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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
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Victims' names proposal workshopEdit

Refactored from: Talk:Saugus High School shooting. El_C 16:05, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
If you followed a link here and are confused, scroll to the top of this page for information on the idea lab, its purpose and how to participate. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:51, November 20, 2019 (UTC)

There have been various comments calling – begging – for a guideline to avoid these repetitive discussions. I feel your pain. There are always those comments, but this time they include support for such a guideline from a couple of admins, which is something new. User:El C has suggested that we work up a proposal here for submission at the Village Pump. I don't know how to get that started except to just start talking about it and hope something useful comes out of that. So here I am with my brain dump, and I will end each point with my signature so comments can be inserted without interleaving. Others may have ideas about how to organize this. ―Mandruss  15:32, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

The last Village Pump proposal for a guideline was opened November 2018. Eight weeks, 60 !votes, and 17,000 words later, it was closed with "no consensus". ―Mandruss  15:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

The first question is how another proposal after only one year will be received. That's a relatively short gap in the history of these proposals, I think. WP:CCC says proposing to change a recently established consensus can be disruptive, and bringing another eight-week discussion after only a year may be seen as disruptive as well. ―Mandruss  15:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

If we decide to proceed, we need to see what we can learn from past failures. In my view that last one failed partly because it was framed with too wide a scope. Instead of being just about mass killing events, it sought a guideline governing "tragic events" including plane crashes and natural disasters. That complicated the question – many of the relevant factors differ between a mass shooting and a plane crash, for example – and it sent the discussion in too many different directions for any consensus to emerge. I didn't follow that discussion closely at the time, and I haven't read the whole thing now, but I think that's a safe assumption knowing how these discussions play out. ―Mandruss  15:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

"One size can't fit all" makes more sense when the "all" includes all those different types of events. While one could argue the merits of the wider scope, that doesn't mean much if it prevents any solution to our narrower problem. ―Mandruss  15:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

That last proposal was framed as a binary yes-or-no on the "deprecation" of "bare lists of victims, which only compile names and basic information (age, birthplace, occupation, etc.)". I'm not sure it wouldn't be better to frame it as three options: default to omit, default to include, and no change. ―Mandruss  15:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Further, I think it should be explicitly stated that the guideline is only a "default". "Default" means that it should apply to roughly 95% of cases, and to deviate from the default editors should seek a consensus that there is something exceptional about the case that justifies said deviation. I believe this would help alleviate concerns that a guideline would be too inflexible. ―Mandruss  15:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

I believe any guideline should explicitly allow for the inclusion, in prose, of the names of dead individuals who had a "significant active role" in the event. As tragic as it is, simply dying at the hands of another is a passive role, not an active one. An example of an active role would be a person who died trying to take down the shooter. Obviously, the prose should speak about the individual's role. ―Mandruss  15:50, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Alternatively, the guideline could be worded to apply only to inclusion of the names of all dead (regardless of format, list or prose), and allow anything else to be handled on a case-by-case basis. ―Mandruss  15:57, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

This is promising. For the record, I've been calling for a guideline on mass shootings' victim lists for months now. Glad to see it may actually come to pass. El_C 16:05, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
More precisely, group killings or something similar. This would apply to killing any group of people with any weapon, including your knife, your car, etc. And "mass" doesn't really work considering that this originates from an article about the deaths of two individuals. Defining a clear boundary with any kind of coherence could be one of the tougher problems. ―Mandruss  16:20, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Off topic. ―Mandruss  17:54, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

For these types of articles, the default should be to include the basic information [name, age, and (if relevant) occupation (i.e. student, teacher, coach)], so as long as the list doesn't become so long as to distract the reader away from the article (i.e. taking half the article). TheHoax (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

This discussion is about how to formulate a proposal, if any. It is not the proposal itself. If there were a three-way proposal as I suggested (which would be at WP:VPP or WP:VPR, not here), your comment would be a Support for "default to include", with further qualification. ―Mandruss  17:17, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You're putting the cart before the horse — that's something to be argued at the proposal stage. We are just workshopping here about how the question ought to be framed. I think Omit, Include, or No change (the case-by-case repetition in place as default presently) are reasonable options to ask participants to choose from to serve as a default. El_C 17:18, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree the RfC options should be Default to omit, default to include, and no change. The guideline should be clear that this is a default that can be overridden on any given article by local consensus (but we stick with the default unless/until a discussion is closed as consensus to override default). Couple questions:
    • New guideline? Is this a new guideline, or an addition/revision to an existing guideline, and if so, which one? I propose this be an addition/revision to WP:BLP.
    • Scope? I don't think "all mass casualty events" is a good scope. I would suggest test-flying this out on mass shootings in the United States. Why? Because sadly they happen often and get lots of attention. Levivich 17:28, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I proposed that it would be a supplementary to BLP. El_C 17:35, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
This is a critical point: to deviate from the default editors should seek a consensus that there is something exceptional about the case that justifies said deviation. If you just say can be overridden on any given article by local consensus, you accomplish nothing. Editors whose preference is the inverse of the default would simply seek a consensus to override it at every article. ―Mandruss  17:44, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I concur with Levivich that this discussion should be limited to "Mass shootings in the United States", and I would like to add the additional qualification that we are talking about shootings where the victims were chosen at random. In cases where the victims were targeted, such as January 2019 Louisiana shootings where the shooter killed family members, or 2019 Río Piedras shooting where the shootings apparently involved a drug gang war, the identity of the victims may be relevant in determining the shooter's motivation, and thus more important to include compared to victims targeted at random. -- MelanieN (talk) 18:05, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
That's fine with me, but it changes the proposal from one for a new guideline to one for a narrow-scope trial run. PAGs would not change (yet) and editors would link to the consensus discussion from article talk as needed. ―Mandruss  18:09, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with narrowing the scope, unless it is clear that it is only mass shooting in the US that have problems within the consensus to include/exclude victim lists (which I am 99% sure is not the case.) It should be for all types of disasters - man-made and nature - where innocent, generally non-notable people before the incident died. A trial run in a specific area is fine, but the RFC discussion should cover the concern broadly with a note that what results would be test-run on US mass shootings. --Masem (t) 21:13, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I also disagree with narrowing the scope to US shootings. Exactly the same considerations apply to articles like January 2017 Melbourne car attack, where there was a minor editorial skirmish to include victim names. Our deliberations should cover all such fatal attacks, regardless of the location or the weaponry. WWGB (talk) 04:46, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Well I for one am curious on what all of the articles with kept victim names have in common? If we do make a new guideline it will then be driven by something in place. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:14, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

So, let's say that we have "Default to Include" and "Default to Exclude". That implicitly means "default to include (or exclude), subject to consensus to change that default on this specific article". No? So, how is that different than what we have now ... which is, seeking consensus over and over again on each article? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:51, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

See comment beginning "This is a critical point", above. The essential point is that discussions of overriding the default would have to be limited to what makes that case exceptional compared to most of the rest. That would have to be explicitly stated somewhere and supported by the community consensus. If an editor violated that rule by making arguments not related to what makes the case exceptional, other editors would point to the rule. Persistent or repeated violations would be treated as disruption and subject to sanction. When there is a closer, the closer would need to be aware of the rule, and they would simply ignore any arguments that are in violation of it. That's really the only workable alternative to doing things the same way, include or omit, in 100% of the cases within the scope of the guideline. In my view such a system would prevent most of the discussions we have today, without being completely inflexible. ―Mandruss  21:03, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

I want to say that the RFC should definitively close as "default to exclude" and "default to include" with either case have allowance for consensus-based local discussions override. But to that last point, we should make sure to provide bullet points of what are reasonable cases where to override this proposed PAG can be used. For example, if we "default to exclude" an exception may be made for cases of killings targetting specific individuals (as suggested by MelanieN above), which should be spelled out in this PAG. What we want at the end is a PAG that helps avoid "I like it/I don't like it" arguments for inclusion/omission of victim lists. And the more definition we can give based on past practices of the line, the better. --Masem (t) 21:17, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

User:Masem, I'm not sure that a one-size-fits-all approach is as likely to get consensus as a more nuanced approach. Consider, e.g., alternatives like these:
  • Default to exclude complete lists when the list of injured, missing, and dead people exceeds n.
  • Default to exclude, unless all of the following conditions are met...
  • Default to include all notable and non-random targets, and to normally exclude non-notable 'random' targets.
Also, I think we'll get more support if the proposal says what to do when the victims' names are excluded. Reminding people that they can link to an external list of victims can be helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:54, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Some editors have said that victims' names should be included when the number killed is in single or low double figures, but to exclude them if the number killed is above a particular figure. I disagree with this, but does that suggestion have enough support for it to be an option? Jim Michael (talk) 04:13, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I disagree with it, too, since my reasons for opposing the lists apply whether it's three or thirty. I don't see much value in a compromise that says, "Ok, you can violate these principles just a little bit." If there's a counter-argument, some reason why three should be more acceptable to me given my stated arguments for opposition, I don't recall seeing it.
More important to me at this stage: How can we find a good answer to the question does that suggestion have enough support for it to be an option? and the many others like it? This thread is less than a day old, and it's already becoming unmanageable. This is what I anticipated in my opening comment: Others may have ideas about how to organize this.Mandruss  09:48, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Just seen this, and my $0.02 is to repeat the long standing view that articles about mass shootings (and also disasters as a whole) should not list all of the victims' names by default; WP:NOTNEWS, WP:NOTMEMORIAL etc, it has all been said many times before. However, it seems that it is never possible to obtain a consensus in favour of this proposal, so I am not sure how far it will get this time round.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:39, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

@Ianmacm: I am not sure how far it will get this time round. Nor am I. But, while it may be wishful thinking, my perception is that sentiments are changing as experience shows how useless and unnecessary "case-by-case" is for mass killings. While outcomes have varied in recent years, it wasn't because of significant differences in the cases; it was a random result of who (and how many) happened to show up. We know this because the arguments never varied much between cases, and any variances had nothing to do with the unique characteristics of the cases. Some discussions cited NOTMEMORIAL, others didn't; some cited NOTNEWS, others didn't; and so on. There's nothing like actual experience to replace crystal-balling. Secondly we can learn from mistakes made in the formulation of previous proposals. ―Mandruss  12:52, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Conflict-of-interest claim against me by InedibleHulk. ―Mandruss  15:39, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Why did The Hoax get hatted for voting too soon, while Ian got a ping, repost, show of solidarity, echoes of policies exclusionists would echo and a wall of text about your perception of sentiments and personal experience of useless and unnecessary campaigning? Topic ban and hat me, fine, but I move you be disqualified from overtly leading this supposed ultimate plan on account of your obvious conflict of interest. Pick someone from an untainted pool of powerusers with dispute resolution experience, if you want this to be impartial. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:13, November 20, 2019 (UTC)
One difference: Part of Ian's comment was relevant here, its last sentence. Note that that's the part I responded to. And yes, status/experience and reputation mean something at Wikipedia, just as everywhere else in the world since the dawn of personkind. BTW, TheHoax has been topic banned. Also BTW, I'm "overtly leading" nothing. All threads are started by a single editor, I happened to be the one to step up and start this one, and I started it with things that have been in my head for some time about the prospects of a new proposal and how it might be framed (which is distinct from the names issue itself, a point that some have found it difficult to grasp). It's not evil, really. Mandruss's first priority, his #1 agenda, is to eliminate wasted time in repetitive discussions. A default to include would be far preferable to him than the status quo, as he has clearly stated several times throughout this saga. So stop with the accusations, please. ―Mandruss  10:25, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Stepping up and starting something in plain sight is overtly leading it. You certainly aren't evil for preferring to abolish the current system rather than waste time continuing to fight for exclusion in every case. But this preference means you have a vested interest in achieving that result, so might (in theory) tilt this formulation so the actual result suits you, not everyone. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:28, November 20, 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'm not sure how one would start a public discussion not in plain sight, but whatever. Some people would thank me for helping move things along, but I don't need that. Regardless, my comments weigh no more than anybody else's just because they occurred first. This one was not about formulation, I digressed there and you're free to collapse it as off topic if you like. Otherwise if you see me actually tilting any formulation, feel free to speak up. Barring that, your concerns appear to be unfounded. And I expect someone will be along soon to collapse this whole line of discussion as off topic personalizing. ―Mandruss  11:46, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
One would start a private discussion not in plain sight, which would make one the covert leader, which you clearly are not. Not sure why you denied moving things along publicly then, and seem to want thanks for it now. If you're outright hoping this is hushed up so you can continue on leading us forward instead of someone more suitable, you're still leading (as in directing, suggesting and maintaning your vision of order). Thank you for your assistance, now please pass the controller to a new player. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:11, November 20, 2019 (UTC)
I hereby cede my nonexistent leadership to anyone who wants it. I will continue to comment in this discussion, as I believe I have something to contribute, so ceding my nonexistent leadership will have no effect on anything. How that be? ―Mandruss  12:16, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
If you can comment without steering, governing, dictating, ruling, overruling, coercing, shaping, ensuring, motivating, demoralizing or pointing to where you want us to go, you can stop leading. Just stop being the prominent figurehead and driving force for a day. They call it "being relieved" for a reason, commander. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:31, November 20, 2019 (UTC)
I'm not unreasonable and I consider myself a team player. So if I hear a second on your motion but no opposition to it, I'll retire from this discussion for a full 24 hours. Otherwise I'm afraid you don't have the authority to relieve me; that would make you the commander, right? I protest this coup against my nonexistent leadership! This is a fun and stimulating exercise and I continue to dance with you only because I know it will ultimately be collapsed and so do little harm to the discussion. ―Mandruss  12:37, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
I'm not trying to pull rank, we're both frontline grunts and have bonded in the same phony trenches. As your unpaid work friend, I'm just a bit worried about you going mad with power. Take the easy way out or leave it. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:56, November 20, 2019 (UTC)
I do feel a wikibreak coming on, but that's my choice not yours; and it's probably more likely if I'm not being pushed; that's just human nature. I'll see how it goes. ―Mandruss  13:02, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I still think a good starting point is existing Wikipedia guidance. In general, 1) we discourage lists where information is better presented by prose ([1] and Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lists#Use_prose_where_understood_easily) and 2) We discourage bare lists of otherwise non-notable (i.e. would never merit a Wikipedia article) people (WP:LISTPEOPLE, to wit "A person is typically included in a list of people only if all the following requirements are met: 1) The person meets the Wikipedia notability requirement. 2) The person's membership in the list's group is established by reliable sources." bold mine). I'm not entirely sure why people who were killed in some unfortunate way (natural disaster, accident, mass murder, etc.) suddenly become exempt from these principles. If people are worth mentioning in the article for something more than merely dying (like if they did something important to the narrative), write about them in the prose. If all we have to say is "they died", then don't. If we have guidance, the guidance should be "don't treat these situations differently". Just as we don't create a list of every alumni of a university, we don't create a list of every employee of a company, etc. we don't need to create a list of every person who has died. Any new guidance should make clear this is NOT new policy or guideline, just a restatement of existing policy and a reinforcement that it still applies for these situations. --Jayron32 14:23, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
@Jayron32: There has been some confusion about the purpose of this discussion, and I now believe it's the result of disagreement about what a proposal should look like. If we want a binary up-or-down like the last one, which would necessarily be some variation of inclusion or some variation of omission, then it makes sense to discuss the merits of both here. On other hand, if we want something like the three-way I suggested above, it's more of a neutral question than a proposal, and it doesn't make sense to discuss those merits here; that discussion would be saved for the RfC. Therefore I think there needs to be a decision about that before we do anything else here. ―Mandruss  15:03, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
This is a workshop. It isn't a proposal. We're just throwing ideas out and brainstorming stuff. This isn't a vote. These are my thoughts. --Jayron32 15:17, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
You don't think the workshop should start with a decision on whether the RfC should present a three-way neutral question or a two-way non-neutral proposal? I do. ―Mandruss  15:26, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
No, workshops don't make decisions. They collect ideas. See the instructions at the top of this page: "The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas." (bold mine). If you had wanted a vote, you should have started the discussion at WP:VPR. This is a "give us your ideas" place, not a "vote on my proposal" place. --Jayron32 15:47, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
We appear to disagree about the purpose of this workshop. A decision on whether the RfC should present a three-way neutral question or a two-way non-neutral proposal is not a !vote. It is a framing question, and the first one. It's precisely the kind of thing a framing discussion (workshop) should decide. It has been my understanding that this is a framing discussion. ―Mandruss  15:56, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
You know what, have your own workshop. You asked me for help a few days ago. You also literally said in your first post above "I don't know how to get that started except to just start talking about it and hope something useful comes out of that." I spent some time giving the issue consideration. After careful thought, I threw out some ideas I thought would be helpful. That's it. Given the deep levels of ownership you seem to want to have over this discussion, including the walls of text you keep adding, the repeated attempts to collapse parts of the discussion you don't personally like or agree with, and the continuous badgering of good faith comments by others, including myself (who, I might add again, you contacted about the issue and brought me in on this), and your desire to carefully control the discussion and steer it only in the direction you want it to go in, consider my hands washed of the matter. Have fun doing this by yourself. It seems like what you really want anyways, given your actions. Vaya con dios, amigo. --Jayron32 16:09, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Adios. ―Mandruss  16:31, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

Ok, it seems my participation here to date is not widely appreciated, and I don't know of a different way to participate, so I'll exit this workshop. Sincere best wishes on developing a viable and useful proposal. ―Mandruss  16:42, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

User:Jayron32, I'm thinking that there are two sets of options, which might be rendered something like this:

  • Should we include a bulleted list or a table of victims' names?
    • None
    • Some (e.g., if it's short, or only notable people)
    • All
  • Should we include the victims' names in the article, but not in a list?
    • None
    • Some (e.g., if it's short, or only people who were involved in some element of the "plot")
    • All
Presentation options
List Prose
Victims
Victims

After archiving Aunt Alice, Mallory bludgeoned Bob and criticized Cousin Carol.

People might feel quite differently about these two presentation options, and just as strongly as they do about whether any given name ought to be mentioned. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

Question: Would a no-victims-list decision also extend to talk pages? Do those BLP concerns apply to the talk page as well as the mainspace, or would it be alright to include a victim's list in talk page discussions about the number of casualties? If this is an issue, perhaps it could be included in the RfC. – Reidgreg (talk) 16:01, 8 December 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Applicability of the policy says, "BLP applies to all material about living persons anywhere on Wikipedia, including talk pages, edit summaries, user pages, images, categories, lists, article titles and drafts". I think that is clear enough. - Donald Albury 02:58, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Possible canvassingEdit

Please note that possible canvassing has already taken place by TheHoax in their mass message — I attempt to address it here. As mentioned there, I hope this will not end up tainting the proposal before it is even had a chance to be formulated! El_C 17:35, 18 November 2019 (UTC)


These are the users that were mass messaged by TheHoax:

Locke Cole, Bus stop, Nsk92, Puddleglum2.0, Joseph A. Spadaro, Starship.paint, Carwil, Knowledgekid87, WikiVirusC , Pharos, and InedibleHulk.

In addition to the mass message being problematic in itself, the only names I recognize are ones who support inclusion. If that is, indeed, the tendency, we may have a serious problem to contend with, and as a result, perhaps it would be best to suspend the proposal for a month or two. Note that, for now, I have topic banned TheHoax from Gun control, broadly construed. El_C 17:53, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

I think it would be easy to spot any adverse effects of the canvassing. Like if a list Supporter argues for elimination of "default to omit" as an option, that's a red flag, or at least a dark pink one. I think it would be premature to postpone at this juncture. ―Mandruss  17:59, 18 November 2019 (UTC) Stricken per comment below. ―Mandruss  10:36, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
The editors were clearly selected from Talk:Saugus High School shooting#Request_for_comment: Victims' names and Talk:Santa Fe High School shooting#List of victims' names. They all supported inclusion. Apart from InedibleHulk, they were canvassed in the same order they participated in the earlier RFCs. CIreland (talk) 18:03, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I, actually, am not sure it would be that easy. We may have to postpone, so brace yourself for that possibility. I want this process to be as fair as possible. Having double digits number of editors canvassed may prove to be too much of a hindrance to this process. El_C 18:06, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I don't think postponing the discussion will change anything. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:33, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm going to place more weight on opinions from those users who have not been canvassed. This is not your fault, but it's just the way it is. El_C 18:37, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Canvassed or not doesn't make my opinion invalid, this has been a hot ongoing debate for years now on Wikipedia and will attract a ton of editors. I am not sure what "fairness" you are looking for? If the include arguments are weak then omit would be in favor. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:41, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
And yet, I still place less weight of it, since you now, unwittingly, have a temporary conflict of interest. It would be to your side's advantage if the canvassed proposal was launched. Fairness as in a proposal that has not been tainted by canvassing. El_C 18:54, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
if the canvassed proposal was launched. Ah, I didn't think of it that way. Canvassing here taints discussion there, since one follows closely after the other. I get it now. ―Mandruss  19:08, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I was one of the users canvassed by TheHoax. Since the current discussion has become tainted, I would suggest closing this entire discussion and starting entirely from scratch, with notifications being sent to a broad range of users who have participated in the discussions on including/excluding victims names for various articles. It may in fact be a good idea to work out here, at this page, the list of users who would be notified, first, before such notifications are sent out. Nsk92 (talk) 16:58, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I also am a canvassed editor, my opinion isn't really changed by the message, I was aware of this discussion before I got canvassed. If it's the best option, I'm fine with just staying out of the discussion also. Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 21:30, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Off topic. (Unless you wish to discuss the canvassing and resulting possible postponement of the proposal, please do not comment in this subsection.) El_C 18:16, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
In the end it comes down to you having to make the case that not including victim names improves Wikipedia. Consensus is measured by argument strength and not by votes. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:09, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Like TheHoax above, you are off topic. This is about the formulation of a proposal. One's opinions about the merits of the lists have no place in this particular discussion. ―Mandruss  18:13, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Off topic. ―Mandruss  20:33, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Default to Include Victim Names – So, what exactly are we "voting" on? I read the above discussion. And I am not quite 100% sure. But, I think there are three choices: Default to Include; Default to Exclude; No Change. I am going on that assumption to place my "vote" here. Also, whether I was "canvassed" or not should not "discount" my vote or comments or opinions. I have been weighing in on this topic repeatedly and consistently for, what, years now. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:08, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
    Like TheHoax and Knowledgekid87 above, you are off topic. This is about the formulation of a proposal to be presented at WP:VPP or WP:VPR. Should there be a proposal at this time, or is too soon since the last one? What exactly should be proposed? How should the proposal be framed? What should the options of the proposal be? And so on. So, what exactly are we "voting" on? Well, we weren't "voting" on anything, per se, until you created a subsection called "!Vote". We're just talking at this point, batting ideas back and forth (this page is Village pump (idea lab)". Feel free to join that. ―Mandruss  20:33, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
    Well, since everybody seems to be "off topic" ... it's clear that it's not clear what the actual topic here is. I say. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:46, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Thank you, El_C, for spotting and mopping up the canvassing. Not sure what to do about the proposal; putting it off might be best for the reasons described above. Also maybe as a deterrent to future canvassing attempts. Levivich 00:26, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Don't worry about artificially lightening my opinion to ensure business as usual, El C, I'm blowing this fugazi carnival stand and the whole assclown circuit. No offense you fine jugglers, ringleaders, trapeze artists, midgets, giants, lions, lizard people, bearded ladies, unitarded unicyclistic unicorns and ushers, but this media circus act ain't what she used to be. Too political, too regulated, too expensive. I've given up seven potential marriages for this Great Kabook of Knowledge since the dark night rose over Aurora and enough's enough. You want to promote murderers and bury the dead, go for it. I've had enough blood and fear and bureaucracy. Exodus, anyone? InedibleHulk (talk) 04:44, November 19, 2019 (UTC)

As someone who, to my recollection, hasn't commented previously in this debate, I suggest not worrying about a handful of canvassed editors and instead focusing on casting a wide net to get other potentially interested editors involved. Hopefully the result will be a fairly concise request for comments, which is going to be put forth to the entire community anyway. isaacl (talk) 19:54, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Proposal phase postponed until 2020 — Workshop phase remains open, of courseEdit

I have decided, with some misgivings, to postpone the proposal phase until 2020 at the earliest. It's just better, I think, to be sure that the process is as fair as possible, than have a decision that may be later marred with claims of impropriety. Sorry for the delay, at any case. El_C 20:00, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Don't forget to post a message on everyone's talk page when the proposal re-starts.   Levivich 03:27, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
@Levivich: Can't "re-start" a proposal that hasn't started yet (because it doesn't exist yet). Workshop phase remains open per this heading. ―Mandruss  08:16, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
@Mandruss: Could you clarify where you mean for this workshop phase to occur? Here, on this page and in this thread? Or somewhere else? Nsk92 (talk) 10:40, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
@Nsk92: Sure. It's already started in this subsection's parent section. It can continue in that section and/or in one or more new subsections not yet established. How to organize the process to make it manageable is TBD, but I question whether simply dumping comments into a continuous series of "arbitrary break" subsections is likely to yield usable results. Any suggestions welcome. We almost need a workshop to decide how to run the workshop. Anyway as it stands today there's nothing stopping you from just adding comments to the parent section. ―Mandruss  10:51, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

I personally think that Mandruss' idea on a three way system, (Default to omit, Default to include, No change) Is the best way to go about the proposal. And I am also thinking that some of the merits of each option should be included with the proposal. --NikkeKatski [Elite] (talk) 14:29, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

What if we rival Google and YouTube?Edit

It sounds dumb, but don't we have the resources? And, Google and YouTube are censoring creators, and wikipedia, as a free into source, can compete. What do you guys think. — Preceding unsigned comment added by New340 (talkcontribs) 20:36, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

Its a dumb idea, but who knows? We are the free Infomation website. YouTube is censoring creators of all kinds. Same with Google's bias to right side sources. What do you guys think? — Preceding unsigned comment added by New340 (talkcontribs)

I can see your intentions for wikipedia are good, you seem to have intentions of expansion. The hard part of a successful Internet business idea is not coming up with the idea, the hard part is to get it to spread, to be widely known. This is where wikipedia comes in; global "brand name" recognition. New or old business models can be catapulted by the wikipedia brand name, for wikipedia and by wikipedia community. If wikipedia markets its own sister spin-offs, there is no risk of corruption from outside commercial forces; something that could be a reality by allowing external forces to market themselves on wikipedia. Per in Sweden (talk) 08:20, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Compete in what? Google is a search engine. YouTube is a video platform. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. GMGtalk 20:39, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Video content? Informational YouTubers censored elsewhere could contribute to WikiBooks, WikiNews, WikiVoyage or Wikiversity. The format would change: a WikiBook with a series of videos isn't quite the same as a YouTube playlist, but its an analogue. Most of what we're talking about has too much original research for the Wikipedia encyclopedia, and there's not really a Wiki for entertainment, but yeah, if you're making quality informational videos on sex ed or politics or whatever I don't see why you couldn't migrate to WikiMedia commons and present them as a WikiBook or WikiNews story. Work adapting to their formatting and style and such would be involved. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:02, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
We do migrate content from YouTube to Commons all the time, that is, content that is appropriately freely licensed. The vast majority of content on YouTube is not. GMGtalk 21:24, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
"We" are Wikipedia here at wikipedia.org, an encyclopedia ("pedia" in our name). This idea lab is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated. I don't see reason for Wikipedia to contain an Internet search engine or a video sharing site. If you mean a sister project run by the Wikimedia Foundation then see meta:Proposals for new projects. Open proposals include meta:VideoWiki. Closed proposals include meta:Wikisearch. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:07, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
Forget Google and YouTube, let's rival Netflix and the Discovery Channel. BD2412 T 02:36, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Shark week? GMGtalk 02:37, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Given we're talking Wikipedia, more like Baby Shark week --Masem (t) 02:43, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
A baby shark, unlike the young of decidedly less interesting fish, is called a "pup". Isn't that amazing? If you'd like to help shark puppies (including dog shark puppies) maintain their stranglehold on the marine human knowledge market, leave a comment below about how octopus afficionados are racist virgins who live in their mom's basement and support Donald Trump on Patreon, or suggest future sea animals to undermine and discredit. Be sure to check out InedibleHulk bandanas, mystery crates of chewable(?) vitamins or oversized foam novelty hands on AliBaba and don't forget to smash that Watchlist button to see this channel grow. The 1,000th stalker will win a chance to receive weekly notifications of authentic shark-based YouTube videos from around the web, signed by the Hulkster himself! InedibleHulk (talk) 00:16, November 23, 2019 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo: Why shouldn't Wikipedia have a Shark Week? We have the content. BD2412 T 05:58, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
@BD2412: I guess the question is, why should we have a shark week specifically, when it's already Discovery's thing? Pretty unoriginal. (There's also the fact that the entire purpose of Shark Week is to attract viewers with sensationalism, and Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion — not even for itself.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 06:54, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
You think Discovery didn't steal Ancient Aliens from a bunch of dudes and a smaller bunch of dudettes on the Internet? Or Vikings? Or mermaids? What goes around comes around, nothing new under the sun. Even our current viewer retention strategy (sitting around waiting with our carpet-like oral discs extended) was directly ripped off from watching sea anenomes do their thing on screensavers and wallpaper in '98. If we can kill and eat Britannica, we can kill and eat anything we set our mind to. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:16, November 23, 2019 (UTC)
I think the answer to the first question, "don't we have the resources?", is a clear "no". To run a search engine or video-sharing site with anything like the popularity of Google search or YouTube would require far more server capacity that any non-profit like Wikimedia could possibly afford. But anyway, as PrimeHunter points out, this is a matter for Meta rather than the English Wikipedia. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:32, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
@New3400: Just to give an idea of the scale of the resources needed to run a video-sharing site on a large scale, Netflix's annual electricity usage is roughly 250 GWh. To put that in perspective, the total electricity usage of the Wikimedia Foundation is roughly 3 GWh per year. That's before you factor in the cost of buying servers, network access charges, cooling systems, employing maintenance staff for all this new equipment, and before you take into account that Netflix largely has a single job—show a list of videos and stream them on request—whereas to replicate Google would not only mean all the above, but also the computing power needed to acquire, store and catalogue vast quantities of data and process it on demand. (Google's annual electricity usage is 11 terawatt hours—that is, they use roughly 3000 times as much electricity as us just to keep the lights on. To put that another way, there are more than 100 countries in the world whose total electricity consumption is less than Google's.) So no, we don't have the resources, and even if we did have the resources it wouldn't be a sensible use of them to replicate a service already provided elsewhere since Google et al can raise money through advertising, cloud computing, hosting and data mining to cover their costs whereas we're reliant on donor funds and few donors would consider this a sensible use of their money. ‑ Iridescent 00:53, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent Those are some cool figures. Could I ask where you got them or where I could read more about similar stuff? Matt Deres (talk) 16:45, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • For the benefit of those who weren't around a few years ago, this is what happened when the Wikimedia Foundation tried to rival Google, which was probably the single most disastrous episode in Wikipedia/Wikimedia history and caused damage, disruption, mass resignations and a loss of goodwill from which we've yet to recover fully. The likelihood of the board approving another attempt is near enough zero as to make no difference. ‑ Iridescent 18:41, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
    • Wow! many thanks for that link. I'm browsing the breadth and depth of the Village Pump before making my first posting here, but that's fascinating stuff. [For UK editors] makes Midsomer Murders look like a vicarage tea-party. Scarabocchio (talk) 19:57, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

Guys, I did not expect this! I'm pleased with this. When I was talking about censored creators, I was talking about people like Mark dice. He has been losing money, the algorithm hates him, yet he still keeps doing what he loves to do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by New340 (talkcontribs)

Iridescent, what do you mean? Explain like I'm 5. (Yes, it's a Reddit meme) — Preceding unsigned comment added by New340 (talk • [[Special:Contributions/— Preceding unsigned comment added by New340 (talkcontribs) |contribs]])

@New340:, please sign your posts by placing ~~~~ at the end. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:42, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
As a notable person, if Dice wants to freely license his videos, then they would probably be welcome as uploads to Wikimedia Commons. I doubt he would want to do so, and if he doesn't, well...we're in the business of giving stuff away, and most other people aren't. GMGtalk 20:47, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
I provided a link to the full annotated history of Wikipedia's brief attempt to rival Google up above, but a super-short summary would be "The WMF decided it wanted to try replicating Google, then realised it wasn't just a case of adding some additional off-the-shelf code but would be very difficult and extremely expensive and cut their losses, but not until they'd spent a lot of time and money and a significant number of employees had resigned in disgust".
On the specific point of Mark Dice, tread very carefully. As I suspect you know if you've tried to edit Mark Dice this is a topic with long-term issues of disruptive editing, and it's subject to discretionary sanctions—that is, people deemed to be acting disruptively in relation to him won't be afforded the usual assumption of good faith we extend to editors but will be expected to work entirely within Wikipedia's rules. ‑ Iridescent 22:54, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
Meh. Commons still considers appropriately licensed videos by notable people to be within c:COM:SCOPE. Does it matter? Probably not. Because if the proposal is to turn Wikimedia projects into an outlet for content creators to make money, then it's a non-starter. GMGtalk 00:58, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Definitely agree with those who say "No Way!" This is an encyclopedia, not a "let's upload every video we can get our hands on" site. A key question with respect to Google is "are all Wikipedia articles findable via Google?" across all languages. I've not seen an analysis which confirms that all of our content is accessible via Google, and I think this, along with an eval of other major search engines, is something that would be useful to determine. Lastly, what about our linked content - does Google follow all of our verrrry many links to external-to-WP resources and index those? Would be useful to know whether any of that content is blocked by Google or other search engines. I think that we are doing Google a solid by unearthing things from the far edges of the internet and adding them here as sources; that enriches the Google search indices, as well as those of other engines (looking at you, DuckDuckGo). --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:13, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
  • My response to this sort of idea is always the same: Why would we want to, and what exactly would be the benefits of such a change?
Some of you are probably familiar with Discogs.com, arguably the world's (or at least one of the world's) "biggest and most comprehensive music database and marketplace[s]", to quote their own mission statement. Occasionally someone will surface over there asking why Discogs doesn't appear in the first 10 Google search results for whatever artist or song title, and offering suggestions for making that supposed goal happen. In a response to one such discussion, I wrote the following. (I promise I'm going somewhere with this.)

For most mainstream artists, their Discogs artist page isn't going to be ranked very high by Google. Nor, arguably, should it be.

When you're Googling "Justin Bieber" — think about this from the perspective of his fanbase, not the discogs userbase — it's unlikely that what you want is his Discogs artist profile. So, while there are techniques for increasing the PageRank of a particular site/page, to push your content closer to the top, it isn't within discogs' charter to have the highest-ranked Justin Bieber profile page on the web. Discogs doesn't need to be in the top 10 of every Google search. It would be doing a disservice to the Internet community at large if it attempted to goose its ranking, in fact.

And that's the thing. Due to the nature of its focus, Discogs isn't, and shouldn't be, a "bigger deal" in the online music community. It's not a popular-interest music site, and its content is not of interest to most people, at least in comparison to other resources they might access instead. Discogs is doing what it does, as a result it occupies a certain place online, and that place is where it belongs.
I view Wikipedia much the same way. It's already the #1 knowledge resource for a good portion of the Internet, and probably the most recognizable name in online scholarly / encyclopedic websites. Wikipedia is where you go to learn something about pretty much anything. That's... pretty damn good, right? That's a pretty lofty goal being achieved right there. And not only is Wikipedia's position and status impressive and laudable, but Wikipedia itself is important. It does more than just about any other site to expand and disseminate the sum total of human knowledge. It is a wealth of genuine, verifiable, factual information in a post-truth world.
Still, should Wikipedia be shooting for more than that? Well, not just "no need", in my opinion, but "absolutely not, under any circumstances!" Wikipedia could't be bigger than it is right now, without becoming something other than what it is right now. And that would destroy the thing that it currently is, which is pretty great and worth preserving.
The world already has a Google and it already has a YouTube, and there are plenty of competitors trying to oust them from the top spot in their respective niches. (Though, Google has expanded into so many areas these days that it's hard to claim it really has any one "niche". It's still at the top of search, sure, but it's also at or near the top of 50 other areas as well.)
The world only has one Wikipedia, though. (Well, OK, it has 16 even if you only count the languages with million-plus article counts, but you know what I mean.) Wikipedia is the biggest site doing what it currently does, and with very little exception it's the only site doing what it does. There are very few rivals for Wikipedia's current crown, unlike the ever-ongoing fights for Google's or YouTube's. So, why would Wikipedia want to give up what it has now, in order to join those other rivalries? (And if the answer is, "It shouldn't, it can do both!", I simply call bullshit.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 01:28, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
If you search for "Justin Bieber", Discogs doesn't even get listed on the first two pages. If you search "Justin Bieber"+ the name of one of his albums, Discogs doesn't even get on the first two pages. If you search "Justin Bieber Discography", Discogs isn't even first on the list. It's third, after Justin Bieber discography and Justin Bieber in that order. In fact, depending how you look at it, that makes sense... ~ R.T.G 22:23, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
@RTG: Agreed, I'd say it makes perfect sense. Unless you're a Discogs user, you're more likely to be interested in Justin Bieber discography than Justin Bieber's Discogs artist profile. But if you are a Discogs user, or curious to find out whether you'd want to be, it's right there for the clicking. (Or you can search for Justin Bieber discogs in which case it's right at the top.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 00:40, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

@feRDNYC, what do you mean by few rivals? I'm new340, but forgot my password, so I made this account. We have wikibooks, wikidictionary, and more. We don't have much rivals besides nupedia. (Insert Larry Sanger joke) New3400 (talk) 01:54, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

@New3400: Wait, you lost the password to an account you created four days ago?!? 🤯
...Aaaaanyway, moving quickly on: Wikibooks, Wiktionary, etc. are sister sites, they're other Wikimedia projects. So, they're not really relevant to Wikipedia in terms of either rivalry or focus. (Unless your question is really "Why doesn't Wikimedia rival Google or YouTube?", in which case you're in the wrong place, since the Village Pump is for discussion of English Wikipedia only — though I'm not 100% sure where the right place would be.)
As for rivals, there are some. Were more. About.com is the one that immediately springs to mind. There's also britannica.com, of course. Quora, to some extremely-disorganized extent. (Talk about a site that's lost its focus trying to become more than it was, maaaan...) Then there are other Q&A sites like Stack Exchange and Yahoo Answers. (...Is Answers even still a thing?) Google Scholar is also considered to be in somewhat the same vein as Wikipedia, broadly.
Now, you might not consider most of those sites, which typically have a far narrower focus and generate far less comprehensive content, to be serious Wikipedia rivals. I would agree, they don't really measure up. And that's kind of my point: Wikipedia is the best at what it does, and it shouldn't lose sight of that trying to be other things or worrying about competing with other sites that it isn't, in fact, actually in any sort of competition with. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 07:53, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
@FeRDNYC, yes, I am that stupid. Also, this account is better. What's about.com and stack exchange? New3400 (talk) 13:24, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
See About.com and Stack Exchange. ―Mandruss  15:30, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

Wait, what happened to quora? New3400 (talk) 15:47, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

@New3400: Nothing specific happened, Quora just sucks now IMHO. The beginning of the downfall was when they eliminated all support for question detail, and required that all questions be limited to basically a single sentence. And then suddenly people started filling it with crap questions like "How do I uninstall Google Firefox internet browser software?" — crap that's not even worth asking, never mind answering. Focus lost. Bigly sad. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 22:53, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

What about it we use invidious as a source instead of YouTube. It's an alternative to YouTube with every video from youtube. You can make an account and stuff. Not trying to push it. The link is invidio.us. Make a note that it sometimes crashes. New3400 (talk) 16:10, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

Invidious is just an alternative skin for Youtube's front end; the videos you're watching there are still hosted by and streamed from Youtube, and if linking a video you should link to the original Youtube link rather than a referrer site. (If any site were to be stupid enough to try to duplicate Youtube, Alphabet's lawyers would shut them down within minutes.) The circumstances in which you should be linking to Youtube videos on Wikipedia are minimal at best, and not something you should be doing until you're much more familiar with our guidelines for external links; much of the content of Youtube and other video sharing sites has the potential to get you in serious legal difficulty if you add a link to it, and much more of it is never going to be appropriate. ‑ Iridescent 18:29, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
  • The purpose of Wikipedia is not to provide a platform for creators, and censorship/blocking on other platforms does not affect our content decisions. Although anyone is welcome to contribute, much of the content that is considered unsuitable for YouTube et al is also unsuitable for Wikipedia for the same reasons. If New340(0) is proposing that we use Wikipedia to amplify the likes of Mark Dice, this proposal is a non-starter. –dlthewave 16:21, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Hey dlthewave, I did not mean it like that, I was pointing out him! No offense to you. Also, does anyone know any YouTubers that can migrate or work on Wikimedia and youtube? New3400 (talk) 19:50, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

  • Youtube is a social "space" site, takes 300 hours of video uploads per minute and has 1.9 billion individual users per month streaming and uploading video. Google search is taking 5.6 billion searches a day of which 15% have never been searched before. ~ R.T.G 20:20, 30 November 2019 (UTC)
@New3400: To add to RTG's point about scale, and as GreenMeansGo also said at least once in the preceding discussion, the issue is that most of the content on YouTube — nearly all of the content on YouTube, in fact — is not appropriate for Wikipedia. YouTube is a personal content-sharing site, and other than its community standards and its active copyright monitoring it has no restrictions on content — you can do or say whatever you want, however you want, as long as it's not against their rules. Many of the content creators who contribute to YouTube do it, in whole or in part, for the exposure, and YouTube has created its fair share of genuine celebrities from among its most-watched personalities.
Anyone looking to "migrate" from YouTube to Wikipedia would have to be willing to give up ALL of that. As an Encyclopedia, Wikipedia has no room for "personalities". It has no room for personal views, only facts. It expects that all contributed content uphold the five pillars. Unlike on Youtube, Wikipedia content must be neutral — no editorializing, viewpoints, or personal perspectives. Unlike on YouTube, Wikipedians contribute in relative anonymity — editing an article doesn't provide an editor with any "exposure" beyond their user ID listed in the article's edit history. Unlike on YouTube, nobody owns the content on Wikipedia — contributors agree to give up all control over their contributions, which any other editor may change at any time without the previous contributors' permission or involvement.
We do all of this, willingly, because we're not here for the clicks, or the views, or the likes, or any personal benefit. And anyone who feels the same is welcome to join us. But for most people posting videos on YouTube, what they're looking to get out of it is very different. (And that's not a criticism or a judgement. It's merely an observation that, for the most part, users of either site are going to be happiest where they are now.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 04:26, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

How about Wikipedia create a market place to compete with EBay or Amazon instead it would be a good source of income for both editors and Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dq209 (talkcontribs) 17:21, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

Sounds like a literal disaster to me. --MoonyTheDwarf (Braden N.) (talk) 20:51, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

Including Patreon pagesEdit

I recently tried to add an individual Patreon page as part of their external link. But I found out that my link got deleted. The person stated that wikipedia doesn't support crowd funding and was inappropriate. Websites like news sites and newspaper pages require subscription services, so does wikipedia. Why can't a Patreon creator not have such a privilege? All their materials are copyrighted by the individual. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Roddie83 (talkcontribs) 04:23, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

I'm a little confused why you say that Wikipedia requires a subscription, because it definitely doesn't – not even to edit. There are no copyright concerns here, but I suspect that since Patreon is primarily a fundraising service, people are leery of linking directly to it. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 04:32, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
@Deacon Vorbis: What Roddie83 (talk · contribs) originally wrote, making that argument, is Plus wikipedia itself includes crowd sources in terms of fiance's. Including an individuals Patreon pages should be related to such standards. (In other words, "Wikipedia takes donations!") Which is... true, I just don't see how it's relevant.
Wikipedia asks for donations from people who visit Wikipedia. A Patreon user asks donations of people who visit their Patreon page. Both of those are fine. But how does the former obligate Wikipedia to provide links to the latter? We're certainly not asking people who are the subject of Wikipedia articles to solicit donations on Wikipedia's behalf — in fact, it would be highly unethical to do so, as it would create a "paid publicity" sort of arrangement to the Wikipedia article, which is supposed to be neutral and encyclopedic.
As that last link will tell you, @Roddie83:, "Wikipedia is not...":
a soapbox
free advertising space
a social networking site
a directory
We link to relevant source materials that inform our article about a particular topic, not whatever promotional resources the subject would like us to link to. They can do their own promotion using whatever online presence they maintain, something we typically do link to as long as it's relevant. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 08:10, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
And yet we have no problem linking to Adobe's website (or Apple's or Microsoft's) and those are just as commercial (areguably much more so). Patreon is a useful resource for people without the means to create their own website market; I don't see how linking to John Doe's official Patreon page is any different than linking to his main website (or to Disney's). Matt Deres (talk) 16:50, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
@Matt Deres: We link to www.patreon.com in the Patreon article, too — it's relevant there, because the article is about Patreon. The same way we link to www.apple.com in the article about Apple Inc., and to www.adobe.com in the article about Adobe Inc.. It's only relatively recently (the past decade or so) that companies like that have started using their official company sites for online sales first and foremost — it used to be, you went to store.apple.com to shop for Apple products, and we didn't link to that site, because it's not relevant information for someone who's looking to gain an encyclopedic understanding of the Apple computer company.
Every offsite link in a Wikipedia article is subject to strict requirements, listed at WP:EL. General links to a person's Patreon page would violate a number of the prohibitions:

Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject, one should generally avoid providing external links to:


— External links: Links normally to be avoided

An official link is a link to a website or other Internet service that meets both of the following criteria:

  1. The linked content is controlled by the subject (organization or individual person) of the Wikipedia article.
  2. The linked content primarily covers the area for which the subject of the article is notable.

Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself. These links are normally exempt from the links normally to be avoided, but they are not exempt from the restrictions on linking. For example, although links to websites that require readers to register or pay to view content are normally not acceptable in the External links section, such a link may be included when it is an official website for the subject. This exemption does not allow for additional "official" links such as those found on fundraising websites.
— External links: Official links

Information from a person's Patreon page can be cited, if it's relevant to the contents of the article... but that would require being able to link to the individual content (not the Patreon page in general), and it's incredibly rare that something a user posts on their Patreon page will qualify as a reliable source for an encyclopedia article. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 07:23, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

Getting a handle on navigational templatesEdit

Our current system of organizing navigational templates is a bit of a mess. Currently, they (mostly) just have bare names in the Template namespace, with no indication what type they are, or even what the purpose of the template is. To give just one example, {{Roman religion}} is a navbox (horizontal at the bottom of articles), while {{Roman myth}} is a sidebar (vertical at the top-right of the article). I've even seen navboxes that simply categorize other navboxes, some for article space, an some for project or template space.

I don't know if anyone has suggested overhauling this before; if anyone knows of any previous discussion, please do chime in. But I think this can be improved. It would seem that any steps along these lines would require a large number of automated edits. So before looking into the feasibility of this, I at least wanted to get some sense if others think this would be a good idea or not. At the very least, I see a few basic possibilities to start with:

  1. Have navboxes and sidebars start with the word "Navbox" and "Sidebar", like {{Navbox Foo}} and {{Sidebar bar}}. There are some of each out in the wild that already do this, and infoboxes do as well.
  2. Like the previous, but put "navbox" or "sidebar" at the end (some do this already as well)
  3. Have them be supbages of the main template, so {{Navbox/Foo}}, etc. (some sidebars seem to do this, currently, but I didn't see any navboxes that do).
  4. Add a couple namespaces dedicated just for these, so {{Navbox:Foo}}, etc.

Please share your throughts. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 17:05, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

I feel that #3 is a good solution. Sorta how we group userboxes under Template:UBX Upsidedown Keyboard   (talk) 17:11, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
My initial worry, when it comes to number 3: Are there any issues with managing page protections at the subpage- and sub-subpage (remember the /docs) granularity, when you have a lot of (if we're being honest) unrelated templates all grouped together as subpages of a crowded parent? -- FeRDNYC (talk) 22:59, 23 November 2019 (UTC)
@FeRDNYC: Fair point. Then would probably go with #1, since its just a naming convention, way easier to implement. Upsidedown Keyboard   (talk) 02:47, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
If you need to find navboxes, you can start here. Arbitrary titling rules is unnecessary when we have the search power we do. It becomes makework otherwise to move 130k templates and subsequently their invocations in pages. --Izno (talk) 05:45, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
Yup, renaming all of them and all their invocations would be a huge hassle for what is, at most, a pretty minor issue. I could see some use in maybe adding redirects along the lines of {{Navbox foo}} or {{Sidebar foo}} to navbox/sidebar templates that both lack such a redirect and lack a clear indication in their name. I mean, yeah, with the right search query the navbox/sidebar's findable anyway, but such redirects might help some folk. Would still be a lot of work, but would at least cause no mainspace disruption and would be helpful even if only partially implemented/abandoned before finishing. AddWittyNameHere 06:00, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
Having such redirects generally isn't necessary either--all it does is mix usage in the wikitext out and about and makes it harder for newbies to figure out what a template invocation actually looks like (by adding in the redirect proxy). --Izno (talk) 06:26, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. Most of the templates I work with--redirect categorization templates--have such a variety of (generally long-standing) redirects that I'm really used to seeing several different names for the same template scattered about. Makes it easy to assume that's common across the entire 'pedia, which I suppose it isn't. You're right that it makes things more convoluted to new editors. (Suppose that in redirect tagging that's a bit less of a big deal--redirects are practically invisible to most newbies anyway, and those that go out looking for them are usually the ones with a decent grasp on things) AddWittyNameHere 06:36, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, it would be nice if the titles were more consistent and transparent, but I second the opinions above that changing that now would be more trouble than it's worth. A more descriptive title helps when you go looking for templates in the categories or when using the search engine, but in the vast majority of cases you encounter them when editing articles, and by their position in the text it's usually pretty clear if the template is a sidebar, a navbox or something else. – Uanfala (talk) 21:25, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

Monitoring discussion activityEdit

I am told simply getting the stats on this would require hours of programming so I'm just going to propose it without stats. There are various attempts at improving discussion across the site, including drawing peoples attention to discussions. Wouldn't it be useful if a bot monitored recent talk page activity so that you could look through grouped lists to find active discussions and unanswered sections? However, though a great many statistics are available, this particular stat isn't, so how feasible it is can't be discussed unless someone with the capability wants to define a script to read and report the activity across the site. I mean, how many discussions are active? How significant are they? How many unanswered sections are there over given time frames? Would there be enough room there for a wikiproject patrolling talk pages for unanswered requests? ~ R.T.G 16:54, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

@RTG: Making talk page discussions more productive is a worthwhile effort, but I think it's important to first arrive at a shared idea of what that entails or what form it should take. And my view on that is, because Wikipedia is not a social networking site, anything that would indiscriminately encourage simply more discussion is probably not the right approach. By which I mean...
  • We already have a bot that can handle tracking active discussions: Lowercase sigmabot III, AKA the archive bot. If a talk page is set up for archiving, then the parameters of what's considered "active" are set in the archival configs, and any discussion that becomes inactive will be moved to the archive. Because Wikipedia isn't Twitter, a post on a talk page doesn't have a value proportional to its recency, and if an editor has something to contribute to a talk page section, it really shouldn't matter whether they're replying minutes after the last post, or months after. I'd hate to see anything adopted that (even implicitly) discouraged editors from participating in (or even just reading) older discussions, simply because some time has already passed.
  • We also have an "unanswered requests" patrol bot: AnomieBOT. If a talk page discussion involves a formal request that requires handling, then an {{editprotected}} or similar template will bring it to the bot's attention, which in turn will bring it to the attention of someone who can fulfill the request.
For any talk page posting that's not a formalized, actionable request, no response is inherently needed. Which is to say, the decision on whether to become involved in a particular discussion should be based on the merits of the discussion and the interest level of the participant(s), not by whether or not anyone has responded. Nor should editors feel (even implicitly) discouraged from contributing to a discussion simply because someone has responded, or because the previous participants feel that the matter has already been settled or a decision made.
And plenty of other talk page sections go unanswered simply because there's no reason to answer them: The original poster is off-topic, or confused, or using the talk page as a soapbox, and responding to them would only be "feeding the trolls". So, to use "unanswered sections" as any kind of metric or motivator seems like it would have questionable benefits. No bot can make what's ultimately an individual value judgement: the decision as to whether or not a post needs a response. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 21:09, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Standardising infoboxesEdit

I think it would be a good idea for the infoboxes across Wikipedia to have a more standardised style, at least for basic elements like the title / header.

For example, take a look at Infobox university (example Harvard University), Infobox law enforcement agency (example Metropolitan Police Service) and Infobox automobile (example Porsche 911).

In the first one, the title is above and outside the infobox. In the 2nd and 3rd ones, the title is inside, but with a different shade of grey and height for the title bar. There is no reason for this, in my opinion.

I understand that different infoboxes require different parameters, but basic elements like the header could be made more consistent. ElshadK (talk) 20:06, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

@ElshadK: Can be, but it's somewhat debatable whether they should be (or, whether that should be forced on editors by policy). All of those infoboxes are implemented using the same {{Infobox}} code, meaning they all could look identical — the differences in layout are deliberate, not accidental. And we already have an extensive style guide for Infoboxes, which says (regarding the infobox title) Either a table caption or a header can be used for this. In other words, these variations have already been considered, and deemed acceptably equivalent. (That consensus decision is always subject to change, of course.)
An individual infobox's layout decisions involve a number of factors, including its intended use. Some infoboxes are designed to be 'stacked' with others, or to be used in article sections — both situations where an interior title tends to work better. That's less of a concern when an infobox is expected to be the primary infobox in an article, so those may use a caption-style heading instead. (It can also simply come down to the age of the infobox, as caption-style headings were more common in the earlier years of the project.)
If any content, including an infobox, is violating the Manual of Style, it's appropriate to make edits that correct the issue. But as the introduction says, Edit warring over optional styles is unacceptable. In areas where there's some flexibility in the guidelines for how information can be presented, variations will naturally occur across the site's content. The question is whether those variations are really detrimental to the encyclopedia, or simply matters of preference. Diversity is often seen as a positive, after all... one of the things that keeps life interesting.

If everybody looked the same
We'd get tired of looking at each other.
— Groove Armada, "If Everybody Looked the Same"

-- FeRDNYC (talk) 21:49, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Backlog category for long-unresolved article issuesEdit

Wikipedia have the backlog that lists the task should be done on Wikipedia to make the articles more useful to readers. Many articles have the long-unresolved issues, making them useless for a long time. Since the tasks in the backlog is the most important thing to do on Wikipedia, there should be a category called "Articles with issues left unresolved for over X years (a year/3 years/5 years/10 years)" to resolve the long-unresolved issues more quickly. --Ijoe2003 (talk) 11:21, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

Category:Clean-up_categories will do. --Izno (talk) 14:43, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't noticed that... --Ijoe2003 (talk) 22:26, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

An ideaEdit

I have an idea What about adding an audio beside the celebrity’s name that says their names Because most of people around the world don’t know how to say the celebrity’s name right Believe me people need that If you did so please give me some credit Thank u :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AyaTarekk (talkcontribs) 16:13, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

I vaguely recall Pigsonthewing work on that already. --Izno (talk) 19:50, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Yes, see Wikipedia:WikiVIP and https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/11/29/astronaut-spoken-voice/ -- Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:45, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

What if we do year and country?Edit

What i mean is, what if we do something like 14th century in italy, or if there is enough information, we could do 1776 in United States, instead of like the middle ages in asia. An example is if there is data over a hundred years in the country, we could do it. More data in a year, do it there. It could be good for research and in months too! New3400 (talk) 22:46, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

I don't quite understand what you're saying. We already have articles like 1776 in the United States. --Yair rand (talk) 23:51, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

Welp! I did not see that, never mind! Thanks Yair rand !New3400 (talk) 12:26, 3 December 2019 (UTC)