over £1,000,000. The difference was covered by me personally. I'm not exactly sure how this is helpful but there you go.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:18, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia blocked in mainland China

So, Wikipedia is now blocked in mainland China. Has there been any sort of announcement about this? I only happened to find out after I asked CheckUser to look at a UTRS appeal asking for an IP block exemption and Beeblebrox responded and mentioned Wikipedia being blocked. We're getting a few unblock requests at UTRS regarding this but nobody seems to know why mainland China has now blocked Wikipedia!

Just Chilling tagging you in this as I can see that you have a current UTRS appeal for this exact reason.-- 5 albert square (talk) 22:31, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

The case I have under review seems somewhat different because they are still editing regularly. There have been issues with Wikipedia being blocked in China and Turkey for some considerable time so there is nothing new in principle. The basis for dealing with IPBE requests remains as before; the applicant needs a sufficiently robust editing record to be a trusted user and there has to be a demonstrable need. The other point that I should like to make is that these situations are fluid so I normally grant IPBEs for 12 months at a time rather than indefinitely. Just Chilling (talk) 23:37, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
Not knowing which case you're looking at, it may be worth pointing out that the block began a few days ago around the 23rd. People may look like they're regularly editing, but they're now not. -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:41, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't want to air specific cases on here but FWIW they state they live in mainland China but have edited 27 times today, alone! All this indicates is that we should continue to deal with applications on their individual merits. Just Chilling (talk) 23:54, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
  Administrator note: Duplicate thread already ongoing at WP:AN. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:18, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
I think for clarity we should distinguish between "English Wikipedia (and others) blocked in China" and "Chinese Wikipedia blocked in China". My understanding is that Chinese Wikipedia has been blocked more or less continuously for quite a long time. This is a new English block, yes?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:28, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
This is a new comprehensive block but, at UTRS, we have had reports, from time to time, of users being blocked on the English WP for several years. We get similar reports from Turkey, as well. Just Chilling (talk) 16:31, 29 April 2019 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo, I found this mini-series on YouTube after assuming that there was an Adam Ruins Everything for Wikipedia. There wasn't, but this popped up instead. It's hosted by Josh Gondelman where they bring famous people (in this case, Adam Conover) to evaluate the page. It's not really helping but instead just partially, almost vandalizing the page (for example when Josh tells Adam if he was born in 1984 or 1985, Adam tells Josh, neither, so Josh puts (born not in 1984 or 1985). What are your thoughts Jimbo? AdrianWikiEditor (talk) 00:21, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

I'd reccomend you watch the whole video as some of the stuff he says is pretty surprising.

(here's the specific episode)

(here's the full playlist)

Fwiw, Wiki What has been discussed on noticeboards, maybe more times than this:
Personally I prefer Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:32, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

I have contributed to the discussion of the reliable sources noticeboards before. (I helped add The Onion as not reliable. (Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_260#Can_we_talk_about_The_Onion?) But I never knew that it was also with videos like WikiWhat. I guess I'll read some of them. Thanks for letting me know! AdrianWikiEditor (talk) 19:46, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

The Signpost: 30 April 2019

Talk:John A. Hobson (Philip Cross)

Do you think that, in light of some of the somewhat aggressive comments being left here [10][11][12][13][14] (also see [15]), that User:Philip Cross might in fact be a victim of some sort of off-Wiki politically-motivated Twitter campaign all along, and thus his topic ban [16] may therefore be somewhat excessive and unjust? (I don't know if he had 'crossed the line' yesterday; that is not really my concern.) -- (talk) 23:15, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

I'm not in a position to offer an opinion on that. There is no question, of course, that he has been subjected to and continues to be subjected to an off-wiki politically-motivated twitter campaign. That campaign should have no impact on the internal question of his topic ban. I should hasten to add that I'm very familiar with Hobson and the current controversy in the UK about anti-semitism. In fact, out of personal interest, I ordered the book with Jeremy Corbyn's foreward and it is being delivered today and I'll get a chance to read that foreward this weekend. I'm not an expert on Hobson, but it seems pretty clear to me that his anti-semitism is a salient fact that has been covered extensively in serious, reliable, and academic sources very long predating the current UK controversy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:40, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

Administrator account security (Correction to Arbcom 2019 special circular)

ArbCom would like to apologise and correct our previous mass message in light of the response from the community.

Since November 2018, six administrator accounts have been compromised and temporarily desysopped. In an effort to help improve account security, our intention was to remind administrators of existing policies on account security — that they are required to "have strong passwords and follow appropriate personal security practices." We have updated our procedures to ensure that we enforce these policies more strictly in the future. The policies themselves have not changed. In particular, two-factor authentication remains an optional means of adding extra security to your account. The choice not to enable 2FA will not be considered when deciding to restore sysop privileges to administrator accounts that were compromised.

We are sorry for the wording of our previous message, which did not accurately convey this, and deeply regret the tone in which it was delivered.

For the Arbitration Committee, -Cameron11598 21:03, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

ArbCom 2019 special circular

Administrators must secure their accounts

The Arbitration Committee may require a new RfA if your account is compromised.

View additional information

This message was sent to all administrators following a recent motion. Thank you for your attention. For the Arbitration Committee, Cameron11598 02:41, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Great... all the NSA has to do is have a direct crack, back door or man in the middle attack with an HTTPS certificate and they can purge legacy admins to clear out room for their own. Watch the community try to do that. Anything done on a computer is controlled by whoever has the biggest computer, the rest is wishful thinking. Wnt (talk) 02:43, 4 May 2019 (UTC) (struck per their correction below)
My computer is either much bigger, or much more confusing, than any supposed attacker thinks. As well as not being an admin, ... MPS1992 (talk) 03:33, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Twitter cards from article HTML rendering

  Section returned from the archive
When are Wikipedia URLs going to produce Twitter cards? Thank you for your help with this, Jimbo. EllenCT (talk) 06:41, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

The linked discussion doesn't even mention 'twitter cards'. Do you want to start a new discussion?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:31, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Yes, sorry. EllenCT (talk) 06:27, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

Clarice E. Phelps

What do you think, Jimmy Wales? How about, in instances wherein the community determines that a blp subject's notability to be a borderline /"too soon" case, Wikipedia allows a draft remain, for WP's 'coverage' for that individual, pending developments as can easily be anticipated with regard the person in question? As a case in point, whereas both the Washington Post and Everipedia has inaccurate information(!) within its article foe scientist Clarice Phelps (saying she co-discovered tennessine; hat tip-->[17]), WPdian-in-residence @ the NYPublicLibraryforthePerformingArts user:DGG believes her notable, due I believe an award she's received and stuff within her community for which she'd received coverage. Without space being in place at Draft:Clarice E. Phelps, how can information most practically accrete regarding this scientist? Any thoughts?--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 21:17, 28 April 2019 (UTC)--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 03:12, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

WaPo is an oped, with one of the authors of the oped being the author of the Wikipedia article. Our article (the first version) had a number of, umm, very novel claims on Phelps - including that she is a dr. (PhD) when she holds a (per a primary source - studying as of 2019 for a We were also claiming she was the first African American woman to discover an element - which possibly WP:CITOGENed elsewhere (though RSes, published after Wikipedia, have caged this with an "as far as we know..."). Phelps at the time tennessine was discovered was a new ORNL hire with the job title "Nuclear Operations Technician" and she was "on the team tasked with purifying the berkelium-249 used to confirm the discovery of element 117, tennessine." per ORNL. The bio on Phelps illustrated why bios should not be built of primary sources and PR. reads similar to one of the versions that was on Wikipedia (after the doctorate was removed - but she still has a master's there while the cited sources do not state completion).21:38, 28 April 2019 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Icewhiz (talkcontribs)
The real conflicts of interest here are apparently no-name PhDs(?) editing Wikipedia anonymously who troll multi-authored scholarly journal articles to comment on Wikipedia that one or another of the articles' coauthors don't have as impressive of alphabet soup after their names as these   deletionistsconscientious Wikipedia contributors do.--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 14:32, 29 April 2019 (UTC)--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 14:52, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
AFAICT - google scholar - Phelps has not authored journal articles. She is a co-author on 5 pieces in google scholar - technical reports and conference papers. Icewhiz (talk) 15:27, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
I think that we have a problematic lack of coverage of female scientists, and that this in part reflects longstanding problems in academia with citations, tenure, and promotions (which is hard but not impossible for us to take into account) and that in part reflects even worse problems in popular media and the wider culture (which we can do a lot about, given that popular media isn't the best sourcing for serious science articles in the first place). I think it is absolutely never ok to misstate someone's actual degrees since that's generally a matter of quite easy research and part of the public record. (Not always, but generally it is.) Everything I've just said is about the general principles, not about this particular case - I haven't read the Washington Post piece as it seems to harder-paywalled than normal today, and I'm not a subscriber. (Usually incognito mode works when I've exceeded my monthly free quota, but not today.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:27, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
FYI a number of news sites have implemented incognito mode detection so it's likely WaPo has caught up on that. (talk) 06:22, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
fwiw, I did not say that I believed her notable, but rather that having an article on her that stated precisely her accomplishments was a meaningful compromise to allow some coverage. In past years--even just 50 years ago when I began my own career as a molecular biologist--there were many instances of women who worked under the title of "technician" when nowadays they would have been appointed to a faculty rank. I don't think that's usually the case now. As Jimbo says., the general press is noted for a very expansive use of "scientist". DGG ( talk ) 17:06, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
I think also, if you're quick enough on the draw, sometimes you can do a select-all and then copy before the WaPo paywall kicks in, and paste the article into, e.g., an email to yourself.
So do we not have the ability to get free WaPo access granted to Wikipedians, like what's available with some of the academic journals? Зенитная Самоходная Установка (talk) 08:50, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
@Зенитная Самоходная Установка: You can suggest new resources to be added to the Wikipedia Library here: Regards SoWhy 09:08, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
BTW, in follow thru re e.g. user:DGG's suggestion to ascertain Clarice Phelps' s "druthers" Ms.Phelps's response was in the affirmative. She's apparently ok with "our" joining mirrors e.g.[18] - even Sangerian Evripdia[19]. (Maybe u dont go for much meta commentary here'bouts, still, perhaps Sanger's concerns concerning deletionism may now be seen to have proved true?)--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 21:03, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Hodgdon's secret garden, where are you getting Sanger's concerns concerning deletionism from? Sanger has consistently, right back to Nupedia days, complained that Wikipedia is far too inclusive and should instead be focused on what he considers important topics. (To the best of my recollection Nupedia didn't contain any biographies of women.) FWIW, if you want to see what he's practicing rather than what he's preaching, on his website the article on Pornography is roughly 10 times the length of the artcle on Woman. ‑ Iridescent 14:23, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Iridescent, maybe you are much more up on whatever are the details here than I am. As it were, I just judged the matter via the posture Sanger's adopted via blogpost here[20], tweet/[21]blog thread comment (in which he self-describes as "largely inclusionist") there.[22]--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 21:49, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
I've been using Firefox with NoScript and did not know that there was a paywall at the first link above. But if I enable the two scripts I see it. I don't get why sites make a fetish out of "securing" their content by relying on the user's browser to be uncontrollable rather than simply not serving the content. I'll figure that out around when I figure out why the 1950s method of putting ads in the copy doesn't work and they think they have to serve them from another site using some kind of script. Wnt (talk) 02:55, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
... and just like that Firefox made NoScript stop working by surprise this morning. Note that, surprisingly enough, even the Tor Browser has immediately disabled it (despite relying on it to protect against script attacks) so presumably some folks going to their favorite sites today are going to get a very nasty surprise. For the past couple of months I've noticed that my setting to "delete all cookies" doesn't stop at least one site (The Intercept) from remembering cookie data unless I do it manually with at least one cookie displayed on the menu. I think Mozilla is getting infiltrated by hostile interests -- just like Wikipedia is, and Ecuador for that matter -- and that Brendan Eich was attacked for more than being spotted supporting the wrong side in a ballot referendum. Yet if I can't trust them, who can I trust -- the Microsoft or Google empire? The mysterious Chinese owners of Opera who have terms and conditions to access user data? On the paywalls I suppose we can still try to come up with a way to use the "developer interface" to view individual components for now, until that gets people thrown in jail for hacking. Wnt (talk) 12:52, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
@Wnt, Firefox has currently disabled every add-on until they sort out some bug affecting certificate timestamps. I have no idea what the timescale for fixing it is. ‑ Iridescent 14:29, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, "Wall Street Market", one of the oldest black markets on Tor hidden services, was shut down at the same day Tor's dependency stopped being dependable. [23] Gee, what a coincidence... Wnt (talk) 03:21, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't know what this has to do with Clarice Phelps, but google "wall street market exit scam". Nothing to do with Tor. Bitter Oil (talk) 23:06, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Fix here works: specifically, if you go to about:config, set app.shield.optoutstudies.enabled = true, set app.normandy.run_interval_seconds = 1, check extensions, undo changes to settings. Of course, I have no idea how much info is given away in even a moment of not opting out of studies ... nor do I feel confident about anything digital going forward. Wnt (talk) 13:19, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, you should probably stay of the internet all together. And smash your mobile phone while you're at it. We'll all be better off. Bitter Oil (talk) 23:06, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Is fentanyl "payback"?

Jimbo, not sure if you're interested in this nexus, but just in case you are, here it is:

The Economist has a way of being suggestive in a subtle fashion, sometimes. Our Opium Wars article says; "China was the largest economy in the world" (before UK and American opium traffickers flooded the country with opium)...."Within a decade after the end of the Second Opium War, China's share of global GDP had fallen by half" It is suspicious, imo, that China, which has such tough drug laws, allowed fentanyl to be produced in country for so long "China's production of the drug has long been a source of tension between the two countries." and now that the whole world knows how to make it, the ruination of Western countries can continue with or without Chinese government acquiescence. Nocturnalnow (talk) 16:09, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

It is suspicious, imo, that the US, which has such tough drug laws, allowed methamphetamine to be produced in country for so long. Probably the work of the Chinese. Or the CIA. I am sure Assange and/or QAnon have a theory you can quote. Bitter Oil (talk) 19:57, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
I doubt methamphetamine production has been legal in the USA or else "Breaking Bad" would never have been produced. Nocturnalnow (talk) 16:15, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Meth could famously be bought over the counter in the US until the 1970s; one of the key early scenes in Breaking Bad makes precisely that point. It's still both manufactured and sold in the US on prescription, although doctors call it Desoxyn owing to the negative connotations of the name. If only there were some website you could look things like this up… ‑ Iridescent 16:22, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
@Nocturnalnow: Do you think it is legal to make fentanyl in China? It isn't. You would know that if you read the articles you linked. And just like the US laws involving meth changed over a couple of decades to include meth precursor chemicals, China's laws are also changing. When illegal fentanyl production in China drops off, it will pick up somewhere else. This is about money, not secret government plans to destabilize other countries. Bitter Oil (talk) 21:37, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Fentanyl was legal for export in China up until recently, not outlawed in the 70s, but the main difference is I don't think meth has been exported into China in great quantities. The Economist article pointed out the irony and the reality. The reasons for what's been happening or going to happen are not nearly as interesting to me as the reality of what's been happening and what's going to happen, whatever that is. Nocturnalnow (talk) 22:45, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
I was going to gently explain all the things you misunderstood, but that last sentence suggests it would have been a waste of effort. Bitter Oil (talk) 04:51, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Ad hominems and non sequiturs are, ironically the most expeditious indicators of the mentality of the person who uses them once in awhile, imo, because they either indicated the user has nothing constructive to say at the moment or wants to distract from the subject matter. People who use them often, however, are either too stupid to engage in meaningful discourse or else they think the people they are conversing with are stupid and easily distracted. At least, that's my conclusion after observing them being used increasingly over the past 50 years. Nocturnalnow (talk) 16:07, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Have another go, see if you can beat the record for the most nonsense in a 3-line Jimbotalk paragraph (you probably aren't the current holder, to be fair). Black Kite (talk) 20:24, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
60 Minutes last Sunday exposed China as the primary source, by far, and the NY Times is sounding the alarm about the explosive use of fentanyl in the USA: "The data also show that the increased deaths correspond strongly with the use of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls. Since 2013, the number of overdose deaths associated with fentanyls and similar drugs has grown to more than 28,000, from 3,000. Deaths involving fentanyls increased more than 45 percent in 2017 alone." Its a serious reality. Nocturnalnow (talk) 03:24, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Just out of interest, has anything ever happened that you don't believe was the result of a global conspiracy? ‑ Iridescent 06:20, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Iridescent, there's a sad disclaimer which seems to be quite apt, except that I will strike off the too. WBGconverse 12:57, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Sure, but the Pentagon Papers proved, imo, that a few intellectually brilliant, well educated and upper class positioned people, who have unlimited time on their hands to design and perpetuate evil and usually profiteering activities, and what could be more evil than the Vietnam War, are able to fool almost all of the people almost all of the time. And as you likely know, the Vietnam War was not a "global" conspiracy. Also, this particular issue has nothing to do with global or even conspiratorial matters from what I've said. All I really am saying is have a look at the Economist article, the 60 Minutes info and the NY Times article and think about it. Nocturnalnow (talk) 16:21, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Carfentanil "Carfentanil or carfentanyl is a structural analog of the synthetic opioid analgesic fentanyl.[1] Short acting and with fast onset, it has, weight for weight, around hundred times stronger effects than fentanyl and thousands of times stronger than heroin." "According to an Associated Press article from 2016, "Chemical weapon for sale: China's unregulated narcotic", fentanyl, carfentanil and other highly potent derivatives of fentanyl are actively marketed by several Chinese chemical companies.[10] Carfentanil was not a controlled substance in China until 1 March 2017,[12] and until then was manufactured legally and sold openly over the Internet." Count Iblis (talk) 11:49, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Amphetamines were widely used by the war effort during WWII in the US and other nations. Not just in the military but the entire defense industry. No sinister forces behind their usage. Collect (talk) 13:47, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
One of my all-time favourite YouTube videos is LSD Testing (British Troops) which shows the effect of giving LSD to soldiers. This was done as an experiment in 1964 to see what would happen (yes, really).[24] Without spoiling the fun of watching how the video progresses as the soldiers get stoned, the moral turns out to be that getting ripped does not lead to good soldiering.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:41, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I think the point about the opium war is odd. There was a conspiracy conviction two-days ago in the US concerning pushing drugs, and while the convicted actions are reprehensible, the profit motive is prosaic. At any rate, if someone would look into updating the RICO article, that would actually be a good use of time. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:03, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Fentanyl is getting 4 times as many page views as RICO, not to mention that 28,466 dead Americans in 1 year is a lot more important and encyclopedic than just another arcane, vague and arbitrary USA crime category with a silly/cute acronym. Nocturnalnow (talk) 01:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
RICO has been making the news because some people are complaining that they've been sent to jail for extraordinarily long periods of time for crimes they didn't commit. Which should not be so shocking, since the point of the law was to send people to jail for crimes they didn't commit. See [25] Wnt (talk) 02:04, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Wnt, that is a really good example of how nasty and useless these SDNY creeps have been. Nothing but a bunch of sadistic phonies pushing around and locking up the disadvantaged little guys and letting the real crooks run wild. Or, and this might even be worse for the society, the SDNY people might actually be so brain dead that they believe they did good work with that mass arrest. Nocturnalnow (talk) 02:25, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
That's easy to see. What's harder to see is what would happen if those RICO tools were used against the kind of massive conspiracies they were supposedly passed to stop instead. Just imagine if during the Volkswagen emissions scandal, our heroic President Obama had announced that the Department of Justice had determined that every diesel Volkswagen in the U.S. had been sold as part of a continuing criminal enterprise, a conspiracy to defraud state and federal regulators, and hence an order of civil forfeiture had been made against the company's assets in the United States, including stock, plants, real estate and intellectual property, and mass arrests of those involved in the emissions scam, which killed as many people as putting a bomb on an airplane, were proceeding at corporate headquarters. The assets would be reorganized in an employee cooperative to maintain production. I mean ... it would be like the very thing that the U.S. objected to in Cuba under Castro, that Trump is now threatening to sue foreign companies for if they do business in Cuba -- standing up for the people as if they were the equals of their corporate masters. Wnt (talk) 12:50, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
How clueless, since the original comment was about a RICO conviction against pharmaceutical company millionaires. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:36, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, you didn't link your source, and I thought you were talking about something else. Did find it, and indeed, this is in some ways an encouraging sign. Note however that this is a first, so I am only a few days' clueless. That said, I still don't understand the underlying law links "bribing" private persons to racketeering - a similar issue came up with a recent scandal where admissions officials were bribed by some relatively low-income celebrities. Wnt (talk) 13:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
OK, but what's not to get about, "(1) racketeering activity means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion . . ." -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:08, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I went into this again and ... Wikipedia, explaining bribery, got me the answer that reading news stories and Google searches didn't. There is an offense of "commercial bribery" in the U.S., but I feel like nobody knows about it, and according to our articles it is piecemeal by state and context. Employees get notified of a bunch of goofy legal duties like teachers having to report if they're told about sexual abuse, but I've never seen an employee manual or paperwork talk about bribery. I feel like I've seen it done, routinely, as a business practice long ago (like statute-of-limitations long ago) without anyone involved being aware of any illegality, for example biotech salesmen giving away random stuff, even formally organizing pizza parties, trying to get professors and even grad students to put in purchase orders with their companies. Of course, I regarded it with contempt but not with a sense there was any legal recourse. Wnt (talk) 14:31, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, if you want more detail in this case: "conspiracy to commit racketeering, mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback law in relation to a nationwide conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners to unnecessarily prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication and defraud payers of the medication, including insurers. . . . conspired to bribe practitioners in various states, many of whom operated pain clinics, in order to get them to prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication, called Subsys. Subsys is a powerful narcotic intended to treat cancer patients suffering intense episodes of breakthrough pain. In exchange for bribes and kickbacks, the practitioners wrote large numbers of prescriptions for the patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer. . . ." [26] and [27] -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:05, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Notability of academics

Hi Jimbo, this is my first time posting here in about 14 years, and I would not do so unless I believed in my heart that there is a major problem with Wikipedia's notability guidelines in regards to academics/professors. You're probably aware of some recent high-profile article deletion discussions for academic biographies. I believe the root cause for most of the concerns is that, over time, our notability guidelines regarding them have been relaxed to the point that a significant number of editors feel that it is not necessary to provide proof of independent coverage of an academic. Wikipedia:Notability (academics)#Criteria has a set of certain conditions that demonstrate notability, such as being awarded certain honors, named chairs at institutions, etc. While these on the surface are legitimate, the problem comes from the wording of that section, which indicates that there is no need for independent coverage. Apparent consensus on that talk page (shown as of now in the RfC I've linked below) is that self-published sources, like university faculty profiles, press releases from award grantors like the NAS, and others which are closely-tied to the subject are accepted as proof of notability. This RfC, which should be a very straight-forward expression of Wikipedia values, is at present failing miserably.

Wikipedia talk:Notability (academics)#RfC about independent sources for academic notability to decide the following question:

Current wording: Academics/professors meeting any one of the following conditions, as substantiated through reliable sources, are notable.
Proposed wording: Academics/professors meeting one or more of the following conditions, as substantiated using multiple published, reliable, secondary sources which are independent of the subject and each other, are notable.

Shall the wording in the section Wikipedia:Notability (academics)#Criteria be changed to the proposed wording above?

I'm an old Wikipedian, and I remember that for as long as we've been around, that to determine notability meant we had to prove that the world had taken note of a topic, and that third-party or independent sources (news, media, books, etc.) are what we accept for that. Some of our foundational policies like WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, WP:Verifiability#Notability, and WP:No original research#Using sources have stated this basic principle for almost our entire lifetime.

Early in our project, we felt a certain "inferiority complex", and we made overtures towards academia in order to get them involved and for our work to be respected. A whole generation of scholars has now grown up referencing Wikipedia in school. They've gotten involved in the project, greatly expanding our knowledge areas. Unfortunately, I feel, that the tide has changed. Academics now value Wikipedia as part of their social and professional network. Having your own article on Wikipedia is seen as an achievement, and for some, as seen in the social media backlash outside Wikipedia and within Wikipedia at that RfC, almost a right. I hold onto hope that something changes and that we can keep applying a fair standard of notability/inclusion across all of our subject areas, and that this one segment doesn't continue to unduly influence our guidelines for their own benefit. I'm sorry if this post isn't well-received, but it is heart-felt. -- Netoholic @ 21:54, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

With me, it is very well received. This is a very difficult topic and your position, which I partly share, is a respectable one.
One of the things I have always thought we should do is ask ourselves "is this a biography?" One of the sound rationales for WP:BLP1E is that when a person has come into the news for a single event (often, but not always, for something that happened to them rather than for something they did) we don't actually have enough information to write a real biography - and there is not much hope that we ever will.
Academics, though, are a different case. It strikes me that it would be strange and excessively "pop culture-y" if we insisted that we find news coverage of their hobbies and family life before covering them. Some academics become public intellectuals to such a degree that such information does appear in mainstream media profiles. But many very important ones do not ever reach the mainstream media, nor should we expect them to, nor should we find that their encyclopedic notability depends on courting popular press.
We also have the well-known and I think real problem of gender imbalance in our coverage of academics, and that this is in part driven by a deeper problem within academia itself. That, too, is a complicated problem for us.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:07, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
We have many fine editors (Randykitty and David Eppstein come to mind) who are perfectly capable of applying the varying indices and whatnot, measures that are used inside academia as well, which can be said to prove or disprove academic notability (I myself am somewhat skeptical of their value, but that's another matter). As for secondary vs. reliable sources--if a university website, for instance, has information on this or that professor and their work, sure it's not an independent secondary source, but we should not assume that therefore the information is not reliable. One of my friends occupies a named chair, not one that necessarily confers notability on him, but still, and it is hard to imagine that a university would not check that kind of information. In other words, we should trust the website of a trustworthy institution. Of course a claim can be inflated--but again, that's a different matter, one of judgment. We should not expect secondary sources to verify that "Dr. X occupies the Drmies chair of applied linguistics at so and so university"; if we find that in the local paper, you can bet they got it off the website too. I do agree that it's become fashionable for professors (and non-professors in academia) to "have" a Wikipedia article, and some of those are just resumes, but I believe the current processes work well enough. Drmies (talk) 14:15, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't even think this is about mainstream media or minor biographical details at all. Academia itself has its own media (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, etc.), journals, book reviews, and much more. The problem I think is more about access to those resources, which can often be behind subscriptions and paywalls, making it difficult for the average editor to access. This barrier, I think, makes people presume that we must use sources which are closely-tied to the subject just because they are often the most easily accessible. Efforts like WP:The Wikipedia Library help some, by giving editors access to those resources, but overall I don't think these difficulties are worth granting an exception to this particular set of biographies. It will make it harder for us to justify requiring independent sourcing for other topic areas. -- Netoholic @ 16:42, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
The fact those sources are behind paywalls is partially the point of NPROF. All the subject-specific notability guidelines are designed to lay out criteria that, should it be shown that a topic meets those, then we allow the topic to have a standalone article to have the time to be developed by the open wiki, to get behind the paywall and get those sources, and only face prospect of deletion if someone else can reasonably show that there are no other sources, specifically those that are independent and secondary, coming for that topic. We do require that support for that criteria be proven through a reliable source, and in most cases, we do prefer an independent source, but an independent source in not required at this stage, particular in the case of academics. We've never demanded independent sources be had for a topic that meets a subject-specific criteria, and part of developing said criteria is to make sure that meeting the criteria is reasonable assurance of existing or future independent, secondary sources. That's the whole crux of this issue, is that trying to apply the "requires independent sources" to articles in development, particularly for academics, is too soon. (The only guideline otherwise different here is NCORP which, due to blatant self-promotion/SEOing of WP, we do absolutely require independent sources to show why an organization is notable). --Masem (t) 13:50, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
@Masem: You said "We've never demanded independent sources be had for a topic that meets a subject-specific criteria. I wanted to find this out for myself, so I surveyed the main policies, WP:Notability, and the subject-specific notability guidelines. I found that almost all of them do, in fact, require "independent sources" for the purpose of determining notbility. As they should, because to know if something has been 'noted' by the world, we cannot rely on the subject to tell us so. As you pointed out, this is very true for WP:NCORP where there has been blatant promotion. To think that academics are immune to this tendency as well, is naive. As has been shown, we are now vulnerable to self-promotion by academics - led by Wikipedians that are themselves part of academia and have a strong potential for conflict of interest. We would never tolerate members of any other particular topic area advocating for looser inclusion guidelines for their own community. -- Netoholic @ 17:01, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Each of the cases you have document do not say that an independent source is necessary to show that a criteria is met; it is expected that each criteria has been carefully selected so that independent sourcing is nearly a certainty, but it doesn't have to be there to claim notability by any of the criteria. Now we absolutely do prefer that independent sources be used to justify the criteria over a dependent source, and certainly in the areas of businesses, we are much more strict due to WP-as-SEO treatment. Academic institutions are not in that game. --Masem (t) 18:37, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
  • On the gender imbalance in academia, I don't know the statistics, but it seems safe to assume that males predominate in academia, as they do in other institutions like the US Senate (25% female), or CEO's of fortune 500. With U.S. senators it's easy to see that we can't write more than 25% of the bios on women. But, even if "it's a great time for women in science as far as visibility is concerned. Stories of powerful women in STEM fields are trending in virtually every cultural sphere,"[28] what could Wikipedia actually do, except perhaps on the margins, given the state of the world, that it's not doing? -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:31, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure how that imbalance works out in my field, but what can Wikipedia do, you ask? Well, write articles: Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red. Drmies (talk) 14:45, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Note the preface and the question "it's not doing?", writing articles is what it does already, and does not address the world's imbalance. The answer may be there is nothing else Wikipedia can do, it just has to accept the world's imbalance. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:52, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
        • Surely the job of an encyclopedia is to reflect the imbalances of the real world rather than trying to change them, so I'd say of course the encyclopedia has to accept the world's imbalances (however much, as individuals, we might deplore and try to change them). The encyclopedia's imbalances, certainly, we should fix those, but that's surely the limit of the remit of an encyclopedia. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:26, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
          • Re 'what could Wikipedia actually do': we also need more Wikipedians pushing scientific newsletters and local papers to publish more interviews and biographies of their communities. We know what the requirements for reliable course are, so where we see them missing it needs to be more common to go to journalists and request that they be created. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 14:05, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
          • This is precisely what WPWIR does do. Systemic bias by demography exists within Wikipedia and of course we only write and work on articles that we're interested in, and so biases in authorship leads to bias in content. At least as far as my interest in WPWIR goes, it's only designed to tackle the bias by Wikipedia editors, not bias in reliable sources. And from my experience on Wikipedia it's readily apparent that articles on women-related topics are scrutinised far more heavily than those on men-related topics (with the same level of notability/coverage). (And there are plenty of other biases as well, I would say most notably with geographic topics.) As Alanscottwalker says, we have to "accept the world's imbalance", yes, but not exacerbate it through biases of our own. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 15:12, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
            • @Bilorv: I agree. We might have to "accept the world's imbalance", but we don't have to be any more biased than the least biased available sources. We can fight systemic bias just by living up to the standards that we claim to value. XOR'easter (talk) 16:29, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
            • "demography exists within Wikipedia and of course we only write and work on articles that we're interested in, and so biases in authorship leads to bias in content" But why would whatever Wikipedian's are personally mean they are not interested in writing articles on women? Can't they be interested in writing articles on women, regardless of what the Wikipedian is personally? Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:47, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
              • This is indeed the question that won't be answered. Despite clear evidence that many male editors get involved in WP:WIR and other women-focused projects, there is no evidence that male editors, on the whole, specifically avoid writing about women. Yet, some people will forever continue to stoke the sexist claim that "male editors = male articles". Compare the coverage on any two pairs of articles that have a male and female counterpart (father/mother, boy/girl, masculism/feminism), the male article is often the one that is the least-developed. Editors working on male-focused articles are eyed with suspicion, editors working on female-focused articles are celebrated. -- Netoholic @ 00:04, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
                • Thanks for concisely confirming that this is all just a misogynist crusade on your part. (And anyone worried that Netoholic might be making reasonable arguments in good faith should take a look at their recent activity: we've got a half-dozen attempts to delete articles on notable female scientists, a half-dozen RfCs to oppose gender-neutral wording, the creation of Wikipedia:WikiProject Men (because apparently one isn't enough), this jaw-dropper, etc.) -- (talk) 12:59, 10 May 2019 (UTC)— Preceding unsigned comment added by Joel B. Lewis (talkcontribs)
                  • This IP coward proves my points. Anyone even giving the vaguest hint of supporting the improvement of men's articles is on a "misogynist crusade". Creating a top-level WikiProject Men is too many, yet there are at least 17 WikiProjects devoted to women. -- Netoholic @ 14:23, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
                    • Sorry, that was me -- I must have been logged out in my other browser. --JBL (talk) 20:34, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                  I think arguing that the verb "manned" isn't "gendered" is more of a jaw-dropper. Schazjmd (talk) 14:16, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
              • @Alanscottwalker: I didn't say anything of the sort. Some individual male editors (such as myself) are of course interested in writing articles on women. It's just that as an aggregate, bias will accumulate in content if there's bias within authorship. Would you deny that you edit primarily in areas you find interesting? I know I do. So of course demography of editors matters. @Netoholic: That's not relevant to the topic of discussion, which is about the number of biographies of men and women (82% to 18% according to WP:WPWIR's tally). And masculism is not the male counterpart of feminism, because feminism is about gender equality, not about women only. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 23:05, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
                • Bilorv: What is the 'ideal' or 'correct' proportion of biographies for men and women on Wikipedia? -- Netoholic @ 23:09, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
                  • Ideal? Well, obviously 50% (once we discount non-binary people) but that requires living in a gender equal world. But as I say above, in the current world we should be reflecting reliable sources with due proportion and unless you wish to tell me that fewer than 1 in 5 people mentioned in reliable sources are female, then "higher than 18%" is a pretty obvious answer. Obviously historical limitations on what women could do, such as in Ancient Greece, will raise the proportion of male notable figures, but the incredibly high exponential rise in world population over time (population was under half a billion in 1500), and much larger body of existing information from more recent times, means that the majority of notable figures are currently alive or lived recently. So 18-82 is not an accurate representation. Once we get to 33-67 we'll need to start talking more seriously about what the true proportion should be. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 11:41, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                    • Bilorv: Based on the world as it is, and historically, and considering all the potentially notable biographical subjects with which we could work with, how do you know we haven't already achieved the correct proportion? Why do you state "'higher than 18%' is a pretty obvious answer" - if it is so obvious, surely there must be some objective measure that demonstrates that it is so. Let's even just take the 21st century, when I think you would agree that the opportunities for women to achieve notability are at their greatest level, is the ideal proportion still "obviously 50%" considering that there will always be many women that choose to raise families instead of seek high-level careers? How do we know that we haven't already reached the proper level? How do we know that "33-67" isn't biased unfairly towards women in an incorrect proportion to men based on the potential pool of notable subjects? When can Wikipedia celebrate achieving the most correct proportion of coverage that we can about women? -- Netoholic @ 12:16, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                      • Where's your evidence that women would choose to raise children more frequently than men would in an equal society? This misogynistic stereotype underpins your whole argument. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 15:35, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                        • Bilorv: Are we talking about a hypothetical "equal society", or does Wikipedia merely report on the society we actually have? I notice you took the easy route by making a strawman and calling me names, rather than answer the very direct request for evidence to support your claims. A case in point would be a 2015 study called A Paper Ceiling which specifically looked at the overall coverage of men and women in approximately 2,000 English-language newspapers and online news sites. As analyzed by a Harvard journalism website, the study found that the ratio of women to men mentioned was about 1:5. Per the analysis "Inequities in media coverage are due largely to social realities and everyday societal inequalities". This 20% ratio seems very close to the currently-stated 18% biography total... and if you account for known historic differences, it might be an indicator that at 18% we've already exceeded the true proportion of notable subjects and there is incredibly little Wikipedia can do further. -- Netoholic @ 16:18, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                    • "historical limitations on what women could do" are by no means restricted to "Ancient Greece". In Britain professional football did not allow women until 1977 (from way back), hence no women footballers could be notable. Category:British footballers has over 30,000 members, only some 500 female. 18% is higher than the female %s in most easy-to-measure contemporary work categories like members of legislatures, top 100 company boards, members of national academies and the like. I don't say 18% is target achieved, but there needs to be a reality check about what a feasible target might be, which of course nobody actually knows. For many years to come, it is likely to be comfortably under 25%. Johnbod (talk) 14:28, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                      • Sportspeople don't make up the majority of notable people. Gender disparities are more exacerbated at higher levels than lower levels so it's not accurate to look at top 100 company boards. There are also plenty of areas where more women are famous (e.g. compare Category:American female models with Category:American male models). Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 15:35, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
                        • Areas where more women are notable are actually rather few, and often not generating high article counts. The weight of the numbers is clear, but some just refuse to see it. Btw, we have figures for all living people as a % of all biographies; does anyone have them to hand? On the models (rather fewer than I would have expected), note that the female head cat seems to be treated as non-diffusing, but the male one as diffusing - see the "by state" cats. So the real male total is higher than the main cat has. Johnbod (talk) 15:56, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

@Bilorv: I did not say, you said anything. If it's true that whatever a wikipedian is personally, they may be interested in writing about a woman, it also seems true that whatever a wikipedian is personally, they may be interested in writing about a man. (A few examples that fit your categorization from 'the real world', that I can think of off the top of my head, are Ida Tarbell biographer of business magnates, Harriet Munroe biographer of John Wellborn Root, Debby Applegate biographer of Henry Ward Beecher.) What connection do you make between the "aggregate" and the personal demographic belonging of a woman or a man? -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:59, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

  • You're again naming specific examples when I said nothing about individuals. I answered the question you asked already: "as an aggregate, bias will accumulate in content if there's bias within authorship. Would you deny that you edit primarily in areas you find interesting? I know I do." The claim is hardly contentious: Wikipedia editors edit topics they find interesting. People tend to find things interesting if they can relate to people involved or share similarities with their situation. This overall leads to bias. It's not the fault or responsibility of any individual person. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 15:35, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
    • It is incontrovertible that individuals make up the aggregate. Is it your contention that women will write about women and men will write about men? -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:41, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Not my contention at all. I'm saying women are biased towards writing about women and the same for men. Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 16:36, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
        • And is that not a sweeping statement based on stereotype? Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:04, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
          • No, because it doesn't assert a reason for the bias (which I would say is a result of social conditioning). Bilorv (he/him) (talk) 18:04, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I personally feel that we should have a notability "low bar" for academics. Full professors should be automatically "in," much like state legislators — to get to that academic level, one must do significant publication and there is apt to be adequate available sourcing for a rudimentary encyclopedic biography for such individuals. Wikipedia is not paper, blah blah blah, cost of a relaxed standard is nil. It would end a lot of fighting, I think, being a simple rule. As of now, holders of named professorships are automatically in. I'd go further, if it was up to me. Carrite (talk) 03:07, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I kinda lean in this direction (all full profs notable) but before I'd like to know if we have the resources to handle the influx of new articles. I don't really agree that this would end a lot of fighting. What's the old saying "The reason academic infighting is so bitter is that the stakes are so low"? So how may new articles could there be under a new "full full professor coverage" rule? Based on a quora answer and some back-of-the-envelope calculations, I'd say there are 150,000 to 500,000 full profs in the US. And say 3 or 4 times as many total in the world (guesswork). In any case a lot of potential articles, most with somewhat reasonable sources, about folks we wouldn't mind having as contributors. It's enough that I'd want to go slow in relaxing the standards. Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:41, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Agreed this is an issue, though the US to global uplift should be higher. Also, as discussed at various times on the actual WP:PROF talk page, "full professor" in the sense you mean it is mainly a US concept, with a world of difficulty in translating it globally. In the UK such people are most often called "Senior Lecturer", though this is changing somewhat. At at least one place they are called "Student" for historical reasons. So it's not a way to reduce arguments at all. The last thing we need is potentially a million articles that mostly repeat the prof's faculty page, hardly get read, and never get updated. WP:NOTDIR. Johnbod (talk) 15:04, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Just for clarity sake and information, holders of named professorships are not automatic currently, the further limitations in that named chair criteria are "major institution of higher education and research", which in past discussions for the US has been generally described as Carnegie Classification, R-1 "Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:05, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
    • I don't see that value add Wikipedia provides in this proposal. With no independent sources, we would quite literally be just a copy of their faculty/professional profiles - one that would require maintenance and vandalism patrol, so this certainly is not a "nil" cost proposal. The set of academic biographies that actually hold encyclopedic value are just those that are cited and cross-referenced authors whose work contributes to our scientific/philosophical/etc. articles. -- Netoholic @ 17:26, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • This does strike me fairly central to the issue: "Academia itself has its own media (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, etc.), journals, book reviews, and much more. The problem I think is more about access to those resources, which can often be behind subscriptions and paywalls, making it difficult for the average editor to access". But the current notability guideline for academics isn't really addressing this, just trying to skirt around it. A second and closely related problem is that the GNG hasn't quite served us well. It was a nice idea, but it's led to WP (the English one anyway) being utterly overrun by pop-culture trivia.

    That problem in a nutshell is that virtually anyone and anything connected to the entertainment industry can have an article here, because the cannibalistic/incestuous entertainment press writes tons and tons of "in depth" (detailed) but ultimately ephemeral and trivial coverage of, well, itself and its corporate owners and their lackeys. Some actor with a few TV or movie credits will have all sorts of obsessive profiles and interviews and reviews and yadda yadda, but ultimately isn't actually notable in any sense that an encyclopedia should care about. Finding some work in your chosen field isn't an indicator of lasting notability, just basic competence and employability. It's akin to giving every 7-11 cashier an article here if they last 1+ years on the job. A partial solution to the issue would be declaring the entertainment press non-WP:INDY for WP:N purposes, in regard to any entertainment-industry topic. An actor/band/TV pilot/video game character/whatever isn't notable without some kind of non-trivial coverage in multiple reliable sources outside the industry writing about itself for mutually self-promotional purposes. (Virtually all of these publications – most of which are owned by the same media corporations anyway – get the bulk of their income from entertainment industry advertising dollars, so they have a direct fiduciary interest in pumping out coverage of every album, director, sports team, sci-fi novel, comics character, and so on, that they can get around to writing about.)

    For academics, go the opposite direction, in a sense, and look at frequency of citation in genuinely reputable journals, and various other factors, but more specific, more objective, that the current standards we're kinda-sorta using. I don't think any notability guideline is so dubiously labeled a guideline as that one, because it's setup as an alternative to, not an application of, the broader notability standards. That makes it a WP:CONLEVEL problem, and it's the reason it's constantly subject to dispute and to hotly fought-over revision attempts that never seem to go anywhere (not due to lack of merits in the revision proposals, but due to desperate WP:FILIBUSTERing out of fear that any change will lead to mass deletion of academic bios). Its going to continue being a recurrent conflict until we rejigger the larger notability determination rubric to make more sense for an actual encyclopedia instead of for something more like a social networking and blog site. It's like WP is turning into "MySpace 2", and cutting off its own nose out of internal spite in the process. Something has to change.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:06, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

  • I would think clarification would be a good matter, this is an unenforceable and very subjective bar. Just today it was used [[29]] and the policy is unclear as to what bar is needed. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 22:06, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Simply put: There are no magic criteria for "notability" and Wikipedia has acknowledged this by having "areas of limited general interest" have "notability standards" greatly discrepant from the encyclopedia in general. (e.g. "porn stars" and "Pokémon figures" and the like.) I posit that no "notability standards for academics" can possibly avoid the same problems. Even "well-known within their specific field of expertise" would be tough to define, but I know that "holding the title of Professor" is a can of worms - with the huge influx of new schools and a vast increase in the number of those titled "Professor" making this a pretty useless criterion. An estimate of 1.5 million or more is justifiable - making roughly 1% of all employed US citizens "notable" with that criterion. Further, "number of citations" has lowered in value as new papers appear to "cite" increasing numbers of prior papers! It makes some sense to me to count only "mentions of the person as known in their field excluding multi-author papers and being the primary person writing the paper. Can anyone come up with criteria which would not make a million or more US individuals alone be auto-eligible for articles? Collect (talk) 14:32, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Implicit in Carrite's comment to get to that academic level, one must do significant publication (and as discussed by Alanscottwalker) is that the domain of discussion here is "professors at research universities"; the number of those is much smaller. I agree with you about the lack of a magic right answer, and I am somewhat skeptical that going largely by job title is a good idea (though now that the terrible, pointy proposal of Netoholic has been rejected, I plan on returning to being mostly apathetic about these questions). --JBL (talk) 15:33, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Oh, also, excluding multi-author papers would rule out essentially all work in most scientific fields; even in mathematics, where single-author papers were the majority not that long ago, co-authorship is now the norm and multi-author papers are increasingly common. (Here is some 15-year old research on the subject.) My impression is that deletion discussions with the current WP:NPROF exhibit awareness of this phenomenon. -JBL (talk) 15:37, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Just noting here that @Collect:'s estimate of 1.5 million "professors" in the US is the *total* "college or university faculty" members according to Quora )(based on Bureau of Labor Statistics). Restricting it to just faulty members at research universities (R1, R2, and R3) would be about 10% of that, restricting it further to just officially titled "Full Professors" would be 15%-35% of the last number or about 22,000-60,000. (yeah, check my math) in the US. What does that imply for research "professors" in the world? Total guesswork - multiply by 5. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:03, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
        • The U.S. population is about 5% of the world population, so you should multiply the figure by 20, not by 5. --Jayron32 18:00, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
          • Only if you believe that research is happening at equal intensity everywhere. --JBL (talk) 18:12, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
            • Yeah, it looks like US new doctoral degrees p147 and 148 and [30] is around 25% of the OECD total. Research professors are probably more concentrated than that. How about as a % of Nobel prizes? This can give you an idea. It looks like over 50% Americans since 1950. I'm sorry if I seem chauvinist, but research universities are highly concentrated in the US, and to a lesser extent in the UK and the rest of Europe. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:46, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Noting the claim that there are only a small number of "Professors" in the US I decided to review the source I used. The AAUP counts well over 350,000 "full-time salaried faculty" in the US. Over 1.1 million others are not "full-time faculty" which is where most of the "less than full Professors" dwell. counts "post-secondary teachers" in its figures. The "22,000 to 60,000" estimate is clearly way off on the low side. The figure of 250,000 to 300,000 is likely close to reality -- of whom only a small number are actually notable using common sense. That is, in my opinion, "Professor" does not "confer nobility" on anyone, nor notability. And therefore it is not, in itself, a "sufficient reason" for a Wikipedia article. Better? Collect (talk) 21:01, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    • You're redoing the calculation Smallbones made but without applying the correct filters. Full-time salaried faculty includes tenure-track faculty (many if not most of whom have titles like "assistant professor" and "associate professor", i.e., they are not in the set described), non-tenure track full-time academic employees (full-time lecturers, etc.) without a professorial title (ditto), and full professors at non-research institutions. There is no way that 70% of "full-time salaried faculty" are "full professors at research universities" (as implied by your estimate). [I continue to have no strong feelings about your conclusion; but your calculation is much less plausible than Smallbones's.] --JBL (talk) 21:17, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Here's the latest Report on the Status of the Profession from AAUP -- as you can see, there are fewer than 200,000 full time faculty (any rank) at doctoral universities (Table B). If I'm reading Table 9 correctly (not guaranteed), 33.1% of full-time faculty at doctoral universities are full professors, which would make the group under discussion here around 56,000 people. --JBL (talk) 21:25, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • cmt - Hat tip-->merrua, Hacker News (thread):

    "[...]the deletionists where more often the 'majority' culture and male, which resulted in a feedback loop for the nonminority and female. New minority turn up, have a bad experience and leaves. I think it was studied let me see if I can find the paper. I know the results were replicated with comment bots. Update, not the ones I was thinking of but a good read. HBS Cases: How Wikipedia Works (or Doesn't)

    --Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 01:26, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Another hat tip-->Harvard Business School "Cases": "How Wikipedia Works (or Doesn’t)" - On HB school's Karim R. Lakhani's examination (link) of a "case" where colleague Andrew McAfee "edits" ah the Wikipedia.

LINK - "McAfee began to feel that the debate might be about something more than just the article. ['...P]olicies had become for them a way to keep out articles they just personally didn't like.' [...] Lakhani believes[...]rules seemed to be used in an exclusionary way. [... Edited: (How's what follows, as combined with the foregoing, for a tautology! Ahem.)] An ongoing tension within Wikipedia is characterized as the inclusionists versus the exclusionists [sic. ... ]The inclusionists argue that one of Wikipedia's core values is that it should be open to all ideas, that truth emerges from a variety of directions. Better to include than exclude. The exclusionists see Wikipedia's utilitarianism diminished if too much froth clouds the valuable information inside."

--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 09:23, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • For most of us. policies are not determined in the abstract, but in awareness of their significance for the content and nature of the encyclopedia. The GNG would leave researchers under-represented if used in the ordinary way. Those who want to see them covered therefore support a special rule. But there is also another factor--the demonstration of significant discussion by secondary independent sources would make it possible to use the detailed discussions in some of the citing papers as evidence, and would have the effect of making notability depend on the amount of effort people with access to the still mostly non-open access literature could put into it, not the merits of the individual. With enough work, I could show every assistant professor in a major research university notable--or at least I could have done so when I still had the necessary access. In practice, I'd do the few that personally interested me, and so would the other people here in the area, and we'd have remarkably erratic coverage corresponding neither to the profession's or the public's view of what is important. We need to have rules that permit the majority of ordinary WPedians, not just the experts with special access, to participate in article writing and discussions. There are those who think the wording of a guideline that nobody outside WP really understands more important than common sense and more important than our mission of providing an encycopedia that will be of value to the general public. Jimbo, I don't think that's your view. I think you had in mind a practical result, not a game of juggling regulations. DGG ( talk ) 22:14, 15 May 2019 (UTC)


meta:Wikimedia servers says that about 9% of Wikimedia Foundation data centers' energy comes from renewable sources, with the rest split evenly between coal, gas and nuclear power (34%, 28%, and 28%, respectively).

Facebook and Google both invest hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy to match their datacenter electricity usage and bringing additional renewable energy sources to the power grid for the rest of society to use. In fact, all of Facebook's new datacenters are powered by 100% renewable energy. Google has purchased carbon offsets to cover for the remainder of their operations, and has been carbon-neutral for over ten years.

  1. What is the WMF doing to reduce their carbon footprint?
    1. What leverage does the WMF hold over whether their datacenter providers (CyprusOne and Equinix) choose to switch to renewable energy sources?
    2. If the WMF's datacenter providers prove to be reluctant to switch to renewable energy sources, is the WMF willing to move away from their services? (e.g. the WMF building their own datacenters)
  2. What is the WMF doing to advance renewable energy other than WMF-internal operations?

The trees we saved by destroying the paper encyclopedia industry is certainly a commendable achievement, but what is next?

Σσς(Sigma) 09:54, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

 This user supports the Sustainability Initiative to reduce the foundation's environmental impact.

Jimmy, Would you like this userbox on your user page?

This is obviously a concern for many readers, editors, and employees - the whole world really. The WMF does need to get ahead of this. There is a Sustainability Initiative described on Meta. Some of the people involved there are @EBjune (WMF) and Lgruwell-WMF:. @Faidon Liambotis (WMF): has edited the m:Wikimedia_servers#Energy_use page deleting then reinserting the current info on energy use. Perhaps he's had the time to get a bit more info on this. (more in a few minutes). Smallbones(smalltalk) 13:37, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
The goals of the sustainability initiative are (quoting):
  1. renewable energy for the Wikimedia servers
  2. remote participation at Wikimania and other Wikimedia events
  3. a sustainable investment strategy for the Wikimedia endowment
For 1) I think we need to get some data first. Perhaps we can figure a way to move the servers to places where there is surplus geothermal or hydro power that's hard to send to places with higher demand, e.g. Iceland, Quebec and upper New York State, eastern Washington State. Maybe the WMF could even invest in a small bit of wind powered electricity generation. (This is all off the top of my head)
For 2), this would seem to be a good idea even if it weren't related to sustainability, but we might want to start slowly while committing to improvements each year. Perhaps next year, Wikimania could do something like a series of TED talks (short, factual, inspiring, well rehearsed) and stream those live.
For 3) we'd have to realize that this is using our endowment to make a political statement. Political statement and investment management are not always a good mix - political activists might be loathe ever to quit trying to make their statement, even when the rhetorical value has decreased. It should, in theory, cost something - perhaps not much - to make political statements with investments. So we should be very careful with this method and figure out a) what is the exact political statement we want to make, b) when would we stop making that statement, and c)do we really have the backing of editors, readers, the WMF and its employees to make this statement?
The cost *can be worth it.* The 1970s-1980s campaign to stop university endowments from investing in companies that invested in apartheid South Africa might be one example where this type of political statement has worked. The direct effect of our endowment not investing in company xyz would likely to be pretty small however - pure symbolic. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:30, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm very supportive that our data centers should be carbon neutral. I am not personally close enough to the decision making process to know off the top of my head where we stand on that and why we aren't already doing it, but I will check in with the board and see (and advocate for this). In the meantime, I also think purchasing carbon offsets would not be a bad idea, if bought from the highest quality providers. (My understanding is there there are a lot of questions about quality in this area.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:34, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
In terms of wikipedia's climate footprint the servers are pretty marginal compared to the computers the editors are using. I suspect if you look at the people driving somewhere to get photos isn't that great.©Geni (talk) 14:35, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Sporadic draftifying

Hi Jimbo. Yesterday, the editor Kzl55 has draftified this article on the premise of socking. However, when you check the block log of article's creator, it is clean. Yesterday, he also draftified this page on the same premise, even though an administrator kept in an AfD 2 months ago with a comment that suggested clean editing. I was confused about what to do if there's a discrepancy between the edit summary and the logs. As a proponent of greater diversity for coverage of Africa-related pages, I thought you may be interested. (talk) 17:01, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

This has little to do with diversity of coverage and more with your evasion of sanctions on Wikipedia.
The IP editor above is probably long-term WP disruptive editor Middayexpress/Soupforone (etc etc), here is their most recent SPI report, where their use of socks/IPs for the creation of now draftified articles is detailed [31]. They are currently going round other editors’ talk-pages to complain about content they inserted with sock accounts and IPs in violation of their block being draftified and claiming its "grave dancing" [32]. My draftifying of articles created by this blocked user and their socks started following this discussion on DeltaQuad’s talk page [33] which discussed a previous socking attempt of theirs following this SPI report [34]. I am only writing this for the benefit of Jimbo and other editors who may not be familiar with this case. Regards --Kzl55 (talk) 01:20, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

German Wiki has become a closed circle (too much admins ?)

please look what they do in german wikipedia They are completly ruining it and its a closed circle of admins new users get systematically bashed and blocked

look at the time when Rennrigor and Björn Hagemann are answering very very suspicous definately a soccetpuppet

I cant complain because they block and delete me immedeatly so i beg you please save wikipedia(de)

WOW! I am surprised ! Nothing is deleted :) seems like its a german problem its really really bad even more than i tought

"Kopilot" writes> 90% of the article on his own party (J. Ditfurth's Ökolinx)

this is too crazy — Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiVerwelkt (talkcontribs) 14:47, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

here you can see the whole catastrophe (eng) catastroph --WikiVerwelkt (talk) 13:01, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

I am very Happy that nothing is deleted yet and that i am not blocked :) Sure that they dont want it to get public..... For fear of being excluded no one dares to raise his voice. "For the German Wikipedia still applies the sentence of Hellen Buyniski: "Rotten to the core"!. There is editing a very corrupt pile, which should not even come close to such tools, as the Wikipedia is one."

Time to get off the computer, have a nice day everyone --WikiVerwelkt (talk) 17:31, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

The Signpost: 31 May 2019

Dear Godfather of Wikipedia,

Am still happy that i can talk freely here :) And i have to apologize for my behaviour after the ban from Björn Hagemann on de.Wiki

I made the mistake to answer on hate with hate... (saw no other way to do something, didnt know that this Wiki is so different in a positive manner)

But please tell me why is there a group of people (on which can do what they want without getting charged ? Like Benutzer Kopilot he is free to fake evidence and write advertising for his own political party.

Or Benutzer Björn_Hagemann who is allowed to attack a newbie with his Socketpuppet Account "Rennrigor" and then bans the newbie withouth proper reason. I think the IP´s are logged on the Wiki servers and if they both logged on from the same Ip its a very easy bust.

they are also unable to react to logically improvements (Copper or Brass powder is less reactive based on its electronegativity and the density is unrelevant at that particle size )

if de.wikipedia continues to be accepted as a reputable source something has to change! (I dont know what or how but i think you can make it right) :)

greets WikiVerwelkt --WikiVerwelkt (talk) 21:36, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

Assange charges

Wikipedia editors need to know if the doctrines espoused in these indictments against Assange would, as written, be applicable against editors who repost information from Wikileaks or international newspapers that have cited it. Wnt (talk) 02:58, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Also, it seems that the publishing of any classified info, like the Pentagon Papers, would result in arrests in 2019. So much for the bullshit that Assange was special because he was trying to figure out a password...nope, the only thing special is the tightening of the fist of the now more powerful than the elected government, Military Industrial Complex. Ya gotta be a real brainwashed zero to accept this one. Nocturnalnow (talk) 20:37, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, there is going to be a very strong body of legal opinion that says that this is as unconstitutional as it was in the Nixon era. Hopefully, WMF will be part of that body of legal opinion; but first we need a ruling by WMF counsel to determine whether Wikipedia contributors are (or justifiably feel) affected. Wnt (talk) 00:00, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
WMF legal counsel do not issue "rulings" so I would recommend not waiting for that. Nor should they, they aren't a court.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:13, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but perhaps a "legal opinion". That would be a reasonable expectation for our counsel. However, I say don't worry about it. In a country where "you can make anything a crime under the current laws", each person has to decide whether to just A: avoid that country and its laws like the plague, or B: deal with and/or in that country and watch what you say, who you associate with, and what you read, or, C: finally, say what you feel, hang out with whoever you want, and read whatever you want, and take your chances. I think we have all made either 1 of the latter 2 choices, or a combination thereof, so, it does not matter what our counsel says. So. I'd say to not even bother them with this most recent nasty bully tantrum. Nocturnalnow (talk) 18:46, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
I think expecting a legal opinion is unrealistic too. I've seen requests here before for legal opinions on other issues, and not only would they not offer one, they wouldn't even say they wouldn't. I'm not saying that's wrong (I've been involved in web-based legal things before, unrelated to Wikimedia, and frequently the only legally safe thing to say is nothing at all), it's just the way I think it is. Offering confidential legal opinions to the WMF itself, sure, but not public legal opinions to Wikimedia site users. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:05, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
I'll admit that I misspoke. A phrase like "DOJ ruling" is often used, but if prosecutors are the Law, defense attorneys are a quaint relic of a bygone era. Even if I only meant a 'ruling' by the WMF attorneys about what WP:Office actions are going to be imposed. (If editors get to know that) Wnt (talk) 21:46, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
Wnt, I think the horses have left the barn.This was the last flicker of a chance for keeping the freedoms of speech, press, and association, imo. Something like a global caste system is taking hold, fast, but I'm wondering whether that is the more natural state of humanity? After all, most of world history has centred around and even today most people are living in a "caste" system of 1 sort or another. I asked a rich buddy who was down in San Diego last year about a bad flu outbreak there at that time and he chuckled, saying; "Nobody I know down there goes out in public anymore; everything we need is inside the gates (community)". Nocturnalnow (talk) 18:26, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
I think this conversation is really much too fearful about a very hypothetical risk. Wikipedia, generally speaking, does not publish original material, including leaked classified information, but can and does publish information that has been reported in third-party high quality reliable sources. It's always possible to imagine a fantasy scenario like "The New York Times published a classified document, and then a volunteer wrote about that publication and quoted from something that was published by the New York Times and then was charged with leaking classified information" but it is fairly plain to see how that's highly implausible and not something that has either ever happened nor is even likely to happen. I say that while I share the broad philosophical concern about the rise of a censoring/controlling mentality in the US government that has been going on for a long time (including under Obama, remember). I'm not in a position to offer any formal legal advice to anyone, obviously, so don't take it as that. But I would say that unless you are trying to leak classified documents directly into Wikipedia, which you shouldn't be doing anyway under our rules about "No original research", there is very little chance - just use common sense - that anyone is going to go after you for it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:17, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Nils Melzer has visited Assange in prison: "Nils Melzer, the UN's Special Rapporteur on torture, said Assange is displaying "extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma" after being subjected to several years' worth of "progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." ""In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law," Melzer said." Count Iblis (talk) 14:09, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Count. This CNN article is important, not because of what it says about the bully, but what it says about the bully's enablers and apologists. However, this is nothing new in the annals of societies infected with avarice and passionless people who cheer on the tyranny as long as they are not the targets thereof. This particular bully has been very effective at isolating and torturing people of goodwill, like Aaron Schwartz, Martin Luther King Jr. and this subject, while the rest of us, and I do mean us, stand idly by like children in the school yard when the bully and his ass kissers march by. But we are not children, are we. We have no excuse. The pen is still powerful, which is why the Sword Wielders are so fanatical about putting people like us in jail or underground. We better all hang together or we'll all hang alone. Nocturnalnow (talk) 21:41, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

A proposal for WikiJournals to become a new sister project

Over the last few years, the WikiJournal User Group has been building and testing a set of peer reviewed academic journals on a mediawiki platform. The main types of articles are:

  • Existing Wikipedia articles submitted for external review and feedback (example)
  • From-scratch articles that, after review, are imported to Wikipedia (example)
  • Original research articles that are not imported to Wikipedia (example)

Proposal: WikiJournals as a new sister project

From a Wikipedian point of view, this is a complementary system to Featured article review, but bridging the gap with external experts, implementing established scholarly practices, and generating citable, doi-linked publications. It's aimed to be very distinct from Nupedia/citizendium/scholarpedia by being clearly focussed on integration with wikipedia and as a completely optional route for new content content or quality contol of existing content.

Please take a look and support/oppose/comment! T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 03:56, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Hancock's half hour

Hi Jimmy Wales, I heard on the internet something to do with "Web giants slammed for failing to tackle self-harm online as Wikipedia snubs government summit".

I was not quite sure what that meant but apparently it is something to do with a tabloid newspaper in the UK?

Anyway I wondered if you wanted to comment. The original story is here and it totally fails to link Wikipedia to anyone self-harming. MPS1992 (talk) 02:51, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

About that closure image, it is totally fake. Sincerely, Masum Reza 03:44, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Worth noting: The Sun was deprecated as a source on Wikipedia in a 2019 RfC. From the closer's statement: "There exists a broad consensus ... that the Sun is quite unreliable as a source for a variety of reasons including outright fabrication ... More or less, it is a flag-bearer of sensationalist tabloid-journalism." As usual, this article misses the mark in several aspects. Wikipedia is not comparable to Facebook and co. For starters, it's an encyclopedia, not a social network. Day-to-day moderation is done by volunteers, not professionals, and its owner, the Wikimedia Foundation, will only intervene rarely in exceptional circumstances. Although Wikipedia is not censored, it isn't offensive just for the sake of being offensive; any descriptions will be neutral, not glorifying or advocating, and only as detailed as necessary in order to be informative. If these is content that violates these policies, it can be taken down in seconds by anyone who deems it necessary. There is no indication that our current policies are failing in this regard or otherwise inadequate. – Teratix 10:53, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
The story is not in the same league as "Freddie Starr ate my hamster" and other Sun classics, but says "ministers were left fuming with Wikipedia for snubbing an invite to attend the major Whitehall summit for the second time this year. It comes despite concerns their site breaches ethical codes by including detailed descriptions of suicide." I had a look at Suicide by hanging and couldn't find anything against Wikipedia guidelines or likely to encourage suicide. An article like this would be monitored for WP:NOTHOWTO problems. Knowing how the British government works, it would probably try to get Wikipedia to sign up to a deal where a quango had control over what could or could not be published on Wikipedia. Suggestions like this are traditionally rejected by Wikipedia; it was a demand of this kind that led to Wikipedia being taken offline in Turkey.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:35, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Can anybody tell me more about the Samaritans (charity) group, which is presumably the quango mentioned in the Sun? I'd be interested in knowing what they want Wikipedia to do and who they have contacted. If everything is as appears on the surface, then we shouldn't reject those folks without listening to them. But my guess is that they have been in contact with us already and something reasonable was said or done. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:18, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
I would just leave this link to WikiBooks' Suicide topic but it would be negligent to omit mention of white supremacist and self-described rapist Nathan Larson (politician)'s work on both WikiBooks and Wikiversity to include content from his now defunct SuicideWiki. Bitter Oil (talk) 15:24, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
This article says "In a move which raises questions about government attempts to bypass consultative scrutiny, the health secretary Matt Hancock has announced the appointment of the Samaritans as the private regulator to define and evaluate online harms, despite the government's white paper on online harms, and its regulatory structure, still being open for consultation... Reports indicate that the social media companies in attendance have been compelled to contribute several hundreds of thousands of pounds in research funding to the Samaritans, the suicide-prevention charity. These funds will enable them to develop an online-harms equivalent of its well-known guidelines for the media on the reporting of suicide. The eating disorder charity Beat will be tapped in a similar role for pro-anorexia and -bulimia material. Social media companies, in turn, will be expected to adopt the ensuing codes in their terms of service as part of their “duty of care” to users." It's easy to see why Wikipedia would be reluctant to go down this road, because a) it is not a social media site and b) material that meets the WP:FIVEPILLARS and is legal under US law will not be removed simply because a desk jockey asks for it to be removed. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:05, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
The UK is not welcome to come here and tell us what to censor, even if they ask nicely. Their "Samaritans" are not chosen for "independence" but for lack of independence -- it is obvious that any two censors would disagree about what to ban, since there are so many facetious and common-sense statements to be made about suicide and foolish actions tantamount to suicide. With the EU preparing draconian copyright censorship to crack down on all discussions about news -- in general -- the nations subject to them are no longer going to be comfortable with a very broad range of the content on Wikipedia. Meanwhile, given the Assange prosecution, it seems like Wikipedia censors will be too busy trying to keep up with American censorship to deal with foreign quasi-non-NGOs. If the British want to have a say in Wikipedia, first they have to tell their EU representatives to arrange to kowtow before Xi Jinping the emperor and leading philosopher of the world, humbly beg that most independent of all organizations, the Great Firewall, to include their criteria, and then, when the U.S. is finished giving up its traditions and submits to Chinese monitoring of its social communications, they can get their way. Call it a long view. Wnt (talk) 21:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
This situation is similar to what happened with the Russian government in 2015. A court banned the Russian language Wikipedia article about charas (a form of cannabis) and it led to the whole of the Russian language Wikipedia being blocked because the HTTPS protocol meant that an individual page could not be banned.[35] If a desk jockey in Britain decided that a page about suicide on the English language Wikipedia had to go, it could easily lead to a similar situation. Suicide prevention is a hot political issue in Britain at the moment. The front page of today's Daily Mirror is a call for a ban on the "sick series" 13 Reasons Why.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:25, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Russia demanded far less there -- the censorship of ru:Charas, which by my glance at Google Translate did not happen. The article is editable but seems to have been mostly ignored since the Russians relented the same day as they started the ban. [36] Russia has a truly terrible record on certain freedom of speech issues like freedom of religion and "gay propaganda" and opposition to Putin, but they seem to have been around the block enough to realize that censorship is not a "genuine" goal in itself, even when they impose it - AFAICT it is used with cynical self-awareness as an excuse they use to drag gays into the police station or attack competitors to Putin and Kyrill. When they saw they can't control Wikipedia's reaction, then when it comes to making a decision whether to block or allow the site, they're still allowing it, because they're not naive enough to think that blocking it really contributes to some social good. That said, the progress of Internet censorship in Russia at the legal level seems about two years ahead of the comparable plan in Britain - they implemented their ban on "extremism" in 2013 - I'm not sure when Britain did the same thing, though I see from internet censorship in the United Kingdom that they began giving orders against specific extremists speaking in 2014. So Russia has already been blocking some demonstration cases for promoting "self-harm" ... but not Wikipedia.
The Sun, by contrast, is skipping straight forward to a demand for total domination. They want Wikipedia to be "the online encyclopedia that only our quasi-non-NGO can edit but maybe you can propose changes". They don't have an article to hold up, and they aren't even bothering looking for a pretext (or making one; it's still free to sign up for a new account). There is no limit on the list of changes they would demand.
Judging by what I've seen from suicide prevention efforts, I'm not expecting any demands would make sense -- I mean, I walked into an American community college building recently that had a huge sign about 'suicide prevention' in a depressing little side-alley near some elevators, and it occurred to me that making mostly disabled students ponder suicide while they sit waiting for an elevator probably wasn't a genius intervention. And most of what I ever hear about on this topic is similarly random activity meant to make people feel good about themselves ... people who work printing posters, I mean.
Whatever suicide-related information we can give on Wikipedia can only have a net beneficial result. I don't know if Britain would ban telling people that water hemlock is a terrible way to do yourself in, or telling people that Dignity in Dying is an organization on the other side of the issue there, or mentioning the Dumb Ways to Die public safety video produced in Australia that the Russians censored. I mean, no one on earth can predict how a censor would rule on anything, which is why the British are pushing to have one quasi-NGO do it, so they don't argue with themself. Wnt (talk) 11:55, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
The British government already has a quango, the Internet Watch Foundation, known for its role in the 2008 Virgin Killer incident. What Matt Hancock is now proposing is a new quango for regulating content in the areas of suicide, anorexia and bulimia. He has been under pressure to do this after cases like this and this. But where does Wikipedia fit in? It does not allow the posting of material glorifying or encouraging self harm, and would remove it straight away.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Surely some can (and will) argue that telling how to join a group that promotes a right to euthanasia like Dignity in Dying would do so. More likely they would object to random bits of data like that according to our article 200 people have tried to kill themselves from Humber Bridge and only 5 survived, or its inclusion in a list of suicide bridges, or the photo we have in the article which lets readers see that it is still undefiled by a 'suicide barrier' in a 2013 image even though the article says they were discussed in 2009. (It is very popular (per the suicide bridge article) to cite one study that showed that putting those barriers on one bridge didn't cause an increase in suicides on another near it. But assuming that people are little robots who will go to the nearest bridge as the crow flies to do their suicide seems childishly simple as a way of allocating large amounts of money on things that make the world a little uglier and more depressing. Who counts the suicides that causes?)
The core philosophical issue here is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. We have a terribly outdated Age of Reason mindset that you can just give people knowledge for any purpose for them to do with as they please and we should have faith in the ability of the uncontrolled human mind to commune with, if not the Creator, then at least some higher level of sense. By contrast, Britain embodies a new model, the electronic publishing/licensing model, where knowledge is an upgrade installed into a specific prole for a reason, just as if it were a brain implant or a clearance for a classified network or a genetic modification to make a child capable of swimming through the sewers and chewing off any debris from the walls. The writings of an "extremist" are not to be read by just anyone on a whim; they are to be read by a registered Student of a registered Program teaching for a state-approved Purpose in a hierarchy of approval that stretches all the way up to the Beast of Revelations. Similarly statistics on bridge suicides would be distributed to those with a "need to know", as part of some domestic spy critical infrastructure monitoring program. And so Wikipedia is very much not with their program, and fundamentally cannot be. Wnt (talk) 13:33, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights say that European citizens have the right to freedom of expression, *but* "The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary." So if a European desk jockey says that the Wikipedia article suicide bridge or Dignitas (Swiss non-profit organisation) fails these guidelines, it would have to go. Final Exit is an example of a book that ran into this problem, and now social media companies are under pressure to remove material relating to suicide. However, I would like to ask Matt Hancock if he has found anything on Wikipedia that fails his proposed guidelines.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:23, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
The article wouldn't have to go, no more than charas did. The desk jockey is another question. Wnt (talk) 14:35, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
The Peaceful Pill Handbook, The Complete Manual of Suicide, Suicide methods, hopefully this doesn't give Matt Hancock any ideas...--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:43, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I was surprised to see the news story and I've checked in with both WMUK and the WMF and we don't know anything about any invitation. They are both following up but as I know Matt Hancock socially (only a little bit) and have found him to be quite friendly, I was surprised to see this and so I'm keen to get to the bottom of it and straighten things out.
Quite separately from this, I have thought for a long time that we should, as a community, have more robust and more widely used templates placed on our own editorial judgment in places where directing people to help could be a humanitarian kindness. We should absolutely never let some kind of juvenile instinct of "you can't tell us what to do" stand in the way of doing something that we should do. Our goals should always be much loftier than "we aren't breaking the law".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:23, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Any robust letter would not have been sent before the 30th [37] given the bank holiday weekend we may have to wait a bit.©Geni (talk) 08:35, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, sure, but London's a small town in a way, so I hope to make positive contact before then.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:57, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
A less standoffish approach to external links would generally be a good thing for Wikipedia, and there is no harm (and a small chance of good) in linking to relevant help resources. It is vastly less objectionable than removing any sort of content. Nonetheless, if Wikipedia were to feature specific organizations under some agreement, how would that be distinguished from advertising? Would it be as appropriate, say, to use special templates to link to military recruiting sites from the ISIS article? Wnt (talk) 14:42, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think a template that has some reassuring or encouraging wording -- written by someone more familiar with such wording than me -- and a link to List of suicide crisis lines would really be perceived as advertising. (Although I do despair at the idea of a potentially suicidal person dialling 111 in the UK and then having to wait "on hold" for, if I remember rightly, more than an hour in some cases.[citation needed] The battery on my ageing cordless landline would pass away in much less than an hour.)
Thank you to Jimmy and everyone else who has responded on this topic in such detail. I was originally merely curious as to what was going on, but a number of the responses have given me a much deeper insight into the way governments respond to serious issues in ways that perhaps aren't totally wise.
I hope no-one who wasn't already aware, objects to the section title being a UK cultural reference. MPS1992 (talk) 17:06, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think there are any legitimate concerns about a link to helpful resources could be perceived as an advertisement. We could think of this more broadly if it helps: there are issues like Identity theft where I think it is very likely that many of our readers aren't just doing academic research on the topic, but are actively in the middle of a problem in their own lives. It strikes me that it would be good to have a prominent (template at the top) link to a constructive "how to" on best practices if you're a victim of identity theft. There are many ways to go about this, all with their own pros and cons, of course.
Let me give an analogy that may be helpful here. As far as I am aware (but I can't find an exact MoS or policy page at the moment), in articles about medicines, we typically do not give dosage information. The rationale for this is that getting it wrong (or it being vandalized) could have real-world disastrous implications for people. This is true even though typical recommended dosage information is readily available from fixed reliable sources that can't be edited. That is to say, we already quite rightly take into account the human impact of some information on our readers. I think we are right to do so. On particular topics such as self-harm/suicide we might similarly choose as a matter of ethics to be particularly careful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:17, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia's sense of detachment, emphasized in "NOTHOWTO", has some advantages. If we prominently feature how-to advice from a selected site for 'identity theft' victims (i.e. persons bullied by big banks in an attempt to cow the general public into doing their security checks for them, and paying for it), do we provide similar advice links for people with diabetes, whose car has a check engine light flashing, who have been charged with DUI or child pornography? How do editors decide a dispute about which site gives the best advice or which people deserve advice or which countries advice should be applicable to? This could become a redefinition of Wikipedia. Wnt (talk) 15:26, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think this seems difficult at all. I don't think this could become, or should become, any sort of redefinition of Wikipedia. A classic means of shutting down a reasonable idea is to say that any move in a particular direction inevitably means we have to move to some ridiculous place. "If gay marriage is legalized, then the next thing you know people will be wanting to marry animals!" is not a very respectable argument.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:29, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I think a small template on relevant articles, linking to relevant organizations, would be a truly excellent idea. We're not censoring anything, and if such a template helped one single person, then it would be worthwhile. I would be happy to work on such a template if there is agreement it would be a positive idea. Black Kite (talk) 14:23, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
    I think that can be a good idea, at least when initiated by an independent editor rather than as part of some handshake agreement with a power-hungry organization. No special departure from policy is really needed: for example, if you look up Crisis hotline you'll see one of the many too-large not-very-useful sidebars that sprout like weeds around the project, and it starts off with a heading on "altruistic suicide". Arguably, this is not a very logical progression of content - we can certainly organize that box in a way that deals with suicide in, say, chronological order, beginning with suicide prevention before moving on to epidemiology and methods and finally social consequences, aftermath, and politics. Its final format might well resemble what you have in mind, namely, starting prominently with an article that lists available help options. Wnt (talk) 15:26, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Wnt, I'd like to ask you to majorly tone down the rhetoric. "handshake agreement with a power-hungry organization" - what the hell are you talking about?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:29, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm just going by the original Sun article: "The Samaritans, being able to be the arbiter of what is damaging content that needs taken down so all tech companies can follow the new rules that have been set out..." I don't know how to have "positive contact" with something like that, and I can't understand why anyone would want to. Wnt (talk) 15:53, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Don't trust the Sun newspaper blindly, would be my advice.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:49, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
This was a decent rejoinder -- indeed, even after this much time I haven't seen as much quality news coverage as I'd prefer, and Daily Mail might not fare better here, but The Independent says much the same thing. In these articles 'suicide' seems to be getting expanded to 'self-harm' like 'eating disorders' or 'anti-vaxxer' content -- but really, it appears the details are pending some upcoming White Paper. In the meanwhile I should note that Samaritans not only promotes Ofcom censorship, but literally claims responsibility for a clause that has direct relevance to Wikipedia: When reporting suicide, to prevent simulative acts care should be taken to avoid excessive detail of the method used, while taking into account the media’s right to report legal proceedings. I mean, given their druthers they would literally come after our article on Socrates. Wnt (talk) 22:08, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
"A small template on relevant articles, linking to relevant organizations" isn't as easy as it looks. There is one in this news article but it only works for people in the UK. Getting it to work for every country that reads the English language Wikipedia would be a bit of a nightmare.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:26, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
As I think was mentioned above, linking to a list of relevant organizations -- such as List of suicide crisis lines or this one -- would be entirely practical. (As a more general point, it would be nice if charities and collectors-of-links were not so frequently parochial.) MPS1992 (talk) 19:55, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Here is a strange story: some girl in Malaysia posted a comment "Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L" and at a moment when "D" led the results she killed herself. One of the linked articles says that Malaysian police may be considering charging people who voted D for "abetting" the suicide. It is relevant here, yet even so I would dismiss any call to action. No one would necessarily know "D/L" was related to suicide (rather than, say, abortion). If this were recognized and stopped, suicidal people would come up with some even more obscure way to get a poll set up by which they could kill themselves and blame somebody else for it from beyond the grave. Nonetheless, it is some kind of weird legal risk for Wikipedia, if a COI editor threatens to kill himself if we vote to delete his company's article. Wnt (talk) 19:07, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
There have been several cases in the UK where a coroner criticized the role of social media in a teenager's suicide, but it was usually sites like Facebook and Instagram. I've yet to see any case where a coroner criticized Wikipedia. This is because Wikipedia is not an "anything goes" social media site and the material should have encyclopedic relevance.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 04:31, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Above, Wnt mentions "legal risk" but I have to say that legal risk is the least of my concerns. And merely "well, we obeyed the law" has never been good enough for me, nor for Wikipedians generally. The question is: are we doing the right thing in terms of informing the public responsibly and accurately in a way that comports with notions of human dignity? In general and for obvious reasons, WikiProject Medicine says "Do not include dose or titration information except when they are extensively discussed by secondary sources, necessary for the discussion in the article, or when listing equivalent doses between different pharmaceuticals. Wikipedia is not an instruction manual or textbook and should not include instructions, advice (legal, medical or otherwise) or "how-to"s.". That applies doubly for information related to self-harming, and want to be extremely vigilant about that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:13, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
I certainly cannot be enthusiastic about removing more content. I had noticed a lack of dose information in some of the drug articles before but didn't realize it was being removed by a cabal. Obviously, we cannot tell any one patient what is the right dose to take, nor can we say what dose is "best", as a value judgment must be left to an authoritative source, but conveying sourced data about the range of doses used might help people spot when something might be confused in the instructions they have received, especially if they are given secondhand or in another language. It's not a good deed to leave out information. Any kind of information can be stigmatized as potentially dangerous, but whether it is or not isn't even our concern; our concern should be whether it is verifiably true.
Dignity may be something people find relevant to suicide - after all, above we mentioned Dignity in Dying and Dignitas (Swiss non-profit organisation). Apparently some people find dignity one way and some may find it another. But our dignity as editors comes when we research reliable sources and freely share the insights they provide, allowing the readers to make their own decisions, whether good or bad, with a slightly broader base of information. Wnt (talk) 01:50, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Hmnh, well, "allowing the readers to make their own decisions, whether good or bad" and "Any kind of information can be stigmatized as potentially dangerous, but whether it is or not isn't even our concern", sounds, considering the subject, pretty ice-cold for my tastes.
It's complicated. We definitely don't want an outside agency with governmental powers telling us what to do -- don't want, and can't have. On the other hand, its reasonable to listen to anyone who has a philosophy that is benign in intent and cogently expressed.
Anyway, here's a different aspect of the same subject, how to depict suicide; I'll throw it out, maybe it's interesting. There was a discussion about this at the article Suicide a while back, over the painting The Death of Chatterton.
  • The Death of Chatterton (a tragic Romantic poet, died age 17). Removed from Suicide after a hammer-and-tongs debate, on the grounds of not being accurate (but also on grounds of romanticizing the subject)

  • The Suicide by Manet, currently the masthead image at the top of the article. Still quite a bit too romantic in my opinion.

  • A botched suicide. This is a more informative image to my mind, in that it a more accurate depiction, mainly that's its a sordid bloody mess, ends up with the person alive but maimed often enough, and just generally doesn't occur in 19th century France in bold Impressionist brushstrokes. It is in the article, but lower down.

  • This is also in the article (way down).

  • This isn't...

  • I'm not complaining, too much. Maybe the pictures in that article could be more sordid and less romantic, but it's not a bad article. We did the right thing by getting rid of the Chatterton pic. It was a slog, but I think people can be educated.
    The thing that sticks with me in these discussions is the stuff like "The whole problem here, as I see it, is someone with an anti-suicide agenda POV pushing." Yes that's an actual quote. Yes, the person was dead serious. And it's not really that different from what other editors had to say, which amounts to believing, apparently, that being a good encyclopediast means being amoral. It's a bit maddening.
    I mean, refusing to make a moral judgement is a moral judgement... being a Wikipedia editor is important. It's an important web site. It's important to try to do it right, just as it's important to try to do your real-life job right, and so on. Trying to be a good person is even more important, though.
    So yes, by all means, do good things -- templates, or what have you. The Wikipedia will survive if we bend a little in the direction of benevolence. Herostratus (talk) 05:37, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
    An igloo is ice-cold, yet it is a source of warmth. And no matter how much you tell yourself that you are doing good by being 'concerned' that someone else's learning is 'dangerous', you're not doing them any favors. I have seen a loved one die by bone metastasis without suicide, I know how weak and awful opioids are for any useful purpose, and my reaction to suicide is definitely that it is not my decision to make for anyone. Wnt (talk) 13:47, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
    There's a fucken difference between someone dying from a painful disease and being a confused, anxious, and overly dramatic 16 year old. You're saying that if a confused, anxious, and overly dramatic 16 year came to you for advice, you'd be like "Well, your choice. Either way is fine. I certainly don't want to influence you one way or the other". Hopefully you're just playing a role on the internet and don't really... look, let's just say that... most people don't agree with you, it's not helpful to us for editors to espouse this kind of morality, and it might be preferable if editors of this mindset, at least on this subject, play their role on 4chan or Reddit whatever and not so much here, where serious people are struggling on how best to address some fraught issues. Herostratus (talk) 02:22, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
    Do you really imagine that by changing a Wikipedia article you are somehow able to make that 16-year-old's decision for him? Because I don't think that is the case. You can only affect whether he makes that decision with a little more or a little less information -- and more is better. Note that on that basis there are places I don't disagree with you - certainly I approve of your idea of illustrating Suicide most prominently with an actual suicide, or at least an actual attempted suicide. But for me this discussion started off with an objection to giving special powers to Samaritans and as a total rejection of all things Ofcom, and if you appear to side with them I will be disagreeing. Wnt (talk) 04:31, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
    I think reality through encyclopedic education can produce in readers' minds a "branding" of suicide for what it actually is physically, e.g. I think most people shit in their pants, and emotionally, e.g. it makes loved ones sad and guilt ridden when its unexpected. Our moral objective should be to show, not persuade, but simply show with real factual articles the results of this choice in a variety of situations, including escaping a terminal and painful illness.
    I also think we should do more of this type of morality based editing with things like wars and violent crime. But I don't think we need nor should be linking up with other entities in these efforts simply because of the "too many cooks in the kitchen" reasoning. Nocturnalnow (talk) 04:10, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well let's work with what's necessary and possible. Very few people considering, or in danger of, committing a violent crime will be reading our article Violent crime. Very few people considering invading Poland will go to our article War of aggression. Even if they did... it's political heavy lifting to go to very deep into the woods on this stuff, even if it's desirable (which I doubt).
    Suicide's different. Of course it is. There's no question that some non-zero number of people considering, or in danger of, committing suicide, will access our article Suicide and related articles, if only via Google. Non-zero... Suicide is getting 4,450 views a day... if one half of one percent are people with an aspirational rather than disinterested interest in the subject, that's 23 people. Whether 23 is a lot I leave to the reader.
    Literate people considering committing violent crimes or supporting the waging of aggressive wars probably will be dissuaded by a dispassionate rendering of the facts -- crime, after all, doesn't pay -- if they are capable of being dissuaded at all. Suicidal ideation's different, I think. The mind doesn't think straight. The person is highly susceptible to emotional messages, subtle or overt. This subject, and only this one, one, needs to be treated a bit differently. ~!Herostratus (talk)
    Only one thing, of course, of course. Well... maybe I shouldn't have done this since it might potentially tend to undermine my cause, but it did appropriate per the rest of the category, and I was surprised not to find it when I looked for it, and troll blood runs through my veins. [38] Wnt (talk) 12:52, 5 June 2019 (UTC) P.S. I started a thread at Template talk:Smoking for this side track so it doesn't have to keep going on here (even if smoking and suicide are practically the same thing anyway). Wnt (talk) 13:43, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

    Pretty funny

    Jimmy, Normally I wouldn't see any reason to comment on your whereabouts, but apparently they aren't in the UK. Or so reported a story (not worth linking to) on the internet. Any comment? Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:24, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

    This? [39] Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:45, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
    I thought it was a funny thing to say, a bit of a provocation and a bit of a parody of people saying they will "leave the country" if someone they don't like gets elected. I still think it's funny. I had no idea it would attract that much attention.
    Probably the most interesting thing about it is how much of the noise appears to be coordinated/bot generated. Many many identical or nearly identical comments from accounts that look clearly fake.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:25, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jiminy Cricket, Jimmy - it was the shot heard round the world. Did the interview take place during Happy Hour (PC for were you drunk)? If you really want to make it funny and still manage to piss-off over half the American people (along with some French, UK citizens, Irish, Italian, Germans - oh hell, wherever else) wear a frigging MAGA hat. Now that would be funny!   Atsme Talk 📧 18:57, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    "Attended the 75th anniversary of D-Day commemorative ceremonies... ... and caused Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales to holiday in Florida<ref><ref>". Martinevans123 (talk) 19:09, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well, it didn't get that much press coverage. I didn't do any interview, I just said something on twitter.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:08, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    Wow, anyone might think you could just drop a few fatuous tweets and run the country. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:32, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    It got plenty of coverage! 😂 It's roaring like a tsunami through FB's 2.38 billion users and Twitter's 321 mil (wonder how Google is handling it?). I seriously doubt it hit the 10% mark, maybe 1% if that - not all users give a poop about politics. Life goes on and Alexa (and Echo) are still reading WP excerpts. Atsme Talk 📧 22:41, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    Ah yes, Alexa (and Echo). Martinevans123 (talk) 22:46, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

    "Expunge" from the record

    This CBC video includes some comments by a Member of Canada's Parliament which were subsequently voted to be expunged from the official record. So far this appears to be the first time in history that this scrubbing of the official record has happened, which is why I think it may be an important event. What do you think? Nocturnalnow (talk) 00:04, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

    I don't know enough about record keeping for Canadian Parliament to have a strong view. Certainly as you've presented it, it seems surprising. But how important it is, I can't really guess.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:27, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    Cooper argued that it was "defamatory" to compare conservatism to the New Zealand shootings, and quoted Tarrant's manifesto to back his case: the killer wrote “Conservatism is corporatism in disguise. I want no part of it … The nation with the closest political and social values to my own, is the People’s Republic of China.” The relevance of this quote is debatable; if you consult the archive of a now-censored news article ([40]) and read the manifesto, you'll see that Tarrant expresses admiration for Oswald Mosley immediately before and after saying this -- you'll see he said a lot of pretty random things. Even so, there can be no doubt that extraordinary and wrong-headed efforts being made to stigmatize and criminalize ordinary scholarship, beginning with New Zealand's official censorship and long prison terms for people sharing the manifesto, and continuing on to stripping the committee membership of an MP and savage the record over a fully innocuous quote, are a threat to Wikipedia.Wnt (talk) 06:39, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
    I had the same "threat to Wikipedia" along with threat to historical records, threat to freedom of speech etc. opinion. But it occurs to me, Is something a threat to any aspect of society if it is not recognised as a threat. For example, were slave owners' ships a "threat" when they first appeared on the east coast of Africa before they started apprehending people? Even then, were they a threat if those apprehended just felt a "WTF is going on" feeling as they were being hauled away? I mean, this particular scrubbing of our parliamentary record has me feeling "WTF is going on", but do I feel under threat? personally? Not really. I feel as if I am out of touch with mainstream norms and attitudes which broadly accept these events in the name of not publicizing hate. And ironically, very ironically, I have a reluctance to speak out against the trend which reminds me of a reluctance I felt long, long ago, which was a heavy reluctance to express any opinions to my childhood pals which could be put into the category of me being a "N____ Lover". I was asked if I was a N_____ Lover once when we were standing in a small circle watching one of our pals pound the shit out of a much younger black boys' head, and he took a break and laughingly said something like "N_____s sure have hard heads" while the young boy wept profusely.
    So, I said "maybe you better stop", and all my pals, just like a bunch of robots, looked at me contemptuously and asked if I was a "n______ lover". I remember at that exact moment in time thinking that I was close to losing all of my fun activities with my pals, exploring in the woods, playing pick-up baseball, football and basketball, so I timidly just shut up and waited til Happy (that was his nickname) got physically tired of pounding on the young black boy's head.
    Well, I know this is an analogy which itself might be considered a "threat" to someone's self equate keeping silent about removing from the public record a benign portion of some manifesto by a racist with keeping silent about an overt act of violent racism; all I can say is that this feeling inside me, of being boxed in as to what I'm allowed to believe and say, is exactly the same feeling.
    Bottom line, the "you can't fight City Hall" mantra is not nearly as true, imo, as "you have to go along to get along" mantra, and today's cultural/societal conformities, virtually everywhere in the world, are just as, if not more, controlling as they were in the South of the 1950s. Nocturnalnow (talk) 15:15, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

    Invitation to join the Fifteen Year Society

    Dear Jimbo Wales/Archive 235,

    I'd like to extend a cordial invitation to you to join the Fifteen Year Society, an informal group for editors who've been participating in the Wikipedia project for fifteen years or more. ​

    Best regards, Urhixidur (talk) 16:43, 6 June 2019 (UTC)


    Great to hear that you are invited by my college to come to Oxford this Friday, I'm looking forward to seeing you! Aivin G. (talk) 21:15, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

    You'd always be welcome to the lighter Blue destination, especially the 1284 variant. We are ahead in The Boat Race too, just...! The Rambling Man (talk) 21:36, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    Be sure to say hi!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:42, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
    That's my mother's college. Sorry I wasn't there - I don't check this page very often. (talk) 14:49, 9 June 2019 (UTC)


    Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email; you've got mail!
    It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.

    via for The Signpost

    Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:48, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

    That email address will go to someone at Wikia, not to me personally, so perhaps better to contact me a different way?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:58, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    OK, I'll try 2 addresses that have worked before (One was a long time ago!). I will remove from your user page "For inquiries about my personal views on some general topic, contact my assistant, Samantha, at She knows how to find me as quickly as possible," but will leave that address up for inquiries about Wikia. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:40, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Oh my that is so seriously out of date. I should update it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:58, 10 June 2019 (UTC)


    Don't mean to bother you, but I just saw those edit wars people have been having on your user page recently. I mean, WTF??😂 Seriously though, not good, is it?👿 GOLDIEM J (talk) 15:32, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

    Routine vandalism. That happens to high-profile pages, but in the case of a page as well-watched as this it is usually instantly reverted. Not good, but then the world is not perfect. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

    Semi-humorous aside, not to be taken too seriously.

    You do realize that if you had used your founders bit and re-sysopped Fram, and then started an action against him by your authority on arbcom as a private wikipedian, people all over would be cheering you as the saviour of the enwiki? But that isn't the way to let duly constituded bodies work properly, is it? Both the foundation and the arbcom are your sole creations, and they are now clashing as to what their proper bailiwick is. It must be like watching two siblings squable. I wonder if you have ever watched either movie production of Lion in Winter, or better yet a theatrical production? At some point you have to decide, whether the community or the foundation is your true heir. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 09:32, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    I think you underestimate the complexity of the situation. If we characterize this as a clash between ArbCom and the WMF, we are factually in error. It's not as easy as that.
    And of course, if I were to take a dramatic action, some would cheer, and some would scream. And if I go slow and deliberate, some will not like that, either. But it is my way, the only way that I know, and when I stick to slow and thoughtful deliberation I have learned in my life that the outcome is better than if I do something sudden.
    I suppose if I had to decide "whether the community or the foundation is my true heir" I'd go with community. But I actually don't think in that way. My true heir is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That's what I think we all care the most about, or anyway it is what we should all care the most about. One of the reasons that Wikipedia has succeeded is that we don't take anything as absolutely permanent. WP:IAR and WP:5P5 spring to mind.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:45, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    we don't take anything as absolutely permanent -- That's true enough but are you contrasting the necessity/valuation of WMF with the community (I don't believe at the first place, that they can be easily separable, in light of the large overlaps in certain domains), by this yardstick? If so, how do you run a Wikipedia, w/o community? WBGconverse 09:56, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    No, I wasn't trying to contrast or compare the necessity/valuation of the WMF with the community at all. I agree with you that they aren't easily separable, and I also believe that when we fall into a too hasty 'WMF vs community' narrative - either in the community, or in the WMF, we are probably making it harder to see how to optimize and resolve problems.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:46, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    I am purposefully acting the jester and a jester has to simplify things to bring them to a relief. I know there are things I don't know and there are also things I know for sure, and I fully expect that there is a future in which I will not at the very least know less than I know now. I am going with having just seen at least one cow with atleast oneside of its body that is black. But I could find out later that that was just a lifesize cardboard cutout. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 10:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Indeed. Moo!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:46, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    It seems to me that there is now a big component of the WMF that is WP:NHBE whether it thinks it is or not. That's the part obsessed with pageview statistics, signup counts, sociological research, metadata feeds to data miners, and of course money, rather than producing informative articles for humans to read. The pro-encyclopedia component still exists, and we have to keep it strong by being strong ourselves. The other part is not exactly evil, but it's the product of a slow corruption that has caused the institution to lose its way. If it is battling us, we really do have to treat it as an opponent. (talk) 01:44, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

    Is Wikimedia getting directives from payment processors?

    The Fram mess, and the demonstrative bans and warnings of admins on other language Wikis, seems like an inexplicable aberration of top-down control. But there have been many such aberrations on the internet, and they all seem to have the same source. If you trace the flight of racists and far-right commentators (it happens to moderate-left also but they seem less voluble), from YouTube demonetization and Twitter crackdowns to the actions against Gab (social network) and Hatreon, the common mechanism is practically the same as that of the one-sided enforcement of the "deal" with Iran: the big banks are organized and they are throwing their weight around. They control the money on which everything else depends, and they tell people what they're allowed to say all over the internet under a hundred brand names of local managers. So the question is: is WMF getting mandates, either directly from the payment processors or indirectly via Tides Foundation requirements, that are requiring it to impose top-down management according to what would otherwise be laudable principles against racism and bullying, or more sinister principles against criticism of the capitalist order? Wnt (talk) 11:15, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

    This is one of the more ridiculous questions I have ever received here. I'm sorry, Wnt, but you're veering lately into a place that is really far from reality and very close to bonkers conspiracy theories. Let me answer your question directly: no, the WMF is not getting mandates from payment processors or the Tides Foundation. I can go a step further, none of those organizations, and no corporate entities, have approached us in any way about any of our community or editorial policies. The idea that they would is ludicrous.
    And, by the way, there are very good reasons that I fully support for a lot of the YouTube demonetizations and Twitter crackdowns.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    This reminds me of the time I met an elderly gentleman on the subway. He was very affable, but clearly not quite right. He kept insisting that "the real power behind the throne" was Arby's. Ever since, whenever I hear overwrought theories of causality, I think back to that encounter. Part of me wishes the Roast Beef Illuminati were real, and/or would finally divulge themselves. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 17:04, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    It's those discount coupons, I tell you!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:33, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    Ridicule is funny, til it isn't, e.g. "People out there are accusing you of drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid.". Sometimes reality ( especially Kerry's body language) is just plain scary, so its easier to throw a dismissive label at it than to face it. Nocturnalnow (talk) 04:00, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Please rest assured that I will never accuse you or anyone else of drinking a dictator's Kool-Aid. Have a wonderful weekend. Dumuzid (talk) 04:07, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    I wasn't speaking or taking anything personally, just trying to show another point of view. Nocturnalnow (talk) 04:13, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you for this response. It is great to hear an assurance this didn't happen here, even though it does happen to more outspoken purveyors of unfiltered conversation. I hope this also means that WMF has freedom to maneuver back in the direction of glasnost. Wnt (talk) 21:54, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

    Admin Fram locally banned by T&S for one year.

    Note: the first link below is obsolete; the discussion has been moved to WP:FRAMBAN.

    Since this is going to show up on your doorstep at some point See here. Why is Trust and Safety enacting local bans without any local wiki involvement from crats/arbcom? If its a trust and safety issue why are they not banned from all projects. If its a trust and safety issue why is the user going to be suddenly more trustworthy and safe for other users in a year's time here but are apparantly trustworthy and safe on all other wikis in the meantime? If whoever had this bright idea at the WMF thought this was the quiet way to handle this issue, have they ever actually visited ENWP? Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:39, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

    Hi Jimbo. Hope this finds you well. Not sure how involved you are in governance these days, but the matter of User:Fram being banned by WMF T&S as an "office action" is unprecedented and is certainly not doing anything to bring the ENWP community and WMF closer together. You would do well to at least ask some questions. Best regards, UninvitedCompany 22:17, 10 June 2019 (UTC) (Steve Dunlop/Arbitration committee 2006-2008)

    It shocks me to discover that there is a shadowy behind the scenes cabal that can unilaterally block the account of one of the best admins here, remove his admin rights, disable his email, lock his talk page and respond to inquiries by saying "We aren't going to explain why we did this and there's nothing you can do about it. ". Stalinist. Tyrannical. If it can happen to Fram it can happen to any of us. Zero respect shown to the volunteers who make this project. Smeat75 (talk) 00:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

    What disturbs me even more is that the WMF's policy is that no appeal is available for Office actions. Not even to the WMF. Jimbo, something is starting to smell rotten in the state of Denmark, and I think we need you to look at reining them in, somehow. rdfox 76 (talk) 01:04, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

    I don't think I have ever posted on this user talk before...imagine that! I must be one of the few. In any case, this unilateral banning and the stonewalling surrounding it is very disturbing. Shearonink (talk) 02:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

    I'm glad to see I'm not alone in finding the lack of transparency deeply disturbing. I do hope Jimbo responds. Benjamin (talk) 06:53, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

    • No, no. Jimbo looking at the block itself is pointless. He has no business putting his fingers into such details, and T&S really shouldn't be giving him details of such cases, and he really shouldn't be (trying to) overruling T&S in any plausible circumstances.
      However, there are two issues it would be useful to look into: 1) how in the world could anyone imagine that taking this kind of action without good and immediate communication would not lead to a giant mess and possibly fatally wound the relationship between the community and the WMF; and 2) is the use of per-project and time-limited blocks really appropriate for the kinds of issues T&S should be dealing with?
      If the editor in question had been globally blocked indefinitely with an immediate message to that effect on some suitable noticeboard (and preferably with headsups to ArbCom and other trusted authorities) I would have shrugged and figured they had good reasons. With a partial and time limited ban it just looks like T&S has expanded its scope to step waaay down into what should (by any sane measure) be handled by the community, but without the accountability and control community processes operate under; and the lack of early communication, and the lacking (in the sense "poor": it addressed none of the community's genuine concerns) later communication, looks like real incompetence. Anyone that couldn't figure out (or, worse, didn't care that) this would be massively damaging to community trust should not be making decisions affecting this community without first taking remedial classes (and, yes, I am aware of all whom I include in that statement).
      Some fallout is inevitable and the cost of having important functions like T&S; but the actual current situation was easily avoidable. And "avoidable conflict" is starting to be a deeply embedded pattern for WMF interaction with enwp. --Xover (talk) 07:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
      I take it back: this is absolutely grounds for Jimbo to wade into the fray and try to figure out what in the blazes is going on. Try as hard as I might, I can find no reasonable justifcation for this based on available evidence. --Xover (talk) 08:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    There is now a statement from Fram at Commons that has been copied over to WT:BN locally.[41] Yes this is crazy and if the WMF wants to micromanage Wikipedia at this level, it better be ready to handle a lot of routine vandal reversion and spelling corrections as well. (talk) 08:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I was entirely unaware of this before just now. I'm reviewing the situation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jimbo, thanks for looking into it. (talk) 09:11, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, thanks for investigating Jimbo. This is a very serious situation - like many people I am staggered that an organisation which itself fights regularly for openness and transparency on the internet has taken such a step as this, especially for what are apparently very minor infringements. I very much hope the ban can be reversed because this risks permanent damage to the project. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 10:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I would echo that. Behind-closed-doors banning of editors who criticise the competence of Arbcom etc is not something we should be condoning in the 21st century. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:28, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks for looking into this. Bear in mind that, per WMF policy, paid editing is allowed with any one of three different ways of notifying people, your "bright line rule" is routinely violated without penalty and there is no interest in stopping it, outside media are calling attention to it, and there is nothing we can do about it. Every six months like clockwork for the next decade, like the last, Wikipedia will run an ad for Square Enix as "Today's featured article". WMF will say that it cannot stop the commercialism because "it has a hands-off policy". Yet it does this to Fram, to defend the right of a small cabal that supposedly settles disputes to supervote what articles to delete (nay, I should say censor, since this is from above us in every way) without hearing unpleasant criticism. Riddle out what inferences can be drawn and comes next after this. Wnt (talk) 12:10, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I don't know what Square Enix is and might have missed something, but maybe we can get a Mr. Robot tie-in like Firefox had. :-P (talk) 19:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Jimbo, to preempt inevitable escalation, may I suggest that you unblock Fram? If Fram's summary of events is accurate, I don't see why we cannot discuss the reported infractions on-wiki and why Fram cannot be unblocked while that discussion takes place. And in case that summary is missing some important details, it would be useful if you or someone from T&S told us so explicitly. Speaking for myself, the lack of information and bureaucratic speak has been one of the most frustrating part of this brouhaha, and antithetical to the openness to participation and scrutiny that attracted me to the wikiprojects. Abecedare (talk) 15:19, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I agree with most of this, but if Jimbo does that it will probably cause the atmosphere to catch fire or something. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, I'm firmly recommending that we all relax a notch or two. It's not even 9am in California. There is no emergency here. I have raised the issue with the WMF, and so has Doc James. I am also talking to ArbCom. It is really important that we not take actions to escalate conflict - nor are such actions necessary. If there comes a need for a time for the community to firmly disagree with the WMF and take action, then that time is only after a proper reflection on the full situation, with everyone having a chance to weigh in.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    • This is a horrific precedent: an unappealable "behavior" ban against one of WMF's leading critics -- very clearly an instance of score-settling, masquerading as a "trust and safety" matter. This should be overturned immediately and whomever pulled this powerplay taken into the woodshed, at a minimum. Fram is not everyone's cup of tea -- I'm a coffee guy, myself -- but this is obviously an instance of infighting and bureaucratic overreach. Carrite (talk) 19:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Jimbo, I think you are being too wimpy. It is the WMF, not us, that has provoked a confrontation. I don't know if Floquenbeam et al have unblocked Fram yet but I hope you will (also) unblock Fram. In fact it's best if you are the first one to do it. (talk) 19:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Agreed with 67.164 on this one. Jimbo, I think we need you to step in and unilaterally override the ban, at least on a temporary basis while a body that's actually accountable to the community, while still signatory to the same NDAs as the T&S team, reviews it. rdfox 76 (talk) 19:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Fram has been correctly unblocked. I suggest you spend some time with your "team" ensuring they understand how the community works. This has been a stellar example of drawing the community closer against a common enemy: Fram is not universally popular yet editors from both sides issued dismay at the way in which WMF operated here. Less of the Stasi please. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:11, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I hope the community, including Jimbo, looks at this issue not only in isolation, as it is important to do, but also in the context of epidemic crackdowns on freedom of speech throughout our world by millions of bureaucratic fiefdoms, big and little, just as with, ironically, the crackdown I brought up "Expunge"_from_the_record , which Jimbo summarily dismissed as being anything which he could draw an opinion about. You see, unless we all start paying attention to all of the widespread crackdowns on freedom of speech, thought, and press (Assange, perhaps); wherever they might be, the foundation of our freedoms will be washed away 1 little stone at a time. To quote Dylan, paraphrasing, "there's something going on here and you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones."
    I will tell you exactly what is going on, imo. We, the people, are being systematically brainwashed into giving up ( not having them taken away ) all of our precious freedoms of thought, speech, press and association, and its not just some kind of happenstance. It is an orchestrated self perpetuating cultural shift away from aspirational and community empowered governing bodies toward protective, moralizing and pushy governing bodies.
    Voltaire said "the comfort of the rich depends upon an abundance of the poor". I'd say, the power of the top 1/100 of 1 % depends upon a shallow, self centred and limited focus by the masses. Nocturnalnow (talk) 22:05, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

    Fram is blocked again, and Floquenbeam is desysopped. By their grace and majesty, WMF has assented to Floquenbeam having a new RFA after 30 days. (talk) 02:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

    It's not even been 48 hours since Fram was first blocked. I'm not happy with the inept way WMF has handled this but the comparisons with Stasi are over-the-top. We are talking about a nonprofit organization, not state-sponsored surveillance and suppression. I realize it is unprecedented for the English Wikipedia for a respected, longterm admin to be blocked for a year with insufficient explanation but can we all take a deep breath and wait for Jimbo's response (which I hope is coming)? Again, I'm not happy with how this has been handled but this is unlikely to be resolved immediately. This will be a marathon to make sure this doesn't happen again in this way, not a sprint. Liz Read! Talk! 02:51, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    I continue to advise calm and slow movement. Further wheel warring will not be productive and will only tend to escalate matters further. I am recommending the same to WMF, as is Doc James. We are discussing the situation with them in the hopes of finding the right way forward.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:10, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Something major needs to change here - and slow movement is just not the answer. The WMF has shattered community trust with this (ironic that it's an action from the Trust & Safety office). The WMF's power grab to take a more direct administrative role without responsibility, without an appeal process (seriously?), without transparency and without doing any of the spadework everyone else does. That move feels much less Deus ex machina than it does Diaboli ex machina. There are allegations of a possible COI in the Foundation's motivation which if true could lead to the removal of senior people in the organisation. Speeding the process up, or creating some breathing space would be beneficial: hit the reset button on Fram (block and desysop) and Floq (desysop), then use a closed-doors/in camera process through ArbCom - it would get rid of much of the very bad feeling this has generated. - SchroCat (talk) 08:33, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, per Schro. It is the WMF end that is moving fast and breaking things. We are the ones who want discussion and to restore the status quo ante until (at minimum) arbcom has checked out the complaints. Meanwhile responses are still proceeding in real time whether that's convenient for the WMF or not. The COI allegation Schro refers to is also cringe-inducing. I hope you can check into it. The WMF can stop the drama by reversing the actions and entering discussions. It's on them, not us. (talk) 08:54, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    [also posted on the main discussion talk page] The calm requested in these statements seems the best way to go for the good of all involved (personal and institutional). We all know that Fram will be unblocked with time served (days rather than weeks), and that a little cursing between friends is allowed from time to time. But not encouraged and certainly shows frustration at key moments. The ban choice of "a year" (or banned until the orbit of the Earth brings it back to this exact position to the Sun and not an inch sooner) seems extreme to the average onlooker. If Fram was banned for 72 hours for cursing at dad, sorry, office, then none of this would have occurred. No one should be fired or leave (mistakes happen, we've all been there), everyone should get their tools back, and the aforementioned Sun will come out tomorrow. Jeez, drama is viewer appealing, but "Office" could just unban Fram at a time certain, say, Friday, and everyone involved use this temporary release-valve as a great learning tool with built-in dramatic appeal. Randy Kryn (talk) 09:44, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    I agree with Schro that slow movement is not the answer, but I disagree that any future process should be in camera until or unless there is agreement that there is something a lot more egregious than the use of the "fuck" word. I won't look for the dif because most of us remember well when Jimbo used the same word in reference to Doc James, and I only bring this up to illustrate how utterly stupid it is for WMF to even mention the use of that word in their reasoning. However, once again, I warn all of you against embracing the "go-slow" and dispassionate approach with this event. There is a time and place for passion, even within a community based upon logic, reasoning and cooperation. This action taken by WMF is, imo, an absolute invasion and attempted coup. No ifs ands or buts. They need to back off quickly and apologise to all of us, "surrender" in other words. If any of us think that its ok to just meekly try to work this out, you are forgetting that bullies, of all type, are only empowered when the bullied do not fight back. WMF has attacked 1 of us, punched him in the nose, and they must be punched back, not talked down.
    Somebody or more than 1 at WMF must be fired for this. Full stop. Nocturnalnow (talk) 17:34, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Nocturnalnow, Sorry, but I see it differently. It is understandable that passions are high, but that this does not remotely qualify as an emergency in the sense that irreparable harm will occur if actions are not taken immediately.
    There are two main issues that need to be addressed, neither of which need to be resolved today or even this week:
    1. What should be done about Fram?
    2. How did we find ourselves in this situation and what can we do to ensure that it plays out better next time? S Philbrick(Talk) 18:28, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm going to do 2 first. We found ourselves in this situation because the T&S team, rather than referring an internal ENWP issue to existing dispute resolution, decided to bypass it and impose their own values and standards on a community that does not answer to them. The TOU issue is a red herring. I am not talking about the actual block of Fram, the previous actions (the pseudo-interaction ban-threat, the obvious monitoring of his editing when there is no safety or legal issue involved) are more problematic. Its over-reach and interference outside of their remit and it needs to be curbed now so we dont have more editors disappeared in the night because someone in T&S doesnt like that they say fuck, or that they tell editors who make terrible edits the truth. Its junta tactics to suppress political enemies and it needs to stop. Longtime what we can do to prevent it in future? Elect community representatives to the board who prepared to rein in the WMF staff and make it clear that the various wikipedia communities are *not* fiefdoms that require a WMF lord of the manor. RE 1. Fram shoud be unbanned. At this point anything less is going to go very very badly for the WMF. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I agree with OID. Fram's case should be -- and certain can be -- handled by normal processes, the bypassing of which is the core of the outrage at these actions. These aren't Fram-fans complaining, they are English Wikipedia editors whose community's right to self-govern has been unilaterally usurped by T&S. Add that to the spector of a COI situation -- I am not at all convinced by the statement by the WMF chair, and, in fact, feel that her playing of the gender card indicates strongly her probable personal involvement in the actions taken -- and you have a compounded problem: that's rights may have been stepped on at the urging of a high Foundation official with a strong Conflict of Interest. Thus, whatever investigation Jimbo Wales and Doc James are attempting to instigate via the Board needs to go deeper than simply examining the ham-fisted actions of T&S, it must discover why these apparently well-meaning people acted so rashly, provoking the very predictable community response. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:41, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    I think it's extremely unlikely that Raystorm was personally involved, and fairly offensive to say that her raising gender-related concerns indicates otherwise. But I think those gender-related concerns are preposterous in this case, and, sadly, that her relationship with the complainant probably did strongly influence T&S decisions about their Office action against Fram. EllenCT (talk) 03:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    Just to be clear, their involvement (Or non involvement) in the recent actions against Fram, or the earlier actions is irrelevant to me. What is clear from their comments is that they support the overreach of the T&S actions and that is not acceptable going forward. Plus comparing the outrage of the community here to gamergaters pretty much shows the hand there. Only in death does duty end (talk) 06:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    Sphilbrick, the only reason I said (above) that slow is not the answer is that there has been significant damage in the trust between WMF and the community because of this rather crass and rash action. To stop further damage and move everyone forward to repairing that relationship is to take positive steps as soon possible before there is any further damage. Mileage may vary on that point, but I think the sooner they act positively, the better off all parties will be in the long run. - SchroCat (talk) 20:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    @JW. The wheel-warring does seem to have stopped: fair play to ye for (so far) convincing the WMF (so good). ——SerialNumber54129 17:06, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Floq was desysopped at 1.30am, so I presume there was some internal discussion about what to do before the trigger was pulled. I wouldn't get too excited until they make their next statement... - SchroCat (talk) 20:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Good work, Jimmy, stopping the wheel-warring. Now step 2 here is to get WMF to walk back their mistake, unbanning Fram. They can growl at En-WP at the same time if they want to, that's fine. But they breached the established system for dealing with behavioral violations and they need to accept where the line is. A few emails to bosses of the people who did the dumb-dumb would probably do the trick... They made a mistake. They need to own it. Carrite (talk) 00:53, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    I suggest that direct requests by board members of line workers through middle management are even worse now than all the times they happened in the past, when they were atrocious. The Board should decide whether all bans (and adverse permission removals) are appealable to Jimbo[42] and he should void them. If the Board doesn't see it that way then Jimbo should lead a fork, as he's in the best position to host everything immediately, get search engines to refocus, and take all the functionaries along. EllenCT (talk) 03:37, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    To be clear, to the best of my knowledge, there haven't been any direct requests by board members to line workers through middle management here. Certainly, James and I are speaking to the board and CEO, not attempting to intervene at that level at all. The board should only operate at the level of broad principles and through the top management, not detailed management of specific issues.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:55, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

    FYI: Pageviews Analysis for "Wikipedia:Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram", with some other pages for comparison. In a little over a day, 248 editors commented, 316 added the page to their watchlist, and just yesterday, the page was viewed nearly 30,000 times. 2601:194:300:130:B411:EE39:555:7658 (talk) 15:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

    • @Jimbo Wales: The head of T&S just made a statement threatening that any edits by the recently-unblocked user will be responded to with a global lock of their account. It appears that your advice against escalation was not heeded, unfortunately. --Yair rand (talk) 22:09, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I can not believe he was the guy behind superprotect. I suggest that community trust should be a necessary requirement for working in Trust and Safety. EllenCT (talk) 00:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    "Trust and Safety" are no longer safe or trusted. Jonathunder (talk) 22:49, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Jimbo, do Doc James or you have any updates for us on what was discussed by the board that (presumably) met on Friday? Especially concerning the recent constitutional/process issues, which to my mind are:
      1. Expansion of T&S's purview beyond matters of child protection, threats to others and of self-harm etc that were, so far, non-controversial
      2. Secrecy of the proceedings and even the accusations from both the accused and bodies like the arbcom
      3. Non-clarity about what standards of civility, harassment etc are being expected and enforced and,
      4. The non-appealability of sanctions
    Among others, Risker and Rschen7754 have their own lists of concerns that I believe are worth perusing. I would also appreciate your articulation of what you see the central governance issues raised by FramBan to be. Cheers. Abecedare (talk) 04:40, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    User:Abecedare Discussions are ongoing and conclusions have not yet been reached. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:48, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks Doc. I'll await for any developments, news and views that you can share, and possibly ping Jimbo and you sometime next week. Abecedare (talk) 04:52, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

    Request for action regarding the ban of Fram

    To: María Sefidari (User:Raystorm), Christophe Henner (User:Schiste), Dr. Dariusz Jemielniak (User:Pundit), Dr. James Heilman (User:Doc James), Jimmy Wales (User:Jimbo Wales), Nataliia Tymkiv (User:NTymkiv (WMF))

    Dear members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees (or rather, those of you with public user accounts):

    I am one of probably many Wikipedia users writing to you about the matter of the Wikimedia Foundation's office's ban of the English Wikipedia user Fram, as documented at en:Wikipedia:FRAM.

    I am an administrator on the English Wikipedia since 2006. I am not involved, as far as I recall, in any disputes involving Fram or other users involved in this matter, and do not personally know any of them.

    As you will know, this dispute has resulted in a grave crisis of confidence on the part of very many English Wikipedia users with respect to Foundation staff. I urge you to give this matter your full attention. In particular, I'd like to ask you and the Board to, as quickly as reasonably possible:

    • establish publicly, to the extent possible consistent with applicable privacy rules, who among Foundation officials imposed or authorized sanctions against Wikipedia users in this case, and on which specific grounds, and
    • communicate to the community of users the measures you took to remedy the situation, and to ensure that such a crisis of confidence will not reoccur.

    Thank you for your service on behalf of our common project.

    Sandstein 17:02, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

    1. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 19:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    2. Echoing. I may have initially commented as to know why Fram was even banned, but have been uninvolved otherwise.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 20:37, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    3. This is needed at a minimum to even begin trying to restore trust. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I don't understand why it would be necessary or helpful to say which employee authorized the problematic actions. --Yair rand (talk) 22:26, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Because right now there's two plausible scenarios: Either T&S is going the 1984 route or T&S is being used to win a dispute between two editors. Neither looks good for them at all. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:32, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    Accountability sucks. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 22:29, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    What's the objective? Get the WMF to fire them? Ban their non-staff accounts? Know not to elect them for any particular user rights or positions? Many at the WMF seem to think there would actually be a risk of harassment or IRL threats, which is something to take into account. --Yair rand (talk) 23:10, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    1. At this point, Trust and Safety won't be trusted by enwiki again with anything less than this. rdfox 76 (talk) 01:34, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    Thank you for this request, but I think the specifics are misplaced. This is not about individual people, this is a question about our constitutional order. This is not about this specific situation, but a much more important and broader question about project governance.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:58, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    I very much agree, and must note I feel a great deal of relief to hear that this is your perspective on the issue. A discussion that is about broader governance issues also has a much better chance of being constructive, and I would urge everyone to focus their energies on that. The current situation is by no means an ideal starting point for that conversation but it does present us an opportunity to squeeze something positive from it. There is attention now, from all parties and at all levels, which lets us have a conversation that would not otherwise be possible. It's also a unique opportunity to demonstrate how great this community is at its best and when we pull together, instead of letting our outrage (whether one considers it justified or not) be our defining characteristic. And win, draw, or lose, a resolution to the broader governance issues will also resolve the immediate issues surrounding individuals. --Xover (talk) 07:27, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Absolutely. The comments from T&S have made Fram practically irrelevant at this point. Their actual response says "Sometimes, local communities find it difficult to meet that minimum standard despite their best efforts due to history, habit, dislike by some volunteers of the standard, or wider cultural resistance to these standards. However, it is important to keep in mind that even communities that are resistant to it or are making a good faith effort are expected to meet the minimum standards set in the Terms of Use. In cases where community influences or barriers interfere with the meeting of these minimum standards, the Foundation may step in to enforce the standards - even in situations where the local community dislikes or outright opposes those standards." So it's not just Fram not living up to the New Boss's Rules -- it's ArbCom, it's AN/I, it's the community as a whole that stands accused. (Note that we are not accused for letting paid editors directly edit article space - that's just fine) We the community are not, of course, told in any way how we fail to live up to the Master's desires; we are just supposed to adjust all of our attitudes and practices to more perfectly align with what He wants. Now you could say I should study Scripture, so I just did -- here's everything I can control-F in It on civility and harassment: "Civility – You support a civil environment and do not harass other users. ... Harassing and Abusing Others: Engaging in harassment, threats, stalking, spamming, or vandalism; ... Soliciting personally identifiable information for purposes of harassment, exploitation, violation of privacy, or any promotional or commercial purpose not explicitly approved by the Wikimedia Foundation;" It would take a far better theologian than I to decide whether saying "Fuck ArbCom" is harassing them - can you harass an institution? Is that even relevant? It's all based on "the totality" anyway. What mortal man can comprehend the mind of our one true god Jan Eissfeldt, Admin of Admins, Superprotector of the Faith? Wnt (talk) 14:10, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    • This is not about individual people, this is a question about our constitutional order. This is not about this specific situation, but a much more important and broader question about project governance. — +1. Carrite (talk) 02:12, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
      Is there a constitutional order? Where is the constitution? I don't have the impression the office recognizes such a thing. It's all about the Benjamins now. (talk) 07:37, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Also +1. Carrite (talk) 02:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

    recommended reading (about 1800 words)

    It's about the evolution of subcultures in the art and entertainment world, written some years ago, but it's seemed to me for a while that it also applies to Wikipedia. WP's heavy content contributors and admins are the geeks (creators and fanatics, in the article's jargon), the reading public and the more casual editors are the mops, and there's now significant sentiment that the WMF has been colonized by sociopaths. Anyway, it's an interesting take on things. (talk) 07:23, 16 June 2019 (UTC)


    Please consider paying attention to this petition launced by WMF Taiwan branch. Gratitude! --It's gonna be awesome!Talk♬ 18:54, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

    On what ground Wikimedia should be used to push forward a political petition? The topic in question doesn’t hamper Wikimedia’s operation whatsoever, unlike SOPA. This is completely at odds with Wikimedia’s neutrality.-- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 06:38, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    I don't agree. The statement strikes me as particularly concise and limited to relevant points (travel for Taiwanese Wikipedians, potential threat to freedom of expression for Hong Kong people, etc.). And the ask is very mild - that the WMF pay attention to the issue and that the international community of Wikimedians pay attention to the issue. I think we should.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:12, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    The bill has already been pulled from the legislation. It also has nothing to do with freedom of expression in Hong Kong. I am so baffled where you get that idea but simply for its involvement with the PRC. I would be honest if the PRC ever wants to apprehend someone in Hong Kong to the mainland, whether this bill passes or not does not make any difference. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 09:37, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    The bill is suspended, and as such could be reintroduced and passed at any time. "Pulled" would imply cancellation, which would take a considerably longer time and additional preliminary votes to reintroduce. EllenCT (talk) 10:26, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    Indeed I used the wrong word, but it doesn’t change the reality that it is pulled indefinitely (maybe until 2047). If you insist the bill affects freedom of expression, be my guest; but if the petition represents the position of WMF, I must make it loud and clear: You do not represent me. Instead such petition would be best saved for any future attempt to pass the Article 23 National Security bill when that freedom is actually threatened. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk · contri.) 10:56, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    I think it's great that Jimbo started looking into this! If the risk to conference participants is real, then some narrow, easy steps MUST be taken to ensure nothing terrible happens. I doubt they will agree with every syllable (is it really the ownership of the airline that matters, rather than the route the plane takes?) Wnt (talk) 13:49, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

    Yet more WMF questions raised

    The issues raised at WP:FRAM continue to grow. The latest thing you should probably be made aware of (if you're not already) would be this lovely nugget of joy that has been raised: WP:FRAM#Wikimedia Belgium concerns about WMF. While not directly related, it seems to be more evidence of a pattern of behavior within the Foundation (and particularly at T&S) that is... disturbing, at a minimum, and needs to be looked into; the fact that a sitting Trustee openly mocked WM Belgium's complaint about the situation makes it even worse, as this leaves the worry that a member of the Board, who are supposed to keep the Office under control, may be rubber-stamping Office decisions and dismissing concerns about them out of hand. When the issue was first brought to your attention, I commented that something smells rotten in the state of Denmark; at this point, the smell is becoming overwhelming. rdfox 76 (talk) 13:43, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    Hi Jimbo

    Do you typically reply to these things? Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 00:38, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

    Typically, yes. I miss some things, particularly if I'm traveling and there's a lot going on.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:09, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    If you don’t mind, could you say something with my name in it so I can show it off on my userpage? (Yes, I know this sounds stupid) Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 15:09, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    Do you still have any stock in Wikia?

    Sorry to bother you, but I saw many months ago how you co-founded Fandom/Wikia, and I have been wanting to ask if you still own any shares in the company. Bob Roberts 03:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

    Yes, I do.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Ahh okay, thanks for the response (this is BobRobert14's new account by the way). Do you actively participate in running the company, or do you just own stock in it? Also, sorry for all the questions, but do you support their policy of monetizing the wiki? Just wondering, since I know that Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia void of any advertisements, but Wikia differs in that respect. Bill Williams (talk) 00:35, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Wikia has been ad-supported since day one, when it was Wikicities. Have you read the article on Wikia? They also have a management roster showing about the number of managers you might expect, including their latest CEO Perkins Miller who occasionally engages on Twitter and might answer some general questions there, but probably won't help you get a deal on their IMHO inevitable IPO.
    Speaking of Wikia, I note that their Terms of Use explicitly forbid intimidation, profanity, homophobia, ethnic slurs, and religious intolerance. Perhaps the Foundation might want to include such provisions in their Terms of Use, prior to acting like they're already there. EllenCT (talk) 03:52, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Then what would we do with the articles intimidation, profanity, homophobia, ethnic slurs, and religious intolerance? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:31, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Those are unrelated topics that I was not asking about... I know Wikia utilizes advertisements, since I have read a lot about them, I was just asking if Jimmy agrees with that policy. No need to bring up random controversial topics. Bill Williams (talk) 14:02, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, I agree with Wikia utilizing advertisement. To answer other questions which have come up here, I don't actively participate in running the company on a day-to-day basis, but I am a board member.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:27, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Okay, thanks a lot for telling me. I appreciate it  . Bill Williams (talk) 15:29, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    I wish I had never heard about this. Especially the investment by Amazon...I know something about the way they operate and its the poster boy for predatorial and manipulative capitalism, imo...and yes, there are other types of capitalism....all of which is none of my business, but does make me wish that Jimbo would pick a side and sever connections with the other side. This project is the philosophical enemy of predatorial and manipulative capitalism and vice versa, imo. I can wish something (in this edit 2 things ) even if it is none of my business. Nocturnalnow (talk) 18:24, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    Who said he is "severing connections with the other side"? Wikipedia and Wikia are potentially "other sides", yet he helped set up both. He's still editing this talk page, is he not? That means he supports both Wikia's policies and Wikipedia's, since they are more independent than you would think. Wikia goes way more into specifics on certain subjects, and it also has fandoms that are just random things made up by fans. Wikipedia is only sourced content, since it is a "free encyclopedia". Bill Williams (talk) 18:27, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    There is no contact information for Trust & Safety

    Jimbo, User:Iridescent just noticed that meta:Trust and Safety contains no contact information or instructions for opening a case with them of any kind. So, how do they receive their cases? EllenCT (talk) 19:16, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    This^^^^. Shearonink (talk) 21:03, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    Where to write to tell the WMF that they have violated the ToU?

    Jimbo, WP:CONEXCEPT states:

    "Decisions, rulings, and acts of the WMF Board and its duly appointed designees take precedence over, and preempt, consensus. A consensus among editors that any such decision, ruling, or act violates Wikimedia Foundation policies may be communicated to the WMF in writing."

    Where do we write to explain that the Terms of Use (Section 10, " contrast to...") is inconsistent with the Office actions policy? Would doing so open a formal review by C-level management? EllenCT (talk) 20:29, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

    Quite honestly, I'm inclined for that to very literally mean "write". I've half a mind to actually print off the relevant portions of that discussion and send it to them by good old snail mail. Maybe once they see that stack of paper, they'll be inclined to do more than give the "Hey, we'll do what we want, piss off" responses that we've gotten so far. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:33, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    I take it to mean something entirely different, EllenCT. There you go - different pespectives.  What it reads to me is that if a group of editors reach a consensus (decision, ruling, or act) that violates WFM policies, that's not a good thing. The WMF's appointed designees take precedence over such a consensus and preempt it. Editors cannot overrule WMF policy by consensus so any editor who disagrees with whatever editor consensus decided can send their complaint in writing to the WMF. Perhaps WP:NPOV is along that same line - it cannot be changed even by editor consensus. I may be wrong but that's how it reads to me. Atsme Talk 📧 22:49, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    So putting it on parchment in calligraphy isn't likely to get it out of the circular file? This is why I think a notice petition targeted to editors only via MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn, warning them that they are now subject to an unpublished behavioral policy in contravention of the ToU and asking them to email the individual Board members asking them to pass a resolution to impose Newyorkbrad's compromise and rescind foundation:Resolution:Delegation of policy-making authority is the right compromise to something more drastic like a sitenotice, striking, or forking. That is minimally targeted to the affected audience only asking for the minimal sufficient resolution and prevention. EllenCT (talk) 23:48, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

    Who put the WMF in charge?

    Recent and ongoing discussions reveal that most editors and the WMF itself are under the assumption that the WMF is in charge here, but who decided that? There was a Wikipedia and Wikipedians long before there was a WMF. I've been trying to trace the history of the WMF, combing through interesting links like the old mailing lists and the first revision of the WMF bylaws to find where and when this change was made, but I figured it would be better to just ask you. It seems like, in those early days, it was your intention that the community have authority over content, conduct, and all matters other than the behind-the-scenes "development and maintenance" on the project. But in the years since, the WMF has made a number of increasingly disruptive decisions, changes, and power grabs, inconsistent with their original goals, all while ballooning into an expensive, dysfunctional bureaucracy.

    Who gave them that authority? You? The community (Ha!)? The clueless donors enabling them with the power of the almighty dollar? What basis is there for them to dictate to the community, and at what point exactly was that power ceded to them? Thanks. 2600:387:A:9A2:0:0:0:6 (talk) 15:54, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    You seem to be under the impression that Wikipedia was just an independent community group before the WMF was created, but that's not the case; it's always had an owner. Initially, it was wholly owned by the private company Bomis; in 2003 Bomis transferred the assets to the WMF. The issue being raised by the current discussions isn't who ultimately controls Wikipedia—nobody disputes that the WMF owns the assets and takes on the liabilities, and has the technical right to boot whoever they like—but an ethical issue of how much the owning body should intervene and under what circumstances. ‑ Iridescent 16:16, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    Much as I appreciate the input, I'm asking Jimbo directly what his intent was all those years ago, and for his take on how we ended up here. He's the only one who can answer that. How the WMF operates today seems very different from his espoused philosophies back then. I don't doubt that the WMF (and Bomis before them) owns the physical servers, the web address, and the branding rights, but do they own the content? Do they own the community? Since when? 2600:387:A:9A2:0:0:0:6 (talk) 16:42, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    Anon, I was here before the WMF was created and was part of some of the discussions. Jimbo himself was widely considered "in charge" in the early days of the project, despite various competing claims, and began to make an earnest effort to devolve and distribute that power starting in late 2003. This led to the creation of the WMF, the arbitration committee, OTRS, the independence of the mediawiki software, and formalization of Wikipedia-related trademarks. Jimbo's goals then were for the community to be self-sustaining and self-governing such that it would fulfill its mission with less of his involvement as time went on. It was never a goal for the WMF to have any sort of authority over or involvement in community or content decisions beyond the removal of libellous material and copyright violations, which the WMF took on for reasons of compliance. You might also contact BradPatrick or Danny Wool who could tell you more. UninvitedCompany 18:06, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    This is pretty accurate as a too-brief summary of the history. This is an edited version of the key sentences as I would put it myself: "Jimbo's goals then were for the community to be self-sustaining and self-governing such that it would fulfill its mission with less of his involvement as time went on. It was never a goal for the WMF to have any sort of authority over or involvement in community or content decisions beyond the removal of libellous material and copyright violations and other limited actions for public safety of various kinds, which the WMF took on for reasons of compliance." And that isn't the whole of it really, I would also argue that the WMF can and should have a role of facilitating and guiding community consultations to help the community resolve sticky issues where there is a failing of process. Reading between the lines here, you can likely guess my view of the current situation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:02, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks for the response. "...the WMF can and should have a role of facilitating and guiding community consultations to help the community resolve sticky issues..." I hope you realize that the community won't support that, no matter how you dress it up. It would give the WMF the potential to be judge, jury, and executioner, even if only in what they deem "sticky" situations - like when the community takes action against a change the WMF tries to push through against community consensus, whether that be visual editor, blocking a long-term admin, or whatever. As you know, those examples aren't hypothetical. Same anon, different IP107.242.117.56 (talk) 14:56, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    You have clearly misunderstood what I said. Nothing about "facilitating and guiding community consultations" even remotely implies that I think they should be "judge, jury, and executioner". I don't even know what chain of thought got you from one to the other. The point is that there are things we know to be true: there are very few admins created and while most people (the vast majority) think that's a problem, there is no consensus and no process towards consensus towards resolving that issue. It's a thankless task to take on and run a project to work through various options to find something that would get us to a better place - no one has stepped up to do that (a few have tried, and thank goodness for them). WMF community support people have done a great job on consultations around terms of service and so on - we do have some positive examples of how to do this right. It isn't about ramming things down people's throat - it's about taking on the hard job of listening and framing debate, convening real-life groups to work on issues, etc.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:51, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jimbo, you added "and other limited actions for public safety of various kinds," above, and that, to me, feels like an attempt at rewriting history; since I wasn't there, I can not say for sure. This whole thing feels weird...really me. It feels to me as if WMF has got you and the rest of us checkmated (I believe you are always on the side of the community), perhaps because of some rules or regulations, new or old, and you are in full blown damage control. Nocturnalnow (talk) 01:36, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    Or, this is a matter of public safety, which demanded immediate expansion of WMF's authority? just thinking out loud. Nocturnalnow (talk) 01:40, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    If this were a "matter of public safety", WMF failed in a different way. If Fram is genuinely dangerous, he is still allowed to edit other projects, and here again in a year. If allowing him on the project truly is a safety risk, he shouldn't be allowed on any of them again at all, not just be banned from one for a year. But I do not remotely believe that's the case. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:48, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

    As far as instituting new Foundation-imposed, project-specific bans, foundation:Resolution:Delegation of policy-making authority gave them the authority to modify the Terms of Use to allow it, but they never actually made the necessary ToU modifications before making an unannounced, undiscussed edit to WP:OFFICE here and on Meta back in February. The only member of the community who noticed the change at all was the German User:Sänger, who asked for a community consultation on Meta, and was told there was not and would not be one. The Board could rescind their delegation of permission, and the community could ask admins to e.g. modify MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn with a description of why it's necessary and how to contact the Board with the request to do so. I feel this is a use-it-or-lose-it situation. EllenCT (talk) 18:19, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    What was the outcome of the board meeting?

    I think you and the WMF owe all of us an explanation. I'd point out that a failure to sort things here will likely result in further, extended turmoil. Fromtheolddays (talk) 11:34, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

    See here @Doc James as well, it's still an ongoing discussion. Grüße vom Sänger ♫ (talk) 12:27, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

    A statement in a new section at WP:FRAM would be great, when you're done. Thank you. starship.paint (talk) 13:44, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

    Jimmy, there was a very troubling allegation made at the discussion around this issue, and I'm afraid it may get lost in the noise, because if true, it would indicate that the Wikimedia Foundation did not fail to consider or communicate well, but is instead actively going against the interest of the communities it was founded to support. [43] I would not normally give much credence to such an allegation without such evidence, but I have also never known Risker to say something careless or thoughtless, and I know she does indeed know and talk to several of the people involved. So, I'll ask you directly—is this true? Does the WMF actually have an end goal of undermining the communities' independence and taking more authority on at a global level? Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:34, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    (+1). If this was someone else, I would have discounted it but Risker is too credible. WBGconverse 16:36, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    (+1). Agreed. With I think all of the above - explanation, statement, allegation. Shearonink (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    (+1) If the WMF's goal is to undermine the autonomy of our communities, then we are in a constitutional crisis. Tazerdadog (talk) 18:35, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    I mean technically none of this is new or against the TOS. They just choose not to act on the power they have that often. Constitutional crisis or acting like this is a new thing is just incorrect. In the end it is their sandbox. PackMecEng (talk) 20:43, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    As soon as we take that defeatist perspective, it is game over. It is NOT "their sandbox." There was a Wikipedia before there was a WMF. It is a legalistic ownership entity with the task of software development and site maintenance at a macro level, and coordination of convention events. The local Wikipedias are supposed to be autonomous and self-governing. Carrite (talk) 02:04, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    It is not defeatist, it is how pretty much every website that has users is run. It cannot be completely autonomous and self-governed for a host of reasons, mostly legal. The question is where in the margins and split is. Ultimately though, final call is with the office, not volunteers. Wikipedia is not owned by volunteers, technically never has been. PackMecEng (talk) 03:05, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) It cannot be completely autonomous and self-governed for a host of reasons, mostly legal It's clear that the WMF ban of Fram was not legally necessary. Thus, your point about the community being unable to be 100% self-governing, while likely true, is irrelevant. Nothing is preventing the WMF from allowing its communities to be more self-governing than they currently are. * Pppery * it has begun... 03:11, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    It's clear that the WMF ban of Fram was not legally necessary. Based on what? My understanding is there is still a bunch of private information on the case. Thus it is unlikely to be a provable statement. Also to a point you are correct, WMF can allow the volunteers to be more self-governed or they can choose not to and it is 100% their call to make. PackMecEng (talk) 03:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    All indications are that the case was entirely about Fram's on-wiki conduct, which is viewable in the revision history unless something got deleted. So the evidence is all public. It's like when someone is arrested on the basis of a security video, and the video is public, people examine it and can't find the crime, and the person is convicted without the authorities identifying the crime either. Sure, there may have been a private complaint, but if a crime took place it must be in the video somewhere, so it should be possible to locate it.

    Also what is this about "the WMF's communities"? It's really supposed to be the communities' WMF. (talk) 05:56, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

    Except there are also indications that there is private information. Is all the info on-wiki somewhere? Perhaps we do not know, there could be off wiki but private info. (I doubt that btw, but still possible) The other issue is sure, the info is probably on wiki. What was the info they used? Finally in the end, does that actually matter? PackMecEng (talk) 13:38, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

    The most obvious private information is communications from individuals, communications that could be used to identify individuals and subject them to retribution. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:53, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    I may be mistaken, but it appears to me that some users have lost sight of the fact that WMF's primary duty is the future of the project first and foremost - which is what we all should be thinking about rather than who gets to control whom. WMF is governed by established By-Laws and the members comprising the Board of Trustees are responsible for seeing that the Foundation's governing documents are properly (and legally) followed which includes taking care of their fiduciary responsibilities. Let's just say there are justifiable concerns that incivility has become a serious issue, and a volunteer (or 2 or 3) have become a liability to the project for whatever reason. It is the Board of Trustees' duty (and fiduciary responsibility) to find ways to protect the project first and foremost. It's quite possible their choices may not always align with ours (the wider community), much less garner widespread community approval. Jimbo has done amazing things for WP, but when push comes to shove, his legal obligation is to the project first, and so it goes for all the members of the Board of Trustees and the entire staff of the WMF. They have a heavy cross to bear. Atsme Talk 📧 20:41, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    PacManEng, Atsme, yes it definitely does matter. There's no need to publish anyone's private correspondence with the WMF but if the offending activity was on-wiki then the rest of us can examine it with our own eyes. There are zero examples of clear harassment on-wiki because if there were any, they would have come up in on-wiki dispute resolution long ago. If there is an unclear example then the WMF had no fiduciary duty to do anything about it (since it's unclear), and anyway that would have come up in DR too. And if there's a pattern of low level unpleasant interactions that the WMF decided required intervention from them, then they could give us a big pile of diffs showing the pattern they acted on. There are undoubtedly dozens or 100s of such interactions so giving us the diffs wouldn't identify the particular complainer. In fact there are so many potential complainers with similar interactions, that they could leave out the diffs involving the real complainers while still giving us something to go on. (talk) 02:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Perhaps that would of been nice of them to do, though not required. They saw an issue and corrected it. Strictly speaking from a rules standpoint the only ones going against the rules are the two admins and bureaucrat that knowingly abused their tools to make a point. But the office was nice enough not to continue action against them. PackMecEng (talk) 03:49, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    They did not abuse their tools. They acted to protect the project from a hostile takeover attempt. T&S said they would block/desysop anyone who unblocked Fram. Floq unblocked, T&S desysopped Floq. Then Bish unblocked again and WJB resysopped Floq, and T&S didn't carry out their threat that time, i.e. they backed down. The pushback against them was successful and hopefully slowed down further incursions. If the 3 of them broke WMF rules, it's up to WMF to do something about it, but T&S instead turned the matter over to us. If you are saying they broke OUR rules, you have to tell me which rule, and whichever rule you name, I'm going to say that particular rule is not firm, and I know that it's not firm because none of Wikipedia's rules are firm. And they made a good call in deciding to ignore whatever rule you're going to say they broke.

    We should not be doing T&S's dirty work. We should be giving medals to those 3. If T&S wants to smack them they can do it themselves and take the blowback themselves. That's what they said they would do, but then they thought the better of it. Of course T&S still acted stupidly, but they could have been even more stupid, and I'm glad they weren't. (talk) 16:43, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

    It was a wheel war(also note the office is not subject to that only admins), unblocking someone they shouldn't, and giving tools back to someone that had them removed. The rest is just not what happened or what the rules are. Frankly all three should lose their tools but I doubt that would happen. PackMecEng (talk) 17:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    You doubt it would happen because they have the broad support of the community and arbitrators from what we can tell so far, and the T&S department does not. EllenCT (talk) 18:20, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yup, poorly thought out tantrums of "I do what I want!!1!" The same garbage that makes the office intervention necessary. When rules no longer have meaning someone has to step in and correct the situation. PackMecEng (talk) 18:29, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    What rules? We used to have rules that judgements would be made in the sunlight. Now nobody knows what the rules are because accusations, evidence, and trials are secret when a clique who can't bother to refer civility issues to the arbcom says they need to be. How are we supposed to know anything about the standards to which we are expected to adhere? How can anyone know that those standards don't take second fiddle to powerful connections of complainants, especially under these circumstances in which they were introduced? Why are other projects with rampant racism, sexism, authoritarianism and ethnicity-related abuse left twisting in the wind while T&S targets a 14-year admin with a clean block record for holding a well-connected editor with a decade of serious English composition and sourcing issues to reasonable competence standards? EllenCT (talk) 21:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    The rules I was talking about is WP:OFFICE which the three involved willfully violated for WP:IDONTLIKEIT reasons. The stuff about other projects, it's whataboutism. But just because there are issues elsewhere does not mean they should not be fixed here as well. PackMecEng (talk) 22:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    IDONTLIKEIT is a content essay. IAR is policy. The community believes that banning Fram does not improve the encyclopedia. The only harassment of which we know for certain he's been accused was absolutely in furtherance of improving the encyclopedia, seen as harassment subjectively by those who hold harmony and tranquility above our editorial, copyvio, and sourcing standards. Perhaps the superblock guy has good reasons that would convince me, but nobody can tell until the T&S civility criteria are known. EllenCT (talk) 23:41, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

    IAR does not apply to office and TOS actions, you know that. Also I am dubious of anyone that cites IAR anymore, this many years in there is generally a system in place for anything. Which in there case there was it's just as I said no one cares because "I do what I want!!1!" as I mentioned before. PackMecEng (talk) 00:29, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

    How do I "know that"? If by TOS, you mean the Terms of Use, have you even read it? It says:
    "Especially problematic users who have had accounts or access blocked on multiple Project editions may be subject to a ban from all of the Project editions, in accordance with the Global Ban Policy. In contrast to ... these Terms of Use, policies established by the community ... cover a single Project edition...."
    There is nothing in the ToU about partial or temporary bans. This policy change doesn't just lack the consent of the volunteers who provide the content, the new policy wasn't even properly noticed by the Foundation in their own Terms. EllenCT (talk) 02:50, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    This was not a global ban so I am not sure why you would link there. The relevant polices for what the office did here can be found at WP:OFFICE under primary & secondary office actions. Which includes partial foundation bans and removal of advanced rights. All covered by the terms of use, as explained there. That is why I linked it early on, since all the relevant policies are there. PackMecEng (talk) 13:57, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    [44] was instituted without community discussion or prior announcement. What part of the Terms of Use are you saying "covered" it? EllenCT (talk) 22:35, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Section 10, clearly listed there and was referenced in the comments by the WMFOffice account here. Heck that change was from February, not exactly out of nowhere at this point. PackMecEng (talk) 00:37, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    That's the section I quoted above: "In contrast to ... these Terms of Use, policies established by the community ... may cover a single Project." Was there any more notice given to the WP:OFFICE policy change than that single diff? EllenCT (talk) 03:12, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    From what I can track down here, it is the outcome of this from March 2018. PackMecEng (talk) 14:42, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    Atsme. the WMF responsibility to to support the movement, not undermine it. They must see that it acts legally, but this had never been a problem--for actual illegal conduct on WP, such as that involved in childprotection, their work is fully supported by the community; for matters such as copyvio their role--and a role they do excellently--is to protect the contributors against unwarranted copyright claims. Civility between members is indeed a problem for the communities, and the enWP community seems to have standards in this field that I consider absurdly permissive, but they're not illegal, and I am not at all sure that my own more conventional standards have consensus. If the WMF had actual expertise here, its support would be to help us move them in a more responsible direction by developing better mechanisms that we would regard as fair and effective . The recent event(s) show it has no realistic concept of either fairness or effectiveness--in camera proceedings are not fair, and if needed at all should be limited to true emergencies; and action taken months after the offense is not effective.
    It has been obvious for some time that the WMF staff would like to run WP. That is not their role. Their role is to support WP. The proper role of the board at this point is to restrain the staff from taking a course that would destroy WP as an open voluntary movement. DGG ( talk ) 09:08, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Sheep get fleeced, or so I'm told. And what's more valuable than fleece? or money? Time! So we've all got lots of time invested here, and if you ( and I say you because I don't know enough about the structure/platform to fight back effectively) don't fight back, all or a lot of that time is going to get stolen from you. Easy choice, accept the fleecing or fight back. I'll join whatever resistance is mounted, if possible. Nocturnalnow (talk) 05:05, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    Who is this "we" you speak of with an investment in the encyclopedia? You've made, what, 2 edits to article space in 2019? --JBL (talk) 21:01, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    No wonder the kids have trouble with math. Nocturnalnow (talk) 22:12, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    Count 'em. ‑ Iridescent 22:25, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    To spell it out, its not very mathematical to count the number of anything in 2019, think hurricanes, and take that as a representative mathematical sample. Good grief. Nocturnalnow (talk) 03:31, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    What you just wrote is meaningless gibberish. To spell it out, you do not contribute to the encyclopedia. --JBL (talk) 11:29, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    At this exact moment, I am contributing to a discussion about the future of the encyclopedia. I say that is contributing. If I were making ad hominem attacks on you, that would be not contributing at all.
    I get it. This "what happened at the board meeting" discussion is a tough one. Its easier to go off on a personal tangent than entertain, think about, even discuss hard choices relating to the topic at hand, but I encourage you to force yourself to get your focus on the topic and not dissecting individual words like "we" that others are expressing. AGF. Nocturnalnow (talk) 19:09, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I seem to recall when this hell broke loose that I was encouraged to wait until it was "office time" in California. That was a couple of weeks ago. Jimbo, what's happening here? The absence of communication and leadership is apparent and absolutely unforgivable to our community. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:21, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
      I do note you have time to Tweet on other unrelated events though. Such a shame you can't give us some insight here while you're tweeting on other events. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:52, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    I remember that too..something about "they're not even awake yet in Cali." That was the first mistake...keeping anything important in la-la land.
    • Still in a holding pattern. Carrite (talk) 05:43, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

    Perspective re: Fram ban

    I came upon this today in The Economist Expresso; "An anti-Brexit demonstration in March was the biggest protest since the Iraq war."

    So, in my mind, that is a reminder that with the passage of time the overreach and wrongful exercise of authority by people who have been given authority (in the Iraq war case, Tony Blair) all is forgiven, forgotten and the abusers ( imo ) of such authority often return to places of respect and leadership ( e.g. Blair and W. Bush).

    In fact, such authoritarianism (imo) is and has been so common and so often with regard to extreme matters of life and death ( usually unnecessary wars ), that its likely naïve for anybody to be very surprised or upset by what's going on here.

    When the authoritarianism is such that it riles up large segments of the effected community, e.g. Vietnam War, whatever got the Yellow Vests thing going, segregation laws in the USA South, "Let them eat cake" in France, "Tea tax" in the USA, the super aggressive (imo) treatment of Aaron Swartz and Julian Assange, the effected community has only 4 choices that I can think of:

    1: Do nothing and try not to think about it too much

    2: Accept and rationalize the justification for the abusive authoritarianism

    3: Demonstrate/Protest against the specific incident/event

    4: Revolt against and strip away the authority of the specific regime.

    In this particular matter, I do not, as someone alluded to earlier, have enough experience or skin in the game to, with authority (pun), guess or propose which of the 4 paths the community should take, but I can offer my opinion based upon what I've seen within this community and read about the current state of affairs which is:

    Choice 3: is a no-go. The personalities of the editors are simply too cooperative and peaceful to choose this. Also, since I do not hear about any substantial demonstrations on behalf of Assange near where he is imprisoned, I just don't see the passion and time dedication necessary to do that, and even if it were to be done, the authorities have become super psychologically effective at appeasing and or waiting out the demonstrators; Macron being the best I've ever seen. Also, if the authorities are determined enough, they can usually keep doing what they want to do for years, regardless of the numbers or passion of the protestors (Vietnam War).

    Choice 4: This is the least likely yet most constructive and courageous choice for the project, imo, however I do not have any idea as to how to go about this, though I think others here do know exactly how to go about it. Least likely for a whole host of reasons, primarily a lack of passion.

    Choices 1 or 2 or a combination thereof: Extremely likely especially given the constant turnover of new editors and the more sheepish nature (imo ) of the younger generations as they stream into this and other platforms. Also, the overwhelming majority of editors know nothing about this whatsoever. Those who voice such anger and disappointment have not, as far as I know, taken any action to inform the general public ( which is the only way to reach the majority of the editors, imo ). Nocturnalnow (talk) 14:57, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

    MfD nomination of Wikipedia:Office actions

      Wikipedia:Office actions, a page which you created or substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; you may participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Office actions and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of Wikipedia:Office actions during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. Promethean (talk) 22:25, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

    For the record, no offense intended and this is not about deleting the page (or a mutiny), though that may be an outcome. Rather, simply trying to redirect to Meta or Foundation as the page appears to relate to policy best presented and explained there. Edit warring on the article has occurred on en-wiki, and I'm not convinced a local copy is the best way to present what is fundamentally an explanation article for Foundation policy. Promethean (talk) 22:29, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    The nomination was withdrawn by nominator. Masum Reza📞 01:54, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

    Did you establish the current version of WP:OFFICE?

    Jimbo, WP:OFFICE, which since 2017 has stated that some bans are unappealable, says at the top that it was, "established by Jimmy Wales." Is that accurate? EllenCT (talk) 20:35, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

    It’s the same old thing. Draconian rules are made to confront horrible crimes, but they end up being applied to misdemeanors, especially when committed by political enemies. T&S seems appropriate for handling things that could turn into criminal or civil litigation. However, when the problem is an administrator using naughty words like “fuck” and “bullshit” too often, that’s better left to ArbCom. There has been no indication that this Fram incident needed to be handled by WMF. It looks like some insider got angry at Fram and decided to do them in via non-appealable process. Jimmy, I challenge you to prove otherwise. Initially I supported WMF and told people to calm down, but the more I dig into it, the worse it looks. Jehochman Talk 23:44, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    I reached a similar but slightly different conclusion, especially in light of the Belgian incident. I think the very concept of T&S was fundamentally flawed from the get-go. It's ridiculous to ask us to TRUST T&S simply because they were trusted members of the community before. When you elevate a volunteer into a paid employee with a narrow mandate, they can hardly be expected to act for the community at the expense of the mandate. From the Belgian incident, it is clear the mandate of T&S is to protect WMF from any trouble, however minor, however ridiculous. Obviously, this has meant T&S cares not about due process, nor about being fair to long-time contributors. If something could possibly end up giving them a headache in the future, they excise it (it always seems to mean involved contributors) mercilessly. In other words, a single contributor to wikipedia is ridiculously expendableto them, forget innocence vs. guilt-- that doesn't even feature into the decision process of T&S.
    I just started contributing to wikipedia,and for one reason alone. I wanted to give back to this community but have not dollars. I spent a whole day reading through the relevant documents in-wiki and that is the conclusion I came to. So, if I reached a wrong one, something's gone horribly wrong in the handling of this affair. (I am reserving judgement on whether Fram did or not deserve what he got, that's not even the issue here, although it is somewhere else.) So, as above, a challenge is extended to prove otherwise. Usedtobecool ✉️  03:15, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    Glad to see you coming around on this, Jehochman. It wouldn't hurt for you to go back and amend your comments in the community discussion elsewhere (I had to really bite my tongue when I read them...). Jimmy, where are we at on this? Has the ED even been informed of the situation? Has the board given her direction, and if so, what? Carrite (talk) 05:10, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, the ED is aware. The board is still discussing with each other and with staff. I'm a participant in this but not in a position to say when it will come to a conclusion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:18, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    They might be giants. That is the best guidance I can give you. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 13:50, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Oh, there is another bit you could use. Always remember that a fork led by you, would get a lot of publicity at the very least, and is always the nuclear option as founder that you have at your disposal, if the foundation is to recalcicrant (sp?). -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 16:32, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Cimon Avaro: A Wikipedia founder tried that already. It didn't do well. Benjamin (talk) 23:58, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    Thought you should know, User:WJBScribe just resigned and retired.

    People are trying to talk him out of it; Hopeful of success in that regard, but I'm simultaneously skeptical. There has been too much blood-letting associated with WP:FRAM and there has to be a better way to deal with these matters. Not assigning blame, but certainly something to think about at a Foundation level, and looking forward to demonstrable leadership from you and others. Promethean (talk) 08:32, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    How did the events lead up to this? Benjamin (talk) 08:37, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    If you'd like to know more, feel free to head on over to WP:BCN, WP:ARBCOM (the WJBScribe case) and WP:FRAM. Those pages should tell you all there is to know, but be warned, it's a war and peace epic of mammoth scale. I'd attempt to summarise it, but it will be more neutral if you read the discussion for yourself, and I'd encourage others to do the same. Promethean (talk) 08:42, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    I feel the root issue is that T&S is too disconnected from the enwiki community to serve us effectively. Even if the ban is justified, it's clear they lack the community trust needed to behave this way; obviously WJBScribe's reactions aren't helping, but it's a symptom of a larger breakdown that is ultimately on T&S. Their constant insistence that they can put some of their actions beyond appeal is also a major factor (it basically froze the process and prevented any sort of bridge-mending after it was clear they'd screwed up, at least in an implementation sense); IMHO if any one change comes out of this, it'd be removing the part of WP:OFFICE that allows that. If T&S is going to involve itself in community decisions like this, some semblance of an avenue for appeals is necessary for the health and sanity of the community; they cannot simply insist over and over again that they never make mistakes and expect the community to trust them. Voluntarily giving up that aspect of WP:OFFICE (which was clearly something T&S was trying desperately to cling to in some of their comments on the case) would also demonstrate how seriously they take the problem and help rebuild some of the trust that was lost here. --Aquillion (talk) 08:50, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    It's quite a lot to read, but I'll give it a go... But I don't think a summary would be a bad idea. More generally, I think the sheer size of Wikipedia discussions are a significant barrier to many people who would like to participate or perhaps just be informed, but aren't ready to dedicate so much time and effort to reading the massive archives. Benjamin (talk) 08:54, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    The quick summaries are here. --Aquillion (talk) 09:02, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    I know, but something a bit more detailed would be nice. Or at least some catalogue of all the discussions worth reading, amid all the sound and fury, signifying nothing. Benjamin (talk) 09:16, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    The Signpost will have a summary in the issue coming in a few days. Links to items under development at WP:NEWSROOM. ☆ Bri (talk) 18:24, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Bri: I love The Signpost and I am extremely grateful for the work of all the editors. Benjamin (talk) 05:40, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

    No point reading it in detail - in essence the active community is polarising into two factions over this and tensions are escalating. @Jimbo Wales: I have not seen wheel-warring like this before.. Each day this is left risks further escalation /resignations/bad blood. Recommend in first instance extracting a promise from WMF T&S commitee not to perform this in future without consultation from arbitration committee. That would be a great first step in de-escalating. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:39, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    This has been going on for weeks now and just gets worse and worse. I hate seeing it. For God's sake Jimbo DO SOMETHING.Smeat75 (talk) 12:28, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    I echo Smeat75 (talk · contribs) words. WP:BN has never been this active with admin/crat resignations. The WP:BAG is losing members over this. We're losing dozens of the top / most passionate editors. It's one thing to not give more weight to vested editors in consensus building. It's quite another to hemorrhage them through a self-inflicted wound. It's been over two weeks now. We need to hear something beyond 'discussions are ongoing'. A statement of intent. A summary of where things stand. SOMETHING. (Not necessarily from you specifically, but some form of statement from the WMF.) Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:37, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    • RE: "I feel the root issue is that T&S is too disconnected from the enwiki community to serve us effectively." — It seems to me root issue is that T&S feels we are too disconnected from them to serve WMF effectively. Carrite (talk) 21:21, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    Ten daysTwo weeks


    It's been ten days since the out-of-process action of the T&S department, and since then our community—your community—has been tearing itself apart. (Being a Brit it's a reflection of Brexit, except in this case there is a deafening silence from the powers that be). Since then the community has raised several fundamental problems with the WMF and T&S (and this is aside from the potential COI which has been brushed under the take with the incredibly crass comment by the chair of the WMF Board likening anyone who complained to Gamergaters).

    The question is: how little do you want of the community at the end of this? Delaying everything further and further is just pouring petrol on the fires, and the time for clear statements and decisions was some time ago. Are the community's legitimate concerns (and those of the German, Belgian and Chinese projects) constantly going to be pushed onto the back burners? If so, I'll give WP five years tops before it implodes into smithereens - ending with a whimper, not a bang.

    WP was built by volunteers donating time, effort and money, and this is seemingly being wasted by silence and paralysis at the WMF. It needs to be rectified sooner, not later. - SchroCat (talk) 19:28, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

    Jimbo, I have not spent the last ten days ranting and raving and issuing threats but I am deeply concerned about this debacle. I really recommend that you and Doc James make a statement very soon. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 22:20, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    I am staying away from the discussions out of respect for you and the rest of the board. I think we all look forward to a comprehensive, cogent reply. UninvitedCompany 23:02, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
    We on the board are in active conversations. I think you will receive a comprehensive, cogent reply, but we are looking to be thoughtful, reflective, to examine every aspect of this, and neither allow invalid precedent to be set, nor to set invalid precedent. The best way to avoid a bad outcome is to look to first principles, look at what has gone wrong, and to propose a process for healing but also for building a process that works better in the future.
    In those board discussions, I am stating my own views directly and clearly, but it would be inappropriate to share them here and now, because as we all know, there are those who like to engage in "Jimbo said" argumentation, which doesn't clear the air but instead often only creates more heat.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:58, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jimmy, The longer this is knocked into the long grass, the less likely tempers are to cool. Nothing will happen over the weekend, so the next time they get into the office, we'll be at two weeks after the initial ban - and this is something that (apparently) several people within the organisation had prior knowledge of. I know you all want to put an full statement out to everyone trying to settle everything at the same time, but the view from the coal face is either that you (as an entity) are all stalling, and/or the increasing annoyance at the Jan Eissfeldt's 'non-comments' which don't shed light on a way forward, but (again) only come across as a stalling tactic, while also giving the impression of "you're going to get nothing out of us, you peons". I thought we were supposed to be open, honest and transparent around here (with obvious safety exceptions)? It increasingly feels like the opposite: closed caucuses in smoke-filled back rooms is what the community feels is going on. Trust in T&S (ironically) and Jan Eissfeldt is incredibly low at the moment - it feels like a stitch up job. Some form of interim (but concrete) step towards enlightenment is what is needed in the short term (ie in the early days of w/c 24 June) - and not another Jan Eissfeldt statement that provides little light but generates a lot of community heat.
    Jimmy, you need to understand that there is a lot of anger about this - not in defence of Fram as an individual, but in the way T&S/WMF have utterly mishandled this whole affair. There will continue to be speculation on the potential COI and all the other myriad perceived offences of the WMF staff until a decent explanation is forthcoming; with that increasing speculation, the trust and disharmony within the community will grow like a rather unpleasant cancer.
    And having no appeals procedure in place? Please - that sort of thing goes against every form of natural justice I can think of. Fine to retain it for the total site-wide eternal SanFranBan for real crimes and real safety, but for a partial, time-limited ban over a perceived infringement in a grey area - that needs a whole different approach, and I'm surprised T&S are so far removed from the realities of WP editing (and common sense) that they can't see that. - SchroCat (talk) 16:03, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    • "and neither allow invalid precedent to be set, nor to set invalid precedent." This is slightly alarming to read, because it implies that the board (or at least many people on it) recognizes that they screwed up in this case, but that they're worried about backing down because it would "set a bad precedent" - hence the constant, baffling insistence by some representatives of the WMF that WMF bans cannot be appealed, something that is bad policy, demonstrably untrue, directly contradicts your own statements on the subject, and which therefore harms relations with the community every time it is repeated. "I can't back down, it would set a bad precedent!" is an extremely unhealthy attitude for anyone in a position of authority to have. --Aquillion (talk) 19:40, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @Aquillion: that could also be read to mean a concern with Fram's actions/comments was bad/invalid grounds for a ban, and would set a bad precedent if it's allowed to stand. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:40, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Oh, yes, I absolutely think that Jimbo thinks Fram's ban is a bad precedent (the full context of the quote makes it clear he's talking about bad precedents on "both sides", so to speak.) That gave me the impression that he would prefer to just reverse the ban as a "bad precedent", but that others have their backs up and refuse to allow it because they feel that anything that gives the appearance that WMF bans are appealable, regardless of situation, would itself be a bad precedent; and that he's being diplomatic and trying to find a way through this standoff. I mean this is all reading tea-leaves, obviously, but it fits the behavior and stances taken by the major actors involved... and if it's the case, I hope at least some people in a position to do something about it recognize "never admit fault, it sets a bad precedent" isn't the sort of outlook someone on the board should have. Especially if the precedent they're concerned about is "WMF bans are not appealable", something that is not and will never be true. The WMF will and must back down if they make a severe enough mistake; this cannot be avoided. Everyone involved knows this. Therefore WMF bans are always subject to at least informal appeals, and pretending otherwise only serves to exacerbate tensions with the community. Even Eissfeldt's However, despite efforts by some community members to scrutinize the contributions of Fram and various people who are speculated to have complained to the Foundation, the community does not and cannot have all the facts of this case, meaning that NYB’s condition is not met response to NewYorkBrad, made in the same breath as he tries to insist WMF bans are not appealable, implicitly acknowledges that under the right conditions the WMF would have no choice but to accept an appeal. --Aquillion (talk) 20:44, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    what's the rush ppl.. really 4 weeks is nothing for anything that matters. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:12, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    Nope. If it was important it would be relatively easy to arrange a conversation about all of this. No communication sends a message that this is not important enough to deal with. Justice delayed is justice denied should still mean something here - even if trial in camera and without appeal is someone's idea of a "normal" process - SchroCat (talk) 16:03, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yep, three years is nothing for anything that matters. Maybe we'll all get a vote? "We send the EU $50 million every day. Let's spend it on our NHS instead!" Michel Barnier 123 (talk) 21:27, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    Like I said before. I see this as just another incident moving our societies toward even more authoritarianism, always with the best intentions and usually some twisted and arcane laws/rules/reasoning to justify how the increased authoritarianism is in our, the masses, best interests. The really interesting and defining part of all this is likely to be, imo, how the community reacts, if at all, when the increased authority of the WMF ( temporary or otherwise ) is explained and justified, as I expect it will be...all in good time. Nocturnalnow (talk) 19:33, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    If this was a clear, justifiable and open action that the WMF have policies and pathways for - something planned and known about in advance, not just an off-the-hoof action - then it should not take ten days for this to be investigated and explained. In the global world of modern communication techniques, the most numbing excuse I have seen so far for the lack of answers is "we can't arrange a telephone call". That's fine; we'll just rip ourselves apart a little further and sow more seeds of distrust and disharmony waiting for someone to be able to schedule a phone call on something they are picking up a salary or expenses for. - SchroCat (talk) 19:40, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    You know, the other part of this is that even if people find themselves in more of a master/slave relationship in any situation, e.g. citizen vs. government, employee vs. boss, editor vs. WMF, this is the norm throughout human history and maybe we have just been lucky enough to have been part of 1 of the temporary ages of enlightenment? If this trend, imo, toward dramatically increasing Big Brother authoritarianism and castration of freedoms of speech, thought, association, and press ( Assange ), is too strong to resist successfully, there will always be the opportunity for people individually and collectively to do good works and still be considered a "good slave". Sometimes people just have to accept the reality that people/we are coming under unreasonable authority and make the best of it. Lots of Chinese people have become wealthy, arguably more freer, and perhaps quite happy over the past 30 years and yet, has the level of authority really decreased that much? Maybe a bad analogy, I'm just saying, sometimes people throughout history have had to accept being pushed around by various authorities and make the best of it or run away from it. Could be Wikipedians' turn.Nocturnalnow (talk) 19:55, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm just wondering why we expect the board to say something quicker than we expect arbcom to make a statement.. Considering the way they operate isn't too different. People doing something a couple of hours on the side. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:08, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    As I’ve said above, as this is supposed to have been a planned action by the Office, they should not need to investigate 101 actions by individuals: they should already have done this and be able to justify their actions rather quickly and clearly. Arbcom have to do the investigative process before they make a statement. Two weeks to explain actions they should have details of at hand is 10 days too long. - SchroCat (talk) 13:49, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    @TheDJ: Didn't ArbCom say they were waiting to see what the Board would say before deciding to take the case? Benjamin (talk) 23:51, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I think that one takeaway from this is that Eissfeldt should not be talking to the community as a representative of the WMF in the future, at least not during a crisis; he does seem to have a flair for pouring oil on troubled fires and a very poor understanding of what sort of things you should say to get freaked-out Wikipedians to calm down. --Aquillion (talk) 19:43, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • While his responses have been ... Bad, I do want to ensure that he at least gets credit for stepping out from behind the role account. Tazerdadog (talk) 19:49, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Could be worse: it could be the chair of the WMF comparing anyone who complains to a Gamergater. I couldn't imagine anything that crass... oh, wait... - SchroCat (talk) 22:04, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Jimbo, we're now past the two week mark and the silence from the Board is leading to higher tempers and calls to increasingly rash actions. Fram's tools were returned to him last night, then removed, and we've lost yet another admin over this whole mess (what's are we now... 10 Admins down during that period?) You (collectively as a Board) need to start making some strong steps towards resolving matters NOW before things start going even worse. There are calls for a forked site, calls for Admins to stop deleting vandalism or BLP violations, people leaving and an increasing number of Admins handing in their tools. It's time that things need to happen from the WMF side before it gets more messy – and not just another Jan Eidsffelt statement: they are so low of content and high on condescension that we seem to lose more people every time he posts something. – SchroCat (talk) 10:19, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Hi Jimbo. During times of crisis it is quite normal for the CEO / leadership of the company to make a strong statement of reassurance. The silence from the top at the WMF has been defeaning. The only official statements have come from rank and file employees and one mid-level manager. The effect of this is that I do not feel like the leadership of the WMF cares about this issue (which I'm sure isn't true). The WMF response to the Fram incident so far reminds me of the United Airlines CEO's first statement after the United Express Flight 3411 incident, which was completely tone deaf and counterfactual. The CEO quickly released another statement a few days later that went a long way to reassuring customers that the company was taking the right steps. Incidents such as this rountinely end up as case studies in business administration programs, where students have to craft an appropriate response. That the WMF is not able to do this is not encouraging. Thank you in advance for taking this into consideration. Mr Ernie (talk) 09:03, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

    Bungling incompetence

    Trust & Safety Flowchart

    Was this FRAMBAN sanction approved by a lawyer? What I see of Jans experience looks pretty thin. He’s not a lawyer, he isn’t a native English speaker nor a linguist, and he’s a recent university graduate who studied philosophy. That’s very nice but probably doesn’t qualify him as an expert in the matter which he ruled upon. Most importantly, he was not selected by the community, so none of us have any reason to trust him. I think ArbCom would have been a vastly superior entity to decide his case. If WMF receives an anonymous complaint, why can’t they refer the matter anonymously to ArbCom for resolution? Why did they choose to bungle it themselves? Jehochman Talk 11:52, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

    Without commenting at this moment on any of the rest of it, I can say that I do not know, and don't personally consider it particularly relevant or interesting, whether legal was consulted beforehand. I don't think legal is the right avenue for any of us to be thinking about how to improve things in this or in related circumstances.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:20, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you for your thoughts. When personal conduct of an employee is an issue, it is common to check with legal to make sure the response is appropriate, proportionate, equitable and free of bias. I know a volunteer isn't an employee but I’d like to think we maintain the same high standards. You weren’t sanctioning an obvious vandal. This was a highly trusted member of the community. This should have been checked and rechecked to make sure it was appropriate and a clear explanation should have been made available from the start. If you can’t explain something clearly, then you don’t understand it well enough yourself. I'm also concerned that WMF encroached on ArbCom's mandate and was much worse than ArbCom would have been in handling this matter. Jehochman Talk 14:34, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    There is a flowchart (File:Trust and Safety Office action workflow.png, uploaded 6/17 by a T&S employee) implying that WMF Legal is a mandatory stop before blocking. Jan posted it at the top of their 6/17 reply to the "community response" discussion. ☆ Bri (talk) 18:43, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    That flowchart requires at least 7 or 8 people to approve any action ("at least" because one station is the "T&S team"). Does anyone really believe that all the upper layers can spend significant time on a single case? Especially if the Executive Director has to approve every single action? Either essentially no case makes it through the lower levels (which means there is very little value provided, and which opens the question why this particular case made it), or managerial stack is so swamped with cases that they cannot provide meaningful review. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:30, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Stephan Schulz: I should hope it would be obvious this is a highly unusual case worthy of careful consideration. But, given the state of affairs, I suppose it's possible they didn't see it that way. Benjamin (talk) 23:54, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks! The flowchart is missing the most important step. "Is this something that could be handled by the local ArbCom? If so, send it there." WMF should only handle those cases that the local ArbComs can't handle (e.g. legal entanglements, criminal harassment, etc.). Jehochman Talk 19:28, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    Couldn't that be part of the decision point "Is an Office action recommended"? ☆ Bri (talk) 01:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    I read that step as merely evaluating whether the complaint potentially has merit. There should a second diamond-shaped box that asks, "Is there a local ArbCom that could handle this?"—"Yes, send it to them."—"No, proceed with office action." This is good for several reasons: it maintains local autonomy, it allows local customs and culture to be respected, and it is more scalable than trying to handle everything centrally. On the flip side, there are small Wikipedias that don't have an ArbCom who can really benefit from WMF support. We should encourage reform of the process to make it better. Jehochman Talk 12:31, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Stephan Schulz exhibits a common misunderstanding of these simple flowcharts in assuming that each process is carried out by a different person. In a more sophisticated model, each process is allocated to specific organisational roles, and one individual may be assigned to one or more of those roles. So there is no indication at all of how many people may be involved, or even in the case of the ED who exactly fulfilled that role in a particular case. Eric Corbett 12:15, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    I've spend some time in and with organisations with documented processes. In a process like this, multiple oversight is the aim. You can have more than one person per box, but if you assign more than one box to the same person, you're doing something wrong. That said, in my experience, such charts are often drawn up by the least busy person with minimal oversight or input from the persons supposed to use the process, are then put in a folder for certification, and largely ignored after that... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:34, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Eric Corbett: Could it be a common misconception, perhaps? Benjamin (talk) 23:58, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    I agree, I worked in the court system and most lawyers are adversarial, still, in 2019, by nature and training. A good mediator might help, if WMF and community both would agree to mediation....actually, this might be a perfect set up for a great mediation. Nocturnalnow (talk) 21:17, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Jimbo Wales: If consulting legal is as unimportant as you say, why is it a necessary step in the Trust and Safety workflow? Benjamin (talk) 00:08, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

    Forthcoming FRAM-related case at ARBCOM

    Jimbo, can Fram be allowed to participate in the forthcoming ARBCOM case please? I've laid out my reasons at WP:ARC and made at proposal at WT:A/R. ARBCOM tell me that they don't have the authority to allow Fram to participate and that permission from OFFICE is required. I believe you also have the authority to grant such permission, but failing that, you are in a position to at least ask the various WMF members to consider the request and give an answer one way or the other. Thanks for your attention. Mjroots (talk) 12:45, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    I will raise the issue. As you can imagine, I'm trying not to cause any additional problems by making any firm declarations of what I am and am not empowered to do in my traditional role in English Wikipedia, but I can indicate that I share the view that I could do that - or should be able to do that. One reason we have kept some vestiges of a "constitutional monarch" system is precisely to have pressure relief valves for highly unusual situations. One reason I haven't tried to be forceful with it is that I don't believe in it as anything other than a safety mechanism. So long as other avenues exist for me to try to help everyone reach reconciliation and find a solution in which almost everyone says "we are now in a better place than we were when this whole mess started" - I'm going to try.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:47, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you, much appreciated. Mjroots (talk) 15:13, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    Have you the remotest understanding of the term “constitutional monarch?” Were you in any sense a constitutional monarch this situation would be comparable with the under footman at Buckingham Palace dissolving both Houses of Parliament of his own accord, while Queen Elizabeth sat idly by. All I can see here is a “monarch” failing to understand why the revolting peasants won’t eat cake - and we all know how that sad story ended. Giano (talk) 20:08, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    Your comments are unhelpful and entirely lacking in insight. Please move along and do something else other than insult me, it's boring.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:45, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    An analogy which you don’t like is not insulting you. But let me put it more simply for you: By its behaviour, the WMF has rendered the ArbCom worthless, thus insulting those who elected it. While you, the self proclaimed “constitutional” monarch, seem to be doing little if anything to uphold the rights and beliefs of your “subjects.” Personally, I think the very term, constitutional monarch, in your case is ridiculous. You role, if indeed you have one, needs clearly defining because, at present, I and many others are struggling to see what it is you do. If rather than a monarchy we are here under a dictatorial Junta, the just say so. Giano (talk) 17:27, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Ha! Wait are you being serious right now? PackMecEng (talk) 20:18, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Hello, Jimmy. I've been researching this matter and have found publicly available material, on wiki, that would be sufficient to start an arbitration case about Fram and possibly another administrator. I don't know if the incidents I'm looking at may be the same ones investigated by WMF, but it seems likely that they are. My request is that Fram be unblocked to participate in a case and that ArbCom handles this the way they normally would. They can decide whether to handle the case publicly or in-camera. Better late than not at all, I think. Either ArbCom will confirm the WMF findings and sanction, or recommend that they be altered. WMF would, I hope, take ArbCom's findings as sound advice and consider any recommended modification. I am also concerned that WMF may not have dug as deeply as we would, and might have missed other players, such as that second administrator, who may need to be warned to change their approach. Do you this approach might help calm the drama and prevent further losses? Jehochman Talk 15:25, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
      • I think we are beyond the merit of an individual case. It's a fundamental constitutional question. Is this still the self-governing community that has built a great encyclopaedia and created the WMF to run the servers, or is this the WMFs playpen, in which they decide what happens and whom they let in to play, with no transparency and no accountability? I signed up for the first back in 2003. I might sign up for the second at my usual consulting rate of EUR 250/h (travel time will be billed). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:38, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
        • Of course, we are a self-governing community, even though from time to time users demonstrate they lack self-governance. Nothing about the action in issue changes one iota of what I may write in an article yesterday, today, or tomorrow completely under my own and the community's self-governance. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:45, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Stephan Schulz, really nicely put. One fundamental problem is that we don't have a constitution, so everything is devolving into customary ownership law, in which the "legal owners" are taking control of "their" website. As the mass of money becomes bigger it is exerting more and more gravitational pull in this direction. There is probably still time for an extraordinary intervention by the WMF board to get some written rules in place delineating the spheres of the two institutions, the various language collectives and the centralized WMF agency, but time is not unlimited and the situation is highly unstable, as the spate of administrative resignations indicates. Carrite (talk) 21:33, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    Carrite, you have just defined the fundamental problem and the fundamental solution. Lack of a constitution, and our need for one. North8000 (talk) 11:32, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    The question to me seems to be: do we really do not have a constitution, or is it just not codified, like the one of the UK? The community has, over time, come up with different solutions for different problems: be it policies, essays, you name it etc......all in all the approaches sometimes took their time, but work remarkably well overall (some glitches and hunches included, of course). All of these factors and things contribute to a very specific Wikipedia-culture, which, in its entirety, might actually add up to something which might be considered an uncodified constitution, so to speak. And so I think the community, in greater numbers than have participated until now, needs to speak up, loudly, as to what it wants. Lectonar (talk) 12:33, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    I think of our constitutional arrangements as being very like those in the UK. A broad array of written and unwritten rules, policies, guidelines, and traditions.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:39, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well, for example, our constitution in the US, brief as it is, would have the board elected rather than half appointed by themselves and removable by themselves. Thus creating their detached insulated ivory tower. And the idea of having secret trials where one body meets in secret and serves as judge,jury and executioner, and the accused party doesn't get to know what they are accused of or who accused them, doesn't get to participate in the trial, and the result is un-appealable is forbidden many times over. And other limitations of power. No "ownership and control of the servers makes you king with ultimate power" system. North8000 (talk) 12:50, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    In the current situation, I think that the composition of the board is not a big part of the problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:59, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jimbo, for sure you would know that better than me on the "specific moment" issues. But, IMO, the fact that half are selected by them selves and not the community, and that it's relatively easy for them to kick out someone who has been selected by the community means that the most fundamental mechanism for accountability and self-correction is missing. For example, that giving a such committee this much power, to override all mechanisms of the volunteer organization is something fully elected representatives would not have done. (But, if I would write the constitution, you would be a permanent board member with 2 votes.) Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 15:24, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    The constitution (what this project is constituted for) is "Everyone write an online encyclopedia to give away", all else flows from that. There are trade offs and restraints that must be had when "everyone" is invited, there is technical control inherent in "on-line", there are editorial policies which must be had when the work is "encyclopedia" , there are demands of at least minimal self-lessness, perhaps self-abnegation, with 'give-it-away' to do with what the world (everyone else) will. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:58, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    No. A constitution is how an organisation is constituted, not what it is constituted for. The aims and ambitions may be in the preamble of a written constitution ("We, the Wikipedians, in order to create a more perfect Internet encyclopaedia,..."), but that is essentially fluff. Our constitution consists of established processes and institutions, like RfCs, ArbCom, principles, most importantly WP:CONS, but also WP:IAR, and even informal traditions. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:51, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    No. No one said there was a written constitution here, and just listing a bunch of stuff and rules and lack of rules, as you have, is not a constitution -- looking at at say, all a city's laws, does not mean you are looking at its constitution . How the organization is constituted is dictated by what it is constituted for, or it does not work. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:48, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    "A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed" puts it well, I think. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:42, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Actually, that kind of thing just suggests a ridiculous, over-precious or pompous conceptualization for an encyclopedia project. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:13, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    IMO you two are not far apart on this and aren't discussing which areas you diffe. One area where I may disagree is Stephan is that the common meaning of constitution is something that is formally adopted and which (for the limited areas that it covers) is the highest authority in the organization. North8000 (talk) 18:22, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well, the example I see over and over again at the moment is the British constitution, which has evolved mostly via precedent without much of it ever being formally adopted. From a legalistic point of view, the Queen can dismiss the Prime Minister and order the Army to kill all those pesky Scots. In practice, the UK constitution has changed to the degree that the first one would result in a massive constitutional crisis and probably lead to a change of monarch or a regency, and the second one would be politely ignored. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:01, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    And just imagine if the Queen of Canada tried to pull it off... — xaosflux Talk 19:19, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    The constitution should govern at the highest level which means that it needs to govern WMF or WMF's replacement. I've written constitutions for for many volunteer and non-profit organizations. Including a brief statement of purpose is appropriate. A statement of purpose should be brief and general enough to rarely require require change because constitutions should be designed so that they should be difficult to change and seldom need changes. North8000 (talk) 16:14, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    "in a better place than we were when this whole mess started"? With all due respect Jimbo, that's not a plausible outcome at this point. Permanent, serious damage has already been done. The only thing left to determine now is just how bad the lasting impact will be. Nevertheless, I wish you the best. Benjamin (talk) 00:06, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I think the comparison to the UK is a particularly good one. It's like that we don't have a formal policy that "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia"—of course it is, we all know that, and everything else we do is in support of that. Similarly, no one ever felt the need to write down the fact that the community of editors, at large, runs that encyclopedia project. It wasn't ever thought to be in question by anyone, WMF included. Indeed, many of the WMF's documents contain acknowledgement of that fact, more as background information than anything that ever was or would be in doubt. Hence the tremendous amount of confusion generated by what happened here, and that I think is where a lot of the anger and upset stems from. It's very much a "You weren't supposed to do this, and you knew that!" - [unsigned]
    'Wikipedia is an encyclopedia' is written down in several places, two I can think of off the top of my head are the 1st Pillar and in WP:NOT policy. And the idea that an office action is 'running the encyclopedia' is silly - office actions happen rarely, that's what the documents and policies say and that's what happens. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:26, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

    I tried editing your userpage and it didn't work.

    Hey Jimbo, great fan of Wikipedia here! I saw your invitation to edit your page and decided to give it a try. A couple days ago, I slipped in a "the". It had stuck but somewhere it got lost and then another user added it again, so it's still there. So, I tried to do something bolder and changed about 2.5 words. Got immediately caught by the wikipolice. They don't even discuss the merit of the edit. All they say is I can't change someone else's words. I know it's not good to change someone's comment for it might accidentally end up changing their meaning too. But, I genuinely believe your invitation to edit implied exception to that. So, what do you think? Should I take the matter further to try and get in edits in there, or is your invitation just there for aesthetics? (No offence intended, just don't know how else to put it). You have my eternal respect for giving the world Wikipedia!Usedtobecool ✉️  13:30, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

    That is regrettable, on my review I think it was a small enough change that it didn't change the meaning of what was written. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 14:38, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yeah, but it did spark off a very amusing edit-war over 'parallelism', so not all bad... -- Begoon 14:52, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    I firmly believe it should be called "Rhombusism." This is just one of my outré grammar positions. I'm working on a pamphlet. Dumuzid (talk) 14:55, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    Perhaps we could run both names side-by-side for a while...? -- Begoon 15:08, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
    I didn't look at all the edits reverted back and forth, I'm glad that I didn't revert to it myself now that I see that. Your comments made me have a good laugh Begoon thanks. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 15:45, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

    Yeah, I recently read that invitation to edit. But upon reading the page, there really isn't anything much to edit, since it's just personal comments, "contacting me" and "see also". starship.paint (talk) 04:56, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

    Jimbo says that the only thing he worries about is his page drowning in the pretties of wiki-markup. So, I thought that meant we could even add sections, since he explicitly mentions adding information that others would find useful, although I can't think of one right now. I'd thought the bonus challenge for any interested editor would be to think of an edit that would be noticeable to "bring a smile" to Jimbo and not big enough to undermine Jimbo's preferences on how he likes his own userpage to be. It took me like a dozen readings to find two words that I could edit without significant impact. So, yup... Usedtobecool ✉️  06:00, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Usedtobecool, you have the right to edit Jimbo's words if you think that is a good idea, and other editors have an equal and equivalent right to revert back to Jimbo's actual words. That is the dynamic of Jimbo's userpage. What exactly are you complaining about? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:17, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Cullen328, I am happy to clarify. My complaint is that the reverts weren't arguing the merit of the edit. In other words, Jimbo's invitation looks to be intended to demonstrate the power of "wiki". That anyone can contribute to an wiki article and discuss with the community on how to make it better. It's not really a good example of wiki at work if edits can be justified as reverting back to original words on a personal page. If it's always going to be original words of the user, the invitation is indeed there just for aesthetics. I have no problem with it being there for aesthetics, as it is the flagship userpage of the community. And that is exactly what I was asking Jimbo. If wikipedia guidelines on changing other people's words apply to this page as stringently as everywhere else, the invitation to edit is indeed just there for a different wiki-political point and I should stop trying (which I might do anyway. I had thought it would be an interesting experiment in the beginning but it's not really as productive as working in the mainspace, if it fails to add to the wiki-political point that I thought Jimbo was trying to make when I read it.) Usedtobecool ✉️  06:41, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    May be, I misunderstood because Jimbo's invitation doesn't explicitly mention the distinction. It could be that an edit that sticks is supposed to be something other than changing words on the sentences in first person. But I doubt it. Usedtobecool ✉️  06:47, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

    Eureka! I know how to improve the page! It's time to have more pictures! Yay! If our founder is a narcissist it will bring a smile to his face! (or maybe if he isn't, it still will) starship.paint (talk) 08:00, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

    Careful! If the definition improves at that rate, when you get to 2019, he'll be able to jump out of the screen and ... Usedtobecool ✉️  08:14, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    I am already reverted by Stephen, who wrote that there is no indication that Jimbo wants pictures. But Jimbo invited everyone to edit his page... he trusts us... :( Why not let Jimbo revert it himself if he doesn't like it... starship.paint (talk) 08:17, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Bummer! Now I wanna see an admin revert it, maybe mention it on the summary, in case, by chance, the conservatives aren't familiar with the username. Usedtobecool ✉️  08:19, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Gah! Now the wiki-links I've added have been reverted! :( This is Wikipedia, it should have wiki-links! starship.paint (talk) 08:29, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jimbo, would you like more pictures and wiki-links? :) starship.paint (talk) 08:30, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    I am the one who reverted your edits. People don't need definitions for words like those. Masum Reza📞 08:32, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Why not? We have pages on them. We don't need pages on them, then! starship.paint (talk) 08:38, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Then let me ask you something. Do you always define or explain those words to others when you use those words? Masum Reza📞 08:45, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    No, but speaking isn't wiki-ing, and wiki-ing isn't speaking. We provide wiki-links to help whoever is interested! :) Even if only one person clicks on those links, we have helped! starship.paint (talk) 08:46, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Usedtobecool To be fair, I don't have an issue with changing other's words based on what I think Jimbo's intention was we he invited others to edit the page. I stated, "if you prefer 'having founded' then this part should change to 'has offered' to maintain parallelism" and thought your subsequent (and grammatically correct) change, while probably not the original wording, was perfectly acceptable.   Orville1974talk 13:25, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Orville1974:, oh I know. I even credited you in my subsequent edit. Your edit was highly appreciated then, because without yours, I wouldn't have made anymore edits. I don't know if you realise this, but your edit was different from Jimbo's version too. Usedtobecool ✉️  13:52, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Jimbo hasn't edited his userpage for seven years. This is that it looked like the last time he did: [45]. WJBscribe (talk) 13:57, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @WJBscribe:, Thanks for that. That version still has "founding" and "has offered". Do we know if it was him or someone else who wrote that?Usedtobecool ✉️  14:01, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @WJBscribe: - I'm going to take that version as an endorsement of that 2011 photo! More photos! starship.paint (talk) 14:03, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Wow, what a difference! I'm surprised the founding/offered sentence has lasted that long. I wonder how many times the social media link farm in the infobox has been inserted and removed, but I'm not curious enough to actually bother looking. Orville1974talk 14:04, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Usedtobecool: - check out [46] starship.paint (talk) 14:14, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

    I found it! [47] This is his chosen photo! It must stay! starship.paint (talk) 14:11, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

    This might amuse... So it turns out that Jimbo never added the sentence about being proud to have founded Wikipedia! Looks like it was a bold addition by an IP editor back in July 2010 [48], which he presumably liked and kept... WJBscribe (talk) 15:15, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Even more amusingly, the IP was a vandal who may have meant the sentence ironically. They went on to add something libelous (now rev deleted) to another person's userpage and then got blocked! WJBscribe (talk) 15:18, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    Maybe it was Jimbo editing while logged out! Usedtobecool - go try your wording again! starship.paint (talk) 15:19, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Starship.paint:, once more unto the breach, my friend. Usedtobecool ✉️  16:15, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    I hope that sticks! I also re-added a tweet Jimbo found funny but an IP later removed! I then found more and more names because that’s Jimbo’s sense of humour! Hahahaha! starship.paint (talk) 00:40, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    @Moxy: - why are you anti-fun and anti-knowledge :( [49] (1) The picture was added by Jimbo himself in 2004. [50] (2) The tweet was added by Jimbo himself in 2011. [51] (3) Since that's his sense of humour (you apparently found it weird, but he apparently liked that tweet), I wrote more names, because Jimbo said I trust that you will add something here that would make me really smile, inform me or many other individuals. Why don't you want to make Jimbo smile, inform him or many other individuals :( (4) There's no point to Jimbo's invite to edit his page if there's nothing substantial to be edited! starship.paint (talk) 04:08, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars#User:Jimbo Wales.--Moxy 🍁 04:27, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Moxy:, I read the section you linked - it's about colour and founder. That's not what I posted above. Shall we be pro-fun and pro-knowledge please :) Let's make his page more interesting :) starship.paint (talk) 04:34, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

    @Usedtobecool: I certainly share your frustration and agree that Jimbo's invitation to edit seems a bit disingenuous to new editors who make edits only to be reverted. I edited it to be more factually accurate a couple years ago, when I was still just starting out, and got called a troll by Jimbo himself! Fortunately, (or perhaps unfortunately), I'm not so easily discouraged. Welcome to the wonderful world of Wikipedia. Benjamin (talk) 03:12, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

    @Benjaminikuta: - I wouldn't say it's disingenuous unless Jimbo himself is doing the reverting. It seems that the talk page watchers are way too serious here. There's virtually nothing to edit! starship.paint (talk) 04:37, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

    While we're on the subject of silliness, here's an old quote from Jimbo: "Mediawiki. It's free! You can run it on your laptop, and you can run the 4th most popular website in the world with it. It's joyful and delicious! It likes ponies!" [52] In these truly trying times, don't you ever long for the simpler times long past? Benjamin (talk) 04:11, 27 June 2019 (UTC)

    Even more evidence that Jimbo has a sense of humor. Why so serious?! starship.paint (talk) 04:43, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Re this edit: I can't find anywhere (in this thread at least) where Jimbo contributed and said that he liked this edit. As I said in the edit summary, the material is rambling and off topic.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:48, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
    Another quote: "I'd say my biggest concerns have to do with a desire to bring back more of the spirit of fun, and less of the spirit of rigid authoritarian rules-quoting." ~Jimbo Wales [53] Benjamin (talk) 01:28, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
    Return to the user page of "Jimbo Wales/Archive 235".