Wikipedia:Village pump (news)/Archive C

The Times publishes acerbic polemic against Wikipedia

What a hack

Lotsofissues 16:19, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I read this on the train this morning. I thought "ha!" when I get in, I will check the Times website and they are sure to have the same disclaimer". Interestingly, unlike CNN etc that Jimbo quoted, the Times does take responsibility for inaccuracies (see its T&Cs page). These disclaimers are probably worthless legally anyway, but it is good to know not everyone chucks them in.
Hilarious how so many journalists are just bandwagon-jumpers, though. Pcb21 Pete 17:49, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Rosemary Righter is assistant editor of The Times. Her opinion pivots on the primary characteristic of Wikipedia, not on the details (which she gets wrong). It's not a very deep critique, but it is a defensible opinion. Dystopos 17:55, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Bah, that's just biased. Telling about all the problems inside wikipedia, not telling about the vantages, and not telling our efforts to change it. Not telling it's free of any kind of charge or adds, or malicious hardware. I'm ok and even welcome when people criticise us, but that was just badly done. Wish I could edit that thing...
  • "millions of students who innocently imagine that what they are getting is reliable factual information," - really, what's the source? (haha, now I'm bein too picky) It's true tought, I've even written something about that in my user page: people just don't get what wikipedia is about - and I think this is one of the things cousing so much confusion among those not familiar with the site.
  • "In the wacky world of Wikipedia, the missing bits are these: accountability, authority, scholarly credentials, accuracy and scrupulousness." We deal with that in a different, organical aproach. It can have as much as problems as you want to name it, you may say our system for these things is a piece of crap, but you can't say they don't exist. Especial note on "scholarly credentials" - does she want to see mine??
  • "this intellectual lunatic asylum plead guilty to all the above charges" - oh c'mon, that's just bein mean. Thank God we don't write to sell magazines. By the way, what's wrong in pleading guilty? We are working on that.
  • "Fine: it took me 12 seconds to register as mickmouse, giving no email address" Ops... it won't take long before people realise this a damn true.
  • "I suggest a new and accurate name: “Wikicon.”" - Err.. . what does she means with Wikicon??
"Wikicon?" Isn't this years being held in Boston?--Rayc 03:40, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
    • As I mentioned above, its amazing how quickly bandwagons can be jumped on. Oh so recently the media (with the honourable exception of The Register) lauded the 99.9% of Wikipedia, that was somehow "miraculously" right. Now they concentrate on the 0.1% that is wrong. Fine. Whatever. We should not take our lead from people who don't the project well. We know between us what is glaringly improvable, and should work to improve it! Pcb21 Pete 23:53, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Has anyone considered the possibility that the media gang-up on Wikipedia is partially tied to the internet popularity of the Katrina, July 7 bombings, tsunami articles, etc. as news sources? Do they resent how Wikipedia is "eating" their reporting? Tfine80 01:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, nothing in WP was based on anything other than media reports, so I don't think we're a threat, per se, although we must be taking some of their traffic. BTW, it was July 7 ;-) Dan100 (Talk) 17:50, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


Kernel Panic reference

I'm not quite sure where to put this, since it isn't quite Press coverage, but the current page on the webcomic Kernel Panic is about Wikipedia deletionism. See Wiki is the new black.-gadfium 22:20, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

ROFL...I love it! pfctdayelise 23:36, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Sigh. :( User:Zoe|(talk) 03:10, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Oh for the love of pete.... Raul654 03:14, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Goodness!  Denelson83  00:33, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, I guess we deserved that. Good one, Kernel Panic. Pcb21 Pete 17:51, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Kernel Panic has been updated, still on the Wikipedia deletion theme.

Also see User Friendly.-gadfium 18:17, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

User Friendly are continuing the theme with [1].-gadfium 01:21, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Chinese government newswire running Chase/Seigenthaler story

[2] They can go screw themselves. Tfine80 18:38, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I can imagine the reaction of millions of Chinese readers: "Wikipedia, what's that?" Kaldari 23:39, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Isn't China still blocking Wikipedia from its own citizens? *Dan T.* 01:06, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


Daniel Brandt still attacking Wikipedia

"Most Wikipedia administrators are anonymous teenagers" Zoe (216.234.130.130 18:24, 12 December 2005 (UTC))

Yawn. Daniel Brandt is a troll. Thue | talk 22:30, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh no, not teenagers! First they ruin rock music and now Wikipedia! Kaldari 23:37, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, it's true. Bunch of pot-smoking slackers around here :).--Sean|Black 00:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Yah ha. Das me. Grajiated from coarllage and dey still tret me lika teenagur. --DanielCD 00:58, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

MercuryNews article

"Wales said Wikipedia will soon introduce a ``time delay mode for articles caught in revert wars, where revisions won't become effective for 10 minutes. In that brief period, volunteers would presumably quash inappropriate changes." - [3]

Has anyone heard about this before? Is the papaer wrong, is Jimbo? Personaly I like this kind of idea. It doesn't limit acess but gives us more time to catch bad stuff. It would make vandalism at Bush's article meaningless (no need for limited protection). I wish us wikipedians were told before the press... *checks the mailing lists* Broken S 02:35, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure how edit conflicts would be handled, given that there's an extra ten-minute window for them to occur. Perhaps Wikipedia will be split into two views: an editor's view which is up-to-the-minute, and a reader's view which lags ten minutes behind, and we'd have some way to toggle between them. Mind you for some articles there wouldn't be a problem with edit conflicts, particularly articles like George W. Bush which have a high rate of vandalism but a very modest rate of legitimate edits. However, for other articles (particularly current-event articles) it might be more of a problem.
In general though, if the details can be worked out, it sounds like a very worthwhile idea to explore. It's no different from the brief tape delay used on some live broadcasts to allow unforeseen things to be bleeped out or omitted. It would diminish both the opportunity and motivation for casual vandalism, and if the casual vandals drop away then the persistent ones stand out more, without a crowd to hide in. -- Curps 03:51, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Someone brought this up in the proposals section, I think, though with a five minute delay. I guess Jimbo decided it wasn't worth discussing anymore, but I don't see why Wikipedia needs to find out about its policies by proxy. ᓛᖁ  04:10, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh, God. More nonsense "experiments". User:Zoe|(talk) 03:53, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't like this idea. I'm all for change and experimentation, but this just seems wholly unnecessary.--Sean|Black 04:13, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
So, what recourse do we have against random, poorly announced decrees? They're becoming more frequent. ᓛᖁ  04:23, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Start your own Wikipedia fork? One Jimbo isn't in charge of? Or was that a rhetorical question? —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 04:41, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Give up on Wikipedia. And, find something more productive to do. Lotsofissues 04:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I guess those work... but there really ought to be a reasonable on-Wikipedia solution that doesn't amount to requesting an audience with a GodKing. I dunno. Maybe Fred Bauder and Lir have it right. ᓛᖁ  05:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
No, Lir is just an obnoxious lunatic. Lotsofissues 05:51, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • This is appalling--and it's just called an "experiment". But after 24 hours, that word will drop out of use. This is a permanent change. Lotsofissues 04:31, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • If they can implement this well, this would be an incredible improvement for frequently-vandalized articles. The vandals would lose their motivation because their changes wouldn't show up, and the downside is negligible - a 10 minute delay before good changes are seen by the public. How can that not be a good thing? Now, whether this very-difficult-to-get-right feature could be designed and implemented well? I have no idea. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 04:39, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
BECAUSE - the magic of wikipedia lies in its fluidity. Where's the fun if you have to return again to see your edit? Lotsofissues 04:51, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. "Your changes will be visible immediately". I hope this is not permanent, although I'd vastly prefer if it wouldn't start at all.--Sean|Black 05:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
It would be ok if it could just be turned on for a few select articles, like George W Bush which is vandalised every 10 minutes anyway. Agnte 11:07, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
It does say "for articles caught in revert wars" so I assume it is only for a select few articles, which is actually a very good idea, if it was for all articles it would be a crap idea. Martin 11:36, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this really would be for all articles, as that was the earlier proposal. I think logically it should mean registered users will see all changes, and only changes that last for ten minutes will become "live" for anonymous users. Of course, Jimbo hasn't bothered to discuss implementations, so who knows what will actually happen. ᓛᖁ  14:08, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
so if two different vandales hit GWB I can only revert one of them. Have you anly idea how badly this would of screwed up the Pope Benedict XVI article. You end up with the situation ehe the RC patrolers burn thier revert evey 10 mines and the vandalals keep comeing.Geni 13:22, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
You are making assumptions about the way this feature would be immplemented. If in fact it suffered from problems like that, then nobody would want this. If it worked well and somehow gave logged-in editors a full live view of all changes while providing a time-delayed view for non-logged-in editors, then I don't think the issues you are worried about come into play. The hard issue is deciding which edits actually are allowed to become visible 10 minutes later, or something like that. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 20:05, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

This is not an announcement or decree or anything else. It has been discussed as a concept for at least a year and a half. It is a serious programming challenge. A handful of people should remember the old Wikipedia saying "Assume Good Faith"... Eequor?--Jimbo Wales 19:48, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Everyone should also remember that Jimbo can't announce things to us without informing the world anyway, and that it's better for everyone if he gets things straight with the media first. We need to stop taking things so personally when we hear them secondhand. -- SCZenz 19:57, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
    • SCZenz, you've repeated this a few times recently, and I've never understood what you meant by it. Yes, the community on Wikipedia is public, and it's possible (although I sort of doubt it) that various reporters watch the mailing lists and the Village Pump, and such places in attempts to "scoop" the press releases made by the Foundation, but what's the harm in that? You've never explained why it's "better for everyone" if the first annoucement of proposals or changes is annouced outside the main, standard, channels of annoucements on Wikipedia. What is so much worse about the VP or the mailing lists as compared with a press release or a comment in an interview that Jimbo and the Foundation should use those off-wiki, less open to discussion methods first? How does this allow Jimbo or anyone else to "get things straight ... first"? It seems like things could be just as "straight" if they were announced on-wiki as off-wiki. Please explain your point further. JesseW, the juggling janitor 21:14, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
JesseW, in this case, as in all others of which I am aware, there is nothing announced to reporters period. So whether, in theory, it would be better for me to announce things to reporters first or on the site first, it's more or less a moot point because I intend to continue working with the community, not with reporters. As ever. --Jimbo Wales 04:07, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think this is going to stop edit wars much; they'll only be drawn out longer. --Merovingian 00:48, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
There's the impression of a very heavy-handed approach being taken. It should be fairly easy to ensure the community is well-informed of upcoming changes, yet recent announcements have come basically as surprises. Finding out about changes first from third parties makes it difficult to believe these actions are being taken in good faith with respect to the community. Jimbo, I'm sure you probably mean well, but you're leaving the community out of important decisions, not explaining the rationale behind the decisions, and not inviting discussion of the changes, and that's wrong. I suspect the ten-minute delay for changes to become "live" is a good idea, but not everyone feels the same. This and other major changes need to be properly discussed on-wiki. ᓛᖁ  05:17, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

This is not really news. Well, I guess it's news that Jimbo publicly says he's committed to helping make this happen, but the feature itself has been discussed for ages among developers and is something we have long thought to be a good idea. I even talked about it in my Wikimania Presentation.

Will it prolong edit wars? Possibly, but edit warring is something we find unacceptable, and we can deal with it by the usual means. The primary effect is similar to the proposed idea of semi-protection; on highly exposed articles, visible vandalism is going to become a lot less likely. The interesting effect on edit warring is that an article cannot become "stable" until the edit war has stopped.

This feature, if it is indeed developed, could in fact lead the way towards stable revision tags assigned in a community process. While it would do little about bad edits by well-meaning users, the same time delay mechanism can be applied to future peer review processes, where you can say that unless a consensus is found, a tag is not set (and make "tag-warring" unacceptable in a community sense in the same way that edit warring is).

If the media reports are giving this (and Jimbo :-) the push it needs to get implemented, then I'm very, very much in favor of that.--Eloquence* 07:30, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia Class Action Lawsuit

Some organization in Long Beach, New York, perhaps associated with QuakeAID, has put up a website claiming it will attempt to start a class-action lawsuit against Wikipedia because of these supposed defamation incidents. This looks like their Press Release. And this is the site to recruit people to join the suit. Has anyone seen this before? What do people think? Could this situation get more dicey if all of Wikipedia's disgrunted subjects of articles joined together? Tfine80 19:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think they have a prayer. No one has guaranteed the accuracy of this info and there are obvious disclaimers about it that ppl just ignore. They are acting on heresay, not facts. If the arguement is taken to it's limit, they'd have to attempt to ban every messageboard and bog on the net. We would gain a lot of allies at that point. --DanielCD 20:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Ugh, it's an awful article, as you'd expect. "Wikipedia cannot hold itself out as quintessential authority and deny responsibility and accountability." Utter nonsense; they haven't read the disclaimers. Don't forget to "rate" the article (it's at the bottom). And as of now that website just redirects back to baou.com. Antandrus (talk) 20:21, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
They just did that. The site had a bit of a rant and their address, phone, and fax number to "join" their lawsuit. The "news" site is apparently run by the charity. Tfine80 20:23, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Judging by the Wikipedia article on OfficialWire, this is just hot air. Thue | talk 22:25, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Publicity stunt. Martin 22:33, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
It seems like it would be awfully hard for them to take any action based on recent incidents; presumably that would entail getting Seigenthaler involved, and he isn't interested. ᓛᖁ  23:09, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I wonder why they pulled the classs action lawsuit website? I saw it earlier as well, when this was first posted. Some of you might also want to check out this article which claims wikipedians are a bunch of nazi-lovin' socialists. Kit 23:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Almost any bulletin board is more open to this liability than we are. At least we have a straightforward way to challenge the accuracy of anything that is posted. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. The website says it wants to set a precedent, but to the honest the only way these folks will be able to get an accountable Internet is to basically eliminate all newsgroups, BBS's, online forums, MSN messengers, chat rooms, as well as sites like IMDb. In other words, they want to close down the Internet or turn it into some sort of "Big Brother"-ized institution. Granted, there are those who say everything that goes into Wikipedia should be checked before it is posted ... I'd conservatively estimate this site recieves 10,000 edits a second -- who who wants to volunteer to fact check every single entry that goes in? 23skidoo 15:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
That's not a very conservative estimate. Special:Recentchanges shows typically around two edits a second to the English edition of Wikipedia. Based on database sizes, I'd estimate around six edits a second to Wikipedia as a whole. The point still stands, though. Warofdreams talk 15:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

From what I know about class actions (but IANAL), and from perusing the Class action article here, I don't think this thing has the slightest chance of even getting off the ground. It fails at the first requirement of a class action, that it have a well-defined class of people who have been similarly harmed by the defendants' behavior. What would be the putative class here? "People, companies, and organizations who have been defamed, libeled, slandered, or had their privacy invaded on Wikipedia"? This isn't objectively definable; libel, slander, defamation, and invasion of privacy are very complex, subjective concepts such that one never knows for sure if they have truly occurred until a court rules on the issue in a particular case. Presupposing it for the purpose of defining a class is begging the question. Or, if you defined the class as "People, companies, and organizations who have been mentioned on Wikipedia", then that is reasonably objective, but not a sensible plaintiff class, as the vast majority of such entities most likely didn't suffer any damage whatsoever from being mentioned, and the class would even include many people who are thrilled for the ego-boost gained by being mentioned on Wikipedia. Also, if no libel, etc., was committed in a particular case, then the mentioned party would have no legal claim, and going forward with such a case would be frivolous and a First Amendment violation. At any rate, even when actual actionable damage exists, it is very specific to the particular cases, and not something that is easily aggregatable into a class action. *Dan T.* 18:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Continuing my comments... You would also have a similar problem itemizing the defendants, if you intended the case to reach the editors involved as well as Wikimedia Foundation itself. Would you make the defendant class include everybody who's ever edited Wikipedia? (If so, people would be suing themselves, given the existence of vanity edits of articles about the editor him/herself.) Or just those who have made "defamatory" edits (which would be impossible to objectively define in advance, as I noted above)? And, should the case actually win, just what sort of court orders are supposed to result (other than the monetary awards, likely to go largely to the lawyers as is typical of class actions in general)? The website claims that they will be seeking forced changes in Wikipedia policy as a result of the suit, but I would be very surprised if a judge were at all willing to micromanage the structure and policy of a publisher and its works... there would be huge First Amendment issues at stake. Prior restraints of speech are almost universally struck down as unconstitutional. *Dan T.* 18:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Prior has died

Richard Prior died today of a heart attack. He will be missed. --DanielCD 05:20, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

And he will apparantly be misspelled. Richard Pryor. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:38, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • At least Wikipedia doesn't get him confused with Cleavon Little like CNN did in their retrospective montage. Dystopos 19:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

John Seigenthaler Sr. vandalism unmasked!

Daniel Brandt did some sleuthing. It turns out that the IP from which the original vandalism was posted from by fluke hosted a webserver for a business which they traced. After further sleuthing, the perpertrator wrote a confessional letter to Seigenthaler.

This story was found on the Wikipedia Review. And is now at the NY Times. - Hahnchen 03:48, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

This story is unbelievable! And the fact the New York Times is LINKING to Brandt's Wikipedia Watch website is not a nice thought... Amazing that Brandt solved this thing before the entire Wikipedia community. And Seigenthaler calls Brandt a "genius"!!Tfine80 04:05, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I wonder what Jimbo meant by "...the site would make more information about users available to make it easier to lodge complaints". Presumably we'll find out from the papers sometime soon. -Splashtalk 04:10, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
why do we always find out new policies/decisions from the press? Broken S 04:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Answers.com, new page restrictions, and now a shift in the privacy policies... With all due respect, Wikipedia is changing. And, meanwhile, some Wikipedia editors are risking jail by editing anonymously in China. Tfine80 04:23, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Note that, once it is cleared up that the guy was a clueless newbie when he did that, the responsability for us got a lot bigger. Seigenthaler seemed like a reasonable guy, but since he basicaly took the guilt away from the editor (I actually don't think it was his fault too), then we are the ones to be guilty. algumacoisaqq 04:17, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

On the site the Hahnchen links to Brandt claims that "Mr. Seigenthaler read the confession letter to me over the telephone and briefed me on his conversations." Shouldn't this now raise some alarm about this whole episode? Tfine80 04:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Another reason why I think that Wikipedia Review should not have been nominated for deletion! :) Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 04:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

The Seattle Times is carrying a copy of this story (no registration). [4] ᓛᖁ  15:33, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Wake up Siegenthaler

I thought wikipedia was a "gag website". Now how did he come to that conclusion? Anyone think this resembles one of the lame fumbling excuses you gave your mother when you were 10? "Well uhh...we were just joking around..kidding you know." This was said to attentuate the naughtiness of your intentions. I suspect he knew what he was doing. He knew Wikipedia is read as an encyclopedia. We should question the maliciousness of his actions--Siegenthaler certainly isn't. Lotsofissues 18:56, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I made MBTI types' templet!!

I made MBTI templets!! All!!

How to use? see my page...user:James WY. Lee

{{User intp}} {{User infp}} {{User intj}} {{User infj}} {{User entp}} {{User enfp}} {{User entj}} {{User enfj}} {{User istp}} {{User isfp}} {{User istj}} {{User isfj}} {{User estp}} {{User esfp}} {{User estj}} {{User esfj}}

Jimy 16:10, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I bet there will be lots of INTPs (me included). Lotsofissues 17:01, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Nice! I was just looking for these the day before yesterday, and here I find them. Thanks, Jimy. BTW, I'm an INTP as well. JoaoRicardo 17:51, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

CNN poll: Our anonymous, right wing communist organization is NOT to be trusted

Bottom right: [5]BRIAN0918 • 2005-12-6 05:11

For future reference: The question is "Do you trust the anonymously-authored encyclopedia Wikipedia?" Not a good question, in my opinion: You can trust everything that is sourced, certainly, but you otherwise you're on potentially shaky ground. And the "anoymously authored" bit misses the whole point: Britannica editors could use pseudonyms. At last count, it was 45% yes, 55% no.--Sean|Black 05:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
38% yes, 62% no just now. Filiocht | The kettle's on 13:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Trusting Jimbo

On the subject of criticisms of Wikipedia, I've gotten a little tired of all the vehement second-guessing that's been done by users of Jimbo's decisions recently, often based on rather incomplete information and assumptions. So I made a silly userbox and category that I think makes a serious point about the situation. Take a look if you like: {{User trusts Jimbo}} and Category:Wikipedians who trust Jimbo. -- SCZenz 10:22, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Is there a good summary of Jimbo's past decisions, crisis-handling, etc., that would be helpful in making this kind of decision? I ask in seriousness. I'm new enough to the project (Aug. 2004) that I've had little personal interaction with Jimbo. He seems really cool, he's created an amazingly incredible project, and I certainly Assume Good Faith, but I don't think I've seen enough of how he works to make a public user-page declaration. -- Creidieki 11:01, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Well you can always read Special:Contributions/Jimbo Wales, or the news articles linked from his website or the article Jimmy Wales. (The Wikipedia article is written in NPOV with a substantial criticism section and many links, of course.) You won't find that Jimbo has handled a crisis like the one we've hit now before, because as far as I know there hasn't been one. However, Wikipedia's gone quite a ways under his leadership, so it seems reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt even in new situations. -- SCZenz 16:05, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

As of this moment it looks like you are alone in that category. ;) —Mike 05:01, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not something that should have to be put in a userbox, after all. Creating it was kind of a silly whim on my part. *shrug* -- SCZenz 17:52, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

FWIW, I have a long section on my user page about people I've worked with extensively and trust, and I encourage others to do the same. But I haven't worked extensively with Jimbo. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:31, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


Question about libel in history

  • What should we do if we find an edit which may need to be deleted due to potentially libelous material? --Metropolitan90 02:04, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

New local press kit

With the English Wikipedia getting increasing amounts of press lately, the community would benefit from more actively reaching out to journalists and helping them to better understand how the project works. Reporters would also benefit from reading summaries of current controversies and the major arguments that have already been hashed out here. To that end, I have reincarnated Wikipedia:Press Kit. If there's something you think a journalist should know before doing a story on Wikipedia, I invite you to add it there. -- Beland 06:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


New Special page

We seem to have a new Special page, Special:CrossNamespaceLinks -- Beland 20:02, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Daniel Brandt-related

No jibba jabba, just read: Talk:Daniel_Brandt#Daniel_Brandt:_International_man_of_mystery._Yeah_Baby,_Yeah! (no, I didn't post that) — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-13 15:10

Since there is a movement to delete it from Talk:Daniel Brandt, I copied the discussion to User:Grue/Brandt.  Grue  19:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

It might be notable, I suppose. But as far as I can tell, the "hoaxer" is only breaking the law if Splash sues him for libel, or else if Splash tries to sue Brandt for libel based on this hoax. So long as Splash is laughing about it, its irrelevant. As for what it proves, I'm not convinced that it proves what the hoaxer claims it does. I wonder if this means that this hoaxer deserves his own page in the same way as Brian Chase does? Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 03:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia hoaxer apologises

"The author of a Wikipedia entry that falsely implicated a prominent writer in both Kennedy assassinations and prompted a row about the online encyclopaedia's reliability has apologised to his victim, saying that it was a "joke that went horribly, horribly wrong". More... http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1665697,00.html --bodnotbod 02:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Shame Chase hasn't seen fit to apologize to us yet. Kit 02:23, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

he was so eager to sue the guy when he was a number, but now that that he is a person (who would have thought) he gets mercy. Not that I'm saying he should sue him, but it makes his anger at Wikipedia for not giving him unfettered access to the author sound like hot air. Broken S 02:26, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The thing is that he was a proponent of free speech himself, and his point was that he wanted accountability. — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 01:16, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The Register

There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility' ᓛᖁ  17:02, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

If only journalists (I use the term loosely for that piece of excrement of an article) remembered they could check things before writing a story.
Well, the article on moral responsibility was created a few hours ago, so it was true when they wrote it. They will of course look foolish to a lot of people who go to check for themself without checking the article history :). I actually do agree with the article that the Wikipedia needs an organized way of validating the articles before Wikipedia can call itself a "real" encyclopedia (See Wikipedia:Wikipedia 1.0). Thue | talk 22:32, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Nonsense. The article titled responsibility has been there for a long time. The one called moral responsibility ought to be just a redirect page. Michael Hardy 21:44, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Douglas Adams started the h2g2 site with much the same object in mind as Wikipedia: anyone can create entries. But there is an editorial process to get into the main Guide. Which of course brings the problem of editorial bias. You can't win! - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 22:44, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Ever noticed that one person writes virtually all of the anti-Wikipedia stories? Some would call that an obsession! violet/riga (t) 22:38, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Not virtually all, all. Orlowski earns his corn being cyncial many IT-related things. Online material generated plebs such as Wikipedia editors and bloggers comes in for particular oppobrium. I am fairly convinced that he knows much of what writes is lies and distortions, but doesn't care. Ironic, given what he has to say about Wikipedia. Pcb21 Pete 20:34, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

We stopped caring about the The Register after we acquired mainstream critics. Lotsofissues 00:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

New talk page template: use copiously!

{{Maintained|{{user4|Example}}, {{user4|Example}}}} {{Maintained}} This new template for article talk pages will list people who have identified themselves as active monitors for the article, and who are willing to act as points of contact regarding facts and sources in the article. Please use this on any articles you are willing to watch for the extended future. Also, feel free to remove people from an article's template if they become inactive, since it is supposed to act as a "list of active contacts", not a "list of significant contributors". — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 01:08

  • This is a great template. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Great indeed. Now I've got to mark several Talk: pages with it, though :).--Sean|Black 03:45, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

This is what a fence looks like in cyberspace. It is used to identify a piece of cyberspace as "mine", as property. We can now own shares of articles. I'll let you on my list if you let me on yours. Can I be an absentee landlord and have my name on thousands of lists but contract out the management to others? You laugh now. The American Indians laughed at the absurd European notions of "owning" land... WAS 4.250 05:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Er.. the point of the template is to identify the editors currently working on the article. It doesn't discourage other editors, indeed, it encourages them to talk to these editors, find out what they need help with, etc.. Not everything will lead to the fall of Wikipedia (and comparing interaction on Wikipedia to the interaction between Native Americans and Europeans is at best, laughable, and at worst, offensive, but that's another point).--Sean|Black 05:28, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm comparing YOUR attitude concerning wikipedia articles as ownable with year 1700 American Indian attitude concerning land as ownable. The Indians also initially found nothing wrong with the arrangements, as you find nothing wrong with this "consulting" the "identified" (owners). WAS 4.250 05:34, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

When did I say Wikipedia articles were "ownable"?--Sean|Black 06:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I find the template's purpose unclear and WAS' critique worthy of careful consideration. The template does seem to imply ownership contrary to Wikipedia's guidelines. What exactly should these active guardians be contacted about? Wouldn't a message left on the article's talk page reach the same volunteers, serve the same purpose and be more accessible to later readers? --Dystopos 05:49, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
    • The template lets readers know that the article is being watched for vandalism, and gives readers 1-click easy access to directly email someone knowledgeable on the article's subject. I understand the fine line between saying "contact me for problems" and saying "this is my article", but I don't think this has crossed the line. It is alright to test new things out. We don't have to fear any slight change from the norm. I think this can only strengthen our image of "accountability" and improve our articles. Most people check their email more than their watchlist. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 06:07
    • In any case, feel free to suggest wording changes that you think will improve this template. I want it to almost be like a statement that "I confirm that the current state of this article is factual, neutral, and verifiable from reliable sources," though maybe not that extreme... yet. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 06:14
      • I wouldn't suggest that- this is also a good template for articles that are "in progress" (more so than every article, that is).--Sean|Black 06:34, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

As per your suggestion I "felt free" to "suggest wording" by altering it to my suggestion: "This article is being watched for vandalism. Contacts for problems are listed. We are aiming for factual, neutral, and verifiable. Sourced contributions are welcome. See: verification and sources:". They are now contacts for problems (to serve, not guard). I'm still concerned, but acountability is a very real issue and I don't want to stifle innovation. (but land as property is "innovation" ... intellectual property is an inovation ... people already ACT like it's THEIR article, so being careful is necessary.) WAS 4.250 06:49, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I see you have ALREADY changed it back, saying "lets talk". I note you didn't care to leave MY version on and then talk. Feeling like you own it? You are maintaing it? Stoping my "vandalizing" it? You made my point for me. It's one more step in turning articles into PROPERTY. WAS 4.250 06:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Calm down. Brian asked for suggestions, not an edit that changed the entire purpose of the template. Please assume good faith here, instead of shouting about people "turning articles into property".--Sean|Black 07:00, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I reverted your edit mainly because it contained grammatical errors, was too long, and did not communicate even close to the right message. I'm getting the feeling that I am being led along. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 13:32

I like this template a lot also. There's nothing wrong with having people identify themselves as willing to take some responsibility for maintaining an article. -- SCZenz 07:06, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

There is a problem with maintaining the village green, at first people just volunteered to keep it in shape, now with all the vandalism we will have specific people maintaining specific parts of it with fences seperating their sections, and since noone has time to judge every dispute that comes up the maintainers will decide which nonmaintainers are trouble and which are not, friends are not, gift givers are friends, money is a gift, the money givers are renters, the money givers are lease holders. PROPERTY one little step at a time. at which step do we say something? WAS 4.250 07:20, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Which current editors are ALREADY taking money for their efforts here? How do you know? I bet someone is being paid to maintain a few articles (Simpson). I bet the foundation is paying more people than they let on (A good thing in my opinion). The property issue is not pie in the sky, its real life putting pie on the table for more than one real editor here (I have no proof). WAS 4.250 07:27, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Are you accusing the Foundation of paying people to create objective content, or accusing third parties of buying real estate to put their own content? I don't see how it would much help third parties that want to put a particular point of view into an article for their agents to identify themselves through a template such as this. And if paying people to put in objective content is a good thing, as you imply, I don't see how a.) that related to property and b.) that identifying those people through a template such as this would be a bad thing. Being a non-profit and all, I assume that the Foundation has to make formal annual public financial statements, which you could examine, if you care to. Certainly the CFO e-mails or wikifies informal statements occasionally. I don't know why or how, really, the Foundation would keep "extra" employees hidden. I don't know why the Wikipedia:Fancruft phenomemon isn't enough to explain the Simpsons articles. I also don't particularly see how putting your name on a talk page as a volunteer who's willing to help maintain an article really gives you any more power over it than you had before, much less actual financial ownership. I mean, if you "contract out maintenance" of your thousands of articles, you'll just be subsidizing other people spending more time on Wikipedia. You certainly wouldn't make any money off of it. I guess this whole association with ownership has triggered a flashback sequence on "private property is evil" and everything bad which has ever been associated with that concept. Using this template may give you bragging rights, but mostly I think it will just ending being more work for you, if people actually take up your offer to contact you. I really hope it doesn't confer any legal liability on you. I would definitely steer clear of any "I affirm this is true and accurate" statements - not for legal reasons, so much as you will have upset people directing their anger at you rather than the article, the talk page, or the project. Personally, I already get lots of requests just because I've made some minor edit to an article many months ago, much less because I've signed up for it. -- Beland 10:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not too sure I like this template, at least the way it's currently worded. I understand the idea behind it but it suggests article ownership too strongly for me, and those who are interested in an article should keep it on their watchlist so that visitors can just leave comments there, rather than individually contacting only editors who list themselves there. That being said, it may be a good idea to list people who will take responsibility and such; the idea has potential. I would certainly not use the template on any talk pages until these issues have been worked out, however. — Knowledge Seeker 07:49, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I've already replied to these statements a dozen times. Please read these replies before supplying another knee-jerk reaction. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 13:26
I have to say that I share some of the concerns here, though my concerns are not in any way connected with assumptions of paid editing. In effect, the template seems to be saying "The following users are watching this page. Please clear any changes with them first." I'd content that the less experienced the editor who reads the template, the more likely they are to interpret it that way. Conversely, more experienced editors are likely to respond with a "So what?" I'd really like to have the purpose of the template explained clearly. Casual vandals are unlikely to read talk pages. The listed users will have the article on their watchlists and will spot and fix vandalism just as quickly without the template. Non-vandals who want to make good-faith edits should not have to refer (or defer) to self-styled experts who, thanks to their watchlists, will soon see any changes anyway. Maybe this template should be tested on WP:TfD? Filiocht | The kettle's on 10:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Did you even bother to read any of the discussion anywhere else regarding this? Have you even bothered to suggest alternate wordings? No, and no. You just moved to delete. Thank you for your knee-jerk reaction. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 13:26

Well, for me, I think that this is a great idea, at least for internal coordination. If I know that there are 3 people watching an article, and none watching another, then I know wicth one to place my watch. I also think that the property stuff looks like paranoia, sorry. But I do believe that the text should be improved, mainly to get the responsible out of us if our wacth fails. Problem is: if you're not an expert, and you wacth an article, what do you do when someone better then you contributes with things you don't know to be true?? This should happend one in a milion times, as vandals hardly have the resources to create that kind of doubt, but it's a possibility. algumacoisaqq 11:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Seeing the ambiguities in reading the template text, I think it would be much better to see that "number of people watching" than this template! Why not add a feature that includes this current number (of users having this article on their watch list) in the heading of each talk page? Awolf002 14:44, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I think it would open up vandals to a whole new world of joy, especially since 71% of mainspace articles are not watched by anyone. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 14:50
  • I still don't understand the what this template adds that the talk page doesn't already provide. If people are actually acting as caretakers, that's a completely transparent process with reverts, edit descriptions, and talk page discussion. Adding a template strikes me as un-needed beaurocracy, an additional layer of obfuscation which has to be independently maintained and arbitrated. In the ideal world (which is where this "faith-based" encyclopedia belongs), ALL editors are actively monitoring articles. Are both sides of an edit war eligible to be named in the template? If not, who decides? If so, what is gained? The one value I see with this template -- alerting editors to others who share interest in the article -- could just as easily be accomplished by way of introducing oneself on the talk page without the ambiguous formality of a template header. --Dystopos 14:55, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
    • It provides nothing to editors. It lets readers know that people have identified themselves as being knowledgeable contacts, and as holding themselves accountable for the factuality/verifiability of the article. It lets readers know that the article's contents are being maintained against vandalism/false content. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 15:07
    • It is just a template. It is not a guideline/policy proposal, and nobody is being forced to use it. The only suggestion I've made is to remove inactive people. Any other guidelines can be discussed and implemented by the community, if it is so desired. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 15:09
      • Reader's savvy enough to look through the talk page would probably be savvy enough to find the major contributors. I support the idea to the extent that it might be nice to have an automatically-generated "major contributors" or "major recent contributors" list on the talk page, but think it's a mistake to state that those people have more authority to speak about verification and sources. They might or might not, and it's an editorial judgment to say who is and isn't. The article itself is where the quality of editing should be hashed out. I also think it's a mistake to make it something independently maintained. It should either be automatic, or the template should instruct the reader on how to interpret the page history to glean the same information. --Dystopos 19:28, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
        • I don't agree with this. Users have to go tought a lot of work to know wicth are the main contributors. This is an easy and fast way to know who is in the article. Even if someone has made some edits, this doesn't they keep watching the article. The number of articles someone can wacth without bein negligent is limited, and we might have too many people wacthing a given article, and too few watching another of the same kind. The way things are rigth now, the wacthing is done at random. algumacoisaqq 19:46, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


Wikipedia Class action

"There is a problem with the operation and functionality of Wikipedia. The basic problem is that none of the Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., nor any of the volunteers who are connected with Wikipedia, consider themselves responsible and therefore accountable for the content." (WikipediaClassaction)--Escalda 16:53, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

It has been determined in discussions on the Admins' Noticeboard, the mailing list, Jimbo's talk page, and probably many other places, that wikipediaclassaction.org is full of shit. --Carnildo 20:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
This is already discussed a little further up on this page, under the cleverly disguised title "Wikipedia Class Action Lawsuit" :). Thue | talk 21:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
All you can take reponsibility for are your own edits and actions, almost all of which are recorded. He saying I should take responsibility for some anon's edits. He's full of S**t. --DanielCD 21:59, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Is he saying that you should take responsibility? Or just the Wikipedia foundation? Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 03:38, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
It's a joke. Love the comment about the "business model". It's a non profit! Come on. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:10, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Alan Dershowitz

Someone has made an accusation/threat before an Irish Wikipedian in connection to the Alan Dershowitz article.[6] Do we know if this was Dershowitz himself? Perhaps a research assistant? Tfine80 15:34, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • There's more going on than that. Jimmy Wales, because he has "received a very strong complaint," has stripped the Alan Dershowitz article to its bare bones and restricted editing to administrators, who are asked to "verify very carefully, with documentable sources, every single fact in the article." (See Talk:Alan Dershowitz) Dystopos 16:41, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
  • What hath Jimbo wrought? Is this the future of Wikipedia? Scream loudly enough and anything you don't like gets deleted? User:Zoe|(talk) 03:48, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, Dershowitz is a special case. He's extremely litigous, and very good at it. And he's ruthless. You wanna pay the legal bills? (Besides which, what's wrong with "verify[ing] very carefully, with documentable sources, every single fact in [an] article."?) Herostratus 04:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
    • This may be an unpopular view I'm about to express, but there are probably 100, or maybe 1,000, other articles we would do well to handle the same way, and not just for legal reasons, but because they have become little more than repositories for dubious unsourced claims. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:27, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
      • I agree. In fact, on the Michelle Malkin talk page, I made a similar point. Actually, my point there was even more extreme, there are some bios (and its really just bios) that (1) are a lot of trouble to maintain (2) are NEVER really going to be NPOV (3) are marginal to an encyclopedia anyway. And for those, I'd recommend just saying Hey we're not gonna touch this one. Go find out about this person somewhere else. I know that's not gonna happen, and I guess it shouldn't really happen, but it still sounds attractive. Herostratus 04:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Newspaper now prints 75-100 word passages from Wikipedia

The Commercial Appeal has been ocassionally placing article-related background information lifted (with credit) out of Wikipedia into print. Previously, the paper often used Wikipedia as a source for bullet point info boxes. This is a decent sized paper with over 100,000 subscribers. Lotsofissues 16:22, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Is their paper released under the GFDL? Or can they claim fair use? -Splashtalk 17:30, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
????? Anyone can make a profit from Wikipedia's text. We are not copyrighted, so "fair use" claims are not even on the radar. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-12-3 18:07
If they credit Wikipedia then thats within gfdl isnt it? Martin 17:35, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes. I think that's all that is required. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-12-3 18:07
My understanding of the GFDL is that you must license any derivative work under the GFDL and attribute the authors (or at least give a route to determining authorship). The insistence on re-license under GFDL is that this preserves the free nature of the work rather than it being non-free under the paper's copyright. -Splashtalk 18:10, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes. This is explained at Wikipedia:Copyrights#Users' rights and obligations. Dystopos 22:43, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The question is, what is a derivative work? Does the entire magazine become a derivative work simply because you include a couple of stanza from Wikipedia in one article? In that case, how come we allow images that aren't licensed by GFDL compatible licenses? We consider them separate works, even when the images are included in GFDL licensed articles. That's shady, but we should still allow third-parties the same discretion to use our work. — David Remahl 07:09, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
The GFDL doesn't impose restrictions that don't exist on other copyrighted material. I think quoting short passages from just about anything is generally OK. Lupin|talk|popups 18:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Another friend of Wikipedia

Here is an oppinion by Burt Helm with the title A Vote of Confidence in Wikipedia. BusinessWeek/Yahoo Awolf002 02:47, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


BBC's Bill Thompson

A bit more even handed and less sensational: BBCnews Awolf002 19:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I use the Wikipedia a lot. It is a good starting point for serious research, but I would never accept something that I read there without checking. Nice to see at least someone in the media knows how to use wikipedia! :) Kit 22:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Penny Arcade, spot on as usual

As a Wikipedian, I find this to be very amusing:

The second response is: the collaborative nature of the apparatus means that the right data tends to emerge, ultimately, even if there is turmoil temporarily as dichotomous viewpoints violently intersect. To which I reply: that does not inspire confidence. In fact, it makes the whole effort even more ridiculous. What you've proposed is a kind of quantum encyclopedia, where genuine data both exists and doesn't exist depending on the precise moment I rely upon your discordant fucking mob for my information.

I haven't seen the comic that goes with the news post, it isn't up on the site yet. — PhilHibbs | talk 14:53, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Wonderful description. ᓛᖁ  15:08, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Try this for the comic: [7]

If people can't see the comic (or are lazy) I'll reprint it here:

Title: I have the Power

Panel 1: Wikipedia entry on He-Man: He-Man is the most powerful man in the universe. Imbued with incredible magical powers by the Sorceress of Castle Greyskull he defends Eternia against evildoers with his friends Man-At-Arms, Teela and the lovable Orko.

Panel 2: Editing Wikipedia entry on He-Man: He-Man is actually a tremendous jackass and not really that powerful. He hangs out with a bunch of jerks like Peela and Dorko. He has a cat who is also dumb and _

Panel 3: Skeletor typing on his computer.

For those that don't understand He-Man and can't be bothered looking it up, put simply Skeletor is He-Man's enemy. So of course, from Skeletor's point of view He-Man is like that. Anyway, I won't ruin the joke more. It was funny. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 16:17, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't get it. The rant is lame (is it a satire of Orlowski or he's serious?) and the comic is a plain ripoff of Foxtrot with skeleton instead of small girl and He-Man instead of warthogs. Rather lame.  Grue  17:22, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Seigenthaler still on the prowl -- spoke at a press association meeting about Wikipedia

"At this year's annual meeting of the Trotter Group, an association of black columnists, John Seigenthaler Sr., the 78-year-old legendary former editor of the Nashville Tennessean, told the group what he later described in a USA Today column: how a single anonymous prankster defamed him by maliciously planting false information in Wikipedia, the digital encyclopedia." — New York Daily News, today

HE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL NO NEWSPAPER IN THIS COUNTRY USES WIKIPEDIA AS A SOURCE. Lotsofissues 23:39, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

  • People in general, including journalists, won't stop using Wikipedia just because of one critic, or because of one incident (though some individuals might, at least for a time). People can see the site for themselves, and they can learn how the site works, either by poking around, or through publicity by Jimbo and the rest of us. Then they can decide for themselves if and how to use the site, and how to evaluate its content. The recent controversy is probably more of a sign that lots of people are using the site, than anything else. (This is not to say there isn't work to be done on the reliability and credibility fronts.) -- Beland 00:10, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Any newspaper in the country would be foolish to use Wikipedia as anything more than an initial guide - never as an authoritative source. (As an initial guide, however, its value is already enormous and ever-growing) -- Dystopos 00:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
      • While this is true, we should try to become more than a simple link farm. Most automated sites can do a half-decent job at being an "initial guide". — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-14 01:08
        • I strongly disagree with that assessment. Answers.com does a pretty decent job, but that's almost entirely to our credit, not theirs. --Dystopos 05:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Many newspaper citations seem to be referring readers to us for additional background, which is certainly less risky than taking the information here as truth without verifying it. (Though in citing Wikipedia as the source of your information, you wash your hands of some of the responsibility for any errors it may contain.) There are two conflicting ideals here - Wikipedia should have accurate information, but readers shouldn't assume that it does. Whenever either of those ideals are found not to hold, there's a problem. And both are violated all the time. I'm not sure what to make of the current dust-up. On the one hand, it seems like a good life lesson for people, including journalists, to be reminded not to believe everything they read. Journalists, though their presentation may be more professional in presentation, and though they are carefully selected, overseen, and generally behave themselves, also quite often get facts wrong. Especially in certain areas like science, where I'm sure reading relevant Wikipedia articles would definitely improve reporting. A lot of journalists are on short deadlines, and don't actually have time to double-check facts with experts, spend a day at the library. They usually report what they're told by what sources are immediately available, and especially with things like science, don't necessarily understand the subject matter particularly well. Another lesson that people need to learn is when it's self-evident that a source might be unreliable. I have to laugh a little, because the fact that the Seigenthaler article mentioned the JFK assassination seems like it should have been be a red flag to anyone coming across it. Maybe more Wikipedia editors need a healthier sense of skepticism, or maybe this article was just neglected; I don't know. Partly, I think the project will benefit from just having more time to mature. Perhaps as it does, we will need to change our methods, to emphasis preventing mostly-good content from backsliding, as opposed to building new content. Though even right now, we could use some new tools. Actually, I think I could help there by implementing Wikipedia:Neglected articles, now that my laptop is back from the shop. We could also devote ourselves to more fact-checking and referencing. Right now, we have a lot of content which is checked only against what we have in our brains - Wikipedia:Common knowledge. Or not really systematically examined in a skeptical way. Category:Articles lacking sources and Category:Wikipedia articles needing factual verification have hundreds of articles that need work, but probably there are tens if not hundreds of thousands that need this sort of attention. Sadly, Wikipedia:WikiProject Fact and Reference Check seems to have gone inactive, but perhaps the new article validation feature will help systematically identify weaknesses. (Or perhaps one of the many reforms that the press is incorrectly reporting that Jimbo has already announced will happen soon. Ha!) -- Beland 02:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Why is it a bad thing if no newspapers used Wikipedia as a source? For all but the best articles, I don't see this as a bad thing. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 03:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

If you wish to have readers for your work then you should realize we need some credibility too. If the elites stop praising/use us but rather blast us then our credibility will fall. Lotsofissues 08:38, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
If our content was always reasonably accurate, these problems would not arise. In other words, the fault is not with the press, but with us. Filiocht | The kettle's on 08:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I suggested elsewhere a way around this. Only present publicly things that are "rubber stamped" as "acceptable". Tons and tons of articles like that. They don't have to be "complete" to be "acceptable" of course, they just have to be accurate. I am sure that this wouldn't be too hard to implement. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 11:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Category:Editorial validation is full of worthy but unimplemented suggestions such as this. -- Beland 23:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Emasculated McHenry wants us to know he is still alive

Another article He wrote this before the Nature report. Luckily for him, he didn't have to fiddle with a response to that incredible vote of confidence. He repeats the same criticisms, but there is a conciliatory hint to the dull sharpness of his repetitious claims. Lotsofissues 22:41, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I think all your non-NPOV must well up and up as you edit NPOVly. It then bursts into a towering torrent of POV when you report on criticism of Wikipedia here. Makes me chuckle anyway :). Pcb21 Pete 08:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


Junk removal

If you're concerned about editors creating bad articles which slip by RecentChanges patrol and fester for months or years, stop by the newly created Wikipedia:Neglected articles. The focus is currently on articles that have only ever had one (anonymous) editor. -- Beland 22:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Nice work, I'll have a go at working on some of those. - Taxman Talk 23:02, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

NPR covers Nature article

It's playing right now on my radio. :-D [8]. Should be available at 7:30PM ET. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 21:42, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Nature editors respond

From their blog:

We're trying to see if we can publish the full list of errors found by our reviewers, or least send them to you (and to Britannica if they want). We'll post an update here as soon as we have a firm answer.

I also received a private email from them in response to a request for more information. I hope they don't mind me posting it below (since it looked like a bit of a form letter):

In light of the amount of interest, we have decided to make the reviews public as far as possible, although obviously we'll have to edit them to remove the names of the reviewers, any libellous statements etc. The reviewers didn't all respond in the same format, and some of them highlighted points that we didn't consider to be significant errors, so we're also writing up an accompanying document to explain which errors we counted, and how we arrived at all the numbers. We're also asking the reviewers if they mind being identified, so we'll name those who give permission. That's all quite a bit of work, especially with Jim being away, but I hope we can send this to you by the end of next week, as well as putting it up (free) on our own website. Thanks for your patience!

—Steven G. Johnson 17:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I also recieved an email. Hello. We have received many requests for this information and are currently working to put it into a publishable format. It will be posted somewhere on our website as soon as possible. Please check back next week.. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 20:05, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Nature Question

Is there any way to find out what they claim are errors so we can verify the stat and/or correct them? Their numbers seem kind of fishy. The article only lists two. MrVoluntarist 17:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

pleas help, vandalism at wikibooks!!!!!

I don't know where to ask the question but could someone urgently help fighting vandalism on wikibooks by ip-adres wikibooks:Special:Contributions/68.215.139.117. Thank you! Donar Reiskoffer 15:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it is the same vandalism, but for some days, there's a link spam vandalism targeted against romanian wikibooks, too! --Vlad 15:49, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
IP addr linked above. As of now, no edits since: 15:56, 15 December 2005; according to the block log: it is blocked for a month, and was later perm blocked as an open proxy. An admin on wikibooks needs to fix this; otherwise the IP will be unblocked in a month. JesseW, the juggling janitor 08:28, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Nature follow-up: How do the article sizes compare?

With the help of Maveric149, I've thrown together this quick table comparing the EB and Wikipedia file sizes for the articles. In Wikipedia's case, we selected the displayed text, not the Edit box text, and we tried to remove all tables/external links/see also/references/etc, and we used the versions prior to the Nature article's publication.

Result: WP errors per 2KB: 1.3. Britannica: 3.6. WP average article size: 6.8KB. Britannica: 2.6KB.0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 07:03

Should we really be measuring "errors per KB"? Wikipedia text has a lot more filler than EB text, thanks to less efficient copyediting (and no need to economize on space). +sj + 07:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Article WP errors WP bytes WP errors/byte WP bytes/error EB errors EB bytes EB errors/byte EB bytes/error
Acheulean industry 7 3072 0.002278646 439 1 3174 0.00031502 3174
Agent Orange 2 8192 0.000244141 4096 2 1700 0.001176581 850
Aldol reaction 3 5120 0.000585938 1707 4 801 0.004995205 200
Archimedes’ principle 2 4096 0.000488281 2048 2 1956 0.001022579 978
Australopithecus africanus 1 4096 0.000244141 4096 1 1505 0.000664328 1505
Bethe, Hans 2 12288 0.00016276 6144 1 4188 0.000238768 4188
Cambrian explosion 11 6144 0.001790365 559 10 3389 0.00295034 339
Cavity magnetron 2 8192 0.000244141 4096 2 2458 0.000813802 1229
Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan 0 3072 0 >3072 4 1618 0.00247231 404
CJD 5 9216 0.000542535 1843 2 3809 0.000525034 1905
Cloud 5 11264 0.000443892 2253 3 4116 0.000728778 1372
Colloid 6 7168 0.000837054 1195 3 3727 0.000804859 1242
Dirac, Paul 9 7168 0.00125558 796 10 5202 0.001922367 520
Dolly the sheep 4 5120 0.00078125 1280 1 705 0.001419422 705
Epitaxy 2 2048 0.000976563 1024 5 1137 0.00439893 227
Ethanol 5 18432 0.000271267 3686 3 2232 0.001343893 744
Field effect transistor 3 7168 0.000418527 2389 3 1874 0.001600922 625
Haber process 2 4096 0.000488281 2048 1 1536 0.000651042 1536
Kinetic isotope effect 2 3492 0.000572764 1746 1 1352 0.00073982 1352
Kin selection 3 3072 0.000976563 1024 3 5652 0.00053074 1884
Lipid 0 4096 0 >4096 3 2324 0.001290611 775
Lomborg, Bjorn 1 5120 0.000195313 5120 1 3369 0.000296828 3369
Lymphocyte 2 3072 0.000651042 1536 1 3052 0.000327706 3052
Mayr, Ernst 3 4598 0.000652492 1533 0 2273 0 >2273
Meliaceae 3 2662 0.001126803 887 1 969 0.001032307 969
Mendeleev, Dmitry 19 7342 0.002587823 386 8 413 0.019371436 52
Mutation 6 10650 0.000563401 1775 8 4352 0.001838235 544
Neural network 7 8673 0.000807076 1239 2 3656 0.000547094 1828
Nobel prize 5 12698 0.000393775 2540 4 2591 0.001543972 648
Pheromone 2 2970 0.000673491 1485 3 2028 0.00147964 676
Prion 7 9564 0.000731899 1366 3 3215 0.000933021 1072
Punctuated equilibrium 0 8151 0 >8151 1 6359 0.000157256 6359
Pythagoras’ theorem 1 11469 8.71931E-05 11469 1 4342 0.000230321 4342
Quark 0 11878 0 >11878 5 6994 0.000714907 1399
Royal Greenwich Observatory 5 3512 0.00142356 702 3 1597 0.001878005 532
Royal Society 2 4219 0.000474059 2109 6 2591 0.002315958 432
Synchrotron 2 7240 0.000276255 3620 2 1065 0.001878005 532
Thyroid 7 9738 0.000718816 1391 4 3707 0.001079075 927
Vesalius, Andreas 4 6994 0.000571925 1748 2 286 0.007000448 143
West Nile Virus 5 8172 0.000611881 1634 1 1587 0.00063004 1587
Wolfram, Stephen 2 3430 0.000583022 1715 2 3031 0.00065984 1516
Woodward, Robert Burns 3 13824 0.000217014 4608 0 215 0 >215

Result: WP errors per 2KB: 1.3. Britannica: 3.6. WP average article size: 6.8KB. Britannica: 2.6KB.0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 07:03

This is interesting, but no one should quote it as anything other than an extremely rough guess...we don't actually know what versions of which articles were compared. What we really need to do is concentrate on improving accuracy, which is difficult as we don't know which factual errors, misleading statements, or omissions Nature's reviewers counted in this total. Note that there is a similar partially completed table at Wikipedia:External_peer_review#Errors.2Fword_comparisons. - Nunh-huh 05:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I compared the versions prior to December 13th/14th, before the Nature story broke. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 06:21
Yes, but we don't know what versions they actually compared, and our articles certainly changed between the time they were selected and December 12th. - Nunh-huh 06:27, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • As for the errors Nature found, I think they have been contacted requesting the list of errors. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 06:24
Why are the EB bytes not integers? Varizer 05:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Again, this was just a ballpark estimate. I took the first 3 digits of the KB and converted them to bytes. I've fixed them to not list unnecessary decimal places. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 06:20
OK. But another thing, wasn't it the WP article on Mendeleev which had the 19 errors, not the EB one? Varizer 06:34, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Results fixed. Haha! I completely screwed up :) That's what I get for doing this half asleep. I'll fix it.0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 06:36

I collected rough word count statistics (by cutting and pasting text into wc), for both the WP and EB articles in question. The results are collected at Wikipedia:External peer review. The EB articles have a mean length of 541.26 words, with 2.9286 problems per article, or 0.0054107 problems/word. The WP articles have a mean length of 1077.5 words, with 3.8571 problems per article, or 0.0035798 problems/word. Of course, this doesn't mean that our articles are necessarily better; it depends on the severity of the problems, whether our extra words are actually useful information or just verbiage/trivia, etcetera. There's also the question of when, exactly the articles were reviewed. Still, food for thought. —Steven G. Johnson 06:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I urge once again that these figures not be used when discussing the Nature results; we're obviously comparing different versions than Nature compared, since they explicitly state that "all entries were chosen to be approximately the same length in both encyclopaedias". [9]. - Nunh-huh 07:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • In any case, we can still say our articles are over 2.5 times longer :) — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 07:26
    • Well, we could say that, but what we would like to be able to say is "we have corrected our articles." We shouldn't devote too much effort to trying to reproduce Nature's data (which we really have no way of doing in any case). It's a small study, it's relatively subjective, and frankly, we did OK in it. What we'd like to be able to say is that we want to respond to any errors pointed out to us, and we're interested in ways in which we can become more accurate, rather than giving the impression that we're interested in massaging data which doesn't need massaging. - Nunh-huh 07:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • It's very difficult to say; "roughly equal" for them could mean "within a factor of two", which is about where the word counts (currently) are. We should definitely try to get some clarification. —Steven G. Johnson 07:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I still find discrepancies I can't explain. Our West Nile virus article, even one year ago, was 1108 words or 4.5 times the word count (245) of the EB article. I've searched around EB, and I can't find any huge alternative article on this virus that they could have used instead. —Steven G. Johnson 07:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah I noticed this too; our 2nd largest article is their smallest. I think Nature just averaged the lengths together at the end to see if there was a big difference. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 07:34
That's not what they say they did. - Nunh-huh 07:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Your evidence? Their statement was pretty vague. There is no way they could have trimmed down a 13KB article into a 200 byte article, unless they went in and removed all the extra content that didn't relate to the "facts" presented in EB, in which case they have simply introduced ambiguity into their results: what may sound incorrect or overly simplified in a lead section sentence could be thoroughly explained in the rest of the article. That content should not be ignore. The only way to know is to ask them. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 07:40
There's nothing vague about ""all entries were chosen to be approximately the same length in both encyclopaedias"" - Nunh-huh 08:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, there is. There is no way they turned a 200 byte article into a 13.5 KB article, or vice versa. They must have removed substantial content from the Wikipedia entries to make them similar. It is unclear what exactly they did. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 16:15

Brian, a word of warning — you have to be a bit careful in counting the EB article sizes, because some of their articles are spread around. e.g. they seem to break up long biographies over multiple pages, and I'm pretty sure your Mendeleev, Burns, and Vesalius counts are wrong for this reason. Also, there are multiple articles to choose from for some topics (e.g. Dolly, Synchrotron, Ethanol, some as a subsection of a longer article), and some are longer than others. See my comments in Wikipedia:External peer review; I got bitten by this too. My comment about West Nile virus still stands, though. —Steven G. Johnson 07:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I can't help that Nature was overly vague in how they went about this. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 07:56
No, but you are responsible for counting the whole EB article on a topic (or the largest article if they have more than one). Otherwise, your comparison is bogus. With the biographies I mentioned, you're essentially just counting the introductory paragraph (the EB bio article has an explicit "next" link and a table of contents pointing to the more detailed sections). —Steven G. Johnson 08:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, take the Robert Burns Woodward articles for example. There is no way they turned 200 bytes into 13.5 KB, or vice versa. How could they claim these numbers were similar? Of course the Britannica article had no errors—it only had 2 sentences! — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 15:30
Brian, why do I have to repeat myself? Those 200 bytes are only the introduction. If you scroll down, you'll see that there are links to sub-pages on his "Education and early career" and his "Synthesis of steroids". These are part of their Woodward article that you are not counting; all of their long bios are broken up like this. —Steven G. Johnson 17:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Another point: our Field effect transistor is only an overview article, the beef (and fat) is in MOSFET, JFET, MESFET and HEMT. --Pjacobi 13:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Very good point. We do the same thing Britannica does (split up articles). — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-15 15:30
    • You have to compare apples to apples. EB also has an article specifically on MOSFET, for example. However, they make a distinction between sub-pages that are parts of a single article (which have a single table of contents and next/previous links) and pages that are separate articles on related topics. I expect that Nature just compared single self-contained articles from both sites, but I'm also sure they included sub-pages (as otherwise the biography comparisons make no sense). —Steven G. Johnson 17:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I think the strongest thing to come out of this is how many articles were judged by an expert in the field to have 0 factual errors. We all know we have some articles with tons of errors, so the ones with errors are not news, but that many with zero is impressive. On the other hand we can't let this make us think we're almost as good as Brittanica, since science is of course one of Wikipedia's strongest areas. If this was done in history or economics, we'd come out a lot worse I think. All in all it does validate the model works. The great thing is Wikipedia doesn't have to be perfect today to be relevent, just keep moving towards that. Getting this far in 5 years is impressive. I think people forget (or didn't know) that until 2003 or even 2004 many people didn't think much decent content would be created at all, much less a lot of it. Now that we have a lot of content, I'd like to think we're shifting the focus to quality, and that's a very good thing. - Taxman Talk 16:57, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia Quality Assessment 2

Two years after my first quality assessment I have done a new one. My analysis suggests that only 34.2% of all Wikipedia entries are articles of some sort. Kokiri 14:40, 18 December 2005 (UTC)


New template for userpages to indicate membership in WikiProjects

I made a new template to indicate membership in wikiprojects on your userpage. Just add {{participant|Project name}} to your userpage, and you'll get a nice little graphic as well as a category such as Category:Participants in WikiProject Voting systems.

Also, could an admin please delete Category:Participant_of_WikiProject_Voting_systems, I created it on accident and it's empty now. Scott Ritchie 05:02, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

TBSDY on CNET

TBSDY at news.com arguing against Brandt's talking points. One of google news's top hits for sci/tech news. Broken S 01:58, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

  • He's brilliant. Let's make him our spokesman! All those in favour of the violent overthrow of God-King Jimbo Wales post here! Harro5 06:53, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

New (sort of) book about Wikipedia

  • Paulo Correa, Alexandra Correa, Malgosia Askanas, Wikipedia: A Techno-Cult of Ignorance, ISBN 1-894840-36-4

If it is not evident from the title alone, let the first heading speak for itself:

Is Wikipedia a new fascism of knowledge perpetrated by disaffected leftists: a Wackopedia?

On-line version at http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia/awp_index.html . I didn't find any mention of this, but it seems to be required to be licensed under GFDL, as it quotes extensively from the Wikipedia. Pjacobi 19:35, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Quotes for criticism fall squarely under fair use. -- Beland 06:06, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Erm.. wha... but.. and how.. I don't even.. why..--Sean|Black 19:42, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I encourage everybody to read this thing. You'll laugh till you cry. Especially the "Rampant admin abuse" section. Hehehehe.--Sean|Black 19:48, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
First a website by a crazy Wiki hater, now a book! Favourite quote (of what I've read so far) - "At the click of a button, these Administrators become empowered barbarians in a campaign of mutilation of facts, thought and history; cybervandals with a license to kill and a whole community of bureaucrats to support them." And the cover is absolutely awesome! the wub "?!" 21:10, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
http://www.aetherometry.com/ is worth a visit too. It's the Science of the Metric Aether. Really. You can also read "Global Warming: An Official Pseudoscience" and "The Aetherometric Theory of Gravity". It's good to know who we're dealing with here. --Cherry blossom tree 23:34, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Does this image appear anywhere in the book? On the cover, perhaps? It seems to be traditional for attacks on Wikipedia to open with that one. --Carnildo 19:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

We should publish a rebuttal: {{sofixit}} — BRIAN0918 • 2005-11-24 20:19

I can't believe it, I'm the first one on their http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia/Section_II.html#cabalmembers list of cabal members! I cannot recall even getting near that dispute! Not only that, they copied my name wrong from my user page! And they are really off in their guess of my age, by around ten years! (Truth to be told, they probably guessed based on the really old picture I have on my home page, which hasn't seen a decent update since the last century.) I'm barely containing my laughter right now! --cesarb 00:23, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

[10] and [11]. They added me to the list based on that? Inconceivable! (The first edit was me passing by and noticing a wrongly placed template, the second one is me monitoring my recent contributions.) --cesarb 00:33, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Don't get too cocky: The list is in alphabetic order :). Besides, the full list of cabal membership is here :)--Sean|Black 00:42, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Why aren't I in there? *sob*. I wanna be in a book. Waaaaaa. BTW what the bejaysus is Aetherometry? Actually, come to think of it, I don't really want to know. And I thought the history, political science and royalty pages were exciting!!! I'm going off to write my own book on Wikipedia now: Wikipedia: Editing History or Wikipedia: How to write (loads and loads) and not get paid, and even not have copyright! lol FearÉIREANN \(caint) 00:42, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

"disaffected leftists" no less. they must be out of their fucking minds. I spend all day fighting vicious jingoist crackpot nutters from Macedonia to Rajasthan. Leftist, indeed. dab () 12:23, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

The repetition (and frequently incorrect useage) of the word "fascist", and excessive lengthening of mundane terms with the prefixes "cyber-" and "techno-" in vulgar attempts to create interest and controversy in an otherwise impotent and meritless article, lead me to suggest this author and work are not worthy of discussion. I know that we all like to discuss any outside attention directed to wikipedia, but the phrase "don't feed the trolls" comes to mind... Alexforcefive 05:53, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Toronto Star article

Wikipedia a blank slate for Web vandals (may require registration to read). Mindmatrix 15:29, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


according to User Friendly, there is a law suit against wikipedia?

according to today's User Friendly, there is a class action law suit being launched against wikipedia? This would be the first I've heard of it. Can anyone point me to a source? -lethe talk 09:49, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

#Wikipedia_Class_Action_Lawsuit. r3m0t talk 09:52, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
This is only the third time the "class action lawsuit" has been posted to this page. --Carnildo 10:07, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Strangely though, the article was nominated for deletion, and is a good chance to be deleted. Odd really. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 10:23, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

BBC Article

I like this one [12] --Zeizmic 21:55, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

The Times: Wikipedia under DEVASTATING ATTACK!!!

Where did he get this story?

Lotsofissues 18:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Which part of the story do you mean? The Nature article is discussed at Wikipedia:External_peer_review#Nature. I assume you mean the article's reference to a surge in the number of spoof articles and vandal attacks and A cursory search today suggested that these procedures - which require contributors to register basic details before posting articles - were being defeated by a relentless wave of vandals, apparently co-ordinating their assaults from a series of chatrooms dedicated to its demise. This appears to be founded on nothing substantial - my guess is that the writer had a bad luck to stubmle upon some vandalised pages and drew his own conclusions based on some tiny, non-representative sample. I find nothing in the statistics (see Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Some_numbers_about_new_pages and Wikipedia_talk:Articles_for_creation#Statistics) to support his conclusions. Also, note it's one of the series of articles using the ' 600 volunteer editors' number (apparently they confuse adminstrators with Wikipedians). Comments?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:09, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
"relentless wave of vandals, apparently co-ordinating their assaults from a series of chatrooms dedicated to its demise." My interested was piqued particularly by this line. Is he making things up now? Lotsofissues 19:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
"600 volunteer editors"?? There are over 700 admins! That mean that 100 of the admins must of even givne up. the number's I've heard ranged from 20,000 and up.--Rayc 17:54, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm...the "Wikipedia is crap" stuff (which is pictured in the article) stayed on the page for only a matter of seconds before it was reverted [13]. Since older revisions look like this, not the way they do in his screenshot, it's amazing that this Times author happened to visit the page at just that point in time. As the for other part, about Jimbo and Seigenthaler's wife - I can't find it in the history of John Seigenthaler Sr., John Seigenthaler Jr., Jimmy Wales or User:Jimbo Wales. Hard to say where that came from, or how this guy found them (though I must say, it makes me very suspicious). Guettarda 19:21, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
The IP was probably from Glasgow[14]. Now if someone knows where Simon Freeman lives...
I encountered similar thing previously with a Serbian newspaper, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia as a press source 2004#July 2004 (21 articles). Wikipedia seems to be an excellent resource for bad journalists. They can just edit an article the way they like, then if told that they are wrong just claim they found it on the Internet. Nikola 07:34, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Hehe, I was just scaning for that... maybe we should warn the Times, I think they would really apreciate this - it shure smells like crap. The only thing is that the vandal (User talk:213.206.137.1) looks like one of those that share IP number. algumacoisaqq 19:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

  • How about this old version [15]? Awolf002 19:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • When he was on Talk of the Nation, Jimbo did say that some offensive revisions of the Seigenthaler article were being deleted from the history. -- Beland 22:26, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

The times blurb is extremely unprofessional journalism. The wikipedia is constantly under attack by vandals; the journalist made no attempt to see if the vandalism he discovered today was in any way out of the ordinary. Is a brief, witty letter to the editor being written anywhere? Doops | talk 01:00, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

This is pretty much what passes for journalism at The Times. Good luck reforming them! - Nunh-huh 02:48, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
As a daily RC patroller, I can comment--I don't see anything special. The last few days have had about the usual amount of vandalism, mostly fairly innocent stuff from kids at school when it is morning-afternoon in the U.S., and the usual trolls and repeat offenders when it is evening in the U.S. Devastating attack? Nah. Antandrus (talk) 02:52, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

An American asking...isn't the Times supposed to be/considered a newspaper of record? Lotsofissues 04:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It's a small country. You're a newspaper of record if you don't have a topless vixen on your third page. - Nunh-huh 05:18, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

In my book, a newspaper is of record when it has a topless vixen on the third page :-). Seriously though, newspaper journalism in Britain is of a very low quality. Dan100 (Talk) 11:28, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't even have a page 3, unless maybe 3, and there are no vixens in sight there, topless or otherwise... dab () 12:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
{{sofixit}} --Carnildo 21:36, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like this is a job for WikiProject Hot Chicks! Ashibaka tock 22:58, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment - This journalist should not be allowed to edit Wikipedia articles! He is clearly unreliable and is not to be trusted. LOL. He cited zero sources for his information. Why couldn't he have cited Wikipedia articles, quoted them exactly, and then linked to the edit in the history which had the abuse? He could have done that easily. Also, which chat room is he talking about? Is there an anti-Wikipedia chat room? If there is, how was he able to get access to it? I actually got the feeling that maybe, just maybe, this journalist himself might have been involved in the disruption. Perhaps what really happened is that he was in an anti-Wikipedia chat room and he overheard some people saying how they were going to disrupt Wikipedia, and then he just checked out ONE article, and that was enough for him. Maybe. Or maybe he just saw someone post somewhere on a forum or something that they thought that Wikipedia should be vandalised, and didn't check any further. Maybe he happened to stumble upon Willy on Wheels' home page? LOL. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 16:08, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Note that the story of Wales' "death" was picked up by veteran Wikipedia critic Andrew Orlowski. See this story and also Wikipedia:Criticisms. Note also that the "Wales is dead" vandalism apparently refers to two edits by User:Ben E. Rande, both of which were visible for one minute or less (the user was subsequently banned). —Steven G. Johnson 06:27, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2005

Just a friendly announcement: Jimbo has announced that the ArbCom elections procedure will be his second proposal, a hybrid procedure, after closing the straw poll. I'm not sure that people have the page watchlisted, so I thought I'd bring it out here to gain more attention. As usual, turn to the Wikipedia Signpost on Monday for complete and comprehensive coverage. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 15:51, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Do we have any clues on when the elections "may" (and I quote) be held? I mean, it's basically holiday season already from the point-of-view of, say, a two week long election. -Splashtalk 00:43, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
That would be my question too, I have been following the pages but haven't spotted anything yet. Hopefully with the runtime set to 2 weeks, no one will miss out and only the voters with "firstpost-itis" will miss out voting first if it's not known in advance when it starts... PS when I tried to edit just now (from a freshly refreshed page of wikipedia:Village pump (all)), clicking on the edit in this heading gave me a nearby Nature section instead. Weird. ++Lar 17:13, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Early January elections run for two weeks.Geni 17:30, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Alexa: Across 30

Woot

Lotsofissues 21:09, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

34. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 10:30, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Brion to remove Amethyst skin

In a wikitech-l posting, Brion Vibber has announced that, given there is no opposition, he will remove the Amethyst skin. Now, I know most Wikipedians aren't subscribed to the wikitech-l list, so I'm giving you guys a heads up. Personally, I didn't even know the skin existed. Vibber's message:

If there's no objection, I'm going to remove the Amethyst skin from the default set. It's very buggy, and also, um, kinda ugly IMHO. :)

Ambush Commander(Talk) 01:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


My war on Christmas

The article, not the holiday. It's been featured for a year now, and has had 600 major edits since then, and 500 other edits. It is to be featured on the main page on December 25th. For the details, see: Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates/Christmas/archive1. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-19 22:29

Another friendly voice

Here is an opinion piece by Paul Jacob titled Hasten slowly: how to change Wikipedia at Townhall.com. "You can't step into the same Wikipedia twice." Dsmdgold 17:35, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Fundraising statistics

These statistics are from the third day of fundraising, based on the fact that it had the biggest sample of donations and I couldn't be bothered to combine them. :)

Donations under $50 (other currencies were converted) accounted for $11400 or 67% of the total intake on that day. Donations of $100 or under accounted for 84%. Donations of $200 or under accounted for 93%. The largest donation, $1,000, accounted for 6%. $10: 12%; $20: 30%; $30: 50%.

The most common donation was $10-$10.49 (there were 86 such donations).

The most useful donations were $100-$100.49 (19 donations giving $1900) and $50-$50.49 (36 donations giving $1800).

There were 8 joke donations where the PayPal fee meant there was no net gain. (All other figures in this analysis used the gross donation converted to USD.) The smallest useful donation was $0.50.

The correlation between being anonymous and giving large amounts of money is 0.01189268 - not significant. However, the top 5 donations ($200 or above) are all anonymous, and 62 of the top 100 donations are anonymous.

The whole situation reminds me of stone soup. :)

r3m0t talk 10:49, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Neat stats! Can I add some of them to wikimedia:Fund drives/2005/Q4/Day 3? -- mav 17:16, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course. I will see if some sort of Excel macro/external data source thing could semi-automate it. :) r3m0t talk 17:42, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Cool - thanks. Done. See wikimedia:Fund drives/2005/Q4/Day 3. --mav 18:33, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I should add that any calculations such as "donations under $200 accounted for 93%" assumed that each donation in the $200.00-$200.49 bin was $200.00 exactly. r3m0t talk 18:32, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The Guardian is looking right at you--yes, right at you!

"Immerse yourself, if you can bear it, in the discussion at the "village pump" (go to wikipedia.org and follow links to the Community Portal).

...

What I realised - perhaps it was the mention of Scientology - is that Wikipedia, and so many other online activities, show all the outward characteristics of a cult."

[16]

Lotsofissues 19:09, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Aren't cults expected to swallow their own dogma without question? It seems like wikipedia is exactly the opposite -- it can be amazingly difficult to reach consensus on even straight-forward matters. But there are definitely traits of addictive behavior among some contributors... :) — RJH 22:10, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, I did sacrifice a pig at my alter to Jimbo last night..:).--Sean|Black 23:41, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
No, you see, "consensus forming" is a ritual! And Wikipedia has all kinds of other rituals with seemingly innocuous names. We even don't have a cabal. ᓛᖁ  00:05, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

He makes a good point, but rather ironically, he has a nasty way of saying it. Maybe he should try his own medicine. Ashibaka tock 22:36, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

There ought to be said there is some truth. The cult in human knowledge is preposterous and addictive and shows various forms.
Encyclopedia editing is a dangerous and also rewarding one. The cult operates amounts of exchanges of mental energy and requests innumerable obsesssive, time-consuming, never satisfactory rituals.
Still we do it out of our free will and do not threaten others to hell if they don't act as us. Our creed that humanity needs knowledge is a positive one.
I feel that the most interesting feature in WP, after reading articles about subjects I dig, is the amount of talk. Forums talk about one or two subjects : here, I can find everything.

--Harvestman 21:39, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Tigers

Several who have read William Pietri's superbly calm message to the blocked editors of the Simon Wessely article, have hailed it as exemplifying the Wikipedian ideal. I have added it to the Wikipedia essays category and given it a home off the talk page. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 22:01, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


Collaborative research effort into QuakeAID, WikipediaClassAction.org, baou.com, Wikipedophilia.com and others

You may have heard about the "class action lawsuit" against Wikipedia (http://www.wikipediaclassaction.org - .com is a parody). You may also have heard that this "lawsuit" is linked to QuakeAID, an alleged charity soliciting donations for earthquake victims. You may know that Wikipedians have raised many doubts about the legitimacy of this charity, and have linked it to a convicted fraudster, Greg Lloyd Smith.

Finally, you may be aware that "QuakeAID" is publishing, through its associated BAOU.com / OfficialWire site (currently still indexed by Google News), one article after the other against Wikipedia. A recent one has described Wikipedia as a breeding ground for pedophiles, and is linked to another recently created campaign website, Wikipedophilia.com. (You probably do not know that the same news wire also publishes stories endorsing Holocaust deniers Zündel and Faurisson.)

More is probably to come. BAOU.com, "QuakeAID"'s parent company, seems to be trying to do everything possible to discredit Wikipedia, after Wikipedia has discredited QuakeAID. I think it's time for them to learn that wikis have teeth.

This is a very, very serious issue and not just some troll setting up anti-wiki websites. QuakeAID has been, for some time, listed in major charity directories, and people wanting to donate money for the 2004 tsunami victims were sent there. I don't know how much money they received, but it must be substantial.

If this charity is a fraud (and that part is not certain at this point), it's a large scale operation (registered with the IRS), and the person running it should be put behind bars. So if you've ever fancied yourself a private detective or investigative reporter, this is your chance:

Wikinews is conducting a full and thorough investigation into all matters related to QuakeAID and BOAU.com. I have tried to accumulate all the information in Wikipedia and elsewhere in one place, but I will not have time to commit myself beyond this. So this will either sink or swim with your involvement. If the evidence is solid, we can publish this story, and send a nice dossier to the FBI. If we don't do anything, BAOU.com will continue its anti-wiki campaign, or disappear quietly.

If you do want to join the effort of researching this, please visit the Wikinews project talk page, which includes all the background information we have so far.

This is a historic chance for the Wikinews, Wikipedia and blog communities to work together. Let's not screw it up.--Eloquence* 05:06, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

  • BAD IDEA! If Wikipedia wants to prepare a defence against the law suit (if its real) then great, do that. Even if this law suit isn't real, its likely that someone at some stage will launch one. Do that. As for trying to "bring them down", I think that's a very bad idea. The IRS should be doing that, or perhaps the FBI. They already know about it and have chosen not to respond. Wikipedia should not be involved. It is of no concern to Wikipedia. Doing so amounts to revenge, and is very likely to put Wikipedia in a very bad light. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 10:27, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
QuakeAID/BAOU is a very complex setup, apparently based in Mauritius. Greg Lloyd Smith has been involved in similar operations for years without consequences. Yes, the FBI should be investigating him, but it is likely that nobody has brought a detailed enough complaint against Smith. So it makes sense for the news media to investigate the issue as well. Wikinews is part of the news media, and could in this instance show the capability of an online community to research complex facts. That BAOU are publishing false information about Wikipedia is only of secondary relevance -- remember that the whole thing started when Wikipedians exposed QuakeAID as a likely scam.
The idea that this could harm us is absurd. For one thing, the dubious nature of BAOU is obvious to even a casual observer, given their Holocaust denial articles, their history, etc. If QuakeAID and BAOU are busted as a result of Wikimedia activities, then this will only help Wikimedia to be taken seriously, will instantly diminish all of BAOU's anti-Wikimedia activities, and will, most importantly, be a morally desirable result. Finally, we are so far only researching and not publishing. If, after all our research, the operation does turn out to be politically questionable but legitimate, then that, too, is a result we should publish, and make it clear that we follow an NPOV approach to journalism. As a journalist with investigative reporting experience, I can tell you that taking a negative attitude is unhelpful and unwarranted in this instance.--Eloquence* 22:08, 19 December 2005 (UTC) (edited 21:20, 20 December 2005 (UTC))

Money

Could someone who knows somthing about our budget go and yell at these people (it says you can edit as a guest). They are pissing me off. I'd say something but I don't know much about the details of our budget. Broken S 20:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

oh and here too. Broken S 20:19, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
See wikimedia:budget/2005 --mav 21:23, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

What's the problem? It's a non-notable forum Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Wikipedia Review. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 22:56, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

as far as I know it's the only forum about Wikipedia and most forums are non-notable anyways. Broken S 02:13, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
If its not notable, why are we talking about it here? Shouldn't worry about it. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 02:15, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


Wikipedia alternative aims to be 'PBS of the Web'

[17] Larry Sanger looks to be trying another Nupedia attempt. Maybe this time he'll get 4 articles.--Rayc 04:39, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

meh, I wouldn't complain if it worked. More knowledge = better. It won't effect Wikipedia. My question is, what license will it be under? It'd be nice if it is GFDL or GFDL compatible. Broken S 05:02, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
That would be nice indeed.--Sean|Black 05:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

See Digital Universe.-gadfium 07:34, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

    • Because it is not crystal-balling to say "Langer plans to start Digital Universe next month". By contrast saying "DU will start next month" is crystal-balling. (And yes it is amazing that some people who don't even understand that difference have editing the WP:NOT page in the page. That's why you have to use your brain to evaluate policy pages as well as articles rather than blindly accepting them. Pcb21 Pete 00:10, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, I think I am allowed to say this: Having a Ph.D. does not turn your opinion into Gospel, it's just an "expert opinion." I see WP's strength in openly acknowledging the problem of POV (in any encyclopedia) and the hard work of its contributors to achieve NPOV. Awolf002 14:35, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

My 2 cents: I think that Wikipedia started off as a valid alternative to Nupedia, one being serious, the other being big. I think that both were equally valid, and the world lost out when Nupedia collapsed. I think that there is a place for it to be restarted. I don't think that it will compete directly with Wikipedia. But I think it is good for people to have the 2 variations to look at. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 23:01, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Sitenotice design

As you've probably noticed, the site notice has gone through a lot of iterations recently. You can give feedback on the designs here: MediaWiki talk:Sitenotice. Dan100 (Talk) 09:03, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


Detailed Nature reviewer reports available

The detailed reports from the Nature referees are now available. See:

Wikipedia:External peer review/Nature December 2005

Any odds on how long it will be before all of the problems mentioned are addressed (hopefully without introducing new errors)? —Steven G. Johnson 17:43, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I've created Wikipedia:External peer review/Nature December 2005/Errors from that document now. violet/riga (t) 17:58, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Offline publication efforts of German Wikipedia documented

For those of you interested in publishing an offline Wikipedia snapshot, validating articles or moving towards Wikipedia-1.0, I have documented the quite successful efforts of the German team at German Wikipedia. AxelBoldt 01:34, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

This is pretty interesting. Is there anything in English about the Personendaten metadata idea? Shimgray | talk | 01:45, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Yup, there was a talk about it at Wikimania. AxelBoldt 02:11, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Wow, that sounds just like my Semantic Wikipedia proposal. :D Thanks, I will read this closely. --Golbez 02:18, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Personendaten sounds like a very useful idea. I think I'll implement it for the English Wikipedia as well. Anyone want to help? Here's a start: Template:Persondata. Kaldari 17:45, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I've added an initial proposal to Village pump (technical) to get the ball rolling. Please comment there. Thanks! Kaldari 18:04, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and implement a metadata proof of concept for the English Wikipedia. If you'd like to keep track of my efforts, check here: Wikipedia:Persondata. Kaldari 23:55, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Some better press: Nature compares Wikipedia and Britannica

The Age newspaper is reporting that Nature magazine just conducted an expert blind comparison on 42 science-related articles between Wikipedia and Brittanica. It's not on the Nature website yet and needs confirmation, but am assuming that it's in the upcoming issue. 162 "factual errors, omissions or misleading statements" were found in the Wikipedia articles, and 123 in Britannica. Eight "serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts," were found in total - four in each. Referencing the Seigenthaler mess, the Age states that such errors are "the exception rather than the rule". Even taking into account that science is a strong point on the wiki, this is an encouraging report after a week of being lambasted. - BanyanTree 14:51, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I think the article was recently added to the Nature website: http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/438900a.html--GregRM 18:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Not bad, it would be great if they could provide us with the list of errors. Martin 19:16, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
It gets better. The related Nature editorial ends:
Nature would like to encourage its readers to help. The idea is not to seek a replacement for established sources such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, but to push forward the grand experiment that is Wikipedia, and to see how much it can improve. Select a topic close to your work and look it up on Wikipedia. If the entry contains errors or important omissions, dive in and help fix them. It need not take too long. And imagine the pay-off: you could be one of the people who helped turn an apparently stupid idea into a free, high-quality global resource.
This is better than praise - it's a journal of the highest respectability asking its expert readers to pitch in editing. Ummm..wow, BanyanTree 20:24, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Here is a list of the articles reviewed. I've emailed Nature, asking for them to publish the exact errors in the articles they mentioned. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 20:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Wales also plans to introduce a 'stable' version of each entry. Once an article reaches a specific quality threshold it will be tagged as stable. This sounds like other stuff I've been hearing, but nothing offical has been said on the site. Is this the article validation feature they are working on?--Rayc 20:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Article validation is being prepared to go live soon, at least, that's what I seem to be getting from the Wikitech-l mailinglist. Exactly what Wales said probably can be found here (the podcast that includes this article). — Ambush Commander(Talk) 20:59, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

(The following was reposted down below, I've merged the two topics together for clarity.Ambush Commander(Talk) 21:00, 14 December 2005 (UTC)) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7070/full/438900a.html This is outstanding! Nature is the most prestigious scientific journal--we could not have asked for better press!

Lotsofissues 19:50, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I've just created Wikipedia:External peer review to keep track of such things. violet/riga (t) 21:50, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Here's a Nature blog on the topic: [18] and podcast[19]. Samw 00:39, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Hopefully more, larger reviews will be conducted by other groups in the future. These results are encouraging, but Nature's sample size is statistically insignificant as a measure of either encyclopedia's overall quality. ᓛᖁ  00:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Not only is the sample size small, but the problem with simply counting the number of errors is that it is not normalized to the amount of information. e.g. it is easy to have zero errors if you don't say anything, whereas an equal amount of errors may be misleading if one article is much longer than the other. —Steven G. Johnson 02:40, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

One interesting tidbit that deserves emphasis: they surveyed 1000 Nature authors, and 12% of those consult Wikipedia on a weekly basis. Unfortunately they didn't tell us what percentage consult EB on a weekly basis... AxelBoldt 02:19, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

There's also a glowing editorial, where they encourage Nature readers to edit - http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/438890a.html. What's even better is the way this story is spreading, it's currently on the BBC News front page. In a nice touch of irony it even made USA Today! [20] the wub "?!" 12:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Scientific American's blog[21] picked up this story and urges its readers to edit Wikipedia: "Do your part, the encyclopedia--and possibly the scientist--of tomorrow depend on it." Samw 17:04, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Village Voice has an article about this too. Julian Dibbell makes the insightful comment "Of the 42 Wikipedia and Britannica articles Nature sent to outside experts for review, the only ones that could be corrected—immediately—by those same experts were Wikipedia's." He then says, "Whether those corrections were actually made the report doesn't say"; perhaps someone should try to contact him? Have any corrections been made already? [http://www.villagevoice.com/screens/0552,dibbell,71299,28.html ] ᓛᖁ  02:46, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Slashdot states someone here compared the length of the Wikipedia end EB articles. Did someone? What were the results? Michael Rasmussen

Metadata proof-of-concept implemented for English Wikipedia

First read this article about the success of the German metadata project. Then check out Wikipedia:Persondata. If anyone is interested in this project, talk to me on the WikiProject Biography talk page or my personal talk page. Kaldari 15:35, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I've brought this up on the mailing list, so hopefully we'll get some feedback there. There's been a good bit of disucssion recently over biographies, so it's an excellent time... Shimgray | talk | 17:26, 24 December 2005 (UTC)


George W. Bush edit history

 
Vandalism-related (red), Non-vandalism-related (green), percent vandalism-related (black)

Looking at the full history of the article, which I wouldn't recommend anyone else do (my browser was taking up 480MB of memory after the page loaded), I counted various vandalism reversion terms, and came out to just over 6,000. Assuming that each vandalism consisted of only one edit, that comes out to be (after some tedious calculation) over 12,000 edits related only to vandalism. This article has nearly 26,000 edits to date.

Additionally, over 10,600 edits were by anonymous users, leaving 15400 for registered users.

More fun facts: 249 edits were made in 2002, 555 in 2003, and 5533 in 2004. In 2005, we're up to 19,630. — 0918BRIAN • 2005-12-16 22:43

Here's my quick, half-baked thought after reading that: There really needs to be a way to audit edit histories to remove obvious vandalism. Vandalism, while being reverted quickly, can easily make edit histories unusable. (certainly there must be a reason why this hasn't happened yet) — Ambush Commander(Talk) 23:00, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Abuse happens ("It's just an anonymous user and I don't like what he said, so I'll rollback"). Mistakes happen ("Whoops, wrong article"). And when there are subsequent vandal edits, it is quite often the case that one vandalism is rolled back, but another one is missed. I've seen this on the Wiki article where an entire section was lost for months because of a poorly done revert. I agree we need better ways to look at page histories. Hiding is not the solution, but perhaps color coding or dynamic client-side filtering (like the enhanced Special:Recentchanges) based on certain criteria could work. If you have any ideas, a mock-up of a better design would help, I think.
On the original comment: I believe this is exactly a case where semi-protection might be warranted; the article is so highly exposed and so political that there are just too many poor edits. If not semi-protection, the anonymous edits should be delayed before becoming visible at the very least, otherwise the risk of a casual reader encountering a vandalized version is too great.--Eloquence* 21:53, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
one possibility would be delayed cleaning of edit history. We could have bots that remove rolled-back edits from the edit history, if they were not in turned reverted back (so that edit wars will not be removed from he edit history), for edits, say, more than one week old. You'll have the full history for the past week, but both the vandal edit and the rollback will be gone from the edit history for times further back. This will result in much cleaner histories for prominent articles, and it will remove much offensive material that today can be linked to as a diff. dab () 09:06, 24 December 2005 (UTC)


Moon conspiracy and religion

Searching new page additions on Wikipedia: A few days ago I added a new page addition on Wikipedia, Moon conspiracy and religion, however when I try to search from the Wikipedia search box on say, moon, moon conspiracy, moon landing, moon hoax; the new page addition does not get listed.

Could you tell me please if there is some time lag in the process between a new page addition on Wikipedia and the Wikipedia search listings?


Thanks

--Wikiencyc 12:43, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Someone has put the new page addition into the fringe category and they say that it lacks references and they want to merge it with another item - Apollo moon landing hoax accusations where in October 2005 all of my contributions got booted out by the tyrants there. I have added a section on References and cited them and would not like the new page addition to be sidelined, excluded from search results or merged where tyrants can delete the content. --Wikiencyc 15:20, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
To answer your queries: The Wikipedia search function isn't very good, tbh - I only use it for near-exact article name matches. Try Google with those terms and the word Wikipedia. On the other issue, the ability of other users to edit and remove content is what the whole Wikipedia is all about, so we can't really help there. You might also want to look at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Moon conspiracy and religion. The Land 19:05, 27 December 2005 (UTC)


Boxing day present

Merry Christmas,
Have a look at this first Wikidata application for the GEMET data.. GerardM 19:52, 26 December 2005 (UTC)


Deletion History

  • For some reason, Non-sysop users can no longer view deletion histories.
As far as I know that was turned off intentionally. -- Chris 73 | Talk 13:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
This change was announced in the mailing list [22]. - Liberatore(T) 14:08, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


Irregular Webcomic

Yesterday's Irregular Webcomic! features a Wikipedia related punchline.-- Sean Black (talk · contribs) (ask me on my talk if you must)--68.64.65.89 01:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia chief considers taking ads

Story in the Times has Jimmy Wales saying he is thinking about adding ads, are we just finding out about this again? - cohesiontalk 19:14, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

See User talk:Jimbo Wales#Say it ain't so, Jimbo! for Jimbo's response. --GraemeL (talk) 19:29, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
As a participant in the Wikipedia:Wikiproject no ads, I'm not surprised at all. When 100's of Wikipedians made such a storm about the Answers.com deal, we asked for more information about the details of the deal signed, the possible amount of revenue the deal would establish, and the personal and economic relationships between Answers.com and the Wikimedia board members. We have received practically no official response to these questions, and I'm still not sure what will happen on January 1, the official "start" date of the new Answers.com "Wikipedia edition." It's possible that the recent controversies and newly apparent liability issues have deterred the board from adding this new "prominently" placed link, but we will have to see. One would think that the success of the fundraising drive would cut against this option, but Mr. Wales may have other plans for Wikipedia's future. The structure of the organization still gives him the final say. Tfine80 19:35, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
The best way, IMO, for Wikipedia to make money is to sell products. Wikipedia-branded stuff, books, CDs for schools, etc. Donations are also great, too. Ads are right out - Britannica and World Book don't put up with that. --Golbez 19:40, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/search/search .aspx?q=Wikipedia User:Zoe|(talk) 21:47, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for clearing that up, looks like the media is taking things out of context as usual, haha - cohesiontalk 19:45, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

New batch of peer-reviewed articles citing Wikipedia

In the last couple of days I have searched around a bit and found about 70 new peer-reviewed academic articles that cite Wikipedia as a reference. As always, they're listed on Wikipedia:Wikipedia_as_an_academic_source. One article, "Postmodern public administration: in the shadow of Postmodernism" by Cheryl King cites Wikipedia for the definition of "postmodern". Postmodern, indeed. AxelBoldt 08:33, 31 December 2005 (UTC)


Self-nomination of good articles

Authors usually know best which of their articles qualify as Wikipedia:Good articles, yet self-nominations are frowned upon. Now you can propose articles you have worked on at Wikipedia:Good articles/Self-nominations so that somebody else can promote them to Good Article status. AxelBoldt 17:07, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

and over on Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Good_Articles you can discuss whether you think Wikipedia: Good articles is a good idea.--Samuel J. Howard 02:51, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


"Wikipedia Founder Edits Own Bio"

Wired: Wikipedia Founder Edits Own Bio

One of the edits seems to be [23].

This is not appropritate, as clearly stated at Wikipedia:Autobiography. People should not edit articles about themselves in this way, but should note problems on the talk page and let other people fix the problems. Jimbo should have known better :/. Thue | talk 08:43, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Eh. I knew about this before, and I still don't think it's a big deal- Jimbo understands WP:NPOV and WP:AUTO (after all, they were his ideas..), and it's perfectly fine for him to help the encyclopedia more directly like this.--Sean|Black 09:05, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I maintain that the restrictions of WP:AUTO are, at best, redundant and, at worst, harmful. The primary policies of NPOV, verifiability, and no original research already cover any ill that arises from self-edits and are just as easy to police if we insist on having verifiable sources. --Dystopos 14:34, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
IMO his edits were clearly not in accordance with Wikipedia:Autobiography, regardless of that fact that he was the person behind the policy. And I also do support the Wikipedia:Autobiography policy, which clearly states make suggestions on the article's talk page and let independent editors write it into the article itself. Thue | talk 17:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

My 2 cents is this: WP:AUTO is *WRONG*, and Jimbo Wales did nothing wrong. The reality is that somehow or other we ended up with an untenable rule, which most likely Jimbo didn't approve. I have come up with guidelines which I think should sort out this kind of problem, and, whilst it was more to deal with issues such as Seigenthaler et al, it applies equally as well for this. Please see User:Zordrac/experts for more info. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 22:54, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Um, it seems to me that Jimbo was not actually writing about himself. He was correcting what appeared to be a minor factual error in the discussion of Wikipedia history within the article on himself. Just my $0.02. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 02:09, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The question of "who founded Wikipedia?" is contentious. Jimbo is well-aware of that. Replacing "Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger founded Wikipedia..." with "Jimmy Wales is the sole founder of Wikipedia." is not an NPOV edit. — David Remahl 06:23, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Parallel situation: Roger Ebert has apparently helped maintain his own article, although he did not create it. See Talk:Roger_Ebert. (Ebert has written about Wikipedia in his columns, so it seems safe to assume that was really him making those edits.) --Dhartung | Talk 06:01, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
As somebody who's never edited WP:VP before, nor read Jimmy's Bio, nor read the Bomis article, I am much surprised as I go through past incarnations of Bomis to find that some links are absent, even in mention. It's pretty clear to see how Bomis intended to make money (the old adage, "for a technology to become successful, it must be adopted by the porn industry," seems particularly relevant here) when reading the old edits. However in light of the Wired editorial, and the edit history on that page in particular, I'm pretty disturbed to see its current content. It would seem that people are ashamed of it, or that they are afraid that information (afterall, we are not here to determine what is "appropriate" to print, we are here to catalog) will show something other than the history shows? I don't understand. In fact, the pornographic history of Bomis has become something of lore on the wikipedia -- it is in our corpus.
I am not asking for "accountability" per se. However, as we see the "little green bar" in the medium six-figures range, I do humbly request that we can get past the vanity game. Doesn't Mr. Wales have anything better to do with his time than maintain an "image"? Surely he isn't running for office or anything like that. I don't really think the "little girl in Africa" cares much one way or the other how Bomis made money. Avriette 02:28, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia micronation - Tirben

Hi everyone, a group of us have decided to form a Wikipedia-community micronation. The name of it is Tirben, our IRC channel is #tirben on Freenode, and our website is at tirben.starglade.org. All wikipedians are invited to join and help us in creating our constitution! Talrias (t | e | c) 23:31, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not a real micronation until its vanity article has been through VFD at least twice.--Samuel J. Howard 09:09, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


NekoDaemon & soft redirect {{categoryredirect}}

To prevent over abuse of {{categoryredirect}}, any category page using this template must have the last person who edited the page to be an administrator. It is presumed that the last person who edited is an administrator and added the template (which may not be the entire case, but under the given circumstances, at least it was an administrator who did review the category before making his or her edit making him or her the last person to edit that page). It is preferable that administrators protect category pages using this soft redirect, but not required. The reasons behind this is to insure that some kind of CFD discussion has at least taken place when the soft redirect is used, due the fact that involves the mass changing of articles in a category. The other reason is that the community already has entrusted administrators to make wise decisions, so I feel that any administrator using this soft redirect can respond for his or her actions when using this soft redirect. The bot has also reflected its comments by listing the last user who edited the page, which must be an administrator. --AllyUnion (talk) 12:09, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm confused, are you proposing this, or saying it is the case? Your verb tenses suggest this has already happened, but the rest of your words make it sound like a proposal. I don't see how this is to be enforced: what is to stop anyone from simply placing {{categoryredirect}} on a page? Very confusing. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:34, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I think AllyUnion is talking about the behavior of the bot mentioned at the top of Template_talk:Categoryredirect. Apparently, that bot will automatically move articles from a category containing the {{categoryredirect}} template to the new category only if the last edit of the original one was by an administrator. AxelBoldt 00:57, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if sounded confusing. The bot has been doing this for some time now. The latter portion of what I was suggesting was that administrators should protect any page using {{categoryredirect}} once they use it. The reason is as AxelBoldt has stated. --AllyUnion (talk) 10:53, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


Free Republic's plans for mass invasion

See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1549132/posts . User:Zoe|(talk) 17:44, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Even though I'm a liberal, it would be good to have some more conservative editors around. If we got support from both sides of the political spectrum, it would improve the POV problems and help make Wikipedia much more accepted. Though they probably are reacting to the tilt that comes with any international project. To them, the rest of the world is biased to the left (or the US is biased to the right). Since about half of the 'pedia is writen outside of the US, it tends to reflect that.--Rayc
And even though I'm an arch-conservative, freepers scare the hell out of me. :P --Golbez 19:25, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The system of "balanced" reporting to counter journalistic bias is not appropriate to Wikipedia. First of all, that practice promotes diametric thinking and obscures any idea which doesn't intersect a linear left/right spectrum. Second, Wikipedia requires a single neutral point of view, NOT a balance of opposing points of view. Editorial collaboration should push neutrality by eliminating, rather than balancing, biases. --Dystopos 23:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Harvard Cyberlaw Course starting; needs help

Harvard Law School is starting a Cyberlaw course this week (prof: Jonathan Zittrain). They're using Wikipedia as a case study for part of it... I'm encouraging them to create accounts and edit, as part of getting to know what kinds of social and policy issues editors face.

You can track their progress, and account creation, at the Cyberlaw Wikiproject. Please keep an eye on their group user pages, and help them get their feet wet without running afoul of too many local customs. (Though half the fun for them may be seeing how policy like VfD and cleanup-notification is implemented...) You can leave any q's about the project on my talk page. Cheers, +sj + 18:29, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

They should do an article about efforts to control the content of Alan Dershowitz. That would be interesting. - Nunh-huh 01:46, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


WikiProject Christianity

Ten reasons why you should join WikiProject Christianity:

  1. Obtain answers to your questions about Christianity on the noticeboard (watch)
  2. Enter the exciting and fun-filled WikiGrail contest and win valuable prizes
  3. Work side by side with friendly and welcoming editors who are passionate about Christianity
  4. Free subscription to our informative newsletter
  5. Explore Christianity in depth with one of our 30 specialty groups
  6. Get recognition for your hard work and valuable contributions
  7. Find out how to get your article promoted Featured class at the Peer Review Department
  8. Choose from a collection of over 55,000 articles to improve
  9. Monitor recent changes and fight vandalism of Christianity articles
  10. Become part of the leadership team
 

A.J.A. 21:47, 7 January 2006 (UTC)


Google zeitgeist

Check out the thing on Wikipedia! [24] on google zeitgeist. Excellent!--Urthogie 15:18, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

New French Collaboration Project

The new French Collaboration Project has been launched. It focuses on translating French article to English. Feel free to participate. CG 13:15, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Discussion of Jimbo Wales' Personal Appeal, the Nature article, Wikipedia philosophy and funding, etc.

Longish article http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/awp2_index.html here. I believe it's fairly recent. 64.178.5.45 19:53, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone know anything about this site? --DanielCD 21:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I know quite a lot about it, having been its reader for about 5 years now. But from what I've observed of Wikipedia, actually knowing something about it probably disqualifies me from answering your question. In any case, the Aetherometry site has existed since summer 2001, and its purpose is to publish research on massfree energy (this is "dissenting science", and NOT a mainstream scientific discipline). As for the article, I am not sure what Nectarflowed means by it not being "notable" - is "notable" shorthand for "appearing in a major media venue such as the New York Times"? No, this is not the New York Times; it is far better - it is a team of people who are not beholden to anybody for how and what they think. As for the abstract being intended as a joke, I would consider this a plus. I quite enjoy jokes, especially when they are mixed with some serious and incisive critique - which I think is the case with this article. But perhaps if one cannot chew gum and walk at the same time, one also cannot stand having jokes and seriousness mixed together. FrankZappo 04:00, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't appear to be notable or worth reading (don't waste your time). The abstract even appears to be intended as a joke.--Nectar 01:14, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Disgruntled people who tried to edit the Aetherometry article to make it seem like their pet project is mainstream science. You may want to check the archives on the article's Talk page. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:51, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh come come come come. Is this an example of the famous Wikipedia "accuracy"? In the entire set of archives there has never been a single claim that Aetherometry is mainstream science. Why make things up? FrankZappo 03:10, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

New critique of Wikipedia

Somebody previously posted here a link to http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/awp2_index.html a new critique of Wikipedia, and user Carnildo promptly removed it as a "link spam". What in the world is a "link spam"? A link to an article critical of Wikipedia? I personally found the article hugely entertaining and its criticism often right on target. But your mileage may vary, of course. In any case, I don't see why posting a link to it here would constitute a "spam". There are many other links being posted here, and not being removed. Shame on you, Carnildo. FrankZappo 01:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's a longer rant than usual for the anti-Wikipedia whines that are sprouting up like mushrooms these days, but it still follows the normal formula for such things. It originated as sour grapes because the writer couldn't get his own crackpottery accepted unquestionably here, and proceeds to attempt to apply political labels to Wikipedia and Wikipedians, and, predictably enough, makes the ad-hominem cheap shot about Jimbo being a "pornographer". Reading the anti-Wikipedia rants all over the 'net is amusing, because of the way they contradict one another. Depending on whose rant you read, we're too left-wing, too right-wing, too pro-mainstream, too anti-mainstream, too anarchistic, too fascistic, too uncontrolled, too controlled. We're controlled by the Jews, and we're a platform for Nazi hate speech. We have a pro-American bias; we're an anti-American conspiracy. We're a tool of the Religious Right and the godless Secular Humanists. We're just a bunch of nerds, but we're pedophiles too. *Dan T.* 01:41, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Someone really said we're too right-wing? - Nunh-huh 01:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia has accomplished its goal of being fully accepted; there are now as many conspiracy theories targeting us as target the media. - DavidWBrooks 01:47, 5 January 2006 (UTC) ... (but Dan. T. is right: that is a particularly uninteresting critique. The wikipedia rants on The Register are much more fun to read.)
So did someone really say we're too right-wing, or is that just made up? - Nunh-huh 04:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Here's an article that claims that there are "right wing powers embedded in wikipedia". *Dan T.* 04:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah, Stirling Newbury, who used Wikipedia to attempt to mobilize people to impeach Bush, with the resulting article kept and not deleted!! Thanks for the reference. - Nunh-huh 04:41, 5 January 2006 (UTC) (Though reading the page you cited over now, he does seem hopelessly confused, and maybe the tiniest bit paranoid....) - Nunh-huh 06:12, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
We've been accused of being right wing on DU.Geni 01:23, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
This is no doubt a very stupid question, but... what's DU? - Nunh-huh 03:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
democratic underground to be fair I suspect most things have been accused of being right wing there.Geni 09:42, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Didn't the Freepers Just say they wanted to counter are left-wing influnce? Being neutral either is having all sides saying that your not biased, or all sides saying that you are biased away from them--Rayc 05:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
One of the old reviews of wikipedia on Alexa says wikipedia is controlled by right-wing interest groups. 21:17, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if he actually said there was a right-wing bias per se, but the left-wing blogger Bartcop is not a fan of Wikipedia. Tuf-Kat 07:30, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia article in January 9 edition of Newsweek

Online here: [25] Yet it says that Wikipedia has 2.6 BILLION articles! Tfine80 19:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Didn't you know? Because of the Asian bandwidth deal we got from Google, everyone in China gets a vanity page, built from the identity card database. The Land 20:03, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
If Newsweek's site were a wiki, we could fix that and other errors in the article, such as the reference to the "Wikipedia Foundation" (it's actually Wikimedia). *Dan T.* 01:49, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course, if Newsweek's site were a wiki, it would also say "poop head" in every third paragraph ... - DavidWBrooks 21:57, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Terrible piece on Wikipedia in the Village Voice

Of the dozen or so 1500+ word pieces on Wikipedia, this article mischaracterized Wikipedia more than any other, yet, dug deepest. The writer invented a stark picture of postmodern chaos. Throughout the text there is an incompleteness of facts that sculps her point of view. For instance:

"Last year, the contributor with the most articles featured on the site's homepage was 17-year-old user "Lord Emsworth," still in high school. He wrote long, detailed entries on British nobility. Users addressed him as "your lordship." "You don't really need credentials to look at a book and take out the information," says Matt Wolf Binder, a 15-year-old from Seattle who's earned many Wikipedia peer awards, called Barnstars, including the Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar, the General Awesomeness Barnstar, the Working Man's Barnstar, and the Lots of Barnstars Barnstar. "If someone researches a topic, it doesn't matter if Harvard certifies them."

In many cases, winning disputes is just a matter of having good friends. People gang up on each other to argue their points. When a top contributor (user name "Essjay") r ecently despaired over a deletion, he decided to quit the encyclopedia for good. (He's now back.) "He couldn't take crying over what was happening to the people he cared so much about," Essjay explained (in the third person) on his user page. More than 50 people posted notes online, begging him to stay. "You are who you are regardless of what happens on Wikipedia," one reader reminded him. Another was more frantic: 'Is there something else going on in your life making you depressed? Please, please, see a doctor.'"

She leaves the impression of an encyclopedia run by adolescent youths, saliently noting their minority, but omitting Essjay's academic background.

Lotsofissues 01:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

[Link] FreplySpang (talk) 01:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't get the article. What's its point? A lot of facts, all mixed up together, but what's the outcome? What's the verdict? Renata 17:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
It's just musings from someone who looked around here and didn't stay long enough to know what's serious, what's important, and what's not. And it's the Village Voice. Don't worry about it<g>. - Nunh-huh 02:42, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Entirely not what I was expecting. Looks more like a ramble about Sanger and Jimmy Wales' articles than an article diving into the more in-depth reaches of WP. —Ilyanep (Talk) 04:39, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
In addition to what others have said, I don't think that "adolescent youths" is so far off the base. Look at the recent arbcom elections -- many people have voted oppose on the basis that they don't "support children" for arbcom. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with youth on the intarpedia. I do however think that it is a valid point. The author of the article was clearly trying to cast a certain light on the subject, however. Avriette 06:44, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


Syracuse Post-Standard begs for horrible (newsworthy) crimes to be committed in the city

The newspaper didn't say that, but when stories like this appear in your paper:

"WRITER TERMS SYRACUSE "BORING' IN WIKIPEDIA ENTRY Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY) January 5, 2006 Author: Staff writer Pam Greene Estimated printed pages: 1

An anonymous writer Wednesday trashed Syracuse on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the same day The Post-Standard published an article pointing out 25 errors in the Syracuse entry on Wikipedia.

"Syracuse is an American city in Central New York. It is known for being quite boring and bland. A city which boasts to have it all, but in reality has nothing," read Wikipedia's entry on the city Wednesday night. The entry also called the state fair "an otherwise overrated carnival." According to the Web site, an unnamed user added the negative comments at 12:09 p.m. EST. They were removed 11 minutes later by 23skidoo, a user from Alberta, Canada. The comments were re-posted, then removed again."

-\

Lotsofissues 22:13, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow. Things must really be boring in Syracuse<g>. - Nunh-huh 23:53, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Wow, this makes the Seigenthaler affair look like nothing.--Nectar 01:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh come on, Post-Standard...admit you went and added all that stuff about boredom to the article just to make a story... They must really lack news...in Syra-cuse...
Man when mere vandalism at Wikipedia makes news, imagine what the rest must be like!

There should be a law that people who complain about errors in articles and don't just fix them, should get a burr in their panties for 24 hours. They go to all the trouble to find the errors, ya'd think they could fix 'em too... But then again, that's not news, and we know they need news...in Syra-cuse... --DanielCD 02:46, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I have to completely disagree with that last statement, because it reflects a too-frequent wikipedian arrogance: The twisted belief that once you see a wiki error it instantly becomes your fault because you didn't fix it, even though somebody else created it and you might have no interest in wikipedia whatsoever. We might as well say that nobody can complain about a litter-filled street because they didn't stop and pick up the trash, so the trash is all their fault. (I'm not defending this newspaper article, which is stupid; I'm responding to the general argument.) - DavidWBrooks 03:15, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Yea, I made the comment knowing I'd probably get that. Just not like the old days. Seems lately everyone's on the war path, and no one knows how to take a joke. I didn't mean it that way, really. Just trying to lighten the atmosphere. --DanielCD 03:25, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

WP still banned in China

OK, so I guess this is not really even news, but there's a good article about it by The Globe & Mail.

In an appeal to the Chinese authorities, a Wikipedia volunteer in China said the blocking of the website will allow Beijing's enemies to control the flow of information on Wikipedia. (Wikipedia is open to any contributor to create, edit or change an article.) "Such an act is no different from cutting away our own voice and tongue, or shutting our own eyes and ears," the appeal said.

I'm pretty sure I've read JW make this same point somewhere. 哎哟。pfctdayelise 13:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

"How can I do my thesis now?"!?! First, I shuddered, but I guess if you don't have access to many Western books I can see the frustration. It's probably the blocking of the English Wikipedia that is even more of an annoyance than the blocking of the still maturing Chinese Wikipedia in this respect. Imagine a Chinese person making a search engine request on any random topic included in Wikipedia and then realizing some of the top results were blocked. The breadth of Wikipedia's content magnifies the appearance of censorship. Tfine80 19:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Starter toolset

A page by the above name has been created to assist newbies. It is an eclectic index into Wikipedia. Here's hoping it will arouse some interest in improving upon it. —>normxxxtalk—> email 07:15, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia plagarism ends journalist's career

What started with TenOfAllTrades noting similarities between one of Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist Tim Ryan's stories and a Wikipedia article has now ended with the revelation of at least seven acts of apparent plagiarism by the reporter and his being dismissed from the newspaper where he has worked for 21 years.

Wikipedia is having some interesting and unexpected impacts on the real world. Dragons flight 19:54, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow. On the one hand, that's really neat - Wikipedia is now important enough that this matters. On the other hand, it sucks to see a 21 year career go down the tubes. But then again, if he's plagiarized Wikipedia, then all of his work is now suspect. Sad. --Golbez 22:08, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd have sympathy if a High School student made a mistake like that and got in trouble. Somebody who's been a journalist for years? He should've known better. -- SCZenz 22:14, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


Aetherometrists strike back - Part II

Oh these Aetherometrists! If they didn't exist we'd have to invent them. Their next online brochure demasking Wikipedia:

  • http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/ And these collages!
  • http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/images/Wikipedia_rise_of_the_latrines.jpg Jimbo as Borg
  • http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/images/Wikipedian_neo-maoism.jpg Cabal as culture revolutionaries WTF is the meaning of the wieners?

Pjacobi 13:47, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Pardon my ignorance - and perhaps my jealousy - but are those faces of real wikipedians? - DavidWBrooks 14:54, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Quite sure. 10 points for every match (Look here for an example). --Pjacobi 15:05, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
BTW, this was posted few scroll up, under "New critique of Wikipedia" Renata 18:02, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow. This really makes me reconsider the scientific merit of Aetherometry. Not. Seriously, at least, unlike some trolls I could mention, they realize that they can criticize Wikipedia off site, saving everybody a lot of hassle. And their collages are just brilliant :) dab () 18:21, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I <3 the cabal. --Golbez 22:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Moldovan Wikipedia vote

Hi,

I feel it's only appropriate that all Wikimedians be properly informed of a currently ongoing vote for the future of the Moldovan Wikipedia.

http://mo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Alegeri

The vote began on the 12th of this month, and will end on the 12th of next month (february).

The premise for the vote is an ongoing conflict regarding the Moldovan Wikipedia:

  • Some people think that a Wikipedia written in Moldovan/Romanian (essentially the same written language), using Cyrillic, should exist. According to Transnistria's official website, 16% of all schools in the breakaway unrecognised self-proclaimed separatist republic of Transnistria currently teach the Moldovan language using the Cyrillic alphabet; supposedly their total enrollment amounts to approximately 11200 at any given time. Thus, Cyrillic content might be appropriate for some people in the area.
  • Other people think that such a Wikipedia shouldn't exist. The rationale is: 1) The only official alphabet in the Republic of Moldova for writing Moldovan is Latin, since 1989. 2) Transnistria's independence is not recognised by any UN member-state, and thus people there who write Moldovan in Cyrillic should not be recognised by Wikimedia.

The entire voting page is in Romanian, so here are translations of the 3 separate things you can vote on: 1) Are you for or against the continued existence of a separate Wikipedia in the Moldovan language? (as opposed to sharing with Romanian) 2) In case it is decided that a Wikipedia using Cyrillic should exist, do you believe it should use a new subdomain such as mo-cyr or ro-cyr (vote "pro"), or should it continue using the mo subdomain (vote "contra")? 3) If you are in favour of a Wikipedia in Cyrillic, it is possible to add an option to ro.wiki that will automatically transliterate articles. Are you for or against such an option?

Now, I personally doubt the premise of the 3rd one, but that is a separate discussion.

I encourage everybody to vote, since this is an issue which is relevant to all Wikimedians due to the potential aftereffects of the removal of a project. --Node 21:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Just to let potentially interested people that the respective page is in Romanian, so it is basically unintelligible to the most of the people on en.wiki. Likewise, most people mostly certain lack interest in a locally dispute that has been going on for some time now. And finally, Node, please note that the condition of the vote being valid is to have minimum 25 edits on either Romanian or Moldavian wikis, which means that one must know the language in order to be able to have her / his vote counted as valid. --Vlad 23:42, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
It already says that it's in Romanian if you read it. If they lack interest, they will not vote by their own choice. And the condition is not a valid condition, having been set by somebody with no authority. --Node
I say: stop fighting, start writing. (look, it rhymes!) Renata 05:52, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Just to un-spin a bit the initial post of Node_ue:
  1. First of all, the page is not in Romanian, it's in Moldovan, with Latin script. And there are many interventions in English and Russian.
Dpotop, I think the above afirmation is certainly worth to be but on Talk: Moldovan language... --Vlad 16:04, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. The Moldovan wikipedia is mostly created by Node_ue by copying article from ro.wiki and changing the script from Latin to Cyrillic. (something like 95% of articles).
  2. The Moldovan schools in Transnistria are forced by the Russian-supported local authorities to preserve the Cyrillic script.
This being said, I invite every person meeting the criteria for the vote to actually vote. Cheers,Dpotop 12:47, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I get the feeling that at least part of this vote should be takeing place on meta.Geni 13:41, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Larry Sangers congratulates self

"WIKIPEDIA

Fundamental features

will not be changed

As co-founder of Wikipedia and the guy who started many of the practices that led to its present qualified success (I left the project in 2002), I was interested to read Mark Trahant's column about Wikipedia's merits ("Dubious Who's Who in Wikipedia," Jan. 1).

If Trahant is hoping for heavy expert involvement in verifying information, and if he is hoping that Wikipedia will require that people use their real-world identities, I think you'll find that Wikipedia will never, at least with its present management and community, change these fundamental features.

I'm now helping to develop a new wiki-based encyclopedia project, led by experts and requiring the use of real names, as part of a much larger Digital Universe. It will have Wikipedia's virtues - ease of use, openness to public involvement, neutrality - without its vices.

Larry Sanger" — Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 8, 2006

Lotsofissues 00:34, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I can't see many of us peasantry wanting to contribute to a project controlled by a bunch of people waving their PhD certificates around. 62.31.55.223 01:49, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
If it will be GFDL, I can see beneficient synergies between the projects. Methinks Sanger congratulates himself too much, though. If he manages to get the project off the ground, and not to drive people away by breathing down their neck, it will be a valuable source for the more controversial subjects that fail to stabilize on Wikipedia. dab () 18:33, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

rwandan genocide

whould anyone tell me some stuff on rwandan genocide? I'M DOing a project on social injutice, and the wiki page on it seems to be gibberish and drones on. some quick facts would be nice.

Ask here-Wikipedia:Reference desk--User:Rayc
"drones on", "quick facts"? I suggest you read the article, and ask specific question based that. dab () 18:36, 13 January 2006 (UTC)