Wikipedia:Village pump (news)/Archive E

New York Times on Wikipedia

We've been featured in the New York Times: Growing Wikipedia Revises Its 'Anyone Can Edit' Policy. Apparently they've just started to notice page protection. All in all though, a pretty good read. -Loren 06:52, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Despite the highly misleading title ("revises"?), this peer into the inner workings of Wikipedia will help dispel the oversimplified image of Wikipedia as a free-for-all that puts anarchy over quality. It's also interesting to me to see a popular article describing the concepts - familiar to us but not the world - of revert wars, the core community, and semiprotection. Deco 12:16, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
See also here for Jimbo's response. [1] Garion96 (talk) 15:21, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

It's nice to have the project so prominently featured, and may cause another surge in the site's popularity statistics, but the headline is rather misleading; it implies that there's been a recent change in Wikipedia policy that drastically alters its traditional openness, when in fact no such thing has happened. The change to allow semi-protection of articles (which is what the headline is apparently referring to) was made months ago, and is only a minor "speed bump" in the way of anybody who wishes to edit one of the affected articles. The full-protection of articles (which is more of an imposition on the "anyone can edit" concept) has been around for years, since pretty much the beginning of the project. And, as the Times notes themselves, these protection policies affect only a tiny number of articles compared to the over a million which exist. So there isn't actually any "news" here; it must be a slow news day for this to make the front page. *Dan T.* 17:45, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

It quotes U.S. only stats as if they are global stats, which is par for the course for the average American, but not good enough for the NYT. But apart from that and the misleading headlines, it's a that rare thing, an article about Wikipedia free of egregious or comical errors and misunderstandings. CalJW 06:34, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Reading that again, it's still means it's pretty bad. For consistency, information establishment figures who dismiss Wikipedia for unreliability really ought to call for the closure of the whole media, not to mention the closure of all those bookshops that sell error-strewn books (some booksellers don't check every page before they offer them for sale you know), and the termination of the whole of American academia for systematic liberal bias. CalJW 06:38, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, better than quoting Alexa, which is pretty much irredeemably contaminated by selection bias. Although failing to note that the figures were US-only was a mistake, you have to admit that Nielsen//NetRatings didn't exactly make it obvious.[2]Simetrical (talk • contribs) 14:03, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I have to wonder, if people are so eager to gobble up just a few details of Wikipedia's functioning, why doesn't Jimbo write a book or something that goes in depth about the history, community, and functionality of Wikipedia? I bet it could be a hit. Deco 06:46, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Because it's already on Wikipedia? As someone once said, this is the world's biggest and most persistant MMORPG/Soap opera/Novel.-Loren 06:50, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

What I found interesting was that they made a big deal about them doing in-depth reporting to find the list of protected pages (hmm), and that Wikipedia is this very small community with 10 guys writing every article from scratch to Featured status. They didn't slam WP as others have done, but I await the day one of these articles that treat Wikipedia as an open community and not a cabal of five nerds on laptops. -Mysekurity [m!]] 03:07, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

"As of February 2005, the English Wikipedia received more than 15,000 edits a day, 35% of which were made by people who were not on the list of the 1000 highest contributors." WP:1000. So the other 65% were made by the top 1,000 contributors. Wikipedia sounds like quite a small world to me. r3m0t talk 14:24, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it's disappointing that there aren't more contributors, but February 2005 was a long time ago. In any given topic area there are lots of different people who haven't edited much in other places. I think a lot of edits by the most frequent editors are housekeeping, and the substantive content is added by a wider range of people than those numbers suggest. Sumahoy 02:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I would second that. I'm quite sure that many of the 1000 editors with the highest edit counts got the vast majority of them doing (useful) small maintence edits. Real content adding generally takes far fewer edits than, say, double-redirect fixing or altering categories. And I say this as someone who does far more of the stupid-little-maintence-edits than real content adding (although I do some of that, too). JesseW, the juggling janitor 07:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

New templates for creating multi-column page sections.

I'd like to announce three new templates for use in creating multi-column page sections. They are very simple to use. Just do this:

{{MultiCol}}
This text appears in the first column. Long lines are wrapped appropriately.
{{ColBreak}}
This text appears in the next column. Long lines are wrapped appropriately,
and a small right margin is included to prevent text in adjacent columns
from touching.
{{ColBreak}}
There can be any number of columns. Long lines are wrapped appropriately.
{{EndMultiCol}}

The above example is rendered like this:

The MultiCol template takes one parameter: the width of the entire group of columns. If a percentage is given (e.g., {{MultiCol|80%}}) it refers to a percentage of the page width. The background of the underlying table is set to transparent, so the background of the enclosing block shows through. Naturally, you want to use at least one {{ColBreak}}, otherwise you end up with a single column, which is probably not what you want. I hope people find this useful. — franl | talk04:31, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I forgot to add that all Wiki markup can be used with these templates. They are particularly handy for making a multi-column list. — franl | talk13:13, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, that looks hideous when rendered by IE6. The text in each column is squished up in a single narrow column at the left of each table column. Let me try to fix the table-spec used in the templates. — franl | talk03:15, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I've fixed the horrid rendering in IE6, but to do it, I had to remove the width="1*" attribute in each TD element, which prevents the columns from equally dividing the available horizontal space. Does anyone know what I can put in a table definition to force every column to be equally wide, without having to know how many columns the table has? — franl | talk03:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I've fixed the unequal-column-width problem (thanks to the "table-layout: fixed" CSS2 attribute). — franl | talk 19:49, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
We already have {{Col-begin}} and friends, so these may not be necessary. For the future, there's a Category:Wikipedia special effects templates. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 16:43, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
But {{Col-begin}} and friends require the user to specify the total number of columns at the start of each column. {{MultiCol}}, {{ColBreak}}, and {{EndMultiCol}} don't require this, and both IE and Firefox render every column with equal width (thanks to the "table-layout: fixed" CSS2 attribute). Compare these two equivalent markups – the one using {{MultiCol}} is simpler to write:
I still need to check how Opera renders my templates. — franl | talk19:15, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I tested from 7 to 2 columns in Opera 9 Beta (Build 8414) and had no problems at all. However, maybe instead of creating a new set of column templates it would be better to improve the existing ones? Icey 17:50, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for testing {{MultiCol}} with Opera. I didn't want to change the existing templates, because they are already in use. In a sense, a template's usage syntax is an API. I didn't want to break people's pages. — franl | talk 20:22, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
{{Col-n}} could be safely redirected to {{ColBreak}}, couldn't it? — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 20:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't think so. Notice (above) that the {{Col-3}} appears before the content of the first column. Redirecting {{Col-3}} to {{ColBreak}} would make the above example a four-column table (with an empty first column). {{ColBreak}} marks the boundary between columns, but {{Col-n}} marks the start of each column. — franl | talk 02:16, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Napster Links

Napster has an ad on its site recommending people place Napster Links on Wikipedia. These are links to songs that only play after (free) user registration. Napster imposes a limit of 5 plays and requires a paid subscription for further plays, or to download the song. The purpose of the links is obviously advertising. Thus, they seem to clearly violate Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. I've sent them an email asking that they take the ad down. Either way, I think people should remove these links on sight. Anyone disagree? Superm401 - Talk 02:18, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Also, there is an option to include an affiliate ID in the link so people can get 5% of resulting sign-ups purchases and a commission on sign-ups (corrected Superm401 - Talk 17:57, 8 May 2006 (UTC)). This provides motivation for deliberate spammers. Superm401 - Talk 02:21, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
If it gets bad we should add them to the blacklist. Broken Segue 02:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Good thinking. I had forgotten about that. We should only use it if necessary, though. Superm401 - Talk 02:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Preemptive blacklisting sounds good to me. --Carnildo 03:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
That's okay with me, but people can always work around technical rules (proxies etc.) so social solutions are better. I'll let everyone know if/when Napster responds to my email; their removing the ad would definitely help the most. Superm401 - Talk 17:57, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
...they have an ad up asking people to spam us for them? Sheesh. Shimgray | talk | 18:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but not just us. They also recommend people spam Myspace, other blogs, and through email and chat. You can 33df|3|0|%2a|l%3B32339860%3B2-0%3B0%3B12948733%3B4307-300|250%3B16098891|16116786|1%3B%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp://www.napster.com/sharemusic/ see the ad for yourself. It's still running as of now. Superm401 - Talk 22:22, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
That's nuts - it goes to show how a company can degenerate. They were purchased by a larger corporation, no? It might be useful to focus communications on the larger entity. This is just plain bad media relations. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 21:05, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe they're a public company. I still haven't received a response, despite them saying they would probably send one within 48 hours. I sent a followup email to another (less appropriate) address. Superm401 - Talk 04:10, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
They have an advertisement asking people to spam Wikipedia? ASKING people? To SPAM WIKIPEDIA? Well, I'm certainly not using their site. I encourage you to do the same. Meh, somebody do an indefinite IP block on Napster staff – Gurch 17:11, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Although I condone Napster for this ridculousness, I also see it as flattery of possibly the highest kind for Wikipedia. --Osbus 00:24, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I think you mean "condemn". ;) — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:23, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Nope. I did however, mean because instead of although. --Osbus 21:26, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm putting a copy of this over at WP:AN where it may be more relevant. JoshuaZ 21:51, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Napster Update

Alex Marrache (Alex.Marrache@napster.com) responded today, saying "While we do not believe that we are in violation of your policy, we have stopped encouraging people to add links to the site." Unfortunately, this is flagrantly inaccurate, as both http://m.2mdn.net/1155087/amplify_links_160ww.jpg and http://www.napster.com/player/player_video_v2.swf?fileType=swf&clip=http://ad.doubleclick.net/adx/naps.player/g_1;dcmt=text/plain;sz=320x240;ptile=1;ord=5498709629239128 were served to me when I checked tonight. I responded to Alex, noting this somewhat important fact; I'll post again if/when anything else happens. Superm401 - Talk 02:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

God, what a bunch of fuckwits. I feel like registering an account so I can stop using it in protest. --Sam Blanning(talk) 10:23, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
In protest, I will no longer use Napster. Of course, this would mean a lot more if I used Napster before I started this protest. --Deathphoenix ʕ 12:05, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't really matter what they say because that part of Napster's site is already on the spam blacklist, so links can't be added to any Wikimedia project, nor to any of the hundreds of Mediawiki wikis out there who use the blacklist. --bainer (talk) 13:51, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure why, but they still can; that's part of the reason I have pursued this. Superm401 - Talk 03:19, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
--Man, I agree. What. A. Bunch. Of. BLEEPs. If you want to play music on your blog or myspace, you can always use something open source like XPSF. At the very least, don't sell your soul to this fallen-angel institution. Napster used to be the Herald of free speech and the open flow of information on the internet. Now it's a common, scheming, selfish wretch. Absolutely disgusting. --Monk of the highest order 05:19, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Alex Marrache responded to yet another email of mine, saying "We've reviewed this with our Legal counsel and continue to conclude that ..." (essentially, he claims it's not a trademark infringement, privacy violation, or violation of Wikipedia policy). However, he finished with "With that said, based on your persistent objections, we will remove the references at issue in our advertisements within the next few days. If you revisit your own position, please let us know." Given that he previously claimed they already had taken the ads down when they in fact hadn't, this vague promise doesn't seem very hopeful. Í'll try to update again in about a week. This has become somewhat meaningful to me, however petty it really is. Superm401 - Talk 05:23, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
They seem to have removed the reference to WP, and I think it's OK to have a ref to wikis in general, although
A. they are confused aboout wiki and MediaWiki
B. Would be nice if they suggested links only be added to sites that permit them.
Rich Farmbrough 10:45 10 June 2006 (GMT).
I'm removing napster links form the 7 articles where I've found them., Rich Farmbrough 16:46 10 June 2006 (GMT).
In the last 24 hours, I was displayed first a version of this ad without Wikipedia (http://m.2mdn.net/viewad/1155087/4-amplify_links_300.jpg), then the original ad, (http://m.2mdn.net/viewad/1155087/2-amplify_links_300.jpg), then the version without Wikipedia again. Hopefully, this means they are in the process of removing the final remnants of the original ad. I emailed Alex Marrache (before I saw the new ad for the second time) to verify this. However, it appears I have convinced them (probably largely by using my administrator title completely out of context), and this will stand as a precedent against deliberate exploitation of Wikipedia. Superm401 - Talk 07:07, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

A link removal bot would do the trick on this or any other spam attack of this nature. It would just require a SQL connection, a select based around the offending string, and a replace of the offending string. Sjc 05:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I am a bit confused here precisely who "us" is as opposed to "them"? I also find the use of the term "spam" confusing. As far as MySpace never seems to complain about being spammed, in fact they seem to encourage it what ever it is.
It is my understanding that Wikipedia is not owned or controlled by anyone, and the easy use of the term "us" would indicate to me an misformed sense of ownership over what in theory is a collective effort.
Is the rule here that no content can be of potential commercial gain to anyone? Frankly Wikipedia is the home of a lots of nerdy fan sites that make people, say people who produce Star Trek for TV, a great deal of money. I don't think this line can be drawn and frankly I fail to see the advantage, is Wikipedia running out of memory space? If I look up say Frank Zappa in Wikipedia and can follow a link to Napster providing me a limited series of listens to Frank Zappa's music I fail to see how I or Wikipedia has been harmed?
Would any links to material with limited DRM be thus forbidden? If I provide free copies of text material up to five views and then request payment is it impossible to link to me in Wikipedia no matter the content? Is only content that is given aways always provided and if so why is there so much about movies and tv shows and so little about public sector education? I worked on a site called Don on Line which provides some free content on an unlimited basis about every member of Parliament in the UK, would public bios on this site not be proper because the site does provide the option to subscribe? Are links to sites that are in the AdSense program also forbidden? Should it not then be the case that entries on companies not contain any links to their web sites?
The economic philosphy that governs this activity is often spoken about, assumed to be welled defined, but I frankly don't see it at all clearly understood. Wikipedia editors like what they like and the entire sigh is biased by that. It is my opinion is there is way too much on nerd culture and not enough on public service, unions, advocacy and arts. Most of this nerd culture is obsessed with things that are brands, like Star Trek. Should I go through the site and find on articles that promote some form of economic activity, say a TV show or movie, and delete it? I have to pay Sky Plus for the Simpsons, so why are the Simpsons in Wikipedia? In the UK it is not possible to get the Simpsons free of charge, every TV has a annual fee, so are all TV references nothing more than ads in the UK or not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rhooker1236 (talkcontribs) 10:55, 25 June 2006
"It is my understanding that Wikipedia is not owned or controlled by anyone": You are misinformed. Wikipedia is, firstly, under the direct control of the Wikimedia Foundation; when they choose not to intervene in policymaking, which is usual, the rules are made by general agreement of the community, which may be fuzzy at times but is often reasonably clear. See Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines.

"Is the rule here that no content can be of potential commercial gain to anyone?": No. The rule is that external links should be kept strictly relevant; that typically, external links to services that require the viewer to pay are generally not very accessible and so aren't of great value to our readers, who can probably find places to buy commercial products themselves in the unlikely event they want to (the vast majority are looking for info about what they type in, not the thing itself); and that if we do include commercial services, we should try to provide a scrupulously wide selection of them.

See Special:Booksources for a search by ISBN that we've made available. It triggers automatically whenever someone enters "ISBN" followed by an ISBN number (e.g., ISBN 1234567890). A similar scheme could be worked out for items that do not have ISBNs, such as musical pieces, if a developer finds the time to code it in. It should be straightforward to adapt the existing ISBN feature to ISMNs, although of course that's not a guarantee anyone will be interested in doing it. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 01:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

So Wikipedia is not owned but controlled. What are the policies in place to govern what is a general agreement of the community? Is a vote taken? How large is a forum? :The "community" is not a defined entity. There are no governance procedures in place to decide what is or is not an agreement of the community. There is a need to create a more formal definition of how a community conclusion is made or Wikipedia's efforts to self censure will continue to reinforce the bias of the current "community", lots on Sci-Fi and pop culture, little on public service, advocacy, minority issues, socially excluded people. :As for links, so are you saying that a link for pay view that was related to the topic at hand would be okay? Also in the case of Napster you are allowed a limited free use of the audios in question, so you are only required to pay after so many views. So you have limited free usage of the material, with the posibility of paying for unlimited usage. Is this not free information. As for its relation to the topic, if I have an article on the Beatles or Frank Zappa a link to downloads of their music would be related, and if the link provided 5 free listens then it would provide the option to expand on the material in Wikipedia article. :Also I would suggest you not conclude about how the user discovers information in Wikipedia. Frankly the search engine is terrible and I find the best way is to follow links, often wondering aimlessly. I may discover and artist for the first time via Wikipedia, and often do. I personally am frustrated by the lack of connections between things I discover and more information on the web. :Again on this you are proposing posing a procedure that will universally delete all links of a certain kind, links to information on Napster. Even if that information is provided free for so many listens. I think the bias of the group is against certain types of economic activity on groups. Strange because this is the largest ad for Star Trek on the planet and many people use thier Wikipedia pages as key parts of promoting their commerical interests. Wikipedia is full of popular culture and sci-fi fan writings, in fact the Star Trek entries are more about how fans react to the show than anything about the site. :I think an effort to actually get a community together and make a decision one way or another, lacking that perhaps a policy of only attacking real problems. As far I have never seen a Wikipedia link and have to search out my own sound samples after leaving Wikipedia. Perhaps we should all wait to see what happens before performing a nuke delete. After all there is never ever ever a shortage of people willing to delete content, even when the effort would be better spent on perfecting certain content.
I would also question as how a group of 1,000,000 registered user establishes the will of the community? Are active editors polled regularly on how to inforce the policy, is there an elected body someone that runs via a campaign? How can any group of 10 of so individuals decide to speak for the group, especially in deciding to make blanket deletes. Napster may have a point of view, if there was any belief in being unbiased they would be allowed to present their view fully on this group pointing out where they fell they don't counter the policy. If a large enough group, hopefully people randomly selected from admins for the purpose, upon reading both sides of the case decided a mass delete would be a good idea than that would be much better than just a hand full of people deciding it.: I also find this all a bit strange given the massive amount of sci-fi fan sites here. Its seems comic book guy is deciding what is proper content. The Star Trek Enterprise site (new series), which I struggled to read, is little more than a mass fan web site acting like an encyclopedia entry. Strange that I had to struggle to keep a policitical activits artist collective in Chicago from being deleted and could not keep the largest democratic party online activist and fundraiser. I have had someone try and delete a entry I created for a reported with National Public Radio despite the fact her weekly program was given for free on NPR. There seems to be a pervasive bias on the site as to what goes and stays, and quickness that it was just decided that Napster was evil shows the lack of thinking about such thing:Good day.
"What are the policies in place to govern what is a general agreement of the community?" It's complicated and sometimes unclear. See Wikipedia:How to create policy. On a small scale, agreement is generally reached by localized discussion, and often one side or the other is clearly in the majority. In this case, notice that you're the only one defending your position.

"There is a need to create a more formal definition of how a community conclusion is made": Many people believe that. Others disagree, feeling that a quasi-anarchic lack of firm rules is necessary for a wiki to function properly. See also Wikipedia:Ignore all rules.

"Also in the case of Napster you are allowed a limited free use of the audios in question, so you are only required to pay after so many views." Wikipedia's primary purpose is not as a portal to get links to download songs. It's to provide second-hand information, not first-hand content. While providing links to songs is useful to our readers and should for that reason ultimately be encouraged, the cause is not so important to our purpose as to make it reasonable for us to favor one provider so much as you would suggest we do. If all major providers of the music were provided, by an interface like our current ISBN interface, I doubt anyone would object. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:38, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

"On a small scale, agreement is generally reached by localized discussion, and often one side or the other is clearly in the majority. In this case, notice that you're the only one defending your position." This discussion involves no more than 10 people, out of 1,000,000 registered users. As for defending the position perhaps you are not reading me, I am asking what is the policy for determining mass deletions to be conducted by bots? And how is it determined that a link or an entire article is deleted? :You answer seems to be that if a group of any size gets together and agrees they can do what every they want. I have been in bars where everyone was a communist, socialist, rascist, or anarchist; but the fact that they were all together in one place and all agreed gave them no political power. And any society were a group of 10 people could get together and establish rules for the entire community would not be a viable community.:I never said that a single provider should be biased for, I am a radical inclusionist, I think deletes should only be conducted by an panel elected by all registered users or one should gain the right to vote for representation through a donation. I think wikipedia's current governance is in major crisis with a flood of deletes isolating and enragging 100,000s of users. I would like to see any Wikipedia article fully linked in to the ecosystem of information, including free and non-free sources. Hell I would like to see RSS feeds linked in to Wikipedia. :I would also point to you the tone of the above posts, full of curse and not arguements. I am the only person trying to get a discussion going. And please don't post links to vague Wikipolicy, I have always noted that is what people do when they are not listening.
That's twice now you've said we have a billion registered users. --Golbez 18:27, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Well I am so sorry. Have edited it. Still the point remains, how can 10 people say they speak for Wikipedia?

.--Rhooker1236

How do I avoid a cut-and-paste move?

I am working on a disambiguation page. The talk page of the disambiguation article in question redirects to the oprhaned talk page of an article that has since been moved. I would like to un-orphan this talk page as well as clear the disambiguation article's talk page for discussion of the disambiguation page itself. How can I do this without cutting-and-pasting, thereby destroying the edit history of the talk page? Do I need an administrator for this? To see specifically what I'm talking about, see the Fat man (disambiguation) article. The talk page redirects to the page for Fatman (Metal Gear) (an article that no longer exists).--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 16:24, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Infrogmation deleted Talk:Fat man (disambiguation) (the talk page redirect), I suspect in response to this request. I'm not sure why he didn't post a followup here, but I think you're all set. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I also could have deleted the redirect. But part of my question was what to do with the Talk:Fatman (Metal Gear) page. Fatman (Metal Gear) now redirects to List of Metal Gear Solid 2 characters. Can I merge the content on that talk page to the List of Metal Gear Solid 2 characters talk page without cutting and pasting?--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 22:16, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
No I'm afraid not. But cutting and pasting is ok. The talk page of Fatman is so small you can just paste it in with a note and slap a redirect on the talk page.. --Errant Tmorton166(Talk)(Review me) 22:19, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Printing

Hello!

I would like some help please with printing. In particular, I would like to know how to print only a portion of the chat page: i.e. one entry. I have tried highlighting, but this brings no results, and on pages such as Hiberno-English, the print can extend to 20, or even 30 pages.Thanks in advance!--PeadarMaguidhir 15:14, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Printing a selection works similarly in Firefox and IE. Select the text you want to have printed, select File>Print..., then, under the Print Range setting, which is normally on "All", select "Selection". Then print! Phidauex 15:22, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I spotted a page in article namespace which redirects to Wikipedia namespace - against policy?

I noticed that Instruction creep redirects to Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep.

I'm relatively new to Wikipedia, and therefore I'm not very familiar with policy (though I know the basics). I think there's a policy named "Avoid self-references", and it states that we should not have pages in the article namespace which redirect to Wikipedia namespace.

Did I get the policy correct? If I'm correct, could a kind admin please do something about it - probably deleting the page? If not, could you please correct me? Thanks.

--J.L.W.S. The Special One 13:49, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I deleted it. BrokenSegue 13:52, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
For future reference, that would go to WP:RFD. However, cross namespace redirects rarely survive that so it may as well have been deleted out of process anyway. ViridaeTalk 14:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Journeyman assistance

I need some assistance with reguards to the article Journeyman. I'm unable to get any response from another user who belives the article should be entitled Journeyperson, mearly to make the term gender neutral. Two moves, then a cut and paste move. Others opinions would be welcome, as I'm meeting with a fair degree of stubbornness to discussion. Kevin_b_er 07:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Have a look here and enter Journeyman. Twenty three of their dictionaries have it. Now enter Journeyperson, none have it. It's nonsensical to try to change an established word just because it seems gender specific. The language is what it is, journeyman is just a word and is not gender specific. Even a redirect from Journeyperson to Journeyman seems unnecessary to me. Good luck - Adrian Pingstone 09:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll comment on the article talk page :D --Errant Tmorton166(Talk)(Review me) 09:50, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Arabic speakers needed

Need to verify that this change to a userbox says something it should... http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template%3AUser_ar-4&diff=67593725&oldid=58070358 - came up in RC patrol and I am a little suspicious. ViridaeTalk 07:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

This might be useful. Tonywalton  | Talk 10:39, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. ViridaeTalk 13:22, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

External links opinion

The article at bootleg recording has a tendency to collect external links to bootleg collectors' sites, BitTorrents, and so on. After some consideration, I removed the entire external links section, leaving this message in a comment, as none of the links educate readers further about bootlegs. They simply provide sources of bootleg material, which goes against our Wikipedia:External links guideline to avoid linking to sites which we know to be violating copyright. Some users have been putting the links back, claiming that bootlegs (otherwise unavailable live or demo recordings, as opposed to pirated commercial tracks) are not under copyright and the sites are legal. I'm fairly sure I'm in the right here and have explained my reasoning on Talk:Bootleg recording, but in any case, the legality isn't the real issue. I don't believe these links add value to Wikipedia, I believe they're only here to drive traffic to the sites, and I believe that having any external links at all on that page is a magnet for others to keep adding spam. Since the links have returned, I hesitate to remove them again and antagonize the users involved without having a little more evidence of consensus on the value of these links. Would anybody care to weigh in at the talk page? Thanks! — Catherine\talk 06:49, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Left my two cents. ViridaeTalk 07:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

convert well-intentioned newbie "disclaimers" to hatnotes

I've just gone through most of the recent contributions to station articles by 198.45.18.28 (talk · contribs). In almost every case they have written out a note to disambiguate the station name between British, Candadian and American railway and subway stations. Where I have found them I have been converting them to use a standard disambiguation template, most commonly {{otheruses4}}. I have done most of them but I've run out of time for now and would appreciate someone else taking over. Thryduulf 15:26, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

How do we tell which ones you've done and which ones you haven't? ONUnicorn 15:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Working from the top of their contribution tree I've done everything as far down as Hastings railway station, so none of them will be marked as (top). Thryduulf 15:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I've started working from where you left off. Someone might want to look at Boston railway station though, I can't quite figure out what I did wrong with that one. ONUnicorn 16:16, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I fixed it. The problem was the template was already wikilinking the last parameter, so you couldn't have two links in it. I changed to the generic dablink template. --Rehcsif 16:28, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. ONUnicorn 16:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I think I've got them all. ONUnicorn 16:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. You'd missed three, which I've sorted now. Thryduulf 20:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Alternative account for RC patrol?

I created an account with Wikipedia several months ago and currently have about 700 edits, but I'm asking this anonymously to protect the identities of myself and my friend - I don't wish to implicate him as he has several thousand edits and may run for adminship soon. In addition, if I don't reveal myself, you can give advice based on the situation without resorting to ad hominem. This IP is shared by thousands of users, so CheckUser is useless.

As mentioned earlier, I've been editing Wikipedia as a registered user for several months. I've written a couple of articles, and add information to articles on topics of interest. I also discuss about Wikipedia on Wikipedia-namespace pages.

Several experienced users have touted (not to me) RC patrol as a way of learning Wikipedia policy. Therefore, I'm considering creating a new account to try out RC patrol. As I won't be putting my main account's reputation on the line, I'll be more bold with reverting anonymous vandals, and once I've learnt the ropes of RC patrol, I can start RC patrolling on my main account. I don't want to plunge into RC patrol unprepared on my main account, as I have a tendency to mess up big time.

However, when I consulted my friend, an experienced Wikipedian, he told me that my plan constituted sockpuppetry, and if I was found out, both my main account and RC patrol account may be blocked indefinitely. Although I trust him, I wish to get more opinions from experienced Wikipedia users. Therefore, if you're an experienced Wikipedian, please tell me what you think. Is this sockpuppeting? If so, I'll drop the idea. If not, do you have any tips for new RC patrollers? Thanks.

--202.156.6.54 10:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Unless you do something really drastic you won't threaten your main account via being new to RC patrol. As you say creating a new account is sock-puppetry althoug if you use the account well there is thoeretically no problem. SOme users use VandalProof on sock accounts so as not to artificially increase their edit counts.
However don't create the new account, just have a go at RC patrol. Be bold and if you make mistakes they will be pointed out (hopefully in a friendly manner). The best advice though is to read all of the WP guidelines such as the delteion criteria (especially the speedy deletes ones) and if you really arn't sure just ask - then the next time you'll know :D --Errant Tmorton166(Talk)(Review me) 11:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Please Help !

Hi,

Im new to this and have added my group called Shock To The System to your site - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_To_The_System_uk

I've noticed that there is a user which is useing our groups name - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_To_The_System ?

Can we both have the name Shock To The System on your site ?

Shock To The System has had its name for 10 years !

Thanks in advance,

Shock To The System

I'm sorry, but I don't think Wikipedia is the place for this sort of thing. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. We don't have groups - we have articles. There is a Shock To The System article on a band called Shock To The System. I'm not sure what the article you wrote was about - it seems like advertising. As a collection of links, the article is likely to be deleted unless you add actual encyclopediac content. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 10:34, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Advice request

Hello everyone,

I spend a lot of time editing the schizophrenia article. One user consisently deletes the section on violence and schizophrenia. This issue has been to mediation twice. On both occasions the user in question pulled out of mediation, and on the second occasion the mediators could find no clear reasons why he wanted the section deleted and expressed a view that it should remain as it was accurate, referenced and balanced.

The user has just deleted the section again, and has just added a spam notice to the links section because it links to pages expressing views which he does not agree.

Actually, the user has made some valuable contributions in the past but seems fixated on this issue.

The violence section has now been deleted (for a second time) for over a month due to a lone user who has decided he doesn't like it. I am abiding by the guidlines and not constantly re-adding the section, which means it is missing.

I am wondering whether arbitration my only recourse or whether anyone has any additional suggestions for resolving the situation?

Many thanks - Vaughan 15:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, at the moment it seems to be a matter of him versus a growing consensus. Unless policy can determine a reason to not have the section, if he continues reverting despite the edits of other editors to bring back the section, it is likely this will end up being solved by WP:3RR. Anyway, another opinion on the matter in the talk page of the article would be helpful, as well. Thanks. Cowman109Talk 16:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Seek consensus on the talk page. If the consensus is on your side, then it will be more difficult for him. If he reverts more than thrice in 24 hours, ask an admin to block him - that's violating a rule called 3RR. Otherwise, file an RFC against him, failing that, an RFA as a last resort. Just my 2 cents, I'm not that experienced here. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 04:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
WP:RFA? I don't think making him an administrator will help anything... I think you meant WP:ARB or something similar. Not to be rude, just trying to avoid confusion. --tjstrf 04:57, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Oops! Yes, I meant a Request for Arbitration. I notice how often experienced users use abbrevations for Wikipedia-specific terms, and I thought that after a few months, I should try that as well. And since Requests for Arbitration is condensed as RFA, that was the first thing that jumped to my mind, as a speed typist. Turns out I'm not ready yet, messing up on my first try. Oh well, admit it's pretty funny. Back to the drawing board. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 05:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Heheh, don't worry, we won't WP:BITE. Not that a member with 500+ contribs is actually a newbie by any means. As for mental lists of policy and essay abbreviations, I've been using them for months and I still have to hit preview first to make sure I have the right one occasionally. Also, it might help if you wikilinked them, so that the uninitiated know what you mean. --tjstrf 05:14, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't consider myself a newbie, although I don't consider myself experienced yet. Maybe once I have 1,000+ contribs. In fact, I'm reluctant to overuse abbrevations because I like to be newcomer-friendly. Thanks for the tip of linking them. What would be the correct abbrevation? And is my other advice correct? We're here to help Vaughan, after all, not me. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 05:30, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

You're sort of right. The best advice would be to consult dispute resolution. --Richard 05:56, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Um, not sure what's going on here, if it's vandalism or what....

Maybe someone should take a look at the article Mean Red Spiders and its revision history.

I came across it yesterday, apparently seconds after someone added a clean-up tag to it. I tried to do what I could with it (to clean it up), and some of my changes have stayed. Others... haven't.

There seem to be an account and an IP (I think they're the same person) doing most of whats being done on that article. A great deal of the content, both good and bad, seems to have been added by those two accounts. However, they keep removing attempts to clean the article up. When I started my clean-up, I ran into an edit conflict with the IP. The IP had removed the clean-up tag. After I posted my cleaned up version, the IP and the account both proceeded to undo some of my changes. I asked about these changes on the IP's talk page and got no response.

Some of the things that they are doing that don't make sense;

I'm trying to assume good faith here, especially since looking at versions of the article before they became involved, it seems that they have greatly expanded the stub, and have added references where there were none before. However, perusing the history today I realized that all their changes have been made either yesterday or today; and other people (besides myself) have tried to revert some of their changes (again, without success).

I really don't know if this is vandalism, good-faith editing, someone whose favorite color is blue and wants the article about Mean Red Spiders to be their favorite color, or what is going on.

At any rate, I thought posting it to the Village Pump might get someone else to take a look at it and offer another opinion.

The users are User:Dashumphreys and User:24.42.81.91. [Dif where Dashumphreys first became involved], [Dif where I first became involved], [Dif between my first attempt at clean-up and the current version].

Thanks to anyone willing to take a look at this. ONUnicorn 13:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Opinion essay: Overuse of Anonymity at Wikipedia and a Proposal

I just wrote an opinion essay based on a thought that has been bouncing around my head in the last few months. I probably posted it in the wrong place, but for now you can find it on Jimbo Wales' talk page here:

The Overuse of Anonymity at Wikipedia and a Proposal (currently located in WP:space) — MrDolomite | Talk 00:08, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Comments are appreciated. I figure, given the number of people at Wikipedia, that this suggestion been made previously but I haven't seen any discussion of it. --Ben Houston 19:18, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal For Alternative Views

Please consider the following proposal. What is analysis and what is opionion is an important subject if you wish to claim that WP is open.

Wikipedia:New proposal for alternative analysis

Go ahead be bold and try it - but don't be suprised if you are ignored or reverted by the consensus du jour. - Davodd 22:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I am already. The idea that the administrators will not even discuss an idea which might improve WP and eliviate a major source of critisism, and an anti-Internet philospophy is bewildering. Especially when I agree with them that original articles should be NPOV and sourced and that they should not allow WP to become a blog. But there is a middle ground and I am having a very hard time determining the emotional/philosophical pre-disposition for their unwillingness to face a challenge. It appears at first glance to be a coterie who wish to advertise that they are one thing but in reality are another. On the other hand they may be fearful that any original thought may bring pressure upon the whole endeavor in which case they just need to keep pushing, back off, push again, etc.etc. until the sapiens decide it is better to go after the author than the forum.

I am completly willing to pay the price for the analysis I perform. --Jb2ndr 11:43, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

On the other hand it could be down to the fact that the proposal is, well, largely incomprehensible. Succinctness is a virtue. --Daduzi talk 13:19, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
The above claim is incorrect, that administrators will not even discuss the proposal. There has been plenty of discussion, at Wikipedia talk:New proposal for alternative analysis, unanimously negative. Everyone hates it. It's totally foreign to our mission. This editor's only previous history was to double the size of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution article by inserting a long analysis from his own viepoint. That analysis was, of course, reverted, and editor would now like to change Wikipedia policies to make such "analysis" (some would say blogging) part of the project. No. Fan-1967 15:38, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Jimbo makes mistakes

I have written this as an essay. If anyone thinks it should be something more, then edit it freely and mazel tov. Ashibaka tock 23:14, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

It looks like the Wikipedia thought police got to that one. Calsicol 06:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Dang! How do we read that article now to judge whether the deletion was justified? This is what I hate about deleted stuff - you can't read the damn things. Hopefully there is still a deletion debate somewhere. Carcharoth 00:21, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I want to believe that was sarcasm. The title itself is patently non-encyclopedic. Right? Right?? How about [[Wikipedia:List of mistakes made by Ji .... wait. Nope, not even gonna finish that one. Apparently, someone did think it should be something more: deleted. ;^P Eaglizard 09:37, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
It was partly sarcasm and partly a rant against the number of times I've come across old discussions about an article that has been deleted. Being unable to see what was deleted (unless you are an admin) makes it difficult to follow the thread of a discussion about a deleted item, and to see whether you agree with either side. As for not being encyclopedic (assuming you are not being sarcastic in turn), I was unaware that pages in the "Wikipedia" namespace had to be encyclopedic. In the article namespace, yes, but not the Wikipedia namespace. Have you seen WP:BJAODN? That is hardly an encyclopedic name. (For the record, the Jimbo essay was almost certainly speediable on the basis of being a personal attack, but without being able to read what was deleted, there is no way for me to be certain, so the nagging feeling of censorship lurks in the back of my mind). Carcharoth 23:22, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
"Personal attacks do not include civil language used to describe an editor's actions, and when made without involving their personal character, should not be construed as personal attacks." I'm pretty sure the statement "Jimbo makes mistakes" falls under this exclusion. And anyway, Jimbo is a public figure, so he has to accept personal attacks from time to time. I'd put this up on WP:DRV, except that there's a copy at User:Ashibaka/Jimbo makes mistakes. NeonMerlin 19:03, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

{{notable Wikipedian}}

An issue arose at Talk: Jim Hawkins that I think to be better addressed here (or perhaps on the mailing list) than in an RfC. A user claiming to be the subject edited his article and the attendant talk page from several IP addresses, each of which, save one, is registered to the BBC, the corporation at which the subject works. An AfD on the article was closed as no consensus, after which the IP editorostensibly the subject—expressed that he no longer desired to edit and, threatening legal action (under some novel legal theory, surely), requested that the {{notable Wikipedian}} template, referencing that the subject has edited Wikipedia and the user names or IPs with which such editing has been undertaken, be removed.

Because the IP addresses are readily available in the page's history and because the IP editor chose to identify himself as the subject, I don't see anything compelling to militate against our continuing with our present practices vis-à-vis such templates (a cursory look at Category:Notable Wikipedians turns up many templates containing IP addresses, most notably at Talk:Daniel Brandt but also, for example, at Talk:Kenneth Montgomery Keillor and Talk:Siva Vaidhyanathan; another editor at the talk page has disagreed. It is plain, I think, that our current practice, for which a consensus apparently exists, is to include in the {{notable Wikipedian}} template IP addresses, and, if that practice is to be changed, a discussion involving more than a few editors must be had. Joe 02:02, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

As the "other editor" involved, I thank Joe for inviting me to participate. I cannot say that I have made much of a study of the policy on this situation. My understanding is that there is no policy and no guidelines - merely precedent. My feeling is that we should weigh up the desirability of having an article on a marginally notable figure against the undoubted negative of antagonising the subject. I quote from Jimbo's keynote speech at Wikimania (the whole section is available at Talk:Jim Hawkins):
There's a sort of typical pattern where I've seen this happen over and over and over. Somebody, they go to an article and they see something they don't like in it so they blank the article. Right. So somebody warns them, and then they blank again and they get blocked. Right. Then they make a legal threat and they really get blocked. And it's just like a totally bad experience for that person, when in fact, they may have been right in the first place. Or maybe they weren't right. Maybe they just didn't like what we wrote about them, but still, we didn't handle it well.
I think that we need to handle this well. Given that we've had an AfD discussion and failed to achieve consensus for deletion, the article should stay, despite the wishes of the subject. However, we need to be scrupulously correct in sourcing all the information in the article.
I see no need to quote the IP addresses used by the subject. Jim Hawkins identifies himself in his posts and the IP addresses are freely available in the history, if anybody really cares enough to go looking for them. What Jim is strongly objecting to is their display in a list. Presumably he resents having his privacy invaded to this extent, and I agree with him. He's failed in having the article removed entirely, now we are kicking him when he's down by revealing what is probably his home IP address.
Quite apart from anything else, I think antagonising a BBC radio presenter is something we should try to avoid. This should be an opportunity for a positive experience on all sides.
We should also be wary of "the we we've always done things". As Jimbo said:
So my feeling of it is, my sense of it is, that the living biographies part of Wikipedia, which is one of the most difficult and most important areas, is one where we're really seeing a really massive movement towards higher quality. A lot of people in the community are really committed to that.
And the few people who are still sort of in the old days, saying, "Well, you know, it's a wiki, why don't we just... ", yeah, they're sort of falling by the wayside, because lots of people are saying actually, we have a really serious responsibility to get things right.
Incidentally, the entire Jimbo speech is available as an audio file. --Jumbo 02:44, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Jumbo is quite right to suggest that there do not appear to be any relevant policies or guidelines from which one might infer the existence of a true community consensus; indeed, I imagine that most editors haven’t had occasion to consider the issue. At the very least, it is important, I think, that there exists a template by which to indicate that the subject of an article has edited Wikipedia, even if such editing has been done exclusively via anonymous IP. Notwithstanding that I see no problem with our including IPs on the template, I would suggest that a template amenable to all might be one that suggests that the subject apparently has edited Wikipedia but does not enumerate the IP addresses used (of course, complications ensue as regards the ability of other editors to monitor for vanity contributions from an IP address already understood to belong to the subject and, more generally, to ascertain that the subject has in fact edited the article; perhaps a commented-out IP section is in order). Joe 03:07, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • When I look at this situation, the contradictions in Jim's participation stands out the most.
  1. Jim made the decision to be a public figure in his career choice. Everytime he signs onto the BBC Jim Hawkins is in the public sphere. Therefore an article in the public sphere about his professional career and public activity is appropriate. As an individual, Jim is well within reason to request that inaccuracies be promptly corrected and that for personal (i.e. family) information be removed. Both of these actions have been done. Jim's objection that this article about his public life violates his privacy is unfounded.
  2. Jim made the decision (either from work or home) to participate in the Wikipedia forum. As pointed out when you click "Save" you are acknowledging that your IP is being recorded. The "Notable Wikipedian" tag is appropriate in situation because he made himself to be a notable contributor here with his participation and in upkeep of WP:AUTO, among other things, it is worthwhile to be aware of what IP he may contribute from.
The bottomline is that he consented to his IP being recorded and he willingly consented to being a public figure. As long as we continue to strive to the standards of WP:BLP, Wikipedia is well within the realm of reason.Agne 03:44, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
The notable wikipedian template thing was just an idea. Someone removed it and I did not put it back or suggest that it be put back. I thought it might be useful since he usually does not sign his posts (see the AfD for many examples). They are already available in the history, but you would have to go through the posts one at a time to get all of the IPs he uses. It was just for quick reference. I think we should just let it go. However, I do not think that posting the IPs is a big deal. First, they are available in the history. Second, they are supposed to be in his signature after all of his posts. Third, we post the IP address of people editing anonymously all the time in the article talk, user talk and Wikipedia namespaces, just not using templates. For example, we say "23.12.56.651 has been vandalizing the George W. Bush article on the article's talk page or on the Administrators' noticeboard Fourth, they do not reveal much, especially in this case. He has already claimed to be Jim Hawkins, so his identity is not being revealed by the IP addresses, and we know that Jim Hawkins works for the BBC, so the ISP being listed is not revealing any additional information either.
I was just going to avoid the whole situation from now on, but I was wondering if a block of the IPs is in order since he is making legal threats. If he does take legal action, according to the Wikipedia:No legal threats, there might be a problem with our (editors) unofficial communications with him (see the fourth bulleted problem, although the other three apply to the situation as well). Last time I checked, he is threatening to legal action against Wikipedia, instead of other editors, which is what the policy explicitly covers. However, I think that the policy should still apply. This post is not a reply specifically to Agne, I just indented it so that it would be easier to read. -- Kjkolb 04:07, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

translations

do translations by Wikipedians, such as Catullus 1, constitute a violation of WP:NOR and/or WP:NPS? Read the debate at User talk:Sophysduckling#More About Catullus. Also, are the poems of Catullus notable enough to have an article about each one? --Samael775 19:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

We have less than 20 known writers at this period, compared with the number of WP editors today. Catullus is unvaluable, even if all his poems are not. --DLL 21:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't know enough about Catallus to say whether any of his poems are notable, so I will only comment on the issue of translation. An edit counts as original research if it, among other things, "introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source." Arguably, there is some minimal amount of analysis involved in the choice of one word or phrasing over another, but I see no evidence that it builds a particular case for anything in the article you cite. So when a good, citable, public-domain translation is not available, I think that an editor's own translation is a clear improvement to an article. Certainly uncited translations appear in many articles, and removing them all from Wikipedia would make Wikipedia less useful as an encyclopedia. Grouchy Chris 07:29, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Slang glossaries

As you are probably aware, there are many slang glossaries on Wikipedia with widespread acceptance, yet virutally all of them violate the following policy:

Wikipedia is not a dictionary

Wikipedia is not a dictionary or a usage or jargon guide. Wikipedia articles are not:

  1. Dictionary definitions. Because Wikipedia is not a dictionary, please do not create an entry merely to define a term. An article should usually begin with a good definition; if you come across an article that is nothing more than a definition, see if there is information you can add that would be appropriate for an encyclopedia. An exception to this rule is for articles about the cultural meanings of individual numbers.
  2. Lists of such definitions. There are, however, disambiguation pages consisting of pointers to other pages; these are used to clarify differing meanings of a word. Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields.
  3. A usage guide or slang and idiom guide. Wikipedia is not in the business of saying how words, idioms, etc. should be used. We aren't teaching people how to talk like a Cockney chimney-sweep. However, it may be important in the context of an encyclopedia article to describe just how a word is used to distinguish among similar, easily confused ideas, as in nation or freedom. In some special cases an article about an essential piece of slang may be appropriate.

This has created a situation where editors trying to enforce policy frequently nominate such glossaries for deletion, with most of the glossaries surviving the process with a consensus of Keep or No concensus. This ongoing battle has been raging on with respect to slang glossaries for at least the past two years. Yet the glossaries have survived, and more continue to be created. Based on the results of the majority of the Article for Deletion (AfD) discussions, the general concensus seems to be that slang glossaries should have a place on Wikipedia. The relevant policy is no longer consistent with general consensus, and this schism has resulted in a large number of pointless AfD discussions which serve only to waste the time and effort of those involved. When the majority of Wikipedians defy a policy, it is time to reevaluate the policy.

There are quite a few slang glossaries on Wikipedia at this time, some being years old. Here is a partial list:

and of course, my favorite...

Therefore, I propose that the policy be ammended to reflect the defacto acceptance of slang glossaries on Wikipedia. They are here, and based on the results of AfD discussions, they seem to be here to stay. So shouldn't the policy be updated? If the policy was changed to allow slang glossaries or changed to provide for their speedy deletion, either of these solutions would save a lot of time and effort wasted on fruitless AfDs. You are welcome to join this discussion. --List Expert 23:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I've continued this discussion on the talk page of the policy at issue. Please respond at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#Slang glossaries. --List Expert 23:05, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Community approval of new articles

I've written a rough draft of this policy to stem the rising flood of bad new articles. Discuss and edit it freely. C. M. Harris 22:17, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (royalty)

If any one is intrested Wikipedia:Notability (royalty) is currently working towards creating a notability policy for royalty. Matthew Fenton (contribs) 20:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Any objections to me using this?

Template:Db-advert seems a good addition to the ((db)) tag family. --SB_Johnny | talk 17:46, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

The only problem is that it doesn't cite any of the Speedy criteria for deletion. Without a consensus to add such a criterion, the template isn't worth much. Fan-1967 17:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, a big objection from me. It appears to give official standing to a non-existent speedy criterion, and may mislead both users and administrators into referring to this criterion. I'll probably edit it later today or tomorrow to fix this problem unless it's recast appropriately in the meantime. -- SCZenz 18:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Yup, not sure how this fits into things. Seems better to have a good tag rather than ((delete|article appears to be written for the purpose of promoting this company/band/website/etc)), which is how it goes now.
(Sorry for "baiting" you... don't worry, I wouldn't use it if it weren't backed up by policy. Just seeing the need, ya know?)
(and: Ack! Can we have this conversation one place or the other? Sheesh! :) --SB_Johnny | talk 18:20, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
One last thought before back to work: maybe this template could be based on ((prod)) instead? SB_Johnny | talk 18:22, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Prod is basically designed to allow freeform text, and I see no reason to change. Speedy, on the other hand, needs a specific criterion. The place to start is Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion, where there are, I believe, pretty regular discussions on whether we ought to be able to speedy obvious spam. Fan-1967 18:28, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
((Sorry for splitting the discussion. I copied the intial contents as a warning to people not to use the template, then replied to you when I saw you replied there. -- SCZenz 18:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
No biggie, it was just confusing! :). SB_Johnny | talk 21:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)))
Might be nicer to have a prod template for it anyway though... if for no other reason than to spare the effort typing in an explanation for what's really nothing more than commercially-motivated vandalism (like plastering "CLOSEOUT SALE!!!" posters all over the front of the library). I suppose I don't really see so many of those (and they tend to be deleted by the time I finish writing the prod statement), but I do find them a waste of time. SB_Johnny | talk 21:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I've hobbled the tag now (still there if you want to take a look, but it doesn't add articles to the deletion category any more). Here's an article that's a perfect example of what this tag would be useful for (just found on NPP):

Page title: Mondo records
Mondo Records is a trance label owned by Darren Tate.
  • [Mondo Records Official website] (link removed for posting on VPP)

It's not even creative. SB_Johnny | talk 23:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Multiple accounts

I've discovered someone who apparently has multiple accounts, he's not doing anything malicious, He's just using the accounts to post his random thoughts and fill the pagees with UserBoxes and pictures. I don't think he has actually yet posted to any article, all that's happening is that each account spends it's time updating it's own or other user's page, or posting to the talk page of his other accounts. Should it be ignored? --Brat32 16:40, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Does this person appear to be about twelve years old? There's already been some action on such a person, and the admins involved would be interested if new accounts are appearing. Fan-1967 16:44, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


Yes the person does seem to be about 12 years old, but not the same person. The one I have has not posted anything malicous as far as I can see. Just incestous posting to him/herself. --Brat32 17:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
That was a lot of the activity from the other, though there were also a lot of pointless updates and articles on things like Disney shows and games. Fan-1967 17:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Always assume good faith. Leave a message on their talk page and inquire about it, and suggest if there are multiple accounts that this be noted on the user page. There are acceptable uses for multiple accounts. Fagstein 18:20, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I made a post on what seems to be the main user page only. I got a response on my talk page that did not seem like a 12 year old speaking - he claims they are his "students" and he is teaching them how to use Wikipedia. Around the same time (but before my post), one of the other users (students?) started blatent vandalism. We will see what happens. --Brat32 23:41, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Holocene Calendar

I propose that we finally begin to employ the Holocene calendar for all of our articles and dates. It may not be standard elsewhere, but we must start somewhere! We will establish the trend and others will follow. Not only should Wikipedia use it, but it should replace the current system in common use everywhere. It is similar to shifting to the metric system. HE clearly is superior to the BC/AD system. Thank you. 129.15.127.254 14:41, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

No way. Wikipedia is not a tool to influence society. It's an encyclopedia for the layman to be able to read. Tempshill 15:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
We had a debate some time ago about AD v. CE and AD won. I doubt we could make an even more radical change without a large change in heart throughout the project (not going to happen). I wouldn't mind making a script that would convert to the users taste though...if that would be possible. BrokenSegue 15:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
AD did not "win". From WP:MOSDATE: "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article." Holocene Era, however, whatever that is, is clearly not acceptable. Wikipedia is not here to influence usage, just to reflect it. Powers 15:23, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Good point. Also, the proposal I was refering to was to change from either AD or CE to just CE. The people who voted no largely supported AD (for whatever reason), thus I said that AD won. Either way, we won't change to the some other random calendar. BrokenSegue 15:34, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
To confuse our readers in order to advocate a system that few people have even heard of seems extremely counterproductive for an encyclopedia. Fan-1967 15:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
They say here that it sets the start of the current era to 10,000 BC. But do we need so many colleges in Boston ? --DLL 15:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
And wouldn't the use of such a system tick off certain people, who might insist that there was no date before 5500 BC? Fan-1967 16:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
AUC is far more sensible, as it doesn't piss off the Bible literalists. --Carnildo 18:44, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I can just see the fun if we started doing all the dates in AUC. Didn't they also have January and February as the 11th and 12th months of the preceding years? Fan-1967 18:56, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
If we are going be geologic about this, I'd suggest years BP is much more fun. You get count backward from 1950 AD. So this is the year -56 and Christ's birth is traditionally associated with the year 1949. On an unrelated point, the definition of the Holocene was recently changed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, so either all the dates in the Holocene calendar need to shift, or the Holocene calendar no longer starts at the beginning of the Holocene. ;-) Dragons flight 23:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Video game launches

A user placed a reference to the launch of Gears of War on the November 12 page, and I removed it with the edit comment "Release of a video game doesn't qualify". They then asked on my talk page:

How does a Video game not count? Halo and Halo 2 are both cited on their respective dates of release, and I have never seen a rule saying "no video games"
8/3/06 - Magus05

My feeling is that the launch of video games is too trivial to be added to the events in date articles. There are probably thousands, certainly hundreds, of video games released each year. This particular one does state "It is already considered the most important Xbox 360 game of 2006." but it might be difficult to draw a line for only the most important games. Usually, whether a game is important in the overall history of the platform is only apparent after some years have passed. This one hasn't yet been released.

I've taken this to the Village pump because it potentially affects all the date articles. Anyone got pointers to policy on this matter?-gadfium 00:18, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Not from me, but I'm sure Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Days of the year would be interested. Melchoir 00:42, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Melchoir. Scanning that page, I find at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Days_of_the_year#Criteria_for_Events_-_A_Suggestion under a subheading "What should not be listed"
  • Dates that television programs, movies, books, video games, etc. premiered - this is not notable on a global scale
This is not policy, but it would seem to be the most appropriate guideline for these pages.-gadfium 02:10, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
The proposed policy that started from the bit you quoted ended up at Wikipedia:Notability on a global scale over time. I think in general video game releases, like CD, book, and video releases, aren't notable on a global scale, though exceptions might be made for items that have withstood the test of time. I think far too frequently we consider the present time too momentous, as evidenced by how frequently events are mentioned for, say, the last ten years. It is still to be determined whether a game (book/CD/DVD) released in the last ten years will make a lasting impression on some part of society and influence future events in that field. Fabricationary 02:20, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I realize that the release of a game isn't quite as influential as say, any of the other events on said page, but they still are pretty big. Halo and Halo 2 were beyond big, and Gears of War is looking to follow suit. There is an extreme amount of excitement in the industry about this game, which is why the games launch is being called "Emergence Day". I really don't want to argue about this anymore, as it's really trivial, but in my opinion, a user-created Encycopledia should let any user post whatever they want, as long as it is accurate. What I posted was accurate. The game is "highly anticipated", and it is being release for the Xbox 360. I didn't say anything about the game itself, and there was no opinion in my edit. But whatever, I'm kind of new to this, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Magus05 - 02:30, 4 August UTC

I think all the above games were indeed "beyond big" and "highly anticipated" ... to FPS gamers who own XBoxes. Tempshill 16:06, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Magus, have you seen History of computer and video games? Perhaps the type of events you want to be included would be more appropriately listed there where they can be discussed in more detail and among other similar events. Fabricationary 02:48, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I have seen that page before, but forgotten about it. I may add to it later. But, correct me if I'm wrong, but data can be listed on multiple pages, can it not? Of course I could add it to that page, as it is a part of "Video Game History". But it's also technically a part of just "History". When I added it to the November 12 wiki, I honestly didn't think any of this would happen. It's a big day for many people, my post was accurate and contained no opinion, and was not negative in any way. 03:07, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
You are correct that data can be listed on multiple pages, but pages should only contain the most relevant data. I don't think one of the most relevant things about November 12 in all of history is the release of Gears of War. While the event is important to you and a number of others, if we included all events on November 12 that were mentioned in Wikipedia articles, there would be thousands and thousands of events to list. From an editor's point of view, this would be a nightmare! :)
Thus, establishing a parsimonious criteria for what should be listed is needed. If the criteria said that all game releases could be listed, then it follows that book, CD, DVD, etc. releases can also be listed, and the page would still become quite long and contain a lot of information that is not of interest to many visitors. I would imagine that fellow Gears of War fans that search for information on Wikipedia would visit Gears of War first, then maybe History of computer and video games if they want more info into the history of that game and other games. I don't think they would visit random Wikicalendar pages looking for the release dates of their favorite games. Fabricationary 03:48, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Simple solution: list on 2006 in video gaming - then if the game becomes a global phenomenon, it can be listed elsewhere, as appropriate. Davodd 22:51, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Making a Biographical Page for you and your friends?

I'm just curious is this is against the policy or not. I know you may write and edit biographies of celebrities here on Wikipedia, but, I am curious if one may write and edit biographies of everyday people as well. --Nekrogami 21:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

No. This is not myspace. See Wikipedia:Notability (people). -- Fan-1967 21:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
See: Wikipedia:Autobiography - such pages are usually speedy deleted as being inherently in violation of WP:NPOV. - Davodd 22:52, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

WP:CREEP - please comment, edit.

Please visit Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep to comment, alter and improve this proposal. The original is from m:instruction creep and ported over here in hopes that this will be customized to better fit WP. (Sister project Wikinews has - n:Wikinews:Instruction creep) - Davodd 17:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Articles on politicians

Within the last twelve months, Wikipedia articles on US politicians currently in office, and those running for office, have increasingly become mouthpieces for the politicians' campaigns. It's obvious that campaign staffers and volunteers are editing these articles all the time - look for the barely-notable or non-notable lists of beneficial laws introduced; early political history with a brave challenge to difficult odds; lists of faith and community links; streets and days named after the politician; service on committees and task forces.

This is all pretty depressing. The volunteers who make up the bulk of Wikipedia editors have not, in the last year, had the energy or focus to push back the tide of self-promotion that is ruining the current-politician articles, with the probable exception of the very top group of US politicians. I myself have not. A grass roots effort to energetically filter out the propaganda, and keep it out, seems unlikely to beat the continuous pressure from the campaigns. I do not know of a great solution to this other than to force a tag on all articles about "current politicians" (and I realize the definition of this could be broad or narrow) saying Warning: Wikipedia articles about politicians are usually edited pervasively by the politicians' campaign staff and volunteers. This violates Wikipedia policy and is discouraged. Take this article with a larger grain of salt than usual.

The above disclaimer could of course usefully apply to our medical articles or various other categories, but I single out the politician articles because the actors behind these edits have an agenda and so are more persistent than the worst vandals here, and harder to combat because the edits are not obvious vandalism. Tempshill 16:23, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

A current events template of a sort could be useful, however it would need to be written in a much more NPOV tone then what you've suggested. Even in political articles, we must continuing strive for WP:AGF and not come across as having mass disdain for politics in general. As for your idea about a grass roots movement, have you considered starting a Wikipedia Project like WikiCampaigns or something to the like dealing with current office holders and candidates. Considering the timely nature of the election season, I can see you generating some interest. Agne 16:38, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I would love to see a wikicampaigns, if only to get them out of here. The worst problem, IMO, is that these articles are like the signs that get put up along every road during the campaign. Once the campaign's over, nobody takes them down, or cleans them out. At the very least, I'd love to see something like a dated cleanup tag, so they don't get forgotten later. Fan-1967 16:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Good point and that would be a distinct service that a Wikicampaigns project could. We could also use category listing like "Elections Nov 2006" that would make following up with the articles after the election a little easier to do. Agne 17:03, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Absotively! I can't even tell you how much I approve of that idea. Just make sure it's a bit more specific. May I suggest Category:2006 elections in the United States? This really will be a lot of help cleaning up after the hoo-hah is over. And speaking as a newpage patroller, I'm sure this cat will come in handy. --SB_Johnny | talk 17:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Strikeouts on red links...suck.

I hate the new strikeouts on red links. They look like deleted or contested information, rather than just a link that hasn't yet been created. This is a serious detriment to any article with any red link. Tempshill 15:56, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

After writing the above, I really am astounded that it was put into place. It is a terrible, terrible idea. This is a major user interface problem for Wikipedia. Where do I go on strike? Tempshill 16:07, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Maybe it was a one-off edit of the css file? I'm not seeing them now... -- nae'blis 16:09, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I see this in Firefox -->
Tempshill 16:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Bizarre. I'm using Firefox and don't see any changes in redlinks, either in project space or article space. -- nae'blis 16:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Your posting that fixed the issue. :-\ Why would this have occurred? Cheers - Tempshill 16:34, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
This is a common bug. I believe it's because your computer failed to completely load the css file. Hard refreshes should fix the issue. See also: the top of Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). BrokenSegue 18:40, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Repeated external link additions

I have no hesitation about removing external links as spam, since for the most part they are off-topic, clearly commercial or affilliate linking. However, I just found someone who seems on a compaign to add his site to a number of articles. I removed one, since he was trying to hide/embed the links into the middle of a paragraph. The rest however are under External Links, and there are possibly of value, neverthless it seems a somwhat spammy activity. How do I get another opinion? --Brat32 02:32, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

If you let us know which article(s), people from here will probably visit. You can also post to Wikipedia:Third opinion if you prefer. -- Beland 02:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I suspect he's referring to Special:Contributions/69.133.124.200. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:29, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Recent additions in the last few hours in Arete (landform) & Appalachian Trail ---- Cirque (landform) - I just reverted. --Brat32 03:28, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Good guess - you posted that a few seconds before I posted the actual links --Brat32 03:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
User:69.133.124.200 has now done minor vandalism to my user page --Brat32 04:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
This is bigger than you think. Special:Linksearch/www.summitpost.org shows over 180 links to that site. Just zis Guy you know? 12:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Wow. Special:Linksearch is great. Shimgray | talk | 16:06, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Scope of references

Now that an increasing number of articles are being referenced, I am more frequently questioning exactly what claims a given reference is supposed to be documenting. If a reference footnote is at the end of a paragraph, does it support the entire paragraph, or the last sentence? Should we adopt some sort of markup (perhaps HTML comments?) to disambiguate this? -- Beland 18:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Our style of reference is intended to be similar to the style used in formal publications, which have the same ambiguity. I think it's a problem, but inconsistency with established works would have its own set of issues. Deco 18:07, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
This ambiguity can be a problem, but I imagine that a strict, logical system for marking a citation's scope would quickly get ugly. Often several scopes overlap, or one will form an enclave within another. To sort them out properly would demand a brilliantly designed GUI, and even then the underlying complexity of it all could discourage users from editing well-referenced articles.
Probably a simpler solution is this: if you're writing a citation and you anticipate confusion over its scope, describe exactly what the reference says in the footnote itself along with the author and page number. (Or if it's encyclopedic, for that matter, in the article.) Melchoir 22:06, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the problem is a bit worse here than in traditional printed works, because there are multiple editors, and people are apt to (often rightly) remove information that's not referenced. Putting a note in the reference itself seems like a good idea. -- Beland 22:20, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, do you suppose we should insert this into a guideline somewhere? Melchoir 22:36, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I started a discussion on Wikipedia talk:Citing sources. -- Beland 02:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

User talk page spam

What's the policy for commercial spam in user spaces? I assumed it was that it's bad, and warned User:Supplements ((talk)) as such, and I'm pretty sure I was right. However, what about spam in user talk pages or archives, such as this? Should it be blanked, completely deleted, or left alone? I'm thinking blanked, but I have no idea.

Please note:

  • I personally believe this user is in good faith but needs to stop spamming. I've warned him (and he's been warned before) and I'm hopng he'll stop.
  • The article that this "spam" is comming from, gastric bypass dietis being considered for deletion as spam, so it's not necessarily agreed that this material is spam. I'm just asking this in case it is judged to be spam so I'll know what to do about it. Karwynn (talk) 17:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Modify block policy

The current blocking policy of Wikipedia is that if anyone, whether registered or unregistered user, performs an action deserving of a block from a certain IP, the IP is completely blocked. That is, even veteran registered users in good standing with Wikipedia logging in from that IP will be unable to perform any edits. I strongly recommend that this policy be modified simply to have two types of block: a standard (partial) block, and a full block.

This is because while the current blocking policy works well for American and European users, who have the large majority of IPv4 addresses, most Asian users are confined to having to share IPs with most other users. This should be all and well, considering there is a fair assumption that Asians are largely not as well-connected as Westerners, and even if they used Wikipedia, they wouldn't mostly be using the English Wikipedia.

However, there is a grey area between both worlds. Singapore is highly connected to the internet, with the largely English-educated population frequent users of Wikipedia, as it is being seen more or less as a one-stop resource, or at the least a gathering of knowledge. As a result, their frequent visits to Wikipedia have led to many of them becoming extremely commited users regularly contributing information to Wikipedia. However, there is also a problem. The largest ISP in Singapore, Starhub, uses one IP address for all its users (202.156.6.54), due to the constraints in obtaining new IP addresses.

As with everywhere, small minority of users also like to continually vandalise Wikipedia, thus drawing a disproportionate amount of attention to this IP address. Although the talk page has a notice indicating that administrators should refrain from blocking this IP, there are also autoblock features in MediaWiki, causing us to be automatically and fully blocked everytime an explicit act of vandalism is conducted. This causes great reprecussions, especially as repealing such a block is inconvenient given our timezone. Thus, to better filter out antisocial activity such as trolls and vandals without affecting those veteran users with good intentions, I strongly recommend this change of policy.

The standard block will block any newly registered users or unregistered users editing from that IP, while veteran users will still be able to perform edits as normal. This will benefit users of shared IPs greatly, such that the more well-meaning users will not be affected greatly by blocks.

Aware that there might be some even more dedicated elements who will attempt to hack into veteran users' accounts and use them to perform vandalism, the full block will still be available. However, I do hope there will be few situations where the full block will ever be called into play.

Benefactors from this change of policy also include school campuses, where with this new policy, veteran users can continue to contribute regularly while the vandals will be unable to tamper with the massive and awesome databank that Wikipedia is today. Thank you for reading this. Ariedartin JECJY 13:21, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I thought there was something in the works to allow blocks of people from an IP address who had no account, without affecting logged-in users coming from that address. Certainly something that did this while also preventing new accounts from being created from that address would be helpful. -- Beland 18:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Check out Wikipedia:Blocking policy proposal and Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Options for IP blocks for some more details (the latter details some new additions, the former still needs some software support before it can be implemented). -- nae'blis 19:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Fair use images in userboxes

Would I be correct in assuming fair use images can't be used in userboxes? I've been removing them from userboxes as I see them, but something I saw made me start wondering. —JD[don't talk|email] 10:59, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Correct, as their use on userpages does not constitute fair use. -newkai t-c 11:04, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

External Links, User Pages & Spam

Hi, I was just wondering how it is that Wikipedia can have a policy like this: Wikipedia is not an advertising service. Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products; or articles written as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, may be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies. For more information, see Wikipedia:Spam. and at the same time allow external links on article pages as well as individual users who post external links to sites from their user pages? How can Wikipedia control whether or not a user is really just a PR person for a company or an employee trying to get more links to their comapny's website? After all, even if they aren't, does Wikipedia want to continue to promote some companies to the detriment of other companies that aren't being linked to? A Wikipedia external link must carry more value than any equal link just about anywhere else on the web. Since when is Wikipedia a personal blogging service and link farm for the already elite?

New policy suggestion: No external linking from User pages. (Why can't users just mention there favorite sites instead of hyperlink to them, anyway?)

Also, why should companies that meet only one of the three criteria get external links and Wikipedia articles about them and others don't. Anybody can pay to have an "independent" article or two written about them if that is all that it takes. It would be nearly impossible to verify that the article was written without compensation of some sort. Hardware review sites are a prime example. A company sends a free product to a hardware review site to review and Bam! a free link to the retailer's website and an independent article about them and their product. External linking to Fortune 500 or these types of websites and companies seems completely unfair to the thousands and thousands of other businesses out there trying to compete with them. Since when is Wikipedia a directory like DMOZ anyway? Wouldn't the mention of the business be enough? Why the external link also?

New policy suggestion #2: Get rid of all the external links to commerce websites altogether. It is the only solution that is fair to everyone.

I have personally seen Wikipedia articles that at the end have an External Links section and the article creator links to just one commerce website that relates to the article. How fair is that? (Just another reason for New policy suggestion #2.) This particular situation prompted me to create this post. I understand that Wikipedia's policies on these subjects are clearly stated but I believe that the underlying facts detailed above dictate that fairness to all should prevail and Wikipedia can then truly become "only" a source for information as it should be, instead of a vaguely disguised advertiser for Fortune 500 companies and the like. (unsigned, from user:162.40.22.161)

I totally support the first suggestion; I can't really think of a need or value to Wikipedia for having external links on user pages, and these are often used for self-promotion (one userpage in particular has always troubled me in this regard). However, I think your second suggestion is too drastic. To the extent that you are talking about third-party sites that pretend to be impartial but actually have a vested interest, this really needs to be (and can be) dealt with on a case-by-case basis. To the extent you are talking about links to the official website of a company or product in an article on that subject, I think their sites may be valuable primary resources (particularly if it's an online business), and it can benefit Wikipedia if readers know that they will be able to find everything relevant to a topic within an article, including where to go for further information. If an external link really functions more as advertisement than information, that too should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. I think the bigger problem is actually with those "thousands and thousands of other businesses out there trying to compete" with the notable companies, as those most often try to (mis)use Wikipedia as the venue by which they acheive notability. It's not a question of fairness, it's a question of what has made enough impact in the world to be worth writing about. Postdlf 21:06, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, external links on userpages all contain – automatically – the rel="nofollow" attribute, which instructs search engines (especially Google) to ignore the link when determining the popularity or PageRank of the linked page. Indeed, this is true of links on all non-mainspace pages, including article talk pages. (I believe there is still discussion over whether or not to do this to article space pages as well—we believe that useful sources should get 'credit'.) In articles, we expect and demand that links add siginificant value to the article, or the links get axed.
So external links on user pages are only useful advertising to a person or company if they can persuade people to come to the user page itself; they don't influence search engine results at all. The most useful way to get people to visit your user space is to be a productive, prolific participant in the project—and I don't mind giving productive editors a bit of advertising as a quid pro quo. Even then, there would probably be community pressure applied to individuals who created or maintained a user space that was particularly 'spammy'. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:58, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Regarding use of the "nofollow" tag on pages: "For what it's worth, external links on userpages all contain – automatically – the rel="nofollow" attribute" I cannot find a "nofollow" tag on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gashapon There are embedded links to two commercial web sites. One sells products, the other sells advertizing. I am concerned that Wikipedia will become a resource for those who want to promote their own web sites.

That's userpages, not articles. Gashapon is an article page, and external links to articles probably should get higher ratings on search engines. I've removed two of the three external links at the bottom of that article. Fagstein 04:49, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Any particular reason it's not on the articles too? That might make WP a somewhat less appealing target for this sort of thing. SB_Johnny | talk 21:55, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Just to weigh in on the no external links on userpages issue, there can sometimes be valid reasons for having external links on a user page (see for example Interiot's toolserver apps). Sometimes users may also choose to have commonly used resources (journal search engine, other online reference works and so on) linked from their user page for convenience. I don't think, therefore, a blanket ban would be a good idea, a limit to only links that could not be useful for editing purposes, but that would no doubt be a problematic rule to enforce. --Daduzi talk 05:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Example of a user page with a tad too many external links: User:Gzlfb. --MichaelZimmer (talk) 22:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Holy crap. Well, yes, that would most definitely be an example of a userpage that needs looking at. I still stand by what I said earlier, though, there are legitimate reasons for linking from your user page (though none of them apply to that particular page). --Daduzi talk 07:13, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Hah, wow... The funny thing though is that those link don't help spam causes since user pages automatically have "nofollow" links. -newkai t-c 09:14, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Word Choice: Fetus vs. Unborn Child

In the article July 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, an editor has objected to the use of the phrase "unborn child" as POV and replaced it with the word "fetus." The context is that a pregnant woman was shot in the arm when she covered her belly with her arms to protect her progeny. The question here is: is the phrase "unborn child" inherently POV and should it be listed at Wikipedia:Words to avoid? My own sense is that "unborn child" carries no POV in an article that is entirely unrelated to abortion, contraception, etc. Aesthetically speaking, unborn child seems much better than fetus and using medical terminology is unnecessary. However, I'm curious to hear other editor's opinions. GabrielF 21:08, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

From a purely stylistic point of view, "she was shot in the arm when trying to protect her unborn child" works okay, but "she was shot in the arm when trying to protect her foetus" makes it sound like an armed robbery of a medical research lab gone wrong. We have editorial discretion; editorial discretion and common sense makes articles better. I can see where they're coming from, but it's overkill - replacing "fetus" with "unborn child" to make a point would be exceptionally dodgy, and I'd hit someone for trying, but in flow of text like this a natural phrase is perfectly sensible. Shimgray | talk | 21:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I came here expecting to oppose the use of "unborn child", but Shimgray is right, "foetus" would sound absurd. Support using "unborn child". - FrancisTyers · 21:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • My inclination is that we should be comfortable with using the term fetus -- it's not even remotely obscure or jargonish, and having it used consistantly across all articles rather than having a special "cannot-use" for abortion-related articles seems more consistent. --21:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Typical US controversy. Fetus is the scientific, used term. "Unborn child" definitively is POV. The example given by Shimgray should not lead to discuss a general policy or guideline. Anyway, why not change the sentence itself? I agree that the term "unborn child" gives a slant to anti-abortionnists, and is not used as much as fetus. When a woman is pregnant, protecting her child is protecting herself. So why not write : "she was shot in the arm." (point). ? Lapaz 21:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I removed the entire sentence from the article. It seems too detailed to me compared to the rest of the details of the shooting victims. I think either word is okay if the sentence remains. FloNight talk 21:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The chauvinism notwithstanding, this is not a very good argument, as the story is not a scientific one. JChap (talkcontribs) 21:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Fetus is a more precise term and is not solely scientific or medical. "Unborn child" is more emotive and should be avoided, whether the context is the abortion debate or otherwise. If there is confusion about whethere the fetus is in a medical research lab, the story could say that she had covered her stomach to protect the "fetus in her womb." JChap (talkcontribs) 21:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Both are POV because each one has effectively been adopted by one or other side in the abortion debate, and so carries a presumption of bias. Pro-lifers use unborn child to humanise the entity being carried and so add credence to the claim that it is human. Pro-choicers respond by using fetus/foetus to dehumanise the entity and suggest, as is the core of their debate, that it is not human life. While fetus/foetus may be neutral in a medical article, in an article that is not technical it and unborn child both carry with it a presumption that by using either one is siding with one or other viewpoint. In the line above, her actions indicate that she believed there was a life form in her womb whose life she wanted to save. So in that context it would be correct to use a terminology that conveyed the motivation behind her actions. But the idea, given the nature of the abortion debate, that either foetus (I'm fed up writing that crappy American English spelling!) or unborn child is neutral is niave and simplistic. FearÉIREANN \(caint) 22:20, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Keep in mind that pregnant mothers and their family and friends think of the fetus as a child. "Fetus" is a biological or medical term used to refer to the young of any animal, not just humans. The shot mother wasn't trying to protect some fetus, she was trying to protect her baby. This can be avoided in general use by referring to it in the more usual way, not affected by abortion debates. For this example, the best sort of sentence would be like "this pregnant mother was trying to protect the child she was carrying". When a mother intends to have the child, there is no reason to suggest that it is not a child and there is no reason to muddle the matter. —Centrxtalk • 22:29, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

If we look at usage examples, we have for fetus things like "We have yet to learn how the foetus is matured after the exhaustion of this supply." (in a book Animal Kingdom) and "The Foetus respires in the Womb." For unborn, we have things like "The throne was to be shared between an idiot and an infant yet unborn." Over-all, "child" is the appropriate word for an infant not yet born, and if there could be confusion then it is descriptive and neutral to specify "pregnant mother" or "carrying child" or "child in the womb", but "fetus" is reserved exclusively for scientific use, or inflamed debates. —Centrxtalk • 22:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm partial to Centrix and FearEireann's sentiments. The power and POV in both phrases is inherently tied into the abortion debate. Apart from that debate, context is the key--otherwise you are needlessly interjecting the abortion debate into foreign subjects. In an article about fetal development, it would be inappropriate to try and interject "unborn child" into a medical/scientific article. In the context of the Seattle Shootings, the mother was acting in a maternal matter of protecting what she perceived as her unborn child. That was an emotive action and describing the baby as an unborn child in contrast to a fetus is appropriate. Agne 23:03, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that in this particular example the use of "fetus" is distinctly strange sounding. Additionally, it makes an assumption about the stage of development that we have no information about, as far as I know. I don't think "unborn child" is inherently POV as long as it's not being used in an obviously pro-life context such as "Abortionists persuaded her to destroy her unborn child." Deco 23:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree. The context in which it is used is based directly off fact. It is the woman's unborn child, and the use of fetus makes this sound as if someone is attempting to steal her fetus in some type of bizarre biological robbery. MichaelZ526 23:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
"Unborn child" is certainly plainer English. As long as it doesn't say "She was protecting her unborn child, which of course had a beating heart, ten fingers, and ten toes...", etc., it's a more graceful term. --SB_Johnny | talk 00:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Stabilizing featured articles

A proposal has been written to create stable, linked-to versions of good and featured articles using links to the versions that were certified as good or featured. This policy would avoid forking of articles, cleanly preserve article history, and keep articles as dynamic as ever, while at the same time giving the benefits to article credibility that stabilization is intended to give. Feedback is appreciated. JDoorjam Talk 20:57, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Categorization/Categories_and_subcategories

A major change was made to Wikipedia:Categorization/Categories and subcategories by a user who, to say the least, does not like the guideline or its emphasis. I reverted it, but I wanted to mention it here. The user seems to want to policy to fit a handful of articles he is interested in, rather than understanding it is a policy for the whole encyclopedia. (There are a couple typos on the page that could be fixed). 2005 20:35, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposed policy clarification with respect to logos

Fanart: GFDL worthy?

Is fan art based on copywritten works GFDLable? This is an example in question... Image:6teen-tricia.png. -- Zanimum 17:31, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure. Sometimes character designs are copyrighted. You certainly couldn't, for example, create your own movie starring Mickey Mouse, even if all the art was drawn by your people. Deco 18:00, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I think probably some fanart is GFDLable and some isn't. Depictions of book characters are probably different from depictions of, say, characters from comics or other visual media. (As Deco illustrates with the example of Mickey Mouse.) But this particular one looks un-GFDLable; the fanart creator agrees to release the image under specific terms, but they aren't the terms of the GFDL. FreplySpang 18:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Oh, well yeah, if the author doesn't release it under the GFDL (or a strictly more liberal license such as free use) then it isn't GFDLable. I assumed this was done. Also, book character fanart can be copyvio if based on copyrighted art like covers or "guidebooks", so watch out. Deco 18:11, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that was why I put those waffly "probably"s in there - I didn't want to think through all the details of things like cover art. :-) FreplySpang 18:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I know Terry Goodkind is very, very strict about fan art and fan fiction, so I'm not sure that book characters would be treated differently in this case. We're militant enough about copyright here where I'd be wary of even considering opening that can of worms where some might be allowed. --badlydrawnjeff talk 18:20, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
In any case, fanart of book characters would seem to fall under original research. --Carnildo 19:21, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Good point; that alone should prevent our use of such illustrations. As for fan art representing characters from visual media, it would necessarily be a derivative work of the copyrighted original, so not only would we need GFDL release for the drawing, but we'd also need a right to use the underlying character that is being depicted. I've pondered whether we might have more of a fair use claim to use (for example) a Wikipedian's drawing of Superman, than we would a scan of a published comic book of Superman, but I haven't managed to take that idea very far yet. Postdlf 19:31, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
What about fan drawings of actors portraying characters? For example, a while back I found a drawing of one of the Harry Potter characters, based on the image of the actress playing the role in the movie (I can't remember the article's name now, though). Is this covered by GFDL? User:Zoe|(talk) 22:09, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
If you base a drawing on a photograph, it's going to be a derivative of that photograph. If you do a drawing of an actor portraying a copyrightable character (Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter; Christopher Reeve as Superman), it's probably going to be a derivative of that character. Postdlf 04:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Fanart and fanfiction are all derivative works, and, strictly speaking, are copyright violations unless the copyright holder has explicitly given permission for the creation of the derivative works. That means that in almost all cases fanart and fanfiction can never be licenced under the GFDL. BlankVerse 03:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Depending on circumstances, one might reasonably argue that some fanart / fanfiction consistutes fair use, and hence such works are not necessarily copyright violations. Dragons flight 04:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Read the fair use article that you linked to. Please give me one reasonable example of when fanart and fanfiction might be considered fair use. The only example that I can think of where fanart and fanfiction might not be a copyright violation is NOT under fair use, but under the parody exception. BlankVerse 09:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Huh? Parody is a form of protected fair use; even has its own section in the fair use article. In general, a fan work which is non-commercial, transformative rather than merely imitative, and does not appreciably detract from the commercial value of the original is likely to be a fair use. In my experience, much fan work is pretty low key stuff shared among interested parties on a small scale and likely to qualify. Because of the commercial aspects that equation could change with respect to use in Wikipedia, however. Dragons flight 14:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
However, parody is not a form of fair use that Wikipedia can use. The only way we could claim a parody exemption that would allow the use of fanart to illustrate the article is if the article is a parody of the original work -- which is hardly compatible with the goal of being an encyclopedia. On the other hand, in the unlikely case that the fanart is a well-known work in its own right, we can discuss it and use it under the "critical commentary" part of fair use. --Carnildo 18:17, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Removing faiuse images from templates

Is this right? A fairuse New York City coat of arms image was removed from this navigational template for specialized NYC public schools. All transcluded instances of this template are of course in articlespace - articles on the eight schools and the test you take to get into them. Image remover Durin argues in his explanatory essay as follows:

[I]t is entirely possible (and does happen) that templates intended for use only in main article namespace are used in other namespaces. This potentially creates a copyright issue if there is a fair use image on the template.

Well, perhaps the remedy should be to remove such inclusion if/when detected, not to remove images from the template altogether? I understand and respect copyright law, but this really is copyright paranoia IMO. - CrazyRussian talk/email 14:58, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

  • It is not just a matter of copyright law, but what is a manageable policy at Wikipedia. Our policy explicitly states, "[fair use images] should never be used on templates (including stub templates and navigation boxes) or on user pages". If we allow users to transclude templates that do not have fair use images yet not permit them such use if it has such an image, we create a less manageable situation than simply stating that fair use images are allowed in the main article namespace only. Besides this point, fair use images on templates serve a primarily decorative purpose. There is no gained value that having a seal on a navigation template has. If an article should have a seal on it for commentary about the subject of the seal, then have it elsewhere in the article. Having it in the template is decorative, and thus violates fair use law. --Durin 15:14, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks... exhaustive. - CrazyRussian talk/email 15:25, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
    • What about in the case of Template:Infobox New York City. That template was designed for only one article, the main article space topic of New York City. It is designed specifically to ease editing on that article which is very long. Normally, I would agree with your policy, but since this image would be allowed to stay if we just moved the contents of that infobox into New York City, I am not sure the removal makes sense in this context. There are other articles that do similar things like Houston. I think if the template is designed for one specific page in particular, it does not violate the spirit of the guidelines... --MattWright (talk) 22:01, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I should also mention I didn't come up with the idea to pull the infobox out into it's own new york template and am not opposed to merging all that data back into the article if that violated some guideline. --MattWright (talk) 22:05, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
      • From the cookbook of dumb solutions 101: If you wrap the image with {{mainspaceonly|[[Image:Foo]]}}, the image will only be shown in the main article namespace and not on the template page or in any other namespace. Again, this should never be used for purely decorative images, since that would not be fair use, but I think a reasonable person can respect the New York infobox. Dragons flight 22:40, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Nice. Even better, I just made it compare PAGENAME to New York City so it will only show up on that single article. --MattWright (talk) 23:19, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I really am fed up reading this garbage about how the inclusion of a visual image in a template is decorative. It usually isn't. Because people have different settings on computers and browsers they often find that some templates' headlines are not clearly readable; one browser I used to use reduced most templates to unreadable spider-writing. In some cases, the use of a visual image is definitionary, i.e., it in visual form communicates the topic of the template for those who cannot read the headline, or who may be young and not fully understand the a complex headline. The use of images purely as definitionary visual aids is lawful under fair use when the image in question communicates. However if the image is obscure and so possesses no recognitionary value then in law it would be deemed decorative and then would be a breach of fair use. Using a visual image that, for example, showed that a template is about royalty, if that image is universally and unambiguously communicative through worldwide recognition, is perfectly allowed under fair use and would not be deemed in law decorative. Using a visual image that is unknown, not instantly recognisable and does not contextualise and communicate, would be deemed decorative and so an abuse of the law. That is the opinion of numerous legal experts I know, who think WP's interpretation of the law on this issue as meaning fair use images cannot be used in templates, is patent and utter nonsense. FearÉIREANN \(caint) 22:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Stable versions now

A stable version test is currently underway regarding the article Elephant. The discussion of stable versions is being held at Wikipedia talk:Stable versions now. — xaosflux Talk 03:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Let us not pretend that this is a test. This was an article getting vandalised and somebody got over-excited and decided to fully protect a page, heft its edit history to a non-subpage, and leave it that way. The proposal has lukewarm support at best and I'm going to reverse this 'test' in a few hours time. -Splash - tk 03:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
NB: I wasn't testing this, simply linked it here as I felt it was relevant to the policy proposal, was told it was a test elsewhere. This has since been reverted, but comments at the policy proposal page are always welcome — xaosflux Talk 04:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Warnings on pages with strong sexual content

Hi folks. I am fairly new to WP though I 've tried to add whatever I know to whatever I could think of. I noticed how pages with content for a very mature audience might be accessible to young people. Shouldn't there be safeguards against this. Perhaps there should be a warning about age requirements before entering such pages. I must clarify that I am not talking about sexuality here but offensive language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bunty.Gill (talkcontribs)

A strong belief is that Wikipedia is not censored for minors and putting any sort of age restriction on pages would probably met a strong resistance. However, a sort of content warning template similar in intent to what we have already with spoiler warnings for films & novel could be appropriate. Agne 17:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
As a community belief that is fine, but we have an ethics issue here - making such strong content so easy easily accessible to minors is dangerous. Bunty.Gill 17:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
How is it dangerous? That's quite a strong claim, and it needs something to back it up. --Cyde↔Weys 18:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

We already have a site disclaimer. I don't see why we should sink to grundyism. --Tony Sidaway 17:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

To avoid hypocrisy? We are told we can't use fair use images in articles on world leaders because the intent is to make Wikipedia accessible to school children (free use being the preferred method of delivery). So how can wikipedia be of use to children if parents and teachers block access to the site due to strong sexual content?Michael Dorosh 17:31, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't follow your argument, but if parents and teachers want to block the site that's up to them. I don't think a few spoilers would make any difference. --Tony Sidaway 17:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
A disclaimer that does not appear when needed?! What if a kid types out en.wikipedia/org/Fuck in the address bar to see what the word he heard his school senior means. He/she never got to know that he/she is heading into dangerous territory. I hope I am able to make myself clear here. Bunty.Gill 17:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
He can already look up the word "fuck" in the dictionary. I really don't see where this is going. --Tony Sidaway 17:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
My Oxford Advanced Learner's has a red-colored triangle with an exclamation mark in it *BEFORE* the entry for Fuck, and labels it out as "Sexual Slang". Bunty.Gill 17:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
What, and that's supposed to stop kids from reading the entry? It sounds to me like, if anything, it would attract the kids. When you emphasize a word like that you are actually doing more of a disservice than if you just leave it as one word amongst many others. That's actually highlighting the material you find "offensive". --Cyde↔Weys 18:01, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
One, the whole thing was just an example of a possible situation to justify why we REALLY need such a thing. Two, if that's what the kid wants to do - fine, but atleast she/he now knows. S/he may have wandered to the redlight area, but will not enter if s/he does not want to. Bunty.Gill 18:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe we should just put the answer to this question in a template (like user:Raul654/protection)- I'm getting really tired of having to retype the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again. Raul654 17:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

If you're too weary to participate in the discussion, then feel free to not participate. :-) Just don't blame us for wanting to discuss it. Some people aren't online here 24/7.Michael Dorosh 17:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
What's left to discuss? Every aspect of this issue has been discussed at great length - to the tune of many hundreds of kilobytes. The problem is that people keep coming along wanting to beat the same dead horse, at which point, we should simply write the correct and proper answer down somewhere so it doesn't repeat the same (oft-repeated) effort. Raul654 17:59, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed - go ahead and do so.Michael Dorosh 18:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't quite see the similarity between User:Raul654/protection ans the case in point. Bunty.Gill 18:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Every time someone suggests we should protect the featured article (which happens often) I say no and point them to User:Raul654/protection; someone needs to create a page with the answer to this question (no) and point to it when this question gets asked (which happens often). Raul654 18:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Assuming that Wikipedia hasn't violated any laws, and so is in no danger of prosecution, what exactly is the "danger"? Postdlf 17:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Inconsistency, as per my point above.Michael Dorosh 17:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
What's dangerous about inconsistency? --Tony Sidaway 17:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It leads to the dark side?Michael Dorosh 18:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't see the inconsistency. Wikipedia doesn't pretend to uphold any particular moral code that would label some material appropriate or some non-appropriate. The stated desire of providing free knowledge to all covers all types of knowledge-even knowledge of some things that a particular indivdiual may feel is inappropriate. They can make that designation on their own, Wikipedia will not do it for them. Agne 17:57, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Not inconsistency, but a sense of responsibility towards those who are unaware of the (somewhat dangerous) possibility.Bunty.Gill 18:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, here is the repeated assertion that it is "dangerous". How is it dangerous? You're arguing in circles now. --Cyde↔Weys 18:02, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
What exactly do you want me to do? Write an article in WP on the effects of pornography and sexual slurs on minors? You see it circular because you are behind a (very biased) lens. Bunty.Gill 18:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
You're calling me "very biased" yet you fail to offer up even a single shred of evidence to support your assertion that things you happen to find inappropriate or offensive are dangerous to children. What is inherently so dangerous about an image of a naked body? --Cyde↔Weys 19:08, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I am a biologist and wish to specialize in neuro. In case you want to quarrel, I am on more solid ground. But I'd rather that you give me a moment, and I 'll bring the "shreds" that you are so desperate for. Bunty.Gill 19:25, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I have proposed these two images be made into templates by anyone that knows how to do it. These images should flag pages that may not be appropriate for children. File:Wikipedia-Children12.png   Ashwin Narasimhan 18:08, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the images would simply be a way of using WHAT LINKS HERE to find gnarly porn-type content and would have the opposite effect of that intended.!Michael Dorosh 18:11, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Disclaimers like these are against Wikipedia policy. We have a single set of general disclaimers that apply site-wide and nothing on a per-article basis. --Cyde↔Weys 18:11, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
They'd just be magnets for those wanting to find that stuff anyway. The problem isn't in identifying unsuitable content, the problem is that it is permitted on the site to begin with. That won't change, so Wikipedia will continue to labour under a set of inconsistent pretenses.Michael Dorosh 18:13, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Those disclaimers assume that there is an objective, non-culturally contingent way to determine what may be "appropriate" for children. But if we're going to go with those, I'd add the "not suitable for children under 12" warning to quantum physics, because it's too difficult for that age level to understand. Also, Ann Coulter should have that warning, because at that age children lack the ability to dissect rhetoric and factually evaluate the kinds of extremist political and social statements she makes to sell books. If this isn't what you meant by "appropriate" or "suitable", please elaborate. Postdlf 18:15, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Inappropriate as in "possibly objectionable" and " potential permenanent or temporary psychological damage". Bunty.Gill 18:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Like what? Please provide a citation that backs your assertion that your example causes permanent damage. - CHAIRBOY () 18:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, 2003. Check it out on Google Books. Bunty.Gill 18:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Mmmm, no? Why don't _you_ make the case on your own? - CHAIRBOY () 18:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Could you be a little more concrete (for those of us who don't have time to read the book right now)? What's your exact premise as to what causes harm to children, what children are harmed by it, how that harm is caused, and what that harm is? Postdlf 18:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Give me some time to answer that. I may write an essay or a WP article, depending on what the content turns out to be like. I need to dig up my local library to build up a convincing case. Bunty.Gill 18:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not asking for a dissertation, just a less vague description of your position in response to simple questions. What is your understanding of the issue? Postdlf 18:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
At the risk of sounding rude here, why don't you take a stand? Do you or do you not want me to offer facts? I already offered the opinion (as opposed to facts). Bunty.Gill 19:25, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Because you're advocating for a change of some kind, yet the opinion you've presented in this advocacy is too inchoate for anyone to analyze: offensive (?) text and/or images causes (?) harm (?) to children (?). I have no idea how you're using those terms (all of which could mean many things in this context), and so I have no concrete understanding of what you are talking about. Until you try to give some fixed content to those terms, I can't really get more out of your statements than "content I do not like changes people I consider helpless based on their age alone in ways I do not like." Postdlf 19:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Hm, Toby is cuter. Powers 18:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
OK Michael Dorosh, I am a newbie here, but you can't just terminate this whole thing like that. I want to "BE BOLD" with you. Convince me about the page for which you gave Raul654 the go ahead. I understand that it is *his/her* subpage but you are passing it off as a sort of consensual one. (Don't bite me, I am new here.) Bunty.Gill 18:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

That is exactly what I meant Postdtf. If a children's Wikipedia is created, we are not going to need these, because, that propably will not be blocked by parental control programs. If we don't flag pages, eliminate offensive content all together, or create a children's wikipedia, Wikipedia will be of no use to children any more. Ashwin Narasimhan 18:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Ah, I am a bad writer! Ashwin sums it all up in ONE SENTENCE :) Bunty.Gill 18:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't know how "offensive" suddenly got imported into "appropriate" or "suitable," as my examples just dealt with the ability to comprehend a difficult subject. I note from your user page that you are 14; what pages and/or subject matter would you like to be restricted from seeing? Postdlf 18:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

There is no subject matter that I wouldn't want to see. I would be benefited by having Wikipedia unblocked, because my school blocks Wikipedia, which is still my primary source of information. Ashwin Narasimhan 18:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

So, do I have you convinced that I have a point here? Bunty.Gill 18:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Why do they block it? What exactly, in your opinion, would have to change for them to unblock it? Postdlf 18:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Why ask us to change our behavior rather than explain to your school how valuable Wikipedia is as a resource? In the mean time, Wikipedia:Forks and mirrors lists other sites, like http://www.answers.com, that use Wikipedia content and which you may be able to access from your school. Dragons flight 18:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd call that a (valuable) digression rather an argument. Bunty.Gill 18:59, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • We have an effective tool that has been used successfully on several articles that contain graphic content. This tool is the linkimage tool. Using this tool, we allow a reader to read a text article on a given topic and then click the linkedimage if they want to see the image. Some advantages to this approach:
  1. It's been proven to work on articles like Autofelatio
  2. It allows people to read the article first without being presented with what may be a shocking image to them. It is entirely reasonable that people will not realize an article contains graphic content jsut from the name. For one thing, they may not know what the word means. Second, the link may have been written a different way, like soup. Third, since most serious reference works don't show pornographic images, it is entirely reasonable for a visitor to suppose that we would not show such images.
  3. It keeps the image available here on Wikipedia for people who do want to make the informed decision to view the image.
  4. It requires no code-development, no user-preference buttons to be created or set.
  5. It allows us to better comply with regulations that prohibit display of pornography to minors. By clicking on the link, they are making their own decision. This is far better than the "site warning" that we supposedly have - because the reader has to actively seek out our site warning. It is not presented upon coming to Wikipedia from Google or any other link.

We should encourage editors to make use of the linkimage tool for pornographic images. Johntex\talk 19:05, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Great, how do you define what a pornographic image is? You know it when you see it? --Cyde↔Weys 19:11, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Please allow me to turn that question around. How do you define a noteworthy subject for an article? How do you decide whether a specific source is reliable enough to be included in an article? How do you decide if a portion of an article is sufficiently similar to a previously published work to be a copyvio? How do you decide if an article is sufficiently well written to be a Featured Article? The answer is that editorial judgement has to come into play in each of these cases. Johntex\talk 19:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. Although some argue it's a violation of WP:NOR, it is entirely unreasonable to argue that editors may not use any judgment whatsoever. MichaelZ526 19:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
And in addition to all of that you just cited you want to add massive flamewars about whether something is "offensive" enough that it should be linkimaged? --Cyde↔Weys 19:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I assume that most people will act in good faith and discuss the question thoughtfully and considerately, just as we discuss other editorial decisions. Johntex\talk 19:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
But in reality it'd be one huge shitfest, and I, for one, would really not want to have to get involved in that. --Cyde↔Weys 19:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Especially when you have conflicting moralities. For example I have seen people complain here and elsewhere about photos showing women in swimsuits (and I'm not even talking bikinis or thongs). I've seen complaints raised because an image had too much cleavage. There are people who have moral standards (regarding body exposure and language) that are still in the 1950s; when these people cross paths with people who feel that the morality of the 21st century allows for more leniency, you end up with arguments and bad blood and no consensus. And I'm just talking about "prude-ism" if I may invent a word; I haven't even started when it comes to the use of language. 23skidoo 19:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
As with all the other decisions that we make everyday, guidelines can be developed and a middle ground can be chosen. We already have that today, by the way, as evidenced by the fact that linkimage has been proven to stabilize certain pages from edit warring about what is appropriate. Johntex\talk 19:57, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with what any particular person finds offensive. It is a discussion about the fact that wikipedia is blocked by insitutions or parents and thus many children have no access to the resource. I agree, a children's wikipedia that is tame enough not to be blocked would be a useful addition to the wikipedia family. Above Postdlf asked "Why do they block it? What exactly, in your opinion, would have to change for them to unblock it? " One very good reason that wikipedia gets blocked is the weird things people put on their user page (see an example of this on Cyde Weys page in the Explore section top right). Whether one finds this kind of stuff offensive or not, it is hard to argue that this will not cause school to block wikipedia on their computers. David D. (Talk) 19:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I wanted to point that out too (User:Cyde), but was too scared of being flamed. Thanks, David. Bunty.Gill 19:55, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I think we should all be encouraged to speak our mind, it helps us move forward. Personally i think you are making some good points. Times change and despite what Raul says about this being discussed ad nauseum i see no reason why such discussions should not be repeated. I see it as a big flaw in wikipedia that schools are actively blocking it. It's actually worse than universities banning students from using it for research projects. At least at the universites students can make that choice themselves.David D. (Talk) 20:01, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree it is a problem. Our goal should not just be to make an encyclopedia. Our goal should be to make an encyclopedia that is maximally usable to the maximum number of people. Johntex\talk 20:02, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
By which standards? This is an international resource, so should we use US standards? Or Norweigan standards? Or would you be ok with Iranian standards that forbid pictures of females who aren't wearing Burkhas? This is one of the reasons why Wikipedia is WP:NOT censored for minors, there's no global standard. - CHAIRBOY () 20:08, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
"maximally usable to the maximum number of people" would suggest shooting for a balance. I suspect that few people in Iran would be allowed by their own government to use such a resource, so there would be no benefit to taking out images of females who are not wearing Burkhas. Johntex\talk 20:12, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict with Jontex) Given this is the En encylopedia i would think the standards for US high schools would be a good place to start (certainly Iran seems to be less important to consider). Its not like there is no precedent here with regard to what schools find acceptable. My guess is that the CD that is curremtly being produced has a much tamer version than the online one here. I assume, however, we find that agreeable? David D. (Talk) 20:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Given that this is indeed the en: Wikipedia, let me remind you that en: stands for English, a language spoken both as a native and as a secondary language around the world. If you want a us: Wikipedia, feel free to create one. But even within the US, high school students are a distinct minority. And even within US high schools, you will find a rather large inconsistency about what is acceptable and what is not. Catcher in the Rye and Harry Potter have both been removed from some US school libraries to protect the childen... --Stephan Schulz 21:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Let's be reasonable here. Bringing in extremely rigid countries as examples is unfortunate. More often than not, all countries have reasonably uniform laws regarding what kind of content is unsuitable for minors. User:Postdlf has a DJ so he/she may be able to say more on this, although I have reason to believe I am correct. Bunty.Gill 20:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the school blocking is unfortunate, but as above comments have suggested, we can't please everyone by excluding everything. I think a better solution than bowdlerizing Wikipedia is 1) make sure that our articles on "controversial" or "offensive" topics are chock full of academic integrity and serious scholarship, and 2) for anyone who's really interested to set up Wikipedia mirrors that can be sans sexuality, sans violence and war, or sans whatever the PRC government doesn't want its citizens to see at the moment. Call these "children's wikipedias" if you like (though I think simple.wikipedia.org already fits that label), but I encourage anyone who is concerned about these issues to set up a school-friendly, Muslim country-friendly, or totalitarian regime-friendly alternative. It would be easy for a mirror to filter whatever content it wanted based on our category system rather than any reference to "appropriateness" or "offensiveness"; a mirror could exclude anything within such controversial topics as Category:Sex or Category:Republican Party (United States) or their subcategories with little effort. Postdlf 20:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Serious question: Is the blocking of Wikipedia by schools actually a widespread problem? I'd never heard of it before today. Schoolchildren are a part of our audience, and to an extent, we should cater to the needs of our audience, but before contemplating substantial changes on the grounds that some people can't read Wikipedia, I'd like to know whether or not there are actually a substantial number of schoolchidren who are presently being blocked from accessing Wikipedia? Dragons flight 20:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps we should cut to the core of the issue. I suspect that some of the folks participating in this discussion feel that there are some things that simply should not be in the encyclopedia because they find them offensive. If that's the situation, can we get to that now rather than later? It'll save a lot of time. If not, then we might as well get that question out of the way now. - CHAIRBOY () 20:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

There is no easy resolve for this issue. It's a cultural thing. A naked breast might not upset a German parent, might anger an American parent, and might outrage someone from an even more conservative country (pardon the stereotypes). I remember the one semester I spent in Germany in sixth grade. Our biology book had real photos of naked 5, 15, and 25 year-olds of both sexes to demonstrate human development. -newkai | talk | contribs 20:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I think pornographic images are harmful to the credibility (because they are not expected and not customary of mainstream research works) and usability (because they lead to blocking) of the project. I support linkimaging those images as a compromise that helps address this concern while still keeping the images available. Johntex\talk 20:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    Can you objectively define "pornographic"? - CHAIRBOY () 20:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Can _you_ objectively define love, passion, hate, frightening and family? There are some areas where objectivity is inevitable, but that does not mean they are nonsense. And this is also the reason why WP needs humans. Bunty.Gill 20:38, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Can you give a real answer for once instead of just continually trying to divert attention to other topics? We're talking about supposed pornography here, not "love, passion, hate, frightening, and family", which we don't seem to be having a problem with. Stop using straw men and stay on topic. --Cyde↔Weys 20:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Coming from you, that does sound very convincing indeed. And to answer your question, I have neither the time nor the inclination to answer your queries that ostensibly aim more at propaganda and pushing your opinion than genuine discussion. Bunty.Gill 20:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • What is "pornographic"? I bet you would categorize a lot more images as pornographic than I would. For instance, I would consider the images on Vulva, Penis, and Anus to be encyclopedic rather than pornographic; to me, pornographic means intentionally sexually-stimulating, not just an image of a naked person. --Cyde↔Weys 20:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Obscenity on the internet that is open to people under 18 is a federal crime in the USA. If any US federal prosecutor thinks an image on Wiki is obscene, Wiki could be shut down in a matter of hours and have years of litigation before it could reopen. The determination of what is "obscene" will be made by a federal jury (selected in the state the Feds think is most anti-obscenity.) Rjensen 20:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Provide a citation please, I see a first ammendment conflict with your assertion. - CHAIRBOY () 20:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The worst way to fight a totalitarian police state (which is what you are describing) is to simply give in to it. --Cyde↔Weys 20:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Cyde, we're talking about access of wikipedia in the schools NOT totalitarian states. I am not offended by any of cydes picture, but that is not the point. The point is, if wikipedia is censored on school computers is there a way to solve this problem. Blaming the schools for censorship is easy but does not solve the problem (assuming there is a problem). David D. (Talk) 20:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Any kind of warnings, censorings, etc. would cause an ideological WikiInsanity of argumentation over what is pornographic, what is suitable at 12, 18, etc. Don't forget we already have images which are banned for any person in some countries. -newkai | talk | contribs 20:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
from Wiki: In 2005, the United States Justice Department, under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, promised to start a "war" on adult entertainment. An early blow to sexually explicit websites was the expansion of 18 U.S.C. 2257 requirements regarding record keeping, model consent, evidence and public accessibility; the regulations are now interpreted such that records be kept for any and all imagery - including such which had not previously had such requirements - which caused many sexual sites to shut down citing the difficulties of obtaining consent in the requisite forms from previous years, or the regulatory burden imposed. In September of that year a further attack on sexual material came as an FBI "Anti-Porn Squad" was formed, which has initially targeted for prosecution websites such as Red Rose Stories, one of many sites providing text-only fantasy stories. Other sites such as BeautyBound, run by Midori, a prominent BDSM teacher and author on Japanese bondage, have closed down despite not being targeted, due to these risks and legislative burdens." [quoting Wiki on Obscenity] Note that Wiki is very risk adverse regarding copyright/fair use. It should be more so re obscenity, in my opinion. Rjensen 20:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Apparently time to move the servers to the Netherlands then... -newkai | talk | contribs 20:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I feel we should be safe than sorry, when it comes to protecting children. Innocence lost once, can never be regained. Bunty.Gill 20:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The question is where you draw the line at what will cause loss of innocence. It's a big world out there. -newkai | talk | contribs 20:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I get really annoyed by how unfocused these discussions become; whether we should on our own initiative decide that certain content should not be provided to children, whether and why certain schools may have blocked Wikipedia and what we can and should do about it, and what we are legally permitted to do overlaps only superficially. The analysis is completely different for each issue and they can't be discussed all in one cacophony. Postdlf 21:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

All three are issues, and I leave it to older members to decide how each has to be sorted out. Why they are together here because they emerged out of the one discussion. It goes without saying that I will press my agenda of stricter controls against porn for kids. Bunty.Gill 21:05, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of minors. There are no universal, worldwide standards for pornographic content (ref Miller Test). Our sexual articles treat their subject from an objective and scientific perspective, not a lascivious one - it is offensive to the people who created these informative works to call them "porn". Repeating myself, repeating myself. Deco 21:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
You are addressing the straw man argument above and not the one being asked. How can wikipedia be more widely available to minors that do not get access to wikipedia since it is blocked. It it is not about censoring wikipedia, it's about making it more available. David D. (Talk) 21:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Rather than try to find a good place to post this, I'll drop it down here. I'm opposed to censoring any thing short of pornography on Wikipedia. When I was in high school (back in the day), Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World were removed from the school library because of the sexual content (I will leave finding the sexual content in Nineteen Eighty-Four as an execise for the reader). -- Donald Albury(Talk) 03:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:No disclaimer templates. I believe this is the correct and proper answer. I've created WP:CAUTION as a redirect to this. Whenever it comes up, we can just say "see WP:CAUTION". We could perhaps create more rudely worded redirects (several come to mind), but WP:BITE also comes to mind. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:47, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Straw Poll

Just a small straw poll, as I was thinking the other day. I will take no position on this, I just want to see what Wikipedians in general think. This isn't a question of policy really, just of personal preference.

The question is, which would you rather have as an article (as a general question):

1. Reasonably well written, useful, and expansive article that is nearly completely lacking in sources.
or
2. Short, less useful article that is fully sourced and highly accurate. Dark Shikari 13:37, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

  • #2 by a landslide. Article #1 rarely turns out to actually be accurate, or if it is today, it won't be next week. And it is a question of policy. Wikipedia policy says that reliable sources should be cited for all material. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 16:43, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree with BofG here. Can't beat a short and accurate article. Long, meandering and unsourced is always bad. David D. (Talk) 16:46, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I think your use of "useful/less useful" makes it clear what position you're taking. #2 if I have to vote--sourcing is is a must--but how about #3, a useful, fully sourced article of the right length? We have a tendency to stuff articles full of every random fact someone feels a need to add, and they're really hard to trim--as long as any given fact is "true", someone will object to its removal. The result is bloated, shapeless, interminable articles with no sense of what's important. Which is bad, imo. · rodii · 16:49, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed—why can't we add sources and trim trivia from #1, while expanding #2 to be more useful? I thought we eventually wanted all of our articles to be both thorough and well-sourced. If you have a specific article dispute in mind, however, it might help to provide context—and help us to provide specific comment and advice. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:03, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Some context is likely to be found at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Internet phenomena. · rodii · 17:25, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I wasn't thinking at all of that when asking this question. I was thinking of the large number of informative but unsourced articles Wikipedia has, that if you removed all unsourced material, they'd end up as stubs. I'm really not sure what to think myself. Dark Shikari 19:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • David D. you didn't answer the question. "Long, meandering and unsourced" was not one of the options. The best answer is clearly 1. Sources may get academic marks, but they don't actually make anything either true or neutral. Academics churn out huge numbers of well-sourced but wrong-headed articles, many of which actually set out to mislead. Judging an article by the level of sourcing is lazy and creates fall comfort. 62.31.55.223 04:06, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

How about a filtered Wikipedia mirror?

How about all the folks objecting to:

  • nudity
  • alleged political bias of whatever sort
  • lack of sufficient peer review
  • excessive editorial oversight
  • discussion of religious dogma alongside scientific thought
  • discussion of scientific dogma alongside religious thought
  • Jimbo Wales
  • administrators
  • sex
  • fair-use copyright material
  • Articles on trivial or superficial subjects like Pokémon or American Idol
  • Userbox templates
  • Userboxes that are subst'd
  • Impolitic suggestions concerning the sovereignty of places like the Falklands, Taiwan, Tibet, or Kashmir
  • Zionism
  • Anti-semitism
  • Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

on Wikipedia--setting up your own mirrors, imposing the editorial policies, POV, and agendas of your choice, and documenting human knowledge as you see fit (excluding those bits which you find heretical, offensive, or otherwise inconvenient)? Think of all the wikis we could sprout! That way, those of us who want to write a serious, comprehensive encyclopedia can do so, without all the tiresome arguments of how Wikipedia needs to get rid of X? GFDL means you can fork off whenever you like, taking the whole 200Gb or so, and start your stuff there. If Wikipedia were to remove everything which some demagogue thinks objectionable to children (or to adults--"protect the kids" is mainly a phenomenon in Western democracies where it is used as a rationale to justify circumvention of the free speech laws), we'd have nothing left.

An encyclopedia for children is a great idea. But Wikipedia should, first and foremost, be an encyclopedia for mature adults (though not an adults-only encyclopedia; there is a difference)--just because some net-nanny doesn't like our editorial policies and decisions, doesn't mean we should bend over to please every censor in the world. Those with legal authority over Wikipedia's servers in Florida, we ought to watch; however, I'm not aware of any attempt to bust Wikipedia as a porn site. As a general reference work; Wikipedia easily passes the lemon test, and likely has little to worry about. (Any material which doesn't pass the lemon test, such as the occasional groatse post, ought to be removed; but about this there is little controversy).

My apologies if the above rant skirts regulations a bit. But I'm in a grumpy mood today. :) --EngineerScotty 21:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

The lemon test? That deals with separation of church and state. Maybe you mean the Miller test? WP doesn't really pass the Miller test with respect to all localities, but few websites do. Deco 21:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, probably Miller Test is meant. But otherwise, EngineerScotty is dead on. -newkai | talk | contribs 21:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Note that the Miller test is a conjunction. All three conditions must be met. Tell me how Wikipedia could possibly meet "The work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." --Stephan Schulz 21:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The Miller test is what I met; and I concur with what Stephan Schulz says. --EngineerScotty 21:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Edcon To clarify Stephan's point, all three "prongs" of the three-prong Miller test must be met for a work to be legally considered obscene. As it would be difficult to argue that Wikipedia lacks serious literaly, artistic, political, or scientific value; bringing obscenity charges against the WFM or the encyclopedia's editors would be difficult. (More to the point, winning a conviction would be difficult... sufficiently hard-headed prosecutors can often bring charges for whatever they like...) --EngineerScotty 21:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

In all the above debate (now removed) most people were not arguing that wikipedia was equivalent to a porn site. That was the strawman set up as people were not willing to address the actual argument. i.e. wikipedia could be more kid friendly. David D. (Talk) 21:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm all for a children's edition to augment the main encyclopedia. But not one to replace it. --EngineerScotty 21:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed, that would be crazy. Actually, I am assuming the CD version 1.0 is probably a step in the right direction for a children's edition. It also has the advantage of being a non editable version, so it may also be more school friendly too. David D. (Talk) 21:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
      • We are not talking about making Wikipedia more "kid friendly". Accepting a lot of questionable assumptions, we might make it more accessible for kids, not more friendly. It seems like you (Dave) subconsciously buy the argument that censored

Wikipedia in schools

Postdlf wrote: I get really annoyed by how unfocused these discussions become; whether we should on our own initiative decide that certain content should not be provided to children, whether and why certain schools may have blocked Wikipedia and what we can and should do about it, and what we are legally permitted to do overlaps only superficially. The analysis is completely different for each issue and they can't be discussed all in one cacophony.

Agreed. The one new and interesting discussion, in my opinion, is the fact that schools may be censoring wikipedia. Is there a source for this information? i think it is a no brainer that a goal for wikipedia is that some version of wikipedia should be available in schools. Even if it is only the CD version 1.0. David D. (Talk) 21:08, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the goal, but not with the method. If a school blocks access to (all of) Wikipedia, that's their loss. And a big one, I think. But the way to change that is not to try the impossible task of censoring an open medium that "anyone can edit", but to convince them that the value offered is greater than the (mostly imaginary) risk. --Stephan Schulz 21:13, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Certainly lobbying for such freedom of information is a good proposal too. i have my doubts that many schools would go for it. And now I think about it, it might be articles like evolution that are the problematic ones, not the other weird stuff. David D. (Talk) 21:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Certainly only in very sad, primitive, backwater countries ....(sorry, could not resist the sitting bird). But seriously: How many schools do block Wikipedia? Is there even one known case? --Stephan Schulz 21:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
This has been beaten to death every month or so. The conclusions:
  1. Wikipedia easily passes the Miller test: it is not affected by any of the laws regulating obscenity.
  2. Wikipedia does not distribute material intended for erotic stimulation. Therefore, it is not bound by the record-keeping rules of the pornography industry.
  3. There is and can be no objective standard for "pornographic", "objectionable", "harmful to minors", or anything else in that vein.
  4. Cultural standards extremely widely between areas where the English Wikipedia is read: everything from the extreme restrictions in Iran to the openness of liberal parts of Europe.
  5. Attempts to come up with warning labels for articles get deleted in short order.
--Carnildo 21:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we can suggest a solution to the blocking problem without better information on why WP is being blocked - for all we know, perhaps students just waste too much time editing it. Deco 21:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It's the "anyone can edit" part that kills Wikipedia in schools. School web filters are generally extremely conservative -- Geocities, for example, is blocked simply because anyone can set up a webpage there. No amount of warning labels will get Wikipedia unblocked. --Carnildo 21:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Assuming they are blocking it, that is a very good point, it could easily cause a disruption in the class room. Re Schulz above, but are they blocking it? one thing we do know is that many vandals are doing it from school computers, so certainly not all schools are blocking it. David D. (Talk) 21:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm a consultant to about 20 schools (K-12 range) and the #1 complaint from teachers and librarians is sexually explicit language of the sort that appears in major articles every day. Yes, they get reverted in a few minutes but one glimpse by a teacher or librarian is probably enough. the schools have to worry about the parents complaining. As long as Wiki tolerates sexually explicit vandalism it will have a very serious problem with k12 schools in the US. Rjensen 22:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Ironically, I would say that most of that vandalism comes from schoolkids! -- Necrothesp 22:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
"tolerates"? I don't know about you, but I am very intolerant of sexually explicit vandalism in articles. In the pages I work on it is actually quite rare, but the potential for this kind of vandalism is an inescapable feature of our system. Personally, I think that ultimately it is the education system in America that has a problem if they are so concerned about the mere chance of accidentally seeing a sex image that they are willing to shut out a powerful educational resource like Wikipedia. Dragons flight 22:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Wikipedia does not tolerate any vandalism, sexually explicit or not. If you mean "as long as wikipedia is hit by sexually explicit vandalism", you may be right, but as Carnildo says, as long as "anyone can edit" we cannot prevent all vandalism. The solution would be to create a static version of Wikipedia, from which our adult content can be removed. As Wikipedia is GFDL'ed, anyone can do this; if there is a demand for such a version, someone else will build it, and we don't have to. Eugène van der Pijll 22:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Board game categories

There is a disagreement on Go about what categories Go should be in. I'll let the protagonists speak for themselves if they want to, as they have rehearsed the arguments. Stephen B Streater 07:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Have you considered a Request for Comment? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Not yet... Stephen B Streater 22:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Alphabetization within categories: Sports teams

Categories that are members of Category:Sports in the United States by city tend to contain a bunch of articles all sorted under the first letter of the city name. For example, the Category:Sports in Baltimore contains a ton of articles under "B" for "Baltimore", which seems redundant. It would make more sense to me to sort the articles under the team name instead, so "Baltimore Americans" would be under "A" and "Baltimore S.C." would be under "S". This was brought to my attention when all of the teams in Category:Sports in Rochester, New York were actually re-alphabetized under "R" instead of under the team name where they were previously. Any thoughts? Powers 14:54, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

You can fix this by putting the category onto the team page like this, for example on the Baltimore Orioles page: [[Category:Sports in Baltimore|Orioles]]. This will list the Baltimore Orioles under "O". User:Zoe|(talk) 02:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand. I know how to do that, and in fact have done so in the past. As I mentioned above, someone (no need to name names) removed the sort terms on the pages in Category:Sports in Rochester, New York. When I questioned the user about it, I was told that it was done to conform with all the other categories in Category:Sports in the United States by city. I am here to question which should be the standard so that we can either leave them all the way they are, or sort them by team name. Powers 13:05, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Disambig dispute

There is a currently an ongoing dispute at Talk:Democracy (disambiguation) about what properly goes into a disambiguation page. The article is currently under RFC, and comments are requested. Thanks! —  Stevie is the man!  TalkWork 22:15, 31 July 2006 (UTC)


Chinese articles controversy

We have a controversy brewing over at China and People's Republic of China. I would like China to cover people, history, culture, and geography, and People's Republic of China to cover politics, government, and economy. This split is motivated by the current political situation where the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China both claim to be the rightful rulers of all of China. In particular my moving of the Culture section from People's Republic of China to China has prompted a strong reaction from one editor who called it vandalism. Cooler and wiser heads are requested. --Ideogram 21:31, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

which time zone does wikipedia use?

Hi...Can anyone tell me which of the world's timezones wikipedia uses when an article mentions a specific time? Are they standardized to one timezone?

thanks!

The standard code UTC which appears on history means universal time, which basically means Greenwich Mean Time or GMT, or, if you ever saw the TV show JAG, they called it Zulu time. It's basically the time in London during the winter, when summer time (what Americans call Daylight Savings) is not in effect. Fan-1967 18:27, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
If a time is mentioned in an article then it probably uses the timezone of the place where the event happened. For example (from Polish September Campaign) "the first such attack occurred at 4 AM on 1 September", refers to local time, rather than UTC. --Cherry blossom tree 19:39, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Lists of Words

It would appear that lists of words violate the provision that Wikipedia should not have articles which define individual words, nor should it include Lists of such definitions. However, we have Category:Lists of words, Category:Lists_of_slang and Category:Lists of phrases, among others. Policy is descriptive, not prescriptive. Is this policy still being applied (in which case, all of these articles must be deleted), or not (in which case the wording of the policy needs to be changed). I have raised the issue at Wikipedia_talk:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Lists_of_Words. Guettarda 21:49, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

If the slang is listed with a header to the page with a brief description, I believe that is allowed, as it is descriptive in the sense that it is a list of that which is enumerated and described at the top of the article. The list is a series of examples of what could be defined as slang, so I don't think it would be prohibited. MichaelZ526 02:33, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
The article fuck is a popular illustration of how a detailed article can be constructed around a word without being just a dictionary definition. Deco 21:24, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Current team rosters in sports articles

It is my considered opinion that the inclusion of "current" team rosters in sports articles serves no encyclopedic purpose. Wikipedia articles are intended to be "timeless". Frequently the rosters in the articles are out of date, and will become increasingly so if the individual fan who is maintaining the roster happens to stop. We should abolish "current rosters" from sports team articles on the grounds that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia rather than a sports gazetteer. Kelly Martin (talk) 16:47, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree. They do go counter to the timeless nature that we are striving for. Plus, nearly every major sporting league (MLB, NFL, etc) have team pages that can be linked to with an updated roster. In the wikipedia article is it just a matter of adding a Current Roster sub heading with an external link to that page. Serves the same affect but will always be up to date. Agne 17:17, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Something in that form is always going to exist... since people want to list the current team players on a team's article. If they get inaccurate that's more of a reason to fix it than remove it. If we try to set a threshold for when we can mention that a player plays for a certain team... it's just going to seem like instruction creep. --W.marsh 17:26, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I think it's necessary to have a current roster somewhere. It's kind of silly to have an article about a team and not list its members. Perhaps the "current" roster can be in a linked-to page about the latest season. There are certainly some team articles that are too long and too centred around the current season. Fagstein 17:34, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
There's a discussion related to this at Wikipedia talk:As of. I think the reality is that there's no practical way to keep information that will not age well out of Wikipedia (should we not include "current" political officeholders as well?). To some extent, being able to include time sensitive information is one of Wikipedia's differential strengths. Rather than abolish it, perhaps we simply need a better way to cope with it. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I would say the "fluid" nature of sports rosters causes more out to date info then listing current political office holders. Think about baseball especially from the trade deadline thru Septemeber call ups. In contrast, we can be reasonably certain that George Bush will be president till Jan 2009 and that Mel Martinez will be Senator of Florida thru 2010, etc. Something certainly needs to be done and I think a compromise can be acheived. Instead of the current St. Louis Cardinals page (which tends to be more up to date then others) listing every player you include (example below) Agne 17:57, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Current Roster (example)
But then we can't link to individual player articles, or provide any information of our own on the roster, or correct any mistakes in the MLB's list, or provide information when their website is down etc. We're perfectly capable of having team rosters, and I think the information it provides is worth the risk of momentary misinformation. Fagstein 18:37, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
In addition, as somebody involved in WikiProject Football it's more a problem trying to get editors to wait until transfers are completely finalised than making sure squads are kept up to date. --Daduzi talk 19:39, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

If the current team roster is going to included, how about doing it as a separate article, such as St. Louis Cardinals current team roster or St. Louis Cardinals (2006)? Maurreen 15:01, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Trademarks

To avaid a revert war on the bittorrent page I'm bringing the question of trademark notices here. Background: "BitTorrent" is a trademark and I work for the owner of that mark. Trademarks that are not activly defended are subject to possible dilution and eventual loss so I added a trademark notice to the BitTorrent" page. It's been reverted twice. The third time I put a small ™ and a footnote but that too was reverted by a user who seems uninterested in meaningful discussion. So 1) what is wikipedia policy on trademark notices 2) faced with a letter from a trademark owners corporate legal what would wikipedia do? Sorry if there is help on this already - I couldn't find it. Trapper 19:20, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Although it should not be interpreted as policy, you might be interested in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (trademarks). I don't know about legal details. Melchoir 19:43, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Interesting. The issue in this case is that the leaves the reader with the incorrect impression that BitTorrent is a proctol like say HTTP and that the name may be used freely. It can't. It could be solved by a header like "This article is about the protocol for the client, see BitTorrent Clients, for the company that owns the trademark BitTorrent see BitTorrent Inc" (i've proposed that on the talk page) but that does not answer the bigger question. Trapper 20:01, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Given the templates at the top of the article, that sounds like a reasonable concern. I'll drop by the talk page. Melchoir 20:42, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Countless companies with products covered on Wikipedia own trademarks and have trademark policies. For instance, see Coca-Cola, eBay, JBoss. None of them have trademark notices and links to policies, and they do not seem to have lost their trademarks for it. I have never seen any other articles with trademark notices. I cannot see why your company think they may lose their trademark because an encyclopedia article which the company did not parttake in writing does not include a trademark notice and a link to a trademark policy. If your company has inflicted itself with such an arrogant legal department, I am sorry for an otherwise innovative and fresh company. Haakon 20:17, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
will you comment on the header idea - you seem to be the person with strong feeling and I'm tring to find a win win. Trapper 20:21, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot that. It seems that awkwardly inserting it into the disambiguation line would make that line harder to read. It would seem out of place, and someone would before long think that to himself and simplify it by removing the trademark stuff. Haakon 20:42, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I do not speak for the Wikimedia Foundation, and can not say what they would do if confronted with a specific legal notice; however, I feel that an attempt to enforce the use of ™ or similar artifice would be baseless in this context. You are entirely correct that your company must enforce the trademark on "BitTorrent" in order to preserve your exclusive usage rights, but this requirement is intrinsically limited to only those contexts wherein you are granted exclusive usage rights in the first place, i.e. primarily commercial contexts where there is the possibility of confusion by the public. The existence of a trademark does not prevent the exercise of the right to freedom of speech, and any party may still use "BitTorrent" as a means of identifying your company for the purposes of critical commentary or discussion. Further, third parties using a trademark under conditions protected by the freedom of speech are not legally required to identify the mark as such (in the US at least). Standing practice on Wikipedia is not to identify trademarks as such, unless the existence of the trademark in particular is likely to be interesting/surprising to the reader. I have no specific opinion on whether that is the case here, but you are certainly entitled to argue that case if you so choose (probably best offered at Talk:BitTorrent).
All together, I believe Wikipedia would be entirely within their rights to decline to add an identifier specifically noting that BitTorrent is trademarked. Further, given established practice, I would be surprised if any request to add such an identifier based solely on the preferences of BitTorrent Inc. were to succeed. In my opinion, the only course of action that might succeed is to argue that mentioning the existence of a trademark is in some way more interesting/surprising to the reader than the existence of a trademark would be in relation to a typical protected product or service. Dragons flight 20:35, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Also note that the "BitTorrent" mark seems quite unenforced in the places it matters. All the most popular BitTorrent clients aside from the one from BitTorrent Inc, seems to show no signs of mentioning the trademark. See the websites of Azureus, µTorrent, and BitTorrent. I would recommend that BitTorrent Inc diverts their energy to these and others, since they actually matter (from my layman trademark knowledge). Haakon 20:42, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia has no obligation to acknowledge or disclaim the trademark because Wikipedia is not using the term in trade. Furthermore, in our general disclaimer, we state:
Any of the trademarks, service marks, collective marks, design rights, personality rights or similar rights that are mentioned, used or cited in the articles of the Wikipedia encyclopedia are the property of their respective owners. Their use here does not imply that you may use them for any other purpose other than for the same or a similar informational use as contemplated by the original authors of these Wikipedia articles under the GFDL licensing scheme. Unless otherwise stated Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites are neither endorsed nor affiliated with any of the holders of any such rights and as such Wikipedia can not grant any rights to use any otherwise protected materials. Your use of any such or similar incorporeal property is at your own risk.
Our use of the marks is informational, and it is long established that persons using marks for informational purposes are under no obligation to preserve or protect those marks from dilution, nor do they need permission to use the marks.
One more quote, to make our day complete: "Much useful social and commercial discourse would be all but impossible if speakers were under threat of an infringement lawsuit every time they made reference to a person, company or product by using its trademark." New Kids on the Block v. New America Pub., Inc., 971 F.2d 302, 307 (9th Cir. 1992). Kelly Martin (talk) 20:57, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Colleges of the UK)

Mostly already implemented. --Quentin Smith 10:53, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

I must say I'm very unconvinced by this: see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Colleges of the UK). --ⁿɡ͡b Nick Boalch\talk 12:49, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

official identification

  • I've blocked this IP and removed the accompanying waste-of-time conversation as being from an incarnation of permablocked user Pce3@ij.net (aka IMHO). If anyone disagrees with this, feel free to restore. --Improv 14:35, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
    • It's pretty clear from the edit histories. Wow, if I'd known it was that guy I wouldn't have responded to him! Melchoir 18:57, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia will never be a complete source of knowledge.

I decided to check an article on cyanide and happiness only to learn that it has been deleted. If Wikipedia has any article deleted due to google hits and alexia rating, how will it ever be a good source of knowledge. It won't.

ok --Golbez 02:15, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cyanide and happiness (webcomic). Wikipedia is actually specifically not an indescriminate collection of information. --W.marsh 02:20, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Trivia

I know that I have read somewhere, policy, guideline or discussion, that having a section headed trivia in an article, with a list, was unencyclopaedic. That instead if the item was important enough it should be worked into the body of the article. Someone is challenging this and I cannot find where I originally read this. Help please. Doc 23:56, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's written anywhere, the sections are just discouraged. The content should just be included in the main body, or if they can't be worked in they should be deleted. Oh, wait. I just found Wikipedia:Trivia...is that what you meant? BrokenSegue 02:31, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Trivia sections are not encouraged, and it may cause a GA nominee to be quashed. MichaelZ526 06:28, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
There is the proposal Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections. Deco 20:48, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

WP:RS

I'd like a second opinion on this web site (http://www.healthfreedomlaw.com). Does it fulfill the criteria to be a reliable source? David D. (Talk) 16:21, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

As it is Sponsored by: LAW OFFICES OF CARLOS F. NEGRETE & HEALTH FREEDOM LEGAL DEFENSE COUNCIL, I'd like to know if any of the cases reported on involve this law firm. Stephen B Streater 16:29, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
As far as i can tell all the cases discussed on the web site involve Negrete. David D. (Talk) 16:33, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually on closer inspection there are other cases being reported: "Health Freedom Law applauds Ilena Rosenthal for her courage and determination and congratulates Attorney Mark Goldowitz of the CALIFORNIA ANTI-SLAPP PROJECT for his work in this case. We thank the both of you." The common theme seems to be that they are all cases that involve Dr Barrett from the Quackwatch organisation. David D. (Talk) 16:38, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, that seems to be the case... MichaelZ526 06:30, 30 July 2006 (UTC)