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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-03-31/Discussion report

Portal debates continue, Prespa agreement aftermath, WMF seeks a rebranding: From MFD to CSD, debates are continuing across Wikipedia about which portals should stay and which portals should go. Plus: Wikimedia rebranding and Macedonia naming conventions.
AfChapman Stockholm.jpg
Portholes offer a limited viewing window into the world. So would a Portal:Portholes.

Mass creation of portals halted

The mass creation of portals on Wikipedia has come to a stop. Several discussions about how to deal with the mass-creation of portals by The Transhumanist, who created over 3,500 portals, started around mid-February and are many are still ongoing.

A discussion related to portals concluded with "overwhelming support here for a hiatus on the creation of portals using semi-automated tools". At the same time, a long (and still-ongoing) discussion at the Administrator's noticeboard concluded with "a rough consensus to formalize a moratorium on creation of new portals", and the Bot Approvals Group expanded the WP:MASSCREATION section of the bot policy to expand the restrictions on mass creation of pages via semi-automated/automated means. The restriction was previously understood to apply to articles and categories, but has now been expanded to cover any type of "content page", including article, books, categories, projects, and so on.

Ongoing discussions involve the possible creation of a speedy deletion criteria, expanding proposed deletions to cover portals, and a request for an ARBCOM case with an accompanying RFC. Independently of this, several hundred portals have been listed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion, with nearly a hundred discussions still active as of writing.

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Macedonia naming conventions

Though North Macedonia had previously been moved from Republic of Macedonia (see move discussion here) following the Prespa agreement, a new RfC was created to determine how we should refer to Macedonia in other contexts. The main proposals are as follows:

  1. How should the republic be referred to on Macedonia (disambiguation) — should the linked text be "Republic of Macedonia" or "North Macedonia"? And in what order should the list items be listed? Likely outcome: Calling it North Macedonia on the disambiguation page.
  2. Should people from North Macedonia be called "Macedonians" or "North Macedonians"?
  3. Should the government of North Macedonia or similar entities use as the adjective (A) "of North Macedonia" only (per the Prespa agreeement), (B) "North Macedonian" or "of North Macedonia", or (C) "Macedonian" or "of North Macedonia"? Likely outcome: (B) "North Macedonian" or "of North Macedonia" are okay.
  4. In other contexts (e.g. "(North) Macedonian football team"), should Wikipedia use (A) "Macedonian" only, (B) "North Macedonian" only, or (C) both, depending on context?
  5. What should the country be called when discussing events between 1991 and 2019 — (A) no change, (B) add an optional note of "(now North Macedonia)" when the country is referenced, or (C) use North Macedonia? Likely outcome: Option B.

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Wikipedia — A Wikipedia project

The Wikimedia Foundation is conducting a community consultation on the Wikimedia/Wikipedia brand. In particular, the rebranding project proposes:

  • Using Wikipedia as the central movement brand rather than Wikimedia.
  • Providing clearer connections to the sister projects from Wikipedia to drive increased awareness, usage and contributions to all movement projects.
  • Retaining Wikimedia project names, with the exception of Wikimedia Commons which is recommended to be shortened to Wikicommons to be consistent with other projects.
  • Exploring new naming conventions for the Foundation and affiliate groups to use Wikipedia rather than Wikimedia.
  • Considering expository taglines and other naming conventions to reassert the connections between projects (e.g. “______ — A Wikipedia project”).

So far, most people in the discussion object to usurping the Wikipedia brand (a portmanteau of wiki + encyclopedia) and plastering it over projects which are not encyclopedias, like wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki + dictionary), creating a weird Wiktionary, a Wikipedia project tagline, when Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia, and Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Other projects also feel that they have strong identities of their own, such as Wikinews, which is not affiliated with Wikipedia. Broad consensus is that rebranding other Wikimedia projects as "Wikipedia projects" is both inaccurate, and creates more confusion than it solves.

Other aspects of the rebranding efforts are less opposed, with several suggestions aiming to establish more effective brands for Wikipedia, Wikimedia projects, the Wikimedia Foundation, and MediaWiki.

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In brief