Wikipedia:Village pump (news)/Archive D

Anon. page creation disabled

As an experiment, page creation by anonymous users has been disabled on the English Wikipedia. This was announced by Jimbo Wales on the WikiEN mailing list [1]. The Seigenthaler case is stated as one of the motivating factors. Anonymous users can still create Talk pages. The text that anonymous users see when attempting to edit is at Mediawiki:Nocreatetext, if users have comments on the wording. -- Creidieki 19:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for providing the link. I guess I'm wondering if people are remembering that creating "new" pages is necessary to properly nominate articles for AfD, FAC, etc. Lack of people doing newpages patrol, and the increased 'noise' from ever-increasing tolerance of users adding large quantities of micro-stubs seem like problems that solving would provide more benefit than restricting anons. IE 'nothing but an infobox or navbox' should be speediable, as should bios that don't say who, what, and when, etc. And another note from Jimbo said to the effect of 'we should accomodate the occasional school article, but it would be a problem if people start mass adding them'. Well, mass adding has started--dozens of small school articles that say nothing but that it's a school, and maybe the district and/or city name, have been created recently. 20:24, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Good idea; a staggering number of new pages are garbage. I am wondering if it would be a good idea to add some text about how easy it is to create a new account to Mediawiki:Nocreatetext. I see stuff on the Web about registering, and I shudder (or turn to Bugmenot.) Adding such text could encourage honest anon editors to register (but it could encourage vandals, too...) Massysett 20:40, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
This is outrageous. So many articles are started by anonymous users, and now we deny them the possibility to contribute. There was absolutely no reason to do that, and so many reasons why this shouldn't have been done. We say that "everyone can edit" yet we disable the basic functionality of asking question on Talk. Wrong, so very wrong. Incredibly wrong.  Grue  20:42, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree. There is no reason for this. After all, this is meant to be the free encyclopedia. FireFox 20:45, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
It's an experiment. Give it a few days. I don't think it is useful either, but hey, they can switch it off again. After all, you're only discouraging sincere users. Kids who want to add their primary school, and vandals who want to create bogus articles will just create a throwaway account, and add an extra line of garbage to the database in doing so. Jimbo's post shows awareness of all this. If he decides the effect is not beneficient, it'll just be switched back to the way it was. dab () 20:56, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The free part does not refer to the ability of anybody to create pages. For example, Nupedia was also a free encyclopedia, while being very far from allowing anonymous editors to contribute. Given the amount of nonsense created by anonymous users at newpages, I personally as a new-pages-patroller hope the change is permanent. Thue | talk 21:07, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Do we have stats for what proiportion of new pages created by anons are vandalism of one form or another? I believe it is quite high - when vandal-watching I always check new pages by anons, and it seems to me that most of them are ether speediable or spam. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] (W) AfD? 16:55, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Note that they are still able to create new Talk pages. I haven't tested the other namespaces. -Splashtalk 20:57, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Just my opinion here, but when I first used Wikipedia in 2002, I was quite shocked to find that I could just go ahead and edit an article with nobody knowing who I was, not registering or anything. I think that being allowed to do that without registering almost encourages new users to do something silly, like try out wiping a whole page or adding nonsense to the page or just writing a page about their pet dog, just because they can. Greater accountability would increase the integrity of Wikipedia, which currently has a rather poor reputation in the wider community. Whilst I know that a lot of high school students swear by it for research assignments, and a few tech gurus do as well, other than people who edit it and enjoy the community side to it, there are a lot of people who think that it is not really all that good. I think that the general perception is that it is good in the sense of being a "community", as in like LiveJournal kind of thing, but as an actual resource, it is not generally perceived all that well. Adding more accountability would improve this perception, and also make it a lot easier on everyone involved. I actually don't see the harm in making a user create an account before even editing at all. It's still free - you just need an account. And I further don't see why we couldn't require people to register by e-mail like LiveJournal does. Most places have that kind of thing, so why not here? I think that long-term, while these bad press issues come in, we are going to have to head towards that kind of thing anyway. Zordrac (talk) Wishy Washy Darwikinian Eventualist 21:47, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with what you say, except that I think the "bad press" is irrelevant. They think Wikipedia is inferior -- well, to what? There is no comparable project. Nothing like it was tried before (or rather, no similar project was remotely as successful). Academic standards should be our aim, and we are very far removed from that, on average, but if you want to compare it to sources published by a board of editors, consider it a collection of 821 articles. All the rest is just thrown in for what it is, take it or leave it. I am afraid that academic standards are no nearer even with anons blocked completely; WP's "anti-acedemic bias" is, sadly, an entirely different discussion. dab () 21:54, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

THERE was very good reason to do this If you disagree then I doubt you've have new page patrolled. I did for a month. From what I observed, the vast majority of anon contributions had to be speedied, afd'd, or copyvio'd; and, the ones that remained were poor stubs on microparts of larger subjects. However, maybe we should allow anons to create articles through existing red links? Lotsofissues 22:29, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree; the percentage of valuable new pages that come from anons is pretty small.
I'm still shocked that Jimbo actually did it, given the arguments I've read about anonymous users being valuable, but I'll be interested to see how the experiment pans out. I think that most "drive-by" anonymous edits which are valuable are going to be to existing pages, not new ones, and registration is not that big a hurdle to someone interested enough to create a new page. I think perhaps something about "you can register for an account" should be added to Nocreatetext, though.
I was just thinking the other day that it might be good to disallow anon-page-creation (or even disallow anon-editing at all) for limited amounts of time -- one day a week, or one day a month, or something -- just to allow RC and NewPage patrollers a "Day of Rest". They could help with Wikipedia:Backlog, or (gasp) actually work on their own interests, without fretting over the rising tide of dreck. I didn't think it was a likely proposal in the traditional Wikipedia climate, and I do fear the slippery slope effect of "but it's so much NICER around here on Rest Days"....but what do other folks think of the notion? — Catherine\talk 22:41, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
As a developer, maybe you know, if there is any way to allow anons to create articles only from red links? Subjects already approved by editors for start should be open to every person. Lotsofissues 22:55, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I think this wouldn't work out... it shouldn't take long for users to discover they can create any pages they want by adding red links to existing articles. ᓛᖁ  00:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I see vandals from wikipedia-watch quickly adapting. But the dumb kid who just wants to say his school is gay? Red links show there is either not enough interest or knowledge in the existing membership to start an article. We need to open those links to newcomers. Lotsofissues 08:55, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I think that Lotsofissues is making a very good suggestion. Anons should be able to create any page that is linked to from an article. A system like this would still prevent anons from creating nonsense pages, while allowing them to create wanted articles and to perform such tasks as adding articles to AfD. Some vandals will realize how to get around it, but anyone who can figure out to get around it by adding a link to an existing article is smart enough to get around the current system by creating an account. Does anyone know if this idea is technically feasible? Canderson7 (talk) 16:29, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

this move is a start, but only a start. that it took a major media fiasco to get action on this problem is rather sad - i think wikipedia needs to start being proactive, rather than reactive. i'm a newer wikipedian. i like wikipedia, and i dislike it. i've written some screedishness on my user page. the suggestion that anons are valuable is, in my opinion, rubbish. oh, i'm certain there are anons that have contributed valuable info. i'm also quite certain they could have contributed that info non-anonymously, just as well. this new move does not go far enough. to edit, one should have to sign up, and respond to an email 'opt in'. the user can still remain - fundamentally, and patently in effect - anonymous. but they must at least show that they're willing to 'stand behind' what they write, at least to the extent that someone can contact them and say 'stop being a putz'. and yes, nothing to stop the truly committed 'anon' from just using a throwaway address for the signup. but at minimum, it adds a crucial layer of committment a step away from simply clicking, and writing 'i have a giant penis' in the middle of an article. in the couple of months i've been here, the flow of "rv" "rv" "rv" "rv" "rv" that goes past in my watchlist is, really, laughable. so many good faith people have their time burned by the bad faith people out there. why be a doormat for people who have crap on their minds? (yes, i'm in a screedalicious mood) any rate, if you are interested, feel free to visit my user page for more ramblings. Anastrophe 00:03, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I like what Jimbo is at least trying this out. Maybe we could also have a brief period of disallowing any anon edits and then comparing whether vandalism decreased and other useful statistics. Gflores Talk 01:55, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think anon new pages are as much more likely to be problematic as people seem to assume. For example, of the 11 pages listed as copyvio so far today, 7 are from registered users (most added before the anon new page lock went into effect). If people aren't checking reg edits during NP/RC patrol, I think a lot is getting missed. 02:44, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

A more recent example: User:Emperor, who has been registered for almost 3 years, just did a cut&paste move of the content of Futurequake to FutureQuake (if an admin reading this could merge the histories--they both have multiple edits now). All edits need to be checked, and the only way I see that happening is if more people start doing NP and RC patrol; the population of 'checkers' does not seem to have increased nearly proportional to the increase in the number of 'editors/adders'. 04:23, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The only issue I have with this as a frequent RC and NP patroller is that now it is a bit harder to tell the "good" from the "bad" on each of these lists. I think a sizeable chunk of our former anonymous vandals are now getting one-hit-wonder logins, doing their thing, and then probably disappearing into the night. Don't get me wrong; if this makes blocking or cleanup easier in some way I don't see, then I'm all for it. ESkog | Talk 03:09, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

This is what we call at work that comes from upper management a "Knee jerk reaction". It's purpose is to show whomever that something is being done to fix a perceived problem, rather than actually fix the problem. I could start a new article on this subject but unfortunately I'm not allowed.-- 05:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I suggest this be done only once in a while when appropriate. Not all the time. But when discipline is needed. Sort of like time to exercise or fire drills. The more restrictions, the less movement and contributions.--Jondel 06:45, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Having spent much of my time on Wikipedia adding delete tags to pointless new articles (and actually enjoying it, strangely) I see why this change might be necessary. 90% of the articles I've added said tags to have been created by anons, though I do of course click on the anon ones more as they're more suspicious. There are of course many good articles created by anons but hopefully the registration process shows itself to be quick and easy for them (which it is, I was pretty surprised how it only took a few seconds when I did it). It might make sense to highlight exactly what you need to register. Generally though, apart from being slightly scared this will lead to registration for all users after a similar case, which I think is certainly a bad idea I just about agree with it. Jellypuzzle 10:51, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

And now 95% of the articles you tag will be by redlinked usernames. And when we realize that most of our worthless pages are created by redlinked usernames and disallow mainspace page creation by users without a userpage, 100% of the articles you tag will be by bluelinked usernames. Hooray for progress! —Cryptic (talk) 15:40, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

So it looks like crybaby Siegenthaler accomplished what many community activists could not achieve--controlling what anons could do in the Wikipedia. However, even though I feel favorable to restricting the creation of articles (and even "major degree" changes) by anons, it appears that Mr. Wales has trumped any community discussion of this. That is rather alarming. That he has allowed an old crybaby to force through a change in the nature of Wikipedia portends bad things ahead if this decision isn't entered into a proper community decision process as soon as possible. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 16:28, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Wales' dictatorial approach has to stop somehow. It isn't helpful, and it prevents discussion of "trivial" changes that really aren't trivial at all. Off the top of my head, there have been six recent occasions of Jimbo doing whatever he wants without regard for the community, and he shows no sign of recognizing there may be problems with that:
  • Speedy deletion of unsourced images
  • Arbitration committee appointments
    • Deleting the straw poll created to promote discussion of the above
  • Deleting libelous material from history
  • Having John Seigenthaler Sr. protected, and then deleted entirely
  • Forbidding anonymous page creation
Only one of these seems to be unobjectionable enough to not need much discussion (libel deletion), but there are still complaints that we should not be deleting history. The page-creation decision seems the worst by far. Why should we continue to go along with our uncommunicative dictator? ᓛᖁ  16:58, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
It's Jimmy's encyclopaedia. He can do what he likes. First, he likes banning newpages from anons. Next, he might like banning anons altogether. Then, he might like banning anyone who doesn't agree with him or the... mustn't use the c word. Me, I hope he'll start liking a great NPOV encyclopaedia that anyone can edit, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymity does not imply bad faith.

Not only was I anonymous editor for a fair while before becoming pseudonymous, but I have also done new page patrol. I disagree with Lotsofissues. I, for one, remember being anonymous myself. The very first new page that I created as an anonymous editor was nominated for deletion minutes after I created it. I argued the case to keep it, and the page was kept. Had this gross assumption of bad faith, simply on the grounds that someone chooses not to create an account, been in place when I first came here, I wouldn't be here now. Anonymity does not imply bad faith. Anonymous users make thousands of good faith edits to Wikipedia every day. Indeed, since the subject of preventing anonymous users from nominating articles for deletion has come up, I point out that there was an anonymous user who made an AFD nomination very recently that put the nominations of many pseudonymous users to shame. Uncle G 14:03, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

  • ... whereas George W. Bush was just nominated for deletion by a pseudonymous user, Allomagh (talk · contribs). Uncle G 14:20, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
    • but he only created his account this morning [2], after the restriction on anonymous newpage creation (required for AfD). Conclusion: if we force people to register to create new pages, and registering is that easy, a big effect is reducing our trust in registered users as a group; it requires more emphasis on checking each person's contribution history, and less of "oh, well he bothered to register, that's worth something". Rd232 talk 15:05, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
      • We need to make it a bit of a bother to register: a 30 to 60 second non-automatable procedure that involves manually clicking various checkboxes and typing in text (not personal information of any kind, just Turing tests to make sure we're not dealing with a bot). Legitimate users (who will only have to do this once, ever) won't mind, especially if we explain to them upfront the reason why; on the other hand, mass-creators of abusive sockpuppets will have a small extra hassle to go through each time they burn a sockpuppet through vandalism. This is like spam: if spam cost 1 cent per message (or a CPU usage cost to do a small mathematical calculation) it would become uneconomical. -- Curps 09:20, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Please see our very fine article on CAPTCHA for the problems with this idea. --Carnildo 10:26, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Anonymity does not imply bad faith. I don't think Wikipedia should cave to outside pressure to change its policies - any policy changes should arise from discussions within the community, not imposed from the top down. I think it's crucial to keep independence and allow anonymity. I was an anonymous user and made several edits and started articles before eventually registering. One of Wikipedia's strengths (and weaknesses) is that it is easy to edit and easy to get started. Requiring vandals to register will do nothing to stop determined vandals, and will only discourage new users. The restriction on creating new articles sounds like more of a public relations move than an actual solution -- it does nothing to address the criticisms of Wikipedia that were raised. And as a public relations move it sends the wrong message -- that the people running Wikipedia can be intimidated into making changes in the procedures and infrastructure of Wikipedia by a little bit of bad press. Flow 01:54, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Less work for everyone cannot possibly be bad, right?

I predict the following observation: Wikipedia still works well without anons creating articles, and we will have less work.
It doesn't follow that this is a good idea, or that this is a bad idea. In fact, I sincerely doubt we'll reach any conclusion at all, since nobody has established what we are trying to accomplish. This could very well stick around through sheer inertia. Who is going to come up with concrete evidence of what the difference to Wikipedia is? How do you measure improvement? In number of lawsuit scares per second?
Incidentally, I see both glowing praise in the media for this as a reaction to the Seigenthaler incident, and damning criticism of the "closing the barn door after the horse has left" kind. Of course nobody looks at the big picture of what Wikipedia is and how it should be appraised, but that's to be expected. JRM · Talk 16:23, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

  • According to press reports, what Jimbo has stated the change is intended to achieve is a reduced New Page Patrol workload for our "600 active volunteers". Uncle G 19:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
... and "at least eight other languages". I've popped a note off to the BBC regarding their article which has both worrying statements, and misses the 'active' from the volunteer bit. User:Noisy | Talk 20:02, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The Free Encyclopedia does not necessarily imply that you are free to do whatever, it is basically implying it costs nothing to retrieve information. the Anonymity issue is one that is rightfully addressed because this site has credibility issues.

The Sum of all human knowledge is a beautiful ideology. Unfortunately this site also includes:

The Sum of Human Controversy The Sum of Human Opinion The Sum of Human Speculation

Or in other words the Sum of Human Nature. Quality Control must be PRIORITY ONE! Therefore anonymity cannot be an absolute right of this site.chaz171 15:08, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Way of automatically placing anon new pages into a cat ?

So this is permanent?

I don't see the word "experimental" appear alongside this action. Lotsofissues 16:41, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't registering offer more privacy?

It seems to me that editing "anonymously" actually exposed more information about you to the general public, by exposing your IP address. For people editing from an Internet cafe, or from a large ISP that dynamically assigns addresses in a large range or puts people behind proxies, that doesn't matter so much. But for many people, as for our hoaxster, that number will identify either your home or your employer. If you register, access to this information becomes restricted to a much smaller set of people. If you edit from multiple locations, you could associate those edits as being from the same person by registering, but on the other hand, you could always register for multiple accounts, and no one would be the wiser. I'm wondering if privacy advocates shouldn't be encouraging people to register, then? -- Beland 19:07, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Side effects of requiring registration

I think some people are under the misimpression that just because anyone who wants to create a new article could register to do so, they will do so. Registration is a hoop to jump through, and a small annoyance. Just because someone intends to do something, does not mean they will continue to want to do so once it becomes clear that the process is more annoying or requires more effort than they thought when they started out. So while some people will register to get around the restriction, everyone in that situation will not, and that's pretty much the point. Having to also create a userpage, for instance, would be yet another hoop, which would result in another drop in participation. So while there may be a slippery slope here, it is an uphill one. -- Beland 19:14, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

  • IMHO, I think all anon activity should be curtailed, not just new article creation. This is not a free-speech issue. It's a responsibility issue. Requiring contributors to create an account with a linked email addy would significantly reduce vandalism. One can still contribute anonymously by signing up via a Hotmail account. My name isn't really Juan Oso. I contribute anonymously. However, if there were to be a problem, I am more easily traced. Free speech does not mean anyone can say anything anywhere at any time. One has no right to scream "fire" in a crowded theater. One has no right to spray-paint "Bush sucks" on the front of my house. To that extent, I would say one has no right to vandalize an online site like Wikipedia through anonymous shenanigans. JuanOso 21:58, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Watch Wikipedian on TV, over the web

Wikifun Round 12

Round 12 is now open!

If you are new to Wikifun, take a look at the last round's questions: Wikipedia:Wikifun/Round 11.
-- Ravn 16:37, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

ABC News: Sex offender tries to use Wikipedia to pass himself off as the Duke of Cleveland

news article

edit history of entry

He was persistent but met by instant reverts.

Lotsofissues 20:11, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

This is getting picked up by enough media (pages of results when searching "wikipedia" at Google News) that I felt it merited some self reference. I've added an explanation with a link to the article history at Duke of Cleveland, as well as to the deletion log for the hoax bio. We stopped this guy cold back in May and I think we should say so, because the media sure aren't. Feel free to modify / revert if you think it's too referential. - BanyanTree 22:59, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that at least eventually the Duke of Cleveland article should contain no reference to this person. It's a bit like putting a list of people who thought they were Napoleon on the Napoleon page: it's irrelevant to the article on the Duke of Cleveleand, and pertinent only to a (theoretical) article on sex-boy himself. - Nunh-huh 23:47, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I see it's no longer theoretical! - Nunh-huh 07:45, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Calling this kid a sex offender is ridiculous. He was having sex with his girlfriend before he was 18, then once he turned 18, all of a sudden, he's a sex offender. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:49, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but the fact she has 14 when he was 18 makes an impression on me. Dragons flight 18:04, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to make a few points here.

  • Mr Gardner is a convicted and registered sex offender. He was convicted of "coerced or forced sex." True enough, since whatever happened was with his 14 year old girlfriend when he was only 18 this seems rather extreme, but he didn't go to prison for it and we don't know all the circumstances. The only reason he's in jail now is that he was dumb enough to violate his probation, mostly by pulling that "Duke of Cleveland" stunt at the high school in Minnesota. His probation officer called him on his mobile phone and he turned himself in to the local police.
  • Whether or not his fraudulent content was quickly reverted on Wikipedia, it spewed out to Nationmaster where it stayed for months. That's where the student reporters found the Wikipedia content. Since he'd included his real name, that's also how they were able to track him further and uncover his "sex offender" status.
  • Hence, like it or not and sadly so, Wikipedia enabled the fraud of a registered sex offender by not controlling its content. How many articles in Wikipedia (the ones nobody cares about and aren't watched) are perpetuating frauds like this one?
  • I see no reason why the Duke of Cleveland article should contain any reference to Mr Gardner after a few more months have passed. However, it might be helpful to leave it there for now as a service to someone who has run across any remaining shreds of his fraud and looks up the topic for more information. The Witch 19:09, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Petition on Bullying in Wikipedia

I have compiled a petition to send to Mr. Wales with respect to my views on bullying on Wikipedia, which I think is a very grave problem on Wikipedia that Mr. Wales needs to address: User:Benapgar/Bullying. Please sign it if you agree, and if you can think of other people who might agree please let them know about it too. (If this shouldn't be in the "news" section--I don't use the pump often--feel free to move it where it is supposed to be (but please leave a note in your edit summary which says where you moved it to!)--Ben 02:37, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

New discussion Wikicity

This wikicity is intended to host debate about issues, including those issues that are hotly contested on Wikipedia. It gives users a place to argue the facts without needlessly cluttering up Wikipedia talk pages. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-01-16 16:18

Happy Birthday Wikipedia

Happy Birthday Wiki!!!

As far as we know, Wikipedia is 5 years old now. (January 15 - Wikipedia, a Wiki free content encyclopedia, goes online (Wikipedia Day).) The community of the Hungarian Wikipedia would like to congratulate and thank all the work you've done here. We are happy to be part of be part of such a great project. :) Good work and happy 1 million articles! NCurse 22:45, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

  1. Happy Birthday!! Nyikita 22:47, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Wiki, happy birthday to you! :-) – Alensha 23:39, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Long live Wikipedia, and I wish you a happy millionth article. We are looking forward to our 25.000th, which is an enormous development given the very limited number of Hungarian editors. In any case, let's celebrate and let's groove tonight (wow), I am very happy and pleased to be part of the community in Hungary, maybe later worldwide, of Wiki, I found young clean and productive people being able to set aside their exams and other responsibilities in order to produce something BIG on Wiki. I have sometimes second thoughts about their developemnts, but at 40 I understand there are many important things in life.

Thanks for inventing this stuff for us, and may God be with you (us) in the future as well. --Burumbator 23:46, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Happy Birthday Wiki! -- Puncsos 01:01, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Happy Birthday Wikipedia! Wiki is older than that. If Wikipedia was a person, it would be in preschool.--Rayc 01:49, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
  • woot! Long live the encyclopedia of exploding whales! Banana04131 02:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Happy Birthday Wikipedia! -»KeFe«] 05:31, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Happy Birthday! 5 years and counting! :) - Mailer Diablo 06:17, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Heppi börszdéj :-D! -- 19:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC) (w:hu:NZs)
  • I dreamt a feature was invented enabling you to revert a change even if a few good changes were made after it - how cool! r3m0t talk 07:08, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
    • (I thought that feature already existed - for admins, at least?) pfctdayelise 16:34, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Is this important?

A law suit against wikipedia? Is this really happening? What did Jimbo say? Banana04131 18:27, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Based on the discussion here and here, I am not worrying about it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 20:35, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
People seem to like bashing wikipedia! :p Banana04131 02:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Please do not visit that site. It is a scam set up to generate ad revenue. Kaldari 03:29, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah is much better.Geni 03:31, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I've taken out the link. Banana04131 04:22, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Río de la Plata / River Plate

Following a recent inconclusive WP:RM discussion, there is a poll about the name of the article for this river going on at Talk:Río de la Plata. The procedural history is quite confused, but outside input is very welcome. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

de. redirect is down due to court order

In the latest turn in the Tron dispute, there is a report that is no longer redirecting to because of a court order. - BanyanTree 21:32, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

There are several news items about this, including one in The Register that gets a lot of facts wrong; the German Wikipedia was never shut down. It's always been at The domain is just a redirect that, until the court order, went to the real address of the site. Due to the court order, that address temporarily didn't work, but the site remained accessible at its true subdomain-based address the whole time. It's not at a "temporary URL", it's where it always was. *Dan T.* 03:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
If I'm getting the jist of this correctly, the German order only covered the ".de" domain, so that the order limits itself to German jurisdiction. Which (assuming my surmise is correct) is a lot less "tomorrow-German-judges-take-control-of-the-Internet" than I had thought from the original reports. - Nunh-huh 04:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
What was the logic behind the shutting down of the redirect? User:Zoe|(talk) 21:30, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that since the redirect was the only part operated by the German chapter, that was all they could do.--Cherry blossom tree 21:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

New Baseball Wikicity

I'm a little biased, so I can't help but point any interested editors to this newer Wikicity for all things Baseball. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-01-16 16:18

New discussion regarding baseline style for section heading and external links list is hosting a discussion regarding baseline style for section heading and external links list. with the goal of establishing a baseline to which artcles can be made consistent. The issue of the use of extra whitespace in the internal form of the content of an article is central to the discussion. - Bevo 20:24, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Inappropriate request for music equitment trade removed.

New topical Current Events page -- video games

Please have a look at Current computer and video games events. It's been going for about a week now (See January entries), and could use more contributors & feedback. Cheers, Jacoplane 17:33, 2 February 2006 (UTC) page not displaying properly?

I've recently been adding some links here in the English Wikipedia to, the multilingual portal for Wikipedia. But when I visited that webpage recently, I discovered that it wasn't displaying properly. The lists of other languages below the main icon and languages don't seem to be displaying properly. Unless it is just a problem my end (I was using the Firefox browser to view it), is it possibly to notify whoever maintains that webpage? Carcharoth 09:29, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Seems to be OK now. Maybe it was just a glitch. Wonder what caused it? Carcharoth 10:04, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
The glitch is back again! Is anyone else getting problems with that page? You might have to visit it several times over the course of a day to see the glitch (unless it is a problem at my end). Where would be the best place to ask questions about problems with the page displaying correctly? Carcharoth 21:38, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Next time it happens, take a screenshot and post that so others can see what's happening. This isn't the correct place to discuss it though, I suggest the Help Desk is a more appropriate place.-gadfium 02:42, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I was sure this was the wrong place, but I had a suspicion that the technical forums might be focused on stuff on the editable part of Wikipedia. I suppose I could also contact the people who maintain that webpage. The only thing that looks vaguely like contact information is the wikimedia button at the bottom, linking to the WikiMedia Foundation. Carcharoth 08:17, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I'm going to copy this to the technical page of the Village Pump. The the Help Desk looks more like where to ask questions about how to use Wikipedia, rather than raise technical issues. Carcharoth 09:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Copyright question

I have posted this message on the talk pages of all the current bureacrats:

I am seeking your guidance and advice on a particular issue. Mahuri page on wikipedia was initiated by me, and I have contributed to the page from time to time. As per policy of the wikipedia anyone can use the contents of wikipedia, but I understand that use of such contents should indicate the source, that is, the wikipedia. The contents of the page Mahuri have been used in the site mahurivaisya without giving any reference to wikipedia - though I am glad that they have used our contents. In this case, a problem may arise at a future date if that website takes a stand that the contents of page Mahuri on wikipedia have been copied from that site and thus violates copyrights. In an alternative scenario, a user here may tag our Mahuri page with copyright violation under the impression that our contents have been copied from that site, reference to which was given by me long back as an external link when that site was not active and having only a welcome page. Although I am not aware of any such issue, which wikipedians may have encountered in the past, I believe that such a situation may have arisen earlier too. I seek your advice and guidance to deal with this issue, which you are requested to please post here. I also utilize this opportunity to say Hello to you. Thanks.

I would request for comments and suggestions to deal with the problem. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bhadani (talkcontribs) on 02.03.2006

The site has since removed the contents. --Bhadani 16:00, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Washington Post front page: Meehan story

link Frontpage treatment by a national paper -- this story is going to spiral out of control now!!!11one Lotsofissues 12:48, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. I read the article. I think it is safe to say that people will conclude: "Don't trust Wikipedia for information about politicians". The trouble is that some organisations really do have money and time to throw at 'slanting' pages, putting a 'spin' on things. As Wikipedia grows, this will become more of a problem, indeed it looks like it already is a problem. Will the number of volunteers working to maintain a neutral point of view ever be enough to overcome this problem? Carcharoth 16:10, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
The article's very neutral. Critics will take it as bolstering their case, but otherwise the picture it presents is largely about Wikipedia working, even in the face of partisanship on the part of political staffers.--Nectar 22:06, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

There is only ONE solution--gather around to hear it!

A wikipedia article:

Top: Box 1, the first 100 words of the stable verified version. Middle/Bottom: Box 2 with the live version.

Good information and open editing all on the same page. Nothing compromised! We have it both: trust and freedom.

Lotsofissues 21:52, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

DENMARK The story is spreading. 600 word article on Meehan appears in Danish Politiken:

GERMANY 500 word article Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Poland 300 word Gazeta Wyborcza

Lotsofissues 23:57, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

IMHO this article shows wikipedia dealing with a difficult issue in a careful and responsible manner. It makes us look good. However, I wish they'd made it clearer that Capitol Hill was blocked from editting, but not reading the site -- calling it a 'blackout' implies we denied all access to me. Kit O'Connell (Todfox: user / talk / contribs) 00:58, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Carcharoth above. I had the exact same impression on the Center for Consumer Freedom article, where I eventually surrendered to the pressure of editors who I now believe were paid by them. Common Man 19:08, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

the Dominican President?

According to this, Leonel Fernández, the President of the Dominican Republic, used Wikipedia as an example of the dominance of the English language in a speech to university graduates. - BanyanTree 17:37, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I've got a perfect solution. Let's make WIkipedias in other languages! We could have a French Wikipedia, a German WIkipedia...etc. --DanielCD 18:06, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Damn, why didn't They think of that before? - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C]   18:32, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
To be fair, he acknowledged the other language versions in the speech, but said (correctly) that the English version dwarfs most of them. Superm401 - Talk 23:35, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
So apparently we should all stop posing on the English version until all of the others catch up? User:Zoe|(talk) 00:49, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I'll bite. *Who* is remotely suggesting that? Pcb21 Pete 10:44, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
The President of the Dominican Republic? User:Zoe|(talk) 16:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
No the President of the Dominican Republic suggested it would a good idea for more of his countryfolk to learn English. He made no suggestions to Wikipedians. Pcb21 Pete 16:52, 6 February 2006 (UTC) (your talent for seeing "anti-Americanism" everywhere needs to stop :)

NPR correspondent can't help but snicker at what we term an "edit war"

Audio of show

Lotsofissues 23:50, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I haven't read it, but note that people often snicker at things they don't quite get the picture of (and are behind the times on). And often, they may know, but use the snickering as propaganda for an agenda. Edit war is a very rough euphemism for debate. He's likely one of those who snicker at that idea as well (and there are an alarming number around these days). --DanielCD 16:11, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Calm down already, and listen to the story before you comment so unflatteringly. NPR congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook says, at timecode 2:22:
Apparently there is a, quote, 'edit war', says Wikipedia, going on about Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia—some people are putting in good stuff, and some people are going back in and erasing the good stuff and putting in bad stuff.
Her "snickering" consists of a breathy intonation when she says "edit war". It seems pretty clear to me that she's just amused by the terminology. Terminology, which, please note, was coined humorously. There's no need to get offended by someone noting the humor implicit in the phrase . --TreyHarris 01:19, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

New weekly collaboration

The Core topics collaboration of the week has started. We'll work on essential articles intended for a release version of Wikipedia. You're invited. Maurreen 04:18, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The Australian makes open call for satirical jokes on Wikipedia's politicians' (lack of) integrity

"Next week:

Wikipedia has banned members of the US congress from editing or writing on the online encyclopedia after a war of words erupted. Send us the top 10 signs an encyclopedia was written by a politician." — The Australian, February 7, 2006

Maybe the soon-to-be published feature commentary will include caricatures!

Lotsofissues 01:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I corrected the section title to match what The Australian appears to be asking :). Pcb21 Pete 08:13, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Public service messages

I'd like to point out that it is my belief there are many people wanting to use Wikipedia as a kind of "Public Service Message Board". Well, that's not useful here and can potentially be downright damaging (libelous, etc.). Categories are meant to help people find material, not to label material. This is an attempt to raise consciousness of something I haven't seen brought up much (though comments/debate may exist in some corner of Wikipedia I haven't seen).

Is it Wikipedia's job to "Inform the Public" about people who "might be dangerous"? Comments welcome. --DanielCD 15:47, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Addendum: External link sections asre also frequently becoming gummed up with material, but that's another issue. I do want to mention it here though as these issues are somewhat similar. --DanielCD 16:08, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Could you provide some examples? You may want to check out Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons: "In borderline cases, the rule of thumb should be 'do no harm.' Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper. It is not our job to be sensationalist, or be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives." Kaldari 17:08, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Category talk:Convicted child sex offenders is where my concerns were focused, but I got a response there that seems to sum things up. I may have been wrong in bringing up the issue at just this time. --DanielCD 18:03, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Putting aside the moral stupidity of assigning highly prejudicial labels to 18/17 year old couples, we should not be discussing topics that aren't notable. Most sex offenders are not notable. We're not a bulletin board for warnings, we're an encyclopedia, and all our content should be as relevant in 50 years as it is now. That said, if a notable person has an article and they are a convicted sex offender, there's no reason not to mention this in neutral terms. If it's unimportant to why they're notable, just minimize it (i.e., one sentence) rather than delete it. Deco 20:32, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

UN spokesman doesn't know WTF to make of reporter's Wikipedia question

A exchange from today:

QUESTION: Sorry, I have one. It's a slightly curious question. There was a report that a Wikipedia entry on Kofi Annan had recently been edited to take out reference to his father being a Freemason. I was just wondering if there was, had been sort of a representation from Mr. Annan or his office to Wikipedia to change his biography?

STEPHANE DUJARRIC: Not that I'm aware of. But isn't Wikipedia one of these websites that anyone can go in and edit?

QUESTION: Well that's what's interesting about it because the rules are changing. People are getting more power to change, to demand changes to what's on Wikipedia. That's why it's interesting.

STEPHANE DUJARRIC: It is interesting. Yes sir? [solicits question from another reporter]

Lotsofissues 06:07, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

It's not that he doesn't know what to make of the question. It's that he's a good spokesperson who's supremely adept at deftly dodging questions that won't score his boss any points. PR people do this all the time. It's really quite fun to watch (if you can mentally separate yourself from their infuriating answers to questions you care about).—thames 21:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
But he did answer it: "Not that I'm aware of." He might have lied, of course, but he did answer.
Lame question, though, without any evidence that it's at all connected to them - what's next, demanding of Bush's spokesguy, "The wikipedia entry on the president was recently altered to remove the words 'poop head' - is the president aware of this, and what is his position on poop-headedness?" - DavidWBrooks 22:09, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia "vandalized" by government staffers, unflattering info removed has an article about how several articles about politicians were edited by their staff members.

Not terribly surprising, unfortunately. Prime example: User talk: Has made some constuctive edits in the past but has also been engaged in blanking, political attacks, and information removal. Edit History. -Loren 21:36, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
This story has also been picked up by the Guardian in the UK see:,,1706748,00.html Rod 17:45, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Financial Times and Washington Post publish followups on Congressional edits

I won't bore you with links, but this is just to remind everyone that this story won't die. Lotsofissues 06:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


Here's an interesting tidbit about Wikipedia in Discover magazine, in the March 2006 issue:

"Science entries in Wikipedia, the open-source online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, are nearly as error-free as those in Encyclopaedia Britannica, according to a team of expert reviewers.

Bibliomaniac15 03:19, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

That is just a quote from the old widely-reported survey made by Nature (magazine) [3]. Thue | talk 13:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Random news clips

Sorry if people have already pointed this out, but I read these two interesting articles:

BrokenSegue 02:24, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Malarky indeed. Unjustified edits make the press, but they overlook our wheel war on pedophilia? It seems they've lost their nose for blood. Deco 02:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Error in indexing the topic "Phychosis"

A description of the the spice "nutmeg" is listed in the "Topic" section of the articles on "Phychosis"

I'm sorry, what? We don't have an article Phychosis. Do you mean Psychosis? And what do you mean by "topic"? User:Zoe|(talk) 03:33, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the person was talking about the fact that Category:Psychosis includes the article Nutmeg. This is because the latter discusses "Nutmeg Psychosis". That content was merged in from Nutmeg psychosis. -R. S. Shaw 07:56, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
That reminds me of similar situations I had sometimes. Is there anything we can do about this? It really doesn't make sense to ordinary readers that Category:Psychosis includes the article Nutmeg, but OTOH it would be a pity to lose this connection altogether. Wouldn't it be better to keep that part as a separate article? (Another problem with the merge is that "nutmeg psychosis" is hard to find in the Nutmeg article, which is contraproductive for a redirect. Common Man 19:18, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
How about putting Nutmeg into Category:Psychoactive drugs or some other category (psychotic agents, etc.)? --Lph 13:37, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Ridiculous front-page article in the Boston Globe

Wow, just look at the headline, "Bias, sabotage haunt Wikipedia's free world". It's a ridiculous article and we should start complaining to the Boston Globe. It goes on for 2 pages whining about how inaccurate Wikipedia is and doesn't offer ANYTHING positive. Let's correct this by continuing to make the best encyclopedia in the world, but try to counter this crap. Well anyway, what can we do? --Weirdperson11 22:30, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

AFP story

AFP published a story on WP checking politicians' bios: [4] Awolf002 22:13, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


As you might now, there are lots of articles in en:Wikipedia which have the same name as articles in other Wikipedias, but are not linked by an Inter-Wiki-Link.

These articles have been listed for many language combinations by de:Benutzer:SirJective. But not all articles with identical names are about the same subject, so human work is needed to decide whether an Interwiki-Link can be automatically generated by a bot. In order to make this decision easy and comfortable, there is a brilliant tool called Interwiki-Link-Checker written by de:Benutzer:Flacus.

It's worth mentioning that through the help of dozens of users from different Wikipedias more than 30.000 new Interwiki links have been established during the last 3 month. Brilliantly done, everybody! And here is the news (which hopefully makes this post appropriate at this position:-)):
There is new data available for lots of Wikipedia languages, including en:.

Now, you might want to check the FAQ or just try it at [5].

There is a few feature called Access keys. If your Browser support this feature (Firefox do) you can speed-up the voting process by pressing the ALT-(NUMBER).

Thanks for your time and (maybe even) help, I can just invite you to try the tool, it's fun and you're reading (and editing) quite a lot of stuff you wouldn't stumble upon otherwise.

Cheers de:Benutzer:Flacus

The Independent does external review of articles -- WE SURVIVE!!

read article 1 reviewer levelled our Russian revolution article but was too painstaking in what he identified as wrong. I think most ppl will get the impression that he is a pedant. Most reviewers gave warm approval. There was even one decisive damn good--because he had such low expectations. The overall impression is positive. Bit a bullet. Good job. Lotsofissues 01:07, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Lotsofissues, this is for internal news from other Wikipedians. External reporting goes to Wikipedia:Press coverage. Thanks. Superm401 - Talk 03:33, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:External peer review/The Independent February 2006. I don't know what Superm401 is talking about. BrokenSegue 04:26, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Wait, I thought this section was for any news about wikipedia, sort of like a Signpost redux.--Rayc 05:27, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what superm is talking about either. Lotsofissues 05:42, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Superm401, although he could have been a bit nicer about it. I watch this page to read news about Wikipedia - not discussion of every other mention of Wikipedia in the media. r3m0t talk 00:14, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
If you look around--take out my threads too--this page is a collection of Wikipedia comments by external sources. If you seek news about the site, the comm. portal is the best place. Lotsofissues 02:18, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The instructions at the top of this page are pretty specific on this point. Not that I mind. It's not like I never bent the rules. ;-) --Go for it! 02:01, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Superm added that yesterday. Lotsofissues 08:01, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Boston Globe will publish long 2-part series on Wikipedia

first part This article sucks--it's dead on. Damn the Seigenthaler incident. It's made the press so gimlet-eyed. They used to just pile blind superlatives about what a great social experiment this is.

Lotsofissues 08:54, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

It's ironic that an article on the reliability problems of Wikipedia makes a false statement: "On his own, Seigenthaler tracked down the saboteur to a business in Nashville, and an employee there admitted altering the article" (p. 3). Seigenthaler hit a dead end with the vandal's ISP, and internet activist Daniel Brandt successfully tracked down the vandal. When people consider this issue, they often don't seem to take into account the frequency of inaccuracies in the media.--Nectar 10:00, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the article is not "dead on". It's riddled with errors. While they claim this "raises new questions" people have been aware of the problems for years. They say it is "Two months after a highly publicized attack" when the vandalism itself was actually in May. They wrongly imply all articles are "written by thousands of anonymous contributors.". They say "funds to support the project come mostly from public fund-raising, in gifts of $50 to $100." when some contributions are much more or much less. The author also confuses slander and libel. He says Jimbo removed the Seigenthaler libel when it wasn't him. The list goes on. Wikipedia is undoubtedly inaccurate in parts, but we correct our mistakes (as I did with those mentioned in the article). Superm401 - Talk 03:23, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Has anyone reviewed the Wikipedia errors mentioned in the article? Kaldari 09:00, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I checked all of them and I can confirm that at least according to the information in the article, all of the errors identified have been addressed, though I can't confirm the one about Hingham, Massachusetts, because I can't access the link used as a reference there. They haven't been cited to multiple external sources, but our articles do now conform to the information the Globe listed as being from the various experts. Below are the four articles they mentioned. All but Tubman are mentioned in the last section of the Globe article:
They're probably worth a check to further independent sources to go the extra mile. - Taxman Talk 23:10, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Note that this seems to list some more errors.--GregRM 00:10, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I did miss the link to that, but the 3 addition questions of fact included there have also been fixed to conform to the facts as the Globe reports them. The Globe could of course be wrong, so again, independent verification would be valuable. I'm not really qualifed to know about any of them. Maybe we should create a section at Wikipedia:External peer review for this article too. - Taxman Talk 04:17, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Changes in fair use

Interesting document about potential changes in fair use law in the US: Judiciary Committee letter on House Resolution 683 (pdf file). To quote:

Our specific concerns are that H.R. 683 would [...] eliminate the protection in current law for non-commercial use of a mark (section 43(c)(4)(B) of the Lanham Act).

This is probably something we should follow closely. — Catherine\talk 22:47, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

It apparently only applies to trademark fair use, but it still deserves attention. Superm401 - Talk 23:37, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
We cannot exploit any provision enabling noncommercial use, because we have commercial content reusers. Deco 21:15, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't it be up to the reusers to verify they aren't violating copyright? ᓛᖁ  22:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

We aren't subject to the paragraph in question, as Eequor points out. It's not needed anyway, however, for our purposes. If you look at the section in question, you'll find that the criteria for infringement require that the use of the mark either "is likely to deceive as to the affiliation . . . of such person with another person" or "in commercial advertising . . . misrepresents the nature . . . of his or her or another person's goods" (lots and lots of quasi-redundant wording omitted, you get the idea). In general, all we have to be concerned with is copyright, not trademark. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 01:37, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikimedia Taiwan

Some Taiwanese are discussing about set up a Wikimedia's group in Taiwan. If you are also from Taiwan or just interested, please come to Wikimedia Taiwan in Meta to join us. The pages have not translated into English yet. If you don't read and/or write in Chinese, you can go to Talk:Wikimedia Taiwan in Meta or my talk page and leave message about what you want to know, I will answer you as soon as possible.--mingwangx 16:42, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

New South African Actor

(misplaced anonymous contribution copied to Wikipedia:Articles for Creation) --Dystopos 00:05, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Great word of mouth for Wikipedia

Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development and chair of the Mozilla Foundation, discussed Wikipedia in a keynote speech at the Open Source Business Conference this week; Ross Mayfield summarizes the talk at "Learning from Wikipedia", and blogger Dan Farber also has a report: "Mitch Kapor: Why Wikipedia is the next big thing" (ZDNet).

Funny how these days it seems rather passe to describe WP as the "next big thing". Pcb21 Pete 07:12, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Nicholas G. Carr has a negative take on Kapor, and also on the Nature study. --- Charles Stewart(talk) 22:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

cool page!!!!!!

strength of search engines is sucha cool page!!!!! please post some info there!!!!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aidtothepeople (talkcontribs)

Seigenthaler update *groan*

"John Seigenthaler, Sr., long-time journalist and editor for The Tennessean, spoke to faculty from the Middle Tennessee State University College of Mass Communication on Wednesday, addressing ethics and accountability in online journalism and information sharing.

Seigenthaler approached the issue of ethics by sharing his experience of being publicly defamed on the Internet with Mass Communication faculty at a brown-bag luncheon in the John Bragg Mass Communication building."

"There are some people who say this is the best thing that ever happened to Wikipedia because they were [mis]taking readability for accountability." - Seigenthaler

Yes after 4 months +, he is still going to any conference of journalists, students, whatever that will listen. Putting down Wikipedia is his personal crusade.

Lotsofissues 09:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, so maybe we should be thanking him. Image:Seigenthaler_effect.gif Dragons flight 22:38, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
"Putting down wikipedia?" Discussing ethics and accountability is a bad thing? Please, let's not be a typicall knee-jerk organization that calls any criticism an "attack" or a "crusade". Seigenthaler is using an unpleasant personal experience to help people consider deep and difficult questions, which is a good thing ... even if the details of that experience make us squirm. - DavidWBrooks 22:53, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
No thank you--for being reasonable. This is not the place. This is the citadel of Wikipedia, and therefore, the center for cultists. We are here to monitor what is said about us, and categorize any enemies. Lotsofissues 01:00, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm with Brooks on this one. Very well said. This is a great place to be reasonable. --Dystopos 16:19, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I find many of Seigenthaler criticisms unreasonable and borderline incompetent; so disliking him can come easily to a Wikipedia loyalist... but the entire thing has likely been positive for Wikipedia. In the discussion of the issues surrounding the incident, I think it does allow a reasonable outsider (whom we want to be aware of our project and participate) to see that Wikipedia is responsive to errors that are pointed out; and that it takes little on their part to point them out or correct it themselves. At which point the Seigenthaler argument of not supporting a flawed system becomes moot and laughable. - RoyBoy 800 03:21, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Wow, that graph is impressive. No wonder we're up to #23 on Alexa. ᓛᖁ  01:34, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, at this rate we might just pass eBay soon. But I don't know if we'll ever pass Yahoo or Google. Deco 22:57, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
He certainly has the right to put down Wikipedia (I would do the same in his place), but we were never mistaking "readability for accountability" and that was never the cause of any inaccuracy. Superm401 - Talk 03:30, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I hope Crybaby Siegenthaler enjoys his new career. Too bad it's a career built on destroying positive community works. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 03:51, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

LOL, Seigenthaler Rox, he is Da Man! Gutz Book 06:13, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia vs. Politicians

The Meehan story is just the tip of the iceberg. Now that every political operative in the country knows about Wikipedia, it's open season on political articles. I've already started noticing suspicious edits to Tennessee candidate articles since the Meehan story. The most blatant example being someone completely rewriting the article on Phil Bredesen to make it sound like a promotional brochure. And of course the editor was an anonymous IP address with no previous edits. What can we do about this? If it's already this bad now, what can we expect once election season approaches?! Something needs to be done to address this before it gets out of control. Kaldari 18:12, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

A vandal is still a vandal, whether they're inserting images of feces or promoting their favourite political candidate. All we can do is fight them as we always have, with rollbacks, blocks, and the occasional protection. I seriously doubt any political candidate is literally going to pay people to corrupt Wikipedia - their followers are just a little overzealous. Deco 20:28, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
In the interest of preparing for election seasons, it might help to have a little template identifying biographies of political candidates with current campaigns. You wouldn't want it to be overbearing, but just enough to alert the reader to the unique strengths and vulnerabilities of Wikipedia in covering topics with a lot of non-objective interest. --Dystopos 21:51, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
{{Running candidate}}, though it requires that there be an article for the election. - BanyanTree 14:51, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that this type of vandalism is much more difficult to identify and deal with. Unless someone wants to volunteer to watch all of the politician articles in Tennessee, I'm tempted to semi-protect all of them once election season rolls around. Of course this is in complete violation of the semi-protection policy, but I'm not sure which is worse, having semi-protected articles or having articles written by politicians. For national politicians, it isn't such a big deal because they are heavily watched, but for local politicians in many cases there are only 1 or 0 people watching them. Should I just throw up my hands and give them over to the political operatives? No one else seems to be watching any of the ones in Tennessee and I don't intend to try to police all of them myself. Maybe we can set up some kind of group watchlist that political articles can be nominated to. Kaldari 23:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
If there's a regional noticeboard, try posting there; if you can all pick a dozen each, with the major ones for preference, you should be okay. I certainly watchlisted all the candidates in my constituency, and a couple of others, last time around... Shimgray | talk | 00:45, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Articles that don't attract any attention tend not to attract much vandalism. Likewise articles that do attract attention seem to get it from vandals, editors, and readers - some of whom will at least look for a way to point out obvious errors. The tools to fight vandals are getting better faster than the average vandal is becoming sophisticated. I'd just try to keep an eye on things as much as possible and if the going gets tough, yell for help. --Dystopos 01:21, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
It might be useful to collect a list or category of such pages so that they can be watched separately for recent changes. We can certainly deal with this sort of POV pushing, especially if editors are aggressive about removing additions that are not sourced. If the candidate (or his opponent) bothers to return with sources, the sourced information is probably our gain anyway. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:59, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd suggest a category ALA "living people" named, perhaps, "current candidates" or "current political candidates" or some such. it might get a bit large - but the various tools used with "living people" would be well-suited to be used on that as well, no? Michael Ralston 02:12, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Category:Active politicians ? 01:07, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

WHERE IS THE "List of people described as neoconservatives" ARTICLE?!?!?!

I clicked on the above article title, when looking at the article on Paul Wolfowitz, the link was listed and still active, but the page it took me to said the article was deleted or something like that. Can anyone explain who removed the article and why?

See here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of people described as neoconservatives, and more recently Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of people described as neoconservatives (second nomination) --W.marsh 18:42, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Keep an eye on user FlaBot

User FlaBot is removing valid interwiki links mainly to Articles in Chinese.--tequendamia 22:10, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia in your pocket

"Wikipedia on the iPod - Encyclopodia WikiPodia?", downloads and screenshots at "Encyclopodia - the encyclopedia on your iPod" (sourceforge), enthusiastic response at Digg. :)


The articles Nick Rowe and Asma Jehangir have been merged. Please take them off the merging section in the Community Portal.


Hello all, I am an amateur linguist that created a fictional country under the name of Zegovia as a setting for a constructed language. I have been defamed as some sort of spammer or whatever it is, but my addition, in my eyes, is as legitimate as any other. Please join me in my fight to keep Wikipedia what it is, a FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA. Why should other people simply say "We don't like your article, DELETE?" If they went on a rampage of deletion, this site would go down. Please assist me in my argument.

~D. Hunt, Founder of the Be What You Say It Is Movement.

Please read What Wikipedia Is Not. In particular, sections 1.3, 1.6 and 1.7. --Golbez 02:09, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Noone in the AfD debate has used the word "spammer". Only one, inexperienced, editor has made a comment that is concerned with you the person rather than the article. We have nearly a million articles. Even the most bored admin couldn't get through that lot without someone noticing. -Splashtalk 02:10, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Nothing personal against the creator of those things, but it's established Wikipedia policy that this site is not a place to put stuff you just made up yourself. Things that exist in the real world are fine, as well as things from notable fiction, but not things you invented and haven't yet published; that's known as original research. If your invented country, and its language and other fictional aspects, ultimately get used in a published work of sufficient notability (book, movie, TV show, computer game, trading-card series, ...), then it would be a suitable topic here. *Dan T.* 03:00, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
As the here others have mentioned, wikipedia is not the place for original work. However, perhaps someone can suggest another wiki-site which might be suitable for Zegovia? Perhaps wikibooks? DanielDemaret 11:30, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps if he was going to put his entire book there. Wikibooks is not for non-notable stuff that can't make it on Wikipedia. The only Wikia-related spot for him I can think of is Wikicities. --Golbez 19:21, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
There's a constructed languages wiki at Wikicities. There's also ConlangWiki and and FrathWiki where this content might fit better than Wikipedia. Angela. 22:59, 1 March 2006 (UTC)


Sorry if this has already been noted, but we have replaced JewWatch as the no. 1 hit for Jew on Google. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C]   23:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Cool. This reminds me why I love Wikipedia. Martin 23:19, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
They have oscillated back and forth as number one for a while now. We used to be number one, but JewWatch gained ground. This is just Wiki taking back the number one position. BrokenSegue 02:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC) has plenty of information that many Jews do not want on, so they compliment each other. Please do not try to say that jewwatch is totally false, it isn't. This is not Iran, freedom of speech and academic inquiry must be protected. Thanks. 21:05, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Err what? Trying to stir the pot? — RJH 20:20, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a racist [...] who wants a forum to spread his hate over the internet. Wandering Star 15:09, 28 February 2006 (UTC)(Personal attack removed)
That guy reminds me of why I support some censorship. Racist [...]! Shanekorte 02:25, 1 March 2006 (UTC) (Personal attack removed)
Actually the censors in Iran would probably have no problem with that site. Didn't the president of the country doubt that the Holocaust had happened? Strange bedfellows... Durova 18:51, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
No, he has no doubts at all. According to him it never happened.DanielDemaret 19:07, 2 March 2006 (UTC) He probably reasons like the muslim president of chechnia which I heard today on radio: He explained that he could never do anything wrong at all, since he was with islam.DanielDemaret 19:14, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

1 Million

Just incase you were not aware, it is less that 10,000 articles until one million! My birthday is tomorrow (26th), so maybe it could be then! --HamedogTalk|@ 23:25, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering whether there is going to be any sort of celebration for the 1,000,000th article. -Adghar 21:45, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Who is going to win the Million pool and the million topic pool? Also, we are closing in on the millionith user, the top ten websites, as well as 1000 featured articles, 1000 admins, and 50 million edits.--Rayc 03:18, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Over the past 24 hours, en. has had about 2,000 new articles created. At this rate, we can expect to hit one million somewhere around March 1. --Mr. Billion 09:50, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
We now have a million users. 06:52, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that we open a discussion page just for comments about the one-million article milestone when we reach it. JaredW! 12:10, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia talk:Million pool could be used instead of starting a new page to discuss it. There's also a press release at meta:Wikimedia press releases/English Wikipedia hits milestone 1 million articles. Only 64 to go... Angela. 23:07, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Article Laundering

I caught you guys red-handed with "Article laundering". I don't trust you as much as I can throw you. I want to let the wide Wikipedian community at large be appraised of what is going on. One wikipedian deletes an external link as " (rv to SimonP; Wikiinfo not sister project)." My external links don't violate your policy!!!! But I think there is a much more sinister motive out there!!
The case of article laundering atCultural imprint on politics/Revision at Wikipedia. Which was conventently deleted recently. Here is a quote from someone on that page:

This is a draft for a fair rewrite of an encyclopedic subject that simply discusses the imprint that culture has on politics. The basis for the present text was unacceptable to many Wikipedians as being an original essay with a strong personal slant (POV rather than a neutral encyclopedia report on the development of this self-evident idea, making references and citing sources. Don't make angry edits, try to forget any agenda of your own, and keep the English-speaking reader firmly in mind. Thanks.

You were attempting to steal an article at Wikinfo!!!! You deleted it. And then try to surreptissiously put it on your site ""Washed"" without tracing back!!!!! This is morally wrong for you people. I see your extermination policy of external links!!!! ala Bill Gates---you guys take lessons from him!!!! Instead of bringing it back on and referencing it back to Wikinfo---You are attempting to "Article laundering" in defiance of copyright laws regarding Wiki's. You people are evil. Do you have that much hatred for Wikinfo??? Is Hate the basis of what goes on around here???

Now, I am rightfully scared that anytime I try to put an external link---they will delete it--run out---create another article on the subject--put in on Wikipedia themselves--thus preventing any external link!!!! I see this game you guys are trying to pull. And this should be noted.!!!!

Where is the trust and professional ethics here at Wikipedia??? I don't mind making external links, I know you don't like me or my work, but if you are going to be stealing stuff without proper trails, I am forced to post here at Wikipedia. I want it noted that it is wrong to steal and Article Laundering. For more info see: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#WHEELER.WHEELER 16:05, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I can't tell exactly what you're on about, but copying text that you have released under the GFDL to another GFDL site isn't "stealing" in any sense of the word. You explicitly gave anyone in the world permission to do so. And the impression I get is that it's largely rewritten anyway to be NPOV. The rest of your comment seems to be saying that you are upset at Wikipedia for not letting you post your POV here like you can on Wikinfo. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 19:14, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Rspeer, there is NO objection to the material being used here at Wikipedia. If that is the case---THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE MOVED IT BACK TO WIKIPEDIA, DID THEIR EDITING IN PUBLIC WITH A REFERENCE BACK TO WHERE THEY GOT THE INFORMATION AND IDEA. THAT YOUR OBJECTION IS TOTALLY FALSE IS THAT IT HAS NOW BEEN DELETED COMPLETELY AND ALL REFERENCES AND TRACKS REMOVED. IF IT WASN'T ILLEGAL--IT WOULD STILL BE THERE, SO YOUR CONTENTION IS FALSE. I refer you to My contributions. There is NO problem in taking material from Wikinfo, but you MUST reference back!!!! That was not done!!! People were attempting to "launder" an article and not give proper trails to where that information came from. The problem is that Wikipedians smug in their arrogance wanted to take material without referencing back according to Wiki rules and the GNU license. You must always reference where you got the material!!!! Take all you want---BUT YOU HAVE TO REFERENCE IT. This is what Wikipedians do NOT want to do!!!! Your hatred has lead to you people breaking the law.WHEELER 19:38, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Your links were probably deleted because they weren't considered relevant or authoritative. We don't need to cite policy to justify removal of content, or to make use of content released under a GFDL-compatible license in Wikipedia, provided we follow the terms of that license. If you think such terms have been violated, please visit Wikipedia:Request_for_immediate_removal_of_copyright_violation or talk to our designated agent. Deco 23:21, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
My links were deleted because a hard core of British republicans want to censor and control information at Wikipedia. The Three people who have deleted these references have NO classical training or expertise or study, two of them are mathematicians so have NO standard of judging. I am being persecuted by a group of people. 19:38, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
If these other users are wrongfully deleting a link that you believe to be relevant and authoritative, I encourage you to discuss this on the talk page of the relevant article. This is not a matter that concerns Wikipedia at large. Deco 01:45, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia discussion shows clash of civilizations?

This is an odd one: The Wikipedia Muhammad Cartoons Debate: A War of Ideas. An organization called the Iraq Museum International, supposedly saving antiquities, copied the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy articles (sans cartoons) along with all the talks and is making them available for download in two PDFs stating "This transcript reveals the mechanics of the clash of civilizations." I'm pretty sure that the WP logo is copyrighted so they can't do that to it as well. I can't quite figure out the motivation or point. - BanyanTree 03:11, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

It sounds innocent enough to me. The gentleman seems seriously interested in the trade of ideas which make up the editing of a contentious Wikipedia article. Although I'm not sure I care for his characterization of Wikipedia as "distributing" the article. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:45, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
It's compliant with the GFDL and thus I feel including the trademark is fair use. For your information, the organization doing it runs a compliant Wikipedia mirror at Superm401 - Talk 01:57, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Does this mean you can mark the page as a "Cited as a Source" page? Wandering Star 22:20, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Rugby Union Collaboration of the fortnight

Hi, the rugby union collaboration of the fortnight has started and we need a few users to help. Our first collaboration is rugby union.

If you are interested in american or canadian football, you maybe in interested in rugby union - gridiron is directly related to rugby. --HamedogTalk|@ 03:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)


Since i am a smartass [thoughtful contributor], and the creator of article 999999 p; i want to invite evryone to contribute to the WikiHowTo project, spread the word, and finaly make it an official wikimedia project, because we really nead that project on wikimedia. It has already more than 600 pages, many of them are real content. Moa3333 00:33, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good. (Thanks for preventing Squidoo from being the 1000000th article).--Nectar 05:43, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I believe that thanks is due to fully 1,000,000 contributors, including probably you and me? ;) - Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
i agree Moa3333 19:39, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

The millionth article

Earlier today I made changes to SiteStatsUpdate.php that logs the name of the article + the count every time something that qualifies as an article in MediaWiki is saved on the English Wikipedia, i.e. a page in the main namespace which is not a redirect and contains the string "[[" (without quotes) to log which article was the millionth, mainly because it's easy and is curious for historical reasons.

Of course when I was going to apply it and roll it out I found out that Tim Starling had already done the same thing in almost the same way, just a bit better. So yay to him, the output you see below is generated by his stuff;)

As I write this we're about 200 short of a million, this of course raises the question of what the millionth article will be about and how descriptive it'll be of the project as a whole. One might worry that the millionth article would be something childish that'll get deleted within minutes, a minor list or some insignificant subject that we'll never get to featured status and one might view as undescriptive of the project as a whole.

But the thing is, that whatever it'll be about, or whatever its ultimate fate (deletion?), it will be descriptive of the project.

We have our ups and downs, we have our vandalism, we have our spambots and we have our excellent articles, but as we cross a million articles the thing that matters the most is not which article just happens to be the millionth, but the fact that we're getting ever closer to (and already achieving) our goal of being an excellent free information source and that our editing process, although it has its ups and downs, invites people to participate (albeit with uneven results) and thus eliminates the gap between the ones that have the knowledge and those that distribute it.

Anyway, here's the millionth article:

Happy million everyone! —Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 23:09, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to echo that. Congratulations. Rob Church (talk) 23:20, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Let's all have a party at Jordanhill Station then! (It's in suburban Glasgow) David | Talk 23:21, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a good excuse for a flash mob. We could all go to the station, dance around singing "yeah one million!" then disperse :) --Durin 23:22, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Barnstar to the first user that can submit a newly taken picture at the station. Better yet would be with an official from the station. - Taxman Talk 23:38, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I say we try to get a barnstar-shaped plaque placed there... - jredmond 23:39, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I second that. XD Any Wikipedians live nearby that could possibly place the plaque on a window or something? Anyway, happy 1,000,000 everyone! ^^ Amina 01:34, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Well done! Will there be a special 1000000 wiki logo for a while now? --Tone 23:27, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I was the 999999 article! 999999: One million articles. My article was deleted by User:Thebainer right after with the comment "meta nonsense". Moa3333 23:29, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I was about to ask who was the smartass [thoughtful contributor] who wrote one million articles :p . Can we expand Jordanhill railway station in preparation for the hoards of spectators?--Nectar 23:37, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Since the numbers are unreliable in the first place, we should just choose an appropiate article and declare it the 1,000,000th. Gerrit CUTEDH 23:39, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
smartass, lol; thanks to my smart article Jordanhill railway station was 1000000; without my article, Squidoo would have been the 1000000 article, and this would have produthe company behind Squidoo becomming grater than wikipedia! Moa3333 23:45, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

This article appears destined to be a stub for all eternity. :| Jillium 23:46, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Famous last words, Jillium ... David | Talk 23:47, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Laughs* oh really? it's already comsidered not a stub :) Moon Stone 00:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Rock on, brothers... --Michalis Famelis 23:58, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Congratulations to all wikipedians for this great result!! --Wanblee 00:46, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I congratulate too. Good job, friends ... Very well done! :)) --「Twice28.0 · contributions · talk」 01:09, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

To rain on the parade a bit ... how many (as in percentage) of these million articles are stubs or disambiguation pages? For me, the real celebration point will be when A-(s+d)>1,000,000, where A is the total articles as described above, s is the total stubs and d is the total disambiguation pages.
Or when we hit the thousandth featured article (again soon, it'll probably happen by the end of April). Daniel Case 03:41, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Based on my research at User:Carnildo/The 100 and User:Carnildo/The 100 Biography, about 60% are stubs, and of that 60%, roughly 1/3 are uninformative substubs. My data on disambiguation pages isn't as complete, but User:Carnildo/The 100 indicates it's around 5%. --Carnildo 05:29, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
However, User:Dantheox/Stub_percentages, which used the whole database, found only about 35%. Also, only pages with at least one internal link are counted, which eliminates many stubs and sub-stubs. Still, I agree that we definitely need to work on more than just creation. Superm401 - Talk 07:10, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
That's based off the presence of a stub tag. About half the stubs I found were untagged. --Carnildo 08:02, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I wonder if we might change the logo to add another puzzle piece to the sphere? Just kidding :P — Ilyanep (Talk) 04:17, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

see also: Talk:Jordanhill railway station/Commemoration -- user:zanimum

Tidbit: How to get an immediate (one might almost say absurd) level of participation in article improvement. This is the diff between the creation of the millionth article, and about 5 minutes ago by my timestamp: [6]. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:19, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, as of this post, the article has had 575 edits by 157 registered users, in under 48 hours -- an edit roughly every five minutes. Even counting vandalism and reversion, and remembering that it was protected for several hours, that's impressive. — Catherine\talk 16:53, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Free internet under threat

Please take a look at "The End of the Internet?" in The Nation. This would mean the end of Wikipedia as a free encyclopedia. Common Man 19:08, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

There already is an End of the Internet. It's right here. ᓛᖁ  22:33, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, the title is a bit over the top. But this is a serious threat to the free internet as we know it, including Wikipedia. Ridiculing this without reading the article is childish. Is there a better place to discuss this here on Wikipedia? We need to take this serious. Common Man 20:14, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I did read the article. Seriously, I don't think the phone companies have any chance of success; they would only cause the United States to become more quickly irrelevant. ᓛᖁ  08:27, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for reading it! I'm afraid your statement sounds like wishful thinking. I don't see evidence in reality that erosion of freedom leads to irrelevance. Or do you? Common Man 19:57, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I mean, I can't see this having an impact on the rest of the world. If the phone companies get their way, the internet would effectively belong to Eurasia, and the United States will have shot itself in the foot. ᓛᖁ  21:30, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree: For the moment, this is more salient for Merkins. If you don't live the US, then I really want to thank you for participating in this discussion. I really don't get, though, why nobody from the US chimes in. Common Man 06:51, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm from the US, and I don't think they'd succeed in eliminating the free Internet. Something would spring up in its place. Look at Tor, for instance. True hackers never die. Superm401 - Talk 00:40, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia already banned Tor. Erosion 04:01, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
You're missing my point. I'm just saying there is always a way around technical limits. Superm401 - Talk 01:49, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
The End Of The Internet? Not really. Posing a threat to Wikipedia? Yes. I don't see why this should happen. Uncke Herb 05:38, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's "the End Of The Internet". But I am concerned about the threat for Wikipedia. What do you mean by "I don't see why this should happen"? Do you think the threat will go away on its own? If we agree that there is a threat, why does no one else feel we should do something about it? Please read the New York Times editorial. According to NYT, "Americans feel strongly about an open and free Internet". Is the NYT plain wrong or is the Wikipedia Village Pump just not the place where these concerned Americans hang out? Common Man 01:26, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I read a bit of it (not all but a bit) and honestly I don't see how this could even feesably happen, let's say that a phone company did end up with goverment aprooval to do such a thing (which in itself would be nigh imposible) the company would then have to litterally buy out every site that it wants to charge content for. It's not going to happen. Deathawk 17:38, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Phone companies only control the phone lines and such, at least to my knowlage, so most of the internet, at least in Westernized countries, wouldn't be very threatened by this. I only read part of the article as well, but I find it highly unlikely that the internet would be taken over by phone companies. Besides, we already pay for it, and to my knowlage Wikipedia is perfectly safe from this - do you really think every Wiki could be bought by Verizon? And how would this benefit them? Wikipedia would lose its popularity in a matter of days. Amina 01:29, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Scientific peer review

A scientific peer review has been started and we're looking for Wikipedians who are members of the scientific academic community to run for the board. If you want to give it a shot come over and post a little about yourself. New nominations are being accepted until the 00:00 on the 17th March.

The project aims to combine existing peer review mechanisms (Wikipedia peer review, featured article candidate discussion, article assessment, &c.) which focus on compliance to manual of style and referencing policy with a more conventional peer review by members of the scientific academic community. It is hoped that this will raise science-based articles to their highest possible standards. Article quality and factual validity is now Wikipedia's most important goal. Having as many errors as Britannica is not good–we must raise our standards above this. --Oldak Quill 17:55, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Hip hop collaborations

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, or if someone else has spoken of this elsewhere, but I'm new to Wikipedia. And you know what the say, please don't bite the newcomers! Wait until they've been on the site for at least a month...

Anyway, as you can see, the hip hop collaborations page is in dreadful shape, but I have created a new table design that should reinnovate the article's design and overall feel. Knowing when the song was done and what album to look for if you're interested in it will also help (mos def!). I hate to sound cheesy, but I think we should collaborate to reinnovate the hip hop collaborations page. For a full list of things you can do to help, see the article's respective talkpage. Thanks.

I'm not pointing fingers or anything, but what also might be part of the problem with many hip hop related articles on this site might be that most hip-hop fans on the site aren't exactly academics (I know I'm not). Even if you dislike or know nothing about hip hop, the page should be easy enough for anyone to's just a daunting task. --Phantasy Phanatik 04:21, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia on CNN front story

Right now has it as its main story (picture is from Times cover):

From politics to movie-making, from NASA to NASCAR, exciting new changes are occurring -- and so is the very process of innovation. For one thing, corporations and universities no longer dominate the world of new ideas. Instead, we're living in an age of individual innovation spurred on by the Internet as well as a form of group project best represented by resources like Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is edited by the masses instead of an elite cadre of professional editors.

Full story here and in Time. Renata 18:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Good solution to footnote line spacing problem

A user recently posted an effective solution to the problem of superscripts (mainly used for footnotes) increasing the line spacing and spoiling the appearance of paragraphs. See Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Superscripts and line spacing. Alan Pascoe 16:56, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

This fix also works for subscripts, which cause the same problem when used in chemical formulae, e.g. Aniline. Just change the selector from sup to sub, and put a negative sign in front of the value for the bottom property. Alan Pascoe 17:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

HowStuffWorks featured article

HowStuffWorks has featured this article on its Computer homepage.--Keycard (talk) 07:49, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

No list of things that DON'T insult Muslims?

Why can't I find a List of things that DON'T insult Muslims? --Vladko 06:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

If you mean a list that does not insult any muslims, that might be as hard as finding a list of things that does not insult anyone at all. DanielDemaret 08:49, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Your article was deleted. See speedy deletion criterion A1. r3m0t talk 20:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Trying to get in touch with a local Wiki editor/frequent user

Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this type of request, but I'm trying to get in touch with someone in the Washington D.C.-metro area for an article that I'm writing for our school paper, the Black & White at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD. If you are in the area and frequently edit articles on Wikipedia, I would really appreciate it if you could email me. If I posted this in the wrong area, please let me know to where I should move it. My e-mail address is (Email Adress Removed) so if someone could in touch with me asap, that would be great. Thanks!

Please don't post your Email Adress on Wikipedia, the nature of such an encyclapedia makes email adresses easy spam targets. Deathawk 23:04, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Try the folks listed at Wikipedia:U.S. Southern wikipedians' notice board. — Catherine\talk 00:46, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Please participate in my survey!

Dear Wikipedians:

Your participation in the "Micro Wikipedia Survey" at User:Shuo Xiang is much appreciated!

Thank you for your time! (I will publish my fully finished essay on my user page as my contribution to Wikipedia and remuneration for the time you put into my survey!)

Shuo Xiang 04:27, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a wonderful student project and urge everyone to participate, as I have. I believe there is a current discussion of "stable articles" on WP somewhere. Anybody know where, and what the status is? --Halcatalyst 00:45, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Stable versions among other places. The status it is it is semi going in a kludge fashion but better tools including stable branches are supposed to have been ready real soon now for a while. The m:article validation tools fit into this because they allow validating specific oldid's. - Taxman Talk 19:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikiwork Brigade now in business

Devised by Danny, Gmaxwell, and others, this is the place to get things done. List specific tasks, complete specific tasks. Collect points for glory and fame. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-03-17 07:39

Looks sort of like the failed Wikipedia:WikiRPG thing I was involved in, without the RPG. Hopefully this will work!--Rayc 16:36, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

New CheckUser users

Two new users have been granted CheckUser status by the Arbitration Committee: Ambi and Essjay.

James F. (talk) 20:22, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Usability Study published a usability study of editing Wikipedia. They specifically studied the German Wikipedia but most of the results should be applicable to all Wikipedias. The paper is written in English. AxelBoldt 00:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Mentioned on The Register

Link here. Ojw 12:39, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

From this article: Nature magazine has some tough questions to answer after it let its Wikipedia fetish get the better of its responsibilities to reporting science. The Encyclopedia Britannica has published a devastating response to Nature's December comparison of Wikipedia and Britannica, and accuses the journal of misrepresenting its own evidence. It seems that The Register lacks a NPOV policy for its own articles. *Dan T.* 21:09, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
See the discussion below. The Register article was written by a well known opponent of Wikipedia. Choalbaton 18:55, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi there, I am trying to raise awarness of a new project proposal, Rodovid. This project is currently running at I would greatly appreciate it if you could visit the site and give me your opinion of it. Any input at all will be useful. Thanks. --Bjwebb (talk) 10:35, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject Sicily

I would like to announce the start of the WikiProject Sicily, to fill in the many gaps that currently exist on the political structures, geography, culture, history of Sicily and related biographies of Sicilians. Please come to the above project page to register your interest. There is still a fair bit to translate from Italian and Sicilian - it's only early days yet. For starters, most of the Sicilian municipalities (comuni or cumuna) need to be done. Otherwise I would appreciate any input from anyone who knows anything about setting up project pages. Thanking you in anticipation. Grazzî assai e salutamu! ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 09:59, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Overhaul meta

A massive effort to overhaul Meta is taking place. The place is pretty messy, so we'll need all the janitors and manpower we can get. Check it out at Meta:MetaProject to Overhaul MetaEdward Z. Yang(Talk) 01:17, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Why is the quarterly fundraiser late starting again?

It has to be more than three months since the last quarterly fundraiser began because it started before Christmas. When is the next one going to be? Sumahoy 03:11, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Just FYI, you don't have to wait until a fundraiser to donate to Wikimedia--that is, if you wish to donate in the first place. Denelson83 19:19, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
  • No date has been set for the next fundraiser yet. A date should be set sometime in the next few weeks. --mav 18:22, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

New Catholic Collaboration of the Week!

There is a new COTW: the Catholic Collaboration of the Week! All are invited to join. Please nominate your favorite Catholicism-related stub or article and help us hit the ground running. --Hyphen5 16:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


For your consideration: Wikipedia:Assume the assumption of good faith. Feel free to expand/clarify as you feel necessary. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-03-30 21:00

scandal developing -- please review article

please see my changes to Howard Kaloogian, regarding a scandal involving fake photos of Baghdad. Kaloogian is the founder of Move America Forward, a conservative organisation. Markburg 07:00, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't really think you needed to bring this up here. A quick look suggets Kaloogian appears to have done many scandalous things but it's hardly a major scandal nor does it concern the majority of wikipedians. Nil Einne 14:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

German Wikipedia not in print anytime soon

Zenodot, a sister of the company that had previously published the German Wikipedia on DVD, had planned to publish the German Wikipedia in book form, 100 volumes with 800 pages each, starting this fall. Today they announced that the project was put on hold, citing lack of support from the community. German news article. AxelBoldt 16:52, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

It was a dud idea. The English Wikipedia is years away from being of a consistently high enough quality to go into print. If it ever gets there it will be too vast by that time to contemplate the idea. I expect the German wikipedia is behind overall. People will buy a DVD so they can use it on a lap top or as a vanity purchase because they contributed to the content, but who is going to buy a set of 100 or more books that will be inferior to the online edition on the day they are delivered? (Beyond maybe a few selected volumes to which contain articles to which they made major contributions) Choalbaton 18:53, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
For your information, the German Wikipedia holds a much higher level of quality than the English Wikipedia does. Jon Harald Søby 22:03, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Then why does it still mistakenly claim that Christoph Kardinal Schönborn was born Graf von Schönborn-Wiesentheid? His ancestry is collateral to the "Wiesentheid" line: the surname is Schönborn, not Schönborn-Wiesentheid. - Nunh-huh 00:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe you're all scholars or something, but your economy is going down the pan, so you're in no position to gloat at the English speaking world. Golfcam 23:21, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Aren't you missing a smiley or something there? Anyways, I work nearly exclusively on en:, but I use both de: and en:. The German version is often (but not always) superior. No firm idea why. Also, no reason to explode over... --Stephan Schulz 08:01, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Let's calm down the flames, everyone. --Golbez 23:42, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree calm down. I don't speak German but why it should be of such mortal concern to anyone that the German version could be better then English I don't know. Also, pointing out one mistake is rather silly. I don't know who Christoph Kardinal Schönborn is but one single error doesn't go any way to prove or deny the accuracy of the German wikipedia over the English version. Suggesting it does is rather silly. Even if Christoph Kardinal Schönborn is a rather notible figure in German history, it still doesn't prove anything Nil Einne 14:20, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I agree that it's a dud idea - for now. In the distant future, 10 years maybe, when the major articles have been peer reviewed enough and sourced enough, it could be a possible thing for large libraries and such. But right now, it's a little too much for too little benefit. Focus on the DVD product, that is a much better idea. --Golbez 23:42, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure that this is ever likely to be an especially useful idea. Searching through a collection of 1,000,000 short articles will always be easier in hypertext than in a physical book, and surely the cost of books is only going up while the cost of connecting to the internet, or buying a DVD-ROM and something that can read it, is only going down. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:44, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Regardless of the relative merits of the German and English versions, I find it hard to see the advantages of issuing a print version over a DVD version. Not only is there a vast difference in production costs, but DVD versions are much more portable and easier to update. Durova 15:24, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Except that DVD versions don't work if you don't have a computer as with probably 85% of the world? Of course, a great number of those who are least likely to be able to use a DVD version probably don't understand German but the fact of the matter is a print version would be useful to people who don't have a computer and don't have easy access to one. Don't get me wrong, I do think the print idea was a mistake, but print has numerous advantages over DVD (just as DVD has numerous advantages over print) Nil Einne 14:20, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but buying a computer with a DVD player would be sheaper then buying an printed version of wikipedia algumacoisaqq 03:16, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
It may be possible that a paperback edition published in a developing country could be priced competiviely against a computer plus DVD edition of Wikipedia. Of course, that would no longer be primarily about raising money for Wikipedia, but rather about distributing some form of Wikipedia to people who would otherwise not have access. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 13:16, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Help wanted with 'Town and country planning in the United Kingdom

Hello, I am very new to Wikipedia but have been expanding Town and country planning in the United Kingdom with some zeal over the last few weeks and created a new subcategory of UK law called Category:United Kingdom planning law. I have reached a point where some experience would be very useful. How do I get some more people involved? Could someone with experience have a look at what I've written and advise on what articles we might be able to merge and what should stay separated for future expansion etc.etc. Many thanks --Mcginnly 10:13, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

It's a fairly detailed topic, so there may not be many Wikipedians that know much about it. You've asked here which is a good step. Make sure you link the article to and from other related topics wherever it is important, and that it is in the right categories. That should alert people on related topics that may know something about it. If no one can help then, it's just going to be up to you to do some solid research, and find the best sources for your article and cite them. In fact, you should do that anyway, but many great articles are the product of one person doing some very good research, and others just helping with sanity checking, style, and bias issues. - Taxman Talk 13:35, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You could try Wikipedia talk:UK Wikipedians' notice board. --Salix alba (talk) 00:59, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Problem with pictures on wiki

Sorry to put this message there, but Idon't know where I've to put. So on the french wiki we can not open or see the whole pictures, and image what do you advice us to do? Thanks jonathaneo

I cannot see any pictures on ther EN wiki at the moment either. Shiroi Hane 11:29, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Upload server is down. No, I don't know any more, nor do I know where the best place to inquire for details is. There is a page out there with technical info on Wikipedia straight from devs, though. —Rob (talk) 11:31, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Network problem --Salix alba (talk) 11:36, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Community Justice

A new organization, Community Justice, has started. We are dedicated to making Wikipedia a better place, so come sign up! --Osbus 22:45, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I have to say that the name sounds like some kind of euphemism for mob rule. Is it possible to come up with a name which doesn't have this unfortunate connotation? Talrias (t | e | c) 23:28, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
That's amusing, what do you suggest? --Osbus 23:46, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Nothing on my end. I don't mind, really. Talrias (t | e | c) 00:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Volksgerichtshof would probably be an even worse choice.Geni 01:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Indeed it would...come join. --Osbus 01:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

UN languages poll

user:Alanmak has added a template at the top of all united nations-related articles containing the alternative names in 5 languages. This has caused a great deal of controversy. There is a poll being conducted at Talk:United_Nations_Commission_on_Human_Rights#Poll to settle the issue. Raul654 19:08, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

2000 hand-picked Wikipedia articles on CD

A new project is publishing a CD with about 2000 hand-picked Wikipedia articles; see Discussion on the WikiEN-l mailing list starts here. AxelBoldt 18:45, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

New Organization

This new organization is called Wikipedia:Paranormal Watchers. This is for and about Wikipedians who have had paranormal experiences, some still have them, while some investigate these matters, such as Bigfoot, UFOs, Ghosts, that sort of thing. All are welcome. Martial Law 03:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Is this the correct place to announce this matter ? Martial Law 03:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Yes. --Osbus 21:38, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
There are no Wikipedians who have had paranormal experiences, just users who are deluded that they have had. I hope that this project will not lead to a lot of nonsense being added to Wikipedia. CalJW 23:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
We're keeping the articles NPOV, thus no undue weight for skeptics, nor for believers either. Martial Law 07:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)
Some organizations that run certain links send out investigative details, which investigate the incidents as if it were a police investigation. That deters hoaxers and the real nuts. Martial Law 19:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)
I'd prefer to think of it as a project to improve articles on the paranormal than a project for people with particular opinions/experiences. -- SCZenz 20:01, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
It is a project to improve the paranormal related articles. Some paranormal reports are based on witness testimony, which can lead to "hard evidence", such as when someone says that a ghost is carrying objects around in a haunted construct, such as a house, ship, plane, then one sets up surveillance gear up in said construct, and it catches the ghost in the act. Have you been in a "haunted house" ? If so, you can get a tape recorder with NEW tapes, then go to a haunted place/construct, then set it up, and you'll be amazed at what you got. One person asked if anyone is home, in a empty house, and a presence told him to "GET OUT!". That was caught on tape. The reason you use NEW tapes is to reduce, if not eliminate the "noise" found on a used, but erased tape. I have worked with police regularly, thus I know how to handle evidence. Martial Law 22:22, 15 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Bureaucrats and bot status

Bureaucrats can now grant and revoke bot status for users on the local project. This is in response to a long-standing request from the stewards, both to cut down their workload, and to allow local projects to have more control over what happens there. Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#.27Crats.2C_bots_and_new_pages has more detail. Rob Church (talk) 23:55, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland

This text is in Dutch because it is about a Dutch conference, directed to Dutch people. Be bold and translate if you want it as well in English :)

Hallo allemaal,

Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland organiseert op 2 september 2006 de (grotendeels Nederlandstalige) Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland (vooralsnog alleen een werknaam). Deze bijeenkomst zal gedeeltelijk bestaan uit lezingen en workshops, maar ook uit discussiegroepen rondom de thema's:

  • Feedback uit Boston
  • Wiki-projecten
  • Techniek
  • Gemeenschap
  • Leer elkaar wat

Iedereen wordt van harte uitgenodigd om een voorstel voor een lezing, discussiegroep, workshop of een andere presentatievorm in te dienen. Meer informatie hierover vindt u op de Wiki van Wikimedia Nederland. Er zijn sprekers nodig, meld u dus aan! Naast het feit dat u er hopelijk veel zult opsteken en mensen zult ontmoeten, zal het er ook heel gezellig worden! Ik hoop van harte u terug te zien op de lijst met voorstellen.

Met vriendelijke groeten, effeietsanders 22:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Naming conventions (Korean)

Hi folks, this is probably a bit trivial to be posting here, but anyway...

A discussion has begun at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Korean) over various tweaks to the Korean naming conventions. Topics include surnames, counties, temples, rivers, and mountains. Please comment! -- Visviva 06:46, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

WP charged with trying to balkanize Iran

This letter [7] posted to the Iranian forum accuses WP of fomenting ethnic discord in Iran:

Back in 2005 when I put together the compilation "What if", I knew these days were coming.

Since then, I have been working full time on Wikipedia to upload and publish as much documentation and information as possible from Iran's history, heritage, people, culture, and identity, before it is all "liberated" and bombed back into the stone age.

Make no mistake: This war will not just incur huge loss of life. It will cost Iran its sovereignty and its very identity. At best, it will turn Iran into a rubbled obsolete Afghanistan. At worst, it will tear up Iran into ethnic pieces, carving out several new republics. The ethnic posse are already hard at work on Wikipedia, actively defaming Iran and her people in every possible way, and selling the idea of Balkanization of Iran to Wikipedia's 2 Billion visitors per month.

[rest snipped -- follow link to read it]

I know the editor; he's been active in various Iran-related articles. Zora 10:13, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I do not know the editor and have no idea what this is about - but why is this news? It's not a secret that various people don't like Wikipedia, and that includes all sorts of POV allegations. Why should we care about the goings-on in some forum? Sandstein 10:40, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
It's not a discussion forum, just a place where people post stories, pictures, articles, letters. I have the impression that it has a wide readership among the US Iranian exile community -- Alexa says it's the most popular Iranian magazine. I figured Iranians are in the news these days, and that this would be interesting. If you're not interested, OK. Zora 12:38, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't know this - no offence intended. Sandstein 13:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know. There's a distinct element of propaganda to the message, so I'm a little skeptical. But I agree that it's a good idea, wherever possible, to copy all such information onto mirrored site for every country throughout the world. (I'd also love to see detailed digital scans of all the world's art work on line as well, so it can at least be reproduced in fascimile form.) C.f. the Buddhas of Bamiyan. :) — RJH 18:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia in the news: Jerks, nutcases and yahoos in charge!

Mr. Warren Boroson, as he is at pains to inform the reader of his newspaper column, is "a syndicated financial columnist, the author of over 20 books, and the winner of several prestigious prizes". He has also had a painful run-in with various Wikipedia policies. It appears that Mr. Boroson intended to make a change in the Barry Goldwater article. However, he apparently did not do so by editing the article, but wrote "a note to Wikipedia". The distinguished journalist's recollections of what ensued make for a good read:

Wikipedia did not publish what I wrote. Instead, some jerk contemptuously replied, in print, that Wiki would not publish my note, demanding to know: Where's the evidence? ... [He] just high-handedly dismissed my note, going on and on like a nutcase about: Where's the evidence? ... Well, if that yahoo had written to me, as he should have, I would have replied: I was a primary source. I was the magazine's managing editor.

Sandstein 19:58, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

This is funny. Since mr. Boroson put the claim in print we now have a wp:v source that can say "Warren Boroson claimed blah blah." If we do that, we should actually reference the the column to make it clear where it is coming from. JoshuaZ 20:31, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I emailed him to explain his misunderstandings of Wikipedia's policies (eg no original research and verifiability) and to point out that EB's article on mutual funds doesn't answer any of his questions. I also observed that it has no article at all on most of the other people he mentioned and in the case of Warren Buffett its article is tiny and missing any mention of much more fundamental points than the inadequacy he pointed out in Wikipedia's article. He emailed back in a conciliatory fashion, saying that I made a good point about Britannica and that he would mention it in a follow up column. Should be interesting reading if it appears. 08:08, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
This is very interesting. May I ask who you are, and why Mr. Boroson came to "write you a note", as he puts it, regarding this issue? Sandstein 09:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm just an ordinary Wikipedia reader and occasional contributor. Mr Boroson has now publicly amended his views. "I have received a ton of e-mails about my denunciation of Wikipedia.... Clifford from London scored a palpable hit. I criticized Wikipedia for not providing enough information on mutual funds, but he pointed out that the Encyclopedia Britannica is a far worse offender in this regard.... Having done more reading, I concede that I went too far. There are good articles in Wikipedia." [8] "Clifford from London" is me.... only my name isn't Clifford, it is Philip as stated in both of my emails to him. I wonder how many other mistakes there are in his columns and books? But in the circumstances I forgive him for this one. 12:59, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia Britannica responds to Nature study

Quite predictably, they didn't like it. AxelBoldt 16:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

The response by the two Encyclopaedia to the review is illuminating. Wikipedia: OK, fair comment we will fix it. Britannica: no, we are right and Nature is wrong, we will not fix it. --Salix alba (talk) 17:50, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Their response is more nuanced than that. They claim some of the reviewers used ancillary Britannica publications or article summaries rather than the encyclopedia. Yet I'm not sure how they reached those conclusions since they didn't have access to the original Nature study. Durova 19:34, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at this Reg story summarising the response. If Britannica is right, the Nature study is indeed profoundly flawed and quite worthless as an assessment of Wikipedia's relative quality. Sandstein 20:34, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it's been noted here, but Roy Rosenzweig, of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, has come to similar conclusions when it comes to history articles on Wikipedia vs. print sources. They have an article on this that will come out this year (not sure when exactly), in the Journal of American History. And, I'm not entirely sure of their methodology, compared to that used by Nature. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 20:44, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Still not published and a comparison based on the state of Wikipedia at least four months ago is not going to do Wikipedia full justice as it has improved in that time. Golfcam 22:45, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The Register story is written by Andrew Orlowski, need more be said? Pcb21 Pete 10:24, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Also consider the irony of it: the most prestigious scientific journal fighting with the most prestigious encyclopedia, the two accusing each other of serious mistakes and omissions, sloppy research, failure to check their experts, withholding data, spinning results... No matter the outcome, it's clear that the mantra "never trust any source" will gain traction. AxelBoldt 20:49, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

you sir lack understanding of the scientific process. The Psycho 04:34, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Nature have now responded to Brittanica's response [9]. Very interesting. RicDod 20:51, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Britannica make some good points in their critique, but they are equally disingenuous. In pointing out that some of comparisons were made against articles in the ancilliary publications or conjoined sections of articles, they are presumably failing to mention that they are simply missing articles on significant subjects. Does a subscriber to the online Britannica looking up Dolly the Sheep or Steven Wolfram genuinely realise they are accessing a lower quality, ancilliary article? I would assume that owners of the print edition get nothing. If Nature had compared them on the print edition they would have probably scored 'strike zero' on significant omissions for not having the article. Similarly on the cobbled together articles, if a reader of Britannica looked up aldol reaction would they have found anything? You could argue that Nature were quite soft on Britannica by allowing redirects to relevant subsections. -- Solipsist 21:29, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Not only that, but Nature stated explicitly that they used the online edition of Britannica. Likewise, Nature replies that they sometimes used excerpts from both encyclopedias so that articles would be of comparable links. Most of the allegations that Britannica raises would apply equally to both sites. There was no systematic bias in favor of Wikipedia. Durova 23:06, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
There is a recent AP story also; it can be read here.--GregRM 01:30, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
And a BBC one. \Mike(z) 18:35, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

The survey was done months ago. Since then Wikipedia has improved significantly; Britannica hardly at all. Choalbaton 18:42, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Nature's answer to Britannica states : "But this applied as much to criticisms of Wikipedia as of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Because the reviewers were blind to the source of the material they were evaluating, and material from bobth sources was treated the same way ..."
Here a huge doubt seizes me. There may be a strong bias. What if the articles contained "This science concept is a stub. You can help *** *** by improving it" ? --DLL 20:49, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
This is quite unlikely. If their intention was to keep the reviewers blind, I highly doubt they would of making the mistake of leaving a tag that identifies the source. Nil Einne 14:28, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

By the way, this was on the front page (below the fold) of the Wall Street Journal. It was fairly neutral, I guess. BrokenSegue 21:24, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

An amusing blog entry by Robert Daely:

The Britannica strikes back…

(Scrolling up the screen and disappearing into the distance…)

It is a dark time for Wikipedia.
Although the science journal Nature article has been published,
Encyclopedist troops have driven the Wiki forces from
their hidden server and pursued them across the Internet.
Evading the dreaded Britannica Corporate propaganda,
a group of Wikipedians led by the Wikimedia Foundation
has established a new secret wiki on remote webservers.
The evil Britannica, obsessed with the young Foundation,
has dispatched thousands of lawyers and spin doctors
into the far reaches of the Web...
) — Catherine\talk 21:34, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Britannica today has a half-page ad in the (london) Times with the text of their rebuttal of Nature's findings. Apwoolrich 08:11, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Here's a scan of the ad. — Catherine\talk 00:18, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
LOL at this guy's report! That's gotta be the most blatently biased thing I've ever read.

"My only personal experience with Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, was decidedly unfavorable. I was left with the impression that a bunch of nasty, arrogant dimwits are in charge.

Recently, Nature magazine said a study it made found that Wikipedia is about as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica; the EB promptly answered that the study was badly flawed, not differentiating between serious and trivial mistakes, among other things.

I tend to agree with the EB. Wikipedia is to the EB what the New York Post is to the New York Times."

check out the lovely things he said about us

"It's not just that Wikipedia makes lots of mistakes. The writing is awfully long-winded, clumsy and boring. Obvious questions aren't answered. There are grammatical howlers galore.

Clearly, people who can't write and who can't edit and who can't do research are running things. What next? Barbers will do brain surgery?"--JHJPDJKDKHI! 16:48, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The appropriate thing presumably now is to go through the various issues he mentions here, see which ones are correct and fix them accordingly. Someone up for it? Personally, all the topics he mentions seem too dull for me to want to touch them. JoshuaZ 23:27, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Some of that has been done, and what is more he has published a follow up column stating that he has changed his mind about Wikipedia. [10]

Watch out for political vandalism

"Wikipedia Ripe for Political Dirty Tricks", says the Associated Press. It looks like Congressional staffers aren't the only ones causing trouble with their bosses' and bosses' opponents' entries. I'm particularly surprised by the mention of Tom DeLay's name being removed from the pages of those connected to him. Has anyone seen evidence of this? NatusRoma | Talk 18:15, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

There have also been frequent incidents of whitewashing and POV-pushing in articles about state and local politicians. Don't forget to keep an eye on those as well. Kaldari 22:40, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm running into some backlash against Hispanic-related information, probably related to the recent protests. So, everyone, please be on the lookout for that. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 03:54, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Ian McKellen doesn't like Wikipedia

"Actor SIR IAN McKELLEN has launched a scathing attack on after seeing an inaccurate profile of his life on the popular internet encyclopedia web site.

The LORD OF THE RINGS star is unimpressed with the careless biography available to members of the public and wishes the internet site would update his details so fans aren't misled.

Complaining to film magazine, Empire, McKellen moans, "It's thoroughly objectionable. It's just taken, as the basis of my career, an article that was written about five years ago, why doesn't someone correct it?""

lots of issues | leave me a message 14:27, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Once again, somebody is incapable of looking carefully at their browser's address bar to see that in fact this site is in, not .com. It's a noncommercial organization, not a commercial entity. *Dan T.* 15:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
"We're an org, so the fact that our work lead to bad information coming up high on your Google search isn't our fault!" ... not a good answer. - DavidWBrooks 18:33, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
There are more important things to worry about. Pcb21 Pete 17:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly I recall removing featured status from this article a mere month ago. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:40, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Since then people have been working on the article quite a lot. I've also called for more volunteers on the mailing list. Hopefully this will get to a point where it is a) featured and b) not "objectionable" to Sir Ian anymore! Pcb21 Pete 17:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
If he doesn't like it, then why doesn't he fix it, or get someone to fix it for him, as opposed to attacking wikipedia?--digital_me(Talk)(Contribs) 03:49, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
This answer is becoming tedious. Since when did anyone have any obligation to become a Wikipedian? Pcb21 Pete 06:00, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Don't be silly, everyone has an obligation to become a Wikipedian. Jimbo is the pope and there is no salvation outside the true church of Wikipedia. Well, ok, working on other WikiMedia projects maybe, but nothing beyond that. Also joking aside, it take less effort to fix a wikipedia article than it does to complain about it. JoshuaZ 06:05, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
It takes less effort if the complaint is "I was born in May, not March". It takes considerably more effort if the complaint is "the article depicts me as a flaming old queen who hasn't worked for five years." - Nunh-huh 06:09, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Aren't you forgetting WP:AUTO, Digitalme? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:47, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
In the quote given above, McKellen doesn't criticise Wikipedia, he criticises the article about him. Criticising an article in an interview is probably the most practicable way for a celebrity to get an article fixed. Alan Pascoe 20:07, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I read the Empire article, the only thing he complained about was that the WP article stated that his film career started later than it actually did. His first movie was never finished nor released, so how were we to know. --Eivindt@c 07:04, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

OMGizzle! The Economist, that paragon of power-elite media does us!

In this week's Economist there was an entire long article about Wikipedia!

They made Britannica look silly!


"Privately, however, Britannica's editors were shocked to have to concede that their creation contained any errors at all. Total accuracy, after all, is the main selling point for the old media. So Dale Hoiberg, Britannica's current editor-in-chief, commissioned his own review of the study and found that “Nature did everything wrong that they could possibly have done wrong.” Last month Nature issued a rebuttal. But if it did get it wrong, it is not clear why it would have erred more for Britannica than for Wikipedia. Mr Hoiberg puts a brave face on it, claiming that “our model, although not perfect, is the best.”

For a lot of new-media watchers, the most interesting thing about the episode was something entirely different: that Britannica, somewhat representative of old media in general, instinctively regards Wikipedia as a threat, whereas Wikipedians are not the least bit tempted to reciprocate. “I'm a big fan of Britannica's work,” says Mr Wales, adding that he is not motivated by “disrupting” anybody, and is glad that Brockhaus, the biggest encyclopedia in Germany (where Wikipedia is very popular), appears to be doing better than ever. But why not have a free alternative as well? And why not test the limits of what social collaboration can do? Mr Wales is the first to admit that “there are some inherent limitations,” and says they are busy trying to discover what they are.

Contrast that with the joyful reaction of Wikipedia's detractors to Brian Chase, the dodgy biographer (whose article was literally one in a million). Somebody who reads Wikipedia is “rather in the position of a visitor to a public restroom,” says Mr McHenry, Britannica's former editor. “It may be obviously dirty, so that he knows to exercise great care, or it may seem fairly clean, so that he may be lulled into a false sense of security. What he certainly does not know is who has used the facilities before him.” One wonders whether people like Mr McHenry would prefer there to be no public lavatories at all."

lots of issues | leave me a message 12:00, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

More sloppiness from a "reputable" source - McHenry's comments were made well before the Siegenthaler incident, not in response to it. Another reminder of the low standards that prevail among professional experts, but otherwise a welcome article. 18:05, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, though McHenry's actual response was no more intelligent than a "me too" in support of Brittanica. Alan Pascoe 21:43, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Could someone post a link to that article or at least say which edition it was in. I'd be interested in getting a copy of that. Witty lama 03:11, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
It's probably this article. Alan Pascoe 19:34, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
McHenry has found a way to make criticizing Wikipedia a nice little business; I've seen him quoted on one or two websites that I thought were beneath a self-respecting intellectual. (Not to be snide, but has he done anything else worth a hournalist's attention since leaving EB?) Maybe we ought to send him a bill for our services in getting him publicity. -- llywrch 15:41, 28 April 2006 (UTC)


It looks like Wiki is being attacked for having been "corrupted by Wal-Mart lobbyists". (from slashdot and whitedust). I'm curious to know what people here think of the accusations --Bachrach44 16:22, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about anything on the POV issue, but if your going to have a semi-POV fork (Criticism of Wal-Mart), the very least you could do is leave it in the walmart article. Somehow they shifted a lot of material to that page, and then deleated the link. Looks like the slashdotting got the anti-walmart foothold back in the article, but one side shouldn't be completely routed like this in an edit war that they feel the need to call slashdot.--User:Rayc
On a slight tangent; I'd like to take all the Pro-x and Anti-x articles and combine them into a properly balanced article about x. But that would cause so many edit wars and I don't think I would be up to the task. I've seen a few examples of such waring POV articles in my travels that need to be combined. --Monotonehell 10:06, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Architecture and Category:Urban studies and planning Win Panetizen Top 10 Award!

I'm pleased to announce that Portal:Architecture and Category:Urban studies and planning have jointly won an award, being rated one of the top ten best planning, design, and development websites. Now, this isn't an award which can be won annually; it is only given to new or dramatically improved web sites.

The Awards page points out the candidates were rated by criteria and accessibility. link to listing

Cheers to those involved in these articles! - Amgine 21:49, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Cool...that's wonderful not only because of your hard work but also because of the positive representation that Wikipedia is getting. --Osbus 23:33, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Though I find it odd that they are not featured portals... does this mean that all featured portals are even better and deserving of awards, or does it mean that we choose featured portals by the wrong criteria?--Rayc 18:56, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Has Portal:Architecture been put up as a candidate for being a featured portal? Becoming featured isn't something that magically happens -- you need to actively work for it. --Carnildo 19:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Spoiler

Template:Spoiler has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. Chuck 01:31, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

"The result of the debate was Speedy kept" 14:42, 6 May. Has many comments about what can, should or should not be in WP articles. Shenme 18:14, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

comScore Internet usage survey results

Don't know if this has been noted elsewhere, but it seems that a survey has recently placed Wikipedia as one of the most visited sites. [11] The article does not give actual numbers or rankings, but seems to qualitatively support Wikipedia's popularity as suggested by the Alexa rankings. Does anyone know if the actual numbers/rankings are available on the Internet?--GregRM 02:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Just found this: press release.--GregRM 03:02, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Nevermind...I just found that it had already been noted at the bottom of Wikipedia:Awareness statistics.--GregRM 03:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

See also the nice writeup in this week's Signpost: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-05-08/Rankings update. — Catherine\talk 00:48, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

History of science collaboration

A history of science monthly collaboration will be starting soon. Please vote.--ragesoss 04:21, 14 May 2006 (UTC) {{CurrentHOSCOTM}}

Proposal to limit who can edit policies

Following banned user Zephram Stark's attempt to rewrite WP:SOCK using two sockpuppet accounts, there is a proposal to limit the editing of policy pages either to admins, or to editors with six months editing experience and 1,000 edits to articles. Please vote and comment at Wikipedia:Editing policy pages. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:11, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Historic debates

This is a new page seeking to catalogue the major site-wide disputes and controversies such as lolicon and userbox. Please enrich the page with your inputs. Loom91 10:23, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Inschrijving leden voor VWN

(This message is in Dutch. If you want it to be in your language, plese be bold, and translate it into your language and place it under mine.)

Beste Wikianen,

Mensen die lid willen worden van Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland, kunnen zich nu als zodanig aanmelden. Op kunt u meer informatie vinden over de inschrijfprocedure en de te volgen stappen. Ik hoop dat wij vele leden mogen verwelkomen.

Met vriendelijke groet, Lodewijk Gelauff aka Effeietsanders 21:03, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

"Dear Wikipedians, anyone who wants to become a member of Wikimedia Nederland (the Dutch chapter of Wikimedia), can now submit an application. On you can find further information on the registration procedure and the next steps. I hope that we can welcome many of you. Kind regards, Lodewijk Gelauff (aka Effeietsanders)"

Accuracy of the translation not guaranteed. Warofdreams talk 00:38, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Introducing Concordia

Concordia, formerly known as Community Justice, has been redone. Check it out...--Osbus 21:33, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Anyone know what the name means?--Rayc 00:56, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
It's Latin for "concurrence, harmony, peace, union". —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:15, 28 May 2006 (UTC)


I've recently launched a project to gather together small-scale promotional material for Wikimedia for raising awareness in local communities. However, I will need some more editors to get involved before I begin building pages. Is anyone interested? Go sign up! --Xyrael T 20:04, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikimania registration, son of

Hi, Wikimania 2006 is coming soon; sign up now if you're planning to come and want housing on-campus! Please distribute the registration notice widely :

Wikimania 2006, the second international Wikimedia conference, will be held August 4-6, 2006 at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Please register for the event online at . Everyone is welcome to submit ideas for presentations and conference events.

+sj + 23:08, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Former Britannica editor criticizes Wikipedia

Robert McHenry, a former Encyclopædia Britannica editor says in this [12] openDemocracy article "Wikipedia's visionless, self-selected, value-light online encyclopedia is a deformed shadow of what the global public deserves". He specially criticizes the Countering systemic bias WikiProject. --Julián Ortega - drop me a message 20:33, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps, but in some ways Brittanica is a uniform shadow of our deformed shadow. :) Superm401 - Talk 05:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
But you could say its visionless, self-selected nature is its greatest strength. This means that to a large extent wikipedia reflects the interests of the internet at large, and also by the same measure that we meet the need of our us readers better. So the average internet user is perhaphs more interested in the latest eviction from big brother, or some obscure band, than it is in the exploits of some Dead White European Male. Well wikipedia will serve their needs better than britanica's narrow view of what we should be interested in. The day we give up on trying the ape britanica the better.
"It is unremarkable that the topics covered at present in Wikipedia reflect the interests of those who contribute to it, and that these contributors represent a relatively narrow, self-selected segment of society." As opposed to that rainbow of diversity, the typical encyclopedia's editorial board. Seriously, this article is dumb. Xanthoxyl 23:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
ps. Also worth reading is The sultan and the glamour model the pro WP article which McHenry was responding to. --Salix alba (talk) 07:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Of his two conclusions one, that WP has not realised "the basis for any intellectual work is that truth [...] is not democratically determined." is contradicted by WP:NOT (but supported by the way some people use AfD). Rich Farmbrough 09:55 10 June 2006 (GMT).

I found it a pretty decent analysis. I agree with McHenry that we could use a bit more vision and that we are too much of a democracy. His statement "that some excellent work – and there is some – is rendered suspect [both by the ideologically required openness of the process and] by association with much distinctly not excellent work that is accorded equal standing by that same ideology" reflects my feelings, except for the phrase that I put between brackets. I'm less concerned with the inbalance present in Wikipedia (by the way, as I read it, McHenry is supportive of the Countering Systemic Bias WikiProject, he just thinks it should be called Countering Systemic Inbalance). -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:46, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
He's just a bitter old man. His own aspirations for Britannica failed, he lost his job, and now he is feeling malicious. There is no "ideologically required openness", it's just the way we do things because it's the way that works best. This analysis is too skewed to take seriously as he has no interest in appraisingly Wikipedia fairly or offering constructive suggestions; he has no respect for Wikipedia's achievements and just wants it to die. He is bitter and totally lacking in grace, decency or class. Honbicot 23:49, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
It does not reflect well on us as editors of Wikipedia to be disparaging editors of other encyclopedias (former or otherwise) as "bitter old men". You should be ashamed of yourself, Honbicot. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:10, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Well the key question remains how to deal with bias. Any knowledge management activity will have bias, and Wikipedia is biased towards the interests of the group that edit it, the social class of "nerds", "dorks" and "comic book guys" (of which I am a member). People will know what they are interested in and like. Anyways the idea that self appointed ediors will accomplish an entire independence from all bias or emotional clouding is silly. So perhaps just making more clearly questions raised about articles would be better than trying to make things perfect to an impossible standard.

New China Version?

This article suggest that Wikimedia has been approached about making a politically censored version of Wikipedia in China. Can anyone confirm that? BrokenSegue 02:37, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I can't confirm or deny, but I hope dearly Wikimedia never considers acceding to such a request. Superm401 - Talk 03:07, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Of course there is nothing to stop any group from forking Wikipedia and removing the items disliked by the Chinese government. Dsmdgold 13:20, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, and that wouldn't bother me much (partially because it would probably fail). I would have a problem if Wikimedia uses its resources (which are a result of donations such as mine) to support such an edition. Superm401 - Talk 18:09, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I've seen Jimbo quoted as saying it won't happen. If it does, I hope there is some mechanism for dismissing the board of Wikimedia. Bhoeble 22:21, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
No, there's no way for users to dismiss the whole board. At that point, people would have to start an NPOV fork and hope for the best. Superm401 - Talk 22:27, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
The Baidu Baike encylopedia has been started. If you believe Wikipedia, it bans "politically reactionary content" and all user written content is submitted to administrators for clearance before it goes live and administrators cannot be contacted. It got 10K articles in two days, which may be the result of it allowing CC and GFDL articles but then claiming elsewhere on the site that all content is under their copyright. Apparently they're up to 100K now. - BanyanTree 02:17, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Why should Baidu care about GFDL or CC? GFDL and CC probably doesn't even apply under chinese laws. Hell, Baidu can sell wikipedia content if they want to and the chinese governmnet would not give a damn. 01:03, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
The GFDL applies under international copyright law, which China subscribes to. Whether they'll enforce it is another question, but it's certainly applicable under the Berne Convention et al. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:42, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, it's perfectly legal to sell GFDL content, as long as the distributor follows the terms of the GFDL. Superm401 - Talk 13:29, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
This Signpost article Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-05-15/Baidu makes it clear that Baidu has effectively copied what it wanted from , forked, commercialized and has gone its own way. Maybe the authorities felt that, unlike Google, there were no simple fixes to "the problem" from their point of view if the Foundation was involved. I guess we can wait and see if Jimbo had a "plan B" to address this easily-forseeable scenario. Perhaps he is still too busy basking in his "Time 100" glow here: . For a mature view of China, please listen to: -- 17:32, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I think "plan B" is obvious, make wikipedia an indispensible part of internet culture. If Baidupedia copies all our stuff, their articles will be out of date to the date of copying. Who would want to go to an older version of wikipedia? --Rayc 14:05, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
It's perfectly legal if they've merely "forked, commercialized and has gone its own way." The problem arises if they haven't complied with the GFDL terms, which include licensing derivative works under the GFDL and attribution; I have heard they violated these terms. We should be able to enforce the GFDL here if only because it is such a key case (the apparently illegal fork is designed to cirumvent our NPOV for the entire nation); I hope the foundation intervenes. Superm401 - Talk 02:47, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
If they aren't licensing their work under the GFDL, probably anyone can intervene. The Foundation doesn't have to be the one to do it. Certainly any contributor to the Chinese Wikipedia can intervene. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:05, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
The Foundation can't intervene legally. However, they can exert PR pressure. Superm401 - Talk 03:53, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Ya i'm sure Baidu is quaking in their boots by all the PR pressure. 22:31, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Spread browser it is a easy way to over take censorship. Greatfull!!--Icaro 21:33, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

It's Brion Vibber Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saluton Wikipedians!

Yes, the day has come again! Today we marvel at Brion's incredible dedication and hard work without which the project should have collapsed a long time ago, and greet each other in Esperanto. Tonight at dinner, everybody shall say a toast to Brion and his many inventions! YAY BRION! --Rory096 06:25, 1 June 2006 (UTC)


Hello, I'm not sure who does "image patrol" these days, but just wanted to advertise these tools which you will likely find useful (after some cleanup and adaptions to en.wp).

If you implement it (by either copying the whole thing to your monobook.js file, or making it a global file here and "importing" it ala the talk page to individual users), it gives you three links for pages in the Image: namespace:

  • Nominate for deletion
    • prompts for a reason, posts that on a IfD type page, marks the image as IfD'd, posts warning on uploader talk page
  • Mark as no source
    • marks image, posts warning on uploader talk page
  • Mark as no license
    • marks image, posts warning on uploader talk page

Anyway, run with it -- cheers --pfctdayelise (translate?) 17:33, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I like it, will it work on enwiki? --Rory096 06:28, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
As I said, after adaption to en.wp. pfctdayelise (translate?) 09:47, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Military role account editing

I discovered a meta:role account from the U.S. military, User:USSTRATCOM PAO. Seems to me like a much nicer solution than what happened with the Congress building. :) Just thought someone should know. Ashibaka tock 03:44, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Nice, glad to see someone stepping up and taking responsibility. If the IT people at elementary schools could do the same for their systems it'd save us a whole lot of work. -Loren 04:11, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Portal:World Cup

It has been proposed that this portal be created to list all news and current events related to the World Cup. This portal would then be linked in the "In The News" section of the main page. Feel free to contribute to this new portal. See Wikipedia:Portal and Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines to get started. — BRIAN 0918 • 2006-06-12 09:12

  • Portal:Association football already exists. Please help keep this portal updated with World Cup news and events. -Aude (talk | contribs) 13:12, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
    • I've added a link to that portal in "In The News", and think it's a fair compromise. Now the readers can easily find all the latest scores. — BRIAN 0918 • 2006-06-12 16:26

Former Britannica editor criticizes Wikipedia

Robert McHenry, a former Encyclopædia Britannica editor says in this [13] openDemocracy article "Wikipedia's visionless, self-selected, value-light online encyclopedia is a deformed shadow of what the global public deserves". He specially criticizes the Countering systemic bias WikiProject. --Julián Ortega - drop me a message 20:33, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps, but in some ways Brittanica is a uniform shadow of our deformed shadow. :) Superm401 - Talk 05:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
But you could say its visionless, self-selected nature is its greatest strength. This means that to a large extent wikipedia reflects the interests of the internet at large, and also by the same measure that we meet the need of our us readers better. So the average internet user is perhaphs more interested in the latest eviction from big brother, or some obscure band, than it is in the exploits of some Dead White European Male. Well wikipedia will serve their needs better than britanica's narrow view of what we should be interested in. The day we give up on trying the ape britanica the better.
"It is unremarkable that the topics covered at present in Wikipedia reflect the interests of those who contribute to it, and that these contributors represent a relatively narrow, self-selected segment of society." As opposed to that rainbow of diversity, the typical encyclopedia's editorial board. Seriously, this article is dumb. Xanthoxyl 23:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
ps. Also worth reading is The sultan and the glamour model the pro WP article which McHenry was responding to. --Salix alba (talk) 07:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Of his two conclusions one, that WP has not realised "the basis for any intellectual work is that truth ... is not democratically determined." is contradicted by WP:NOT (but supported by the way some people use AfD). Rich Farmbrough 09:55 10 June 2006 (GMT).

I found it a pretty decent analysis. I agree with McHenry that we could use a bit more vision and that we are too much of a democracy. His statement "that some excellent work – and there is some – is rendered suspect both by the ideologically required openness of the process and by association with much distinctly not excellent work that is accorded equal standing by that same ideology" reflects my feelings, except for the phrase that I put between brackets. I'm less concerned with the inbalance present in Wikipedia (by the way, as I read it, McHenry is supportive of the Countering Systemic Bias WikiProject, he just thinks it should be called Countering Systemic Inbalance). -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:46, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
He's just a bitter old man. His own aspirations for Britannica failed, he lost his job, and now he is feeling malicious. There is no "ideologically required openness", it's just the way we do things because it's the way that works best. This analysis is too skewed to take seriously as he has no interest in appraisingly Wikipedia fairly or offering constructive suggestions; he has no respect for Wikipedia's achievements and just wants it to die. He is bitter and totally lacking in grace, decency or class. Honbicot 23:49, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
It does not reflect well on us as editors of Wikipedia to be disparaging editors of other encyclopedias (former or otherwise) as "bitter old men". You should be ashamed of yourself, Honbicot. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:10, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Well the key question remains how to deal with bias. Any knowledge management activity will have bias, and Wikipedia is biased towards the interests of the group that edit it, the social class of "nerds", "dorks" and "comic book guys" (of which I am a member). People will know what they are interested in and like. Anyways the idea that self appointed ediors will accomplish an entire independence from all bias or emotional clouding is silly. So perhaps just making more clearly questions raised about articles would be better than trying to make things perfect to an impossible standard.

Globe and Mail journalist told off by 11 y.o. Wikipedian; writes about it


lots of issues | leave me a message 17:47, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure I understand where the writer is coming from in this item. He says that Wikipedia's becoming "the establishment" because someone fixed his vandalism, and because we discourage people from making stupid, uninformed, and just plain wrong edits to factual articles? Did I miss something here? Tony Fox (speak) 18:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
He expected his vandalism to get reverted; he didn't expect the tedious, "corporate-style" templatized warning. — Bunchofgrapes (talk) 18:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, he wanted a more personalized "stop being an asshole" message, I guess. --jpgordon ∇∆∇∆ 19:00, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd personally be happy to customize my vandal warnings, but for the fact that I'd quickly run out of ways to say "Quit f&@#ing around, dumbass!" politely and get NPA-slapped. Templates? Much safer. (I do have to say that the "oh behave" template does seem a bit annoying.) Tony Fox (speak) 21:48, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I thought the article was entertainingly written, and not derogatory at all. Basically just musing about the nature of Wikipedia. (Note the malformed link to Wikitruth, incidentally.) — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:05, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the author is being overly sensitive, but I must say that I also disklike that "oh-behave" warning template. Broken Segue 21:34, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Wow, what a cuntwaffle. --Golbez 21:57, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

His employers should seriously consider whether to fire him for bringing their publication into disrepute. A conscientious 11 year old, or an arrogant bad-tempered adult smart-alec? Which is more impressive? Um, that's a tough one. Chicheley

There are some people who just don't understand why Wikipedia can't have a sense of humor. They think that anything which is not the establishment must therefore not take their work seriously. The minute we start taking our work seriously, we must have "sold out". --Bachrach44 03:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I hope Tossell apologizes to Sam; that really was pretty crappy to assume he was 11 years old. But I love how Tossell keeps saying, "the Wikipedia". --Allen 03:44, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I do that sometimes, to recognize the singular power of it, like "the internet" or "the web". --Golbez 04:58, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I always call it "the English Wikipedia" (or "the Norwegian Wikipedia" or "the German Wikipedia", depending on which I am referring to) - it is far too easy to assume that en: is the only wikipedia, or that the other wikipedias are just clones or translations! TheGrappler 03:56, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Red links

Aaah! The red links now have a line through them. How scary it looks. I'm not used to it yet. Eeek. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 13:36, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Hey, they're gone. o_O Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 23:29, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

A researcher's guide to discussion pages

I hope I'm not being too full of myself announcing this here, but I've launched a new page Wikipedia:A researcher's guide to discussion pages as a supplement to Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia. This was an idea that came out of the January 2006 Seattle meetup. So far, it's basically my thoughts on this; I'm sure that others will have plenty to add. - Jmabel | Talk 19:05, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Guidelines issued for PR on Wikipedia

Following fallout after PR activities on Wikipedia by some organizations, the Public Relations Society of America has issued guidelines for PR on Wikipedia.[15] One guideline is for organizations to start a transparent user account that identifies itself as being a representative of the organization.

  • Be transparent, not anonymous. Clearly identify yourself as a representative for your organization and establish a user name under which all your organization’s edits will be referenced (perhaps something like “company X representative”). It’s also possible to associate a “user information page” with your user name — you may want to create a brief page explaining that you are a paid representative for your organization and are posting on its behalf. Only use this user name for work-related Wikipedia entries; if you get bit by the Wikipedia bug and want to edit articles on your own time about, say, poodles in 19th-century France, create a different user name. Transparency up-front can help avoid a lot of trouble later on.

--Nectar 19:27, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Someone did their research on that piece - it looks like they nailed it right on the head as to the right way to go about creating and editing articles, including covering notability and verifiability right up front. This should ease up some of the blatantly promotional articles that have popped up over time... pat on the back to the PRSA for getting it right. Tony Fox (speak) 21:16, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Transparency is the key - by disclosing their bias, they can ensure that they're not viewed as being malicious or deceptive in an effort to promote their organization. In fact, if I didn't know better I'd think an admin wrote that. Deco 02:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I made some remarks at Wikipedia_talk:Autobiography#Public relations practitioners. Figured I'd link them instead of duplicating them. - Jmabel | Talk 20:02, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Hi all... I'm the author of the article on the PRSA Web site (and, for the record, am not a WP admin, just a regular old Wikipedian, and, gasp, a PR person!). I worked hard to try and fully explain the Wikipedia concept and protocols to a novice audience, so I'm glad that came across. One note is that the article does not really represent "PRSA guidelines," but rather was just an article that I wrote and submitted to the professional journal on my own. I guess since they published the article it shows a tacit approval of the suggestions, but that's as far as it goes. Jmabel made two good observations that are worth reading (see his link above), and that I generally agree with.Briwasson 00:47, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Fundraising drive

At least two months ago I asked why the quarterly fundraiser was overdue and there is still no sign of it. The foundation is taking on extra staff. Where is the money coming from? Sumahoy 02:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Since adding the little donation link for anons, Wikipedia is taking in $30k/month over paypal. And the last fundraiser took in ~$400k. Shortly thereafter $140k of new hardware was ordered, but I can find no records of additional purchases since then. So maybe the foundation has had enough on hand to cover expenses without asking for more donations. That said, there has been a good deal of fundraising chatter on foundation-l, so I wouldn't be surprised to see another fundraiser soon. Dragons flight 03:01, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
The 2005 budget was $789,000ish and it was supposed to be much more this year, so that money should be running out. I don't think it should be left to the last possible minute. There is a lack of openness about finances. Having discussions on a mailing list is anti-wiki. Mailing lists are old-fashioned and only techies use them much. Sumahoy 12:28, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Donations since the last fundraiser have been at a higher rate than anticipated, so a further fundraiser has not been required yet. This has all been discussed recently on the (public) mailing list; it is not being left until the last minute. Having discussions on a mailing list is not in any way antiwiki. Use of one method of communication does not preclude using others. Mailing lists, IRC channels, face to face meetings and so on all have advantages over on-wiki communication and to ignore these would be wasteful. --Cherry blossom tree 15:02, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
They have advantages if you want to keep things secret. I use the internet all the time but I don't even know what an IRC channel is (and there isn't a wikipedia article to tell me, so it has to be pretty darn obscure). Wikipedia needs to stop acting like a geeks' club. There's a major lack of disclosure, and people who want to know what is going on shouldn't have to go looking for types of information source they didn't even know exist. We need something linked right from the donations page. Sumahoy 02:44, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Umm, there is an article. You linked to it. It's really long and the topic is not that obscure. See also:WP:IRC. Re-disclosing everything in a different forum takes a lot of overhead. I don't subscribe to the mailing list but I do occasionally read the archives. Broken Segue 05:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, IRC channel was red; I added a redirect. Dragons flight 07:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Something "linked right from the donations page" like: the 2005 budget, maybe? Or did you mean a mention of the mailing lists, such as this: "If you are interested in general discussion about Wikimedia and its projects, please join one of our public mailing lists or IRC channels." (on Contact us(listed in the sidebar of every page on the Foundation wiki)). I'm sorry, what was the problem again? JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:57, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how I could have made myself much clearer. I don't think I should have to sign up to things with strange technical names to get some current information. 2005 budget???? I looked at that last year! Budgets are future projections and it is now mid 2006! Wikipedia isn't giving me or anyone else who isn't a dedicated insider a reasonable amount of up to date easily accessible information on which to base a decision whether or not to donate, so for now I am not going to donate. Sumahoy 05:12, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Looking at it again, yes, it is disturbing that there is no 2006 budget linked. That is a problem, and one I don't have any answer for. I still don't know what "strange technical names" you are referring to; "foundation-l", "mailing list", "Internet Relay Chat" don't see either critical to knowing where the money comes from and goes, or that obscure. As for the lack of information making people unwilling to donate, I agree; it makes me unwilling to donate also. JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:01, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree, Sumahoy. I've been trying to figure these things out too, and it isn't as easy as it seems like it should be. I joined the foundation mailing list a few days ago, so maybe that will help. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the Foundation gets private grants in addition to the public fundraisers; if that's true, it would help explain where all the money is coming from. If it's not true, and all the money comes from the public fundraisers, then maybe it still adds up, but it's hard for me to figure out how. For example, Dragons flight mentions above that the last fundraiser took in ~$400k, but how much of that went to the 2005 budget and how much is available for 2006? Also, I guess money is coming in from that partnership with, but I don't know how to figure out how much revenue that has generated. --Allen 16:47, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I have a long history with private charaties and would advice people to watch this space. Wikipedia is full of editors who are overtly anti-business, priding themselves on their isolation and superiority to business interests, it is an idea victim for potential theft. Not criminal, just someone coming along and paying themselves $100,000 a year.

According to Alexa, traffic is collapsing

According to Alexa over the last few days Wikipedia's traffic has fallen off a cliff. [16] It says that the daily ranking was 30 on June 18, whereas it was between 12 and 20 every day in the previous five months. I haven't had any access problems or read of any and I can see no reason for this to have happened. Rates of article creation and edit frequency are normal. I think it is most likely an error by Alexa, but the page showing the rate of hits doesn't work any more. Does anyone have any explanations or comments? Sumahoy 02:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I have experienced huge irregular delays and problems logging in over the past few days. Perhaps there is a server problem and only the lucky, or most dedicated, make it past. Robert A.West (Talk) 11:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
If we had the stats we'd know one way or another. Over the last few months stats pages have died off one after another and there aren't many left. It's very hard to track what is going on. Sumahoy 12:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
In the United States, just about every school and college has finished the spring semester sometime in the past three weeks, and everyone's on summer break now. In the past, Wikipedia's been growing fast enough to hide this. --Carnildo 18:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Falling_off_the_edge_of_a_cliff_in_Alexa. Broken Segue 18:35, 20 June 2006 (UTC) They've changed their minds about the fall to 30th, and now it only went down to 19th, but the reach and pageview scores are still well down. I don't buy the World Cup explanation. The fall started very suddenly and well after the World Cup was underway. Anyway, Wikipedia covers the World Cup and it is generating a vast amount of edits. Also could Americans please remember that based on comScore stats, they account for well under a quarter of users, so they don't determine everything. Plus a majority of Wikipedia users are probably adults. I think they are having technical problems at Alexa's end. This has happened before, for example a few months back several Chinese sites that are normally in the top twenty fall into the thousands for two days. 02:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, Americans aren't counted - but the rest of the northern hemisphere ends their spring semesters about now too. For my part, this mean I suddenly had enough time to browse and edit wikipedia several hours per day, but that is not the case with most people, who are out enjoying the sun. (I'm allergic to the outside, I can't enjoy the damned sun.) Furthermore, I do think a quite substantial amount of the Wikipedians are young enough to be in at least secondary school or perhaps college/university, and as thus will have vacation now. Finally, quite a lot of working adults are on vacation now. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 12:32, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
All patterns have random movements in them and one should wait a week to see what has happened. I believe I have seen a massive reduction in the number of articles recently, but that could be my memory. If content has dropped off due to edits THEN it is possible that there is less information here.:But if anyone cares the fact that Wikipedia is showing any drop at all during an explosion in Web 2.0 communities is a bad sign and if it is a trend it should be considered. This is the premier Open Source Web 2.0 project and right now Internet communities are exploding. Like it or not we are competing with Google, Yahoo, and other communities of informaiton here. If this thing goes Alta Vista it will give government and business the final excuse they need for entirely writing off Open Source, if readership does not double ever 4 months and we are not at 2 million articles by the end of summer the entire project will be in serious trouble of being drowned out by other for profit ventures, and with it the entire idea of Open Source as an alternative to business coding.

WP reaches 10x article count of largest encyclopedia

At 1,200,000 articles, the English WP has reached 10 times the article count of the largest English encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica Online, which is attributed as having "118,000+" articles.[17]--Nectar 19:50, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, and the ratio would be even higher in our favor when especially considering subjects like schools, Pokémons, or Rulers of Númenor. --Pjacobi
Or my current personal favourite Exploding animals!--Mcginnly 16:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
w00t! We are in fact already infinity times better than Brittanica, by those measures! Also, I object to the title of this article. Wikipedia has, and has had for some time, exactly the same number of articles as the largest English encyclopedia. -- SCZenz 13:55, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Sigh. Our "article" count includes items tagged with {{cleanup}}, which means utterly non-article-like pages get counted. Pages like Andrew Tosh, Baum (onomastics), Content Based Video Retrieval, and Coomkeen. These are simply not articles, although they could be turned into articles with enough tender loving care. Please, people, when you cite the article count, don't forget to discount the 10% or so that is simply not up to minimal article quality yet. JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:48, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes. it is really a great achievmeent. We should improve our management as regards ensuring the quality of our pages. --Bhadani 15:34, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Plus, 460,000 of them are stubs.--Rayc 03:16, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Counts are pretty useless, what is needed is coverage. Wikipedia has 10,000X more about Star Trek, Star Wars, Pornography, Popular Culture and software than any encyclopedia would ever allow. I find friends who try to use it in other fields find it not up to snuff, and frankly it is very hard to add new articles related to public service, the arts, and education. --Rhooker1236

Wikipedia in the news...

Wikipedia was recently mentioned in a review for Nacho Libre by Roger Ebert in a colum for the Sun Times. [18]

I know theres a place that collects this kind of information, but I can't seem to locate it. Anyway, enjoy! ---J.S (t|c) 16:53, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

After a quick skim, I couldn't find the reference to Wikipedia in the Ebert review, but location you are looking for may be Wikipedia:Wikipedia as a press source.--GregRM 21:30, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I spotted the reference in the third paragraph.--GregRM 21:33, 19 June 2006 (UTC)