Wikipedia:Village pump (news)/Archive F

Articles on blogs and multiple blog links in articles.

Some of these are just pure spam, some apparently aren't, but there seems to be an awful lot of links to blogs floating around (google result).

There are also articles on blogs, such as types of blogs, blogs by country, etc., that have little content other than very long lists of external links (see, e.g., gardening blog, and Romanian blogosphere). What's the policy on this sort of thing? Do these all need cleaning up or VfDs? --SB_Johnny | talk 13:36, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Personally I'd like to see all blog-related articles burnt to the ground and the ground salted. I suspect that's not the actual policy though...Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 18:17, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't see much use for them either, since they're all contrary to WP:NOR. This morning I've been looking at links to forums as well... there's thousands among the 4 forum sites I've checked for so far, many of which were completely uninformative, and some appearing in linkfarms on articles (e.g. Gardening, links now removed). SB_Johnny | talk 13:42, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
If you want to nom some AFDs, just send me a pointer. I would have no problem at all trying to clean up some of the crap that has accumulated here. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 14:24, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Medicine-related articles)

Please discuss this new proposal here!--Steven Fruitsmaak | Talk 12:13, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Anti- news style template?

With a couple of high-visibility examples fresh in my mind (an old version of Medal of Honor: Flag and the current Irish bog Psalter), I'd like to start using a template like the following:

I haven't made or proposed a cleanup template before, and I'm not sure what principles I ought to have in mind. Thoughts? Melchoir 09:05, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

That's great! I actually saw an article just yesterday (Cent (United States coin)), which includes the sentence: "Presumably with the rapid rise in price for zinc (more than doubled in the last six months), the US Mint will have to find another alternative." (Hadn't decided how to edit it yet, but maybe I'll give your template a spin later). --SB_Johnny | talk 09:30, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Okay, since no one has yelled at me yet, behold {{newspaper}}. Melchoir 05:45, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'm yelling. :)
I work for a newspaper and this template is needlessly negative toward newspapers.
  1. My understanding is that Wikipedia:Cleanup is generally for articles that are awful. The complaints you cite would not make anything awful.
  2. For another thing, there is no need to imply that newspaper articles routinely do not "unite related ideas".
  3. Those are the main things. I could give a few more points. But the larger point is that I see no need to put templates on so many articles that we don't like. These are really low-level complaints. WP is far from perfect. Templates should be saved for larger problems. If we got carried away, probably 99 perecent could be tagged for something or another. Maurreen 19:59, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  1. Can we agree that the examples I gave were awful?
  2. Okay, it might be more accurate to say "This ... reads like a stereotypically bad newspaper article". But then that would be needlessly negative toward the previous editors of the article, who are more likely to be watching and get offended!
  3. I see your point, but I also see useful larger purposes for cleanup templates. They can be easier to apply and more effective at increasing awareness of a problem than a simple talk page complaint, and they can provide a standard list of suggestions and further reading. This template would be easy to use for an editor who spots the problem but isn't sure exactly what to say about it. And I don't think the complaints are at such a low level; a badly organized article is not only hard to read, on Wikipedia it has the even worse disadvantage of being hard to edit! Melchoir 20:28, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  1. Nope. They were of fair quality. But Luis Sancho is bad.
  2. A stereotypically bad newspaper article would likely still have some news. A bad article is a bad article.
  3. I think the changes you are looking for are unlikely to be helped by a template. But I will propose a compromise, with different wording below. Maurreen 20:59, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, the driving idea behind the template is to warn against imitating news style. Whatever people read, they will always try to insert that style into Wikipedia. Essays, advertisements, biographies, video game guides, textbooks -- and newspapers. If we frankly alert editors to the unconscious root of their mistakes, they have an opportunity to think about how an encyclopedia is different. Melchoir 21:33, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

If you want a template for "reads like a stereotypically bad newspaper article", would you also support templates for "reads like stereotypically bad academic writing", "reads like stereotypically bad business writing", and so forth? Maurreen 21:46, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Possibly. I really wouldn't know until I saw some proposals. Would they include specific, actionable advice? Melchoir 22:20, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
They could include such advice. In my observation, “bad newspaper writing” is usually at least more understandable than “bad academic writing”, which is dense and over-uses jargon. But I’d prefer none of these as templates.
How do you figure that newspapers are more likely than anything else to have disorderly narratives, or for related ideas not to be united?
And given that your template ties those concerns and paragraph length to Category:Wikipedia style guidelines and Wikipedia:Guide to layout, where do those references address these specific concerns?
Also, the Category:Wikipedia style guidelines are generally more concerned with standardization than with substantive quality. Maurreen 22:56, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Guide to layout#Structure of the article talks about paragraphs and sections; certainly it could say more. As for newspapers being more likely than other media to chop up their topics at random, I don't know how one could prove that, but it's my experience from Google News. Would you like a poll or something? Melchoir 23:13, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Suicides & Firearms

I have been entering BOTH Categories, ‘Deaths by firearm’ & ‘Suicides by firearm’ in the same Article. As a result I have been getting some grief from some editors saying they don’t belong in the same Article; that ‘Suicides by firearm’ is a subcategory of ‘Deaths by firearm’. If this is so, I believe it should be changed. ‘Suicides by firearm’ (like ‘Suicides by hanging’) is a METHOD of suicide and, therefore, should be a Subcategory of ‘Suicides’. Thoughts?

Michael David 14:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Ideally, Cateogry:Suicides by firearm should be a subcategory of both Category:Suicides and Category:Deaths by firearm. Likewise, both of those would be subcategories (perhaps a few times removed) of Category:Deaths. Is this not the case? Powers 14:19, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Eh, so Category:Deaths doesn't exist. =) What is the exact name of the Suicides by firearm category? Powers 14:22, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Category:Suicides by firearm. You just misspelled suicides, before, that's all. Actually, there a lot of categories under Category:Suicides by method. Yesh. -- Zanimum 17:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I misspelled Category. =) I hate that. Anyway, it looks like Category:Suicides by firearm is indeed already included in the supercategories I mentioned (albiet indirectly in one case). In that case, it's true that there's no need to put Category:Deaths by firearm on an article that's already in Category:Suicides by firearm. Powers 21:07, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Clarification on "no synthesis" policy

On AfD I have nominated a group of articles on the grounds that they violate WP:OR, specifically synthesis of published material serving to advance a position. I was hoping to obtain a better understanding of how this policy should be interpreted.

According to a short discussion on one particular talk page, the creation of the aforementioned articles was encouraged by a college professor in his class to address why universal health care proposals have been defeated despite overwhelming public support for universal coverage. He admits that he devised a common article template for his students to use in order to answer this question or "puzzle", and the edit histories reveal a flurry of referenced assertions in the various sections of each article. Given that the templates conclude with a section entitled "Why the window of opportunity for health reform closed", I inferred that his belief that "health reform is/was an opportunity" was the position being advanced. I understand that research may be needed to make an article factual, but is this stringing together of facts original research even if not done be a single editor? Medtopic 05:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

From the summary you have given, I would agree with you. Another thing, the word "reform" itself is rarely neutral. The word assumes that the change makes an improvement to whatever is being reformed. Maurreen 06:31, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I attempted to expand and rephrase my argument with your idea that desiring change is not necessarily neutral. Cheers! Medtopic 21:57, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

conflicting sources, verifyable and reliable

What do you do when there are conflicting sources, and they are all reliable? For instance, at Savielly Tartakower#Quotations, I found three references that said Tarakower made the comment about all rook endings being drawn, but I also found three equally good references saying that Tarrash said it. Bubba73 (talk), 21:29, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you can send out an email and ask the sources for some more explanation if possible. Or, maybe you may want to simply mention that "X1 says Y is so" but "X2 says Z is so"... But I'm not so sure. --Aminz 01:55, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I did list who said what. I'm trying to get an email address. Bubba73 (talk),
I tried to contact what I thought would be the most easily accessible of the authors through his magazine, and he doesn't use email, so I sent a paper letter. Bubba73 (talk), 20:00, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Would it be possible to create a simpler version of Wiki for (and maintained by) kids?

I can think of a lot of answers to that question.

1. Yes. The Wiki software is free, just download it from SourceForge, put it on your server and go.

2. Maybe. Apply for a wiki at WikiCities.

3. Probably not. Consider the amount of childish behavior on display right here at Wikipedia, among adults.

--Zaorish 19:59, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Not sure if you're aware of these, but there are a few proposals along these lines. Wikikids is a proposal similar to the one you suggested above, and I believe Wikijunior and Wikichildren are more about content geared toward younger people, as opposed to being made by them. However, you would have to read each proposal indepth to figure out the nuances and differences between each one. EWS23 (Leave me a message!) 20:18, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

What Wikipedia IS?

To clarify first: I'm fully behind the concept of What Wikipedia is not. Contrary to the opinion of one writer, I suspect that What Wikipedia is not is a shorter and ultimately less censoring list than trying to define everything that Wikipedia is.

Yet I'm wondering whether thought has been given to what an encyclopedia, and a wiki encyclopaedia, is. It seems to be assumed that we all know that what an encyclopaedia is, yet some articles deviate considerably from what I believe I read in The Guidelines, yet not from the more specific guideline required.

Let me give it a shot:

An encyclopaedia article provides a layperson with a working understanding, a clarification, of a defined term.

This definition captures a sense implied widely in the Style Guidelines by reminders that the audience of an encyclopaedia is diverse. However it makes a more distinct stand than the current guideline against the several articles that offer almost strictly academic or scientific treatises on a topic; these are clearly not aimed at a general audience (or designed only to impress them but not necessarily to further their knowledge).

I can imagine that this position may, erm, create debate. Especially since I believe I have seen a guideline that acknowledged that an encyclopaedia was a resource for research.

I agree with that position, but surely we don't understand the term 'research' to be unrestricted. 'Research'--in terms related to an encyclopaedia--might mean high-school or even early university students. We surely don't mean academic research in the more advanced sense because that population has its own considerable private resources expressly for that purposes.

In my view, too many of the articles here have used this forum to offer rambling, pedantic academic surveys of their field, rather than focusing on clarification and enlightenment of a general reader.

I'm being too harsh on some authors: what is likely happening is that these authors are having trouble marshalling the diverse ideas into some coherent whole. In either case, I believe the central idea of 'clarification' may be a helpful reminder that a survey may not accomplish the desired goal. "Write to Clarify a General Audience" should be a guideline. "Not an academic or specialised reference" should be a "NOT".

Apologies. Forgot to sign my initial post. -- 22:27, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

British Spelling or American Spelling?

This is probably a stupid question, so thanks for your patience in answering. ^_^ --Zaorish 18:08, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (spelling) will give you the answer --TheFarix (Talk) 18:19, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
That page is an interesting comparison of various versions of English, yet it doesn't answer my question. My question is: Which one does Wikipedia use? Colour or Color? I can imagine that, unconsciously, a million edit wars have occurred between those two spellings. The page you cite does not state Wikipedia's policy. What is the Wikipedia policy? --Zaorish 19:51, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if there is a policy. The general rule of thumb is, for articles specifically or mostly about American topics - United States, Condoleezza Rice, Carolina Panthers, Hurricane Katrina - you use American spelling. For articles specifically or mostly about British, Indian, or European topics - Ireland, Tony Blair, FIFA World Cup - you use Commonwealth spelling. For any and all other articles, you go with the intent of the original editor. If you get to an article about bread, and the word "colour" is there, you leave it as is. Likewise, if the word "color" was there, you still leave it as is. The only thing that is required is that the language be consistent within the article; all references have to be colour OR color. In cases like the articles on tire/tyre, color/colour, petrol/gasoline, etc. compromises and explanations have been made. --Golbez 19:56, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Look at Orange (colour) for an example of a lame edit war on that. Garion96 (talk) 19:59, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Golbez. That's what I'd assumed, but I feel we should commit to one eventually...I'll think more on this. Anyway, thanks for the clarification.--Zaorish 21:24, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

That would be a disaster. It just wouldn't be acceptable. Wikipedia would have to split in two. Well, unless the Americans agreed to use English spelling that is.... 00:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Why should we? There are more of us... and our spelling is more logical, too. *Dan T.* 00:41, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
No it isn't. Don't you read Mark Twain? :) - FrancisTyers · 01:02, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Methinks this is one of those debates for which there will be no solution so long as the Internet remains an international forum. 23skidoo 01:45, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I propose we table this idea ;-) --Carnildo 03:44, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Free-for-all on who makes the article first. Which is why gasoline is the aritlce title, instead of petrol, and why us Americans still haven't been able to get Orange (colour) changed to Color, because the WP:MOS states that whoever makes the first significant changes gets to decide the style. Hbdragon88 08:41, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

WP:FICTION and its affects debate

After a couple of recent AfDs on fiction related articles, a few editors are complaining about how WP:FICTION is affecting these articles. The most recent of these is Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kiddy Grade characters. Some editors think the guidelines could be tweaked a little in regards to minor characters, others are complaining that the guideline interferes with the create of subarticle stubs and should be eliminated or completely revised. So I'm asking for additional input Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction) about the issues. --TheFarix (Talk) 13:15, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Discussion on AN/I on "last will" website linkage

I would like to solicit wider comment on This conversation on AN/I where a third party was adding links to their site, containing last will/testaments of famous people. We need to come to a consensus on if this appropriate or not, and so I asked the CEO of the company to hold off on adding more such links until we can discuss it. --Improv 21:35, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Talk page headers

How about writing it into the wikipedia codebase that all talk pages (once created) are forced to have the templates {{talkheader}} and {{todo}} imbedded at the top? I believe this will reduce lengthly discussions, alowing them to get to the point, as well as reducing flame wars, and showing that it is useful to sign posts. A lot of problems could hereon be (at least partially) solved in one. Idealy, if there is a way to only force the templates to be displayed at talk pages that have already been started by a human editor, that should absolutly be done (so as to not give false indication that a discussion has started). Is this possible? - Jack (talk) 20:49, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I think that's a good idea (I've certainly put my share of {{talkheader}}s on random talk pages (mostly the long ones, filled with unsigned comments, no section breaks)). Why shouldn't it be possible? I could write the code to do it, if I had the source code (ON CREATE, PUT("{{talkheader}}<br>{{todo}}") or whatever language it's written in). But probably something about too much server overhead. How much code would it take to prompt somebody to archive a talk page once it reaches the 30/32kb threshold that makes it pop up the warning about Google toolbar Firefox cutoff issue? Xaxafrad 00:22, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
(Since the proposal was crossposted to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Talk_page_headers as well, I'll copy my comment from there over to here as well.)
The problem with {{talkheader}} appearing on every page is that it is useful once or twice for new editors, and then wastes screen space forever after. New editors should be advised of good editing practices in a welcome template, and be reminded – if necessary – through a polite note on their talk pages if they forget.
It's not that difficult to fix the work of the occasional newbie who mucks up a section break or forgets to sign a comment, and I'm not sure we want to put up with editors who require a reminder to be civil and abstain from personal attacks on every talk page. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:37, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll also echo what Nae'blis had to say, to wit:
Acculturation can't be forced, and it can be overdone. If the message is on every talk page, it becomes effectively invisible, and yet takes up screen real estate nonetheless.
My two cents. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:07, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

project writing

I solemely requested for a comprehensive project writing. Thanks for your usual coorperation. Bye for now.

Do it yourself, that's what Wikipedia is all about.--Zaorish 21:25, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia URL policy

Can anyone help in pointing me to a policy that describes how wikipedia constructs URL's? I need to be able to test URL blocking software for a particular set of directories within a domain whilst allowing generic access elsewhere. Does a document exist?

Your best bet is to ask this on Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). --Carnildo 17:38, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

External links in article text

I'm having a discussion at Talk:Narbonic over whether Wikipedia:External links says we shouldn't use external links in article texts. The user I'm discussing with says there's nothing there that says an external link can't be used, only that it's preferred to use an internal link than an external one.

Does this mean that where an article doesn't exist, people should feel free to use external links to websites? Or should WP:EL be changed to make this clearer? (I left a message at Wikipedia talk:External links but nobody responded). Fagstein 07:53, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Whenever possible, internal links are preferred, but the limited use of external links in the text when there is no other option seems to be acceptable to most people, in my experience. This is not to say that there are not some people who are strongly opposed to it, though. Also, I do not recall what, if anything, policy has to say about it. As for non-existent articles, they should be created and then filled with external links. There is even a speedy delete criterion that includes that, A3 (it used to be more explicit about external links, but A4 was merged into it). -- Kjkolb 13:18, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


I am now addicted to this stuff, Wikipedia as it's called. I lost my house, my family, my job, my clothes, even my computer! What can I do? I keep reading books and I get confused because I can't find the little edit button on the page. Can you recomend a doctor?

Help me.

User:Dfrg.msc File:DFRG. MSC.jpg 07:07, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

You could try the Clinic for Wikipediholics. --Sam Blanning(talk) 14:32, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
The first step is admitting you have a problem.
The second step is getting rid of that image from your sig. --Golbez 19:57, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
The first rule of dfrg.misc's signature image is that you don't talk about dfrg.misc's signature image.
The second rule of dfrg.misc's signature image is... just what the hell is it supposed to be anyway?--Daduzi talk 06:21, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Look mate, I dont even know. User:Dfrg.msc File:DFRG. MSC.jpg

Image:Joe Bastardi.jpg Copyright/Fair Use Check

I added the Image:Joe Bastardi.jpg, but am now not sure if it qualifies as fair use? Could someone review. Hello32020 22:16, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

On blance probably not. We owuld better off trying to get a free image.Geni 22:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course it's always better to use a free image rather than a fair use image. However, good-quality free images can be very hard to find for some subjects. National broadcasters such as Bastardi are one of those subjects. For fair use purposes, we could probably get away with the image from his official AccuWeather biography page [1], tagged as a promotional image, but it might be borderline. Powers 01:39, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
That would be a serious no way. The guy must appear in public from time to time. In fact he appears to appear at weightlifting events. That would be one logical aproach.Geni 03:01, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Copyright Review

I have created a proposal at Wikipedia:Copyright review, based off Wikipedia:Copyright problems, to merge the copyright verification processes together. Please discuss the proposal on its talk page, not here. -- tariqabjotu (joturner) 19:55, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe another project too...

The policy of allowing anon-IP users to edit comes up on this page quite often, usually by those frustrated by acts of vandalism infliced on our beloved wikipedia by editors who take advantage of this policy.

Soooo, I'm wondering if there might be interest in a wikiproject and/or cabal devoted to following up on IP edits. Examples:

  1. When an IP editor edits a page in a positive manner, members of this project/cabal would follow up with a no-change edit, for the purpose of adding an edit-summary remark saying "((user)) approves edit by ((IP))... nice job!", and have some sort of subst:template to add to the IP userpage that would thank them for their positive contribution, expound the virtues of creating an account, and automatically list the IP as an example of an IP user doing good deeds.
  2. When an IP editor vandalizes a page, members would use a template in addition to the ((test...)) templates that says "thanks to people like you many wikipedians have begun to think that signing up for a user account is necessary, contrary to our belief in the ideal of 'anyone can edit'", and automatically add it to a "list of IP users that are perfect examples of why IP users should not be allowed to edit.
  3. When an IP editor adds interesting but non-encyclopedic content to an article, members could use a template on the IP userpage that notes that while their contributions were clearly well-meant, we have (self-imposed) standards to live up to, and that while we might like to help them settle in, it's rather unseemly to refer to someone as a number, and often inacurrate because often multiple users share an IP.

Anyway, this is sort of tongue-in-cheek, but maybe not so much. Every time the "IP issue" comes up, it eventually ends up with someone saying "well, that's the way it is, because Jimbo says so". Personally, I agree with Jimbo for the most part (with the exception that I do think that frequent-vandal IPs should simply be permanently blocked), the reality is that (god forbid) Jimbo could get run over by a bus tomorrow (or perhaps die of old age in a few decades), and it might not be a bad thing for the "anti-IP crowd" to be able to build their community up for the inevitable debate. IOW, yes, I'm makin trouble, but I'm makin trouble because I think it's better to have the trouble out in the open, rather than simmering slowly towards a rather unpleasant eruption in the future. SB Johnny 17:18, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

There is more than enough administrative burden already. Calsicol 00:09, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
WikiProject: IP Patrol (Anon-IP Patrol? AIP?) Volunteer based, no administration needed. Well, their noticeboard might get busier. Fire up the templates, find out how many anon-edits there are per hour! Is there a policy page for anons? Xaxafrad 04:48, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Main & Sub Categories

I would like to discuss an issue that I have been struggling with for a while now. It involves including the same Article in both a Main Category and a Subcategory.

Example: Jane Doe dies from breast cancer. ‘ Category: Deaths from breast cancer’ is added to her Category box, but not the ‘Category: Cancer deaths’. Then, when I click on the ‘Category: Deaths from breast cancer’, her name is included in the list. But, if I click on the ‘Category: Cancer deaths’ she is not included.

What I am wanting by adding her name to both Categories is a separate list of ALL persons who died from breast cancer, and a separate list of ALL persons who died from cancer. What is the problem with including the same Article in both a Main Category and a Subcategory? Help!

Michael David 13:39, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

In order to get the full list of people who have died of all cancers, you're going to have to look at the cancer deaths category and the individual cancer subcategories. Subcategories exist in order to shorten the main lists, and, of course, to give categories more order. ~�-newkai | talk | contribs
Thank you for your succinct answer. But, if the problem is making the Main Cancer Category too long, how about Categories such as 'Living people' - what could be longer than that!? And, I see editors putting the Category "Film actors' & 'American film actors' in the same Article. Again, thank you.
Michael David 14:47, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
That's been a poser for me too in some cases. In the case of the example you cite (is that hypothetical, BTW?), the main category page for "people who died of cancer" would list its subcategories before its pages (e.g, "people who died of breast cancer", "people who died of lung cancer", etc.). Most articles categorized in "people who died of cancer" probably need cleanup to recategorize them as "people who died of such-and-such cancer".
From what I've seen, the general feel for what makes a good category is that it (1) is useful in that it ties in related articles that a reader might want to look into, (2) isn't rediculously large or small (a category with 2 articles might not be useful, a category with 11,000 articles becomes so generalized as to become meaningless), and (3) makes a meaningful connection among articles (for example, "((Category:Articles containing the word shrubbery))" wouldn't really create a good group of articles, though that might depend on one's degree of montypythonoholism). SB Johnny 15:27, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, got distracted by the Monty Python thing. The point is that while it might be nice to have a categorical connection between all people who died of cancer (point 1), it would probably make the category much too large (point 2... note that categories tend to be broken up when they reach 200+ articles), and the main category should probably only list people who died of cancers so rare that there's only 2 or 3 people who died of it (the only thing that comes to mind is cancer of the thrid nipple... sorry!), or of a small group (such as accordionists who died of melanoma). SB Johnny 15:33, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I am beginning (reluctantly) to understand the downside of a large, all-inclusive Category. I admit I’m a lazy researcher, and like my sources to do as much of the work for me as possible. BTW ‘Living people’ is an existing Category in Wiki, and, yes, there are examples where editors have placed both the Category "Film actors' & 'American film actors' in the same Article. As for the cancers of the third nipple; that’s OK unless it metastasizes to the fourth; but now we have to add another Category: Bovine. Thanks for your help.
Michael David 16:12, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
The difference between Category:Film actors with the various sub-categories and Category:Cancer deaths and the various subcategories, is that the film actor subcategories are not mutually exclusive, while most deaths from cancer are related to a specific type. Those deaths from multiple types of cancer would be in multiple subcategories. See Wikipedia:Categorization/Categories and subcategories for more details and discussion about this. olderwiser 16:40, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
The ability to view a list of articles based on criteria like the intersection or union of category membership has been requested fairly frequently in categorization related talk pages. There are a couple of tools that might help (although apparently tools are not using the most recent copy of the english wikipedia--I'm not sure how serious of a problem that is or what all that actually means). There is Category Tree and Cat Scan. If the toolserver copy of wikipedia were working properly, the Category Tree could be used to produce a listing of all articles in a category and its subcategories.
Just a note regarding Category:Living people, as explained on the category page, "this category is not intended to be browsable and should not be sub-categorised" -- the purpose of the category is to assist in patrolling articles about living persons for vandalism not for navigation or browsing. olderwiser 16:00, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

New project (Regional English, shortcut: WP:REDS)

Certainly policy-related, so thought I'd announce it here. I noticed while responding to an RfC that this conversation is alive and heated, but taking place in many different places (with the same users going from page to page in some cases), and of course causes an edit-war or two. SB Johnny 11:57, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Shared IPs

Why don't we ban all identified shared IPs? Whenever somebody loads a page from such an IP, they can get a special template inserted at the top of the page (maybe a box similar in color to the "You have new messages" box) asking them to register an account before allowing them to edit (or rather, just put that notice up if they ever click on "Edit this page"). It's not hard to make an account (username, password, confirm password, enter), or to login every session (since they're sharing the computer and probably won't keep cookies). Just to make sure it's as easy as possible, if somebody starts making an edit, but forgot about logging in, after hitting the preview or save button, they should be prompted to login, and they shouldn't lose their edits, or have to hit the back button to reload them: "Continue to preview page".

Should I cross-post this idea somewhere else? Xaxafrad 06:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm in favor of allowing editting only from logged in accounts. It would make communication a lot easier if you know for sure the person with whom you are communicating is still the same person. Johntex\talk 06:12, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
How many regular editors are there that made their first edit without signing up for an account? I did for one, and I think it must be a very high proportion. We shouldn't assume that many of them would have bothered with that first edit if they had to sign up. Most people don't. The number of user accounts is only a little over 1% of the total unique visitors per month. Calsicol 00:08, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Not technically possible at the moment. But a good idea. Deco 06:52, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah! I finally had a good idea (thanks, Deco). Caliscol has a good point, too. I'm an example of one who edited anonymously, at first. Can the software disallow blanking by anons? A drastic reduction in filesize could be rejected, instead producing with an inviting sign-up message box, complete with 4 textboxes (make the default text descriptive, to reduce the profile). I don't know, it's the little things that attract or repulse people. How are surveys viewed in the wikimunity? Xaxafrad 04:22, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Corporate editing

There's a tag and entire guideline for when the subject of an article edits it, but what about when paid employees or volunteers of an organization or company edit their article(s)? This happens more frequently than we probably realize (I've directly dealt with it a handful of times, personally) and takes on many forms, from a publicist dumping a resume of their client to a paid copy writer totally revamping (and superficially, greatly improving) an article at the behest of their employer.

This naturally raises WP:NPOV issues, and can potentially be embarassing for companies that do, and sometimes for Wikipedia as well. I was thinking that it would be useful to have a guideline that would inform companies and organizations of the best ways to correct errors and biases in articles related to them, and also to help Wikipedians develope better ways of dealing with "corporate editing" when it is detected.

There does seem to be a lot of confusion when this happens, even at the highest levels of the project, it's been unclear if we should just axe anything written by paid employees, try to integrate it into the articles if it's unbiased, or what. The more I think about it, we really do need a guideline on this topic, and I don't think it would be instruction creep, since it is a specific solution to a speficic problem.

Thoughts? --W.marsh 18:02, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's a problem. Middling-large and large companies don't care about wikipedia enough to advertise, they have separate (and frankly better) avenues. Small companies that advertise tend to fall under AfD (either WP:SPAM or WP:CORP) or spam vandalism. Can you provide a specific example? --ColourBurst 19:49, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Schwan Food Company and Bodog are both examples I've been personally involved with where a large (multi-million dollar revenue) company has had paid employees rewrite the article. There was also drama involving Wal-Mart doing it recently as I recall, but I wasn't involved with that. --W.marsh 19:54, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
As long as they're not violating NPOV or NOR, or deleting information in an effort to make themselves look good (other editors should not let them get away with deleting important information), it doesn't seem like it's a big deal. But the guidelines about writing an article about yourself, ought to apply to high level employees, marketing personnel or paid consultants. -Freekee 20:21, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Fair use policy amendment

There is currently a discussion going on about amending point 8 of the fair use criteria. See for more information. Wikipedia:Fair use criteria/Amendment 2 Garion96 (talk) 15:39, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Discussion had already been ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Fair use/Fair use images in lists and continues there. I urge that further comment on this topic be made at Wikipedia talk:Fair use/Fair use images in lists.

Involvement of external websites in Afds?

I'm involved in an editing dispute and would like to know if an editor posting to bulletin boards on websites outside Wikipedia in order to invite people to a Wikipedia AfD or DRV and have them post keep "votes" for his or her article violates any Wikipedia policy? 15:35, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

  • It usually will result in a large number of "votes" discounted, at the very least, and is at least strongly discouraged. --Improv 15:59, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
    • There's a template for this: {{afdsock}}. --ColourBurst 16:09, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the info and the template--that would have come in handy. It appears there is no WP:Foo I can cite about this then? 16:32, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes. WP:SOCK covers it under meatpuppetry. --ColourBurst 20:22, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. Katr67 16:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

What is the policy on this?

What is the Wikipedia policy on this Pearl necklace (sexuality)? Bubba73 (talk), 04:33, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I nominated it for deletion. It looks like a slang dictionary definition to me. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:49, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Delete because of the slang definition or because of the photo? Bubba73 (talk), 15:19, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
The slang I assume. See also WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not censored Garion96 (talk) 15:29, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Because it's a dictionary definition. The deletion policy includes "Is not suitable for Wikipedia (see WP:NOT)" as grounds for deletion. WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a dictionary states that dictionary definitions and usage guides do not belong in Wikipedia. I would be very surprised, indeed, if there are any reliable sources for any material that could make this more than just a dictionary definition or usage guide. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 16:42, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I just read the article. Yes, definitely just a dictionary definition so it probably will be deleted. The picture itself I don't mind so much. Garion96 (talk) 16:53, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Except that, as I pointed out in the AFD, the picture is not a pearl necklace (and I can't believe we're discussing this). Fan-1967 18:57, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't mind that sort of picture myself. But what about children useing Wikipedia? Bubba73 (talk), 21:40, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
See WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not censored. Fan-1967 21:47, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I know, I read that. But will a warning that it might contain objectional material keep a teenager out? Anyhow - where do you see that warning? It isn't on the main page. I don't remember seeing it anywhere except there. Bubba73 (talk), 22:19, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
No. We go through this regularly. We do not censor pictures that are pertient to an article, although we may move some pictures down the page to avoid too much shock effect when the page opens. I nominated the article for deletion under the "no mere dictionary definition" provision, not under any censorship provision (there isn't one). -- Donald Albury(Talk) 00:34, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Wikipedia:not censored is not a license to violate US law. In the US, where our servers are based, pornographic images need to be treated a certain way, that includes keeping model records on file to prove that the actors/actresses were over 18, and it also includes ensuring no one under the age of 18 sees the images. Johntex\talk 06:11, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
What about children using Wikipedia? I don't understand your point. Postdlf 00:39, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
The point is that they might come across something a parent would rather them not see. I have a nine-year-old daughter. I don't want her to come across that picture. Bubba73 (talk), 01:31, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
For a very recent discussion of this, see Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Pornography warning. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not used to say "Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of children." Now it just says Wikipedia is not censored. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 01:04, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
And let's be realistic. A "warning that it might contain objectional material" won't keep teenagers out. It would attract them. Fan-1967 01:09, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not in favor of censoring, but editors should consider whether something is in good taste (no joke intended). Bubba73 (talk), 01:23, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
The consensus seems to be that 'good taste' is an editorial decision about content. Images that may be widely seen as offensive should be used only in support of the contents of an article. Images should not be added to articles for shock value. Graphic images should generally be placed so that they are not apparent when a page first opens. An image of an erect penis is acceptable in the 'Erection' section of Penis, but not in Pubic hair (although a flacid penis is in one of the images illustrating the article). Context and importance in illustrating the contents of the article is what is crucial. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 01:36, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, then, are naked breasts appropraite in the Pearl Necklace photo? I would say not, which is why I brought it up at the Pump. Bubba73 (talk), 01:41, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I had to cancel my first two edits because it's so hard not to make a joke about this one. But your question is a good one and deserves a serious response. IMO the image is not inappropriate because the article itself has an inherent "sexual context". The image shows only the upper torso which seems appropriate in that context. In fact, even cropping the image to eliminate the breasts would appear questionable, and catering to a particular POV about the human body. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 05:47, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
(unindent) The page above says that it can't violate the laws of Florida. If distributing that photo to minors doesn't violate Florida law, then I guess it is OK. But I was thinking more of having medical textbook illustrations instead of erotica. Bubba73 (talk), 15:34, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:not censored is not a license to violate US law. In the US, where our servers are based, pornographic images need to be treated a certain way, that includes keeping model records on file to prove that the actors/actresses were over 18, and it also includes ensuring no one under the age of 18 sees the images. That doesn't mean we can't have the article, but showing the picture in the article would be a violation. We could probably put the image behind a link, using {{linkimage}}. Johntex\talk 06:11, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
What law -- that hasn't been struck down -- does this violate exactly? --dreish~talk 06:36, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for rephrasing your reply to be less confrontational. Please see Disseminating pornography to a minor. Showing pornography to a minor is a felony in all 50 US states. Johntex\talk 06:48, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Acutally, an even better reference is Legal status of Internet pornography which explains that 18 USC 2257 has now been extended to cover "secondary producers" as well as "primary producers". According to the DOJ, a secondary producer is anyone who "publishes, reproduces, or reissues" explicit material. Johntex\talk 07:07, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
See: Miller Test. In the US, the First Amendment is regarded as voiding content restrictions when the work, when taken as a whole, has meaningful value. It is likely that most any content that meets our guidelines for inclusion, and hence has encyclopedic merit, would qualify for a First Amendment exemption. As to the record keeping, under present law and regulations, only commercial entities responsible for "hiring, contracting for, managing, or otherwise arranging for the participation of the performers depicted" (18 USC 2257(h)(3)), are required to maintain records. Dragons flight 07:06, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I think due to edit conflict you may not have had a chance to see my second post. If you visit Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act also known as (18 USC 2257(h)(3)), you will see this has been extended to cover sites such as Wikipedia. Johntex\talk 07:09, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the DOJ unilaterally created the secondary producer category out of whole cloth, it has never been enforced, and is likely be thrown out by the courts as a result of current challenges. Besides which, even their regulations are restricted only to commercial activities (CFR 75.1(c)(2)), so not Wikipedia regardless. Dragons flight 07:16, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you are gettin at by "Unilaterally". The US executive branch does set administrative law as required by the legislation. They are not required to consult with anyone else, nor would it be customary to do so. As to being thrown out in the future, that is speculation. (18 USC 2257(h)(3)) has been on the books a long time. I see no reason to suspect this administrative change will be challenged. Does it apply to Wikipedia? Perhaps not. It may apply to our mirrors but not to us. In any event, it is not the only law on the books. There are many other laws relating to the corruption of minors that have not been struck down, in fact they have been upheld. Showing pornography to minors is against the law. Johntex\talk 07:28, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
18 USC 2257 specifically covers only primary producers, the language for secondary producers is an invention of the DOJ that has already provoked lawsuits from the EFF, among others. Since the administrative ruling is substantially broader than the actual code, most observers expect the portion on secondary producers to be struck down. As to showing pornography to minors, Miller v. California is constitutional case law and will apply everywhere in the US. No restrictions on pornography that lack a First Amendment exemption, vis a vis the Miller Test, have survived court challenges. It has been debated before and Wikipedia really has very little to worry about with regards to its use of pornography when presented in a sensible encyclopedic context. Dragons flight 08:31, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
(Unindent again, replying to most recent Johntex message, esp the last sentence.) While a cautious lawyer might advise a client not to publish this photo because of the theoretical threat posed by laws not yet struck down, the position the Supreme Court has taken is that the Internet deserves the highest free-speech protection. In large part due to the existence of end-user filtering technology and the superiority of such technology to any legislative effort as a means of preventing children from encountering pornographic or indecent text or images, they have struck down every attempt thus far to censor the Internet for the benefit of children. The photo clearly serves (or attempts to serve, issues of accuracy notwithstanding) a purpose of informing the reader of the meaning of a term. Any competent WWW filter would have no trouble blocking the article. Whether it is a legitimate Wikipedia article is another question, but the claim that it is illegal is frankly a little absurd. --dreish~talk 20:15, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Dragons flight and Dreish for your thoughtful replies. I do accept that I tend to be a little conservative when it comes to not getting us sued. We are so conservative on things like fair use images and libel, but we sometimes want to step right up to the line on things like explicit content. I have no problems with the article, though I am not sure there is enough material to merit its own article rather than a merge. I have no problems with the picture, though I do think it would be prudent to put the image in a linkimage template. That does not hurt the availability and gives us some added protection. It seems to me there are other reasons to use the linkimage template besides legal ones. Generally speaking, serious reference encyclopedias do not include pornography. It could easily be harmful to our mission if people feel they can't read Wikipedia at work or school because they will come across such images unexpectedly. I think the linkimage template is a very happy middle ground. Johntex\talk 03:04, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
The linkimage certainly seems like a reasonable compromise on an issue that will always be controversial. The image is available for anyone who chooses to click on it, but it's not "in your face", which the originally definitely was, in more ways than one : ) --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 03:19, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Johntex, I guess this sort of consensus-building post demonstrates why you're an admin and I'm not. Having argued my point as far as I can go with it, let me say that I don't have any great desire to see Wikipedia turn into an unfettered medium for pornography, and certainly the picture in question raises questions about whether a policy should be set limiting such things. I think it might be nice to institute some sort of voluntary content labeling system for Wikipedia articles that go beyond what one might find in a secondary school library. --dreish~talk 13:10, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

More attention needed for TFD for Template:Photo

There is currently a TFD discussion on Template:Photo, which posts the following text: "Warning! This article contains pictures you might not want to see. If they offend you, you might be advised to leave the article." The significant potential impact of such a disclaimer needs to be addressed by more than just the few TFD voters who have thus far participated. Postdlf 02:22, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

WP:SOCK nomenclature

Ever since the removal of the scandalous WP:SOCK rewrite, the policy has gone back to its old inconsistent nomenclature. Sock puppet is taken to many any alternate account in the introduction and description of legitimate and forbidden uses. The identification parts then treat all sock puppets as being forbidden alternate accounts. The handling parts then go back to treating any alternate account as a sock puppet. Sock puppet, sock-puppet, and sockpuppet are all used interchangeably. Most tags on the page treat sock puppets as if they were forbidden, with things like "This user is a confirmed sock puppet ... and has been blocked indefinitely", implying that the block was due to being a sock puppet. "Sock puppetry" is nearly always used to refer to forbidden uses.

As I previously listed on the talk page for the policy, I would like to propose changing to the use of "sock puppet" to mean an alternate account used for forbidden purposes, "alternate account" to refer to alternate accounts in general, and "legitimate alternate account" to refer to legitimate alternate accounts. I present the following reasons for this:

  • Most editors seem to use sock puppet to refer to an illegitimate alternate account. For example, nearly all AfD discussions use these terms.
  • When editors use sock puppet to refer to both types, it generally causes confusion, since legitimate editors are lumped together with illegitimate editors - this occurred, if I recall, when someone involved with revealing the WP:SOCK rewrite problems said that the article was rewritten by (paraphrasing very liberally here) "two editors, a banned user, and a handful of sock puppets". While most of those sock puppets were Zephram Stark's, one of them was me, a legitimate alternate account. Most editors would not realize that distinction.
  • When editors use sock puppet to refer to legitimate alternate accounts, it is offensive, confusing, and just doesn't sound right, due to the main use of the term. In my opinion now, I believe that it violates NPA due to the connotations. As for not sounding right - under the current policy, most WP:OFFICE actions are performed by a sock puppet or sock puppeteer. Since bots are also sock puppets under the current definition, quite a few major editors are also puppeteers. If one wanted to violate POINT, one could have quite a bit of fun with this.
  • The definition of sock puppet elsewhere is confusing. MeatballWiki defines it as any alternate account. Jargon File defines specifically as an account used to give the false appearance of support for something.

I realize that this is not an issue that interests most people, but I would really like to resolve this issue, and am personally rather offended that policy sanctions what is essentially a personal attack against me and quite a few other users. --Philosophus T 00:50, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Aside from certain uses by admins, why would a "legitimate alternate account" be "legitimate"? SB Johnny 13:52, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I have a second registered account to reserve the use of the nickname I display in my signature. I have clearly indicated the relationship on both user pages, and I don't use the second account for editing. I think that is a perfectly legitimate use of a an alternate account. I'm sure there are other users that have equally valid reasons for having an alternate account. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 16:53, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I have quite a collection of alt accounts. It doesn't appear to cause problems.Geni 17:07, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
My account is an alternate account which I use because of my main editing areas (I do NPOV work on pseudoscience articles) - my real account is highly linked to my real name. Other editors I work with have had their employers harassed for their edits, and I have little doubt that my department would have been harassed in these cases as well if I had not been using an alternate account. If I were to make all of my edits under this account I would be rather easily identifiable. But under the current WP:SOCK, I am a sock puppet, and can be legitimately derided as such. Since most people don't understand the distinction, they then think that I am not a legitimate editor - this actually happened to me during the WP:SOCK rewrite. --Philosophus T 01:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
A bot is not a sockpuppet. If you use it for what it's intended for, it is a bot. However, if you use your bot account to falsify a vote (for instance), yes it is a sock. -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 14:03, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
No, but your comment is a good illustration of the confusion. A sock, per the current version of WP:SOCK, is any additional username of a user, regardless of use. --Philosophus T 01:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, the WP:SOCK considers the use of bots as "acceptable", but it would seem you're right. Maybe this policy needs a little lifting after all. -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 20:38, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

RfD discussion time

Freakofnurture (talk · contribs) just made an undiscussed, unilateral change to the Deletion policy discussion time for Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion, writing "seven days (in practice, more like two)". There have been numerous complaints and Deletion reviews over Freak's rapid and unwarranted closures at RfD.

Many of us, with other responsibilities in life, only check our XfD pages once or twice per week. For special cases, with clearly defined requirements, there is Speedy deletion.

I oppose turning all RfDs into speedy deletions. The official policy is seven days, and should remain seven days, to give editors time to participate. Please comment at Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy#RfD discussion time.

--William Allen Simpson 18:39, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I couldn't find any discussion of the change before it was made, and the change contradicted other instructions that appeared in the page header. I don't care one way or the other about the issue, but I've reverted the change until it can be discussed. I've also added a pointer to the WP:DP discussion to the WP:RFD talk page. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:56, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Noncommercial images from before/on May 19 2005

What to do with non-commercial images from before May 19 2005? They cannot be speedied if they were uploaded before that date. Should they be taken to Images for deletion, Possibly unfree images, or copyright problems? Its not that clear where these images should end up. I'm leaning heavily toward copyright problems at this point. Any advice on what to do would be most helpful, as I'd like to clean out the massive noncommercial-only collection of images sitting on wikipedia from pre-May 19 2005. Kevin_b_er 03:13, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Um, try talking to the uploader? In any case where the uploader is reasonable and still available, sending an email or writing a nice note on their talk page (not sticking on an accusatory template) is going to get the best response and the best chance of us getting better permission to use the image. I'd only take it to Copyright problems if the uploader hasn't edited Wikipedia in the last year, or if they don't respond to inquiry within a few months. — Catherine\talk 05:02, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
  • A few months is far too long, and will stop anything from being done (heck, a lot of people join and leave the project in that time). I'd suggest giving a week. Let's get a move on and clear out the cruft. --Improv 06:33, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Pardon the bonehead question, but what is the significance of May 19, 2005? 23skidoo 17:55, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

It is the date of an imperial proclamation saying that Wikipedia would no longer accept non-commercial images. The intention was that pre-existing noncommercial images should be deleted too, but not immediately, so that replacements could be found or acceptable licenses acquired. Dragons flight 18:07, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Well the deal is that there is a large number of noncommercial-only images where the uploaders aren't the ones holding the copyright. The images are essentially 'nonfree', but its ambigious as to what policy is for the old images. Kevin_b_er 01:11, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Maltese nobility

The discussion at Wikipedia:Deletion policy/Maltese nobility has been re-opened. Uncle G 18:52, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Age in biographical articles

A discussion was started at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 July 2#Template:Age about whether a biographical article should contain a person's current age. While the template was kept there was no consensus about whether is should be used in articles. The discussion continued at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies)#age where there were no objections to forbidding printing someones current age in an article and finalized in Wikipedia:Manual of Style/(biographies)#Out-of-date material. Now there is a discussion at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 July 18#Template:Bha about another template which inherits from age which has no use other than to state person's current age. I would appreciate community input on this matter in order to generate a wider consensus. Jon513 17:56, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

It may be interesting in some cases to describe someone's age at the time of a specific event (At the age of 80 the former president jumped out of an airplane.) but I can't see a general value for giving the current age. Give the date of birth and let the reader do the math. Fan-1967 18:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Fan-1967: also, putting current age into the entry will by definition create text that will soon be erroneous and require continuous updating. Put in the date of birth. Let people's fingers and/or calculators do the rest. Bucketsofg 20:45, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
The point of template Age is to automatically update the age every time the page loads. This of course does not help with print or if the person dies. I also believe that is unprofessional and not what a encyclopedia should do. An encyclopedic article should last for a long time. Jon513 20:51, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course, if the DOB is before 1996, I have to take off my shoes.... Fan-1967 20:48, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
...and that's the real reason I wear sandals. Seriously though, the "current age" idea just seems somehow unencyclopedic to me too, despite its clever update feature. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 21:51, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
With CSS (class="noprint") printing of the age can be avoided. Something similar can be done to avoid it on CD. On the screen, we are not restricted by traditional limitations of paper.--Patrick 22:33, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
And if it's before 1986, you have to unzip your fly? :) Sorry, couldn't resist. —  Stevie is the man!  Talk | Work 03:07, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
We don't currently have any dynamic content, and I think if we're going to this is a pretty big change that should go on the mailing list and be run by both the community and the developers, who need to evaluate the impact on caching. We also would ideally want general mechanisms for adding dynamic content that are easy to use. The current policy, however, is to avoid time sensitive language. Incidentally, the trick with hiding such language from the printed version is interesting. Deco 23:01, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I believe as currently implemented, this won't get updated on every view since the source does not change — which I suspect will lead to very mysterious behavior. IMO, this is a bad idea. -- Rick Block (talk) 00:10, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, if anons will continue to see the cached version after it has become outdated, then of course this isn't right. I guess a better question is if it would be a good idea if implemented correctly. Deco 01:49, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

As a general point, I would agree with putting ages. Asking the reader to calculate the age is just laziness on the part of the editor. This mostly applies to people who have died though. If you know the exact birth and death dates, you can give their age when they died, and the age at key points in their lives. That is useful information. I do agree though, that there are issues of updating for the age of living people. If you really must put ages in, link them to a specific event. Eg. "J. R. R. Tolkien started writing The Lord of the Rings in 1937 when he was 45, finished it 12 years later in 1949, and the final volume was published in 1955 when he was 63 years old."

So for current ages, find the most recent event mentioned in the article that has a year attached to it, and put the age there. eg. from Steven Spielberg: "On June 14, 2006 it was confirmed that the 60-year-old Spielberg had already begun working on an space travel movie titled Interstellar." (my bits added in bold).

This is an example of a general point that thinking about how to write and organise information can avoid problems like this. Carcharoth 01:57, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

No! No! No!

  1. A person's current age is not encyclopedic unless they are over 100 years old.
  2. Wikipedia articles should not contain information that will quickly go out of date (even if it is dynamically updated) since Wikipedia content is reused extensively outside of Wikipedia.
  3. A person's current age is trivial to calculate from their birthdate.
  4. Some people may object to their current age being listed in an article (regardless of how easy it is to calculate).

Kaldari 17:44, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I support Kaldari's point of view for the most part. If there is something notable about their age such as accomplishments or other notable endeavors, then the onus is on the article writer to indicate same in the text. Most biographical articles indicate birthdates and most Wikipedians can do the math. Plus, there are already a number of articles (such as Virginia Hey) where the date of birth is up for dispute. Kaldari's second point is definitely worth noting -- Wikipedia content often appears elsewhere (for better or for worse); even if we had a dynamic template installed that continually did the math and updated itself, you're still going to end up with outdated information appearing else. File this under "don't go there". 23skidoo 17:53, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I think Kaldair has good aims, but there may be some problems with Kaldair's points:
  1. A person's age could be encyclopedic for several reasons, including if they are very young or very old. It could also be encyclopedic in other circumstances; E.g. "At the age of 30 John Smith set out to climb the highest 10 mountains in the world by the time he turns 40. As of 2006 is now 37 and has climbed 8 of the highest mountains in the world."
  2. Age can be dealt with in the manner shown above, "As of 2006..." That way, even if the article does not get updated in 2007, the reader will not be confused.
  3. WP:BLP, which is official policy, states that we should consider not including a person's birthday because it can lead to identity theft and other problems.
  4. I think they would object more strenuously to having their exact birthdate published than they would their age.
Johntex\talk 06:20, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

It isn't necessary to give someone's current age at all. In nearly all cases it is marginal. This would just create a maintenance burden that probably wouldn't be met. Calsicol 00:02, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

City names and disambiguation

I am sure that this subject has probably been done to death in the past, but I ask for your forbearance to broach it one more time. Recently there was a vote at Talk:Syracuse to determine whether the name should link directly to the original city, or whether it should be an out and out disambig page, with the original Syracuse being retitled Syracuse, Italy with the other main ones remaining Syracuse, New York and Syracuse University. The vote went 15-8 in favour of Syracuse linking directly to the original city, but somehow, the New Yorkers had their way and the original Syracuse must go to the cumbersome Syracuse, Italy.

Now I am aware that Syracuse, New York is now much larger than the original Syracuse, and that there is world class uni there. It is also probably true that far more Americans would be searching for one or other than the orginal Syracuse, but on the other hand, I look at the fact that all other Syracuses are named after the original one that has existed continuously for 2,700 years, was once the largest Greek speaking city in antiquity, was the imperial capital of hte Byzantine Empire for a short period, has a UNESCO World Heritage listing - amongst many other notable facts of great significance. I look also at the fact that Syracuse, New York is an acceptable titling in all situations, whereas the same cannot be said for Syracuse, Italy, bearing in mind that Syracuse has only been part of Italy for 145 years, and has actually existed for 20 times that length.

Perhaps it is fair to conclude that Syracuse being a disambiguation page is the most equitable result possible. I would agree if that were a policy applied consistently throughout wikipedia, but there are 100s upon 100s of English village names that point directly to the orginal villages when their namesakes in the new world outgrew them many decades ago. There is a massive inconsistency here. At a minimum it is a clear cut case of Anglo-American focus, but at worst, there is something decidedly unsavoury about it all.

I welcome all views. ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 10:20, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

In the specific case of English village names, one problem is that Rambot created lots and lots of articles at Sodbury, Kansas without creating redirects at Sodbury. So when the people writing about Sodbury, Gloucs., come along, they create an article at Sodbury without realising there's another one - no-one knows offhand that Sodbury (pop. 137) gave its name to an equally obscure town in Kansas, so no-one thinks to discuss the relative naming importances until one of them is obviously significant. I wonder if there's some way to identify articles like this, which have a significant part of the name in common, are places, but don't have a primary disambiguation. Shimgray | talk | 10:41, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
To be clear, Syracuse has been a disambiguation page for two years now. It is only recently that Syracuse, Italy has tried to change it. "The New Yorkers" (most of who are not in New York), are only trying to keep the page as it has been. The main argument is that both cites have certain claims to the page. Syracuse, Italy has the preponderance of History. Syracuse, New York as the preponderance of all wikipedia visits, and all Google searches, not just American as well as the fact that it is perhaps the largest metropolitan area with a Greek name outside of the Mediterranean make most of the counter examples of other Greek cities moot. The two weeks of discussion on this topic only further demonstrates the Syracuse, NY claim that there is ambiguity, and claims to be made for both sides. The compromise of the last two years still works. I am not entirely sure how this is case of Anglo-American bias, since both communities have a fair claim on this site. Again, we welcome all comments, though we FAR prefer closure in this on going matter.--Niro5 14:41, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I invite Wikipedians to take a look at the oppose list and check the geos... There's a Scandinavian, a Sicilian, and I've only checked the first half... Equivocating this to NY vs. the world or US vs. the world is ridiculous. Every major dictionary or encyclopedia lists both Syracuses, some even Syracuse University separately. This is obviously a case of equal disambiguation. -newkai | talk | contribs 16:43, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what's up with Sodbury. Sodbury has, as far as I can tell, always redirected to Chipping Sodbury, and Sodbury, Kansas has never existed. That's a secondary point, however. If there are English town names that go directly to small English hamlets instead of disambiguating between them and cities in the US, then by all means they ought to be changed. Powers 14:54, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Ooops! I racked my brains for somewhere trivial-sounding that didn't actually exist and came up with Sodbury, which I expected to be a redlink the same way as Sodbury, Kansas... I didn't expect someone would have redirected it. Entirely a fictional example to explain how we got this way. Shimgray | talk | 14:34, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
As has been suggested, if Syracuse, Italy is not an appropriate name (although one can argue it could be since it is currently part of Italy, the history can be found in the article's history section), then by all means, it can be changed to Syracuse, Sicily. Just because Syracuse, Sicily has changed hands between owners, does not warrant it being dominant. Whatever the Sicilian Syracuse ends up being named, disambiguation is the best way to support a world view. Maybe this topic has brought to light other cases, such as the English ones above, but that's another story for another move request... Which so far hasn't happened. -newkai | talk | contribs 16:25, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Let's check the policy. "When there is a well known primary meaning for a term or phrase (indicated by a majority of links in existing articles and consensus of the editors of those articles that it will be significantly more commonly searched for and read than other meanings), then that topic may be used for the title of the main article, with a disambiguation link at the top. Where there is no such clearly dominant usage there is no primary topic page." Clearly Syracuse does not pass this test, as only a small fraction of the links to Syracuse articles in Wikipedia go to that specific Syracuse, and the New York Syracuse is more often searched for and read than the Italian Syracuse.
There's no need to make value judgments as to which city is "more important". Based on the existing policy, this situation clearly calls for either a disambiguation page, or for Syracuse, New York to be the primary subject. --dreish~talk 02:56, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
That's fine, but I do not see any evidence of this principle being applied across the board, anything but. I can only close by saying that for almost 3 millennia there was one Syracuse, now some others have been named after it about 5 minutes ago, and this is what a few of us are struggling to understand. ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 13:45, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Where is the evidence that this principle is not being applied? The fact that some people haven't complained about, say, Apple, which probably ought to be a dab page, doesn't mean that the policy wouldn't dictate a dab page if someone did propose to fix it, and there wasn't a consensus to keep the fruit at that page. I don't think policies are necessarily meant to be rules that everyone must follow at all times, but rather rules to settle disputes when they occur (such as with Syracuse) so that the entire project doesn't devolve into shouting matches.
As for the age of the original Syracuse, that is not relevant to the policy on disambiguation. Granted, most of the people who search for Syracuse in Wikipedia are probably just students interested in the University and wondering what sort of town it is set in, or residents looking for some dull bit of information about their city, while those minority looking for the Syracuse in Sicily may indeed be searching for something more historically and culturally interesting, but the fact remains that those majority of users are looking for Syracuse, New York, so sending them to the wrong page initially just doesn't make sense, and is not sanctioned by the current policy. --dreish~talk 20:57, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
ok - but your suggestion (further above) "for Syracuse, New York to be the primary subject" is clearly not sanctioned by the current policy either. Are you seriously suggesting that that is the "well known primary meaning" for the term as the policy requires? I stand by my opinion that this policy is not being consistently applied across the board, mainly because of sectoral or nationalist interests, and where these do exist some obviously get more primacy than others. ρ¡ρρµ δ→θ∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 07:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

New proposed guideline on intentional red links

Comments on Wikipedia:Choosing intentional red links would be greatly appreciated on the talk page. SeahenNeonMerlin 06:16, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Image policies

I, like many other WikiPedians, no longer upload images. The whole process is so bloody auto-matic, it's silly. I upload an image and within ten minutes bloody Orphanbot is shitting all over me telling me that my 'media' will be deleted in 7 days if I don't add so and so fukin' tag or link ETC. I'm kinda sick of it. Whilst I know that WikiPedia walks a fine line in the whole Fair use thing, it would be nice if I wasn't gangbaged by robots everry time I uploaded an image. Hole in the wall 19:53, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Not to be insulting, but if you did it correctly OrphanBot wouldn't complain. I have been warned a total of twice for uploading images, and I didn't even upload them. In those cases, their original uploaders left no information and the bot notified me when I replaced the image. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 19:59, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I guess you could call this piling on, but I've uploaded close to 90 images without getting a warning. I'm very careful about where I get images from, and I always make sure I've tagged them appropriately. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 20:36, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Editing the current reliable source of any controlled ascertainment of knowledge is unduly the truth if all the edits collect the same facts which connect with an absolute truth about the article. For instance pump in a chemical analysis with a acidic perception could alter the sincerity of the outcome. So commerce may have a pump up volume where an encyclopedia could be more intricated like funk and wagondalls. --Beyruling 21:45, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Good point. Herostratus 08:58, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

You know what would be REALLY great is that if Orphanbot told me where I could see the policy. Hole in the wall 19:24, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Really, I'm trying to be nice, but when you refuse to even read the message it's difficult. What part of Wikipedia:Image use policy and Wikipedia:Image copyright tags does not make sense? Click them and you're at the policy. Simple. Furthermore, uploading an image correctly is almost excessively simple. Find the file. Type in where you got it. Select a license from the very nicely made drop down list. Press sumbit. Nothing to it. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 19:46, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it's a bit trickier than that. If you didn't create the image yourself, you need to make sure the image is acceptable for Wikipedia. --Carnildo 19:59, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
And that, but in most cases it's a simple as selecting the correct license. Fair use tends to cover most images. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 20:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
No it does not. Currently the majority of are images (just) are not fair use use. Fair use is bad and should be used where there is no other option. And I mean no other option.Geni 00:00, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

History Page

If you wish a page in the history section only to be deleted(i.e. you are happy with current edit but not the old one) is this possible?

It is possible to permanently remove information fom an article's history, but this has been done (as far as I know) only to prevent potential legal problems for the Foundation or to protect the privacy of living persons. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 13:06, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Otherwise, there is no rationale or reason. I wonder if some people know this when I see that some people have experimented, posting peculiar things, only to revert them a minute later. MichaelZ526 07:03, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Personal contact info on userpage?

Is there a policy on having your email and mailing address on your userpage? Is it allowed? I could see where it might not be allowed because after all it might be someone else's address. I didn't see anything about that on the userpage page. Herostratus 05:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

  • It is permitted but not required. We trust users enough to not post someone else's email as their own, and would probably do something about it if they abused that trust. --Improv 06:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Posting your mailing address, however, would be mind-bogglingly idiotic given the amount of harrassment of editors that has taken place. If I saw that I would certainly leave a strong message on their talk page pointing out the potential for harrassment. --Sam Blanning(talk) 10:12, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Feel free to warn me then :) I see it as important, as an admin, to be contactable in as many ways as possible.. --Improv 13:24, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Wow. That's just nuts, in my opinion. I've had one vandal vow to track me down and destroy me. I honestly don't see how you can be an effective vandal fighter if your identity is known. If you don't have a family maybe its different. At least one editor was severly in danger of losing his job (I don't know how it turned out, but he was in big trouble). Several other editors have been put in fear of safety, job, or reputation. I'd strongly suggest getting a PO box at least. Herostratus 08:45, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I've been very open about my identity, but I would advise new users to be careful about what they reveal, as wikistalkers can learn a lot about you from a few clues. I've been threatened with a law suit over my editing, and other users have been driven off Wikipedia after stalkers contacted their employers. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 13:02, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Personally, I choose not to reveal personal info. I've received a few emails through the email function, but I just use a hotmail account that matches my username here, so I can also feel free to reply to any emails I receive. Nothing links to my real personal email. With free accounts so readily available from hotmail or yahoo, it's certainly an option for people to consider if they choose not to be identified. Fan-1967 14:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Yikes! Your mailing address?!? Why not just enable wikimail (so they can click on "email this user" on the left of the page), and give poeple your address if they ask for it and seem to be the sort of person you would feel comfortable with (i.e., highly unlikely to be an axe murder or burglar). SB Johnny 14:14, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Much Ado About Nothing

Article: Template:MLB_HoF
Controversy: Usage of official HoF logo; fair-use vs. permitted use
Sometime in the past, a small tag-type template was created to be used on the article pages of members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This template originally included the official logo.

After some initial controversy regarding the simple necessity of the template, an editor began making the "FUC" argument, removing the template.

Soon, the template re-emerged, and in this iteration, the official logo was replaced by an unattractive photograph of the front doors of the HoF.

Two VfDs were attempted, during which the template was frequently shuffled between the unsightly picture, and the official logo, on the basis of fair-use images being non-permissible.

A staff member of the HoF was contacted, and permission granted under standard HoF policies (they allow editorial usage of the logo) and that staff member's office telephone number was posted in the discussion page.

I understand the intended scope of the policy, and, in my opinion, this is well outside it both legally and morally. This is a relatively unimportant template content-wise, but, to someone researching baseball and its players for the first time, a small tag indicating HoF membership serves as a quick, at-a-glance way to determine the career performance of a given player, and has survived *two* VfDs because of that fact.

Since the VfD's combined with the simultaneous revision of the template were rather obviously aimed at forcing a stylistic point, rather than truly a content one, I'd like to see this matter discussed in a wider forum than has been so far attempted. A few admins are strongly asserting their own interpretations of posted policies, the most pertinent of which is both contradictory and specifically mentions case-by-case exemptions.

I hereby open this discussion with a request for consensus and clarification on this triflingly insignificant matter.

(Note: Permission ahs been sought, and granted, by the HoF, however, certain administrators have expressed concern that this permitted use might not hold in the face of potential commercial editions of wikipedia content. The office telephone number of the HoF staffmember detailed to answer such requests has been posted publicly, probably an incredible nuisance to the aforementioned staffmember. The phone number rings busy during non-office-hours as of 7-19-2006. Accordingly, official clarification will be required as to the types of proofs required under FUC policies.) Ender78 05:51, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

  • It's not just commercial use, it's attack use. There's always a bunch of people mad at the Hall of Fame (usually for not including their favorite player, but other reasons as well). Bill James's The Politics of Glory is a whole book about how the HoF is messed up. So people could take the logo and use it in an attack site. Would the HoF be OK with that? I don't think so. Sorry, I don't think you should use it. Surely you can get someone to take a picture of the HoF sign or something. Herostratus 12:57, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Use of GFDL material from the web

This article appears to be based on Wikipedia's own article (probably before some random editors did a hack job on our article). I would like to copy this article back to Wikipedia. Could there be a copyright problem or is the fact that it is based on GFDL Wikipedia material prevent that? --Ideogram 00:02, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I didn't find exactly which version of ideogram this one is, but I'm confident it exists in the article's history (the November 12, 2005 version looks pretty similar). The article in Wikipedia split, and some of its content is now at Logogram. Before restoring to this very old version, I'd bring this up on the article's talk page. -- Rick Block (talk) 01:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
The article seems to be abandoned. I'm going to be bold and see if anyone objects. --Ideogram 01:24, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Careful. If someone copies GFDL (or GPL or LGPL) material and modifies this stuff, the combined work is not automatically under the corresponding free license. Of course, if it is not, the publisher is likely violating the original license, but that is his or her problem. As long as he is not sued, he can go on violating it. And even if he is sued, he may settle for some other conditions (e.g. buy a different license from the copyright owners - that may be hard in the case of Wikipedia or Richard Stallman, but it is possible in principle) than coming into (L)G*L compliance. --Stephan Schulz 14:19, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it would be required to be under the GFDL if it was originally published under the GFDL and modified, and the person doing the violation is redistributing the content in any way. Of course, you are correct that he may not have intended to have the modifications redistributable under the GFDL. But if you own the original copyright and copy his modification back, he would be up the proverbial creek if he tried to sue over copyright infringement. All that could happen is to simply revert the changes, and counter-sue for damages including court costs and the defining lawsuit of the century that establishes or eliminates the GFDL as a legitimate content license. I think you would be safe to do this, as any legal challenge would be one of the most juicy legal plums you could imagine. Just be prepared to put your money where your mouth is and have to defend yourself on the grounds of the GFDL. If you don't own the original copyright (aka you weren't an original contributor to the Wikipedia article), you would be on much shakier ground legally. --Robert Horning 21:35, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Copyright status of Chinese characters?

Hi, I would like to upload an image of a Chinese character that I found on the web. It seems to me a Chinese character cannot be copyrighted, just as you cannot copyright the letter 'A'. I seem to recall an entire font can be copyrighted but not an individual letter. Is this correct? And if so, what do I select when choosing the copyright status of the uploaded image? --Ideogram 23:35, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Couldn't you just type out the character? I'd think that would be simpler. However, I would suppose the proper license would be {{PD-self}}. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 23:51, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmm I could, but then I would have to figure out how to type it, and magnify a truetype font. I already have the image. --Ideogram 23:59, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
This comes up often enough, and the US rules on the subject are bizarre enough, that I have just created {{PD-font}} to cover situations like this. Assumming your image is raster rendering of a simple black and white character and not, for example, some super stylized and decorative work of art, this should apply. Dragons flight 00:12, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Being enterprising, I also just wrote: Wikipedia:Public domain#Fonts. Dragons flight 00:52, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. --Ideogram 00:59, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
U.S. copyright law is really stupid. Bitmaps and vectors are both instructions to a computer. The courts don't understand that there is no distinction between computer "programs" and "data". --Ideogram 01:03, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I never made the claim that US law in this area was actually reasonable.   Dragons flight 01:09, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

U.S. copyright laws regarding fonts are really bizzare. There is some legal precedence that suggests that fonts are uncopyrightable, under the argument that the owner of a popular font could seriously restrict the freedom of speech if he/she had complete economic control over all uses of the font. Presumably, if you could copyright a font, you could also control exactly how and in what manner any written content was expressed when that font was used. And has been in the past. From this perspetive, showing Wikipedia using propritary fonts like this is a violation of the GFDL and illegal, provided the font is copyrighted. Courts have clearly ruled that font designers can't control how the characters are used in terms of combinations of characters.

Now it gets even more bizzare as some font data files are considered algorithms, hence copyrightable as computer software. So the font data file (like a true type font) is copyrightable, although raster images of the font are still perfectly legal to copy (such as in an advertisement). I think it is from this perspetive that the raster scanned image is perhaps going to be legitimate. However in this situation, to make things very simple for copyright purposes, you should be the one who "renders" the character and makes the image. Don't just "steal" the image from another website. If you need to have a good free (as in beer, not copyleft) Chinese character font, please see Code2000 for links to the website. Most of the Plane-0 Chinese characters are in that font. There are other Chinese character fonts, some of higher quality, but expect to pay through the nose to be able to obtain them. If you already have the font... good for you. --Robert Horning 21:26, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

RM when cited

Can someone point me to policy regarding users removing material that is backed up by article references? Also, is it enough to have references at the bottom, or do you need to implement the awkward ref/cite syntax for it to be considered cited? - Keith D. Tyler (AMA) 18:54, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Well that's a complex issue. Generally, see WP:V and WP:CITE. But content disputes can occasionally see referenced claims end up getting removed, for a whole variety of reasons (undue weight (WP:NPOV), unacceptable sources (WP:RS), etc.)
As for citing them, really it's best to do an inline citation for claims. It's not required, but it can avoid misunderstandings with anything controversial. You might see Wikipedia:Footnotes and the newer "<ref>" style citation, which is a lot easier (to me at least) than the old system. --W.marsh 19:20, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
And simply citing something doesn't, of course, mean that it's encyclopedic information in the first place... verifiability is a minimum but not sufficient requirement. Shimgray | talk | 08:42, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Aura (paranormal)

I recently added some links to Aura (paranormal) and someone removed them. The links I posted were related to Aura (paranormal) and was wondering why they were removed. I would like to put the links back on the site since they are related to the page. I would appreciate some imput. Thanks. John R G 17:59, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

  • I think he means the links in this diff: [2], which were removed here and here (reasons given in the edit summary). More discussion here [3]. --W.marsh 18:07, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes you are correct but they are Aura related and therefore should not be removed. Am I correct? If I am wrong tell me why. John R G 18:15, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

They are advertisements, and violate WP:EL. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:31, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. Further, if you wish to put up pictures of "auras", you should probably state that they are "alleged" so as to remain objective. MichaelZ526 07:01, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


Hi. Which village pump would be appropriate for discussing a guideline? --GunnarRene 14:35, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

This one. At the top of the page, "The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss existing and proposed policies." Tsetna 14:57, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
OK. Thanks. I thought it might be this one, but wasn't sure because policies and guidelines are distinct on Wikipedia. --GunnarRene 18:40, 18 July 2006 (UTC)


I am starting to see a lot of comments from editors who see lists as redundant with categories. See, for example, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Superfluous game lists. Setting aside the specific issue (i.e. that the lists being discussed there aren't terribly useful ones) my understanding is that lists and categories are encouraged to operate side-by-side, and are not redundant with each other. Surely a list does several useful things a category cannot do, most importantly including items which do not yet have a Wikipedia article and items which would not justify having one. Is that not correct? Or is it one of those major wikipedia controversies like deletionism -vs- inclusionism. Do we have prolistists and antilistists? And if so, how do I join the first camp? AndyJones 12:56, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

This has been an ongoing debate, please see Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and series boxes. The "official" stance is that lists, categories, and navigational boxes each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and that none of them are obsoleted by any of the others. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:52, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Can there be an "official stance" on a wiki? In any case, while a list can have advantages over a category, a list that is just an alphabetical listing of links to articles is not such a list. While it may be improvable maybe it's such a simple subject that there isn't anything else to say and it doesn't make sense to change the order. In that case, it makes sense to delete it as duplicating a category. Or perhaps it could be improved, but it has existed for months and it's still just an alphabetical list of links. In that case its like a poor article that someone proposes for deletion, which some people say no because it could be improved and others say delete it because no one has improved it yet. --JeffW 23:48, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Lists can be classified and annotated. Thus a list of Nobel Prizewinners could be split into sections showing which Nobel Prize it was, and annotated with a short summary of why they won it, if it was shared, etc. The former can be done with a hierarchy of categories, but this is cumbersome. The latter cannot be done at all with categories; you can read each article, but that's very time-consuming.--Runcorn 19:30, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Having said that, an annotated list can be seen as a reduced version of a summary-style overview of a particular area. I would like to see annotated lists, overview articles and 'pure' lists made distinct. A 'pure' list is a lot more like a category. Carcharoth 22:10, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

What to do if a move poll is determined by partisan reasons

For thoose interested, see here for a discussion about the interaction between policies such as WP:CON and WP:NPOV when partisan motives are playing the first fidle. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#What to do if a move poll is determined by partisan reasons.3F. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 09:49, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Non-productive debate on talk pages

What's the best thing to do with debate on talk pages which is not about page content and is clearly not productive (e.g. a debate on Talk:Roman Catholic Church based on an anonymous assertion that the Roman Catholic Church isn't Christian)? While it's there it attracts responses and distracts from the purpose of the page; but I've been a bit loath to just delete sections of talk pages. Should it just be deleted? Left alone? Marked as 'closed' in some way (like how debates which have reached a concensus are marked as closed)? TSP 20:42, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I'd archive it out. Just zis Guy you know? 21:12, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Cliffs Notes on works of literature - should we link them?

WileyPublishing (talk · contribs), who has identified on the User Talk page as a summer intern for Wiley Publishing company, which publishes the Cliffs Notes, made edits to numerous articles for classic novels to add a link to a Cliffs Notes page for that work. The edits have been reverted as linkspam and the user has been blocked from posting.

The content at each page seems to be, for free, the full contents of the Cliffs Notes that many of us paid money for in high school when we hadn't read the book. These were not generic linkspam, but were specific links to the notes for each novel.

The suggestion has been made that there may be some value in allowing these links to stay as a useful resource relevant to each book. On the other hand, this is a commercial site and the pages do have some advertising content on them, so these links would help draw viewers to these pages and these ads. On the other hand (yep, a lot of hands here) we do direct people to other sites (IMDB, for example) which have some advertising content, though maybe not as much.

There is some discussion of the issue on the user talk page.

Could people take a look at some of the content referenced by the links (see: Special:Contributions/WileyPublishing)? What do people think? Are these links we should allow, or should it be forbidden as linkspam? Fan-1967 20:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

While as a general rule I believe anyone who is paid to post their employer's links should be dealt with sternly, I'd say links such as these are positive contributions, because they provide a good degree of substantive content not elsewhere found, and from an established source. Mere naked advertisements for a product should of course merit removal and blocking. Postdlf 20:41, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to allow this as well. The editor has been completely up-front, and the content is good. Just zis Guy you know? 20:45, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
The encyclopedia article is supposed to provide a summary of the book and appropriate commentary/context. I don't think it really makes sense for an encyclopedia to systematically link to someone else's commercial product that basically just does the same thing. As such I am opposed to linking to Cliff's Notes, even while admittedly being pleased that Wiley Publishing was upfront about their activities. Dragons flight 20:56, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Cliff's go well beyond the scope of the encyclopaedia, though, in that they provide plot summaries and the like. Just zis Guy you know? 21:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Presumably our articles have some plot summaries (or should), so I assume you just mean they have more? That would be a matter of degree, and I feel that we can reasonably add everything of encyclopedic interest without appealing to Cliff Notes. Besides which, why Cliffs and not Barron's Notes or Literature Made Easy. This is a slippery slope. Why link one online commercially based summary and ignore others? We are developing a reference work providing summary and context for the book, and for that reason it doesn't make sense to link to other competitive and commercial reference works even if they are arguably better at the present time. It would be like linking to Encarta at the bottom of articles if their coverage of a topic happens to be better. Admittedly, Cliffs Note is also something of a study guide, but I don't think people ought to expect that an encyclopedia is where you go to find study guides. Dragons flight 21:22, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Cliff's Notes also have literary analysis essays that go beyond the descriptive reporting we do here. As for "slippery slope," if there are multiple online summaries of quality and independent merit, why not link to them all? Or just allow each article's editors to decide how many is too many, or which ones don't provide anything new or different.
I also have to really take issue with your comment about not linking to "better" reference works that compete with Wikipedia. Our goal isn't simply to outcompete other reference works by traffic count. Our goal is to inform readers, so if there is a resource out there that is more substantive than our article, we should provide it (and that itself will increase traffic count anyway, because knowing such links are going to be in articles will cause more people to start their research here, even if they finish it elsewhere). Also, such links inevitably lead to the improvement of the articles themselves by organizing available information for future contributors. Postdlf 21:35, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
No, if there is a more substantive source out there we should use it to improve our article and when appropriate reference it. I wouldn't mind referencing Cliffs Note (though referencing a reference work is not great form in itself), but mere systematic linking to them is fatalistic. It amounts to saying: "This other project which also summarizes and discusses the book is better than us, so everyone should go use them instead." We could have a bot go through and link all these articles. We could even have a bot go through and add thousands of links to Encarta on any corresponding article. But I do not believe that the way to write an encyclopedia is to merely link to other reference works that are expected the rehash much of the same content. In my opinion, the value added is small, and the slippery slope for allowing systematic commercial spamming is large. Those factors together make this a bad idea in my mind. By the way, for anyone who hasn't noticed it, just up the page is a section, Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Scientific_American_linking, dealing with many of the same issues in a somewhat different context. Dragons flight 22:02, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
This really does violate WP:EL, as it was added by an (unpaid) employee of Wiley presumably acting on their behalf (because of the user name), and I would normally say delete such links on sight. However, the quality and usefulness of what was added is so great that I would be tempted to go back and add them myself if they were deleted. In at least one instance, using WP to promote a company you were connected to got someone indefinitely blocked, [4] however there does not seem to be a specific policy on this. Plus, there were obvious differences in the facts between that incident and this one. JChap (talkcontribs) 21:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm an editor at Wiley, and I just wanted to clarify that summer interns at Wiley are paid.--Pixel23 10:06, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Aren't these specifically to be avoided under WP:EL#Links normally to be avoided, point #1 (and perhaps #4)? It sounds like folks are saying commercial spam is OK if it's really good spam. Would links to Britannica be OK? -- Rick Block (talk) 21:55, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Comment Would links to IMDB be OK? Fan-1967 00:22, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
They are normally to be avoided per the title. I would say almost always, but this may be an exceptional case. JChap (talkcontribs) 03:15, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

User was blocked for an inappropriate username, not for adding the links. He had already added them as (talk · contribs) and they had been reverted, but he was not given a warning. He then registered as WileyPublishing and added them again. The address is registered to John Wiley in New Jersey, according to this. User was warned with {{spam}} at 16:09 (UTC),[5] and ignored the message and posted four more links [6] [7] [8] [9]. Only after he was blocked did he say he was working for Wiley and Sons.[10] AnnH 21:57, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Are cliff notes annotated texts? If so, remove the links in favour of links to Wikibooks, where the cliff notes could probably be useful as references. I'd certainly say the links should be removed per WP:EL. If they are useful, they will be added in due course by independent editors. Steve block Talk 22:24, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
  • They are not annotated texts. Many of these works are still under copyright. They contain fairly detailed plot summaries with analysis. They contain far more content than even the most extensive book article I've seen on Wikipedia. Look at, for example, Lord of the Flies, which is an excellent, quite extensive article. Then look at the Cliffs Notes page for that book [11]. There has to be at least ten times as much content. If someone really wanted detailed analysis of the work, they offer more than we realistically can. Fan-1967 00:28, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
  • In this particular case (perhaps it makes sense to have this conversation every time a new situation like this comes up, because linking is a very sensitive manner), I'm worried that Cliff's Notes is just one member of a field of products that do the same thing. Unlike journals, which typically want to be exclusive publishers of studies, anything that has Cliffsnotes will also likely have at least 5 or 6 coverages in other products. I'm at a loss to make a concrete suggestion on whether they should be included, but I suspect that we don't want to link to 5 (or 50) of them. This differs substantially from my thoughts on the Scientific American article linking opinion, as noted elsewhere. --Improv 02:58, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Placement of categories and stubs

It seems to be general practice to put stubs and cats at the end of articles, but is there any rule about which comes first? I notice that bots often swap them round, but with no clear preference as to order.--Runcorn 19:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I think there's a preference to put all the stuff that doesn't actually appear on the article page at the very end of the article—that is, stub notices would go ahead of categories and before the interwiki links (which are invariably last). I'm not sure if this has been clearly written out in any policy, however. In any case, it's one of those things that ultimately shouldn't make a difference, just because stub tags should only be on an article temporarily. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:07, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Deleting/keeping articles on micronations

Does WP need separate standards on when to delete articles about micronations or are WP:ORG and WP:WEB good enough? Micronations are defined in the WP article on them as "eccentric and ephemeral in nature, and are often created and maintained by a single person or family group" and thus seem to be by definition, without anything else, non-notable. Anyone can start one by declaration and most of them do not exist outside of one person's website. The ones that are mentioned in the article were mostly notable as part of a political movement. What should the standards be for retaining such articles? It seems that at a minimum the micronation should have some sort of significance outside of the political movement to which it is related. Also, is there any way to speedy delete these? Forming a micronation is like forming a band (easier in fact, as you don't have to be able to play an instrument), but without more, why do we care? JChap (talkcontribs) 17:46, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

"An article about a real person, group of people ... that does not assert the importance or significance of its subject" is the sentence you're looking for, I think... if it appears to have some kind of significance, fine, but otherwise it's inherently non-notable. Shimgray | talk | 17:50, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
That's the one. Although, it perhaps needs to be made clearer that these would qualify as (presumably) organizations. JChap (talkcontribs) 18:22, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Most of the ones I've seen should be speediable, as there generally doesn't even seem to be a claim beyond "We've got a freewebs page so we're a nation." The question is, if some are notable, how do you assert notability for a nation that, after all, doesn't actually exist? Fan-1967 21:21, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Off the top of my head... major and high-profile news coverage of a claim of secession; the micronation being involved in an interesting legal status or part of a court precedent on the issue; someone having been convicted of major fraud involving it; a small-scale war over the place... Shimgray | talk | 08:44, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Tor blocks

I didn't receive a response to my ANI post about this, so I've decided to post here. I'm after community support to run a script to convert tor blocks to AnonOnly NoCreate. The source code of this script, which has worked as expected on my own wiki (see [12]), will be available on request. I would suggest that this script run on a botflagged account, as it will otherwise flood recent changes with 250-odd block and unblock combinations at a rate of approximately ten unblock/block combinations per minute. I do not currently have a sysop bit, so the account would need to be hit with a sysop bit. Issues to be resolved:

  • Whether the script should work on commuting the blocks to Anon-only / No account creation, or simply update the current blocks to mark them as Tor blocks, and to block new exit nodes.
  • Whether or not the script should run on a separate, botflagged account.
  • Whether or not I, a non-admin, should maintain the script (I'm aware that some are uncomfortable with this).
  • Whether the script should run one-off, or regularly in order to keep the blocks up to date.
  • Whether a script should be used to execute the blocks, or if there are admins willing to update these blocks manually.

Input is welcome. Werdna (talk) 10:48, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

You seem to have left out the part of the argument explaining why we would want to have Tor proxies be blocked in that way? Dragons flight 21:26, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
There are a lot of people who use Tor, myself included. Allowing those people to edit from Tor seems to be a good way to go - Tor is not, in itself, "evil". Werdna (talk) 06:56, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Anything that encourages people to have a named account seems like a good idea. AGF: why shouldn't a non-admin maintain the script? I assume that people can check it if they wish. I can't see any reason not to run it regularly.--Runcorn 19:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

If the community doesn't go for the commuting of the blocks, I have no problem running the script simply to update our existing Tor blocks. Werdna (talk) 10:20, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

No Original Research - queries

I'm not quite clear on what the difference is between Original Research and Rephrasing or Reasoning something. My example is slightly obscure, but is the best I can come up with at the moment. If say, no-one anywhere had published something saying that the District Line had the most number of stations on the London Underground (this 'factoid' has been published, but for the sake of argument let's say that only the number of stations on each line had been published). Would it then be Original Research to look at a list of the number of stations on each line and say "The District Line has the most number of stations". To me this is similar to the "deductive reasoning" section above (which concerned deducing people's nationality), but this is a clearer case of deductive reasoning. Other cases I can think of include saying things like "team Y is the first team to have won trophy X by this scoreline since 1860". This sort of thing is verifiable, but if it hasn't been published elsewhere, the only way to verify it is for the reader to go and check various lists and see if this is true. So where is the line drawn between rephrasing and representing a set of facts and maybe adding some obvious deductive reasoning, and this process becoming Original Research? A similar process would be seen for the process of rewriting and rephrasing things from a source. Where is the line drawn between summarising several sources (which is one of the prime purposes of a tertiary source like an encyclopedia), and synthesising those sources in such a way that (maybe accidentally) new connections and insights are revealed about the topic? Carcharoth 00:45, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

There does seem to be a bit of gray area about how literal one interprets WP:OR. With your "direct line" example, I can see both sides one can take. A strong benchmark for me is whether or not this interpretation advances any particular position--especially one relevant to the articles NPOV. In your direct line example, a particular POV is not being advance so I would personally feel comfortable with that addition. However, I see with deducing nationality--like what happened with the Copernicus article--more room for crossing over the WP:OR line. Agne27 03:49, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I can see endless scope for arguments about whether something is an obvious and trivial deduction from published facts (when it would be silly to call it NOR) or not. To me, the District Line example is a trivial deduction, and I would accept it even if there were controversy; others would disagree. Almost certainly, it will often come down to whether it offends someone's POV.--Brownlee 11:27, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:RS are best considered altogether, not one at a time. Something is either verifiable or it is not, it comes from a reliable source, or it does not. In your example, there is a list that you can cite. So, the right prose would be “X resource suggests that the District Line had the most number of stations on the London Underground.” If there’s no citation at all, I’d expect it to get challenged. If there is a citation with that, then I think you are OK because you have signaled that the observation is tied to a resource you are citing. As to the amount of interpretation added to the citation, if another editor objects and says that you are doing OR, you may be put into the position of defending the source or finding another source. That seems to be a basic rule of Wikipedia, that the onus is always on the person wanting to include something in an article. I think it is best to let the editing reach that point. Tsetna 14:53, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
See the discussion on Wikipedia talk:No original research concerning the suggested policy of "reasonable inference", wherein inferences that are straightforward and noncontroversial would be permitted. This hasn't gained much consensus to date. Deco 11:25, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Fact checking of articles (especially featured ones)

Have a look at this edit. A basic and easily checkable fact in the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom article (the salary) was not updated. This is the sort of thing that justifiably gives Wikipedia a bad reputation. What is the point of saying that our articles can be more up-to-date than others, when no-one checks to see if they are up-to-date? This was all the worst for appearing in a featured article linked from the Main Page. Can processes please be put in place to stop this happening again? Carcharoth 23:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Well the fact checking is suppose to take part in the Wikipedia:Featured article candidates nomination and selection process as was the Peer Review. Several editors took part in both processes. It just looks like that one fact slipped by. Agne27 03:55, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Really? From what I see of the Peer Review and WP:FAC processes, they don't involve much fact-checking, and concentrate more on the style, layout, balance and references of an article. Maybe I passed by in an off-week. Regardless, I've now found a WikiProject devoted to fact checking, so that is good. Carcharoth 09:29, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Impressions from a new(ish) editor good and bad.

I have been editing Wikipedia for about a year (I think!), and until a fortnight ago all I ever did was add and modify articles and surf it for info. Up to that point I had nothing negative to say about Wikipedia. I still think it's a marvellous concept and an extremely useful reference tool, far superior than any other encyclopedia. Best of all, it's free at the point of use, so knowledge is not limited by budget. I have every intention of carrying on playing a part in it, as the free proliferation and preservation of knowledge is a cause I am deeply committed to.

There is however another side, one of which I was blissfully ignorant until one day I visited my Sharon Janis article and found it vanished. Since then I have been learning fast about policies, administrators, AfD's, deletion reviews, and the inner workings of Wikipedia generally. It has been a profoundly upsetting stressful and time-consuming experience. I never expected to end up fighting a crusade against a massive bureaucracy.

Whilst I've had other articles removed, I could see good reasoning behind them. With the Sharon Janis article, I found myself having to fight hard to justify the blatantly justifiable, whereas some of my other articles about far more obscure subjects have never been questioned. Whilst this is undoubtedly the encyclopedia everyone can edit, it's also the encyclopedia where at any time, anyone's prejudice can strike out information someone else gave up time and energy to contribute. I am not convinced that reality matches policy. The policy is sound, but what happens in practice is that ego, personal prejudices, feelings pride and emotions inevitably come into play. What is happening in reality is that articles that are rubbish but no one cares about could survive indefinitely, but those where someone has a personal dislike or pejudice get nominated for the chop. The victims in this are articles which whilst not perfect have merit but have the misfortune to be read by someone with a bee in their bonnet. Fortunately, those curious enough about deleted articles can often go to Google and find out about the subject that way, but I don't think they should have to.

I see from the forums I have visited that I have become just another aggrieved editor who has seen hard work removed without a full reasonable and justifiable explanation. It is a lot easier to remove an article than defend one, as I have painfully discovered, and that is not right. I have far better things to do with my precious time than spend countless hours on procedures, forums and jargon, but so deep is my passion for what I believe that I have gritted my teeth and waded headlong into this bewildering cyberworld.

To sum up, Wikipedia is a marvellous creation which I'm glad I discovered, but it is far too easy for articles to be removed. I don't mind anyone appealing for a deletion, but an editor or administrator should have to work at least as hard in removing an article as I've had to in defending one. The power to delete is too widely spread amongst God knows how many administrators and therefore too easily the cause of micarriages of justice. As for the deletion review, it is a lottery depending on who reads your article and the review. The power to delete should instead be concentrated into a panel of ten highly experienced committed users who require a minimum 8-2 verdict to remove an article with a full given reasoning from each member. Above them should be a tribunal with powers to overturn in the light of fresh evidence. Even then articles should be re-admitted anyway if suitably modified in a way dictated by the tribunal.

I will go on using, contributing and (very reluctantly) participating in discussions on Wikipedia, but after the last fortnight I will do so with a heavier heart. Headshaker 15:34, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sharon Janis for the AfD discussion on the Sharon Janis article. Apparently it failed WP:BIO and contained misinformation. --AbsolutDan (talk) 16:02, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
"Sigh" which I then modified and am in the process of modifying further to fully justify what is clearly justifiable anyway. My whole point is that the onus should be on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an article is unworthy, not for the defence to prove worth as I'm having to.
Headshaker 16:18, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Most of your post above seems to be related primarily to the removal of content to begin with, per "it is far too easy for articles to be removed" and "an editor or administrator should have to work at least as hard in removing an article as I've had to in defending one" As such, the AfD appears to have proven that the article didn't meet WP criteria for retention at that time and was removed fairly. Deletion review can be a bit challenging, yes, but if an article is deleted fairly, there really needs to be a compelling reason to restore it --AbsolutDan (talk) 16:59, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Proven?! It did not prove anything! That is my point. The onus should be on detractors to prove unworthiness. The article was not deleted fairly. The fact that a user could not verify a statement in a mouse click or two does not constitute "unverifiability". Get off your arse and make some calls if you doubt it that much! I did.

Headshaker 05:43, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

You should have gotten off your arse to make a verifiable article in the first place. The first article you made was overly laudatory and almost completely unreferenced. It was absolutely fairly deleted. -- Samir धर्म 02:36, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment I feel I have to respond to your blanket assertion that it is far too easy for articles to be removed. Have you ever browsed through a single day's entries in Wikipedia:Articles for Deletion? Many, many of these articles should never have been created in the first place, and there absolutely has to be a mechanism in place to get rid of them. (That doesn't even include the ones so blatant that there are separate criteria for speedy deletion to delete them out of hand. If you feel, in light of all these articles, not just yours, that you can offer constructive suggestions for ways to improve the deletion process, then please offer them. Fan-1967 04:31, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Any editor in good standing with some contribution history to show value to the encyclopedia is always welcome to ask any admin for an article to be userified (copied or moved to their user space). I get and (after review for suitability, see my user pages for guidelines) grant such requests all the time, and so do many other editors. If an article you are working on is deleted and you think it's salvagable, ask that it be userified, work on it some more, seek advice from interested editors and once you've improved it to address the concerns raised in the AfD, move it back. If it's been substantially improved it will not be automatically speedied as a recreation of deleted content. Railing against process will not get you sympathy, though... this process works pretty well and has general consensus... Hope that helps, and happy editing! ++Lar: t/c 17:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


Do we need both of these systems. They do the same thing, and having two only serves to confuse. --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | E-mail 09:48, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes we do. Wikipedia:Proposed deletion is for generally uncontroversial deletion candidates. For the rest there is AFD. Prod removes a lot of useless workload on WP:AFD. Garion96 (talk) 11:48, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I kind of sympathize. I've noticed people using the "prod" tag when they really should be using "expand". Just because a stub is new and not fully fleshed out yet doesn't mean it's a proper deletion candidate. —  Stevie is the man!  Talk | Work 02:26, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Which is easier to fix on prod then on AfD. Vegaswikian 02:37, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

"List of " suburbs" articles

I just started an AfD on List of Logan City suburbs. This is simply a list of the suburbs of Logan City, Queensland. What's policy on this? A list of suburbs seems the wrong tool for the job. And it would take tens of thousands of articles like this to cover the world.

How should atlas data like that be represented? We really need more map support ("Wikipedia Earth?") for this kind of thing. --John Nagle 06:51, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Template:Hotu (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) - A template to link articles to Home of the Underdogs. A legitimate site, perhaps, and contains lots of information - but it also contains copyrighted material, abandonware versions of games. Now, the site is no secret - and if the companies wanted their work pulled, I'm sure it would have been already. But the question remains, should we be linking to these so people can download them? --Golbez 06:10, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

At first glance, one would immediately assume copyvio if it were linked anywhere else than on its own page. In that regard, it might be copyvio just linking to it. I'm no expert. Generally, however, I would think that Wikipedia would want to discourage editors from distributing copyrighted material. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 06:17, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Linking to copyright violating sites is strongly discouraged. At WP:EL we say, Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry). Also, linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on us (see Wikipedia:Copyrights and in particular Contributors' rights and obligations). . User:Zoe|(talk) 21:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
They've got abandonware games (technical copyright violations), but they've also got a large archive of freeware games, including a number of well-known commercial games that were re-released as freeware. Links to games in the "freeware" section of the site should be fine. --Carnildo 18:46, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
The first two pages I saw it on were Magic Carpet and Magic Carpet 2, two non-freeware games, but definitely abandonware. --Golbez 22:31, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Archival policy for articles transwikied to wikibooks

I'd like to propose a change in policy for articles that are transwikied to wikibooks. Currently, articles that are transwikied from wikipedia are simply deleted, which has the unfortunate effect of also deleting the history of contributors (the history of a transwikied article on the WB side starts with the person who did the transwiking).

It seems to me that these histories should be preserved, both as a way of acknowledging the contributions, and perhaps to give WB editors a way to find source material if the article on WP lacked citations (i.e., we would at least know who to ask). I don't think this would cause much of a problem on the WP side, because very few articles are successfully transwikied to WB, though this may be in part because the contributors to the article don't realize that it has been transwikied (and articles that are transwikied and "abandoned" at wikibooks are soon deleted).

So I propose the following:

  1. Transwikied articles should not be deleted, but rather "blanked", and then have a template that informs interested editors that the article has been moved to WB.
  2. Transwikis to WB should alway be titled "Transwiki:ARTICLENAME", so that those of us on the WB side interested in finding a home for these articles will know what to look for.
  3. If an article "finds a home" at wikibooks, the article space on WP should be blocked from any editing, preserving the message that it was transwikied, and where the tw'd article (now a chapter or book) can be found.

SB Johnny 18:22, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Disagree. There are lots of places we transwiki to which are not even Wikimedia projects. We don't allow redirects across namespaces even, why should we keep nonexistant articles just to point to somewhere outside of Wikipedia? That would make us more like a search engine than an encyclopedia. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:28, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Why the hell is transwikiing taking place without preserving the article history? The article history should be transwikied as well! Carcharoth 23:44, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Things just aren't set up to do that automatically, though it would certainly be a good thing if people copied it when making the move, or at least leave the page undeleted and make a note on the talk that it needs to be done. The best solution, IMO, would be to tweak the software to allow normal page moves across namespaces, so that the article, talk, and histories can all move together (perhaps with a script to change "((user:x))" to "((w:user:x))", etc.). SB Johnny 12:12, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Speedying cut+paste copyvios from sites other than commercial content providers

(From WT:CSD) I am thinking that it might be best to amend A8 and remove the requirement "Material is unquestionably copied from the website of a commercial content provider (e.g. encyclopedia, news service)." Currently, pages that are copyvios of materials from non-profit organizations take too long to process. People have to check if the article is a copyvio, blank the article, insert the {{copyvio}} template, and list the page on WP:CP. Then, a week later, somebody else has to verify that it is a copyvio and then speedy it. Given that there are an astronomical amount of copyvios, this can cause a lot of wasted time. Thoughts? -- Where 15:00, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Agree 100%. Martin 15:04, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm uncertain. Nonprofit sites might be more willing to give permission for the material to be used. I also would like to see concrete evidence of the large number of such copyvios. Deco 15:39, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of willingness, we can't just copy their material. For concrete evidence see Wikipedia:Copyright problems. Martin 15:54, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Concur with Bluemoose (who really should change their signature) - I think it'd be a good thing to do as Where suggests. On Wikipedia, WRT legal issues, it's better to ask permission than forgiveness. --Improv 17:02, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Unless I am misinterpreting the proposal, he seems to be suggesting that we delete the content without ever seeking permission to use it. Why wouldn't we want to ask permission? Deco 18:23, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
If permission is granted it can be put back. The obligation of action should be on those who want to license the content, not on those who are ensuring propriety. --Improv 19:17, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Sometimes the editors who cut-n-paste from non-commercial sites and blogs are the copyright owners. If spooked by deletion they could not come back. Often somebody is willing to "retell" the copyrighted story. They might need a copyvioed piece to retell. abakharev 08:42, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Maybe but most stuff coppied from elsewhere needs heavy modification to fit with wikipedia in any case.Geni 15:23, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
If I remove a cut & paste copyvio, I tend to leave a message on the original author's talk page — often something based around the {{nothanks}} template. It gives a legitimate author/owner an explanation of what happened. Even if the editor inserting the material is doing so deliberately and works for the organization in question, that person may not have the authority to release material under the GFDL or realize the consequences of that.
Per Geni, it's almost always as much work to wikify, restructure, and rewrite copy & paste stuff to fit encylopedic and house style as it is to write an article from scratch. Alex, above, overlooks the fact that most copyvios are found and verified through a Google search anyway — so we don't need to copy a local copy of the document; it's readily available as a reference on the net. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:25, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

As it seems like we have reached a consensus to do so, I have modified WP:CSD with the changes. Feel free to revert me if you disagree that there is consensus here. -- Where 02:21, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Protecting one's own page

I really would like a new policy in which the non-administrator user can protect his userspace (main userpage, talk, subpages, etc) from any potential vandalism, but wouldn't be able to protect any other pages on Wikipedia. Is this feasible? --Revolución hablar ver 04:38, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

I would guess you mean semi-protection, as otherwise the user could not edit their own pages. The talk page would have to be exempt from this, as anon's are entitled to communicate with a user via their talk page. Alternatively, you may mean full protection, but want the user to be able to edit even protected pages within their own user space.
I doubt it would be difficult to program, but it would require a change to the software, which makes it unlikely to be implemented as we have a shortage of developers. It also seems rather unwiki-like, as we try to keep almost all pages editable by anyone.
If you have a problem with a particular page of your being regularly vandalised, then Requests for Page Protection is the place to go.-gadfium 05:13, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, "your" userpages are part of the wiki, which means that in theory anyone is entitled to edit them, odd as that might sound. In practice changing someone's userpage without their permission is Very Bad Form and you're allowed to revert them. Unless the userpage is disruptive to Wikipedia's mission in some way, in which case, the fact that they are part of the wiki is indeed called into play. Anyway, many of us have gotten someone or other cross with us enough to vandalize our userpages. Usually they get tired of it pretty soon, if not there are the various procedures for bringing them to account. Herostratus 00:38, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Allowing a user to protect their talk page, thus blocking comments/warnings/etc., would seem particularly problematic. Dragons flight 00:46, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that could never work. Not only would it hinder communication, but it would also prevent warnings from being posted-we cannot condone or advocate such an ability or promote seclusion from others when the Wikipedia community does not thrive upon isolation. MichaelZ526 07:19, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


Does the wikipedia:Libel policy apply to statements of opinion on talk pages? For example, if I say on a talk page that in my opinion, a person (not a wikipedia editor) lied when s/he made a certain claim, may that statement be deleted as libel? Anonymous44 14:28, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not a lawyer but I know that a level of malice would need to be proven. If you think that a person lied because you have discovered some conflicting information from another source and are trying to put the most accurate information in the Wiki entry, then it would be difficult to prove there was malice in your assumption that they lied. Of course, if you then go on a tangent about how someone is this horrible person who always lies...etc... then you maybe in more troubled waters Agne27 15:00, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
WP:BLP states "unsourced or poorly sourced negative material from biographies of living persons and their talk pages" should be removed. If you are merely offering your opinion, that also isn't really in keeping with the original research policy. When discussing issues you need to be able to source any claims you make, whether that is in the article or on a talk page. If you can't source your claim that a person lied, your claim should be removed. If you wish to get recognition for such a claim, I would suggest you contact the media, who can afford to employ people to decide whether to publish such a claim. Your opinion that someone may have lied has no bearing on an article's content, it is extraneous and has no place in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a message board. Steve block Talk 15:31, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, WP:NOR doesn't apply to talk pages - see WP:OR#On_talk_pages_and_project_pages. And I'm not talking about a biography either. --Anonymous44 15:55, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Not according to WP:BLP, which states states "This principle also applies to biographical material about living persons found anywhere in Wikipedia." If it defames a living person and you don't have a good source, it has to go. Steve block Talk 13:58, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
No malice is needed if the individual is not a public figure and the libel is not on a matter of public concern (e.g., an article statement about a professor's personal life rather than his academics); a negligence standard then applies under many state laws. Our notability standards fall short of what it takes to be a "public figure," btw. Postdlf 15:38, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
In my case, the person has claimed to be a vampire hunter and to have staked dozens of actual vampires. If I were to mention that I consider this to be an invention, would it be subject to wikipedia:libel?
--Anonymous44 16:37, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
No. It wouldn't be libel under U.S. law, because you have a reasonable belief that that statement true, and the truth cannot be libel. --Aquillion 17:43, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Agree wtih Acquillion. Of note here is the standard is 'negligence' not 'malice' for a private individual, and again, the truth cannot be libel (or the truth is an absolute defense). And opinion is not, of course, defamatory. It may be tacky, but not defamatory (see libel and slander for the two types of defamation).
Legal libel is rarely an issue. More often incivil conduct is a breach of either Wikipedia:No personal attacks or Wikipedia:Civility. But it's not a problem as long as you attack the statements made by the person and not their character. Deco 17:40, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Ditto Deco (? !) I couldn't resist.jgwlaw 00:53, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, Deco, yet another reason why I try to always promote my own personal Talk: space policy: Discuss the edits, not the editor. Eaglizard 13:33, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Categories by ethnicity - what's wrong with having them for British people?

Today's Gretzky FA on the frontpage has him categorized as Belarusian Canadian and Polish Canadian among other things. Innumerable US personalities are similarly categorized by ethnicity.

I tried to categorize British people of Bengali origin similarly with the category British-Bengalis. There are, to my knowledge, 11 such people articles on WP so far, all of which I tagged - Eenasul Fateh, Iqbal Ahmed, the two girls on Harry Potter, etc etc.

But for some reason, this was put to a VfD along with several others, and then deleted after a vote that barely recorded 10 votes in total - with at least 3 for. The deletionist gave all sorts of strange reasons for not categorizing British people by their ethnicity, few of which made much sense.

I also pointed out the policy of targetting small categories (although with 11 members, British-Bengalis was larger than most). The deletionist cleverly left out British Asians which is truly a large category, and which will have many backers if anyone ever puts it to the vote.

I have therefore two questions:

  1. Why one policy for American/Canadian articles and a different policy for British articles?
  2. Why delete small categories, and leave out larger categories, when the argument for deletion is essentially the same?

If anyone can clarify, I will be most grateful. I would like to know what official WP policy is, before a useful category dies a needless death.

-- Peripatetic 11:35, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Policy for category deletion is at Wikipedia:Category deletion policy. The CFD page itself lists reasons to nominate a category, and refers to Wikipedia:Categorization of people which only says that all such categorization schemes "may be problematic". Answers to your specific questions: 1) there is no differential policy for American/Canadian vs. British categories, 2) because one CFD outcome has no binding influence on any other. -- Rick Block (talk) 13:56, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, kinda puts that position in a tight squeeze with systemic bias though. Steve block Talk 14:02, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Where can I review the CFD for this categorisation - on the face of it, it does seem an odd idea to delete such a category where we have "fictional armies" and the like roaming around. --Charlesknight 14:12, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Hard to know which CfD you're talking about. There have been at least 4 repeated debates about British bazians. Virtually all of them have been deleted for improper categorization.
For example, well-known people like Cat Stevens have been variously categorized as "Swedish-British" -- very American-style -- and the British say, We don't call people that! So, somebody tried "British Swedish", and more folks said, We don't call people that, either! And other person tried "Category:List of British people of Swedish descent", which is just excrable, and doesn't fit any category naming convention -- although that could be an article where folks could add references for verifiability.
Moreover, it turns out the he never calls himself Swedish anything, and apparently was never a Swedish citizen, although he lived in Sweden 4 years as a child ("sometime after" 8 years old). Now that's just silly!
It all comes down to listing heritages by 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, or non-notable temporary residency. And after many such CfD debates, and additional debates here, we now have a clear and concise policy.
I'm sure folks will be cleaning up Americans, Canadians, and others, but it will take time. They'll be deleted as they are emptied of the non-notable, non-verifiable ethnicruft (to coin a phrase).
--William Allen Simpson 16:50, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
It may take a while, although we can try to clean up the sillier stuff. A while back the article on Lhasa de Sela, who has Mexican and Jewish ancestry, was born in the U.S., grew up there and in Mexico, and has lived in Canada and now France, had the following categories:
Category:Jewish Canadians
Category:Jewish Mexicans
Category:Mexican-French people
Category:Canadians in France
-- Donald Albury(Talk) 17:28, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Portal approval process counter to Wikipedia's aims?

It appears that editors are now selecting portals for possible deletion on the grounds that a portal has not been given prior approval: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Thinking. Concern has been raised that this portal approval process does not have the wide consensus it appears to claim, and that it runs counter to the principles of Wikipedia - the essence of which is that this is a wiki which enables users to get involved immediately without registration or prior review. Tiresome though it is to tidy up vandalism and to correct mistakes, that is the price we have to pay for having a wiki. This portal approval process appears to be an example of creeping bureaucratic authority. If people feel that editors who are unsure if their portal is a good idea need somewhere to for for advice, perhaps the page could be renamed Wikipedia:Portal/Advice, and it made explicit and clear that there is no need to wait a week for approval. SilkTork 08:18, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

If we don't require community approval to create Portals, we should, because something like Portal:Humor (full of empty links and with no constructive edits since January) is an embarassment! While I think the process should be explicitly stated, it is not counter to Wikipedia's aims any more than restricting edits to MediaWiki pages to admins. Articles can be of slight significance, but Portals must be broad introductions into broad topics, and the topics must demonstrate a community of interest willing to do the work of keeping the Portal fresh and up to date. bd2412 T 12:59, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Your points are valid, and apply to many aspects of Wikipedia. The current process is that something is created, be it article, category, WikiProject or Portal. It is given reasonable time to develop and show potential, then if some editors feel that it is doing more harm than good, a notice is put up and editors gather to see if a consensus of editors agree that the article/category should be deleted or renamed. The process here is that there is no notice given. Somebody applies, and those few people who are aware this process exists then decide among themselves. It is not a clear, open and democratic process. It is not policy. However, I understand the points you are making, which is why I suggest this process be named Portal/Advice. In the meantime, if you are unhappy with an existing Portal and feel that it is beyond hope, put it forward for deletion. SilkTork 15:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Above all, Wikipedia is about creating an encyclopedia, and is not a free web host. The proposal process was developed, to help deal with the creation of so many portals which then are disregarded, unmaintained, in some cases half-created. The bigger issue is shortage of portal maintenance (e.g. Portal:Fire, with news not updated since last December, Portal:Archaeology, Portal:Netherlands, Portal:Dogs, Portal:Industrial Design ...). The proposal process not only helps evaluate if the topic is broad enough, but also consider prospects for portal maintenance. -Aude (talk contribs) 14:06, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The Portal process is no different to the Category or Article or WikiProject process. The same policies regarding Wikipedia not being a free web host apply. Once we get into the area of waiting a week for a self-elected group to decide if someone can proceed with developing one area of Wikipedia, then it opens the door a little for other areas to have approval rules. The essence of Wikipedia is that it is wiki - otherwise we might rename it ApprovalBySelfAppointedGroupPedia. SilkTork 15:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree a process is needed for portal approval. If editors make lots of overlapping portals, lots of portals with little or no content, or lots of portals lacking conceptual coherence, then readers will find them discouraging and frustrating. This could lead readers to give up trying to use Wiki portals. High quality portals that overlap as little as possible will be most helpful to readers, and that requires a minimal management process (e.g., a proposal-approval process). kc62301
I also think it's a good thing that new portals go through an approval process. This way they gain visibility and more users are interested in maintaining them, since it will be their creation. Pre-approval isn't a new thing, stubs and their categories go through similar process since 2005. feydey 17:59, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • If you feel unhappy with an overlapping portal, then nominate it for discussion and possible deletion. That is the procedure we have at the moment. SilkTork 15:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I somewhat agree with your arguments, that portals should just be created and then if something is problematic, to put it up for deletion. The problem with that is the sheer number of poorly maintained portals that get created. Even major topics like Portal:History are being neglected. I have tried (unsuccessfully) reaching out to Wikipedia:WikiProject History for help with Portal:History. I wouldn't suggest deleting portals covering such key topics, but some better way of dealing with this is needed. The proposal process was intended to help do that by stemming the portel creation, en masse. -Aude (talk contribs) 18:27, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Having a pre-approval process will not prevent a Portal falling into disuse. Nor will it ensure a brilliant Portal is created. If you are concerned about the state of some Portals, couldn't you put a message on the Portal suggesting it needs some TLC - perhaps, as the Portal/Advice group, making some helpful suggestions. I could see a Portal/Advice group being very useful in encouraging and developing Portals in a friendly and supportive manner. SilkTork 22:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't think this is a good idea at all; if the page is neglected or half-done, MFD it. However, forcing users to get a rubber stamp to get a portal will make active users more reluctant to create them. Tito xd(?!?) 22:38, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree. Here are my thoughts on the portal approval page:

Below I've transposed the Miscellany for Deletion nomination for the Portal Approval page. To participate in that discussion, click the edit button below and to the right: --Transhumanist 03:10, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

There is no need to transclude a debate from elsewhere here. A link suffices. I've removed the transclusion. Worldtraveller 16:40, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Strong Agreement with Transhumanist on all points Tobyk777 02:30, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

(You may want to go to the MfD and restate that.) --Transhumanist 03:10, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

This discussion is continued on Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Portal/Proposals, which includes my original reply to this forum.

Frustrations with editing


I would like to open this issue for discussion.

I’ve been working in the field of Clinical Psychology for 40+ years. In Wikipedia, I was working on a technical Article concerning the psychological & physical components of chemical dependency. Almost from my first edit, I was reverted by a User whose only entry on their User Page was “OK, so I finally got a User Page. Satisfied?” This is moronic!! Because I refused to engage in what surely would have deteriorated into a mindless edit war, I finally gave up on editing the Article all together.

Surely there is something that can be done here.

I would propose this: If a User is going to make edits to an Article, particularly a technical or scientific one, that the person be willing to state their expertise in the given field on their User Page, or at least something more than a glib remark.

Wikipedia is losing good, highly motivated, professionals as editors because they have experienced what I described happened with me.

If something is not done, I’m afraid Wikipedia will soon need to carry a disclaimer at the top of its Main Page: “This encyclopedia is strictly for amusement, and should not be regarded as factual.”

Frustrated, Michael David 12:34, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Your frustration is understandable; however, it seems that there is an undercurrent of Anti-elitism within the project. This stance is probably an attempt to prevent the perception of some users being "more equal than others."
At any rate all hope is not lost; there are ways for resolving such issues:
  1. Present your case to WP:3RR; this perhaps will be the most apropos option, as it is meant to resolve edit wars.
  2. Depending on the quality of the edits from the miscreant (which, as you have described it, appears to be vandalism) another option may be WP:AIV.
  3. If you are unsatisfied with the responses produced from the aformentioned channels, perhaps WP:MEDCOM may be in order.
  4. Worst case, if all other options fail, there is always WP:ARB. This is option is not one to be taken lightly; however, it perhaps may be the last opportunity to resolve the matter amicably, without departing from the project in disgust.
With any luck, one of these options will provide a satisfactory resolution to the matter.
Cheers, Folajimi (leave a note) 11:49, Thursday, October 29, 2020 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your comments. In future I will try the options you've suggested. Michael David 00:34, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict)
I'm not sute that this will help you, but recognition of expertise in Wikipedia is a complicated issue. Most editors do not reveal their real identity, so it is impossible to verify any claims of expertise they may make. While I have been open about my real identity, it has its drawbacks. I've had another editor threaten to sue me, and other editors have withdrawn from Wikipedia after unknown persons complained to their employers about their Wikipedia activities (I'm retired, so I'm not worried about that).
In another vein, I have a PhD in Linguistics and 25 years experience working with computers, but I don't edit articles in either field. Both fields have a lot active Wikipedians, and it's not as much fun as working on history, biology and local topics. Experience in a field helps you sort through the chaff, but everything in Wikipedia is supposed to be from reliable published sources, and non-experts can contribute to articles as long as they do their research and cite their sources.
As for dealing with disputes in an article you're working on, please see the section #Resolving content disputes above on this page. Wikipedia works best when several editors contribute to an article, and can reach consensus on content and style.
-- Donald Albury(Talk) 13:21, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your comments. Perhaps I should take your lead and stay away from Articles in my field. It actually could be refreshing to break from work sometimes. Sincerely. Michael David 00:34, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Because no one owns articles, regardless of claimed or real expertise in the field, I personally don't think experts should get automatic veto power or whatever over non-experts. This stance is also partially about keeping "experts" from being able to push their POVs (which may be financially tied to their careers) and no one being able to stop them. At any rate, Wikipedia is not a scholarly journal or anything, we are (at least, we're supposed to be) just summarizing published sources on topics, and non-experts can do that just as well as experts, ultimately. Experts are great at doing original research, but obviously that's not what we do on Wikipedia.
My suggestion is to just learn to deal with people who disagree with you... after all by submitting anything you're agreeing to let other people edit it. If someone reverts a claim that's correct, re-add it with a source. If they revert that, discuss it with them on the talk page. If they're pushing a POV or otherwise being unreasonable, see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. --W.marsh 13:46, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

with all due respect, the replies above are useless bordering on the impertinent. "I personally don't think experts should get automatic veto power or whatever over non-experts"? Good for you, but how is this supposed to help Michael David? Did he inquire for "automatic veto power"? give us a break. "My suggestion is to just learn to deal with people who disagree with you"? Is this seriously the advice you have to offer to someone who has been into psychology for 40 years? (Have you even been into being alive that long?) Even bored gestures towards dispute resolution are not helpful here. The case described by the original poster is typical. A user having “OK, so I finally got a User Page. Satisfied?” has the only content on his user page is almost infallibly a sock puppet or a troll. Which means that smart assed remarks about how Wikipedia gives power to the people are entirely beside the point. My answer to this inquiry would be, 'drop me a line, and I'll look into the case and help you revert any trolling, thank you for helping improve Wikipedia'. You can save your generic wisdom for people who come here complaining about genuine editing dispute. Just being reverted by a stubborn sock is not an editing dispute, and any expert of any field experiencing this deserves some help from the community. thanks, dab () 17:40, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Look, if he (or any expert or good faith editor) came to me and said the same thing, I'd investigate and block the sockpuppet, if that was the case. We all need to play by the same rules... that's all I'm saying. Resolve disputes, report trolls, whatever as they come up, if you need help doing that, ask an admin or experienced editor for that help... I don't see how requiring people to disclose their credentials is going to help any of this. A lot of people would prefer to stay anonymous, for reasons that have been touched on above. And not having a meaningful userpage doesn't mean you're "almost infallibly a sock puppet or a troll" - that statement describes me and lots of other good faith edtiors. --W.marsh 18:59, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Taking a look at the edits of Michael David (talk · contribs) is worthwhile. Most of the edits are to biographical articles of dead people. Many of those edits involve noting that someone died by suicide. See

That's just the past two days. Several hundred other edits by this editor show a fascination, if not obsession, with suicidal depression. There's no major technical article by this editor that I can find. --John Nagle 18:00, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Your comments say much more about you than they do about me. Michael David 00:34, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Heeey, Michael. First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for your valuable contributions; Wikipedia simply wouldn't be the website it is today without all the help it's received from diligent volunteers. We need people who are dedicated to the project, so please don't let random content disputes get you down; at the end of the day, good editors are very much appreciated by the community. That said, however, I need to ask that you bear with me in understanding a thing or two: first, of course, expertise is very difficult to really establish in an anonymous, online community, and second, while a user's page (or lack thereof) may be an indication of a few things, I wouldn't say the general editorial consensus is that it's the primary factor in decision-making regarding any user. Now, though, you seemed to be referring to a particular article; could you provide us with a link to the article(s), or to the diffs in question, so that we can develop a better feel for the situation and take a more direct role in helping you out if necessary? Luna Santin 18:11, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thank you for you input; I'm not going anywhere. Michael David 00:34, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

On a general point about expert v non-expert editors, it's too facile to say that because of WP:V any editor is as good as another in technical areas. If we want a good, trustworthy article, letting someone who knows little of the subject quote a newspaper article or a popular book is no substitute for someone who really knows the sources, is probably more up-to-date than the popular items and can sort the wheat from the chaff.--Brownlee 12:19, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

  • I can feel the frustration. I have been reverted quite a few times on articles in my field of expertise, and have sometimes received vandalism warnings from other editors even when my changes are WP:CITE'd (I'd pull out the diffs, most of them are utterly ludicrous). Just last week, I spent an hour convincing a patient of mine with metastatic breast cancer to allow her CT head to be placed "on the internet", only to have the caption reverted by another administrator who didn't know what the word metastasis meant, and who thought my addition was vandalism because it had the word "breast" in it. I can absolutely see how this would keep specialist editors away. It's not about veto power; it's about having too many policemen on this project, and about many of them having no clue about the articles that they are policing. Michael David, we appreciate your expertise and your specialist contributions -- Samir धर्म 21:14, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your support. My initial naiveté regarding editing in Wiki has passed. I believe in this project or I wouldn’t spend time working with it. I intend to bring all future problems with this issue to this outdoor Pump - sunshine (and lots of Betadine) are truly the best disinfectants. Michael David 12:59, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

My 2 cents: I feel that being civil and talking it out, and bringing in people you trust to help, is a good choice in any wiki-war.

However, I'd like to point out that people with much more experience than me have been much more uncivil than me. There's User:Lulu of the Lotus Eaters, who uses ad hominem attacks on good-faith strangers despite his multitude of academic awards, there's user:Noesis, who worked in partnership with a very famous and respected academic, and yet became bitter when others made any addition to the article on that man(Leon Kass).

My point is that people can have bad habits with or without great qualifications.

Thus, I feel that the most important values on wikipedia should be to be act in good faith and to always try to learn and keep an open mind. Again, I feel that being civil and talking it out, and bringing in people you trust to help, is a good choice in any wiki-war. And if you know you're right, then more power to you.--Zaorish 18:05, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Trigger Happy

Dear Administrator:

I, like you, am an editor; I create articles and make edits. But, many, I am sure many other people out there, are tired, frustrated and angry with the behavior of many Administrators. I am certain that it is appallingly easy to revert an article, that someone has undoubtedly spent allot of time and effort writing. I have, in the past spent hours, researching, planning, writing, checking and revising an addition to an article only to have the whole lot deleted forever three minutes afterwards.

I know that deletion of material is essential in a free-to-edit encyclopedia, but if you see an article that someone has anonymously devoted their time to writing, why could you not revise it, change it or give a reason for you action? They deserve one.

I know all Administrators are not all Drunk-With-Power-Trigger-Happy-Nazis, many of you do an excellent job and you know who you are.

In closing: Create, don’t Destroy. Make a distinction between “what is right, and what is easy”. Be enriched and enrich others with the knowledge of other people.

And keep that finger off the trigger.

Dfrg.msc 01:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Seconded. You've expressed very concisely my dissatisfaction with a number of editors over the past, not only administrators. Obviously the admin who is most guilty of this is Tony Sidaway. THE KING 15:38, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
    • KING, consider this a warning: stop making personal attacks. Even when I'm not the subject myself,[13] I still get rather tired of seeing you wage your campaign against Tony every opportunity you have. You've had numerous people tell you your conduct along these lines is unacceptable; now knock it off or be blocked. Postdlf 01:10, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
  • First, in addressing administrators you are addressing the wrong people. Anyone can do the edits that you are upset about, not just administrators. Second, I've taken a brief look at some of the contributions that you feel have been unfairly removed. They tend to sit in the area of literary criticism and the counter-arguments to your contributions seem to be 'please don't add your personal critique' or 'please no essays' or 'POV', that type of thing. When I first read your post here I thought "gee, someone is doing deep research, dotting i's and crossing t's and getting dumped on". As it is, your additions are on the borderline of acceptable encyclopedic content, sometimes crossing over that border; the surest way of ensuring the content 'sticks' is to contribute content that is notable, verifiable and supported by citations/references. You'll find that additions which have those three properties are very seldom subject to questionable removal, though they will be 'dry' compared to essays and critiques more appropriate for other venues. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:52, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Look mate, this Isnt just about me, and what I have know nothing apart from what you have seen backlog through what I have done under this account. The issue here conserns everyone, or I wouldn't have posted it on a public page. Dfrg.msc 11:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • :If THE KING is guilty of making personal attacks here, then the arbcom is guilty of the same thing everytime they make a ruling of someone with bad behavioir. And everyone who has ever left a {{test2}} message on talk page is also guilty of personal attacks. Saying that someone is not behaving appropriately is not a personal attack, especially when there is merit to the claim. Please review WP:NPA before you make accusations. Ch u ck(contrib) 02:33, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
  • ::I agree with Chuck. Criticism of someone's actions, provided it remains civil, isn't a personal attack. Whether Tony is actually guilty of these offenses, I won't comment on. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:00, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I also agree with Chuck, and I agree that there are many people who abuse the ability to revert. In my experience it is almost always admins, or people who have enough experience to be admins, who do it. In some cases I see people who have lots they want to do, and rather than take their time to do them well, quicken their pace to the point of incompetence. Editors, and especially admins, should be reminded that they are not wikigods, but are equal editors. I myself have been told that admins are above regular editors, with a note I believe was "don't kid yourself" or something to that effect. I won't mention names, cause I've done it in more appropriate places enough. Fresheneesz 00:38, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I probably didn't tell Fresheneesz that myself, but my own sentiments are close enough to it, that you may feel free to use me for a proponent of it. On this Animal Farm, editors are equal, but some editors are more equal than others, and they've taken to standing up on hind legs and acting quite a lot like farmers, you know. And you know very well why *I* think that. I was indefinitely blocked not too long ago, and without warning, by an administrator who simply forgot WP:AGF, didn't read well, and was trigger-happy. Had it not been for another administrator who had better sense, I'd still be stuck there. This happens. When admins war with each other, generally the blocks are shorter (it's never banning, which is the death penalty punishment for peons, er, plain editors), but if you want a rather droll example of a wheel war with sysops blocking each other and deblocking each other like Wizards using spells and counterspells in a Harry Potter movie, I suggest perusal of Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pedophilia_userbox_wheel_war#SPUI. This one had to be stopped by the Deus Ex Machina hisself, pretty much making a mockery of the idea that WP is a community of high-minded types able to police itself.
Not that there was good reason ever to imagine it was, since no organization really is. The military has military police, who are there to see that high-ranking people don't simply do whatever they want (rank doth not have ANY privilege). In fact, the standard police in your city don't police themselves, drawing officer-volunteers occasionally out of the pool to do this out of love. (Like that would work-- and yet it's the WP model). Instead, they have something called "Internal Affairs," consisting of cops who are roundly disliked by their brethren, but who are absolutely necessary for the function of police departments. On Wikipedia, no such organization exists, except Deus Machina, who is usually too busy to do it (except for pedophilia wheel wars and lawsuits-- but this is extreme stuff). Meanwhile, if the average editor gets night-sticked by some administrator during a revert war, nobody notices.
A word about vandalism. I've heard much caterwauling about vandalism not drawing adequate penalties (and I've done some complaining about this myself), since most of it is ispso facto bad faith, res ipsa loquitur (it speaks for itself). So why isn't more of it indefinitely blocked? My own provisional answer: because actually, those who do the work of WP administration are only marginally concerned with vandalism. They are much more concerned with their own egos, and acting against those they perceive as defiant. The only real unforgivable crime in any organization, you see, is defiance-- failure to kow-tow. Which is what heresy is. Thus, you can see anonymous users, and even named users, getting warning after warning, or 24 blocks for adding scatological nonsense to encylcopedia pages--- but if you want to see somebody blocked forever, just take a look at what happens if don't follow the wrong administrators' feelings about userboxes or something. Or using a sockpuppet address to defy a one week block-- neener, neener! Then you'll find yourself out in the cold forever, unless you're an administrator yourself. In which case you get wheelwar, as above. Don't tell me it doesn't happen. It happens. These are my thoughts on WHY it happens. I would like to see some oversight on administrators to see that it doesn't happen as often. Warring among administrators is as rare as wars between feudal lords in armor. But when it happens, it points up the basic problem that Lords are no more likely to be gentlemen than anybody else. They just have a high horse.S B H arris 22:36, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Please try to stay on topic here; it is quite easy to tumble off the reservation in short order. Being an avid contributor, I share the sentiments expressed by Dfrg.msc; as such, I would appreciate it if the conversation is centered around the initial concern which was expressed about a fortnight ago... --Folajimi 14:36, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps instituting something like a three vote rule on reverts? That would prevent unilateral action, and bad edits would still get reverted soon enough. RandomIdiot 14:32, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

A three-vote rule might work for other things, but that seems like a bit too much red tape for something as useful as a revert. For example, there are many people (I have been one) that did not understand the rules to Wikipedia and have made awful edits that simply needed to be removed immediately. If it had waited for three votes, some of the articles were sufficiently lacking in traffic that it would've taken weeks. Also revert wars would end with the side that had the most people on it, and just because more people argue for something doesn't mean it's correct. --Stellis 08:32, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Truer words have never been spoken; there is a redirect which I wanted to remove so I could create an actual article from scratch. This was over four months ago, and nothing new has occured in the interim. The additional bureaucracy is unnecessary. Folajimi 10:40, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Which article? Ian¹³ /t 10:12, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Why do you ask? --Folajimi 02:06, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Because he wants to help? --cesarb 20:53, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • If something is reverted it isn't gone forever. I personally don't think this is a problem. And anyone can revert, admins can just do it faster. Wikibout-Talk to me! 00:24, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, speaking here for a moment as someone with the keys to the Admin janitor's closet, I actually find it quicker to revert an article the same way that anyone else would -- go to article history, click on the older version, edit then save -- rather than to find the secret link that lets me do this in one step. But, now speaking as just another user, I don't see the point of reverting any edits -- even if it's undeniably obvious that it was made by some looney under the influence of illicit pharmaceuticals -- without leaving some note about why the reversion was made. The point of having an encyclopedia anyone can edit is to discuss conflicting opinions on a subject & to seek a consensus; & the worst case in initiating a conversation is that the other parties talking prove that they are kooks, cranks or just unable to play nicely with other children. -- llywrch 17:24, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Down with Trigger Happy Admins! Solution: allow for a special new type of user called a "sentinel" that is greater than a basic user in authority. This new sentinel is not an administrator, and cannot block other users, but cannot be blocked either. The sentinel only has the ability to make 60 edits per day. The primary advantage to a sentinel is that the sentinel cannot be blocked by radical fringe administrators. Yet the sentinel's power is restricted to only 60 edits per day. This idea was a result of the extreme blocking related to these links:

Sure, sometimes there will be linkspam, and some sentinels that abuse their power, but administrators are not immune from the tyranical tendencies of those in authority.Spicynugget 14:14, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Baaad idea. Say a mischevious user U creates two users 1 and 2. 1 and 2 contribute useful information, do not do more then 60 edits a day, and operate in conformance with most rules. 1 and 2 get promoted to sentinels. They make more useful edits, and they are regarded as useful to the community. U replaces 1 and 2 with a vandalbot. 1 and 2 make 60 vandalizing edits a day on the same page. Administrator A suggests protecting that page. After it is agreed on, U sets 1 and 2 to start vandalizing whatever's pointed to by Special:Randompage or whatever it's called, thus vandalizing 60 different pages. Consensus develops that 1 and 2 should be blocked. However, that is not possible since they are sentinels. And presumably, they can't be demoted, cause if they could then those radical fringe administrators could just demote and block like they did before. Samuel 69105 18:40, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Danny's contest ... WP:DC

Folks ought to know about Danny's contest! As you can read in more depth at WP:DC, Danny is running a new contest (his 3rd), this time with the goal of improving articles, specifically focusing on references... there are hundreds of thousands of articles on the english wikipedia that don't have any references at all, including some shockingly important ones. Danny is putting up prizes for the most improved one or ones, to be judged by a panel of 5 judges. If you know of an article that you're interested in, and that needs improvement (and there are over 200,000 that do!) why not enter today? There's plenty of time, as the contest will end on 7 October. Please spread the word. ++Lar: t/c 03:10, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo to Britannica: You're doomed!

A long debate facilitated by the WSJ

EXCELLENT JIMBO. You're showing spine against these fools. For too long we took crap from their executives, editors, and a pensioner even, and you didn't defend us.

lots of issues | leave me a message 20:45, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, it wasn't quite THAT strong of a statement, but the interview at least demonstrates the Britannica guy's lack of understanding of how Wikipedia actually works. For instance:
Mr. Hoiberg: Mr. Wales's explanations of Wikipedia's procedures were surprisingly unsatisfying on such issues as: Who actually decides when an article has been worked on enough and should be protected from editing for a period; How and when that status changes; and, What qualifications the people making these judgments have.
Articles are not semi-protected once they have reached a certain level of quality, they are semi-protected only if it is necessary to prevent their deterioration by vandals. I believe Hoiberg was confused by the mentions of the German edit authorization idea, but it still reflects poorly on him to have not accquainted himself with the policies in question. The discussion took place via e-mail, after all. It's not like he was on a clock and couldn't have spent 3 minutes reading WP:SEMI. --tjstrf 20:58, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The tension between these two men is obvious. To look at Britannica's position, how many more people do you suppose would pay $70 a year to read their online version if Wikipedia didn't exist? And in light of Wikipedia's growth, how much longer can they sustain their business model? That discourse does give me an idea... :) Durova 07:32, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipe-tan makes a cameo appearance in UK magazine Games TM

Wikipe-tan, the Wikipedia OS-tan has found its way into the latest edition of games™ magazine (issue 48). It's found on page 30 beside a regular column on the Japanese Gaming scene by correspondant Tim Rogers. The article is absolutely nothing about Wikipedia, but instead about the maid cafe culture in Japan. - Hahnchen 01:01, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Their caption seems a bit inaccurate, considering Wikipe-tan has nothing to do with video games. Oh well, one more point for Wikipe-tan as mascot. --tjstrf 04:13, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Did they ask permission? (Somehow I doubt they included a copy of the GFDL.) Or at least a nice reference to Wikipedia? Dragons flight 05:02, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
No, it was a copy-vio. :P They violated her only right, copyright. --Cat out 15:24, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Photography events projects

Some subjects, in particular famous people, for which we would like to have free images, only provide good photography opportunities at specific events. I thought it would be good to have a calendar of such events, so we can increase the chance that there are Wikimedians making photographs and donating them to Commons (or Wikipedia or whatever). Those who are interested in such a project, please check out Commons:Commons:Photography event calendar and cooperate in making this thing work. Thanks in advance! - Andre Engels 11:28, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

NY Times 2006-09-02

Thie article: repeats the librarian position that Wikipedia is not a source to use for research. Did it get discussed, and if so, how can I find the discussion? - Jaysbro 18:17, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

No one should cite an encyclopedia as a source. Encyclopedias are a first stop in research: follow the citations from the article to the sources the editors draw upon, read those, and cite them. 01:24, 12 September 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia was mentioned in today's FoxTrot comic strip.

First panel:

Teacher to Peter Fox: "Peter, about your paragraph on Thomas Edison ..."
Peter: "What about it?"

Second panel:

Teacher: It's a word-for-word copy of what's on Wikipedia. I expect you to do original work.

Third panel:

Peter: Who's to say I didn't write the Wikipedia entry myself?

Fourth panel:

Teacher: Save the loopholes for law school, son.
Peter: Tell you what. I'll settle for a B+
User:Zoe|(talk) 01:56, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I liked it. -- Donald Albury 02:02, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Clearly, someone doesn't know how to use the history tab. --Carnildo 06:05, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

New site for answers is a new human intelligence based internet search engine. You speak with an live guide and they will try to find the information you're looking for. While it was just released and goes offline frequently, it's worth a try. Blackjack48 16:15, 5 September 2006 (UTC)